Welcome to Lexie's Kitchen & Living. I'm glad you stopped by and hope you enjoy the five years of recipes and ramblings collected here.

The inspiration for this site was my son. To learn about our journey to restore his intestinal and neurological health read here

Follow a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free diet? Take a peek at my cookbook.  

 

 

 


 

  

 

Tuesday
Mar292011

Egg-Free Dairy-Free Chocolate Decadence

Chocolate Decadence | A rich chocolate treat that's gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free!

In honor of two anniversaries—a 10th wedding anniversary and the one-year anniversary of this blog—I share with you a special recipe for gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and grain-free Chocolate Decadence.

Flourless Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Torte, Chocolate Decadence—the three are closely related. Traditionally these dense, fudgy “cakes” call for hefty measures of cocoa, eggs, refined sugar, butter and/or cream. It’s no wonder this sweet also goes by the name [evil laugh] “Death by Chocolate.”

It was one of those “I gotta have chocolate!” days that inspired this lighter version of Chocolate Decadence. Throwing all caution to the wind (or into the blender), I began mixing chocolate chips, black beans, cashews and a bit of coconut flour. The result was delightful. The little “cake” rose to perfection and then fell (as these desserts do) as it cooled. It's a treat with a slightly crisp top and sides and a super dense, rich and fudge-like interior. Mmmm. This one's a keeper, and it's so EASY!

Chocolate Decadence on the lighter side garnished with Chili Pepper Chocolate shavings.

Chocolate Decadence

Serves:  4-6 (makes one 5" round cake)
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
1/2 cup raw CASHEWS, soaked 4-6 hours, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup WATER
3 tablespoons runny HONEY or AGAVE
3 tablespoons dark COCOA POWDER
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.

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.

Saturday
Mar192011

Ginger Umeboshi Broth & Black Bean Noodles

Use this Ginger Umeboshi Broth in place of Miso Soup. Serve over gluten-free pasta and fresh veggies.

A friend of mine at Navan Foods introduced me to the the tasty and wonderful Explore Asian Organic Black Bean Spaghetti. This gluten-free, grain-free pasta cooks up al dente—beautifully.

And, here is the ingredients list:

Organic Black Beans
Water

Now how simple and wholesome is that?

With Black Bean Spaghetti in hand and craving an Asian noodle soup, I mixed up a batch of this Ginger Umeboshi Broth and served it over the cooked pasta along with some raw veggies. It was delightful! Light. Fresh. Nourishing. The kind of meal the body thanks you for. This broth is quick to prepare. I use it as I would miso soup.

Ginger Umeboshi Broth

Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Citrus-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Nightshade-Free | Peanut-Free | Potato-Free | Rice-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Tree Nut-Free | Wheat-Free | Grain-Free | Sesame-Free | Sweetener-Free | Yeast-free | GFCF | Easily Vegetarian | Easily Vegan

Serves:  2-4
Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time:  10 minutes

Ingredients:

6 small dried SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS, rinsed
2 teaspoons UMEBOSHI PASTE or 4 UMEBOSHI (pit removed)
2 teaspoons minced GINGER ROOT
2 cups CHICKEN or VEGETABLE BROTH
4 cups WATER
2-4 cups prepared BLACK BEAN SPAGHETTI
4-6 cups VEGETABLES (I suggest carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, bok choy)

Directions:

In a large saucepan, simmer mushrooms, umeboshi, ginger, broth and water for 10 minutes or until mushrooms are plump. Using a slotted spoon, remove two of the mushrooms, slice and reserve for garnish.

Allow broth mixture to cool a bit then transfer to a blender and carefully blend on high until smooth (blend in batches if necessary). If your blender has left undesirable chunks, strain using a wire mesh strainer. Return to saucepan and heat through.

Divide and arrange pasta, vegetables and sliced mushrooms into two deep serving bowls. Ladle 2-3 cups broth into each bowl.

Serve and enjoy!

Notes:

Vegetables pictured were prepared using a Joyce Chen Spiralizer. I am moderately happy with this model. There may be better ones out there. A spiralizer is a fun kitchen gadget to have for making raw vegetable "noodles" and garnishes (see my post on Zucchini Noodles).

What is Umeboshi?

For those unfamiliar with umeboshi, it is a salty and sour fermented species of apricot. For centuries, Japan has hailed umeboshi for its medicinal properties and alkalizing effect on the body. It is known to be a natural remedy for headaches, a natural antibiotic, a digestive aid and a detoxifier. It may be purchased in the form of the whole fruit (with seed) or paste. Take care in the brand you purchase. Some brands contain monosodium glutamate and food coloring (tsk tsk). Eden Selected Umeboshi products are a safe bet and can be found at most natural food stores and on Amazon.

Navan Foods | The Allergy Friendly Food Shop

Explore Asian also makes Mung Bean Fettucini and Soybean Spaghetti. All are gluten-free, high protein and low carb. The place to order these products is from Navan Foods. Navan Foods is a great online allergy free food shop. Visit today and explore its expansive allergy-friendly grocery offering.

Other Umeboshi Recipes to Try:

Homemade Umeboshi over at Just Hungry
Umeboshi Cucumber Dressing
over at Elana's Pantry
Umeboshi Rice over at The Whole Wheat
Umeboshi & Avocado Salad
over at Tokyo Terrace 

Wednesday
Mar162011

Peter Rabbit's Smoothie

The grievous events taking place in Japan, the flu that besieged our home this week, and Sunday's time change have left me a little out of sorts. I have felt a special need for a "pick-me-up."

Feeding of the spirit has helped as has nourishing the body—with green smoothies.

I love smoothies for the simple reason that they can pack and hide so much in them. In this smoothie a whole handful of parsley is camouflaged by a host of other vegetables and fruit. It's frosty, creamy and tastes like anything but vegetables or ... parsley.

Parsley is the world's most popular herb and it's benefits go beyond freshening of the breath.

  • The chlorophyll in parsley is known to purify and rejuvenate the tissues of the body—notably the liver and kidneys.
  • Parsley is a member of the umbelliferous vegetable group (others in the group include; Caraway, Carrot, Celery, Cilantro, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Parsley and Parsnip). In their research, The National Cancer Institute has identified the dozen, or so, foods with the highest anti-cancer activity. Umbelliferous vegetables are among them.
  • Parsley is an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, several B Vitamins and Vitamin K. It boosts the immune system, helping to fend off infection, colds and disease—and the FLU!

  • When Peter Rabbit overindulged in Mr. McGregor's garden, he went looking for parsley to ease his aching belly. One smart bunny. He knew that parsley aided digestion.

So take a tip from Peter Rabbit. Add some parsley to your diet ... and what better a way than in a green smoothie.

Peter Rabbit's Smoothie

Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Easily Citrus-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Nightshade-Free | Peanut-Free | Potato-Free | Rice-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Wheat-Free | Grain-Free | Sesame-Free | Easily Sweetener-Free | Yeast-free | GFCF | Vegetarian | Easily Vegan | Raw

Serves:  2-4
Active Time:  3 minutes

Ingredients:

1 large handful SPINACH
1 small handful PARSLEY
1/2 small ZUCCHINI
1/2 PEAR, quartered and seeded
1/2 BANANA
1 small handful raw CASHEW NUTS
1 tablespoon CHIA SEED or MEAL
1 cup WATER
1-2 cups ICE
Optional:
Splash LEMON JUICE
Optional: SWEETENER (stevia, honey or natural sweetener of choice)

Directions:

1. Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender, except ice, until super smooth.
2. Add ice and blend until smooth.

Notes:

1  If you are new to green smoothies, you may want to add an entire banana and pear or sweeten with your choice of sweetener.
2. Use organic produce as much as possible. Peel any non-organic fruits and veggies.
3. To ease digestion, cashews may be soaked 4-6 hours and rinsed well.

Saturday
Mar122011

Spiced Yam Fries


When we make a batch of these spiced yam fries, Papa Bear, Mama Bear and the Little Bears dig in. We serve them with hamburgers and salad for a simple weeknight meal. They are jazzed up with some good-for-you spices (like tumeric, read about that here) and baked versus deep-fried.

Spiced Yam Fries

Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Citrus-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Peanut-Free | Rice-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Tree Nut-Free | Wheat-Free | Grain-Free | Sesame-Free | Sweetener-Free | Yeast-free | GFCF | Vegetarian | Vegan

Serves: 2-4
Active Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

3-4 pounds GARNET YAMS (red-skinned sweet potatoes)
4 tablespoons extra virgin COCONUT OIL, liquified
2 teaspoons each CORIANDER, CARDAMOM and TURMERIC
3/4 teaspoon SEA SALT (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon GRANULATED ONION
Dash CAYENNE

Directions:

1. Peel and cut yams into 1/4" "fries."
2. If time allows; soak fries in salted water 4-6 hours, drain, pat dry.
3. Toss fries with remaining ingredients.
4. Spread fries out in a single layer on parchment lined baking sheet.
5. Bake at 420˚F for 40 minutes flipping once.

Sunday
Mar062011

Lexie's Kitchen Adopts Healthful Pursuit

Click Here to view the full round-up of the
February edition of Adopt a Gluten Free Blogger.

Cinnamon Bun Balls with Cream "Cheese" Frosting from Healthy Pursuits

This month I have had the pleasure of hosting the February 2011 edition of the Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger event. While I continue compiling the photos and links for the big round-up (scheduled to post this Friday), I thought I would go ahead and introduce the talented gal I adopted and the sweet treat of hers that I made—and ended up making twice because it was so good!

This month I adopted Leanne of Healthful Pursuit and made her Cinnamon Bun Balls with Cream "Cheese" Frosting. When you visit Leanne's site, prepare to duck. This gal, with the infectious smile, rapid-fires out posts. We're talking one a day! And the thing is is that they are all quality posts—great writing, great recipes, great photography. I was stumped as to how she did it (and still am) so I asked and this was her response:

"Ha ha I guess you could say I have a lot of energy. I have a full time job + run my own nutrition practice. Out of everything I do though, nothing beats chatting with the visitors to my blog about the foods I’ve created or my approach to healthy living. It’s truly rewarding!"

Leanne is a Holistic Nutritionist, a graduate of the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and is Board Certified in Practical Holistic Nutrition with the Canadian Association of Holistic Nutritionists. She is a yogi, athlete, recipe creator and self-proclaimed substitution nerd (she loves remaking recipes so that people with allergies/intolerances can enjoy them)—love it!

"I have a passion for preparing food, sharing it with friends, and best of all, educating others on the role it plays in their life. Food is such a key aspect of our lives, something that took me years of food deprivation and sickness to figure out. I’m here to share with everyone that our relationship with food CAN be healthy, fun, and exciting."

And what could be more fun and exciting than a Cinnamon Roll [Balls] recipe that's low in sugar and free of all the bad stuff you'd find [and I say this in my best SNL Church-Lady voice impression] say, in a Cinnabon®!? So when I saw this recipe, I knew had to try it.

What I love about these bite-sized wonders is that 1) I can whip them up in under 40 minutes and 2) they perfectly satisfy my craving for a full-blown cinnamon roll with their doughy and cinnamon-y goodness! No raising dough, no rolling dough, just a cinnamon roll fix that was quick and easy. Oh and Leanne says to roll the balls and place on a cookie sheet. I was making mini-muffins as well so just threw mine in the empty slots ... hence the not-so-round, but muffin shape : )

Healthful Pursuit and Leanne's collection of gluten-free (and other "free") recipes is a goldmine! Be sure to check her out.

Here is the link to her Cinnamon Bun Balls with Cream "Cheese" Frosting recipe.

________________________________________________________________

Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger is a great monthly event started by Sea over at Book Of Yum.