Introducing Creativity To The Alternative Diet: Many of us have segued from traditional dietary lifestyle to alternative dietary lifestyles, i.e. Gluten free, Vegan, Grain free, Real food, etc. What are we discovering?? These recipes are NOT mediocre!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Grain Free Hot Cereal

Oatmeal is something that I knew we would miss in a grain free lifestyle.  When I looked around online for an alternative I wasn't happy with what I found so I combined ideas from 2 or 3 different recipes and made my own.  The first time I made it I didn't know what to expect from my family. I was so happy when everyone MMMM'd and YUUUUMM'd their way through breakfast and then wanted more!
Grain Free Hot Cereal
Yield: 4 servings

1 cup almond meal
1/4 cup ground flax
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup apple cider

Put apples, raisins, cinnamon and cider in a small sauce pan on medium heat, stirring occasionally.  In a medium sauce pan mix almond, flax and chia seeds. Pour coconut milk and vanilla over the mixture and mix well.  When apples are just tender, remove them from heat and place the almond mixture on the heat. Pour apple mixture into the almond mixture. Heat just until warm, it does not need to cook. Serve immediately with your choice of milk poured over it.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bolognese a la Rachael and Rachel

There have been a few requests for this recipe since I posted this photo on FB.  This is gluten free Bolognese over carrots and zucchini with homemade mozzarella sticks.  I must confess that this is mostly Rachael Ray's recipe but I take many liberties with it so I thought it would be fair to share the title.
Bolognese a la Rachael & Rachel 
Note: I do not put carrot in the sauce when I am serving this over carrots & zucchini.
Serves 8 (generously)

1 T Olive Oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
1/4 pound diced pancetta
1/2 pound bulk hot Italian sausage
1/2 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
1 pound ground beef, or 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 veal
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup beef stock
28 ounces chunky-style crushed tomatoes
A handful of flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Coarse salt and black pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese, for topping
4 zucchini's & 6 carrots, sliced to your preference

In a deep pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, garlic, bay leaf and pancetta and brown for 1 minute. Add the meats and brown, crumbling them for five minutes.
Add carrot (if using), celery and onion. Cook the vegetables with the meat for five minutes and add the wine. Cook for 1 minute; add the stock and tomatoes to the pot.
Stir in most of the parsley and the allspice and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for a minimum of 10-15 minutes or all day.
When you are ready, plate steamed or roasted veggies and cover with sauce, top with a sprinkle of the remaining parsley and lots of cheese.

Once again, I have found a recipe that looks good and altered it considerably.  This recipe idea came from

Homemade Mozzarella Sticks

Half a pound of mozzarella cheese, cut into sticks
2 eggs
½ cup (or more) of almond flour
1 tsp of Italian seasoning
½ tsp salt
1-2 cups olive oil

At least 3-4 hours before, put cheese sticks in the freezer.Once cheese is completely frozen, crack eggs into a medium bowl and beat with about a teaspoon of water. Combine the almond flour, Italian seasoning and salt in a shallow bowl. Put the oil in a small pan so that it is about an inch deep,heat on medium high. The oil must be hot before the cheese goes in. Remove the cheese from the freezer and dip the cheese in the egg mixture, then in the almond flour mixture, then back in the egg mixture and repeat until well coated. They need to be coated completely so they seal. Drop 3 or 4 at a time into the heated oil for a couple of minutes until they are starting to brown, then carefully remove. Remove them with a slotted spoon. You don’t want to squeeze them with tongs or poke with a fork, as the cheese will escape. Repeat these steps with the remaining cheese until all is cooked. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Our First Few Grain Free Fav's

Homemade, grain free Graham Crackers & they are delicious!  With 3.5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber for each one they are great for adding to the kids lunches.  They are simple to make, I think next time I'll double the batch since we all like them so well.
Grain Free Graham Crackers
This is my recipe I revised from
Note: You can substitute the molasses for honey if you can’t consume molasses. If you use this substitution the crackers will be a bit softer.
Yields: 16-20  2 x 2” crackers.

2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
3/4 tsp unflavored gelatin
2 T honey
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
6 T cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
3 T unsulphured molasses (or honey)
3 T whole milk or coconut milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350° F and adjust rack to middle position. Place flours, gelatin, honey, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into the bowl of a food processor and pulse 4 times to combine. Add the butter and pulse 7 times until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add the molasses, milk and vanilla extract to the dough and process until the dough forms a ball. The dough will be very tacky. Pour the dough out onto a large piece of parchment paper (a piece large enough to cover a large baking sheet). Dust the top of the dough with a little coconut flour. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out until it’s a rectangle about 14 x 11 inches and about 1/8-inch thick. Using a knife or rolling pizza cutter, divide it into 2 x 2-inch square pieces. There will be small pieces of excess on the sides. Using a fork, poke holes in the top of the dough. Place the baking pan with the dough in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges just start to darken. Remove from the oven and cool completely. When crackers are completely cool, break into individual squares. Store in an airtight container. The crackers will keep for 1 week.

I have recently discovered Larabar's and really like them; like their simplicity and the protein they offer. ...If only they weren't so expensive.  Well I found a recipe that I was skeptical about at first but tried it anyway since it was so similar to a Larabar.  Again, we LOVE it!  I swear, it's like eating an Almond Joy - for real.
Chia Seed Energy Bars
This is my recipe revised from
Yeild: 12 bars

12 large Medjool dates
 4T Coconut Oil
1 cup Chia Seeds
2T Almond Butter
2T Shredded coconut
1/4 cup Dark Chocolate chips
Optional: 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Remove the pits from the dates and pulse the dates and coconut oil in a food processor until it forms a paste. In a medium bowl, mix the date paste with the chia seeds, almond butter, shredded coconut and chocolate chips. It will form a thick dough. Press into the bottom of an 8x8 glass dish and cut into 12 squares. It can be eaten immediately or preferably, put it in the fridge to give it more of a chewy texture.  Cover or put in ziploc to store in fridge for 1 week.

The last recipe for today is another big hit around here. My kids have always eaten their veggies but since I made this ranch type dip they are begging & fighting for more veggies!
Homemade Ranch Type Dressing
Another one from

1/2 to 3/4 cup plain full fat Greek yogurt
1 tsp dried dill weed (or more to taste)
1 small clove of garlic
6 T olive oil
2 T grated parmesan (or more to taste)
Sprinkle of course salt and course pepper, to taste

Put yogurt, garlic and spices in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.Very slowly, add the oil so that it emulsifies.Use immediately, or store up to 1 week in the fridge.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Chic Chefs Are Still Cooking!

It has been a long year since we have used our lovely blog - I hope you missed us!  Many families and individuals are moving in a different direction with their daily diet from what has been the American norm. Lately, my family has been on a grain free trial.  Our trial started with 4 days (kids had a long weekend) and at this point I think we have decided to extend.  The point of the 4 day trial was to see what it was like, if little people would still eat as well as they always have and try some new things.  It has been a HUGE success!  So onward we go...

Maybe you think like I used to- grain free, gluten free living would be sooo boring.  In the past week I have discovered many things, among them are that grain free living is delicious, satisfying and anything but boring.  I am looking forward to this journey with my fellow chic chefs and anyone else who is interested in alternative dietary living!

*You likely noticed the changes that have come to our blog, chief among them is that the recipe box has been condensed. I labeled in a hurry this morning; the labels are general. If I missed anything, please email me. :)