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Everyday Yummy Tricks!

How I substitute healthy foods for daily ingredients:

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Instead of SUGAR…

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Banana   – thickener & sweetener for baking

Honey  –  baking & hot drinks

Agave   -baking, cold & hot drinks (ex. smoothies, alcoholic drinks)

Maple Syrup  – baking, cold drinks

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Instead of CREAM & DAIRY…

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Coconut cream has the near consistency of whipped cream– super thick and just coconut! Great over desserts (such as pies) or with a bowl of fresh berries and honey. Also for flavor & thickener in tropical smoothies.

Coconut milk is wonderful in pies, quiche, smoothies & a little bit in tea. Unlike coconut water it is slightly thicker, but nearly as rich & filling as coconut cream.

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Sugar-free TRAIL MIX!

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Blend nuts & berries of your choosing for on-the-go!

I love the almond & raisin combination with some freeze dried fruit! The perfect blend of tart, nutty & sweet.

And all the ingredients are whole… you aren’t eating any preservatives or extras.

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Avocado is nature’s butter.

Bananas have a wonderful creamy texture as well, but a very dominate flavor.

Both are great for smoothies, baking & pudding. You can even make a mean Avocado Alfredo by throwing in a blender: 1 avocado, a handful of basil, 1/4-1/3 cup of water, and salt & pepper to taste. Creamy & guilt-free!

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LETTUCE THAT LASTS!

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Have you ever bought lettuce with the roots attached?

This baby lettuce is wonderful because it lasts for weeks! I don’t need to be stressed about eating it within a week or guilty if I forget about it for awhile.

Just keep it in the fridge and peel off the layers as needed.

Make Your Own Garden Salad

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Fall is on its way, but I’m still lounging outside on the deck like a cat. I’ve moved back in with my parents to save money for grad school, and one of the perks has been enjoying the beautiful backyard! It’s a surprising and delightful time to take a breath and enjoy a slower pace. It’s also giving me time to try introducing more food back in.

One of the big challenges of food restrictions is FLAVOR. Ah! Flavor is truly the spice of life. Trying to find sauces, spices, and dressings can be incredibly discouraging.

I’ve made a break-through in my own homemade salad dressing. It’s made from single, raw ingredients, so it’s fresh and you know exactly what you’re eating!

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Garden Salad:

Leafs: Romaine lettuce, fresh basil

Fruits/veggies: Tomato, avocado, pinto beans, salt and pepper to flavor

Dressing:

Drizzle of agave or honey (agave is easier to spread and stir), dash of salt and pepper, and avocado oil. You may also add a squirt of lemon and/or vinegar.

That’s it!

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Oscar Party Pudding

If pudding could win Oscars, I think this one’s in the running.

*Paleo: grain, dairy, sugar, and soy free

IMG_3095My mom hosts an Oscar party almost every year. She transforms her front porch into a red carpet entrance, and her friends waltz in with style, delicious snacks, and predictions for the winners. One of her friends actually arrived wearing a cheetah dress and wild hair (after strutting down the cul-de-sac for all the neighbors to see).

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(In the picture above, I had just scraped it out of a blender. It’s not lumpy at all. It’s actually very creamy and thick.

Also fantastic with raspberries and a movie!)

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This year, one of my mom’s friends brought a tempting chocolate pudding. Certainly it came from a box or the carriage of Narnia’s white witch. Not even close, actually. This recipe is born in the magic of a home kitchen.

Mix in a blender: 
1 avocado
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup agave (or honey)
1/4 cup almond butter (or peanut butter)
1/8+ cup cocoa powder
1 TBSP coconut oil
1 tap vanilla
(pinch of salt)
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*Above, pouring in the ingredients. Make sure that it’s thoroughly blended. You may need just a couple extra dashes of water to do the trick.
And that’s it! Serve for your next party, and keep the left overs in the fridge.

The Healthiest Fried Chicken You’ve Ever Seen

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This turned out so tasty I had to remove myself from the room so I wouldn’t keep snacking! And it’s gluten and guilt-free.

4 simple ingredients:

  • 1-2 eggs
  • almond flour
  • chicken breasts
  • avocado oil (doesn’t go rancid in heat, relatively flavorless, plus you get omega 3 and antioxidants!)

Flavoring:

  • salt and ginger to taste

Directions:

*I did this on a “touch and feel” basis. You basically want enough egg and flour to cover your chicken. I used 2 eggs for 4-5 large chicken breasts.

  1. Precook chicken until still tender or very slightly pink.
  2. Slice chicken into strips
  3. Stir egg(s) in separate bowl. Add couple good shakes of salt and ginger. Soak chicken strips for about a minute.
  4. Second bowl: fill with almond flour. Turn soaked chicken pieces in flour until coated.
  5. Heat a frying pan with avocado oil on medium. Should be hot before adding chicken strips.
  6. Turn strips when golden brown (or to preference)
  7. Enjoy!

Zucchini Stir Fry

My favorite nanny experience this week: hiding peas in the one year old’s yogurt. I had deceived him until halfway through lunch, when he suddenly stared at me with a look of betrayal/horror. He reached slowly for his mouth and pulled out the yucky green substance. Hopefully I haven’t ruined his faith in humankind. Vegetables can really only be eaten undercover, though I’m trying to break away from their reputation in my own cooking.

Here’s the first stir fry I’ll post (more likely to come). I liked how this turned out! Has a pleasant, sweet taste with onions and zucchini, and a little garlic zest for pep. I also cheese sprinkled on top, and a little side of avocado.

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Ingredients:

1 zucchini

1 small, yellow/sweet onion

3-4 large spinach leaves

Approx 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds

Tbl garlic (minced)

salt, pepper & basil as desired

olive oil and/or butter

I began with the chopped onions and garlic, letting them sizzle until sweet and tender  (low-med heat) in butter and olive oil. (Apparently olive oil gets rancid when hot, so I try to keep it on the down low when possible)

Then I peeled off strips of the zucchini skin, leaving decorative lines (which really doesn’t matter for taste). Sliced them into half circle pieces. Added pumpkin seeds.

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Then the spinach!

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That’s it!

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