gluten free

Oatmeal Stuffed Baked Apples

Prep Time: 2 hours      Cook Time: 30-60 min     Yield: 4 large or 6 small servings

 WHAT YOU NEED

  • 3 firm apples 
    • Honeycrisp, Fuji, or Braeburn if you like 'em sweet
    • Gala, Granny Smith, or Jonagolds if you like 'em tart
  • 2 cups steel cut oats (rinsed, soaked for 2 hours, then drained)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • zest of 1 mandarin (optional...if you're feeling zesty!)
  • 7 Medjool dates, chopped
  • 2 tbs ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I got for walnuts or pecans) 
  • 2 cups vanilla almond milk (or plain milk + 1 tsp vanilla bean) 
  • pure maple syrup or raw honey for drizzling

 

WHAT TO DO

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Wash and core your apples. If you don't have a corer, like me, use a paring knife and cut a 1" square around the center of the apple from the top and bottom. Then push the cut portion out through the top. 

  3. In a large mixing bowl, add your dry ingredients and mix well. Then add the soaked (but fully drained) oats and milk and mix until well combined.

  4. Put your apples in a deep baking dish greased lightly with butter. Mmmmmm.

  5. Fill each apple with the mixture and then spoon all of what's leftover around the apples. Pack it all down too. 

  6. Place dish on the center rack of your oven, uncovered. If your apples are small, they'll probably take about 30 minutes to bake. If they are large, they could take close to 1 hour. Peek in on them around the 30 minute mark. You'll know they're ready by how they smell and look, how easily a knife penetrates through the apple, and whether or not the oats have soaked up all the liquid and are set in the dish. 

Get creative with how you enjoy this dish. It could easily be part of a dessert as well! Have fun! 

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

The first (and last) time I made cauliflower pizza crust, I was so disappointed. I feel like most of the recipes out there are a scam! Until last year when I added a butternut squash soup with quinoa croutons to my Fall meal prep menu. I made the croutons by baking a flattened mixture of cooked quinoa, egg, lots of herbs and spices, and 3 different types of seeds. Once cooled, I broke it all up into bite-sized pieces and sprinkled them over the soup. They were a HUGE success and my clients loved them! And then I realized I could use that concept, and make a PIZZA CRUST out of it. 

Well, it worked, but it was way too much work. So I combined my recipe/idea with the only recipe I ever found which came close to yielding a good cauliflower crust. And here's the result...

 

Yup, you can pick if up with your hands and everything! :) 

Yup, you can pick if up with your hands and everything! :) 

 

 

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Prep Time: 25 minutes        Cook Time: 45 minutes        Yield: 8" round

 

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 1 large cauliflower head
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tsp ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • a few turns each of sea salt and black pepper mills
    • food processor
    • large microwaveable bowl
    • old t-shirt, linen napkin, or plain dish towel
    • baking sheet
    • silicone baking mat
    • cooking gloves

 

WHAT TO DO

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F.
  2. Using your food processor and the SHREDDING blade/plate, shred the whole head of cauliflower minus the leaves. Stalks are OK!
  3. Transfer the rice to your bowl and microwave for about 10-15 minutes depending on your microwave. The rice should be noticeably shrunk, wet, steaming, and soft. 
  4. Lay your towel/cloth in the bowl of your sink and dump the rice in the middle. Then wrap, twist, and squeeze the HELL out of it. No joke, twist and squeeze it like you're trying to get every last drop of moisture from the rice...which you are.
  5. Transfer the rice back to your bowl and add the egg, flax seeds, and seasonings. Using gloved hands (because it will be HOT) mix it up real good. 
  6. Now, place your "dough" on your lined baking sheet and press and mold it into shape. Circular or rectangular doesn't matter...just make sure it's compact and uniform. You want the interior to be between 1/4"-1/3" thick and then you can create a ridge around the perimeter with your fingers which will be slightly thicker. 
  7. Bake your crust for about 40 minutes, or until it is a nice golden brown in color. 
  8. Remove from the oven, add your toppings, and bake for an additional 6-8 minutes or until it looks all cheesy and delicious. 
  9. Enjoy! 
We topped ours with tomato sauce, arugula, sautéed onions and green bell peppers, olives, tomatoes, and parmesan cheese. SO GOOD!!!

We topped ours with tomato sauce, arugula, sautéed onions and green bell peppers, olives, tomatoes, and parmesan cheese. SO GOOD!!!

How to: Perfect Spaghetti Squash Noodles (Squoodles)

EVERY time I post a photo of spaghetti squash noodles, I get a ton of messages about how I get them to be so PERFECT. Why...thank you! They are indeed perfect. In fact, I haven't made a "bad" batch of squoodles in years! So, because I'm such a nice person, I decided I should share with you all exactly how I make my squoodles. This method may have a few more steps than folks are used to but it's worth it for perfectly al dente squoodles without a pile of mush and a puddle sitting at the bottom of your bowl (you know who you are...)

 

P.S. A quicker alternative to this would be to microwave the squash. Check out my Instagram video on how to do that here

Step 1

Preheat your oven to 450F. Take your spaghetti squash and poke it multiple times all over with a fork. Then, place it on a baking sheet.

Step 2

Bake your squash for 20-60 minutes (depending on size) or until a fork can be pierced through the skin into the flesh with just a bit of force. You do not want it to slip in easily, the squash should still be a little firm! 

Step 3

Wearing gloves or using a hand towel, transfer your squash to a paper towel lined surface. Cut it in half widthwise, and use a large metal spoon or fork to scoop out the inside seeds and soft inner flesh.

Step 4

Using that same fork or spoon, scoop out the entire contents of each half by running your utensil along the underside of the skin from the top edge, down to the bottom. Then, use your hands to break apart the intact squoodles and spread them out over the paper towels. This will prevent them from cooking any further and will allow the moisture to steam off. Excess heat and moisture are the main culprits for overcooked squash! 

Step 5

Enjoy! I love to toss them in olive oil and fresh chopped basil or add your favorite pasta sauce like pesto or tomato. If you are not planning on using your squoodles right way, allow them to cool COMPLETELY before transferring them to a container for the fridge. 

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Cast Iron Cornbread

Prep Time: 10 minutes        Cook Time: 20 minutes        Yield: 12" round

 

Folks, this stuff is the bee's knees! And I've included a a dairy-free version...doesn't get much better than that! 

Side note: I recently discovered that "bee's knees" may have derived from "business"...meaning this stuff is the BIZ-NASS!!!! 

WHAT YOU NEED

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups cornmeal, medium ground
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1.5 cups (12 oz) sour cream
  • small can of corn, drained (you can use more or less it's up to you!)
  • 4 tbs butter, melted + a little more for greasing 
  • 8 tbs (4 oz) raw honey + a little more for drizzling 

ools

  • 12" cast iron skillet, or 8" square/round
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • whisk
  • silicone spatula
  • toothpick

If you have issues with dairy, I recommend plain non-dairy yogurt (like So Delicious Cultured Almond Milk Yogurt) instead of sour cream and ghee instead of butter.

 

WHAT TO DO

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F.
  2. Grease your skillet or baking pan and set aside.
  3. Combine all of your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk until well combined.
  4. Do the same for the wet ingredients in a separate, smaller bowl. 
  5. Pour the wet stuff over the dry and mix well.
  6. Using your spatula, transfer the batter into your greased skillet or pan and shake the skillet to smooth the surface out until it's all uniform in the dish. 
  7. Drizzle some honey over the top. Hell yes. 
  8. Place on the middle rack of you oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
  9. Enjoy! This is the perfect time of year for homemade cornbread on the side of a big bowl of chili! 

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

CARROT CAKE Cupcakes

Prep Time: 20 minutes          Cook Time: 25 minutes           Yield: 18 cupcakes

I don't keep much in my kitchen in terms of baking ingredients so I always end up Googling recipes and piecing them together as I please based on what I have. Sometimes it works, sometimes it's an epic failure...but it's always fun! This time, it worked! 


These muffins are the perfect combination of sweetness and decadence!

WHAT YOU NEED

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups walnut or pecan meal/flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tbs ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger (optional)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Wet Ingredients

  • 3 cups carrot, grated
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup date paste
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (refrigerated over night)
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened 
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Optional Add-Ins/Ons

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2-3 tbs finely chopped bacon (for the frosting)

 

WHAT TO DO

Muffins

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. Add all dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix until well combined.
  3. Add carrots and mix well using a fork. 
  4. Pour remaining wet ingredients into the large mixing bowl and use an electric mixer (I use my KitchenAid with the flat beater) to mix until well combined. At this point you can add in the chopped nuts or raisins if you want to. You can attempt to mix by hand but the date paste and coconut oil makes this a little difficult.
  5. Using a large spoon, scoop out the batter and drop into the openings of an ungreased muffin pan. 
  6. Bake at 350F on the center rack for about 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean from the center. 
  7. Allow to cool completely before adding frosting. 


Frosting

  1. Open the refrigerated can of coconut milk and scoop out the solidified coconut from the top of the can, leaving the remaining water behind. 
  2. Combine the solidified coconut milk with the maple syrup, cinnamon, shredded coconut, and bacon (optional) and whisk well using an electric mixer. (I use my KitchenAid with the wire whip). 
  3. Using a small spoon, or a decorating bag if you have one (I don't), scoop the frosting out by the heaping spoonful and plop it on top of each muffin. Add a piece of bacon for garnish and ENJOY the heck out of that little sucker! 

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