Ravings: Considering I was sick all weekend, you would think I would have a ton to rave about, but I don't really. Let's be honest...this scares you as much as it does me. It must just be because I am writing this in the morning after only one cup of coffee!
So I will just talk about the new section of the blog! I hope you noticed that I have completed the index of recipes. If you didn't, look up! It's labeled Recipes. I know, genius, right? It was surprisingly difficult and I'm not sure I'm in love with the categories, so if you have any suggestions, please send them my way! I'm wondering if I should cross-catergorize, specifically.
Cravings: I have several recipes to share today. I did a bunch of baking on Sunday, so I'm including those recipes, and two dinners from last week. I made another one of the Bob's Red Mill gluten free pizza crusts and added dried basil to it. I'm still not in love with the texture, but it is growing on me.
1 package Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free pizza crust mix (makes 2 pizzas)
2 tomatoes, sliced
Fresh mozzarella, sliced
large bunch of basil, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
I'm not sure you really need a recipe for this. It's such a classic, but it is so yummy! Just make sure you use fresh mozzarella and fresh basil. It really makes a huge difference! I also wait to add the basil until the pizza is cooked.
Mediterranean Venison Stew
1 lb venison tenderloin (backstraps)
1/2 onion, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
3 cups beef stock
1 Tbsp cumin
1/2 Tbsp coriander
1 Tbsp star anise (mine were all broken so it's the equivalent of 1 Tbsp)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tomato, chopped
1 cup spinach
fresh mint and parsley to garnish
Briefly brown the tenderloin. (You could substitute any other meat if you don't have venison.) Then add the tenderloin and the rest of the ingredients through the garlic to a slow cooker. I used a tea infuser for the star anise, but you could also use cheesecloth, or leave it whole, but you have to fish it out at the end. Cook on high for about 7 hours, then add the tomato and the spinach, turn down to low and cook for another hour. I served this over a mashed potato and parsnip mixture and garnished with the mint and parsley.
For the mashed potato and parsnip mixture, just chop equal amounts of potato and parsnips. Boil until soft. Mash and add butter and/or cream. However you make your mashed potatoes will work.
Gluten-free Banana Bread Muffins (adapted from Dashing Dish, found on Pinterest)
1 small banana
1/2 cup greek yogurt
3/4 cup rolled oats
2 scoops protein powder (I used vanilla whey)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix until smooth. I used a blender and had to push the dry stuff down a few times to get it to mix in. Pour into muffins tins lined with silicone liners or spray your tin well. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. These are a bit denser than traditional muffins, but they are very moist and the banana flavor is pretty mild.
Homemade Luna Bars (adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie)
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp peanut butter (or any other nut butter)
1/2 cup sticky sweetener (I used a combination of honey, agave and maple syrup...long story)
2 tsp vanilla extract (use the real thing!!!)
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups rice crispies
2 scoops protein powder (I used vanilla whey)
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp butter
Mix together the peanut butter, sweetener, vanilla extract and salt. Then melt it in the microwave or on the stovetop and mix until creamy. In another bowl, mix together the rice crispies and the protein powder. Then pour the peanut butter mixture over the rice crispies and mix together really well. I ended up using my hands. It helps to spray them with cooking spray first. Then spread them into a pan lined with wax paper or parchment and smash it all down really well. Then melt the chocolate chips. I ended up having to add about a tablespoon of butter to mine to get it creamy. You may not have to do this. Then spread the chocolate evenly over the rop of the rice crispies and put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes or until the chocolate has set. Slice and enjoy! I'm storing them sliced in a plastic container in the fridge.
And finally....the homemade dog treat review. Shadow said these are yummy and crunchy and filled with love! I speak dog, so I know exactly what he says! So you know that Jason and I have completely changed the way we eat, and for those of you who know me, you know that I would never leave Shadow out of this. Suprisingly, it has been a bit more of a challenge to find healthy organic dog treats. He loves the dried lamb ears, but they are super expensive and he doesn't need an entire lamb ear every time he goes potty. He would completely disagree with this statement, but I control the food and he doesn't have thumbs, so it restricts his ability to open the containers! Anyway, part of this switch is to limit the amount of grain he gets. Dogs don't naturally eat grain, but it tends to be the first ingredient of most dog foods and treats because it's a cheap filler. So here is my first attempt at a wheat free dog treat. It's not completely grain free because I didn't know how to get it crunchy without any grain. It was surprisingly easy and he really does seem to like them. Oh, and yes I did buy a cute little dog bone shaped cookie cutter! I didn't get a baby, so cut me some slack!
Shadow's Dog Treats
1 cup rolled oats (Put through the food processor to make it a more flour like consistency, but you could just buy oat flour)
1/2 cup flax seeds (I also put these in the food processor, but you could also just buy flax meal)
1 Tbsp dried mint
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cooked butternut squash
Mix all ingredients together until it forms a stiff dough. I did have to add a couple tablespoons of whole wheat flour to get the right consistency, but next time I will just use more oat flour. Then knead for a minute and roll or flatten with your hands (I used my hands) to about a 1/2 inch. It doesn't have to be perfect. Then use the cookie cutter to cut out the shapes and then put them onto a tin lined cookie sheet. Gather up the unused dough, knead it back together and roll it out again, just like you would cookies, until you've used all the dough. Bake at 350 for about 15 mins, more if you are making bigger biscuits. Turn biscuits over and bake for another 15 mins, or more for bigger biscuits. Allow to cool completely before feeding to your dog!