Category Archives: Gluten-Free

Gluten-Free Snacks

Curried Yogurt Dip and Sweet Potato Chips

I never crave salty things. My cravings come in the form of chocolate chip cookies, ooey-gooey brownies, and anything chocolate-peanut butter.

Travis is the opposite. He craves chips. Recently he’s been buying a different type of chip each week. For the past month it’s been sweet potato chips and now he has both of us hooked! I never thought I could be so in love with a salty snack, but these are addicting (I think it is because they are a little bit sweet).

A big bag of Trader Joe’s Sweet Potato chips inspired this yogurt dip.

Curried Yogurt Dip and Sweet Potato Chips Recipe -- www.littlechefbigappetite.com

The dip is only three ingredients, so it is very easy to throw together. I think it is a delicious and unique alternative to your standard chips + salsa or guacamole (although, I will always love my guac).

Curried Yogurt Dip and Sweet Potato Chips Recipe -- www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Travis and I ate this yogurt dip without any guilt because it is completely healthy! I recommend Way Better, Trader Joe’s, or Terra Sweet Potato Chips – none of them have nonsense ingredient lists and they all taste great.

IMG_2655

 

Curried Yogurt Dip
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ¾ cups Plain Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
  • ½ tablespoon Curry Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice
  • Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine the yogurt, curry powder and lime juice in a small bowl. Add the salt and pepper to taste. Chill the yogurt dip for one hour in the fridge before serving.
 

Breakfast Gluten-Free

Cardamom Granola with Almonds, Pistachios, and Raisins

This Cardamom Granola with Almonds & Pistachios is addicting! It’s gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan optional. Eat it on top of yogurt or just by the handful.

 

Holy Moly, I just made the best darn granola.

This Cardamom Granola with Almonds and Pistachios is incredibly addicting! It's Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, and Vegan. Eat it on top of yogurt, a smoothie bowl, or just by the handful. You're going to love it! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Pretty much every day at work I snack on Greek yogurt. Usually I just add some berries with a pinch of stevia and cinnamon to sweeten it, but recently I’ve been craving some crunch.

This Cardamom Granola with Almonds and Pistachios is incredibly addicting! It's Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, and Vegan. Eat it on top of yogurt, a smoothie bowl, or just by the handful. You're going to love it! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

After scouring the web for new granola recipes, I wasn’t finding anything that suited my needs. I wanted to keep this version low-sugar, but not lose a lot of sweetness and flavor.

Cardamom Granola with Almonds, Pistachios, and Raisins Recipe

In one recipe, I spotted cardamom on the ingredient list and thought that was very unique. Most granola recipes stick to the usuals: maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, and cinnamon. I love cardamom, but I find it stays in my spice cabinet more often than it should, so I decided to pull it out for this batch of granola.

This Cardamom Granola with Almonds and Pistachios is incredibly addicting! It's Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, and Vegan. Eat it on top of yogurt, a smoothie bowl, or just by the handful. You're going to love it! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I like my granola chunky, and I recently learned a great tip from America’s Test Kitchen to help keep it that way.

This Cardamom Granola with Almonds and Pistachios is incredibly addicting! It's Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, and Vegan. Eat it on top of yogurt, a smoothie bowl, or just by the handful. You're going to love it! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Don’t stir the granola! Every granola recipe I see says to stir the mixture once or twice throughout the baking time. ATK says for chunkier granola clusters, don’t stir the mixture and just wait to break it up once it is completely done baking.

This Cardamom Granola with Almonds and Pistachios is incredibly addicting! It's Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, and Vegan. Eat it on top of yogurt, a smoothie bowl, or just by the handful. You're going to love it! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

ATK, you’re a genius…again! My granola turned out chunky – just the way I like it. Now I get spoonfuls of delicious granola clusters with every bite, which is a great contrast against the smooth Greek yogurt.

This Cardamom Granola with Almonds and Pistachios is incredibly addicting! It's Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, and Vegan. Eat it on top of yogurt, a smoothie bowl, or just by the handful. You're going to love it! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

It is also packed with spice from the cardamom and cinnamon, so I don’t find myself missing the added sugars that you see in typical packaged granola.

I really hope you try this Cardamom Granola. I make it once a week now because we’re hooked!

 

Cardamom Granola with Almonds, Pistachios, and Raisins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup raw, unsalted almonds, chopped
  • ¼ cup raw, unsalted pistachios
  • ⅛ cup sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon salt*
  • ¼ cup real honey
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup raisins (or any other dried fruit)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the oats, almonds, pistachios, sesame seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. In a small microwavable bowl add the honey and heat it in the microwave for 15 seconds. Add the olive oil and vanilla to the honey and stir to combine. Pour the honey mixture over the oat and nut mixture. Stir so that honey coats the oat mixture.
  3. Spread the mixture on the baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes until the edges brown. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then add the raisins. Carefully stir the granola a few times to break it into desired sized chunks. Allow to cool completely and store in an air-tight container.
Notes
*If you only can find salted nuts, omit the salt from the recipe.
 

This Cardamom Granola with Almonds and Pistachios is incredibly addicting! It's Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, and Vegan. Eat it on top of yogurt, a smoothie bowl, or just by the handful. You're going to love it! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Beef and Lamb Gluten-Free Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

I think it is safe to say I am slow cooker obsessed.

Let me preface all of this by saying, yes, I know I am WAAAAAY late to the slow cooker game. For a while now, everyone  has been telling me that I needed to get one. Given my busy work schedule and limited time in the evenings, I always acknowledged it would be a very helpful appliance to have in my kitchen. I loved the idea of coming home from a long day of work and having dinner already made and ready to eat!

This Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe is a delicious and cozy meal to come home to on a winter evening. Brown ale gives the broth a delicious, rich flavor! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com ll Healthy Slow Cooker Recipe, Slow Cooker Beef, Slow Cooker Stew, Slow Cooker Meal, Healthy Slow Cooker Beef Recipe, Beef with Beer, Beef with Brown Ale, Healthy Beef Stew

When I arrived back to LA last week from my trip to Boston, there was a GIGANTIC package sitting on my porch. I was ecstatic when I opened it up to find a new shiny slow cooker from my brother and sister-in-law for the holidays! Seriously. Perfect. Gift. Remember when I told you Dave is the #1 gift giver? Well, he and Morgan nailed it again.

I broke in my slow cooker this weekend by making a delicious beef stew.

This Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe is a delicious and cozy meal to come home to on a winter evening. Brown ale gives the broth a delicious, rich flavor! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com ll Healthy Slow Cooker Recipe, Slow Cooker Beef, Slow Cooker Stew, Slow Cooker Meal, Healthy Slow Cooker Beef Recipe, Beef with Beer, Beef with Brown Ale, Healthy Beef Stew

Travis and I prepped everything after breakfast on Sunday morning and then threw it all into the slow cooker for 7 hours.

This Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe is a delicious and cozy meal to come home to on a winter evening. Brown ale gives the broth a delicious, rich flavor! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com ll Healthy Slow Cooker Recipe, Slow Cooker Beef, Slow Cooker Stew, Slow Cooker Meal, Healthy Slow Cooker Beef Recipe, Beef with Beer, Beef with Brown Ale, Healthy Beef Stew

I have made beef stews in my dutch-oven before, but despite long cooking times in an oven on very low heat, I still always found the beef was never as tender as I would have liked. I was excited to see what would happen to the beef this time by using the slow cooker.

This Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe is a delicious and cozy meal to come home to on a winter evening. Brown ale gives the broth a delicious, rich flavor! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com ll Healthy Slow Cooker Recipe, Slow Cooker Beef, Slow Cooker Stew, Slow Cooker Meal, Healthy Slow Cooker Beef Recipe, Beef with Beer, Beef with Brown Ale, Healthy Beef Stew

Holy Moly, was this beef tender! It was falling apart just by the slightest touch from my fork — just the way I like it.

The best part was that when the evening rolled around (Sunday evening always seems to come too soon, doesn’t it?), I didn’t have to do anything! I just stirred in a few final ingredients and the stew was warm and ready to eat!

This was the most delicious beef stew I have ever had. The addition of the brown ale really amps up the flavor in the broth and after slow cooking all day, the beef, carrots, and potatoes were so tender and soaked with rich flavor through and through.

This Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe is a delicious and cozy meal to come home to on a winter evening. Brown ale gives the broth a delicious, rich flavor! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com ll Healthy Slow Cooker Recipe, Slow Cooker Beef, Slow Cooker Stew, Slow Cooker Meal, Healthy Slow Cooker Beef Recipe, Beef with Beer, Beef with Brown Ale, Healthy Beef Stew

Travis and I couldn’t get enough of it. It was one of those meals where we both sat there not talking to each other, just saying “Mmmmm” with every bite we took.

Yup, I am so hooked on slow cooking. I am honestly sorry I waited this long to try it! If any of you guys have great slow cooker recipes, please pass them my way. I am ready to try everything!

 

Slow Cooker Beef Stew
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 5-6
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs trimmed boneless chuck roast, cut into 2 inch pieces (I recommend buying 2.5lbs because once you trim the excess fat it will be about 2 lbs)
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced in half and cut into ½ inch thick slices
  • 12oz Nut Brown Ale (I used Samuel Smiths Nut Brown Ale)
  • 1¼ cups unsalted beef stock, divided* (I used Stock Options Classic Beef Stock)
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Parsley for serving
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the beef with ¼ teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Add about a teaspoon of oil to the pan. Add half of the beef to the pan, cook for 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the beef from the pan and place in a heat-proof bowl. Repeat by adding another teaspoon of oil and the remaining beef. Remove the beef and any leftover juices from the pan.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the garlic and onions and saute for about 4 minutes. Add the ale to the pan, scraping down to loosen any bits from the bottom. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of stock and the remaining 1¼ teaspoon salt and ¾ teaspoon pepper (*NOTE: If you could only find salted beef stock omit the added salt at this point, but add the pepper). Bring to a simmer.
  3. Pour the mixture into a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Add the beef, carrots, potatoes, bay leaves and thyme. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours.
  4. Combine the remaining ¼ cup stock and flour, stirring with a whisk. Stir the flour mixture into the stew and cook for 13-15 minutes until thickened. Stir in the red wine vinegar and dijon. Discard the bay leaves. Serve with fresh parsley.
Notes
**Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

This Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe is a delicious and cozy meal to come home to on a winter evening. Brown ale gives the broth a delicious, rich flavor! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com ll Healthy Slow Cooker Recipe, Slow Cooker Beef, Slow Cooker Stew, Slow Cooker Meal, Healthy Slow Cooker Beef Recipe, Beef with Beer, Beef with Brown Ale, Healthy Beef Stew

Desserts Gluten-Free

Healthy Brownie Bites

These No-Bake Healthy Brownie Bites are a quick and easy raw vegan dessert. Made from only a handful of ingredients and no baking required, you can throw these brownie bites together in no time!

 

I have been seeing lots of raw vegan desserts pop up around the internet these days. Some of them intrigue me, but most of the time I sit there and question if combining XYZ ingredients is actually going to taste like a piece of carrot cake, apple pie, or the like.

I am all for healthy desserts, but my goal is have the healthier version taste exactly (or better!)  than the real thing. That’s why I love desserts like my Salted Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies – they’re healthier than the classic chocolate chip cookie, but they taste so gosh-darned freakin’ delicious, so you never feel like you’re missing anything.

 

These No-Bake Healthy Brownie Bites are a quick and easy raw vegan dessert. Made from only a handful of ingredients and no baking required, you can throw these brownie bites together in no time! // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

So when I saw this recipe for 3 ingredient recipe for truffles that claimed to taste like healthy brownie bites, I knew I had to give it a whirl.  I thought, “Hey – if they don’t turn out well,  at least I only wasted three ingredients!”

 

These No-Bake Healthy Brownie Bites are a quick and easy raw vegan dessert. Made from only a handful of ingredients and no baking required, you can throw these brownie bites together in no time! // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

So, I set out to make these no-bake healthy brownie bites.

At first I wasn’t impressed — they weren’t sweet enough for my liking. But, after making a few changes to make them a bit sweeter, I think I made a real keeper.

These No-Bake Healthy Brownie Bites are a quick and easy raw vegan dessert. Made from only a handful of ingredients and no baking required, you can throw these brownie bites together in no time! // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I was snacking on these all throughout the weekend.

As someone who usually craves something sweet right after lunch or dinner, I think these are perfect. You get that sweet chocolate-y fix without loads of calories.

These No-Bake Healthy Brownie Bites are a quick and easy raw vegan dessert. Made from only a handful of ingredients and no baking required, you can throw these brownie bites together in no time! // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

These healthy brownie bites also transport quite well, so they could be a great healthy dessert to bring to a party this holiday season. Did I mention they are vegan, gluten-free AND dairy-free, so they are bound to please all of your friends with dietary restrictions.

If you try them let me know what you think!

 

Healthy Brownie Bites
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Walnuts (raw, unsalted)
  • ½ cup Dates (pitted)
  • 2 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Stevia (or another all-natural sweetener)
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cup Sweetened or Unsweetened Shredded Coconut (Optional)
Instructions
  1. Place the walnuts in a bowl of a food processor and process until they become like sand (about 45 seconds). Add the dates, cocoa, stevia and vanilla and process until well combined and the mixture looks like brownie batter (about 20 seconds). You may have to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula once or twice to make sure all of the ingredients are well incorporated.
  2. Form the dough into balls slightly smaller than a golf ball, rolling to smooth in your hands. Put the shredded coconut in a small bowl or plastic baggie and toss the balls in the coconut. Place the bites in the fridge for about 30 minutes to harden and then they will be ready to serve. I stored mine in the fridge.
 

Cookies Gluten-Free

Almond Flour Tea Cookies

You won’t be able to resist dunking these delicious, gluten-free Almond Flour Tea Cookies into a hot mug of tea. They’re so easy to make and require no butter or oil.

There is something about hot tea and warm cookies that makes me feel all warm and cozy inside… like I want to curl up in my PJs and not leave my couch for hours.

Well, except to get more cookies that is.

You won't be able to resist dunking these delicious, gluten-free Almond Flour Tea Cookies into a hot mug of tea. They're so easy to make and require no butter or oil. // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

And these Almond Flour Tea Cookies are guilt free! Made from almond flour and with no butter or oils to speak of, you can just keep dunkin’ and munchin’.

You won't be able to resist dunking these delicious, gluten-free Almond Flour Tea Cookies into a hot mug of tea. They're so easy to make and require no butter or oil. // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

These tea cookies have a hint of cinnamon that makes them perfect for the holidays, too!

Roll out the dough and use holiday-themed cookie cutters to make these extra festive and cute.

You won't be able to resist dunking these delicious, gluten-free Almond Flour Tea Cookies into a hot mug of tea. They're so easy to make and require no butter or oil. // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

And who can say no to a super-light thin layer of glaze (again, no butter or oil!)?

Not me! I’ll take all of them, please.

You won't be able to resist dunking these delicious, gluten-free Almond Flour Tea Cookies into a hot mug of tea. They're so easy to make and require no butter or oil. // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Serve these almond flour tea cookies with hot tea or coffee. Just dunk and enjoy.

P.S. These cookies stay VERY well, so if you’re planning on any homemade holiday gifts this year, these would be perfect (even to ship!).

 

Almond Flour Tea Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 10
Ingredients
Cookies:
  • 3 cups Almond Flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • scant ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon raw natural honey
  • 1 egg white
Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix all cookie ingredients in a bowl until the mixture is smooth. I recommend using your hands. If the mixture is dry and cracking, add about ½ Tablespoon of water and mix again until the dough comes together and is smooth.
  3. If using cookie cutters: dust a large piece of parchment paper with powdered sugar and roll the dough out until it is about ⅓ inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut the cookies into a desired shape and place the cookies on the baking sheet leaving about ½ inch of space in between each cookie.
  4. Without cookie cutters: Use a tablespoon to scoop balls of dough. Roll in your hands to form a smooth ball. Place on the baking sheet leaving about ½ inch of space in between each cookie. Flatten the balls with your palm.
  5. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes and then remove and cool completely on wire racks.
  6. To make the glaze, mix the three ingredients in a bowl. The glaze will be thick. When the cookies are completely cool, take a butter knife and spread a thin layer of glaze on each cookie. Let the cookies rest until the glaze is completely dry. Store the cookies in an airtight container.
 

 

Breakfast Gluten-Free Main Meal

My Favorite Protein Pancakes

I am a MAJOR breakfast advocate.

If you’re my friend (or my mom!) and you’ve told me that you tend to skip breakfast, I have most likely given you a “YOU NEED TO EAT BREAKFAST” speech. They’re not kidding when they say it is the most important meal of the day, people. Besides, if you eat a healthy breakfast, you are more likely to start your day on a healthy track and less likely to binge on unhealthy junk for lunch and dinner. It’s science. It’s proven. Believe me.

People often ask me what I often eat for breakfast. The answer is: it changes. But whatever it is, I always make sure it has a big dose of protein and fiber / whole grains to get me going. My weekday morning routine is quite hectic – I like to get to the gym by 5:30AM so that I can be out the door for work by no later than 7:30AM. So weekday breakfasts are most often  protein smoothies (my favorite recipe to come!) because I can make them at home in two minutes, but drink it in the car on my way to work:

photo (14)

If I have more time in the morning (i.e. the weekends) my go-to breakfast is making these protein pancakes. You may have seen various protein pancake recipes floating around the internet. Most often protein powder is in the mix, but the protein in these pancakes comes from eggs, egg whites, and rolled oats (Gluten-Free).

Protein Pancakes Recipe

I love these pancakes so much that on the weekends I typically jump right out of bed just so I can make them immediately. I eat mine with Almond Butter on top for an added dose of protein and healthy fats. (Dear lord, I really eat a lot of nut butter, don’t I?)

Protein Pancakes Recipe

As someone who must eat every 3 hours, I PROMISE you that these will keep you full for even longer than that.

I also love them so much that on certain weeknights when I don’t have time to make a “real” dinner I have breakfast for dinner and make these instead. It certainly pleases my taste buds!

My Favorite Protein Pancakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 whole egg*
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • a few good shakes of cinnamon (about ½ teaspoon)
  • ⅓ cup old fashioned rolled oats (quick cooking oats give a chewier consistency and steel cut won't work here)
  • ½ banana sliced into ⅛" slices
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Almond Butter for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat a large non-stick skillet to medium heat. Spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the egg, egg whites, vanilla and cinnamon. Add the oats and banana slices and stir well to combine. The mixture’s consistency won’t look like it will form into pancakes, but I promise it will!
  3. Pour the mixture onto the skillet to form two separate pancakes. Cook the pancakes for 2-3 minutes on one side and then flip and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pan and serve with Almond Butter.
Notes
*Alternatively you can sub the 1 egg for 2 egg whites (making it 4 egg whites total)
 

 

Breakfast Gluten-Free Vegan

Almond Butter Granola with Flax Seeds

This Almond Butter Granola with Flax Seeds is gluten-free, vegan, and packed with healthy fats. Try it on top of yogurt or as a quick snack on the go.

 

If we were to play word association with the word “granola,” I guarantee one of the first words to be thrown around would be “healthy.” But the sad reality is, that just ain’t true. So many packages of granola and even homemade versions are so loaded with sugar and other junk, that those poor little oats go from wholesome and nutritious to just plain unhealthy.

IMG_0236

I will refrain from giving you too much of a nutrition lesson. But in short, for this very reason, I have never been a big granola eater.

I typically top my greek yogurt with fresh fruit and chia seeds, but I am getting kinda sick of that combination. I have been craving texture.

IMG_0246

So after buying three large tubs of oats today (we eat A LOT of oats in this house), I set out to make a healthier granola that I could bring into my snack rotation.

IMG_0266

I was browsing through my cabinets for flavor inspiration and my eyes spotted the almond butter. I tried to move on because my taste buds CONSTANTLY tell my brain to grab the precious AB. But I couldn’t ignore it this time — I knew that little nut butter would be a delicious addition to my granola.

IMG_0282

And I was right.

Adding the almond butter was a fantastic way to give the granola lots of flavor without pouring in more and more sugar.

IMG_0291Unfortunately, only half of this Almond Butter Granola made it into ziploc baggies for storage. I um….had to keep taste testing it…because I wasn’t sure if it was just delicious or hella freaking delicious…

Self control. I know. I’m working on it…

 

Almond Butter Granola with Flax Seeds
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 Tablespoon Flax Seed (not ground)
  • 2 Tablespoons Almond Butter (I used unsalted, if yours is salted omit salt below)
  • 1.5 Tablespoons raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray lightly with cooking spray. In a large bowl combine the oats and flax seeds. Set aside.
  2. In a small microwavable below, combine the almond butter and honey. Microwave for 30 seconds until almost melted. Stir in the vanilla. Quickly, add the almond butter mixture to the oats so that it is easy to stir. Add the cinnamon and salt. Stir ingredients well so oats are fully covered by the almond butter mixture.
  3. Spread the oats on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir the oats on the tray. Return to oven for an additional 8-10 minutes until the oats are toasted and slightly brown. Remove the tray from the oven and set aside to cool. Once the granola is completely cool store in an air-tight container or ziploc bag.
 

 

Gluten-Free Snacks

Spiced Roasted Almonds

Spiced Roasted Almonds Recipe

I hate how quickly retailers try to make us forget summer. The stores were filled with Halloween decorations weeks ago and soon they will be shoving those out to make room for the holiday decorations. Before we know it, all we will see is red and pink for Valentine’s Day. Can we SLOW IT DOWN PEOPLE?

Here in LA it is still summer weather (well, that’s nothing new) and I would like to hold onto that for a little while longer.

That being said, I will make no arguments about starting to incorporate fall flavors back into my diet. It is times like this that I DO wish I was back on the East coast. What I would do for a freshly baked cider doughnut from Honey Pot Farms right now. Mmmmmhmmmmm.

Spiced Roasted Almonds Recipe

One of my favorite holiday treats are spiced nuts. The truth is, however, that most of the ones you’ll buy in the store or the amazing ones from street vendors (you know are LOADED with sugar. This isn’t really a terrible thing. I mean, hey, they taste delicious, right?

But….they could be healthier.

Spiced Roasted Almonds Recipe

So, I bring you my version.

Spiced Roasted Almonds Recipe

There is no butter or oil added here. I am really tryin’ to help you out people, but trust me, you won’t even taste the difference.

Spiced Roasted Almonds Recipe

These suckers will have you hooked. They are a great snack if you’re on the go. I have a baggie filled with them in my desk drawer at work.

Spiced Roasted Almonds Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I also think they would be a great homemade gift for the holidays. The recipe can easily be doubled to make a big batch to share (or keep them all to yourself…I won’t tell).

Spiced Roasted Almonds Recipe

The end result is a slightly sweet, spiced and toasty almond. Now be careful not to eat them all in one go…

 

Spiced Roasted Almonds
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1.5 - 2 cups raw almonds (do not use salted)
  • 2 Tablespoons raw honey (agave may be okay here)
  • ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • scant ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • Sea Salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray the parchment paper with cooking spray. Spread the almonds on the baking sheet. Toast in the upper rack of the oven for 10 minutes.
  2. While the almonds are in the oven mix together the nutmeg through the pepper in a small bowl. When the almonds are done toasting, remove the baking sheet from the oven and pour the honey over the almonds (do this right on the baking sheet). Use a spoon or spatula to coat the almonds well on all sides. Then sprinkle the spice mixture over the almonds and mix again to thoroughly coat. Take a big pinch of sea salt and sprinkle over the almonds.
  3. Return the almonds to the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and right away use a spatula to remove the almonds from the parchment paper to a plate or container to cool (or else your almonds will be glued to the parchment paper - you've been warned). You will notice that a lot of the honey and spice mixture will be stuck to your spatula and on the parchment paper - this is fine. There is plenty on the almonds already, I assure you.
  4. Let cool for 20 minutes and then store in air tight jars or plastic bags.
 

Gluten-Free Snacks Vegan

Chia Seed Protein Bars

I’ve been on a real Chia Seed kick for the last year. I put these little guys in everything – yogurt, overnight oats, and now I make protein bars with them, too!

Chia Seed Protein Bars Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

If you have never had chia seeds, or you’ve seen them in the store and are hesitant to try them, here are a few things that may sway you:

– They are a great source of healthy fats, fiber and protein. Just one tablespoon has 70 calories, 3 grams of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, 6 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein

– Chia seeds have no taste. That is why they are easy to add to anything.

– The seeds expand when they touch liquid, so many people use them as a thickening agent to make healthy puddings and smoothies. (Warning: getting a chia seed stuck in your teeth is worse than getting a poppy seed stuck. As I said, it expands…so I just hope you have a hand mirror or an honest friend nearby…)

Chia Seed Protein Bars Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

For all of those reasons, chia seeds are a great addition to these bars. They blend right in with the nuts and dried fruit, and add a great dose of fats, protein, and fiber.

With no added sugars, these chia bars are super healthy. So long processed granola bars and high-fructose corn syrup! We are all about real, nutritious ingredients nowadays.

Chia Seed Protein Bars Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

These bars are very easy to make – everything goes in the food processor.  When all of the ingredients are blended together I roll out the mixture with a rolling pin and then cut them into 6-8 bars. I then place the cut bars in the freezer to harden.

Tip: The first time I made these, I rolled out the mixture, froze it, and then tried cutting the bars. It was a bad move. The bars ended up crumbling so much that 1/3 of the mixture went to waste. My advice is to definitely cut, then freeze.

Chia Seed Protein Bars Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Wrap these bars up individually for the perfect grab-and-go healthy snack.

 

Chia Seed Protein Bars
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup almonds, unsalted
  • ¼ cup pistachios, unsalted, shells removed
  • ¼ cup pitted dates
  • ¼ cup raisins (or dried cranberries)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I love this kind)
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Grind the almonds and pistachios in the food processor until they become like course sand (not too fine), about 30-40 seconds. Then add the dates and the raisins and grind again for another 30 seconds. Next, add the protein powder, chia seeds, applesauce and coconut oil. Grind for an additional 30 seconds until the mixture is well combined and moist and slightly sticky (If the mixture is not moist enough add about ½ Tablespoon more of coconut oil and mix again).
  2. Remove the mixture onto a large cutting board. Place a large piece of wax or parchment paper over the mixture and using a rolling pin, roll the mixture into an even thickness. Cut into 6-8 bars and leave on the cutting board. Place the board in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove from the freezer and wrap individually in saran wrap. To ensure shape and freshness store the bars in the fridge for one week or in the freezer for up to 2 months (I can assure you that they will be eaten long before that, though). I prefer mine straight from the freezer!
Notes
I have also divided the mixture into 6-8 balls and pressed each ball down into a muffin pan. I then put the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes. After, I used a knife to help me remove each chia portion from it's muffin cup and wrapped them individually in saran wrap.
 

Gluten-Free Side Dishes Vegan

Carrots with Raisins and Toasted Walnuts

Holy cow, I could eat the whole batch of these carrots. I really could.

Carrots with Raisins and Toasted Walnuts Recipe

There would be nothing wrong with that. It’s a perfectly healthy side dish. And if I did I would have super duper vision, right? Or something like that.

You have to use your food processor to shred these carrots. Now, I know pulling out that food processor is a big pain. We all complain about it (even if we have a dishwasher). But you better do it, because grating these carrots by hand will be a nightmare. I know from experience when I made Emily’s Carrot Cake back in college. All I had was a 6-inch hand grater and I believe it took me about 45 minutes, two very cramped wrists, and a whole lot of determination (and love for Em) to grate those carrots. Use the food processor, people.

Carrots with Raisins and Toasted Walnuts Recipe

The end result is a slightly sweet side dish that makes a delicious accompaniment to poultry, tofu, and meatless meals. This carrot salad is also great for potlucks or picnics because it can be served straight from the fridge or at room temperature.

Carrots with Raisins and Toasted Walnuts Recipe

Feel free to make this ahead of time – I think it is even better the next day!

 

Carrots with Raisins and Toasted Walnuts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and grated
  • ½ cup walnuts, toasted* (I used prechopped, but walnut halves are fine)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • juice from 1 lemon (about 2 Tablespoons)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 3-4 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1.5 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon raw honey or maple syrup
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Stir all ingredients in a large bowl. Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Remove, taste, and season with salt and pepper as desired. (DO NOT season with salt and pepper before putting the carrot mixture in the fridge, as the flavors really come together during the 20 minute period). The carrots can either be served right away or left in the fridge and served at a later point.
Notes
*To toast the walnuts, heat a medium pan to high heat. Add the walnuts and STIR CONSTANTLY until they begin to brown -- once the walnuts start browning they can burn very quickly so be careful not to burn them. Once they are toasted (you will smell them), remove from the pan onto a plate to cool.