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
Jan252011

Grab Your Swimsuit & Sunscreen

When this post publishes, my boys and I will be high over the Pacific bound for the Big Island of Hawaii.

Hawaii is where I was born and raised and where my parents still live. I haven't been back for three years. This trip is long overdue. We lament that Dad couldn't make it, but someone's got to stay home and shovel the snow (thanks honey!).

Knowing I would miss my husband and my dear readers terribly, I have decided to you bring you along—virtually at least.

For the next three weeks I will blog from Hawaii. I plan to allow the activities of my days to inspire my posts and will guarantee you a peek at the Hawaii I love. The people, the culture, the food, the sights.

So put on that swimsuit, slather on some sunscreen, slip into your flip-flops (aka "slippas") and let's go!

The Hamakua Coast | Protea flowers mom grows | The neighbor's sheep [cute!] | Drying macadamia nuts | Waipio Valley | Hawaii Preparatory Academy horse round-up | Wild horses in Waipio | Mom and dad's front yard | Surf's up!

Sunday
Jan232011

Squashberry Smoothie

 

Talk about smoothie bliss! I am in it. Over at g-freemom there is a tempting line-up of nourishing smoothies that can be whipped up in a matter of minutes. When I was invited to participate in g-freemom's D-tox January blog event I jumped at the chance—I L-O-V-E smoothies. Then came the tough decision; which smoothie would I share? I have a handful of favorites—a pink one, a green one, a purple one, an orange one. I tend to group my smoothies into colors. Odd you say? Well here's why. Blend greens and purples and reds and you're bound to end up with brown. I'm sorry, but drinking a thick concoction of brown—unless it's chocolate—repulses me (and best of luck convincing that picky four-year old to try it). What we eat and drink should appeal to the eye as much as it does to the taste buds.

Maybe it's the art student in me, but the color wheel always comes to mind as I throw smoothie makings into the blender. For a green smoothie I stick to greens and yellows (say kale, almonds and yellow summer squash), for a purple smoothie I stick to purples and whites (say blueberries, cashews and peeled cucumber) and so on.

Today I'm in a "coral" mood and that brings to mind my Squashberry Smoothie—a blend of red, orange and a bit of yellow. Squash in a smoothie? Say what? Promise. You will be pleasantly surprised by this mixture of spaghetti squash, carrot and strawberries. And as the old adage goes, it not only tastes good but is good for you. Here's why:

Spaghetti squash, a low sugar winter squash, is an excellent source of dietary fiber. This fiber acts as an “intestinal broom,” moving toxins through and out of the body.

Strawberries are loaded with potent anti-oxidants and vitamin C. Essential to any detoxification program, vitamin C is needed by the body to make an important substance called glutathione. Glutathione helps the liver flush toxins.

Apple cider vinegar (and I use Bragg's) is rich in natural minerals, vitamins and enzymes. The cleansing properties of apple cider vinegar have been recognized for centuries. It is said to stimulate circulation, break up mucus in the body and aid in detoxifying the liver.

Carrots add an extra dose of dietary fiber, antioxidants and minerals to this smoothie.

These ingredients pull together to do what a good cleansing smoothie should do—aid in the elimination of toxins and waste from the body. Detoxification is one of the basic functions of the human body. During this process, the body eliminates its toxic load through the kidneys, colon, liver, lungs, lymph and skin.

Today our bodies bear a pretty heavy toxic load resulting from pollution in the water, food and air. If these ingested toxins are not flushed out, the body will manufacture additional fat cells to surround and encapsulate them. This fat accumulates, compromises our health and leads to disease.

By nature, the body was designed to cleanse itself, but give it every advantage. Eating good, pure, wholesome food is the best place to start. And a smoothie a day can make a difference. The five o'clock cocktail was so 1950's. After a hard days work how about greeting your husband or wife with tall, green smoothie. Their body will thank you for it!

Squashberry Smoothie

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 | Vegetarian | Vegan

Serves: 2
Prep Time: 3 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup filtered WATER
1 organic CARROT, scrubbed
1/2 cup cooked SPAGHETTI SQUASH
1/2 cup STRAWBERRIES or RASPBERRIES
10-15 drops LIQUID STEVIA (we like Vanilla Creme)
1 packet EMERGEN-C (flavor of choice)
1-2 teaspoons BRAGG'S APPLE CIDER VINEGAR (optional)
6 large ICE CUBES

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients except ice to a high-powered blender. Blend on high until smooth.
2. Add ice cubes and blend until smooth.

Notes:

1. The blender: One of the best investment you can make for the kitchen and your health is the purchase of a high-powered blender such as a Blentec® (my personal favorite) or a Vita-mix®. While the average blender leaves chunks of kale in a smoothie and between your teeth, a high-powered blender completely pulverizes it!

2. Additions: Be adventurous! Add 1/2 peeled cucumber, 1/2 peeled lemon or 1/4 cup cooked or raw beet.

Thursday
Jan202011

Amy's White Clam Sauce

If you're looking for a seriously easy and seriously good pasta sauce, look no further. Back in high school my best friend introduced me to white clam sauce. Her recipe came from her grandma Mancini—now how much more Italian does a name get? I remember being impressed by how simple yet flavorful the dish was. This recipe is a spin-off of Grandma Mancini's. I have added marinated artichoke hearts and a splash of lemon juice for a bit of zip (that's a word my grandmother would use)! Ladle over your favorite gluten-free pasta—we like Tinkyada Brown Rice Spaghetti and Ancient Harvest Quinoa Linguine. Serve with a simple arugula salad (recipe ideas at the end of this post) and a fresh loaf of Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Homemade Wonderful Bread (egg-free, dairy-free how-to below) and you've got your own gluten-free festa Italiana!

I dedicate this recipe to that best friend, and buddy, from high school. Love you Amy!

Amy's White Clam Sauce

Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Nightshade-Free but NOT Solanine-Free | Peanut-Free | Potato-Free | Rice-Free | Soy-Free | Tree Nut-Free | Wheat-Free | Grain-Free | Sesame-Free | Sweetener-Free | Yeast-free | GFCF

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons OLIVE OIL
6 cloves GARLIC, smashed
1 large ONION, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon dried ITALIAN SEASONING
3 (12-ounce) cans minced CLAMS, drained, liquid reserved
1 (6-ounce) jar MARINATED ARTICHOKES, drained, roughly chopped, liquid reserved
3 tablespoons fresh LEMON JUICE
1/2 teaspoon SEA SALT
Couple cranks of fresh ground BLACK PEPPER

Directions:

1. In a large skillet or medium saucepan, saute onion and garlic in oil until soft. Add Italian seasoning and saute an additional minute.

2. Transfer onion mixture to blender along with reserved clam and artichoke liquids, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Puree.

3. Return blended mixture to skillet, bring to boil and gently simmer 5-10 minutes.

4. Add clams and chopped artichokes. Heat through and serve over pasta. May be topped with grated Romano cheese (if your diet allows), red pepper flakes, garlic pepper, minced parsley or all four if you're adventurous!

And to go with this lovely pasta, how about a warm loaf of ...

Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Homemade Wonderful Bread
Gluten-free, Egg-free, Dairy-free

First, check the ingredient list below to see if this bread mix will work with your diet? If it will, I highly recommend giving it a try. It's been one of the best gluten-free breads I've made in my bread machine so far and keeps quite well in an air-tight container in the fridge. I was able to make a decent egg-free, dairy-free loaf by following the package directions and:

1. Whisking into dry ingredients: 1/2 teaspoon pectin
2. Whisking into wet ingredients: 1 tablespoon chia seed meal and 1/4 cup water
3. Replacing milk with a non-dairy alternative (I used Silk Almond Original)
4. Sprinkling with sesame seeds and gently smoothing top of loaf just prior to the start of the bread machine's "Bake" cycle.

Ingredients in the mix: Garbanzo Bean Flour, Potato Starch, Corn Starch, White Sorghum Flour, Tapioca Flour, Evaporated Cane Juice, Fava Bean Flour, Xanthan Gum, Active Dry Yeast, Potato Flour, Sea Salt, Guar Gum, Soy Lecithin.

And to top your salad how about ...

Salad Dressings on My List to Try

Simple Everyday Salad Dressing over at The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen
Green Goddess Salad Dressing
(modified to be dairy-free) over at Kalyn's Kitchen
Umeboshi Cucumber Dressing
over at Elana's Pantry

Tell all:  What's your favorite gluten-free, egg-free pasta?

Friday
Jan142011

German Apple & Cranberry Puff Pancake

With a few simple ingredients and 30 minutes you can make this one-dish breakfast that's sure to please!First, apologies to those who are egg-free. I don't mean to tempt you with this recipe—rest assured, I am working on an egg-free version just for you!. For the egg lovers and eaters, this German Apple & Cranberry Puff Pancake recipe is great, easy and quick. I've made it four times this week. Must be the German in me!

German Apple Puff Pancake

Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Citrus-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Fish-Free | Peanut-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Easily Tree Nut-Free (depending on the milk) | Wheat-Free | Sesame-Free | Yeast-free | GFCF | Vegetarian

Serves:  4
Prep Time:  5 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra virgin COCONUT OIL or LIGHT OLIVE OIL
4 large EGGS
3/4 cup non-dairy MILK (I use SILK® Almond Original)
1 tablespoon MAPLE SYRUP or 20 drops LIQUID STEVIA
1 teaspoon gluten-free VANILLA EXTRACT
3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill GF All Purpose Baking FLOUR or this blend
1 teaspoon corn/aluminum-free BAKING POWDER (make your own)
1/2 teaspoon SEA SALT
3 tart APPLES, cored and sliced into thin wedges
1/4 cup fresh CRANBERRIES (optional)
2-4 tablespoons COCONUT SUGAR or sugar of choice (optional if avoiding sugar)
1 teaspoon CINNAMON

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400˚F.

2. Heat oil in oven in a 10" pie plate or 13x9x2" pan (glass or ceramic).

3. Add to blender and blend on low until combined (or mix in medium bowl with hand mixer); eggs, milk, syrup, vanilla, flour, baking powder and salt.

4. Remove pan from oven and arrange apple wedges and cranberries in bottom of pan.

5. Pour batter over apples and cranberries.

6. Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle over batter.

7. Bake 20-25 minutes. Allow to rest a few minutes and serve with or without a drizzle of syrup.

Notes:

1. Not gluten-free? Wheat flour works just fine.

2. If you like your apples peeled, go-ahead and peel 'em ... especially if they aren't organic.

3. Pancake will puff up in oven and deflate as it cools. This is normal.

Monday
Jan102011

The Icing on the Cake

WINNERS:  Congratulations Lori and Nicole, you are winners of Elana Amsterdam's The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook! Thank you all for your entries and for sharing so many great grab-and-go snack ideas! Lori said; "My favorite go-to snack is fruit like grapes, bananas or apples" and Nicole; "Lydia's Organics Kale Chips, without question. The Mega Green and the Herbs de Provence are so addictive, yet light and healthy. I never take a road trip without them." Lori and Nicole, please send me your mailing addresses using the Contact form on this site so that I can get these books out to you. :)

Kelly Brozyna (aka The Spunky Coconut) visits with one of her readers.This past Saturday I was at Red Frog Coffee in Longmont, Colorado for the opening of Kelly Brozyna's (aka The Spunky Coconut) art show and book signing. I can't express how uplifting it was to visit with Kelly, her readers and fans, and other bloggers. The "icing on the cake" was being treated to one of Kelly's super-moist triple-layer chocolate cakes topped with the most healthful and decadent chocolate frosting I've ever had. The ingredients were simple, pure and wholesome. I hope Kelly doesn't mind me sharing! 

The Spunky Coconut Chocolate Date Frosting

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cup pitted DATES
3/4 cup plain RAW CASHEW NUTS
1-1/2 cup COCONUT MILK
1/8 teaspoon SEA SALT
1 teaspoon VANILLA EXTRACT
1-1/2 tablespoons TAPIOCA FLOUR
1/3 cup COCONUT OIL, liquified
1/2 cup COCOA POWDER
Directions:
Cruise on over to Kelly's site for the how-to's and for the cake recipe(s).

 

A couple of weeks back I posted a review of Kelly's second cookbook; The Spunky Coconut Grain-Free Baked Goods and Desserts. This cookbook is perfect for anyone interested in exploring grain-free, low-glycemic, nutritionally-dense baked goods and desserts. You can buy it here