Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Cherry Cashew Loaf

After a fabulous weekend at the beach with my family, I returned back to Manhattan last night with the yearning to bake…don’t ask me why because it was about 100 degrees outside and my tiny apartment was a hot box even with the air conditioner blastingBut that didn’t stop me from baking an incredibly moist and flavorful loaf…I picked up a dozen of eggs from the market and got to work in my kitchen…a little bit of this (cherries) and a little bit of that (cashew butter) and a little imagination (sunflower seeds and pine nuts) created a divine loaf, which I enjoyed for my Sunday evening dessert…toasted and topped with fresh marmalade.

This loaf is delicious as a breakfast nibble spread with nut butter, an afternoon snack crumbled atop of Greek yogurt or enjoyed simply sliced (and eaten while slicing, hehe)…

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Eggland’s Best eggs (my favorite)
  • 1 cup cashew butter
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dates, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. orange zest
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, for topping

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Prepare a loaf pan; coat with non-stick baking spray.
  • Combine cashew butter, oil and eggs in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed; blend until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, combine arrowroot powder, sea salt, pepper and baking soda.
  • Combine arrowroot blend with cashew butter blend; mix well.
  • Slowly add in cherries, dates, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and orange zest; gently fold to combine.
  • Transfer batter into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with pine nuts.
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes or until center is cooked when tootpick is inserted.
  • Set aside to cool before slicing.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • Enjoy with a dollop of Greek yogurt and  a spread of jam.

In The News…

Consumers Enjoying Sit-Down Dinners at Home More Often

School Cafeterias Aim For Nutrition Balance

Contaminated Gluten-Free Foods

Livin’ Spoonful Cracker Recipes…

I’m sure by now you’ve all heard me rave over my new favorite Raw, Vegan and Sprouted Crackers that I’m selling in my shop…Livin’ Spoonful Crackers are amazing…they’re incredibly tasty and made from pure nuts, seeds and herbs…no additives, no added sugars, no preservatives…just the simple goodness of a hearty cracker that tastes like it was just popped out of the oven and baked homemade in your very own oven.

These crackers are perfect with my morning eggs, afternoon salads and on-the-go snacks with a smear of nut butter or hummus…but aside from munchin’ on these babies as a snack, I’ve created a vast array of recipes using the Livin’ Spoonful Crackers below…

So, why not get creative in your kitchen and grab a pack of Livin’ Spoonful Crackers whether you’re in the mood for a simple snack or a unique spin on a meal, these crackers are incredibly versitile, delicious, raw, sprouted and vegan…whew, how can ya beat that?  You’ll surely never look at your Triscuts the same after tasting these crackers.


Angel Hair with Tomatoes and Salmon ‘Bread’ Crumbs

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces angel hair pasta
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 can salmon, drained
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed, divided
  • 1 cup Livin’ Spoonful Caraway Crisp Crackers, crushed into ‘bread crumb’ texture
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Cook angel hair until just tender but firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.
  2. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add salmon and 2 garlic cloves, then breadcrumbs. Cook Livin’ Spoonful crumbs until golden, tossing to distribute evenly, about 5 minutes. Scrape crumbs onto plate and cool.
  3. Heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in same skillet over medium heat. Add tomatoes and remaining garlic clove. Cover; cook until tomatoes begin to break down, 3 to 4 minutes. Using fork, crush 1/4 of tomatoes. Add pasta, basil, tarragon, cheese, and 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid to tomatoes. Toss, adding more liquid if dry. Mix in half of Livin’ Spoonful Cracker crumbs. Season angel hair with salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer pasta to a serving bowl.  Serve topped with remaining Livin’ Spoonful crumbs.

Roasted Chicken Salad atop Coconut Crackers

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. grain mustard
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 10 cups red leaf lettuce
  • 2 lb. rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 4 Livin’ Spoonful Coconut Curry Crackers

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine vinegar, mustard, cranberries and olive oil; whisk.  Add lettuce and chicken; gently toss to coat.
  2. Divide chicken salad among 4 crackers; serve chicken on top of each cracker.

Crunchy Bean Burgers

Ingredients

  • 2 Livin’ Spoonful Pesto Pumpkin Seed Crackers, crushed into ‘bread crumb’ texture
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups white beans, drained
  • 1 cup cooked spinach, drained
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 6 whole grain buns
  • 6 red leaf lettuce leaves
  • 6 tomato slices
  • Grain mustard

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine first 8 ingredients; using hands mix well until combined.
  2. Transfer into 6 patties.
  3. Place each patty on the grill; cook for 3-4 minutes or until desired doneness.
  4. Toast buns.
  5. Transfer cooked patties onto buns, top with lettuce, tomato and mustard.

Garden Herb Bread Pudding

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • ½ tsp. crushed chili flakes
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 4 Livin’ Spoonful Sunny Garden Herb Crackers
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 ½ cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 1 cup spinach, cooked
  • 1 cup low-fat Ricotta cheese

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Add milk, chili flakes, sea salt and pepper; whisk until well combined.  Add 4 Livin’ Spoonful Sunny Garden Herb Crackers and toss to coat.  Cover and place into the refrigerator for 45 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and red bell pepper; cook for 5-7 minutes.  Add mushrooms and tomatoes; cook for another 5 minutes.  Add spinach, salt and pepper (if desired); cook and stir for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the mushroom mixture to the egg mixture along with ½ cup low fat Ricotta cheese; mix well until blended.
  5. Transfer into a prepared baking dish; sprinkle with remaining cheese on top.
  6. Place baking dish into a large pan, place into the oven and pour boiling water into the large pan to fill halfway up the sides of the baking dish.
  7. Bake until pudding is set in the center, approximately 1 hour.
  8. Set aside to cool.
  9. Serve warm or hot.

If Your Fridge Could Talk…What Would It Say?

Seriously…think about it…would it yell at you and punish you for filling it with packaged, processed junk…would it scold you for bringing home leftover cheesecake from dessert or last nights Chinese take-out?

Or, would it hug you and thank you for taking such good care of it and filling it with fresh vegetables and fruits, lean proteins such as Greek yogurt, lean meats such as chicken, turkey and tofu and naturally sweetened beverages such as homemade lemonade and steeped iced green tea.

Each week, day, month (depending on your schedule and how often you eat at home) we stock our refrigerator, hopefully with a measure of self control and healthy, ‘clean’ foods.  To maintain a healthy lifestyle, stocking the fridge with healthy fare is the first step to promote good eating habits for you and your family.


  • Don’t Buy It…And You Won’t Eat It- It’s much easier to avoid the potato chips if they’re not staring you in the face.  Steer clear of the inner aisles of the food store and prepare your grocery list before you head to the store on a full stomach as we all know what happens when hunger strikes in the food aisles-we end up purchasing bad foods that veer off from our grocery list.
  • Make Your Fridge Look Pretty-Take the time to place each food group in a separate compartment to create an aesthetic appeal.  Store fruits and veggies at eye level for easy reach; use the bins for bottled waters or meats.  Be sure to keep salsa, hummus, yogurt and guacamole near your fruits and veggies for an easy go-to snack before you head upstairs in the freezer for the ice cream.
  • Buy It, Chop It, Store It-As soon as you get home from the food store, start slicin’ and dicin’.  Store fruits and veggies in Ziploc bags and Tupperware containers so ensure freshness.  Divide portions into individual bags/containers to avoid overeating and make it easy to grab when you’re on the run.  This way, when hunger strikes, you can simply reach for the carrots and hummus without thinking about cleaning, chopping and prepping!
  • Freeze ‘Em-I love frozen fruits.  Simply pop a banana or grapes into the freezer for a cool, refreshing treat that pairs well in smoothies or eaten alone with a dip of dark chocolate.
  • Store Safely-What do you indulge in? Dark chocolate? Nut Butters? Whatever it may be, keep it to a minimum and only purchase one variety at at time, this way you are not tempted to try each one when your cravings strike.  Store these indulgences out of eye sight so that it’s not an easy go-to snack and requires a bit of thinking before you reach for it.

Keep your fridge as your friend, not your foe and stock it with healthy fare.  Here’s a peak at what I stock in my fridge and freezer.

What are the staple items always stocked in your fridge?


I was featured in SmartBrief today!

Check out my gluten-free, dairy-free Buckwheat Cashew Puddin’

And Now For…In The News (Lots of News) This Week:

Wheat Grass…The New, Hot Health Trend

Experts Warn Against Dieting

Yogurt Branches Out

Crash Dieting Wrecks Your Health

Dining Out? Plan Ahead

The Over-Rated Calorie

It’s Always Right Time To Eat Right

Home Ec’s Modern Makeover

Health Foods Stores Offer Bad Information

Sports Injuries Stem From a Bad Diet

Adding Farmer’s Markets to the Cleveland Clinic

Elementary Chef Takes Lessons to the White House

Superior Nut Company Recipes

I recently had the pleasure of tasting a wide variety of the delicious nuts and nut butters from the Superior Nut Company, who was kind enough to send me complimentary samples to use for recipe testing with my clients.  Needless to say, the Superior Nut Company products were quite impressive and I especially loved the pistachio nut butter…how delicious does that sound?  Here are a few of my tested recipes that I created thanks to the Superior Nut Company.

Cranberry Pistachio Butter Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup pistachio nut butter

1 cup stevia for baking

1 large egg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup dried cranberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except dried cranberries; mix well to combine.

Slowly add cranberries; continue to mix.

Drop teaspoon sized dough onto a baking sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool before serving.

Curried Chicken Salad

Ingredients

3 cups chicken, shredded and cooked

1 cup Greek plain yogurt

1 large mango, peeled and sliced

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon lime juice

¼ cup dried cranberries

¼ cup almonds, toasted

1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

Large head of kale, steamed

Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; gently toss to coat chicken.
  2. Serve over a bed of steamed kale sprinkled with sea salt and pepper.

Pecan Crusted Salmon

Ingredients

4 large salmon fillets

Sea salt and pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

½ cup flax seeds

¼ cup sesame seeds

1 cup pecans, roasted

2 teaspoons basil

1/3 cup almond flour

1 egg beaten

2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

  1. Season salmon fillets with lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Set aside to stand for 15 minutes.
  2. In a food processor or blender, combine flax seeds, sesame seeds and pecans; process until finely ground.  Transfer to a shallow bowl.
  3. Dip fillets in almond flour, shake off excess.  Then dip into egg.
  4. Dredge fillets into flax seed mixture; coat both sides.
  5. In a large skillet, heat olive oil; cook salmon until desired doneness, approximately 4 minutes per side.
  6. Transfer to serving plates.

Mini-Larabar Giveaway

Larabars are one of my favorite bars because of the simplicity of the ingredients:

Pure fruits, nuts and spices!


Now, that’s hard to beat.

The best part? Each bar is gluten, dairy and soy free, non-GMO, vegan and kosher! Wow…

Larabar is a delicious blend of unsweetened fruits, nuts and spices – energy in its purest form. Made from 100% whole food, each flavor contains no more than eight ingredients. Pure and simple, just as nature intended.

GLUTEN FREE * DAIRY FREE * SOY FREE * NON-GMO * VEGAN * KOSHER


Sweet with no added sweeteners. Sustaining with no added fillers, supplements or flavorings. Larabar is what your body needs – real, whole food loaded with nature’s own minerals and vitamins.


All of the vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, good carbohydrates and healthy fats are derived exclusively from the whole food used to make Larabar.

Larabar sources the best possible ingredients. Every time. Every bar. Enjoy.

Larabar firmly believes that the foundation of a sound mind, body and spirit is derived from what you eat. And what you eat is healthiest and most satisfying when it’s in a whole, natural state.


You can expect an unmistakable urge to humm after every Larabar bar you eat.

Let the humming begin!


For your chance to win Mini-Larabars, visit the Larabar website and leave me a comment on this post telling me what flavor you’d like to try.  I will pick a winner on Friday, March 5th at 12:00 noon EST.

Good Luck!

Get Those Kids Cookin’…

Ever wonder how to get your kids involved in the kitchen? Here are a few tips that I offer to my clients…whether you have young children, nieces, nephews, neighbors, family or friends…these tips are sure to get your little ones active and entertained in the kitchen.


  • Cucumber Caterpillar: Slices of cucumber held together with natural peanut butter. Place the Caterpillar on ‘greens’ to look like grass.
  • Taco or Burrito Bar: Serve brown rice, black beans, onions, hot peppers, sprouted grain or gluten free tortillas, broccoli, arugula, cauliflower, guacamole and  salsa.  Add nuts, seeds and spices in tiny serving dishes to jazz up the flavors!
  • Salad Bar: Spin your greens in a salad spinner, then dress dry greens with a lime dressings made by combining sesame oil, fresh lime juice, low-sodium tamari, cayenne pepper, agave nectar, balsamic vinegar and water.
  • Mashed Potato Parfaits- Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips and carrots mixed together…topped with raisins, cinnamon, shredded coconut and agave nectar
  • Individual Pizzas: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Choose gluten free or sprouted whole grain tortillas, caramelized onions, spinach, red onion, mushrooms, kalamata olives, artichokes, fresh basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Add each ingredient atop each tortilla and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Panini Party: Gluten Free or sprouted whole grain bread, SoyaKaas Gluten Free/Dairy Free cheese, tomato slices, eggplant slices, fresh basil leaves, balsamic vinegar, avocado, zucchini and squash slices.  Add all ingredients to 2 slices of bread.  Place onto a panini maker (sprayed with cooking spray); cook until cheese is melted and veggies are warm and cooked.  Dip into marinara (red) sauce.
  • Stir-Fry: Switch up your usual recipe with unique grains such as millet, quinoa or buckwheat.
  • Fruit Salad: Add exotic fruits to spice up the flavors.  Use a melon baller and serve in a wine glass to add to the allure of this meal.  Add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt atop each fruit salad serving and sprinkle with cinnamon and stevia.
  • Slaw Wraps: Cabbage, celery, carrots, bok choy, mushrooms, peppers, snap peas, bean sprouts, snow peas, green beans and Napa Slaw can easily be combined and wrapped in rice paper.  Liven up this dish by pairing it with a special sauce of grapefruit juice, ginger, balsamic vinegar, lemonade and seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower.  Toss with fresh apples or cumin roasted chick peas.  Adding berries such as blackberries, raspberries and cherries add a nice antioxidant punch to these wraps.
  • Peanut Butter Chicken Fajitas: The best way to make a good peanut sauce is by combining organic peanut butter, fresh ginger, cayenne pepper, agave nectar and low-sodium tamari/soy sauce.
  • Frozen Basil and Banana Pops: Blend together 2 cups ice, 2 cups fresh basil leaves, 1 ripe banana, 1 cup fresh mint leaves, 1 1/2 cups water, 1/2 cup agave nectar in a blender.  Blend well and pour into glasses! This is a wonderful treat for a healthy dessert!

Have fun and experiment with some of my ideas above…Getting the kids active in the kitchen is fun…and who knows, your kids may just start to ‘enjoy’ their veggies!!!

Goin’ Gluten-Free…and $25 Gift-Certificate Giveaway

Avoiding gluten, the protein found in wheat as well as grains rye and barley can be a challenge, but there’s no need to wave goodbye to your favorite foods.  If you suffer from gluten intolerance or Celiac disease, you can build your diet from vegetables, rice, corn, legumes, fruit and other tasty gluten-free foods.


Vegetables, Fruits, Seeds and Nuts

All fresh vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts are gluten-free.  Be aware of packaged, processed vegetables and fruits such as jellies, preserves, soups, nut butters and processed, pre-made meals, which may contain gluten.  You can easily prepare homemade soups, salsa, smoothies, dressings, marinades, parfaits, casseroles, salads, chutneys and nut or seed butters using fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts in their natural state.  Green, leafy veggies such as kale, collards, chard and spinach are great options steamed as a side dish or tossed into a green smoothie.  Hearty veggies such as carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, squashes, eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower and legumes are perfect for making chili or stew, while artichokes, avocado, asparagus, celery, Brussels sprouts, corn, peas and peppers are tasty in a stir-fry or stuffing.  As for fruits: apples, oranges, grapefruit, berries, melons, bananas, pears and peaches are a flavorsome addition to smoothies, desserts or parfaits with yogurt and nuts.  Try freezing grapes for a satisfying, refreshing treat and create a homemade trail mix using nuts, seeds and dried fruit for a convenient snack.  Looking for flavor? Fresh herbs add a powerful aroma and zesty taste to any dish; toss rosemary into marinades or cilantro into gazpacho.

Dairy, Eggs, Meat

Eggs and meats are gluten-free, however, be sure to read the ingredient list for processed meats such as luncheon meats, breaded variations and sausage, which may contain traces of gluten.  Dairy is gluten-free, as well, however processed dairy such as ice creams, yogurts and butters may contain gluten.  Enjoy any of the following in their natural state: chicken, beef, bison, ham, turkey, eggs, seafood, lamb, fish and wild game.

Flours and Grains

All forms of wheat, barley and rye contain gluten; however, there is a vast array of naturally gluten-free flours available, which are created from beans, seeds or nuts.  Oats are naturally gluten-free, however, cross-contamination may occur during processing, therefore purchase oats with the certified gluten-free label.  The following gluten-free flours and grains can be enjoyed guilt-free: rice, buckwheat, teff, corn flour, corn meal, lentils, flax seed, potato, polenta, millet, soy flour, tapioca, quinoa, amaranth, almond meal, arrowroot and gluten-free flour blends.  These gluten-free options require easy prep and can be used to create a hot breakfast, casserole, stir-fry or dessert.  If you have trouble adjusting to gluten-free varieties, try adding fruit puree such as canned pumpkin or prune to moisten and add flavor.

As a rule of thumb, steer clear of processed foods and reach for foods as close to the original source as possible.  Using fresh ingredients rather than pre-made, processed options is a safe way to ensure a gluten-free lifestyle.  Your best bet is to prepare meals at home so you have control over the ingredients and ensure there is no cross-contamination with gluten.


Regarding my $25 Give Certificate, the nice folks over at Open Sky are offering a limited time $25 Gift Certificate Promotion…so head on over to Open Sky and check out my fabulous products to use your $25 free gift certificate.   Here’s the information you’ll need to get shoppin’ at Open Sky and receive your $25 certificate:

The Healthy Apple’s coupon code is: talli2509

Rules:
–          $25 off coupon
–          Good for any OpenSky item
–          No minimum purchase
–          Free shipping
–          Limit one per customer
–          Starts: Monday, November 30, 2009