February 17, 2014

cranberry-zucchini muffins, yum!

These are some of the best muffins I've ever made.  The tartness of the cranberries contrasts so yummily with the sweet and fluffiness of the zucchini base.  Plus cranberries and zucchini are both good for you, so it's win-win. :)

the ice cream scoop that change my life - it's so much easier to scoop batter unto pans now! :)

Here's the recipe!

Cranberry-Zucchini Muffins
adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook

makes approx. 12 muffins

1 cup whole grain flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 medium zucchinis, finely grated
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

1) Preheat the oven to 375F.  Spray muffin pan with cooking spray, or spray the muffin cups if you are using them.
2) In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
3) In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla.  Stir in the zucchini.
4) Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir to combine; don't overmix as this will impact fluffiness.  Using a spatula, fold in the cranberries.
5) Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.  (I used an ice cream scoop which I highly recommend investing in - it will change your life, or at least make your baking experiences a lot easier, trust me.)
6) Bake, rotating halfway through, until the muffins are golden and a knife inserted in the center of one muffin comes out clear, about 30 minutes.
7) Turn the muffins on their sides in their cups, and cool.  Serve warm or at room temp.


February 08, 2014

2-ingredient gluten-free banana pancakes

I've been pretty lazy lately.  I just can't seem to summon the courage to make anything more complicated than a boiled egg.  Consequently, anything that requires only 2 ingredients is right up my alley.  The other benefit of these pancakes is that they are paleo, grain-free, and gluten-free.  They're not vegan though.  Let's forgive them that.  They can't be everything to everyone.

Here's the recipe!

2-Ingredient Gluten-Free Banana Pancakes

2 ripe bananas (we freeze our super ripe bananas for future use - they thaw out enough in like 5 minutes)
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

1) Using a blender (we use our hand blender), puree all of the ingredients together.
2) Heat a griddle on medium low heat and butter it (we use coconut oil).
3) Pour one tbsp worth of the batter onto the griddle (smaller pancakes seem to work better with this recipe - if they're too big they get too hard to flip over).  Wait 2-3 minutes than flip the pancakes and cook for another 2-3 minutes on the other side.  At this step, you really need to watch the pancakes as they cook so they do over-cook or under-cook before they're flipped. 
4) Serve immediately.  Enjoy with maple syrup or your choice of toppings (Mr. A likes peanut butter on them). 


February 02, 2014

guest blog: low-carb, grain-free, but deliciosso pizza

Pizza is one of those things that I enjoy even though I know it's not that good for me.  Sometimes you have the crazing and it's too hard to resist.

But worry no longer!  I made a great pizza that is actually good for you since it's made with cauliflower instead of wheat.  You wouldn't think this would work out, but it's actually really good.  It's also not that hard to make, considering how many steps are involved with making normal pizza dough.

Cauliflower, chopped finely and ready for the microwave

Cauliflower, post microwave

It even looks like dough!

Dough flattened and ready for the oven

The finished crust 
The crust is topped

Pizza!  It's so good, we're showing it twice!

Here's the recipe!

Low-Carb, Grain-Free Pizza
adapted from The Lucky Penny


For the crust:
1 small to medium sized head of cauliflower - should yield 2 to 3 cups once processed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
optional: a few shakes of crushed red pepper
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1 egg

For the toppings:
We used pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and salami, but you can use any of your own favourite toppings!

1) Place a pizza stone in the oven, or baking sheet if you don't have a pizza stone. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a cutting board, place a large piece of parchment paper and spray it with nonstick cooking oil. 

2) Wash and throughly dry a small head of cauliflower. Don't get one the size of your head unless you are planning on making 2 pizzas. Cut off the florets, you don't need much stem. Just stick with the florets. Pulse in your food processor for about 30 seconds, until you get powdery snow like cauliflower. See the photos above.  You should end up with 2 to 3 cups cauliflower "snow". 

3) Place the cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and cover. Microwave for 4 minutes. Dump cooked cauliflower onto a clean tea towel and allow to cool for a bit before attempting the next step.

4) Once cauliflower is cool enough to handle, wrap it up in the dish towel and ring the heck out of it. You want to squeeze out as much water as possible. This will ensure you get a chewy pizza like crust instead of a crumbly mess. 

5) Dump the ringed out cauliflower into a bowl. Add to it, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, salt, dried oregano, garlic powder and a dash of red pepper if you want. Now add your egg and mix away. Hands tend to work best. 

6) Once mixed together, use your hands to form the dough into a crust on your oiled parchment paper. Pat the dough down thoroughly, you want it nice and tightly formed together, about 1/4 inch in thickness.

7) Using a pizza peel or a cutting board, slide the parchment paper onto your hot pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until it starts to turn golden brown. Remove from oven.

8) Add however much sauce, cheese, and toppings you want. No measurements needed, make it however you like it.  Once you've got your toppings on there, slide parchment paper with the topped pizza back in the hot oven and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and slightly golden.

Test your patience and allow it to cool for a minute or two. Probably closer to two. Then using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife and a spatula, serve up your delicious grain-free cauliflower crust pizza!