Monday, August 12, 2013

Gluten-free blueberry muffins

FINALLY! Gluten-free blueberry muffins that taste great! My husband gave them a 9/10, which is actually the highest rating he will give. Oh, and this one is a Lindsay Eivazian original.

GF2SFLC Blueberry Muffins (gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, low-carb)

3 eggs
½ cup melted butter (or coconut oil or olive oil)
¼ cup coconut milk (or rice, almond, cow’s, etc)
½ t vanilla extract
20 drops of liquid stevia (4 drops is 1 serving, so convert accordingly if using powdered stevia)
1 T honey
1 cup almond flour, finely ground and sifted*
¼ cup coconut flour
2 T coconut flakes (optional)
½ t baking soda
¼ t salt
½ cup blueberries, plus ¼ cup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (if you have a hotter-than-average oven, 325).

Whisk together the wet ingredients (eggs, butter, coconut milk, vanilla extract, stevia and honey). In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients, beginning with the almond flour*. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until well combined with no lumps. If it's a little thick, just add 1 T. extra milk. Add ½ cup of the blueberries and gently stir to incorporate.

Line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners**. Spoon two heaping tablespoons of the mixture into each tin. Top each muffin with the reserved ¼ cup of blueberries (2-3 on top of each muffin).

Bake for 18-20 minutes.

*I used Bob’s Red Mill Finely Ground Almond Meal/Flour, which is fine, but the flour isn’t a uniform size. Sifting allows the larger almond chunks to separate from the fine, powdery flour. After you’re done sifting, pulse them in a coffee/spice grinder about 3-5 times. Then dump out the contents and sift again. Repeat the pulsing/sifting process until necessary. I have not used Honeyville’s Blanched Almond flour yet, but I hear it is a better consistency and more uniform. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments!

**My muffins slightly stuck to my paper liners. I used a different brand of muffin liners, so I'm not sure if that's why, or if my oven was too hot, or I baked them too long. I'm not sure. I didn't have that problem when I made coconut-flour banana muffins, so I'm leaning towards the muffin liners being the problem.

Pro-tip: you can make these TRULY “sugar-free” by omitting the honey, just bump up the stevia by 5 drops. I would also use slightly less coconut flour, since coconut flour is super absorbent.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Every low-carber's worst nightmare! Pizza!

Oh, great. My husband said it again, "I want PIZZA!"

Every low-carber's worst nightmare. So I scoured the interwebz for a low carb pizza crust. Cauliflower, beets, HAMBURGER MEAT?! What the?!!...

No, coconut flour!

Now, I'm not entirely proud of this, but it's a start.

Low-carb coconut flour pizza dough/crust

3 eggs
1 cup of coconut milk (or water or other milk-like product)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 T italian seasoning (optional)
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 c coconut flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F

Mix the dry ingredients, including minced garlic, together. In a separate bowl, gently mix the eggs and milk. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir to combine, very thoroughly. The consistency will be somewhat-runny.

Line a pizza stone or otherwise baking sheet with parchment paper (I prefer a pizza stone because it helps evaporate the moisture from your crust and toppings). Spread the dough evenly onto the parchment paper, about 1/4-1/2 inch thick and 10-12 inches in diameter. Bake for 15-20 minutes, without any toppings.

Top with your favorite toppings. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted/toppings are brown/whatever you want it to look like. Be sure to let the pizza rest, on the stone or baking sheet, for at least 15 minutes before slicing. The dough is somewhat delicate and doughy.

I topped mine with olive oil, coarsely ground sea salt, a sliced heirloom tomato, and fresh mozz. After I let a rest for a bit, I topped it with fresh basil. My favorite farmer's market vendor was out of lettuce, so I stocked up on heirlooms and plenty of basil for this week's tri-colore, or caprese salad! My husband said the crust had too much italian seasoning; with italian sausage as a topping, it would have been better. He said when he has a cheese pizza, he wants to just taste the cheese, so back off on the italian seasoning if you don't like a potent crust.

I will tweak it in the future to try and produce a crispier crust, for instance less liquid or maybe an almond flour-coconut flour blend. I also think it needs some fat, like olive oil, butter or coconut oil, as it was a bit dry. In the meantime, this is more of a fork-and-knife pizza, with a softer crust. I will also welcome your suggestions on how to make this crust better. It is good, but you just can't compare it to the real thing...yet!

Recipe adapted from:

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Stuffed (Italian) Zucchini Boats

Sticking with my blog's title, I'm going to keep my posts simple. I'm not going to tell you about how cute my non-existent 2 year old is when she tries to help me or how my also-non-existent dog ate my entire pan of lasagna. I'm gonna cut to the chase and let you do what you came here to do: find a recipe! All stories aside, I'm going to keep my posts short and sweet. Serious food for serious people. Mostly low-carb.

I saw a "sponsored" ad on my FB newsfeed that pictured Mexican-ish stuffed zucchini. I thought it looked absolutely delicious, BUT I didn't have the green onions and I was too stubborn to follow through, sans green onions. I decided to make my own Italian version because, let's face it, I should have been born Italian.

Stuffed Italian Zucchini Boats* (boats, that's cute isn't it?)

1 lb. ground meat (beef, pork, turkey, chicken--whatever you're into--I used chicken)
1/2 c. finely chopped onion (or grated and soak up the moisture with a paper towel)
2 gloves chopped garlic
1 T italian seasoning
1/2 c freshly grated/shredded parmesan reggiano or pecorino romano cheese (again, whatever you're into), plus 1/4 c for topping
2 t freshly chopped red peppers OR 1/2 t red pepper flakes (or less if you're not into the spicy thing)
2 eggs
2 T coconut flour (coconut flour is low carb, super absorbant, and I used it in place of glutenous higher-carb items like bread crumbs OR if no coconut flour, 1/4 c bread crumbs)
2 T pine nuts (optional)
3-4 zucchini (I used 3 because apparently I had jumbo size--enough to fill a 9 x 13 in baking dish when cut in half)
salt to taste
olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Mix to combine the ground meat, onion, garlic, italian seasoning, cheese, pepper, eggs, flour and 1/2 t salt. Slice the zucchini length wise and use a small spoon to scrape out the innards, just enough to remove all the seeds. Lay them in a 9 x 13 baking dish and sprinkle with salt (zucchini really benefits from salt IMO). Spoon the meat mixture into the zucchini boats. It's okay if it's piled as high as you can or want. Top with pine nuts, reserved cheese, and olive oil (prevents the pine nuts and cheese from browning too much while baking).

Bake for 45* minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

Serves 3-5

Serving suggestion: top with 1 cup of marinara sauce before or after baking!

Pro Tip (but not really pro tip, more like a variation, because I don't recommend it): To cut down on baking time, brown the meat and onions together before mixing, stuffing and baking. You will need to skip the eggs and flour at this point. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the zucchini are soft.

*makes a great meatball recipe as well!

I may tweak this recipe in the future, so stay tuned!