The Improvinista

Apr 17

Gluten Free Buttermilk Waffles

Light and Fluffy Gluten Free Waffles with Raspberries and Blueberries Waffles are my Mom’s specialty in the kitchen. She is always doing experiments to see how light and fluffy she can get her waffles.

When I realized I couldn’t eat gluten anymore, I had pretty much given up on the idea of eating waffles ever again. Fortunately, I decided to give it a try and quickly realized that it was not only easy to make gluten free waffles, but I could make them just as good as my Mom and even better! My Mom and I tested both types of waffles with the family and shockingly, there was a natural gravitation to my gluten free waffles!

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 cup Gluten free rolled oats, blended
1 cup Brown rice flour
2 tsp Baking powder
2 cups Buttermilk (you can substitute for 1 cup almond milk and 1 cup yogurt or heavy cream)
1/4 cup Butter (melted)
2 Egg yolks 2 Egg whites
1 Tbs Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 pint Heavy whipping cream
Powdered sugar and fruit for toppings

Step 1: In a bowl, mix together dry ingredients: 1 cup blended gluten free rolled oats, 1 cup brown rice flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

Dry Ingredients for Gluten Free Waffles

Step 2: In another bowl, mix together egg yolks, melted butter and buttermilk.

Step 3: Slowly mix the wet and dry ingredients together. Whisk the egg whites separately until light and fluffy and then gently fold into the waffle batter, mixing slowly.

Wet Ingredients for Gluten Free Waffles

Step 4: In a bowl, beat heavy whipping cream on high until the cream begins to peak.

Whipped Cream Topping for Gluten Free Buttermilk Waffles

Step 5: Heat up a waffle iron and grease lightly with olive oil or butter. Place waffle mix in the iron and cook until waffle is golden brown and crisp on the outside.

Cooking Gluten Free Buttermilk Waffles

Serve up with whipped cream, powdered sugar and fruit or other toppings of your choice.

Toppings for Gluten Free Buttermilk Waffles  

Apr 15

Butternut Squash & Pineapple Curry

Pineapple Squash Curry with Jasmine Rice I don’t think you can go wrong with pineapple and curry. In fact, it is something I crave every Wednesday (when it’s on the lunch menu at Ekamai Thai). It’s refreshing to take a break from meat once and a while, and with this recipe, you don’t even realize you’re not eating it. Why butternut squash? There butternut squash and pineapple flavor marry beautifully!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Olive oil
2 Onions, sliced
4 Tbs Red curry paste
2 Butternut squash, cut into 1” cubes
2-3 cans coconut milk 1 Pineapple, cut into 1” cubes
1-2 Tbs Garam masala spice blend
2 limes, squeezed
2 cups Jasmine rice

Butternut Squash and Pineapple Curry Ingredients Step 1: In a deep pot over medium heat, combine 1-2 Tbs of extra virgin olive oil and two sliced onions. Let cook for about 5 minutes.

Step 2; While the onions cook, peel and cut butternut squash into 1” cubes. When squash is ready, add it to the onions in the pot along with the coconut milk, red curry paste, Garam masala spice blend and the juice of two limes. Cook until butternut squash begins to soften. While this cooks, cut pineapple into 1” cubes.

Step 3: Prepare Jasmine rice.

Step 4: When the butternut squash has softened up a bit, add pineapple cubes to the pot and let cook a little longer. Add freshly ground salt and pepper to taste. Scoop up your rice, top it with curry and enjoy!

Apr 14

Gingerade

Apple, Lemon, Kale and Ginger Juice Taking an extra 10-15 minutes in the morning to make my own juice (and that includes cleaning the juicer!) is my little secret to the start of a successful day.

I have noticed an increase in energy levels and am feeling my immune system get stronger. The simple act of taking some time for myself automatically puts a smile on my face, which in effect, ups the amount of those feel good hormones (endorphins) to my brain.

In a juicer, combine:

Apples
1” cube of ginger root
Lemons
Kale leaves
12 oz water

Apr 11

Sauteed Zucchini and Squash Tacos

Squash Tacos

One of my favorite nights is Taco Tuesday, a ritual started by my kickball team before our big games (yes, there are “big games” in adult kickball). This recipe is one of the favorites, and best of all, it’s gluten free, vegetarian, and can be whipped together on a moment’s notice.

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 zucchini
2 yellow squash
3 cloves garlic
1 Serrano chile
Coarsely ground sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Queso Fresco
Yellow corn tortillas
Olive oil
Guacamole

How to make Sauteed Zucchini and Squash Tacos Step 1:In a sauce pan, add…

1-2 TBS olive oil 2 zucchini cut lengthwise into 1/4” slices and chopped into bite size pieces 2 yellow squash cut lengthwise into 1/4” slices and chopped into bite size pieces Cook until the vegetable begin to soften, then add… 3 cloves minced garlic 1 minced Serrano chile

Step 2: When vegetables begin to soften, push them to one side of the pan. Heat up your corn tortillas on the other side. When the tortillas begin to turn a golden brown, top with vegetables and serve with Queso Fresco and fresh guacamole.

Mar 18

Thai Peanut Chicken + Pineapple Skewers

Ready for an extremely easy, restaurant-style meal you can make at home? Fire up your grill, mix some sauces, chop some veggies and enjoy!

Ingredients:

Crunchy gluten free peanut butter
Coconut milk
Tamari sauce
Garlic cloves, crushed
Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon
Punch of red pepper flakes
2 Chicken breasts

Step 1: Make Sauce In a bowl add…

1/2 cup Crunchy gluten free peanut butter
1 can of coconut milk
1/4 cup tamari sauce
4 garlic cloves, crushed
Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon
Punch of red pepper flakes

Step 2: Slice chicken breasts lengthwise and put in marinade.

Set aside in refrigerator for one hour. Step 3: Make sauce for pineapple

In a bowl add…

2 tbs honey
4 tbs olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
A punch of red pepper flakes

Whisk well.

Step 4: Slice pineapple lengthwise and lightly coat with honey mixture. Step 5: Chop up red onions, and bell peppers and place on skewers. Weave chicken slices onto skewers. Step 6: Turn grill onto medium heat and slowly grill chicken skewers, vegetable skewers and pineapple. (If your grill has a rack, place pineapple up on that rack so it can cook a little more slowly). Heat up any leftover peanut sauce on the stove (bring to boil and then let simmer) for dipping.              

Mar 17

Sweet Potato Hash Browns

I’ll say it over and over again. Finding inspiration for a quick gluten free breakfast can be frustrating. I grew up in a family that sat down for a home-cooked breakfast every morning (I know, spoiled), and have a special bond to belgian waffles, crepes and dutch babies…if you know any good gluten free recipes for these, please share! In lieu of the classic breakfasts served by my mom, I have had to be a bit more resourceful in order to eat breakfast as king.

If you are doing the detox diet on this blog, this makes the BEST breakfast hands down. It pairs a few of my favorite things in the world—sweet potatoes and guacamole! I remember as a kid watching in disgust as one of my friend’s ate two polar opposite foods, together. His response to my disgust was, well, I like PB & J and I like quesadillas, so what’s wrong with that?!…To each his own. This isn’t nearly that odd, just maybe not the first thing to come to mind. You’ll need a sweet potato, avocados, garlic, onions, tomatoes and some coconut oil. Easy enough! To fancy it up a bit more, fry up and egg and top with some pico de gallo.

Ingredients:

1 sweet potato
spoonful of unrefined coconut oil
salt + pepper to taste

Step 1: To make the hash-browns, peel the sweet potato and then shred it (I used a food processor for efficient shredding). Put your shredded sweet potato on some paper towels and get as much moisture out as possible. Rumor has it that a rice presser is the way to go. The less moisture you have, the crunchier your hash-browns will be.

Step 2: Place a large skillet on medium high heat. Plop in some coconut oil and wait until the oil begins to bubble slightly. Add a thin layer of shredded sweet potato and spread evenly so no area is thicker than another, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes and turn it over and do it all again. Remove from pan and put in your next load of sweet potatoes.

Step 3: Make your guacamole. For the recipe, click here.

Step 4: Fry up an egg and top with some pico de gallo! Enjoy!  

Mar 16

Strawberry Almond Smoothie

Did you know almond milk is lower in calories and fat than regular cow’s milk? It’s also high in vitamins, such as vitamin E and contains bone-building calcium, like cow’s milk. Making your own almond milk is easy, click here for a video tutorial from My Green Diet’s blog. This recipe doesn’t require any fancy equipment. I just used my regular old blender chop up my soaked almonds.

I snagged this Strawberry-Almond Smoothie recipe from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen. They suggest to plan ahead and make sure to soak your almonds in water overnight, at least 8-10 hours.

Ingredients:
1 cup raw almonds (soaked overnight)
1-1/2 to 2 cups frozen strawberries
1 tablespoon of raw honey
Add almonds and water into a blender with a sharp blade. (Results will be better with a nicer blender, like a Vitamix). Add almonds and water (add until you reach desired consistency) and blend for 30 seconds to one minute. If your blender isn’t very good, the almonds will remain a little chunky. Add your frozen strawberries next and a tablespoon of honey. Blend until smooth.
Enjoy!

Mar 15

Cantaloupe Wrapped in Prosciutto

This is the perfect sweet and salty snack. Request about 1/2lb of thinly sliced prosciutto from your deli and pair with 1/2 ripe cantaloupe cut into about 1” cubes.
Once the cantaloupe is cubed, wrap each cube individually with your thinly sliced prosciutto. Plate, drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle evenly with freshly ground sea salt and pepper and serve!

This is also great without salt, pepper and oil, as well as with a little fresh lemon juice sprinkled on top.

Mar 14

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

This butternut squash is prepared the same way as the squash in the Roasted Butternut Squash Salad. This is soup is gluten free and dairy free and meat free, and can be eaten during the first few weeks of the detox.

Ingredients:

Fennel seeds
Coarsely ground sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
Ground cinnamon
Nutmeg
Sweet onions
Vegetable stock
Coconut milk

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400° Chop off the tops of two garlic bulbs of garlic, wrap in tin foil and place in oven to roast.

Step 2: With a mortar and pestle, grind…

1tbs ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tbs Coarse sea salt
1tbs whole fennel seed
1 1/2 tsp pepper corn
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Step 3: Peel and chop 1 whole butternut squash (about 1-2 lbs) into 1” cubes In a bowl, add butternut squash cubes and two handfuls of your spice mix and toss, evenly spreading spice mix over all cubes of squash. Add 3 tbs of extra virgin olive oil to box and toss again, evenly coating squash.

Step 4: Put squash into pan and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Stir around squash about 20 minutes in. Bake until buttery soft on the inside and lightly crisped on the outside.

Step 5: Slice up two sweet onions and cook over medium heat in a deep pot with olive oil until they are caramelized.

Step 5: Add 1 1/2 boxes of So Good unsweetened coconut milk to pot along with roasted garlic and roasted butternut squash.

Step 6: Puree all the ingredients in the pot and add vegetable stock until you reach your desired consistency.

Enjoy!

Mar 13

Kiwi + Camembert

This is the perfect snack for a sunny weekend—soft Camembert cheese paired with savory Kiwi fruit. Let your cheese set out for a few hours to soften and slice up some ripe kiwi for a refreshingly simple snack.