Category Archives: Grain Free

Enchilada Sauce.

I originally posted this recipe back in 2011 here. Today I reinvented it as our go to enchilada sauce. Buying the sauce at the store seems such a waste given all of the added ingredients, preservatives, fillers, etc. Even the organic sauce we had changed to over a year ago contains canola oil. This sauce freezes well so large batches can be made at one time.

Enchilada Sauce.


5 dried ancho peppers (be sure to get air dried that do not have added oils or to dry them at home)

1 quart of homemade chicken stock (I have also used smoked chicken stock here)

24 oz crushed or diced tomatoes (be sure to purchase pure tomatoes, generally these will be Italian as most American tomatoes have citric acid — generally corn — added. Also you may sub fresh, roast and food mill into the mixture to add a deeper flavor)

1 tablespoon double concentrate tomato paste (be sure to purchase pure tomato paste with no additives, or use homemade)

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tablespoon  ground cumin

1 tablespoon heaping Mexican oregano (whole, dried, then crushed)

6 large cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

1  heaping teaspoon Real Salt (I used fine)

dash (1/2 of 1/8 of a teaspoon) of baking soda (to remove a little of the bitter from the peppers)


The first thing you need to do is rehydrate the chiles. Start your chicken broth boiling in a medium pot. Cut the peppers in half and remove the stem, seeds and ribs. Anything you leave behind will impart heat into your sauce, so keep that in mind (use gloves if you are not used to handling hot peppers). Heat a dry sauté pan or skillet over medium heat and place chiles in for 5-10 seconds on each side. Use a flipper to push them down if they will not behave. Do not brown or burn the chiles, just heat them to get their oils active.

Place the warmed chiles in the boiling broth. Allow to boil for about 30 seconds and remove from heat. Be careful not breathe in the pepper too much, it will make you cough! Allow to sit for 20 minutes so the peppers can steep.

Add remaining ingredients to pot and stir to combine. Heat to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour with an off center lid on it. Remember, tomato makes a big mess if it boils without being covered.

Remove pot from heat and, using an immersion blender, blend the pepper mixture smooth. Taste mixture and adjust salt if needed. Place pot (with off center lid) back on heat and simmer for an additional hour.

Cool and freeze into containers, store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or enjoy immediately.


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Filed under Condiments and Seasonings, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Mexican Inspired, Sauce and Gravy

Mom’s Beef Pot Roast – Paleo Style.

Mom's beef pot roast paleoIn 2011 I made some of my mom’s recipes for the blog. They are family recipes that hold a nostalgic soft spot in my heart, but they do include prepared food items as well as grain and dairy derived ingredients. These are things I do not eat anymore, and in fact, neither does my mom. So for myself, the blog, and mostly for her, I have remade one of her classics as a paleo dish (the recipe…not the process, I still use a crock pot, no camp fires for this girl). Yes, I know, it does still have high carb regular old potatoes in it, but once in a while, I think a homegrown organic potato is completely acceptable. Otherwise, this is the old standby now featured without dairy, GMOs, grains, and a million other corn based “food” stuffs. And while I am the first to admit this is not something you need to be eating every day, it is nice to have a childhood favorite made in a healthy manner so that it is available for those special, nostalgic occasions.

So, let’s start with the original recipe, because you are going to use this recipe and simply substitute the canned cream of mushroom soup and the package of onion soup mix. I did add more carrots and less potatoes (and if you want you could add some parsnips or other root veggies). Oh and I also used a 100% grass fed, USDA organic chuck roast, Yum! My roast came from TX Bar Organics and was only 2 pounds, but do not fret, it turned out just fine with the smaller roast (if you are looking to feed more mouths, use two roasts).

Original Recipe: Please click here!

I was first inspired to remake this recipe by a paleo cream of mushroom soup recipe that I used on Christmas Eve. I have made it a couple of times since for other dishes and the only thing I did a little differently this time was to make it thicker (just add a little more starch) than I had in the past, so that it would hold up through 8 hours in the crock pot.  I also made a double batch of soup (we like gravy!). I put the soup in the refrigerator overnight so that it would be as solid as possible going into the crock. I did not measure when I added it to the crock, I just used all of what I made. The cream of mushroom soup recipe is here (I am not posting the whole recipe on my page because you should most definitely click through and check out And Love it Too): Please click here!

A few other changes I have tested with this recipe that may be helpful to know.

  • If you are looking to make this gluten free, not paleo and don’t use coconut flour, brown rice flour works very well.
  • If you do not use arrowroot powder (I personally do not prefer the flavor) tapioca starch works beautifully.
  • If you want to better control the level of coconut flavor you get in your final product and do not mind using refrigerated coconut milk (I know many people will not use it, this is just an FYI), the recipe works fine with regular, unsweetened refrigerated coconut milk.
  • Again, for controlling the coconut flavor, use refined coconut oil (however, I have tried both and I taste no discernible difference).

The second change to the recipe is to make an onion soup replacement. Here is what I made, storing it in an airtight container so I can shake it up before using. I used five tablespoons in this dish. Ingredients (which you can play with of course!): 2/3 cup dried, minced onion, 3 teaspoon dried parsley flakes, 2 teaspoon onion powder, 2 teaspoon sea salt, and 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper.

And there you have it. Mom’s beef pot roast, no packaging needed. Oooh, this is fun! I am enjoying reinventing past posts on my blog with a grain and dairy free approach.



Filed under Beef, Crock Pot Cooking, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Midwest Inspired, Mom's Recipes, Outside of the Box, Paleo

Smoky Kale and White Bean Soup.

smoky kale and white beanOver the last few months we have been perfecting this recipe. It has been a lot of fun because this soup is so good. This is a great winter weather dish, not only because it is soup and delightfully warm, but also because it really features the veggies you may have in your winter storage or still in the garden and greens you may be growing in your greenhouse or even outside depending on where you winter! It is also full of protein and stars my favorite healthy powerhouse: kale! Because this soup is so healthy and full of fiber we do not feel too guilty about pairing it with our favorite gluten free cheese bread that completely lacks nutritional value but tastes oh so good with a steamy bowl of soup (you can find a very easy recipe here, that we make with grass fed aged white cheddar cheese).

Smoky Kale and White Bean Soup. Makes 4-6 bowls.


2 tablespoons oil, coconut or olive

1 small onion, diced

2 large carrots, peeled (if you choose) and diced

3 large cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped

8 oz kale, chopped, stems and leaves separated (we use lacinato)

1 quart of smoked chicken stock (if you only make/have regular chicken stock use that plus one smoked ham hock, but be aware you will need to remove the fat, omit the ham, and shred the ham in the hock once softened, I have made it this way twice and it is fantastic, just more work — simmer ham hock in stock until softened and smoky flavor is imparted into the dish, about 2 hours)

1 quart of water

2 cups chopped ham or the meat from the ham hock if using that (we like using a lightly smoked fresh ham)

1 can of cannellini beans (BPA free) or equivalent soaked

sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper as needed to taste (your salt needs will vary based on your stock and ham choices)


Melt coconut oil over medium heat in a 3 quart stock pot. Add onions and carrots and sauté for 10 minutes. Add garlic and kale stems and cook for about 5 more minutes, until carrots and stems are softened. Add kale leaves and cook 2 – 4 minutes, until leaves are tender but not over cooked (unless you like your kale very soft, then you will want to keep going here until the desired doneness is reached). Add stock and water and bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat through and serve.



Filed under Beans, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Pork, Soup/Stew

Mexican Style Hamburgers.

Photo compliments of the hubs…he still eats wheat!

I have not been posting much recently. On the recipe front I have been making more of other people’s recipes than writing my own, which is fairly strange. But I think this stems from my major diet and lifestyle changes. As I get used to cooking without most grains and with limited dairy I have found it easier to use other people’s recipes, you know, to get my toes wet. I am also on a quest to remove all GMO foods from my diet. This is particularly difficult, even more so than most people have to come realize, but I will save that story for another day.

On the garden front, we have finally bedded down the garden. The garlic is planted (200 bulbs!!) and there are some broccoli and cauliflower plants that are looking strong as winter nears. I am the first to admit that the summer garden suffered this year and that is why there have been no posts about it. We had a very successful hop harvest, which I shared with you in September, but that was by far our most successful garden item this year (thankfully the hubs was manning their care faithfully!). The tomatoes, peppers, and squashed suffered from uneven watering and hot/dry weather that came too little too late. The beans did very well , as did the potatoes. And I did harvest 117 (I think) garlic bulbs.  But at the end of the season, I feel defeated and I am looking forward to planting my cool weather crops soon. To starting over in the garden, so to say. My 2013 early spring and summer gardens are planned. Next step is to plan the 2013 winter garden which will come in time.

Enough moping about my garden frustrations, and back to something I did right! These burgers turned out great. They are lean and mean, free of GMO, feature a little garden in the cilantro, garlic and jalapeño, and taste great without a bun!

Mexican Style Hamburgers. Makes four 1/4 pound burgers.


1 lb grass fed ground beef

1-2 T fresh organic cilantro, finely chopped

1 t ground organic cumin (I am really excited to be trying to grow my own in the 2o13 garden!!)

3 cloves of organic garlic, minced

1/2 t sea salt (I used smoked sea salt)

1/2 t fresh ground organic black pepper

1/2 small organic jalapeño, seeds and veins removed (to your heat tolerance), diced finely (or a tiny one like I had leftover from the garden!)

thinly sliced brie, or other creamy cheese, don’t do dairy? I strongly recommend avocado…or both!


Combine all ingredients except the cheese, mixing well, but avoiding beating up the meat too much. Divide into four burgers and place in the refrigerator until ready to cook. When you turn the grill on, remove the burgers from the refrigerator and place on the counter to warm them up a little.

Preheat grill to 425, place burgers on the grill over direct heat and cook for 4 minutes. Do not squish the burger with your spatula or turn before your timer goes off. After 4 minutes, flip each burger, place cheese on burgers if you are using it and cook another 4 minutes. This process will produce a medium to medium rare burger depending on how thick they are. If you want them medium to well, cook for 5 minutes on each side.

Remove burgers from grill and serve with toppings and buns if you are using them.



Filed under Beef, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Grilling, Mexican Inspired, Paleo

Curry Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.

I love roasted pumpkin seeds and so does the hubs. We grow carving pumpkins because the hubs likes to carve them, but also because we just really like the seeds. They are blank slate that I can do anything with and then roast into a tasty snack. If you are purchasing pumpkins and want to roast the seeds, take care to purchase organic pumpkins to ensure the safety of your seeds.

This year we made a batch of curry pumpkin seeds. Curry is an amazing source of health benefits. I make my mix here at home. It contains organic turmeric (4 T), organic cumin (8 T), organic coriander (7 T), and organic ginger (2 T) ~ stored in a pint jar. Turmeric contains natural anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains curcumin, a compound thought to protect the liver. Cumin may also contain anti-inflamatory properties as well as immune regulating capabilities. Coriander could potentially protect the nervous system from damage through anti-inflamatory processes. And last, but not least, ginger. Ginger, long known for its healthful benefits to the digestive tract, ginger also contains anti-inflamatory properties. All said, these four spices combined are a powerhouse for protecting the body against many things. Just remember, they do work better alongside fat, hence the nice fatty coconut milk generally used in curries! Here we will sub oil.

One last note about the health benefits of this snack, it is important to remember that the pumpkins seeds themselves are packed with nutrition. Pumpkin seeds are a fantastic source of zinc. Zinc regulates the immune system and assists with our ability to taste food properly. They also serve as a good source for antioxidants and magnesium.

Curry Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. Makes 16 0z of roasted seeds.


2 C fresh organic pumpkin seeds

2 t curry powder (see recipe above)

1 T organic olive oil or coconut oil

1/2 t salt (I used canning salt because it is fine and will stick well)


Preheat oven to 325.

Rinse seeds and dry them with with a clean dish towel. This will remove any remaining pumpkin pulp. Place the seeds in a medium glass mixing bowl and mix in oil and curry, making sure to combine thoroughly.

Place seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Cook for 8 minutes. Stir and sprinkle with a 1/4 t of salt. Cook for 8 minutes and repeat. Cook for 8 minutes and stir. Cook 8 more minutes and remove from oven. If the seeds are not as dry or toasted as you would like, cook them longer, stirring and assessing every 5 minutes. Cool completely before storing in an air tight container.



Filed under Condiments and Seasonings, Dairy Free, DIY, Edible Plants, From the Garden, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Indian Inspired, Paleo, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian

Mexican Sour Gherkin Salsa.

We love new things in the garden. You might recall last year we grew mini Sweet Pea Red Currant Tomatoes that were so lovely in my Quinoa Caprese Salad. This year we went for mini cucumbers! They are just as stinking cute as the tomatoes were. This dish could even be made with both the mini tomatoes and the mini cucumbers and be the cutest tea party addition ever. In any case, I have been mixing it with some of our garden tomatoes to make a quick salsa/dip that goes well with corn chips, nachos, tacos, Potato Enchinados, just about everything.

Mexican Sour Gherkin Salsa. Serves two as a condiment with dinner.


8-10 Mexican Sour Gherkins, sliced

1 large garden tomato, diced (I used a purple cherokee)

1 small jalapeño, seeded and deveined, unless you like heat, and diced small

1/4 red onion, diced small

1 T cilantro, finely chopped

1 T cider vinegar, I used Bragg

1 t olive oil

pinch of kosher or sea salt

pinch of fresh cracked black pepper

Combine cider vinegar through pepper in a small bowl, whisking until oil is incorporated. Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to use.




Filed under Appetizer, Condiments and Seasonings, Dairy Free, Dip, From the Garden, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Portobello Pizzas.

On Tuesday we go to bingo at a local dive bar. The bingo is free and the winnings include free food and beverages, it is a fairly inexpensive, entertaining way to take the mind off life for a bit. The hubs focuses on winning free drinks so he can enjoy a few and I focus on winning at all! I have pretty bad bingo luck these days. It is fun and several of our friends go, and even though I don’t take part in the libations, it is something to look forward too each week. And besides, just once I might win the last game, it is called Blackout. You have to buy your boards and the first person to cover all of their bingo squares wins the pot. That is what I am really there for. I did win once, but so did 4 other people, including the hubs! Needless to say, I got nothing and neither did he!

The other thing about bingo is that it starts at 7pm and we have to get there a little early to get tickets. The tickets are used to determine tie breakers. If you don’t have the lowest number, you don’t win! So I have to make sure I have a quick meal on the table when the hubs gets home from work. Something that won’t require him to fire up the grill or do a lot of dishes (yes he does the dishes, because this is one lucky girl).

This past week I came up with pizzas on portobello mushroom cups. My version was neither vegetarian nor dairy free, but as with any and all pizza it is all in the toppings and since this is already grain free, go crazy and make it meet your dietary needs.

Portobello Pizzas. Feeds two adults.


4 portobello mushrooms

1-2 T olive oil

4 T pizza sauce (homemade or your favorite store bought)

Pizza toppings of choice such as mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, red onion, turkey pepperoni, green onion


Preheat oven to 350.

Carefully remove stems from mushrooms, reserving one or two to chop and add to your toppings if you like (with the rest you can save them for adding to eggs at breakfast or put in your meat stock stash of veg in the freezer). Clean the gills from the mushrooms taking care not to break the edges of the mushrooms. I use a teaspoon and hold the cap in my palm so that my thumb can support the edge against the spoon.

Brush the backs and edges of the mushrooms with oil. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat. Place one tablespoon of sauce in each cap. I allowed mine to sit for 1-2 hours. This let the sauce soak into the caps a little and made them less watery after baking.

Fill each cap with toppings and cheese.

Bake for 13-15 or until cheese is bubbly.


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Filed under Appetizer, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Pizza, Vegetables

Sweet Potato Texas Caviar.

Both black eyed peas and sweet potatoes are things that I have had to come to terms with. I did not like either during most of my life, but I have embraced them both. Texas caviar was my first introduction to black eyed peas. And you what, I like it! Sweet potatoes I am still a little hesitant about. But got it into my head that I was going to replace the black beans in traditional Texas caviar with them and you know what? It worked. The combination of all of the flavors cuts the overt sweetness that you sometimes get with sweet potatoes. In all, this was a fantastic side (can also be served as a dip with chips) to Serrano/garlic burgers and grilled sweet corn. It’s also super quick and easy to whip up.

Sweet Potato Texas Caviar. Serves 4.


2 sweet potatoes

1 can of black eyed peas, drained and rinsed

2 T cilantro, chopped

1 medium red onion, chopped

1 large bell pepper, chopped

1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped

1 t kosher salt

1/2 t fresh cracked black pepper

1/4 C apple cider vinegar (I used Bragg’s)

1 T agave or honey

juice of 1/2 lime

2 T olive oil


Peel and dice potatoes into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces. Cover with water and boil over high for 8-12 minutes, until the potatoes are tender but not mushy. Remove from heat, strain and run cold water over potatoes to stop the cooking process.

While the potato boil, combine beans, cilantro, onion and peppers in a medium bowl. Add potatoes when cooled and mix.

To make sauce combine remaining ingredients, except the olive oil, in a bowl and whisk well. Add oil slowly, whisking the entire time to emulsify the sauce. Add to the bean and potato mixture. Mix to combine.

Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

***A note! I was thinking of adding corn to this, but I did not because we had corn on the cob with our meal, but I am going to do this next time!! Let me know if you try it out and love it :)


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Filed under Appetizer, Beans, Dairy Free, Dip, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Potatoes, Side Dish, Vegetarian

Mashed Potato Quiche.

Leftover mashed potatoes! We always seem to be left with them, especially because I cook for only two people…or at least we eat for two people, I might actually cook for three or four people. Generally we use our leftovers for lunches throughout the week, however, sometimes we end with something, such as mashed potatoes, with nothing to pair them with. In this case, we over dug a hill of potatoes and ended up with enough mash for about eight people! I started my quest to use the leftovers, particularly in some gluten free breakfasts, by making some baked eggs with mashed potato crusts. These were just ok, but I thought they could be better.

So I began thinking bigger, you know, like a whole pie instead of just little pots (though I have a very soft spot in my existence for small pots). Since I am a lover of quiche…and really all things egg, quiche made the cut and turned out totally awesome. This is so versatile, any ingredients can be used and you don’t have to stress over making a crust or settling for a store bought one.

Mashed Potato Quiche. 


Coconut or olive oil (for oiling plate)

2 cups leftover mashed potatoes

4 pieces of bacon, chopped

1/2 large red onion

4-6 crimini mushrooms (portobello stems work well here!)

1/2 t kosher salt

fresh cracked black pepper

3 large eggs (free range pastured if possible)

1 1/4 C coconut milk

1/2 t kosher salt

fresh cracked black pepper

1 t dried thyme

1 cup white cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 350.

Oil pie plate, line with potatoes, bake 30 minutes.

Cook bacon, chop and set aside. Using bacon fat sauté onions and mushrooms with salt and pepper for 5 minutes (until just starting to soften). Remove from heat.

Beat eggs until smooth. Add coconut milk, salt, pepper and thyme. Mix until combined. Add cheese and mix.

When potatoes are done, layer in veg, bacon, egg mixture. Bake 55 minutes and remove from oven. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting.


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Filed under Breakfast, Eggs, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Potatoes

Cauliflower Almond Pizza Crust {Updated}.


Yes, there are a lot of these crusts out there. Yes, I have made several attempts at making a version of this crust. Yes, I finally got one. And I like it. I even perfected it before I ran out of garden cauliflower, which is a total score in my book.

So you all know (maybe) by now that I have officially gone off gluten. That has also included most other grains because they are so processed they completely lack fiber and other nutritional values. That said, I will still eat myself some processed gluten free grains on occasion, however, I am striving to make my food as whole and complete as possible. In my book this recipe completes that cycle. It is grain free, gluten free, dairy free and chock full of nuts and veggies. Hello! Yum!

I found the original recipe inspiration for this post here. But the flavor profile wasn’t busty enough for me. I have altered it into what you will find below. I am a big flavor kind of girl, you have to take those bursts and gobble them up!

Cauliflower Almond Pizza Crust. Makes one large pizza or two small/mediums.


2 C shredded organic cauliflower (I used the shredder on the food processor, but you can use a cheese grater) (after watching this video, I am now using a blender!)

1 C almond flour or fine meal, packed

1 T kosher or sea salt (less depending on how salty your sea salt is)

1/2 t fresh cracked black pepper

1 t baking powder

1 t granulated garlic

1 t granulated onion

1 T fresh thyme or 1 t dried thyme (or whatever herb you like…rosemary will pack a nice punch)

1/4 t red pepper flake (optional)

3 T nutritional yeast, heaping (optional) — if you omit the yeast and find the crust too wet, add some more almond flour (this will depend on how wet your cauliflower is)

3 eggs (free range pastured if possible)


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. If you are using a pizza or baking stone, put this in for the preheat.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add eggs and mix to a smooth sticky mixture. Now, there are couple of ways you can spread this dough. You can use parchment paper on a baking sheet, or you can use a silpat. I prefer the silpat method.

Dump the dough into the middle of your silpat, get your hands wet with water and starting in the middle of the blob, slowly spread the dough out. You want it to be about 1/4 inch thick. Just keep working it to the edge of the surface. **Note, if you are going to make two pizzas, only do this with half at a time!

Once the dough is spread out, lift the silpat onto the pizza stone and bake for 15 minutes. Prepare your favorite toppings.

Carefully remove crust from the oven and build your pizza. Return the pizza to the oven for 8-10 minutes longer, or until your cheese (if using) is your ideal version of bubbly! Cool enough to cut and dig in.



Filed under Dairy Free, Eggs, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Nuts/Seeds, Pizza, Vegetables, Vegetarian