Category Archives: Recipes

Best Gluten-Free Yeast-Free Bread Recipe

Clearly one of my New Year’s Resolutions should have been to keep up with the blog 🙂

The good news is that every time I came across something I wanted to share with you, I filed it away, so I have an abundance of recipes, research and resources ready and waiting!

The most exciting dietary discovery of 2012? BREAD!

Since I try to follow the Phase 1 diet 90% of the time (eating whole foods with lots of vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, eggs, nuts, and seeds), the one thing I miss (for taste and convenience at lunch time) is BREAD. When you take it out of your diet, you realize just how much you were consuming in the first place!

So when the dietician on Know the Cause shared this recipe, I thought I’d won the lottery. And then I thought it couldn’t taste like REAL bread without wheat and yeast. But you know what? It’s AMAZING.

It’s flatbread, but depending on how thick you spread it on the pan, it will have some fluffiness to it. And the spice on top is perfect.

Here is a link to this recipe on the Know The Cause website, as well as other Phase 1 recipes for Apple Cinnamon Amaranth, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Yogurt Ranch Dressing.  I take no credit for anything except stumbling across this recipe on their site and wanting to share it with all of you!

Simple Flatbread Recipe
Developed by Kristin Kons

1 ½ cups blanched almond flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup (2 TBS whole seeds) ground flax or ground chia seeds
1 teaspoon xylitol or raw honey or 7 drops liquid stevia
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 organic eggs
1/3 cup plain organic yogurt, preferably full fat or low fat
Any dried herbs with sea salt– Italian seasoning, Frontier Adobo Seasoning Blend

1.    Pre-heat oven to 350º

2.    In a large bowl, combine almond flour, tapioca, ground flax or chia, xylitol, baking soda and salt. [I use chia seeds…]

3.    In a small bowl, blend eggs and yogurt with an electric mixer for about 30 seconds.

4.    Add the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and use mixer or stir to combine until it forms a sticky, wet dough.

5.    Pour batter onto a 12×16  jelly roll pan/cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. Smooth batter out with a spatula over the entire surface area, so it is thin and even.

6.    Sprinkle herbs of choice and sea salt (if you’re using a salt-free seasoning blend) evenly over dough.

7.    On center rack of oven, bake at 350º for 8 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Don’t over bake or it will be too dry.

8.    Cool and cut into desired size. I like using a pizza cutter to do this.

I did try making this recipe with different combinations of buckwheat, amaranth flour and tapioca (because we have a nut allergic child), but it just didn’t turn out the same. Luckily my mom lives in the area and makes us a batch every once in a while (oh who am I kidding…at least once a week!) because I noticed that the almond flour does tend to escape the mixing bowl and I didn’t want to contaminate the kitchen with the fine almond flour. (Speaking of cross contamination, we also don’t toast the bread, because we want to keep the toaster “nut-free” and if we butter the bread, we don’t double-dip into the container after touching the bread.)

I haven’t tried any of the other recipes by Kristin Kons, but the chewy chocolate cookies are tempting! If you do try one of the other recipes, please let me know how you liked it!


Recipe: Prosciutto Chicken

I’ve had some requests for easy, weeknight Phase 1 dinner ideas…this one fits the bill!

I made it a few nights ago and thought it was delicious. My husband and I ate 2 of the chicken breasts with a big salad and some quinoa, so we had 2 more for lunch.  That’s one of my biggest tips for eating healthy…double a dinner recipe so you have something easy to reheat at lunch time.

Prosciutto Chicken

4 chicken breasts
4 pieces of prosciutto
8 slices of lemon, thinly sliced
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper

Combine butter and garlic powder and set aside.  Place one chicken breast in between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a rolling pin to 1/2″ thick. Repeat with the other pieces of chicken breast and place them in a greased baking dish.  Place a piece of prosciutto and two slices of lemon on each piece. Dot each chicken breast with 1/4 of the butter and season with pepper.  Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Don’t know why I didn’t take a picture when it came out of the oven…probably because it smelled soooo good. It’s garlic-lemon-salty goodness. And so easy! It took me all of 5 minutes to take the ingredients out of the frig, “assemble” and put this in the oven. This is definitely an easy weeknight meal 🙂

Gluten-Free Stuffing Recipes for Thanksgiving

This is going to be a quick post!

In preparation for Thanksgiving, I thought I’d pass along a New York Times Health article that came across my screen on gluten-free stuffing alternatives:

Stuffing is such a traditional part of Thanksgiving dinner (at least at our house!)…The smell of celery and onions cooking is rather intoxicating. I can’t imagine NOT having it!  These recipes take the same flavors and give them a new spin.

I haven’t tried any, so I can’t really recommend one over another, but if we didn’t have a nut allergy in the house, I’d try #2. I’m a sucker for butternut squash 🙂

Let us know if you end up trying one of the recipes! I’d love to hear how it turns out 🙂


Recipe: Crispy Meatloaf

I seem to be on a comfort-food roll.

Might be because I’m getting over the world’s most irritating cold.  Or because it’s getting chillier outside and I know how long Chicago winters are…

In an case, this recipe is simply yummy and very satisfying.  Without the parmesan (an there isn’t a lot), it’s Phase 1, so really pretty healthy.

If you’re anything like me (and my husband), and you like your protein, then this recipe with serve 2 people (maybe with a little leftover for lunch).  If you have a bigger family, just double it, but make 2 separate meatloafs on the baking sheet.  I’ve tried making one big one and it was not the best idea I’ve ever had 🙂

This recipe also uses quinoa flakes instead of bread crumbs.  I use them in most recipes that call for bread crumbs with the exception of coating chicken or eggplant, etc.  They’re gluten-free and good on Phase 1.  Here’s what to look for at the store if you’ve never seen a box…it’s usually with the oatmeal.  Make sure you don’t pick up quinoa flour (which is good for some recipes, just not as a substitute for bread crumbs).

1 lb ground grass-fed beef
1 medium onion, grated
1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 cup  + 1 tablespoon grated parmesan
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400°.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick spray.  Mix all ingredients (except 1 tsp tomato paste and 1 tbsp parmesan) and season with salt and pepper.  Make sure the egg/tomato paste/onion is mixed into the beef, otherwise you’ll get these tough bites of hamburger.  Form into a flat rectangle ~9in long, so it is uniform in thickness and will cook evenly.  Season with salt and pepper.   Spread remaining tomato paste on top and sprinkle remaining parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.  Bake 40-50 minutes.

My favorite part is the end…it’s definitely a little crispy.  I can’t stand soggy meatloaf…which is probably why I like the free form version better than the one made in a loaf pan.

But don’t take my word for it.  Take 5 minutes and whip one of these up for yourself and let me know what you think!

What’s in your meatloaf? (Or shouldn’t I ask???)

Recipe: Roasted Vegetables

Now that the weather has gotten a bit colder, I’ve switched from some type of green salad for dinner to roasting some vegetables. 

There are so many combinations of vegetables and spices that you could literally make a different vegetable dish every fall or winter evening.

Last night, I wanted a little of everything, so I used red and yellow onion, garlic, red peppers, broccoli, butternut squash and carrots.  I tossed them with some olive oil, spread them out on a sheet pan and used salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme.  That seems to be my go-to spice combination.  It’s familiar and safe.  And I know my husband will eat it 🙂  I roasted them at 450° for 20-25 minutes and they were delicious 🙂

What could be easier than pulling out an assortment of vegetables from your frig and chopping them?  This is why I make them 4-5 times a week.  I’m a bit lazy.  But I also know what tastes good.  And is healthy 🙂

I realize this isn’t so much a recipe as a technique.  I have an ulterior motive.  I need to branch out from my “safe” spice combinations and try some new ones.  So,

What are your favorite spices to use on roasted vegetables?

Recipe: Homemade Chicken with “Rice” Soup

Ok, I didn’t really use rice.  But it was cold and rainy outside and because my cold is still hanging on for dear life, I wanted chicken with something soup.  

This is Day 10, for anyone keeping count…yikes!  I truly believe the reason this one is so brutal is because I was in Vancouver when it started and I didn’t have my stash of homeopathic remedies that I usually take when I feel that first sign of a cold. (On top of not being in control of my meals for 4 days!)  By the time I got home, it was Day 4 and the cold germs were already invested in seeing this one through 🙂  But I digress…

This soup tastes just like chicken with rice, except there’s more “rice”.  I used buckwheat, because it’s a seed (not a grain) and very healthy for you. (So it’s good for the Phase 1 diet.)

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 large shallots, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
5 carrots, chopped
4 ribs of celery, chopped
2 teaspoons Bells Seasoning
2 bay leaves

1 lb organic, free range chicken, cut into bit size pieces
1 cup buckwheat

4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
salt and pepper

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat.  Saute all vegetables until soft and lightly browned.  Season with salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon of Bells Seasoning.  Remove from the pot.  Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil and brown the chicken pieces.  Season with salt and pepper and remaining teaspoon of Bell’s Seasoning.  Add 1 cup of broth and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add remaining 3 cups of broth and 2 cups of water.  Add buckwheat and the bay leaves and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes, adding more water as buckwheat absorbs liquid.  Makes about 6 servings.


Not sure about buckwheat? It’s a seed, but like quinoa, looks more like a grain. (And you also need to rinse it in cold water before cooking it, just like quinoa.)  It even says “Whole Grain” on the package. (My box of quinoa does too.) I don’t know what’s worse: that companies put whole grains on their boxes to entice people to buy them, or that the manufacturers don’t know what type of product they’re producing?! 

Buckwheat is a seed from a plant related to rhubarb.  It’s high in fiber and protein, and supplies essential amino acids.  It is also a great source of the bioflavonoid rutin. And it’s gluten free.

As for the Bell’s Seasoning, it’s a salt free blend of rosemary, oregano, sage, ginger, marjoram, thyme and pepper. Much easier than adding them all separately 🙂

So next time you’re feeling a tickle in your nose or the weather outside is frightful, whip up a pot of this soup. It really doesn’t take much time at all (it’s really only chopping), and it’s quite hearty because of the buckwheat. And you’ll have enough to last for a few days……

Do you make homemade soup or do you crack open a can of soup?

What My Kids Eat For a Snack

Since most everyone I know is aware of my eating habits (i.e. no sugar or gluten…most of the time!), I get asked about the eating habits of my kids. A LOT.

Clearly making a 4 and 7-year-old eat meat, fish, vegetables and fruit (with a few “grains” — seeds actually — like quinoa and buckwheat) is rather impossible. I’m health-minded, not CRAZY.

But I also don’t have any Oreos or Cheetos in my pantry either.

There’s a  middle ground, and until my kids are older and can make decisions on healthy eating for themselves, I can prepare good meals (and snacks) and hope some of it is rubbing off on them.

Like today.  My 7-year-old wanted to bake something with me. We pulled out one of my favorite cookbooks for healthy snacks (Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld) and decided to make the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. They have old fashioned oats, zucchini and banana…just a tad healthier than most oatmeal raisin cookies 🙂

I only made a few minor changes to the recipe: I used real butter instead of margarine and added more cinnamon (~1 teaspoon). I also skimped a bit on the brown sugar (somewhere between 1/2 cup and 3/4 cup).

We usually don’t make a habit of dessert at our house (go figure!), but a few nights a week, they have a popsicle (real fruit or leftover smoothie) or something like this.  My son ate two of these and said they were perfectly delicious (and he helped me make them, so he knew fully well there were some green veggies inside).  He’s the pickier eater between the two, so I’d say that’s a pretty good endorsement 🙂 

I had to try one and I must admit they had good flavor…I liked the cinnamon and banana combination (you couldn’t taste the zucchini at all).

So if you’re a cookie-after-school kind of mom, you might want to grab a copy of this book (most libraries have one so you can test some of the recipes or they’re super cheap on ebay).  There are 5 or 6 different recipes that I make fairly often for my kids.  I really like some of her pumpkin and squash chocolate chip muffin/cupcake recipes (without the frosting), the brownies and the blueberry bars…

So what kind of snacks do I give my kids (other than the previously mentioned baked items with vegetables?)–Fruit leather, whole fruit, smoothies, kale chips, homemade sweet potato fries…think outside the box. Literally!

What other healthy snacks do you give your kids after school? (Or yourself after a long day of work??)