Tag Archives: sea salt

Candied Chocolate Crackers

Ready for something sweet?!  After being diagnosed with allergies, I was determined to find alternatives to chocolate that still actually tasted like chocolate… I just couldn’t give it up!  To my surprise, there are many dairy free and vegan chocolate chips out there that truly taste like the real thing, and actually are more chocolatey because they are made from actual cocoa.  So, I recently made a sweet treat that I hope you enjoy.

Candied Chocolate Crackers

Pieces:

  1. 6 ounces plan gluten free crackers…. I used one box of Glutino brand, like Ritz crackers
  2. 5 tbsp. vegan butter
  3. 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  4. 2 cups vegan chocolate chips
  5. 4 tbsp. shredded coconut
  6. 2 tsp. sea salt

Process:

  1. Melt the vegan butter and sugar in a bowl in the microwave, about 30 seconds.
  2. On a cookie sheet, break up the crackers with your hands so they are small pieces but not finely ground.  Make sure they stay close together, with no gaps in between the pieces.
  3. Pour the brown sugar butter evenly over the crackers.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees about 15 minutes, just until edges of the crackers start to brown.
  5. Pour the chocolate chips evenly over the crackers.
  6. Put back in the oven for 2 minutes.
  7. Using the back of a spoon, spread the chocolate over the crackers so it melts and covers.
  8. Sprinkle the sea salt and coconut on top.
  9. Put in the fridge to cool for 45 minutes.
  10. Once it is cooled, take it out and break it up into pieces.
  11. Try to eat just one!

coco choc candyHappy Allergy Free Eating!

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Pumped Up Pasta Primavera

With the spring weather coming (or already here?), you can start to see the increase in vibrantly colored vegetables available.  To someone who’s diet is half fruits and vegetables, this excites me!  So this week I made full use of the vegetable section at the grocery store, and made a healthy, vegetarian, and pumped up pasta primavera.

Pumped Up Pasta Primavera

Pieces:

  1. 2 zucchini, washed and chopped into bite size pieces
  2. 2 yellow squash, washed and chopped into bite size pieces
  3. 1 red pepper, washed and chopped into bite size pieces
  4. 2 handfuls green beans, ends cut off and beans cut in half
  5. 1 package chopped mushrooms
  6. 2 handfuls snap peas, ends cut off
  7. 2 sprigs rosemary
  8. 5 large basil leaves
  9. juice of one half of a lemon, plus a little rind
  10. 3 tbsp. olive oil
  11. 1 tsp. sea salt
  12. 1 tbsp. lemon pepper
  13. half package of gluten free pasta
  14. 3 tbsp. vegan butter
  15. 3 tbsp. chopped parsley
  16. 1 tbsp. chopped chives, for garnish
  17. salt and pepper, to taste

Process:

  1. In a large saute pan over medium heat, saute the chopped zucchini, yellow squash, red pepper, and green beans with olive oil, sea salt, lemon pepper, and lemon juice.
  2. Saute until barely tender (about 7 minutes), stirring every few minutes.
  3. Add the mushrooms, snap peas, lemon rind, rosemary, and basil.
  4. Saute for another 5 minutes, until vegetables are crisp but tender.  Remove the rosemary and basil when done cooking.
  5. While the vegetables are cooking, cook pasta according to package directions.
  6. When the pasta is done and drained, put it back in the pan with the butter and parsley.  Stir until butter is melted.
  7. Add the vegetables and stir until combined.
  8. Serve hot, with chopped chives and salt and pepper on top.

I love this recipe because there are so many variations and you can really make it your own… choose your favorite vegetables, spices, protein sources.  Hope you enjoy!

Happy Allergy Free Eating!

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Sweet Potato Hash Brown Beginnings

Weekend mornings are a time to sleep in, enjoy a big mug of coffee, and make a big breakfast… at least mine are!  This morning, I made hash browns with sweet potatoes, onions, and paprika and then started thinking about all the different combinations you could make with this base.  The sweet potatoes and onions are delicious on their own, but if you were making a big breakfast, there are plenty of add ins you could use.

Sweet Potato Hash Browns

Pieces:

  1. one sweet potato, peeled and chopped into matchsticks with a mandolin
  2. 3 tbsp. chopped onion
  3. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  4. one half teaspoon each, sea salt and pepper
  5. 1 tsp. smoked paprika

Process:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saute pan.
  2. Stir 5-7 minutes over medium heat, until sweet potatoes and onion get tender.
  3. Serve hot with your favorite breakfast add ins.

 

Other ideas and combinations:

  • serve with ketchup or BBQ sauce
  • add brown sugar and a drizzle of honey
  • add your favorite sausage… mine is kielbasa
  • add chopped green and red peppers
  • serve with rosemary, thyme, and lemon juice
  • add white potato matchsticks
  • serve with a dollop of sour cream and chopped chives
  • put on top of a waffle with some maple syrup

Happy Allergy Free Breakfasting!

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Simple Roasted Broccoli

Looking for simple dinners this week to ease back into the swing of things after the holiday, I baked a couple turkey breasts and wanted a smokey side to go with them.  So I made Simple Roasted Broccoli, flavored with 4 spices.  My smokey spice choices were a good combination with the turkey, and it was so easy to make!

Simple Roasted Broccoli

Pieces:

  1. one head of broccoli
  2. olive oil for misting/drizzling, about 1 tbsp.
  3. 1 tsp. smoked sea salt
  4. 1 tsp. lemon pepper
  5. 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  6. 1 tsp. chili powder

Process:

  1. Cut the stems off of the broccoli so only the florets remain.
  2. Spread out the broccoli florets on a cookie sheet.
  3. Mist the broccoli with olive oil, or drizzle.  (I like misting because it lessens how much you use, and it spreads evenly.)
  4. Sprinkle the smoked sea salt, lemon pepper, smoked paprika, and chili powder over the florets.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees, about 20 minutes, until the florets start to brown and crisp.
  6. Serve hot.

Happy Allergy Free Eating!

 

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Ready for Rosemary?

Rosemary has been my latest obsession in the kitchen.  Maybe that is because my dad planted a huge rosemary plant for me…

It is such a fragrant herb, and so far… easy to keep alive.  Rosemary is good on grilled chicken, in steak tip marinade, in salad dressing, and in my two latest side dishes.  I made Garlic Rosemary Potatoes and Citrus Rosemary Carrots.  Perfect introductions into fall when the weather, mood, and flavors start to get heavier…

Garlic Rosemary Potatoes

Pieces:

  1. One bag of small white potatoes
  2. 2 tbsp. chopped garlic
  3. 3 tbsp. chopped rosemary
  4. 2 tbsp. sea salt
  5. 2-3 tbsp. olive oil

Process:

  1. Wash the potatoes and cut each one in half.
  2. Spread them out on a cookie sheet (lightly sprayed with cooking spray), making sure there is breathing space between them.
  3. Lightly mist them with olive oil until lightly covered, and sprinkle 1 tbsp. sea salt.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees until fork tender, about 35-40 minutes.
  5. Coat a shallow stir fry pan with 1-2 tbsp. olive oil and turn on medium heat.  Let the oil heat up for a couple of minutes.
  6. Add the potatoes, garlic, rosemary, and remaining sea salt.  Stir frequently for 5-7 minutes, until the edges crisp.
  7. Serve hot!

Citrus Rosemary Carrots

Pieces:

  1. 1 bag of baby carrots
  2. 12 ounces of carrot juice (you can find this in any health food store with the smoothies or juices)
  3. 3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  4. 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  5. 3 tbsp. fresh orange juice
  6. salt and pepper for seasoning

Process:

  1. In a large stir fry pan, heat half of the carrot juice on medium-high until it starts to bubble.
  2. Add the carrots, rosemary, lemon juice, orange juice, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Stir the carrots every so often, adding more carrot juice when it starts to evaporate.
  4. Cook until carrots are tender.
  5. Serve hot!

Happy Allergy Free Eating!

 

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Colette’s Corn Salad

This past weekend, I was able to catch up with a few of my cousins and share a home cooked meal.  My cousin, Colette, lovingly made an entirely “Lauren friendly” meal.  It always touches me when friends and family tell me about gluten and dairy free products, articles, and restaurants they find… but my cousins went above and beyond.  They covered every angle of my restrictive diet without even blinking an eye, with the attitude of “it’s an adventure, and we are going to do it with you!”  That’s love.

There was perfectly cooked steak (thanks, Jim!), oven roasted potatoes, corn salad, tomato and avocado salad, and fruit sorbet with a gluten and dairy free treat for dessert (thanks, Diana!).  And they even got soy milk for my coffee the next morning, with my favorite Van’s waffles and turkey sausage!

The most interesting part of the meal was the corn salad… now known as “Colette’s Corn Salad.”  Colette had tried it in a restaurant and recreated the recipe from her own tastebuds.  So I, of course, had to have the recipe and recreate it!

Colette’s Corn Salad

In a large pan, saute chopped onion (I actually used a shallot that was on hand) and chopped bacon.  (I took about 5 bacon strips and cut them into small pieces.)  Add a little bit of olive oil, and stir frequently.

When the bacon is just about done cooking, add corn.  (Colette used sweet corn right off the cob, I used a bag of frozen that was on hand… the fresh was so much sweeter!)

Also add a few tablespoons of chopped rosemary (this is the secret, must have ingredient).  Stir in another tablespoon of olive oil and a few shakes of sea salt.

Stir and cover until cooked and heated through.

My new favorite side dish… seriously delicious!  Happy Allergy Free Eating.

 

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