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

Cupcakes, Cupcakes, Cupcakes

Do you really need a special occasion to make a batch of cupcakes?  I think not, but…when I came upon this adorable cupcake display at Williams Sonoma last month I knew without a doubt that Easter dessert this year would be CUPCAKES!  At least this holiday occasion would give me the opportunity to make several different kinds and lots of them (the display holds 24-36)!!!  From all the wonderful flavors, fillings and frostings to choose from…here are the ones that made the cut…Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is of course a must, being Easter and all…humm, you have got to have something chocolate so I settled on a Chocolate Fudge Cupcake with a Whipped Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting…fruit? definitely, Raspberry filled Vanilla Cupcake with Dark Chocolate Ganache and a light and airy Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Cupcake with Blueberries.  It was so much fun making and decorating these little treats but the real joy was sharing them with my family, especially since they were all grain-free, gluten-free and refined sugar-free!

The Final Four

My favorite was the Chocolate Fudge Cupcake with Whipped Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting, for several reasons…1) it’s peanut butter and chocolate, 2) well, it’s peanut butter and chocolate and 3) should I say it again?  it’s peanut butter and chocolate.  This recipe is adapted from one that my grandmother makes called Carol’s Fudge Muffins, I don’t know who Carol is but this woman is a genius, these muffins are rich and fudgy but still light enough to be a cupcake rather than a brownie…Mama always made them with pecans and no frosting but I chose to omit the pecans this time since I was going to use a peanut butter frosting…they are equally delicious both ways!  Now, since I’ve been eating a mostly primal diet I don’t eat peanuts or peanut butter and would normally substitute almond butter in the frosting recipe but for Easter…its just got to be peanut butter!

Chocolate Fudge Cupcake

2 ounces dark chocolate (I used Dagoba Chocodrops 70%)

1/2 cup butter, melted

3/4 cup + 2Tbsp. coconut palm sugar

1/2 cup quinoa flour

2 eggs

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 F and line 12 muffin cups with paper or foil liners.

In a large bowl mix together flour and sugar.  In a small saucepan melt butter and chocolate and whisk until smooth.  Add butter and chocolate to flour mixture and stir until smooth.  Add slightly beaten eggs, stir in – do not beat.  Add vanilla and chopped nuts (if using).  Divide evenly between muffin cups.  Bake 22-25 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.

Whipped Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese, softened

2 Tbsp. agave, honey or palm sugar

1 Tbsp. vanilla

pinch of sea salt

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup cold heavy whipped cream

Beat cream cheese, peanut butter, agave, vanilla and sea salt on medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  In a separate bowl beat heavy whip cream until stiff peaks form (for best results chill bowl and whisk in freezer before beating the whip cream).  Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.  Frosting can be made one day ahead and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.  Be sure cupcakes are completely cooled before frosting.

Chocolate Fudge Cupcake with Whipped Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Grain-Free Granola

I think I’m in love…since being gluten and grain free one of the things I miss is a crunchy, sweet and slightly chewy granola.  I like to have some texture in my fruit and yogurt, smoothies and occasional frozen dessert…my “go-to” topping is  usually toasted macadamia nuts (which are wonderful too!) but sometimes I have a hankering for a little something sweet and indulgent.  I came across this recipe at Heartland Renaissance and slightly adapted it to use my favorite low-glycemic sweeteners.  This recipe makes about 2 quarts or 32 ounces of granola, a typical serving is about 1/4 cup or 1 oz, so there is plenty to share with your loved ones or can easily be cut in half.

Grain-Free Granola

Ingredients:
2 cups almonds
1 cup pecans
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded
1 cup raisins (or your favorite unsweetened dried fruit, chopped)
1 T. cinnamon
4 T. butter
4 T. coconut oil
2 T. coconut palm sugar
2 T. – 1/4 cup yacon syrup (or agave, honey or maple syrup)
2 t. vanilla
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
In a food processor, place the 2 cups of almonds and pulse until they are chopped up. Process the almonds until they are a pretty coarse texture, some will be finer than others and that’s okay.  Pour almonds into a large mixing bowl. Process the walnuts and pecans to about the same texture of the almonds; this will not take as long as the almonds so be sure to watch the nuts in this step, add pecans and walnuts to large mixing bowl. I like to start with coconut flakes and pulse them a few times (or you can use shredded coconut and skip this step), next, add half of the sunflower and pumpkin seeds to the processor and pulse a few times.  Place the remaining seeds, fruit, cinnamon and coconut to the mixing bowl and mix well.
In the meantime, combine butter, coconut oil, palm sugar and yacon syrup over low heat until combined. Take off heat and stir in vanilla.
Pour the hot liquid into the nut mixture and stir well until evenly combined and all pieces are coated.
Pour the granola out onto a greased (or parchment lined) jelly roll pan and spread out to an even layer. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the mixture begins to smell fragrant and slightly brown on top. When done, remove and allow to briefly cool on the cookie sheet before transferring into your preferred storage jar while still warm, taking care not to allow it to cool completely on the cookie sheet as it can stick.

Berries, Cottage Cheese and Granola

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Chunkey Monkey Cake

Chunkey Monkey Cake

I love dessert, I eat it everyday at around 3 o’clock in the afternoon, it’s the best part of my day.  Most days it’s just berries and whipped cream or yogurt, an apple with almond butter or a frozen smoothie, but several times a month I like to make something really decadent.  I am always on the lookout for gluten, grain, refined sugar and especially GUILT free healthy options for my special treat days.  Yesterday I came across a wonderful recipe for Carob-Banana Bars at The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen website, I could hardly wait to make these today…I have made a few alterations to the original recipe to include cacao powder rather than carob and added walnuts for some extra texture, it came out perfect!  I will try this recipe with carob powder sometime as I really do like the taste of carob…I was just out of it today and didn’t want to make an extra trip to the store since I had everything else.  My dad is coming over today so I am excited to see if he likes it…he loves dessert as much as I do so I’m sure he will!
A few recipe tips:
Make sure all ingredients are room temperature (even the eggs) otherwise they will cause the coconut oil to harden.
Use slightly over-ripe bananas for a sweeter cake.
If you choose to use the carob powder rather than the cacao powder the additional sweetener isn’t necessary, stevia can sometimes have a bitter taste so you may add the 1/4 cup palm sugar instead of the extra plain stevia listed in the recipe below.

 

Enjoy with a dollop of fresh whip cream

Chunkey Monkey Cake

 

2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 cup cacao powder (or carob powder)
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 – 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
3 large ripe bananas, mashed (1 heaping cup)
2 large organic eggs
1/4 cup melted virgin coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
24 drops chocolate liquid stevia + 10-20 drops plain stevia or 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil an 8 x 8-inch glass baking dish with coconut oil.
Mix together the dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Use your fingers to break up any clumps in the almond flour. Then whisk the ingredients together. Set aside.
In a small bowl, add the bananas and mash with a fork. Measure the mashed bananas to make sure they are just over 1 cup. Add more banana if needed or remove some. Then add the remaining ingredients and stir together with the fork.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk together. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool before cutting into bars.  Serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream or glass of ice-cold almond milk.  Enjoy!

Yep, Daddy liked it!

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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

Avocado Oil Spicy Mayonnaise, really?

  • Avocado Oil Spicy Mayo

Anyone who knows me will be quite puzzled by this post, but as always there is a motive to my madness.

One of the most horrifying memories of my childhood was on a bright sunny day in Shreveport at my grandmother’s house…I think I might have been about four years old.  My cousins and I had been enjoying a great day of playing in the sprinklers and riding bikes in the neighborhood when Mama called us in for lunch, we all sat down at my cute little metal table in the garage for our bologna sandwiches on white bread with a nice side of potato chips and a dill pickle, to my surprise as I bit into my sandwich…Mayonnaise!  If I had been a child that used foul language a hearty WTH? would have rang out of my mouth…I can vividly remember thinking, doesn’t she know I HATE mayonnaise? Did she mix my plate up with Scott or Troy’s?  I KNOW she knows I HATE mayonnaise…Why is there mayonnaise on my bologna sandwich????  Pretty funny the things that store up in our memories…no one else recalls this condiment tragedy but me, but it obviously made quite an impression. 

To this very day I still don’t eat mayonnaise as a condiment and have raised children who loathe the stuff as well…probably didn’t help having a husband that doesn’t like it either (which was a requirement to secure my hand in marriage).  Oddly enough we are a family that really digs ranch dressing…

For a couple of years now we have been making our own healthy, organic and artificial ingredient-free version of ranch dressing but we still have been using a canola oil mayonnaise.  In my desire to use healthier oils (more omega 3’s, less omega 6’s) I have been on a quest to make my own mayo…I only use it in a few recipes in my home which are the Ranch Dressing and my daughters favorite appetizer dishes of Hot Broccoli or Spinach and Artichoke Dips.  We are having an appetizer night tonight so I needed to get this made for our dip…came out great on the first try (today, that is…have tried several other times that were not successful, see recipe notes about “the drizzle”).  So, here it is, my Avocado Oil Spicy Mayonnaise Recipe…which will be lovely in my dressing and dips…and equally good as a condiment for those of you who actually like mayo!

Avocado Oil Spicy Mayonnaise

1 egg

1 T. lemon juice

1 T. mustard powder

½ t. minced garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

¾ c. avocado oil

In a food processor combine all ingredients except the oil and process until smooth.  While the machine is still running, drizzle ½ cup of the avocado oil into the mixture slowly.  Make sure you take your time on the drizzle, almost dropping it in a bead at a time; this will keep it from separating.  After you drizzle in the ½ cup, turn off the machine and scrape down the mixture and taste.  Add any additional seasoning, turn the processor back on and then slowly drizzle the remaining ¼ cup of oil.  Spoon into a glass jar or bowl, cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 10 days.  Makes 1 cup.

This recipe is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

Almond Blossoms

Peanut Blossom cookies are my all time favorite cookie, my grandmother sent them in a goodie box every year at Christmastime.  I looked forward to them all year…for some reason when I was a kid it was the only time I got them.  One of my passions is adapting my favorite recipes into healthier, gluten, grain and refined sugar-free versions.  In this adaptation I used almond butter, almond flour, coconut oil and palm sugar rather than the traditional peanut butter, flour, butter and sugar.  I also used 70% dark chocolate molded into starlight mint candy molds for the added nostalgic effect, but you could use a few dark chocolate chips on top for a simpler version.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I do and note from the picture below…they are not just a Christmas treat for me anymore!

Almond Blossoms

Ingredients

      1 c roasted almond butter
      1/2 c coconut sugar (honey or agave both work well too)
      2 eggs
      1 t vanilla
      2 T butter or coconut oil, melted
      1 c blanched almond flour
    1/4 t baking soda
    3 oz 70% (or higher) dark chocolate chips (option to melt and mold or use as chips)
Preheat oven to 325 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine the almond flour, palm sugar and baking soda. In a medium bowl combine remaining ingredients and stir until smooth. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
Drop by 2T balls onto the baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes (depending on oven), do not over bake. Cookies will puff up, spread a bit and get lightly golden…they will look slightly underdone when you remove them from the oven. Press molded starlight chocolates or chips into the middle of the cookies (about 5 on each cookie or one molded starlight). Cool on the pan on a wire cooling rack. Best enjoyed after about 15-20 minutes of cooling.
Makes 24 cookies, recipe can easily be doubled.
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