Practical, healthful eating and living.

Gluten free chocolate almond joy bars March 2, 2013

IMG_0578More than anything, I wanted a creative outlet today. One of my favorite things is to find a recipe for something I’ve never made before, get all the ingredients, then see how it turns out. Today’s new recipe is adapted  from one of my favorite gluten free blogs, Elana’s Pantry.

One thing I like about gluten free baked goods is that there’s usually a lot of protein in the mix. That means I’m full after one or two bites! An indulgence I can’t go overboard on because a few bites is all I want and need.

Note: this bar is not as sweet as a traditional cookie or candy bar. Feel free to add an extra teaspoon or two of sugar if you have a sweet tooth.


  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup coconut milk (Coconut has healthy fats; I use regular instead of low fat. If you have any left over, it keeps well in either the fridge or freezer.)
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar (or 1/2 cup regular sugar)
  • ½ cup blanched almond flour  (Trader Joe’s is a great source)
  • ½ cup coconut flour (Buy as much or as little as you like from the bulk flour bins at your local food coop.)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (might be hard to find in a traditional grocery store. Try Whole Foods or a food coop.)
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut milk, almond extract and sugar
  2. In a smaller bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, salt and baking soda
  3. Mix dry ingredients into wet with a handheld mixer
  4. Stir in ½ cup of the chocolate chips
  5. Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish
  6. Pour batter into dish, then sprinkle shredded coconut and remaining chocolate chips on top
  7. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes
  8. Cool for 1 hour
  9. Serve

Sweet Potato Gratin November 8, 2009

Sweet Potato GratinSweet potatoes are one of my favorite power foods.  When I lived in Japan, street vendors would sell hot baked sweet potatoes and they’d keep your hands warm as you walked and nibbled.

But sometimes you want to dress up your favorite foods.  When I saw this recipe with lime, coconut, black beans and spinach, I knew I had to try it.

It was delicious.  Warm and creamy.  Comforting and filling.  I will definitely make this again.


from “Moosewood Restaurant New Classics.”

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated lime peel

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 1/2 cups coconut milk (Most people get low-fat coconut milk but I use regular.  I consider this one of the essential fats, not the bad kind.  If you have extra, store it in the freezer.)

4 cups peeled and thinly sliced sweet potatoes (1 1/2 pounds)

1 cup cooked rice (I like brown rice, but either brown or white is okay.)

1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (15 ounce can, drained)

1 1/2 cups fresh spinach, rinsed, stemmed  and chopped.  Frozen spinach works well, too.  Be sure to thaw it and drain it, even wring out the extra water, before measuring.


3/4 cup cornmeal

1 tabelspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350.  Lightly oil a 9 x 13-inch baking pan

Combine the garlic, lime peel and juice, cilantro, thyme, salt, pepper, and coconut milk in a measuring cup.  Pour one third of this mixture into the prepared baking pan.  Layer half of the sweet potatoes in the bottom, topped by half of the rice, half of the black beans, and half the spinach.  Pour on anohter third of the coconut milk mixture and repeat the layers of sweet potatoes, rice, beans and spinach.  Pour the remaining coconut milk mixture over all.

In a small bowl combine all of the toppping ingredients and sprinkle over the gratin.

Bake, uncovered, for about 60 minutes, rotating the pan in the oven after 30 minutes to ensure uniform baking.  When the potatoes are tender and the topping is crisp and golden brown, remove from the oven and let sit for 2-3 minutes until the potatoes absorb any remaining liquid.

This recipe reheats beautifully.  Make a big batch and keep it on hand for the rest of the week!


Moroccan Coconut & Chickpea Soup March 2, 2009

Filed under: Easy food prep,Recipes — beansandyoga @ 12:43 pm
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photo_030109_002My favorite form of online entertainment is to peruse food blogs.  I stumbled across one called, “Karina’s Kitchen,” several weeks ago.  A recipe for Moroccan coconut and chickpea soup has been safely posted in my bookmarks ever since.

A mixture of coconut milk, peppers, Granny Smith apples, lime, curry and cinnamon, it is bubbling on the stove as I write.  Click through from the links above for the recipe.  Here are a few tips.

Curry powder: I love Penzey’s Maharajah curry powder.

Chickpeas: Last week, I realized I had a cup or so sitting on my shelf.  I threw them into a bowl, let them soak overnight, and while I was reading the paper and having coffee on a Sunday, I let them boil merrily on the stove.  When they were soft, into the freezer they went, with a bit of broth to keep them insulated.

This might seem like an intimidating recipe, but don’t be afraid to use a red pepper in place of the yellow one.  I did not have the wherewithall to get the exact same type of canned tomatoes suggested in the recipe, but a stew like this, I’ve found, tends to be forgiving.

If you are a meat person, chunks of cooked chicken would add nicely to the stew.

Footnote:  Whew!  This soup was just what I needed!  I’ve gone through three bowls already.

One last tip: I added salt a bit at a time, tasting as I went.  I ended up adding A LOT of salt!  Don’t be discouraged if the soup seems a tiny bit flat at first.  Just keep adding a little salt at a time, or perhaps more lime juice.  Once you hit the flavor zone, the soup is divine.