Amazing gluten free – grain free pizza crust

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Have you ever tried cauliflower pizza crust?

This is how I feel about cauliflower pizza crust.

I mean, it is technically pizza, so I obviously ate it.  But I just don’t know about it… maybe I did it wrong?

I will probably attempt it again with tweaks, but I’ve got to say, since going grain free  I have missed pizza most of all.   Real, chewy, hold it in your hand and let your fingers get all greasy pizza.

And so I busted out my arsenal of grain free flours and whipped up a pie my kids actually LOVE and ask for at least once a week.

I guarantee I will never hear them request cauliflower pizza again.  But my grain free version of pizza with chicken apple sausage and cashew feta.  Yep.  They can’t get enough.

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Easy grain free pizza crust

Ingredients:

1.5 cups bobs paleo flour blend

salt to taste

2 tablespoons coconut flour

1/4 cup oil

1 egg

1/3 cup water

1 tsp vinegar

1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (it gives a really nice chewy texture, but just omit if you have severe dairy allergies, it’s good both ways.)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Mix the paleo flour with salt but reserve the coconut flour.
  3. Add the liquid ingredients including the cheese and combine into a wet dough.
  4. Slowly add the coconut flour until it comes together just enough to handle without sticking to fingers.
  5. Roll out between two pieces of parament and toss onto a sheet pan or pizza stone.
  6. Prick the surface with a fork and bake for 10 minutes.
  7. Top with desired toppings and bake for an additional 15. (*If using any nut cheeses put them on at the very end after the pizza has been baked.)

 

Toasted nut and seed crackers grain free – paleo – primal

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I used to love a certain brand of seedy, nutty, toasted crackers.  On days that I was feeling particularly ballin, I would toss a couple packs in my grocery cart like it was nbd and then start to sweat a little when I got to the till.  They aren’t cheap.

As I’ve learned more about nutrition in my own healing quest, I’ve realized, they also aren’t really as healthy as the price tag might have you believe.  I mean the first ingredient is wheat flour, c’mon.

But I still salivate a bit when I pass them in the cracker isle and I finally decided to create my own grain free version.

Much to my relief they turned out GREAT on the first shot.  (There’s nothing worse than making a big old batch of dog poo out of expensive ingredients)

So if you want to have some crunchy, chewy, sweet, savory, snackable, and very impressive little morsels in your pantry, I’m here to help.

These have the perfect flavour, but the texture is slightly more crumbly than the originals.  I also found it very hard to slice super thin so they did end up a bit thicker than I had hoped.  I’m sure a high quality knife would do the trick and it’s on my birthday list!

Thick or thin, they hold up amazing with red pepper jelly and cashew cheese, or whatever else you want to throw at them, and are guaranteed to be gone before you know it.

I’ve done the testing so you don’t need to take any chances with your one million dollar paleo flour, these are sure to please.  Enjoy!

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Healthier Toasted seed crackers (raincoast crisps*)

Ingredients:

1/4 cup cassava flour

1/4 cup almond flour

2 tbsp ground flax

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp coconut sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp water

2 tbsp fat (I like grass fed butter but coconut oil is great too)

1/2 cup soaked chopped almonds

1/2 cup soaked pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup flax seeds

1/2 cup dried fruit chopped ( I used half cranberries and half cherries)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Mix the dry ingredients.
  3. Add the wet ingredients.
  4. Toss in the chopped nuts/seeds/ and dried fruit.
  5. Lightly oil a mini loaf pan and line the bottom in parchment (helps make removing the toast easier)
  6. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.
  7. Turn don oven to 300
  8. Remove the toast, allow to cool and freeze for about an hour (let it get nice and solid).
  9. Using a super sharp serrated knife slice as thin as humanly possible.
  10. Place slices on parchment lined sheet pans and toast in a 300 degree oven until crisp 15-20 minutes.
  11. Enjoy with your favorite vegan cheese, jam, real cheese, sliced prosciutto, hummus or whatever the heck you like to eat.

 

My letter to money – shifting my money mindset in 2019

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

One of my biggest challenges over this past year has been to release all of the negative associations I have built around money.  I have finally come to understand that wanting money but believing it is evil is non sensical.  It’s like wanting so bad to be friends with someone you just can not stand.

Why bother? Chances are even if you managed to make ‘friends’ with that person, the friendship would never really be strong and lasting.

So I have started to approach my relationship with money from a new angle, rather than focusing on the negative I remind myself of all the good money can do.  I love to read stories about social entrepreneurs who use money not just to improve their own lives, but to help improve the world.  This keeps me focused on the kind of person I aspire to be as more and more money flows into my life.

A wonderful money mindset strategy I have used, has been to replace the word money with a word I have positive feelings about.  For me this word is freedom and in my vocabulary, the two words have become interchangeable.

Money is freedom and freedom is money.

Another thing I did as per the advice of Jen Sincero in her killer book ‘You are a bad ass’ is write a heartfelt letter to money.

This might seem a bit woo woo, but immediately upon completion I felt like another wall I had built up in my head between myself and money had come down.

Here is my (slightly sexual) letter to money;

 

Dear Money,

I have had a crush on you for a long time but have been too scared to admit it. I’ve been told all my life what a huge jerk you are and have built up walls to keep you out.  

My parents always warned me about you, about how you would make me a bad person, and corrupt my heart.  But I’m finally seeing you in a new light and realizing all the good you are able to do in this world.  

If living where I want, travelling where I want and eating what I want is wrong, then I don’t want to be right. 

Money, I am fully ready for a life with you by my side.  I am committed. I finally understand that you do not change people but instead magnify what is already there.  I know I am a good person and with you I can only become better. Together we will experience more, give more back, and live with greater purpose.

I know you have always been there, waiting for me to be ready, and time and again I have rejected you. Well, no more!

I want to spend the rest of my life with you and make beautiful money babies with you.  I want our money babies to make grandbabies and great grandbabies until we have built a legacy that will remain long after I’m gone.  

Money, you give me the freedom to live my dreams and be who I truly am.  You make me so happy. With you by my side I know anything is possible. 

Together we will build a dream home, launch businesses, retire my parents, help my sister through school and give my kids every opportunity they could want in this life.  With you by my side I will worry less, laugh more, live life to the fullest and remember every day how lucky I am to have you.  I will never take you for granted again.  

I am finally ready to do this thing.  I love you.  

Yours, 

Elle

PS. In 2019 let’s go all the way.  

 

If you have come to believe that a person can’t be rich and good simultaneously, yet find yourself pining for a life of abundance, take a stab at this exercise.  Not only did I do it, but I’m actually putting my weirdo letter out there on the internet for anyone to see.

Get it down in your own words of truth and be confident that you are finally sending the universe clear signals about the kind of life you want to live and the kind of relationship you want to have with money.

You have nothing to lose, and potentially everything to gain.

Almond Chicken Stir Fry – Hunan Kung Pao- Whole 30 – Paleo – Dairy Free – Grain Free

I  love this dish and I make different variations of it all the time.  Since going grain free I really miss noodles and I find the zucchini carrot ‘noodle’ combo really hits the spot.

Because this is essentially just a big plate of delicious veggies and meat I can serve it atop rice or actual noodles for my grain eating fam and they don’t complain one bit.

The magic here is in the sauce that just takes a few moments to whip up with ingredients easily found in most pantries.  I like to divide it up, use half to marinade my meat and half for cooking with/ drizzling on at the end to taste.

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It’s honestly so satisfying and healthy, much better than my sub par photography skills make it out to seem.

Sometimes, I sub out the chicken for beef or prawns and the almonds for cashews, or sesame seeds. When I feel like living dangerously I add chopped peanuts or even add a spoonful of peanut butter to the sauce to make it richer and creamier.  (Oh the joys of food sensitivities!)

Sauce

It can be made ahead of time and stored in a mason jar in the fridge.  Sometimes when ingredients allow I will make a huge batch, it always gets put to use. 

4 tbsp. tamari or coconut aminos

1 tbsp. fish sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

Juice of 1/2 lime

1 tbsp. coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice)

1 or 2 grated clove(s) of garlic

1″ piece of grated ginger

1 chopped red chilli ( I like thai ones, use more or less to taste)

Black pepper

Mix it all up and divide in two portions.

 

Hunan Kung Pao – Almond Chicken Stir Fry

 

Ingredients:

Meat – pasture raised and humanely handled – of choice

Veggies – preferably organic – of choice

Sauce – see above

One fresh zucchini

Two fresh carrots

Coconut oil

 

Directions:

  1. Chop your meat into long thin strips and marinade for 1 – 24 hours in the sauce.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler slice one zucchini and two carrots into long thin strips of ‘noodles’. (A spiralizer could be used as well though I prefer the thinner strips texturally)
  3. Chop your veggies.  I Like to use, mushrooms, broccoli, bok choy, and peppers.
  4. Using either a wok or cast iron skillet, fry the meat in coconut oil until lightly browned and fragrant.
  5. Remove meat and fry veggies in the same pan – add more oil if necessary.
  6. Toss in the ‘noodles’ and add the meat back on top.  Pour over more sauce to taste, cover and steam for 1-2 minutes.
  7. To finish drizzle with a bit more sesame oil and sprinkle with almonds (or whatever you opt to use) and fresh chopped scallions.

And that’s it.  So super easy, nourishing and compliant with most diets.  It could easily be made vegan by subbing out the fish sauce and meat for miso and tofu or just leaving them out altogether.  If you try it let me know what you think and what combos you opted for.

My top three podcasts, books and revelations of 2018

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Photo by Javon Swaby on Pexels.com

Being old-ish I passed out on the couch last night while watching The Avengers with my sons. I did not watch the ball drop, I did not share a new years kiss, and the two glasses of wine I drank were the closest thing to a party I’ve experienced in a while, but it was an absolutely perfect night regardless.

When I awoke this morning, only the date on the calendar had changed but somehow it felt like everything was different.

I can compare it to the feeling after an undisturbed snow fall, it’s like a fresh start in the exact same place I always have been.

Year after year I have spent this day day wondering, will this be it?  Will this be the year I finally achieve great success, perfect health, and ultimately, happiness, and year after year I have been met with disappointment

In truth, 2016 was a bit of a blah, I couldn’t get out of 2017 quick enough and the majority of 2018 left me with more questions than answers, but it also sparked something in me.  Call it an awakening, a surrender or a total 180 but 2018, and really all previous years, have been exactly what they needed to be to put me where I am today.

And today is all that matters.

In making a conscious effort to live with a half full glass I am looking back on all the good 2018 has brought me and am ready to forget the less than savory bits.

This years quest to understand myself more has led me to discover me some amazing podcasts and books. These have in turn, led to some personal revelations that are going to leave me with no choice but to have an amazing 2019.   I am so thankful for all the inspiring people creating content that reminds me the choice to live a good life is mine alone.

My top three favorite podcasts for 2018

  1. “Don’t Keep Your Day Job” with Cathy Heller

2. “The School of Greatness” with Lewis Howes

and

3.  “For the Love of Money” with Chris Harder

These people are working their butts off to put out amazing, inspiring and life changing content on a regular basis.

Because I have dog I spend time walking her daily and it has become a cherished ritual to download a podcast and take my girl out for a stroll.  Its amazing how quickly I have been able to reprogram my entire thought process by listening to a hour of positivity once a day, and they are all free to download.  You just literally can not lose.

Finding time to read this past year has been a bit trickier.  With work school and kids I have just had less free time overall than I am accustomed to, but I have still been able to squeeze in some gems.

I like to read self help books slowly, much more slowly than novels which I tend to devour.   I read a bit, think about it and will often re-read the same chapters multiple times, underlining insights and even taking notes.

I am one of those readers who always has a few books on the go, and an even bigger list of must reads.  There are a lot of good ones out there but if I have to pick just three they would be;

  1. “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki
  2. “You Are A Bad Ass” by Jen Sincero

and

3. “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson.

Yes, I’m not a dad, and to be honest I have read Robert Kiyosaki’s iconic book once before, but re-reading it this past year opened a whole new bag of insights I had previously overlooked, its also quite a page turner as far as finance meets self help books go.  If I can recommend just one book to kick off 2019 on a better financial footing, its this one.

I discovered both Jen Sincero and Mark Manson as guests on podcasts which ultimately led me to buy their books.  These two amazing humans are literal breaths of fresh air in the often stuffy self-help realm.  Using humor and relatability their books have helped me overhaul my mindset and I feel completely ready to smash 2019 in my own unique way.

All of the listening and reading that I have done in 2018 has been vital in my journey to being a happier healthier self. There are lots of other podcasts and book titles I could throw out there but I like to keep it simple if anyone reading this is new to the self help realm.  If I had to sum up my three major revelations of 2018 it would be these….

  1. There are no problems, only perceptions.  Our minds are always running at full speed, it likes to create Drama and does so at every given opportunity.  It is how we react to the events in our life that ultimately dictate the outcomes. Life walks in a delicate balance with death.  Without bad there could be no perceivable good.   It is in the acceptance of this truth that we are able to stop overthinking, let go of expectations and just be. Imagine if you had just narrowly escaped falling from the edge of a cliff, how alive you would suddenly feel and how every moment would be magnified in its magnificence.  Would you be worried about something embarrassing you said five years ago or the fact that you have some credit card debt?  You would most likely just be filled with gratitude for this amazing gift we call life.  In 2019 I will strive to remember that life, and everything in it, is either a gift or a lesson and will be grateful for both.
  2. Failure is life’s best teacher. No one wins em’ all.  Failure is the easiest way to learn where our strengths and weaknesses lie, and we all have both.  I dropped out of school last year, I also decided to close down an Etsy shop that I have been running for the past decade.  Both of these events could be viewed as failures but I prefer to look at them as opportunities to learn more about what I want out of life.  Turns out I hate computer coding and desire to create a bigger business than the brand surrounding my previous Etsy shop ever would have allowed.  Both of these things are ok.  Did I fail at Etsy? No.  I actually opened a new shop in December that is more aligned with who I am and am super excited for all of the opportunities that will come with a blank slate.  Did I fail at school? No.  I just removed myself from a program I hated and am going to take some marketing and business course that get me excited about the future of my own business.
  3. I am a fu*king miracle and so are you.   The odds of you being born who you are with your particular dna is about 1 in 400 trillion.  There is a Buddhist  proverb that provides a beautiful metaphor for the probability of this precious incarnation.  Imagine there was one life preserver thrown somewhere in one ocean, with exactly one turtle in any given ocean, swimming underwater somewhere. The probability of your existence is the same as that turtle sticking its head out of the water — into the middle of that life preserver on its first try.  Those are crazy small odds and yet here we both are.  With all the many distractions of life it’s easy to get caught up in the comparison game and forget just how miraculous it is that I am sitting here writing this or you reading it, or petting your dog, or listening to a baby cry or breathing air.  This moment is a literal miracle.  And it is with this realisation that I will no longer listen to any more negative self talk.  I will also go forward into 2019 spending every miraculous second living an authentic life that makes me happy.  If happiness is dropping out of school and designing my own clothing line, I owe it to my miraculous ass self to at least try. Should I fail, there will be a lesson at the end of it that I will be grateful for.

And there you have it.  My top three of three for 2019.  This blog is relatively new so it doesn’t have a huge readership, but if you happen across it and know anyone who could use a positive push in the right direction for 2019 please pass it along.

Wishing you an amazing 2019.

Butter chicken that tastes like butter chicken – grain free – primal

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I finally did it. After years of experimentation and an assortment of varying failures,  I pulled off butter chicken so good that I found myself compelled to make it three times in one week.

Even my kids who usually hate anything curry related devoured it.

I’m not sure why it took so long or was so hard to get the flavours right, I’ve followed countless online recipes only to be disappointed in the end.

I’ve gone to specialty grocery stored searching out ingredients like menthi leaves or garam masala, certain they would be the smoking gun, finally pulling everything together and replicating the savory, sweet, tangy and slightly spicy combination I had come to enjoy in restaurant versions.  My kitchen would always smell glorious, but when I would taste the finished product it was a major let down.  The flavours would never live up to the promising aroma and I would be forced to rely on a mountain of basmati rice to help wash it down.

Since dropping grains from my diet there is not room for error in curries or sauces, it has to taste good enough to be eaten solo or I might as well save my ingredients and make something fool proof.

Still, there is something about butter chicken that brings upon occasional cravings so intense the only solution is a big bowl of hot creamy buttery goodness.  And with my new primal way of eating, to heal my autoimmunity, takeout is generally not an option.

In this recipe I used real grass fed butter because I have done an elimination diet and found my body actually loves the stuff, but for the yogurt I found plain almond yogurt worked beautifully.  If you eat dairy, go for some really good full fat Icelandic yogurt, and always choose grass fed.

I also discovered what I believe to be the secret ingredient for nailing this flavour profile… pumpkin pie spice!  I added it on a whim and it really brought this bad boy together.  I know its not traditional, but try if you try it, let me know what you think.

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Butter chicken (that tastes good enough to eat) grain free – primal – whole 30.

 

Ingredients:

2 pasture raised chicken breasts

1 small yellow onion

2 roma tomatoes

crushed tomatoes

1/2 cup chicken or beef stock

lemon juice

1 cup full fat coconut milk

grass fed butter or butter replacement

vegan or grass fed plain yogurt

1 clove garlic

1″ piece ginger

1tsp cumin seeds

1tsp coriander

1tsp paprika

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

2 tsp pataks curry paste

pinch menthi leaves

coconut sugar or honey

cilantro for garnish

cooking oil (olive or coconut)

 

Directions:

  1. Mix 1/2 cup yogurt and 1 heaping tsp curry paste and juice of 1/2 lemon into a marinade. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Marinade whole chicken breasts for 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
  3. Heat oil in a saucepan and lightly sauté cumin seeds and chopped onion and cook until soft.
  4. Toss in spices, remaining curry paste, ginger and garlic and sauté 30 seconds.
  5. Add Roma tomatoes and stock.
  6. Bring it back up to a simmer and place whole chicken breasts and the yogurt marinade in the saucepan.  Transfer to a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.
  7. After 25 minutes remove the chicken breasts from the cooking liquids, add 3/4 cup of coconut milk and 2 tbsp. butter to the rest of the ingredients.
  8. Once the butter has melted, use an immersion blender (or any old blender will do) to puree the onion tomato liquid mix into a creamy sauce.
  9. Finally, add the sugar and menthi leaves, shred the chicken back into the sauce and drizzle the remaining coconut milk over the curry.
  10. Top with fresh cilantro if desired.

I made a pot of basmati rice for my grain loving family, but ate my curry over a bed of wilted spinach and a side of aloo gobi.  It was so good I didn’t miss the grains at all.  Seriously.

Next time I’m going to serve it with a warm, soft platter of paleo naan bread in an effort to encourage my family to eat less grains.

Both my Aloo Gobi and Paleo naan recipes are coming soon!

 

 

Super easy weeknight roast beef

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I used to be a vegan.  People change.

For the entire decade that I abstained from animal products I was iron deficient.  I would go through phases where I would diligently supplement, see my ferritin levels bump up a couple notches, get constipated, quit taking them and end up back at square one.

I went through this cycle for years before finally accepting that my compromised gut was just not properly absorbing certain nutrients from plant based foods.

Many people with hashimotos, and PCOS also have low iron levels.  I believe this is because all disease starts in the gut and malabsorption of nutrients + too many anti nutrients ends up leading to a myriad of issues.  Once you have one autoimmune disease it is common to get more and I believe this is partly because people with autoimmunity often refuse to fully change their diets.  Those poor white blood cells are constantly being bombarded by food triggers and in an effort to protect us, they end up attacking our own bodies!

Since quitting gluten and adding pasture raised meats back into my diet I feel better than I did in my early twenties. It’s like I can feel the energy flowing into my veins with every bite.

I do still think a vegan diet is a compassionate choice and does have many health producing benefits when done correctly.  I also still maintain a healthy repertoire of plant based recipes that I will toss onto the blog.  Eating meat again was simply a choice I had to make in an attempt to heal a debilitating chronic illness.

When the plane is going down you have to put your mask on first.

This roast is an easy way to get a filling grain free meal on the table.  I make it in my trusty cast iron skillet for an even bigger dose of iron.  It usually takes about 10 minutes to prep and put in the oven, and I can walk my dog while its cooking.  When we return the whole house smells glorious and this juicy bad boy is ready for carving.  Serve it with a loaded salad or roasted root veggies and you’ve got dinner.

 

Easy weeknight roast

 

Ingredients:

One 3-4 pound pasture raised beef roast

Quality olive oil

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup red wine

1/4 cup beef stock

A sprig of thyme

Chopped veggies I use carrots celery mushrooms and whole garlic cloves.

 

Directions:

  1. Drizzle the roast with olive oil and rub generously with salt and pepper.  I love to use Himalayan sea salt and fresh cracked peppercorns.
  2. Heat a skillet, I love my cast iron, and sear the roast to golden brown on all sides.
  3. Toss the veggies in around the roast.  You can get creative and use whichever veggies you like.  Aromatics give a beautiful flavor to the gravy and the carrots come out tasting gourmet.
  4. Sprinkle the leaves of thyme over the meat and veggies.
  5. Pour the stock and wine over the veggies.
  6. Place the whole thing into a preheated 350 degree oven. Cook for 18-20 minutes per pound. When in doubt use a heat thermometer but I find these numbers have never failed to produce a perfect roast that is consistently pink in the middle but not red.
  7. Remove from oven, set the meat and veggies on a cutting board.  Let the roast rest for at least another 10 minutes before carving.
  8. Go ahead and make gravy with the pan dripping using your favorite grain free flour,  it will be heavenly.

 

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Enjoy.