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!

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Zucchini Noodles

A few weeks ago the hubs and I road tripped it out to the beautiful Central Coast with open hearts and open minds. Friends if you have never been to the Central Coast you need to seriously start packing now! Its a beautiful area that we absolutely love!  We stayed in Shell Beach and spent a few days visiting Morro Bay, Montana de Oro, Pismo Beach, and Downtown San Luis Obispo. We headed out there to visit our dear friends Aaron and Sarah, they are serving with YWAM Pismo Beach and we were lucky enough to spend a few days with them in their new home. Unlike most of our trips we actually did a lot home cooking in this one and it was a welcome changed. Sarah and I made a delicious bowl of zucchini noodles with roasted veggies and tomato sauce. I was lucky enough to have my husband document the process while I was completely unaware, the joys of being married to a photographer. I have been living on variations of this recipe since starting the 21 Day Detox. It really is delicious and makes perfect use of the abundance of zucchini that’s in my garden!

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Zuccini_noodles_web-8Ingredients 

1 – medium Zucchini
1 – Yellow Squash
Assortment of veggies
Organic Marinara Sauce
Olive Oil
1 tbsp  fresh herbs
salt
pepper

Directions

Run a vegetable julienne peeler down the length of  the zucchini and squash , creating long strips (“noodles”). Add salt, pepper, herbs, and drizzle with Olive Oil. Steam or microwave for 2 minutes.

In a sheet pan place your favorite veggies, add salt and pepper and roast at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. If you vegatables require more time leave them in the oven a little longer.

Toss the veggies and noodles with your favorite pasta sauce.

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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Winter Bounty – Citrus Salad

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We have been hosting Life Group (bible study-ish) at our home every Tuesday for a few weeks now. I like it because there is always some sort of dinner involved which means that we get to gather around the table and  make meals they are never fussy or elaborate, they are just simply delicious. I crave this sort of thing, meals with people who I enjoy being around. I soak it right up – in our home, sharing our walk with the Lord, and the lives that we are living –  yes dirty dishes and all, I enjoy it all. This salad will join us this Tuesday, I love sharing meals with them and sharing my love and respect for food with them, I  feel like an educator. This salad is simple.  Crisp leaves of romaine lettuce, tuscan kale, pink grapefruit, sweet blood oranges,  with crispy avocado. This salad is filled with textures, fragrant, and exploding with a perfect combination of sweetness and tartness… I know what you’re thinking salad in the winter?! But in the winter if we can call Southern California winter…a real winter. In the winter you can find some of the best citrus. My father in law grows some of the best tasting blood oranges and I get to enjoy them in the winter. Feel free to add your favorite protein to this salad. I paired it with a beautiful cut of salmon.

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Citrus – Avocado Salad
2- pink grapefruits
1- blood orange
4- cups of romaine
2- cups of tuscan kale

Dressing
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp of Greek yogurt or coconut cream (coconut cream for paleo)
Left over citrus juice
Sea salt & pepper

Avocado Wedges
1 cup of almond meal
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 egg
1 firm ripe avocado wedged

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Instructions
Segment the citrus and remove all skin and white pith. Do this over a bowl to collect any juice that drips. In a large bowl combine the greens and citrus
Preheat oven to 450 degrees line baking sheet with parchment paper. In a shallow bowl mix the almond meal, salt and pepper. In another bowl whisk the egg. Peel and cut avocado into 1-inch wedges. Dip avocado in egg mixture and then into the meal (repeat) and set on the baking sheet. Bake until toasty brown, 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
Make a dressing with the remaining juice, yogurt it coconut cream, salt, and pepper and whisk until combined and creamy.
Dress the salad with the dressing and top with the crispy avocado wedges. enjoy!

Pumpkin Risotto

The air is getting crisper and nights are getting longer, its sign that fall is on its way but those are the only signs because summer is still lingering; I patiently wait. Summer in October? you ask… yes! I know this because my garden still has tomatoes and I’m still wearing tank tops and flip-flops, for a girl who has spent most of her life in California fall is a fleeting moment that I absolutely enjoy and try to take in as much as possible! I’m a sucker for pumpkin anything. Seriously just ask the people at my Trader Joe’s. They got smarter and decided to have a whole shelve dedicated to all things pumpkin – pumpkin-coffee, pumpkin butter, pumpkin chai, pumpkin loaf mix, pumpkin chocolate, and so much more…I of course had to have one of each 🙂 I think it makes me feel closer to the season which is why my kitchen becomes a solace for all things fall.  But nothing makes me as happy as pumpkin risotto! The warm and decadent rice perfectly tender to the tooth is rich and fragrant with the spices of fall.

Risotto is one of those dishes that can easily intimidate a cook but it’s very easy to make. There are two simple rules NEVER add all the liquid at once and be PATIENT. On one of my trips to a local farmers market I picked up a jar of freshly made pumpkin puree if you have access to freshly made puree buy it! If you don’t I highly encourage you to make your own its very easy! Of course you can use can puree (I like the Trader Joe’s one) but you have not had pumpkin risotto unless you try making it with the fresh stuff!

Yield: Makes 6 first-course servings
Ingredients

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
2 (2 1/2- to 3-inch-diameter) pumpkin cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups chopped white onion
1 small shallot chopped
1 garlic clove finely chopped and smashed
1 cup arborio rice
3 cups low-salt organic chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/2 of good parmesan cheese, grated
2 sage leave
1 rosemary spring
1 french tarragon spring
Sea-salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Topping
Baby arugula

Instructions
Place broth, sage, pumpkin puree, and rosemary in a pot to simmer and keep at a low simmer. Melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat.  When it is melted add the pumpkin cubes and cook for about 5 minutes, add the onion, shallot, and garlic and cook until translucent, another 4 minutes.  Add the rice and stir for about two minutes so it can absorb the butter and toast a bit. Add one ladle of stock and stir constantly until absorbed. In the last few minutes add the Parmesan and stir in. Repeat this process until risotto is slightly al-dente, definitely not soupy or mushy. Serve immediately and top with arugula and the remaining cheese.

Garden to Fork – Basil Pesto

A basil explosion has taken place in my garden. This heat that we are experiencing in the “fall” here in California is pro-longing our summer harvest. I harvest baskets full of this stuff. So what does one do when your garden is rampant with all sorts of basil! Well, you make pesto of course.

 

Bring out the food processor and throw a handfuls of basil and pine nuts into a food processor with a garlic clove. Add a handful of really good Parmesan and some freshly squeezed lemon juice and some zest. Yes, lemon! The lemon brightens and makes the pesto lighter. Bring out the best olive oil and drizzle over the fragrant and bright pesto.

Because of our bountiful bushes I was able to whip up a hefty batch leaving me enough pesto to fill up three mason jars. I’m lucky I know. I am thinking of freezing it and making more pesto to take advantage of the bountiful harvest before it’s gone for the winter.  So far we have eaten it, marinated with it, explored the world of sandwiches,  turned it into an appetizer, shared with friends,  and ate it with warm pasta.

DIY Basil Pesto
A great recipe to make with fresh basil from your garden before winter

Ingredients

  • 2 C. fresh basil leave
  • 1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4C. pine nuts, toasted (or walnuts)
  • 1/2C. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced 1/2 lemon zest and a squeeze of juice
  • Dash of fresh pepper

 

Instructions
Blend all ingredients in the food processor, add the lemon juice and finish it up with olive oil. If you don’t have a food processor do not be scared check out this video. I have made pesto this way before and it does not disappoint.