Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

gluten-free / refined sugar-free / dairy free option

Words cannot begin to express how AMAZING this pie is. So to honor that this is going to be a blissfully short post. The key to making this pie unforgettable is very simple. All you need are local, freshly picked strawberries, some rhubarb which grows rampant in most areas, and a bit of orange zest to tie it all together! There is no doubt in my mind that this pie would still be good in the dead of winter with store-bought produce but it would definitely be the ugly step child in comparison. So much so, that now that I have had the real deal I would NEVER be able to make it otherwise. And because I hate depriving myself of anything this good, I’ve decided I will just have to pick enough berries this season that I can freeze a bunch and make this pie year round!!!

If you are local to the Milwaukee area and want to go pick I highly recommend going to Barthel Fruit Farm. They are located near Mequon, WI and are hands down the best farm in the area!! In addition to strawberries, they also offer a variety of plants and herbs to buy, sugar snap peas which are available now, and apples and pumpkins coming in fall!!

Rhubarb is naturally a bit bitter to taste so the sweetness of these strawberries balances out that flavor profile with ease. And because these berries are SO sweet you can literally cut the sugar down by at least half without even blinking an eye, which appeals to the healthy side of my brain! The orange zest I added to the filling gives you just a hint of that citrus tang through the sweetness of the berries. It definitely gives your taste buds a little zing and gives the pie a more elegant finish.

The only other advice I can offer is to make two pies, because one is definitely not enough!!

Enjoy! nom nom

P.S. AS always, if you do not need to be GF feel free to just sub in your eveyday all purpose flour!!!!

Ingredients

2 cups fresh rhubarb; cut into 1/2 inch pieces

2 cups sliced strawberries

1/2-3/4 cup raw organic cane sugar

1/2 tsp. grated orange peel

1/3 cup GF all purpose flour

2 TBS butter

1/4 tsp nutmeg

pinch of salt

1 recipe for Gluten Free Pie Crust; makes (2) 9 inch crusts

 

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Prepare the pie crust by following the link above!
  2. Mix rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, orange peel, flour and nutmeg in a large bowl. Turn into prepared pie shell.
  3. Cut the butter into small pieces and dot the filling with them.
  4. Place the second pie crust over the filling. Cut 3 slits in the center to allow for ventilation. Seal and crimp the edges.
  5. Brush with milk or egg whites and sprinkle with sugar.
  6. Cover the pie’s edge with 2-3 inch of aluminum foil to prevent the edges from burning. Remove for the last 15 minutes of baking.
  7. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until crust is a golden brown.

 

Raspberry Chocolate Tart

gluten free / vegan / paleo friendly

This dessert took me 12 MINUTES to make and required NO baking!!  Ok, now that I have your attention……let’s get excited about the summer desserts’ that are coming our way!!! Here in Wisconsin we are all in avid anticipation of the strawberries that will be arriving any day now. A few of my favorite recipes I can’t wait to share with you are strawberry scones, strawberry rhubarb pie and strawberry bread. Follow that up with blueberry and peach season where we will discover the beautiful and simple nuances of the fruit with just a buttery pie crust holding it together. And how amazing a simple muffin can be when it’s jammed full of Michigan blueberries. And last but certainly not least are raspberries! They have a longer season than most berries, ranging from mid July to October in places like Michigan. So you can look forward to raspberry sorbet, jams and my personal favorite, anything chocolate with raspberries! And so we come full circle, to the whole point of this post. The Raspberry Chocolate Tart. I cannot take credit for this particular recipe as I found it via the blog bakerita. so…kudos to her because this tart is phenomenal!! It is not only ridiculously rich and satisfying but it is also…..gluten free, vegan and paleo friendly!!! It is also the PERFECT summer dessert. Easy to make, requires no oven and will impress even the toughest dessert critic! Enjoy!! nom nom

For the crust

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 TBS pure maple syrup or agave nectar
  • pinch of coarse sea salt

For the filling

  • 1/2 cup canned full fat coconut milk
  • 6oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup raspberry preserves (100% fruit)
  • 1 pint of raspberries

 

  1. Lightly grease a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom with coconut oil
  2. In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the crust and stir together. Press evenly into the prepared tart pan; set aside
  3. Place finely chopped chocolate in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, bring coconut milk just to a boil. Pout hot coconut milk over chocolate and let stand 1 minute, then stir until smooth and creamy. Stir in raspberry preserves. Pour the filling into the prepared crust.
  4. Garnish the top with raspberries
  5. Place tart in the refrigerator to set and cool completely, about 1-2 hours. Slice and serve.
  6. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

 

 

Steak and Sweet Potato Bowl

It is bowl time again my friends!!! And this time we are taking a Latin approach. This recipe is super simple albeit a little putsy with the marinade and dressing. But have no fear, I wrote down a few time-saving tips at the end to make this an easy option for weeknight meals. This has an earthy spice rather than a hot spice so it can work well for the kiddos too!! And if you want to make this vegetarian, it’s easy!! Just double up on the black beans or add in pinto beans for some variety! Add in some extra vegetables like sautéed corn and peppers and voila, a vegetarian bowl!!! This recipe is great the day after for lunch if you are so lucky to have leftovers!!! Enjoy! nom nom!!

gluten free / dairy free / grain free option / vegetarian option

Makes 2 bowls.

Sweet Potato Bowl 

1 cup cooked organic brown rice or Cauliflower Rice

2/3-3/4 cup black beans

1 avocado; sliced

1 cup of sweet potato (approximately 1 large sweet potato); peeled and cubed

6-8 ounces of flank steak; marinated for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking

2 TBS roasted pumpkinseed kernels; usually found in bulk section

4 TBS. fresh cilantro, chopped

2 TBS. salsa verde

Steak Marinade

2 TBS neutral tasting oil, I like grapeseed or EVOO

1/4 cup orange juice, preferably fresh

2 TBS lime juice; preferably fresh

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 TBS cilantro, chopped

1/2 tsp jalapeno, diced (optional)

Honey-Chipotle  Dressing

1 TBS olive oil

1 TBS adobo sauce

2 TBS honey

1 TBS fresh lime juice

  1. For the marinade, combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Place meat in large ziploc bag and pour mixture into the bag. Make sure the bag is sealed and massage bag until the marinade has coated the steak evenly. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes though all day is preferrable to ensure the meat is tender!
  2. Preheat oven to 425.
  3. Prepare rice according to package directions. Once cooked, toss the rice with salsa verde and set aside
  4. Meanwhile, place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and roast until crisp with slightly dark edges, approximately 20-30 minutes
  5. Heat a large non stick skillet over medium-high heat and cook the steak to your desired doneness. For medium rare, cook on the first side for 8 minutes, flip and cook for an additional 6 minutes. Remove to plate and lest rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Slice against the grain 1/4-1/2 inch thick.
  6. For the Honey Chipotle Dressing, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  7. Once all the components are done you can assemble your bowl!!! Start with the rice as your base followed by the sweet potaoes, black beans, 3-4 ounces of sliced steak, sliced avocado and pumpkin seeds to finish
  8. Drizzle with Honey Chipotle dressing and enjoy!!!

Time Saving TIPS!!

  1. Prepare the marinade and dressing the night before. The steak can marinate overnight and just remove the dressing once you start dinner so it can come to room temperature
  2. Buy the sweet potaoes already cubed!! Either frozen and make sure to thaw them before baking or Trader Joe’s has cubed sweet potaoes in the refrigerated produce section
  3. You can also make the rice ahead of time! We eat alot of rice so we make a big batch on Sunday and use it throughout the week!

 

 

 

 

Quinoa Blondie Bars

gluten free / dairy free / refined sugar free / vegan option

So, last week was my daughter’s last day of K4. It was an emotional week for everyone. I’m talking tears everyday, this is the worst thing to happen to her EVER kind of emotional. And I honestly wasn’t much better…..Amira has been blessed for the last two years to attend the Schlitz Audubon Nature School outside of Milwaukee. It is a truly unique program where they spend the majority of their day out in nature learning about our world and the skills they will need to become active members of our society. To put it in perspective, they spend more time outside in the 9 month preschool program than they will cumulatively until they graduate highschool. This program has taught her to respect all that nature offers and to see what a small but integral part she plays in our world. They learned multiple languages through song, learned how to identify plants and animals and learned all the basics of a preschool program through the lens of nature. Needless to say, she was beyond sad to be done, as was I. So, like any good southern born girl does when she is sad I baked up a storm! And these quinoa blondie bars were one of my faves. The recipe below is based off a traditional blondie bar recipe I picked up years ago. Each time I made them (4 times to be exact) I made an adjustment to make them a healthier dessert option. Whether it was changing the sugar or eliminating the butter and eggs they turned out moist, gooey and delicious!!  And since vegan is the most earth friendly way to eat, they are a perfect way to end our nature school adventure! Enjoy!! NOM NOM

Ingredients

2 large eggs or flax seed eggs if making vegan

3/4 cup almond butter, room temperature

1/4 cup butter or butter alternative, softened

3/4 cup of coconut palm sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup quinoa flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup of dark chocolate chips, I use Enjoy Life Vegan Chocolate Chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with parchment paper or foil. The paper should overhang a bit on opposite ends. Coat with butter or cooking spray.
  2. Whisk quinoa flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Beat butter and almond butter in a stand mixer until creamy. Beat in eggs, coconut sugar and vanilla.
  4. Mix the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it, 20-25 minutes.  Cool completely before removing from pan. Once it is cool lift the parchment out and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into squares. Should be approximately 16 bars.