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Hi all! Happy New Year. Sorry it’s been so long but life has been busy and tennis elbow has made typing tough. But I’m ready with some new recipes and tidbits for the new year. For starters, I have a class tomorrow (Tuesday January 10th) at CentreSpring MD in Brookhaven that starts at 7:00 PM. We’ll be talking about weight loss and how to keep metabolisms high, reduce inflammation, and how the key to weight loss staying satisfied, not feeling deprived. It’s a free class. Would love to see you there!

So I want to talk a little about smoothies. While smoothies can be tricky, they can also be a really easy way to get some great stuff into our bodies. Some people like fruit in their smoothie, some like vegetables, some like protein powders, but I think before we ever make a smoothie we need to think “what is the goal for this smoothie?” For example, my smoothie is very different from the one I make for my son (and husband, too). Mine consists of greens since I don’t love cold foods or salads in the winter time.  Also I include very little sugar since I always try to limit my sugars. My kids’ smoothies, on the other hand, include protein and fat to help them get through their long school day by keeping insulin levels steady, which in turn gives them plenty of energy and focus and in the classroom.

But regardless of whose smoothie it is, I like to add these four ingredients  that no one will taste, and everyone can benefit from:

  1. D/k2 Thorne drops
  2. Banana Flour 
  3. Coconut kefir – Whole Foods
  4. Avocado oil 

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1. D levels tend to be low from October through March, so I like to add a few drops to keep immune systems strong this time of year. I also like vitamin K2 because it helps to keep bones strong.  Of course, some would say that K is more important than calcium for strong bones. 

2. Banana flour is an excellent source of resistant starch, a prebiotic. This helps to feed our good bacteria. There are numerous benefits t0 resistant starch. It helps keep you feel full longer, have deeper sleep, lower blood sugar levels (so be careful if you have hypoglycemia), improve insulin sensitivity, increase absorption of minerals. HereHere, and here is more information on resistant starch if you’re interested. 

3. Coconut kefir is a great way to get beneficial bacterial. It is a fermented milk drink that is highly nutritious and contains live probiotics. And the Ancient Awakenings one is dairy free and low sugar. And it’s way easier to get this in my kids versus fermented veggies! And, yes, if you guys are taking probiotics, it’s good to also have fermented foods since we need a variety of good bacteria. 

4. It’s hard to get in the right fats if we don’t consciously do it, and if you know me, you know I take every chance I can to insert healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, ghee, etc.)  into our diets. I choose the avocado oil because it is tasteless. Sometimes I use a 1/4 avocado instead (it only makes it creamier) but this is just a simpler way to make a smoothie in the morning when we are all in such a hurry. Coconut oil would solidify in the cold and make for a not-so-pleasant chunky smoothie and the olive oil (the kind I use) can be a little bitter. Anyway, I like to think that it is just fuel for their brains. 

So enjoy your smoothies, have a happy new year and here is to a healthy and happy 2017!

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  • Stephanie Watson - Why have I not heard of banana flour?! I can’t wait to try it!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Maloney - Landria, Do you supplement your smoothies with these or is this the full recipe? My kids love smoothies and always looking to sneak in some more nutrition/ protein;) xx, MMReplyCancel

    • landriav - Hey Michelle, these are supplements for our smoothies. I love the Designs for Health Chocolate Pea Protein. It’s tasty and my kids love it!ReplyCancel

  • Taylor - How much of each of these do you put in every smoothie? I’d love to give mine a boost!ReplyCancel

    • landriav - Hi Taylor! See my latest post for suggested serving sizes. 🙂ReplyCancel

So, I use to love Twix candy bars, and, perhaps, the occasional Snickers. Then, I went Paleo so no more Twix or Snickers 🙁

As a substitute, I came to love almond Kinds Bars (the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt was my fave!) and Primal Chocolate Almond bars. Now, (for me) no almonds because I developed an intolerance. But I still love chocolate. I may be addicted to Enjoy Life gf/df Dark Chocolate Chips. But, sometimes just chocolate chips don’t get it done; I need a little extra crunch and texture.

I use to get a small handful of dark chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds and have that. And while it’s good, there is something a little more naughty about melted chocolate. I’m not sure why but now, I realized why would you not melt chocolate when you can? So, I found a solution. It is quick, easy and a great little snack. I know, what…chocolate for a snack?? But it’s only 5 grams of sugar and better than most snacks/treats out there! And, it only takes 90 seconds to make!

You ready for this recipe? I know, it’s almost too simple to post, but I bet you haven’t tried it before. Anyway, here you go…

  • 1 tbsp of dark chocolate chips in a cup or small bowl
  • Microwave for 90 seconds.
  • Stir in whatever you want (I typically like to just keep it simple and add my pumpkin seeds (about 2 tbsp), hemp hearts (about 1 tbsp)  and some course sea salt. Sometimes I’ll add some (1/4 tsp or less) psyllium husk powder for extra fiber. 

Done! Got it? Feels like it should be harder, doesnt it?

Here are some other things to go with your melted chocolate:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Almonds, cashews, pistacios, or any other nuts or seeds
  • Shredded coconut (for immediate burning energy)
  • Dried fruit (or fresh)
  • Peanut butter
  • Almond or Cashew or Sunflower seed butter

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I hope you have a happy Halloween and get to enjoy some good chocolate!!

 

Hey all! I am sorry I have been so slack about posting lately (or for the past year or so) but life has just gotten too busy. I guess the good news is, you know if I am posting a new recipe, it must be good…or at least we think so! 

So I have to be honest, I have never made this shrimp (scampi) -n-grits recipe. But Alice has now made it multiple times and thanks to her, it has become a staple for us this year.  Tate actually said tonight that this is his “very favorite dish!” and that “Alice needed to open a restaurant”. That’s a pretty big compliment coming from little brother.  

We always use to think about shrimp as just a special occasion meal because one, it is pricey for wild shrimp and two, well, who wants to take the time to peel and de-poop it? But now that you can get frozen wild shrimp that is both peeled and deveined(!) from Trader Joe’s or even Costco for a reasonable price, we get to enjoy it way more often.

What I love about this recipe even more is that cauliflower rice (or you can use noodles) makes this meal so satisfying. It soaks up the sauce so well and it is very filling. I might try it next time (instead of cauliflower rice or even gluten free noodles) with zucchini noodles for a fun change. Anyway,  I hope y’all like this recipe as much as we do!

Notice the goggles. She hates to get teary-eyed from cutting onions so this has become a part of her routine when she cooks anything with onions. She might kill me for posting this…

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I could just eat this pan of shrimp. Seriously, it smells and tastes so good!

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There is a reason shrimp and “grits” go together so well. The grits soak up the flavor of the sauce. While this isn’t a traditional shrimp and grits recipe, the scampi sauce goes really well with cauliflower rice. Now the kids love their gluten free noodles and since Alice is making the dinner, who am I to argue? But she is sweet enough to save me some so I can add my cauliflower rice and man is it good. I just sauteed the Trader Joe’s pre-cut cauliflower rice in 1-2 tbsp of ghee, added some salt and dry white wine and let it cook until it softened. Then I pour it into a bowl and then mixed in Alice’s shrimp and sauce (picture above). 

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This is Alice’s meal with the noodles. Clearly we like a lot of shrimp and butter…

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Sometimes it is really hard to take pictures when you are hungry…

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George really has nothing to do with the food. I just thought he was cute…_dsc6966-3

 

 

Shrimp Scampi and Grits
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb shrimp, peeled
  2. 1 box 8 oz gluten free pasta (or 1 lb cauliflower rice - we used Trader Joe's precut)
  3. 4 tbsp butter
  4. 1/4 cup olive oil
  5. 2 big shallots, minced
  6. 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  7. 1/2 cup dry white wine
  8. 1 lemon, juiced
  9. 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  10. If you make the cauliflower rice, you'll need extra 2 tbsp of ghee or butter, 2 tbsp dry white wine and a dash of salt.
Instructions
  1. Bring water to a boil and cook your pasta OR saute your cauliflower rice (in 2 tbsp ghee or butter, add 2 tbsp dry white wine and a dash of salt) until it is becomes soft.
  2. Mince the shallots and garlic.
  3. Warm up 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of olive oil and saute shallots until they are translucent.
  4. Add shrimp to the pan with some salt and cook until they are pink for a few minutes.
  5. Put the shrimp in a large metal or glass bowl.
  6. Put lemon juice and dry white wine and bring it to a boil.
  7. Add 2 tbsp of both butter and oil to the pan.
  8. Once the butter is melted, pour the sauce in your large bowl that is filled with shrimp.
  9. Add your noodles (or cauliflower rice) to the bowl and stir.
  10. Garnish with parsley and enjoy!
Notes
  1. *We ALWAYS double the sauce AND the shrimp but not the pasta. I would double and use 2 lbs of cauliflower rice but since we used half noodles, half cauliflower rice I only used 1 lb cauliflower rice.
  2. **I think this would also be great with zucchini noodles!
Stir It Up! http://stiritup.me/


 

  • Stephanie - I just bought the shrimp st TJ’s. I can’t wait to make this!ReplyCancel

  • Eileen Halter - I am so excited to try this! Two of my three kids will eat shrimp – and of course they love butter, so it sounds like a win/win!ReplyCancel

Happy Labor Day! Need a good treat for the holiday but don’t want it to taste “healthy” or gluten-free for your guests? Then these are perfect! I promise you will never know these things are gluten-free. No, they aren’t paleo. And they do have a higher glycemic index since they digest faster and will raise blood sugar more than my normal posted recipes, but they are as good as gluten-free gets. And we do use coconut sugar and butter so it does help lower the rate of digestion a little bit. But regardless, they are a treat so enjoy them!!!

Alice has been quite interested in baking recently. Thanks to some friends, we were introduced to this new flour. It’s the best gluten-free flour we have tried – hands down. You can substitute it for any recipe that calls for white flour. Last week, Alice made sugar cookies (we will share that recipe soon), and I can honestly say they were the best sugar cookie, gluten-free or not, that I have had. Again, these cookies (or any recipe made with this flour) doesn’t even taste gluten-free so why not try it? It certainly couldn’t hurt to reduce overall gluten intake. 

When trying to go gluten-free for the first time, don’t load up on lots of “gluten-free” refined carbohydrates because those foods are very high glycemic and will digest quickly.  Of course, we also have to be realistic and sometimes it means taking baby steps. If you are trying to get your kids to go gluten-free, or reduce their gluten intake, maybe start with this flour in a recipe or two. Eventually you can shift to low-glycemic (paleo) type treats since they can help to reduce inflammation, increase overall energy and keep blood sugar levels stable. But for now, let’s take one step at a time, and I can promise you, this flour is a good first step. You can get it at vitacost.com (our favorite online retailer for food), Target, Fresh Market, etc. 

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The best gluten free (non-paleo) chocolate chip cookie
Serves 12
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Ingredients
  1. 1 & 1/2 cup gluten-free Cup-4-Cup flour
  2. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  3. 1 tsp hot water
  4. 1/2 cup butter, melted
  5. 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  6. 1/2 cup maple syrup or maple sugar
  7. 1 egg
  8. 1 tsp hot water
  9. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  10. 1 cup dark chocolate chips (we love enjoy life)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Blend together the butter and sugars until smooth.
  3. Beat the egg, then stir in the vanilla and add it to the mixture above.
  4. Dissolve baking soda in hot water and then add it to the batter along with salt.
  5. Stir in flour and once smooth, then fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Use a tablespoon to dollop onto an ungreased pans.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  8. Stick a butter knife in the middle of the cookie to see if it comes out clean.
Notes
  1. I think you could probably skip the hot water part but this is Alice's recipe. I typically mix wet ingredients in one bowl, dry in another, and then blend them all together. I have to keep things simple for myself! But I haven't never made these beforer and Alice knows best on this recipe!
Stir It Up! http://stiritup.me/

  • Amanda fraraccio - Holy Moly!!!! These are great!!! I guessed at 1/2 tsp salt is that close?ReplyCancel

    • landriav - HAHA! They are good, aren’t they? I am SO glad you guys liked them!! And sorry regarding the salt. That would be my guess but I will confirm with Alice and let you know if that isn’t correct. Apparently the apple doesnt fall too far when it comes to attention to detail in our family. 🙂ReplyCancel

While we were on vacation last week in Jackson Hole, we ate at a lovely little restaurant called Lotus Cafe. It was amazing!! Oh I so wish we had one in Atlanta! It was all organic, with lots of gluten free/dairy free options, and they even some paleo dishes. For an appetizer, we had the tandoori cauliflower and it was to die for!! Talk about the perfect appetizer. I kept saying I could eat so much more of it and make it my main course. So when we got home, I decided to recreate it as best as I could and add some protein to make it more likea meal. This is what I ended up with and I was really happy…

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For protein, I shredded a rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods and roasted some cauliflower. Then, I just made a simple sauce and added it to the chicken and cauliflower! Easy and really good!!

I did roast the cauliflower (drizzle with coconut or avocado oil and cook on 425 for 25 minutes or so flipping half way) for some extra taste, but you could definitely use Trader Joe’s pre-cut cauliflower rice (frozen or fresh) and just steam it, or also roast it to save some time. 

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This is going to make for a great lunch this week!!

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I think Tate is ready for Fall sports to start back. Last week he got a solid shot of adrenaline by jumping off a 25 foot rock….

IMG_3430and then biked down some 15 foot super steep downhills through the mountains…

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and lately is spending a decent amount of time watching the Olympics. Anyway, this is how he is spending his time while I’m cooking. Apparently he is working on his Olympic diving and pole vaulting, at the same time….

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I hope you all had a great summer and are off to a nice fresh start with the new school year! 

Tandoori Cauliflower Chicken
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Ingredients
  1. 1 rotisserie chicken (or whole chicken to cook)
  2. 1 cauliflower head or bag pre-cut cauliflower rice
  3. 1 cup full fat coconut milk (can sub for Greek yogurt if you prefer)
  4. 2 tsp sea salt
  5. 2 tsp smoked paprika
  6. 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional but recommended. maybe try 1/2 if cooking for kids)
  7. 1 tsp cumin
  8. 2 tsp turmeric
  9. 1 tsp black pepper
Instructions
  1. If using a rotisserie chicken (or you can make a whole one: http://stiritup.me/?p=151), tear the meat off the chicken and place the shredded chicken in a large bowl.
  2. Next either cut the cauliflower into thin(ish) slices and place onto baking sheet.
  3. Then drizzle with coconut or avocado oil and roast on 425 for 25 minutes (flipping half way though) or steam some cauliflower rice, if in a time crunch.
  4. Once the cauliflower is cooked, add it to the big bowl with the chicken.
  5. Next, mix together the above spices, stir it with the coconut milk, and pour over the chicken and cauliflower.
  6. Garnish with cilantro, if desired and enjoy!
Stir It Up! http://stiritup.me/