Monday, August 15, 2011

Few Updates/Success Stories

Don't you love it when things work out?  And it's really the miserable failures that make those fleeting successes all the more enjoyable!  (Edited:  Here's a great example- this morning's protein shake, which I wanted a bit icier than usual.  My crappy blender was not actually blending anything, so I took off the cap and tried to stir things around a bit.  Of course, after loosening things up, the entire thing exploded and it was like an ice cold protein bomb went off in my kitchen.  Smoothie bits everywhere, all over me, my hair, my face, clothes, floor, cabinets, even the ceiling.  And I was running late for the dentist, and S needed a diaper change.  I didn't even have time to change or put on makeup- went to the dentist with Jay Robb in my hair.  AWESOME!!)  I just had to share a couple updates from a few recipes posted recently.  First, was a very modified version of a vanilla almond flour cake recipe I found on HEAB which she, in turn, adapted from Elana.  I have been obsessing over Baby S's first birthday cake/treat for her birthday party in a few weeks, and decided I would make this Vanilla Almond Flour Cake.  Well, MKG suggested over the weekend that I do a test-run first, and I'm really glad I did!  And not because it came out badly- it was awesome!  In the end, I decided to cupcakeify the recipe so I could make an S-sized cake, perfect for a big 1 candle.  The cupcakes were sweet, vanilla-y, buttery, and just the right size.  I halved the recipe and it made 4 pretty big cupcakes, so that's what I'm posting.

Vanilla Almond Flour Cupcakes
1 egg, separated
1/8 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup stevia/sweetener dissolved in almond milk to make 1/4 cup of liquid total
1/2 TBSP vanilla extract
1/2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 heaping tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350. Grease muffin tin (I didn't, and had no problems.)  Separate egg and put yolk in one bowl, white in another.  Whisk yolk, then whisk in oil, almond milk mixture, vanilla, and vinegar.  The coconut oil will solidify if the liquid ingredients are cold, so leave everything on the counter for a bit if you can.  The original recipe says to whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form, I of course did not do this, instead I just whisked it until I got tired of it.  Once you've reached that point, fold in egg white to yolk mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, and baking soda, then gently fold into the egg mixture. Spoon the batter into muffin tin, using about 2 tbsp batter each.  Bake 20 min or so or until the top is starting to turn golden. 

Strawberry Frosting
The munchkin loves strawberries.  I know babies aren't supposed to eat them, I guess if she develops some strange strawberry allergy we'll know why.  This makes enough for the four cupcakes.
2 tbsp coconut butter, I used my homemade stuff
5 or 6 medium strawberries

Blend well, then slather on cupcakes!  So delicious!  No sweetener needed!

Next up were the Paleo NOatmeal Cookies.  Again, I halved this recipe.  And boy did I GFG the crap outta this one!  Big time.  But it was a big success and I'm so excited to share this!

Paleo NOatmeal Protein Cookies
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup vanilla protein powder (I use Jay Robb Whey Protein)
1/4 coconut flour
1/4 raw sunflower seeds
1/4 raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 unsweetened shredded coconut
1 egg
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 tbsp vanilla
1/4 cup (or a little less) sweetener dissolved in almond milk for 1/4 cup liquid total
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 heaping tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Optional- 1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 325.  Combine flours/protein powder well. Add in baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and stir.  Then add in seeds/coconut.  In separate bowl, combine egg, oil, vanilla, almond milk mixture (remember about the cocounut oil!) and make sure everything is well incorporated.  Then add in dry mixture and combine.  If using, add in raisins.  Using 1 tbsp scoop, drop onto parchment lined baking sheet and bake 15 minutes.  For me, this made 14 cookies. 

Lastly, this isn't so much of a success story as it is a useful tip.  Yesterday, I didn't have time to marinate the chicken.  So instead I threw together a quick rub right before the chicken went on the grill.  It was just a couple tablespoons of Meyer Lemon EVOO, and then various eyeballed amounts of oregano, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and then a pretty generous amount of kosher salt and black pepper.  It was awesome!  So if you are in a rush and have no time, this rub will do wonders.  Just rub it liberally on both sides of the chicken, and then, if you're so inclined, sprinkle a bit more salt/pepper over it. 

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