Quickie Coconut Milk

This labor day weekend has found me in the kitchen cooking up a storm and in the yoga studio getting my @$$ kicked while completing the pre-req hours for a yoga teacher training that I’m hoping to begin in January. ¬†So I’ve been sore and well-fed. ūüôā

I recently placed an order from Amazon for a Nut Milk Bag¬†and it arrived on Saturday!¬† This morning, after a brutal ZGYM workout, I made coconut milk from scratch and it came out amazing!! ¬†If you’re like me and have been shelling out too much money on Silk or So-Delicious coconut milk, filled with preservatives and often cane sugar, give this a try. ¬†With a Vitamix or high-powered blender it takes less than 10 minutes and is a perfect consistency.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Unsweetened Coconut Flake
  • 1.5 cups Warm Water (not hot, warm from the tap or filtered that’s warmed up is fine)
  • Optional: 1/4 tsp. Vanilla
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp. Honey, or sweetener of your choice

Directions:

  1. Add 1 cup of the warm water to the coconut flake and blend in a Vitamix or high-powered blender and blend on HIGH for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Over a pitcher or bowl pour the contents into a nut milk bag and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.  Note: the milk will be HOT after being blended that long, I squeezed with a towel over my hand.
  3. Add remaining pulp back into blender and add the last 1/2 cup of warn water.  Blend on HIGH another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Once again, pour the contents through the nut milk bag and squeeze the milk out into your pitcher or bowl.
  5. If you want to sweeten or flavor the milk, put the milk back into the blender, add the vanilla and honey (or whatever flavors and sweeteners you’d like) and blend on 8 for ~20-30 seconds. ¬†
  6. Yeilds ~3 cups.  Recipe can easily be doubled.

Just like with the almond milk, I was impressed by how easy this is and how great the results are. ¬†I also greatly appreciate the control I get over the final product. ¬†I like to use a slightly sweetened vanilla milk in my morning smoothies, but I’ve found it’s impossible to find a vanilla coconut milk at the grocery store that doesn’t either contain cane sugar (which I’m allergic to) or artificial sweeteners. ¬†Also, even when I purchase unsweetened coconut milk it has stabilizers and preservatives. ¬†This way I get the freshest product possible catered to my own tastes.

Now, what to do with the remaining coconut pulp? ūüėČ

 

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Recipe-A-Rama

Since coming back from the Lomilomi retreat, I’ve been trying to cook more vegetarian meals for dinner. ¬†My goal is eating vegetarian 3-4 times per week. ¬†This is challenging since I really enjoy getting a lot of protein and don’t enjoy the gassiness from most legumes but I’m giving it a go. ¬†Since I’m also dairy-free, most of my veg meals are vegan, though I do use ghee or eggs in some of my dishes. ¬†It is not my intent to become vegetarian or vegan, both due to how my system does well with meat and that I have access to local meats from small farms that I trust. ¬†BUT, the American diet has definitely become a meat-fest and I think I’ll both be healthier and will eat more sustainably for our planet if don’t eat meat in every meal and eat it in smaller portions when I do.

Last night I was particularly pleased with the concoction I made up. ¬†I bought some great organic veggies at Sweet Pea¬†in Waitsfield, VT, which included tomatillos, a veggie I’ve had in Mexican dishes but hadn’t really cooked with. ¬†I decided to see if they worked in a Coconut Curry, and holy crap I think tomatillos might be a perfect pairing for Indian food. ¬†I can’t wait to try them in my bhindi masala once my okra is ready to pick! ¬†This is an easy recipe with a lot of warmth and a good mix of tart and sweet.

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Tomatillo Coconut Curry

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil (or oil of your choice)
  • 2 Tbsp. flax seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. mustard seed
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5-7 sliced baby bella mushrooms (or 3 portobello mushrooms)
  • 6-7 tomatillos, sliced thin
  • 1 handful of snap peas
  • 3/4 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1.5 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 Tbsp. red curry powder
  • 1 tsp. tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • dash of cardamom powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: toasted coconut flake (throw some coconut flake under the broiler or in the toaster oven for just a few minutes, watch it, it burns fast!)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the flax and mustard seeds, once they are starting to pop add the chopped onion and cook for just a minute or two.
  3. Before the onions are translucent, add the mushrooms (this is if you like your mushrooms well done, like I do, otherwise wait until the onions are translucent).
  4. Cook mushrooms to desired doneness, then add tomatillos, garlic and all spices. ¬†Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until tomatillos have softened and there’s some juice in the pan.
  5. Add snap peas and broccoli, cook another 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
  6. Add coconut milk and stir well.  Bring to a boil over medium heat while stirring, then reduce heat to low.  Adjust spices as desired.  Simmer covered on low 5-7 minutes or until veggies have softened a bit but snap peas still have some crunch to them.
  7. Serve over rice or quinoa, optionally top with coconut flake.  Enjoy!

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This morning I finally tried making almond milk from scratch.  It was not only incredibly creamy and delicious, but it was also SUPER easy!

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cup raw almonds, soaked 8-12 hours and rinsed (optional: remove skins by pinching then after they’ve soaked*)
  • 6 cups filtered water
  • Optional: 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Optional: 1 Tbsp. honey (or sweetener of your choice, or 3-4 large dates)
  1. Toss all ingredients in a Vitamix or high-powered blender. ¬†Blend on high for two-minutes (if you’re not using a Vitamix you may need to blend longer and also may need to strain the final result for optimum creaminess). ¬†
  2. Enjoy!  

Now, wasn’t that easy? ¬†Why have I been buying pre-made almond milk with preservatives and cane sugar?! ¬†Well, now I know. ūüėČ ¬†I also have to brag and say that I’ve found many store-bought brands are watery and either too sweet or flavorless. ¬†This was a nice mild nuttiness, very rich and creamy, and for me it was just the right sweetness. ¬†

Next up, making my own coconut milk! ¬†Now that I know how easy it is, the sky’s the limit!

Pies and Pushups

It has have been a while since my last entry but I’m still going STRONG on workouts and sticking to my food allergy/healthy diet. ¬†I’m really enjoying seeing my muscle tone improve and I’ve been taking on new challenges. ¬†I’ve fallen in love with kettlebells and have also added some heavier free weights to my collection. ¬†My biggest struggle continues to be learning to do pullups. ¬†So far I can do ONE unassisted and that’s a good start.

To keep my workouts interesting I’ve been varying things a bit. ¬†I’m generally doing two Zuzka workouts per week (I’ve shelled out for her new ZGYM and in full honesty the first two workouts were worth more than the $10/mo price tag; they’re way harder than her free ZWOWs). ¬†I also do two workouts inspired by myomytv.com, which offers awesome free kettlebell and bodyweight workouts. ¬†I say “inspired” because while I sometimes outright do one of their routines, I’ve been experimenting with creating my own routines and so far I’m kicking my own ass. ūüôā ¬†I also do 1-2 pilates or yoga workouts per week. ¬†On top of that I’m still running 1.6 miles per day, happily on the Mad River Path with my pup. ¬†This has been a good mix for me and gets me moving at least an hour per day six times a week. ¬†I take a day off to rest.

I’m going to start posting my self-made workouts here. ¬†I’m not comfy recording videos yet, but I think I’d like to in the future. ¬†So here are my three most recent WOD’s. ¬†If you need a better description of the exercise just ask! ¬†I’d consider these intermediate->advanced. ¬†If you want to do them just listen to your body and adjust as needed. ¬†Beginners should use lighter weights, shorter reps and a longer resting period. ¬†If you’re more advanced use heavier weights, longer reps and a shorter resting period. ¬†In general I’m using a 25lb kettlebell (or two for doubles). ¬†My free-weights range from 5lb->20lb.

For an interval timer I’m using Seconds on my iPhone.

6/10/13 – Set interval timer to 3 rounds 45 sec activity, 15 sec rest
  1. Goblet Squat (20kg)
  2. Alternating KB Swing
  3. Alternating Curtsy Lunge (14kg)
  4. KB Single-Leg Deadlifts
  5. Skater Hops
  6. Renegade Row
  7. Chin-Up
6/11/13 РSet interval timer to 3 rounds 40 sec activity, 15 sec rest
  1. Glute Bridge Booty Pump
  2. Single-leg deadlift R
  3. Single-leg deadllift L
  4. Eccentric Focused Chin Ups
  5. Push Up Lean/Push Up/Push Back Combo
  6. Kneeling Ab Wheel Rollout
  7. Dumbbell Hammer Curl
  8. Dragon Flag
6/19/13 –¬†Set interval timer to 2 rounds 45 sec activity, 15 sec rest
  1. KB Reverse lunge
  2. Snatch R
  3. Snatch L
  4. Around-the-world KB swings
  5. Single-Leg Deadlift R
  6. Single-Leg Deadlift L
  7. Side-crunch R
  8. Side-crunch L
  9. Weighted sit-up
  10. Double KB Swings

And now for recipes! ¬†This past Saturday I hosted a large dinner party for my family. ¬†Along with accommodating my long list of food allergies, I also had to make the meal low-carb/sugar for my father who’s diabetic, low-salt for his wife who has high BP, dairy/gluten free for my sister-in-law (this is in line with my own diet too) and garlic-free for my brother. ¬†Even more importantly, I wanted it to be FREAKING DELICIOUS to help show that you don’t have to eat crappy-tasting food just because you have a dietary restriction. ¬†Also, since my family showered me with a ton of pie-making paraphernalia for Christmas, I made the meal Pie-themed.

Bring In The Pies!!

86aa7b8cd6c011e29c6622000a1f9e4a_7Paleo Shepard’s Pie (adapted from Elana’s Pantry¬†and The Functional Foodie)

Ingredients – Makes ~1 large deep dish pie

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 lb ground grass fed beef
  • 1/2 lb ground lamb
  • 1/4 lb ground pork (I used a mild chorizo sausage from my local butcher which gave it a nice kick)
  • 1/2 lb uncured bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced mushrooms of your choosing
  • 1/2 cup low sodium beef or chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup red wine (I used a merlot)
  • 2 tsp coconut aminos (can use Worcester Sauce if you prefer)
  • 2 tbsp chopped mixed herbs (I used basil, oregano, thyme and parsley from my garden)
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 large heads cauliflower, trimmed, chopped and steamed until very soft (I used one white and one yellow)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance or Virgin Coconut Oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375¬ļF.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan.  Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft.  Add shallots and cook for another few minutes.
  3. Add bacon and saut√© until cooked, ~10 minutes (note: the bacon will not crisp, that’s ok).
  4. Add the carrots, celery and mushrooms and saut√© until soft (it’s ok of the carrots stay a bit firm), ~10 mins.
  5. Add the meats, herbs, salt and pepper and sauté until browned.
  6. Add the stock, wine, coconut aminos and a paprika. ¬†Stir and cook down broth until it’s ~60% evaporated.
  7. Meanwhile, add the cauliflower, coconut milk, Earth Balance/VCO, and a pinch of salt and pepper to your food processor and blend until it’s the consistency of mashed potatoes; this will not take long. ¬†Taste-test and see if you need to add more salt and pepper.
  8. Pour the filling into a pie plate and top with the cauliflower mash.  Add a pinch of smoked paprika to the top for decoration if you like.
  9. Cook at¬†375¬ļF for 30 minutes, or until the inside is bubbly and the top is slightly firm. ¬†Let cool for ~10 mins before serving.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (Gluten and Dairy free, no sugar added to filling)

Ingredients

Crust (and trust me, it’s GOOD, the non-gluten free folks loved it!):

  • 1 cup Almond or Pecan flour (I was out of almond so I ground pecans in my Vitamix which worked out beautifully!)
  • 2 cups¬†Bob‚Äôs Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour¬†(my sister-in-law says next time I should try Bob’s Red Mill Shortbread Mix)
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Palm Sugar (you can use cane sugar if you’d like, I’m just allergic to it)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ¬Ĺ cup Virgin Coconut Oil (room temperature)
  • 5-8 tbsp Cool Water

Filling (adapted from here):

  • 2 1/2 cups chopped red rhubarb, fresh
  • 2 1/2 cups de-stemmed, washed and cut strawberries (in larger pieces)
  • 2 tbsp minute tapioca
  • 1 tablespoon¬†Bob‚Äôs Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance cut into small slices
  • 1 egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Directions

Crust:

  1. Mix the dry ingredients in a mixer.
  2. Add the coconut oil and beat until dough forms small balls.
  3. Add the water one tbsp at a time while mixing until the dough reaches the proper consistency (it should hold together well but not be sticky).
  4. Separate into two balls, wrap in plastic wrap or parchment and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Roll out dough and add bottom crust to a greased and floured pie plate.

Filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 425¬ļF.
  2. Mix the rhubarb, strawberries, tapioca, flour, zest and juice of lemon, dash of cinnamon, and vanilla.
  3. Mix well in a large bowl and pour out into bottom crust.
  4. Dot with butter.
  5. Roll out top crust and top the pie (if you want to do the lattice design I did use a pizza-cutter to cut strips of the rolled-dough and a long spatula to carefully lift the crust from the counter to the pie).
  6. Brush top of crust with beaten egg yolk.
  7. Wrap aluminum foil loosely around the outside edge of the crust to protect the crust from burning.
  8. Cook at¬†425¬ļF for 15 minutes, then drop the temperature to 375¬ļF and cook for another 40 minutes. ¬†The crust should be golden brown and the filling should be bubbling. ¬†I found the gluten free crust cooks faster than when using traditional flour so keep an eye on the pie so it doesn’t get over-cooked. ¬†Cool before serving.

I’d love to know if you try my recipes or workouts. ¬†Please pass along your feedback! ¬†Now it’s time for a run!

 

Day 75, 6750 Burpees, 49 Miles, and Chicken Pot Pie!

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been 75 days already! ¬†The burpees have basically just become a part of my life at this point, even though they still manage to leave me gasping for air but my endurance for them has greatly increased. ¬†My biggest focus these days is on food. ¬†I’ve been experimenting with more recipes and more flours and there’s one recipe I’m just dying to share with you!

Chicken Pot Pie Two Ways (Paleo *or* gluten/dairy/corn free)

Having these new food allergies along with a rigorous workout routine occasionally really burns me out and I get cravings for comfort food.  It would be easy to head to the local diner or grab some takeout from the pizza shop down the street, but there has to be ways for me to satisfy my cravings without going off my diet.  This recipe helps solve that problem.

The Paleo recipe is heavily based off of Fed & Fit’s Paleo Chicken Pot Pie. ¬†I really only added in some fresh herbs and garlic. ¬†It was great, but in full disclosure I found the almond crust to be a bit too heavy at times and it was also very crumbly, especially in the center of the pie (since I made a full pie, not individual pies). ¬†It did crisp nicely on top, but then fell apart when taking it out of the pan or eating it. ¬†The high compliment I will give is that both my boyfriend and I thought it tasted like chicken skin…seriously. ¬†It’s very rich. ¬†So the second time I made this I altered the crust recipe since I’m not personally on a Paleo diet. ¬†The crust I ended up making that time was awesome and would make a perfect fruit pie crust if you add sugar to it and nix the herbs. ¬†I’m really happy it was easy to alter. ¬†I’ll give you both recipes and definitely check out the Fed & Fit blog for some amazing pictures of the recipe.

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Note on ratios: The recipe ratio was originally made for 8 personal pies.  I ended up with enough pie filling for two full large pies, and enough crust for one.  This was great since I just froze the second pie filling and used it a couple weeks later.  If you only want enough filling for one pie cut the filling ingredients in half.

Ingredients

Paleo Crust:

  • 3 cups Almond Flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1.5 tsp Salt (I used Himalayan, the original recipe calls for Kosher)
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ¬Ĺ cup Virgin Coconut Oil (room temperature)
  • 1 tbsp Cool Water
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Basil, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Marjoram, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme, minced

Gluten Free Crust:

  • 1 cup Almond Four ¬†(I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour
  • 1.5 tsp Salt (I used Himalayan, the original recipe calls for Kosher)
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ¬Ĺ cup Virgin Coconut Oil (room temperature)
  • 3-5 tbsp Cool Water
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Basil, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Marjoram, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme, minced

Filling:

  • 3 Chicken Breast Halves Roasted and Cubed
  • 2 cups Sweet Onions Chopped
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 cups Frozen Green Peas
  • 2 cups Frozen Carrots
  • ¬ľ cup Canned Coconut Milk (full fat)
  • ¬ĺ cup Almond Flour ¬†(I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
  • 3 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Egg (for egg wash)
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Basil, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Marjoram, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme, minced

Directions

Chicken:

  1. Preheat oven to 350¬ļ F.
  2. Wash chicken breast and pat dry.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Drizzle and rub 1 Tbl oil on the chicken breast.
  5. Sprinkle with generous amount of  salt and cracked black pepper.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven when finished and let cool.
  8. Cut into about ¬Ĺ‚ÄĚ cubes when cool enough to handle.

Crust:

  1. In a food processor or mixer (I used my KitchenAid), mix the dry ingredients together (flours, salt, and baking powder).
  2. Add the coconut oil and slowly pulse or mix until it’s evenly mixed. It should have the consistence of peas.
  3. Slowly add the water and pulse until it forms a dough-like texture.  Note that in the GF version you have to use more water than in the Paleo version.
  4. Remove from food processor/mixer, roll into a ball and wrap in cling wrap.
  5. Put the dough into the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  6. Dust a pastry board (or cutting board) with almond meal. ¬†Or if you’re like me dust your (cleaned) countertop. ¬†I also recently received these as a gift and can vouch that they did an AWESOME job with the dough in this recipe, getting rid of having flour all over the kichen.
  7. Roll out pie crust.  Keep dusting the top and bottom of dough and the rolling pin with dry almond meal so that it doesn’t stick.

Filling:

  1. Heat the oil in the bottom of a large pot.
  2. Add the yellow onions and cook on medium/high until they’re translucent.  Add the garlic and cook both until slightly brown.
  3. Slowly add the almond meal and reduce the heat.
  4. Slowly add the chicken stock and stir.
  5. Add the coconut milk, 1 tsp salt, and black pepper.
  6. Add the peas, carrots, and chicken.
  7. Carefully pour into pie plate.
  8. Place the crust on top of the filling.
  9. Scramble one egg and paint the crust of each pie generously.
  10. Sprinkle with salt and cut 3-4 slits in the top.
  11. I recommend setting the pie plate on a cookie sheet and putting it in the oven like that to catch any drippings.
  12. Bake at 375¬ļF for one hour, or until inside is bubbly and crust is browned.
  13. Let cool 10-15 minutes before eating.

While this isn’t a fast recipe to make, taking about 1-1.5 hours of prep and another hour to cook, it is really worthwhile and since you can freeze the extra filling it made a very quick meal the second time I made it. ¬†You can even do what the original recipe called for and make individual pies. ¬†In that case I would freeze filling in individual freezer bags and thaw one on the day you want to make it. ¬†I do think making the crust same-day is worthwhile and it really is an easy crust recipe. ¬†I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!!

Day 55, 4950 Burpees, 31 Miles, PIZZA TIME!!

Wow, I’m already 10 days past the half-way point of my 90 day challenge! ¬†That is awesome!! ¬†I’m definitely feeling stronger and am seeing more definition in my muscles. ¬†I have a lot more energy. ¬†I can also admit that even though burpees still shoot my heart rate way up and cause me to lose my breath, I can do them faster and I’m recovering quicker between sets. ¬†It definitely helps that I’m doing the ZCUT workouts on top of burpees and running because Zuzka really pushes me both in cardio and strength. ¬†I basically¬†had to learn to recover quickly or I couldn’t make it through her workouts.

Today’s entry is primarily about FOOD. ¬†I’m continuing to find new recipes, along with surprising myself with safe finds from the grocery store. ¬†I’ve even managed to go out to eat a couple times and haven’t had a problem finding foods I can eat (as long as I go to a decent place). ¬†For example, the other night I had a tuna steak with sides of kale and broccoli, no dairy, gluten or any of the other allergens I’m avoiding. ¬†I’ve also done well ordering spinach salads with salmon or grilled chicken and sushi has been pretty safe as long as I’m careful (speaking of which, if you like sushi check out Food Babe’s article on Sushi Secrets). ¬†I just have to ask a few more questions before ordering but most places can accommodate my diet with only minimal substitutions.

The one junk food I¬†really love is pizza. ¬†I’ve struggled to make a really delicious gluten free, dairy free pizza. ¬†Well, I think I finally found a winner and I’m excited to share it with you! ¬†First, I have to talk about Socca (or¬†Farinata). ¬†An old friend recently posted a recipe for this grain-free chickpea unleavened bread. ¬†I tried it that night and found it was an AWESOME side-dish to my dinner:

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Gluten/Corn free breaded chicken, steamed baby spinach and socca

 

I did have to tweak the recipe because that day my local grocer was out of garbanzo bean flour. ¬†So the picture above is NOT grain free. ¬†Here’s what I did instead:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour¬†(top ingredient is chickpea flour)
  • 1 teaspoon salt¬†
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper¬†
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil¬†
  • ¬Ĺ large onion, minced
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh marjoram, minced
  • 1 cup lukewarm filtered water

The directions are identical to the original recipe, but I’ll post them here for convenience:

1. Heat oven to 450¬ļF. Put a well-seasoned or nonstick 12-inch pizza pan or cast-iron skillet in oven. Sift flour into a bowl; add salt and pepper; then slowly add 1 cup lukewarm water, whisking to eliminate lumps. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cover, and let sit while oven heats, or as long as 12 hours (I tried leaving it both 30 mins and 6 hours, negligible difference). Batter should be about the consistency of heavy cream.

2. Stir all herbs, onion and garlic into batter. Pour 2 tablespoons oil into heated pan, and swirl to cover pan evenly. Pour in batter, and bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until pancake is firm and edges set. Heat broiler, and brush top of socca with 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil if it looks dry.

3. Set socca a few inches away from broiler for a few minutes, just long enough to brown it spottily. Cut it into wedges, and serve hot, or at least warm.

It was SO FREAKING GOOD that a few days later I found actual garbanzo bean flour and, following the same recipe above I used it to make this gluten free, dairy free, grain free (Paleo friendly) pizza:

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Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free, Paleo-friendly pizza!

This was amazing. ¬†The one thing I’ll say is that using the garbanzo bean flour, while healthier,¬†it definitely tasted more like falafel and less like pizza crust. ¬†Next time I may switch back to the Gluten Free Flour since I’m not outright avoiding grains (just gluten, corn and oats). ¬†However, BOTH bread recipes held up beautifully and the chickpea flour had no trouble holding the heaping pile of toppings I piled on it.

Speaking of toppings, here’s what I used:

  • Sugar-free pasta sauce (I need to learn to make my own pizza sauce)
  • 1.5 cups baby spinach
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Crumbled local bacon
  • Small amounts of Daiya mozzarella and pepperjack*

*A note on using Daiya “cheeses”, be very careful not to use too much. ¬†It’s a great cheese substitute because it melts well and gives a cheesy flavor, BUT if you use the same amount of Daiya that you’d use with traditional cheese you might find that it melts together and has the consistency and taste of mayonnaise. ¬†I find the mozzarella particularly has this issue, and as a result it’s not my favorite Daiya cheese.

So go wild and have some healthy pizza! ¬†I’d love to hear your variations on this recipe and other ideas!

33 Days, 2970 Burpees, 13 Miles and a delicious new smoothie!

On top of my normal workouts I headed out to hike Elmore mountain today with my man and my trusty pup. ¬†While the grey days of winter really seem to stretch on far too long, today was one of those special Vermont days when the weather was fair and the mountain tops were covered in a fresh dusting of snow. ¬†It really was a beautiful hike and it’s a shame I didn’t think to snap a picture.

Afterwards we were starving! ¬†Neither of us had really eaten enough to support the level of exercise we did today, which is always dangerous. ¬†We headed to the grocery store and it was a real fight for both of us to not leave with a cart full of frozen pizzas and pastries. ¬†We made it out with the veggies and eggs we went in for and quickly ran home to make what has become the most amazing smoothie I’ve ever had! ¬†Chocolate lovers, this baby is for you!

In searching for new green smoothie recipes I came across this great post featuring 4 recipes under 400 calories.  I added protein powder to it and it was seriously incredible!

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Chocolate Covered Raspberry Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (original recipe uses almond milk)
  • 2 cups organic spinach
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries (original recipe uses fresh and adds 1-3 ice cubes)
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds (original recipe calls for ground, I like using whole seeds)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 scoop of Fat Flush Body Protein

If you love chocolate and raspberries this is for you! ¬†I also just got a jar of the Fat Flush Body Protein, which I’ve reviewed previously. ¬†Now that I’ve been using several different protein powders I can make a better comparison. ¬†It’s texture is closer to Plant Fusion powder I reviewed, in that it’s a very fine light powder. ¬†It dissolves pretty well with minimal grit. ¬†It does contain stevia which is a con for me, the stevia aftertaste annoys me. ¬†While the powder itself has that sweet smell, the flavor in the smoothies hasn’t bothered me like it has with other powders. ¬†I’d be happier if it didn’t have stevia but it meets all of my other protein powder requirements¬†so I’m actually going to raise the rating on this from a B+ to an A-. ¬†I’ll definitely finish the jug.

1080 Burpees in 12 Days, Green is GOOD

1080 burpees down, more than I care to count to go! ¬†I’m hurting but not enough to complain about it here just yet. ¬†This is a quickie entry to share my latest Vitamix creation:

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Vegan Spinach “Cheese” dip. ¬†I swear, that might not look delicious but it TASTES delicious. ¬†Since I’m new to the world of Vitamix vegan cheeses I didn’t alter the recipe at all so you can find it in all it’s glory right over here. ¬†Next time I’d definitely blend it less so it’s chunkier and not quite all-over-green. ¬†I will say that neither my boyfriend nor I are vegan but we both thoroughly enjoyed this accompanied by lentil crackers, carrots, celery and snap peas. ¬†I’m also a huge fan with how much of this recipe is raw.

I also made a raw cashew “cheese” dip directly from the Vitamix Create recipe book but I have to say I wasn’t impressed. ¬†So unimpressed that I’m not even bothering to write about it here. ¬†My boyfriend liked it, I thought it was…funky. ¬†Like, ear funk funky. ¬†So tell me, blogosphere, what raw nut cheese recipes do you love? ¬†I’m on a quest!