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Tag Archives: gluten free

Tostada Tacos

Time is flying, and we’re still at home. Weather is getting nicer, and we’ve fired up the grill several times already this summer. While my creative juices are beginning to flow again, I find myself gravitating towards easier, more simpler dishes and recipes, given that my husband and I are still navigating parenthood with a 3.5-month-old.

We initially bought flour and corn tortillas to make crunchwrap supremes, then realizing the flour tortillas were too small opted for cheesy gordita crunches. Upon opening the flour tortillas, we noticed they went moldy *Sigh*. Ultimately, we decided to just make tacos, but I had already poured avocado oil in a pan to fry up the corn tortillas. I decided to stick with frying the corn tortillas up a bit and made them into traditional tacos, with a tostada twist.

These were so easy to make, and I used Siete Foods brand Taco seasoning, which was INSANELY delicious. How have I not had this before? You can find this seasoning online at Thrive Market (my go-to for a lot of products and groceries) or at Whole Foods.

Step 1: Pour oil of choice into a shallow frying pan just enough that it coats the bottom of the pan and then an extra 1/4″.

Step 2: Heat the pan on medium and add two tortillas at once. Let them fry for about a minute or two on each side, or until you see them start to bubble and lightly brown on the sides.

Step 3: Let sit on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil. Assemble as you would tacos with all of your ingredients: tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, taco meat, hot sauce. Enjoy!

The texture of these tacos is a little crisp with a perfect bend in the tortilla, mixed with the mildly-spicy Siete Foods taco seasoning, I’m already anticipating making these again next week; NOMaste and stay safe!

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Cavatappi with Sausage, Spinach, and Marinara

Let’s admit, it’s been a lot on us to try and come up with creative meals for dinner during our stay-at-home order these last few months. To be honest, we’ve resorted to ordering in twice a week and Taco Bell on Tuesday, which tastes delicious, but nonetheless is wasting money and not the healthiest thing to do. We finally cleaned off and fired up the grill on Sunday and made homemade burgers, hotdogs, grilled vegetables, and I was finally able to try some turkey sausages a company sent to me a few months back (by the way, they are AMAZING – Great American Turkey Co.)

Because it was only my husband and I, there were a decent amount of leftovers. Last night, I decided to make some pasta and throw the sausages in, along with some spinach I had in the fridge. I also remembered I took out frozen marinara sauce I made a few weeks ago so I added that to the pasta too. It was a leftover’s dream! Not only did the marinara taste just as good as it did when I made it, but the al dente boiled pasta (I love using Banza or Jovial pasta – which can be found on Thrive Market –> click the banner to the right or click here) and the spinach and sausages were such a good combination. I hate wasting food, so for this dinner to be a homerun, I was darn proud that I was able to use up food from a few nights ago, and what I rummaged in my fridge and freezer.

If you want to make this from scratch, here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 package Banza cavatappi (or preferred pasta)
  • 1 package Great American Turkey Co sweet italian turkey sausage links
    • you can find where they are located on their website! Or, just use a different version of your favorite sausage
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
    • I like to make my own, but when I don’t, I use Rao’s
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Start by cooking the sausages to you preference, I like to grill them during the warmer months but you could always slice them and toss in some EVOO on a skillet. When the sausages begin to brown and cook, about 5-6 minutes, toss in the baby spinach. The spinach will cook down and wilt with the sausage. Set aside.

Bring a pot of water to boil, and add salt when water is boiling. Cook your pasta to desired doneness, with Banza I cook a minute or two less so that it does not fall apart, so the cavatappi says 9-11m, I cooked for just around 8 minutes or so. Drain the pasta and pour back into the pot. Add in the marinara of choice, then add in the sausage and spinach and mix together. Sprinkle with a little bit of parmesan, salt, and pepper and let your taste buds dance and sing. NOMaste healthy and safe friends!

Chocolate Banana Muffin Bars

Can you believe we are already 11 days away from the end of May, and about to enter Summer? I can’t stand how time is flying right now and that our son is two months old. I remember writing recipes in October, basking in the second trimester glory, anticipating what the end result will be, and boy was it a journey (interested in my story? Here’s the link to my blog post).

This recipe was sitting in my notes on my phone for a very long time, probably since September last year, when I wrote it down while I was contemplating what to do with overripe bananas, because regardless of a pandemic or not, I always have at least two bananas that are about to RIP. Scrolling through my recipes I stumbled upon it again and as the ingredients are pretty simple, I decided that it’s about time I make it and see how it turns out – the result is AMAZING. Even my husband said they were good, and he is my biggest critic when it comes to cooking and baking.

These muffin bars are gluten free and made with Thrive Market cassava flour, calls for just one cup of sugar (both coconut and cane), two ripe bananas, and one of my favorite chocolates from Hu Kitchen. What I love about this recipe is that the bars came out so fluffy with a perfectly golden bottom, each bite has a delicate flavor of banana, and the chocolate literally came oozing out. This recipe yields approximately 12 smaller bars, but that depends on how you slice it 🙂

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (you could sub almond or oat milk too)
  • Vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup Cassava Flour
    • You can find my favorite cassava flour on Thrive Market –> hit the banner to the right and it’ll bring you there!
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
    • (I do recommend Hu Kitchen because they are a paleo-friendly and “back to human” style eatery located in NYC but you can find their products here. I LOVE their crackers too!

Preheat your oven to 375* and pre-grease a 9×9″ brownie or baking tin. Begin by adding the wet ingredients into a bowl (eggs, bananas, vanilla, sugars, and milk). Blend to combine. Then layer in the dry ingredients – I like to pour the flour in a bit at a time so that it doesn’t fly everywhere. Mix to combine until smooth, there will be some chunks because of the banana.

Add in the 1/2 cup of chocolate (I coat the chocolate with some flour so that it does not sink to the bottom) and fold in with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Pour into the tin and bake for 20-23 minutes. Let sit and spread on some almond butter, a dollop of whipped cream, or eat them all in one sitting with a cup of coffee and Bravo Below Deck marathon… no judgment. Stay safe friends!

Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Banana Bread

I admit this was not supposed to be a banana bread. I had every intention of making my almond butter collagen muffins (linked here!) and instead decided on pouring the entire batter into a loaf pan and praying it came out edible. If you know me, you know I’ve struggled with a banana bread recipe, and I can get quite stubborn when trying to figure out the measurements. For this recipe though, I did actually swap out a few ingredients, add in some, and eliminate collagen altogether. Thankfully, this time around it came out damn near perfect, and tastes SO good that it’s already gone. I’ll blame my insatiable hunger from breastfeeding on that.

Now that I’m not completely novice to baking, and from chatting with some close girlfriends who love to bake, I have come to the conclusion that not everything needs (or should) be substituted with healthier ingredients. Sometimes, recipes require specific measurements of particular ingredients and I find that swapping more than maybe one or two (possibly three if you have done it before – which in this case gluten free, all purpose flour) can alter the authenticity of the recipe, thus resulting in poor taste and texture. For this banana bread, I nixed the collagen, swapped whole milk for almond milk, used an all-purpose gluten free flour, and added chocolate chips. I truly think that this banana bread worked so well because it has minimal swaps, I’ve used the flour before (Bob’s Red Mill all purpose GF flour is amazing!), and almond milk is not too hard of a swap anyway. I will be making this again in a few days as my bananas go bad – or I just “happen to forget about them.” The texture in this bread is spongey, with a soft and chewy mouthfeel, the perfect hint of banana and almond butter, and the right amount of sweetness from the coconut sugar and banana.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 large ripe banana (I mean LARGE)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp (or really large spoonfuls) of almond butter
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 1/4 cup GF all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
    • *note: toss the chocolate chips in some flour before adding to batter so that they do not fall to the bottom of the pan.
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 375* and grease a loaf pan with oil spray or butter. Whisk together the banana, almond milk, sugar, eggs, extract, almond butter, and avocado oil in a medium sized bowl until everything is JUST combined, try not to over mix. In a separate bowl or in a measuring cup, add the flour, soda, powder, and salt and whisk together. Add a bit of flour into the wet ingredients and whisk to combine. Continue to pour the flour into the wet mixture as you mix little by little. Once all the flour is mixed in, add the chocolate chips and fold using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Pour into the loaf pan.

Top the mixture Bake for 40-45 minutes, testing the inside of the bread with a knife; if it comes out clean then it is done! The result is a decadent, tasty, perfectly baked gluten and dairy-free banana bread you can hoard all to yourself, just like I did! NOMaste and stay safe!

Chocolate Chip Banana Oatmeal Squares

I’ve been into baking a lot more than I have been into actual cooking. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good ratatouille, or throwing together a really delicious chicken dinner or skillet. As of late, it’s been about baking, re-testing muffins, and building myself up to making cupcakes and all sorts of decadent treats. I’m not really into sugar-laden foods, which is why this blog exists: to take everyday delicious meals and recreate on the healthier side. Having simple swaps for recipes is important to me which is where these squares came from.

I like a brownie or blondie – in fact, my family actually has a “secret” recipe (why it’s always been considered a secret is beyond me but it’s a DELICIOUS cookie/blondie/brownie hybrid – it could also have been a long-time joke that it’s a secret and I’ve been misled all these 32 years… oh well). The sugar, butter, and heavy ingredients in those recipes can be too heavy for me at times, so using rolled oats is a great binder for flour. Plus, this recipe doesn’t have any sugar. The only sugar comes naturally from the chocolate chips, bananas, and a drop of maple syrup. Whole foods, real foods, and quality.

I also know that oats/oatmeal is a good food for lactation/breastfeeding, and given that I am 37 weeks and hoping to nurse the little bub, I’m testing recipes now so that I can bake them and freeze for when the bub arrives. Pregnant or not, I love oatmeal and the combination of chocolate chips with the banana is a trifecta of awesome.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 ripe bananas, smashes
  • 1 cup milk (can sub any kind of milk!)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon

Products Used:

  • Organic Valley: egg and milk
  • Lily’s Sweets: chocolate chips
  • Thrive Market: baking soda, rolled oats.

Preheat the oven to 400*. Whisk everything in one bowl. Pour into a pre-greased 9×9 pan, adding a few more extra chocolate chips on top. Bake for 30m. THAT IS IT! Enjoy with some nut butter, whipped cream, or just as is. You’ll be making these weekly 😉