Dairy-Free Elvis Banana Bread

The King would have loved this banana bread recipe because it has all of his favorite things baked into one loaf.  I took one of the most commonly baked breads and added a couple of ingredients that will make it a stand-out for dessert or breakfast.  I prefer to use almond or cashew butter because both of those nuts have anti-inflammatory properties but you can certainly use peanut butter if you prefer.  The carbs have been cut in half with the use of the almond flour and the majority of the fat is healthy fat from the nut butter and almond flour.  Enjoy a slice with your coffee and it will be hard not to cut yourself another piece.

Prep Time:  10 minutes             Cook Time:  50-60 minutes              Makes:  1 loaf (12 servings)

Ingredients:

1 cup of almond flour or almond meal

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (approximately 2 medium bananas)

1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/3 cup peanut, almond or cashew butter

3 tbsp vegetable or avocado oil

3 tbsp liquid egg whites

1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray the bottom of a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.  In a medium mixing bowl combine, flours, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Whisk to combine.  In a separate mixing bowl add the mashed bananas, almond milk, nut butter, oil and egg.  Stir until combined then add it to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips and pour the batter into the loaf pan.  Bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Loosen the sides and gently remove the bread from the pan.  Slice and serve.

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Granola Bar

These bars are so yummy and very versatile.  They are easy to whip up and great for a dessert or snack and a healthy way to get in your cholesterol lowering rolled oats.  The nut butter , egg whites and coconut oil adds protein and healthy fats and the chocolate chunks are just plain delicious.  Feel free to use any nut butter you enjoy and if your children need a nut-free treat for school simply use sunflower seed butter instead.  These store well in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Prep Time:  10 minutes                   Cook Time:  20 minutes                 Makes 12 bars

Ingredients:

3/4 cup almond butter / cashew butter / peanut butter / sunflower seed butter

1/3 cup honey

4 tbsp liquid egg whites

2 tbsp of melted coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 1/2 cups rolled oats (not instant)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 tsp salt

1 cup dairy-free chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl beat together the peanut butter, honey, egg, oil, brown sugar , extract and salt until creamy.  Stir in the oats and chocolate chunks until the oats are completely covered in the peanut butter mixture.  Coat a 13X9 baking dish with cooking spray.  Press the oat mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan.  Place in oven for 20 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned.  Cool in pan for 15 minutes then transfer to the fridge for 20 minutes.  Loosen the edges with a spatula or knife and slice into bars.

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Salmon Rainbow Salad

This salad is one of my all-time favorites.  It’s a rendition of a salad I had at a local Mexican restaurant and this recipe is pretty darn close to perfection.  The mangos and avocado go so well with the seafood and the crunchy purple cabbage provides a great contrast to the delicate Boston Lettuce.  The colors are stunning and everything in this meal is so very good for you.  The raw purple cabbage has cancer fighting properties and the avocado is a wonderful healthy fat while the mangos are great for your skin and aid in digestion.  If you don’t like salmon you can substitute it with 2 lbs of shrimp.  Serve with my Honey Lime Dressing and dinner can be on the table in 30 minutes.  Enjoy!

Prep Time:  15 minutes                       Cook Time:  10-15 minutes                    Serves:  4

2 large heads or 3 small heads of Boston or Butter lettuce cleaned and chopped or 2 bags of prepared lettuce

1/4 head of raw purple cabbage sliced thin into strips

2 ripe mangoes chopped into chunks

2 ripe avocados chopped into chunks

1 large cucumber seeded and chopped

1.5 lbs – 2 lbs of boneless salmon filet or peeled and deveined Jumbo/Large shrimp

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp ponzu sauce (citrus soy sauce found in the asian aisle at the super market)

Place the salmon or shrimp on a parchment lined baking sheet for easy cleanup.  Sir the ponzu sauce and the honey together until completely blended and brush onto the fish.  Place in a 400 degree oven on broil for 10 – 15 minutes or until the fish is opaque and cooked through.  While the fish is cooking place the lettuce, cabbage, mangoes, cucumber and avocados into the bowl.  Toss with the Honey Lime Dressing and set aside.  Place the cooked fish on a pile of salad and serve.

 

 

 

 

Honey Lime Dressing

This dressing is delicious on a salad or used as a marinade for seafood.  Just remember that the acidity of the lime will cook the seafood, so marinate the fish for no longer than 15 minutes in the fridge.  You won’t find a bottled dressing that tastes quite as good as this vinaigrette and you’ll be surprised how quickly you can whip it up.  On top of that, limes have important vitamins and antioxidants, which among other things, can maintain heart health and improve the condition of your skin.  This dressing will keep well in the fridge for a up to 4 days.

Prep Time:  10 minutes                          Serves: 4

Ingredients

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

2 tsp grated lime peel

1/2 cup olive oil

1 1/2 tbsp honey

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Place all of the ingredients except for the olive oil in a small food processor.  As the food processor is blending, gradually add in the olive oil until combined.  The dressing will be white in color and the oil will be incorporated into the other ingredients.

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Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Chicken lettuce wraps are low calorie, low carb, low fat and low cholesterol but I promise you won’t mind that it’s missing all that bad stuff.  The bean sprouts and water chestnuts add a great crunch to the meat mixture and the sauce gives it a great Asian flavor.  (I bet it will be dripping down your arm by the end of the meal.)  These lettuce wraps make for a quick dinner or a healthy appetizer.  It’s one of my husband’s favorite meals and I am sure it will become a repeat on your dinner menu as well!

Prep Time:  15 Minutes                     Cook Time:  15 minutes                     Serves 4

Ingredients

2 lbs ground chicken

1 red bell pepper diced

5 oz can of peeled and sliced water chestnuts (chopped)

2 heads of Boston Lettuce

12 ounces of fresh bean sprouts

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp hoisin sauce

2 tbsp corn starch

2 tbsp soy sauce

Salt and Pepper to taste

Place 1 tbsp of sesame oil in a large non-stick skillet and add the chopped bell peppers.  Cook for 3 minutes until softened.  Add the ground chicken and stir for 5-8 minutes or until cooked through.  While the chicken is cooking cut the stems off of the heads of lettuce and peel away each whole leaf and pile onto a plate.  Mix together the soy sauce, fish sauce and corn starch and add to the chicken along with the bean sprouts and water chestnuts.  Stir to combine.  Add the hoisin sauce and bring to a boil while stirring.  Serve in a bowl so that each person can make their own wraps with hot sauce, siracha or chili sauce if desired.

 

 

Sweet and Sour Chicken

You can make this meal using condiments that you have in your pantry and it’s a delicious and healthy dinner that you can feel good about serving to your family. The basmati rice has a lower glycemic index than your basic white rice and the chicken is a great lean protein.  Coconut oil is a healthy fat that has been shown to reduce inflammation and it also imparts a great flavor to the dish.  Once you become more familiar with the recipe you can add any vegetables that you’d like – mushrooms, bok choy, carrots, zucchini, etc.

Prep Time:  30 minutes                       Cook time:  15 minutes                Serves 4

1.5 – 2lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tsp ground black pepper

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup ketchup

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp coconut oil

3 – 4 bell peppers in assorted colors cut into 1-inch pieces

6 scallions cut on the bias (white and green parts separated)

1 20 oz can cubed pineapple with 1/2 cup of the pineapple juice reserved

2 cups of dry basmati rice cooked to package instructions (optional)

  1.  Cook the rice according to package instructions.
  2. In a large bowl toss the chicken with 1 tbsp each of soy sauce and cornstarch.  Add 1 tsp ground black pepper. Stir to combine.
  3. In a small bowl combine remaining 2 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tbsp cornstarch, vinegar, ketchup honey and 1/2 cup pineapple juice. (If you forget to reserve the juice or wish to use fresh pineapple simply use 1/2 cup of water in place of the pineapple juice.)  Whisk to combine and set aside.
  4. Heat one tablespoon of coconut oil in a large non-stick skillet and cook the chicken until browned – 5 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  5. Add the peppers and white parts of the scallion to the pan and cook until softened – 5 minutes. Add the soy sauce mixture to the pan along with the chicken and green parts of the scallions.  Bring the mixture to a boil to thicken the sauce – 3 minutes.  Serve immediately over rice.

 

Almond Joyous Cookies (Dairy-Free, Gluten Free and low cholesterol)

These cookies could not be any easier to make or more delicious.  My kids honestly cannot tell the difference between these and the regular full-fat chocolate chip cookies I used to make.  I use almond flour to get the look and texture that is most like ordinary homemade cookies, but you can certainly substitute almond meal with or without the almond skin and get the same great flavor.  The almond flour increases the protein content and decreases the carbs significantly.  The coconut oil and egg whites are much healthier fats and the oil imparts a slight coconut flavor that will remind you of that almond, coconut and dark chocolate candy bar everyone loves.  No mixer is needed for this recipe.  Beware, your family will want you to make this recipe again and again.

Prep time:  10 minutes            Cook time:  13 minutes           Makes about 20 cookies

Ingredients:

3 cups of almond flour or almond meal

1/2 cup of coconut oil

1/2 cup of sugar

1/3 cup of liquid egg whites

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (dairy free)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt the coconut oil in a pan or in the microwave.  Set aside to cool.  Combine the egg, oil and vanilla extract in one bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients together and whisk.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir in the chocolate chips.  Spray a baking sheet with non-stick coconut oil spray and drop golf ball sized mounds onto the sheet.  Bake for 13 minutes or until the bottom of the bookie begins to brown.  Place on a cookie rack  to cool.  dsc_0193