Wednesday, January 21, 2015

FettuZINI Non-Fredo! GF, Vegan, SCD & Paleo!


Ok guys. I have a serious secret to share with you....I mean, serious.

That is the extraordinary awesomeness that is SOAKED CASHEWS.

OK, pause. Before you scratch your head in confusion, let me explain.

I love cashews. I really do. But I always just buy them raw, grind them up in my food processor and fuggeduhboutit. I mean, I had always seen the recipes that call for "soaked cashews," but I never had the time or patience to plan ahead, and much of a difference could it really make? I mean, come on?

The answer? A LOT.

Yesterday, I knew I was going to have some time on my hands today. I have a shoot on Friday and am going to Sundance this weekend, so I knew I was going to create a little somethin'somethin' for my fave Happy Tummies today. :) So I thought, lemme just give it a try.

You. Guys. What happened to these raw cashews was nothing short of amazing. I took a picture to show you.

I soaked them in water for 24 hours. The right cashew is what they started out as. And here they are on the left, TRIPLED IN SIZE!

I couldn't believe it. They absorbed the water and became creamy and soft - seriously like the consistency of cream cheese or butter.

I've seen the light. I'm converted. :P

Anywho, given this revelation of the soaked cashew glory, I decided that it was time to tackle one of my former all-time favorite foods: Fettuccine Alfredo. Only this version would be SCD Friendly and VEGAN.

To all you who are shakin your head, or "SMH" as the youths today so eloquently put it, just hear me out. This dish was incredible.

You saw in my last post the power of Cauliflower in its ability to become irresistible sandwich bread. Well, friends, cauliflower is at it again! This time, it's transforming into a creamy and rich ALFREDO SAUCE!!

Yep! This alfredo sauce is Gluten and Grain Free, Vegan, Specific Carb Diet friendly, Body Ecology Diet friendly, and Paleo!

So must taste like sawdust or cardboard, right?! ----- WRONG!!! It was superb!!!

Don't believe me? -- I dare you to give it a try :D

Here's what you need: (Serves 2)

1/3 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight or for 24 hours
1 cup cauliflower roasted
1 cup cauliflower steamed
1/2 vidalia onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
salt and pepper

optional:unsweetened regular almond milk - room temperature
optional: 1 grate/pinch of fresh nutmeg

1 zucchini, made into noodles
basil, chopped -garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a tin foil-lined, olive oil-sprayed baking sheet, bake half (1 cup) of your cauliflower florets for 25 minutes, stirring once half-way through.

Meanwhile, steam the other cup of the cauliflower in a steamer basket, or in the microwave until very tender.

Also, saute your onions and garlic in 1-2 Tbsp EVOO, salt and pepper over medium heat until the onions are soft and beginning to caramelize. This will take about 8-10 minutes.

Put your soaked and drained cashews in the food processor and process them until they form a smooth paste. Add your roasted and steamed cauliflower, onions and garlic to the food processor, and process until smooth. It will be thick and creamy. You may need to scrape the sides. I find it best to do this when it is still hot, as the steam helps the sauce "come together." You may add 1-3 Tbsp almond milk if it is too thick. I did not. You may also add a grate of fresh nutmeg if desired.

Finally, with either a spiralizer, mandolin, or sharp knife, make your zucchini into noodles. You may also use any noodle of choice.

To plate, either top your noodles with the sauce and garnish with chopped fresh basil, or toss your noodles with the sauce, and plate.

My goodness, you guys. What a TREAT! Back in my gluten-consuming days, Fettuccine Alfredo was my favorite "special occasion" dinner. And this brought me right back to that "happy place!"

The sauce was so creamy and rich from the cashews. And the combination of the nuttiness from the roasted cauliflower with the onions and garlic made for just a remarkable flavor.

It's hard to believe that this dish is healthy because it tasted so darn decadent!

So, it may not be the belle of the ball as far as appearances go, but what it lacks in color, it definitely makes up for in flavor.

I will DEFINITELY be making this again!

What's your "happy place" food?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Grain Free Caramelized Onion & Gruyere Sandwich! GF & SCD Friendly!


2015! It's going to be a terrific year. I can just feel it :)

So I'm sitting in my apartment, back in New York. The snow is really coming down outside, and I am cozy and warm, snuggled under a blanket with the candles on, and a mug of tea in my hands. Life. Is. Good.

This time of year, resolutions are in full swing. People trying to eat healthier, exercise more, keep their personal space more organized, etc.

Well, I am all for that. But sometimes, on a day like today, when it's blustery outside, all you want is comfort food. SOOO, I've decided to update a classic and make it healthier, so we can stick to our resolutions!!

And what did I reinvent?

Introducing my Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Grilled Cheese Sandwich!

Wait wait wait...just how is this "resolution friendly?" -- Welllll -- the bread is actually made out of CAULIFLOWER!!

Yep, you read that correctly! The bread is grain free, and made from cauliflower and almonds!

It's Gluten Free, Grain Free, and Specific Carb Diet friendly!

Here's what you need: (Serves 1)

For the Bread:
1 cup cauliflower
1/3 cup almond flour
1 egg (or 2 egg whites)
1/8 tsp salt

1/3 vidalia onion, sliced
1/4 cup gruyere cheese, shredded

The first step is to get your onions caramelizing. In a non-stick skillet, sauté your onions in 1-2 Tbsp EVOO for about 15 minutes over medium-low heat with a little salt and pepper. Stir them occasionally, letting them become a golden brown color.

While your onions are cooking, place your cauliflower in the food processor. Pulse until it resembles rice. Then, place your riced cauliflower in a clean kitchen towel, paper towels, or a cheese cloth and wring out as much water as you can. **This step is really important!!**

Then, mix your egg, cauliflower, almond flour and salt in a medium sized bowl.

Spray a large, non-stick frying pan with olive oil, and heat over medium-high heat. Divide the batter in two, and create two "skillet cakes." Let them cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side, until they are golden brown on the edges, and fragrant (they'll smell like roasting almonds). Then, carefully flip with a spatula.

After your flip the bread, evenly place the shredded cheese on each slice of the bread. Cover the skillet with the lid for about a minute to help melt the cheese.

Once the other side is finished cooking, sandwich the caramelized onions between the bread.
You will want to serve and eat immediately.

OK guys. I have to be real with you all. This. Was. AMAZING! It's hard to believe how cauliflower can be transformed into such a decadent gourmet treat! You seriously can't taste the cauliflower. The bread just tastes nutty and delicious.

It has a wonderful texture: it's bread and chewy. The golden brown edges are a little crispy, and SO GOOD! You can actually pick it up and eat it like a sandwich!

And the caramelized onions are out of this world. If you've never had them, consider this your personal invitation. They can seem a little intimidating, but they're actually really simple -- they just take some good sweet time:)

They become almost sweet, because the sugars in the vidalia onion are released and caramelize. They become soft and chewy and they pair perfectly with the buttery gruyere cheese.

I almost forgot! The gruyere cheese!! Melty, buttery, rich and fully SCD friendly, this grilled cheese sandwich is a far cry from a greasy spoon.

In fact, with my "happy tummy" can be considered a healthy treat! This sandwich comes in at just under 500 calories, so "splurge" away!

Alright. First week of 2015 coming up. Let's make it a phenomenal one!