- Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies -

Who doesn't like cookies?! I haven't met anyone, have you? So needless to say when I found out recently about being able to bake with almond flour and coconut flour I was looking for cookie recipes. None of the grain-free recipes really stood out to me until my best friend sent me a link to a different recipe from this blog- Gluten Free Fix- and I searched for cookies. There it was, This recipe! I was intrigued by what I found. No eggs?! No eggs in a grainless cookie recipe? How can this be? I was also drawn in by the addition of walnuts. I love walnuts in chocolate chip cookies. I read over her recipe and figured I could adjust it to my preferences [I changed several things].
These cookies are outstanding! I could eat them every day. My roommates really like them, too. When I didn't have anything to quickly eat as I left for work, I ate one cookie for breakfast and brought one or two to work with me so I could eat on my break. They sustained me for 6 hours without needing to eat anything else. Because of the fat and protein content, they are quite satisfying and- when using high quality ingredients- nourishing. I don't ever recommend surviving solely on cookies, but in a pinch they are great until you can eat/cook some other healthful veggies&protein&fat.
I typically will only bake half the batch [because I eat too many of them!] and then freeze the other half. Thankfully the dough thaws and bakes perfectly after being frozen.

Without further ado:
Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies [eggless]

• 1/2 c. grass-fed butter, really soft
• 1/3 c. ZSweet, powdered [Either powder it yourself in coffee grinder or blender, or buy the powdered kind. I prefer to powder it myself.]
• 3/4 c. almond flour, firmly packed
• 2 tbsp coconut flour, firmly packed
• 1 tbsp ground organic flax meal
• 1/2 tsp teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 tsp real salt [the mineral-rich kind]

• 1 1/4 tsp vanilla 
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp xanthan gum [optional]
• 1/2 c. walnuts, chopped very small
• 1 1/4 c. homemade chocolate chunks [recipe HERE]

- Preheat oven to 350.
- Beat butter and zsweet until mixed & fluffy.
- Add flours, baking soda and salt. Beat on low [or use a whisk] just until mixed well.
- Add in vanilla, walnuts, and chopped chocolate.
- Roll dough in to about 24 balls. - Place dough in fridge for 5-10 minutes to set.
- Put dough two inches apart onto parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. *Halfway through baking, flatten cookies with spatula.
- Let cool on pan because they can be quite crumbly when warm. [Or if you need to use pan for second batch, transfer the parchment with cookies onto the counter to finish cooling.]
- Store in the fridge in an airtight container!
- They are best eaten straight from the fridge [not oven] and taste great with unsweetened vanilla almond milk. 

As always, if you make these come back and comment here to let me know how they turned out, if you liked them, or if you made any adjustments. I'm curious to know! :)
-Enjoy eating well-

- Fried Zucchini with a Creamy Dipping Sauce -

Howdy! I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. I sure did!
I've not posted recently because I've been out of town. But I'm back and ready to get you some recipes and more great info.
Onto today's post:

  I love fried things. I always have. Thankfully, though, I don't really crave them anymore. But a couple weeks ago, for whatever reason, I wanted to try my hand at making fried onions. They were ok. Tasted good because they were fried, but nothing much to look at. So I decided to try making fried zucchini instead. And it worked SO well. Much better than the onions. I am quite excited about it... not that I fry things regularly. But I'm glad that I have a solid go-to recipe if something needs frying. [Tonight I'm going to try making fried mozzarella sticks with fresh mozzarella from Trader Joe's. And I just devoured a whole pan of baked kale chips!] :)
Anyway, after I made the fried zucchini I realized that I didn't have anything to dip it in- it's been so long since I've eaten a dipping sauce. But one can't eat fried zucchini without a sauce! So I peered into my fridge to find things I could whip together real quick. And I mean real quick! I didn't want the warm zucchini to get cold and soggy. So a little bit of this, a little bit of that in the blender and next thing I know I have a creamy, delicious dipping sauce for my delectable fried zucchini. Woo!
I know it's not hard to fry something up, but here's the recipe I came up with in case you're interested. The recipe for the dipping sauce follows.

Fried Zucchini

• 1/2 c. refined almond oil, for frying [Can use coconut oil or macadamia nut oil. If you use unrefined coconut oil, it will taste like coconut. I'd use refined. Do not use olive oil or butter.]
• 1/2 large zucchini, sliced in french fry strips
• 1 egg, beaten
• 1/2 c. blanched almond flour
• 1/4 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese [finely grate]
• pinch salt & pepper
• 1/2 tsp tumeric
• couple shakes of garlic powder

- In a small bowl, beat egg.
- In medium bowl add all dry ingerdients and mix together.
- Heat almond oil in skillet until a drop of water sizzles.
- Place a couple strips of zucchini at a time into egg, then into flour mixture and toss to coat.
- After first coat of flour, place zucchini pieces back into egg mixture and then coat again in flour  mixture.
- Place coated zucchini in oil and fry about 5 minutes each side. Or until deep golden brown.
-Drain on paper towel.
Serve immediately.
[I got the idea to add parmesan cheese from Maria over at Nutritious and Delicious blog. But this is my own recipe.]

Dipping Sauce

• 1/4 c. cottage cheese
• 1 tbsp cream cheese
• 2 1/2 tbsp organic chicken stock [make sure no sugars or oils are added to it]
• 3/4 tsp dijon mustard
• dash garlic powder
• pinch salt & pepper [to taste]
• 1/8 tsp xanthan gum [optional, makes it a little thicker]

- In blender or food processor blend all ingredients until smooth.
- Pour into serving dish and let set in the fridge for a few minutes.
- Serve with fried zucchini, fresh veggies, chicken, etc.

**If you try either of these recipes out, please come back and let me know how you liked them or if you altered them and how they turned out. Thanks!

-Enjoy eating-


-What I eat...-

   Some of you- ok, lots of you- have asked me what I eat if I don't eat any grains, starches, or sugar. I know it's a surprising thing to hear someone say they don't eat grains, but rest assured, there's life on the other side of the grain&sugar train. 
Don't get me wrong here. Do I miss a buttery, warm chocolate croissant or oatmeal raisin cookies, a baguette dipped in olive oil, french fries, the quick convenience of a bowl of cereal or going to a restaurant and eating whatever? YES. 
But here's the thing: My health [and yours!]- physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual- is way, WAY more important than eating those foods. And that is precisely what I've discovered in the past months of changing what I put into my body. And I wouldn't go back.

So, I can't answer the "What DO you eat" question without sharing what I DON'T eat. Here it goes!
[I will try to include links to articles about the things I post.] 

What I DON'T eat:
Grains in ANY form- wheat, rye, barley, oats, rice, corn, soy, millet, etc, [long list. And if you buy anything that has a label on it, read it carefully. There's typically wheat &/or soy &/or corn &/or rice products in them.] [Here's an informative article about grains and starches. And Another really good article about how cutting out grains can heal lots of physical ailments]
Sugar [takes on many different names, but it's all sugar]- refined, cane, corn syrup, brown rice syrup, beet sugar, coconut sugar, honey, maple, agave, sucrose, glucose, or high quantities of fructose, etc, etc. [Here's a fascinating article about sugars.]
Artificial sweeteners- splenda, sweet&low, equal, etc.
Unhealthy oils- canola, corn, sunflower, soybean, safflower, or anything hydrogentated.  [Here's a great article about oils.]
Potatoes/Legumes [beans, lentils, etc]- starchy things are high in carbs which is what I avoid.
Fruits- most fruit has quite a bit of fructose which is bad for our bodies, especially with how we typically consume fruit in our country- in large quantities. [** My experience: After cutting out fruit for a couple months I added it back in and within 2 weeks I stopped losing weight, felt really tired&heavy, my knees hurt again, and I gained 4 pounds. I had an inkling that my symptoms were from the fruit so I cut it out again and within days lost the 4 pounds I had gained and my energy levels were higher and stable again.] NOTE: One small [a level cupped-handful] serving of fruit a day is fine. And berries are best. I personally just haven't had a desired to add fruit back in yet but will eventually.
Alcohol. [Though, I've read that wine is alright on occasion.]

What I DO eat:
Organic, grass-fed Beef- ideal is grass-fed. But if I can't find or afford it, I'll get the best quality organic I can find. ["Just because beef is labeled "organic" doesn't mean it is grass-fed. The label must specify "grass-fed" to be truly grass-fed beef!" -Dr. Mercola in this article.]
Organic chicken [I'm trying to figure out how I can get pastured chicken. More details later.]
Organic, omega-3 eggs [trying to get pastured eggs. More details later.]
Butter from grass-fed cows [like Kerrygold]
Lots of veggies of all sorts! [there are some I don't usually eat because of a high sugar content. But if it's all that's available, I'l eat them.]
Nuts & seeds- ideal raw then soaked & air dried or dried in the oven at a temp of 150ยบ or lower.
Nut flours & oils [primarily almond flour and oil, but there are others.]
Coconut- flour, oil, milk [here's an article about coconut]
Organic dairy [ideally from grass-fed cows]- cream, cream cheese, some other cheeses: aged raw milk cheese is best [and tastes so good.
Natural sweeteners- Erythritol is my main choice, and stevia 
Spices & natural minerals-in real salt
• *Other things that I'd eat if I so felt like it: fish [yum- sashimi!], pork, foul, other meats [as natural&minimally processed, organic as you can find.]

I might have forgotten a thing or two. But those two lists are a pretty good roundup. 
Also, this isn't some gimicky "low-carb" diet! This is a lifestyle- one that's lived day in and day out for life. There's not and "ending point" like there is with dieting. And that's such a great feeling because I can setting into this for the long haul.
Some of you might be wondering, "Don't you need carbs to survive?!" Here's my answer: I get sufficient carbohydrates [sometimes too many] from the nuts, veggies, and some dairy  that I eat. And here's a good quote: "Of the three macronutrients, protein, fat and carbohydrate, it is only carbohydrate that is nonessential to the human diet." -Dr. Joseph Brasco 
This just just about the types of foods to eat/not eat, it's also about the quality of the foods eaten. This is truly about long-term health. Not a "get thin quick" fad thing. But real health. 

I will write more later about my story and why I eat this way. Until then read up and learn and cook up some delish meals. :) I want to hear about your journey and will do my best to answer questions you've got. 

I hope this was helpful for you!