Monday, March 31, 2014

Black and Blue Steak Salad

My husband loves Steak. It is not a secret around here that I am not a big fan of red meat. However, my local organic market got a fresh batch of grass fed beef steaks. The only time I will ever try red meat is if it is organic and grass fed. Want to know why? The difference is explained very well here: If you take the time to read it, you are helping your health. 

My husband also loves Salad. When I asked him what he would like for dinners this week, he said how about salad every night. Then he said, I would really like a steak and blue cheese salad. I groaned. Two things I don't like. Steak and blue cheese. Immediately in my head, I started planning my vegetarian salad that I would be eating while he devoured the carnage. I believe that just because I don't like something, does not mean I won't make it for those that do. 

This salad is actually healthy. Want to know the shocking part? I ate some. Because it was grass fed, and my husband kept moaning and rolling his eyes back while he took bites, followed by the thumbs up sign. I figured, I might as well give it a try. It was good. Very flavorful. Anyone who likes blue cheese and steak will love this. I recommend serving it with a good red wine. A fabulous old vine zin is perfect. Enjoy! 

Black and Blue Steak Salad
Recipe by: Christi Silbaugh

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup blue cheese
1/4 cup milk
1 Tbsp Olive Oil

4 6-8 ounce Steaks (cut of your choice)
2 tomatoes, sliced.
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce, or your favorite salad blend

For the spice mixture: 
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

For spice mixture:
Mix all ingredients in small bowl. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. 
Heat a skillet on your stove to 375 degrees. 

Generously season each steak on both sides with the spice mixture. Reserve remaining spice mixture and set aside. 

Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to the hot skillet. Add your steak to the skillet. Cook for 3 minutes to blacken and then turn over and cook for another 1 minute. Place the skillet in the oven and cook to desired done-ness. 3-5 minutes for medium rare. 6-8 minutes for medium. 8-10 for well done. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. 

While meat is resting, stir one tablespoon of the spice mixture in with the yogurt, blue cheese, and milk. Stir well. This is your dressing. 
Once the meat has rested, slice on the bias. 

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.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Move over Nutella, there is a new healthy organic spread in town!

I hear and see how much people love nutella every single day. I mean if you watch TV, I am sure you have seen the ads that suggest that Nutella is a healthful breakfast choice, but it turns out Nutella’s about as healthy as a twix bar. One woman was so appalled when she realized that two tablespoons of her go-to breakfast spread packed in 200 calories, 21 grams of sugar, and 11 grams of fat, that she took the company to court…and won. (In fact, if you bought a jar of Nutella between January 2008 and Feb 3, 2012, you’re entitled to a refund.) (source: ABC News). 

So please know that it is a DESSERT, not a breakfast!
We need a dessert spread that is not full of garbage. An organic one! 

So welcome Nocciolata:


It's actually quite simple. Quality ingredients produce superior taste. Only certified organic ingredients go into each jar of creamy, dreamy Nocciolata. That means no chemicals, no artificial flavors, no GMOs and absolutely zero palm oil. Nocciolata is still made following the Rigoni's exclusive family recipe. It is a slow process that uses only carefully selected ingredients like dark chocolate from the Antillean Islands, Italian hazelnuts (16%), brown sugar, skim milk and Bourbon vanilla extract.
Enjoy Nocciolata any time of day. Try it in the morning on toast, or on a crusty bread for a delicious afternoon snack. Nocciolata is the perfect special ingredient for cakes, crepes, cookies, muffins, and many more recipes. It's fantastic as a frosting or filling in all your baking inventions! No matter how you enjoy it, there are always new ways to love Nocciolata!  Get yours here, or ask for it at your local grocer. 





Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 2 tbsp (34 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 170
Calories from Fat 90
Total Fat 10.0g15%
Saturated Fat 2.0g10%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 17mg1%
Carbohydrates 18.0g6%
Dietary Fiber 2.0g8%
Sugars 17.0g
Protein 2.0g
Vitamin A 0% · Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0% · Iron 2%

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Caribbean Jerk Salmon and Mango Pineapple Salsa

I have recently started learning about yoga's ethical practice. Not because I am looking for a religion. I am a big believer in a personal relationship with Jesus. It get's me through thick and thin. I am however extremely interested that the yamas and niyamas of yoga follow the 10 commandments which is something I believe we all try to follow anyway. I am amazed at how parallel the teachings are to my treasured bible. I believe any learning is good. I love to educate myself. So with a friend's help. I am learning how to take my yoga practice off my mat and into the real world. 

This month we are working on contentment. It is something we all struggle with. Don't believe me? There is an old Chinese proverb that states: "People in the west are always getting ready to live". In the Yamas and Niyamas it describes this even deeper: "There is a remarkable truth to this proverb.  When we are little we can't wait to get big, when we are big we can't wait to get out of the house, then we can't wait to get to college, and get a job, then we can't wait until our vacations, and finally we can't wait until our retirement. As the chinese proverb states, we never really live, we just get ready." 

How true is that for you? I find it to be very accurate, even though I am trying daily to slow down and live in the moment. As long as we look for contentment from something outside of us, it will always be one step out of reach. 

This brings me to why I have not been posting as frequently. When we downsized and moved to a loft in the city, I was going to take some time off as soon as my first book deal was complete. The second book deal came before the first book deal (gluten-free made easy, release date June 2014) was finished, and I just completed the second book (gourmet cooking for two, release date August 2014).  While doing both those projects I was diagnosed with cancer. After surgery and recovery (cancer free for 6 months now!) I finished the second book. It is upon that completion that I knew I needed a break. A break from hospitals, a break from deadlines, a break from taking care of everyone and everything else. We are going on a big vacation in July and my husband and I decided I am taking some time off until after the trip. It is a re-fueling time. A time filled with long walks, paddle boarding, sailing, yoga, weekend trips with friends, and yes... cooking. 

So my posts will be less frequent, but I am still here. I will just be posting when I feel like it rather than HAVE to. I hope to keep bringing you scrumptious healthy gluten-free meals as long as I live. 

Back to the contentment. One thing that keeps getting in the way of my contentment is my day dreaming about my upcoming vacation. "Discontentment is the illusion that there can be something else in the moment. There isn't, and there can't be. The moment is complete."  Now we all do it. But I feel like every moment of my time right now is spent thinking about our trip. So because I don't want my life to be all about the 2 weeks of bliss I will be spending in the British Virgin Islands. I am bringing the British virgin islands to my table tonight. 

This dish is full of Caribbean flavor. It is also really really healthy. I get my quinoa from Bob's Red Mill. Their Grains of Discovery are the best thing ever! 

Caribbean Jerk Salmon and Mango Pineapple Salsa over Quinoa with Mango Puree

For the quinoa:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water

For the salsa you need:

2 mangoes, peeled and diced

1/2 pineapple, cored and diced
3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt, 

Jerk Seasoning: 
1 teaspoon ground allspice 
1 teaspoon ground cumin 
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme 
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
 4 salmon fillets 
1 teaspoon olive oil

Chop and combine mangoes, pineapple, onion, cilantro and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Refrigerate until use.

Next make your quinoa. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add your quinoa and bring back to a boil. Cover and turn the stove to lowest setting. The quinoa will be ready in 25 minutes. Lift lid and fluff. 

Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, allspice, cumin, thyme, cayenne and cinnamon in another bowl; rub over both sides of each fillet. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; cook salmon until cooked through, 5 minutes per side, The skin should be able to peel right off after being seared. Serve with salsa. 

Mango Puree: one sliced mango in the blender. Added a tsp of agave and juiced 1/2 a lemon. Blend until a puree.

To assemble, I started with a bed of quinoa. Then topped with the mango pineapple salsa. Next add the Salmon. Dollup a little mango puree on top and add a circle of it around the quinoa. Enjoy! 
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.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Quinoa Mango Cabbage Salad

Hello my fellow foodies. I have exciting news... Mango's are in season! I was so pleased when my local grocer had organic mango's for $.99 a piece. Just like Kenny Chesney said: "Mango's and Marley, you know, fit me like a glove." Their sweet and tart flavor sends my taste buds into heaven.

Being on my healthy lifestyle quest, I wanted to combine my other favorite healthy food and make a salad. Folks, this is a seriously good salad. I am shocked because I just made it up. I was so glad that I wrote down what I did, because this will now be my new go to meal for lunch. I keep cooked quinoa in my fridge at all times, so this salad took me 10 minutes to make. So easy and trust me on the flavors. I knocked it out of the park. Enjoy!

Quinoa Mango Cabbage Salad

recipe by: Christi Silbaugh
serves 4

3 cups of shredded cabbage and carrot (coleslaw blend)
1 mango, peeled and diced
2 cucumbers, peeled and diced
1 red pepper, seeds removed, and diced
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/4 cup bragg's amino acids -or- gluten-free soy sauce
Balsamic Vinegar to taste

Add cabbage, mango, cucumber, and red pepper to a bowl and toss. 
Add your cooked quinoa and bragg's or soy sauce to a skillet and fry, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
Add salad to serving dishes. Drizzle with balsamic. 
Top with cooked quinoa and serve. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Garlic Butter Shrimp and Quinoa

The other night I planned a beautiful dinner, but things didn't go as planned, and then they did! Let me rewind a little bit....

Blessed with this San Diego weather,my husband and I decided a long day of beautiful 80 degree crystal blue skies and calm seas was in order. That would mean a day on the sailboat. My husband and I enjoyed a wonderful day with friends, and then stayed the night on the yacht. The day was perfect, but I didn't sleep too well that night. I was cold after having a day in sunshine. The night reminded it me it indeed was not yet summer. 

I still got up and ready to hit yoga the next morning. I did too. I went to yoga that morning. I killed it. Then I walked to get fresh shrimp for the wonderful meal I planned to make. I walked home happy and pleased with myself for being productive. I even made a huge breakfast after yoga which is something I don't do during the week, I reserve big breakfasts for Saturdays, and this was a Monday. Usually it is steel cut oats and anything fresh fruit I have during the week. Nope, this day was full of eggs, bacon, and potatoes. Yep, I dove in and devoured that meal. Then it happened. Call it 24 hours of sea air. I completely fell asleep. I crashed. This was not a 20 minute nap people. The next time I looked at the clock it was 3:30 in the afternoon. Panic set in. Just for a second, then I realized how sore and tired I still was. I was beginning to doubt dinner was going to make it on the table.
My sweet daughter was staying with us for the evening and said she could make dinner. Rarely giving up my kitchen duties, I was hesitant. Then I tried to get up and realized I was down for the count. So I handed over the reigns to my 20 year old daughter. 

I recently received a lovely package from Bob's Red Mill that contained some wonderful Organic Tri-Color Quinoa

Knowing how simple Quinoa was to make. I knew she could do it. The dish came out flawless with NO HELP FROM ME!
If she can do it, you can do it. It was such a great dish that my husband text me the next day and said: "My lunch in yummy, tell Taylor thank you!". He took the leftovers. It is easy and so delicious! Enjoy!

Garlic Butter Shrimp and Quinoa
adapted from: Pinch of Yum

1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 cup finely chopped sweet onion 
8 teaspoons minced garlic, divided 
2 cups uncooked quinoa 
1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, divided 
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth 
8 tablespoons salted butter, divided 
1 pound raw tail-on shrimp 
salt and pepper to taste 
fresh parsley for serving 

Heat the oil in a large nonstick pot over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of the garlic and saute for 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add the uncooked quinoa and ½ teaspoon chili powder. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute for another 1 minute to add flavor to the quinoa. Add the broth, bring to a boil, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes. When the quinoa is done, it will be soft throughout. Fluff with a fork and toss with fresh minced parsley. 
While the quinoa is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. When the pan is hot and the butter is melted, add the shrimp and sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon chili powder directly in the pan. Season with salt and pepper and saute until no longer translucent and golden brown on the outside. Just at the end of the saute, add 2 teaspoons garlic and swirl around in the pan until the garlic is very fragrant. 
Melt the remaining butter with the 4 teaspoons garlic to make a sauce for drizzling (for this, crushed garlic or garlic paste would work really well but minced is also fine). 
Serve the quinoa and shrimp together in one dish, topping with fresh chopped parsley . When the butter is melted and cooled slightly, drizzle over the shrimp and quinoa. Serve immediately, while still hot.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Peanut Butter and Banana Cookies

My daughter has been begging me to make these. After our joyous discovery of our healthy peanut butter and jelly cookies, she immediately started harassing me about peanut butter and banana. She was right. These are delish. Tastes just like a peanut butter and banana sandwich. It is healthy too. With just 4 simple ingredients and 5 minutes, you too can enjoy in this edible delight. No guilt either. Just all healthy whole foods. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter and Banana Cookies
recipe by: Christi Silbaugh

2 cups peanuts
1 cup dates
1/2 cup dried bananas
1/8 cup water

Place all ingredients in the food processor and process until a dough forms. 
Roll into balls and press flat on parchment paper. 
Store in an airtight container in the fridge. 

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.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sugar Free Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt

I love yogurt. I never buy the pre-sweetened kind though because of all the yucky ingredients. I have been trying, sometimes unsuccessfully to stay off sugar. That is why I am so thankful for  SweetLeaf® Liquid Stevia Sweet Drops™. They are made with stevia leaf extract and natural flavors, can be added to foods or beverages – from yogurt to oatmeal, water to coffee, sauces to smoothies – for sweet, sugar-free flavor. The drops are available in 17 flavors and come in a convenient dropper bottle. A little Sweet Drops flavor goes a long way, making every bottle an impressive, and tasty, value.

I used a little bit of Vanilla Creme sweet drops mixed with greek yogurt and vanilla bean pulp for a scrumptious healthy vanilla yogurt. 3 simple ingredients. So easy, and so tasty. Enjoy!

Sugar Free Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt
recipe by: Christi Silbaugh

1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
pulp of 1/2 a vanilla bean 

Stir all together and serve! 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Healthy Deviled Eggs

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had a fabulous relaxing weekend. We did. We had a rain storm in California. A much needed rain storm. It was nice to hibernate indoors and spend time together. It reminded me of Oregon. It was good for the 2 days it lasted and now the sun is back and the forecast is for 70 degrees. I am one happy girl. Everything is fresh and clear and I am ready to hit this week running!

Today I am bringing you an appetizer that is low in sugar, high in phosphorus, riboflavin,  selenium, and vitamin B12. So yes, these are healthy. My secret? I always use full fat Greek yogurt mixed with a little vinegar, salt, and pepper as a mayonnaise substitute. It tastes the same and is so much healthier for you. I use full fat because I believe in fat. Our bodies need fat. If you buy anything that is skim, fat free, reduced fat, it just means they have added fillers. Fillers are so unhealthy and I believe in trusting God's ingredients, before I trust man's. 

My family and I have always loved deviled eggs, but I have tried to limit making them because of the mayo content. Now they are guilt free because for two of these scrumptious deviled eggs you get a small 83 calories, which makes this a great healthy snack or appetizer. So have your eggs and eat them too! 

Healthy Deviled Eggs
recipe by: Christi Silbaugh

8 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled
1/4 cup Plain Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
paprika for garnishing

Halve eggs lengthwise. Remove yolks and place in a small bowl.

Whisk together yolks, greek yogurt, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Fill egg whites evenly with yolk mixture. Sprinkle with paprika and serve.

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