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pumpkin pie

I love my pumpkin pie, but I am determined this year to not have regrets about what I ate over the holidays!  How many times do I need to learn that the recovery time is not really worth the few bites of gluten laden decadence?  For those of you looking for a delicious alternative to feeling regret, read on!  I started with a real pumpkin because my CSA gives them to me!  But working with canned pumpkin is just fine too.  The only thing is you won’t have the yummy roasted pumpkin seeds to snack on while you are waiting for the pie to cool!

Start by baking a pumpkin, if that’s your plan.

pumpkin

pumpkin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scoop out the guts and seeds of the pumpkin.

pumpkin guts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bake face down on a sheet pan at 350 degrees until soft.  Let cool before scooping the flesh out of the shell into a measuring cup.

baked pumpkin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, separate the pumpkin guts from the pumpkin seeds.  Rinse the seeds and roast with a little oil (I used delicious, nutritious coconut oil which I got here) until you hear popping sounds coming from the oven.  They should be crunchy and irresistible, especially with good salt.  Pumpkin seeds are a powerhouse of nutrition.  Known to be a good source of minerals including zinc and magnesium as well as protein and essential fatty acids.  Research suggests they are useful for prostate health, bone density, parasites, arthritis and healthy blood lipids.  Find out more here.

pumpkin seeds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a food processor make the crust:

3/4 cup raw pecans or pumpkin seeds (grind ‘em up real good in the food processor)

1/4 cup ground flax seeds

1/2 cup coconut flour (find out why I’m such a fan of the coconut here and here)

1/2 tsp good salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup  coconut sugar

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 free range egg

 

Process dry stuff, add the coconut oil and process.  Then add egg and pulse until it comes together.  It will be sticky.

Press into a pie plate or tart pan.  Freeze for 15-20 minutes, then bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees until lightly browned.

crust

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next mix up the filling in the food processor:

Filling:

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree

3 eggs

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup maple syrup (or less)

1/2 tsp good salt

1/4 tsp allspice

1 tsp freshly grated ginger

pinch of cayenne

pinch of ground cloves

1 can coconut milk (not LITE)

Blend everything together until it is a smooth puree.  Pour into partially baked pie crust.  Tap to release bubbles.

unbaked custard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bake 45-55 minutes at 325. Be sure to let it cool before you serve it.

Delicious ending to a healthy fall meal, but honestly it makes a darn good breakfast too!

 

 

dig in!

 

St. Patrick's Day is coming!

Seeing corned beef in the grocery stores these days made me dream up this low glycemic version of one of our favorite breakfasts.
I used Okinawan purple sweet potatoes, (which are high in anthocyanins and low glycemic, getting some press these days as a new “super food”) instead of white potatoes and added quartered brussels sprouts for a high fiber, satisfying breakfast! My son poached me an egg and mixed up a mixture of ketchup and chili sauce for the perfect accompaniments.

Yesterday I was reminded that I actually have some followers out there!  Hello people! I have some pictures to share from the last few months. They are all the things that I wanted to blog about but never got around to it!

Calcifer

Meet Calcifer, our new stove

Baking Gluten Free Blue Cornmeal Biscuits

Roasting Chickens and Vegetables

Roasted Delicata Squash With Fennel Salt

Yesterday I catered a lunch at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral where I served a red quinoa salad.  It was a hit with the crowd and requests were made for the recipe. I can recreate the ingredients, but not the proportions.   It is really flexible though.  Do not worry about proportions.    For the record, the salad I made was heavy on the vegetables, light on the quinoa.  Many people have not heard of quinoa, and many who have think that it is a grain.  In fact it is an edible seed and has a great nutritional profile.   Click here for nutrition data on quinoa.  It is gluten free, high in amino acids (protein), and fiber.  It is delicious, easy to cook and very versatile!

Here’s what I did:

Cook the red quinoa in chicken stock. (cooks just like rice 1:2 quinoa:liquid).  Let it steam a little in the pot so it gets fluffy.  Let it cool.

Chop a bunch of veggies.  I had broccoli, scallions, green cabbage, shredded carrots.

Make the dressing.  In  a food processor, combine:  cilantro, mint, fresh lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, salt, olive oil.

Mix the cooled quinoa, the raw veggies and the dressing.  Chill until ready to serve.  Just before serving, toss with crumbled feta cheese.

Red Quinoa Salad

Today I whipped up my favorite gluten free corn bread to go with the leftover salad for lunch.  This recipe is thanks to my sister in law, Betsy.

Blue Corn Cornbread

Did you know, that one more thing to worry about when it comes to nutrition, is if our food has been genetically modified?  Corn is one of the most genetically modified crops along with soy, canola oil, and tomatoes.  In order to be safe, make sure you are getting organic corn products (if it is yellow or white corn).  Blue corn and popcorn are not genetically modified.

Blue Corn Bread

Preheat your oven (oh, my lovely Calcifer!) to 450 degrees.  Preheat an 8 inch cast iron skillet in the oven.

In a small bowl mix 2/3 cup blue cornmeal with 2/3 cup boiling water.  It should make a stiff batter.  Add 2 eggs, 1 T honey, and 1 1/2 cups almond/hemp/soy or buttermilk.  Stir to combine.

In a larger bowl, mix 1 1/3 cups blue cornmeal with  1 tsp salt, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda.

Mix the wet into the dry.  Add chopped bits of ham, bacon, scallions, green chilies, cheese…

Meanwhile, after your skillet gets hot, add 2 T butter to the hot pan.  Swirl it around until it melts and coats the inside of the pan.  Pour the excess into the batter and stir in before adding the batter to the hot pan.

Bake for 30 minutes or so, until it is firm, lightly browned on top and has a lovely crack around the edge.

Lovely golden crust and blue bread

Butter from grass fed cows is the perfect accompaniment

edamame

edamame

I have to share this salad because it has been very popular this summer.  It is easy to make, keeps well, is very nourishing.  It has a good amount of protein because of the edamame (soy beans) and black beans.  It is high in good fiber.  It looks lovely and tastes great!  Unfortunately I have not taken any pictures of it yet, so you will have to use your imaginations.

The recipe comes form Ellie Krieger’s magazine “Eat Smart”

Asian-Style Three-Bean Salad

Ellie Krieger

1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 bag (10 oz) of frozen shelled edamame
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed

Steam the green beans and the edamame together for 4-5 minutes.  Quickly drain and rinse them in cold water to stop them from overcooking.  Add all the beans to a bowl.

3 Tablespoons organic canola or grapeseed oil
3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup 100% fruit apricot preserves
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger

Whisk together and add to beans.  Let the beans marinate in the refrigerator for an hour or longer.
When ready to serve, slice a few scallions and stir them in or use as garnish on top.

Many people are finding that they feel better when they avoid gluten, a protein found in wheat, spelt, rye, barley, kamut, triticale.  Other folks are trying to eat fewer simple carbohydrates.  And most of us are trying to find new and interesting ways to eat more vegetables.  I put myself into all three categories.  I have a few suggestions for folks like myself who need an alternative to the noodle!  First, the Spaghetti Squash.  For instructions on cooking a spaghetti squash click here. It is a little starchy, in strands like pasta, soaks up the sauce.  I think it is a very satisfying alternative to pasta.  Second, zuchini “pasta”.   Easy to make and delicious.  zuchinizuchinizuchini pasta

zuchini pasta with basil pesto and pork tenderloin

zuchini pasta with basil pesto and pork tenderloin

And a third is Konnyaku, a high fiber noodle made from Konjac.  They are sometimes called Shirataki noodles and can be made partly with tofu.  You can buy them in Asian grocery stores.  The fiber in konjac, is a soluble fiber called glucomannan which has been studied in relation to Type II Diabetes and Insulin Resistance.  It has been shown to help reduce blood sugar and lower high cholesterol.  The noodles are easy to use, just open the bag, rinse, and add to soup or stir fry.  They are a filling, low calorie, gluten free option to replace our beloved noodle!

shirataki noodles

shirataki noodles

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