Gluten Free Zucchini Brownies

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Ingredients:

Coconut oil for pan

1 cup creamy unsweetened, unsalted almond butter

1/2 cup pure grade A maple syrup or honey

1/4 cup of raw, cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon instant coffee powder, regular or decaf (optional)

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups of shredded zucchini (about 2 small)

1 cup of chocolate chips

1/2 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

 

Directions:

1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees f.

2. Grease an eight or nine inch square pan with coconut oil. 

3. In a large bowl, combine the almond butter, maple syrup, cocoa powder, salt, coffee powder (if using), egg, vanilla and baking soda until smooth.

4. Stir in zucchini, chocolate chips and nuts (if using).  Pour into prepared pan and bake until just set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with dry crumbs.  Do not overbake.  A nine inch pan will take about 30 minutes; an eight inch pan will take about 35 minutes.

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Chicken Paillard with Arugula Salad

 Here is an easy and light chicken dish,  perfect for an al fresco dinner this summer!

Here is an easy and light chicken dish,  perfect for an al fresco dinner this summer!

Ingredients:

  • 4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • Marinade:
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1 clove minced garlic

     

  • Salad:
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 4 cups trimmed arugula
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Add all ingredients to list

Directions

 

  1. Pound chicken breasts on a work surface using a meat tenderizer or heavy pan to 1/4-inch thick. Whisk wine, juice of 1 lemon, shallot, 2 teaspoons olive oil, and garlic together in a shallow bowl. Add chicken breasts; marinate for 15 minutes.
  2. Whisk juice of 1 lemon, vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and lemon zest together in a large bowl; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add arugula and tomatoes; toss to combine.
  3. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil the grate, or heat a skillet over high heat.
  4. Remove chicken from marinade; season with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  5. Cook chicken on preheated grill until golden brown and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Plate chicken with arugula salad on top.

 

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Blondies

Looking for an easy and delicious alternative to the chocolate chip cookie and brownie. Look no further. I have tried many a "blondie" recipe, and this one leaves the all in the dust!

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Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter or margarine
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Other add-in options: walnuts, pecans, coconut or heath bits. 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 ℉
2. Line a 9X9 inch baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease, then set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and sea salt. Set aside.
4. Place the butter or margarine into a large pot over low heat. Gently melt it. Remove from heat and, using a wooden spoon, mix in the light brown sugar and stir until mixed well and the sugar is melted. Cool for 5 minutes. Quickly whisk in the egg. Add vanilla and whisk again. With the wooden spoon, slowly add the flour mixture, stirring to incorporate. Mix the chocolate chips or any other add-ins, such as nuts, heath bits or coconut.
5. Scrape the batter into the  prepared pan, using a small spatula to smooth it evenly ito the corners. Level the top. 
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
7. Cool completely before cutting into bars. Don't over bake or the blondies will lose their signature chewiness!

 

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Szechuan Noodles

These noodles hit all the marks! They are delicious, good for you and kid friendly! You can turn this into a main dish by adding either gilled chicken or salmon, or for vegetarians, grilled tempeh.

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Ingredients:

1 box regular or protein enriched linguini
water as needed
kosher salt
1/2 cup reduced fat peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons roasted or toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
15 snow peas, each sliced in half lengthwise
5-6 shiitake mushrooms, brushed clean, stems discarded, sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, sliced into very thin 1/8 inch strips
1/4 cup shredded carrots
2 scallions, roots trimmed and discarded, thinly sliced (optional)

Directions:

1) Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water, according to package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
2) In a small pot, whisk the peanut butter, soy sauce, 1/4 cup water, vinegar, sesame oil, teriyaki sauce, honey, garlic, salt and ginger. Heat over medium heat and whisk until smooth and warm.
3) Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the veggies for 5-6 minutes until shiny and slightly limp.
4) In a large bowl toss the linguini with the peanut sauce and vegetables. Serve hot or at room temperature. If served at room temperature the sauce will thicken.

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Pea Pesto and Burrata Crostini

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Ingredients:

1 (10 ounce) package of froazen peas, thawed, or 10 ounces fresh peas, blanched and cooled
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper

For the Crostini:

1 baguette, cut into 1/2 inch slices
Olive oil
2 cloves garlic

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For assembly:

6 ounces Burrata cheese
Pea tendrils or extra basil and/or mint

To make the pesto:

In a large food processor, combine the peas, basil, mint, garlic, lemon juice and red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Pulse for 45 seconds until the peas are broken down and chunky.

Taste and adjust seasonings.

To make the crostini:

Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium high heat>
Generously drizzle the baguette slices with oil on both sides. Using tongs, transfer the slices of bread to the hot griddle and toast for a few minutes, until golden brown. Flip and toast the bread on the other side for a minute more. Remove the griddle and set aside. Carefully rub the garliciver the tasted bread.

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To assemble:

Slather 2 tablespoons of the pea pesto on top of each crostini. Add a tablespoon or two of burrata cheese and garnish with the pea tendrils, mint or basil leaves.

 

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Raw Date Bars

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If you're anything like me, you are constantly on the go. These raw date bars are full of so many good things that I pop a small one into my mouth whenever I need a quick pick me up, without the guilt!

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Ingredients:

1 cup Quick Oats
4 tbsp Chia Seeds
1/4 cup Sunflower Seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup Coconut Oil
10-12  Dates, Seeded and Chopped
1/4 cup walnuts (optional)
Unsweetened Coconut Flakes for Topping

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.
2) Mix the oats, chia seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds,  sunflower seeds and coconut oil together in a bowl, evenly coating the granola mixture with the oil. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
3) Bake for 15 minutes, stir, and then bake for 10 minutes more, or until golden brown.
4) Let cool for five to ten minutes.
5) To create the bars, mix the warm granola with the chopped dates in a large bowl and stir with a large wooden spoon, cutting the mixture together until it is completely combined. Add the walnuts for extra crunch if desired. 
6) Line an 8x8 glass dish with parchment paper, and evenly press the date and granola mix into the prepared dish. Sprinkle coconut flakes on top.
7) Cover the top with plastic wrap, and freeze the bars for two to three hours.
8) Slice and serve.
9) To store, wrap the bars in parchment paper and store in the refrigerate.

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Old Fashioned Banana Cake

 Ina Garten's recipe for Banana Cake is ridiculously good! The addition of the orange rind is what makes it so good.

Ina Garten's recipe for Banana Cake is ridiculously good! The addition of the orange rind is what makes it so good.

Ingredients:

  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
  • Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows
  • Walnut halves, for decorating (optional)

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (1/2 pound)
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  • Directions:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 by 2-inch round cake pan. 

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the bananas, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on low speed until combined. With the mixer still on low, add the oil, eggs, sour cream, vanilla, and orange zest. Mix until smooth. 

    In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in the chopped walnuts, if using. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, turn out onto a cooling rack, and cool completely. 

    Spread the frosting thickly on the top of the cake and decorate with walnut halves, if using.

    Cream Cheese Frosting:

    Mix the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on low speed until just combined. Don't whip! Add the sugar and mix until smooth. 

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Chicken Spinach Burgers

These are hands down the best chicken burgers I have ever tasted. They are packed with flavor and the spinach gives them a boost of iron!

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Ingredients:

2 pounds ground chicken (dark or white meat)
1 packeage (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid.
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons tomato ketchup or tomato paste
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs or panko
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
 

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine chicken, spinach, egg, nutmeg, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Use your hands to mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes to allow the mixture to firm up.
Form the meat mixture into small patties, using about 1/4 cup of the meat mixture per patty and making each patty about 2 1/2 inches thick. If the mixture is super sticky, wet your hands before forming the patties.


If cooking indoors: Preheat the oven to 450° F. Place the patties on a baking sheet. Roast until cooked through, about 20 minutes. If you have a stove top grill pan, you can grill  them on medium high heat for 1-2 minutes on each side, just to get some nice grill marks, and then finish cooking them in a 400° oven for about 12 minutes.


If grilling outdoors: Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal or gas grill. Grill the burgers, turning once, until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Serve the burgers right away.

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Wild Rice Pilaf

This is a wonderful recipe that is the perfect accompaniment to any meal. This recipe is taken from one of my favorite cookbooks, "Cooking With Laura," by Laura Vitale. 

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Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter or margarine
1 shallot, diced
6 ounces cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon slat
1/4 cup dry white wine, such as pinot grigio
1 cup wild rice
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 cup long grain white rice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1) Put a 3 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil and butter or margarine and let them get hot.
Add the shallot, celery, carrot, mushrooms and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables soften, 5-7 minutes.
2) Add the wine to the pan and simmer, stirring, until it has mostly evaporated. Add the wild rice, stirring to coat the grains with the vegetable. Add the broth and poultry seasoning. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 25 minutes.
3) Stir in the white rice, cover and cook until all the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
4) Fluff the rice with a fork, add salt and pepper to tasted and serve. 

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Flourless Chocolate Cake

 I apololize for this image, but it was taken from a video that I shot of the preparation of this cake. Suffice to say that you are going have to trust me on this one; this cake is a winner for so Many reasons.  It is fabulous either frosted or on its own, is both gluten and dairy free. And it is much easier to prepare than it looks! If you decide not to frost it, please mind the baking time so that the top of the cake does over-darken.

I apololize for this image, but it was taken from a video that I shot of the preparation of this cake. Suffice to say that you are going have to trust me on this one; this cake is a winner for so Many reasons.  It is fabulous either frosted or on its own, is both gluten and dairy free. And it is much easier to prepare than it looks! If you decide not to frost it, please mind the baking time so that the top of the cake does over-darken.

Ingredients:

10 eggs, separated
16 oz best quality dark chocolate. 
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups unsalted butter or margarine
2 cups ground almond (almond flour)
 

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line the base and side of a springform cake pan.
Whisk the egg whites until stiffpeaks form, then set aside.
Melt the chocolate, sugar and butter in a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Once melted, stir thoroughly to combine. Remove the chocolate mixture from the heat and allow it to cool a little, then mix in the ground almonds. 
 Beat the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture, a little at a time. Stir two spoonfuls of the egg whites into the chocolate to lighten it, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake for 40 minutes or until cooked through. Allow to cool before removing from the cake pan. 

Frosting (optional)

1/2 cup butter or margarine
4 tablespoons coca
2 cups icing sugar
Hot coffee to make thinner. 



 

 

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