Gluten Free Banana Bread

Do you have a gluten allergy? Are you celiac? I get this question from friends when they see posts or see me avoiding the so loved “gluten” containing foods. So to answer the question: No, I am not but I choose for the most part to avoid grains, not only the ones that contain gluten but grains in general. The grains that are around nowadays are not the same ones that our ancestors used to eat 500 years ago. They are highly processed and genetically modified so our bodies have a hard time processing it (even if you are not celiac). All grains are rich in carbohydrates so every time you consume them it raises your glycemic index, which then makes your body raise its insulin levels…the higher you keep your insulin levels the harder it is to lose weight so our body tends to “accumulate” the fat (which by the way is not there because we eat foods that contain “fat” but rather from the excess of simple carbohydrates we consume) . What do we feed our chickens and cows to make them fat and meaty? Grains…mainly soy and corn (unless they are pasture raised and free range). Don’t get me wrong! I love some good pizza (Chicago Deep dish yummm), pasta and meatballs and freshly baked bread! How can I not? I just choose the right occasion to eat those. I don’t have to eat it everyday or week but I do when I feel like it. Everything in moderation 🙂

A few books I read about this subject that I highly reccomend are: The Brain Grain, Good Calories Bad Calories and the Blue Zones Solution (not necessarily about ditching the grains but eating less processed foods).

So like the good foodie that I am, I always try to recreate my favorite dishes into a healthier version. I swap regular flour for almond or coconut flour. Dark chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate chips and so on. I AVOID at all times vegetable oils (canola, soy, safflower, corn, etc). They are full of trans-fat, heavily processed and filled with Omega 6 fatty acids which are highly inflammatory. If you want to read more about it please click this link http://drhyman.com/blog/2016/01/29/why-oil-is-bad-for-you/

Instead I cook with butter, ghee, coconut, avocado, grape seed and olive oils. I have all of those in my pantry/fridge at all times 🙂

Okay…and now to the main star of this post – the banana bread! This is the the first time I make this recipe and it turned out pretty good. I am sure as I make it more and try different things I will come up with a better version, and as I do so I will update the post. This bread is a good on the go breakfast option. Josh took a piece with him to work everyday this week and he loved it. The dark chocolate chips give it just the right amount of sweetness and the walnuts a good crunch.

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

3 ripe bananas

1/2 cup of coconut oil

1 cup of a natural sweetener (I used erythritol)

2 eggs

1/4 cup of milk (coconut or almond milk work too)

1 tsp of vanilla

2 cups of almond flour (or a mix of coconut and almond flour)

2 tsp of baking soda

1/2 cup of chopped toasted walnuts

1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips (I may have used a bit more than 1/2 cup whoopsie!)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and spray the inside of a 8×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. I also lined the pan with parchment paper (not sure if it makes a difference or not).
  2. Peel and mash the ripe bananas in a bowl (you can choose if you want smooth or chunky bananas. I mashed mine until smooth).
  3. Melt the coconut oil in the microwave (30 secs).
  4. In a different bowl, combine the sweetener and the melted coconut oil and whisk until combined
  5. Add the eggs to the bowl and whisk until combined and smooth
  6. Add the milk and vanilla and mix well
  7. Add the batter to the mashed bananas and whisk them together
  8. Add the flour, baking soda and salt and mix everything gently with a spatula.
  9. Add the chocolate chips and walnuts and fold into the batter.
  10. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 55-60 minutes. Let it cool for at least 10 minutes before removing it from pan and another 10 minutes before slicing it. (I know, it is hard to wait…it smells so gooooood…but you can do it!)

Let me know if you make this recipe and how you like it! I am open to any suggestions too 🙂

Have a good Sunday and a great week, everyone!

Much love,

Thaya Mosier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spinach and Egg Casserole

I loooooooove a good egg casserole! They are great for breakfast, brunch or dinner and packed with good protein and healthy fats. Eggs are not our enemies, peeps! I didn’t add any bread or refined flour to my recipe but I had some cooked sweet potatoes in my fridge so I decided to add that to the mix for some hearty texture. The feta cheese and sun dried tomatoes give this dish a kind of mediterranean flavor and everything just comes together so well.

We had our friends from Michigan visiting that weekend so I just wanted some make-ahead easy breakfast option to serve our guests and what’s easier than a casserole? Well, turns out they left early on Sunday and Josh and I had the entire egg casserole to ourselves! We had lots of leftovers so we also had it for dinner that Monday night. Easy breeze, no problem!

I put everything together the night before and refrigerated overnight. The next morning I just popped it in the oven for 40 minutes while enjoying my coffee and voila…breakfast was ready!

 

INGREDIENTS

4 oz of diced pancetta (Italian style bacon- I buy my at Trader Joe’s)

4 oz of feta cheese, crumbled

1 medium yellow onion, diced

3 cloves of diced garlic

2 cups of fresh spinach, chopped

2 tbsp of sun-dried tomatoes

2 cups of cooked sweet potatoes, cubed

10 eggs, whisked with ½ cup of milk (or almond milk) and seasoned with salt and pepper

Salt, pepper, oregano and paprika to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Grease with olive oil a 13”x 9” casserole pan
  2. In a large skillet add the pancetta and cooked until no longer pink (there is no need to add oil to the skillet because the pancetta will release its fat)
  3. Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent
  4. Add the spinach and cook until wilted and add all seasonings
  5. Spread the cooked sweet potatoes in the bottom of the casserole pan
  6. Add the cooked mixture on top of the sweet potatoes
  7. Spread the sun-dried tomatoes and the crumbled feta cheese
  8. Add your egg mixture, cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight or cook it right away on a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes 

Hope everyone has a great week! Let me know if you try this out 🙂

Thaya Mosier

Gluten-Free Carrot Muffins

Weekends are for experimenting in the kitchen and with this foggy, rainy and cold weather that we are having in the Chicago area there’s nothing better to do than turning the oven on and baking some goodies! The smell of freshly baked anything is just so comforting!

I have to admit that I am not much of a baker but these carrot muffins taste SO GOOD! Like real good….and they look cute too. It was so easy to make them and you just need a few ingredients. They are great as a snack, a treat or as a nutritious and filling breakfast.  They are fluffy and have just the right amount of sweetness… and the MELTED dark chocolate chips….hmmm do I even have to explain? Just see the pic below 🙂

And did I mention they are gluten and grain free? Oh! and lots of some good fiber from the carrots and psyllium (natural fiber – I got my bag on Amazon and use it to thicken sauces and to add soluble fibers to baked goods).

YOU WILL NEED:

  • 9 oz of baby carrots, cut into smaller pieces
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp of coconut oil (melted in the microwave for 30 seconds)
  • 1 cup of a natural sweetener (stevia, erythritol, xylitol, date sugar)
  • 1 1/2 cups of almond flour
  • 2 tbsp of psyllium
  • 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp of pumpkin spice powder (got mine at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tbsp of baking powder

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a 12 muffin pan with coconut oil spray
  2. Mix in a blender the carrots, eggs and coconut oil
  3. Add the mixture to a mixing bowl and add the natural sweetener and almond flour and mix well with a spatula
  4. Add the psyllium and pumpkin spice powder, mix well and add the chocolate chips and mix
  5. Add the baking powder and mix into the batter slowly
  6. Bake it for 25 minutes and boom! Done 🙂

Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Chicken Stir-fry with cauliflower “rice”

 

Sooooo…it’s Hump-Day and the very 1st day of November! (wooow this year just flew by). Time to put away all the Halloween decor and start preparing for Thanksgiving…and then Christmas! Ahhh…my favorite time of the year! We can get pretty busy at this time of the year preparing for the holidays: Thanksgiving hosting, end of the year work parties, planning Christmas break trips, Christmas shopping (it’s never too early to start that -note to self!), etc.

Okay, so if you are busy like me but don’t really want to just order some take-out at the end of the day this ONE SKILLET meal is perfect for you! You can easily prep ahead on the weekend and re-heat during the week. It is super easy to clean and if you like convenience you can use mostly frozen veggies to save time on the chopping 🙂 YAY!

Unlike most people think, frozen veggies are just as healthy if not healthier than fresh ones. Companies flash freeze the veggies at the peak of harvest so more nutrients are preserved with it.  Vegetables start losing nutrients once they are harvested so when they are transported across the country to your local grocery store a good portion of the nutrients can be “lost in transit”. Ideally and weather permitting it would be nice to have a year-round farmers market where you can shop for produce. I always have ORGANIC frozen green beans, broccoli, cauliflower rice, peas, and the mixed veggies pictured below that I add to stir-frys. All from Costco but the Cauli-rice.

Ever since I discovered Trader Joe’s Organic frozen cauliflower “rice” I have been obsessed with it. I have at least 5 packages in my freezer at all times. It tastes like rice, the texture is like rice but unlike rice, our “fake” rice has 8 x LESS calories than the real deal. Besides that, if you are trying to lose weight and the calories alone are not enough, cauliflower rice has 9x LESS carbohidrates than regular rice and a low-carb diet is sure to keep your weight down if you are eating healthy proteins and fat. Annnnnnd not to mention, loaded with fiber, vitamin C, K, B6 and potassium.

The quantities below were enough for us to have dinner with enough leftovers for Josh’s lunch the next day. The entire recipe has about 1,000 calories ONLY!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 chicken breasts, diced in cubes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 16 oz cauliflower rice (I use store bought but you can make it from scratch if you are up to the challenge)
  • 16 oz of frozen broccoli florets
  • 1 cup of frozen mixed veggies (any combo will work)
  • 2 tbsp of avocado oil
  • Chicken or bone broth, as needed
  • salt and pepper

For the Sauce:

  • Mix in a bowl and set aside: 1/4 cup of soy or Tamari sauce + 1 tbsp of peanut butter + 2 tsp of Sriracha + 1 tsp of maple syrup

DIRECTIONS

  1. Add oil to the skillet on medium heat and add the onion, cook for 2-3 min then add the garlic and cook for another 2 mins
  2. Add your diced chicken and cook until cooked thru and no longer pink (10-12 mins)
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  4. Add the broccoli and cook for another 10 minutes until tender
  5. If the veggies or chicken start to stick to the pan add a little broth to get some moisture in and lower the stove temp
  6. Add the mixed veggies and cook for 3-5 min
  7. Add your cauliflower rice and cook and mix well with the other veggies until cooked well, 2-3 minutes
  8. Lastly, add your sauce. Mix everything well cooking altogether for 2 minutes or so. Once done, let it sit there for a few minutes and ENJOY!

* I hope you try this recipe and if you do take a pic and use #twopeasandapan  

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Cheers!

Thaya Mosier

 

Eggplant Lasagna

What comes to your mind when you think of comfort food? Homemade chili? Chicken noodle soup? A meaty and hearty lasagna? Yessssss, please!

I love some good Italian food but I am always avoiding it because of the amount of calories they usually have. Besides that, most restaurants where they serve Italian dishes give you a portion waaaaaay too big and the ingredients are not really fresh so it makes you feel way full and bloated at the end. Obviously you can always find a good and “authentic” Italian place but those are hard to find out in the burbs. Josh and I went to Italy just about a year ago and it was by far one of my favorite trips! The history, architecture, the food and people….ohhhh and the gelato! Can’t forget about that! It was an amazing experience and we loved every minute. Having a carafe of the local wine for lunch, sitting outside a little deli…taking our time…enjoying a meal and a long conversation.  You’re welcome to stay as long as you want to enjoy the ambience and don’t feel rushed.

Well, enough about our Italy trip…there is enough content there for an entire post which I will eventually do but let’s get back to the lasagna. Lasagna was originally invented in Italy and consists of layering durum wheat noodles, a ragu sauce made with a mix of ground pork, beef and fresh tomato sauce and béchamel sauce. There are lots of variations and recipes out there and I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them. I created this recipe because I wanted the best of both worlds…the feel of a hearty comfort food and the not feeling bad or guilty about eating lots of carbs/gluten and bloated. I am all about keeping my carb intake low and eating very little processed food and healthy fats. I am not afraid of the fat of the meat or the fatty cheese because that’s real food. I am concerned about what comes in a box, highly processed and filled with ingredients we can’t pronounce (but again, this is probably a topic for a whole new post). I don’t have any food allergies but I’ve learned over the years in search of my best body that I feel and look best when I avoid gluten and processed carbohydrates.

Okay, back to the lasagna….I make this recipe probably once a month because it makes for some awesome leftovers that you can bring to work for lunch or reheat for dinner next day. It freezes really well too! I used grass-fed organic ground beef (85/15) on this recipe but I have made it with ground turkey and a mix of beef and pork before too. I use Costco’s organic marinara sauce for the meat mixture but you can make your own sauce or just use any store-bought tomato sauce (just watch out for ingredients that you don’t recognize the name of or added sugar….I always read the ingredients list when I am buying something in a box, can or container).

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 medium-large eggplants (cut about 1/2″ or less thick lengthwise. I usually don’t use the 4 pieces that have the skin on most of it)
  • 2 lbs of ground beef (85/15)
  • 2 cups of marinara or tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 16 oz of ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp of ghee or butter
  • olive oil to coat the eggplant
  • a handful of fresh basil
  • 1 tsp of oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Coat the slices of eggplant with olive oil, salt and pepper and put in a baking sheet. Bake for 10 mins each side so the eggplants are softer (you can do that while you are making the meat sauce).
  3. In a large skillet heat the ghee over medium heat, then add the onions and cook for 2 min or so. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 mins.
  4. Add the meat and crumble it while cooking it thru until no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper and any other desired seasonings.
  5. Once the meat is fully cooked, add the frozen peas. If the skillet gets too dry and the meat starts sticking to it just add some water, broth or wine.
  6. Cook the peas with the meat for about 3-5 minutes until defrosted.
  7. Add the marinara sauce and mix well with the meat. Lower the temperature and cook for about 10 mins or so.
  8. By this time your eggplant is cooked and you can start making the ricotta mixture.
  9. Mix well the ricotta, 1 cup of mozzarella, oregano, egg, basil and salt and pepper in a bowl.
  10. The layers: In a 9″x13″ casserole dish greased with olive oil, add a thin layer of the meat followed by a layer of the eggplant. Try to cover up any holes you can by cutting smaller pieces to fill any spaces you have in between.
  11. Add the ricotta mixture on top of the eggplant, then add more meat.
  12. Add the last layer of eggplant, the rest of the meat and sprinkle with a cup of mozzarella cheese followed by some parmesan.
  13. Cover with aluminum foil and cook in the 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes
  14. Uncover the lasagna and cook for another 20 minutes (keep an eye on it to not let it burn).
  15. Take it out of the oven, cover with the foil again and let sit there for 10 minutes to set and cool a bit.
  16. Open a good bottle of red wine and enjoy it!

Hope you enjoy this recipe! Leave comments with questions and feedback if you have any 🙂

Have a good weekend!

Thaya Mosier

 

 

Mahi-Mahi Tacos

I am excited to share this simple, yet delicious mahi-mahi taco recipe I made the other night for dinner. If you don’t have mahi-mahi you can use tilapia or even salmon. I worked for most of the day on Saturday and by the time I got home and took a shower I didn’t feel like spending  all night in the kitchen cooking dinner. Josh was watching the MSU vs Indiana game and was not much in the mood to be my sous chef so I went to Trader Joe’s to pick up some corn tortillas (when in doubt of what to eat..think tacos!).

I LOOOVE fish and try to eat it at least once a week. I try to stick with wild caught but it is sometimes challenging while eating out. It’s not always noted on the menu wether or not it’s wild caught or farm-raised and sometimes even when you ask the waiter they don’t know the answer. I can control what I eat at home though and Costco has been a good source of frozen wild caught fish. I rotate the varieties between salmon, cod and mahi-mahi from there and always have my albacore tuna cans handy. The recipe below is so easy to make and can be done in about 30 minutes or so, perfect for a busy Tuesday night after work. Grab a margarita and it’s Taco Tuesday, amigos!

MAHI-MAHI TACOS WITH CABBAGE SLAW

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 mahi-mahi fillets (frozen, defrosted overnight)
  • 2 cups  of finely chopped purple cabbage
  • 1/4 red onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • A handful of fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 lime
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of greek yogurt
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • Guacamole (store bought or freshly made)
  • Spices: salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, chili powder

DIRECTIONS:

1. Start off by marinating the fish in a mixture of 2 tbsp of olive oil, lime juice and spices. I usually don’t measure the spices and don’t mind a little heat so just add as much or as little as you want. I let it marinate for a little over one hour in the fridge and turned it once but 15-20 mins would be enough.

2. Make the slaw: mix the cabbage, onion, garlic and chopped cilantro in a bowl.   In a smaller bowl mix the greek yogurt and the chili powder then add to the veggie mix. Toss it altogether and put it in the fridge until ready to serve.

3. When ready to eat: pre heat a cast iron pan to medium heat and add a tbsp of olive oil. When hot, add the fish and let it cook 3-4 minutes each side. Add the marinate juice to the pan when turning the fish and wait for the water to disappear. Roughly chop the fish with a spatula.

4. Heat up your tortillas: I usually do about 10 seconds or so each side on a pan or you can put it in the microwave.

5. Put everything together: spread some guac to the tortilla, add some fish and top it with the slaw. Garnish with fresh cilantro, lime and a splash of Sriracha! The possibilities are endless here!

Let me know what you think!

Thaya

 

 

 

 

It’s soup season, peeps!

Who doesn’t love Fall and everything that comes with it? Pumpkin spiced EVERYTHING, football (because now you can go back to making chili every Sunday), the beautiful colors (see picture below), boots, scarves and comfy sweaters…ahhhh….my favorite time of the year but it never lasts long. Winter always comes too quickly to Chicago (even when we don’t get any snow, go figure!).

I personally love soups because you can easily throw a bunch of vegetables in a crockpot and let it cook all day or you can mix something together in about 20 minutes. Depending on the ingredients you use, soups can help cleanse your body, lose weight or just warm your heart and soul on a chilly fall night or cold winter day.

Usually on Mondays (regardless if it’s Fall or not), I like to do a meatless day and try to detox my body and start the week off on the right track. I am less strict about what I eat/drink on the weekends and still try to stick with a healthy diet but sometimes we can splurge a little too much and need to do some damage control on Mondays to rebalance. I meal prep on Sundays writing down everything that we will have for dinner and lunch that week so we can go to the grocery store and buy what we  need. I find it so much easier so this way I don’t have to stop at a grocery store after work because we are prepared and have everything we need. Also it helps with food waste (I hate throwing away food). Sometimes I make my Monday night dinner on Sundays so I can go to the gym after work on Monday and just re-heat dinner once I get home.

This butternut squash soup is so easy to make and it tastes amazing! The curry and turmeric seasonings help reduce inflammation on the body (I add turmeric to almost everything I cook). The coconut cream (I use the one below from Trader Joe’s) helps make this soup creamier. Without the croutons, this is gluten free. Your choice, though!

 

 

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 5 tablespoons of coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of broth (I use chicken bone broth because of the added benefits of bone broth)
  • 1/2 tsp of curry
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp of coriander
  • 1/2 tsp of paprika
  • salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Dice onions, garlic and squash (don’t worry about chopping at even sizes since everything will be pureed).

2.  Add 1 tbsp of butter to a dutch oven pan (medium heat).

3. Once butter is melted, add the onions and cook until translucent then add garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.

4. Add the squash and cook for another 5-10 minutes mixing everything together (add salt and pepper to taste).

5. Add the broth (about 1.5 cups depending on the size of your squash). You just want enough liquid to cover the squash. Let it cook for 15-20 minutes.

6. Turn the stove off and with a hand mixer or a blender puree everything.

7. Add the coconut cream and all the spices, turn the stove back on and mix all together for 3-5 minutes and turn it off.

8. Garnish with whatever you’d like. We added cilantro and pretzel bread croutons.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and look forward to your feedback!

Let’s have a great week, everyone!

Thaya Mosier

 

 

Two Peas and a Pan

Okay…so after so many times of Josh and I talking about building a blog I finally said yeah…let’s do it! So I started reading about how to do it and realized it’s a lot more work than what I originally thought. Well, too late to go back – I am now committed!

I found a lot of answers and ideas on a famous blog called a “pinch of yum” and on the “Food Blogger Pro” (both of which are operated by the same couple). I bought a domain for the year on bluehost and started building our blog. Then….we hit our first dilemma: what are we going to name it? What is going to be our domain?

Well…once upon a time, around August of 2010 is when Josh and I met (at a bar in Chicago). We exchanged phone numbers and started texting before our first date. After chatting for awhile Josh sent a text saying that we were like “2 peas in a pod” and said we should go out on a date. As many of you probably know, I am from Brazil and at that point I was living here for about 2 years only and had no idea of what that expression meant. I asked my then host mom and she explained it to me. A few days later, Josh drove about 40 minutes or so to pick me up and take me out on our first date to Tilted Kilt. I know, not very romantic but I didn’t have a whole lot of options on the area I lived. Ever since that first date, Josh and I have been inseparable and we thought that “two peas and a pan” would be  a fitting name for our blog. Because that’s what we are. Well, I do usually use more than just a pan when I am cooking but let’s not take things too literally.

So that’s the very first post on our blog and the first of many to come. Please don’t be shy and share your comments and thoughts with us! We would love to hear from you 🙂