Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My two new favorite recipes

I've been trying some new recipes out lately, using vegetables I don't normally use, and trying out some different kinds of flours. For those of you who don't already know, I can't eat gluten so certain recipes can be challenging and I've had some trial and error in the process. I just made both of these in the past week and I think they passed the test! Dustin even dubbed the shepherd's pie as his new favorite meal. Emery loved it too! :) I thought I'd pass them along.

Shepherd's Pie (I edited it to make more of it, so I'll include what I changed)

5-6 large potatoes, cubed (skin on or off) (I used about 16 really small ones)
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt
Black pepper
1 (approximately) pound chunked sirloin steak (I ended up using 1.7 pounds)
1 red onion (I used a really large one)
2 cups sliced white mushrooms (I didn't add these)
2 leeks, chopped (I used 1 large one)
2 large carrots, chopped (I did 6 small ones)
2 parsnips, chopped (I chopped 3)
1/2 cup tomato puree (I did 1 cup)
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 cup cheddar cheese (obviously, I increased the amount on the rest of these too)
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
chives for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
2. Boil cubed potatoes until soft (about 15 minutes). Set aside.
3. While potatoes are boiling, heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Season chunk steak with salt and pepper and add the steak to the skillet. Cook the steak until medium rare, about 10 minutes.
4. Remove the steak from the skillet and place in a 9 X 13 casserole dish. In the same hot skillet, place onion, mushrooms, and leeks and saute for 4 minutes. Then add carrot and parsnip. Cook, stirring, for 5 more minutes. Add tomato puree, parsley, salt and pepper to taste and stir to mix. Turn off the heat and let sit while you mash the potatoes.
5. Drain potatoes, mash, and add butter and milk.
6. Into your baking dish, spoon mixture from the skillet over the steak. Then, spoon mashed potatoes on top. Sprinkle cheese over the top and put in the oven for 14-16 minutes to allow the carrots to soften, the meat to cook a little more, and the cheese to melt.
7. Garnish with chives and serve hot.

My two new favorite flours to use are almond flour and coconut flour. Almond flour is a little pricey, but it's made from a super food so it's full of nutrients unlike pretty much all high carbohydrate, nutrient deficient white, wheat, rice, or potato flour! Good fats for you, lower cholesterol, smooth texture, and bakes up really nicely. Also, coconut flour is full of fiber, is super nutritious for you, won't spike your blood sugar, and tastes yummy!

So for dessert, some not-so-bad-for-you cookies! Don't let the healthy ingredients fool you, these are delicious! We brought some to our small group not long ago and they passed the test for 7, 9, and 13 year old boys!

Cranberry Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies (Makes 36)

2 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 T. vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup walnuts, toasted (I used raw almonds, not toasted)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt and baking soda
3. In a smaller bowl, combine oil, agave, and vanilla
4. Stir wet ingredients into dry
5. Mix in cranberries, walnuts and chocolate chips
6. Form dough into 1/2-inch balls and press onto parchment-lined baking sheet
7. Bake at 350 for 7-10 minutes
8. Cool and serve

YUM!! If you haven't ever baked with agave nectar I highly recommend it. A lower glycemic sweetener that doesn't make things taste "healthy."

If you have a recipe you love or have recently tried and recommend, feel free to post!!