Sunday, January 29, 2012

Great Greens Salad

If you were in San Francisco this weekend I hope you enjoyed the amazing weather.  It was such a great weekend to lounge about, watch the pro-bowl, exercise, and eat great food.   

On Saturday night, Allison, Chris and I made pizza using Trader Joes' pre-made crust.  Quick tips:  

Knead in extra flour (about 1/2 Cup) and roll-out as thin as possible
 Cook one side without adding toppings until golden
Remove from oven, flip, add toppings, and continue to cook until cheese has melted and top side is now golden

  I posted a picture of the pizza on Instagram (which I'm obsessed with by the way).  Do you use Instagram?  If you do check me out at haylessf!

For a healthy end to my weekend I made this salad dubbed 'Great Greens' since it's stocked full of avocado, brussels sprouts, green apple, shredded chicken, and arugula.  While I was cooking Allison took pictures of me for my blog!  She's an amazing photographer and once she's done editing I'll share some of the photo op with you!

Great Greens Salad
4 - 6 Servings

1/2 Rotisserie Chicken - Meat Shredded
3 Cups Arugula
1 Green Apple diced
1 Avocado diced
2 Cups Brussels Sprouts sliced (about 20 Brussels Sprouts)
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
Juice from 2 Limes
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 Cup Olive Oil + 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Saute sliced brussels sprouts in 2 Tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper in medium sauce pan over medium high heat until browned.  Toss shredded chicken, avocado, brussels sprouts, apple in large bowl.  Whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil, cider vinegar, lime juice.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Toss salad with the dressing and season to taste with salt/pepper.  Serve.  

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Day 19 of 21: Gluten Free Herb Crackers

To satisfy my cravings for bread while on the Elimination Diet I decided to give homemade Gluten Free Crackers a shot.  I adapted this recipe from Oh She Glow's Vegan and Gluten Free Crackers.  

These are tasty little crackers with a good crunch.  I can't compare them to real crackers, because the texture and taste is different...although surprisingly delicious just the same. 

If you don't hear from me tomorrow (or Monday, ha!) it's because the Niners are playing the Giants for the NFC Championship and the city will be going crazy.  Don't worry I'll be right there with them :)

I ate my crackers with an avocado/salt/lime combo and leftover Pepita Pesto.  Perfect mid-day snack.

Gluten Free Herb Crackers
Makes approximately 36

3/4 Almond Meal
1/2 Cup Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (I used this one)
2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Fresh Thyme chopped
1 tsp Fresh Rosemary chopped
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Ground Flax Seed
1 Tbsp Whole Flax Seed
2 Tbsp Pepita Seeds (Pumpkin Seeds)
1/4 Cup Water + 1 Tbsp Water (as needed)
2 tsp (divided) Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 350˚ F.  Combine all ingredients except for the water and olive oil in a mixing bowl.  Add water and 1 tsp olive oil and mix by hand until the ingredients start to form a ball.  I needed an extra Tbsp of water to form a ball.  Place a piece parchment paper on a working surface.  Begin to roll out dough until it is as thin as you can get it without breaking apart - about 1/8" thick.  Brush the remaining 1 tsp of olive oil on top of crackers.  Carefully using a knife cut the  dough into squares.  Place parchment on baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes or until brown.

The sheet of dough should break apart easily.  The crackers are best eaten within 2 days.  Store in an air tight container.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Day 13 of 21: Carrot Ginger Coconut Soup

I made this delightful carrot soup earlier in the week and paired it with green salads for a handfull of dinners.

The soup is surprisingly filling (I think it might be the coconut milk) and fits my Elimination Diet perfectly.

Were you in SF this weekend?  It was crazy town - for good reason - go Niners!

 Carrot Ginger Coconut Soup
Serves 4 - 6

1 Large Yellow Onion sliced
2 Shallots sliced
3 Garlic Cloves chopped
2 Tbsp Ginger finely chopped
2 lbs Carrots peeled and roughly chopped
6 Cups Chicken Broth (Free Range preferable)
1 Can Lite Coconut Milk
Juice from one Lemon
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Saute onion, shallot, garlic, and ginger with 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat for about 5 minutes or onions begin to become translucent.  Add carrots and saute for about 1 minute.  Add chicken broth and reduce heat to minimum.  Simmer with the lid on the pot for about 15 minutes or until carrots are tender.  Remove from heat.  Use emulsifier (or food processor/blender in batches) to puree the mixtures.  Once smooth, reheat over low heat, add coconut milk, lemon juice, and salt/pepper to taste.  Serve with crushed red pepper flakes to taste.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Day 8 of 21: Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

Not sure if I've mentioned it yet, but Gwyneth Paltrow is a huge proponent of the Clean Diet.  I am doing a modified version eating only the allowable foods on the Elimination Diet.  The Clean Diet is based on liquid meals for breakfast/dinner and solids for lunch.  Plus, some nutrient supplements.  I am eating liquid for breakfast and solids for snacks/lunch/dinner.  I'm not sure how she does it, but on my easier version I'm on Day 8 of 21 baby!

My sister, Sarah, absolutely loves all of Gwyneth Paltrow's recipes.  I have personally not used any of her recipes except for her Caramelized Brussels Sprouts Recipe.  Since she is a proponent of the Clean Diet, some of her recipes follow the 'rules' including this one.

You see, when I hear rave reviews from my sister about a vegetable recipe, I think about making the dish.  But, when I hear rave from reviews from her fiance, mainly the fact that he's a man and it's a veggie recipe, I need to make the dish asap.

So I did.  I must admit, it was simple and amazing, followed my diet, and the brussel sprouts had a nice texture. 

I served my little suckers over a quinoa/kale/butternut squash saute.  Also, to save some time I microwaved mine in a little bit of water instead of steaming. 

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

2 1/2 lbs Brussels Sprouts trimmed
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Your best Olive Oil
1 Lemon halved

Steam brussels sprouts for 7 minutes.  I put mine in a bowl with a little water and microwaved for about 3 minutes or until just tender.  Let cool and slice in half lengthwise.  Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Once olive oil is hot, place brussels sprouts in pan, cut side down.  Let the brussels sprouts cook for about 4 minutes or until browned.  Do not touch during this process!  Check one and if they are ready flip them all over and get a little color on the other side.  Remove from pan and toss with juice from lemon, salt to taste, and some drizzles of your good olive oil and serve immediately.

 Let me know if you enjoy Gwyneth's recipe as much as I did!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Day 5 of 21: Salmon and Some Recap

The last couple days on the diet have been a little up and down.  This diet sure is testing me.  My headache, although still present, is starting to fade away.  

Eating Out
I went out to Chipotle's yesterday for lunch with co-workers.  I chose the following ingredients in the salad bowl:  lettuce, brown rice, black beans, chicken, avocado, and no dressing.  It was filling and I am pretty sure everything was okay on the diet.  Although I'm not sure what oil the chicken was cooked in.  It's hard to eat out on this diet. 

I've discovered the most delicious tea that tastes great without any addition:  The Republic of Tea - Green Honey Ginseng Tea.  I never really drank tea before, but right now it's a staple in my diet.  Most of the teas I've tried are quite bitter.

Right now I am loving almonds, dried seaweed, carrot/beet juice, and dried mango.

Yesterday I had 4 hard candies and 2 Stella Artois.

I discovered a great new smoothie combination this morning.   This smoothie is a great combination of sweet, healthy, and a little bit of protein.  

Mango Almond Smoothie
Blend together almond milk, frozen mango chunks, 1-2 Tbsp ground flax seed, 1 Tbsp almond butter, and 1 date.

Last night for dinner I made some of the salmon I caught this past summer with my Dad

Salmon with Lentils and Pepita Pesto
Serves 2

One Carrot Diced
2 Shallots sliced
1 Cup French Green Lentils
2 Cups Free Range Chicken Broth
2 Cups Basil
Lemon Juice
1 Garlic Clove
2 Salmon Steaks (I used King Salmon)
Olive Oil


Saute one carrot diced and 2 shallots sliced with 1 Tbsp of olive oil for 3 minutes over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan.  Add 1 cup French green lentils, 2 cups free-range chicken broth.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat.  Simmer for about 20 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed and the lentils are tender but still have a bite.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Puree 2 cups basil, 1/3 cup olive oil, juice from 1 lemon, 1 garlic clove, 1/4 cup pepitas, 1 Tbsp water, until smooth.

Rub olive oil, salt, pepper on salmon.   Sear over medium high heat in a saute pan.  About 3 minutes per side.

Put a little pesto on the plate, top with lentils then salmon.  Garnish with a little more pesto and pepitas.

Happy Weekend :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Day 2 of 21: Headache Woes

Are you as addicted to coffee as I am?  I just got through day 2, I'm about to go to bed, and I still have a headache that started at about 11 am this morning.  Darn it.  I'm hungry too.  Damn it.

I kind of ate a lot too.  Maybe.  Can't quite figure this thing out.  I'm letting myself eat until I'm about 80% full, but not really restricting quantity by any means.

I always knew I was addicted to coffee.   How long will it take for the headache to go away?

Soon I hope.  

Smoothie with organic frozen mango, blueberries, raspberries, almond milk, and 1 Tbsp of flax seed
Cranberry Kombucha

Salad with Jicama, Brussel Sprouts, Swiss Chard, Artichoke Hearts, Chicken (maybe 1/2 breast), Garbanzo Beans, Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Salt, and Pepper

Dried Seaweed, Carrot Juice, and Almonds

Chicken broth added to leftover quinoa - vegetable mixture and made into a soup.  Arugula and radicchio salad with olive oil/salt/pepper.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Day 1 of 21: Start of Elimination Diet

As a healthy way to start 2012, my sister, her fiance, and I have decided to challenge ourselves with a 21-day elimination diet.  We are going to follow the Elimination Diet guidelines with a few modifications.  This diet revolves around eliminating foods known to cause allergies and disruptions to our digestive process.  The diet has a list of approved and eliminated foods.  Technically, you are supposed to have one solid meal (lunch) and two liquid meals (breakfast/dinner).  I will be following the approved/eliminated food guidelines, however I will be eating a liquid for breakfast and solids for lunch and dinner. 

I am following the Elimination Diet from the Clean Program by Dr. Junger.

Gluten, coffee, dairy, beef, alcohol, some vegetables/fruits/nuts, sweeteners, ketchup, soybeans, tofu, and more.

Most vegetables and fruits, some nuts, seeds, beans, non-gluten grains, some dairy substitues, small amounts of dried fruit, cold water ocean fish, free range chicken, wild game, lamb, buffalo, some oils and spices, tea, and more.

I was sick today (Day #1) so its a perfect day to start my healthy diet.

So let's see what I ate:  

Smoothie with organic frozen mango, blueberries, raspberries, almond milk, and 1 Tbsp of flax seed

Cooked brown rice toasted with olive oil, salt, pepper, chopped almonds, and currants
Apple and Carrots with Hummus

Dried Seaweed and Carrot Juice

Cooked red quinoa tossed with lemon juice, sautéed cauliflower/mushrooms/zucchini, olive oil, radicchio, white beans, salt, and pepper

Keep posted for diet updates!