Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Homemade Applesauce~nothing but apples and spice, Baby!

I make homemade applesauce almost every week that apples are in season, and I freeze some so that I have it year round.  I would like to have an exact recipe for those of you that "need" to have precise recipes to follow, however, I do not have a precise recipe.  I encourage you to accept that you cannot in any way mess this up, please trust me on this!!!!  I use a variety of apples sometimes I mix the varieties, sometimes I use the variety that is most prevalent at the Farmer's market that week.  I do like to throw in some Granny Smith because I like to have some tart apples mixed in with the sweeter apples, like gala and pink ladies.  Some weeks; depending on time and energy I make large or small batches, so the number of apples I use may vary.  I like to peel my apples, however, you do not have to do so.  I use different spices; depending on my mood, you can use many or none depending on your taste.  As you can image; your options are endless!

6 to 20    apples; peeled, cored, sliced, and cut in inch sized pieces
1 to 2      teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 to 1   teaspoon ginger
Can also add:  or add instead:
1/2 to 1   teaspoon cloves
1/2 to 1   teaspoon allspice

Place apples in stock pot and cook over medium heat until the apples begin to sizzle, reduce to low and simmer until apples become soft, stirring occasionally.  Add spices and simmer another 10 to 20 minutes.  Using a potato masher gently mash apples, leaving some chunks and remove from heat.

A local "u-tuber" showed that she freezes her applesauce and uses a fork to "scrape" some of the applesauce off to sweeten her yogurt as a desert topping.  I mix my applesauce with my yogurt in the morning as part of my breakfast.  The applesauce will keep for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator (if it will last that long!).  I use the applesauce in baking, as many recipes call for applesauce in place of sweetener and oil.  I serve it as a desert when I don't have anything baked (which is rare, but it does happen).  Applesauce is a versatile staple to have.  I hope you enjoy this simple recipe.    : )   -MK 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tandoori Grilled Chicken Thighs

This is a dish that you want to plan ahead of time, as the chicken needs to marinate for at least 8 hours.  I love most of the flavors of Indian cuisine, and have been learning, well attempting to learn, to cook different cuisines the past few years.  East Indian foods have several of my favorite ingredients; chicken, lentils, yogurt (need I say it? yes, I use my homemade, because the "tang" just adds something special to this dish), and some of the nicest spices around the world.  The flavor of this chicken dish is no exception.  I serve it with lentils cooked in a vegetable stock with some green onions and greens thrown in, and sweet potatoes on the the side topped with butter and paprika.

16          chicken thighs (I use boneless and skinless, however, either way is okay)
6 to 12   ounces plain yogurt
1            teaspoon Kosher salt
1            teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2         teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
2            tablespoons freshly ground ginger
3            cloves garlic, minced
4            teaspoons paprika
2            teaspoons ground cumin
2            teaspoons cinnamon
2            teaspoons coriander
2            teaspoons garam masala

In a medium bowl stir together all the ingredients (except the chicken) until well blended. Rinse the chicken well under running cold water and pat dry with paper towels.  Put the chicken into a zip lock plastic bag and pour the mixture over the chicken, press the air out of the bag and seal.  Turn the bag over several times to ensure all the chicken is coated with the yogurt mixture, place in a dish in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 8 hours.  Throughout the time the chicken is marinating, turn the bag over to coat the chicken.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and wipe off any excess marinade with a paper towel.  Spray the chicken with oil and grill on each side for about 2 minutes or until golden brown.  Place a wire rack on a pan, remove the chicken from the grill and place on the wire rack, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the juices run clear.  Serve with whatever side dishes you choose to prepare and enjoy your meal.  BTW, this chicken is really good to eat cold the next day for lunch, or just a quick snack.  Enjoy      : )        -MK

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Chicken Breasts w/sun dried tomato cream sauce

4      Tablespoons olive oil
4       chicken breasts
1/2    cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
2       large shallots
4       cloves of garlic
1       cup cream for whipping
1       cup sliced mushrooms
1/2    teaspoon pepper flakes
1/2    teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper to taste.
2       medium zucchinis

Note:  You can add any spices that you like; go ahead and be creative!  Normally this dish is served over pasta, while on phase III you can use zucchini as a pasta.  Use a potato peeler and peal the zucchinis length wise until you reach the seeds.  Saute the zucchini in butter or oil for 3 minutes or just until al dente, set aside.

Cut raw chicken into bite sized pieces.  Heat 3 Tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the chicken and saute until chicken is cooked through; approximately 4 minutes per side.  Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate and cover with a "tent" of foil.  Add remaining 1 Tablespoon olive oil to the drippings in the skillet, add sun dried tomatoes, garlic, shallots, and mushrooms; cook about 5 minutes or until the shallots are tender.  Add cream and bring to a boil scrapping any brown bits off the bottom of the pan.  Drain any accumulated juices from the cooked chicken and add the chicken to the pan; cook until sauce thickens and season to taste.  Pour the chicken and sauce over the zucchini and serve.  Enjoy   : )

Too Easy Mousse

This simple recipe was given to me from a  friend I met on HCG Diet 411 Forum, Txnwoman, who literally saved my life when I couldn't figure out what to eat.  Let me tell you if you are a "sweet freak" like me, love chocolate, and have spent over 30 days on Phase II, then you are ready for this!  You can use any amount you would like or any amount you may need to help you reach your 1500 caloric requirement for the day. (which was my problem)

1/2 to 1    cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 to 1    teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 to 1    package stevia or sweet'n low
1/2 to 1    teaspoon cocoa powder

Beat at medium high speed with mixer; taking care not to over beat.  Put on fruit, or eat plain.  You can also make strong coffee, chill, and add to the mousse to make a mocha mousse.  You could try: omitting the cocoa powder and using almond, orange, lemon, other flavored extracts.  Be creative!!!!

I have a 1/2 pint Hamilton Beach ice cream maker and would use 1/2 cup whipping cream, 1/2 cup milk, vanilla, sweet'n low and make ice cream.  Just sayin    : )

healthy salad

Even though I'm into my 4th day of maintenance, I am moving slowly into introducing starches and sugars into my diet.  As a matter-of -fact, I haven't had any sugar.  I had some honey, about 1/4 teaspoon in a cup of tea this morning.  Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is I believe the process for me will be a slow and gradual one.  So this afternoon I made a simple salad for lunch.  Romaine lettuce, apples, hard boiled egg, cooked chicken, a few scallions, cucumber, bell pepper, a "touch of Napa cabbage, some home grown mung bean sprouts, lentil sprouts, and a mixture of "leafy green" sprouts, a handful of pan roasted almonds, and some of my creamy basil dressing.  Having some of the grissini  bread sticks left over from Phase II, I had one of them as well.  For a moment it took me back to the Phase II days, only for a moment, just until the creamy basil dressing hit my taste buds!!! Then I knew those days were looong gone.  I just wanted to share that some of the habits that we developed in Phase II can indeed be lifelong habits to embrace; eating raw meals at least once a day is a very healthy lifestyle, drinking water throughout the day is healthy, and being conscientious about what we are eating can be beneficial for our health as well.  I rarely drink anything other than water anymore, I find that the idea of soda, ice tea, coffee, fruit juice; unless I juice it myself, doesn't appeal to me, so I just reach for a bottle of water.  Yes, I do treat myself to bottled spring water, it tastes better to me and that way I can monitor my intake to ensure I drink enough.   The three weeks of Phase III go by faster than you think they will, so hang in there.  My goal is to be able to post three weeks of recipes for you to have, if you are feeling the way I was, then you may find comfort to know that there will be somewhere for you to get ideas about what to eat!  Good Luck on your weight loss journey and have fun and most of all Eat Well!!!!   : )  -MK

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Roasted Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup

4 to 4 1/2 pounds squash
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter
4 cloves garlic
4 small shallots
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger, from a 3-inch long piece
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon curry powder (or more to taste)
1 dried red chili, about 2 inches long (or red chili flakes)
One 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Juice of 1 lime, about 2 tablespoons
For topping:
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 small shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
Heat the oven to 400°F. Use a heavy, sharp knife or cleaver to cut the squash into quarters. Place these quarters in a roasting pan and bake for 1 hour. Put the squash aside for 15 minutes or until it is cool enough to be easily handled. When cool, peel the skin away from the squash flesh. You should have about 3 packed cups of roasted squash.
In a 4-quart or larger pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil or butter over medium heat, when the oil is hot, add the garlic, shallots, and ginger, and fry in the oil for about a minute, add the tomato paste and fry for another minute, turn the heat down and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the shallots are beginning to really soften, add the curry powder and crumble in the red chili, fry for another minute, then add the squash. Turn the heat back up to medium and fry the squash with the aromatics for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the coconut milk and chicken broth and bring to a light simmer, lower the heat and cover the pot, simmer for 30 minutes, turn off the heat and puree the soup with a hand blender or pour the soup in batches into a blender and carefully puree it, holding the top down with a towel.  Add the salt in 1/2-teaspoon increments, tasting as you go, and stir in the juice of the lime.  Serve immediately, with the garnishes.
For the toppings:
Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add the coconut.  Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the coconut is lightly toasted and brown.  Immediately put the coconut on a plate.
Wipe the skillet out and return to medium heat. Add the oil, when the oil is quite hot, add the thinly sliced shallots, fry the shallots in the oil over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until their edges just begin to turn brown, turn off the heat and immediately take the shallots out of the oil with a slotted spoon, put on a plate to cool.  Garnish  each bowl of soup when you serve.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pumpkin Milkshake

This recipe was given to me by my Phase III BFF Txnwoman whom I lovingly refer to simply as "Texas".  She saved me on Phase III.  I seemed to have had the biggest brain freeze in my life during the first 3 days of Phase III thinking that I was to continue eating the same as I did in Phase II only 3 times the amount of everything so that I could eat 1500 calories.  HEY!!!!  I hear your snickering out there...and some of you are actually laughing out loud.......knock it off!!!  Right now!!!!  Okay, and even though I read Dr. Simeon's manuscript almost completely (except for the Doctor part where it was very technical) it just escaped me that I was to begin adding everything except starches and sugars; a grey moment, I guess.  Anyway, I just went to my local health food store and purchased the biggest container of protein powder with the highest caloric count that I could find, whole milk and prayed that I could eat enough.  And then......(angelic music, please....there she was, Texas, I mean) telling me hey, you, go buy cream, make really big omelets, with cheese, avocados, and butter and stuff.  WHAT, I said............ Oh, Boy!!!  So my life changed as I knew it and here I sit today at my computer living proof to share this experience with you.  I didn't gain ONE ounce since my LIW and didn't loose more that 2 pounds.  I still continue to follow the directions of weighing each day, keeping a food journal and attempt to eat at least 1500 calories and exercise some (walking only).  I regress, on with the scrumptious recipe.  Again, thanks Texas!

3/4      cups vanilla flavored almond milk (unsweetened)
3/4      teaspoon Truvia
3/4      teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4      cup cream (frozen)
4         ounces pumpkin puree (frozen)

Blend the first three ingredients in a blender, add the chopped up cream and pumpkin.  Serve.
Freeze the pumpkin and cream for a thicker and colder milk shake; you may want to "chop" it up some prior to blending it with the rest of the ingredients.

I did change this up for me; mainly due to the ingredients I had at the time, (okay and I named it dinner):
3/4      cup almond milk
1/2      teaspoon vanilla
1         teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2      cup cream
6         ounces pumpkin puree
1         scoop protein powder

Blend it all together, put in ice cream maker until consistency of a thick milkshake, add straw, drink, use napkin!!   : )

Chicken Borscht (sorta)

I was home from work one day last week it was my second day due to being sick and tired; please don't confuse that with sick and tired of being sick and tired.....I was just sick and tired.  I woke up in the morning with a fever and knew that I needed something to eat other than eggs and what was already prepared in the fridge (which wasn't much).  The beauty and the problem about the way I eat is that your friends and family aren't able just to "pick up something" for you to eat when you are unable to cook.  So I got up and prepared this dish in "shifts".  Normally Borscht would have beef or pork,carrots, potatoes, turnips, stewed tomatoes and sugar in it.  This is modified for what I have on hand and what I am allowed to eat in Phase III; since I'm still plugging away on the HCG diet.   : )

2-4  cups vegetable or chicken stock
4-6  chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
1      large leek using the stalk as well
1/2   head red cabbage, chopped
1/4   head Napa cabbage, chopped
1/2   small onion, chopped
2     cloves garlic, minced
2     raw beets, peeled and grated
1/4  squash, raw, peeled, and cut
1     stalks celery, chopped
2     Tablespoons tomato paste
2     medium fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/4  cup apple cider vinegar
3-5 Tablespoons cooking wine
1     Tablespoon lime-thyme
1     teaspoon basil
1     teaspoon sea salt
1/2  teaspoon citrus pepper

In a large soup pot, bring the stock to boil over medium heat, add the chicken, and reduce to a simmer, cook for about 15 minutes or until tender, remove the chicken to add back in during the last 15 minutes of cooking.  Add the other ingredients to the stock; beginning with the heartiest cooking the longest and the softest cooking the shortest period of time and cook on simmer about 1 to 2 hours or until all the vegetables are cooked, season to taste and serve with a dollop of sour cream or......your guessed it.... yogurt; I use my homemade yogurt.  : )
(serve in a white bowl....beautiful!)

Keep in mind that each cook can make any recipe their own by using their favorite spices, herbs, vegetables, grains, and methods.  I am so thankful to all the other cooks that shared their family recipes with me so that I was able to "tweak" them to become mine and now I can share them with you!  I hope you enjoy them as much as my family, my friends, and I do.  Bon Appetite.

Pack your Lunch: Salads in a Jar

This is such an easy lunch to take to work. This is also a keeper for potlucks; just take a bowl to "dump" the salad into.  ....And these keep in the refrigerator up to 5 days!!  The jar on the left is the mixed greens salad, the jar on the right is a variety of fruits and the jar in the background has pieces of angel food cake to put the fruit on.  Of coarse I made a vanilla frozen yogurt to top it off!  So while on Phase III, forget the 3rd jar, but the first 2 you can take.....   : )

Using a quart mason jar add the following ingredients:  salad dressing, hearty vegetable; like cabbage or anything that can withstand being in the dressing for a period of time. Then add vegetables layering by color or texture (because it is about looking good, right?) you can also dried fruits, hard boiled eggs, nuts, sprouts, cheese, meats, or anything that you may use when preparing a mixed salad.  The combinations are endless; Chinese chicken salad with chow mien crispy noodles (after Phase III and grains too), ceasar salad, cob salad....the list goes on.

So try taking a "jarred" lunch to work instead of a boxed lunch.   : )

Grain Free Sugar Free no bake pie crust

I am currently on Phase III of the HCG diet; having completed Phase II; I lost 15 pounds in 30 days.  I tried the diet last spring lost 12 pounds then cheated and went from Phase II to eating anything I wanted.......guess what?  Yep, I gained the 12 back and almost 10 more!!!!  So this time I really was committed to losing the weight, completing Phase II, and Phase III, so that I can get to the maintenance phase.  So far, so good.  It is fall and I have been craving pie!!!!  Especially Pumpkin pie.  The issues are: no sugars except stevia (yuck) and sweet'n'low (really not good for you) and I like to use maple syrup and molasses with fresh pumpkins for my pie.  I can add pumpkin (starches) and sugars back into my diet in 2 1/2 weeks, so for now I'm going to make an apple pie. Because apples are so naturally sweet nothing will need to be added.  I searched on line and found this recipe.  After I began to soak (nuts don't sprout) the almonds; I realized that I could have used almond flour to make a conventional  crust for the pie, however, I'm excited about this recipe.

2      cups raw walnuts, almonds, or pecans
1/2   cup dried dates; soaked for a few hours to soften
3/4   teaspoon cinnamon
1/2   teaspoon cardamon
1/4   teaspoon nutmeg
Dash of sea salt

Begin by soaking the almonds in lightly salted water overnight.  Rinse nuts sprinkle with a little salt and toast in the oven.  Blend the nuts and dates in a food processor, then add the spices and dash of salt and blend well.  Distribute the mixture evenly in the bottom of a 8" to 10" pie plate.  Make sure to cover all areas of the plate are covered then press the "crust" into the plate, compacted it so that it will hold together well.  Just fill with what ever fruit or cream mixture you want.  If using a "wet" fruit or filling; the crust may get soggy.  : )

Mushroom Stuffed Zucchini

3      large zucchini, trimmed (ends cut off)
2      Tablespoons butter
1      cup mushrooms, chopped
1/4   cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/4   teaspoon dried oregano, crushed (you can use Cayenne, basil, thyme, or any of  
        your favorite spices)
1      cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/4   cup Parmesan (or Romano) cheese, grated
2      Tablespoons Kuzu (a Japanese root used for thickening or any thickener you prefer)

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil, cook the whole zucchini until they begin to become tender; about 10 minutes.  Drain and run cold water over zucchini, set aside to cool.  Once completely cooled; cut length-wise and scoop out the center flesh, leaving 1/4 inch thick shell around the entire zucchini.  Chop the center flesh and reserve.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, cook the mushrooms and peppers until tender about 5 minutes, stir in flour and oregano (spices), add the reserved center flesh of the zucchini and the Monterey Jack cheese.  Heat the mixture until the cheese is melted and the filling is hot.  Stuff the filling into the hollowed-out zucchini; sprinkle each with Parmesan (or Romano) cheese.

Preheat the oven's broiler and set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source.  Broil the zucchini until the filling is bubbling and the cheese is browned, 3 to 5 minutes.

* Note:  You can add sausage or any vegetables to the mixture that you wish to make this dish suit you and your family's taste, enjoy.    : )

Simply Put.......COD

1            Pound Cod Fillets
2            Tablespoons butter
1/3         cup mayonnaise
1/3         cup sour cream (yep, you guessed it; I use my homemade yogurt instead)     :)
1/4         cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1            teaspoons Dijon mustard
freshly ground sea salt and pepper to taste
fresh rosemary sprigs

Preheat oven to 350.

Place the cod fillets in an 8 X 8 baking dish.  Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour over fish.  Sprinkle with fresh rosemary sprigs.  Bake 30 minutes or until fish flakes easily.

Almond Flour Biscuits

I made a beef stew one fall day while on Phase III of the HCG diet and was wondering how in the world how I could eat stew without potatoes much less bread, rolls, or biscuits!!!! For cryin' out loud!!! Then low and behold! A light bulb went off  (imagine it turning on over my head)!  Almond flour isn't a starch, it's actually a protein, and I had some in the pantry.  Now, I feel obligated to warn you, if you are on Phase III; please consider that this recipe makes 8 biscuits and uses 21/2 cups of flour......and imagine how many almonds are ground to make that 21/2 cups of flour............yeah.  These calculations didn't enter my mind until I ate 11/2 biscuits......needless to say that little miss configuration cost me a pound gain the next day (I lost it the following day).  I just wanted to for warn you, and that you may decide it is worth having one biscuit if you are like me and miss your grains as much as I did.  I must add my family loved the biscuits and asked that I make them again.

Preheat oven to 350.

21/2      cups almond flour
1/2        teaspoon sea salt
1/2        teaspoon baking soda
1/4        teasponn baking powder
1/3        cup butter; melted
3           eggs; whisked
2 -3       Tablespoons milk
1           Tablespoon Agave (I omitted on Phase III)

Whisk together the dry ingredients, whisk together the wet ingredients, then whisk them together!  Scoop an apricot sized ball into your hands and roll drop onto a parchment lined baking sheet and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until slightly browned.

Stick To Your Bones Stew

2-3 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
1/2  Portabella mushroom, chopped
2     stalks celery, chopped
2-3  cups various squash, diced (I used zucchini, crooked neck, baby squash, and butter           nut)
2     cups vegetable stock (and a glug glug of some red wine)
1-2  Tablespoon Kuzu (or any thickening agent) if needed
1      large fresh tomato
1      stalk fresh lime thyme (leaves only)
1      teaspoon freshly ground sea salt
1      teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1      bay leaf
1      teaspoon cumin
1      teaspoon coriander
1/2   teaspoon pepper flakes (or to taste)
Cayenne pepper to taste

In a dutch oven over medium heat; saute onions, shallot, and garlic in butter or oil until translucent, add mushrooms and celery cook for 5 minutes or until tender.  Add meat, tomatoes, and vegetable stock and seasonings to pan and simmer with a lid on for about an hour. Add squash and simmer with a lid on for an additional 30 minutes or until they continue to hold their shape and are not "mushy".  If the stew is too "watery" for your liking; put some liquid from the pot into a bowl with some Kuzu; mix well, add back into the pot and stir; allow to thicken, serve with your favorite bread, rolls, or biscuits.  If on Phase III of the HGC Diet; serve with the Almond Biscuit recipe seen on this blog.  Enjoy    : )

Frittata Got-ta Have-a

I cannot believe that I have lived a little over 50 years (well maybe more than "a little" over 50, but let's not go there now) and never cooked a Frittata much less eaten a Frittata.  What an amazing way to prepare eggs, so easy and the presentation is lovely.  This will become a "go to" dish for me.  One of the benefits is that once made, the leftovers last, so when a meal is needed at the last minute voila " le dîner est serve!"     :)
Choose 3-4 of the following: 
1 onion, diced
1 potato, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 roasted red pepper, diced
1-2 cups broccoli
1-2 cups cauliflower
1-2 leeks, diced
12 ounces mushrooms, diced or thinly sliced
1 cup leftover pasta
1 cup leftover rice
1-2 sausages, diced
1 cup shredded chicken, pork, or beef
1 cup tofu, diced
Any other leftovers you may have in the fridge
Seasoning Ingredients:
1-3 teaspoons spices, like oregano, basil, thyme, smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt
Frittata Ingredients:
1/2 - 1 cup shredded cheese (optional)
6 large eggs (I prefer to add a little milk to them)


10" - 12" skillet or dutch oven and spatula


Heat the oven to 400°F.
1. Sauté the Frittata Ingredients: If the meat is raw, cook that first and then remove it from the pan to add back in later. Cook the vegetables with a little oil over medium-high heat, starting with the longer-cooking veggies like onions and potatoes and ending with softer veggies like red peppers. Add any meat or tofu and cook just enough to warm through.
2. Season the Vegetables: Since the vegetables will be mixed with eggs, you want to over-season them a bit here. Add whatever seasonings you wish to use along with a half teaspoon of salt. Let this cook for a minute, then give it a taste. It should taste strong, but still good. Add more spices or salt if needed.
3. Add the Cheese: Spread the vegetables into an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the cheese on top and let it just start to melt.
4. Add the Eggs: Whisk the eggs together and pour them over the vegetables and cheese. Tilt the pan to make sure the eggs settle evenly over all the vegetables. Cook for a minute or two until you see the eggs at the edges of the pan beginning to set.
5. Bake the Frittata: Put the entire pan in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the eggs are set. To check, cut a small slit in the center of the frittata. If raw eggs run into the cut, bake for another few minutes; if the eggs are set, pull the frittata from the oven. Cool for five minutes, then slice into wedges and serve. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for a week.
Additional Notes:
• For a crispy top, run the frittata under the broiler for a minute or two at the end of cooking.

Coconut Flour Almond Butter Cookies

§  1/4 cup coconut flour
§  1/2 cup almond butter
§  6 pitted dates (soaked in warm water for 15 minutes)
§  3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
§  1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
§  2 eggs (beaten)
§  1 1/2 tsps cinnamon
§  1 tsp vanilla extract
§  1/4 tsp unrefined sea salt
§  1/2 tsp baking soda
§  2 tbsps dried cherries
§  2 tbsps chopped walnuts
§  3 tbsps currants

1.        Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.       Combine the coconut flour, almond butter, and dates in a food processor or blender.    Process until well combined and the dates have broken up into really small pieces, about a minute.
3.       Add the shredded coconut, applesauce, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, salt and baking soda and process for 30 seconds until a wet dough forms.
4.       Add in the remaining ingredients, and pulse once or twice until the fruit is incorporated into the dough but not chopped up.
5.        Using an ice cream scoop or large tablespoon, drop the dough in heaping spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
6.       Dip a metal spatula in water, and use the bottom to lightly press down each ball of dough. These cookies will not spread or rise so make sure to make them the shape you want them prior to baking.
7.        Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until they are golden on top and slightly brown along the edges. Serve immediately or store in the freezer, thawing for 15 to 20 minutes before you plan to serve them.

        I found this recipe on a "no grain" recipe site.  I cannot tell you how impressed I am with it.  These will curb the sweet tooth of any Phase III'er out there!!!! I'm so happy right now (I'm eating one as I'm typing).  I will do some research to determine the calorie count on these to see how many I can have with my yogurt in the morning, after my salad at lunch, and with my ice cream after dinner!  : )

Chocolate Coconut Cookies

These cookies are so simple and delicious, they are almost too good to be true.  My new blogger friend, "Texas" shared that she loves "Mint Patties" and I thought that adding mint extract to this recipe might be a nice touch, I haven't tried it yet, but if it appeals to you....give it a try and share your experience with the rest of us.  I have many friends who say to me, "When you bake, you have to be so exact with ingredients, it's not like cooking".  I totally disagree.  I think you can be creative with baking just like you can with cooking and this recipe is a prime example.  This recipe originally called for honey and as you all know, on Phase III no honey is allowed, I personally do not like to use Truvia or Stevia or any of that "stuff" so dates are my "go to" sugar source.  However, I encourage you to keep in mind that moderation is key.  : )  You can purchase date syrup, however I did not have any, and most of the time, I'm into "instant gratification" (and sometimes that just isn't quick enough)!!  ; )  So, I made my own:  I pitted and cut up about 5 Medjool dates, put them in a microwave safe bowl, covered them in water and cooked them for about 2 minutes, pressed them through a sieve and produced a syrup.  I also added some of the softened dates to the juice for more thickness and sweetness.

2      cups finely shredded coconut
1/2   cup good quality cocoa powder
1/2   cup date syrup
2      eggs
2      teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mix well.   With moistened hands; using coconut oil or butter; flatten out like you use to make "mud pies" when you were a child and drop onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Flatten cookie with the back on a greased spoon.  Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until bottoms are brown.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Here's to Phase III

Hi Everyone~

Friends and family have encouraged me to begin a blog to list Phase III recipes for the HCG diet.  These recipes will specifically be starch and sweetener free.  I have borrowed recipes from family, friends, and sites on the internet and “tweaked” them to suit my taste and dietary requirements, please feel free to do the same.  I feel that recipes that are printed or posted are not “owned” by anyone so therefore I am not offended by any changes anyone makes to the recipe (if someone else is, I’m sorry…okay, not really) I am actually looking forward to hearing what you do to make the recipe your own, so please leave a comment to share with anyone who may be reading the blog.  I have a lot of people in my life that think that when you cook you can make changes in a recipe and it's very forgiving; but that in baking it isn't; I strongly disagree!   For instance the big deal often brought up is baking powder vs baking soda........the difference is sodium bicarbonate, you can Google to learn more about the effects about it, but really the old adage about putting LOVE into baking your food is the ingredient that no one can change, it's what gives your homemade food its extra touch.  I will be moving into a phase of learning to bake using ancient grains other than specifically wheat; such as Kamut, Farro, and Amaranth to name a few (see my other blog for some recipes you may be interested in following your completion of Phase III.  I hope you have fun on your adventure in Phase III and I hope you find encouragement through my recipes as well as blogs like: like I did, the blog and the bloggers there saved my life (well at least helped me to figure out my eating dilemma) and to have success on Phase III.

Pancakes & Apple (Syrup)

So, I use to really get my nose pushed out of shape (exactly what does that mean?) when someone would try to convince me that something would taste "exactly like" something else when we both would know that it didn't taste ANYTHING like what it was suppose to taste like.  Am I making any sense here?  So let me be completely honest (like there is partial honesty) and tell you that these pancakes aren't anything like IHOP's; however, if you, like me haven't had grains, or sweeteners for almost 2 months, you will probably love these like I loved these.  As I began to cook them, I realized I started to feel a little disappointed because the texture wasn't like flour pancakes.  Well, guess what?  They aren't flour pancakes!!!  What they are is something between a pancake and a crepe and they were beyond my expectations, my disappointment melted as soon as the first forkful entered my mouth.  Holy Jump'in Skyscrapers, Batman!!!  These were really really really good.  So, here's what I did:


4      eggs
4      tablespoons butter, melted
4      tablespoons heavy whipping cream
11/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2   teaspoon cinnamon
1/2   teaspoon salt
4      tablespoons almond flour (you can use coconut flour)
1/2   teaspoon baking powder
11/2 scoops vanilla protein powder

Whisk together butter, cream, vanilla and eggs.  In another bowl; whisk flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder, combine wet and dry ingredients.  Add protein powder and mix well.  Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat, add small amount of butter or coconut oil.  Spoon batter into skillet and brown on both sides.

Prior to making the pancakes:

Apple (Syrup)

Peel, core, and thinly slice an apple.  Place apple in a small sauce pan or skillet; saute in a dab of butter, add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup water and cook down to thicken, about 15 minutes, add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, cook an additional 5 minutes.  Serve over pancakes.  You can top with whipping cream or vanilla yogurt (I use my homemade yogurt)  Note: you will read that highlighted statement often during this blog.   : )