Saturday, November 30, 2013

There's Life After Kale, And These 10 Leafy...

There's Life After Kale, And These 10 Leafy...

Gosh, kale , right? This leafy green really skyrocketed into super-stardom over the last few years, to the point where some people need to ask whether or not it's time we cool it a little . Do you hear that guys? You're smothering kale. From kale salads to kale chips to kale juice , kale really seems to be everyone's leafy green of choice. We don't mean to be alarmists, but what if, when we woke up tomorrow, there was no more kale left on earth? If your pulse just quickened and you...Read More

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Over 100 Uses for Coconut Oil

Over 100 Uses for Coconut Oil

Did you know that coconut oil can be used for more than just cooking? Yeah, I know!! Not to long ago I shared a post about the benefits of coconut oil and how my mama used it all the time. Yes, she even used it on my bald head when I was an infant because she was convinced that it stimulated hair growth. After re-introducing this wonderful oil into my home, I wanted to know the many other uses, so naturally I went on a hunt. Here are just a few ways that I found you can use this little ‘ miracle ‘ oil. Ready? Let’s go.. Over 100 Uses for Coconut Oil Use for stretch marks or to prevent them during pregnancy. Use for cooking. Coconut oil has a high smoke point so it wonderful for stir-frying. ...Read More

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Friday, November 29, 2013

What we do with leftover Turkey

Taquitos! Because they are naturally gluten free!
Tradition. It can mean a lot of different things to people. For some it is putting on their Turkey pants after Thanksgiving and sitting in front of the TV. For us, it means it is time for everyone to help roll taquitos. The joke in our family is that no one cares about the Thanksgiving meal, they all care about the day after when we serve Turkey Taquitos. It might not sound tasty to you, but let me tell you that it is. The day after Thanksgiving we sit around watching movies and feasting on taquitos. I serve them with fresh guacamole, salsa, Pico de gallo, sour cream and hot sauce.
These are very easy to make and a great way to use up leftover turkey.

3 cups canoloa oil
40 corn tortillas
Leftover Cooked Turkey

Using 2 forks, shred the Turkey. 
Soften the corn tortillas by heating up canola oil in a small fry pan. Place the tortillas one at a time in the heated oil just long enough to soften. Place on a plate and stack them one by one. Roll the taquitos one by one, by placing shredded turkey inside the softened corn tortilla, roll shut and place seam side down in a baking dish. Once all Taquitos are rolled. Place seem side down in batches back in the pan you soft fried the shells in. 
Fry until shells are crisp and brown. 
I served over shredded lettuce with Pico De Gallo, Guac and Sour cream.
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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pumpkin Piesicles

Because tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I am not posting Thursday and Friday. I need a few days off! So I thought I would give you an extra post today.
I recently had a treat. I got to review Zoku's Round Pop Molds. These things are super cool!

Zoku's Round Pop Molds let you create 4 pops with a unique and fun-to-eat shape.
Peel away the silicone molds to easily release your pops and enjoy! No need to run under warm water! Zoku's Round Pop Molds are great for families, parties, or as an addition to the other Zoku Slow- PopTM family shapes. I found them so easy to use, and highly recommend them. 

While I know a lot of the U.S. is under a big chill. It is always sunny and warm where I live. So I thought why not make some pumpkin piesicles. Like fudgesicles, but with pumpkin pie flavors instead. Oh wow. These were amazing. I did not think they would be this tasty. Skip the pie, I am diving into these!

Pumpkin Piesicles
adapted from

7.5 ounces canned pumpkin puree
1/8 cup heavy cream (plus an extra 1 tbsp for inside pop molds)
3/4 cups pumpkin spice espresso simple syrup (recipe below)

Pumpkin Spice Espresso Simple Syrup
(makes 1 3/4 cups)
1 cup water
1 cup pure cane sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp instant espresso powder

To make the simple syrup, combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Bring just to a boil, stirring continuously, then reduce heat to a simmer and stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in spices and espresso powder, cover and simmer for another 5 – 10 minutes to infuse and reduce. You should end up with around 1 3/4 cups liquid. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. YOU WON"T NEED ALL THE SYRUP, save the rest for coffee!

To make the piesicles, in a medium sized mixing bowl, mix the pumpkin and simple syrup together until combined and smooth/free of any lumps. 
Gently fold in the heavy cream (don’t stir completely, you want it to remain somewhat ‘swirled’ throughout.)

Transfer to a large glass measuring cup (for easier pouring into molds). Drizzle remaining heavy cream down the sides of the popsicle molds and allow to settle in the bottom.
 Pour the pumpkin mixture into the molds, 
cover and insert sticks, then freeze for 8 hours or until solid.
Dig in!

Whole Roasted Cauliflower in the Crock Pot

So is everyone ready for the big feast day? With Thanksgiving just around the corner we have been watching what we eat to make sure that we can indulge on the big day. This recipe from the Paleo Slow Cooker is the perfect low calorie side dish. 

I am not on the Paleo diet, but I found a lot of great crock pot recipes that are great for all diets in this book. The recipes are very easy to follow. They are all gluten-free as well. Pick up yours here: the Paleo Slow Cooker

Whole Roasted Cauliflower in the Crock Pot
Serves 6 from the Paleo Slow Cooker

1 head of cauliflower
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 cup chicken stock
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 3 - 4 hours, until the cauliflower is tender. 

Salt and pepper to taste and serve. 
The cauliflower came out perfectly. I drizzled the drippings over before I served it. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival Grand Tasting

This last Saturday, November 23, 2013 I was blessed to attend the Grand Tasting Event for the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival. Like every year, it was held at the beautiful Embarcadero Marina Park North. 
It was so beautiful outside, the perfect day for this event. Thousands of people showed up to enjoy this event. 

We were able to take in the beautiful San Diego Bay and enjoy the ocean breeze as we partook in the largest, most talked about wine and food festival in Southern California. 
It is glass clinking, celebrity watching, swishing, swirling, mouth watering kind of fun! 

With over 700 different wines being poured at this year's Grand Tasting, we couldn't make it to all of them. We got to taste from a wide range of domestic and international wineries, discover new labels to add to our home collection, and visit old favorites.
My favorite part is tasting 70 of San Diego's Top Chefs culinary creations. I love watching the chef's in action!
What makes it so amazing is these chefs pulled out all the stops to wow us for their chance to win over $50,000 in cash and prizes! So the food was top notch!

As if 70 chefs weren't enough they also brought together over 30 gourmet food companies for us to nosh our way through.

Even if you don't like wine. There is plenty of cocktails and beer to enjoy. If you are just there to eat, they even have designated driver tickets at a significant discount. 

Celebrity chefs were on hand in the Festival product booth to autograph copies of their best selling cookbooks.
Malarkey from "The Taste". 

Once again, this was the San Diego event of the year. If I could only do one event each year, it would be this one. The dates for next year have not been announced yet, but it is almost always in November. So make sure you make it next year!!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon-Parsley Dressing

Things have really been picking up for me in the food and writing world. My other blog Gourmet Cooking for two was just picked up with a book deal! So I am writing for about 10 publications now, and I am writing another book! My book Gluten-free is easy is still coming out June of 2014. My job on that is finished, and now we are just waiting on the publishing company for printing and editing. So this opened the door for me to get busy on some other projects I have been doing on the sidelines. I am about halfway done with my second book that I started writing about a year ago. This book focuses on meals for two. Recipes tips and tricks that will teach you how to please your man in the kitchen. 

With having so much going on, it is harder and harder for me to make time consuming recipes. I am still on a health food mission. Cauliflower is almost always my solution for tasty low calorie food. I absolutely LOVED this recipe. I had made my husband and daughter a scallop dinner and I am not much of a scallop fan. So I made a big batch of this cauliflower for me to share with them. I quickly got greedy and said "Hey! This is all I am eating! Back off!". Said with a smirk of course. I always share, but it was that good. 

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon-Parsley Dressing
adapted from Bon App├ętit | November 2013

This is a wonderful side dish that is light and bright with flavor.

1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into florets, including tender leaves
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss cauliflower and 4 tablespoons oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and golden brown, 25–30 minutes.

Meanwhile, pulse parsley, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a food processor until very finely chopped; season with salt and pepper. Toss cauliflower with lemon-parsley mixture and top with lemon zest.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Quinoa Veggie Sushi

I do believe I hit the jackpot with this recipe. It all started with a conversation with my daughter about a month ago. She was telling me that sushi was healthy. Now I will agree that for a fast food option, it is much healthier than a lot of choices out there. However, short grain processed rice mixed with sugar and rolled around fried shrimp, is not healthy. So I said "well if you made it with quinoa, then it would be healthy."  

My daughter's loud "YOU MUST MAKE IT!" is something I heard every time we got together since. So I finally did. I only wish I didn't make it on a rainy dreary day, because pictures are never as good on those days. 

This sushi was divine. I love that with a small ingredient change, these little rolls turned into a wonderful whole food recipe.
I chose to do a pure vegetarian version, but you can add whatever you would like to it. Sushi is so easy to make and is naturally gluten-free. 

Quinoa Sushi

For the quinoa:
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons agave nectar

For the rolls:
4 nori sheets (dried seaweed)
4 TBSP cream cheese
Your favorite veggies 
( I used, 1 zucchini, 1 green pepper, 1 carrot, chives)
Tamari or braggs amino acids for dipping 

Make the quinoa. If you haven't cooked it before, it is simple. One part quinoa, 2 parts water. Bring water to a boil. Add quinoa, cover and put heat on low for 20 minutes. Don't open the lid. It will be perfect in 20 minutes. 
Combine the quinoa with the vinegar, and agave. Fold gently and let it sit 5 minutes.
Cover a bamboo sushi mat with plastic wrap.
Prepare the vegetables, and slice into matchsticks. 
Place a nori sheet rough-side up on the mat. Moisten your hands and scoop 1/4 of the quinoa, onto the nori. Press the quinoa to spread it evenly over 3/4 of the nori sheet like so.

Add the filling.  Arrange a few pieces each of the veggies you chose in a pile in the lower third of the sheet. It's OK if the vegetables hang over the edges of the nori. Add 1 Tbsp of the cream cheese. 
Roll the sushi. Roll the sushi away from you with your hands, tucking in the vegetables as you go. 
Press the roll into a compact rectangular log, using the mat to help you.

Slice the roll. Cut the sushi roll into 6 pieces. 
Repeat with the remaining nori, quinoa and vegetables. Serve with pickled ginger and wasabi.
If you like my recipes, please support my work and get my cookbook! Featuring 150 recipes, 100 of which are not on the blog. That's right! 100 new recipes! Gluten-Free Made Easy is the perfect guide to your new lifestyle! Learn dozens of tips and tricks for avoiding gluten and over 150 tasty, simple recipes. Going against the grain has never been easier!
"Gluten-Free Made Easy" is available for sale at Barnes and NobleBooks and ThingsCedar FortAmazon and many other great bookstores.

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