Blueberry and Red Wine Sauce (over chicken)

Normally, I try to eat as seasonally as possible, but I was craving the delicious, juicy summer fruit of blueberries.  A friend of mine who raises her own chickens recently gave me a whole chicken, so I decided to try a new sauce to pair with it.  It captures the essences of both the warm seasons from the fresh blueberries and the colder seasons from tastes that hint at a mulled wine flavor.  I hope you enjoy!

Blueberry and Red Wine Sauce

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups red wine (I used Merlot)
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tbs potato starch (you can use corn just as well)
6 tbs cold water
1 1/2 to 2 cups blueberries
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves


Method:

Pour red wine and lemon juice into a saucepan over med high heat and bring to just boiling and then turn down to a simmer.  Add in all your spices and simmer for approx. 3 minutes.  In a small bowl, combine cold water and your potato starch and stir.  Turn the heat up on your red wine mixture and pour in your thickener.  Stir gently but quickly.  If the sauce becomes too gummy, you can try to use a spoon to mash out some of the gumminess and also add some wine/lemon juice to read a more desired consistency.  Add blueberries, stir, and heat through.  Serve over baked chicken breasts, duck, or lamb.  Would also be good as a dessert topping!

This sauce is gluten free, grain free, egg free, soy free, dairy free, vegetarian, and vegan.

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recipe: quinoa and egg breakfast bake

I can pretty much guarentee you that you’ll see the basis of this recipe coming back again on the blog in a few different twists and varieties.  Because it’s that good.  Quinoa puts a spin on a traditional quiche and gives it not only a health boost, but a bit of flavor variety as well. 

Quinoa isn’t a word you hear tossed around in many homes, but it’s becoming more popular — and rightly so!  It looks like a small grain, but actually — it’s not!  It’s actually a seed and a relative of leafy green veggies like spinach. (!!!!)  What’s wonderful about quinoa is that it is a complete protein.  That means it has all of the essential amino acids.  (This is especially good news for people looking to get their protein intake from non-animal sources.)  One cup of quinoa contains 9 grams of protein which is more than an egg! 

This little health beauty is a complex carb with a low glycemic index which is great for people watching their blood sugar.  It has a decent amount of folic acid/folate and it’s very high in magnesium, calcium, iron, and various B vitamins.  Fluffy in texture and slightly nutty in flavor, quinoa is a non-grain that is gluten free and an easy replacement for rice, wheat, corn, and other grains.

Quinoa and Egg Breakfast Bake

Ingredients:

10 strips of bacon, cooked and torn to small pieces
8 eggs
5 tbs butter
1/2 cup stock (vegetable or bone)
1 onion, finely chopped and diced
1 pepper, chopped and diced (I used an orange one)
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
3/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
1 tsp sage
2 tbs thyme
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
salt
pepper

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking dish with butter or coconut oil.  In a bowl, melt about 5 tbs of butter and add in your eggs and stock.  Whip till blended.  Add in all the aditional ingredients except for the goat cheese and whip till blended again.  Gently stir in the goat cheese.  Pour into your greased baking dish and cover with foil. Gently jiggle the pan to help the quinoa seeds sink to the bottom.  The quinoa should mostly settle to the bottom making a “crust” and will cook while in the oven.  Place in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool a bit before cutting and serving.

This recipe is gluten free, grain free, soy free, and could easily be made vegetarian by omitting the bacon.

recipe: black bean brownies

Who doesn’t love soft, gooey, warm brownies?!  About a year ago, I learned about black bean brownies.  Like most people, I was initially skeptical.  Beans in a dessert?  I wasn’t sure how I felt about that.  But after giving it a go, I discovered that black bean brownies are decidedly delicious — whether you need to eat gluten free or not!  While they’re not the most healthy of all desserts, they’re still a step up from traditional brownies on the health and nutrition factor.  Plus, they’re relatively inexpensive, allergy friendly, and super easy to make!  I made these brownies with my friend Katie and here’s the recipe we came up with:

Black Bean Brownies

Ingredients:

1 can (or 15 ounces) of black beans, drained and rinsed
3 eggs
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
dash of salt
1 tbs maple syrup
3/4 cup sugar

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Oil or butter an 8×9 inch baking pan.  Mix all ingredients together into a bowl and beat for 5-8 minutes with a hand mixer.  You can use a fork to mash up the black beans some more.  If you don’t like the idea of any black bean texture in the brownies and want it completely smooth, you can blend in a food procesor instead.  (We didn’t have one on hand, so that didn’t happen.  Otherwise we probably would’ve!)  Pour batter into your greased pan and bake for about 35-40 minutes or till set in the center.  Allow to cool, cut, and serve!

These brownies are gluten free, grain free, soy free, vegetarian, and could be dairy free with the appropriate substitutes.