Monthly Archives: January 2015

Grain Free Baked Zucchini Sticks, Fiesta Friday # 52 Anniversary Party

Grain Free Baked Zucchini Sticks

Congratulations to Angie at The Novice gardener for hosting 52 weeks of Fiesta Friday. If you haven’t visited Fiesta Friday then do it today. Our hosts this week are Hilda@Alongthegrapevine and Juliana@ We are coming together to celebrate with appetizers and drink recipes from around the globe.

Who doesn’t love deep fried, breaded zucchini sticks? They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, best served with a side of ranch dressing. Definitely American bar food at its finest. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t eat deep fried zuc at a Super Bowl party, because I definitely would, but my Fiesta Friday friends deserve better faire.

I bring you a healthier version of deep fried zuc with a side of low fat yogurt ranch dressing. Still crispy and soft and satisfying with the good fat and protein of almonds, no wheat and very little carbohydrate.

Paleo friendly? Yes ma’am.
I think a cave woman would have loved to snack on these while cave painting with the girls or Chairing a tribal meeting. Yes, she could organize her tribe, create lasting beauty and bake snacks for her BFFs while balancing a cave baby on her hip and letting her caveman believe that he was actually in charge.

Serve these with bubbles. A nice cold microbrew lager or amber ale, sparkling California rose or sparkling water with lime would pair well.

Grain Free Baked Zucchini Sticks

2 zucchini cut into sticks, 1/4 inch thick and 3-4 inches long
1 cup almond meal
2 eggs beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking dish with parchment paper.
Dip zucchini sticks in beaten eggs followed by almond meal. Place sticks on baking dish without touching. Bake 20 minutes until golden brown. The almond meal will burn so watch closely. Serve with nonfat Greek yogurt ranch dip.
Try spicing these up with a chili blend or Moroccan seasoning mixed with the almond meal. The variations are endless.

Yogurt Dip
Combine 1 cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt with 2 tablespoons lowfat mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon dried dill, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon dried parsley, dash of salt and pepper.

Grain Free Baked Zucchini Sticks
Grain Free Baked Zucchini Sticks

Gluten Free, Vegan, Zucchini, Walnut Brownies

I posted this a week ago for Fiesta Friday #52 than realized that I was a week early with dessert. 😉 So some of you have already read this post. But as I pointed out to Suzanne, life is short, so …. I think we should eat dessert first! So here is my dessert for FF.

Gluten Free, Vegan, zucchini, walnut brownies

Fiesta Friday # 53

Congratulations and much thanks to Angie at The Novice Gardener for hosting 53 blog parties featuring the best recipes on the Internet and the nicest group of food bloggers from around the world. I’m not really a food blogger but they let me tag along with whatever recipe I bring to share.

I do occasionally eat wheat and grain products but I also like to substitute seeds and nuts whenever possible to increase the nutrient value, protein and fiber in my recipes. These brownies are rich but not too sweet with a lower glycemic index than traditional brownies. I hope you will try a batch and comment.

Update: Wow, I refrigerated these overnight and they are even more delicious. They become more dense in texture and are more fudge like. I think they should always be made one day in advance for best flavor and texture.
Gluten Free, Vegan, zucchini, walnut brownies
Gluten Free, Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Walnut Brownies


1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup water
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp flaxmeal
1/2 cup vegetable or coconut oil
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup coconut sugar or sugar of your choice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350F, and line a 8 X 8 baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside. Shredded 1/2 zucchini with the food processor shred attachment. Set aside. Combine dry ingredients in the food processor with the blade. Add water and vanilla and combine. Add zucchini and pulse to combine all ingredients except the walnuts. Stir in chopped walnuts.
Spoon batter into the prepared baking dish and spread and smooth down firmly with the back of the spoon.
Bake 19-20 minutes, then pat down hard with a pancake spatula or another sheet of parchment. Refrigerate overnight for a firmer brownie or eat when cooled for a fluffy, soft brownie. Let zucchini brownies sit 15 minutes before trying to cut into squares.

Inspiration from I used only zucchini instead of apple sauce and added walnuts. I used coconut sugar. Check out her other chocolate recipes.

Drink up! 23 Ways to Increase Your Water Intake.

Drink Up


Water is essential for life.  You can live without food for weeks but only a few days without water.  Water  is critical for kidney function, gut motility, brain function and every chemical reaction in our bodies.  If you choose no other healthy habits in 2015, then at least commit to increasing your water intake. You will be less hungry, less wrinkly, have more energy and therefore be much happier when you’re hydrated.  So drink up!

Nancy Fox @Skinny Kitchen posted a great article to help us stay hydrated. She also has a zillion healthy weight-friendly recipes. See her sage advice here.

Halibut and Orange Fennel Slaw

Halibut and Orange Fennel Slaw

This is my 100th post! I didn’t even realize it until I posted. I feel like I should celebrate or something. So yeah me for posting 100 ideas, recipes, photos, advices, and wellness inspired posts. Who knew that so many people on the planet cared about healthy living. You, my readers inspire me and I’m grateful for your support.

The inspiration for this recipe came from Sunset magazine and the author used sablefish. Sablefish, also known as black cod, is a lovely, healthy fish but I don’t love it. Its actually more expensive and harder to find than halibut, although you can order both fishes from Alaskan fish suppliers. I use Island Seafoods in Kodiac. Sablefish is very rich and loaded with omega 3 but it’s too soft and oily for me. I usually have Alaskan halibut in my freezer so I substituted it for the black cod. I think salmon would pair nicely with this citrus slaw too.

I like to braise halibut in seasoned broth and wine to give it a flavor boost and to keep it moist. Oranges and halibut were meant to be together and oranges are in season now. Savoy cabbage is mild and slightly sweet and holds up well in the citrus and fennel slaw.
I have been missing my virtual friends (not my “make believe” friends, just to be clear) so I will be stopping by their blogs with this delicious, nutrient packed, paleo diet inspired meal that is perfect for guests or a weekend meal at home. A nice glass of dry Sauvignon Blanc or Spanish Albariño would be a lovely addition. You’ll need an acidic wine to stand up to the citrus unless you have given up wine for the New Year. If so then try a nice hot cup of jasmine or chamomile and ginger tea.

Halibut and Orange Fennel Slaw

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 tablespoon of fennel seed
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 halibut filets, 4-6 oz per serving
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup broth, chicken or vegetable, low sodium
1 fennel bulb
5 cups thinly sliced savoy cabbage
1 carrot grated
3 tablespoons olive oil divided
Zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 oranges, divided. Slice one for braising liquid and cut one into sections for the slaw


1-Toast fennel seeds in a sauce pan until fragrant about 1 minute. Set aside 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds. Grind the remaining seeds in a mortar with dash of salt and pepper. Rub mixture over fish and set aside.
2- Slice the white fennel bulb into thin slices. Chop greens and stems for braising liquid. Slice one orange. Peel and chop the other orange into segments.
3- Place orange slices, fennel stems, low sodium broth, and dry white wine in a large sauce pan. Simmer for 10 minutes to infuse broth with orange and fennel.
4- Slice cabbage into thin slices and combine with fennel in a large bowl. Grate or spiralize the carrot.
5- In a small bowl combine 3 Tsp olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, orange zest, reserved whole fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine and pour over cabbage, carrot and fennel. Toss until covered. Add orange segments and set aside.
6- Place halibut over simmering orange slices and braise fish on medium heat until done. About 10 minutes depending on the thickness. It should be opaque but not dry.
7- Serve halibut over a generous portion of prepared slaw.

Inspiration from Kate Washington’s recipe in Sunset Magazine January 2015. Sablefish with Savoy Cabbage and Fennel Slaw.

Halibut and Orange Fennel Slaw

Halibut and Orange Fennel Slaw


Jumpstart 2015 – Eat Smart, Feel Great

This gallery contains 10 photos.

Originally posted on food to glow:
Happy Tummy Tonic – coming soon! In frosty January it is so tempting to cuddle up on the sofa with a bowl of carbs (mashed potatoes/spaghetti/brownies/mac and cheese/yada yada…). But yummy as this proposition…

New Year’s Resolution: Wishing For Change Is Not a Plan

New year's Resolutions

Hope is not a plan. Turn your wish into a plan.

What really matters to you in 2015 and what’s your plan?

Try this exercise. Start by writing down a resolution, which is really just a glorified wish. Now write down a concrete plan to make it happen. If the resolution appears to be too much to tackle in the moment i.e. you have no idea how to start, then reframe it. This exercise is about success not failure. Continue reading