Pie @ the Movies

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You know you have a weird diet when you bring THIS¬†to the movie theatre…
because who needs popcorn and soda when you can have PIE and share it? ūüôā ¬†The odds are ever in our favor.¬†

And it was a great pie:

https://kendraleah.wordpress.com/2015/11/09/the-great-pumpkin-pie/

good times with Hilliary @hills.pnw    #fastfood  #pietogo  #hungrygames

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The GREAT Pumpkin Pie.

 I am about as stoked about this pie as Charlie Brown felt waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive on Halloween. 

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If you’re like me, you know that good desserts are hard to come by.
It’s¬†a¬†satisfying discovery!¬†I’ve merged two recipes to create a tasty¬†pumpkin pie. People with and without diet restrictions have really enjoyed it. It’s creamy sweet¬†and¬†delicate. The coconut gives it a melt-in-your-mouth¬†texture without¬†overpowering the pumpkin flavor or the festive spice.¬†


Can’t believe it’s Gaps, Grain Free, Sugar-Free (no cane sugar), Dairy-Free, Paleo, Primal

~  Pumpkin Pie Filling  ~

Thanks to Deliciously Organic @¬†http://deliciouslyorganic.net/pumpkin-pie-grain-free-paleo-primal-gaps/! ¬†¬†I’ve modified this slightly.

Serving Size: Makes two 9-inch pies or 1 full 9 inch pie. I prefer one large 9 inch pie.

* It’s important to use a pie shield or foil over the crust to ensure the crust doesn’t burn. The filling can also be made two days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar ¬† ¬† (or honey)
  • 1 tsp of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice¬† ¬† ¬† (OR 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon,¬†1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ginger.) ¬†I love TJ’s pre-mixed¬†spice because it also has cardamom, cloves, and lemon peel.
  • 3/4 cup pureed pumpkin ¬† ¬†(if using fresh pumpkin then strain the pumpkin for about 5 minutes in a fine mesh sieve to remove excess moisture)
  • 1 tablespoon of potato flour¬† ¬†(or arrowroot for a rigid Paleo diet…it is helpful to include¬†an alternative thickener)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups canned coconut cream¬†(Approximately 1 can).¬†I would highly recommend Savoy Coconut Cream, which is 100% coconut without any additives. It has the best flavor I’ve tried..fresh, slightly sweet, and creamy….better than many other brands that are “organic’ or have additives.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 450¬įF and adjust rack to middle position. Place all ingredients¬†in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour filling evenly into unbaked pie shell(s). Place pie dishes on a large baking sheet. Cover crust with a pie shield or foil to ensure the crust doesn‚Äôt burn. Bake at 450¬įF for 15 minutes. Turn oven down to 350¬įF and bake for an additional 20 minutes until edges of pie are set. Cool to room temperature before serving. Serve alone or with whipped coconut cream.

~  Paleo Pie Crust  ~

Thank you, Elena! @ http://elanaspantry.com/paleo-pie-crust/

Paleo-Pie-Crust-08431Serves: 1 pie crust
Ingredients:
2 cups blanched almond flour
¬ľ teaspoon celtic sea salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 large egg
Instructions:
Place flour and salt in food processor and pulse briefly
Add coconut oil and egg and pulse until mixture forms a ball
Press dough into a 9-inch pie dish
Bake at 350¬į for 8-12 minutes

* ~ * ~ *  And Enjoy! Happy Fall!!  

(Life outside of grad school and pies..besides eating pie to feel better about having homework ūüôā haha!)¬†¬†¬†12072606_10207976099304204_4475206639432544936_nIMG_20150924_191006 ¬† 12068988_10207900742140322_655884765907960716_o¬†12119067_10207900823422354_3496920423911965873_n¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† IMG_20151011_180705 IMG_20151030_170622

Bon Appetite!

Bonjour! It has been too long since I’ve posted. I’ll blame that on papers, homework, and children in general (but absolutely worth becoming a teacher someday). Summer break has finally come! A glorious week of sleeping in, getting sun kissed, laughing with friends, Netflix, and¬†naps. And trying some new recipes, of course!

Since I last made¬†Ratatouille, I’ve decided to experiment. I’ve combined two new recipes– a simple Allrecipes.com and a Parisian Chef’s version– into a sort of American-French hybrid. The sauce and flavor turned out amazing! So if you are looking for a relatively simple version of Ratatouille with authentic French flair, then you’ve come to the right place.

And did I mention that it’s Paleo/GAPS friendly?

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Disney’s Ratatouille Recipe–¬†http://m.allrecipes.com/recipe/222006/disneys-ratatouille/?mxt=t06rda

Cooking with Kurt- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56d1J_oCl04

How to chop eggplant (because let’s be real, chopping veggies can be confusing) –¬†https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdaX8MDsJkc

INGREDIENTS

Veggies:

  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 small onion or 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 small eggplant, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 tomatos, thinly sliced

Spices/Oil: 

  • 1/4 cup minced garlic OR small handful of fresh basil, chopped (I’ve been having trouble with garlic lately, but found basil to be a delicious alternative)
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil ¬†(1 at beginning,¬†3 tbl at end- or to taste)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or to taste

PREP-45 min
Cook- 45 min
Ready In 1 h 30 m
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F 

DIRECTIONS

PART ONE: Preparing the sauce

  1. Chop 2 carrots and cook in a large pan with oil.
  2. Meanwhile: Optional- for a nice smoky flavor, turn the red and yellow peppers over the stove until they are crispy on the outside (see youtube video above). Then set peppers aside to cool.
  3. While the carrots are cooking and peppers are cooling, begin to chop the other ingredients: onion, tomato, eggplant, yellow squash and zucchini. You want THIN slices.
  4. Once carrots are looking tender, you’ll want to add the chopped red and yellow pepper to the pan. If you have smoked the peppers, removed the charred outer layer before chopping. Let the carrots and pepper sizzle together for several minutes or until softened.
  5. Next, toss in the onion. Stir and let sizzle for a couple minutes.
  6. Now add your tomato paste, basil/garlic, water, salt &pepper, and extra olive oil. You want a sauce that is thick and creamy but not chunky or watery. (See pictures below..my sauce right before I added a couple tbl of water)
  7. Once everything has simmered for 5-10 minutes and the vegetables look tender, set aside to cool. (If you want to speed up this process, pour into a bowl and cool for 5-10 minutes in the fridge/freezer.)

PART TWO: Preparing the pan & creaming the sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and oil the bottom of a 10×10 pan.
  2. Make sure the rest of your vegetables are sliced and ready to go: the zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, and tomato.
  3. Now that your sauce has cooled, pour it into a blender or a food processor. Blend until creamy. It should have a sweet and¬†slightly smoky/spicy flavor…yum! I think it’s the¬†sauce that really makes or breaks Ratatouille.
  4. Pour the sauce into the pan, spread evenly. Dash on a bit of salt and red pepper.
  5. Now you can begin making your rainbow. Arrange alternating slices of eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and tomato, starting at the outer edge of the dish and working concentrically towards the center. Overlap the slices a little to display the colors.
  6. Drizzle the vegetables with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with thyme leaves.
  7. Cover with foil. Bake in the preheated oven until vegetables are roasted and tender, about 30- 45 minutes. This will be even faster in a toaster oven.
  8. If you’re able to eat dairy, serve with dollops of mascarpone cheese.

BON APPETITE!

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Ratatouille-2007-Movie-HD-Free-Download

Summer Burgers

These burgers taste like summer…

If you live in the¬†Seattle area, you’d agree that we have been blessed with amazing weather this spring!¬†I wanted to share a meal I made tonight that began¬†in our garden. It’s the iconic burger grilling time of year now, and I like to make my patties by hand.

The KEY to great patty flavor is fresh herbs. Tonight I chopped rosemary and basil.

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My dad’s side is Italian, and he’s carried on the garden tradition since our nono and nona immigrated to the states. We actually just caught up with my favorite Italians a couple weeks ago! My great auntie on the left, Carmie, turns 100 tomorrow! She is one of the kindest people I know. If I ever live to be a centurion, I hope to be half as beautiful as she¬†is.

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So on to the burgers!

You’ll need:

  • Fresh chopped herbs¬†(small handful of each or to taste. If you don’t have a garden or access to a local market, you can still used dry spices! They just won’t be as strong. I’d recommend basil with rosemary or oregano.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 package of ground beef (organic if possible). The nice thing is that the meat goes farther than 1 pkg of pre-sliced patties does.
  • 1/3 cup of almond flour
  • Topping options: lettuce, onion, tomato, avocado, aged cheddar cheese, etc
  • Other spices: salt, pepper to taste
  • Oil for pan

Makes about 5 burger patties  (pic below- my pan could only fit 4 at a time)

Directions:

  1. Chop up toppings as needed: herbs, cheese slices, tomato, etc. I love to slice an onion thinly several times and precook the pieces in a pan with oil. Once they are soft and sweet, I set them aside for later. It also prepares the pan for a delicious patty coating! I leave the burner on very low while I prepare the patties.
  2. In a medium sized bowl combine: 2 eggs, almond flour, herbs/spices. Whip with a fork.
  3. Time to get messy! Add your meat to the bowl and dig in with your hands.¬†Mix the ingredients together like you’re churning dough until the meat is saturated in flavor.
  4. Mold the meat into 5 patties. First, I make a ball with both hands, and then I flatten it. It will form together well and shouldn’t crumble.
  5. Begin the cooking process! Keep the burner on low to prevent splatter. You could also grill this, I bet! I like a non-stick pan to keep clean-up simpler.
  6. There should be no pink inside. I flip the burger over halfway throughout and poke the middle gently when I need to check. Don’t worry about the extra fat the oozes out around the burgers. In the last couple minutes, you can stick a slice of cheese on there too!

If you’re on the Paleo, GAPS, or Simple Carbohydrate Diet, you need to be sure to accompany vegetables or other safe carbs or starches with your meat!

I’m able to eat beans occasionally, so I’ve chosen a great side of beans with a dash of cheese and avocado.

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Homemade Meatballs

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Flavorful & melt-in-your-mouth! An easy recipe, because YOU choose the flavors and outcome. It’s like making a mixed salad– dump it all in a big bowl & stir.

INGREDIENT essentials

  • 1 packet (1-2 lb organic) ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • Approximately 1/3 cup flour (I prefer almond)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

YUMMY EXTRAS   ~choose all or some

  • Chopped tomatoes or plain organic sauce (1/3-1/2 cup)
  • 1 zucchini, shredded
  • Freshly chopped basil to taste (I love about 3 tbl)
  • Oregano to taste
  • Sweet or red onion finely chopped (1/3 cup)

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DIRECTIONS

  • Add all the extras in a big bowl first! Beef must come last. I’m able to whip the eggs around with the other ingredients pretty easily, and then I stir everything with a spoon.
  • Don’t add beef yet! Spray or oil a large pan (avocado or coconut oil work great and don’t spoil in high heat). Set oven for 350 degrees F

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  • Now for the squishy hands-on part. Dump the ground beef into the large bowl and mix it with the other ingredients with your hands. When everything is thoroughly mixed, you may begin making balls! It’s a lot like making cookie dough balls, except that you don’t have to space them as far apart. The consistency should be wet but NOT runny. You should be able to mold a ball in your hands without any trouble of it breaking apart. If so, you have too much sauce…add in some thickeners like flour. (This may alter the amount of spice you need as well.)
  • Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Meatballs should be a warmly toasted color, cooked inside, but not dark. All of the fat will ooze out of the meat, so don’t be surprised by the appearance of the pan! The meatballs will separate from easily from the fat with a spatula. It’s also generally easy to scrape the fat off the pan.
  • Enjoy! Great with red sauce and parmesan cheese. You can also serve with pasta or a side of veggies! I really enjoy this recipe because the meatballs are tender and break apart easily for eating.