Sunday, September 8, 2013

Blueberry Lemon Muffins: Practical Paleo

Krista Kooks Practical Paleo Blueberry Lemon Muffins (1)I haven't been able to blog about my cooking adventures in a really long time, but I finally made something so delicious and paired with enough time to rave about it that I had to take this chance while I had it!  Among needing to eat gluten-free because I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease (not Celiacs/Celiac’s) in Aug of 2010, the sous chef and I have also decided towards the beginning of this summer to embark on a Whole30 journey. 

Now, side note, if you decide that Whole30 is something you want to try, I highly encourage and, let’s face it, push you to read It Starts With Food.  No excuse; you should be able to read the tangible version or read on your mobile device (whatever that may be).

Anyway, as the two of us come off of this (second) Whole30, it’s part of the journey to begin adding certain foods back in to your diet to see how those foods affect you.  Because I strongly feel that I have certain specific foods that ail me beyond gluten, I’m taking this super slow and adding in one food item a day rather than a group of foods (i.e. grains).  Nevertheless, on the day that I made these delicious muffins, I was adding maple syrup back into my diet (I told you! Specific!).  Personally, I don’t think it matters if you are on a diet of any kind or not!!!  These muffins are amazing!!!  It certainly helps matters that they are gluten-free, grain-free, and paleo-friendly!Krista Kooks Practical Paleo Blueberry Lemon Muffins (3)a

This recipe was made exactly as the recipe specifies from Practical Paleo.  Shameless Thank You to our friends Kevin and Melissa for getting this book for us!!!Practical Paleo


  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, melted (Krista Kooks used butter.)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup grade B maple syrup (I used 100% pure maple syrup)
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (Krista Kooks used frozen, and thawed them slightly under cold running water before adding them to the batter.)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together the eggs, butter or coconut oil (remember, this should be melted), pure vanilla extract, maple syrup, and lemon juice, and lemon zest together in a large mixing bowl.  It works well to use a stand mixer fitted with your whisk attachment.  Sift in the coconut flour, sea salt, and baking soda and stir until well combined. Gently fold in the blueberries.

In a muffin tin, scoop 1/4 cup of the batter into each lined muffin cup (natural parchment muffin papers work best for lining), and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes. Krista Kooks used a silicone muffin pan which was lightly greased.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

13 Cup Kitchenaid Food Processor Fundraiser Giveaway!

My good friends Stori and Kelly are currently hosting a Fundraiser Giveaway on their family food making blog - Little Tummy Yummies!

For a donation of ANY AMOUNT, even $1, you can be entered to win a brand new 13 Cup Kitchen Aid Food Processor in the color of your choice!

Your donation will help fund the adoption of a special needs boy named Kai, who is currently living in Asia.

For more details on Kai and how to donate and be entered to win, go HERE:
Thank you so much for supporting this very worthy cause!
*** If you donated money for Kai's adoption, you also have the chance to win a brand new iPad 2 if you go HERE: 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Chipotle-Cornmeal Crusted Fish {Gluten Free}

I’ll just go ahead and prepare you know; for several posts in a row, I have more Pink Parsley repeats to show you.  I’m not sorry either.  I love what she posts, and almost everything she makes becomes a bookmark in my browser.  I love the recipes she makes!  So, thank you, Josie, for sharing!IMG_1808
I love this recipe, foremost, because the recipe is gluten free as is; always a plus in my kitchen.  The sous chef was impressed because of the amount of flavor you get in one bite.  The crust of the kitchen paired with the burst of flavor from the homemade salsa is delicious.  This is an easy weeknight meal, for sure.  This household highly suggests!

4 firm fish fillets (5-6 ounces each)
2 canned chipotles in adobo sauce, minced
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
juice of 1/2 lime
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cornmeal, or cornbread crumbs
Peach Salsa
2 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped
1 ripe tomato, cored, seeded, and chopped
1/2 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced (about 1 Tbsp)
juice of 1/2 lime
pinch salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the salsa, mix together all the ingredients, and set aside for at least 10 minutes. Taste and season accordingly.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a large baking sheet with oil. Pat the fillets dry with a paper towel, and season with salt and pepper.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the chipotles, oil, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, thyme, and salt. Pulse a few times to combine.
Pour the sauce into a shallow bowl or dish, and spread the cornmeal in a separate dish. Dip each fish fillet first into the chipotle sauce, then dredge in the cornmeal. Turn the fish several times to coat, and pat the fillets to adhere the crumbs. Arrange the fish in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with a small amount of oil.
Bake uncovered until the fillets are golden and the fish flakes easily with a fork. It could be as little as 10 minutes, or up to 25 depending on the type and thickness of the fish. For the last 2 minutes, turn on the broiler to achieve a crispy crust.
Serve with peach salsa and lime wedges.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tortilla and Black Bean Pie {Gluten Free}

Krista Kooks Gluten Free Tortilla and Black Bean Pie 3
Surely you are looking at this picture and thinking, “Oh thank you, Krista!”  No?  Well, what if I told you this recipe has black beans, corn, chipotle, cheese and more layered between tortillas?  It really is delish, as is anything I typically make via Pink Parsley.  This recipe originates on, which bothers me, but I’m glad it made it through the food blogosphere through Savory Spicy Sweet to Annie’s Eats to Pink Parsley

The sous chef and I really enjoyed this recipe, and it was an easy recipe to adapt to gluten free.  You’ll see why below.  If you don’t need to make this gluten free, you can easily use flour tortillas for this (10-inch), and clearly you won’t need gluten free beer.  Because we both love Tex-Mex and Southwestern flavored dishes, this was an easy decision to add to the menu.  Hopefully you enjoy as well!  This is super easy to make.

4 corn tortillas
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, diced
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
kosher salt and freshly ground peppe
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (10-ounce) bag frozen corn
1 12-ounce gluten free beer, or 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
4 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped, plus more for garnish
8 ounces cheese, shredded (Feel free to use a Mexican or Southwestern cheese of your preference; Monterrey Jack is easy and yummy for this recipe)
salsa and sour cream, for serving (insure that these are gluten free; Daisy brand sour cream is GF)

Preheat the oven to 400.
Using the bottom of the pan as a guide, use a paring knife to trim the edges of the tortillas so that they fit in a 9-inch springform pan.  

Heat the oil in a large skillet set over medium heat.  Saute the onion and jalapeno until soft, 5-10 minutes.  Add the garlic, chipotle, cumin, chile powder, salt and pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  

Add the beans and beer to the skillet, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, 8-10 minutes.  Mix in the corn, scallions, and cilantro, and remove from heat.

Lay one of the tortillas across the bottom of the springform pan.  Layer with 1/4 of the beans, and sprinkle with cheese.  Repeat 3 times, finishing with beans and cheese.  Bake until cheese is melted and the mixture is heated through, about 20-25 minutes.

Remove from oven and unmold the pie.  Garnish with remaining scallions and cilantro, and serve with sour cream.Krista Kooks Gluten Free Tortilla and Black Bean Pie

Monday, August 8, 2011

Chewy Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies from Alton Brown

Krista Kooks Gluten Free Alton Brown Chocolate Chip Cookies 2As I move forward to cooking and baking more gluten free foods, I’m trying to learn from all different avenues, just as I was before being diagnosed.  After all, it’s not as though I was a chef before; I have many things to learn regardless of my diet!  Nevertheless, I found this recipe (while no doubt craving chocolate), and I liked that I already had the ingredients on hand :)  It’s true!  When you have a gluten free kitchen, brown rice flour, tapioca flour and many other sorts are commonly on hand.

In fact, the sous chef and I have an entire freezer of flour!  I don’t lie, my friends.  I order our flour in bulk from Amazon in order to save money.  In case it’s a news flash for you, diets, regardless of the type, aren’t cheap.  Thus, I’d like to consider myself somewhat thrifty in finding ways to save.

Ok, I digress.  These cookies are amazing!  People honestly cannot tell that they are gluten free.  If you are not familiar with tapioca flour/starch, it’s a sweet flavor.  Hence it’s utilization here!  Also, brown rice flour is surprisingly sweet as well.  Brown rice flour is used in most baking recipes anyway though.  I’d say it’s a staple in GF baking.  I think this recipe is easily my new go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe.  The sous chef and I would highly encourage you baking these whether you are gluten free or not!

8 ounces unsalted butter
11 ounces brown rice flour, approximately 2 cups
1 1/4 ounces cornstarch, approximately 1/4 cup
1/2-ounce tapioca flour, approximately 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 ounces sugar, approximately 1/4 cup
10 ounces light brown sugar, approximately 1 1/4 cups
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Once melted, pour into the bowl of a stand mixer.

In a medium bowl, sift together the rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca flour, xantham gum, salt and baking soda. Set aside.

Add both of the sugars to the bowl with the butter and using the paddle attachment, cream together on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the whole egg, egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir to combine.

Chill the dough in the refrigerator until firm, approximately 1 hour. Shape the dough into 2-ounce balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes, rotating the pans after 7 minutes for even baking. Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on the pans for 2 minutes. Move the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely. Store cooked cookies in an airtight container.
Krista Kooks Gluten Free Alton Brown Chocolate Chip Cookies
Note: If you are making this for someone who is gluten intolerant, please use parchment paper on your baking sheet or stone as to prevent cross contamination as best you can.  You should also wash your prep bowls and dishes very well before usage.

Monday, July 25, 2011

‘Out of this World’ Stuffing from Bethenny Frankel (Gluten Free)

Krista Kooks Betheny Frankel Out of this Word Stuffing Gluten Free
I can’t not share that this is ‘Out of this World’ stuffing because that’s the name that Bethenny’s titled it.  Truth is…it’s better than out of this world.

This was my first ever attempt at making stuffing (or dressing for those of you that call it that).  I’d never had to make it before because other women in my extended family took care of that each year for my entire life.  Outside of Thanksgiving, I had the StoveTop version of stuffing.  Anyway, now that I’ve been diagnosed with Celiac Disease and must eat gluten free, I had to take matters into my own hands.  I was NOT prepared to not have stuffing for Thanksgiving (or Christmas).  I was determined to make it happen.  Since Bethenny has yet to fail me with delicious recipes, I decided to trust her on this one.

Further to that, since bread is the main thing involved in any stuffing recipe, I had to ensure that I was selecting the right bread for this.  In true Krista fashion, I should have baked the bread myself.  However, I wasn’t trying to overdo it this time, so I selected Udi’s Whole Grain bread!  I’m quite disappointed in our local grocery stores only selling the small loaves.  Ugh.  It’s just not enough.  Fortunately, I discovered that since Jason’s Deli serves this same bread, you can purchase it straight from their store!  Better still, they sell a LARGE loaf of this bread.  I purchased 2 loaves from them (just in case), and it was much more economical and efficient.

As for other details of this recipe, dried morels were difficult to find.  I did find them (finally) at Whole Foods.  FYI, they are not cheap, but they ARE worth it!

If you decide to proceed with your recipe as being gluten free, just be sure that your bread, turkey sausage, and chicken stock (if used) are gluten free.

I so enjoyed every bit of this recipe, and I’m no longer scared of making stuffing.  I’m so thrilled to have found a recipe that makes eating gluten free more exciting than not eating gluten free.  I know this recipe wasn’t intended for the GF world, but, when modified, it’s fantastic!!!

1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
½ teaspoon pepper, plus more as needed
1 or 2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
4 sprigs sage, finely chopped
Leaves from 6 to 8 sprigs of thyme, finely chopped
½ pound turkey sausage (choose your favorite)
Splash of good dry white wine
1 teaspoon butter
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced (whatever kind you like or use an assortment)
½ cup dried morel mushrooms, coarsely chopped and soaked in water until soft
½ loaf of 9-grain or multi-grain bread, toasted and chopped (reference my comments above on making Gluten Free)
½ to 1 cup chicken stock, mushroom broth, white wine, or other richly-flavored liquid
1 egg beaten
Cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Sauté the onion and celery in olive oil in a nonstick pan. Add salt, pepper, garlic, sage and thyme.
Remove the sausage from the casing (if it is in casing) and break into small pieces. Add to the pan and sauté until browned. Add the wine and butter. Stir in the mushrooms, morels, and the water the morels were soaked in.
Place the breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Pour the sausage mixture over the top and toss to coat. If the mixture seems dry, add a splash of chicken stock, mushroom broth, wine or other flavored liquid. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Add a beaten egg and mix well. Put it into a large baking pan sprayed with cooking spray.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, then turn the oven to broil. Broil for five minutes to make the top crunchy -- but watch closely to be sure it does not burn.Krista Kooks Betheny Frankel Out of this Word Stuffing Gluten Free 2 By the way, yes, I am VERY behind on posting Winking smile

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cajun Black Beans and Rice

Gluten Free notes at the bottom of this post.Krista Kooks Cajun Red Beans and Rice 2So much of what I have forthcoming is from Pink Parsley.  I’m hard-pressed to find something she posts that I DON’T want to make for myself and the sous chef.  This recipe was not any different.Krista Kooks Cajun Red Beans and Rice
I’m serious…YUM!  To be fair, if you check out her recipe, you’ll notice that it should be red beans.  Yep, I had red beans purchased, too.  They were sitting right there next to the black beans in my pantry.  However, I manage to grab the black beans which is what ended up in my recipe.  Not so bog of a deal though; this was still fantastic.

What I love about good recipes that I want to share with family and friends is their capability of being good leftovers because I don’t ideally like leftovers.  I’m the kind of person that needs to have the best smelling and best tasting leftovers, which is usually how I determine what recipes I will make and then how much of that recipe I will make.  Hence the reason why this recipe was selected!

1 pound small red beans, rinsed and picked over (As I said above, Krista Kooks used black beans and used canned beans instead of doing the overnight process below)
4 slices of bacon, chopped fine
1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper (1/2-1 pepper)
1/2 cup chopped celery (1-2 ribs)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
1 tsp paprika
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
ground black pepper
3 cups chicken broth
6 cups water
10 ounces andouille or chicken andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 tsp red wine vinegar, plus more for seasoning
3 scallions, sliced thin
hot sauce, for serving

Dissolve 3 tablespoons of salt in 4 quarts of water in a large pot and add the beans. For the overnight brine, allow to soak at least 8 hours, or up to 24 hours. For the quick-soak method, bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat, cover, and stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse the beans.

In a large dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring frequently. Cook until browned and almost fully rendered, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 6-7 minutes. Add the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, paprika, cayenne pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minutes, stirring constantly.

Stir in beans, broth, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat but just enough to still maintain a vigorous simmer. Stirring occasionally, cook 45-60 minutes, or until the beans are soft and the liquid has begun to thicken.

Stir in the sausage and 2 teaspoons of the red wine vinegar. Cook until the liquid is thick and the beans are fully tender and creamy, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with additional salt, pepper, and vinegar. Serve over rice, sprinkled with scallions and passed with hot sauce.

Make it Gluten Free!
  • Fortunately, this recipe is easily made gluten free!  Just be sure that your bacon and sausage are gluten free, and everything will be fine.  If using hot sauce, check that as well.  If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment to ask!Krista Kooks Cajun Red Beans and Rice 3


Blog Widget by LinkWithin