Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice French Toast

It seems that as soon as Starbucks starts selling Pumpkin Spice Lattes I begin to see the world through Pumpkin Spice binoculars, and according to my Instagram feed so does the rest of the world. Are you all as obsessed with Pumpkin Spice as I am? Well I hope you are because these French Toast are pretty darn delicious and healthy if I may add. It’s finally starting to cool off here in Southern California, looks like we might start getting a taste of fall before Christmas… Believe me when I say that I am not exaggerating!

Who is ready for fall? I am! I’m so ready. I’m looking forward to cooler weather, not drenching my clothes is sweat (tmi maybe?) , layers, crips air, not having to water my garden everyday, and most importantly not feeling like I am going to die of heat stroke every-time we shoot an outside wedding.

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Ingredients

2 slices of Udi’s Gluten Free Bread3 eggs1 cup of Almond Milk1 tbsp of Pumpkin Spice 1 tbsp of Pumpkin Puree1 tsp of good Vanilla extract Pomegranate Seeds (optional) Organic Pure Maple or Agave Syrup Coconut Oil for Cooking

Directions

Place the milk, eggs, pumpkin puree, vanilla, and pumpkin spice seasoning in a bowl and whisk until all ingredients are well incorporated. Once the mixture is ready dip the bread in and allow it to soak some of the mixture, make sure you get both sides. Spray coconut oil on a hot griddle and place the bread. Allow it to cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Top the french toast with pomegranate seeds and sweeter of your choice. This is such a delicious way to enjoy french toast and is kinda guilt free!

Blueberry Galette

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Whole30 has come and gone! I completed the challenge and I must say I did pretty darn well. I will be posting more of the recipes that I used on my whole30 experience on here but if you can’t wait you can follow me on Instagram and check them out there.

Tomorrow is Valentines Day, I have never been one to make big plans for the day, I feel that it’s pretty easy for us to have dates since it’s just the two of us. For Valentines day I prefer to stay at home – cook dinner, drink some bubbly and make dessert together. Last year we had chocolate fondue with all sorts of great things to dip into it. This year we will be sharing a berry galette. I might switch it up and substitute the blueberries for strawberries.

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Blueberry_tart_web-5 copyDate nights at home with husband are my favorite.

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Blueberry Galette
1 -Pie Crust – I used this recipe from Not Without Salt and rolled it on almond flour
1 -container of Organic Blueberries
Zest of 1 lemon
1 -tsp of fresh lemon juice
1 -tbsp of good Vanilla Extract
1/2 -tbsp of brown sugar
1 -tbsp of Organic Honey
1/3 -Cold Butter Cubed Pinch of Sea Salt
1 -tbsp of Almond Flour to bind and a little extra to stretch the dough on
1 -Packet of raw sugar for topping

Instructions

Depending on the recipe that you use for the pie dough, follow the instructions accordingly. In a bowl mix the blueberries, vanilla, lemon juice, zest, salt, sugar, honey, and almond flour. Mix well and allow all ingredients to bind. Place all ingredients on the rolled out pie crust, fold in the edges of the crust-this can be very rustic. Place the butter on top of the berries. Brush some of the leftover lemon juice on the folded crust and then sprinkle the raw sugar on it. Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes until browned.

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And because I’m obsessed with Downton Abbey – ” i would never be happy with any one else as long as you walked the earth” Blueberry_tart_web-19 copy

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Homemade Ricotta + Broiled Peaches

Last night I managed to make it out to the Farmers Market after two senior portrait sessions and as always it did not disappoint. I came home with an assortment of produce including sweet, delicate peaches. And this my friend is how this perfectly simple summer dessert came to be a breakfast favorite (yes my husband declared it a favorite.) After a gentle dip in a bath of vanilla sugar, I placed halve peaches directly under the broiler for about 5 minutes or as soon as the sugar begins to caramelize. During these brief moments everything seems to slow down and become slightly more beautiful as the sweet smell of broiling peaches fills my home. I decided to take it a step further and make my own ricotta cheese from organic milk. I’ve had an itch to make my own cheese for a while and this recipe here helped a lot! As soon as the peaches are ready top them with a big dollop of your homemade ricotta (if you choose to, otherwise organic store bought is just as delicious.), top with chia seeds and your favorite granola .

 

In the babies tummy – Balsamic Strawberry Quinoa Puree

Today’s recipe is inspired by my friends with young children. As you all know I do not have any children maybe in 2-3 years I will but for the moment it’s just my love and I…and we love it! But the majority of our friends are parents with precious little babies. Most of my friends know about my passion for food and disdain for processed foods with ingredients that can’t be pronounced. I’ve always wondered what the ingredients in Gerber Toddlers snacks are. Are they natural?  Many of my friends have asked me for recipes that they can easily convert into baby food.  They have a  passion and desire to provide their babies with fresh, organic, handmade, gourmet baby food. This is where quinoa with balsamic reduction and pureed strawberries comes in!

I guarantee you that your baby will love this dish and you will not be able to find this food in a jar plus you will probably be able to pronounce all the ingredients.

Maybe expect the Quinoa… 🙂 I’m sure you’ve heard of it, but I’m also sure many of you have walked right past it in the grocery store thinking it  “looks too much like bird seed to please your meat and potatoes family” “what the heck will I do with it” So let’s fix it…

First, how the heck do you say quinoa?!  Some people pronounce it “keen-wah” and others say “kee-no-wah.”  Either is fine.

Quinoa is ridiculously good for you, crazy healthy. It’s a super food!  Quinoa is loaded with tons of nutrients and good for you properties. It is the most healthy and complete protein.  Sure, those proteins are great for your body but those proteins also make quinoa hearty and satisfying…The benefits of quinoa are endless check out this video on how to make the perfect quinoa. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 1/2 cup of frozen strawberries
  • 1 tbsp of Organic Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp of Organic Agave Nectar
  • 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar

1. Cook quinoa (follow video instructions) and let set until ready to puree

2. Puree strawberries with vanilla and agave

3. Place balsamic vinegar in a small pot over medium heat and let the vinegar reduce by half. You will end up with a thicker and sweet balsamic.

4. Blend quinoa and strawberry puree and drizzle with balsamic puree.

This little guy has been hanging out with me 🙂

Breakfast Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Sooooo… you might have noticed that I’ve been pretty much MIA. As you may know, for the past year we’ve been working on building our own business, Johnny Jaquez Photography & learning my family business Meza Auto Sales. We have also embarked on a mission to make our house a home. I’ve certainly complained enough about the long hours and lack of time, but its quite inspiring to see what we are building with our little hands.  So I will be sharing what I HAVE been making, even if it’s not edible. But for now… its pepper time. What is not to love about a stuffed poblanos? Seriously. Specially for breakfast! Unless you don’t like any spice at all. And by “at all” I mean “at all,” I don’t do spicy foods. I always ask for toddler approve spicy when I go to my favorite Indian Restaurant.  But if you are too afraid to try it…well sorry to say but you might have to sit this one out.

But seriously don’t these peppers make you want to try something new? It’s good to spice things up once in a while. You know, like deciding to update your bathroom with out a real plan in mind. My motto & Nike’s is “just do it.” Variety is the spice of life 😉   Good food and spur of the moment decisions will enrich your life. Hopefully, if you’ve made your way here, you feel the same way.  

Roasted Poblanos stuffed with a Refried Beans, Fried Egg, & Tomatillo Salsa

  • 2 poblano peppers ( find them at your local farmers market or Mexican Store)
  • 2 fried eggs
  • 1 cup refried beans (can or freshly made)
  • 1/4 cup tomatillo salsa or any salsa you have
  • 1/2 chopped tomato
  • 1 tbsp sour cream

1. Start by roasting the peppers, I roast them the way my mama taught me. I place them over the fire range and roast them for about 15 minutes until they start to turn black and are tender. Allow them to cool slightly. When they are cool enough to handle, begin to gently remove the skins by peeling them back. You can also use a paring knife to do this.  Once the skins are removed, make a slit down one side to open them up and remove the seeds. Keep peppers warm until its time to stuff them and serve.

2. Meanwhile fry an egg add tomatillo salsa.

3. Warm up the beans.

4. Stuff beans into the pepper. Top with the fried egg, tomatillo salsa, tomatoes, and sour cream. Feel free to use any toppings you like. Cilantro and pickled onions are always GOOD!

enjoy!

Golden Amazing Brussel Sprouts

I thought I’d share my all-time favorite brussels sprouts recipe with you. But to be honest, calling it a recipe is a bit of a stretch. It involves a HOT skillet, less than five ingredients, about ten minutes of your time, and minimal culinary skills. Win win right! You end up with vibrant green, tender brussels sprouts that become deeply golden and crusty where they touch the pan. I then lightly dust the whole pan with cheese and serve. Perfect for breakfast. This time of year it’s not unusual for us to cook brussel sprouts 2-3 times a week.

I know that many are brussel sprout haters, but trust when I say…this recipe will change that. If it doesn’t there is no cure for you. You will forever hate brussel sprouts 😦 , as my dad would day “so sad fo you”

A couple shopping tips before you get started, look for brussels sprouts that are on the small size and tightly closed. The tiny ones cook through quickly, whereas larger ones tend to brown on the outside long before the insides are done. Feel free to top these with vegetarian sausage patties and a fried egg.

Brussel Sprouts

  • 1/2 lbs of brussel sprouts halved
  • minced garlic
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • shredded mozzarella

Super Food Shake – Bee Pollen + Hemp

Super-food would be an understatement for this morning shake. Bee Pollen and Hemp are two good for you foods. I’ve talked about my obsession with hemp here.

But Bees!!! The little bee!  I have a love hate relationship with bees. I run and hide whenever I see them. I think that’s fear, maybe even paranoia…But I also love them because I understand how vital they are to everything we do. I seriously suggest that you watch the documentary “Vanishing of the Bees“? My husband thinks that I am obsessed with bees…He might be right. I love bees! There I said it. What they do and the amazing things they produce are infinitely mind-blowing! Anyone who knows me knows that I am a  HUGE raw honey fan and lets not talk about beeswax. Bee products fill my home, tummy, make-up bag, and medicine cabinet. But none come as close to being my favorite as Bee Pollen. I have been consuming Bee Pollen since I can remember my mom is a huge fan and a staple in her home and now mine.  Not only is bee pollen delicious, versatile, and astonishingly inexpensive, it’s also a super-food and soooo good for you, like times infinity.

My mom started consuming bee pollen when she was told that it provided allergy relief. My dad and half of her kids have allergies including me. That’s how I was introduced to it. Bee pollen is a super high-energy whole food that supplies our bodies with nearly every single nutrient the human body needs to survive. Yes it’s true. Still don’t believe me, let me give you more facts or just ask your grandma I guarantee you she has used it before. Grandparents always know more than we do. Bee pollen is very high in protein, containing between 20-30%, including all 22 amino acids. This little golden gem is loaded with enzymes. If you eat like most Americans do then your diet is lacking lots of enzymes, that’s just how modern diets are. Enzymes are the little compounds that help us break down and digest food, one reason why adding raw foods to your diet is so important. Supplementing the diet with bee pollen is excellent all the time, but especially when we’ve been indulging in, platano fritos and sushi. Bee pollen has it all including vitamins and minerals!!! Try it! I promise you will love it. Try it on granola, yogurt, fruit salads, everything.

Bee Pollen Smoothie

serves 2

  • 1 cup coconut  milk (or other milk)
  • 1 cup strawberries (frozen are fine)
  • 1  banana
  • 1 scoop of hemp hearts or hemp protein or both
  • 1/2 tsp of chia or poppy seeds
  • 1 Tbsp of bee pollen (if you are new to this make sure to start with 1/4 of Tbsp)
  • Organic coconut shavings for garnish

Directions:

1. Put everything in a blender and whir it up! Drink immediately.

You can make your smoothie out of anything you have on hand and/or what is in season – this is simply what I had today!

DIY Almond Milk – Is it worth it?

The answer is YES!

I made almond milk this morning. If I had known that it was this easy, I would have been making this fresh months ago and stop buying the over-priced carton stuff. I stumbled into the kitchen this morning determined to show you just how easy it is to make nut milk at home in your blender. Seriously! This truly is one simple kitchen technique that  has changed my life fooor-eeeeee-ver, and I am so excited to share it with you! All you need to make nut milk is your favorite nut, water, a blender, and cheesecloth.  Feel free to get creative and combine nuts. You can flavour the milk with vanilla, raw honey, agave, (cocoa powder, cinnamon, & a pinch of cayenne for Mexican Chocolate milk) or add fruit to make an almond fruit shake. Delicious!

The process is fun so find some nuts and milk on! I usually stick to almond because I can find fairly cheap, organic, and fresh almonds at my local Mexican Grocery Store. But I do make hemp milk as well! In my mind, almond milk is the best dairy alternative. When prepared the right way it is creamy, frothy, and sweet with a slight nutty flavor. I love drinking it on its own or added to almost anything including cereal, coffee, tea (almond chai…YUM!),  and shakes. The leftover almond pulp can be used for delicious, gluten-free baking. I will be drying the pulp to make almond flour. Definitely give it  try. It’s fun, gratifying, cost efficient, delicious, and good for you. I hope you get the same kick out of making almond milk that I do. Once you taste the difference between home-made and store-bought, I’m sure you’ll be convinced to make the switch! After-all home-made almond milk is totally natural, raw, sugar-free, additive-free, and preservative-free, so it’s the best choice for your health!!! 🙂 Stay happy & Healthy!

Raw Almond Milk  Sweetened with Agave and Vanilla

  • Measure one cup of nuts, cover with water
  • Soak over night
  • Drain & Rinse
  • Place in blender & add 5 cups of filtered water
  • Blend for a good while
  • Line a jug with cheesecloth or a panty-hose (make sure its new)
  • Pour milk and squeeze
  • Add agave and Vanilla shake or blend again
  • Pour fresh raw milk in a glass and drink.
  • You can bottle the milk in a clean mason jar and keep refrigerated for 3-5 days!

MILK ON!