Some Grain-Free Baking Going On!

With my 30 day food challenge underway, my girls and I have been experimenting in the kitchen. We’ve had some very cold days here, and what better thing to do than heat up the kitchen with some baking right? I received the cookbook Against All Grain, by Danielle Walker for Christmas, and it has some delicious recipes in it. They are all grain free, gluten free, dairy free, and sugar free – but they are yummy! If you’re looking for a healthy baking alternative (and not just baking, great recipes all around!), check out Danielle’s blog to try some recipes for yourself. Pictured here are some of the cookies that we have made:

grain free baking
grain free nut butter cookies

The 30 day food challenge is going really well. I feel as though my bad food habits are being broken, and that I am making mindful choices about the food that I am consuming. Instead of putting junk into my body when I feel hungry for a snack, I am choosing fruits, veggies, plain yogurt, a piece of cheese, or some nuts. These snacks are much more satisfying, and don’t cause me to crave more that what I need. I have not felt hungry or unsatisfied since starting this challenge, and have eaten very well. My energy level has been high, and I have felt very clear headed. As an unanticipated bonus, my pants which became slightly snug over Christmas, have gone back to fitting perfectly!

This area of discipline has spilled over into greater spiritual discipline and spending more time with the Lord. Praise God! He continues to work in my life and to refine me, as He desires to do with you as well. If you are reading this and want to know more about how the Lord Jesus has changed my life, please ask me! I would love to share my story with you.

For those of you who sent me a message and are doing this challenge with me, keep up the good work one healthy choice at a time!

Thanks for reading,

Karen

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalm 25 4 & 5

 

The Best & Easiest Gluten Free Pizza Crust Ever

Yes, that’s right! This is the best pizza crust we’ve ever tried making (and we’ve tried quite a few recipes). Not only is it gluten free, but it’s also dairy free and egg free (without the optional egg). This is a yeast crust, and unlike other recipes where you have to let the yeast work in a separate bowl before combining, this is a one bowl crust, with no separate processes! There isn’t even any rise time, and it turns out amazing. We LOVE to eat pizza, so for us this pizza crust discovery has been the bomb – I honestly can’t taste a difference between a regular crust and this one. This menu item is found on Week One of The Three Week Menu Plan (that could save your marriage).

best gf pizza EVER

Note: I did find this recipe online over a year ago. We have since made changes, but I have done a search now to find my source and can’t find the recipe that we started out with. Here is our version:

The Best & Easiest Gluten Free Pizza Crust Ever (makes 1 pizza crust)

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp quick rise instant yeast
2/3 cup white rice flour
2/3 cup tapioca starch
3 Tbsp ground flax seeds
2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp gelatin
1 tsp seasoning of your choice (I like to use dried onion flakes, or basil and garlic)
2/3 cup warm water (not too hot)
1/2 tsp honey
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 egg OR a bit of extra water

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Using dough hooks, beat on high for 3 minutes.

3. Put mixture on ungreased pizza stone, or lightly greased baking pan.

4. Sprinkle rice flour on dough, and press out in pan. (This is important – if you don’t use enough flour, the dough will just stick to your hand and you won’t be able to press it out).

5. Bake for 10 minutes.

6. Top with your favourite toppings, and bake for another 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

On the pizza pictured above, we enjoyed a barbeque sauce base, with (leftover) pulled chicken, green pepper, mushrooms, tomatoes, and goats cheese. Mmmmm.

Thanks for reading,

Karen

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalm 25 4 & 5

School Lunch Ideas – Installment #1

Over the summer while spending time with friends and talking about the impending school year, I have realized that school lunches are quite a challenge for many families. I realized that they were hard for families with food allergies/intolerances like ours, but I had never really thought about the challenge for families with children who simply won’t eat what is considered the “typical” school lunch. I am a self professed health food nut. The joke remains that I made brownies with whole wheat flour for my roommates in university… it was absolutely out of the question in our family growing up to even have white flour in the house! That being said, I realize that not everyone eats the way I do – I’m okay with that. I do want to point out though that while on my daughter’s kindergarten field trip this past year, I was appalled at some of the lunches that I saw. Not a single fresh or unprocessed item to be seen, loads of sugar, food coloring, and preservatives. How is a child supposed to learn while their body is dealing with so many toxins???

My kids and I have collectively come up with some pretty stellar healthy lunches that are gluten, dairy, and of course nut free, and I thought I would spend a bit of time between now and when school starts in a week and a half sharing some of our favorites.

Our girls love dip. Who doesn’t? Even something tasteless slathered in some delicious creamy dip becomes a hit! That’s why we love hummus. I also love it because my girls will consume copious amounts of fresh veggies (carrot sticks, sweet peppers, celery, mushrooms, cucumber…) if they have hummus to dip into. Without the hummus there is some grumbling involved. Now, there are some seriously unhealthy dips out there that are loaded with bad fats, MSG, and preservatives – this easy-to-make dip is not one of those and is only filled with health-giving ingredients!!! Here is our recipe, which can be modified to your liking:

Hummus

1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas (from a BPA free can, or even better – soak dried beans overnight, and cook. Use approximately the equivalent amount that would be in a can)

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp cumin

1 tsp olive oil

1-2 cloves garlic

juice of one lemon (1/4 cup) (or raw apple cider vinegar as a tangy alternative)

2-3 Tbsp tahini (this is sesame seed butter – found in the international section, or the natural section of the grocery store)

Puree in blender or food processor. Before serving drizzle 1 Tbsp olive oil and paprika on top. Adjust amount of liquid (olive oil or water) as necessary to achieve desired consistency.

That’s it! Very easy and economical (way cheaper than the pre-made varieties) and SUPER healthy. Oh yeah, and sooooo yummy. We use this fairly often as a sandwich alternative. I’ll send it along with fresh veggies and some rice crackers to dip. For those that can have gluten, you could also send along some whole grain pita bread cut into triangles, or some yummy whole grain crackers. If your kids like bread, and you just want to add some pizazz to their lunches, try using hummus as a sandwich spread – put it on nice and thick with some sprouts or lettuce and some tomatoes.

I hope this school lunch idea finds a spot in your child’s lunch!