Jan 26, 2015

RECIPE: Gluten-Free Heathy Red Velvet Cookies

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I love these gluten-free and healthy red velvet cookies! Based on the original gluten-free gelatin cookies recipe, they taste so decadent and are perfect for the upcoming Valentine's Day if you're looking for the perfect dessert recipe for someone who is health-minded. Plus, they're easy to make and only require a few wholesome ingredients. These are colored with beet juice powder instead of the red food coloring found in the red velvet desserts.

INGREDIENTS: 
DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Mix ingredients well. I usually puree the banana with 1/4 cup oats and 1Tbsp gelatin in a food processor, then hand-mix in the rest of the oats, cacao, beet juice powder, stevia, and chocolate chips. 
 3. Drop cookie dough by the 1/8 cup-full onto a greased cookie sheet.
4. Bake for 9-10 minutes at 350 degrees F.


 *Note: If planning to serve hot, you may use regular gelatin (which makes

Jan 17, 2015

RECIPE: Perfect Paleo Burger Patties with Gelatin

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I rarely crave cheeseburgers these days, but when I do, I go by this particular burger patty recipe. The resultant burgers are juicy and plump... perfect. Here I've decided to serve it with grilled portabello mushroom caps and carmelized onions.

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 4 burger patties)
  • 1 lb grassfed ground beef
  • 2 pastured eggs
  • 2 Tbsp regular gelatin
  • 1/2 Tbsp gluten-free tamari soy sauce
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic 
  • 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Dash paprika, black pepper, hot sauce to taste
DIRECTIONS:
1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Leave standing for 30 minutes.
2. Shape the burgers into 4 patties at about 1" thick. (You can make them thinner; just adjust the cooking times downwards)
3. Grill Method: Preheat grill to 450F ("high heat"). Grill the burgers for 2 minutes on each side, then move them to a lower-heat area of the grill. Cook another 2-3 minutes for medium-rare burgers, 3-4 minutes for medium, or 5-6 minutes for well-done burgers.
Oven Method:  Preheat oven to 400F. Bake the burger at 20-30 minutes, depending on your preferred level of doneness.


Jan 12, 2015

Eating Gluten-Free / Paleo While Traveling: China (Beijing, Harbin, Xuanhua)

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1. Roasted leg of lamb | 2. Roasted pork shank (?) | 3. Intricate fruit plate | 4. Crispy duck skin (L) and duck breast (R) | 5. Breakfast. Mom's noodles, my egg drop soup and boiled tea egg, and shared veggies dish | 6. Overview of the feast | 7. steamed fish (I loved this!) | 8. Roasted beef
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1. Eating Peking Duck at the most famous place in Beijing | 2. Mom's dumplings | 3. My dishes: cold sliced beef, cold steamed and spiced spinach, and purple yam porridge | 4.-5. Steamed fresh fish, killed moments before cooking | 6. More purple yam rice porridge and eggplant | 7. Breakfast at the Harbin Institute of Technology's cafeteria. The options were endless. I got egg drop soup, purple yam, 1000 year egg, and pickled veggies | 8. - 9. DongBei's infamous ShaGuo Soups. I got mine with pork, pickled cabbage, and potato starch glass noodles | 10. Donkey meat (tasted like lean beef)
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1. Fish Market | 2. Dragonfruit! I'm in love | 3. Harbin Hotel's breakfast offerings: fruits, seafood, duck breast, bacon, sausage, rice porridge, and chinese specialties. | 4. Fish market (for super fresh fish) | 5. & 6. Street food vendors | 7. Individually-wrapped sushi || 8-10. Various pickled and fresh veggies on display

TIPS ON EATING HEALTHY/ PALEO/ GLUTEN-FREE/ PHD  WHILE TRAVELING IN CHINA: (note- if you're Celiac, do not merely rely on these tips, as I cannot promise that these would make the food 110% gluten-free; since cross-contamination might be at issue)
  • Order roasted/steamed meats/seafood and cold dish/pickled veggies (stir fries are delicious, but can made with vegetable oil). I also usually asked for less oil/salt whenever I got stirfries.
  • If you're up for something truly Chinese, dare to order the steamed whole fish. It would be killed moments before it's brought to the table, but you would have to be extremely careful with the spines. (i.e. there is no restaurant liability if something happens to you...) I would recommend finding 2-3 common freshwater and 2-3 saltwater fish species common to Chinese cuisine and figure out a way to order those. 
  • If you travel to the DongBei region, try their famous pork, pickled cabbage, and (potato starch) glass noodle dish. It is amazing.
  • Find at least one decent Peking duck restaurant and try the crispy duck skin.
  • There are a lot of food vendors everywhere. One of the most commonly sold items is a roasted yam (usually around 1-3RMB/kg). So good in the winter and great as a snack when you're out!
  • The fruits outside on the streets or at the farmer's markets are much fresher than that inside most supermarkets.
  • The "glass" dumpling skin is actually made of starches rather than flour: wheat starch (which is mostly gluten-free) and tapioca starch. If you're at a dumpling spot with friends and desperate, look for glass dumplings.
  • Try ALL of the soups when in China. Their flavors vary wild from region to region, and usually have very little added oils (or flour) to them.
  • Keep in mind most places like Starbucks, etc. in China carry a wholly different menu than in the USA and also a higher price point. If you love coffee, consider bringing your own supply of instant coffee. It's very difficult to find unsweetened iced coffee or Americano in China.
  • Try ALL of the tea when in China. This one goes without saying.
  • Most of the milk in China is ultrapasteurized. Prepare for this. I brought cans of coconut milk with me for my (instant) coffee. Consider bringing powdered milk or powdered coconut milk with you.  
  • Other possible items to bring: whey protein, gelatin (duh), any vitamins/minerals you take on a daily basis, vitamin E (for help with the excess seed oils you might consume), a list of translations for various food items ("roasted beef", "Peking duck",  "soup", "steamed fish", etc.). I love THIS brand and THIS brand for vitamin E since it's in MCT oil instead of soybean/etc. oil.
  • It's perfectly customary for the host to ask you if you want a particular dish multiple times. Prepare for this. 
  • Try all of the exotic fruits and veggies while you can in China for cheap that might be unavailable or pricier in the USA: Chinese cucumber, dragonfruit, taro, purple yam, wood ear, etc. 
  • Some suggestions for the brave to try: Pig's feet, chicken feet, duck/cow tongue, bird's nest or shark fin soup, donkey,  rabbit, sheep's brain, pig's ears, etc. The list is endless. 
Coming up next... three bone broth soup recipes inspired by my stay in China.

Jan 11, 2015

IDEA: Floral Gelatin Desserts

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I came across these beautiful images while surfing for more inspiration on how to plate desserts. How beautiful is this for a garden, midsummer, engagement, or birthday party? Maybe the girly part of me is coming out.

The first one seems easy to adapt to a variety of different color/flavor/flower combinations. For example, heat 2 cups grapefruit juice, honeyed rosewater, or coconut water with 2 Tablespoons of bloomed gelatin, pour into gelatin molds, and add edible flowers for garnish. Cool for at least 2 hours until firm. You can even update my gelatin popsicle recipe, gummies recipe, or mango custard recipe with flowers. The possibilities are endless.

I will be trying my hand at adding interesting textures to gelatin soon. Mint leaves? Sliced citrus? My mind is spinning with ideas...

Photos Source

Dec 23, 2014

RECIPE: Easy Healthy Pina Colada Panna Cotta

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This recipe is so easy to make and feels so decadent that you would never know that it's high in protein! Plus, the variations are endless in terms of what fruit you use! (Note: you can also add 1/8 tsp rum flavoring to the mixture along with the yogurt and sweetener)

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 1 3/4 (1.75) T Gelatin
  • 5.3 oz (1 container) Chobani Greek Yogurt (I used the Pina Colada flavor)
  • 8 oz (~2 cups) Diced, Canned (i.e. cooked) Pineapple*
  • 1T Grade B Maple Syrup or Raw Honey (May add more if a sweeter flavor is desired)
DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat coconut milk in small sauce pot or microwave until boiling.
2. In blender, blend gelatin and heated coconut milk for about 10 seconds.
3. Add Greek yogurt and maple syrup/honey. Blend for an additional 10-15 seconds.
4. Add fruits to mixture. Blend for 10 seconds and pour into molds immediately (JELLO molds or silicone muffin pans are both great choices for individual-sized servings).
5. Chill in fridge for at least 1 hour.
6. Garnish with pineapple and coconut flakes, serve.

*Note: PLEASE use cooked pineapple or else the mixture will not solidify. Thanks @Katy Marie for the tip. 

P.S. Sorry that I've been MIA for so long! I've been busy working on Stylish Sophisticate and finishing my last year at law school. I hope you all are well and have a happy holidays! 
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