Friday, August 5, 2011

It's Friday and I'm Excited to...

Happy Friday!  I don't know about you but I am absolutely thrilled it's almost the weekend.  Work has been KILLER lately and I'm totally exhausted and desperately in need of some R&R!  Luckily S and I are headed to Chicago to see the fam this weekend and I am ready to hit the beach!  Yeah can't wait!  Lollapalooza is this weekend though so I'm a little concerned about traveling to and from, but it'll be ok. 

Seeing as I'll be OOT this weekend I won't be cooking GFG-style too much, unless my mom wants some help.  But I am itching to try a few recipes that I've seen lately, with my GFG twists of course.  One thing in particular that I had not heard of until only recently was Socca- which means I was living under a rock until now.  Four million websites talk about it.  Diet Dessert N Dogs, Pure2Raw, Diary of a Nutritionist, Alex at Spoonful of Sugar Free, HEAB, you name it.  It looks easy, delicious, and a great "bread-y" type food that is grain-free.  And quite versatile.  Used like flatbread, or like bread for a sandwhich, or more like a pizza crust.  Pure2Raw even says you can prepare it in the skillet.  Yum!

Skillet Socca:
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1 cup water
pinch of salt/pepper
herbs- rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme, whatever! 
1 tbsp coconut oil or EVOO

Combine ingredients and then pour into oiled skillet.  Once edges are starting to brown (like a pancake) flip to the other side and continue cooking.  Top with any number of things- from nut butter, to cheese, to roasted veggies, prosciutto, cream cheese, whatever!  Awesome as a side dish with hummus, salsa, olives and parmesan, the options are totally limitless!

Another fun recipe I saw today was for Sloppy Josephines, from Chocolate and Carrots.  Cute huh!  The recipe was originally from Cooking Light and then adapted- I'm leaving out the sugar/chocolate syrup.  I also would eat this on its own instead of using a bun, but MKG could have a bun, served with a side salad/fruit salad.

Sloppy Josephines:1 cup dry lentils, cooked according to package instructions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium sweet onion
1 large carrot
1 portabella mushroom
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (15 ounce) can no salt added diced tomatoes
1 cup ground turkey/soy crumbles vegan ground meat etc.
Prepare the lentils according to the packaged instructions.
In a food processor, finely chop the onion, carrot and mushroom.
In a sauce pan over medium heat, add in the olive oil, the finely chopped vegetables and the garlic.
Sauté for about 5 minutes until tender.
Add in the pepper, salt, chili powder, oregano, and red pepper.
Stir in the tomatoes and bring to a boil for 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, mash half of the beans with a fork.
Add the mashed beans, whole beans and ground meat to the pan.
Turn the heat down and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Finally, with Baby S's FIRST BIRTHDAY coming up in less than a month, I've been thinking a lot about her first birthday cake, her first time eating sweets for that matter.  To be quite honest- I really am not thrilled about her having a dessert.  But taking a couple bites in celebration of her big birthday is not going to single-handedly send her down the path to diabetes, metabolic syndrome, or obesity, so I think I need to take a big chill pill and have some fun with this!  Along those lines- I may as well make something fun that my whole GFG family can enjoy!  HEAB recently posted a Vanilla Almond Flour Cake recipe- adapted from Elana- and with a few of my own adaptations it will work beautifully!  If I wanted, I could even double this and turn this into a pretty two-layer cake with vanilla or chocolate coconut butter frosting.  More on this to come.  But for the base recipe, here goes!

Vanilla Almond Flour Cake:

2 large eggs, separated
    1/4 cup coconut oil or butter
    1/2 cup stevia/sweetener dissolved in almond milk to make 1/2 cup of liquid total
    1 TBSP vanilla extract
    1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
    2 & 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
    1/2 tsp sea salt
    1/2 tsp baking soda

    Preheat oven to 350. Grease round cake pan.
    In a large bowl, whisk the eggs yolks until pale yellow with a handheld mixer, then whisk in coconut oil, almond milk mixture, vanilla, and vinegar. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs whites to stiff peaks with a hand held mixer. Gently fold the egg whites into the yolk mixtures.
    In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, and baking soda, then gently fold into the egg mixture. Spoon the batter into cake pan.
    Bake for 20-30 min, until the top of the cake is golden brown or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 30 minutes; the center will sink just a bit – that is normal.

Frosting would be super easy.  1 overripe banana, 1/4 cup coconut butter, 1 tsp vanilla, and extra almond milk if necessary to thin it out.  Plus cinnamon, sweetener and/or cocoa powder to make chocolate frosting. 

Can't wait to try out these fun recipes! 

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