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Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Eggplant Pizza Crust! It's Grain-Free!

Who doesn't enjoy a good slice of pizza! This however, can be hard to come by when going grain-free, honestly it s hard enough if you are gluten-free!

One recipe that is out there is a cauliflower pizaa crust. I have made that and it was okay, but it did not taste like pizza - it tasted like cheese on cauliflower and it didn't hold together very well.

So, in an attempt to find a grain-free pizza crust that I really liked, I found this, eggplant pizza crust and it is delicious!

Ingredients:
*insired by Lexi's Clean Kitchen

2 Small eggplant (yields 5 cups shredded eggplant)

1 TBS Parmesan

1/4 C Raw almond meal

2 TBS Coconut flour

1 Egg (or Flax egg)

1 TBS Ground Chia

1/4 Tsp Himalayan Pink Salt

*Pepper to taste

Peel you eggpant and then grate it up, I use the shredding plate in my food processor for this. Once you have shredded your eggplant place it in a cheesecloth or clean, cotton tea towel and twist, squeezing out as much moisture as possible. Put all of your ingredients into a large bowl and mix thoroughly-using your hands is likely easiest.

Oil some parchment paper and place on a cookie sheet. Mash your crust mixture onto the parchment paper spreading it into whichever shape you like. 

Place your crust in the oven for 15-20 minutes.




Pull your crust out and using a second piece of oiled parchment paper flip your crust and stick it back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes.

Once your crust is cooked you can top it with whatever deliciousness you like and stick it back in the oven for another 5-8 minutes on broil.

The eggplant does king of have a 'bready" texture. If I had to describe this crust, it kind of reminds me of a hearty, ancient grain crust- I love it!

Enjoy your twigs!




Sunday, 2 February 2014

A Grain-Free Me!

    Well, it has been some time since I've posted, my apologies.  I have been busy experimenting, trying to figure out what was and was not working for me after I began to feel a bit off about a month ago.

 A lot has changed.

    I noticed that while I was struggling to get enough protein, I was also  inundating myself grain-based foods and it was leaving me feeling like..hmmm...CRAP! I realized that being "almost-vegan" wasn't working for me, especially since I had to cut out soy in order to properly support my thyroid.

    So here I am COMPLETELY Grain/Starch and Sugar-free and after about 3 weeks, I feel amazing! Dare I say it, I feel the best I have felt since realizing I was Hypothyroid...wow.

I am still a supporter of the vegan lifestyle and will still be sharing any awesome vegan/vegetarian dishes I happen upon! However, there will be a lot of different recipes-the focus will be healthy eating (always the point). I do hope to share some awesome grain-free, soy-free and gluten-free recipes  in the future! Today I am starting with grain-free,Paleo-friendly bread!


Flax Grain-Free Bread
* inspired by Grain Free Living

1 1/3 C Flax meal

2/3 C Almond meal

1.5 tsp Cream of Tarter

1 tsp Baking Soda

4 Eggs

3 Tbs Olive Oil

2 -3 Tbs water

*Salt to taste

I buy whole flax and whole raw almonds and just throw them in my food processor. Once you have you almond and flax meal mix all your dry ingredients in a bowl. 




Add wet ingredients to dry mixture and mix altogether until you have a smooth slightly runny consistency. Oil a loaf pan with coconut oil and pour in batter. Bake bread for 30 minutes at 350 degrees and voila! You can eat this delicious stuff right out of the oven!



I cut my loaf into about 15 slices. Each slice contain about 142 calories, 6 grams protein, 12 grams of good flaxy fat and about 6 grams carbohydrates. My daughter enjoys this loaf with some jam. I find it is great with an egg in the morning-lots of nutrient-dense yumminess!


Enjoy your revamped twigs!





Monday, 25 November 2013

Raw, Grain-free & Flour-free Crackers

     I have not been missing starches really at all, except I am big hummus eater and I have to say sometimes it's nice to have something to spread that stuff on! While a carrot stick will do in a pinch I decided to go on the hunt for a vegan grain-free cracker recipe and I found one and it's raw to boot!

    Making these crackers is a bit time consuming so don't start making them at 9pm like I did, but they are DELICIOUS and totally worth the wee time commitment.

   So far I have found that raw-food "cooking" can take a bit longer because there is often soaking or dehydrating involved. or both. However, if you prep it really isn't a hassles and there are so many benefits to NOT cooking the nutrients out of your food.

A little tip I have found useful in cooking in general, but especially in recipes that involve more steps is to read through the WHOLE recipe and all the steps before you begin. It seems obvious, but I have often realized I was supposed to soak something for 9 hours right before I was set to prepare! Oy!

Now, let's get to this delicious recipe!

Things you will need:
Parchment paper
food processor or coffee grinder
Standar cookie sheet with edges

Ingredients:
* recipes inspired by addicted to veggies

1 C flax seeds
1 C water
10 pre-soaked dates
4 C raw sunflower or pumpkin seeds
2-4 green onion chopped finely (depending how onion-y you want your crackers)
1 TB onion powder
1.5 TSP Himalayan pink salt
*black pepper to taste

Step 1: The first thing you want to get done is any soaking of things. So, place your flax seeds on a cup of water and let soak for 1 hours. At this time you also want to put your dates in some water and soak them as well (just enough to cover them). You can make date paste in bulk and freeze it, but I don't bother with all that.

Once your dates are soaked rinse them and throw them in a food processor with 1 or 2 TBS of water. Once your flax seeds are soaked they will be gooey and dense. mis your date paste and you flax goo together and set aside.

Step 2: Put your seeds in the food processor and pulse until they are roughly ground but not so much that you've made a powder. I used 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds and 1 cup raw sunflower seeds because that is what I had on hand.

Step 3: Mix everything up! In a large bowl mix your seeds mixture, chopped green onion, onion powder, black pepper and salt and fold it all in. Once all your ingredients are all nicely incorporated mix in you flax-date goo and mix it all up really well!
Step 4:  Once you have your lovely mixture you will want to prepare your parchment paper. Cut your parchment paper so that it covers the sides as well as the bottom of the pan you plan on using. After you have your pan ready you will want to spread your misture onto your pan. Have a small bowl of water handy so that the mixture doesn't stick to your hands while you are smoothing it out.  You want your mixture to be about 1/4 of and inch in thickness. After you have spread out your mixture score your crackers into the desired size.

Now, I don't have a dehydrator (mine broke) so I use my oven. You can use your oven easily, just set it at about 100 degrees and pop the oven door slightly open to keep moisture out!


Put your cracker mixture in your make-shift-oven-dehydrator for about 2.5 hours., then flip them and return to you make-shift-oven-dehydrator for another 30 minutes to an hour and done!

These crackers are YUMMY and definitely go well with hummus, so I am chuffed! 

Let me know what you all think and...

Enjoy your twigs!










Sunday, 24 November 2013

I know It Sounds Crazy...

     Ever since I realized my thyroid was out of whack I have been on a quest to re-establish a happy balance in my body. And let's face it, having children kinda makes you want to be the best you you can be, having my daughter definitely did  that for me!

    Over the last year I have been doing tons of research, browsing many-a-forum and time and time again many people with hypothyroid have noted that removing starches from their diet really made them feel great and balanced, not to mention lose weight a bit easier.

  Well, I decided to give it a go! I thought it might be extreme cutting out  everything, including rice pasta, rice crackers, rice and potatoes (except those sweet orange lovely potatoes!), bread was already gone so no problem there!

    So far I have only been starch-free for about 10 days and I have to say I feel amazing! I find that removing starches from my diet has been effective in a number of ways:

1) My blood-sugar is stable. No more low-blood-sugar-moodiness!
2) My blood-sugar being optimal means that I am not hungry which means I don't feel deprived, which is lovely :)
3) My diet has gone from very nutrient-dense to COMPLETELY NUTRIENT PACKED!
4) I am sleeping better
5) My workouts are stronger as I have more stamina
6)I don't feel bloated!

   Now, I don't think that everyone has to ditch pasta, but I have found that eating sans starch( along with sans everything else lol) has lead me towards more of a raw-food diet, and I do recommend that! A LOT of my food these days is uncooked, tastes great and makes me feel WONDERFUL! You all will be seeing more raw food recipes here soon, I am testing some out now and am excited to share them with all of you in the coming weeks!

   Sidenote-I also have developed an small and oh-so-lovely love of pink grapefruits! I have been eating 1-3 pink grapefruits a day for almost 3 weeks! What is up with that?! Thoughts?

Enjoy your twigs!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Soy what's your problem?

    Well, after a week or so of allowing soy back into my life I have had my fill. It's official SOY(along with meat, dairy and gluten) IS OUT!

   I will really miss tempeh...boo-ah-hoo-ah-hoo!

   I have also in the last week gotten used to soy creamer in my coffee, not great...because it was delicious! In a search for dairy-free, soy-free and gluten-free coffee creamer I fell upon this coconut creamer! I have to say I really like soy creamer, but this coconut milk creamer is a close second and will have to do when I don't feel like just drinking my coffee black (often my go to is just to drink my coffee black)...for now.

I am hoping to try an almond-based creamer next, I will keep you updated!

While on the subject of soy I am just going to throw this out there,  any suggestions on getting enough protein without soy, meat or dairy products? What is your fave vegan/gluten and soy-free protein, please share!

I am off to drink my dairy, soy-free coffee now- have a lovely morning all!

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Silly Rabbit!

     Well, I am sorry to say I have not been eating so well as of late. In the last week  I have been using a lot of soy coffee creamer and I believe there were some potato wedges in there that were dusted with flour and the list goes on-.ahhhhhhhh! Besides feeling crappy for eating foods I know I shouldn't, I actually just feel crappy! Some of my hypo symptoms have resurfaced-and I am NOT pleased.

   While I would rather not admit my recent food-related transgressions, I choose to share them with you guys because this all only makes it clearer to me that these dietary changes I have made are very powerful and when I stick to them I feel much healthier. I am also considering cutting out tempeh...this makes me sad, we will see. I am at least going to limit my soy/tempeh intake to one meal a week because too much soy does not do my body good :(

   Although I suppose that this was likely to happen at some point as I did cut out about 4 food groups all at once, I still could use some support!

Next week I promise to post something a little more fun and yummy, but for now I am just putting myself back together.

  Oh well, I am back at it, eating clean and re-dedicated!

   Did any of you have any set backs while going gluten-free, vegan or soy-free? Anything?!






Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Turns Out, It Really Is All About The Vinegar!

"No-Poo" UPDATE!!!

P.S. There are no suds with "no-poo" washing :)
     As you know, if you have been following my 'no-poo saga",  I had settled on a "low-poo" shampoo and rice wine vinegar conditioner and leave-in detangler. However, after a few more washes with that squeaky clean shmapoo I found it was leaving my hair a bit too squeaky, literally my hair would kind of squeak when I twisted it dry. What I gather is that the shampoo I was using was clarifying my hair! You really should not clarify your hair more than once a month, probably less if you don't use chemical /silicone-laden products, which I do not. The other fallout of this squeaky-clean-low-poo shampoo was that it started to leave my once-manageable-hair in an absolute tangled mess! I usually don't have to put anything in my hair to comb it out, but it was becoming intensely painful trying to comb out my hair, needless to say, I have ditched the Hugo Naturals Coconut Shampoo. I wanted to love it but after ome more time with it I give it a 3/10 :(

   What am I using now, you ask?

  I am currently using diluted (1 part vinegar/ 3 part water) rice wine vinegar as my shampoo, conditioner and leave-in detangler. So, I guess after all, I have gone "no-poo" rather than "low-poo".

  I am not going to review this new hair care method until I have been doing it for a solid month-so when I give you guys the goods there won't be a giant, this-shampoo-is-crap surprise a week later.

Enjoy your twigs!