Caprese Skewers…Super Easy and Elegant Appetizer

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My family loves to get together for cocktails, appetizers and desserts.  We enjoy sitting around visiting with each other and having little plates of fabulous finger foods…this always leaves room for a yummy cocktail and a decadent dessert without stuffing ourselves silly with a huge meal in between (we have learned this lesson the hard way)!

This appetizer really doesn’t need much explanation.  It is super easy, requires no cooking and looks absolutely beautiful on a plate.  You can make this recipe as big or as small as you’d like, we generally have 5 or 6 different appetizers so we plan one of these per person, this recipe is for 6 skewers.

Caprese Skewers

6 wooden skewers

18 sweet cherry tomatoes

12 small fresh mozzarella balls

2 Tbsp. pesto

12 basil leaves

In a small bowl, toss fresh mozzarella in the pesto and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Assemble the skewers by alternating the ingredients…start with a tomato, next a pesto marinated mozzarella ball, then a fresh basil leaf.  Repeat, ending with a cherry tomato.  Trim the ends of the skewers if necessary to fit on your serving dish.

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Our latest appetizer get together with the Caprese Skewers as the beautiful centerpiece!

This recipe is shared at:

5 Ingredient Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Love, Allergy-Free Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesday, Gluten-Free Fridays, Wednesday Extravaganza

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Roasted Green Chile Breakfast Casserole

Who doesn’t love a great breakfast casserole?  Especially one that is full of flavor, easy to make and even better the next day!  My mom and dad have been raving about this recipe for over a year now but I just got around to making it last week and boy am I sorry I waited so long…

Back in my gluten, grain and “not so healthy” conventional grocery store days I regularly made a Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole for my family…loaded with white tortillas, canned soup (!!!), canned green chile enchilada sauce (was there even green chilies in there?) and lots of bright yellow cheese.   It doesn’t sound too appetizing when the ingredients are listed out that way but it was very, very tasty and one of our favorite weeknight meals!  Thankfully, I was able to duplicate the recipe using nutritious, healthy, organic and gluten-free ingredients so my family could still enjoy it.  However, since I have been grain-free for the last year or so this dish has been off the menu for me…until now.

Enter the Roasted Green Chile Breakfast Casserole…layers of green chilies rather than corn tortillas, a creamy egg mixture in place of the soup and sauce and lots of cheesy goodness pull it all together along with raw pumpkin seeds toasted on top for a bit of added crunch.  I usually add some sort of meat (whatever I have leftover in the fridge that needs to be used up) but the original recipe is meat-less.  Included in this post is the “original” recipe for the casserole that I got from my mom and also mine with a few alterations.  You will find that this recipe can be adapted very easily to your families liking, dietary needs and size.

Layers of roasted green chilies, cheese and eggs...yum

Roasted Green Chile Breakfast Casserole (Original Recipe):

Serves 8

12-14 roasted whole green chilies

8 oz sharp cheddar, shredded

8 oz Monterrey jack, shredded

4 eggs

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 9×13 glass baking dish.

Wash, peel and seed chilies.  Drain chilies on a paper towel, be sure to keep chilies whole, do not chop.  In a medium mixing bowl whisk together eggs, cream and salt.  To assemble casserole layer green chilies on bottom of prepared dish, top with 1/2 of cheese, repeat layer of chilies and cheese, pour egg mixture over chilies and cheese, sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.  Allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving.

My version in an 8x8 dish, serves 4

Here is my recipe…the original is perfect as is but I wanted to scale it down for two (with leftovers) and also add a bit more protein and little less dairy.  I enjoy it with a side of sour cream, salsa or avocado…it is so delicious.

Roasted Green Chile Breakfast Casserole (adapted):

Serves 4

12-14 roasted whole green chilies

2.5 oz raw sharp cheddar, shredded

2.5 oz raw Monterrey jack, shredded

4 oz cooked chicken, beef or pork, shredded or chopped

4 eggs

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 8×8 glass baking dish.

Wash, peel and seed chilies.  Drain chilies on a paper towel, be sure to keep chilies whole, do not chop.  In a medium mixing bowl whisk together eggs, cream and salt.  To assemble casserole layer green chilies on bottom of prepared dish, top with 1/2 of cheese, 1/2 of meat, repeat layer of chilies, cheese and meat, pour egg mixture over chilies and cheese, sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top.  Bake for 40-45 minutes.  Allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving.

This recipe is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday & Tasty Tuesday

Gluten Free Wednesdays

Mini Lemon Ricotta Cheesecakes

Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake with Blueberry Puree

Generally, my dessert of choice includes some sort of chocolate but as we are coming into warmer weather here in Colorado I am really enjoying the light texture and fresh taste of these Mini Ricotta Cheesecakes.  I have made them twice now, once as plain cheesecake with cherry topping and these pictured here with lemon zest and blueberry puree…both are equally delicious!  I love that they are grain-free and stevia sweetened, making them a very low carb, low glycemic, guilt free treat.  The recipe is super easy and can be adapted to just about any flavor of cheesecake…chocolate with raspberry sauce will be my next creation, of course.

This recipe will make six mini-cheesecakes. I use a mini-cheesecake pan with removable bottoms but you can also use a standard muffin pan lined with paper and foil muffin liners for easy removal.  I use full-fat dairy products but you could substitute low or reduced fat dairy for an ever lower calorie treat.  Also, make sure your ingredients are at room temperature before combining for an evenly blended batter.

Crust:

3/4 cup blanched almond flour

2 T. butter, melted

2 packets stevia (I use SweetLeaf)

1 tsp. vanilla

Cheesecake Filling:

9 ounces cream cheese, softened

3 packets stevia

3/4 cup ricotta cheese

3 large eggs

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

zest of one lemon (optional for lemon version)

Puree:

3/4 cup fresh blueberries (or fruit of choice)

6-9 drops of liquid stevia (or one packet)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Line six muffin cups with paper and foil liners.  Combine almond flour, melted butter, stevia and vanilla until mixture holds together, divide evenly between muffin or mini-cheesecake cups and press into the bottom.  Bake for 10 minutes or until slightly golden, remove and cool.  Meanwhile, in an electric mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese and stevia until blended.  Beat in ricotta, egg, vanilla and lemon zest, if using.  Pour filling into prepared muffin or mini-cheesecake cups.  Bake 15 minutes, or until almost fully set.  In a food processor, puree blueberries for 30 seconds, whisk in liquid stevia and set aside.  Remove cheesecakes and let cool completely on wire rack.  Refrigerate one hour or wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight.  Serve chilled or at room temperature topped with blueberry puree.

This Recipe is shared at :

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday & Tasty Tuesday

Meatless Monday…Eggplant Parmesan.

I eat a pretty strict “Primal Blueprint” diet…no grains, legumes, refined sugar, LOTS of animal protein, healthy fats, nuts, seeds and vegetables with a limited dairy intake…BUT I do enjoy a Meatless Monday on occasion.  Some days just call for lighter fare.  One of the most satisfying and enjoyable vegetarian meals for me is my adapted version of the Eggplant Parmesan recipe from Elana Amsterdam’s Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook.  I had a wonderfully enjoyable lunch today with my Dad, this recipe is one of his favorites too!

My Meatless Monday Lunch...YUM!

So, here you go…Enjoy!

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 pounds eggplant
  • 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil (or other high heat cooking oil)
  • 3 cups tomato sauce
  • 1-2 cups freshly grated mozzarella cheese (depending on how cheesy you like it!)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.Cut the eggplant into 1/4-inch slices. In a medium bowl, combine the almond flour and salt. Dip the eggplant slices in the buttermilk, then coat with the almond flour mixture.

Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the eggplant for 3 to 5 minutes per side, until golden brown. Transfer the eggplant to a paper towel–lined plate.

Pour 1 cup of the Tomato Sauce into a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Layer the eggplant over the sauce; cover the eggplant with 1 cup of the sauce and 1 cup of the mozzarella. Place the remaining eggplant over the top, then cover with the remaining sauce and mozzarella.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the edges are bubbling. Remove from the oven and top with grated Parmesan cheese before serving.

Gluten Free Eggplant Parmesan

 

This recipe is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

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