Chocolate-Walnut Spread / Truffles

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AKA “Healthy Nutella”

Gluten free, egg-free, dairy-free, sugar free no-bake, and yummy

1.5 cups walnuts, or hazelnuts, ground

1/4 c. liquid – milk, juice, water

8 dates, pitted

1/4 c. cocoa powder

dash salt

1 tsp. vanilla

Grind the nuts in a food processor. Add liquid, process some more. Add dates, process some more.  Add remainder of ingredients and process until completely blended.  Can use as a spread or roll into balls and roll the balls in nuts, coconut, etc. for truffles.

Colorful Quinoa Salad

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1 c. quinoa

2 c. water

Combine quinoa and water in large pot, bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to low, simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Let cool.

In large bowl combine the quinoa with the following:

2 c. diced cucumber

2 c. diced pepper

1/3 c. toasted sunflower seeds

2/3 c. toasted sliced almonds

1/2 c. raisins

1 small can mandarin oranges, drained (reserve juice)

 

Dressing:

Combine in a jar or other container with a lid, shake well, pour over salad.

1/3 c. reserved mandarin orange juice

1/4 c. olive oil

1 T. each dill, Italian spice blend

1 tsp. mustard

1 tsp. lemon juice

salt and pepper

 

Serves about 8 – 10 as a side salad

 

Amazing High Protein Breakfast Bowl

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So versatile, so good

1 kiwi, chopped

1 small banana, sliced

1/3 c. oats

1/4 – 1/3 c. milk

3/4 c. plain 0% Greek yogurt

1/2 T. each chia seeds, hemp hearts, and ground flax

(Can add 1 T. honey or other sweetener to sweeten if desired)

Slice fruit into bowl, add remainder of ingredients.  Stir and enjoy! Serves one.

 

Notes:  Any combination of fruit can be used.

Can be adapted as follows:

Gluten free oats can be used to make this gluten free.

Non dairy yogurt can be used to make this dairy free.

To make low FODMAP use lactose-free yogurt,  appropriate low FODMAP fruits  and sugar or maple syrup instead of honey.

29 grams protein.

Salad Rolls {Gluten Free}

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After a friend of mine made salad rolls and brought them to our luncheon a couple of weeks ago, I knew I had to try making them myself. These are nice as an appetizer or even a main course when it’s too hot outside to cook.

Recipe and instructions:

You will need a package of rice paper wrappers. I bought mine at a health food store but it’s likely these are available in less expensive stores such as Superstore in Canada.

First prepare your filling ingredients. You will need:

Shred or slice thinly one cooked chicken breast or cooked pork. Cooked shrimp will also work. Slice very thinly (or shred) an assortment of vegetables. Here I used a pepper, cucumber, and green onions. Quantities used for  the vegetables were about 1/2 pepper, 5 or so green onions, and about one-third of an English cucumber (which was enough for 10 salad rolls) Also, about a tablespoon of broccoli slaw and a leaf of fresh basil per wrapper was also used.

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Fill a large bowl with warm water. Take the individual rice wrapper and soak it for 5 seconds in the water. Place the wrapper on a plate or the counter and let it sit for 30 seconds to soften.

Then, fill wrapper with a small amount of each of your ingredients, placing the ingredients near the bottom of the rice wrapper. The rice wrapper pictured below likely had too much filling; I tended to over fill mine and then, when it came time to eat them, they became “deconstructed salad rolls.”

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Carefully draw the sides of the filled rice wrapper towards the middle. Then fold the bottom in towards the middle and roll up.  Lather, rinse, repeat for as many rolls as you have filling for.  I had enough filling for about 10 salad rolls.  Cover with saran wrap once you’re done making the rolls so they do not dry out.

**Salad rolls are pretty versatile. Today I made them using shredded carrots, thinly sliced pieces of romaine lettuce, pepper, broccoli, and leftover canned salmon.

Enjoy with peanut sauce or your favorite dipping sauce.

Peanut Sauce:

1 c. water (GF chicken broth could also be used)
2 T. cornstarch
¼ c. peanut butter
1 T. oil
2 T. wheat free / GF soy sauce
2  – 3 T. Thai sweet chili sauce or to taste

Whisk together in a small pot and heat over medium heat until peanut butter is melted. If this becomes too thick, add  a little more water or broth.

Chicken Thighs with Potatoes and Peppers {Low Fodmap and Gluten Free}

photo via imagebase.net (totally free photos)
photo via imagebase.net (totally free photos)

 

4 chicken thighs

1 dozen mini potatoes, rinsed and scraped a bit

1 pepper, chopped

1/4 c. oil

2 T. each lemon juice and balsamic vinegar

1 T. chili power

1 tsp. each oregano, cilantro, paprika, salt and pepper

1/2 tsp. sugar

 

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Combine thighs, potatoes and pepper in a casserole dish.  Mix together the oil, spices, sugar and salt and pepper in a small jar; shake to combine. Pour over thighs, potatoes and pepper.  Stir to combine.  Bake at 400 F for 35-40 minutes until potatoes are tender. Serves 2, but is easily doubled or tripled.

 

Pasta with Chicken and Peppers in Peanut Sauce [Gluten and Dairy Free, and Low Fodmap]

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Image credit blogchef.net

With my doctors blessing, I’m trialing a new diet for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) [which I’ve had for many, many years] called low fodmaps http://www.health.arizona.edu/health_topics/nutrition/handouts/FODMAPs%20diet.pdf which basically limits certain types of sugars found in foods, such as lactose, fructose, as well as sugars found in legumes, some vegetables such as broccoli, onions and garlic (that’s a tough one, onions and garlic are ubiquitous) and the sugar found in wheat, rye and barley. I’m in week two of this diet. It’s quite challenging.

Here is a low fodmap recipe I developed for supper yesterday.
3 chicken breasts
1 c. water (broth could also be used – but for low fodmap, needs to be wheat, onion and garlic free)
2 T. cornstarch
¼ c. peanut butter
1 T. coconut oil
2 T. wheat free soy sauce
2 T. hoisin sauce
3 Chives (green part of green onions), chopped
1 pepper, sliced
I package rice pasta, cooked according to package directions

For spices, I used about 1 T. of a curry type spice blend called Kitchen King from MDH. This spice blend is low in garlic and onion powders, and thus I believe it is low fodmap.  For spices, if following a low fodmap diet, read labels – ingredients are listed in descending order). In Canada , Kitchen King is available at Superstore.
Cook chicken breasts in oven in casserole dish – 400 for 30 minutes. Slice into small pieces. Brown pepper and chives in a small sauté pan with a little oil. Whisk together water, cornstarch, peanut butter, coconut oil, soy sauce and hoisin sauce and spices in a large pot and heat until thickened. (If sauce is too thick, add about ¼ c. water). Add chicken, pepper and chives to the peanut sauce. Serve over rice pasta (or other gluten or wheat free pasta). Serves 4.

 

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

I have been having this for breakfast every day for two weeks now and I’m still not sick of it. Mind you, I ♥ oatmeal and eat it every day.

Combine in large bowl

1 1/8 c. water

1/2 c. large flake oatmeal

dash salt

Microwave on oatmeal setting in microwave (or about 3 minutes on high, until oatmeal is set).

Add:

1/8th c. canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

1 T. brown sugar

1/2 T. coconut oil

1/8th c. chopped walnuts

dash each of cinnamon and vanilla

Stir together until coconut oil is melted. Serve with milk or dairy-free milk.  Serves one.

Spicy Southwest Summer Salad

Corn Bean Salad
Corn Bean Salad (Photo credit: Emily Barney)

This was part of my lunch today.

Combine in a small bowl:

2 T.  fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (or minced if you can)

1/3 c. canned black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 c. frozen corn, thawed

1/2 red pepper, chopped

1 green onion chopped

Dressing:

1 tsp. each chili powder and cumin

1/4 c. each olive oil and lemon juice (lime juice may also be used)

1 T. mustard

Salt and Pepper

Combine dressing ingredients in a small jar. Pour over salad. May be eaten immediately or refrigerated.  Serves 1 – 2. This recipe easily doubles or triples.

 

 

Quinoa Salad with Pomegranates, Spinach and Sunflower Seeds

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1 c. quinoa, rinsed

2  c. water

1/2 pepper, chopped

1/2 small onion, diced

A small handful fresh spinach, roughly torn

1/3  c. pomegranate arils

1/3 c. sunflower seeds, toasted

Combine quinoa and water in a medium sized pot.  Cover, bring to a boil. Remove lid and lower heat to medium low. Cook quinoa 12 minutes. Remove  pot from heat and cover.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, combine balance of ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Add quinoa and combine well.  Mix in your favorite salad dressing.  Serves 4.

Quinoa Salad with Chicken, Apples and Walnuts


This was lunch today as I had leftover quinoa and chicken.
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
1 cooked, chopped chicken breast
1 apple, chopped
¾ c. cup chopped walnuts
3 T. soy sauce (I used Bragg’s seasoning which is gluten free)
3 T. lemon juice
2 T. mayonnaise
3 T. maple syrup
2 T. grainy mustard
Dash of oregano and basil
Salt and pepper

Put quinoa and water in a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook about 15 minutes until grains start to form spirals and most of the liquid is absorbed. Put cooked quinoa in a medium sized bowl, add in the rest of ingredients, stir to combine. Chill for a bit in the fridge. This serves about one.