Monday, July 27, 2020

Gluten Free Zucchini Walnut Muffins

Gluten Free Zucchini Walnut Muffins

     Years ago I decided I really wanted a garden. My husband dug up a little space and built a tiny garden for me. That first year I didn't follow the instructions on how much to plant in our small space and ended up with an overflowing garden full of zucchini, tomatoes, jalapeƱos, spinach, and green peppers! Somehow it all was thriving despite my lack of gardening knowledge.  I loved being able to walk in my backyard and pick vegetables for dinner. When I had an abundance of zucchini I did what every gardener does and made zucchini bread, zucchini muffins, and added zucchini to anything I could! I have always loved zucchini muffins and this recipe hits the spot, I love the added crunch of the walnuts. I don't have a garden at our new home, but I plan to someday so I can have the joy once again of stepping outside and basing my dinner or baked goods off of what I have grown!

Gluten Free Zucchini Walnut Muffins

Makes about 18 muffins depending on the size of your muffin pan


1/4 cup unsalted butter or dairy free butter such as Miyoko's at room temperature

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup coconut sugar ( you can use all sugar,  coconut sugar, or maple syrup just make sure your total of sweetener is 3/4 cup) I like the combination of maple syrup and a little coconut sugar.

4 large eggs

1 tsp sea salt

2 1/2 cups gluten free flour, I use Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour ( you can also use all purpose flour if you don't need them to be gluten free)

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup milk or non- dairy milk, I use Coconut milk from a carton

1 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed gently to remove some moisture

1 cup walnuts chopped


1) Preheat oven to 350 and place muffin wrappers in the muffin tin.

2) In the bowl of a mixer combine the butter, maple syrup, and sugar. Beat together with the paddle attachment to cream. If your maple syrup or butter is too cold it will look separated, but it will combine later on once you add more ingredients.

3) Add the eggs one at at time and mix well.

4) With the mixer on low add the sea salt, baking power, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.

5) Add the gluten free flour a half a cup at a time scraping the sides as needed, mix on low until just incorporated. You do not want to over-mix the gluten free flour as it can become gummy and create tough muffins.

6) With the mixer still on low slowly pour in the milk of choice just until incorporated. Increase the speed for about 20 seconds to make sure the batter is smooth.

7) Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the zucchini and walnuts by hand using a spatula.

8) Using a scoop fill the muffin tins 3/4 full.

9) Bake for 18-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. With gluten free flour you want to make sure you don't under-bake, sometimes it may take longer to bake depending on the type of gluten free flour you use.


I like to eat mine with a little bit of butter! Like most zucchini muffins these taste even better the next day!

Store at room temperature in a sealed container for 2 days, in the fridge for 5 days, or freeze for 3 months!

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Nancy's Beef Enchiladas

Nancy's Beef Enchiladas

     There were a handful of recipes my husband made for me when we were dating and this was one of them. It is his mother's enchilada recipe. He liked them so much he occasionally made a pan of them for himself when he was single to eat throughout the week. It has continued to be our go-to beef enchilada recipe over the years. I like that the sauce is made from scratch, that way you can make sure it is gluten free, a lot of pre-jarred sauces use flour as a thickener. My favorite part of this recipe is the ground beef mixture. The combination of sour cream, cheese, and parsley reminds me of a dish my mother made growing up and I like to sneak a spoonful of it before I stuff the enchiladas. 


1 pound ground beef

1/2 red onion chopped

1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese divided

1/2 cup sour cream

2 TBSP dried parsley

1 tsp table salt

1/4 tsp pepper

8 medium sized tortillas, I like Siete for gluten free


15 oz can tomato sauce

1 clove of garlic minced ( you can use 1/2 tsp garlic powder instead)

2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 cup of water


1) Pre-heat oven to 350. In a large skillet over medium heat cook the onion for two minutes, and then add the ground beef and cook until the beef browned.

2) Meanwhile in a large bowl mix all the ingredients for the enchilada sauce and stir well with a whisk.

3) Remove the ground beef from the heat and stir in the sour cream, 1 cup of cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper.

4) Microwave the tortillas for 30 seconds so they are pliable. Fill each tortilla with about 1/4 cup of the mixture, roll the tortillas and place seam side down in a 9 x 13 baking dish.

5) Top the enchiladas with the sauce and remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until the sauce begins to bubble at the edges.

Serve with shredded lettuce and a dollop of sour cream.


Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Crunchy Energy Bites

Crunchy Energy Bites

     I was craving those little peanut butter oatmeal energy bites that have been going around Pinterest for years. I knew that oatmeal, especially in an uncooked form was causing me some tummy issues at the time. So I set out to make a treat just as delicious but without the oats! These little bites are crunchy and sweet and hit the spot when I'm wanting to reach for a quick snack. They are full of healthy fats that will help to keep you full and my four year old loves them too!

Crunchy Energy Bites
makes 9


1 1/2 TBSP melted coconut oil

1 1/2 TBSP maple syrup ( use a keto sweetener like monk fruit to make sugar free)

1/2 cup peanut butter

2 TBSP shredded coconut

2 TBSP coarsely chopped nuts of choice ( macadamia, walnuts, pecans)

2 TBSP sunflower seeds

optional 1/4 cup chocolate chips


1) In a medium sized bowl mix all ingredients until well incorporated.

2) On a plate covered with parchment paper scoop the mixture out into balls about 1 tablespoon each. If you want them to be more of a ball roll them with your hands before placing on the parchment paper. The mixture will be a little sticky at this point.

3) Place the bites in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to set up, they should hold together but will get soft if left at room temperature.


Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week, or for a really cold treat freeze for up to a month.

You can double the recipe to make a larger batch.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Low Carb Vanilla Ice Cream

Low Carb Vanilla Ice Cream

     My little family of three has some interesting dietary needs and they don't aways match up. My husband Brian has type 1 diabetes. Although technically he can eat anything he wants as long as he gives himself insulin to cover the carbs, he prefers to eat lower carb.  Brian loves vanilla ice cream so when I asked for a countertop ice cream maker for my birthday I was excited to make him some ice cream that he could eat without having to measure! This ice cream is thick and creamy and so good right out of the ice cream maker. We are big soft serve fans in our house! Our four year old son LOVES this ice cream even more than the full of sugar ice cream I buy from the store! I still prefer my coconut milk ice cream made with maple syrup but I will post that recipe another day.


* 2 cups heavy cream

* 1 1/4 cup whole milk

* 1/2 cup swerve confectioners sugar

* 1/2 TBSP vanilla extract

*1/8 tsp fine sea salt


1) If you are using a counter top ice cream maker put the base in the freezer at least 24 hours before.

2) In a large bowl whisk together all the ingredients until fully incorporated.

3) Follow the directions on your ice cream maker to churn the ice cream, ours is a Cuisinart and takes about 13 minutes.

Brian likes to top his ice cream with Lilly's dark chocolate chips!

Immediately freeze any leftovers. I like to freeze the leftovers in individual silicon muffin wrappers for easy serving and defrosting.

recipe adapted from
to make lower carb

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Dairy Free Toasted Walnut Pesto

 Dairy Free Toasted Walnut Pesto

     It always feels like summer to me when I make pesto out of fresh basil leaves. My friend Vanessa brought me some basil from her garden and I couldn't wait to make pesto with it! This recipe leaves out the dairy and garlic but still has a strong basil taste and nuttiness due to the roasted walnuts. You won't even notice that the typical ingredients are missing! I use walnuts instead of the traditional pine nuts because I usually have walnuts on hand, and I enjoy their taste more. I love to use pesto as a topping on pizza, pasta, and even on my eggs in the morning. It's an easy way to add flavor to a dish!


* 1/2 cup raw walnuts toasted

* 1 cup basil leaves

* 1 tsp sea salt ( if using table salt use less)

* 1 TBSP lemon juice

*1/4 cup olive oil plus a little more to add to the top for storage

* optional if not dairy free - 1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese


1) Pre-heat the oven to 200 and toast the walnuts on a sheet pan for 4 minutes, allow to cool

2) In a food processor pulse the walnuts for 30 seconds until roughly chopped

3) Add the basil, sea salt, and lemon juice and pulse for another 30 seconds

4) Drizzle in the olive oil slowly while running the food processor and process until smooth, about 45 seconds to one minute. If you are using parmesan add it in at this point and pulse for a few seconds.

5) Store in an airtight container with a small layer of olive oil drizzled on top to keep it fresh.

This will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days or you can freeze for 3 months. I like to freeze in small servings to pull out for a meal.

Servings suggestions:

* Add to gluten free pasta for a sauce, mix with a little more olive oil to thin out.

* Use as a sauce layer on pizza!

* Toss with grilled zucchini or chicken

* Spoon a little on your eggs for a flavorful breakfast.


My little cutie loved this pesto so much he wouldn't stop licking the spatula! 

Friday, July 10, 2020

Overnight Oats Base Recipe

Overnight Oats Base Recipe

     The first and only time I tried overnight oats until recently was when I was pregnant. I made a very complicated double chocolate overnight oats recipe, and when I went to eat them in the morning I couldn't stand the texture or taste. That experience, which I'm sure was exaggerated due to my tendency to not want to eat mushy things during my pregnancy, had turned me off to them. I recently was looking for a healthy snack for my son and I to have mid-morning and decided to give overnight oats a second try. I made them the night before and was pleasantly surprised how good they were! They had just the right amount of texture, not too mushy, and the addition of peanut butter and maple syrup, or frozen berries made them so delicious! It became the perfect snack for a hot summer morning! I like to make a base recipe that is simple so that when I eat them I can choose what type of toppings I am in the mood for. 


* 1/2 cup old fashioned oats ( make sure they are certified gluten free if you need them that way) I use Thrive Market Brand.

* 1/2 cup milk of your choice- I use Silk unsweetened Coconut milk, I really like the taste and texture of it, it's creamier than almond milk.

*Pinch of sea salt

* Optional toppings- berries, peanut butter, maple syrup, honey, raisins, bananas, chia seeds, sliced          almonds, chocolate chips, use your imagination!


1) In a small jar combine the 1/2 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of oats, and a pinch of sea salt.

2) You can add a teaspoon or two of maple syrup or honey at this point, or a splash of vanilla if desired. I prefer to sweeten the oats the day I use them and add the toppings in right before I serve it, that way if I am adding something sweet like berries I can add less sweetener.

3) Cover and let sit overnight in the refrigerator, or for at least 3 hours for the oats to soften and soak up the milk.

4) When ready to serve stir in your choice of sweetener and toppings and enjoy! The favorite in our household is peanut butter and maple syrup!

You can double, triple, or even quadruple the recipe. It will keep in the fridge for 5 days so you can make a weeks worth at one time. I like to make them in individual containers for easy serving.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Easy Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

 Easy Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

     It wasn't spring when I was child until my mother picked rhubarb from her garden and made strawberry rhubarb jam. We would lick it off of spoons right out of the warm saucepan. I recently received some rhubarb in my CSA box from a local farm and knew I needed to make jam right when I got home! My mother's recipe was delicious but it called for a few cups of sugar so I thought maybe I could try to make it with maple syrup. I only had a small amount of rhubarb so I experimented and made a small batch with less sweetener, and the tartness I love from strawberry rhubarb jam.

Easy Strawberry Rhubarb Jam 


*1 cup rhubarb trimmed and chopped

*1 cup strawberries fresh or frozen chopped and stems removed

*juice from 1/2 of a lemon

*1/4 cup of water

*3 TBSP maple syrup or honey ( you can add more if you want it sweeter, this amount makes it a very tart, like I like it)

*pinch of sea salt


1) Add all ingredients to a small saucepan over medium heat.

2) Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer.

3) Simmer for 25 minutes or until it starts to thicken.

4) Use a fork to mash all of the ingredients so until the jam is smooth.

5) Place in a clean container or jar in the fridge until ready to serve. I like to have a little warm right out of the pan on a muffin or piece of bread.

Serve on bread, ice cream, or muffins!

This will keep in the fridge covered for 5 days.