15 December 2014

carrot & date muffins. {grain-free & dairy-free}


15 December 2014
Yesterday was a sunny winter Sunday, the warmth of the sun made up of the chill in the air. There is something special about the quiet and stillness of a Sunday morning, and for me it was being curled up on the couch drinking coffee with dogs napping on my lap.

Before we traveled to Higgins beach to enjoy the sun, sand, and water, I baked these carrot and date muffins for a little sustenance on the go. Something sweet in the oven is always a welcome in my house, and the smell of these spiced muffins didn't disappoint in aroma or taste. They are sweetened by dates, infused with a beautiful mixture of Indian spices, and benefit from the texture of the freshly grated carrots and nutty almond flour.

This recipe is a combination of a few different inspirations: Zenbelly's Pear Cardamon  Muffins, a carrot muffin recipe from Sprouted Kitchen's cookbook, and Gwyneth Paltrow's It's All Good 's sweet potato and Chinese 5 spice muffins. In an attempt to make a delicious grain-free muffin with all the flavors of the season, I combined flavors and measurements from the above inspirations -- demonstrating the wheels in my brain turning.

A note on the dates: Good Medjool dates, which can be found in any grocery store, are soft enough on their own, but soaking them in hot water, or as I did, hot Chai tea, will make them easier to blend into the batter. I soaked my dates in Chai tea because it added to the intensity of spiced flavor, but hot water works just as well.

carrot & date muffins. 
makes 12 smaller muffins or 6 larger ones

1 1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 cup arrowroot starch
3 TBL coconut flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. garam masala
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated {optional}

3 free range eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup medjool dates (about 4-6), softed in hot water or Chai tea for 10 minutes
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups carrots, finely grated

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, grease your muffin tin (6 large or 12 smaller) and set aside. 
  2. In the food processor, add the drained dates and pulse 4-5 times until they are broken up a bit. Add the eggs, coconut oil, coconut sugar, and vanilla. Blitz until smooth. 
  3. In a bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. Pour the dry ingredients into the food processor. Blitz until combined. Fold in the carrots, and evenly divide the batter between 6 or 12 muffins.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until, when tested, a knife comes out clean. Let them rest for at least 15 minutes, but they taste the best once they are almost cool.  
happy eatings & cheers!

10 December 2014

a poached egg on sauteed spinach with bacon & red onions. {grain-free & dairy-free}

10 December 2014

This cozy dish is a filling brunch or simple dinner. You can put it together in a flash, which is ideal for a week day night during the bustling holiday season.

a poached egg on sauteed spinach with garlic & red onions. 
serves 2

4 slices of thick cut bacon, sliced into 1" chunks
3 small red onions or shallots, peeled & chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of fresh spinach, washed & dried
sea salt & cracked pepper to taste

  1. Heat a cast-iron or heavy-stock pan on medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until the pieces are crispy. Remove from the pan onto a paper towel lined plate. 
  2. Add the onions in the hot pan and bacon fat (if the pan seems dry add a little extra virgin olive oil). Cook for 6-8 minutes until tender. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the garlic slices and cook for another minute or two (be careful not to let the garlic burn). 
  3. Add the spinach and cook another minute or two, stirring to get the spinach evenly wilted, but not overly wilted as you still want a little texture to the dish. Stir in the bacon slices and divide among two serving bowls or plates. 
  4. Top with the poached eggs and season to taste once more. 
happy eatings & cheers!

09 December 2014

banana almond green smoothie. {grain-free & vegan}

9 December 2014

I know-- another smoothie recipe on a food blog! I drink a smoothie or juice for breakfast almost everyday (especially during the work week) because it is simple, nutritious, and portable. Today, I am sharing my new favorite green smoothie combination that adds a little kick to a creamy, slightly sweet drink. I hope you enjoy it too!

banana almond green smoothie. 
serves 1

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup coconut water
1 banana
a handful of baby kale 
1 tsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. maple syrup or 1 medjool date
1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
1/2 tsp. Chinese five spice powder

  1. Add all the ingredients into a blender, and blitz until smooth.
happy eatings & cheers!