Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Spicy Zucchini & Sausage Lasagne

Let me start this off by saying that my son hates zucchini. Anytime I fix it he eats just one bite to satisfy me and then throws the rest away. I've tried to hide it within meals, but most of the time he catches me. When I saw zucchini on sale at the store it made me remember when I made a dish in grad school for my roommate and I using zucchini as a replacement for the noodles. Both of us dined over this new found comfort food and loved every last bite! This was a nod to my wonderful best friend Jill and an attempt to once and for all get my son to eat zucchini. 

PS, I was successful...he LOVED it!!!

  • 2 large (or 3 medium) sized zucchini
  • 1 purple onion, chopped to your desire size
  • 1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 2lbs hot italian sausage (can substitute sweet to take out the heat)
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes (can omit if worried about spice)
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 T italian seasoning
  • 1 pgk spaghetti seasoning
  • 1 8oz carton ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • About 4 T EVOO
  • Salt & Pepper to season
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Slice zucchini in half, then slice into quarter inch slices longways.

3. Drizzle baking dish with EVOO and lay HALF of the sliced zucchini into the bottom and sprinkle with chopped red peppers, salt and pepper.


4. Cook onions, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt & pepper over med-high heat to caramelize.

5. Spread onions over the zucchini and pepper mixture.

6. Brown sausage over medium heat, then strain and put back in pan.

7. In the meantime, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, rosemary, and seasonings into blender and blend until pureed.

8. Pour sauce over strained meat and mix.

9. Add ricotta cheese and mix.

10. Pour HALF of the meat sauce over the zucchini.

11. Add the rest of the zucchini on top of the meat sauce, then top with the rest of the meat sauce and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top.

12. Bake for 25 minutes, uncovered.

13. Let set for 5-10 minutes after taken out of the oven.

I hope you enjoy a meal that satisfied all the bellies in my household! :)
Bon Appetit!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pomegranate Punch

I love a fruity, tasty and healthy drink on a hot summer day! So I wanted to create something full of flavor and antioxidants that even kids would prefer over a soda! Kelly and I loved it, so I hope your family does too!

  • the juice from 2 large lemons
  • the zest of 1 of the lemons
  • 2 T agave syrup
  • 1-2 cups of ice (depending on how slushy you want your drink)
  • 3 cups pomegranate juice
  • roughly 3 cups ginger ale


1. Add your lemon juice, zest, agave, ice and pomegranate juice to a blender and blend on high to puree everything.

2. Pour enough ginger ale to fill half of your glass.

3. Pour the juice mixture on top to fill the glass.

And voila! That's all it takes to make a fun, fruity, sparkly drink to enjoy while grilling out or just hanging out with friends!

Bon Appetite!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


It's no secret that I love to bake. My family and friends know that crazy things come out of my kitchen, but everyone loves the ones that contain chocolate! Well, on this new diet, I haven't had any chocolate yet and I really needed some brownies! So here is my version of gluten, egg & dairy free brownies! Both Kelly & Kiir couldn't believe how well they turned out. And, they were (and still are after a week) incredibly moist! Enjoy :)

PS, I had two close friends taste-test this for me.

First friend:
"That's horrible! I hate dark chocolate!"

Second friend:
"This is amazing! I LOVE dark chocolate!
Are you seriously telling me this is semi-healthy? Please box this and sell it!"

As you can tell, you have to like dark chocolate to like these brownies!

  • 1/2 c oat flour
  • 1/3 c brown rice flour
  • 1/8 c unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 3/4 c bittersweet chocolate chips (at least 60%)
    • save 3/4 c for later
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 30 grams of Stevia
  • 1 t almond extract 
    • We can't use vanilla due to an allergic reaction, but you can if you want!
  • 1/2 c flax seed/water egg substitute (find the recipe here)
  • 1 c walnuts (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease an 8 x 8 pan.
(or 13 x 9 if you double the recipe)

2. Sift the flours, cocoa powder, salt & Stevia together into a mixing bowl.

3. Over a double broiler, mix the chocolate & oil and melt the chocolate.

4. Stir in the extract.

5. Beat in the egg substitute (flax seed/water mixture).

6. Slowly add the flour and mix until blended.

7. Stir in chocolate chips (and nuts if using) and pour into your pan.

8. Bake for 35-40 minutes (or until a tooth pick can come out cleanly which is about 28-30 minutes if you double the recipe in a 9 x 13 inch pan).

Half-way through cooking, open the oven & let the pan tap against the oven rack a couple of times. This will allow for some air to escape & the brownies will cook more evenly!

9. Let rest until semi-cooled and then serve!

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dirty Chai Tea Latte

First, you are probably all wondering what a "dirty" chai tea latte is. Dirty means it has a shot of espresso in it. My version, however, just has instant espresso powder. I woke up on a Saturday morning craving a wonderfully pipping hot cup of a chai tea latte, knowing full well that we can not have dairy. Then I thought about how coconut milk might actually make it taste even better! We're technically not supposed to have coffee on this diet, but that's an allergy our son is having so I made a semi-exception and used espresso powder for the taste of it. If you like chai tea lattes plain, you can omit it, but my aunt & cousin introduced me to this and I love it because it takes away some of the super sweet taste of the latte and makes it perfect!

  • 1 c Chai tea mixture
    • You can make your own or if you're in a hurry, buy it in a container from your local grocery. I used a premixed Starbucks version for this recipe.
  •  1 c Coconut milk
  • 1 pinch (1/8 t) instant espresso powder
    • You can substitute instant coffee but double the amount.


1. Bring the chai tea to a boil.

2. Whisk in the coconut milk and bring back to a simmer.

3. Turn off the heat and add the espresso powder and whisk until dissolved.

4. As soon as the powder dissolves, pour into your favorite cup & serve!

I hope you enjoy this cup of amazingness as much as I did! Of course, serving along side a plate of freshly baked banana nut muffins helps. You can find that recipe HERE.

Bon Appetit! 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Banana Nut Muffins

 For those of you that follow, you know that we are on a crazy new diet with tons of restrictions. If you didn't know, you can read more about it HERE. Those that know me can attest to the fact that this is making my life extremely hard because I love food so much it is killing me to not eat some of my favorite things! I was reassured by a friend this morning that we truly have a sovereign God because He has placed me (the person that LOVES to cook and invent new things) into the life of our wonderful child so that I can use the gifts only He has given me to go on this journey as a family. 

In Hebrews 13:21, the author says
"May He equip you with all you need for doing His will. 
May He produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, 
every good thing that is pleasing to Him. 
All glory to Him forever and ever! Amen."

 I am so thankful that He will equip me with the creativity and strength to get through this diet, bring us closer together as a family, and realize that we only need Him!

That being said, I wanted to share with you my latest invention that we all loved so much I will probably make them each week: Banana Nut Muffins. This was a true test to see if I could go completely dairy, sugar, corn, egg & gluten free and it still taste good. I have to tell you that both my son and husband say that they cannot tell ANY difference between this and my regular ones!!!!! Yes, this diet is possible! :D I hope you enjoy this fabulously healthy banana nut muffins as much as we did (and continue to by way of left overs!)

Yields 12 regular or 24 mini-muffins
  • 1 3/4 cups oat flour
    • You can use any gluten free flour, but I like oat flour best for baking and the cost isn't as expensive as some of the others like coconut flour.
  • 1 1/3 t cream of tartar
  • 2/3 t baking soda
    • We cannot use baking powder because it has corn starch in it and our diet does not allow for corn. If you want, you can use 2 t baking powder in place of the cream of tartar and baking soda. 
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 8 t stevia
  • 1/4 c flax seed water mixture
    • This is an egg substitute that you can make by mixing 1 T flax seed with 3 T water over heat. Here is a link w/directions.
  • 1/2 c coconut milk
  • 1/4 c coconut oil
  • 3/4 c mashed bananas (roughly 2 large bananas)
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts (or any nut you would like) 
  • 1/4 c honey


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Grease and sprinkle with powder twelve regular sized muffin cups or 24 mini muffin tins and set aside.

3. In a glass bowl sift flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and sugar; 
then stir in nuts so that they are coated with the flour mixture.

4. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture.

5. In another bowl, mash the bananas.

6. Add the milk, egg mixture and oil and whisk together until well combined.

7. Pour the wet mixture into the well part of the dry mixture.

8. Stir just until everything is moistened.

9. Add the honey and stir until mixture comes together.

10. Spoon into prepared muffin tins/cups, filling to the top.

11. For regular sized muffins, bake for 16-18 minutes. For mini-muffins, bake for 8-10 minutes.

 12. Cool for 5 minutes then serve!
I love eating muffins with a pipping hot cup of something! 
Here I have a dairy free dirty chai tea latte. 
Don't worry, I'll post a recipe for that in the near future. 
Until then, Bon Appetit!