Lauren’s Favorites

Season’s Greetings on Christmas Eve!

New Fantastic Food:

I found a fabulous new line of nut cheezes that are made from cashews and coconut oil! I was so delighted to find vegan cheeses that have healthy, familiar ingredients! I have tried the shredded Mozzarella, Cheddar and Pepper Jack and they have worked very well in my recipes including: Quiche, French Onion Soup, Enchiladas, Lasagna, Pizza, Grilled Cheeze on SRSLY Sourdough and much more. They have hard and soft cheeses in a variety of  fabulous flavors.

Parmela Cashew Cheeze-Our nut milk cheeses are made using traditional cheese making techniques.  Rich nut milks made from blending cashews and almonds with filtered water form the base.  These are much thicker than the nut milks you would drink, and amazingly have more flavor potential than dairy milks.

It took over 2 years and 2,000 iterations to get the cultures to grow properly in the thick cashew milks and unlock true cheese flavors for the Creamy Treenut Cheese.  In crafting our new aged cheeses we up over 4000 iterations of cultures grown.

The nutmilk cheeses can be found in Whole Foods, New Leaf Markets and other natural food stores or ordered directly  http://www.parmelacreamery.com 

 

SRSL Bread-Gluten-free, Dairy-free San Francisco Sourdough Bread and Rolls! 

SRSLY Bread

http://www.breadsrsly.com

OMG, I thought I’d never be able to eat Sourdough again…until now! I did the happy dance when I found this amazing bread. I am a traditionalist so I like the classic best, but the seeded is very good and my husband loves the Kale(me too). The sandwich rolls are made out of just Sorghum flour so its great for people who have multiple grain sensitivities. She also makes a huge Pullman Loaf that you can special order!

WHY SOURDOUGH?

Bread SRSLY is committed to making nourishing bread. Each loaf is leavened with wild yeast, cultivated from the air and grain. Unlike commercial yeast, wild yeast helps to break down the grains, making them easier to digest, and adding a pleasant tang that we call sourdough.

WHY SERIOUSLY?

We created our bread only after months of research, applying traditional sourdough techniques to our gluten-free recipes. We learned that good bread takes its time to rise. Each Bread SRSLY loaf rises for more than 12 hours, making it SERIOUSLY good for you. In addition to being gluten-free, all Bread SRSLY products are free of dairy, egg, soy, nut, potato, tapioca, and garbanzo.

Available at Health Food Stores including New Leaf Market, Staff of Life, Bi-Rite Markets or Order at: http://bread-srsly.myshopify.com

 

Want to bake your own Bread?

Manini’s Bread Mix & Fresh Pasta

These pastas and breads are so nutritious and have great texture! I’ve enjoyed Manini’s Spaghetti, Lemon-Thyme Linguine and Lasagna Noodles(not the ravioli b/c they contain diary) and bread mixes which are easy and nutritious. Even my Italian friends are now loving this pasta!

At the heart of our commitment to quality is our dedication to making all of our fresh pastas, breads & bakery products and flours from naturally Gluten Free Ancient Grains. Our Ancient Grains include Amaranth, Teff, Sorghum, and Millet, plants that are essentially unchanged from hundreds of years ago. The result is a nutritious, fiber-rich, great-textured food that is delicious and superior in taste, texture and nutrition to the vast majority of typical rice and corn based Gluten Free foods.

http://www.maninis.com

Want less carbs and more protein in your pasta go for: Tolerant Red Lentil or Black Bean Pasta which have great texture and tons of protein and nutrition! Available at Health food Stores and online.

Tolerant Pasta

Sonoma Pasta SauceSonoma Mushroom Pasta Sauce. I had to stop eating tomatoes due to arthritis and was so happy to find this tomato-free sauce! They have many flavors, but not all are dairy-free. I do still make my own with wild mushrooms and sherry, but nice to have a jar in the pantry in a pinch. Available at Health food Stores and online.

 

Paleo-Cake-Therapy-Paleo-Chocolate-Cake-Mix.jpg

Cake Therapy  Paleo Cake Mix: offers gluten free and paleo baking mixes, made from quality natural ingredients, without preservatives or additives. Cake Therapy’s products are always free of gluten, dairy, soy and corn, with grain free options.

Paleo Chocolate Cake Mix Ingredients: Organic coconut flour, arrowroot, almond meal, organic coconut sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla powder, salt, baking soda, baking powder.

I’ve tried all three flavors: chocolate, vanilla and spice, and love them all! They make a moist and tasty cake or cupcakes. I used my Chocolate Ganache Frosting  with Lily’s Stevia Sweetened Chocolate Chips and Cashew Cream Frosting with them. They have recipes and adaptations on their website too! I used the Spice Cake Mix to make a Carrot Cake and it was so delicious.

Teas to go with your dessert or just enjoy anytime:

Art of Tea: Chocolate Mint Tea which is so rich and tasty it does not need anything else. Great way to avoid sweets, drink this tea instead!  www.artoftea.com 

Numi Turmeric Teas are anti-inflammatory and very tasty especially when I add some local raw honey, ginger and homemade cashew milk! Available at health food stores or http://www.Numitea.com

Steven Smith Lord Bergamot Earl Grey Tea

A few other goodies I’ve fallen in love with this year:

Lily’s Fair Trade Stevia Sweetened Chocolate Chips

We love premium dark chocolate. We don’t like sugar. The addition of stevia to premium dark chocolate is a perfect fit. It makes our favorite food even better. Click to learn more about why we love stevia.http://lilyssweets.com

 

 

Chai-I

Vixen Kitchen Premium Vegan Gelato!  So creamy and delicious you will think you are in Italy!  The first time I tasted this luscious Gelato I was in San Francisco on a cold windy day, but had to have it as my teeth chattered! OMG, I was in Heaven and forgot about the cold the first lick! I love that they sweeten with real maple syrup and use cashews as the base! Again, nutritious and delicious and guilt-free! It is expensive b/c they use the highest quality ingredients and it is worth it! Available at health food stores, including Staff of Life. Flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, Chai, Coffee, Mint,Blueberry.  http://vixenkitchen.co

Xyloburst Chewing Gum, stays soft, sweetened with xylitol which is great for teeth and tastes good! Available at health food stores,  iherb.com and Amazon.com

My new favorite website to buy all the aforementioned goodies and many more at a 25%-75% discount/usually 25% is at http://www.ThriveMarket.com

 

Kitchen Tools:

  • Kitchen Aid 7 Quart Mixer is the largest capacity home mixer and I love my new one in Candy Apple Red! I also bought the:
  • Spiralizer Attachment that also slices and peels fruit and vegetables!

Body Care Products: Many skincare products contain gluten and dairy which go into your bloodstream within 30 seconds! Yes, it will cause you just as much trouble as eating it!

  • Nubian Heritage Soaps and Lotions
  • Evoli Body Butter & Lip Balm, made from all organic healthy oils
  • Zoya Nail Polish, free of formaldehyde and other bad chemicals available at Whole Foods
  • DoTerra essential oils: I do not travel without the OnGuard and put it on my feet every night! DoTerra.com
  • For the Bathroom: Poo Pourri toilet spray. This is so Brilliant! You spray your favorite essential oil based Poo Pourri into the toilet before you go and it acts as a barrier to help keep your bathroom smelling good! It really works, honest! I keep one in my purse and in our bathroom.

Healthcare/Natural Medicine:

  • Alpha CF Homeopathic liquid is lactose free and is what I use at the first sign of a cold or flu and it usually gets rid of it right away or at least shortens the duration to a few days instead of a few weeks. Available at health food stores, you may have to special order the liquid form.
  • Occiliccocinum homeopathic cold and flu, Walgreens, CVS and healthfood store. Pellets contain lactose so either dilute a dose in water and only take a teaspoon or find the Alpha CF liquid.
  • Deep Lung is great for respiratory infections.
  • Chestal Homeopathic Cough Medicine with honey, health food stores and CVS and Walgreens.
  • Yin Chao Chinese Medicine for colds that start with a sore throat is great.
  • High Dose Vitamin C Meyers Cocktail Infusion through an IV drip or push by a naturopathic doctor. http://www.naturopathic.org or wwwCalND.com in CA. This saves me every Christmas/Winter, including this week!

Books:

  • Can’t go to Italy this year read, Dolce di Love By Lynch
  • for Humor and belly laughs read Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
  • go to http://www.hayhouse.com for many inspirational and spiritual books, audio books and DVD’s for adults and children
  • Listen to shows on:
  • http://www.HayHouseRadio.com

Games:

  • Kids and Adults: Simon, an electronic game that lights up and tests your memory. Can be played with 2-4 people
  • Adults: Rummikub, a game with tiles and numbers. Good mental challenge and fun.

 

Clothing:

  • Nomads Organic Clothing, this Canadian company uses all organic fabrics made from hemp, soy, bamboo and cotton. It feels so good on and will not disrupt your hormones or endocrine system and it’s great for the environment. A win-win-win! Just wish they did not make them in China. Sometimes you have to compromise. These clothes feel really soft and warm; and look stylish.                                   Available at https://nomadshempwear.com
  • Synergy Organic Clothing, mostly cotton, made in Nepal. Stores in Santa Cruz and San Francisco and available online http://synergyclothing.com
  • Smart Wool Socks, wool that doesn’t itch and keeps your toes and feet warm in the coldest weather! They also make runners socks-breathable and cushiony! Available at The Sock Shop and online http://www.smartwool.com

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Healthy, Happy New Year filled with wonderful food, friends, family and goodies that improve your health and life! Love and Blessings to all! Please Comment and share with us your favorite  Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Vegan, Organic food, things & products.

Be Well and Thrive into your Dreams! 

Fermented Foods(Saurkraut, Coconut Yogurt, Kombucha)

Fermenting Foods

I have been having so much fun making sauerkraut, kombucha, water keifer, non-dairy coconut  yogurt and brined Bison Brisket for us and private chef clients!
I just had an opening for 2 more private clients, so if you would like a break from cooking, call me! I can work with any budget, diet and customize it all just for you with love.

I am amazed at how easy it is to make fermented food, once you know a few tricks, and how much money you can save! I love customizing my food to my own liking, don’t you? 

The benefits of enjoying fermented foods are that they contain lots of healthy bacteria like you find in probiotics! 

Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. This process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics. This can be helpful in improving digestion and overall health. 

Although the fermented foods have probiotics, we are not sure how many survive the acid of the stomach and digestion. So, keep taking a good quality probiotic as well. I also suggest you start slowly to avoid any digestive discomfort. Start with 1 TBSP. of sauerkraut which is a great garnish on top of food or 1/4 cup Kombucha/Keifer/Yogurt, and slowly increase the amount each week until you are eating the amounts that you desire. 

Did you know that 80% of our immune system is in the intestines(gut)? Yep, it’s true. So, keeping the gut healthy is always a perfect place to start  improving overall health as well as digestion. 

I love Naturopathic Medicine because it is really good at healing people’s guts. It also looks at the whole body as a unit and the philosophy is to get to the root cause and heal it, not to block a pathway with drugs and ignore the cause.

 I encourage you to eat fermented foods daily, and to have a good Naturopathic Doctor, who has been to 4 yrs. of medical school, on your team because it is important to have a doctor that is educated and experienced. 

To find a licenced ND in California go to: http://www.CalND.org, and anywhere else in the US go to: http://www.Naturopathic.org or check out the list of the one’s I know and trust at http://www.NoWheatNoDairyNoProblem.com 

Do you want to learn to make your own Fermented Foods; and save money?

 

Fermented Foods Workshop!
If you would like to learn how to make your own, I will be teaching a workshop on many of these items between Los Gatos and Santa Cruz on Saturday August 2nd from 10am-12noon! You will get to take home a big jar of sauerkraut  that you choose from a variety to things to add in! Limited space so Email me now to reserve your place laurenskitchen1@gmail.com

If you don’t like to cook, call me and I’ll make/cook customized meals for you and deliver them!

I wish each one of you beautiful souls, a wonderful, safe summer! May you enjoy sunshine, eating, cooking and being with loved ones without worrying or suffering. I look forward to seeing you soon in a cooking class or my Fermentation and Skin Care Workshops! See all the classes and workshops I am offering this summer below.

Be Well & Thrive into your Dreams, 

Lauren

Gluten-free, Delicious Thanksgiving Recipes and Menu Planning Guide

Have family or friends or maybe yourself who are coming for Thanksgiving who are on a special diet or have health issues and concerns and you don’t know how to manage? Whether you just want to eat healthy and delicious food or have a food/health issue…you don’t have to spend the whole day cooking and cleaning in the kitchen this Thanksgiving! Below I’ll give you a week long planning guide along with recipes to make a deliciously healthful Thanksgiving that everyone can eat.

Everyone that has eaten my Thanksgiving recipes all said they are as good or better than traditional gluten recipes, and they did not miss the gluten, dairy or refined sugar! Wow, this is so wonderful and many heartfelt thanks!

Here is an easy guide to help you prepare things ahead of time you so you can enjoy your holiday and guests. Trust me after 20 years of doing this…it is so much easier than trying to be the Superhero on Thanksgiving…especially if something goes wrong-very embarrassing. Don’t be afraid to send the recipe to one of your guests/relatives and ask them to make it and bring it-delegate and gratefully accept the help. I know it is not easy, especially for people who like to be in control/charge! Remember, we allow others to grow and feel needed and be blessed by their contribution too. This is what helped me to realize micro-managing was stunting the growth of my employees! Let go, ah, it feels so good! There is still plenty for you to do.

I am listing all the goodies you can prepare ahead of time by day from my cookbook, No Wheat No Dairy No Problem-order it now on this site!

Up to one week ahead: Pie Crust (see Recipe of the Week-15 minutes), dairy-free and Gluten Free, Cranberry Sauce(refined sugar free and way better than anything that is store bought-15 minutes)

Up to three days ahead: Candied Yams( adapted from Paul Prudhomme)-40 minutes, Mashed Potatoes 30 minutes, Sweet Potatoe Pie Filling 10 minutes

Up to two days ahead: Brine 5 minutes and soak/refrigerate Turkey(fresh or frozen)-will be the juiciest ever! See my directions for thawing turkey according to weight-must be done in the refrigerator. You can now buy a Brined or Kosher Turkey and skip this step. clean your house or have it cleaned, do laundry etc..!;)

The day before:  make salad dressing/vinaigrette, chill wine, cook Turkey neck in broth and chill or gravy, Pecan Pie Filling, Cornbread for stuffing, chop vegetables(onion, celery etc…), Assemble and bake pie-Sweet Potato Pecan, Pecan, Pumpkin. I highly recommend the Sweet Potato Pecan-it’s a sure winner! See my utube video for rolling pie crust and dicing an onion at http://www.youtube.com search under LaurenHooverAuthor and laugh out loud!;) You try being videotaped and then laugh at yourself…I did! Take a hot bath and get a good night sleep, you’ll need it. Spend quality time with those you love, play a game together, go for a walk etc… because Thanksgiving is so busy that you may not get a quality conversation in that day. It so important to remember to be thankful and tell our loved one’s how grateful we are for them-especially children…they really are not mind readers!;)

Go to the grocery store for anything you still need.

Thanksgiving day: Eat Breakfast so you are not ravenous all day and then get a stomach ache from not eating for hours-you will be so much happier and your family will be very thankful. This is a lovely time to have quality time with whomever is in your home before all the rest of the guests arrive.

Begin with a Clean Kitchen-which will keep you organized and calm. Set out ingredients, measure them out and follow the recipes. Have fun! I like relaxing or upbeat music playing while I cook.

Get the kids/husband/family/friends to set the table, build a fire,  decorate-it will keep them busy and out of your kitchen-unless they like to cook! Kids love to make the name tags for the place settings-great project to keep them entertained.

Prepare stuffing(cornbread or regular or Gluten Free) and chop herbs, Stuff Turkey and bake (see my recipe that was even good enough for a US Senator)! The secret…cooking it at a very high temperature will create  crispy skin and juicy meat- not to mention-save time and energy! Yum! Reheat Mashed Potatoes, Candied Yams in a double boiler(or glass bowl above boiling water)  or the oven or microwave if absolutely necessary, cook and chop vegetables and wash/spin salad greens-toss at the table. Teenagers who like to cook will love to make salad or this is a good item to ask some else to bring. Pour wine and enjoy!

I do not put out a lot of snacks…just a few to tide people’s appetite, but not spoil it for a huge dinner. Choose 2: bowl of nuts,   hummus(put in a bowl of ice to keep cold) & raw vegetables, olives, deviled eggs all of which can be made the day ahead or store bought(of course I make them myself)!

Important tips: See Professional Secrets and Tips section of my cookbook-it will help to ensure YOUR success.

Use  oven and digital read thermometers-temperature is key. See my guide for cooking times according to the weight of the Turkey. Enlist help, people love to help.

Clean(with hot water and soap) all surfaces, sinks, counters, cutting boards, utensils and hands that touch raw Turkey to prevent spreading salmonella-food poisioning.

Keep Turkey refrigerated at 38 degrees until ready to stuff and bake.

Stuff the Turkey just before baking so bacteria will not grow.

Do NOT and I repeat, DO NOT leave food out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. It is best to put out smaller batches. Optimal Bacteria growth temperatures are between 40-140 degrees…yep, room temperature! It grows extremely rapidly by the hour after four hours throw it out. I hate waste…so I put out smaller portions or serve everything at once and put it away or send it home with guests just after eating. Only follow this advice if you want to avoid food poisoning or a big tummy ache-really you will be so much happier and healthier.

Final Tip/Preference: To baste or not to baste? I like to soak a large piece of cheesecloth in grapeseed oil, fold it in half and in half again to fit over the Turkey. Cover the Turkey with it and I do not baste if you  like a crispy skin. The high temperature will crisp the skin and seal in the juices. Resting the Turkey for 20-30 minutes is the ONLY way to have the juice stay in the meat. If you cut into the Turkey right away or before 20 minutes, watch all the juice run away and there is nothing to get it back into the meat…it will be dry, I promise. While Turkey is resting, make gravy.

Let someone else, especially the teenagers, do the dishes!

BTW, I did all of this in a cooking class last week in 3 1/2 hours – I slept very well that night!  So, You can do it too. Just follow my recipes carefully-read them first. I like to read them the night before I make them. and again just before making them. Buy my cookbook even if you only use the Thanksgiving recipes!

Take a deep breath, have a glass of  organic wine, relax and have a very Happy Thanksgiving. From my heart to yours…may you have much to be grateful for this year. I am so grateful for many things/people  including everyone who have been so supportive of my mission in helping you change your life  with delicious, healthy food. Thank you.

FOR ALL RECIPES GO TO THE RECIPES PAGE ON THIS BLOG.

Be Well and Thrive with Blessings,

Happy Thanksgiving, Chef Lauren Hoover-West

Gluten-free Summit-FREE Webinar!

Many of my teachers are world reknowned gluten experts are speaking for the next week on gluten! You will learn so much. I’ve already learned some interesting things today.

Did you know that some Japanese restaurants are starting to add wheat/white flour to sushi rice? Yep!!

Did you know that some gluten-free Beer that begins with gluten(barley, wheat, rye, spelt, oats) and they add enzymes to eat the gluten in the middle of the process to “remove” the gluten, may still contain gluten and not be safe!

Here are just two examples of really valuable nuggets of knowledge you will gain by listening.

If you have family or friends or co-workers that just don’t understand….here is your opportunity to let them hear it from someone else…The Experts!

Be Well & Thrive, Lauren

P.S. I’m going to post Thanksgiving Menu/Party Planning with Recipes this week for you to have a healthy, gluten-free, safe holiday.

LINK FOR FREE GLUTEN-FREE SUMMIT:http://theglutensummit.com

Flaxseeds

The first time I ate flax it was not for the health qualities, it was for the high fiber because I was in Costa Rica and very constipated! Not fun. I started to read up on it when I came home and loved all the health benefits. I then found a cookie recipe with flax! My sister was passing by on a road trip and I gave them to her with the caution of be careful not to eat too many at once or you will be very regular! Well, sisters don’t listen and she had a lot of stops on her trip!! The cookies were so good that she kept eating them and forgot about my warning! So, do eat it in moderation.Flax itself is high in omega 3,6 & 9  fatty acids which are free radical scavengers and can assist in preventing cancer. But, when it is milled with heat or heated or old, and the oils go rancid, it becomes a free radical which has been proven to cause cancer! Flax is also high in fiber, protein and the antioxidant lignans and micronutrients.

Recently, I learned from a well respected doctor and professor, who owns a gluten-free bakery, that flax is very fragile especially when used in baking. The oils can go rancid very easily when heated and after the whole seed is crushed/ground. Although flax can be very healthy when fresh, it can be dangerous when heated or milled with heat.

I met the owners of Premium Gold a farm and mill that specialize in flax and they confirmed that this is true. I asked if I bake with flax, particularly adding it to cookies, how long is the shelf life? They told me it was only….5 days! WOW! That was so eyeopening. They also use a proprietary cold milling method to mill their grains. I was able to smell the fresh flax, and it really does not smell at all when it is fresh. You will know if you smell it and the oils have gone rancid. The taste is a little bitter and nutty and grassy. They make a gluten-free flour that contains flax and some very healthy flours including Quinoa, Buckwheat and Amaranth. However, it still contains xanthan gum, a bacteria/microrganism which I do not use in my recipes. I do think that this alternative/gluten-free flour substitute is one of the best ones I’ve seen on the market.

If you wish to eat and use flaxseed I would suggest that you consider buying organic whole not ground and grind it yourself in small amounts with a spice grinder(pulsing in short intervals to avoid heat) or purchase it online from PremiumGold or a similar company. You can also buy it from a mill that cold mills it, such as Bob’s Red Mill or PremiumGoldflax.com Keep it in the freezer or refrigerator and be mindful of the expiration date. BTW, they are a family owned and operated company by women! 🙂

 Flax is also high in fiber and are powerful natural cholesterol controller. Cholesterol is vital to have and Americans are very misinformed about this subject, but I digress. Bob’s Red Mill flaxseed contains in a 2 Tablespoon serving size (13 grams) the fiber content is 1.33 grams of Soluble Fiber and 2.67 grams of Insoluble Fiber. Ground Flaxseeds are a good source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids. In a 2 Tablespoon serving, there is 2400 mg of Omega 3.BTW, you can never eat enough flax seed or oil to get the equivalent of the omegas you would get in good quality fish oil! If you are vegan, please study up on this and consider making an exception and taking fish oil instead of flax.

Flax can be used as an egg substitute by using 1 TBSP. Flaxseeds, ground or Chia seeds + 3 TBSP. filtered water, soak for 15 minutes which is the equivalent of one whole egg. Just remember if you are baking with it, you need to eat it within 5 days.

Cooking with flax oil is not recommended. You may use it if it is fresh to drizzle over food/veggies or salad dressing. I personally do not use it, b/c I don’t like the flavor, it is too unstable and I strongly believe in taking fish oil. I am well versed in this area since my husband is a Naturopathic Doctor and oversaw all the scientific studies(at top universities etc…) for the leading fish oil company! Our Grandparents were right, take a spoonful of Cod Liver Oil everyday and you will be strong and healthy! Some things, many things from the olden days really still ring true!

My conclusion is that I will not be using flax in my commercial baking, but would use cold milled flax at home in things I will consume in a few days. I really like Chia seeds too, but I use them fresh, raw and consume them immediately. See my article on Chia on this blog for more information.

 

3 Rotisserie Chickens= Dinners for all Week!

If you were not at my cooking class at New Leaf Market last Wednesday night, you really missed a lot of fun. It was such a hit, I’ve decided to let you in on some time & money-saving Menu Planning! You won’t want to miss the next Menu Planning Class on Thursday June 14th from 6pm-8:30pm Sign up now at New Leaf.com. $35 includes dinner.

Plan your week ahead to save time and money by menu planning. I photocopy the recipes I will make and then go through my kitchen and cross off the ingredients I have. Then, I go buy the remaining ingredients.

If you want to Bake/Roast 3 Whole Chickens on the weekend for the rest of the week you can. I would recommend for the freshest that you Buy or Bake one at the beginning of the week and again mid-week to be safe and not give yourself food poisoning.

Buy 2 Roasted Rotisserie Organic Chickens-I prefer the Smart Chickens or Mary’s Chicken at New Leaf Market or you local health food store. Be sure that it is not coated with any flour or soy sauce which are gluten. Most importantly make sure they do not contain Hormones or Antibiotics!

Cut the Chicken’s up into pieces. Dice the breast meat into bite sized pieces and use for Chicken Salad and Pot Pie. Shred all dark meat for Enchiladas and Nachos and Turkey Pot Pie. Save the carcass to make Broth for Soup.

Menu:

1. Roasted Chicken with Veggies-Cut up Chicken and Roast Veggie from No Wheat No Dairy No Problem Cookbook

2. Enchiladas-2 thighs/leg meat

Heat Organic Corn Tortillas in a little Grapeseed Oil for a few minutes on each side over medium heat, & set aside on a plate lined with paper towels. Place a line of chicken & Mozzarella Daiya Cheese Alternative in the middle of the corn tortilla and roll up and set into a 9×9 Pyrex dish. Pour canned Enchilada Sauce to cover the Tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining Daiya. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until hot and Daiya is melted. Serve with Beans.

3. Nachos-2 thighs/leg meat

Lay out a single layer of Organic Blue Corn Chips(NON-GMO always) onto a baking sheet. Heat 1 can Organic Refried Beans and spoon over the Corn Chips. Top with shredded Chicken. Sprinkle Mozzarella Daiya Cheese Alternative over the top. Top with sliced black olives if you wish. Broil with door cracked open and do NOT look away or they will burn quickly. Broil until the Daiya is just melted. This will only take a few minutes.  Put onto plates or a serving platter and serve with Guacamole and Salsa. Note: Daiya is best when hot. It will only keep in refrigerator for 7 days once opened so, I freeze it for up to 6 months. Serve these with a big green salad and a Vinaigrette(Use Lime juice and Cilantro) from No Wheat No Dairy No Problem Cookbook.

4. Curry Chicken Salad-1 1/2  Breasts

Put a 1/2 cup of Grapeseed Veganaise or your favorite Mayonnaise (no preservatives please) into a mixing bowl. Whisk in 1 TBSP Curry powder + 1 TBSP Mango Chutney. Stir in Chicken. Top with chopped peanuts, tomatoes, and any Curry toppings from No Wheat No Dairy No Problem Cookbook. Serve over a big bed of mixed Organic Baby Greens or Organic Romaine or you can make Lettuce wraps with Organic Butter Lettuce.

5. Pesto Chicken Salad-1  1/2 Breasts

You can either add 2 TBSP Pesto from No Wheat No Dairy No Problem Cookbook or put 1/2 bunch Organic Basil leaves into a food processor with 1/2 cup of Grapeseed Veganaise or your favorite Mayonnaise (no preservatives please) and blend until Basil is very finely mixed in. Put Chicken and Pesto Veganaise into a bowl and mix. Top with chopped Walnuts or Pecans. Enjoy over a big bed of Organic Arugula tossed in a Vinaigrette made with Lemon juice from No Wheat No Dairy No Problem Cookbook. If you must, you can put this on a Gluten-free(Hamburger Bun or Bread or Foccacia) with Arugula.

6. Soup-Dark and white meat & B diced Breast meat

7. Chicken Pot Pie-recipe in No Wheat No Dairy No Problem!

Put Carcass in a very large Stock Pot & cover with cold water. Add 2 Bay Leaves, 2 Stalks Organic Celery, 2 Organic Carrots, 1 lg. Organic Onion, quartered, 1 tsp. sea salt, 1/2 tsp. black or white pepper. Bring to a boil and then turn down to low and simmer 45 minutes-1 1/2 hours if you have time. Strain and add fresh organic sliced carrots, celery, onions and simmer until they are fork tender(about 10 minutes). Add in shredded and diced Chicken. Serve immediately. You can also top with fresh chopped Parsley, Basil or Cilantro. I freeze a glass jar of this, 3/4 filled only, for when I get the flu or a cold! Serve with a Salad or Gluten-free Sandwich.

7. Leftovers-if there are any leftovers you can just finish them.

Hope you have an easy, healthy and delicious week of dinners! You can also use the Chicken Salads for lunches. Be sure to join me for our next Menu Planning Cooking Class June 14th at New Leaf Market, Westside Santa Cruz. Sign up at http://www.NewLeaf.com

Be Well, Lauren Hoover-West

What Alcohol contains Gluten? Vodka? Rum? Gin? Whiskey? Tequila? Beer? Wine?

Before you have that cocktail, you may want to think twice! Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and spelt(a non-hybridized wheat). Did you ever worry about what the alcohol in your favorite mixed drink is made from; or that you could be contaminated with gluten from alcohol? Below is a list of what grains and ingredients are used to make alcohol/distilled spirits.

Whisky (Scottish English) or whiskey (Irish English and American English[1]) is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash. Different grains are used for different varieties, including barley, malted barley, rye, malted rye, wheat, and corn.

Vodka is made from potatoes or wheat or rye or grains. Whiskey is made from corn or rye.  Beer is made from wheat, and there are now gluten-free beers made from Sorghum-I recommend Red Bridge.  Gin is made from various distilled spirits that may contain gluten/grain and then infused with Juniper berries. Tequila is made from Agave, a Cactus. Rum is made from Sugar cane. Wine, Brandy, Eau da Vie and Cognac(region in France) are made from grapes.

Review of Best Vodka Brands and Types

Forbes’ List of the Best Vodkas in the World

  • Belvedere Vodka – Rye – Poland – $32
  • Boru Vodka – Grain varieties – Ireland – $18
  • Chopin Vodka – Potatoes – Poland – $32
  • Ketel One Vodka – Wheat – Holland – $23
  • Level Vodka – Wheat – Sweden – $30
  • Stolichnaya Gold Vodka – Wheat – Russia – $25
  • Ston Vodka – Wheat – Estonia – $23
  • Turi Vodka – Rye – Estonia – $30
  • Vox Vodka – Wheat – Holland – $30
  • Wyborowa Vodka – Rye – Poland – $30

Gayot’s List of the Best Vodkas in the World

  • Imperia Vodka – Wheat – Russia – $28
  • SKYY 90 Vodka – Amber Winter Wheat – United States – $33
  • Jean-Marc XO Vodka – Wheat – France (Cognac)- $50
  • Ultimat Vodka – Potato – Poland – $40
  • Xellent Vodka – Rye – Switzerland – $37
  • 42 Below Vodka – Grain – New Zealand – $30
  • Hangar 1 Vodka – Wheat and Viognier Grapes – United States (CA) – $33
  • Roth California Vodka – Wine Grapes – United States – $35
  • Stolichnaya Elit Vodka – Grain – Russia – $60
  • Kauffman Luxury Vintage Vodka – Wheat – Russia – $225

I just bought a Potato Vodka made in Austria. It is called Monopolowa J.A. Baczewski 40% alcohol distilled from potatoes and it costs $9.99. Monopolowa, Chopin and Ultimat, Blue Ice, Superfly, Karlsson’s, Schramm, LiV and Glacier are all made from Potatoes. Chopin is often stocked in bars.

Here are two of my favorite drinks in my cookbook No Wheat No Dairy No Problem:

Margarita

There is no comparison between a fresh squeezed Margarita and that yellow stuff in a bottle! The taste of sweet orange and sour lemon and lime coupled with tequila makes a satisfying cocktail!

Yields: 1 drink

1 shot gold tequila

1 shot Cointreau or Grand Mariner

juice of ½ orange

juice of 1 lime

juice of ½ lemon

kosher salt for rim, optional

ice cubes

Cut a wedge of citrus and run it along the rim of the glass and dip the rim into kosher salt. Measure all ingredients, except ice, into a cocktail shaker or glass, add ice cubes shake or stir.

Citrus juice can erode the enamel of teeth, so just brush after drinking this wonderful drink! Cheers!

Mojito

This is a refreshing and delicious Cuban drink that is made with lime, mint and rum.

Yields: 1 drink

6 ounces fresh lime juice

1 Tablespoon agave nectar

10 fresh mint leaves, washed

2 ounces white rum, optional

sparkling water

ice

Wash limes with vegetable wash and rinse well. Squeeze limes in a measuring cup. Remove any seeds with a fork. Pour lime juice into a tall glass. Add mint leaves and muddle (crush with a muddle or wooden spoon) to release essential oils from the mint. Stir in agave nectar. Fill glass with ice. Pour rum in and fill with sparkling water. You can omit the rum for a refreshing alcohol free drink. Enjoy with or without rum. Cheers!

Citrus juice can erode the enamel of teeth, so just brush after drinking this wonderful drink

Here are a few  modern cocktails we like: The trend seems to be herbs infused or muttled into drinks

Basil Cucumber Collins, a refreshing/cooling drink from Roy’s; which we enjoyed on a vacation in Las Vegas and again in Palm Desert last summer! 

Cucumber Vodka muddled with basil, fresh lime juice and topped with club soda. I made a version of this at home and used slices of cucumber that I placed in the vodka the night before to infuse the flavor of the Vodka, and I used fresh lime juice plus lime flavored sparkling water.

Cucumber Cooler

  • 1.5 oz.  Vodka
  • 4 slices Organic Cucumber
  • 0.5 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz. ginger beer or ginger ale(I prefer Reeds which has real ginger root in it) or sparkling water
  • Muddle all but 1 of the cucumber slices with the lime quarters in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add ice and vodka, shake well and strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with a cucumber slice.
  • 0.6 fl. oz. of alcohol

Lychee Lemon Drop: lemon drop martini fused with Lychee syrup and whole Lychee(pitted canned or fresh peeled).

Vodka, Fresh Basil and Organic Strawberries, Fresh Lemon Juice, and Simple Syrup or Agave, serve on the rocks

Vodka, Freshly Squeezed Grapefruit Juice, and a Grapefruit Twist & Orange Juice, fresh rosemary or tarragon if desired

Simple Syrup, Boil 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar(I like coconut palm sugar), cool and store in a glass bottle in the refrigerator. Use to sweeten cocktails or make fresh lemonade.  I prefer to use Agave Nectar which dissolves well in cold liquid and is low glycemic index and won’t spike your blood sugar and drop you like a hot rock with the sugar blues.

Doesn’t matter what team you are routing for at your sporting event or what you are celebrating, just have fun, good food, and a cocktail or mocktail. Please be sure to let someone else drive even if you think you are “okay” or only had one drink. Better safe than sorry. 🙂

All of the drinks above can be made into Virgin/Mocktails by omitting the alcohol and will still taste delicious without the hangover and extra calories. The average blended cocktail has 800 calories! That is not a typo, it is eight hundred! So, another reason for moderation. 😉

See the other page on this site, Recipe of the Month, for some delicious food to accompany the aforementioned cocktails.

Announcing Lauren’s Kitchen Biscotti Company and New DVD Cooking Class!

I promised you a Big announcement and surprise, so here it is just in time for the Holiday’s! I started a Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Low Glycemic Biscotti/Cookie company this year and they are now available to purchase on this site.

They come in two flavors: Cherry Orange and Double Chocolate Chip and have 5 grams of protein and a low Glycemic Load/Index of 18-29!

They differ from all other cookies and Biscotti in two ways; they are a little softer than traditional Biscotti, and they use healthy ingredients that are heart healthy and low glycemic. There is NO XANTHAN GUM/GUAR GUM or corn. 🙂

Most importantly, they are made with love in a GLUTEN-FREE FACILITY! No cross-contamination.

The main ingredients are Gluten-free Oat Flour(high protein/high fiber/heart healthy), Coconut Palm Sugar(low glycemic index) and YUMMY! Most ingredients are organic too.

I love it when I go to the coffee houses that carry my Biscotti and the employees ask me, at the check out, if I’ve had the “delicious” Gluten-free Biscotti! The employees love them even if they are not Gluten-free! So, they are for everyone. I had one employee buy them for her children’s lunches as a healthier choice for a treat! 🙂 Yeah!

New DVD: Chocolate Cooking Class with Chef Lauren!

The other big news is that I have just released a DVD Cooking Class on chocolate! It includes learning to make Chocolate Ganache, Frosting, Fondue and Truffles! They are all Gluten-free and Dairy-free and low glycemic index/load! So, you can finally have a cooking class with Chef Lauren in the comfort of your own home on your time schedule. Don’t know what to buy as a gift for the Holidays or a birthday for someone who is Gluten-free, Dairy-free or reducing their sugar intake? It is also for everyone who loves Chocolate. The Truffles are the perfect, inexpensive gift. Just make the Truffles and put them in cute Chinese take out containers or bags and tie a beautiful bow and you will have a great gift.

I wish you all happy and healthy holidays. Remember to just do what brings you peace and joy.  Go to the Buy Cookbook/Lauren’s Biscotti/DVD page to make your purchases. Thank you for your support. Many Blessings.

Gluten/Dairy free Thanksgiving Leftovers Ideas!

What can I make with leftover Turkey from the Holidays? Tired of eating plain turkey the same old way? Here are some ideas and recipe referrals from my cookbook, No Wheat No Dairy No Problem:

Creamed Turkey(see “cream” sauce and creamed Tuna/Vegetable recipes)-make cream sauce and add diced Turkey, green peas, poultry seasoning and serve over rice, quinoa or rice pasta.

Turkey Pot Pie-use Chicken Pot Pie recipe and substitute Turkey for Chicken! Yum!

Turkey Stroganoff-recipe in my cookbook.

BBQ Turkey Sandwich-shred Turkey and pour your favorite GF BBQ Sauce over it(I like Bone Suckin Sauce from JonesandBones.com). Heat in a pot until it is simmering. Toast your GF bun(I love Schar baugettes or rolls  made in Italy sold at the Beehive in San Jose, CA). Slice the bun in half and pour the BBQ Turkey over it, roll up those sleeves and have lots of paper towels!

Turkey Salad/Sandwich: add organic mayonnaise to diced Turkey, chopped pecans or walnuts, diced celery, diced organic apple, chiffonade(finely sliced) fresh basil, dried cranberries. Serve on a bed of lettuce or use romaine lettuce and make a wrap or gluten free bread with mayonnaise and cranberry sauce.

Turkey Burritos: Fill Udi’s GF flour tortillas with Turkey and refried or black beans-top with guacamole and fresh/refrigerated salsa.

Turkey Tacos: Fill organic corn tortillas or Gluten-free  Cassava or Almond tortillas, that have been heated in a pan, with diced or shredded Turkey,  organic baby tomatoes halved, organic baby greens: arugala, mache, micro-greens. Top with guacamole and fresh/refrigerated salsa (no preservatives please!).

Ultimate Turkey Sandwich: Gluten-Free  bread, cranberry sauce, Kite Hill(almond cream cheese, plain or chive) or organic mayonnaise. This was served in a Victorian House Restaurant I worked at as a teenager-originally with regular cream cheese on Brioche bread! Yummy!

The not so classic Hot Turkey Sandwich: Gluten-free bread(toasted), hot mashed potatoes, hot sliced Turkey, hot Gravy and cold cranberry sauce! Now that is what I call comfort food!

Thai Curry: Red Curry Paste, coconut milk, turkey, thai basil, broccoli florets or veggie of choice-serve over brown rice. I like Mae Ploy brand curry paste-no preservatives. Quick, easy, flavorful and delicious.

Turkey Stock: Put Turkey carcass into a large stock pot, add celery hearts/stalks, carrots, onion, bouquet garni(thyme, parsley, peppercorns) tied in cheesecloth or loose. Bring to a boil, scoop  foam off the top with laddie. Turn down to a simmer and cook uncovered for 1 hour. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Strain and store stock in mason jars in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze(leave 1/2 inch of room at top to expand). Use within one day to make Turkey Soup. Scrape off all meat for Turkey soup etc…discard all bones and vegetables and bouquet garni.

Turkey Soup: Bring stock to a boil and add sliced carrots and any vegetables you like(cooking times will vary-softer vegetables cook faster). Turn down to a simmer and cook until vegetables are fork tender, not mushy. Add Turkey, top with fresh chopped parley or herbs and serve immediately. You can also add cooked rice or cooked quinoa/rice pasta such as penne or fussilli. Do not attempt to cook the rice or pasta in the stock as it will be too starchy.

Variations on Soup:

Mexican-add tortilla chips, avocado chunks, diced jalapeno, chopped cilantro instead of parsley

Asian- add Tamari(wheat free soy sauce), rice noodles, cilantro, grated ginger, sliced scallions and a thai chile or chili sauce/flakes for heat if desired.

Gobble, Gobble, who knew there were so many things you can do with Turkey? Hope you love these ideas and have fun with them. Many thanks to all of you who continue to support me and read my blog…please pass the word. Remember my cookbook is now available on my blog through Pay Pal-makes a great holiday gift.

Ham Leftovers: Ham & Broccoli Quiche, Ham & Eggs, Eggs Benedict(dairy-free Hollandaise in my cookbook), BBQ Ham on GF Hot Dog Buns, Ham & Green Bean Pot Pie, Mac n Cheeze w/Ham-make my “Cream” Sauce w/1/2 stock and 1/2 alternative milk and add 1 cup of Parmela or Daiya Cheddar or Mozzarella Shreds w/GF elbow macaroni, Ham & Scalloped Potatoes. See my cookbook and the Free Recipes Page on this blog for recipes.

MY FAVORITE GLUTEN-FREE BREADS: Bread SRSLY Sourdough Rolls & Bread(sorghum sourdough made in San Francisco! Toast well), Schar Baguettes, Arise Bakery Baguettes(Light Sorghum & Millet or Dark Seeded Teff ) made in Humbolt, CA, Canyon Bakehouse Foccacia(toasted) or sliced breads, Silver Hills Sorghum sliced(must toast and is dense). I bake all of the above bread that are not sliced in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes, cool and slice. I use a dedicated gluten-free toaster for sliced bread and rolls. Enjoy and let us know your favorites! 

SURPRISE: I have developed a yeast-free Savory Quick Bread recipe & a raw dehydrated nut or seed bread in my upcoming ecookbook, No Gluten, No Dairy, No Sugar, No Problem!

Enjoy your time off and remember to take care of your body, mind and spirit. Wishing you many blessings, love, joy, peace and good food in 2017. I have been working hard on a NEW COOKBOOK that I aim to release in early 2017! It’s an ecookbook with videos!!!!!! 

Holiday Menu! No Wheat, Dairy, Refined Sugar or Gluten!

Don’t know what to make for Christmas or another Holiday you celebrate? If you have my cookbook, here are some menu ideas( Appetizers-desserts and gifts) for you to choose from depending on your taste and guests needs. Have guests/family that have health or food issues? Here is a delicious tasting menu that is great for everyone including: Vegetarians, Vegans, Meat eaters, people with Food Allergies, Diabetes, Celiac’s(Gluten Free), Autism etc..

If you are not in the mood for cooking, you can order delivery or take out too, but there’s nothing like creating memories with homemade holiday dishes!Besides, the house does not smell the same with take out.

We usually had a Turkey, baked Ham or Roast in my home. I remember all the wonderful smells that filled the house. From Christmas morning pancakes to the Ham covered in cloves and pineapple-Yum! A few other things that come to my memory that were so enjoyable growing up, are various dishes that relatives would bring, including smoked salmon dip, candied yams, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, holiday cookies, fudge, brownies, chocolate truffles and more! This year, we are breaking tradition and having Chicken or Shrimp Curry! So, do what you like and enjoy it.

The first apartment I had when I moved away from home, I decorated my first Christmas tree with plaid bows, a plaid taffeta skirt, strings of popped corn and cranberries-made by yours truly, and puffy red hearts! I threw my first party and remember the smell of hot apple cider with an orange studded with whole cloves and cinnamon sticks. The smell  wafted down the stairs which brought everyone running! What are your favorite food memories and smells that bring them back? Hope you will try a few of my recipes and that these menus make it easy and memorable for you and your loved ones.

See the Thanksgiving article below for timelines and leftover ideas.

Appetizers/Snacks: Hummus(pg. 112) with raw veggies, olive assortment, roasted/spiced or herbed nuts. Crab Cakes(pg.31), Swedish Meatballs(pg.61), Cranberry Sauce(pg.97) as a side or Pour over Toffuti “Cream”Cheese with Glutino crackers or wheat free bread for an appetizer

Beverages: Flavored Water(pg.151), Mojito(pg.160), Champagne(my favorite Veuve Cliquout), Pomegranate juice with sparkling water. For dessert drinks: Hot Chocolate(pg.154),  Ginger Lemon Tonic(pg. 153), Chai Tea(pg.148)

Soup/Salad: Pureed Vegetable Soup(pg. 123) Butternut Squash in nice, Caesar Salad(pg. 125 “Parmesean”pg.114)

Main Course: Roasted Turkey(pg.54) and Gravy(pg.106), Rack of Lamb(pg.52) with Reduction Sauce(pg.103), Vegetarian Mushroom Pot Pie(pg. 48)

Vegetable: Candied Sweet Potatoes(pg.70), Mashed Potatoes(pg.78), Scalloped Potatoes(pg.90),Cornbread Stuffing(pg.110), Carrots and Parsnips(pg.72)

Green Vegetable: Roasted Brussel Sprouts(pg.68), sautéed Kale, Swiss Chard or Spinach(pgs. 86-88)

Dessert: If it were up to me, this is where we would start! You could really make any of the desserts in my cookbook, No Wheat No Dairy No Problem and they would all work. Here are some ideas:

Pie: Apple(pg.169), Sweet Potato Pecan Pie(pg.275), Pecan Pie(pg.244), Pumpkin Pie(pg.256)

Cake: Pumpkin Cheesecake(pg. 252), Pina Colada Cupcakes(pg.250) Buttercream Frosting(pg.173), Gingerbread Molasses Cake(pg.218)

Tart: Lemon Meringue(pg.227), Key Lime Meringue(pg.221), Raspberry Linzer(pg.229)

Chocolate: Fondue(pg.183), Mousse(pg.190), Truffles(pg.193), Fudgy Brownies(pg.213)

Cookies: Rugelah(pg.263), Shortbread(pg.266), Thumbprint(pg.278)

A la Mode/Ice “Cream”: Vanilla Bean(pg.282), Pumpkin(pg.254), Dark Chocolate(pg.196)

Show Stoppers/Over the Top: Tiramisu(pg.280) don’t make if it’s raining, Chocolate Covered Cream Puffs(pg.198)

Gifts for Guests or Hostess: A copy of my cookbook(order on PayPal from this site) with a celophane bag filled with Chocolate Truffles(pg.193), Fudgy Brownies(pg.213),  or cookies, . Great project for the teenagers/kids or petite gourmets in your family!

Most things can be made ahead of time except the chocolate mousse, meringue or Tiramisu(don’t make either if it’s raining), green vegetables and salad. See the Thanksgiving article below for timelines and leftover ideas.

Happy Cooking and eating. May all your days be healthy and happy! With Love and Blessings, Lauren