I was honored with the task of being a personal chef for the weekend by Sage Grayson for her very first Life Editor VIP Retreat. I’m so excited! So I’ve been prepping for the past few days and it is so much fun to put together yummy, healthy meals for 10 ladies. Here’s a few pics of how I’m getting ready:
And here’s a quick video about how the sauce is coming along. As some of you may know, good red sauce takes time and patience. Good thing I started this a few days before I make the lasagna!
I’ll be making all kinds of yummy food like my Chicken Quinoa Bowl and a vegan lasgana using my Dairy Free Alfredo Sauce as the base sauce. I’ll document all the recipes from the Retreat for you guys and hopefully, have my website up and running in the next few weeks. Look for snippets as I cook yummy stuff on my instagram @edible_adaptations or my facebook page .
I gotta say, the Holidays are wearing me out a bit. It’s cool, it’s great, there’s lots to be thankful for. And I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining, I do love the Holidays. The lights, the tree, the Love shared with family and friends. I find myself having more and more great conversations with perfect strangers as I stand in line for Christmas shopping. For that, I’m grateful. And I’ve already watched the movie Love Actually once, and will probably watch it again two more times by the end of the year. Because I firmly believe that “Love Actually Is, All Around.”
So since I’m running around crazy with shopping (trust me, I do a lot of it online but I’ve got a big family!) and my “regular” job (got a new project that’s been keeping me busy) and being a wife and a mother and a friend and a sister and so, I don’t feel much like cooking or blogging. I bet you all can relate to being worn out too huh?😉
I try to cook home cooked, healthy meals as much as possible as I’m sure you all do to. I thought it time to share with you an easy weeknight meal that my whole family likes. It’s inspired by traditional Jambalaya, but it’s a realistic interpretation based on what ingredients I usually have in my pantry/fridge! Here’s the full recipe: Easy Weeknight Jambalaya
2 tbsp cold pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small onion diced
1 cup chopped celery with greens
3 garlic cloves, diced
2 cups cooked, pulled chicken (I used what was left of a rotisserie chicken)
4 chorizo links, casing removed (I like the chorizo I buy from The Farmacy)
1 quart of organic chicken broth (and maybe another cup of water if you like it a bit thinner)
1/4 cup of spaghetti sauce (I like Bertolli Organic Garlic, Tomato and Basil)
Start by adding the olive oil to a large stock pot and sauteeing the onion, celery and garlic for about 5 minutes.
Then add the chorizo and cook another 5 mins and add the chicken, rice, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper.
Add the chicken broth and another cup of water if you like it thinner and bring to a boil. Cook for 15 or so minutes till the rice is mostly cooked. Then add the remaining ingredients of kale, hot sauce, worcheshire and spaghetti sauce.
Cook another 5 – 10 mins till rice is cooked completely.
Serve and enjoy! Now, my husband likes to add a bit more water at the end so it’s soupy, totally up to you all.
And here’s the best part, hardly any dishes!!
I wish for you all to have a beautiful, calm, loving, kind holiday season. And most especially, I hope you can be kind to yourselves.
Oh my favorite time of year. I just love celebrating holidays. And all of them deserve their equal time in the sun. I feel like Thanksgiving really gets stuck in the shadow of Christmas. Which is totally not fair. I feel pretty strongly that Thanksgiving deserves her time in the spotlight. You won’t see any Christmas in my house till the weekend after Turkey Day. I won’t even listen to Christmas music before December. I insisted that we play “Thanksgiving” music all weekend in preparation for the day of Food Worship. When my husband asked “What kind of music would that be?” I said it’s quite simple really. Any music that reminds us to be present, mindful and gracious for our place in this Beautiful World (i.e. Trevor Hall, Jason Mraz, Colbie Callie, Bob Marley etc.)
I’ve created a new page on my blog for the Allergy Friendly Thanksgiving and I’ll post all the recipes there. But first off I wanted to share my GF DF Pumpkin bread recipe with you. I made it early this month to practice and it came out pretty great! I’ll be using this bread as the base for my Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Whiskey Cream sauce. It’s scrumptious! Here’s the Pumpkin Bread recipe that was inspired by this Pinterest post:
2 cups fresh roasted, mashed organic pumpkin (I’ve made it with canned organic pumpkin but it’s not as good)
How to Roast a small pie pumpkin – de-seed and quarter the pumpkin. Place in 9×13 pan and spray the pumpkin with cooking oil and bake at 400 degrees for about 45 mins or till soft. Allow to cool and remove flesh from the rind for baking.
1 cup organic cane sugar
2 cups organic coconut sugar
1 cup water
1 cup sunflower oil
2 teaspoons organic vanilla
3 1/3 cups Gluten Free Flour (I use this kind from Bob’s Red Mill – its the best for baking!)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder (I use this recipe to make it corn-free)
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
Heat oven to 350. In a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl), combine pumpkin, sugar, water, oil, vanilla and eggs. Beat until well mixed. Measure the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and allspice into a separate bowl and stir until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, beating until smooth. Grease two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans and dust with flour (I ended up using one 9 x 5 pan and one 4 loaf pan because that’s what I have). Evenly divide the batter between all the pans. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes on the 4 loaf pan and 40-50 mins on the 9 x 5 pan or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10-15 minutes, then remove from pans by inverting onto a rack and tapping the bottoms.
I’ll post the final bread pudding recipe soon. And if I can’t get to it by Thanksgiving, I will before Christmas. Trust me, it works for either holiday.🙂
I think a lot of the love I have for cooking comes from my Dad. He would spend all day in the kitchen. I remember dinners like Duck L’Orange, Oysters Rockefeller, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Poached Salmon and his o-so-popular, Twice Baked Potatoes. Filled with cream, cheese, butter, bacon these guys were so sinfully delicious and one of our family faves.
So now, I obviously can’t eat these anymore so I had to find a way to “adapt” them for me. This dish is definitely a “cheat” for me. I used just a bit of raw cheese that I get from The Farmacy (check them out on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thefarmacy or Instagram @farmacyorlando https://instagram.com/farmacyorlando/) but the filling has no dairy in it, so as long as my allergy cup is empty, I can do about an ounce of raw cheese with no adverse effects. And let’s face it, I think a little indulgence here and there is important to allow ourselves in life. You can easily sub Daiya vegan mozzarella shreds (Here’s the website for store locators) in place of the raw cheese to make this dish dairy-free. Or you can just leave the cheese off completely and it’s just super that way too.
1/2 cup shredded raw white cheddar cheese (can sub Daiya Mozzarella shreds for dairy free)
Spray the potatoes with olive oil and coat with sea salt. Bake on a pan in the oven at 375 degrees for about 45 mins till fully cooked.
Be sure to leave a good edge to the potato skin; you need it sturdy to handle the filling once you stuff it with all the yummy goodness. After all the shells are ready, add all the ingredients to the bowl except the bacon, chives and the shredded cheese.
Then add the bacon and 3 tbsp of chives and stir with a spoon till incorporated.
Now comes the fun part, filling the potato skins up. I love this part because I use my fingers a lot to be sure the filling is good enough. Quality control is taken very seriously in my kitchen! Top with remaining 1 tbsp of chives and about 1/2 cup of shredded raw cheese.
Put these guys in the oven for about 15-20 mins and serve however you want. I served them with a bit grass fed fillet from The Farmacy and steamed green beans from Trader Joe’s. Enjoy your indulgences my friends, it’s important to allow yourself those kinds of treats now and again.
When my sister and brother in law got back from one of their trips to Uruguay (that’s where Fabio is from. And yes, his name is REALLY Fabio), Elisa raved about a stuffed squash recipe with ground beef and veggies and cheese. I’ve made this recipe with meat (and no cheese of course!) and it’s really good. But I was feeling inspired by vegetables so that’s why I wanted to try this recipe without meat. And I gotta say, it’s really good! I think the key here was using the Kabocha squash, it’s sweeter than the Acorn squash I used to use for this recipe. But if you can’t get your hands on a Kabocha squash, the Acorn squash totally works. Another tip about this recipe is using fresh sage, it’s super important since it’s more fragrant/flavorful then the dried stuff. Great thing about this recipe is that it’s great for the Visconti Hypoallergenic Cleanse. I put together a video for you and here’s the recipe:
OK it’s September in Florida and you know what that means? More hot weather! Seriously, we are all so ready for winter down here but the sad truth of it is that it won’t get cold for another month, IF we’re lucky. However, that doesn’t stop me from craving all things fall, like creamy homemade soup. And since I’ve discovered the joy of my “Alfredo” cream sauce I can get pretty creative with creamy soups!
Here’s the great news about this soup, it’s allowed on the Dr. Visconti hypoallergenic cleanse. And for those of you who have never done a hypoallergenic cleanse, I’m not gonna lie, you might not appreciate this soup as much as those of us who’ve been through it. Let me just say that it can be challenging to find foods to eat when you are limited to certain veggies, fruits, white rice and cold water fish. This soup is so scrumptious and creamy and delicious, you can almost believe you are eating a soup with copious amounts of dairy products!
Head of organic cauliflower (mine was about 6 cups chopped)
Water and sea salt
In a large pot add the cauliflower and just enough water to cover the cauliflower. Bring to a boil and add 1 tbsp of sea salt. Boil continuously for about 20-25 mins.
Next use a slotted spoon and fish the cauliflower out and add to your high speed blender/food processor. Add 1 ½ cups of the reserved cooking liquid to the blender along with the following:
¼ cup of olive oil
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp(ish) fresh cracked pepper
½ tsp dried oregano
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Blend really well till it’s really creamy and smooth; I’d say at least a minute or more. You might need to scrape the sides of the blender to make sure it’s really creamy or even add a bit more water/olive oil; depending on how big your head of cauliflower was.
I recommend tasting as you blend to get the flavor that you like. This should make about 7 cups of “Alfredo” sauce. This freezes really well and can be used over white rice noodles to create a creamy pasta dish when on the hypoallergenic cleanse as well.
Let’s get started on the veggies. If you know me or follow my blog, then you probably know that I do my best to get organic products whenever possible. But sometimes, it’s not possible so I try not to beat myself up about it. Eating non organic veggies is better than eating fast food; that’s the way I look at it! For today’s recipe I used baby Bella mushrooms (not organic) and curly kale (organic) for this recipe but feel free to get creative with your veggies. I’ve used oyster mushrooms and spinach instead, that’s pretty yummy too.
3-4 tbsp of cold pressed olive oil
2 cups coarsely diced yellow onion
2 cups coarsely chopped baby Bella mushrooms
2 cups firmly packed, finely chopped curly kale (be sure to massage it for bit, see my video for the Kale Apple Salad if you need pointers)
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
½ tsp of salt/pepper (to taste)
Now I just wash out that same pot and use it to sauté the veggies for the soup. Start with 2 or so tbsp of olive oil and begin to cook the onions over medium heat. Cook the onions for about 10 – 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Stirring often is KEY; you don’t want the onions to brown that will change the flavor of the soup.
Once the onions are translucent and fully cooked, add another tbsp or 2 of olive oil along with all the chopped mushrooms. Go ahead and salt and pepper the mushrooms now as this will release liquid from the mushroom and start to make a nice flavor for the soup. Cook the mushrooms for about 10 minutes.
And then, add the chives and kale. Cook the greens for just about 5 mins, no more than 10. You don’t want the kale overcooked; it should be bright green and fresh looking, not wilted and brown.
Last step is to add the 7 cups of “Alfredo” sauce to the veggies and heat just warm, then remove from heat. Reason being, if you continue to cook the greens in the creamy soup, your soup will become green colored and a bit bitter since kale can be kind of fussy to cook with.
I love this soup. I hope you do too. Please let me know if want me to create a video for it, as I know some of the steps are little more involved. But TRUST ME, it’s worth the time and attention to follow the recipe like this.
One of the things I missed most when I discovered my allergies (wheat, dairy, soy, corn, peanut) was crackers. I used to be able to destroy a box of Wheat Thins in one sitting. Not lying. So I really searched for cracker recipes and had quite a few attempts till I got this recipe right. And I must say, they are AWESOME. Light, sturdy, savory, crunchy; all the things you want in a good cracker. I’ve shared this recipe with a few friends so far, and I have only heard rave reviews.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add all the dry ingredients to a medium sized bowl and whisk well. In a separate small bowl, add the egg white with 2 – 3 tsp of oil and whisk lightly. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix well with a rubber spatula. If mixture is too dry, add another tsp of oil and form dough into a ball with your hands.
Remove dough and place between to large pieces of parchment paper. Roll dough out till very thin, about 1/16th of an inch. Remove top layer of paper and use pizza cutter to cut into squares. Bake for 12-16 minutes on a baking stone till crackers are browned.
And I’ve put together a video for you that helps to illustrate the technique.
1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice (1/2 a lemon squeezed)
1 tsp of Jane’s Mixed Up Salt
3 tbsp of mayo (I used the canola oil mayo from Trader Joe’s)
1 tbsp of Nutritional Yeast (I like Bragg’s)
Cracked pepper to taste
Start by removing the dill from the stems and dice really well and add to a medium bowl. Next chop the celery and the eggs, add to the bowl. Add the mayo, Jane’s, Nutritional Yeast, lemon juice and cracked pepper. Mix ingredients well and serve along side smoked salmon, capers and crackers
Speaking of salmon, I really like the smoked salmon from Trader Joe’s; it’s only got salt and a bit of natural hardwood smoke flavor. But if you can’t get to TJ’s, you can try Duck Trap, that kind is pretty yummy too. Remember to get the wild caught salmon or you are defeating the purpose of eating salmon. Farm-raised salmon is kind of notorious for not having any good omega fats; plus I’ve read that the farmed fish are fed corn and that just feels wrong to me.
Stay Healthy My Friends,
Here’s a fun graphic on wild salmon vs. farm raised salmon from Prevention magazine.