Food for the… #4

It’s so weird, but a craving for a peanut butter sandwich just hit me like a ton of bricks. I wasn’t even looking at food photos (like I usually am), and all of the sudden I just wanted to bite into the simple crust of the bread and taste the thick but smooth peanut butter on my tongue.

Does that ever happen to anyone else? Out of nowhere you know exactly what you want to eat?

It occurs off and on with. Once, just randomly, the idea of a cold glass of almond milk popped into my head. And another time all I wanted was a strawberry Nutri-Grain bar.

I think most would call that intuitive eating signals? Unfortunately for me I crave food that I can’t eat, so they often go unsatisfied. Why can’t I crave fish and zucchini? That would nice, thanks.

So, what do I do instead? I pin, I read, I create (recipes and blog posts). I take a bite of chicken or squash, hoping to squelch the peanut butter sandwich from my mind. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. But at the end of the day, I have a nice list of wonderful links from throughout the week.

Then come Fridays, I get to share them with all of you!

FOOD FOR THE MIND

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FOOD FOR THE BELLY

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FOOD FOR THE EYES

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FOOD FOR THE SOUL

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FOOD FOR THE BODY

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Now, I must get ready for bed as I am absolutely exhausted! This morning I volunteered to help with registration at a DECA event my college was sponsoring. I had to get up about an hour and a half earlier than usual and I can definitely tell. I just had zero energy throughout the entire day.

I am going to try my best to get a lot of rest this weekend, and you should do the same!

P.S. Don’t forget to join in on the Happy Herbivore giveaway before it ends Sunday night.

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Happy Friday. 🙂

What is your weekly Food for the… Mind, Belly, Eyes, and Soul?

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Let’s Get it Pinning in Here

Let’s Get It Pinning in here…

And the base keep pinnin’ pinnin’, and pinnin’ pinnin’, and pinnin’ pinnin’, and pinnin’ pinnin’, and
pinnin’ pinnin’, and pinnin’ pinnin’, and pinnin’ pinnin’, and pinnin’ pinnin’, and…

Are you ready to get started with The Lean Green Bean’s next Pin It Party? Yah!!!!!

Are you now currently humming along to the Black Eyed Peas song? Yaaaahhhhh….. No.

Get your head out of the music and refocus, because right now it’s all about Pinterest. There’s no time for Fergie today.

Pin It Party

Everyone is welcome to participate and the rules are simple:

  • Round up 5 blog posts you’ve written that you would like to see on Pinterest.
  • Make sure there is a nice, pinnable image or photo included in each post.
  • Write a short post featuring the posts you chose- ie, put 5 nice images & links to the posts all in one place, along with a short description of each post.
  • On Thursday, publish your post, then visit The Bean and add your post to the linkup!

Below I have gathered my 5 posts that I would love to be pinned, and to further excite things, I have also included some more items of Pinterest “interest” (ha! 😉 ) towards the end that I think my fellow pinners may love as well.

Grain-Free Banana Scones

Grain-Free Banana Scones – This is my most recent recipe here on Eating 4 Balance. The scones are naturally sweetened with honey and bananas, and topped with a deliciously simple almond butter glaze (nut-free and vegan substitutions listed).

Basic Paleo Pancakes

Basic Paleo Pancakes– These are my fluffiest grain-free pancakes to date. Like most of my recipes, they are very allergy-friendly, and being made from neutral flours they would be wonderful with a variety of toppings.

Microwave Cinnamon Rolls (Paleo and Vegan)

Microwave Cinnamon Rolls– In case you are new to my blog, you should know that the only thing that rivals my passion for pancake recipes is my love for cinnamon rolls. This cinnamon roll recipe in particular is great because it can be made in just a few short minutes and has a serving size of two. It’s perfect for a quick morning breakfast.


Easy Apple Pancakes (Gluten-Free)

Easy Apple Cinnamon Pancakes – Like I said, I love pancakes. With a combination of apples, nut flour, yogurt and eggs these are a are a great hearty (and healthy) way to start your day.

Catching Fire: Recipe Round-Up

Catching Fire Recipe Round-Up – This may be one of my most time intensive posts ever (except for my 12 Days of Allergy-Friendly Christmases). In honor of the release of Catching Fire I went through the book, found all mentions of food, and then proceeded to match up a majority of them with recipes that I have found around the blog world. If you are a Hunger Games fan, you don’t want to miss this post. It would be a great resource for a party when Catching Fire is released on DVD!

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Of course, a pinner is nothing without the amazing pinners that she/he follows. Below are just a couple of my favorite boards on Pinterest. They range from style to funnies to Disney stuff to gorgeous scenery… and then of course there are the food boards. Most recipe boards I follow are just for “pinspiration” but there are a few allergy-friendly ones in there as well.

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I hope you’ve found some delicious recipes to pin and interesting new boards to follow! My pinterest account is here if you’d like an awesome daily slew of puppy chow recipes, obsessive Harry Potter memes, and a constant influx of allergy-friendly recipes.

If you have a Pinterest board that you think I’d like to follow (it can be yours of course!) let me know in the comments. I’m always looking for someone new. Pinterest is one addiction I’m not sure I will ever break 😉

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NEVER!!!

Grain-Free Banana Scones

Are you looking for something delicious to make on Super Bowl Sunday? Too bad. You will find no such recipe here today.

In the past I’ve pretended to like watching football because that seemed to be the best way to stay in someone’s favor. Then I realized that if someone thinks you like football, they actually expect you to know something about football! Who would have thought?

So needless to say, football is not going to be a featured topic on the blog anytime soon.

But wait! I still come bearing food so don’t leave yet!

Grain-Free Banana Scones

These scones were made because I wanted to photograph something non-circular in shape. No joke. Most of my recipes are round (*cough cough* pancakes *cough cough*), which are a ton of fun to take pictures of… But, sometimes you just want to mix it up and explore other geometric figure possibilities.

That left me with squares, rectangles, or triangles. I guess I could have gone for figures with 5 or 6 sides, but that would just be ridiculous. Who wants to deal with cutting all of those edges?

Better yet, who even cares whether their food is round or triangular? Um, that would be me. 😯

And guess what I just realized?! These are both round (before cutting) AND triangular (after cutting) so they’re twice as good. They’re doing a double team! (Yes, I did have to look up that football reference. Like I said, NO football knowledge here 😉 ).

Oh, and in case you were curious, these triangles are entirely grain-free, sweetened naturally with honey and banana, and have one of the easiest “icings” in the world made from just three ingredients. They do contain eggs, nuts and starch (from baking powder and tapioca), but if you can’t have any (or all) of those ingredients, I have formed one of my longest substitution lists to date. Having limited food choices myself, I hate thinking that someone would have to miss out on these scones  just because of one measly ingredient.

Let’s dive in…

Grain-Free Banana Scones

Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut/Starch/Sugar-Free Options, Paleo-Friendly, GAPS Option

Makes 8 scones

Grain-Free Banana Scones

Scone ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Icing ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp almond butter (I used salted)
  • 2 tbsp softened coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. To make this quick and easy, add the wet ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Then add the dry ingredients and mix until they are fully incorporated. Another alternative would be to mash the wet ingredients together in a bowl and then add the dry ingredients until completely mixed.
  3. Whatever method you choose, let it sit for a few minutes to let the coconut flour soak up in the dough. It should be thick but still somewhat wet.
  4. Next take the dough and roughly form it into a ball, placing it in the center of the parchment paper (Now, it’s going to be somewhat sticky but it’s all in the name of delicious food, right?!). Wet your hands with water and form the dough into a circle about 8-10 inches in diameter.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes and then score into eight slices (normally you would do this before baking, but the dough is too wet). Put the baking sheet back into the oven again and bake for another 8-12 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden brown.
  6. Remove the scones and let them cool for five minutes. Meanwhile combine all of the icing ingredients and once the scones are cool use a spoon to drizzle. If needed use a knife to further separate the scones and then enjoy!

*Substitution notes:

  • To make these nut-free replace the almond flour/butter with a seed alternative like sunflower or pumpkin.
  • To make these vegan you can use maple syrup instead of the honey, and a flax egg would probably work in place of the egg, although I cannot guarantee the results.
  • If you absolutely cannot get a hold/eat coconut flour, my suggestion would be to replace it with 1 cup of almond flour, and remove one of the bananas (and possibly even the egg- check the batter first for consistency and see how it holds together).
  • To make this sugar-free, replace the honey with 4 tablespoons of date puree or mashed banana, and add stevia to taste if desired.
  • If you cannot handle starch you can replace the tapioca flour with a few additional tablespoons of coconut flour and use 1 teaspoon of baking soda instead of the baking powder (this will result in a less fluffy scone though).

Grain-Free Banana Scones

Just in case you really do desperately need a dish for game day, I do happen to have one very scrumptious gluten-free and dairy-free recipe for Chili, Chips, and Cheeze. If those three words don’t scream sports food I must know even less about the sport than I had previously thought.

My opinion is that you should make up a plate of the Chili, Chips and Cheeze for dinner. Then make these scones and go to town. No one would be the wiser that either are healthy and you could easily sit down to large plates of both not feeling deprived in the slightest. So go, make haste to the grocery store and pick up everything you need to make these two marvelous dishes!

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I’m linking this post up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons today. Make sure to check it out for even more WIAW posts!

P.S. Don’t forget about the giveaway going on now!

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Questions for you:

  • Do you like watching football? Who do you want to win?
  • What is your favorite thing to make on game day?
  • Think back to some of your most recent posts… What is the shape of most of your recipes?

Happy Herbivore Light and Lean Giveaway… Finally!

As you may remember, way back in October I participated in a pre-release blog tour for Lindsay Nixon’s newest cookbook, Happy Herbivore Light and Lean (check the post out for an interview with Lindsay and a Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe!). A few weeks later I received my copy and promised a giveaway. Giveaways are marvelous, am I right? 😉

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Well, today’s the day I am going to deliver! I wanted to wait until the holidays had settled down and we were all back to regular blogging activities before hosting this giveaway. I know several bloggers took breaks and just returned recently to posting. Also, I personally didn’t do as much blog reading for my three weeks of winter break and I’m sure many of you were the same. So in light of all of this I didn’t want anyone to come back and find they missed out on this opportunity!

Disclaimer: Although I received a free copy of Happy Herbivore Light and Lean to review, I did not receive any monetary compensation and all thoughts and opinions are entirely (100%) my own.

LIGHT

Review

As I’ve mentioned before, I am kind of atypical in the sense that I like to read cookbooks like I would any other fiction novel. And the night I received Happy Herbivore I got into bed and read through the entire thing just like I do when I get the newest release from my other favorite authors.

Here are my brief thoughts on the overall presentation:

The first thing I noticed as I flipped through the pages was the COLOR. There was not a single page that lacked color. With today’s technology I don’t think there is any excuse for black and white cookbooks (save for those spiral bound fundraising books made by the occasional old lady’s church group). Unlike most cookbooks that I’ve found where the only color is in the pictures of the food, each page had a complimentary color scheme and was just as fun to look at as the pictures themselves.

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On each page there are extremely helpful sections to denote everything you would ever want to know about the recipe. You have allergen information at the top, nutrition information in the corners, and chef notes listed at the bottom. The majority of the page of course is taken up by the recipe with the ingredients and serving amounts on the side, and the directions written in paragraph format under the recipe description. As someone who usually writes recipes using numbers, I was at first a little surprised by how the directions were written out. After reading through the first few though, I began to like the flow and it made cooking seem more like the art it should be and less like some robotic GPS making you complete the first step before carrying onto the next (it’s something that I’m considering changing with my own recipes, but we’ll see!).

Also important to point out is that the pictures are not included on the recipe page but on the opposite facing page of the cookbook, making the directions and instructions less cluttered and giving room for a full page, full color shot of whatever you’re making.

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That was the middle essence of the cookbook. The beginning consists of an introduction with a personal note from Lindsay, an index for all of the recipes listed by calorie count, tips on getting started, a shopping list, an explanation of caloric density, tips on lightening up your day, her personal health journey (loved this!) and an explanation of how to use the icons featured in the book.

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At the end there is the appendix which has a glossary of ingredient descriptions, substitution ideas, kitchen prep “lingo,” additional resources, metric conversions, and an index where you can find a recipe both by its name and by ingredient.

Personal Note

When I spoke of this cookbook last, a few people commented to me that they didn’t understand why I was promoting something vegan. “Don’t you eat meat?” Yes, yes I do. I’m not going to pretend that I don’t eat meat and I’m not going to apologize for it either. My motivation behind reviewing this book was not to promote a vegan diet (or plant-based as many call it). I came at this from the position of someone who has food allergies, and recipes that are vegan are naturally perfect for those who are allergic to animal products like eggs, dairy, meat, fish, etc. Also, since Lindsay promotes mostly lower fat recipes, about 99% of the food is also peanut-free, nut-free and coconut-free too!

Food Allergies

So, with that point made, here are a few recipes that I think would be great for those with food allergies or various other dietary needs when it comes to food:

  • Balsamic-Dijon Vinaigrette (pg. 137)
  • Homemade Ketchup (pg. 8)
  • Chocolate Surprise Frosting (pg. 12)
  • Brody’s Gluten-Free Flour Blend (pg. 267)
  • Everyday Mushroom Gravy (pg. 189)
  • Deviled “Eggs” (pg. 203)
  • Pumpkin Spice Latte (pg. 256)
  • Oatmeal Pancakes (pg. 97)
  • Sweet Potato Ice Cream (pg. 236)
  • Microwave Peach Cobbler (pg. 137)
  • Breakfast Tacos (pg. 145)
  • Smoky Apple Baked Beans (pg. 172)
  • Asian Orange Kale Salad (pg. 179)
  • Loaded Mexican Potato (pg. 195)
  • Carrot Soup (pg. 236)
  • Skinny Pad Thai (pg. 161)
  • Nacho Bowl (pg. 93)
  • Leftovers Pot Pie (pg. 121)
  • Caribbean Chili (pg. 116)

Other Reviews

If you want to check out all of the other bloggers who participated in the tours (along with their reviews and some sneak peak recipes!) check out this post and this post.

A few highlights were Kaila from Healthy Helper Blog who shared Meatloaf Bites:

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Laura from Plant-Based Junkies with a Thai Crunch Salad:

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And the Herbivore herself with a recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes:

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LEAN

Review

Finally, as indicated in the title, Happy Herbivore Light and Lean also features an exercise section with a list of exercise suggestions that are 30, 20, 15 or 10 minutes in length and all burn 100 calories. Next she gives tips on how to fit exercise into your day and continues on with pages of workouts along with her personal trainer friend Jon Warren. My favorite part of this section was “Lindsay’s Body Blast” at the end where there is a page long description of a workout that Lindsay frequently does.

Here is a little snippet from the book explaining what the “Body Blast” is:

“This all-in-one exercise is what I do when my time (and space) is limited. It’s a little on the advanced side, so you may need to work up to it. It’s a killer circuit and I have a lot of fun challenging myself, drill-instructor style, to see how fast I can move through the exercise (while still keeping proper form!) and how many rounds I can go through before I’m wasted. (Usually two, but I’m a work in progress!)”

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I have yet to try this out myself, but from just reading it over I think “killer” is the perfect description. One day when I build up the guts to do it I’ll report back and tell you how far I got!

Conclusion

Really, there’s nothing much more to say other than I am confident that you will love this book if you love cooking and baking as much as I do. This is my second book of Lindsay’s and I have enjoyed it just as much as the first. I know the soup recipes will come in hand this winter and the fresh delicious salad ideas will be welcome during spring. The true test of a good cookbook is its versatility across not only seasons, but also palettes (in this case, I am referring to food allergies) and this book truly has something for everyone.

Giveaway

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If you made it through all of that, bravo! And if you just skipped to the bottom to win the giveaway, I can’t really blame you for that either. This giveaway goes live as soon as I publish this post. It will end one week from tonight and I will announce the winner next Monday morning after using Random Number Generator to pick who wins the cookbook.

Unfortunately this giveaway is limited to just U.S. and Canadian citizens (I can already hear the groans… I’m sorry!). However, if you would still like to participate and someone outside of the United States or Canada wins, I will give a consolation prize of allowing you to write a guest post on my blog about whatever your heart desires (within reason of course). Sound fair?

After I announce the winner, you will have three days to contact me via e-mail with a viable address or I will be forced to pick someone else.

Like with all of my past giveaways, I am going to include a number of ways that you can enter. I do this so that if you aren’t able to complete one of them for whatever reason then you still have several opportunities to win. You don’t have to do them all, but make sure to leave a separate comment for each below::

  1. Tell me what your #1 deal breaker is for a cookbook (Mine is obviously good pictures and color!).
  2. Follow me on Bloglovin or by e-mail (there is an entry box in the right side bar below my social media icons).
  3. Follow me on Instagram.
  4. Follow me on Pinterest.
  5. Follow Happy Herbivore on any of her social media sites: Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

And if by some chance you don’t win, make sure to check the cookbook out on Amazon where you can purchase it in e-book format for $9.99 or in paperback for $11.97. Really great prices for over a 300 page cookbook!