Living for Happiness

Living for Happiness
Live a life that will make you feel great!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Restricting My Diet *sigh*

So since last May I have been restricted more on my diet. I am now Gluten Free, Dairy free and I am avoiding nightshades, these include tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, etc. I am also trying to restrict my intake of sugar and salt. Some of the recipes I just posted are not exactly light on the sugar, but it is the holidays so I will just give most of these to my friends and family. :) I will be trying to update my blog with some of the yummy recipes I have discovered since going on my latest diet.

Vegan Gluten-Free Carrot Macaroons


Yields 42 cookies

1 cup (packed) grated raw carrots (1-2 medium sized carrots)
1/4 cup water (I used rooibos tea)
1/2 cup oil (I used 1/4 c almond oil, 1/4 c coconut oil)
2 cups unsweetened organic coconut flakes
3/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract
2 tbs agave nectar
chocolate chips, melted (optional)

Preheat the over to 350 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients together except for the chocolate in a large bowl.

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Wash hands and roll the mixture into balls, slightly smaller than golf balls.

Place balls on pan 2 inches apart and bake for 30 minutes. Use a spatula to remove the macaroons from the pan.

If desired, drizzle melted chocolate over the macaroons with a fork.

Warm Sticky Figgy Pudding

Yields 24 cupcake size portions

1 cup chopped dried pitted dates
1 cup chopped died figs
1 cup water
1 cup brandy
1 tsp baking soda
7 tbsp butter substitute (5 tbsp earth balance 2 tbsp coconut oil)
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp ground chia seeds, 6 tbsp water mix and let sit for 5-10 min
2 1/2 cups gluten free flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Add the dates, dried figs water and brandy to a medium saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the baking soda. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then add to a blender and puree.

Using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs and beat well. Fold in the flour, spices, cocoa the pureed date mixture and the chocolate chips.

Put the mixture into a muffin pan, filling halfway to 3/4 full. Put in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. May be served in the paper/foil or unmolded onto a small serving plate.

If you want to create a hard sauce for it:
With paring knife cut a cross in the top of the puddings for the sauce. Pour the sauce into the cross in the center of each pudding, then pour more sauce over the puddings and it allow to soak in slightly. Top with fresh figs and vanilla ice cream. Serve warm.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Egyptian Red Lentil Soup

(One Big Table)

Yields 6 to 8 servings

2 tbs plus 1 tsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
7 c vegetable broth (low sodium)
1 3/4 c red lentils
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/3 c chopped fresh cilantro
3 tbs fresh lemon juice
salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

In dutch oven heat 2 tbs olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook about 4 min, until soft. Stir in broth and lentils, bring to a simmer and cook about 30 minutes, until the lentils dissolve, adding more broth as needed.

In another small skillet, heat the remaining 1 tsp olive oil over med heat. Add the cumin seed and turmeric and cook about 1 min, until aromatic.

Before serving, stir in spices, cilantro, and lemon juice into the soup. Season with pepper and salt to taste. Ladle into bowls, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

Almond Meal Pancakes

Yields 6 four inch pancakes

1 c almond flour/meal
2 eggs (I sometimes replace 1 egg with enough egg whites to replace an entire egg)
1/4 c water (sparkling if you have)
1/4 tsp salt (I use pink salt)
1 tbs sweetener (I usually use agave, honey or maple syrup)
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix ingredients and cook as you would other pancakes. Pancakes won't bubble on top the same as other pancakes. Flip when bottom is brown.

Peruvian Quinoa Stew

(From Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home)

Yields: 4 servings

1/2 c quinoa
1 c water
2 c chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot, sliced/chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 c cubed zucchini
2 c undrained chopped fresh tomatoes
1 c vegetable stock or chicken stock
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried oregano
pinch of cayenne
salt to taste
chopped fresh cilantro

Rince the quinoa well. Place it in a pot with the water and cook, covered, on med-low heat for about 15 min, until soft. Set aside.

While the quinoa cooks, in a covered soup pot saute the onions and garlic in the oil for about 5 min on med heat. Add the celery and carrots, and continue to cook for 5 min, stirring often. Add the bell pepper, zucchini, tomatoes, and stock. Stir in the cumin, chili powder, coriander, cayenne, and oregano, and simmer, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Stir the cooked quinoa into the stew and add salt to taste. top with cilantro, if you wish. Serve immediately.

Black Bean Brownies

This is a very simple recipe. I added the cinnamon, vanilla, and coffee to this recipe on my own. This is a good basic recipe that you can play with to make yummy brownies. Some ideas for other variations would be adding fresh mint and maybe some mint extract instead of the flavourings I added. You could also try adding dried ginger or fresh ginger and then some dried fruit instead of the nuts. Have fun!

1 box brownie mix (I use gluten free)
1 15 ounce can black beans (low sodium)
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp Vanilla
1 tbsp instant coffee
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Pour the black beans into a strainer, and rinse them well. Put the beans back in the can and add enough water to cover beans. Put the beans into a food processor and make a black bean puree (they will turn a grayish, brown color and you should only be able to see flecks of the beans). Add plain brownie box mix to black bean puree and stir until combined and smooth. Add your nuts now if desired, or sprinkle them on top before cooking. Pour into lightly oiled 8 X 8 baking pan. Bake brownies according to package directions. I find I usually need to add a bit more cooking time. Just cook them until you can insert a toothpick or knife into the center of the brownies and it comes out clean.

Super Moist Meat Loaf

Yields 6 servings. (I would say there are actually about 12-18 servings, this makes a really large log.)

3 Tbs Olive Oil
1 1/2 c finely chopped onions
1 c chicken stock (low fat, low sodium)
1 c scottish oats
1 lb ground lamb (lean)
1/2 lb ground beef (lean)
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp garam masala
pinch of cayenne
salt to taste
1 egg
(Other spices you might use if you want to mix it up a bit. nutmeg, parsley, dill, mace)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute for 2 minutes or until softened. Set aside to cool.

Combine stock and oatmeal and set aside to allow oatmeal to absorb some of the liquid.

Combine ground meat, cooked onions, garlic, thyme, rosemary, pepper, and cayenne. Season well with salt. Add oatmeal mixture and egg and mix gently until it comes together. Fry a little piece to taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Place mixture on an oiled baking sheet and use your hands to shape it into a fat sausage-shaped mound, about 2 inches tall and 4 1/2 inches across. Baste with whiskey sauce before baking and then every 10 or so minutes if you want to use it. Bake for 45 minutes or until the meatloaf registers 155 degrees F (juices should run clear). Turn on the broiler and broil for 2 minutes or until slightly browned.

Whiskey Sauce (optional)
1 clove garlic minced
1 1/2 parts Balsamic vinegar
1 part whiskey
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tbsp minced rosemary
1 tbsp freshly ground pepper

Mix everything together.

Update on me!

So I thought I would give another update, my doctors are happy with where I am at now with my cholesterol etc, however in the process of all of this, one of my doctors has told me to stop eating wheat, cut down on carbs and eat more protien. : / This has made eating healthy a bit more difficult, but I am up for the challenge! I have been finding some really tasty ways to stay on my diet and still have great tasting food.