Saturday, December 14, 2013

Cooking with doTerra Essential Oils: Coconut Lemon Yogurt Parfait

Ever since I did my cleanse last year, I have been in love with doTerra Essentials oils. I feel like recently doTerra Essential Oils have taken the San Francisco Bay Area by storm! I came up with this recipe today as a treat for my daughter because we had a very late lunch and she wasn't hungry for dinner. I used my new favorite Paleo Coconut Yogurt brand: Coconut Grove and Great Lakes Gelatin for protein, since that's one nutrient that Coconut Yogurt lacks and I also added doTerra's Lemon Essential for a unique lemony flavor. My daughter's response: "Mom! You made my dreams come true! I was wishing that I could have dessert for dinner!" The kids' 4 by the way and a total ham! Unbeknownst to her, there was no sugar in her "dessert" since it was sweetened with Stevia!

Coconut Lemon Yogurt Parfait
12oz Coconut Grove Yogurt
1 tbsp Great Lakes Gelatin
7 drops Stevia
2 drops doTerra Lemon Essential Oil
1/2 cup Sprouted Brown Rice Cocoa Crisps
1 cup berries

1. Mix or Blend Yogurt, Gelatin, Stevia and Lemon Oil until well blended

2. Arrange layers of Parfait

3. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie Alternative: Creamy Apple Pie (Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

"It's like an apple punched me in the face," exclaimed my husband as he described this Creamy Apple Pie I made for Thanksgiving this year. You see, the concept of Pumpkin Pie is completely foreign in my family. I wasn't born in the United States and in Latvia we didn't have Thanksgiving or canned pumpkin puree on the shelves in supermarkets. But we did have apples, applesauce, and apple pie. The hubby and his family, although also not US born, acclimated much better to the American culture and the love for pumpkin pie. I can say he's obsessed with traditional Thanksgiving dessert. My family, not so much. So after years of having him be the only person eating Thanksgiving dessert, I decided to create a pie everyone would love. And I was right! This year EVERYONE ate dessert. And so I share with you the most delicious and unique Apple Pie recipe you will find! Creamy Apple Pie!

Creamy Apple Pie

Crust (adapted from Deliciously Organic)
2 cups Almond Flour
2 tbsp Coconut Flour
1/2 tsp Great Lakes Gelatin
1 pastured egg yolk
1-2 tbsp Coconut Sugar
1-2 pinches of Celtic Salt
6 tbsp of Coconut Oil

2 cups of Home Made Apple Puree/Sauce (see below)
1/2 cup Creamed Coconut/Manna
1 cup water
2 pinches of salts
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp Great Lakes Gelatin
3 tbsp cold water
2 tbsp boiling water

1. For homemade applesauce/puree. Put 6 apples unpeeled into a Dutch Oven and bake them covered for 2.5 hours at 350 degrees. Once baked add 2 tsp of Apple Pie spice. Let this cool and then remove the apple cores. I made this a few days in advance.

2. For Crust. Put Almond and Coconut Flour, gelatin, sugar and salt into a food processor with an s-blade. Pulse 8-10 times to mix well. Add yolk and coconut oil to the food processor and leave it on until the dough forms a ball. Remove dough and pressed into a 9-inch pie dish. For those that like a thinner crust, remove 1/2 cup of dough and press the rest into the dish. Place into refrigerator to set.

3. For Filling:
a) Preheat oven to 325 degrees

b) Place 1/2 cup of Creamed Coconut/Manna, water, and honey into a small saucepan over medium heat until coconut and honey are completely melted. Remove from heat.  

c) In a bowl, mix homemade applesauce/puree, salt, ginger, and coconut/honey mixture into a mixing bowl

d) In a small bowl or dish, mix gelatin with cold water and then add boiling water and mix until gelatin had fully dissolved and the mixture is clear

e) Add gelatin into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients

f) Once the pie crust has spent 30 minutes in the fridge, take it out and pour the filling into the pie crust

g) Bake for 75 minutes, but check to see after 60 minutes to make sure the edges have not burned. If they seem to be burning turn off oven for 10-15 minutes and leave pie in there. Then turn back to 325 and bake for another 10-15 minutes

h) Remove pie from oven and let cool. After pie has cooled, place in the fridge overnight

i) Slice and Enjoy!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Paleo Gummy Candy: The Healthiest Candy Recipe on the Internet

This Halloween, I have a 4 year old who is finally interested in and aware of trick or treating. I want her to have a great time, but I'm not excited about her eating the usual Halloween candy fare. I agreed that for every candy she collects, it will count as "money" and then we will use this money to buy her something special. In the meantime, for her school party, I made these awesome Halloween gummy goblins. Made with Great Lakes Gelatin and Coconut Milk, these gummies are a perfect balance of protein and fat, but the kids won't even know that because they are so delicious! I made two flavors: lemon and vanilla. I hope you enjoy them too!

Sugar Free Coconutty Gummies

Lemon Flavor:
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp Great Lakes Gelatin
1 tbsp lemon juice
15 drops stevia
natural food color for fun

1. Boil coconut milk and water, then turn off heat and let rest for a few minutes
2. Add lemon juice and stevia
3. Whisk in gelatin
4. Pour into molds once cooled to room temperature
5. Let set in the fridge for 1 hour

Vanilla Flavor:
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp Great Lakes Gelatin
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
15 drops stevia
natural food color for fun

1. Boil coconut milk and water, then turn off heat and let rest for a few minutes
2. Add maple syrup and stevia
3. Whisk in gelatin
4. Pour into molds once cooled to room temperature
5. Let set in the fridge for 1 hour



Thursday, October 3, 2013

Sardine Fritters and Apple Slaw: When You Have No Time for Anything!

Sometimes all you have time for is Sardine Fritters and Apple Slaw! Now that I'm a mom of two, I find that there isn't as much time to cook as I'd prefer, let alone eat what I made. And forget grocery shopping!  My first was a impeccable day sleeper, which allowed me to pull her car seat out the car multiple times during naps to run into stores to stock up for the week. This one: not so much. The moment the car seat hits the stroller, she's up and ready to party. So on some nights, this mama has got to be creative!

Luckily, I keep a pretty stocked pantry. For dinner today, I was at a bit of a loss. I hadn't gone food shopping this week, but did manage to order some essentials on I spent a good 10 minutes staring at the fridge and peaking into the pantry. I was ready to give up and order take out, but hubby kept pushing me for a home cooked meal. And so, I came up with a quick and easy dinner for us: Sardine Fritters and Apple Slaw. Prep time was under 10 minutes and cooking time was about the same. I paired the Sardine Fritters with an Arugula and Parsley Pesto from The Pasta Shop.

Sardine Fritters and Apple Slaw

Sardine Fritters Ingredients:

2 cans of Wild Planet Sardines
2 eggs from Pasture Raised Hens
1/2 almond flour
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp Ukrainian seasoning
1 large garlic clove
1 tbsp duck fat for frying

Apple Slaw:

1 carrot
1 apple
1 tbsp mayo


1. Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl and heat cast iron skillet
2. Melt duck fat on hot skillet
3. Measure out 1/4 cup of batter for each fritter
4. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side
5. Place apple and carrot into a food process with the shredder attachment
6. Dress with mayo
7. Enjoy with Pesto!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Chinese Herbal Medicine: Sweet & Spicy Postpartum Recovery Soup

I know that it's been quite a while since I devoted time to posting recipes on my blog, but based on the last post about my homebirth, I hope my readers can understand that my focus was elsewhere. The journey of the birth of my second child has been an extremely pivotal time in my life that has opened up so many doors for me. This week I am participating in a training that will prepare me to become a Hypnobirthing instructor so that I can help other women have the incredibly special and empowering birth that I was fortunate to have. Also this week, I have officially graduated from IIN, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and am now a certified Health Coach. Finally, I also made the decision to attend a training in October that will certify me as a Lactation Educator. With all of these credentials, I hope to help women during the most important time of their lives: assist them with nutrition counseling as they work to get pregnant, help maintain sanity and a healthy diet during pregnancy, teach them about Hypnobirthing and the amazing power they have to birth their babies, and then help them establish a successful breastfeeding relationship with their child.

Establishing a successful breastfeeding relationship is all about partnership between a new mama and a newborn. It requires the mother to be on her path to healthy recovery from the birth. In the United States, women are expected to be up and running the next day after a birth, but these are extremely high expectations. Even after my birth, I still have muscle soreness weeks after. In China, on the other hand, women are to be confined to their homes for 30 days. New mothers are  not allowed to eat raw fruit or vegetables, or drink coffee, cold drinks or even cold water, which can only be drunk warm or hot. They are to be dressed warmly and enjoy warming, healing herbal soups.  The Chinese know that the postpartum time is extremely important and requires that a new mama gather back her strength.

I researched some of the recipes for the types of healing herbal soups served to Chinese women in the postpartum period and wanted to share with you a delicious recipe that I developed. It is full of ingredients that cleanse and tonify the body.The majority of the ingredients can be found in your local Asian market. Here is a short summary of the herbal uses of the ingredients in the Postpartum Recovery Soup.

Ginger: warms the body and stops bleeding, especially uterine bleeding. It acts as a detoxifier.
Red dates (jujubes): helps to restore energy and balance
Longan: used for postpartum weakness, stablizing the stomach and the nervous system
Black dates: helps to restore energy and balance (more tonic effect than red dates)
Snow Fungus: strengthens the kidney and lung chi, perfect for aid postpartum women who are physically weak
Wakame: Reduces swelling, stimulates the production of healthy breast milk and replenishes the new mama with vitamins and minerals lost during the birthing process
Shitake Mushrooms: supports the immune system and reduces inflammation
Goji Berries: Reduces bleeding and tonifies the body

Sweet & Spicy Postpartum Recovery Soup
Stock (to be made ahead of time)
1 lb pasture raised/organic chicken bones with some meat on them
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp Celtic or Himalayan salt
6 quarts filtered water

1/2 cup sliced ginger
1 1/2 cups dried red dates (jujubes)
1 cup dried longan
1 cup dried black dates
2 cups snow fungus
1 cup wakame
1/2 cup dried shitake mushrooms
1 cup goji berries

1. Put all ingredients for stock in an enamel or stainless steel soup pot, bring to boil and then put on low and cook over night or at least 6 hours.

2. Once stock is prepared, removed chicken bones and add back the meat from the bones to the pot

3. Add in all ingredients except for snow fungus and bring to boil and cook for 15 minutes

4. Add snow fungus and then simmer on low of 30 minutes

5. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Farinata Pizza: Gluten Free & Delicious

Have you heard of Farinata?? If you haven't then you are seriously missing out! Farinata is chickpea flour pancake that is popular in Tuscany and the Tuscan coast. It's incredibly easy to make and is incredibly delicious. The texture is rich and luxurious and the flavor is nutty and delicious.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Paleo Friendly Smokey Roasted Potatoes with Wild Mushrooms & Bacon

Nowadays I try to cook quick, simple and delicious meals. For dinner today, we indulged in a delicious dish with 4 ingredients: Potatoes, Bacon, Mushrooms, and Smoked Salt.