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.  

 

 

 


 

  

 

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.

Saturday
Jun262010

Almond & Hemp Milk Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

I am one of those who enjoys a sweet treat after a meal. Tonight, strawberry frozen yogurt was on my mind and needed to be in my belly. With a few ingredients and my handy electric ice cream maker, I was able to make a batch of icescreamilicious frozen yogurt in 30 minutes flat! 

I loved this dreamy treat so much that I have made it my contribution to the June 2010 Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free monthly blog event created by Naomi Devlin. Zoe at Z's Cup of Tea is our gracious host for the month of June and has chosen the theme Cream of the Crop: Dairy-Free Delights. This round-up of recipes will be gluten- AND dairy-free and will post June 30th at Z's Cup of Tea. Be sure to check it out!

Almond & Hemp Milk Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
Serves: 4

Cut into 1/4" chunks, spread on a plate and place in freezer:

5 medium organic STRAWBERRIES

In blender, blend until combined:

1-1/2 cups Almond & Hemp Milk Non-Dairy YOGURT or other plain non-dairy yogurt such as So Delicious® Coconut Milk Yogurt (see NOTES)
1 cup chilled unsweetened VANILLA HEMP MILK or other non-dairy milk (see NOTES)
15 drops SweetLeaf Vanilla Crème LIQUID STEVIA
3 tablespoons runny HONEY
1 teaspoon gluten-free VANILLA EXTRACT
6 tablespoons STRAWBERRY RHUBARB SYRUP or 2 additional tablespoons runny honey (see NOTES)

Pour yogurt mixture into ice cream maker and follow the manufacturers instructions. When the yogurt mixture begins to stiffen, add the reserved strawberries.

We have the 1-1/2 quart Cuisinart® Automatic Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker and have been quite pleased with it. It takes about 20 minutes of churning to produce a frozen treat. It's a good size for a family of four, but if you are serving any more than that, I'd consider a larger model. In my experience, it's best to dish up and serve the ice cream right away. If you must serve later, I suggest scooping scoops into individual serving dishes and freezing rather than transferring to, and freezing in, one large container. 5-10 minutes before serving remove from freezer and allow frozen yogurt to soften up a bit.

NOTES: If using pre-sweetened yogurt you may want cut back on the honey. Hemp milk is a highly nutritious non-dairy milk and one of the creamiest of the store-bought milks. Homemade nut/seed milks are superior to any you can buy, however I keep store-bought on hand to use in a pinch. The Strawberry Rhubarb Syrup tints the yogurt a beautiful shade of pink, but a few strawberries pureed with the yogurt mixture should work just fine for color, too.

Tuesday
Jun222010

Vegan Creamed Spinach 

Tuesday is the day we pick up our Grant Family Farms CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) produce box at the drop point here in town. In addition to the beautiful assortment of fresh herbs and lettuce, it was loaded with spinach, spinach and more spinach. I literally could not close the door to the fridge because of all the greens stuffed in it. To remedy the space issue I spent the afternoon washing, steaming and freezing spinach. When dinnertime rolled around, creamed spinach popped into my head. It would be the perfect side for the steaks we were going to grill. Here is what I threw together. It surpassed my expectations! My 4-year old gobbled it down and my husband and I had thirds!

Vegan Creamed Spinach
Serves: 4

Add to high-powered blender and blend on high 1-2 minutes or until creamy:

1/2 cup raw CASHEWS (soaked 4-6 hours)
1/2 medium ONION
3 tablespoons Grapeseed Oil VEGENAISE® mayonnaise (contains soy protein)
1/4 cup filtered WATER
1 teaspoon NUTRITIONAL YEAST
1/4-1/2 teaspoon SALT
1/8 teaspoon BLACK PEPPER
Pinch NUTMEG

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt:

2 tablespoons non-hydrogenated BUTTERY SPREAD such as Earth Balance (or olive oil)

When sizzling, whisk in:

1 tablespoon BROWN RICE FLOUR

Stir constantly for one minute. Whisk in the "cream" mixture and continue to whisk for one minute before stirring in:

2-3 cups steamed, chopped SPINACH (see NOTES)

Heat through and serve.

NOTES:

Washing Spinach: Fill both sides of a double sink with cold water. Plunge spinach into one side of sink. Agitate well then allow to sit for a minute or two while any sediment settles. Without disturbing the water, gently transer spinach to the other half of sink and agitate well. Transfer spinach in batches to a salad spinner and spin.

Steaming Spinach: Trim large stems off of washed spinach. Add to a large pot along with 1/4 cup filtered water. Cover and steam 3 minutes or until spinach is soft but not mushy. Plunge steamed spinach into ice-cold water (this step helps preserve the vibrant green). Spin in salad spinner and/or squeeze out water with hands. Transfer to cutting board and chop.