Peach and Blueberry Cobbler (SRC)

Pies, cobblers, crisps…talk about comfort food! A sweet and cake-y or crumbly topping paired with a warm fruit filling make for the ideal combination of a flavors and textures that scream EAT ME NOW. Cobbler transports me back to vacation days at my grandparent’s in South Carolina…and my cousins, brother and I couldn’t wait to taste grandma’s homemade treat. Topped with her homemade peach ice cream, we all reached food nirvana (and a blissful sugar-induced coma)!

I was thrilled to be assigned Margaret’s Tea and Scones blog for the last hurrah for the Secret Recipe Club! It’s the final reveal for the club, and I want to all the hosts and members for making so many wonderful memories and fantastic recipes 🙂 For the finale, I couldn’t help but choose a “sweet ending” and a dish that evokes a huge heartfelt smile…so when I saw Margaret’s recipe for Peach Cobbler, I was sold. 
peach-blueberry-cobblerOriginally, I was deciding between Margaret’s Coconut and Salmon Laska Soup or her Chai Spice Scones yet a dessert seemed appropriate for this occasion, and I was not disappointed! I can’t wait to try other fruits and combos as well! A few other recipes that had me still loving fall flavors are her Sweet Potato Praline Brownies, Pumpkin Beer Bread and Sweet Potato Curry Puffs — there’s no denying winter squash and sweet taters are some of my favorite foods. They are most definitely on my list of dishes to try!

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To make it allergen-friendly,  I swapped out the all-purpose flour and whole wheat flours for a combo of oat flour and coconut flour to make it gluten-free. Margaret mentioned the cobbler needed to be a little sweeter so I opted for coconut sugar for the granulated sweetener and added some stevia to bump up the sweetness without a ton of added sugar. I also swapped non-dairy milk and butter-flavored coconut oil for the butter (and canola) to make it dairy-free. I had a few blueberries in the freezer and some leftover ground chia seeds so I tossed them in along with the frozen peaches for some added color, fiber and omega-3s. What a lovely recipe, the blueberry-peach reminded me so much of my sweet grandma! With these ingredients – oats, peaches, berries, coconut oil and chia…this made for a guilt-free yet decadent-tasting breakfast and a sweet AND satisfying dessert.

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Peach and Blueberry Cobbler (adapted from Tea and Scones
Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Soy-free, Corn-free, Refined Sugar-free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Nut-free, Seed-free

Filling
3 large ripe peaches or 3 cups unsweetened frozen sliced peaches, diced into 1 inch cubes
2/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (or berries of choice or more peaches)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
4 tsp chia meal/ground chia seeds (or 2 tsp arrowroot starch or cornstarch)
1/8 tsp pure stevia and/or 3-4 tbsp granulated sweetener of choice

Topping
3/4 cup oat flour (I ground gluten-free rolled oats in a magic bullet)
2 Tbsp coconut flour (or 4 more Tbsp oat flour)
¼ cup coconut palm sugar or granulated sweetener of choice
15 drops vanilla-flavored liquid stevia or to taste (can use1/16 tsp powdered stevia or 3 more Tbsp granulated sweetener)
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp sea salt
1/2 cup non-dairy milk of choice
3 Tbsp coconut oil (I used butter-infused) or earth balance, ghee (if you can tolerate dairy), melted
¼ tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. To make the filling, if using fresh peaches, bring a 4-quart pot of water to a boil and fill a large bowl with ice water. With a paring knife, slice through each peach skin from end to end, but leave the peach intact. Place the peaches in the boiling water for 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peaches to the ice water for 30 seconds. Remove the skin from the peaches. Split the peaches in half, remove the pits, and slice each peach into 8 slices.

3. In a large bowl, toss together the sliced peaches, berries, lemon juice, cinnamon, and starch. Add the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time, to taste depending on the sweetness of the fruit. Pour the peach mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish.

4. To make the topping, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the milk, butter, and oil and stir to combine. Distribute spoonfuls of the batter over the peaches, leaving some patches uncovered. Sprinkle with the cinnamon. Bake until golden brown, 25-28 minutes.

Yields 4 large or 6 medium servings
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To view other recipes from this month’s reveal, click the link below!

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Grilled Pesto Chicken and Rutabaga Rice (AIP and Grain-free)

I’ve recently discovered rutabaga and it’s many ways to enjoy it! I’ve seen it at the store for years sitting next to the turnips and daikon radishes and never gave them a second glance, though I’m not sure why?! Over the last few months, I’ve experimented with various preparations and recipes and they are quite versatile and delicious.

While I love my quinoa and brown rice, sometimes I need a dish that’s light and filling and packed with nutrition… and this recipe fits the bill. Rutabaga is a bit sweeter than a turnip, compliments the hearty greens and they hold up nicely when pulsed into rice-like pieces in a food processor and sautéed in a skillet. If you are a fan of alternative rice dishes or you avoid grains and/or you follow a paleo lifestyle, add this dish to your repertoire!
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This AIP-friendly pesto can be used as a dip, a marinade, a sauce or a spread. You can whip up a batch quickly and marinade chicken or toss it with fresh roasted veggies for some added zip. For a vegan dish, substitute grilled portobella mushrooms or roasted cauliflower steaks for the chicken. Oh, how I love options! rutabag-rice-and-pesto-chicken1

Grilled Pesto Chicken & Rutabaga Rice (AIP-friendly, Grain-free) 
Gluten-free, Grain-free, AIP-friendly, Soy-free, Egg-free, Dairy-free, Paleo-friendly, Sugar-free, Nut and Seed-free

 For marinade:
4 chicken breasts (roughly 8 oz), pounded to even thickness to ensure even cooking
1/2 cup AIP-friendly pesto (use store bought if you can have nuts and/or dairy but check ingredients because might not be dairy-free, AIP-friendly and/or vegan)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt

For rutabaga rice:
2 medium rutabaga, peeled and cut into medium cubes
2 Tbsp coconut oil, olive oil or avocado oil
1 small yellow or white onion, small diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp sea salt or more to taste
3 cups chopped kale, swiss chard (or your favorite greens)
1/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth
fresh lemon juice for serving
additional pesto for serving if desired

Directions

  1. In a tupperware container with a lid or in a gallon zip lock bag, add chicken, pesto, lemon juice and salt. Shake around fully coated and let marinate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. To make the “rice”, pull out a food processor and use the “S” blade (you might be able to use a high-powered blender but I haven’t tried this). Add the cubed rutabaga chunks and pulse until it resembles a rice-like size.
  3. Preheat your outdoor grill or indoor grill pan (or skillet). Grill the chicken for 5-6 minutes on each side until cooked through depending on thickness (chicken is safely cooked when internal temperature reaches 160 degrees). Tent the chicken with foil and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.
  4. While chicken is cooking (or while resting after if you don’t want to multi-task), heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and rutabaga rice and saute for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add sea salt, kale/chard/greens and broth and stir. Cover with lid or aluminum foil and reduce heat to medium and cook for another 5-8 minutes, checking to see when the rutabaga “rice” is tender.
  6. Taste and season rice with salt if needed and/or toss in a drizzle of lemon juice or pesto. Serve with chicken and enjoy!

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Nut-free, Dairy-free Basil Pesto
Makes roughly 1/2 cup

3 1/2 cups chopped basil leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 1/2 cup more basil)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions for pesto: Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend on high for a smoother sauce-like pesto until smooth or pulse for 30 – 60 secs until pesto reaches your preferred consistency, stopping as needed to scrape down the sides of the blender or food processor with a spatula. Store leftovers in the fridge for 3 days.

Chubby Hubby Collagen Bars (No-Bake)

Chocolate and peanut butter is my go-to combo when I am craving a dessert or a sweet treat. I’ve been known to take a big spoonful of nut butter and sprinkle chocolate chips for a pick-me-up or slather a generous helping of peanut butter over a chocolate bar when I am craving a Reese’s cup. I’ll happily admit that…and the fact that this gal loves her chocolate. No shame here 🙂

When I came across these beauties from Brown-Eyed Baker, I knew I needed to make an allergy-friendly version! They almost have a Halloween-ish feel to them as well with the colors and the pretzels – so HAPPY HALLOWEEN…and what better way to celebrate than with a treat?!

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These bars are inspired by Ben and Jerry’s Chubby Hubby ice cream, which I used to adore. A sweet and salty combo will win me over every time when having to choose between an overly sweet option. There’s something about the contrast that really reels me in. I’ll sprinkle a bit of sea salt over most desserts for that little “extra something” almost every time.

A more bitter dark chocolate is always my favorite but if a sweeter chocolate is your preference, that can certainly be substituted. If you have a peanut or nut allergy or avoid legumes, use sunflower seed butter (which tastes the most like peanut butter) or substitute your favorite nut butter such as hazelnut, almond or cashew butter for a different flavor. I’ve been loving on collagen lately so I’ve been coming up with ways to incorporate it into different recipes (read about health benefits here); however for a vegan or vegetarian version, feel free to omit since it doesn’t effect the flavor.

chubbyhubbybarsmiddle These come together pretty quickly once you melt the chocolate. I had a bit of difficulty (and frustration since I wanted them to look pretty) when cutting these bars. so I imagine making individual portions in mini silicone muffin cups with mini pretzel twists would be even easier! I find the straight pretzel sticks in the cut bars pretty fun and aesthetically appealing but they are a pain if you’re looking for clean cuts. If you are anything like me, these won’t last long 🙂 chubbyhubbybarscloseChubby Hubby Collagen Bars (inspired by Brown-Eyed Baker’s recipe)
Gluten-free, Vegan & Vegetarian option, Refined Sugar free Option, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Egg-free, Nut-free Option, No-Bake

Ingredients

10 oz bag Enjoy Life chocolate chips (or your favorite dairy-free chocolate or homemade chocolate)
2 cups gluten-free pretzel sticks (or gluten-free mini pretzel twists if making individual cups)
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted (can use butter or ghee if not dairy-free)
2/3 cup all-natural creamy peanut butter (or favorite nut or seed butter if needed for allergy reasons)
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar, powdered or 4 Tbsp honey or agave (do not use honey if strict vegan)
3 scoops Vital Protein collagen peptides (blue lid — omit for vegetarian or vegan)

Directions

1. Line a 8×8 pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and set aside (or you can make individual cups by using mini muffin silicone molds)

2. Place half of the chocolate in a medium bowl and microwave on 50% power in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until completely melted. Pour the chocolate into an even layer in the prepared pan (or divide evenly among mini silicone cups).

3. Gently place the pretzel sticks in an even layer on top of the melted chocolate, I broke them in half but this isn’t necessary. Place the pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the next layer.

4. Whisk together the melted oil and peanut butter, then whisk in the sweetener and collagen until completely smooth. Spread in an even layer over top of the pretzels.

5. Melt the remaining half of the chocolate using the same method as in step #2. Pour the melted chocolate over the peanut butter layer and use an offset spatula to spread in an even layer. Return to the pan to the refrigerator until set, about 30 minutes. Cut into bars and serve.

Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Makes 16 bars

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Shawarma-Spiced Meat and Roasted Root Stew

It’s that time again in Montana, where the overcast days are more than just a rare occurrence and the winter is looming…while I’m holding on tight to fall as long as I can, I am embracing heartier dishes that heat me up from the inside-out. emu-roasted-root-stew That means it’s chili, stew and soup season! The first to make an appearance is this warm-spiced stew with ground emu and an array of sweet roasted root vegetables. Not only is this recipe easily adapted for what veggies and ground meat you have on hand, it’s a lovely pairing of sweet, salty and comfort with a variety of textures where you can swap out ingredients to suite your dietary needs. The root veggies compliment the shawarma spices and the ground meat beautifully, the apple cider vinegar makes the flavors really pop and the quinoa and mushrooms add to bulk and “meatiness” of the stew.

If you prefer a vegan or vegetarian cuisine, substitute the ground meat for chickpeas, more grains or add in additional mushrooms. If you do not have broccoli or zucchini on hand, swap either for chopped kale, chard and/or cauliflower. If you avoid grains, leave out the quinoa and serve on it’s own or over sweet potato or rutabaga rice.
emu-roasted-root-stew2Shawarma-Spiced Emu and Roasted Roots Stew
Paleo-friendly option, Vegan/Vegetarian option, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Nut-free, Seed-free, Egg-free, AIP-option, Grain-free option, Sugar-free

3/4 lb ground emu or ground meat of choice* (for vegan substitute 1 can of cooked chickpeas or 8 oz more mushrooms)
3 Tbsp olive oil, coconut oil or avocado oil (can reduce to 1 Tbsp if using a higher fat ground meat since emu is quite lean)
1 small onion, diced (yellow or sweet onion)
8 oz sliced mushrooms
3-4 Tbsp Shawarma curry spice mix**
1 small zucchini, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 -2 tsp sea salt
3-4 cups bone broth or homemade chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegan/vegetarian)
1-2 cups broccoli, broken or chopped into small florets
3/4 – 1 cup cooked quinoa (or rice. For veggie friendly, can increase to 2 cups or omit for paleo/grain-free)
3 cups roasted root veggies (sweet potato, beets, carrots, parsnips – one, two or a combo)***
2-3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley + more for garnish
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt to taste

Directions

  1. If you do not already have roasted root veggies on hand, go ahead and preheat oven to 400F. Toss the following peeled and small diced veggies in 2 Tbsp oil of choice and sea salt and roast for 30 minutes or until tender and lightly browned: 1 sweet potato, 1 beet, 1 carrot and 1 parsnip and set aside.
  2. In a soup pot or a Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and ground meat and saute until meat is no longer pink. (If using chickpeas, do not add quite yet), stirring often and breaking up pieces of meat into crumbles, about 7-8 minutes.
  3. Add in the remaining 1 Tbsp oil, shawarma spice mix, salt, garlic, mushrooms and zucchini and saute for another 6 minutes or so until mushrooms have released their natural juices.
  4. Add in broth/stock, broccoli, cooked quinoa (and chickpeas if vegan/vegetarian) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in cooked root veggies, apple cider vinegar and parsley and let cook for one minute or so. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, garnish with additional parsley and enjoy!

emu-roasted-root-stew1*Ground beef, bison, chicken, turkey or lamb would all be lovely options if not vegetarian. You can use up as much as 1 lb of meat if omitting the quinoa/rice or reduce to 1/2 pound of meat and increase grain or veggies if wanting to reduce the cost when purchasing good quality meat.

***I peeled and small diced 1 sweet potato, 1 beet, 1 carrot and 1 parsnip, then tossed in 2 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper and roasted at 400F for roughly 30 minutes until cooked and tender.

**If you follow the AIP diet, use the following shawarma spice blend and combine the following. Start with 2 1/2 – 3 Tbsp and add more if you want more flavor and spice, I am generous with seasoning but some people may prefer a more mild dish: 3 tsp garlic powder, 3 tsp onion powder, 2 tsp tsp tumeric, 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp sea salt, 3/4 tsp Ceylon cinnamon and 1/4 tsp cloves