Chocolate Chip and Raspberry Walnut Gluten Free Zucchini Bread


We recently had dear friends staying with us who have gluten intolerance and they taught me how to bake with gluten free flour blends. Very exciting! I go off wheat from time to time and with so many people developing sensitivities to gluten, it’s good to have a baking alternative.


I’ve made nut butter gluten free breads before, but they tend to be very dense (albeit delicious). Using a blend of sorghum and tapioca flours with xanthan gum resulted in a light, tender, amazingly scrumptious bread much like what a traditional zucchini bread would be.


I doubled this recipe and added chocolate chips to one loaf and raspberries and walnuts to the other. The chocolate chips sunk a bit, but didn’t affect the hold and texture of the bread. I may use more raspberries next time, but didn’t want to add too many and make the bread too moist. Good reasons to experiment. I think a peach and pecan version would be delightful!


Chocolate Chip and Raspberry Walnut Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

Adapted from Gluten Free Goddess

1 rounded cup of fresh, grated zucchini (I partially peel my zukes, in stripes)
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup light olive oil or coconut oil
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbs vanilla
1/2 – 1 cup chocolate chips, raspberries, walnuts, or other berries and nuts (optional)


Butter a 9×5″ loaf pan and line with a strip of parchment to create a sling for easy removal. Butter the parchment lightly. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sorghum flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, cloves, and cinnamon. Add in the brown sugar.

Add the oil, lemon juice, eggs, and milk. Beat to combine and continue to beat on medium high until the batter is smooth, about two minutes.

Add the shredded zucchini and stir by hand to combine. If you are adding nuts or berries or chocolate, stir them in to distribute. (I made two loaves and used 1 cup of chocolate chips in one loaf and 1/2 cup raspberries with 1/2 cup chopped walnuts in the other.)

Scoop and scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and using a silicone spatula, even out the top.

Bake in the center of a preheated oven until the top is golden and firm, yet gives a bit when lightly touched. It should feel slightly springy. This may take anywhere from 60 to 80 minutes. Test with a wooden toothpick, which should come out of the loaf without any crumbs or batter. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove with the parchment sling onto a wire rack and cool completely before slicing and eating. Good luck with that.


Homemade Coconut Flax Instant Oatmeal


This may come as a shock, but Aurelia does not always eat what I do or what I make for us. For lunch or dinner, this is often not negotiable and she just eats what she wants from what I’ve made. Breakfast gets more flexibility, because it’s often a matter of “must eat something” and “2 minutes or less”. Mornings are indeed rushed and while many times she’ll go for a “dippy” (over easy) or scrambled egg, other times she wants something sweet or I need to make something even quicker than an egg that doesn’t require clean up.


I was buying these apple cinnamon instant oatmeal packets and dividing them in half to make 1/4 cup servings Aurelia could eat quickly and I could make easily. When the last box ran out, I decided to look for a brand without sugar (or fake sugar), but still with flavor. My quick search turned up nothing and I finally had the wits to just google a recipe and try to make my own. Old fashioned oats don’t cook quickly enough or get soft enough to replace the instant oatmeal packets. Luckily, I found this article on the “secret” to making homemade instant oatmeal: the blender! Brilliant. Just blitz a third of the oats in the blender and add to the other ingredients. I’m not a fan of the sugar or creamer (??) included in the linked article, so I just used the technique and came up with my own recipe. I’ve made it three times now, making more than 6 pounds. Geez. I put it in 2 quart jars and freeze it, but already we’ve gone through a couple because what do you know, I can’t stay out of it. Turns out that it’s the perfect middle of the night snack when I wake up hungry (yay, marathon training) or for my own quick breakfast. I keep a 1/4 cup scoop in the jar so I can easily measure out one for Aurelia and/or two for me.


In one 1/2 cup serving: 107 calories, 17 g carbs (.5 g sugar), 3 g protein, 4 g fat

Don’t buy the packets anymore. Make this, keep it for ages, feed your babes breakfast, and add your own sweetener (stevia, honey, fruit, jam, etc) as needed. Here’s to whatever makes the mornings easier!


Homemade Coconut Flax Instant Oatmeal

6 cups quick oats
1/2 cup flax seed meal
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1-2 Tbs cinnamon

In a blender, blitz 2 cups of the quick oats until ground. Pour into a large bowl, add the other 4 cups of oats, along with the other ingredients. Mix well. Store in an airtight container. To serve, combine 1/2 cup dry mix with 3/4 cup boiling water and let set for 1 minute to thicken before adding toppings (if desired) and eating. Use less water for a thicker oatmeal.



Weekend Dinner: Balsamic Roast Beef, Cauliflower and Herbed Barley Salad, Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Beets


This was a lovely dinner. Simple roasted vegetables. Hearty grain. Melt in your mouth beef.

Balsamic Roast Beef
Adapted from Add a Pinch

1 3-4 pound boneless roast beef (chuck or round roast)
1 cup beef (or chicken or veg) broth
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs honey
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
6 cloves garlic, chopped


Place roast beef into the insert of your slow cooker. In a 2-cup measuring cup, mix together all remaining ingredients. Pour over roast beef, cover with lid, and cook for 4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low. Once roast beef has cooked, remove from slow cooker with tongs onto a cutting board. Break apart lightly with two forks, put into a serving dish and then ladle about 1/2 cup of cooking juices from the slow cooker over roast beef.


BONUS! Onion Butternut Beef Soup
With all the remaining glorious cooking liquid remaining in the slow cooker, make an onion soup! Add in a chopped, caramelized onion, a couple cups of water, and 2 cups chopped winter squash. Cook on low again in the slow cooker for 4-6 hours. There will be a lot of fat in the broth from the beef, so I let the soup cook completely in the fridge and them remove the solidified layer of fat from the top before reheating and serving. Makes great lunch.




Warm Cauliflower and Herbed Barley Salad
Adapted from Bon Appétit, March 2013

1/2 cup pearled barley
Kosher salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 15-ounce can white or butter beans, rinsed (or I used 1.5 cups cooked lentils)
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, divided (or 2 Tbs dried parsley)


Place barley in a large saucepan; add water to cover by 2″. Season with salt. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, 30-40 minutes. Drain; run under cold water. Set aside. Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and oil in a medium bowl until emulsified. Season dressing with salt and pepper; set aside. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add cauliflower; cook, turning occasionally, until browned in spots, 10-12 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons water, cover, and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer cauliflower to a large bowl; add beans, parsley, reserved barley, and the dressing. Toss to coat and serve warm.


Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Beets – same ol’ simple way





All together now! Lovely dinner. Great leftovers.


Best Meat Sauce


“Replace your grains with greens” is the single most powerful dietary changes I’ve made in the last year, but I’ll admit, sometimes I really miss the bun, a heap of rice, a thick slice of sandwich bread, or starchy noodles. Usually these cravings come just when I’ve been indulging them already. Argh. (Three cakes and a batch of muffins have left my kitchen in the last week.)

I make this sauce regularly and instead of my usual spinach or kale, I cooked up a box of brown rice pasta, according to the package directions.


I hated the noodles. What a disappointment. They weren’t bad, but talk about boring. The next day I roasted a head of cauliflower florets, tossed with olive oil, fennel, sage, and salt. I have now reheated the sauce and eaten it on roasted cauliflower twice. It’s heaven. So, I’m sharing the sauce recipe because it’s a keeper. Serve it on anything you like.


Best Meat Sauce

1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound ground sausage
1/2 pound ground beef
1 – 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 – 6 oz can tomato paste
1 pint tomato sauce (I use a homemade marinara. Any favorite bottled sauce will do.)
2 Tbs dried parsley (or 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or more!)
salt and pepper to taste


Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef and sausage and cook until brown, breaking up with fork, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer meat to a bowl. Discard all but 2 Tbs of the grease and return to the stove. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in herbs, salt, and pepper and continue cooking for a minute. Return beef and sausage to skillet; add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until sauce is thick, about 30 minutes. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before continuing.)




Eggy Porridge (gluten free, sugar free)


I’ve made this countless times in the last month. It’s satisfying like a bowl of old fashioned oatmeal or grits. Not the same, but just as wonderful. It’s the perfect post workout meal and really filling. Aurelia loves it for breakfast and I’ve made it on a few very late nights. This is a big serving and I often share it with Aurelia or roughly halve the ingredients and have a smaller bowl to myself. But when I’m really hungry and craving something carb-rich, I can tuck into a big bowl of this eggy porridge, topped with some fruit, stevia, and cinnamon, and it hits the spot. It’s the best of both worlds – comfort and health food. Try topping with any fruit, nuts, cinnamon, cardamom, almond or vanilla extract, seeds, dried fruit, nut butters, or natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or stevia. Really, it’s delightful and real fast food.

If you don’t want to use the microwave, it works beautifully in a pot on the stove. Just keep stirring over medium heat for a couple minutes until it reaches the right “oatmeal” consistency.

Nutrition data: (full recipe, using egg whites and raw whole milk)
Calories: 284
Carbs: 21 grams (Fiber: 9 grams, Net Carbs: 12 grams)
Fat: 10 grams
Protein: 27 grams


Eggy Porridge
Adapted from Ingredients of a Fit Chick

3 egg whites (3/4 cup) or 2 eggs
2 Tbs coconut flour
2 Tbs flax seed meal
1/2 cup milk

In a microwave safe bowl, mix together all ingredients until well blended. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring every 45 seconds. Remove from the microwave and stir again until smooth. It should resembled a thick bowl of creamy oatmeal. Mix in your desired flavors or toppings and serve.


Paleo Banana Bread


I try not to label my recipes “paleo,” “primal,” “clean,” “vegetarian,” etc. because I’m an omnivore and while I know I feel and look better when I limit my grain and sugar intake, I don’t ascribe to a strict eating plan normally and start feeling too obsessive if I have to follow a rigid diet with lots of rules. Paleo has lots of rules, none that I vehemently disagree with, but it’s not good for my mind to scrutinize at that level. You know I believe in trying to eat mostly whole, unprocessed, home cooked, farmer grown and raised, vegetable/meat/fat based meals, and that’s enough labels for me.

I had to add that disclaimer because this recipe is titled Paleo Banana Bread, but really, I just had to distinguish it somehow from the Banana Cake, Banana Bran Muffins, Banana Apricot Bread, My Best Banana Bread, Banana Coconut Bread, and the Sweet, Smooth, and Simple Banana Bread already in the recipe index.  It seems I like my banana bread. If I had to pick between the list above, I’d say the Best Banana Bread and the Sweet, Smooth, Simple ones are my favorites, but both of those are wheat and sugar based and set my sweet tooth on a bender. This recipe actually is right up there with those favorites, but it doesn’t have the triggers I try to avoid. Win!

Who knew that the trick to paleo baking was in the almond butter?! Genius. The result is so satisfying and really, not that unhealthy if you’re looking for a treat. Sold yet? Get baking.


Paleo Banana Bread
Adapted from Civilized Caveman

4 ripe bananas
4 eggs
1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 Tbs cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine bananas, eggs, almond butter, and coconut butter in a food processor and mix well. Once all of your ingredients are blended, add in the coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and salt. Pulse a few times to mix well.

Line 12 muffin tins or oil one 9×5 glass loaf pan and line with a parchment sling for easy removal. (I made 10 muffin tins and 2 tiny loaf pans.) Pour in your batter and spread it evenly if needed. Place pans in the preheated oven and bake for 16-20 minutes for muffins or 55-60 minutes for a large loaf. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, let cool in pans for 10 minutes, then flip bread out from pans onto cooling racks to cool a bit before serving.


Chicken Broccoli Alfredo


This clean eating recipe is just the thing for your weeknight dinner. It was quick, healthy, delicious, and really did satisfy that desire for cheesy noodles I get from time to time. We ate it up and then we all went back for seconds. Even Aurelia started picking the broccoli out of my bowl.

I got this recipe from Alisa at Paleo in PDX. I love Portland, I love the blog, and I’m sure Alisa and I would be friends if we knew each other. Her recipes are just the sort I love to eat and make.

Skip the cheese, adapt the recipe with ghee or coconut oil (for the butter) and coconut milk or almond milk (for the cow’s milk) if you don’t do dairy. If you do use dairy, remember to always source from good farmers and happy, grass fed, hormone free cows.



Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
Adapted from Paleo in PDX

1 small spaghetti squash (or 1/2 large)
2 tsp coconut oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium head of broccoli, chopped (about 5 cups)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp coconut flour
1 cup milk (I used raw cow’s milk)
Pinch of nutmeg






Start with your spaghetti squash. You have two ways to make it. Pick one or the other and go with it.

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Place skin side up in baking pan and fill pan about 1/4-inch high with water. Place pan in oven and bake for 30-45 minutes. Pierce with a knife after 15 minutes to test for doneness. The knife should slip through the skin easily. If not done, go for another 5 minutes and repeat. Once done, remove from pan, set on a cutting board, and carefully turn the squash flesh side up to cool more quickly. Or…

2. Pierce the whole spaghetti squash with a sharp knife 8-10 times, spaced out around the squash. Put it in the microwave and cook for 15-25 minutes, depending on how big your squash is. Only set the microwave for 5 minutes at a time and rotate the squash for even cooking. Pierce with a knife after 15 minutes to test for doneness. The knife should slip through the skin easily. If not done, go for another 5 minutes and repeat. Once done, remove from microwave, set on a cutting board, and carefully cut in half lengthwise to open and cool more quickly.

Now for the rest of the recipe. In a large skillet, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chicken pieces and season with sea salt and pepper. Let cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, add the broccoli pieces and sauté with the chicken. Turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to stir occasionally, until the chicken is done and the broccoli is tender. Once done, keep warm over low heat.

Now, whip up the sauce. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat and whisk in the coconut flour to
make a roux. Whisk constantly for one minute and then slowly add the milk. Turn the heat up to medium high and continue to whisk for another five minutes or until it has thickened. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Once the spaghetti squash is done and cool enough to handle, scrape out the shreds (noodles) with a fork. Add the noodles to the pan with the chicken and broccoli, and then pour the sauce over top. Mix together until well incorporated, over low heat. Taste and add more sea salt and pepper if necessary. Serve hot!




Gorgeous Pork Tenderloin With Apricot Glaze



Darlings, I grilled this all by myself. Grilled! Me! Not usually my forte, but I believe I started with a stellar recipe. The sweet, spicy, juicy, fresh hit in each bite is just a knockout. I made the kale on the side richer than usual to offer a counter to the boldness of the tenderloin. Delicious dinner and quick to boot.



Gorgeous Pork Tenderloin With Apricot Glaze
Adapted from Allrecipes

2 (1 pound) pork tenderloins, trimmed

Spice Rub:
1 tsp chili powder
1 Tbs garlic powder
1 packet stevia
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups apricot preserves
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 Tbs minced ginger root
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sriracha or other hot sauce
1 lemon or lime, juiced

2 Tbs chopped cilantro for garnish




Mix together the spice rub ingredients in a small bowl, then rub spice mixture all over the pork tenderloins. Cover tenderloins and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.

Prior to grilling, mix all the glaze ingredients except for the cilantro in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the preserves are melted and everything bubbles together nicely. Remove from heat. Place half of the glaze in a serving bowl and set aside.

Prepare grill at medium-high heat. I aimed for a grill temperature of 375 degrees. Grill for about 20 minutes, flipping the tenderloins over every 5 minutes until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 145 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. In the last 5 minutes of grilling, brush the pork tenderloins with the apricot glaze remaining in the pan. Cook for 2 and a half minutes, turn the pork tenderloins and brush glaze on other side. Cook for an additional 2 and a half minutes. Remove pork from the grill, put on a serving plate and cover with foil. Let set for about 10 minutes before slicing. Top with cilantro and serve with reserved glaze.





Creamed Kale

1 large bunch kale, stems removed and leaves torn into bite size pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, finely sliced
1 Tbs olive or coconut oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
pinch nutmeg
2 Tbs heavy cream
1/4 cup grated cheese (I used Swiss. Parmesan or Gruyere would be good, too.)

Wash the kale, but do not dry. In a large skillet or saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions begin to brown and become translucent. Add the wet kale, salt, and pepper. Stir and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes until the kale is wilted. Stir in the nutmeg, cream, and cheese. Cover again and cook just until cooked through. Serve hot.


Oatmeal Blueberry Protein Pancakes


First let me start by saying that this recipe is a great compromise. These aren’t your old fashioned fluffy buttermilk pancakes and they’re not as yummy as the protein pancakes I’ve made before. But what this recipe does have going for it and why I’ll probably be making these more often than any others is that it’s gluten free, sugar free, higher protein, super easy to make in a hurry, and quick to cook. Bonus: Aurelia absolutely loved them and has been asking for more since.


I topped mine with a bit of plain yogurt and cinnamon and then later with a bit of almond butter and tiny bit of maple syrup. I preferred the yogurt topping with the blueberries inside. The almond butter topping was more filling. Really, plain would hit the spot most of the time too. It just feels like a treat to wake up and have pancakes, even if you’re in a hurry and they’re actually pretty darn good for you. 


Oatmeal Protein Pancakes
Adapted from The Iron Den

1/2 cup egg whites
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 scoop of protein powder
1 packet stevia
1/8 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 cup blueberries (optional)


Mix all the ingredients except the blueberries together into a batter using a blender. Heat up a cast iron skillet or griddle over medium heat. Pour the batter by the quarter cup into the hot skillet to make individual pancakes. Top each pancake with a few blueberries, if using. Flip when the edges of the batter become dry and bubbles form in the middle. Cook for about a minute longer then remove from the skillet to a plate. Repeat with remaining batter until you’ve made all the pancakes you can (I got 6 small ones total) and serve.




Eggplant Lasagna

I ate this for dinner last night with Aurelia and a darling friend and had so much left over, I had it again tonight. Aurelia ate her serving up both nights and I couldn’t help but get seconds. It’s really wonderful, especially the second day. It’s somewhat like the Eggplant Towers, except with way more cheese and no goat heart. You can tell my diet has been falling below pretty and I’m doing my best to at least be posting as many savory recipes as sweet. It’s amazing how quickly I start slipping into my old sweet cravings and the effect it not only has on my waist, but my appetite the rest of the day.

I started a new running schedule and ran on Monday and Tuesday this week. I did weights on Wednesday and decided it had been far too long since I’d done heavy squats and lunges and proceeded to push myself down to the ground in double sets of 15 on both. Plus the rest of a full body strength day. It always feels great when you’re doing it and just done, right? It’s the last two mornings I haven’t been able to walk properly, let alone run again. Hmm. I feel like I have to drop the heavy weights if I’m going to run this often (and eat the carbs running for an hour+ affords), but I know that’s only the easy way out. I have to start lifting more and it will get easier as I get stronger. Meanwhile, I’ll wince on the stairs and wear slip on shoes I don’t have to pull or buckle.

This may seem like comfort food and feel downright indulgent, but it really is quite lean. I substituted eggplant for the lasagna noodles, cottage cheese for the ricotta, cut out the parmesean and used less mozzarella, and used turkey and tons of veg in the sauce for flavor, fiber, protein, and micronutrients. This is not your typical lasagna and I think you’ll love it more than any traditional version. Your body certainly will!

Eat your vegetables! Eat protein! Lift heavy things! Love the body you have and ask it to do more!

Eggplant Lasagna
Adapted from Allrecipes

2 eggplants, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
6 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1.25 pounds ground turkey
1 Tbs dried oregano
1 Tbs dried basil
2 tsp dried marjoram
1 (10 ounce) package fresh spinach leaves
2 cups cottage cheese (16 oz container)
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 egg
2 cups tomato or marinara sauce (preferably seasoned or roasted)
2 Tbs tomato paste
2 cups tomatoes, chopped (or one 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes)
salt and pepper to taste

Soak the eggplant slices in a large bowl of heavily salted water. Set aside for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once the eggplant is done soaking, rinse the slices under fresh water and dry. Brush the slices with olive oil on both sides, and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, flipping the slices over after 5 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the turkey and cook until it starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Add some salt and pepper, the spices, onion and garlic. Cook another 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until it wilts. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste and chopped tomatoes. Cook and stir for a few minutes until fragrant and perfectly saucy. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, half of the mozzarella cheese, the egg, and some salt and pepper. Set aside.

Ready to assemble. Place a spoonful of sauce on the bottom of an oiled 9×13 baking dish. Add half of the eggplant slices. Spoon half of the cheese mixture over the eggplant and spread into a thin layer. Spoon half of the remaining sauce over the cheese layer. Do it all again with the last of the eggplant, cheese, and sauce. Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven.

Take the pan out, sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese over the top, and bake for another 15 minutes until golden and bubbly. Let cool for at least 15 minutes or so before slicing and serving.