Sardine Salad

OK – Maybe this is more of a lunch than a snack, but its a very healthy snack!

I am still in experimentation mode on this one but for 1 can of sardines, here’s my estimates:

3 Tablespoons Veganaise

1/2 Avocado

1/2 lemon (I used miniature lemons)

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp curry powder

1/4 tsp mustard powder

Salt and Pepper

Open up the tin of sardines and drain out the water (I used the ones packed in water)

Place in bowl and start mashing with a fork.

Add all the ingredients and mix together!

Add to some chopped veggies such as carrots, red pepper, cabbage, green onion, dandelion greens and grapes (I like a little sweet in there).

Enjoy your Omega-3’s!

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Breakfast Bites

 

This is my take on making a more portable version of my smoothie recipe Karen’s Breakfast Cocoa Coconut Concoction

I came up with this myself so I had to make up a new name.   Don’t be deceived – these little balls pack a punch and just eating 2 – 4 of these can fill you up as much as one of the shakes – meaning it can last for 4 hours.  That’s quite a breakfast bite!   I will often eat one in the morning before doing my morning workout – perfect to fill the stomach and get some energy.

This recipe is still in process and I will probably be updating it, but my nephew loved them (toddler-approved!), so I wanted to get this posted for my sister to make some more for the little munchkin! : )

I started out making this recipe with cooking the buckwheat groats in coconut oil and maple syrup, but then realized it wasn’t really needed for sweetness because the almond butter adds enough sweetness in my mind (plus it is less labor intensive!).  But it is up to you, add what you like!  I’m on a kick of now adding ground goji berries – totally optional.  I do coat them in ground buckwheat so they aren’t too sticky but I have used ground cocoa and that works, too.  I suppose you could use shredded coconut in place of those coatings.  Get creative!

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Breakfast Bite Dough with the added ground goji berries (unfortunately if the food processor gets too hot, the goji berries start melding together – uh oh – watch out!)

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Forming the balls – actually my dough here is a little drier than it should be – I have to remember not to pack the ground seeds in the measuring cups – just approximate it.

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The end result of coating the breakfast bite before putting them onto waxed paper

Breakfast Bites

Makes about 6 dozen depending on how big you form the bites

1 cup coconut butter

1 cup almond butter

1 cup buckwheat groats

1 cup ground flaxseeds

1 cup ground raw pumpkin seeds

1 cup ground raw sunflower seeds

1 TBSP cinnamon

1 TBSP vanilla extract

1/4 cup ground buckwheat groats for coating the balls

Optional Add-ins:

1 TBSP lucuma powder (for natural sweetness)

1 TBSP maple syrup (for more common sweetness)

2 TBSP ground chia seeds (why not?)

1 cup ground goji berries

1.  Ground the 1/4 cup of buckwheat groats and pour out on a shallow plate.

2.  Place the rest of the ingredients (except for the ground buckwheat) in a stand-up mixer and blend or just put in a bowl and blend with a wooden spoon (or your hands).  

3. The key is to make the “dough” pliable so you can form them into balls – if need more moisture, add more coconut butter or almond butter.  If they are too moist, you can add more ground flax seeds or pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.  

4.  Form them into balls in the palm of your hand and roll them on the plate of ground buckwheat to coat.  Place on another plate that is covered with wax paper.

5.  Store the breakfast bites in the fridge for quick access (or you can also store them in the freezer for longer storage).  

Enjoy! 

Homemade Seaweed Snacks

I’ve tried to broaden my diet and I hear that sea vegetables are the way to go to add in more minerals and other things that regular vegetables don’t have.  However, I am not keen on fishy tastes.  Enter in  seaweed snacks!  They are at least a lot more palatable than a seaweed salad – I like Trader Joe’s and Sprouts brand, yet when I read the labels closely, I’m not sure I like all the added ingredients going into them.  I decided I would rather make my own so I could control what goes into my body better.  I searched online and have adapted the recipes I saw with a coconut/sesame oil combination for a bit of a mellow “sweeter” type taste – and the added sea salt to balance it out!  I have been on a Himalayan salt kick so that’s what I use these days.  Enjoy!

 

Seaweed Snacks

4 Nori sheets

Coconut Oil ~ 1 tsp

Toasted Sesame Oil – ~1 tsp

Sea Salt – ~ ¼ tsp

  1. Cut 4 sheets of Nori into smaller, easier-to-eat rectangle pieces.
  2. In non-stick frying pan on medium heat, melt coconut oil and sesame oil.
  3. Add seaweed pieces and quickly toss in the oil – add salt as well.
  4. Cook for about 2 minutes and keep stirring; otherwise will burn (turns lighter color)
  5. Turn out onto plate and enjoy!

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The Ingredients – You can get the Nori sheets and toasted sesame oil at any Asian grocery store or sometimes at the specialty foods aisle at a supermarket chain store.

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Cut the sheets (4 at a time) to whatever size you like

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Heat up your nonstick skillet on medium heat and add 1 tsp of coconut oil and 1 tsp of toasted sesame oil

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Add your cut-up nori sheets and don’t forget the sea salt – stir constantly for about 2 min.  Just make sure they don’t burn!  If it turns a lighter color than what it went in as…you’ve burned them.

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Transfer cooked seaweed shapes to a plate and enjoy!

Karen’s Breakfast Cocoa Coconut Concoction

I got the idea for this breakfast smoothie listening to some of the talks from the Gluten Summit since they interviewed some nutritionists.  There is evidence that using fats broken down to ketones is better for our brains than having carbs broken down to glucose.  Plus healthy fats will really satisfy and keep you full longer.  A good start for a great day!

Aside from the frozen bananas and blueberries and coconut water cubes, all the ingredients for Karen's Breakfast Cocoa Coconut Concoction
Aside from the frozen bananas and blueberries and coconut water cubes, all the ingredients for Karen’s Breakfast Cocoa Coconut Concoction

Fresh or Frozen Fruit (berries) – about ½ cup

½ Banana – I use slices that I have kept frozen

Coconut water – about ½ cup – I use frozen cubes

Almond butter – about 2 TBSPs

Coconut oil – about 2 TBSPs

Ground Flaxseed – about 2 TBSPs

Raw Cacao – about 2 TBSPs

Almond Milk – about 1 ½ cups

Blend in mixer and add more almond milk if too thick.  Pour and enjoy!

There can be some variations here:

–       Chia seeds soaked in almond milk instead of ground flaxseed

–       Add an avocado for added good fat

–       Omitting the coconut water

The measurements are approximate – you can make it to your own liking.  I tend to buy fresh fruit, like blueberries and bananas, and then wash them and dry them or slice them as the case may be, and keep them in a Ziploc freezer bags so it is easier to use them for making a smoothie – all ready to go.  I have found that blueberries work well with this recipe as does mango.  Try other fruits and see what you think.  Personally for me, strawberries didn’t go as well as I would have thought.  Also, when buying coconut water, it is recommended to use in a few days’ time, so I preserve it  for longer to use when need be by pouring into ice cube trays and then freezing them.  I pop them out and store the cubes in freezer Ziploc bags.   Ready to go!

Snacks!

This is a snackematic blog, so I must share some of my favorite snacks at the moment – most are store bought, only one is homemade since I’ve been pressed for time, but the one I am feature is an easy snack to make – and share how to make.

Cinnamon-Roasted Almonds

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Cinnamon-Roasted Almonds

I do this recipe in my toaster oven just using a sturdy piece of tin foil in a shallow pan.

Ingredients:

2 cups raw almonds

Coconut Oil

Cinnamon

Pinch of Salt

I don’t give portions for the coconut oil since I haven’t actually taken the time to measure them.  I probably use about 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil to 2 cups of almonds.  And probably about a 2-3 teaspoons of cinnamon.

So just mix the ingredients together in a small bowl or as I do, just all together on top of the foil that is spread in the small toaster pan.  I have the toaster oven preheated to 350 degrees and then I pop them in for about 20 minutes, shaking the pan about halfway through so those nuts are evenly distributed and getting toasted evenly.  I have tested this again and again since there is a certain crunch I want in the almond – not a chewy crunch (underdone), nor a too crunchy burnt crunch (overdone) -it is most excellent to have that perfect taste and crunch!

Plentils

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This is my new favorite chip and it is mostly made of lentil, but tastes great!  I don’t see these chips in many supermarkets, but it is easily ordered from Vitacost – Let me know if you want a referral – It will get you $10 off your first order!

Cassava Chips

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I guess this more of a guilty pleasure since the generic “vegetable oil” listed is so vague – but I try not to have too many of these chips.

Plaintain Chips (aka Banana chips)

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These are one of my favorite new snacks – I can get them from the Indian grocery store – Every time I go it seems there is a different brand – most of the time they are called Plaintain Chips, but  this recent purchase said “Banana Chips” – it is still using plaintains.

Wylde Pretzels

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I miss having pretzels since being gluten-free – I have tried a lot of different brands and find that I haven’t liked the taste of those pretzels (Snyder’s version/Glutino version) -this brand doesn’t actually taste like a typical pretzel (has more of a sesame-type taste), but I really like it – and the little rings are addicting!

Flattened Banana

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I love the concept that Trader Joe’s makes this as just bananas – no additives.

It is a great treat!

MUNG BEAN BREW

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I created this recipe to take the place of not having any coffee or caffeine during the elimination diet I did in 2012.  I had never even heard of mung beans, but they were one of 3 beans I could have on my limited diet (later on , I found out that these are the same beans used for bean sprouts you buy in the grocery store).  When I was first cooking mung beans to eat, I thought they smelled faintly like coffee.  I wondered if one might roast the beans, grind them, and brew them like coffee with some added spices and flavoring.  And thus, I created Mung Bean Brew.

There are so many ways to enjoy it with your own additions.  Some suggestions are below.

Note:  Since it is a bean, there will be residue left behind in the bottom of your cup – that is normal.

To prepare the mung bean powder to use:  (recommended done ahead of time)

  1. Roast mung beans either in a toaster oven at 300 – 350 degrees or can do larger scale in the oven on a cookie sheet.  Just keep an eye on it till the beans go from green to a nice dark brown (a little lighter than the color of coffee beans).  Let them cool down after you take them out of the oven.
  2. Use a coffee grinder to reduce the roasted beans to a powder.
  3. Next mix in some spices:  cinnamon, cardamom, and clove work well – as well as other spices used to make chai tea:  fennel, coriander, black pepper, ginger.  I also like making a version with carob powder for a chocolate-like taste.  I usually mix about 1 tablespoon of spices per cup of powder – you can add more or less depending on your preference.  For a quicker, no hassle method, I found that the tea bags of the herbal Good Earth Tea have a nice flavor– just snip the bags open and stir in with the mung bean powder.  Be sure that the contents of the particular Good Earth tea you use is allowed on your diet.

To prepare a mug of mung bean brew:

  1. Fill up a Pyrex-type glass measuring cup with ¾ cup water and ¾ cup milk (I use almond milk).
  2. Stir in 1-2 heaping spoonfuls of mung bean powder.
  3. Heat up in the microwave for about 1:30 to 2:00 minutes – keep an eye on it so it doesn’t boil over.
  4. Meanwhile, prep your mug with a dash of honey and a dash of vanilla.  I also like to stir in some coconut oil to impart a richer flavor.
  5. Next, strain the heated mung bean mixture into your prepared mug and enjoy.

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Note:  For a richer taste, substitute canned coconut milk for the almond milk, though I would use more water and less coconut milk.

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