-Brussels Sprouts & Tomato Soup-


   Earlier this week, before I could get to the store, there were several days where I was quite low on groceries. One of those nights I looked in my freezer, which held a few different packs of frozen vegetables, and decided it was the night to try Brussels sprouts for the first time ever. I had seen a couple different ways to cook them and decided I would make the bare-bones version of this recipe. I was a little concerned that I would hate the Brussels sprouts because the only things I've ever heard about them have been negative. But I tried anyway. And LOVED them. 
   Because they were thawed from being frozen and already slightly soft, I wondered if they'd get even softer or if they'd crisp up a bit while roasting. Soften, and caramelize, they did. When I took them out of the oven, I didn't even wait to plate them before trying one... and then one turned into nearly half the pan. And the flavor was wonderful- not bitter at all. I also happened to really, really enjoy the texture of them because it was reminiscent of squishy french fries which were always my favorite. 
   While my roommate was giggling at me for how excited I was, I was thinking for ways I could eat them with or in other meals...
-Roasted Brussels Sprouts-

• 1 bag frozen Brussels sprouts, thawed
• 1 ½ Tbsp melted butter [or olive oil or almond oil]
• ½ tsp garlic powder [or 1 clove finely chopped garlic]
• salt&pepper to taste

- Preheat oven to 400º
- Cut each sprout in half, or quarters if it’s large, and place in medium bowl.
- Add butter or oil and seasonings and mix to coat sprouts.
- Place in preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until browned.
- Remove from oven and serve warm or let cool and store in fridge.

...The next morning I had some Brussels Sprouts for breakfast, cold, with mini frittattas. Delish.
And later that evening I, again, was staring into my fridge and cupboards trying to figure out what I could make with the few ingredients I had left. 
My thought process went something like this: "Large can of tomatoes? Check. A little cream and almond milk? Check. Parmesan cheese? Check. I shall now try to make tomato soup! I wonder if this will work."
I am so excited about this very simple recipe- for just that reason. It's simple. This soup has great flavor- not too rich&creamy that you can only eat two bites, but very a pleasant and roundly flavorful. perfect for these chilly fall days. I was a little bummed when I ate the last of it a few days after I made it. I liked it that much!
For me, the most surprising way I fancied it- my favorite so far- was with the left over Brussels Sprouts [from the previous nights' meal] plopped in. Fabulous. I felt like I was eating at a really fancy restaurant. I could eat that tomato&brussels sprout soup all the time. Seriously. And I didn't ever like tomato soup until a few months ago and had never even tried Brussels sprouts until I made them this week. Who knew it'd be such a winning combination?! Well, I'm sure there are many people, but I haven't taken the time to google it yet. So I was quite surprised with it. If you want to spruce up plain ol' tomato soup, give this a try!

-Tomato Soup-

• (1) 28oz can tomatoes
• 2 ½ c water
• ½ c unsweetened plain almond milk
• ⅓ c heavy cream
• ½ c chicken stock [no sugar added]
• ½ c freshly grated parmesan cheese [not the bagged/shaker pre-shredded kind]
• ⅓ c tomato sauce [no sugar or oils added- check label carefully]
• 1 tsp oregano
• salt & pepper to taste

- In a blender puree the canned tomatoes but leave it a little chunky.
- In a medium sauce pan over high heat add all ingredients and mix well.
- Let boil uncovered for about 20 minutes so it can thicken.
- Turn heat to low and let soup rest for a few minutes.
- Serve warm with Brussels sprouts or let cool and store in the fridge- it reheats perfectly.

*If you try these recipes, please, please come back and tell me know how they turned out and how you like them. Lets build a community! :)



-Mini Mocha Cake with Vanilla Latte Glaze-

   The other day I made a random concoction that turned out quite well... and of course didn't write down the measurements for any of the ingredients. So today I decided to recreate it but ended up making it a totally different flavor and also cooked it two different ways. 
I bet you're wondering what I made, huh? Well, ladies and gents, I made a Mini Mocha Cake. In the microwave. Not only in the microwave, though, but in the oven, too. One mini microwave cake and two oven-baked cupcakes. I tested the two methods of cooking the same batch of batter to see how it'd turn out. All part of my curiosity & learning what works and what doesn't. And it worked! First, I thought up a recipe- no references for these. [well, I remembered that I liked this recipe which I haven't looked at in a while and have only made once. But I didn't base this recipe off of hers.] Coffee&Cocoa go together so well so I knew the flavor would be good. It was just a matter of measuring and portioning correctly. And figuring out the coconut-flour-to-egg ratio was another potential challenge. I don't have much experience coming up with my own baking recipes. So I'm quite excited that from following what seemed right in my mind, this actually turned out quite fantastic.
Unfortunately, though, I slightly over cooked the microwaved cake. It's a little on the dry side. But by the taste of it I know it'd be great if properly microwaved. I noticed that when microwaved, the texture of coconut flour cakes become drier which is a nice change from the norm which is super moist&dense. As for the two cakes I baked in the oven? They turned out splendidly. Though, five more minutes of baking would've have done them good. But they were delicious nonetheless. Delicious enough that I'm going to give you the recipe. Oh, I forgot to tell you- I glazed the microwaved cake with what I'm calling Vanilla Latte Glaze. It's not actually as thin as a glaze typically would be, but it's not as thick as frosting. So I'll settle for calling it glaze. Anyway, this glaze is so good on its own! 
How good, you ask. Well, I am going to give you the recipes so you should try it for yourself and report back here with your results! [I adjusted the recipe for how I think it should be based on my outcome.]

< one mini mocha microwave cake with vanilla latte glaze

                                            one mocha cupcake >

-Mini Mocha Microwave [or oven] Cake-
• 2 tbs butter, softened
• 1 tbsp coconut oil, softened
• 2 ½ tbsp powdered ZSweet [you can buy the powdered kind or pulse the granulated kind in the food processor]
• 1 egg

• 1 ¼ tbsp coconut flour, packed
• 1 ½ tsp flax meal
• 1 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
• ¼ tsp xanthan gum
• tiny pinch of celtic salt
• 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
• 5 tbsp strong brewed coffee, room temp
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 2 tbsp coconut milk OR heavy cream

- Beat zsweet, butter, and oil together until smooth.
- Add egg, beat well.
- Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.
-Choose your cooking method and follow those instructions:

MICROWAVE:- Pour batter into two small [4” round], lightly greased microwave-safe bowls.
- Microwave individually for 2 minutes or until cooked through and slightly springy to the touch. [My microwave is quite powerful. If you've got an older or smaller one you might need to add 15-45 seconds to the cook time.]

- Preheat oven to 350º.
- Lightly oil 4 muffin tins or ramekins.
- Scoop even amounts of batter into chosen baking dishes. 
- Bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until to is springy and cooked through.

*Let cool 15 minutes in bowls/tins/ramekins.
*Turn out onto serving dishes and glaze, if desired. Or top with fresh whipped cream. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge and serve cold. Both ways are good.


• ⅓ c cream cheese, softened
• 1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
• 1 tbsp coconut oil, softened
• 2 ½ tbsp ZSweet, powdered
• 2 tbsp strong brewed coffee, cold• 1 ½ tsp vanilla

• In small bowl beat all ingredients until fluffy.
• Taste and add more sweetener, if desired.
• Allow to firm up in fridge for a bit before using.
• If any extra, store in airtight container in fridge.... or just eat it with a spoon.

ENJOY!! And please let me know what you think!


Welcome to my new blog Liberated Baker- Going Against the Grain & Sugarcane. 
I'll be sharing grain-free, low carb, healthy recipes [mine and others'], resources, and pieces of my journey into grain&sugar-free living.
I have a short but extremely helpful list of links under the Resources tab. And if you're wondering what I always have in my kitchen, then click on the Kitchen Staples tab and check out the working list I compiled for you.
Soon I'll start posting recipes and other fun things. But for now, check out the two tabs above to get started.
Check back tomorrow!