Carrot Cake & Blueberry Crisp Tart

If you are gluten free and or a clean eater you will love these recipes!

I tried the recipe for Grain free Carrot Cake for our Easter dessert.

Carrot Cake for Easter dessert

I was so happy with the recipe I made it to take as a treat to my

office to celebrate my 2nd year work Anniversary.

Carrot Cake Ready to go to the office!

Using a square pan I cut the cake into small squares and frosted them using a pastry poche.

Blueberry Crumble assembly

Oh, and the  Blueberry Crisp Tart, WOW!

Both recipes are delicious, simple and easy to make. I highly recommend them both!

Right out of the oven!

The house smells divine!

Grade B Maple syrup is used as a sweetener in both the Carrot Cake,

Cream Cheese Frosting & the Blueberry Crisp Tart.

Blueberry Crumble bites ready to go to the office!

I used a round biscuit or cookie cutter to make bite-size Blueberry Crisp Tarts.

Ready to go~Happy 2nd Year Anniversary to me!

Buon Appetito!

Dulce de Moka

I’ve had a sore throat for a few weeks now, during these few weeks I was prescribed an antibiotic which didn’t do the trick. I am gargling with lemon juice in the morning now and talk about sting!

Drinking soothes my throat. I was in poor me mode, my throat hurts, my ears hurt and I really wanted something soothing…. and sweet. I don’t do juices or other “drinks”, smoothies too are meals for me not beverages. Water and green tea are my daily hydration and thirst quenchers. I enjoy my morning espresso macchiato from my Bialetti Moka with almond or hemp milk. After my morning ritual of oil pulling, lemon juice gargling and my aloe & maca powder water concoction, this is where my day starts and my espresso need ends.

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Back in Italy caffè is a tradition. Cappuccino or caffè latte for breakfast, un caffè after lunch and one after dinner, macchiato, with milk, cream or even ice cream! Corretto, with a drop or 2 (or 3) of liquor or wine, sometimes used as an amaro or digestive. Un caffè, which means “un espresso”, can also be and for most Italians is, a break time, luxury, sport, appointment date, spiritual moment of relax, late night study caffeine boost,  a sort of scape goat from anxiety, a daily ritual by many believed a wholesome addiction, coffee is healthy right? Habits that can take to an outstanding number of espressos a day!  Below are some fun reads, explanations and examples of Italian caffè syndrome.

An Italian Family Tradition

My Coffee Hell

So, getting back to poor me, my sore throat and sweet tooth, I had an idea!

I’d tried Starbuck’s Frapuccino, once with my son and sincerely, it didn’t really turn me on. At first that sweet chocolatey moka flavor….. but there was a terrible aftertaste, plus knowing what they are made of, their cost AND the brain and chest freeze I got from it.No thanks.

5 Ways To Get Sabotaged at Starbucks

To sum it up this was my excuse to a sweet tooth that led to the making of my,

“Dulce de Moka”.

Recipe

In a blender crush;

  • 4 cubes ice,

add the following and blend.

  • 1 Moka of caffe’ (da 1 tazza/small size Moka, 1 espresso)
  • 2 medjool dates, pitted, halved and soaked until soft
  • 3/4 c  organic coconut mylk (I use this brand)

Joe, you will love it!! XO

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Cin Cin!

 

 

 

 

Minestrone

Minestrone comes from the “cucina povera” or “poor kitchen”. Created and elaborated from it’s own ingredients, a mix of leftover or fresh, slightly wilted or oven roasted vegetables or dried legumes possibly simmering with meat broths or bones, cheese crusts and  dry bread crusts. Or like mine, without the elaboration of the last 4 listed but with a touch of dried herbs. Some omit the starches, the beans, potatoes and some add rice, barley or pasta. Minestrone can be what you want it to be, a soup, a “zuppa” (a stew-like consistency) or even a puree’. And deliciously decorated with grated cheeses, crispy bacon or like me, with my favorite olive oil and a grind of fresh pepper or like Joe, pureed and topped with crispy bacon and fresh bread (below).

passata

But if you are like me, you use what you have including half of a roasted sweet pumpkin and rejoice from the grande finale of the composed “Minestrone”.

My Composition:

I sautéed 1 chopped onion and 3 cloves garlic in a couple tbsp. Evo in an 8 qt. pot.

I added:

  • 2 roma Tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 medium sizes Carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks of Celery, chopped
  • 1 large red Potato, chopped
  • 4 handfuls of fresh Spinach
  • 4 Broccoli florets
  • 4 Cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup sliced Mushrooms
  • 1 *handful of the following: dried chick peas, dried peas, dried cannellini beans & lentils (soaked for 4 hrs)

*1 handful = 1/4 cup

pot of minestrone

I sautéed all the ingredients for a few mins then added 1/2 gallon of Spring Water.

I added 1/4 tsp of:

  • maggiorana, thyme, oregano, dill weed,
  • 2 bay leaves and 3 tsps sea salt.

I let boil then simmer for an hour + and then added:

  • 1/2 roasted sweetie pie Pumpkin, cut in large pieces (approx. 2 cups)

I added another 4-6 cups Spring water as needed and let simmer until all the dried legumes were soft and to just the right consistancy.

Buon Appetito to Joe and I!

Joe

Stewed Lentils

Stewed lentils, Lenticchie Stuffate in Italian,  are amongst one of my favorite foods. And are soooo good for me! Lots of protein!

My recipe comes from my life in Italy:

soffrito

Sautee’ the vegetables in the evo until onion is translucent. Add the rinsed Lentils to the pan and let sautee’ a couple minutes.

Put the sautéed lentils and veggies in the crock pot on high and add 3 cups vegetable broth, tomato sauce and thyme.

Cook for approx. 1 1/2 hrs. Add more broth if needed until lentils are soft, mixing occasionally. Lentils 1

http://www.livestrong.com/article/41517-lentil-nutrition-information/

2 Poached eggs, steamed Bok Choy and stewed lentils, for breakfast, lunch or dinner, YUM!

Lentils3

Buon Appetito!

“Luncheon Specials”

My Luncheon Specials are a collection of my lunch meals. I create them as I go. I am usually inspired on weekends grocery shopping, at Whole foods or for example this past weekend at the “Veggie Fair” here in Dallas http://www.texasveggiefair.com/
Luncheon specials are also a translation from the Italian “Pranzo del lavoro”, usually found on boards or signs infront of local Italian restaurants offering a “Work lunch” menu, a moderate priced menu for workers out to lunch.  My “Luncheon Specials”, as are all my meals, determined and planned by my budget, my taste and my time. My luncheons are highly versatile and work wonderfully as dinners too! 🙂

Quinoa Butternut luncheon

  • 1/4 Roasted Butternut Squash cut in large pieces
    (To roast: cut Squash lengthwise, clean out seeds, rub cut side with evo and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cook at 400F for 40mins+/-)
  • 1/4 c Quinoa, cook as directed on package.
  • 2 sliced Cremini Mushrooms
  • a handful of cooked frozen Peas
  • 1 clove Garlic

Sautee’ Garlic and Mushrooms in a little EVO, when mushrooms are soft and their water is evaporated add Squash and peas, stir add Quinoa, salt and pepper to taste.

Buon Appetito!

A Sweet Cup of Autumn

A Cup of Autumn

My Sweet Cup of Autumn recipe is adapted from by “Oh She Glows” Velvetty Butternut Cinnamon, date smoothie http://ohsheglows.com/2013/09/27/velvety-butternut-cinnamon-date-smoothie-for-two/comment-page-2/#comments

Adapted recipe:

  • 1-1/2+ c almond milk
  • 1-1/4c roasted butternut squash
  • 1/4 cup chopped medjool dates (I used packaged pitted and already chopped)
  • 1 tbls chia seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • a sprinkle of ground cloves

Mix all ingredients together in blender or food processor.

  • 3 tbls walnuts, pinenuts, pecans (or any preferred nuts), oats
  • 1-2 tsp Rapadura/organic cane sugar
  • a pinch of cinnamon

Chop the nuts and toast them in a small pan, sprinkle with rapadura and cinnamon.

When nuts are cooled top the Spiced Butternut Squash and serve with a spoon!

Buon Appetito!

Eccomi!

Since I was a child I  always loved blueberries, especially in pancakes and muffins. Pancakes soaked and drowning in maple flavored corn syrup and  muffins filled with some sort of terrible plastic based spread that didn’t even really taste like butter but I couldn’t get enough of. And then again, the  blueberries,  most likely canned, packed with artificial ingredients and loaded with sugar. This is all in the past for me, those “Old fashioned foods”. I now understand the continuous want for sugar and carbs and the lethargic effect it had on me, none the less the dormant feeling in my tongue and then the allergic reactions.  After being in the ER twice and seeing an Allergist I found out that I am allergic to “additives” in packaged food products. The Allergist gave me a strict clean diet to follow for 6 months to detox myself. I am anemic, IGA deficient and have Thalassemia, which leads me to  being more susceptible to the negative effects of unhealthy eating and that how I nourish myself is very important, both physically and mentally. That was the beginning…….

I am a “Clean Eater” I don’t eat refined sugars,  gluten,  red meat,  white meat,  fast food or junk food. I eat fish, eggs, nuts, fruits, vegetables and for now, only some dairy on special occasions or in special recipes. After cutting certain things out completely from my diet I feel so much better. I feel normal. I am free!  I love to cook, I love planning my meals for the week, trying new recipes and making my own. This is how I live and eat, Judifood 🙂