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.  

 

 

 


 

 

 

Friday
Jul302010

Apricot Spritzer | "0" Calorie & "0" Carbs

I have a habit. I collect SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia flavors like some women collect shoes and like a shoe-aholic I am not always thinking straight when I make a purchase. Take this Apricot Nectar flavored SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia for example. It sounded delicious, but when I got home I had no idea what I would do with it!

This week I finally broke into the bottle. My usual routine after a long day is to enjoy, in peace and quiet, a glass of sparkling water laced with a few drops of SweetLeaf Vanilla Creme Liquid Stevia. The other night I changed things up a bit (watch out!) and used the Apricot Nectar flavor in place of the Vanilla Creme. Was it ever refreshing! And with a twist of lime and crushed mint, even better!

Apricot Spritzer

Pour over ice and mix.

Sparkling WATER
4-6 drops SweetLeaf Apricot Nectar LIQUID STEVIA
Twist of LIME or lemon
Crushed MINT (optional)

Enjoy! For extra "wow," freeze chunks of apricot in the ice cubes.

For anyone trying to kick the soda habit, give a mix of sparkling water and any one of these SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia flavors a go (and, no, I am not getting paid for this endorsement—I am just a very satisfied customer):

Cinnamon • Grape • Chocolate • Peppermint • Root Beer • Apricot Nectar • English Toffee • Vanilla Creme • Valencia Orange • Lemon Drop • Chocolate Raspberry •  Berry • Hazelnut

Stevia is an all-natural "dietary supplement" that has been used as a sweetener for centuries [here's a little background on why the FDA, unfortunately, prohibits it from being labelled a "sweetener"]. SweetLeaf™ claims to be the only 100%-natural, zero-calorie, zero-carbohydrate, zero-alcohol, zero-chemical, zero-glycemic index stevia sweetener available.

SweetLeaf Stevia is available at natural food stores, some grocery stores, and from Amazon and many other online retailers.

Thursday
Jul222010

Justin's Nut Butter on Apples

As the cute, little singer, Harper Phillips croons, "I am USDA certified in love with you"— Justin's Nut Butter. I love to see local talent make it big. In this little story I see two Boulderites on their way to doing just that. Justin Gold's line of almond, peanut and hazelnut butters just can't be beat and the growth of his company is proof of that! Justin's Nut Butters recently launched a decadent chocolate version of their Almond Butter. I find it reminiscent of Nutella® (which we can't/won't eat). I have yet to try it, but I  bet Justin's new Chocolate Hazelnut Butter tastes even MORE like Nutella (maybe he'll send me a sample for this plug), since Nutella is made with hazelnuts.

Below is an ingredients comparison. When I see words like "modified" and "artificial" I promptly put the product back on the shelf. I like that Justin uses "natural" and "organic" ingredients. My only gripes are that it is sweetened with evaporated cane sugar (which we eat very little of) and is made with palm oil (which the jury is still out on). Aside from those two things, it makes for a nice treat (everything in moderation) on slices of apples or mixed into a bowl of hot cereal!

Ingredients in Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter: Dry Roasted Almonds, Organic Evaporated Cane Sugar, Organic Cocoa Powder, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Palm Fruit Oil, Natural Vanilla, Sea Salt.

Ingredients in Nutella®: Sugar, Modified Palm Oil, Hazelnuts, Cocoa, Skim Milk, Reduced Minerals Whey (from milk), Soy Lecithin: An Emulsifier, Vanillin: An Artificial Flavor.

And now, for the second part story. I first heard Harper Phillips' sweet, folky voice on Justin's Nut Butters website. I think her voice and charm will take her places. Here is a "love song" for Justin as seen on Justin's Nut Butters site. Cute! And, she plays the ukulele! Love it.

Peanutbutter Song Remix from lauren lortie on Vimeo.

 

Sunday
Jul112010

Don't Sweat It (and don't eat it)

 

Now, for something different. I am a food blogger, but today I am sharing a recipe for homemade deodorant (please don't eat it...but you could). This one comes from Amy Karol at The Angry Chicken.

It's summer, it's hot, I sweat and then well, I'm not all roses. Ten years ago I tossed out my anti-perspirant and opted for the deodorant-only route. I didn't like the thought of applying aluminum and other harsh chemicals to my armpits and, especially, so dangerously close to "the girls." The deodorants I have used (Tom's of Maine and Kiss My Face) have worked so-so. On sweltering days I admit to resorting to my husband's trusty Old Spice (shhh, and again, more chemicals). Thankfully, I think my Old Spice days are over!

 In one of his articles, Dr. Mercola* writes: "Putting chemicals on your skin is actually far worse than ingesting them, because when you eat something the enzymes in your saliva and stomach help break it down and flush it out of your body. When you put these chemicals on your skin, however, they are absorbed straight into your blood stream without filtering of any kind, so there's no protection against toxins. Instead, they are in large part going directly to your delicate organs." Furthermore, "It’s been estimated that if you use conventional cosmetics on a daily basis, you can absorb almost 5 pounds of chemicals into your body each year! Many of which have been linked to deadly side effects like cancer."

My friend, Jane, turned me on to The Angry Chicken and Amy's dynamite deodorant recipe. What's wonderful about it is that it's super easy to make and IT WORKS! At the end of the day I take the old whiff test [yup] and I'm still smelling fresh!

As you can see in these pics, I thought I would attempt to fill an empty Tom's of Maine deodorant stick with my homemade batch. Voila! It worked!! Here's how I did it:

I made a half a batch of this recipe. Once the mixture cooled to a thick and creamy consistency, I twisted the empty stick dial all the way down, filled the void with the deodorant mixture, capped it and placed it in the freezer to harden. When I removed it from the freezer I carefully ran it under warm water until the dial twisted up and down freely. I hope you'll give this one a go! Just be sure to store it in a cool place (not in your gym bag in a hot car!).

What you will need:

3 tablespoons SHEA BUTTER
3 tablespoons BAKING SODA
2 tablespoons CORN STARCH
2 tablespoons COCOA BUTTER (found mine at Whole Foods)
2 VITAMIN E OIL GEL CAPS (puncture and squeeze out the oil)
ESSENTIAL OILS (Amy uses ylang ylang and orange, I used lavender and orange)

Visit The Angry Chicken for all the how-to's. Amy's recipe calls for cornstarch—which I did not have—so I used tapioca starch. Mmmhhmm, and no, it did not give me puddin' pits. I would have used arrowroot starch but I was out of that, too. Oh and heat the mixture on the stove top, NOT in a microwave. Trust me on this one.

While on the topic of skin care, you might find this link informative ...

Seven ingredients to avoid in products that you apply to your skin.

*Dr. Mercola seems to have a product for everything and wants you to buy it. He is a marketing genius—taking the educate-your-customer approach to selling. He has a lot of good things to say and research to back up his claims. He's worth checking out.

Friday
Jul092010

Buckwheat Groats & Oats Waffles | GFCFEF

Poor waffle maker. It's been neglected for years. Tucked away in the dark abyss of a corner cabinet. But after today, no more. It's earned rockstar, front and center status thanks to this groovy groaty waffle recipe! This morning I tested it for the third time. And for the third morning in a row my kids gobbled them up. Served hot off the iron, they are crispy on the outside, moist on the inside. I actually prefer them to the egg batter Belgian waffles I used to make! They are more substantial and sustaining, like a hearty bowl of hot cereal, they stick to your ribs.

In this recipe I use buckwheat groats. My friend Kelly at The Spunky Coconut got me hooked on them (check out her recipe for Do-it-Yourself Cream of Buckwheat). Buckwheat is of NO relation to wheat, making it a safe choice for those with Celiac disease. It is actually a fruit seed (not a grain) and is related to rhubarb. Nutritionally, buckwheat provides vitamins B1 and B2, the minerals potassium, magnesium, phosphate and iron (buckwheat contains more iron than cereal grains), and has nearly twice the amount of the amino acid lysine found in rice. Buckwheat groats provide yet another way to sneak healthier, more wholesome ingredients into the everyday foods we enjoy.

If you are wondering what GFCFEF stands for, it's an acronym for gluten-free, casein-free, egg-free. As with 99% of the other recipes on this site, these waffles are also corn-free, soy-free, peanut-free, low in sugar and free of refined sugars.

Buckwheat Groats & Oats Waffles
Gluten-free, Dairy-Free, Egg-free, Nut-free, Soy-Free, Corn-Free, Easily Vegan
Makes: 4 Waffles

Add to high-powered blender in this order and blend on medium for 30 seconds or until smooth:

1-1/4 cup filtered WATER
2 tablespoons extra light OLIVE OIL
2 tablespoons runny HONEY (vegan dieters should use an alternative)
1 tablespoon VANILLA EXTRACT
1 tablespoon LEMON JUICE
15 drops SweetLeaf Vanilla Crème LIQUID STEVIA
1 cup gluten-free rolled OATS
3/4 cup BROWN RICE FLOUR
1/4 cup BUCKWHEAT GROATS
1/4 teaspoon SEA SALT

Add and blend 10 seconds. Then the fun part—watch it grow and expand:

1 tablespoon BAKING POWDER (make your own corn-free, aluminum-free baking powder)

Pour batter into heated waffle iron lightly coated with oil. Cook 5 minutes or to desired crispness.

Note: Waffles too light and airy? Funny thing happened the other day. It must have been my 6th or 7th batch of these. This time I used fresh lemon juice vs. bottled and found that the waffles were coming out a bit too light—to the point that I had to gingerly pick them out of the waffle iron. I have no idea what caused it. Even made a second batch to test and same thing. Was it the lemon juice or just the day? My only thought is that perhaps the fresh juice was more acidic and caused a greater reaction with the baking powder? I am no food scientist, just a guess. So if yours turn out too light and airy just give the blender carafe a firm tap or two on the counter—covered of course. This let's some of the air out of the batter and makes for a more manageable waffle.

Saturday
Jul032010

Chocolate Mousse | Dairy-Free & Easily Vegan

This super-simple mousse chills in an ice cream maker.For it being dairy-free and easily vegan, this rich chocolate mousse will knock your socks off!  If you have veered away from recipes that call for ingredients like hemp seed, coconut oil, and Stevia, you will be delightfully surprised that the use of those ingredients will yield such a rich and "creamy" mousse that is quite healthy!

Chocolate Mousse
Serves: 2

In small saucepan, bring to boil then reduce to simmer for 5 minutes:

1 teaspoon AGAR AGAR powder (available at Asian markets and natural food stores)
1 cup filtered WATER

In high-powered blender, blend on high for 1-2 minutes:

1/4 cup filtered WATER
1/4 cup liquefied virgin COCONUT OIL
3 tablespoons runny HONEY (vegan diets should substitute with another sweetener)
1/2 teaspoon instant COFFEE - optional (I use Starbucks VIA Ready Brew ® instant coffee packs)
2 teaspoons VANILLA EXTRACT
20 drops SweetLeaf Chocolate LIQUID STEVIA
1/2 cup raw CASHEW NUTS (soaked in filtered water 2-4 hours and rinsed well)
1/4 cup hulled HEMP SEED
1/4 cup high quality COCOA POWDER
Pinch CELTIC SALT
AGAR AGAR mixture

Pour mixture into an automatic ice cream maker such as the 1-1/2 quart Cuisinart® Automatic Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker. Churn for 15-20 minutes or until mousse-like in texture.

This mousse holds up real well. For this photo, I scooped the mousse into a Ziploc bag, snipped off one corner and piped it into two serving dishes. The chocolate stars were made using melted  Enjoy Life® chocolate chips piped from a small Ziploc bag (with a small snip in one corner) onto parchment and refrigerated. A toothpick comes in handy for perfecting the shape.

NOTES: Agar agar is a vegetable "gelatin" derived from a number of seaweeds which are processed by boiling and drying. It is a clear, tasteless alternative to animal or chemical-based gelatin.