Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Peeps Pops Centerpiece

Peeps Pops

















What’s better than an edible centerpiece?  A Peeps Pops Centerpiece that’s so easy and inexpensive to make that maybe your kids could make this one for you.  Once you melt the chocolate, the kids will love dipping the peeps to make their own Easter treats.  This is fun for the whole family.

Peeps Pops Centerpiece
Prep time: 20 min
Dry time: 1-2 hours or refrigerate

Ingredients
  • 18 peeps bunnies of assorted colors
  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  • pastel sprinkles, gluten free
  • 18 skewers


Video Tutorial



Instructions
  1. Separate the peeps using a scissors to make them neater.
  2. In a double boiler melt the chocolate then transfer the chocolate into a deeper vessel for easier dipping.
  3. Dip each bunny about halfway into the chocolate and scrape off the excess against the edge of the glass.
  4. Sprinkle on a few pastel colored sprinkles while the chocolate is still wet then insert a skewer into the bottom of the peep and place it somewhere to dry.
  5. I used a glass full of jelly beans but had some trouble keeping them well separated so if you have a cake pop stand you’ll have an easier time.
  6. And once they’re dry arrange them in a glass full of jelly beans for an edible centerpiece.

 Notes:  You can also skip the skewers completely and stand the chocolate dipped peeps on some parchment paper to dry.  

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Carrot Cake Cupcakes - Gluten Free Paleo

Paleo Carrot Cake Cupcakes

















Paleo Carrot Cake Cupcakes are my answer to what’s for dessert when your son has adopted a paleo / primal diet and he’s coming for Easter dinner.  This recipe is off the hook fantastic.  It might just be the best carrot cake I've ever had.  Or maybe I just appreciate it more since I haven't been eating many sweet treats lately.  But these spicy little bites of heaven are damn good.

I’ve tested the recipe as cupcakes but I have intentions of making a single layer cake then fashioning it into a bunny for Easter.  If you’d prefer to make a double layer cake or a 9x12 sheet cake, you can easily double the recipe but be sure to check my recipe notes for the adjusted bake times the different sized pans will require.     

Paleo Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 24-26 min
Makes 12 cupcakes (see notes)

Dry Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups almond flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • 1 ½ cups grated carrots
  • ½ cup raisins (optional)
  • ½ cup walnuts (optional)

Wet Ingredients
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • ½ cup agave nectar


Frosting Ingredients
  • 4 oz butter, softened
  • 8 oz cup cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


Video Tutorial



Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (or 175 °C) and line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.
  2. In large bowl, stir together all of the dry ingredients until nicely combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the wet ingredients and blend until smooth
  4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry until you have a homogenous batter then evenly distribute the mixture among the 12 cupcake liners.
  5. Bake on the middle rack and bake for 24-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
  6. While the cupcakes cool on a baking rack, to prepare frosting, combine all ingredients and beat or whisk until light and fluffy.
  7. Pipe or spread the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and decorate with a piece of walnut or pipe a small carrot on top of each top cupcake.


Notes:  This recipe makes 12 cupcakes or one 8-9 inch round.  For a double layer cake or 9x12 sheet cake you’ll need to double the recipe.  You’ll also need to adjust the bake times depending on the size and shape of cake you’re baking:
  • Cupcakes 24-26 min
  • 8-9 inch rounds 30-32 min
  • 9x12 sheet pan 40-45 min

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Paleo Buns - Baked In Pyrex

Paleo Buns Baked in Pyrex
















Paleo bread can seem like an elusive dream.  But following a Paleo diet doesn’t have to mean that burgers and sandwiches are gone for good.  As you've probably read in previous posts my oldest so recently went "paleo" so I've been struggling a bit trying to figure out what to feed him when he comes to visit.  When I saw this recipe on the KvaliFood YouTube channel I was ecstatic.  Then I realized that I didn’t have the proper silicone molds that he used in the video. 

But I did have pyrex bowls that seemed to be the right size and shape to make an adequate bun.  (see notes).  Thus began the paleo pyrex bun experiment.  And even though I greased the molds I did have some problems with the buns sticking so in the future if I use the pyrex bowls, I intend to place rounds of greased parchment into the bottom before pouring the batter.

Paleo Buns – Baked in Pyrex Bowls
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 22-24 min
Makes 6 Buns

Ingredients
  • 6 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 100 g (just under ½ cup) melted butter or another fat of your choice
  • 150 g (just under 1 ½ cups) almond flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt (not in the original recipe)

 Video Tutorial



Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (or 175 °C) oven.
  2. In a medium bowl beat the eggs and melted butter together until well combined.    
  3. Add the almond meal then sprinkle over the baking powder and salt and whisk until well combined.
  4. Evenly divide the batter among 6 nonstick, well-greased (or silicone) 4-5 inch molds. 
  5. Bake them for 22-24 minutes.

Notes: 
  • The original recipe from Kvali Food used 6 round silicone molds (Measuring 120 mm or 4.72 inches in diameter) and suggested a shorter bake time of 20 minutes in a convection oven.  To view the original video from KvaliFood click HERE.
  • I didn’t have those molds so I used four 2 cup Pyrex bowls with a 5 diameter and two 1 cup bowls with a 3 ½ in diameter. 
  • Although I greased the bowls I still had some trouble removing them an lost a small piece from the bottom of two of the buns. 
  • If using a Pyrex bowl as your mold I’d suggest placing greased rounds of parchment into the bottom of the bowls.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Skinny Spicy Sesame Peanut Noodles

Shirataki Peanut Noodles with Tru-Nut
















As summer approaches, most of us begin to realize that the bulky clothes we've been hiding under are inevitably headed for storage.  Consequently we also begin to think about how we can lighten up our meals in preparation for this annual shedding of our winter wardrobes.  And it is with this realization that I bring you a low calorie, low carb, gluten free Sesame Peanut Noodle recipe that almost seems too good to be true.   

Typically noodle dishes are at the bottom of my list when I'm thinking about eating light.  And if you couple those calorie dense noodles with a high calorie peanut sauce, you'd better just forget about it.  Right?

Wrong! 

These Spicy Sesame Peanut Noodles are just 300 calories for the whole plate including the garnishes.  So how did I do it?  I started with very low calorie Shirataki tofu noodles to save a ton of calories.  And for the sauce I replaced the high calorie peanut butter with Tru-Nut which is a powdered peanut butter. If you haven’t heard of powdered peanut butter you’re not alone.  I hadn't either until the company contacted me to see if I’d like to sample their product.  I never refuse free food.  Plus, usually when the company contacts you to sample their goods, they're usually pretty confident in the quality of their product. 

A few days later I received both the original flavor and a chocolate peanut butter variety.

So what is powdered peanut butter?  Basically, as I understand it, the Tru-nut company figured out a way to press the oil and fat from the peanut butter while turning the remaining solids into a flour-like powder that can easily be reconstituted with water.  The process takes out the fat but leaves behind the protein and peanut flavor.  In this recipe I used 2 tablespoons which clocked in at 45 calories versus the 190 calories that regular peanut butter would have cost me.  And it was good.  Another benefit was how easily it mixed into the sauce versus how difficult it can be to blend the regular stuff into other liquids.

I can’t wait to see what kind of recipe I can come up with for their chocolate variety.  I may use it in a cupcakes or flourless chocolate peanut butter cookies.  Whatever it ends up in, you guys will be the first to know.

I’m not sure where Tru-Nut is available in the marketplace.  I wonder if they sell it at my local Whole Foods or Trader Joes.  I’ll keep my eye’s peeled.  In the meantime, after checking Amazon I found both the Chocolate Tru-Nut and the OriginalFlavor that was used in this delicious noodle recipe.

Skinny Spicy Sesame Peanut Noodles
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 5 min

Ingredients
  • 2 packages Shirataki tofu noodles (fettuccine)
  • 2 tbsp powdered peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp warm water
  • 1 tbsp Bragg liquid aminos (or other GF soy sauce)
  • 2 tsp sriracha sauce
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ tbsp. sesame oil
  • ½ tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 2 thinly sliced green onions
  • ½ oz chopped peanuts


Video Tutorial



Instructions
  1. Stir together all of the sauce ingredients except for the chopped peanuts and ½ the green onions.
  2. Prepare the shirataki tofu noodles according to the package instructions.
  3. Toss the well-drained noodles in the sauce, place on a serving plate, top with the remaining green onions, chopped peanuts and crushed red pepper flakes or sambal sauce if you want it extra spicy.  

And if you don’t believe that this whole plate of noodles is just 300 calories here’s the list of ingredients again with their calorie counts.

The Calorie Count: 
2 packages Shirataki tofu noodles  …. 80
2 tbsp powdered peanut butter……… 45
1 tbsp warm water…………….……....…0
1 tbsp Bragg liquid aminos………..…....0
2 tsp sriracha sauce.................………..10
1 tsp honey ……………………..……….25
½ tbsp. sesame oil……………….……..60
½ tbsp. cider vinegar ……………………0
1 minced garlic clove ………………….. 5
2 thinly sliced green onions…………….10
½ oz chopped peanuts ………………..65

Total calories…………………………. 300


To visit the Tru-Nut site click HERE.  
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