A great big welcome to Lexie's Kitchen & Living. I hope you enjoy the recipes and ramblings. For the story behind this site read here

Follow a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free diet? Check out my recently released cookbook

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Monday
May192014

V-8 Juice (or my version anyway)

Mother Nature has given Coloradoans the "all clear" to get our gardens in.

Yes! Yes! YES!

Madly planting on Saturday I realized I had been a bit zealous back in February because come planting time I had more flower and plant starts than I knew what to do with. Wielding a shovel and hoe I found—or made—room for everything. Yep, the yard's a bit torn up but it's all in!

Here's some pretty little lettuce.

The crop I am most excited about is the tomatoes. I decided to go all heirloom this year and purchased seed for these beauties from www.rareseeds.com.

I can't wait to bite into that Violet Jasper—the green and red tomato at bottom left. Last year I picked some up at the Farmers Market and made this spicy vegetable juice. So good!

Ooo ooo, and one of my sponsors just launched these hanging planters that accommodate tomato plants nicely. Pretty cool. Plant herbs at the top and hang tomatoes out the bottom!

Lexie's Version of V-8 Vegetable Juice

Ingredients:

2 large CARROT
2 stalks CELERY
1-2 large TOMATOES (or equivalent in cherry tomatoes)
1/2 medium CUCUMBER
1/2 medium BEET
1/2 green BELL PEPPER
1/2 lemon
1/4 small ONION
Handful CHARD (or other green)
Handful CABBAGE
Small GARLIC CLOVE
3/4 teaspoon HOT SAUCE (used Cholulas)
1/4 teaspoon SEA SALT

Directions:

Juice in juicer.

Alternatively, blend in high-powered blender for a high-fiber smoothie.

Serves 2-4.

Monday
Apr282014

Easy & Tender Drumstick Recipe

My friend Carolee hosts a great potluck. Her signature dish is the tenderest, fall-off-the-bone chicken drumstick I've ever sunk my teeth into. We both laugh when she catches me heading back for seconds. 

Carolee eats gluten-free and as most gluten-free folks are, she's sensitive and accommodating to others' dietary needs. With these drumsticks she keeps it simple—no corn-syrup barbeque sauces, no mystery marinades. Just salt and pepper, and that's it. What sends these drumsticks over the top is the way she cooks them. I called her today to get the scoop and here's what she said:

"Salt and pepper the drumsticks and then grill them until you have some nice color on the outside—do not cook all the way through. Throw them in your slow cooker, without any liquid, and cook on low for 3-4 hours."

Now, that's my kind of recipe. Short, sweet and easy. Uh oh ...

The thing was, before she had returned my call I had jumped ahead and put the drumsticks in the slow cooker thinking I would finish them off on the grill.

Oops! 

Fingers crossed I was surprised to find that they turned out just as good as Carolee's!

So here's the deal; if you are wanting to have these drumstick ready to serve when you return home from Sunday church—do it Carolee's way. If you want to have the chicken cooked and ready to throw on the grill for an afternoon barbeque—do it my way.

Next go-round I'll slather some barbeque sauce on these bad boys when finishing them off on the grill. Mmm mmmm mmmmmmm. Or maybe some 4-Ingredient Italian Sausage Seasoning? Or maybe a lemon and rosemary marinade before they head to the slow cooker. Yep, now we're talking! 

What's your favorite chicken seasoning? Do tell!

Carolee's Easy and Tender Drumstick Recipe

Makes: 8-10 drumsticks

*** I've had some ask if I remove the skin before cooking. The answer is yes. Steps 1 and 2 take you through this process. Here's a how-to video, too. ***

Ingredients:

3 pounds CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS
SALT
PEPPER

Directions:

  1. Using a sharp knife, make a cut around and through the skin at the base of the chicken leg.
  2. Grab the skin at the top of the drumstick and pull it toward the bottom and remove (a paper towel helps provide a good grip for this task).
  3. Generously salt and pepper the drumsticks
  4. Place in a slow cooker (do not add any liquid). 
  5. Cover and cook 3-4 hours on low.
  6. Finish in a 450˚F grill, about 10 minutes, until meat begins to caramelize and residual fat is rendered (that is, until some tasty color develops and lingering fat crispens up or cooks off—I am so not into fat). If basting on barbeque sauce, do so every 2-3 minutes while grilling. 

And one last thing. I just want to thank you all so much for the reviews of Everyday Classics that you have left on Amazon. Your honesty and enthusiasm shine through and for that I am thankful. I am so pleased that you are enjoying it.  

 

Tuesday
Apr222014

Gluten-Free Egg-Free Flourless Chocolate Cake 

Hello dear readers! Here's one for you from the archives.

Have you tried it?

It's just been too popular not to share again.

If you've been screamin' for chocolate, give it a try.

Here's what a few have wrote in about it:

"This cake is AH-Mazing! Thank you so much for sharing!" — Jennifer

"I'm making this for a second time this week!! I've been gluten free for over a year now, and I've recently eliminated eggs. This recipe is fantastic! It's rich and dense and chocolately! Instead of cashews, I used a little less than 1/3 cup almond butter. It worked out great."  — Melanie

"Absolutely amazing! This was such a find and a friend made it for a dinner party (because I asked her too!) I took half the cake home and have had little slivers with my coffee each morning. Because its healthy, right?? :) delicious! Will be making again!"  —Lisa

Enjoy!

Chocolate Decadence (aka Fourless Chocolate Cake)

Serves:  4-6 
Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time:  35-40 minutes
Equipment:  A high-powered blender such as a Blendtec or Vita-Mix is highly recommended

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons virgin COCONUT OIL
1/2 cup Enjoy Life® CHOCOLATE CHIPS
1/2 cup plain, unsalted cooked BLACK BEANS, rinsed and drained (see Notes for substitution)
1/2 cup raw CASHEWS, soaked 4-6 hours, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup WATER
3 tablespoons runny HONEY or AGAVE (if vegan)
3 tablespoons Dutch-Process COCOA POWDER (read how Dutch is different)
2 tablespoons COCONUT FLOUR
3/4 teaspoon BAKING POWDER

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325˚F.

Oil bottom and sides of one 5-6" round springform cake pan. Dust with 1 tablespoon of the cocoa powder.

Combine and gently heat coconut oil and chocolate chips just to soften.

Transfer chocolate chip mixture (it should not be hot) to a high-powered blender. Add remaining ingredients, except for baking powder, to blender. Blend on medium-high until super smooth. Add baking powder and blend on low 5-10 seconds or until just incorporated.

Immediately pour mixture into pan. Bake 35-40 minutes.

Remove cake from oven and transfer to refrigerator to chill 4-6 hours. Run knife around edge of cake before removing from pan. Serve cold. Garnish with chocolate shavings if desired.

Notes:

1. Enjoy Life® Chocolate Chips are gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free. Use any brand of chocolate chips that are safe for you.

2. This cake is best kept refrigerated and served chilled.

3. No time to soak the cashews? Soften in very hot water for 10 minutes.

4. Expect the "cake" to rise during baking and fall during cooling. This is to be expected.

5. If your blender is not "high-powered" and you are determined to make this cake. Try pureeing the beans, cashews and the liquid first, then proceeding with the other ingredients.

6. I have had many inquiries about substitute for cashews. The last time I made this cake I replaced the cashews with 1/3 cup peanut butter and it was quite delicious—definitely had a hint of peanut butter. The outer part of the cake seemed a bit more crumbly, but it did not detract from the flavor. You could very well use sunflower butter, too. 

 

Wednesday
Apr022014

Autism & Sensory Processing Disorders

 

If it's not one thing, it's another. I'm not complaining, just sayin'.

A couple of years back, after much prayer and reflection, I realized that all that was put on my plate was for a reason and I began viewing trials from a different perspective—I realized that with each challenge a great and beautiful work was being perfected within me, my son and our family. My heart overflows with gratititude for my son and the joy he brings to my life each day. It overflows for my husband who has stood by my side through it all. It overflows for Little Man's big brother who has been a stellar friend to his bro and his mamma. And it overflows for each person who has supported us along the way.

For those who have followed Little Man's Story, here's a mini update.

Our boy is now six and a half. For six years now we have worked on diet and have spent many dollars on supplements and biomedical treatments. We have seen specialists, gone to physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy.

Has it helped?

Most it has. But looking back, finding the right path was not easy.

For disorders such as autism, there still is no clear cut road map or formula for healing. Perhaps that's because as Temple Grandin puts it, "if you've met one autistic, you've met one autistic." No two are the same and their needs can be vastly different.

As a parent I have learned the importance of being in tune with my child and seeking professionals who can help me do that. Have I always excelled at that—maybe not, but I have given it my best effort. If you are just starting out on this journey, I urge you not to be afraid to get help and seek support. Your sanity and your child's future hinges upon in.

Temple's story is profound. Her TED Talk (below) is worth the watch as is the film Temple Grandin—a testament to a mother's love and determination. 

I have always taken the stance of avoiding labels unless the application of them is necessary to obtain therapy and services. Little Man has never been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. Is he autistic-like?Perhaps. But the best we've received are fuzzy diagnoses. The one thing we know for sure is that Little Man is bright, inquisitive, and reads at a second grade level! Behaviorally—well that's another story and and it all seems to stem from his sensory processing challenges. 

Here is a great film to check out if you have been told your child is autistic-like, but not autistic. I have just ordered it—this is the trailer:

I was talking with one of Little Man's teachers the other day, telling her how from 1-3 years of age physical therapy was what he needed most. From 3-5 it was speech therapy. Now that he is 6 we are seeing that his most critical need is for occupational therapy. Leaving the quiet and predictable environment of home and entering school has really shed light on the fact that we are dealing with Sensory Processing Disorder. Thankfully his teacher knows that his behavior is not malicious and that it is rooted in his sensory issues. 

Resources

The following resources are ones I wish I had been armed with early on. When you sense something is not right with your child and you visit your child's pediatrician and are left with questions unanswered and very few suggestions for how to proceed, perhaps these will help:

  1. My child is young and something is not right, where do I start? Read this book.
  2. I need to find a doctor who really understands my child's condition.
  3. I want to read about adults with autism and what my child's future could look like.
  4. I want to see Sensory Processing Disorder from a child's perspective.
  5. I need to hear from parents of kids with Sensory Processing Disorder.
  6. Another definition of Sensory Processing Disorder?
  7. My child may be autistic-like but I don't think he's autistic.
  8. The difference between "supporting" your child and "fixing" your child (folks, this is where we are now!!)
  9. I need a good source for omega-3's and a probiotic.
  10. Show me how Occupational Therapy can be simple but so effective!
  11. I need a movie to watch this Friday night.

 

Sunday
Feb162014

DIY Natural House Cleaner Recipes

In the latest issue of Simply Gluten Free Magazine you'll find an article I wrote on greener ways to tackle your Spring Cleaning. In it I share some of my favorite homemade, non-toxic house cleaner recipes and tips from one of my favorite cleaning experts Monica Leonard, founder of Molly's Suds.

The recipe for the lemony Easy Scrub smells good enough to eat—but I would refrain from doing so! My husband discovered that it also makes a fantastic hand scrub for greasy, grimy hands.

I hope you enjoy the article.

Another article I think you might like is one I wrote on how to dye Easter eggs naturally. I had a great time experimenting and doing research for this one. I think I went through four dozen eggs in the process—no joke!

This March/April 2014 issue of Simply Gluten Free is the best issue yet! 

Click here to subscribe or to find a retail location.