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Gluten-Free Brownie Pudding Cake

When I was a kid, my mom would make brownie pudding cake on cold, wet days. It was so comforting topped with a big scoop of whipped cream that melted into the gooey chocolate. It really doesn’t get more comforting than that. One bowl of that and every problem would disappear. It was basically unicorn tears topped with whipped unicorn tears. Tears of joy that is. There’s no room for sadness here. Best. Thing. Ever.

A few weeks ago we got one of those miserable spring snow storms. Snow in winter is expected, but snow when I’ve spent the last week in skirts and flip flops? Not cool. I needed some warm gooey comfort. But I didn’t want the next day sugar/gluten hangover I get. So I set out to make a grain-free, low sugar version. I was so pleased with the results, the unicorns and I cried together.

This brownie pudding cake is super rich and dark. If you don’t like it that dark, up the sugar and down the cocoa powder. But I can’t image finding comfort from chocolate that isn’t dark chocolate. That’s just me though…

The reason this is so good is that it’s a moist rich cake with a gooey, smooth inside. I topped it with whipped coconut cream that melted into the warm cake just like the version from my childhood. It was so nostalgic I felt like putting on my rainbow bright leg warmers.

This cake comes together in three layers that all come together to make a gooey bowl of joy.

The cake layer:

The topping layer:

The boiling water which makes a crispy top and a gooey middle:

You can’t look at this without smiling.

 

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natural deodorant copy

Does Natural Deodorant Really Work?

About a year ago I decided I wanted to switch to an all-natural deodorant. I’d been reading a lot about the toxins contained in heavy metals and how they can affect our health and it kind of freaked me out. Since then, I’ve gone through 7 different natural deodorants. Lucky for all of you, I’ve […]

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Cage Free Chickens

The Truth About Egg Labels

I’ve always bought “cage-free” eggs. I was so proud picturing my eggs being laid by chickens roaming around a field of grass and flowers listening to Simon and Garfunkel. Then I learned that “cage-free” may not mean what I thought it meant. What about Organic? Free Range? Pasture Raised? What does it all mean?!

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Grain-Free Chicken Parmesan

My daughter has eczema. She comes by it honestly. She inherited it from me. I inherited it from my mom. My mom from her mom; her mom from her mom, etc, etc, etc. We may be able to trace this back to Eve. Two years ago I gave up grains because my joints are awful and I found a grain-free diet helped a lot. I also noticed that after over 30 years, my eczema cleared up significantly. YAY!!

So when my daughter was on the ground sobbing because her legs were bleeding I decided she should try to go gluten free. A month later, her legs looked completely different. I was shocked at the improvement. I think they’d clear up even more if she gave up dairy, but I want it to be her choice and she said she’d stick with giving up gluten for now.

The point is, with her dietary restrictions and mine, we’ve had to get creative. A few weeks ago she and I were watching The Pioneer Woman (one of our favorite bonding activities) and drooling over her chicken Parmesan. My daughter asked, “Can we please make that?!” I couldn’t let her down so we gave it a try. I wanted to make a grain-free but delicious version of this classic comfort food. We were all pleased with the results.

The process was similar to classic chicken Parmesan. The only difference was the mixture.

Rather than use bread crumbs, I made a mixture of almond flour, tapioca flour, Parmesan cheese and spices.

After I coated the chicken in eggs, I dipped it in the “breading” and fried it in a skillet with a little coconut oil. I used chicken thighs because I like them better than breasts, but use what works for you. The process is the same.

Here is where you have to make a decision. If you like your chicken Parmesan crispy, remove it from the skillet top it with hot marinara sauce and sprinkle the cheese on top.  If you want it softer, pour the marinara over the chicken and sprinkle the cheese on top while the chicken is still in the pan. Let this heat until the cheese melts.

My husband and daughter prefer this over gluten-free spaghetti noodles. I serve mine over a huge handful of spinach. The heat from the chicken wilts the spinach a bit but it gives it great flavor and crunch. Plus it’s a great way to add in some extra vegetables.

A word about marinara sauce. I’m happy to report that it’s becoming much easier to find a marinara sauce without sugar. But be sure to read your labels! The cheapest I’ve found is the Trader Joe’s brand that comes in a can. No sugar, low price and delicious. If you want to save even more money, make my No-Sugar Marinara Sauce.

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No-Sugar Saucy Asian Meatballs

When I first started eating healthier, I wasn’t sure what to eat. I had meat and veggies seasoned with salt and pepper. This is a delicious meal but after a few weeks, I was pretty darn sick of it. That’s when I started experimenting with seasonings. Eating healthy is actually really easy if you figure out how to add flavor to food. Sometimes we feel like eating healthy has to be miserable. Good news. It doesn’t!! These meatballs are proof. They are so yummy! My husband and kids loved them and these are people who order things like chili cheese fries and shakes at restaurants, so that’s quite the compliment. Plus, these are easy to make. These days I’m really lazy with cooking. If it takes me more than 20 minutes active time to cook, I’m out.

The only chopping in this recipe is the green onions. To add to my laziness, I cut these with kitchen shears rather than chop them with a knife and cutting board. Add the onions to a large bowl.

Add in the seasonings, coconut aminos, and sesame oil.

Mix this all together before adding in the meat. This keeps the meat tender.

I make my meatballs about the size of golf balls but make them whatever size works best for your family. Just be sure to increase bake time for bigger meatballs and decrease it for smaller ones.

I bake these in the oven for about 15 minutes.

The sauce was the easiest part.  Because it’s such a small amount I didn’t want to dirty a saucepan. I mixed it together in a glass dish and microwaved it for two minutes. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Then I just tossed the meatballs in the sauce and sprinkled them with sesame seeds.

You could eat these over rice or rice noodles (if you do, I’d double the sauce), but we just ate them plain with some veggies and cheese on the side.

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's Hearts

A Cute and Sentimental Valentine’s Day Craft

Last Valentine’s Day we made “love hearts” together as a family. Before you quite reading due to the sappy title of this project, hear me out. Each of us got a chipboard heart and painted it with things we love. Since we use Valentine’s Day to celebrate different forms of love, this included people, toys, […]

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Healthy, No-Sugar Beef and Broccoli

When my husband and I got married, we’d eat out about once a month. Now before you think we were well-off (because we were dead broke), let me explain what I mean by “eat out.” Once a month we’d make the 1/2 mile walk to the local Smith’s grocery store. Inside the Smith’s was a Chinese restaurant that charged $4.95 for a plate of food. So for less than $10, we had our date night. These days, knowing what I know, I doubt we’d hit up that particular restaurant, but I still remember it fondly. I always got the same thing: chicken chow mein, orange chicken and beef and broccoli. Today I was randomly craving that beef and broccoli. Side note: I didn’t have one craving when I was pregnant, but when I’m not pregnant, I crave random things all the time. The point is, I wanted to eat beef and broccoli and not feel horrible after. So I decided to come up with my own recipe. Here’s how it went down.

I started with a flank steak sliced super thin. Then I marinated this in a delicious, no-sugar, no-soy sauce for about 45 minutes (because that’s how long it took me to get my daughter, get home and start cooking).

Then I cooked my broccoli. This was simple as it was just avocado oil, broccoli, and pepper. How long you cook this is going to depend on your taste buds. I happen to like my broccoli very well cooked. I love when it has some black char on it. Cook it how you like it. How long you cook the broccoli won’t make any difference to whether or not the dish turns out.

Move the broccoli to a bowl and add the meat, marinade and all. This is another thing to cook to your liking. I like my meat rare, so I only cooked it for around 3 minutes or so. If you like it more done, cook it for around 5 minutes.

While the meat cooks, make the delicious sauce. The thickener in the sauce is arrowroot powder. It acts a lot like corn starch.

Add the broccoli back in and once it’s warm, toss the sauce. You’ll only have to cook it for a minute or so to finish the dish.

I ate this plain because I was starving and it smelled amazing, but this would also be delicious over rice.

 

 

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