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Gluten Free

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Fettuccine Faux-Fredo

As I have shown on my site, I try to lead the way on experimenting in the kitchen, trying to figure out new ways to make healthy versions of not-so-healthy classics. Sometimes we get stuck on milk and cheese and butter as the only ways to make something velvety and creamy. But cannellini beans are a surprisingly buttery and creamy substitute! Without the fat and cholesterol of heavy dairy, they’re also loaded with fiber and nutrients. Ummm… perfecto!  

This fettucine faux-fredo uses cannellini beans (or you can use white beans) as the base of the sauce, and I also added tons of extra flavor with nutritional yeast, a little parmesan, garlic, and herbs. Cannellini beans are full of antioxidants, they're rich in fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins. They're a great vegetarian protein option, and they have a buttery mild flavor. How about the fact that almost everyone has a can hiding in their pantry? Easy peasy my friends!

This recipe takes less than 30 minutes to make and is a great go-to weeknight meal when you're busy but still want something healthy and yummy to eat. Making extra is a must, as pureed beans can last a few days in the fridge. Just be sure to add more water if the sauce gets too thick the following day. Heat up with a fresh batch of pasta and you're all set!

FETTUCCINE FAUX-FREDO
Serves 4

  • 1 lb. gluten free brown rice fettuccine, or your favorite type of fettucine
  • 2 cans low sodium cannellini beans (or white beans)
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.  Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until tender, bout 10-11 minutes, or as directed on the package. Once cooked, reserve a few cups of the water the pasta has cooked in, then drain the pasta and set aside.

To make the sauce, rinse and drain 2 cans of low sodium cannellini beans. Peel 4 cloves of garlic.

Once your ingredients are prepped, to a high-powered blender or food processor, add the drained beans, 2 cups low sodium vegetable stock, 4 cloves of garlic, ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and 1 teaspoon oregano. Puree the mixture until a smooth sauce forms.

Pour the sauce into a large pan over medium heat. Make sure the pan is big enough to hold the pasta and the sauce, as you will add the pasta to the pan. Add 1 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water to the sauce. Heat the sauce until it is bubbly and thick, and the flavors come together, about 4-5 minutes.

Add the cooked and drained pasta to the sauce. Toss well and make sure all of the pasta is covered. If you need to thin the sauce, you can add more of the reserved pasta water.

Plate the pasta and generously garnish with flat leaf parsley. 

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Mint Chocolate "Ice Cream" Bars

Yes, it's September, but it's still BALLS HOT here in New England. We're in Boston shooting Ted 2, and I wanted to come up with a healthy gluten-free refreshing treat to keep us cool and happy on set. One of the actors mentioned he was in the mood for some mint chocolate chip ice cream and my wheels started spinning...

I love when inspiration hits at the unlikeliest moments! Back in the kitchen, I whipped up a bunch of these to satisfy our cravings for something minty, chocolatey, and cold. But, I also kept mind that we all need lots of good energy to keep us going during the long shoot days. This treat hides spinach so well and will satisfy your sweet tooth, but without the crash you get from a grocery store treat made with refined sugar. Plus, this homemade explosion of goodness has loads of protein and healthy fat, which will help our bodies move better and our brains work faster during the long scorching days.

Enjoy these last hot days of summer with this fun cool treat!

Mint Chocolate "Ice Cream" Bars

for the chocolate crust-

  • coconut oil spray. 
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

for the mint cream filling-

  • 2 cups cashews soaked in water for a few hours
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted and soaked in water for a few hours
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen spinach
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • a few tablespoons of water, to thin the cream if necessary

Line a 9 x 9 baking dish with plastic wrap, and spray well with coconut oil spray. In a bowl, mix together the coconut oil, cocoa powder, honey, flax seeds, and vanilla extract. 

Add the half of the chocolate mixture to the bottom of the lined baking dish, and place it in the freezer to set up while you work on the filling.

In a high-powered blender, add the soaked cashews, soaked dates, spinach, coconut, hemp seeds, chia seeds, peppermint extract, and vanilla. Blend until a smooth cream forms.

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Add water if the cream is too thick and doesn't blend well. With a spatula, spread the mint mixture over the chocolate layer in the 9 x 9. Use the remaining chocolate mixture to spread on top of the mint layer. 

Place back in the freezer for 2-3 hours, or until it sets. Slice, smile, and serve!


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Chia Pudding

AHHHH I want pudding! Who doesn’t love pudding? Pudding is a crowd pleaser, and it brings out the kid in anyone. Unfortunately, most puddings are loaded with fat and sugar; both of which will drain you of energy and make your feel sluggish. Blah! No one loves that.

This chia pudding is delicious and creamy, but it doesn’t have any dairy, eggs, or processed sugar. That means this dessert is vegan, gluten-free, and good for you. Did I mention it’s the easiest pudding to make? If you can mix something in a bowl and put it in the fridge, then you’re all set for this recipe.

Serve the pudding in a martini glass, a mason jar,  or other fun cup or bowl, and top it with your favorite healthy toppings. Serve to your soon to be very happy family and friends.

Chia Pudding
Serves 2

  • 1 ¾ cups unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • dollop of honey

In a bowl, add the almond milk, chia seeds, vanilla, and honey. Cover the bowl and let it sit in the fridge for 5 hours or overnight, stirring once.

Top with fresh berries and shaved coconut, or sliced banana and almonds, or even shaved dark chocolate with pomegranate seeds. The combinations are endless!

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