Tasty Tuesday… BREAD?!

Hmm the word 'bread' has earned so SO many types of connotations in the past few years.  It used to seem that bread was 'good' for you -- whole grains, full of fiber, energy, yada yada… In more recent years, especially as I dove deeper into my own health, in exchange learning more to share with clients and friends, bread's reputation has gone awry. Let me rephrase: the ingredients in common store bought bread have been revealed more times than none, to be beefed and laced with GMOs and other hormonal toxins, including the now household word 'gluten' amongst others.

Diet gurus for decades have touted that bread is typically too high in carbs for most people trying to lose weight and deemed bread an off-limits food.  Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 12.35.17 AM


Poor bread. It is high carb, but as most people can agree, especially at first whiff of a bakery, it can also be irresistible. And of course we all have those friends that could care less about the carbs and the GMOs and still live in their reality that we need 6-12 servings at the bottom of the standard food pyramid of bread, for energy alone.

Not to confuse you, but I must say, with a 'whole-grain' of sadness, that most breads today are full of tainted grains and ingredients. I've also heard of many, MANY accounts of digestive symptoms of friends and clients, and with a little elimination action (cutting a food group for x amount of days', ridding a diet of gluten almost always helps these G.I. downfalls.

Cue the happy music! I'm not trying to bum you out or let you down! I'm here to announce that you can have your bread and eat it, too!

I've been exploring wheat & dairy alternatives for some time now and it wasn't until just a couple months ago that I had a hankering for bread and with it, a determination to create something edible.

ENTER: Trader Joes {duh} They have organic coconut flour that is so yummy and versatile. There are also good recipes out there using other alternative flours or almond meal, but I'm hooked on the coconut lately so I searched for ways to use it.

I also, at this same time, had a hankering for pizza. Which is rare, but it happened.

I googled 'paleo coconut flour pizza crust' and I found an array of recipes.  I combined a few and came up with this concoction. The posted pictures do not reflect the pizza aspect, as I made this batch more as a side bread to go with, you guessed it, zucchetti !!


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Beat

  • 2 eggsphoto 1

Mix in

  • 1 clove of garlic, freshly minced or from a jar
  • 1 cup of almond milk

Add the rest:

  • 1/2 C coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 - 2 tsp dried 'italian herbs' -- oregano, basil, etc to your liking

This dough will be batter-like but you should be able to spread it on a baking sheet lined with parchmentphoto 2

paper.

As you can see, I spread olive oil on the paper to give it a little more moisture and a true Italian-like taste ;)

photo 3

It's gluten free and nearly vegan and paleo… um. Yes.

photo 4

Bake for 12 - 20 minutes. I always have to stick my sticky fingers in the oven and peel off a corner to check if it's done; or you can tell as the edges brown.

DISCLOSURE: the following step will make this not Paleo nor Vegan! BUT it will make it delicious :)

Parmesean cheeeeese.  Sprinkle some on top as you pull that bad boy outta the oven.

I enjoy drizzling even more olive oil or a few tiny drops of butter to make it feel more comfort-food esque. It works.

FOR PIZZA: Take crust/bread out a little sooner and put sauce and toppings on top and return to oven a little longer, about 5-10 minutes

ENJOY!!!!photo 5

TASTY TUESDAY-- Zucchetti!

 IMG_6836 Green up yo' life! After a couple weeks of holiday mania, I am back at it. A brand new Tasty Tuesday bloggy blog comin' at ya!

My awesome momma decided to gift me one of those rad veggie noodle makers! Of course it does other stuff that I have not discovered yet (the pamphlet shows maybe peeling an apple or something??)

What I was most eager to create was a pasta alternative.  And boy did I do just that!

I've never been one to crave pasta, I'll eat it from time to time but even pre-race, carb loading nights I'd opt out for some other form of fuel.

But anything creative and different and HEALTHY I'm always up for trying and typically loving.

Today's 'Tasty Tuesday' is basic and possibly more encouraging than anything-- encouraging you to buy one of these little noodle makers!


SO obviously you start with a zucchini and the noodle maker. I'm a fan if you haven't figured that out yet.

Create your noodles!

Some wonderful facts on our friend Mr. Squash:

  • very very low calorie
  • high fiber
  • great for cellular health, clearing out free radicals and cell functions
  • high in potassium which helps lower blood pressure
  • moderate levels of vitamins and minerals including C, B, thiamin, zinc, iron and more!

Once you have a bowl of zucchini noodles,IMG_6837

heat a couple tablespoons of oil of your choice, I used olive oil, in a large fry pan.

Saute the noodles over medium heat until tender.

Douse with black pepper, salt, garlic powder, minced onions--

whatever your tastebuds desire!

IMG_6875 They are COMPLETELY amazing on their own-- I cut some fresh baby tomatoes and went al fresco. YUM.

For the second round of this experimental creation I had some Trader Joe's meatless meat crumbles.  I got them good and crispy and added Whole Foods Tomato Basil pasta sauce.  IMG_6874

My household is going on a low/no meat stretch, only fish. We try out soy meats from time to time but ultimately we decided we won't buy much of that stuff anymore for numerous reasons. Veggie power!!!

Nonetheless, this 'zucchetti' was more than great and if I were to add up the calories and fat I think I burnt more trying to figure out the noodle maker than was in the 'pasta'!

And a 'budget gourmet' kinda meal! Even with the meat ( and 'whole paycheck' pasta sauce) each serving was under $5.

I'm bad at remembering to take 'final' pics of the food but I will get better! I promise! And if I don't you can absolutely virtually scold me! ;)

Until next week, eat your veggies!

<3

Rebekka

Tasty Tuesday: Oh F*dge!!

Fuuuudge. Is that a bittersweet word to you? It sure is to me.  I used to think and say, 'oh, no thank you. I don't like fudge…' Or I'd blame it on the nuts in most fudges. Of course, at the same time I'd sneak corners that didn't have those pesky nuts or I'd fall in love with the peanut butter or maple or peppermint fudges… Kinda like a secret affair. As you're thinking, I was the nutty one!

Well, now I'm pleased to openly admit that I like fudge AND make fudge!

Vegan/Paleo fudge that is.

photo 5

For today's late-night Tasty Tuesday, I'm sharing with you this delicious recipe that is sooo good you'll want to lick the bowl before the finished product. Or you may want to layer it on last week's Plantain Pancakes.

And it's simple.

Easy Paleo (& Vegan), just plain healthy Fudge

1 cup of almond butter (or nut butter of your choice, cashew works well too. I prefer creamy Trader Joes)

1/3 cup coconut oil (option to almost melt for easier mixing.. or not)

1/4 cup cocoa powderphoto 1

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

1/4+ sea salt ( optional/per preference)

photo 2Mix everything together! You could start with the nut butter and coconut oil and get them good and mixed til smooth. Then add the other ingredients-- look out for flying cocoa powder, add it slowly to be safe.  I like to toss in the salt last and I actually don't mind using a coarse sea salt, as it reminds me of a salted caramel type taste. Or omit it! Your call :)

You could line a pan with parchment paper or use mini muffin tins, lined or unlined. With all of the oil, I find that it won't stick to the sides.  Stick in the freezer and … ENJOY! photo 3

Storing them in the freezer is best to keep them solid.

And try not to eat them all at once!

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Until next time, don't knock the fudge this holiday season! Show your friends, family, and coworkers how this holiday favorite can be pure and 'healthy'!

Tasty Tuesday: Plantain Power!

In my constant search for the best formula for blogging consistency, and other consistencies for that matter, I will begin to share a tasty recipe every Tuesday.

Starting...

[drumroll]

TODAY!

As you may have guessed I eat pretty 'healthy' most of the time. As you also may have guessed, I also have my splurges because heck, I'm human.

If I've learned anything in my years, specifically those working as a personal trainer and yoga instructor, food is extremely personal. About as personal as your social security number and definitely as specific and personal as your very own genetics!

About as many people as there are in the world, there are ways to eat.

I'm not here to tell you how or what to eat.

I'm simply here to tell you what I'm eating and maybe it will give you some new ideas, new favorites, new methods… If you have ideas you think I may enjoy, please please share right back at me!

In future posts I will continue to disclose a little of my background with food and get into more experiments done and observed through my years.

Today, I just wanna tell you bout nanner's fun cousin,

the plantain!

photo 1

I think I first tried plantains on a vacation to Mexico. They were served at dinner and I definitely didn't think I'd like them right away.

Then they served them at breakfast.

And lunch.

And I thought, "what the heck is so great about these things?"

Well, let me tell you. Plantain-a-plenty o' stuff! ha . ha..

Facts:

  • Can grow easily in high-humid, tropical climates so a great staple source of carbs/energy for Asia, Africa, Oceania, and South and Central America.
  • A hearty starch; closely related to bananas. Used a lot like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yams in the kitchen.
  • More vitamin C , vitamin A/beta-carotene, AND more potassium than bananas.
  • Rich sources of B-complex vitamins, especially B6, and calcium.
  • Contain a high amount of dietary fiber.
  • Also known to be a diuretic.
  • And, they're DELICIOUS and VERSATILE!

So if I haven't caught your attention yet, then check out how easy they are to prepare:

  • Pan- roasted:  Heat a skillet and add your favorite oil (coconut is my go-to) or use butter (sometimes I use ghee, less-refined butter). Cut the plantains into evenly sized slices whether they're round or lengthy slivers. Brown them on one side to your desired crispiness (I like them with a little crunch) and flip to finish the other side… eat 'em up!
  • Oven- roasted:  **oil-free  Depending on your oven, preheat to 375-400 degrees. Slice the plantains into even slices. Arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast 15-25 minutes (until desired crunch on bottom side) then flip and finish 15-20 minutes on the second side.  I keep these a little drier by not using any oil though you could definitely coat them with an oil for a little moisture. Depending on how I plan on eating them, you could season with cinnamon or possibly chili powder.. or get creative!
  • Grilled:  using your outside grill or inside Foreman grill, plantains are a lot of fun to grill. Make sure they don't stick, and monitor their crispiness! YUM YUM.

Now for each of the above methods, I stick to letting the plantains ripen until they are very brown. You can use greener plantains but expect a much more bitter taste, and a firmer texture. The greener plantains are great to cut super thin and make chips with.

photo 2

These guys grew together! Aww. Seamless plantain packaging. Nature's rad! In regards to what to pair them with, the options are endless! Lately I've loved making little      hor d'oeurvres with dry roasted slices and goat cheese sprinkled on top.photo 3

I also love making them in any manner and eating them with a sunny side up egg. Extra delicious with the gooey yolk and a great alternative to using toast if you're trying to cut back on bread/grains.

Of course they are delicious with black beans, rice, salsa, other sautéed or roasted veggies as a mash or scramble type dish.

And oh my goodness how could I forget… plantains are CHEAAAAAP. I purchased 3 for $1.49 at my local Publix. 'Everywhere' seems to carry them from Wal-Mart to Whole Foods.

Until next time… enjoy!

And know that I've recently opened up spots in my coaching program. I would love to discuss how we can enhance your food, fitness, and overall fun factors in YOUR life!

Check out my website www.rebekkamars.com for more

or email me @ BekkaBlue.Yoga@yahoo.com

In the comments below, feel free to share your favorite way of preparing or eating your plantains!