Category Archives: Party food

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Asparagus and Ricotta Pizza *Gluten Free*

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Hello!  I have been trying out lots of new recipes and this is definitely a favorite. It is unique and very filling. I can go with just 1-2 wraps for a meal and be full for a couple hours.

Ingredients:

GF Naan from Living Gluten and Grain Free – a lot of times I change up recipes, but this one is spot on. Check their site out for more great Gluten and Grain free options. 

Naan

  • 1 Cup Blanched Almond FlourIMG_3035
  • 1 Cup Tapioca Flour (or Arrowroot)
  • 2 Cups Full Fat Organic Canned Coconut Milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • Pastured Butter or Coconut Oil

Filling

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 bundle asparagus (trimmed and washed)
  • 1 tsp garlic

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Directions:

Start by roasting your asparagus. Preheat the oven to 425 and place asparagus on a pan in a single layer and drizzle with olive oil. Cook for roughly 10 minutes or until it starts to roast (brown)

While the asparagus is cooking begin mixing together all of your gluten free naan ingredients. Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix. Then heat up a non-stick skillet to medium heat. (In my experience no butter or oil was needed in the cooking process, but feel free to add a little butter or oil to the pan)

Cook the naan just like you would pancakes. Pour 1/4 cup batter into the pan and cook until the bubbles pop and stay open. Flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and place on parchment paper or a towel. It will need some space to cool properly so that it doesn’t become soggy.

Once all your Naan is made, mix together your ricotta cheese and garlic. Spread 1-2 TBS onto the naan and top with asparagus. I found that less is more with the ricotta.

 

Feel free to eat it like a pizza or roll it up.

Best served immediately, but can be refrigerated and eaten cold or heated back up in a toaster oven. I would not recommend heating in a microwave as it will get soggy.

 

I hope you try this recipe out and enjoy it as much as I did!

 

Living Satisfied!

eating bread

Handling the Influx of Sugar

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Hello! It is that time of year again. A huge influx of sugar has come upon us. There are sweets continuously coming in at work, schools, parties, and even within your home. The question lies in not whether or not to partake, because we all know we will be partaking in these delicious sweets, but rather being disciplined in when and how much you eat.
Note: Obviously I would recommend limiting sugar as much as possible! We don’t NEED sugar and we all know it isn’t good for our bodies, BUT if you must partake here is what I recommend. 

Here are some quick tips for limiting sugar during this season.

1) Set a goal for yourself as far as how many sweets per week you will be consuming

I see most people eating sweets as if they will never see them again. They continue to grab just one more bite in fear that the goodness will all be gone. Allowing yourself sweets is OK. Just put a cap on it. I find that I eat more sweets when they have been unavailable to me. Therefore I always keep a little stash in my pantry, fridge, or freezer for those times when you just need something sweet. This way I know that “X” number of days I can partake in sweets. Limit how many sweets you will be consuming on a weekly basis.

2) Don’t say no to all sweets it just won’t happen. Choose wisely.

Try to focus on enjoying your favorite desserts and not just anything that is laying about. There are always going to be sweets lying around this time of the year, but wouldn’t you rather have your favorite item than that two-day old brownie that has been sitting in your office kitchen? If you need to indulge do it right. You will end up eating less of the item because it will satisfy that craving. Do your best to avoid the every day sweets and hold off for the good stuff. You will feel less guilty in the end and will end up with less sugar in your system.

3) Avoid artificial sugars, diet drinks, and anything labeled lite/diet/fat-free

Just because something is “sugar free” or “fat free” doesn’t mean it is any bit healthier! Items like these have a dark side and are filled with unnecessary artificial ingredients and added carbohydrates and sweeteners to help them taste better than they actually do.
I always vote for real food and that includes desserts. Opting for real sugar, minimally processed flours, and real fats like coconut oil and butter should be your first choice. Obviously all is best in moderation, but by eating foods that contain real ingredients you will be satiated much quicker! This leads to eating less. Foods filled with empty calories such as refined white flour, vegetable oil, and artificial sweeteners will leave you unsatisfied. Just think about those 100 calorie granola bars…one is just not enough. However eating an apple with 2 TBS of peanut butter will have you filled and ready for the next task with the same amount of calories!

4) Fill up on good food first!

Before you head off to the next party, event, or even work, grab a good healthy meal or snack. Filling up on real food will help keep those cravings at bay. Focus on vegetables cooked in a good fat like butter, olive oil, or coconut oil and seasoned well. Then grab a protein source. Once your tummy is filled head off to your event. Knowing that you have had a meal will help your mind keep those cravings at bay. It is just like the idea of never going grocery shopping when you are hungry. You will pick up items more strategically when your body has what it needs. :)

 

I hope these tips were helpful for you! Enjoy the holidays and enjoy your desserts. :)

For some yummy desserts click here

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How to build a perfect Thanksgiving Dinner

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Hello!
Building a Thanksgiving Dinner can seem like a daunting task, but with a little bit of planning you can have great success. Here are 5 tips to build an unbelievable Thanksgiving Dinner.

1) The protein.

Thanksgiving protein is typically turkey, but it doesn’t have to be. Choose a protein that you will enjoy. This could be ham, whole chicken, steak, deer, lamb, etc… The biggest thing to remember is to have a lot of it and to cook it appropriately. Here are links to some great recipes.

Basic Turkey: Click here 

Ham: Click Here

Whole Chicken: Click Here

Steak: Click Here

Deer: Click Here

Lamb: Click Here 

2) The over all flavor.

When we think of Thanksgiving we typically think of a big plate full of a variety of foods. You want all of these foods to blend together. When choosing side dishes keep in mind the seasonings you are using in each dish and whether or not you would mind them melding together on your plate.

3) Favorite side dishes.

Side dishes typically include stuffing, sweet potato casserole/mashed potatoes, casseroles, rolls, etc…When choosing your side dishes be sure to try them before the big day. If you have never made them before cook them now to test it out. Thanksgiving isn’t the time to go all out on new dishes. If you have a new dish you think would work great be sure to prepare it at least once prior.

Pick side dishes that are your favorites. Don’t go crazy outside of the box, but stick with the classics that you love! Try to make sure each item you make you will want seconds of. We all know that there will be left overs so pick items that you will be happy to reheat and eat again.

4) Vegetables!

Don’t skip the veggies! Even if you aren’t a huge veggie fan, veggies help even out your plate. Try making vegetable dishes that have lots of flavor. Some of our favorites are stir fried or baked green beans with loves of butter, sliced almonds, and bacon. OR if you are a fan of brussel sprouts check out this recipe *Click here*.

Having a crunchy cooked or fresh vegetable can help diversify your plate by giving it a little bit more texture.

5) Prepping your meal.

The week before Thanksgiving plan out your menu. Then create a shopping list. A great place to do this is PlantoEat.com *click here*. You can upload recipes and it will build your shopping list for you! That way you don’t forget anything.

Begin prepping 2 days in advanced. Cook as much as you can the day before. This will help ease stress. Cooking most of your side dishes the day before leaves you to just reheat the day of. This means that you can really focus on the protein the day of.

Bonus tip:

Relax!! After you follow the tips above and plan out what foods you desire, remember that Thanksgiving is about being together! It is about family and friends and being thankful for all that you have. A delicious plate of food is just a perk. If the meal is stressing you out as for assistance and/or don’t feel bad about skipping out on certain dishes or needing to purchase pre-made meals. Places like Wholefoods, Trader Joe’s, and Sams/Costco have great options that can ease your meal prep time!

 

I hope these tips were helpful! Enjoy!

 

Living Satisfied.

 

carrot cake

Carrot Cake *gluten free*

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Hello! I have been craving carrot cake for about a week now and decided to just go for it. I looked at a couple different gluten free recipes and decided to just wing it the rest of the way. This is paired perfectly with cream cheese icing. I unfortunately didn’t have enough cream cheese to do this part, but feel free to make some. The extra ingredients/directions are listed below the recipe.

Hope you enjoy this carrot cake! It took no time at all to prep and is moist, spongy, and delicious!

Gluten Free Carrot Cake

Makes 1 sheet 6×10 pan serving about 10+ depending on how much you eat. :)

Ingredients:carrot cake

  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups room temperature unsalted butter
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda (gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped nuts of choice (pecans and walnuts preferred)
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 8 oz cream cheese (1 block) (room temperature)

Directions:

Do not over mix. Simply mix until well incorporated and stop.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat your sugars, eggs, and butter together until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together your flours, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla extract.
  4. Slowly add this mixture until well combined on medium-low speed.
  5. Add your cream cheese and grated carrots. Continue to mix on low to medium speed until combined.
  6. Add to a greased pan and cook for 45-1 hour depending on your oven.
  7. Top with your chopped nuts. Add as much or as little as you would like!
  8. If making muffins begin checking for doneness after 30 minutes.
    It is done when you can poke it with a toothpick and it comes out “clean”. You will need to do this step because it is the only real way to tell it is done. Cake will appear dark in color.
  9. Let cool for at least 15 minutes. It will be soft when it comes out, but will stiffen up upon cooling.

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Cream cheese icing:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (gluten free)

While cake or muffins are cooling place butter, cream cheese and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat on high until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.

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Basic Chili Recipe

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Hello! If there is one thing I love during the fall/winter season it is chili! Nothing beats a hot bowl of chili with a slice of sour dough bread.
Today I wanted to bring you a basic chili recipe. This is quick and easy and can always be adjusted based on your desires. To see the winning chili Jay and I made click here! 
This recipe does use canned food. You can always adjust this with fresh ingredients!

Basic Chili
Serves 6
Ingredients:photo

  • 2 lbs ground beef (grass-fed)
  • 2 lbs Ground pork (organic)
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 2 cans kidney bean
  • 2 cans roasted tomatoes
  • 1 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 TBS cumin
  • 2 TBS chili powder
  • 1/2 TBS cinnamon
  • 1 TBS salt
  • 2 TBS olive oil

Directions:

In a large pot add 2 TBS olive oil and diced onions. Cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until onions become translucent. Then add garlic. Cook for another 2 minutes.

Once onions and garlic are beginning to cook down add in your pork and ground beef. Cook until the meat is mostly cooked. A little pink is fine.

When meat is almost done add in kidney beans, black beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, and spices. Turn the temperature to low and leave for 30-45 minutes.

Optional: when your meat is done cooking, add protein and the rest of the ingredients into a crock pot and turn on low for a couple of hours. Chili is best when it has time to sit. :)

Serve hot with some great bread or a salad. 

Great add ins for Chili:
  • Bell peppers
  • Different types of beans
  • jalapeno
  • Cheese
  • Variety of spices: oregano, cayenne (a little goes a long way), brown sugar
  • Beer (yes!) Click here for how we used it

 

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Perfect food for a Brunch!

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Hello!

I wanted to give you all some options to make for an Easter Brunch. _DSC0043Easter is just a week away and if you are like me nothing says Easter like some good food and family time! Holidays such as Easter is a great time to make some new recipes that are bright and colorful. This spread of food is a guarantee  crowd pleaser and will be sure to impress your guests. Feel free to try out some or all of the recipes for your next event.

Salmon (or beef) encroute

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French Toast Casserole with Lemon and Berries

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Asparagus with Hollandaise sauce and Poached Eggs

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Roasted Potatoes

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Ginger Basil Grapefruit (virgin) Mimosas

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Hope you enjoy these recipes!! Have a great Holiday and remember to check back when you have any other food needs.

 

Living Satisfied

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Ginger Basil Grapefruit (virgin) Mimosas

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Yum, Yum, Yum! I LOVED this recipe. Phew! So good. I don’t drink alcohol myself so this was a great alternative. This is a must try. Feel free to add alcohol if you would like!

GINGER BASIL GRAPEFRUIT MIMOSAS _DSC0051

  • 1 grapefruit; plus additional grapefruit for garnish
  • 2 cups of ice
  • 2 bottles of ginger beer (click here) or 3 cans of ginger ale
  • handful of fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup basil simple syrup

Juice one large grapefruit and segment additional grapefruit for garnish if preferred. Fill a pitcher half way with ice. Pour soda, fresh grapefruit juice and simple syrup. Mix well. Garnish with grapefruit slices and fresh basil.

BASIL SIMPLE SYRUP

  • 1  cup sugar
  • 1  cup water
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil

Place sugar and water in a small pan over medium heat until sugar is fully dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add the basil. Allow to steep for 15-20 minutes and strain and discard basil. Place syrup in a glass tupperware container or squeeze bottle if you have it.

This will make a good amount. Feel free to freeze the rest for later use.

Cover and chill for a couple hours.

 

That is it!

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French Toast Casserole with Lemon and Berries

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This recipe was introduced actually from one of my residents at Mercy Ministries a couple weeks ago and I wanted to try it out. I found a couple different recipes online and adapted them into my own.  Here is a link to the original recipe. This place has TONS of great ideas Five Heart Home (click here)

French toast with Lemon and Blueberry _DSC0104

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf Sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (approximately 1 pound loaf, which will yield 9 to 10 cups)
    • You can also use gluten free bread
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (other sugar may work as well, maybe coconut sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons lemon zest, DIVIDED
  • 12 ounces (about 2 cups) fresh berries of your choice.
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup whole milk (raw, preferred)
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For the Lemon Simple Syrup: 

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Generously butter (or coat with cooking spray) a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Arrange half of the bread cubes in the bottom of the dish.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon lemon zest until smooth. Spoon small dollops of cream cheese mixture all over the bread cubes in the baking dish, gently spreading cream cheese with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle berries in a single layer over the cream cheese. Top with remaining bread cubes.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, maple syrup, vanilla, remaining 2 teaspoons lemon zest, and salt until well blended. Evenly pour custard over bread cubes, gently pressing down on any cubes that are sticking up so that all bread gets soaked with egg mixture.
  4. Cover baking dish tightly and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, uncover baking dish and allow to come to room temperature while preheating the oven to 350°F. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until center is puffed and surface is golden brown. If bread is starting to brown too much before casserole is done, you may lay a sheet of foil over the top and continue baking until done.
  5. While French toast is baking, make the Lemon Simple Syrup. In a small pot, whisk together water, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest until well blended. Set pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil while stirring. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until syrup has thickened. Set aside and allow to cool.
  6. When French toast is done, remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving warm with Lemon Syrup drizzled on top.

 

That is it!! Hope you enjoy!

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Salmon (or beef) en Croute

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Hey! I have been wanting to try this recipe for a very long time. I first saw this recipe on Master Chef Junior and I figured if a 10 year old can make it…why can’t I! One of the toughest parts about cooking, in my opinion, is being brave enough to try things you never thought possible. I have no training in cooking, but I do have a willingness to try. There are countless recipes I have botched, but I choose to get back up and try again.

One of my favorite parts about learning to cook is gaining confidence. Cooking has brought me more confidence than I thought possible. Not only is it stress relieving for me, but it challenges me mentally and sometimes physically. Learning to cook has given me confidence in my self and has expanded my palate. I have always been a picky eater and by picky I mean PICKY, but cooking food for myself encourages me to try things I never would have before.

Try out this recipe! Just jump head first.

This recipe I adapted from a few different recipes.

Note: this recipe can be made the exact same way, but with beef.

Salmon en Croute_DSC0035

Ingredients

  • 1 piece of salmon, about 1 lb (skinned)
  • A little olive oil
  • Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard_DSC0055
  • 2-3 TBS cream cheese
  • 2-3 big handfuls of spinach
  • 1 head of garlic, minced
  • 1TBS minced onion
  • 500 g shortcrust pastry
  • Plain flour, to dust
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten

Method

  • Check the salmon for pin bones, removing any that you find with tweezers, then cut in half. Line a baking tray with a lightly oiled piece of foil.
  • In a small pan sauté onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Add spinach until wilted down. Remove from heat
  • Mix the lemon zest, mustard, cream cheese and some salt and pepper in a bowl, to make the filling.
  • Pat the salmon fillets dry with kitchen paper, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Spread the cream cheese mixture over one fillet, on the boned side, and the mustard evenly on the other fillet. Then add the spinach mixture. Sandwich the two salmon fillets together, in opposite directions so both ends are of an even thickness.
  • Roll out the pastry thinly on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle, the thickness of a dime and large enough to enclose the salmon. Put the salmon parcel in the centre of the pastry and brush the surrounding pastry with egg. Bring up the edges, trimming off any excess, and tuck them in before folding the rest of the pastry over to form a neat parcel. Carefully turn the whole thing over so that the seam is underneath and place on the prepared baking tray.
  • Brush the pastry with beaten egg. Lightly score a herringbone or cross-hatch pattern using the back of a knife. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover loosely and chill for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400°F
  • Bake the salmon for 20-–25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and crisp. To test if ready, insert a skewer into the middle. It should feel warm for medium cooked salmon. A piping hot skewer indicates that the fish is well done.
  • Rest the salmon for 5 minutes, then cut into portions using a serrated knife. Serve with hollandaise sauce.
    Recipe: adapted Recipe by, Ramsay’s Best Menus, by Gordon Ramsay
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Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce and Poached Eggs

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This recipe is perfect for so many different occasions. One of my favorite times to have this recipe is for brunch. It is a great option when everything else is sweet.

This recipe takes maybe 15 minutes total to complete. While it does take some fines,  it is not as difficult as you think.

 

Ingredients: _DSC0048

  • 1-2 packs of asparagus
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 2-4 eggs (to poach)
Hollandaise sauce:
  • 3 egg yolks from large eggs
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Directions:

These directions will be placed in order so that all can begin cooking at the same time. You will probably want a second person helping. :)

Asparagus: Trim the ends off of the asparagus and rinse. Begin heating a flat pan on the stove top with a Tbs of olive oil on medium heat.

Hollandaise sauce: 

Take a small pot and fill 1/2 way with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium-low heat. Place a glass or metal bowl on top, just like you would if you were melting chocolate.

Poached egg: 

Take a medium size pan with fairly high edges and fill 1/2 way with water. Bring the water to a simmer. It should look like champagne bubbling. Add 1-2 TBS white vinegar.

Asparagus: once the pan is heated up add asparagus in a line and lightly salt. Let them cook for about 10 minutes. Move them around a couple times while they are cooking. They will be ready when a fork can easily go through them. You want it to still be a bit crunchy.

Poached egg: Once the water is bubbling (NOT BOILING) and you have added the vinegar, begin to spin the water. Crack and drop in the eggs one at a time while the water is moving. This will help them begin to stick together. Let cook for a couple minutes. Once the white is cooked you are done. Pull the eggs and place gently into ice water. This wills top the cooking process.

Hollandaise sauce: Begin melting your butter in the microwave. You want it to be just melted, roughly 30 seconds.

  • Separate your yolks from the whites.
  • In a small saucepan set over low heat, whisk 2 egg yolks into a 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Continue whisking the butter into the egg mixture, 2 teaspoons at a time, until all the butter is thoroughly incorporated into the sauce. The sauce will be thick, smooth, and glossy.Whisk the lemon juice and salt into the hollandaise sauce, and then continue stirring it for 1 minute. Remove the sauce from the heat, place a cover over it, and then serve it over the roasted asparagus and poached eggs once it is done cooking.

 

There it is!! I highly recommend this recipe. It not only tastes great, but will definitely impress your guests.

 

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