Saturday, May 11, 2013

Pork Chops with Pomegranate Pan Sauce

If the internet had a tasting mechanism, I would pass you a bite. This pan sauce is amazing. My friend Rebecca shared this recipe with me a few years ago... I believe she got it from someone else, and I do not know the original source. We just give thanks and happily enjoy. :)

1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 (4 oz) boneless center-cut pork loin chops, 1 inch thick
2 tsp olive oil
1/3 c chopped shallots
3/4 c pomegranate juice
1 tbsp palm sugar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Combine ground cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture over the pork chops. Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet. Cook the pork chops in the oil over medium-high heat for about three minutes. Flip them and cook another three minutes. Remove the pork chops from the pan and keep warm in a covered container. Place shallots into the skillet and stir for 45 seconds. Add the pomegranate juice, palm sugar, and balsamic vinegar; bring mixture to a boil. Cook the sauce for five minutes, or until slightly thick. Serve pork chops with the pan sauce drizzled over them.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Pork Roast

The savory seasonings on this tender roast will create a warm, aromatic atmosphere in your home.

1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp dried marjoram leaves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried sage leaves
1 (4-lb) boneless pork loin roast

Combine seasonings and rub over the roast. Place roast on a rack in a roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for one hour and forty minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. Let stand 10-15 minutes before slicing.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Pizza with a Quinoa Crust

So you put uncooked quinoa in your blender and it turns into pizza crust batter.

I'm not even kidding!!!!

How can anyone not think this is cool?!

It's recipes like this one that just put me in awe of God and how he created each plant with such uniquely useful functions!

Not to mention TASTEFUL functions... 

And so healthful, too!

Shane and I both agree that this is our favorite gluten-free pizza crust out of all the ones we've tried.

I found this recipe on Tasteful Eats At Home. I use a cast iron skillet, but she says you don't have to:

"The recipe I based mine off of called for a cake pan – I bet a 9-inch would work. You’d probably want to lessen the batter – you might even be able to split it between 2 pans. Just don’t heat them for so long in the oven like you would a cast iron skillet. A few minutes is all you’d need."

1 c quinoa, plus enough water to cover/soak
1/8 c olive oil
1/2 c water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

Soak quinoa in a bowl for eight hours or more.

Preheat oven to 450. Brush a 12-inch cast iron skillet with the oil and place in the oven to preheat. Drain and rinse quinoa, and dump it in the blender. Add water and seasonings; blend till it looks like a thick pancake batter. Pour the batter into the skillet and spread quickly. Bake ten minutes, or until the bottom is browned. Carefully flip the crust with a large spatula and bake ten more minutes. Remove from the oven and add toppings (don't overload it or the crust will become soggy); bake seven more minutes, or until the bottom is browned. Transfer the pizza to a board for slicing.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


I've had some interesting adventures baking gluten-free, sugar-free pizza crusts! It took a while to find one with the right ingredients AND a scrumptious taste. My guys are such good sports about trying the stuff I make.

This pizza crust is wonderful. I love everything about it. It does have yeast, so stay tuned for a couple more yeast-free pizza crusts if you don't want yeast. :)

1 tbsp dry instant yeast
2/3 c brown rice flour, plus extra
1/2 c tapioca flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp unflavored gelatin powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2/3 c warm milk
1/2 tsp palm sugar
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp cider vinegar

8 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp oregano leaves
1/2 tsp basil leaves
1/2 tsp rosemary leaves
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp agave nectar
1/2 tsp salt

Whatever your little heart desires! (Don't overload it, though, or your crust will become soggy.)
Some of our favorites are fresh garlic, fresh basil, spinach, pineapple, green peppers, pesto, canadian bacon, pepperoni, mozzerella cheese, and pesto.

In a large bowl, whisk the yeast, flours, xanthan gum, salt, gelatin, and Italian seasoning. Add warm milk, palm sugar, oil, and vinegar. Beat with an electric mixer on high for two minutes. Spread the dough on a greased 12-inch pizza pan, sprinkling it with flour to prevent it from sticking to your hands. Make the edges thicker. Bake at 425 for ten minutes. Add sauce and your favorite toppings. Bake another 20 minutes, or until the top is browned.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Pickle Rolls

Gotta have these at Christmastime. (Or any other time.) Here's the recipe, if you don't already have it.

2 big jars of baby dill pickles
a lot of cream cheese, softened
garlic salt
4 packages of corned beef (don't use ham; they aren't half as good with ham)

Spread cream cheese on a slice of corned beef. Lightly sprinkle garlic salt over the cream cheese. (Careful, it comes out fast, and you don't want too much.) Layer another slice of corned beef over the first one, and spread cream cheese on it. Dry off your pickle with a paper towel, and roll it up in the layered corned beef. Repeat. Refrigerate your pickle rolls for a few hours, then slice and serve.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Quinoa Pesto

Once I started making basil pesto, I was hooked. If it was really that easy to make, I knew that my family needed to eat pesto regularly. Delish!

But that meant that I would need to learn how to grow basil. Because have you ever seen how much fresh basil costs at the store? And you're not even guaranteed to get un-wilted leaves!

Thus began my cute little potted herb collection...

So, pesto was really my inspiration for herb-growing. I wonder how many people it has done that to... Who doesn't love pesto?! :) Pesto has even become one of our four-year-old's favorite foods!

Now, there are all sorts of pesto recipes out there that use all sorts of different nuts and seeds, cheeses, oils, and herbs. (I once made a delicious cilantro pesto!) The following recipe is a very simple basil pesto that lends itself well to quinoa. Yes, quinoa. I have used pesto on pizzas, over pasta, and in salad dressings. But most often we mix it into cooked quinoa! Quinoa has a nutty taste that is just great with pesto.

I must confess that my friend Sarah makes better pesto than I do. Hers is thicker and less oily, and she uses Parmesan and pine nuts. I wasn't able to grow many herbs last summer, so Sarah generously shared her pesto bounty with us. Sooo good! (And so much less work! Which I wasn't really up for last summer at all. Another one of those food blessings God didn't have to give me but he did.) Maybe I will make Sarah's recipe sometime... For now, this is what I've got.

16 oz quinoa, cooked
3 c fresh basil
2/3 c shredded mozzerella
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c walnuts
1 c extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt

Chop basil in a food processor. 

Add 1 tablespoon of oil and process until the mixture is a paste. 

Gradually add everything, including the oil, and process until smooth. 

Pour into a small saucepan and stir constantly over low heat until simmering. 

Pour over quinoa (or pasta) and toss.

One summer I grew enough basil that I was able to regularly make and freeze a lot of pesto, which is super handy to have on busy days. I froze the pesto in ice cube trays, then transferred the cubes into resealable plastic bags. This made it easy to pull a little or a lot of pesto out of the freezer, depending on how much I needed.

Do you like pesto as much as I do? What is your favorite herb?

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Peppermint Patties

Minty melt in your mouth...

1 c coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tsp agave nectar
1/2 tsp salt
5 drops peppermint liquid stevia
1 c chocolate chips

Mix everything together, except the chocolate chips. Form mixture into patties and place on a pan. Set pan in the freezer for ten minutes. Warm chocolate in a double-boiler, just until melted. Cool to room temperature. Use a tongs to dip patties into chocolate, and place them on a parchment-lined pan. Freeze for ten more minutes. Store in the refrigerator, or freeze for later. Makes 24 patties.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Pear and Blackberry Crisp

Never would I have thought to pair these two fruits, but the combo was outstanding! Pears and blackberries were meant for each other, apparently. :) The only thing I will do differently next time is double the recipe.

Recipe from the Simply Sugar and Gluten Free cookbook.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Blueberry-Parsley Coconut Smoothies

After reading about Lemon Parsley Allergy Warrior Juice, I was inspired to create a smoothie that would have some of the same immune-boosting, allergy-combating ingredients. The claim with the juice is that parsley can do some serious battle against seasonal allergies.

So my smoothie needed to have a bunch of parsley in it without tasting bitter.

I also wanted as much protein as possible in the smoothie to balance out the sweetness and keep the glycemic index as low as possible. (I don't know the actual GI of this smoothie. If someone has a way of figuring that out, let me know.) In this smoothie you will consume spinach, seeds, and full-fat coconut milk. Good stuff.

Lastly, I don't usually use honey as a sweetener since it can do havoc with blood sugar just like sugar does, but I made an exception with this smoothie. Here's why: Regularly consuming local honey is a good way to get the body accustomed to area pollens so it won't try to fight them off as much. So there is honey in this.

I made this smoothie several times with different fruits and ingredients before finding the perfect combination! I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.

1 c frozen blueberries
1 c frozen pineapple
1 c fresh spinach
1 c fresh parsley
1/4 cucumber
2 tsp chia seeds
2 tsp flaxseed meal
2 tsp raw, local honey
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 can coconut milk

Add ingredients to your blender in the order listed. Blend until smooth.

NOTE: Don't make these if you're pregnant; lots of parsley may stimulate contractions.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Parmesan-Crusted Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet potatoes are "just okay" at our house, but this really spiced them up for us. I got into the sweet potato fad a couple years ago and started cooking them in all kinds of ways. My goal was to like them. So far, after making them it seems a bazillion different ways, this is my favorite.

You just chop up your sweet potatoes into wedges...

Dip them in some egg whites...

Dip them into some freshly grated parmesan cheese...

Add some salt and pepper and stick them in the oven. 

You will end up with this. What's not to love, right?

Recipe from the Simply Sugar and Gluten Free cookbook.