Arriving at Natural Products Expo West each year combines the anticipation of Christmas, the eagerness of Adult Trick or Treat and the exhaustion of a three day marathon.
Each year, I’m careful to pack light, bring at least three pairs of one size bigger than usual shoes, lots of business cards and my eager camera.
I search for whole foods, real flavors, organic or non gmo products that will enhance my food development and recipe creation work and ease my day to day cooking. The sheer size of the show makes finding these gems like searching for the proverbial needle in the haystack.
The Anaheim Convention Center is over a MILLION square feet of display, and this year there was an additional floor of display space in the Hilton hotel as well.
Luckily, this year I had a great time working with the #KitchenPLAY bloggers, tracking down some amazing food and supplement items to review.
Gathering multitudes of alliums- onions, chives, and scallions to gently flavor this herbalicious dip. I chose to avoid the strongest of the family, garlic.
Who wants to share a strong sulfury dip at a Superbowl party?
Creamy, flavorful but low fat, pale beautiful green, this combination of Alliums and White bean dip is perfect for Superbowl!
Feel free to change out the herbs to your personal favorites. I especially love sorrel in the summer time for its lemony tang, but in the depths of winter, my thoughts turn to the Allium family.
The Alliums family, those fragrant cooking standards from chives to garlic, from scallions to onions that thrive in the fall and winter. So many of them store well, providing a wonderful winter source of Vitamins A and C, with a big dose of calcium and iron.
I’ve been working hard to keep my teen athletes healthy this winter. Both are off to their next rock climbing competitions soon so I want thier immune systems to be as strong as possible. Those rock walls get lots of exposure to the prevelant viruses and you just can’t get them clean.
We’ve been working to keep their iron levels up too, most atheletes need extra iron to keep muscles working strong.
This versatile dip is the perfect gentle green savory topping for fresh vegetables, corn chips or stuffed in mushrooms. Join me in support of the Seahawks, boil some blue potatoes, and top with this dip for a 12th Man favorite.
Superbowl time! This smooth, creamy but low calorie dip will make your party. Best of all, if you have a bit left at the end of the party, it makes a truly special salad dressing with a bit more lime juice.
Author: Dr. Jean Layton
Recipe type: Party Food Appetizer
Serves: 2 cups
1 can Great Northern or small white beans- drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, you can use the dark version but the color of your dip will be muddied
The other team can choose their red white and blue favorites too.
To keep the dip gluten-free, be careful what it is placed near. One inadvertent dip by a gluten full pretzel will be enough to cross contaminate the dish of dip. That is why I pipe the dip onto the perfect carrier. Once it’s piped, no one goes back to dip.
When you want an ice cream cake but the honoree is dairy free, life gets a bit complex. This quick to make dessert uses to its advantage the wonderful quality of So Delicious Coconut Frozen Dessert. Total time to make it? under 30 minutes.
Author: Dr. Jean Layton
Recipe type: Dessert, Gluten Free, Dairy Free
1 pint of So Delicious coconut milk frozen treat or flavor of your choice
1 box Animal Crackers- Gluten Free, Dairy Free
1 bag organic semi sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon coconut oil.
1 pint of raspberries for decoration
Bring frozen Coconut milk dessert out of the Fridge, letting it thaw just a couple of minutes to make cutting easier.
Sort through the cookies, saving any with perfect form for decoration. The remainder of the cookies are ground to fine crumbs.
Melt together chocolate and coconut oil.
Once the Frozen confection is slightly warmed, grab a serrated knife and cut through the carton and the ice cream to create a dessert.
Each pint of So Delicious frozen dessert should have 4 slices, after cutting.
Place one on a plate top with 2 tablespoons of the chocolate, sprinkle with cookie crumbs then another layer of So Delicious frozen dessert
Continue to stack the cake up ending with the frozen dessert.
The chocolate will act like a magic shell, hardening as soon as it touches the frozen dessert.
Line up the perfect animals in a circle around the base of the cake.
Make a swirl of raspberries on the top of the cake.
Yes, I know that it isn’t the gluten-free polenta, but we only eat Organic Corn since it is one of the crops highest in genetic modification. Since all those GMOS are created for resistance to pesticides, I’ve eliminated them from our diet. No hormonal disruption in my family, thank you very much. Although this isn’t labeled gluten-free, I’ve never had a problem using it. I’ve seen the factory, I know how clean they keep it.
From the fridge, Kerrygold cheese. I picked the Vintage Dubliner this time for a richer, sharper flavor. You kind of need a big cheese flavor to stand up to the creamy polenta.
Ham- a bit of leftovers from our Easter Carlton Farms ham. We got this lovely meat from our friends at Carne. They procure all their meats from clean farms, those that don’t use hormones or artificial nitrates.
And Finally, a bag of Cut and Clean Rainbow Chard. Cause having it already harvested, washed and cut makes dinner really easy.
Now if you want to keep this meal vegetarian, leave out the ham. There is plenty of nutrition in the greens, cheese and corn combination. I’ve been known to fry an egg and place it atop too. Especially after a track meet. My girls need more food then
Vegan? leave out the ham and cheese. Still plenty there for everyone. When we have a vegan friend over, this is the simple meal that I serve.
Cheesy Grits with Ham and Rainbow Chard-Pantry Dinner
Gathering from the pantry and fridge for this meal means I have dinner on the table in ½ hour. I make my polenta in an unorthodox manner. By cooking the grain with butter before adding the liquid, my polenta never sticks together in a big lump, but still gets creamy as you stir. Save yourself the trouble. Feel free to change it up, use whatever greens, cheese and meat you have in house. It can be as different as you like but still satisfying.
Author: Dr. Jean Layton
Recipe type: Gluten Free
2 tablespoons butter
½ bag Organic Polenta
2 teaspoons salt
7 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced Ham
1 bag Cut and Clean Rainbow Chard
2-4 ounces of Kerrygold Vintage Dubliner cheese- grated
Melt butter in large pot.
Add the polenta and salt, stir till each grain is coated.
Add boiling water and stir.
Simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally
Cover, turn off and let sit till greens are done.
In a large frying pan over medium heat, saute ham in olive oil till warmed.
add the chard and cook till bright green.
Give the polenta one last stir, then divide into bowls.
When you want a great candied apple but aren’t eating sugar, what do you do?
Using nothing but maple syrup and butter or coconut oil, you can create a crackling glaze for your apples. Best of all, when there are a few leftover bites, they make great oatmeal toppings.
I like to make them tiny so a child can finish them but Adults love them too.