gluten free

The Garlic eSCAPE

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It’s summer time and I am up to my ears in garlic scapes.

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I literally can not eSCAPE them.

Yes, that is me drowning in a swamp of scapes.
This really happened.

(the photo happened, I didn’t actually drown)

I recently had an opportunity to provide some Nourishing Noms for a beach photo shoot with other local vendors, but the recent torrential rain forced us to reschedule, leaving me with more food than I knew what to do with!

I had teamed up with Casco Bay Organics to provide me with some local, organic produce for the shoot and they were SO GENEROUS with their veggies. Not only did I get my weekly produce box delivered, but they supplied me with all sorts of produce and herbs to showcase at the shoot. I was able to cook and save most of the food I received, but I still had this shopping bag overflowing with garlic scapes that I had to use up. So what did I decide to do?

MAKE PESTO, obviously.

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Actually, that might not be so obvious. It turns out, the same day I received my weight in scapes, my aunt had brought me some scapes from her garden with the complaint that she had no idea what to do with them!

Well, dear friends. Here is a basic Vegan Garlic Scape Pesto you can use to feel oh-so-fancy this summer. So grab some scapes, check out Casco Bay Organics if you’re in the Portland area and enjoy some seriously Nourishing Noms!

Garlic Scape Pesto

(Vegan, Dairy-Free, Grain Free)

Ingredients:
1 bunch garlic scapes, chopped (8-10 stalks)
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley
3 tbsp almonds (I’ve had great results with hemp seeds as well!)
1/2-3/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp  nutritional yeast
Sea salt
Pepper
Directions:
1. Trim the knobs off the ends of the garlic scapes and rough chop the stalks.
2. Toss scapes, basil, parsley and almonds into a food processor and whirl on high, scraping down the sides periodically.
3. Begin to slowly drizzle olive oil while processing.
4. Add nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and blend until you reach your desired consistency. I prefer mine chunky and less oily.
5. Serve on grilled chicken or fish, toss with zucchini pasta for a delicious raw dish or you could even use this pesto as a dip for chips and veggies!
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Show me your summer pesto recipes on Instagram by tagging ME–

@NourishingNomsWithSam and using the hashtag #Nourishingnoms !

Flaxseed Focaccia Bread + The Secret to Health

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WTF do we eat to be healthy NOW?

Will it change tomorrow?

Will there ever be a straight answer?

WHAT IS THE SECRET?!

You know the secret.

It’s YOU.

YEAH man. Only YOU know the key to YOUR body’s happiness. The trick is trying to listen to your body’s signals and messages.

For me, cutting out all grains (even gluten free ones) and eating on the lower starch side helped me lose the weight I needed to relieve my back pain and feel more vibrant. I have also successfully maintained my healthy weight and kept pain at bay by re-introducing some starches in moderation.

This took a little trial and error. It wasn’t always easy, but what I learned about my body and digestion was immeasurable. 

I can now say “no thanks” to foods that will make my belly feel all bubbly and uncomfortable. This isn’t  because I think it might be a “BAD” food, but because I have physically felt the discomfort or seen my bodes’ reaction to consuming it. That message hits home a little harder than simply knowing calories, fats, protein, carb counts. Yes, your healthy froyo might only have 3 grams of fat and 50 calories, but how are you going to FEEL after you eat it?

Let me say this: I do not judge anyone for eating differently than I do.

Really. I know healthy means different things for different people. I am a firm believer in  FOOD as FUEL and the highest quality fuel for your body is the BEST. For me, grains make me tired, sluggish, bloated and hungry. For others, it’s their best form of protein and energy.

I pride myself in being fluent in nutritional know how so I can help others navigate these  waters with support and accountability. I love sharing my passion for food and cooking and inspiring others to find their personal vitality. 

I share with you a bread recipe I adapted from a recipe I saw here a few years ago. It’s grain and gluten free, but even the most die-hard gluten-ites have raved about this bread.

I make a batch of this bread for dipping in soups, having as toast with breakfast, and using as breadcrumbs for other recipes. This particular recipe is so versatile, I use it as my GO-TO pizza crust. That recipe will be for another time.

For now, please enjoy this Flaxseed Focaccia and feel free to make it your own. Share your experience below and let me know how you liked it!

Rosemary Shallot Focaccia Bread

2 cups ground flax seeds

Image-16 egg whites

2 eggs

5 tbsp olive oil +1 tbsp reserved

1/2 tbsp baking powder

2 tsp truffle salt (garlic salt works great)

1 tbsp onion powder

1/2 tbsp garlic powder

1/2 cup water

1 shallot, sliced

2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking sheet.

1. In a large bowl, sift dry ingredients together and create a well in the center.
IMG_57502. Crack whole eggs into the center of the well, add oil, water and rosemary. Whisk with a fork, scraping down the sides of the bowl and incorporating all the dry ingredients.

3. In a separate large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. This can take 5-8 minutes beginning on a lower setting and slowly increasing the speed.

IMG_57514. Take a large scoop of egg whites and gently fold them into the flax batter to lighten it up. You should no longer see any white in the batter beforeadding the remaining egg whites. The goal is to continue folding the whites in without letting them “fall” to a soupy consistency.

5. Gather flax dough onto a greased baking sheet and pat into a circle. Top with sliced shallots and drizzle remaining tablespoon of oil on top. Sprinkle with sea salt.

6. Bake bread 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool before slicing. photo-4
Feeling a little conflicted about what to eat to feel good? Drop me a line here in the comments or over at Sam@NourishingNomswithSam.com and lets talk about it!

I’ve Got A Golden Ticket Soup

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Ugh.

The after christmas blah.

More like blah-humbug, amiriteguys?

Maybe you over indulged on treats and liquor this past week.

Maybe you haven’t had a solid, restful 8 hours of sleep since Thanksgiving.

Maybe the stress of the season finally made you crack and you are now left strung out, rocking back and forth amongst a pile shredded gift wrap maniacally humming Christmas carol tunes. Your energy is as empty as the boxes beside you but your stocking was full of 100 dollars worth of Starbucks giftcards, so that helps?

Hitting close to home?

Many people suffer the effects of the post Christmas blah.

When I start to feel “meh” like this, it is a pretty good indication that I need more vegetable goodness in my life to put that pep back in my step.

 

And thus, the Golden Ticket Soup.

Picture it. Organic golden beets, butternut squash, and carrots blended with turmeric, ginger and cinnamon in a velvety smooth soup.

 

Now, lets talk about inflammation.

This shit is the root of all disease.

Every illness, ache or pain you have ever experienced in your life began as inflammation.

What causes inflammation?

Sugar, alcohol, trans fats, aspartame, omega 6 fatty acids, refined carbs, gluten and casein, to list some dietary sources.

Perhaps your Christmas delicacies contained one or all of these scrumptious sucker punches.

This soup can aid that which the holiday season hath wrought upon your system.

 

This soup contains spices known for their ability to reduce inflammation in the body, which means you can combat the inflammatory response in a seriously delicious way.

These spices are a powerhouse trio of anti-inflammatory goodness.

Turmeric is a yellow spice used often in Indian cooking that can has been used in the treatment of arthritis.

Ginger, often used in Asian cooking, also packs an anti inflammatory punch in the face along with it’s anti-nausea and anti-viral properties.

Cinnamon can help reduce swelling along with controlling blood sugar, increasing your alertness and boosting your immunity!

 

Sounds like heaven, right?

 

I’ve got a Golden Ticket Soup

Recipe  by Samantha Rispoli

THEingredients

1 butternut squash, pieced with a fork

3 TBS olive oil

1 onion, roughly chopped

½ lb carrots choppedIMG_4208

3 golden beets,peeled and chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

5-6 cups organic chicken broth

 

½ TBSP ground cumin

½ TBS turmeric

½  TBS ginger

1 tsp red pepper flakes

¼ tsp cinnamon

½  tsp salt

½ tsp ground pepper to

 

THEdirections

Begin by preheating oven to 400 degrees. Pop the whole butternut squash in and roast for 15-20 minutes. Yeah. The WHOLE squash.

Chop onion and saute in a pot with 3 tbsp oil. Add minced garlic and heat for 5 minutes. Toss in chopped carrots, beets and broth and bring soup to a boil. Reduce soup to a simmer and cover.

Remove squash from the oven and cut in half. When squash is cooled enough to touch with your bare hands, peel the skin. Cube the flesh and add to the soup. Continue to simmer 20 minutes.

Remove cover and add seasonings to the soup. Give it a stir and remove the pot from heat. When the soup is cooled enough to transfer, blend in batches until smooth. You could also use an immersion blender for this step.

Spoon into bowls and serve warm, garnish with a dollop of coconut milk for maximum lip smacking.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Avocado Truffles

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Christmas snuck up on me this year and I haven’t made a single Christmas cookie.

Crazy, right?

Actually, I haven’t felt like baking cookies this year but I’ve got an abundance of avocados ripening on my counter so I thought I’d share my favorite healthy truffle recipe with you!

You can tailor this recipe to your needs. I chose to use Lily’s brand dark chocolate chips, which are sweetened with stevia, for this recipe. I also love to use unsweetened chocolate and sweeten with whatever tickles my fancy that day.

The flavor possibilities with this recipe are endless! I made chocolate orange and peppermint truffles, but you can make mexican chocolate, raspberry, coconut, etc.

Annnnnd for an added bonus, I’ve included the link to the video I made of me MAKING THESE TRUFFLES. Enjoy!

 

Chocolate Avocado Truffles

By Samantha Rispoli

THEingredients

3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (or 6 oz unsweetened chocolate)

1 ripe organic avocado

IMG_41711/4 tsp pink himalayan salt

2 Tbsp fresh orange juice

1 Tbsp orange zest

(1 tsp liquid stevia, 1/4 cup coconut sugar, or what ever sweetener you choose to use if working with unsweetened chocolate)

cocoa or cacao powder, shredded coconut, cacao nibs, chopped goji berries, chopped nuts for coating the truffles

THEoptions

Replace orange juice and zest with:

Mint Chocolate- 2 tsp peppermint extract

Cinnamon- 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp cinnamon

Raspberry Chocolate- roll batter around a frozen raspberry

Mexican Chocolate- 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp chili powder

THEdirections

Begin by melting chocolate in a double boiler. If using unsweetened chocolate, add sweetener in at this time.

Mash avocado with a mixer until smooth. Pour melted chocolate in and mix until there is no more green and “batter” is smooth.

Add your flavors and salt!

Transfer batter mixture to a bowl and place it in the refrigerator  for 20-30 minutes until firm.

When batter is firm, take spoonfuls and roll into smooth balls. Roll truffle balls into preferred coatings and return to the fridge until you are ready to blow your friends and family away with these decadent truffles!

 

I hope you have a fabulous holiday!