Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Brussels Sprouts Pesto Pasta! GF, V, BED, SCD & Paleo!

Hey Happy Tummies!

Can you BELIEVE that it's already Labor Day?! I don't know about you, but I'm completely in shock. I mean, I feel like it was just June! This summer absolutely flewwww by!

It's kinda exciting though:) It means that boots and cozy sweater weather is right around the corner!

So tonight, I made a delicious meal. I found a bin of organic Brussels sprouts at the grocery store and I was so excited. 

I love Brussels Sprouts. They get kind of a bad wrap, but I think that's just because most people haven't had them prepared the right way. Let's face it...when you cook the life out of these babies, they're not exactly the belle of the ball. Buuut when you prepare them like this, they're irresistible! 

So what did I make? I made pasta out of SPAGHETTI SQUASH! Which is another one of my favorites:) You get the pasta "feeling" without the grains!

I made a beautiful cauliflower-pesto cream sauce over spaghetti squash with pan seared Brussels sprouts and red pepper. It was D-Lish!

And it's gluten free, vegan, Body Ecology Diet and Specific Carb Diet friendly, and Paleo!

Here's what you need: Serves 2

1 spaghetti squash

Pesto Cream Sauce:
2 cups cauliflower
1 cup fresh basil
1 clove of garlic
3 Tbsp pine nuts
juice of 1/2 lemon
2-3 Tsp EVOO
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of pepper

2 dozen Brussels spouts, halved
1 red pepper, diced
1/4 tsp dried oregano and basil

chopped basil

Carefully prick your spaghetti all over with a fork. (I caaaarefully used a sharp knife). Place it on a paper towel in the microwave and cook for 7 minutes. Then, carefully flip it and cook for another 4-5 minutes, until soft. Then, with oven mitts, carefully take it out of the microwave and let it cool until you can touch it.

While it's cooking in the microwave, pan sear your Brussels sprouts. Heat 1 Tbsp EVOO in a large non-stick frying pan. Place your Brussels sprouts cut-side-down in the pan. Sprinkle them with oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Then don't touch them and let them brown for about 4-5 minutes, until golden brown. Then, flip them and cook the other side for another 3 minutes. Transfer them to a plate and set aside.

Add another tsp or 2 of EVOO to the pan, and saute your red pepper with salt and pepper. Let it cook for about 4 minutes, until slightly soft, but still crunchy.

Next, prepare your cauliflower-pesto cream sauce. Steam your cauliflower by either microwaving it for 3 minutes or steaming it in a steamer basket. In the food processor, add your basil, lemon, EVOO, pine nuts, garlic, cooked cauliflower, salt and pepper. Process until it is thick and creamy. (You'll need to scrape the sides several times.)

Finally, take your cooled spaghetti squash and carefully cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and then with a fork, scrape the sides, creating spaghetti strands.

To assemble, mix your pesto cream sauce with the spaghetti strands and red pepper in a separate medium sized bowl. On each plate, place half of the "spaghetti" mixture, top with half of the Brussels sprouts and garnish with fresh basil.

Holy cow, guys. What a delicious dinner! This was Brussels sprouts perfection! Something magical happens when you sear Brussels sprouts like that. They become all caramelized and have a smokey earthiness to them. And they have a wonderful chew to them! I mean, just look at the golden brown deliciousness!

And the pesto cream sauce complimented it beautifully! It was fresh and bright, and luxuriously rich and creamy. 

And so healthy too! Just packed with different nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and FLAVOR!!

Just in case you missed my last post, my exciting news was that I shot some episodes for a gluten free cooking show with HealthiNation! So fun! :) Here's a pic from set.

Want more GFHT?  You can now get my e-cookbook, The Best of GlutenFreeHappyTummy for only $2.99 on Amazon!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Monster Pancakes! GF, SCD & Paleo!

Hey Happy Tummies!

How was everyone's week? Things here are going great!

I want to share some excited news with you all!

On Friday I had an awesome day...

I shot several episodes for a new cooking show by HealthiNation!

It was a great day on set. I made my Vegan FroYo. We shot in this adorable little kitchen studio in Brooklyn complete with exposed brick and natural light-drenched, original wooden floors. It was a Pinterest-lover's dream kitchen:)

So yeah! I'll be sure to pass along the episodes when they're finished, but in the meantime, you can check out their neat website.

Sooo, when I got home last night, I wanted to have a celebratory meal. And in my opinion, nothing says "party" like breakfast for dinner! Especially.....PANCAKES!

And not just any pancakes......MONSTER PANCAKES!!

Yep. These officially rock. Basically, they're my decadent monster cookies in pancake form!

These could also be called "kitchen sink" pancakes because they literally have SO MANY healthy and yummy ingredients in them: coconut, raisins, peanut butter, and sunflower seeds with a fabulous drizzle of strawberry purée to take it over the top!

Delicious AND healthy?! Count me in!

Here's what you need: (serves 1 -- makes 4 silver dollar pancakes)

1 egg + 1 egg white
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 "droppers full" of pure liquid stevia (SCD sub 3 tsp honey)
1 1/2 Tbsp EVOO
1/4 tsp baking soda
Pinch salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 Tbsp organic natural peanut butter
2 Tbsp shredded coconut (unsweetened)
2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup almond flour

Drizzle1 1/2 cups strawberries (I used frozen that I thawed)

Start out by creaming your peanut butter and egg. Add in your sweetener, vanilla, oil, and spices. Stir in the remaining ingredients. The batter will be thick.

Heat a non stick frying pan on medium. Add 1 tsp EVOO and scoop four 1/4 cup pancakes. Let them cook for about 3 minutes a side, or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, purée your strawberries in the food processor.

To serve, top the pancakes with a healthy serving of the strawberry sauce and enjoy!

Wow. A meal fit for a queen! Let me tell you!

These were not some wimpy pancake. No ma'am. These were thick and chewy, with bits of chewy and sticky, crunchy and crispy!

These were so much fun to eat because of all the fun surprises hidden inside! Every bite had a different hidden gem inside from the raisins to the coconut to the sunflower seeds!

And the flavor was just outstanding. These were like a PB & J on steroids! The peanut butter in the pancake really gave it a wonderfully nutty and rich flavor that went perfectly with the bright and sweet strawberry purée!

Next time you're hankering for a special meal --breakfast, brunch, lunch, or even dinner --- give these monster pancakes a try!

They're so freakin fantastic, you won't believe they're actually healthy!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Beet "Steaks" w/ Zesty Spinach! GF, V, SCD & Paleo!

Hey Happy Tummies!!

How's everybody doing?!

Things here are great. In fact, I've got some really exciting things in the works!! Stayed tuned for updates:)

SO, things have been pretty crazy around here! But, I wanted to share a happy tummy "outing," and a fabulous recipe!

First things first: My mother had a big birthday this past week, and so I want to send a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my very best friend. I love you so much, mom. Cheers to you!

Sadly, I couldn't be home to celebrate with her. She and my family went to the nicest steak house in Cincinnati for her bday dinner. So, that inspired my latest dish:)

One of the best things about steak houses are the decadent side dishes, namely, creamed spinach! So, I did a riff on steak and creamed spinach:

Beet "Steaks" with Zesty Spinach & Mushrooms!

So delicious and so pretty!

And it's Gluten Free, Vegan, Specific Carb Diet friendly, and Paleo!

Here's what you need: (serves 1)

1 beet, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds

2 cups baby spinach
6 mushrooms, sliced
1 small shallot (about 2 Tbsp), minced
2 Tbsp white wine
1 tsp dijon mustard + 1 tsp water
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place your beet rounds on a tin-foil-lined, olive-oil-sprayed baking sheet. Spritz them with EVOO and sprinkle with pepper. Bake for about 35-40 minutes, flipping once halfway through. When you take them out of the oven, hit them with salt.

*optional: When you flip the beets, place 5 or 6 big baby spinach leaves on the baking sheet. Spritz them lightly with EVOO, and bake for the remaining 20 minutes. They will crisp up and be like a delicate chip for a garnish.

While your beets are baking, brown your mushrooms by adding them in a single layer to a frying pan with 1 tsp EVOO. Let them sit for about 3 minutes on one side, and then flip for another 3 minutes. Transfer them to a plate, and set aside. Add another tsp EVOO to the pan, and add your shallot, salt and pepper. Let it soften for about 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, combine your wine, dijon mustard, and water in a little dish. Add your spinach to the pan, and stir in your wine mixture to wilt the leaves. After it's wilted, add your mushrooms back into the pan. Stir, and remove from the heat.

To assemble, arrange your beet "steaks" on the plate and top with your zesty spinach. Garnish with your oven-fried spinach leaves.

This meal was such a treat! The flavor combination was so interesting - I loved it! The beets were wonderfully earthy with a touch of savory sweetness. They paired beautifully with the zesty spinach and "meaty" mushrooms. There was a slight *zing* from the dijon mustard, which was the perfect punchy accent to round out the dish.

The oven-fried spinach leaves were so awesome! I can't believe I've never tried this before! I've made kale chips, but have never thought to use spinach! Let me tell you, these were paper thin! Almost like tissue paper! They were crispy, salty, and the perfect texture surprise for the dish!

And it was a truly beautiful meal. The purple and the green were so regal and luxurious looking. I really did feel like I was at a steak house. Although, it would have been better if I were sitting with the birthday girl and my fam:)

OK, now onto a fun GFHT outing! This weekend was the Yoga Integral Vegan/Vegetarian Street Fair! Of course I had to check it out:) Unfortunately there weren't very many things I could sample, but I had fun seeing all the creative cooks producing various baked goods, artisan "ice creams" and other yummy-looking treat! They had a great turn out too! Woo!

Alright, check you guys later this week! Have a great great day!!!

Want more GFHT?  You can now get my e-cookbook, The Best of GlutenFreeHappyTummy for only $2.99 on Amazon!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Pink Pesto Pasta! GF, V, SCD & Paleo!

Hey Hey Happy Tummies!

Can you believe that we're almost halfway through August?! I mean, seriously! Slow down, Summer!!
Ah well, we must enjoy these last several weeks while we can :)

So as I told you, I did some major cooking while I was home earlier this month.

My brother and his wife had a baby!! So I was home visiting them:)

One day, I decided to cook a meal for them! This is a really great meal for when you’re cooking for people that don’t have dietary restrictions. It’s absolutely DELICIOUS, and you don’t have to make a separate meal for yourself!

It’s called: Pink Pesto Pasta!

For myself (the SCD version), it was a beautiful plate of sautéed veggies with a creamy pesto sauce.

For the “normal eaters,” I took my share of the veggies w/ pesto out, and then tossed the remaining veggies with some gluten free (or regular) pasta!

And the beauty of this dish is that it can be pretty much made ahead of time! I had the pesto all made, and the veggies all chopped. So when I got to their house, all I needed to do was sauté the veggies and cook the pasta! Voila! Instant gourmet meal!

Pesto is one of THE EASIEST things you can make that gets you the biggest “bang” for your effort. It really is SO simple and fast, and is SO incredibly delicious. It instantly elevates a dish to "gourmet level" when you announce “homemade pesto!”

And my version was Gluten Free, Vegan, Specific Carb Diet friendly, and Paleo!

Here’s what you need: (Serves 5)

2 red peppers, diced into bite-sized pieces
2 zucchini, sliced into half moons
1 ½- 2 cups grape tomatoes
1 beet, small dice
1 container of mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves of garlic

1 ½ - 2 cups fresh basil
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp pine nuts
1 garlic clove
juice of 3/4 lemon
1-2 Tbsp EVOO
salt and pepper

Optional garnish for your dairy-eating guests: Feta, Goat or Parmesan cheese

Super simple pesto: Throw everything into the food processor and turn it on. DONE! Ok, you’ll need to scrape the sides several times, but come on, how incredible easy is that?!?! So then, I packaged that up in a Tupperware and threw it in the fridge.

To sauté your veggies, you’ll want to start out by browning your mushrooms, since you don’t want them becoming mushy and absorbing too much liquid. In the biggest frying pan you have, spritz it with olive oil. In a single layer, spread out your mushrooms. Do not sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let them sit, untouched for about 3 minutes over medium heat. Then, flip them, and let the other side caramelize for about 3 more minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

**At the same time, if you’re also making pasta for your guests, boil the water and cook the pasta.

In the same huge frying pan, add 1-2 tsp EVOO. Add your beets and let them cook for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.  Then, add your zucchini and peppers. Reseason with salt and pepper. Stir those around for about 4 more minutes. Stir in your garlic and let it cook for 2 minutes. Finally, stir in your tomatoes and let them cook for 1 minute before turning off the heat.

Now all you have left to do is toss this mixture with the pesto. Toss the veggies with the pasta right before you serve, and once the veggies cool a bit. If you add the pesto while it’s piping hot, it loses a lot of the basil flavor.

Once the veggies are tossed with the pesto, take out your share of the veggies (about 1/5 of the mixture.) Put them on your plate and top with 1/5 of the browned mushrooms.

Toss the pasta with the remaining pesto veggies until everything is coated. Garnish the top with the remaining browned mushrooms. This is the beautiful dish for your guests! **You can also top with Feta, Goat, or Parmesan cheese if your guests desire.**

My family absolutely RAVED about this dish. They seriously couldn’t have been more enthusiastic about how much they enjoyed it:) They couldn’t believe that I was able to make it in such a short amount of time. Seriously, by the time I had boiled the water for the pasta, it was ready to go!

And it was a really pretty dish. The pasta takes on this beautiful pink hue from the beets. It is absolutely stunning.

And my veggie dish was incredible too! I am such a fan of pesto, and in this dish, it really was the star of the show! The combination of beets and pesto is one of my favor flavor profiles! They compliment each other so well.

And I didn’t cook the life out of the veggies, so they still had a nice bite to them. It was just wonderful.
Cooking the mushrooms separate seems like a silly, trivial step, but it really makes a huge difference. Cooking such a large amount of veggies like that tends to steam them more than brown them. So by cooking the mushrooms separately allowed them to brown and remain nice and chewy.
Every bite with a mushroom was like a little surprise :) Simply Delicious.

Again, this was a great meal if you want to cook for your friends who don’t have any dietary restrictions. You both get an outrageously tasty, and healthy meal!

But be careful -- once you cook for them, they’re going to want you to do it again and again!! :D

On another note, while I was home, my mom had found a little goodie for me at the grocery store! She found these bars, Paleo Crunch by Steve's PaleoGoods! And my gosh, they were GOOD!

Unlike Larabars, they don’t have dates in them! They’re only sweetened with dried pineapple and coconut.

Check the ingredients! All organic, and super low in sugar.

I love Larabars, but dates don’t really agree with my tummy. They’re super high in sugar. Case in point: a Larabar has 18 grams of sugar. That’s A LOT! This Paleo Crunch bar only has 6 GRAMS!! Woo!

Check out the texture – it was chewy with a nice crunch. It had a very nutty flavor with a subtle hint of coconut. And not too sweet. Juuuust right:)

Want more GFHT?  You can now get my e-cookbook, The Best of GlutenFreeHappyTummy for only $2.99 on Amazon!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Broccoli Pesto Flatbread w/ Cauliflower Crust! GF, SCD & Paleo w/ BED & Vegan Opt'ns!

Hey Happy Tummies!

Pssst....I have a secret: Guess what........IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!!!! 

Just a quick post tonight because I'm on my way out to meet some friends:)

So, just a little house keeping: I've been asked about whether I'm on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, and the answer is a big whopping YES! You can find me on Facebook at, on twitter @GFreeHappyTummy, and Pinterest at GFreeHappyTummy! Hope that helps!

So for my last meal in Cincinnati, I made one of my favorite staples: a CAULIFLOWER CRUST FLATBREAD!!!

And this beauty had a green pea and broccoli pesto cream sauce with sautéed peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes. It was fabulous.

There's something so satisfying about a flatbread. It's filling, and nice and "bready" -- without actually having bread!

And it's Gluten Free, Specific Carb Diet and Body Ecology Diet friendly and Paleo, with a Vegan option!

Here's what you need:

2 cups raw cauliflower
1/4 cup almond flour
2 egg whites (vegan option: 2 flax/chia eggs)
Pinch of salt and pepper

Cream sauce:
1 cup frozen broccoli
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup packed fresh basil (1 small package)
1 garlic clove
3 Tbsp pine nuts
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper

1/2 red pepper or yellow pepper ( or both!) -cut into note sized pieces
1/2 zucchini, cut into half moons
6 grape tomatoes, halved (BED omit)

Fresh basil, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place raw cauliflower into your food processor. Process until it resembles rice. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel, or several paper towels. Then, wring out as much water as you can from the riced cauliflower. This is a really important step! Place your dry cauliflower rice into a small mixing bowl. Combine with the remaining crust ingredients.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place your batter (it will be rather wet) on the parchment. With another sheet of parchment, "smoosh" out the batter into a pizza shape. Don't make it too thin-about 10 inches in diameter. Bake for about 35 minutes, until the edges turn a dark golden brown.

Meanwhile steam your broccoli and peas either on the stove or in the microwave. I used the microwave.

In your food processor, place all the cream sauce ingredients and process until it is smooth and creamy. You'll need to scrape the sides several times.

Also, sauté your zucchini and peppers in 1 tsp EVOO, salt, pepper, and a dash of dried oregano and basil.

To assemble: top your crust with 1/2 of the broccoli cream sauce. (The leftover cream sauce is a great dip or sandwich spread! I ate it with some of the extra peppers!) Arrange the peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes artfully on top. Garnish with fresh basil.

My goodness was this ever a treat! The first thing that you notice about this dish is how beautiful it is!! There are so many wonderful colors that just pop off the plate! Red, yellow, different shades of green -- truly stunning.

And then the flavor was so robust! The broccoli pesto cream was so luxurious and fresh from the basil! It was the most wonderful compliment to the juicy tomatoes and sweet peppers.

And the crust! Holy cow! It's so hard to believe that there's CAULIFLOWER in it!! You cannot taste it AT ALL! It's just chewy, crunchy on the edges, nutty, and the perfect vehicle for this tasty dish!

I've gotta say -- I passed around my plate so my family could all have a bite, and they were blown away! They loved it:)

Who says a gluten/grain free gal can't have pizza?!?

What's your favorite pizza/flatbread topping?

Want more GFHT?  You can now get my e-cookbook, The Best of GlutenFreeHappyTummy for only $2.99 on Amazon!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Cauliflower Steaks w/ Roasted Beet Cream! GF, V, SCD & Paleo!

Hey Everyone!

I hope you’re having a fabulous week!

I’m back in NYC, and I don’t know about you, but it’s always tough coming back after a nice trip. I had such a wonderful time at home. I got to meet my new niece, my new puppy nephew :) and hang out with my family. It was awesome.

Let me tell ya, I had so much fun cooking up new meals while I was home. That’s another perk of coming home – groceries are SO much cheaper than in NYC. So lets just say I take full advantage of that! :)

On Friday, we had a cookout at my brother’s house. I brought along my dinner and it was a showstopper! What did I make?

Cauliflower “Steaks” with Roasted Beet Cream!

Wow. Wow. Wow. What a dramatic dish! This was so freaking good. A caramelized cauliflower “steak” topped with a puree of roasted beets and garnished with blistered green beans! YUM!

And it’s Gluten Free, Vegan, Specific Carb Diet friendly and Paleo!

Here’s what you need: (serves 1 – 2)

½ head cauliflower – cut into 1-inch slabs (makes 2)

1 large beet, diced
¼ red onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
10 cashews

Handful of green beans

Fresh basil (garnish)
Baby spinach

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place your cubed beets on a tin-foil-lined, olive-oil-sprayed baking sheet. Spritz with EVOO and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until tender, stirring once, halfway through.

Also, cut your cauliflower into 1-inch slabs. Be careful to include the stem on each steak so that the florets stay together. Place the 2 slabs on another tin-foil-lined, olive-oil-sprayed baking sheet. On the same baking sheet, spread out your green beans in a single layer. Spritz with EVOO and bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown on the edges.

Meanwhile, sauté your onions and garlic in 1 tsp EVOO with salt and pepper. Allow them to get soft – about 5 minutes. Transfer to your food processor.

In your food processor, process your beets, cashews, onions and garlic until creamy. You’ll need to scrape the sides twice.

To assemble: Place one cauliflower steak on a bed of baby spinach. Top your cauliflower with about ½ cup of the beet puree. Top with about 6 or 7 green beans and sprinkle with chopped basil. This recipe makes 2 complete steaks. (One steak is enough for a side dish, or two for a main meal.)

What a showstopper! This dish brought so much drama to the table! The deep purple of the beet puree just jumped off the plate and really stood out against the white cauliflower. It looked sophisticated and regal with that deep purple, and the height from the green beans.

And then the flavor! The beet puree was savory from the onions and garlic, and had a slight earthy sweetness. It was extremely creamy and luxurious from the cashews. I could have eaten it by the spoonful! It went wonderfully with the pop of fresh basil!

And then the cauliflower. E gads. I always say that cauliflower is the humble super star! I mean, I’ve made pizza crusts, rice, mashed “potatoes,” taco shells, steaks, and poppers out of it – it is SO versatile! 

But if you’ve never had it roasted in the oven, you really should give it a try. It becomes golden brown and takes on an almost “nutty” flavor. It is truly amazing. And in “steak” form, it is really beautiful and “fancy” looking.

This was the first day’s meal. I’ve got 3 more where that came from!!  Stay tuned for the deliciousness!

PS – what did you all think of the Bachelorette!? Ohmigosh – what is Des going to do!? She basically said the show was over for her? She can’t possibly pick Drew or Chris after she pretty much said she was pretending with them?!? 

Want more GFHT?  You can now get my e-cookbook, The Best of GlutenFreeHappyTummy for only $2.99 on Amazon!