Green Garden Dressings-New Organic Olive Oil Salad Perfection

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. 

Green Garden Organic Oilve Oil  Dressings
Green Garden Organic Oilve Oil Dressings

Luckily, this year I had a great time working with the #KitchenPLAY bloggers, tracking down some amazing food and supplement items to review.

I love to see the newest products launched by many brands. 

Green Garden Salads
Green Garden Salads

I’ve wanted an olive oil based dressing for so long, but the idea of a dressing that solidifies in the fridge, then needs to warmed to be used has made me frustrated. Even my favorite homemade vinegarette turns into a brick in the fridge.  And I’ve wanted to figure out the magic of not having that solid oil. 

Green Garden by Litehouse Foods makes the magic happen.  

They’ve created a liquid at refrigerator temperature ORGANIC, non GMO, and certified Gluten-free collection of 5 great dressing and marinade flavors. 

Sweet Onion, Balsamic Herb, Pomegranate Hibiscus, Orange Miso and Lime Cumin are amazing!

Well seasoned, bright flavors and a smooth consistency, these are my new favorite dressings and marinades. 

Green Garden Organic Olive Oil Dressed Salads- ready to go
Green Garden Organic Olive Oil Dressed Salads- ready to go

Waiting till summer for these to get to my local market, the anticipation will be extreme.

I want to marinate a tender piece of fish in the Orange Miso dressing to grill. 

Want to make a quick Strawberry and spinach salad with Pomegranate Hibiscus that will make my summertime dinners so easy. 

Creating the perfect vinegarette potato salad with the Balsamic Herb dressing. 

Fish Tacos will be incredibly easy with a simple coleslaw with Lime Cumin dressing. 

and finally, the Sweet Onion Dressing will marinate zucchini and tomatoes for the grill and become a quick ratatouille. 

I can’t wait to share these simple recipes, so check on back in early June. 

Yes, I was provided an opportunity to work with Litehouse foods for this post. The opinions are all mine. 

Gluten-Free Tunnel of Nutella Swirly Bundt Cake-Almost

GlutenFree Tunnel of Nutella Swirly Bundt Cake Yes, it is January.

Yes, most folks are thinking about a diet of green smoothies, salads and protein instead of baked goods. 

But our local Community Association has a tradition for the January meeting, a dessert social.  

Who am I to think that I should bring along something without sugar to such an event?  

Although I did think about black bean brownies first, somehow this new product at Fred Meyer’s got into my shopping cart, and I just had to use it. 

Creamy Simple Organic Hazelnut Spread
Creamy Simple Truth Organic Hazelnut Spread

All in the sake of research, mind you.  I took the hit for all of you to see if it was as good as the Nutella so prevelant in baked goods today.

It isn’t as good. 

It is far, far better, with organic sugar, organic palm oil, organic cocoa and hazelnuts.  It even comes in crunchy!

Crunchy Simple Truth Organic Hazelnut Spread
Crunchy Simple Truth Organic Hazelnut Spread

Ok, so tempting Chocolate and Hazelnut Nutella was my inspiration.  

Now what to make?  

Katie was itching to try a recipe for Nutella brownies, made with nothing but Nutella and eggs.  My skeptical mind wonders just how they would come out. Would they be moist and fall apart? fudgy like typical brownies?  

I just wasn’t as inspired as Kate, perhaps that is why she made a batch of black bean brownies.

The idea of using an entire jar of Nutella for a single recipe struck me as overkill. 

The smooth paste is just too sweet to imagine wanting to eat an entire piece of the finished product. 

Hmmm, what to do?

Oh yes, my new swirly pan would be lovely. 

I’m joining with a group of bloggers to create special cakes in this lovely pan, blog about it and then send the pan on.  Think The Fellowship of the Traveling Pants, but instead of jeans, we will be sending on a pan and recipe book. 

Actually, everyone else will be sending Dorothy (the pan has a name) and Toto (the recipe book) on its way.  I’m going to be making all of my recipes in Auntie Em (my pan), because she stayed in one place. 

Just can’t deal with possible crumbs in the dashing swirls of the pan, those would make me ill. 

So when the time comes for my turn, I’ll be baking in my own gluten free pan and linking up with everyone else. 

In the mean time, I’ve been having fun figuring out recipes that fill but don’t overflow the pan, cooking times and temperatures, and looking at lots of older bundt cake inspirational recipes. 

Thinking back to my childhood, I recalled a tender, buttery vanilla cake that had a deep, rich tunnel of fudge running through the top. Creating that gluten-free would be truly special. 

Interior of GlutenFree Tunnel of Nutella Cake from Gluten-Free Doctor

The crowd at the community association event agreed. I had just one piece left to send off to work with my husband today. 

Gluten-Free Tunnel of Nutella Swirly Bundt Cake-Almost
 
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This cake is inspired by the 1950's classc right off the bag of Pillsbury flour. That cake was made with chocolate and walnuts in a pound cake like basic cake. One situation us gluten-free bakers need to address is the problem of the fallng tunnel. Our batters have so much more liquid than glutinous cakes, the tunnel won't stay put in the cake. But I figured out a way to make that darn layer of lucious stay right where I want it. Read along and see.
Author:
Recipe type: Cake, Gluten-Free
Cuisine: Baking, Gluten-Free
Serves: 16
Ingredients
Glaze
  • ½ cup nutella
  • 2 tablespoons half and half or cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar.
  • ½ cup Nutella or better yet, Organic Hazelnut Spread - you can use more to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Gease the pan with spray oil. (yes, I know it is supposed to be non stick, but it isn't)
  3. Beat together the butter and pixie dust till smooth and fluffy.
  4. Add sour cream and beat for 30 seconds
  5. Add sugar, flour mixes , baking powder, salt. Beat till well combined. The batter will get quite stiff.
  6. Add one egg and beat 30 seconds, continue adding eggs till all are in and then beat one minute.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top.
  8. Sprinkle the batter with the powdered sugar. I use one of these to make it simple and keep the sugar inside the pan.
  9. You can use a tea strainer as well.
  10. Stir the Nutella with a spoon till it is fluffy,
  11. Gently place small spoonfuls atop the powdered sugar. The sugar acts like a rug, supporting the nutella in place and preventing it falling into the top of the pan.
  12. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
  13. Check to see if the cake is pulling away from the sides. If it is, then it is done. Othewise 5 more minutes.
  14. Allow to cool 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto your serving plate.
  15. Cool the cake completely before glazing.
Glaze
  1. Warm the nutella till barely warm in small bowl
  2. Add the cream and sugar
  3. Stir till smooth.
  4. Pour gently into the deeper swirls or go to town and just drizzle everywhere.
  5. You might want to save just a bit though.
  6. There is a lovely drink that I'm going to make tomorrow

 

Enjoy! 

 

 

CRAP Free Food

Looking ahead to this year, I’ve decided to be honest and way more open that in previous years.

This doesn’t mean too much information about me (I hope), just a lot more information about why and how I’ve gotten to this place,

this time

these decisions.

Why in the world do I make something as simple as feeding my family a complex web of decisions?

Why do I have to know where my food comes from, with provenance narrowed  to a smaller and smaller acceptable place?

As my brother puts it, It is tough being me.

Because I know too much

I know that much of what is consumed in the USA as food is CRAP.

Chemically laden, Revolting modifications of the gene pooll, Artificially flavored and colored, Pesticide laden.

I want CRAP free food.

Food without Chemical additives

Food without Revolting modifications of the gene pool (GMO) foods

Food without Artificial colors, flavors or scents

Food without Pesticides

That food companies have managed to convince us that we need instant oatmeal with “berries” that turn the bowl an icky aqua, so highly sweetened as to change our desire for sugar saddens my heart.

Convinced us that we don’t need to know how to cook real food that comes from happily raised animals and healthy farm fields. That the CAFO meat included in our Happy Meals is sufficient to keep us healthy, dismays me.

Convinced us that just one more packaged product will make our family happy, makes me furious.

I’m ripping off the corporate camouflage this year.

Telling you exactly what will be most helpful,

Teaching you about the basics so you can make your best decisions.

And it is a bit scary for me to do this.

Because I know that these companies won’t like me, won’t support me, won’t hire me to create recipes for their products that are full of hydrogenated fats, genetically modified ingredients and CAFO meats.

I’m fine with that.

I will be asking a bit more from all of you though,

You see those links on the sidebar and below the posts.  Those links are supporting this blog and my work here.

Click on them.

Every time you come to visit, please.

Each click will bring a bit more support to this blog.

Please buy your supplements through Emerson Ecologics.  They are the highest quality you can find, and each purchase puts a few pennies into the stream of support for this work.

This year, the places in my life that provide the most financial stability to my family, will get the most attention.

Seems like a simple equation, doesn’t it.

But in years past, I’ve pushed through my doubts and my fears to keep multiple balls in the air.

This year I’m drawing back and refocusing.

Teaching people to live a healthy life, with food that nourishes your bodies and feeds your souls without crap.

Enjoying the full flavor of pastured butter, organically grown beans, grass fed meats.

Chicken eggs from an animal that actually touched the earth.

I’ll be visiting the places my food comes from, inviting you along to see why and how I’ve made these choices.

My goals are simple enough.

I want to eat food that grows without the needs for insecticides, pesticides, fungicides, and fumigants,

Foods that carry their genetic legacy from prior generations of plants, not alien ones inserted in the laboratory.

The meat my family enjoys will come from animals who felt earth under their hooves or feet, felt the sun on their backs and ate blades of grass.

And maybe, I will eat just a bit of Crappy food

Holy Crap Cereal

Tomorrow I’ll start with one of my favorite basics, eggs

Let me know in the comments if you’d like a rundown of the health of one of your favorites.

 

Honey Toffee Crispy Rice Ball Recipe for the Holidays

The image of spheres of sweetness just evoke Christmas time to me.

When I was a child, we occasionally made popcorn balls, huge buttery toffee covered spheres of corn, breaking apart into white sticky crumbles on first bite.

Our family dogs always loved when we made them since we rarely managed to eat them without scattering the kernels everywhere.

I still love the idea of those huge things, just not the mess.

So when I started to think about the upcoming Bellingham Gluten Intolerance cookie exchange, I wanted to evoke the idea of a popcorn ball without the need for it being so big.

I wanted to make it without the corn as well since there are a few folks in the group with a corn reaction.

My eyes fell on a box of Erewhon Crispy Brown rice cereal, swag I brought home from the International Food Bloggers Conference in Santa Monica and I realized that I had solved both problems at once.

The 100% organic cereal has just 3 ingredients, organic brown rice , organic brown rice syrup and sea salt.

The size of the rice grains would bring the dimensions in line with my goal of being bite sized.

Perfect!

Onto the next problem.

I wanted to make the toffee candy part without the corn syrup of my youth.

Why? Simply because the corn syrup of my youth no longer exists.  It is now a genetically modified highly processed sweetener with no redeeming qualities. So unless you find organic corn syrup, I would suggest you just pass it by.

What do I use instead?  Honey has so many of the properties of corn syrup, with the added benefits of some minerals and that special flavor that evokes wildflowers or oranges.

Especially if you use just a bit in a recipe, I find you can simply replace the corn syrup with honey.

Like in this easy recipe.

 

Honey Toffee Crispy Rice Ball Recipe
 
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Simple enough to make with children, but so much fun too. I prefer the refined sugar free version, my children prefer the sugar.
Author:
Recipe type: Cookie, Gluten-Free
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup organic light brown sugar- packed
  • 2 tablespoons local honey
  • 1 tablespoon organic butter
  • 3 cups of Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal
Instructions
  1. Combine the sugar, honey and butter in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Let the mixture melt and heat till there are small bubbles forming.
  3. Continue to cook till the mixture starts to brown.
  4. Remove from the heat.
  5. Immediately add the Crispy Rice Cereal.
  6. Stir till each grain is coated in the toffee mixture.
  7. Let the pot cool for 1-2 minutes till you can handle the mixture.
  8. Form the Toffee coated Crisp rice balls into bite sized balls.
  9. Place each one on a cookie sheet to finish cooling.
  10. Wrap in a twist of plastic wrap or waxed paper.
  11. Tie the ends of each ball with ribbon if you like.
  12. Makes 16
  13. Quick notes
  14. These are the perfect thing to stir together for a gathering.
  15. Variations
  16. If you desire a different taste treat, use ⅓ cup maple syrup instead of the brown sugar. Bonus it makes them refined sugar free!
  17. I like to add a ¼ cup of coconut, chopped nuts or chocolate chips occasionally. Feel free to mix in your favorite

Pumpkin Pie from scratch

Having a food based holiday happening so close to a candy based holiday alway seemed like serendipity to me.

After all, haven’t we all wondered what to do with those lovely pumpkins post Halloween?

This year we ended up with a few spares after the carving party.  

The best ones are the pie pumpkins not the typical carving ones. 

What to do with them?  Pumpkin PIE gluten free,  of course.

To make the fresh pumpkins into puree, just cut in half, place on a cookie sheet and bake till soft. 

Then drain the pumpkin meat till all moisture runs off and puree in the food processor.  You will have enough for a few pies.   

Fresh Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie from scratch
 
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When you use a fresh pumpkin, make sure to drain it thoroughly before pureeing it. Any moisture you can eliminate makes for a better pie texture.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups pumpkin puree (from fresh pumpkin or organic canned)
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ginger (fresh or powdered)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves.
  • 1 cup heavy cream, I always use Organic Valley products.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • One pie shell lined with pie crust
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. Beat together all ingredients.
  3. Pour into prepared pie pan
  4. Place on lower rack in the oven
  5. bake for 15 minutes
  6. Reduce oven temperature to 350
  7. Bake an additional 45 minutes or till a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Pumpkin pie is one of my favorite breakfasts, at least as long as it doesn’t have a ton of sugar, that is.

This morning, that was exactly what we had, because like I said, we have several pumpkins to eat up.

I put this custard into my newest pie crust recipe.

Katie responded with, ” this is your best pie ever, Mom”.

When your 13 year old says something like that, you just have to believe.

Enjoy!

 

 

Creamy SunButter Sauce Recipe

When I am helping a patient to identify food allergies some of the foods I eliminate are peanuts, tree nuts and soy.

This yummy Sunbutter sauce recipe has none of those, but does have tons of flavor. I frequently make a batch of these to take to pot lucks, they are gone in a flash.

Enjoy!

Salad Rolls with SunButter Sauce
Salad Rolls with SunButter Sauce
Sunbutter Sauce
 
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My daughters love to eat this sauce with a spoon, but frequently they can convince me to make these tasty rice paper wrapped salad rolls.
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Puree together all ingredients except water in food processor.
  2. Stir in water to create creamy sauce or use without as a vegetable dip.

This is the sauce I use to create another lunchtime favorite: “Peanut” Noodles