Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies (Year 2)

The original purpose of this “blog” was to have a place to store my favourite recipes. It has since turned into somewhere to post my teaching schedule. This means that I haven’t been posting much content. I’m not saying that’s going to change, but I felt the need to put these few recipes up as good recipes are worth sharing!

Today was a day of retail therapy. I could call it Christmas shopping, but only some of the purchases were presents (for others). Finally, I tore myself away from shopping to attempt some gluten-free baking. I had found this recipe a couple of weeks ago and, after some additional searching, decided to give it a shot — good choice! These babies melt, like actually melt! I guess a pound of butter will do that to a cookie… These are definitely NOT healthy, but that’s ok — life is all about balance right?

I followed her recipe pretty much exactly (unheard of for me, I know).

Gluten-Free Shortbread

Velma’s Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies
3 C White Rice Flour (I used Bob Red Mills)
1 C Corn Starch
1 C Icing Sugar
1 lb Softened Butter

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
Sift the dry ingredients together
Cut in the butter — in chunks
Throw caution to the wind and get your hands in the bowl! Kneed the dough until it forms a large, sticky ball
Pinch off small pieces and roll into balls, place balls on parchment paper lined cookie sheet
Press down with a fork and bake for 20 minutes — rotate at the 10 minute mark
Let cool for a moment before moving to cooling rack — I just transferred the parchment paper over to the cooling rack
Enjoy sparingly! They might feel light and fluffy, but they are anything but!

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Cauliflower Crust Pizza

I feel like my last couple of posts were quite deep and serious, so it’s time for another recipe!

This is from a few weeks back, but with a picture that looks this good, you know it needs to be shared! For the most part, staying wheat/gluten-free hasn’t affected my life; however, I MISS PIZZA!! There are many pre-made gluten-free crusts out there, but I have two issues with them: 1) they don’t taste very good, and 2) they’re typically made from white rice flour, tapioca starch and other things that have zero nutritional value and spike your blood sugar through the roof! Sooo, when I learned about Cauliflower Crust, I had to give it a shot! And I’m SO HAPPY I did because, frankly, it changed my life!

There are many recipes out there for this amazing crust, but I’ve stuck to the following one from the word go — it’s easy and has passed all picky eater tests.

Hanna is about six! My friend’s fiance also exchanged his pita crust version for ours the first time we made it.

So, without further ado (thank you to Eat. Drink. Smile.)…

1 C riced, cooked Cauliflower
1 C shredded Mozzarella
1 beaten Egg
1 tsp dried Oregano
1/2 tsp crushed Garlic
1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
Pizza sauce and toppings of choice

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. Rice the cauliflower — place chunks in a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower looks like grain
3. Place riced cauliflower in a microwaveable bowl and cook for 8 minutes (no need to add water)
4. Mix the beaten egg, oregano, garlic and garlic salt together
5. Add the cheese and egg mixture to the cooked cauliflower
6. Dump the mixture onto a sprayed/greased cookie sheet and spread out VERY thinly, leaving the edges a little thicker; don’t worry, it will all come together as you push it around
7. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, until golden
8. Remove from oven and top — some tips here: make sure toppings that require cooking are pre-cooked, avoid toppings that add moisture, make sure toppings are light and spread thinly
9. Broil until cheese starts to bubble
10. Remove and enjoy!!

I haven’t tried this, but I’ve been told that goats cheese will melt appropriately for the crust so can be used instead of full fat (yes, you need the full fat kind as this is what holds the cauliflower together) cows milk mozzarella.

Grain-Free Protein Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Are you ready for the sharing to begin!? I’m IN LOVE with these cookies and have adapted the recipe from Detoxinista.

1C Nut Butter (I use a random combination of smooth peanut butter, almond butter and cashew butter)
1/3C Honey (I love honey so am totally ok using the full amount, but I’m sure you can mix and match with Agave and/or Stevia)
1 Egg (you can also use a Flax Egg, but I haven’t experimented with that yet)
1/2tsp Salt (if your nut butters are unsalted)
1/2tsp Baking Soda
1/2C shredded Coconut (optional and no modifications are necessary with omitting)
1 scoop Protein Powder (I used Natural Vanilla by Whey Gourmet and added about a tablespoon of  Original Coconut Milk to avoid the cookies becoming too dry)
1/2C Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350. Combine everything but the chocolate chips – I throw it all into a bowl and use the whisk attachment of my hand blender to combine. Fold in the chocolate chips. Scoop onto a greased or parchment covered cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 mins (until golden), rotating half-way through. Leave on the cookie sheet to cool as they come out of the oven very soft!I tested them on my friend’s fiance and they passed with flying colours!

Welcome to SimplyLifeFoodFitness!

Thank you for stopping by! I intend for this to be a blog about simply living life; enjoying good, healthy food; and achieving fitness goals 🙂

Life: I work a full-time office job and am a group fitness instructor before and after work. I’ll share my goals as we go along 😉 I am an aunt to four amazing kidlets and am extremely close with my family!

Food: Diet matters (not to be confused with “diets”); I believe in a life of balance and that includes allowing yourself to have “off” days without punishment! Each morning is a new opportunity. I have been (mostly) gluten/wheat-free for over three years, but am just starting to learn how to bake again 🙂 I try to stick to organic, whole foods, but we all have our moments of desperation… The food/recipes I post on here will showcase the 90% good, but I’m not a superhuman and know there is 10% not so good that happens too!

Fitness: Oh fitness…I actually got my only D, ever, in PE in Junior High! Now, I couldn’t imagine a life without daily activity; this has taught me not to judge myself, and what I can achieve, by looking at who I was. I am a BCRPA certified group fitness instructor with 100 hours of Maya Yoga teacher training; and will be completing an additional 200 hours of vinyasa yoga teacher training with Tiffany Cruikshank in January 2013. Currently I teach at least three spin classes per week, attend a minimum of six yoga classes, and try to go for a run/hike at least once or twice a week. I recently completed my first 10k race (the 2012 Vancouver Sun Run); am part of a team to complete the Meet Your Maker relay race in Whistler in September; and plan to complete my first triathlon in 2013.

I look forward to sharing my adventures with you and learning about your adventures through Life Food Fitness!

~A 🙂