Thursday, February 21, 2013

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

I wanted to share a key to my wheat-free success:

Elana's ingenuity and innovation in the world of grain free eating/living has changed my life (and I'm sure I'm not the only one!). I would not be so successful with this new lifestyle of mine without the delicious and nutritious almond flour (or coconut flour) treats and the resources she shares ..... For instance, don't buy almond flour at the grocery store because it isn't nearly fine enough for baking. Instead order it from Honeyville. There's tip #1!

Without further ado, here is my slightly modified version of Elana's Primal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe .... Of course, my change made them no longer primal..... Forgive me. :)

2 c blanched almond flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 c butter, softened
2T honey
1T vanilla
1/2 c chocolate chunks

In a large bowl, whisk almond flour, salt, and baking soda. Add butter, honey, and vanilla and mix with electric mixer until dough forms.

Stir in chocolate chunks by hand. Roll approx. 1T of dough into a ball, place on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and press down slightly. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes until edges are golden.

Important- Let sit for at least 15 minutes once heir out of the oven or they will break apart.

Note #1 it takes awhile to beat the wet and dry ingredients together - keep at it until the dough looks like regular cookie dough. It doesn't come together as quickly as a wheat flour dough does. And the butter HAS to be soft or it will take even longer.

Note #2: without the gluten from the wheat flour, the dough wont be as sticky as you would normally find. To ensure the chocolate combines adequately, really press into it with the spoon as you mix and squeeze the dough as you roll into balls.

Most importantly, ENJOY! Our family did! :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Italian Herb Chicken Soup....with Parmesan chunks!!!! Succulent shredded chicken accompanied by a harvest of fresh carrots, onion, zucchini, oregano, basil, and garlic. HELLO.

2+ quarts chicken stock
1lb skinless chicken breast
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small onions, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced
2 garlic cloves minced
2 medium zucchinis, halved and sliced
1/4 c fresh oregano , chopped (basically one entire package of the live herbs)
2T fresh basil, chopped
Parmesan chunks

In a medium pot or saucepan, bring 1 quart of chicken stock to a boil and add all the chicken. Let this cook for a good 30 minutes to make it easy to shred.

In a large soup pot, heat 2T oil and then add onions and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes, then add garlic and zucchini and cook for 5 minutes more. season with salt and pepper. Turn heat to low and add basil and oregano.

Remove chicken from broth and shred with two forks (or by hand if it's cool enough). Add the chicken and broth to the veggies and turn heat back up until soup is simmering. (Note: By this time, the liquid has most likely reduced significantly, so you will need to add more chicken stock according to your preference. I think I ended up adding another quart to the soup at this point.) Cook soup for ~30 minutes until veggies (particularly carrots) are cooked through.

Serve in individual bowls and top with a generous portion on Parmesan chunks. (To make chunks, simply use a knife to carve out walnut sized pieces of cheese). Top with a few more pieces of chopped basil if desired.

Three points about this soup.

1. Pleeeeeease use fresh herbs for this recipe. The oregano in particular made the soup an aromatic delight.

2. The Parmesan cheese chunks are not optional. The chunks don't melt down completely so provide a delicious texture and salty note, while the part that does melt into the broth makes it almost seem slightly creamy...........YUMMMMMMM.

3. I am not a fan of chicken noodle soup- not at all. Thus, it is not an item I particularly miss in my wheat-freeness. Having said that, my husband adores chicken noodle soup so I make it our of love. THIS soup, however, fits the taste bud bill for both of us (yayyyy for no more chicken noodle!)

Hopefully I got this out before soup season passes! :)