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

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Sunday
Oct132013

10 High Protein Power Bars & Balls

 

I have needed some fresh inspiration in the power bar department.

Naturally I turned to Pinterest (you can follow me here) and a few of my buddies.

I can barely wait to start making my way through this tasty list.

And because I am all about trying to keep things simple, I decided to make the criteria for this recipe round-up "10 ingredients or less" as well as gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free.

I hope you are inspired to break out that food processor and join me in some power ball (and bar) fun!

Photos © (clockwise starting at left) Beard and Bonnet, The SpunkyCoconut, Cara's Cravings

High Protein Power Bars & Balls Round-Up

Pumpkin Pecan Bites
 from Kumquat Blog

Quaker-Style Chewy Granola Bars from Chocolate Covered Katie
(10 ingredients not including mix-ins. Use gluten-free oats and crispy rice cereal)

Mint Chocolate Protein Bars from Cara's Cravings

Almond Joy Raw Bars by Beard and Bonnet

Apricot Coconut Energy Bars from Shutterbean
(Use gluten-free oats)

Chocolate Banana Power Bars from Beyond the Peel

Cherry Vanilla Power Bars from Elana's Pantry

Copycat Nature Valley Granola Bars from Chocolate Covered Katie
(Use gluten-free oats and crispy rice cereal)

Readers' Favorite Bars & Balls

If you have a dynamite power bar or power ball recipe we should know about, please leave a link to it in a comment and I will add it to the Readers' Favorite List below (must be gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and contain 10 or fewer ingredients).

Quinoa Brownie Truffles from Ragdoll Kitchen

Blueberry Muffin Bites from The Veggie Nook

Lemon Coconut Hemp Seed Bites from The Veggie Nook

Dark Chocolate Doughnut Holes from Barre3

Barre Barss from Barre3

Tuesday
Oct082013

How to [safely] Open a Coconut

 

Who'd thunk Julia Childs, a master of French cooking, would be the one to teach this island girl how to properly—and safely—extract meat from a coconut? 

I love fresh coconut milk and for years have husked the puppies, cracked them open, and then painstakingly pried the flesh from the shell with rather sharp, and dangerous, instruments. So much work, and I won't even mention the number of times I've nearly severed three fingers in the process.

Leafing through one of Julia's cookbooks in my Tutu's kitchen I stumbled across instructions for doing it a better way—here's how it's done:

Pick out a fresh and healthy mature husked coconut. Give that coconut a good shake in the store. You should hear coconut water slosh around inside. If you don't, it's a bad one. Also, check the three eyes of the coconut. They should not be punctured and there should be no signs of mold. If there is, it's a bad one.

Preheat your oven to 400˚F.

Pierce the three eyes using a phillips head screwdriver (safer than an ice pick and who has ice picks these days anyway?) and a hammer.

Drain the coconut water through the eye holes into a cup and enjoy or refrigerate for later use.

Bake the coconut whole for 20 minutes or until a few small cracks appear on the surface of the shell. Let cool.

Wrap the coconut in a kitchen towel and give it a few whacks on a hard surface (like a sidewalk) or give it a few taps with a hammer.

Scoop/pry coconut flesh out with a spoon.

Voila, fresh coconut meat for snacking on or blending into thick, rich coconut milk (recipe here)—and with all fingers still intact. Thank you Julia!

Do you have a favorite way open and get the meat out of a coconut? I would love to hear your tips!

Monday
Sep302013

Spooky Little Treats

I love this time of year!

I love all things Fall. The leaves, the pies, the crisp mornings. 

And though I'm not a Halloween heavyweight (good luck getting me into a haunted house), I like Halloween.

Maybe it's because I have boys and it gives me a kick to watch them try to gross me out. Plastic snakes hidden in my pajama pant legs ... plastics spiders in my hairbrush. Mostly I laugh—sometimes I freak out.

Anyway with Halloween on the mind, I wanted to bring your attention to a little cookbook that I think you might enjoy.

Cara over at Fork & Beans just launched an ebook full of spooky treats—and like the recipes found here at Lexie's Kitchen they are gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free.

Here is the table of contents to give you an idea of the creepy treats included in the book. In addition, Cara will give you a bonus compilation of 10 of her very popular homemade candy bars. 

The e-book is for sale over at Fork & Beans.

Pick up your copy today for just $7.

On a little sidenote, Cara just quit her day job to become a full-time blogger. If you're not already a follower of Fork & Beans, you might want to become one! I can only imagine the abundance of dairy-free, egg-free, and gluten-free eats and treats we will see coming out of Cara's kitchen. Congratulations Cara!

Monday
Sep232013

New Book! Make Ahead Paleo

Do you ever find yourself in one of those "I can't keep up" spells? You just can't find the time to get to it all—the bill paying, the house cleaning, the errand running, the meal planning? 

Yes?

Good.

Because that's where I'm at right now and it's a lonely and desperate place. It's nice to know that someone is in the boat with me!

The part I loathe the most is the "It's-4-O'Clock-What's-For-Dinner!?" wave of dread.  

Last week I decided enough was enough. It was time to get my act together ... and along came Tammy.

It's almost as if she knew my plight—this really nice lady by the name of Tammy Credicott. Her latest cookbook Make Ahead Paleo: Healthy Gluten-, Grain- & Dairy-Free Recipes Ready When & Where You Are arrived on my doorstep that very day.

This book is chockful of easy, practical recipes that—Paleo or not—you're bound to enjoy. And the "make ahead" part is especially what I love. The entire book is focused on prepping food and meals ahead of time with each chapter reflecting this theme:

Make & Freeze: Pancakes, muffins, and meals that can be made, frozen, and reheated in a pinch.

Low & Slow: Fabulous recipes that go into the slow cooker in the morning and are ready for supper.

On the Go: Portable fare that doesn't disintegrate in your cooler! Solutions for snacks to grab and go for school, work and travel.

Room Service: My favorite chapter! Eating healthy and allergen-free on the road is a huge challenge. On your next road trip, Tammy suggests BYOES (bringing your own electric skillet) and a cooler packed with makings for her one pan, no mess in-room meals. Dinner is served—a whole new take on Room Service.

Travel Treats: Portable cookies, bars, and breads that offer a bit of sweet.

Week in a Day: Prep five dinners in one day for a stress-free work week! Brilliant.

 

I love that there is a photo for every recipe and ton of tips for simplifying meal-making.

Make Ahead Paleo is 100% gluten-, grain- and dairy-free and just a handful of recipes call for egg.

As is the focus with most paleo books, whole foods are front and center. Lots of meat, veggies, coconut flour, and almond flour. Personally, I am not keen on paleo baked goods, but the Kitchen Sink Cookies were pretty tasty.

On the savory side, the Roasted Tomato Bacon Soup (pictured above) was a hit during that rainy spell we had and my husband and I loved the Cashew Lime Chicken.

If you are looking for inspiration in the whole foods, grain-free, dairy-free, gluten-free department I recommend this book.

Thanks, Tammi, for coming to the rescue!

Win a Copy of Make Ahead Paleo (This giveaway is closed)

Congratulations Chastity, you are the winner of a copy of Make Ahead Paleo!

Tammy has generously offered to send one Lexie's Kitchen reader a copy of Make Ahead Paleo. All you need to do is leave a comment below by Sunday, September 29th at 5:00 PST. Easy peasy! U.S. residents only.

Buy the Book

If you don't win, pick up your copy over at Amazon.com

Tuesday
Sep172013

Sandwich Meat vs. Shredded Meat

 

 

My son loves Applegate® hot dogs.

I tell him he can't live on them.

He tells me otherwise.

I won't lie, I love Applegate, too. Their deli meats and hot dogs are so convenient. Applegate is a company with standards and guarantees their products to be free of added nitrates and nitrites, fillers, antibiotics, and hormones. That gives me some peace of mind. 

However, that peace of mind comes at a cost. For natural and organic products like Applegate, you fork over a pretty penny. 

With school in full swing I'm back to packing lunches and this year have been paying attention to how much each lunch is costing. Not surprising, the bulk of the cost is in the meat. Organic turkey deli meat is costing me over $1 a slice!

While cruising Whole Foods the other day, I decided to pass by the deli meats and head for the rotisserie chickens. I picked up a gluten-free, organic bird for a whopping 13 bucks because ... I wanted to try something.

Here is what I did with it when I got home ...

The chicken was an average 4-pounder and yielded roughly 3 cups of meat (about 17 ounces). After shredding the meat I packaged it into 9 2-ounce servings, tossed them into a container, and froze them (I also froze the carcass for broth making when the weather cools down).

Voila! Pre-packaged 2-ounce servings of protein!

My son loves the chicken as is, but if I feel like changing it up a bit I will include a side of barbecue or gluten-free teriyaki dipping sauce with it.

Anyhow, for what it's worth I thought I would share my little cost comparison with you. I will continue to buy Applegate—the price of their hot dogs (even the organic ones) will be hard to beat—but I really like the idea of buying a whole rotisserie chicken, shredding it, and packaging the meat into 8-10 unprocessed lunch servings. 

If you have money-saving school lunch tips, what are they? I am all ears!

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