Super Fast Veggie Khichdi

veggiekhichdi

One pot, lots of yum.

I love this meal because it’s one of the easiest to make. One pot, everything goes in, and it comes out super yummy. It’s hearty, nutritious, and we don’t ever feel tired after eating it. Plus it’s very customizable to your tastes and preferences.

Add whatever veggies you want… the ones below are just options. Sometimes I use fennel or okra or turnips… I just use what I have on hand, but the list below is pretty standard. If you can have garlic, add it in with the onions. It’s great with garlic. I miss garlic.

I call it a Khichdi, but it is really a very loose interpretation of Indian Khichdi.

This dish was inspired by a really great company called Eastern Essence that sold a great organic khichdi. All their products are GMO-free, allergy-free, supported organic farming in India (where the use of GMOs and chemicals is getting pretty disastrous), and so it is helping support good companies and practices while being healthy and easy. It is Ayurvedically balanced and everything. We used to buy packages by the dozen b/c they were so easy to make, we felt good after eating them, and they tasted sooo good.

Unfortunately, not enough people knew about how extremely healthy and helpful this company was, so it is no longer running. However, I still believe they’ll come back. I’m not letting go of that dream! :)

A long time ago, it wasn’t such a big deal to get nutritious food. Your local farmer grew it for you, or it was in your own backyard garden. Once mass food production started though, the food quality went way down, due to many factors like overworking the fields, growing the same crop over and over in large quantities, herbicides, pesticides, and now GMOs which are genetically altered plants.

“It is now possible for plants to be engineered with genes taken from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans.”

-from an article by the Institute for Responsible Technology

 

Rice engineered with human genes?

Think you are vegetarian or vegan but eating non-organic veggies? Think again. Who knows, that rice may be your own descendant.

So when you are shopping, please support organic. It is not only helping YOU be healthier, but it is helping the earth, the farmers and companies who are trying to make a difference, and it will even help the economy by not supporting these big bio-tech companies who want to patent food.

“But I don’t have time for all this!” Me either. So just buy organic, and you don’t have to think about all this GMO stuff.

And this recipe: one pot and one spoon. That’s all the dishes you need. Oh, and a knife and cutting board if you want to add some more chopped veggies.

 

Super Fast Veggie Khichdi

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups organic rice (I use basmati, but jasmine is another good option), washed and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup organic red lentils, washed and rinsed
  • 1 small organic onion, diced
  • 1 organic carrot, chopped
  • 1 good handful organic green beans, chopped
  • 1 cup organic peas
  • 1 organic zucchini, chopped
  • 1 organic tomato, chopped
  • 1 head organic lettuce
  • organic cilantro for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon organic turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic mustard seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • organic veggie oil, high-heat (like sunflower)
  • 2-4 cups water

Dished used:

  • Pot and spoon
  • Knife and cutting board

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large deep pan, or big pot.
  2. Add spices and stir until fragrant.
  3. Add rice and lentils and stir until well coated.
  4. Add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add water slowly. It should cover the rice and lentils by about an inch or so.
  6. Add carrots, beans, peas and zucchini, and stir together.
  7. Cook for 20 min, stirring occasionally. Add water if needed. You’ll know it’s done b/c the rice is done and the lentils are getting soft and mushy.
  8. Once it’s cooked, add tomato and cilantro.
  9. Serve over a bed of lettuce (optional) and add flax seed oil on top.

That’s it!

 

 

Blueberry Compote

blueberrycompote

Warm blueberry compote is great on crepes, muffins, “oat-less-meal”, by itself, on ice-cream (non-dairy of course, ha ha), really on lots of things.

And you always know who has been eating some, because they have a distinctive blue-mouth. So after you eat this, make sure you can brush your teeth before going out!

Blueberries are high in antioxidants (especially if you eat them raw), but you won’t get all those benefits unless you get organic blueberries. Organic makes a huge difference, that’s why I keep repeating it! Just take a look at this study comparing the properties of organic and non-organic blueberries:

If you want to maximize your antioxidant benefits from blueberries, go organic! A recent study has directly compared the total antioxidant capacity of organically grown versus non-organically grown highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L., var. Bluecrop) and found some very impressive results for the organically grown berries.

Organically grown blueberries turned out to have significantly higher concentrations of total phenol antioxidants and total anthocyanin antioxidants than conventionally grown blueberries, as well as significantly higher total antioxidant capacity. Numerous specific antioxidant anthocyanins were measured in the study, including delphinidins, malvidins, and petunidins. The antioxidant flavonoid quercetin was also measured. Read the Blueberries article.

You can make this compote with just about any berry: strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or cherries. You can also add apple chunks. You can use more than one type of berry, or just one. It is versatile, and super easy.

 

Blueberry Compote

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups fresh or frozen organic blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon organic cinnamon
  • 2-3 Tablespoons water

Dishes Used:

  • Pot and spoon

Directions:

  1. Place 2-3 cups of blueberries into a small pot (however much will fit!).
  2. Sprinkle cinnamon over the blueberries, then water.
  3. Heat on medium stirring occaisionally until cooked, about 15 minutes.

That’s it!

Roasted Tofu with Veggies

RoastedTofuWithVeggies

Tofu was never my favorite.

Bean curd just didn’t sound appetizing, and most of the ways I had it prepared were really awful. There was one Tandoori Tofu that PCC makes that is ok, but is too spicy for me.

Then I read a recipe on Gluten-Free Girl’s site (I just love her recipes). I tried it and now not only do I like tofu, but my family does as well. However, we use it as more than just a appetizer, and we’ve changed it just a little bit.

This tofu reminds me of paneer (Indian style cheese) which we used to eat all the time. When it was cooked just right it was squeaky when chewed. So we called it Sqeaky Cheese. The tofu isn’t quite squeaky like that, but it is a similar texture and can be used in place of paneer, if cooked just right. So if you are dairy-free and you want something like paneer, this recipe might be your answer.

The story of tofu and my daughter is much like Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. “Would you like some tofu, Sweet Pea?”

“I do not like them
in a house.
I do not like them
with a mouse.
I do not like them
here or there.
I do not like them
anywhere.”

We told her about how if she tries them then she might like them, just like the book. She wouldn’t budge. Then her sweet friend came over to play and we served some roasted tofu. Her friend ate them happily as my daughter watched. The next time I made that tofu, she tried them, loved them, and now will eat them here, there or anywhere!

The tofu is good by itself, but add it to a veggie dish and it’s fantastic! Both are better. There is a tofu-veggie-synergy that takes effect and it is a glorious meal.

The veggie dish is based on our last-minute-have-to-feed-everyone-quick dinner where I pull together whatever veggies I have and stir fry them. We try to make it with rice or quinoa, but we don’t always get that far.

As for the veggies, you can really add whatever veggies you have, just add them in order of how long they need to cook to be tender. Add potatoes or carrots before spinach, for example. We usually add okra as it is one of our favorites.

Play with it some, and enjoy :)

 

Roasted Tofu with Veggies

Ingredients:

Tofu:

  • 1 package organic extra firm tofu (PLEASE get organic and avoid GMO soy!)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) of paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons organic high-heat oil like sunflower/safflower

Veggies:

  • 1 handful organic green beans, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen organic okra, sliced
  • 1 organic carrot, sliced
  • 2 stalks organic celery, sliced
  • 1 organic zucchini, sliced
  • 1 organic tomato, diced
  • 1/2 organic onion, diced
  • 1/2 package organic frozen peas, or fresh if you have them
  • 1/2 organic turnip
  • 2 handfuls organic baby spinach
  • 1 teaspoon organic paprika
  • 1 teaspoon organic cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cooked rice (cook the rice with salt/pepper and paprika for extra flavor)

Dishes Used:

  • Pot and spoon (for the rice)
  • Pan and spatula
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Fork

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F and place parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  2. Drain and cut tofu into bite sized pieces.
  3. Place tofu into a mixing bowl and pour 2 Tablespoons of a high-heat oil over them. Then sprinkle salt, pepper and paprika over them. You can add more paprika, it makes it even better.
  4. Gently toss together until tofu is well coated.
  5. Arrange tofu on the baking sheet, and put it in for 15 minutes.
  6. While that is cooking, fire up a burner to medium heat and add some oil and the onions.
  7. Cook the onions for 2-3 minutes, then begin adding the veggies in order of longest-time-to-cook to shortest like so:
    turnip, beans, carrot, celery, zucchini, okra, peas, tomato, spinach
  8. Add salt, pepper, cumin and paprika. Then add some more paprika.
  9. Mix well and cook for another 5-10 minutes, until the turnips look nicely cooked.
  10. By now, the tofu will be ready, so take it out, flip the pieces over one by one using a fork, then place them back in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until they are golden brown.
  11. Serve the veggies over rice and place the tofu on top. Add a healthy squirt of organic Flax Seed Oil  if you have it.

That’s it!

Berry Parfait

BerryParfait

My husband had never had parfait.

So he never really understood the line in Shrek where Donkey says to Shrek,

You know what ELSE everybody likes? Parfaits! Have you ever met a person, you say, “Let’s get some parfait,” they say, “[Heck] no, I don’t like no parfait”? Parfaits are delicious!

On his birthday, I asked our daughter what we should make for Daddy for breakfast, and you know what she said? Parfait. This little darling remembered from a conversation a few days before that he had never had parfait, and she requested it for his birthday breakfast. It’s amazing how these little ones teach us to live from our hearts. :)

The crumb layer is actually adapted from a recipe by Will Sanderson in his cookbook The Tara Cookbook: Cooking with Love. It is a lovely cookbook, but I don’t think it is in print anymore. It has a wealth of great recipes that taste divine!

This particular parfait is red, white and blue, so it’s perfect for the 4th of July. Happy Independence Day!

 

Berry Parfait

Ingredients:

  • 6-7 organic strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cup organic blueberries
  • 2 1/2 cups organic almond yogurt (either berry or vanilla or plain)
  • 3 organic mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup organic nuts (almonds and cashews work well)
  • 1 organic date
  • 3 organic dried apricots
  • Dash organic cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon organic vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon organic soy sauce (or tamari)
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut cookies

Dishes Used:

  • Food processor
  • Cutting board and knife
  • Spoon

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, blend nuts, dates, apricots, oil, cinnamon, soy sauce and cookies until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Layer in a glass like so, making two or three layers:
    Berries
    Yogurt
    Crumb Mixture
  3. Serve with a sprig of mint on top! Eat it right away as the crumb mixture can get too moist if it sits too long with the yogurt.

That’s it!

Puffed Amaranth Cereal

puffedamaranthcereal

One thing I never thought I’d do was to make my own cereal.

I was reading online about how the superfood Amaranth is taking over GMO fields where they are using “Round-Up Ready” crops. That means they are spraying everything in toxic Round-Up (the main ingredient is glyphosate) and it kills everything, except the GMO crops which are “engineered” to withstand it.

Well, apparently no-one told the Amaranth, which is a superfood, that it was supposed to succumb to the extremely toxic sludge these farmers are dousing it with. It is surviving and thriving. From the article linked above:

“Mr. Anderson, the farmer, is wrestling with a particularly tenacious species of glyphosate-resistant pest called Palmer amaranth, or pigweed, whose resistant form began seriously infesting farms in western Tennessee only last year.

Pigweed can grow three inches a day and reach seven feet or more, choking out crops; it is so sturdy that it can damage harvesting equipment.”

 

It sounds like Mother Nature is telling us to love ourselves and the earth, not poison it. We give it poison, yet the earth gives us a superfood that is taking over the “engineered” crops.

Thank you, Mother Nature, thank you.

Here is some more resources on GMOs and Round-Up if you care to read more:
http://gmo-awareness.com/resources/glyphosate/

So Amaranth is a superfood. I read that you can pop it like popcorn, and I thought that sounded like fun experiment with my daughter. And it was! It was so fun in fact, that we went through most of the amaranth we had in the house, popping it. “Let’s pop more amaranth, Mommy!”

We have cereal and more cereal and now enough cereal for a couple of weeks at least! And it was super fun. Just make sure you cover the pan or you will be finding popped amaranth for a couple of weeks, ha ha! If you burn a batch or two, don’t worry, just keep trying and you’ll get the hang of it.

By the way, toddlers are really good at finding all those tiny little puffed amaranth grains that pop everywhere in case you aren’t fast enough with the lid.

 

Puffed Amaranth Cereal

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Organic amaranth grain
  • Fruit to garnish
  • Milk of choice (we use rice or almond)

Dishes Used:

  • Pot or pan and it’s lid
  • Bowl and spoon

Directions:

  1. Heat up a heavy bottomed pot or pan (I recommend a pot because it has higher sides) on medium heat until it is nice and toasty. You know it’s hot enough if you place a droplet of water in the pot and it quickly turns into steam.
  2. Pour in one Tablespoon of dry amaranth grains.
  3. They should start popping in less than 5 seconds. If they don’t, the pan is not hot enough, so quickly pour them out and try again in a few moments.
  4. Once they start popping, put the lid on quickly and gently move the pot back and forth to keep the grains moving, just like when you pop popcorn. It will take about 10-15 seconds to finish popping.
  5. When they are finished popping, pour them into a cereal bowl (or container of choice) and place the pot back on the stove.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 until you have enough. Once they are cooled, the puffed amaranth can be stored in an air tight container for a week or so in the refrigerator. Serve with milk and fruit like a regular cereal, or even add hemp or chia seeds for extra nutrition.

That’s it!

 

 

 

Quinoa Salad

quinoasalad

It is 80 degrees!

A warm, summer day, and it’s still June. What a wonderful gift for the Pacific Northwest! It was so warm in fact, that I couldn’t stand to cook for long in the heat. We needed something good, fast and simple for a late lunch.

Then I wondered, “I wonder what my other mom friends are cooking today?”

A great person to ask for good recipes is another mom. Mom’s just know how things work with children, husbands, and time efficiency, so they know what is healthy, yummy and fast. I actually learned this recipe from a darling friend of mine who also has a 2 year old. Her daughter and mine are great friends, and they play a lot together. I’ve learned so much from her and her wonderful cooking ideas!

You see, being a mom, I want to cook healthy meals and keep my family as happy and strong as possible. We haven’t been able to eat out, so fortunately we aren’t exposed to all the GMO and preservatives that are out there. There are so many problems with all the toxic herbicides and pesticides, the GMOs and the preservatives. Since the toxicity level has been rising steadily upwards since WW2, the rate of diseases has also been rising steadily. Autism, cancer, even just “brain fog” has been steadily increasing in the past 60 years.

So eating out has been off-limits not only for our allergy-free diet, but also because of the high toxicity levels in the food out there. I remembered what eating out was like… you order food, someone else makes it for you, you don’t have to do dishes, and you get to try something new!

Well, we finally did it. We heard about a place that is organic, gluten-free, soy-free and can cater to our no-garlic, no-corn, no GMO diet. If you live in the Seattle area, you are in luck! It’s called Hugo’s and it’s in Redmond. We just didn’t know where in Redmond it was located. We had just left the local craft store and we were hungry, so we tried to find it via our GPS. No luck. We decided to just go home and we could try it another day, but as we pulled out from the parking lot where we’d stopped to search the GPS, we saw it. Right there next to us.

Now that’s some good manifesting.

It was meant to be.

It was so good that my daughter ate ALL the flax crackers they served, and she even ordered more. She loved them so much that we made an order to go. She loved the server, Ben, so much that she gave him a huge hug and a flower. The food was so good, and organic. And allergy-free. We are all big fans.

And now we can finally eat out again! (and I am dancing for joy!)

But, home cooking is still best, and even though I love a night off from cooking (this was the first time in a YEAR we’d eaten out!) I do prefer for meals to be cooked by Daddy and Mommy. Or Momma as my daughter is suddenly and inexplicably calling me.

So enjoy the easiness and freshness of this lovely salad that is perfect on a warm summer day.

 

Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 large handfuls of baby spinach, washed (can substitute lettuce or other green leafy veggie)
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1 stalk of fennel, diced
  • 1 large handful of fresh plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 3 Tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 4 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • cracked pepper

Dishes Used:

  • Pot and spoon
  • Bowl and strainer
  • Cuisinart
  • Knife and cutting board

Directions:

  1. Soak quinoa in a good fruit and veggie rinse (I recommend Sunrider’s b/c it is non-toxic and works well) for 5 min and rinse. You can soak longer if you like. (You can cook the quinoa ahead of time, then this is a super quick recipe. Cold quinoa just out of the fridge or room temperature quinoa both work great for this recipe.)
  2. Heat up 2 cups water to boiling, then add rinsed quinoa and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Turn to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes. Add more water if necessary.
  4. Once it is finished, spoon it into a ceramic or glass bowl to cool completely.
  5. Place spinach in a Cuisinart and pulse until it is finely chopped.
  6. Add chopped spinach, and all the rest of the ingredients in with the cooled quinoa. Mix well and serve.

You can change up what veggies you put into the salad. Sometimes we add mint or diced raw apple or kohlrabi. Experiment with what you like and have fun!

That’s it!

Apple-Cinnamon “Oat-less-meal”

no-oatmeal

Gluten-free oats are hard to find, and when you do find them, and they are organic, they are usually pretty expensive. Even the organic whole oatmeal is heat-treated (since oats have a high fat content which causes the grain to go rancid during storage). I thought they were worth buying anyway until I read this book called “Cure Tooth Decay Naturally” where Ramiel Nagel points out that oats are actually very bad for teeth.

“The take-home message from these experiments is that oatmeal has a devastating effect on teeth, and that the maximum amount of bone growth and tooth remineralization in these studies occurred with grain-free diets.” p.66

“…oatmeal interferes more than any other grain studied with tooth mineralization.” p.66

Well, I guess that means no oats for us…

Since we still like oatmeal, I decided to create something that will take its place. It turns out that all of us loved it just as much as oatmeal! My daughter ate her portion and most of mine, and some of her Daddy’s. So then her Daddy made more again today, and she ate most of it as well! So it certainly passes the yummy test :)

You could also try this with Quinoa (not a grain), and it is very good, but less oatmeal-like. Rice is in the second tier of grains that are not good for teeth, so it may be worth switching it up once in awhile. We like the quinoa version too, and you make it the same way. Just pre-soak the quinoa before using to make it more digestible.

 

Apple-Cinnamon “Oat-less-meal”

Ingredients:

Rice

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

“Oat-less-meal”

  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup almond or rice milk
  • 2 Tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Sunrider’s Sunectar, coconut nectar, or your favorite sweetener, to taste

Dishes used:

  • Pot
  • Spoons & cup measure
  • Baking dish

Directions:

  1. Making the rice: Boil water in a pot, then add rice, salt, spices. Cook for 20-25 min or until rice is tender.
    The rice can be made ahead of time, then stored in the refrigerator. You will end up using about 2 cups of the cooked rice.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F. In a baking dish combine 2 cups cooked rice, apple pieces, cinnamon, ginger and water, and mix well.
  3. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the apples are soft. You will want to check it part way through to make sure it isn’t getting dry… if it is, just add a little more water and stir.
  4. Remove from oven and add almond milk, hemp seeds and sweetener. Mix well and put back in the oven for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Feel free to play with the amount of milk to make the “oatmeal” a consistency you like.

That’s it!

 

Stuffed Sweet Dumpling Squash

sweetdumpling

Silence.

What a wonderful way to enjoy a dinner. But with a two-year-old? Yes, this squash did it; she was silent for the majority of the meal.

I tried these out on a whim because I thought sweet dumpling squash sounded like fun when I saw them at PCC this weekend. I had no idea how to cook them, I just knew I wanted them stuffed with something delicious.

I looked in the fridge as the dumplings were cooking and found some leftover quinoa, then I added currants because my daughter loves them so much. There was some onion I’d already chopped earlier today that I wanted to use up, and I thought some celery would add a nice crunch. Mixed it all together and the effect I got was:

A silent dinner.

The kind of silence when there is the occasional sound of a fork on a plate, and the food is disappearing quickly and happily. I was totally surprised!

My mom used to tell me “Silence is golden” which I never really understood until I had a baby and there wasn’t much silence anymore, ha ha! I love the talking, the running commentary, the endless questions and stunningly wise statements that come from my Sweet Pea, but when the silence does come, it is, in fact, golden.

 

Stuffed Sweet Dumpling Squash

Ingredients:

  • 3 organic sweet dumpling squash
  • 1 cup cooked organic quinoa (you could substitute rice, amaranth or another grain here)
  • 1/2 cup chopped organic onion
  • 1/4 cup organic currants
  • 1 stalk organic celery
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon organic ginger powder
  • a dash of basil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Dishes used:

  • baking dish
  • knife and cutting board
  • spoon
  • pan and spatula

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. While the oven is preheating, soak the currants in a little water.
  2. Cut off the top of the squash, then carve out the middle. You can either save the seeds and roast them like pumpkin seeds (I’ve heard they are good, but have not tried it myself) or you can compost them.
  3. Place the squash cut side down in a lightly oiled baking dish and place into the 375F oven for 30 min.
  4. While the squash is cooking, heat up some oil in a pan and add in the chopped onion. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add the spices, currants (drain them first!) and the celery.
  5. Cook for another 5 min or so, then add in the quinoa and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Set aside. Now, go and play b/c you have awhile until the squash is ready!
  6. Once the squash has cooked for 30 min, take it out, flip it over and spoon in the quinoa filling. Then put it back in the oven for an additional 20 min.
  7. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.

We had our squash with a simple salad of baby spinach, fresh sugar snap peas from our garden and a little oil, salt and balsamic vinegar on top!

That’s it!

….And yes, Mormor, the silence was golden :)

 

Homemade Applesauce

applesauce

Mmmm, homemade applesauce…

I grew up on commercial applesauce. I had no idea what true applesauce really tasted like until a few years ago.  I remember I could get the plain or cinnamon varieties, but they really don’t taste much like real, pure, homemade applesauce, still warm from the pot.

And it is one of the easiest things to make, ever.

Aurelia loves this applesauce and will eat it with just about everything. She’ll eat the whole batch herself if I let her! Today I gave her a bowlful, and she put so much of it into her mouth that she had to hold her mouth closed with her fingers in order to chew without spilling.

I think she likes it. Now, time to work on manners…. ;)

We’ve found it’s great a side dish for breakfast, topping for crepes or pancakes, it goes well with latkes, and so many other things. It’s wonderful too because it feels so nourishing and comforting. We like it chunky, but you can also puree it so it is more traditional applesauce, and it is great to feed to babies who are starting on solids.

Applesauce

Ingredients:

  • 3 organic apples
  • 1 teaspoon organic cinnamon
  • 2-3 Tablespoons water

Dishes used:

  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Peeler
  • Pot
  • Spoon

Directions:

  1. Peel, core and chop apples into bite sized pieces. (You can use the peels in a smoothie)
  2. Place the pieces into a small pot and heat on medium heat.
  3. Sprinkle cinnamon on top (feel free to add more than listed above!) and mix well.
  4. Pour the water overtop and let come to a boil.
  5. Once it’s boiling, stir frequently for about 15-20 min or until apple pieces are soft.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

That’s it!

 

 

Blueberry Pie

blueberrypie

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free pie. Is it even worth it?

As a child, one of my favorite foods was pie. Really, I liked just about every kind of pie. Chicken pot pie, Quiche, Fruit pies… all of it. However, my all time favorite was cherry pie. I loved it so much I always chose cherry pie over birthday cake on my birthday. The sweet cherries in their warm, bubbly syrup wrapped in a flaky, buttery crust was so much more appealing to me than cake with icing that was so intensely sweet I couldn’t have more than a mouthful without wincing. And the smell of pie baking… mmmm….

On rainy weekend nights, my teenage friends and I would curl up to watch old movies like Casablanca, Breakfast At Tiffany’s, or Singing In The Rain with a warm, delicious pie nestled in our laps.

Then, after some health issues myself, and my daughter’s sensitivities, the main ingredients of pie: gluten, dairy and sugar, were removed from our diet. Goodbye pies.

But I love pie.

So, giving up pie just wasn’t an option.

After much trial and error, I finally made a great pie crust with no dairy and no gluten! It is an easy pie crust that I don’t even roll out. I do it two-year-old style. Think play-dough… The filling was super easy too, and takes hardly any effort.

My daughter loves to help with the pie. I give her some extra dough to play with while I make the crust, and she usually helps me make the lattice top. And when she sees the berries, she immediately says, “I want some berries, please!” So she’s pretty entertained while I make this.

We made an apple pie and a blueberry pie for my husband’s birthday last month and the praise from friends was outstanding! By the end of the night everyone asked for the recipe, and within a week or so other people were asking for the recipe too.

And this from people who CAN eat gluten, diary and sugar.

Now that’s good pie.

So here it is. The greatest pie recipe of all-time, for those of us who have ingredient-free diets, and are entertaining a two-year-old, ha ha!

NOTE: If you can eat diary, gluten and sugar, you can certainly substitute and add them in as needed. If you like sweeter pies, or if you normally eat standard American food, this pie may not be sweet enough for your taste. If that’s the case, just add in some of your favorite sweetener to sweeten it a bit. Once you go off sugar for good, you’ll find your tastes change and suddenly you can taste all the different flavors you were missing before, so you don’t even miss the sugar!

 

Blueberry Pie

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 2 cups Gluten-free flour (I use this mix)
  • 1 cup organic coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water

Filling:

  • Fresh or frozen blueberries, about 2-3 pints
  • 1 teaspoon organic cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon thickening agent (Kudzu root works, just dissolve it in 2 Tablespoons of water before sprinkling it in) (I use Sunrider’s NuPlus – Regular flavor)
  • A dash of salt

Dishes used:

  • Mixing bowl
  • Spatula
  • Pie plate

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in coconut oil until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. I like to use my hands here to mix it together. Stir in as much of the water as you need so dough comes together into a ball. (Sometimes I use the whole 1/2 cup, other times I use none at all. It will vary depending on the humidity, warmth, etc of your kitchen.) 
  3. Divide into 2 balls.
  4. Now take one ball and squish it between your palms like you did when you were a kid playing with play-dough. Then, place your flattened ball into the pie plate. Now using your hands, gently spread the dough out evenly to cover the surface of the pie plate. Then work the crust up the sides until it comes to the rim.
  5. Pour half of the blueberries into the pie crust. Sprinkle with half the cinnamon, half the thickener, and a dash of salt. Then pour the remaining blueberries on top and sprinkle with the remainder of the cinnamon and thickener. Make sure the cinnamon and thickener are evenly spread out. If they aren’t, GENLTY mix the blueberries around (without harming the crust).
  6. Now for the “lattice” top. I put it in quotes because any real pie maker would probably cringe at this method, but this is the “I’m doing this with my two year old at my side helping me” version. Take a handful of dough from the remaining ball and squish it out on a clean countertop. Spread it out using the heel of your hand and your palm until it’s about 1/4 of an inch thick. Using the spatula, sharp knife, pizza cutter, or scallop-edged pastry wheel, cut a strip of crust about 1 inch wide and as long as you have available. Lift it up with the spatula and place it on top of the pie. If it breaks, no problem, just take it over piece by piece and gently attach the ends together on the pie. I usually do 4 strips across, turn it 90 degrees, and do 4 more strips.
  7. Place pie in the oven for 45 min, or until the blueberries are bubbling and the crust is golden brown.

Now you will have pie in 45 minutes and you have only two dishes to do: the bowl and spatula. And cleaning the counter top. That’s it!

Relax and enjoy your pie :)