Posted on Leave a comment

Grain Free Cinnamon Roll

Delicious Grain Free Cinnamon Rolls!

As I mentioned in the review on the Real Bread Mix from California Country Organics, we were going to be trying their grain free cinnamon roll mix for my wife’s birthday. We did, and they are quite delicious! We even took them one step further and made them into orange rolls instead of just plain cinnamon rolls since this is a family tradition on her side for birthdays.

As with the other Real Bread mixes – is this a perfect substitute for a cinnamon roll? No, but its pretty darn good, and is one of the best grain free cinnamon roll I’ve ever had.

Much like the other mix, the taste is quite good. Due to the other flavors and sweetness from the cinnamon, orange, and sugar involved I could not taste any of the coconut flour.

The texture is a bit different than regular bread, as mentioned before, but is still quite enjoyable. I think it’s a bit more noticeable in these than in a loaf of bread, but wife says these are great.

She was quite happy with these for her birthday in spite of their small draw backs, and they satisfied our cravings for cinnamon rolls. Once again, I high recommend you check out the Real Bread mixes for yourself! We will definitely be buying more from them.

Real Bread Mix Cinnamon Rolls:

Ingredients:

1 Real Bread Cinnamon Roll Mix

1 cup of eggs whites

1 cup of water

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

½ cup butter softened (I ended up using 1/3 cupish)

1/3 cup Cinnamon

1/3 Cup sweetener of choice (we used coconut sugar)

Optional: Zest of 1 orange if you want to do Orange Rolls

Instructions

  1. Follow the instructions on the mix to make the dough
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Roll it out to a roughly 12×8 rectangle, ½ inch thick on a piece of parchment paper. You can sandwich the dough between each side of the paper to help keep your rolling pin clean.
  4. Spread with softened butter
  5. Sprinkle your cinnamon and sweetener evenly over the surface of your dough, leave about a half inch plain on one side of the 12 inch side of the dough. This allows a better seal when you roll it up and keeps filling from squishing out as much.
  6. Optional: Spread your orange zest around at this point if using
  7. Starting with the long side that has the filling all the way to the edge tightly roll the dough up. Focus on trying to keep the roll as tight as possible.
  8. Cut your roll into 12-14 sections depending on your desired size of cinnamon roll.
  9. Spray or butter your pan and place the cinnamon rolls in it, cut side down. The mix calls for a 9×13 pan, which I used but there was lots of space left. I think I would use an 8×8 next time.
  10. Bake for approx. 30 minutes or until golden brown and delicious. They will rise in about the last 10 minutes of baking.
  11. Let cool, ice with the glaze of your preference, and enjoy!

Notes and Tips:

  • This size results in a fairly “bready” cinnamon roll. If you prefer it thinner just roll it out into a larger rectangle. You might need to adjust your filling measurements at that point.
  • If you want to add additional flavor feel free to add more zest to the filling or into the dough. You can also use some orange oil (or even orange extract) if you have good quality essential oils on hand.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

6 oz of cream cheese

¼ cup of butter

6 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

Zest of 1 orange

6-10 Drops Orange or Tangerine Essential Oil

3 Tablespoons Coconut Sugar

2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup

  1. Cream your butter, cream cheese and coconut sugar together until smooth in either a stand mixer or with a hand mixer.
  2. With your mixer on low, slowly add in your maple syrup and then the orange juice until fully combined.
  3. Add your zest and citrus oil and combine.
  4. Taste and adjust sweetener level, and citrus components to your taste.
  5. Spread on either hot or cooled cinnamon rolls as your prefer. Or eat it with a spoon…

Notes:

  • This results in a fairly thin frosting, which is Katie’s preference. Somewhere between a glaze and a frosting. If you want it thicker, then reduce your liquid.
  • You can easily omit the citrus elements and make a more traditional cream cheese frosting.
Posted on Leave a comment

Crispy Gluten Free Waffles (also paleo!)

Crispy Gluten Free Waffles!

Waffles or pancakes? I feel like there is quite the divide between people on that question. That is, of course, not even talking about Belgian vs regular waffles, thin and crispy vs fluffy pancakes. Certainly the debates can go on and on. For me, it very much depends on the mood I am in as I love them both. Obviously, in our household, they always have to be gluten free waffles or pancakes, too.

Our oldest daughter requested waffles for her birthday breakfast, and with the current state of food allergies in our home, we had to go digging for a new recipe. My wife found this one and it is quite good! They are light and crispy, but also paleo, though they are not low carb due to the tapioca starch. Their only downside, I would say, is if you are making a lot and holding them in the oven they might start to soften just a bit. They are still quite good, but they don’t hold super crisp, so you might want to work in batches. They are really delicious though, and I highly recommend you try these gluten free waffles! We did use a regular waffle iron and not a Belgian waffle maker. If you make these in a belgian waffle maker, let us know how they come out!

Ingredients:

1 Cup Blanched Almond Flour

1 Cup Tapioca Flour

2 T coconut flour

2 t baking powder

¼ salt

2 eggs

¼ cup melted coconut oil (or melted butter)

1 t apple cider vinegar

1 cup almond milk (or any milk of your choice)

½ vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer’s instructions
  2. Place all dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until all lumps have been removed
  3. Add liquid ingredients and whisk for 2 minutes or until batter has thickened. Batter will be similar to a thin pancake batter
  4. Spray or wipe on a thin layer of oil onto waffle iron (I only did this the first time, possibly even unnecessary)
  5. Cook waffles according to your waffles irons instructions (I used about a 1/3 cup for our iron)
  6. Enjoy with lots of good butter and excellent maple syrup!

This recipe is originally from Nurture My Gut.

 

These are a great quick, easy, delicious waffle that the whole family can enjoy and the kids can help make! They have really good texture that compares well with “normal” waffles! Use these waffles to make your day a tasty day and let us know if you like them 🙂

Chris

Posted on 1 Comment

Eat Gluten Free in Houston: Season’s Harvest Cafe

Are you looking for a restaurant that serves the freshest possible ingredients and also has great gluten free options? I think I have found your place! We had heard about Season’s Harvest Cafe in Cypress, TX several times from friends and have wanted to try it, so we decided to go celebrate our anniversary there.

They are a farm to table restaurant, and they get a significant amount of their food from local vendors in the area. What they cannot find local, they strive to at least get organic. Their menu does rotate, though I am not sure exactly when it changes. They work to make their dishes available to different eating styles as much as possible. If you eat Raw, they have that, Vegan is covered, and gluten free they can do. Their menu is full of whole foods, so it is easy to adapt any item to your diet and they are familiar with all the different allergies/diets and can work easily with you!

That is always the beauty of focusing on fresh ingredients, prepared from scratch. Things become super straight forward when you focus on basic ingredients, and it can be extremely flexible to work with different diets. Here is the one caveat: They are not a gluten free kitchen. So while they use primarily fresh ingredients, and there probably is not a ton of flour floating around, there is a risk of cross contact happening. I would characterize this as more gluten friendly than totally gluten free, but they are way beyond many other gluten friendly restaurants. They bring in all of their breads and desserts, so they don’t have flour all over the kitchen from any of their cooking.

The Environment

First off, I totally wasn’t thinking about this from a blog post perspective. I did not take anywhere enough pictures, so we will have to make do, sorry!

Season’s Harvest Cafe is set on 2-3 acres of land in North Cypress. It is in a rustic, “cabin” setting. Lots of exposed wood, log façade etc, it has a great farm feel to it which both my wife and I enjoyed immensely. It is a very peaceful environment with very little road noise.

They do have some gardens and a chicken coop, though I am unsure how much food they try to get off their own property. We sat outside for our first cool front of the year and it was quite pleasant. There’s trees, lots of birds and other small wildlife, and a little pond next to the deck we were eating on. They also bring in live music once a month which would be great fun to go for!

The Food

The main dishes were excellent! They do keep their menu small, but each item is made carefully and well. They had 6 options to choose from. Chicken salad as a sandwich or a salad, a fall garden vegetable soup (fantastic), a quinoa bowl, a humus dish (so good), a fall harvest salad (yummy!) and a raw marinated veggie plate. You can probably tell which ones we tried haha.

Katie got the jalapeno humus with a side of chicken and their vegetable soup. It came with gluten free lavash, local feta (most amazing cheese!!), soup, homemade glazed walnuts, and some fruits and veggies. I do NOT like humus, period. I don’t like the flavor, and I really despise the texture. This stuff was good, though. I would totally eat their humus any time! It was a very pleasant level of spiciness as well. Katie does not really like chili heat and said she would still not choose to have it in there but it was enjoyable and not overwhelmingly hot.

The Harvest Salad was excellent, also. It came with cranberry goat cheese, local veggies, glazed walnuts, and I added on a delicious chicken breast to it. While it was a fairly typical fall harvest salad, it was all quite tasty and satisfying other than the dressing. The dressing was fine but not amazing.

Let Them Eat Cake

Or maybe not… So here is their one downfall, though it’s fairly minor. They had 3 different gluten free desserts available. All their desserts are produced by a local bakery and brought in. Since it was our anniversary anyway, and we have to make sacrifices for all of you good people, we went ahead and tried all 3. They have a carrot cake, an espresso chocolate cookie and an almond butter bar.

They serve them warmed, if you like. We went that route and they got a bit too warm and got crunchy on the outside. They were all fairly “meh”. The cookie was probably the best, but it did not really have any espresso flavor. Both the almond butter bar and the carrot cake were fairly plain, and all the flavors ran together. I at least have to say none of their desserts were dry or crumbly. If you have been eating GF very long you know that’s a big risk you take with many gluten free baked products. Theirs were moist, but just not great.

I would not spend my money again on their desserts; I would rather go without or make something at home afterwards. Something like our brownies would be great… Had to throw in the shameless plug sorry. Frankly, this is why we have spent so long working on our recipes. We want them to be amazing, not just ok.

The Verdict

Other than the desserts, their food is quite delicious, and I highly recommend Season’s Harvest Cafe. Their menu can be easily made to work with almost any diet, and I feel like the whole family can be happy with whatever they get. They also serve breakfast, and I am excited to go back and try it out. Here is also an important part. Their silverware is not giant, it’s properly sized for a normal human. I find this to be a very important to enjoying our meal! What is up with the giant, heavy, clunky silverware that’s in style right now ?! Anyway. More on that rant later, but go check out this restaurant and make your mouths and bodies happy at the same time!

Let us know in the comments, have you ever been to Season’s Harvest Cafe and what did you think? Is there somewhere else you would like us to try?

Make it a tasty day,

Chris

Posted on Leave a comment

Quail Jalapeno Poppers!

Quail Jalapeno Poppers

Jalapeno poppers – they are always a favorite dish at any event or even at home! A bit of spice, crunchy salty bacon, and smooth creamy slightly sweet cream cheese are fantastic every time. How could we make these better though? Well, wrap them in meat and turn them into all of dinner, that’s how! Quail Jalapeno Poppers!

We recently did a bit of bartering and got our hands on some quail from a local guy who raises them. We have seen others do this, and we have recently been talking about making jalapeno poppers, so we decided to make some amazing deliciousness!

You can either stuff the breast cavity or you can do these boneless. I removed the breast meat and wrapped it in order to avoid messing with bones. We also had some Anaheim chilies ready to harvest, so I used one of those instead of jalapenos. You could easily use chicken breast (cut into slices) if you don’t have quail available.

Quail Jalapeno Poppers:
Yields: 6 Stuffed Quail

  • 6 Quail breasts, deboned
  • 1 Large Anaheim or Jalapeno Chili
  • 3 OZ Cream Cheese
  • 3 Thick cut slices of bacon, cut in half
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 6 Tooth Picks
  1. Remove the breast meat from the quail (I just pulled it off by hand) and salt and pepper both sides
  2. Deseed and core your chili pepper, slice into ¼ inch wide strips. Adjust the length as necessary for your meat.
  3. Cut off approx. 1 Tablespoon size pieces of cream cheese in strips and set to the side.
  4. Lay out your quail breast flat on your work surface. Lay 1 strip of chili and 1 piece of cream cheese in the center. Carefully wrap the quail around the filling.
  5. Wrap a half piece of bacon around the quail and have the ends meet up where the meat comes together. Use a tooth pick to hold everything together.
  6. Cook on a sheet pan in the oven at 350F for 15-25 minutes or until the bacon is crisp and the temperature of the meat comes to 165F. You can also easily cook these on the grill. I grilled them over medium high heat. Just be careful turning them to not let the cream cheese fall out.
Everything Laid Out
Ready to go!

 

Just don’t burn them! I did…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a kid friendly variation, leave out the chili pepper so even your littlest ones can enjoy a creamy crunchy high protein meal.

For a dairy free variation, try stuffing with avocado slices instead of the cream cheese.

Don’t waste those quail legs! Toss them in some buffalo sauce and cook them alongside the quail poppers – just beware – they will cook in about 2-3 minutes, so watch them closely!

The raw quail bones that are leftover from your meal prep will make the perfect snake for your doggo. You can also toss them in a pot of water with some salt and pepper for a quick cup of broth to sip after dinner. Never waste anything!

These quail poppers will make any day a tasty day! Let us know how they turn out for you!

Chris

Posted on Leave a comment

Crepini: The Best Low Carb Tortilla

The best low carb tortilla!

I have an unending love of tacos. Tacos could truly be my entire diet 🙂 The problem is that if you are ever not eating tortillas, making tacos is not really an option. If you are trying to eat grain free and/or low carb, there are not many options, and most of what does exist is terrible. But, good news! I have found the best low carb tortilla! It is called the Crepini, and we got them at Costco last week.

Ok sure, technically it is a crepe, but regardless, it is a flat, flexible piece of “bread” that we can fill with things and eat! It is flexible, holds up to fillings without getting soggy or cracking, and has a nice fairly neutral flavor without any grains or carbs.

The Competition

If you are looking for gluten free choices, corn tortillas are the obvious choice. They are delicious, cheap, and readily available. The problem is if you are looking for something that doesn’t have a ton of extra junk added, your only option is finding a sprouted corn tortilla, and those are expensive and rather hard to find.

The other gluten free options are, as a general rule, not even worth looking at. If you need to avoid corn, or want to avoid all the additives, you are in a bit of a bind.  If you are eating keto or low carb, you are in much the same boat. There are a few things out there, but, frankly, a lettuce leaf will serve you better than anything else I’ve found.

The Solution

I’m eating keto for a little while, and my wife has always made me breakfast tacos on Saturday morning as I get ready for the farmers market. My wife was at Costco, saw the Crepini, and decided to give them a try (since corn tortillas don’t exactly pair well with a keto diet).

These things are great! They really are the best low carb tortilla! Heck, they hold together better than most tortillas in general! Egg and cauliflower are the only ingredients. They are zero net carb, and each one has a gram of protein.

I crisped these tortillas in a pan, and they remained flexible and strong. They are about the size of a normal corn tortilla, so they hold about the same amount, and I have not had one tear on me yet. The flavor is ever so slightly egg-y, but mostly neutral. No weird flavors like a lot of alternative tortillas.

If you are looking for a low carb tortilla, I highly recommend the Crepini. It is flexible, holds together beautifully, the flavor is nice, and it is fairly reasonably priced. You can purchase these at Sprouts, Costco, Walmart, and several other regional grocers.

Have you tried crepini before? If so, let us know how you have used them!

Make it a tasty day,

Chris

Posted on Leave a comment

Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookie

You know when you get a craving for a chocolate chip cookie? Not a “healthy” cookie, but that one that you grew up eating? Well it happens to us quite a bit! I grew up eating the iconic Toll House chocolate chip cookie – that recipe right off the bag of the semi-sweet chocolate chips – full of brown sugar, butter, and lots of gooey chocolateyness. Well I have good news! Did you know there is a completely equal version that is grain free?! Danielle Walker, the mastermind of Against All Grain, has this grain free chocolate chip  cookie recipe on her blog, and if you haven’t found it yet, it is high time you tried it in all its magnificence!

These grain free chocolate chip cookies are great to make with kids, as the recipe is completely simple enough that even a toddler can make it with a little parental guidance!

Ingredients 

Almond Flour – we always use Costco. They have become the go-to for finely ground almond flour that best substitutes for white flour in recipes where you don’t want to feel like you’re eating ground up almonds. We use this in our blondies, and we recommend it for just about every almond flour application. Did you know that you can order Kirkland products on Amazon? I didn’t until recently, but what a great discovery!

Chocolate Chips – we use Guittard for the entire 1/2 cup of chocolate that this recipe calls for. You can use Enjoy Life, which is a great brand that doesn’t have any allergens/additives/etc, also, or whatever else your favorite brand may be. We like the dark decadent flavor of the higher quality dark chocolate Guittard chips, and we feel ever-so-slightly healthier because we’re using a darker chocolate (and we all know that dark chocolate is basically a vegetable, right?!).

Salt – as always, we recommend Real Salt. It has all the good trace minerals left in it, it tastes great, and it even looks beautiful on the table! Plus, if you use lots of good salt, you can order in bulk in these perfect little 10lb buckets with sealing lids that are the most useful size EVER!!!! Especially if you have little kiddos trying to help move animal feed, water, minerals, dirt, etc around the homestead! Or even if you just need resealable storage for dry goods, craft supplies, or anything else your heart desires 😉

Process 

I won’t try to pretend that I can write a better grain free cookie recipe blog than Danielle Walker, so head on over to her page right now and make yourself some delicious, amazing, take-you-back-to-your-childhood chocolate chip cookies!

Danielle Walker’s “Real Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies”

One more little tidbit – don’t miss that you can make this dough, roll it into balls, and freeze it for those cold winter nights coming up where you just need one gooey hot chocolate chip cookie to eat on the couch with your tea or coffee.

We’d love to hear about your childhood memories with chocolate chip cookies, or any other cookie for that matter! Share your story below!

The Wife 😉

Posted on 1 Comment

Grain Free Breakfast – Pineapple Upside Down Cake

A Grain Free Breakfast Recipe For Your Weekend

It’s Friday! I don’t know about you folks but for me that means I still have more work tomorrow. It’s fun work, though! I get to go to the Farmer’s Market and spread the joy of brownies! Today we have a tasty recipe that you can make for breakfast tomorrow.  Grain Free Coconut flour pineapple upside down cake! This recipe makes a wonderful, healthy, make-ahead grain free breakfast and it comes from Wellness Mama, the original article can be found here.

Pineapple upside down cake seems like a recipe from the past. People do still make pineapple upside down cake, but it feels like a recipe from another era. Arranging the pineapple on the bottom of the pan and flipping does take a bit more work but it is visually appealing and fun for kids! Get your kids involved in making this recipe, our girls had a great time even at 3 & 4 years old.

egg breakfasts, protein breakfast, paleo breakfast, grain free, gluten free, kid friendly, whole 30
did you know a 2 year old can actually crack eggs?!

 

If you have never used parchment paper before I HIGHLY recommend it. Parchment paper is not the perfect answer for everything, but it makes baking 85% of recipes much easier. We use it for our brownies for the same reason that it is used here for the cake – makes clean up and flipping it over a breeze!

family friendly, kid friendly,
cook with your kids!

 

*Special Brownie Tip*

If you want to decorate your brownies, cook them with parchment paper lining the pan. Let cool in the pan, then flip the pan over onto a cutting board and pull the parchment paper off. The surface you see (the bottom of the brownies) will be perfectly smooth and ever so slightly sticky for decorating with powdered sugar, decorator’s gel, melted chocolate, sprinkles, etc!

 

Now back to pineapple upside down cake and grain free breakfasts.

Cherries

You could use frozen or dried cherries if you don’t have fresh on hand. Defrost the frozen cherries first, and then pat them dry with a paper towel. Defrosting them first will allow the majority of the liquid to go elsewhere and not throw off the texture off the cake. You can do this with any recipe calling for fruit if you need to use frozen fruit.

fresh cherries
pitting those cherries! use a cherry pitter, not a toddler….

Pineapple

For the pineapple we did not use rings. We do not have and I refuse to buy a pineapple corer, haha. No kitchen uni-taskers! We took a fresh pineapple, peeled it, cut vertically into 4 sections, cut the core out, and sliced the sections into thin slices. I would recommend a ¼ inch slice. Obviously that is up to you. Canned pineapple would be a great option as well here.

fresh fruit, whole foods, grain free, paleo
fresh fruit always wins!

Coconut Flour

Last quick tip before we move on. How to measure wheat flour is quite the argument, with everyone having learned a different way from their grandmother. Do you scoop, or pack, or fill and sweep.  For coconut flour especially, I highly recommend the fill and sweep method. Coconut flour soaks up SO MUCH water that if you add too much it will throw off your recipe. Take your measuring cup and, using another spoon or scoop fill your measure cup from the container. When the measuring cup is heaping full, use the back of the knife to scrape it off flat. You do not want to pack it in, just loosely pour it into the measuring cup. A little coconut flour and a lot of eggs can make lovely grain free breakfast options as they yield a fairly nice, spongy, tasty texture for some variety from plain eggs!

Grain Free Breakfast Substitutes

I do want to let you know, before you jump in, that if you are expecting a grain free perfect replacement of pineapple upside down cake, this is not it. This recipe is delicious and highly enjoyable. We will be making it again. This recipe is also fairly eggy, and is more of a clafouti style, custardy coconut flour texture. I think you’ll love it, but I do want to make sure people understand what it is first. It makes a better breakfast alternative than dessert alternative.

It is great that this has so many eggs, though! It’s crammed with protein and is filling. That makes it great for an all in one grain free breakfast. If you know you are short for time the next day, bake it the night before, put it in the fridge, cut slices and toast them in the morning, easy!

You can see our first grain free blog post here – and look for many more delicious gluten and grain free breakfast (and other meals) recipes to come!

grain free breakfast
little cracking, but still pretty – use halved cherries for a prettier effect
grain free breakfast, family friendly
beautiful
kid friendly, family friendly
grain free breakfast alternatives

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup butter or coconut oil (softened, but not melted)
  • 8 eggs
  • ¼ cup honey or maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ can cored pineapple slices in juice or ½ of a fresh pineapple
  • ¼ cup fresh cherries or maraschino cherries

Preheat oven to 325°F.

  1. Prepare a 9-inch round baking dish or spring form pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. If using fresh pineapple, peel, core, and cut into ½ inch slices.
  3. Arrange the pineapple slices on the bottom of the baking dish you are using.
  4. Place the cherries around and in the center of the pineapple slices.
  5. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients. If needed, thin with pineapple juice or coconut milk to get a spreadable consistency.
  6. Spread the batter over the pineapple and cherries.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-40 minutes until cooked through and no longer soft in the middle.
  8. Loosen the edges of the cake and carefully flip over onto a plate or baking sheet.
  9. Serve and enjoy!