Maximized Chocolate Cupcakes (Grain Free, Sugarless)

Advanced & Core Plan

Makes about 48 mini cupcakes

I have been making the recipe for the Decadent Chocolate Cake for years but we were preparing for an event and I thought I would try the recipe as a mini-cupcake.  These bite-sized delights were perfect for feeding a crowd and made their way into my kids lunch boxes as well.

Mini Chocolate MuffinsIngredients:

1-15 ounce can of unseasoned black beans
5 large organic eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted organic butter OR extra virgin coconut oil
3/4 cup erythritol (like Swerve) plus 1/2 teaspoon liquid pure stevia extract
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon filtered water

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Drain and rinse beans and shake off excess water. Place the beans, 3 of the eggs, vanilla, stevia and salt into blender. Blend on high until beans are completely liquefied. Make sure there are no chunks.  Mix together cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat butter with erythritol until light and fluffy. Add the remaining two eggs, beating for one minute after each addition. Pour bean batter into egg mixture and mix. Finally, stir in cocoa powder mixture and water  and beat the batter on high for one minute or until smooth. Scrape batter into pan and smooth the top.

Line a mini-muffin pan with chlorine free liners.  Bake for 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Pop them out and let cool.

Optional frosting/toppings:  Chocolate frosting, organic whipped heavy cream with a little stevia, raspberries, etc.

Super Chocolaty Frosting

Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted organic butter
1/4 cup swerve, pulverized into powder
5-6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons coconut milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
Pure stevia extract, to taste

Optional addition for a glossy finish:
1 fresh organic egg yolk

Preparation:

Cream the butter in a small bowl until fluffy. Powder xylitol in a coffee grinder or for a minute or two, until extremely fine in texture (will look like powdered sugar). Stir powdered sweetener into butter with a spatula, then beat until smooth. Slowly blend in the cocoa powder (do this slowly so that it doesn’t explode), vanilla, and sea salt. Beat in the coconut milk and egg yolk. Add stevia, and keep tasting and adjust sweetness to your liking.

Coconut Milk Kefir

coconut kefirMost people turn to yogurt when they want to get probiotics through their food.  Unfortunately,  commercial yogurts are made from conventional dairy (pesticide sprayed grain fed, pumped with hormones and antibiotics), that is pasteurized, colors and flavorings, and loaded with sugar and/or artificial sweeteners.  When you consume kefir, you get even more benefit because kefir can actually colonize your gut!   (Yogurt can’t do that).  This is perfect for those who are dairy intolerant or who just want to avoid dairy altogether.  Make it a regular part of your diet and ditch the commercial yogurts!

Use 1 tablespoon kefir starter

1-2 cups organic coconut milk from BPA free cans (Native Forest)

Combine the kefir starter with the coconut milk in a glass jar (do not use metal to store or stir). Cover with a cloth secured with a rubber band and let it sit (it should be fairly warm for proper fermentation. If your mixture has not thickened after 24 hours, it probably was not warm enough) for 12-24 hours. After about 12 hours, gently shake the mixture.

Try it! Once the coconut milk has thickened and turned slightly sour flavor, you’re done. Strain the mixture through a fine plastic strainer and store in the refrigerator.

Garlic Ginger Wild Salmon

Serves 4

Advanced & Core Plan

This is a simple but flavorful dish that uses basic ingredients and can be part of a regular menu rotation.
garlic ginger salmon3/4 cup minced fresh parsley
4 teaspoons minced fresh gingerroot
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 wild caught Alaskan salmon fillets

sesame seeds for garnish, if desired

In a food processor, combine the parsley, ginger and garlic until minced then  add the lemon/lime juice,  salt, and pepper and process until well blended (you may need to scrape down the sides).  While processing, gradually add oil in a steady stream. Spread mixture over salmon fillets. Place in a shallow 2-qt. glass dish and marinate 30 minutes +.  Bake in a 350 degree oven until desired doneness.  

Tofu-less Miso Soup

Serves 4-6

Advanced & Core Plan

Although the Maximized Living Nutrition Plans recommend staying away from conventional soy products, miso is a fermented form of soy that fits into the plans as a very healthful form of soy.  Notice, I do leave out tofu which is not fermented and not recommended.

Miso dates back over 2,500 years and is a staple in Asian cuisine.  It is known to stimulate digestion and energize the body.  It is full of enzymes and beneficial microorganisms that will support your gut health.  It also contains all essential amino acids making it a complete protein.  Be sure to buy organic, non-pasteurized miso paste.

miso soup8 cups filtered water
½ cup chopped mushrooms of choice, sliced thin
½ cup organic miso paste (red or white)
1 sheet nori (dried seaweed), cut into rectangles
sea salt to taste

¾ cup chopped green onions for garnish if desired

Place water in a large pot and bring to a low simmer, add mushrooms and nori squares.  Make a paste with the miso by adding a little hot water in a small bowl and mixing until smooth and then add to the pot.  Simmer for 7-10 minutes but do not let it boil (you want to keep the good bacteria in tact).

Sweet Curry Kale “Pasta” Salad

Kale Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This recipe is from my sweet friend, Dr. Janet Early.  She shares a passion for healthy food that tastes great like I do and she spends a lot of time in the kitchen.

This is an Advanced Plan pasta salad.  That’s right, a grainless pasta salad!  Give this one a try immediately.

Get the recipe here…

 

Dry Rub Fall Off the Bone Chicken Wings

These wings are fall-off-the-bone tender and amazing. They are extremely easy to make and turn out perfect every single time. They are nice and spicy but if you are more fainthearted, you can leave off the cayenne pepper and go light on the hot pepper sauce. Feel free to change up or adjust the spices and sauce mixture to your liking. These are great for parties or as a meal served with some veggies.

IMG_8101

4 pounds organic chicken wings

Dry Rub:

1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin

Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons organic butter
2 tablespoons reserved dry rub
1 (12-ounce) bottle hot pepper sauce (check ingredients)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Combine all dry rub spices in a large bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the mixture. Add the wings to bowl and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Lay all wings flat on the baking sheet and bake for an hour turning halfway through.

When the wings are almost done, melt the butter and then add other sauce ingredients.

When ready to serve, add the wings to a large serving bowl, pour sauce over the wings and toss.

Recipe modified from Guy Fieri

Beef Ragu over Spaghetti Squash

Typically, italian sauces are heavy on the tomatoes and lighter on the meat.  In a ragu, meat is front and center.  Combining grass fed beef  with red pesto and serving it over spaghetti squash is a nice change from the norm.  Here is what Wikipedia says about ragu…

“In the northern Italian regions, a ragù is typically a sauce of meat, often minced, chopped or ground, and cooked with sautéed vegetables in a liquid. The meats are varied and may include separately or in mixtures of beef, chicken, pork, duck, goose, lamb, mutton, veal, or game, as well as offal from any of the same. The liquids can be broth, stock, water, wine, milk, cream, or tomato, and often includes combinations of these. If tomatoes are included, they are typically limited in quantity relative to the meat. Characteristically, a ragù is a sauce of braised or stewed meat that may be flavoured with tomato, to distinguish it from a tomato sauce that is flavoured with the addition of meat.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ragù
photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 lbs grass fed ground beef
1/2 cup red pesto
1 tablespoon grass fed butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (more or less to your taste)
1 large spaghetti squash, cut in half and seeded (be careful, they are tough to cut)

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Put the squash, cut side down, in a baking dish with about 1/2 inch of filtered water.  Cook 35-40 minutes. (Smaller squash will cook more quickly and large ones may take a bit longer.)  Be sure not to overcook.

While the squash is cooking, brown the ground beef and drain fat if necessary (grass fed beef has much less fat than conventional beef and doesn’t typically require much draining).  [NOTE:  I am not suggesting that fat is a bad thing, in fact fat from a grass fed cow is healthy!  I am simply pointing out that you may be surprised at the lack of fat you have to drain.  The last batch of beef I got from www.vineyardfarms.com had virtually no fat)

Once the beef is browned, add the red pesto.  You can add more or less, depending on your preference.  Keep warm until the squash comes out of the oven.

Remove squash from the oven and use a fork to separate the squash into spaghetti-like strands.

Serve the ragu over the squash and enjoy!