Vegan and Gluten Free are the buzz words of the year it would seem.  Everywhere I turn, or research, I see recipes for vegan and gluten-free and it baffles me the things that people call vegan and/or gluten-free.  The perfect example was the gluten-free guacamole recipe I found on Pinterest.  Really?  Are you really labeling guacamole gluten-free?  It makes no sense to me but sure enough these buzz words are everywhere. In all seriousness though I have decided to alter my diet once again.  I had a decent race at Ironman Arizona but felt I was carrying around a few too many pounds when I went into the race.  I have also noticed that in the past year that my stomach looked bloated on days after I ate tortillas or a sandwich.  I never really put one and one together until Jeff decided to read Wheat Belly even though Nora recommended it to me months ago.  It was that move that sparked a thought that maybe it truly was wheat that I was consuming that lead to the bloating.  I did  a few days where I would not eat any wheat and noticed a difference.  I was more alert and had more energy nor was I hungry at the end of the night.  It was odd but it did seem to have an effect on me. Recently I purchased the book Wheat Belly myself and within the first chapter I knew this was going to be the next change I made in my diet.  Since then I have made a slight few changes and have noticed a difference already.  Getting ready to head into the holidays and essentially training for Ironman Texas I want to make sure I am doing what I can to race and get that elusive sub-11:30 time. With that being said here is a recipe I have toyed with over the past week that has come out delicious and is wheat free which means it is gluten free.  On top of that it is vegan and oil free as well.

Carrot Cake Pancakes


6 Simple Ingredients, 1 Tasty Breafkast

Ingredients: 3/4c Rolled Oats Ground (or oat flour), 50g Carrots, 1 tsp baking powder, 0.5 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1c Coconut Milk, 0.5oz Pecans Nutritional Information: 458 calories, 59g Carbs, 20g Fat, 12g Protein Directions:

  1. In a blender add the oats and blend until they turn into a powder (flour).
  2. Once blended add in the other ingredients and blend until a batter is formed.
  3. Place batter in fridge for 15-30 minutes to thicken a bit.
  4. On a griddle or non-stick pan use a small amount of cooking spray and pre-heat.
  5. Once hot pour the batter into the pan in the size of the pancakes you like to eat.
  6. Once steam bubbles show up and the edges turn a bit brown flip and cook on the other side for a few more minutes.
  7. Top your pancakes with pecans and maple syrup (nutritional information does not include syrup)

Additional toppings include: raisins, pecans or walnuts, coconut This is a great tasting breakfast or brunch that takes little time to make.   [caption id="attachment_6784" align="aligncenter" width="300"]vegan_glutenfree_carrotcake_pancakes_recipe_breakfast

A Great Way To Start The Day

What are your favorite recipes that would typically use wheat in them?

Have you gone wheat free?  What were your experiences?


Published in Breakfast Recipes
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 15:41

Pizza - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner AND Snack

Pizza is by far my favorite food and it is perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even as a snack.  In the last year or so I have dropped cheese from my pizza and while some may think that this is crazy I find that I actually enjoy my pizza even more now.  The cheese does not get in the way of the taste of the vegetables that I am piling high onto my slice.  In addition to that there is a very good chance that the slice will hold up to my standards of not flopping over.  A slice of pizza should be able to be eaten with one hand as you fold it in half and then shovel it down your throat.  If I have to cut the slice or bend underneath it to eat it as if I am drinking out of a faucet then there is a problem. Recently I purchased a new food processor and this one has a dough setting.  The previous food processor did not have this setting so when I made my pizza dough I did it by hand in a large bowl with a wooden spoon.  This is now so much easier and I have to say that the pizza came out better and the crust was crunchier.  The recipe for my pizza dough is below in case you are looking for it. So with my new fangled food processor I am going on a pizza kick.  This past weekend I made a pie with shaved brussels sprouts, mushrooms, asparagus, green and red bell peppers.  I made my own marinara as well from crushed tomatoes by Pomi.  It was so simple and easy and I am ready to make another pie tomorrow.  This time I will have chopped olives, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, garlic and asparagus with the marinara.  Talk about getting your vegetables into your diet in a terrific and tasty way. This got me to thinking about the best pizza I have ever had.  Was it at the small pizza joint in Manhattan that was literally one door to walk in straight to the counter, order and walk out because the only thing inside the establishment was the pizza oven.  Was it the pizza at an Italian restaurant on 59th Street and the Upper East Side that may not even be there anymore.  Then I thought what does make a great slice of pizza and here are my rules:

  1. Thin crust that does not flop over when you lift it up.
  2. An air bubble so big that you are destined to poke it and release the steam.
  3. Fresh ingredients with not a lot of red sauce so that I can taste the toppings and not the sauce or the cheese.
  4. Garlic.  The garlic must be present and not some sort of faint flavor in the background.

Then I remembered that I had seen a presentation from The Daily Meal with the 35 Best Pizzas in America.  The pizzas on this slide show look so good I could eat my laptop.  I have had the fortune to eat at Fireside Pies here in Dallas and I will say that it is top-notch, but it is not my favorite pizza joint in Dallas.  That award goes to Coal Vines at the Shops of Legacy in Plano, Texas.  Top notch food, with top-notch service.  My second favorite pizza place in this area is Sauce in McKinney, Texas and that may be because of their polenta cakes with mushrooms and balsamic reduction. Either way your slice it Pizza is the best food as a meal any time of the day or as a snack.

Have You Eaten At Any Of The Places On The List?

What Is Your Favorite Pizza Place In Your Locale?


Pizza Dough Recipe: Ingredients: 1 Packet Yeast, 3/4c Warm Water (110*-115*), 1 1/4c Whole Wheat Flour, 1 Tbsp Honey, 1 Tbsp Olive Oil


  1. Place yeast in large bowl and pour water over top.
  2. Pour honey into yeast/water while whisking.
  3. Allow yeast to do its magic for about 10 minutes.  It will be nice and frothy and have a nutty scent to it.
  4. In 1/4c increments pour in flour and combine until a dough is formed.
  5. In a separate bowl pour in 1 Tbsp olive oil and coast entire bowl.
  6. Transfer dough to oiled bowl, cover with towel and allow to proof for 4 hours on the counter at room temperature.
  7. Pre-heat oven to 405* with pizza stone in oven during the pre-heating.
  8. Remove dough from blow and roll out on lightly dusted surface.  Crimp edges to create a crust.
  9. Remove pizza stone from oven and sprinkle cornmeal onto pizza stone.
  10. Slide crust onto the pizza stone and add toppings.
  11. Place pizza into oven for 12-15 minutes.
[caption id="attachment_6589" align="aligncenter" width="300"]pizza_healthyeating_food_recipe Easy Recipe For A Great Tasting Pizza[/caption]


Published in Lunch Recipes
Monday, 11 June 2012 14:11

Quinoa and Chickpea Veggie Burger

Quinoa and Chickpeas are two of my favorite foods.  They are both packed with nutrients and protein and very good for you.  I have had some chickpeas in my fridge for a few days and thought I might make a veggie burger out of them, but didn't think it would be enough.  I knew I had quinoa in the pantry so why not combine two of my favorite foods into a burger.  What could go wrong? As I took them both out along with the food processor, I proceeded to take out the sriracha sauce and other ingredients.  Those other items were red cabbage, which I think deserves its own food group.  Red cabbage is incredibly crunchy and is something I use as a replacement for lettuce in my tacos.  Maybe some romaine lettuce, jalapeno and roasted red peppers?  Sounds good doesn't it.  Well let me tell you it was good.  So good in fact that Karen, who almost never wants to eat my food because it is too spicy too a bite and then said if I get full she would eat it.  I gave her half of it but as is typical she could only eat so much because it was too spicy.  Maybe it was the red onion? Anyway, I figured since I posted a picture of the creation last night on Twitter and got two immediate questions:  Is the recipe on your blog?  That I would post it her for you all today.  Maybe you'll go out and make it tonight.

Quinoa and Chickpea Spicy Veggie Burger

Ingredients: 1/2c chickpeas (drained and rinsed), 1/4c quiona (dry), 3/4c water, 1 Tbsp diced jalapeno, 2 Tbsp Panko bread crumbs, 1/4" thick slice of red onion, 1/4 red bell pepper (roasted), 1/4" thick slice of red cabbage, 4 Romaine lettuce leaves, Whole Grain Mustard, Sriracha Nutritional Information: 353 calories, 66g Carbs, 3g Fat, 12g Protein Directions:

  1. In pot toast quinoa for 1-3 minutes then add water. Cover and bring to a boil then simmer until steam holes form in the quinoa.  You want this to have some water left in it so when you put the quinoa in the food processor it blends well.
  2. In food process put 1/4c of chickpeas and blend until it is a paste like consistency.
  3. Add in remaining chickpeas, jalapenos and quinoa.  Pulse food processor until chickpeas have blended but are still somewhat chunky.
  4. In food processor bowl add in bread crumbs and combine.  Then form a patty.
  5. In a hot pan add a spray of coconut oil and then drop in patty.
  6. While patty is browning begin to assemble plate.  Place Romaine leaved down topped by red cabbage.
  7. On top of red cabbage add the quinoa and chickpea patty followed by red onion and roasted red pepper.
  8. Top with mustard and sriracha and enjoy.

[caption id="attachment_6037" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="The Key Is The Sriracha Sauce"]quinoa_chickpea_veggie_burger_recipe[/caption]

Published in Lunch Recipes
Sunday, 15 April 2012 11:44

A Taste Of Puerto Rico

A Taste Of Puerto Rico is a cookbook that my Mom gave me years and years ago.  I think I cracked the spine on that book once.  I felt like I knew how to cook the dishes I wanted, and what I didn't know Mom knew how to make.  When Karen and I went to Puerto Rico at the end of March for the 70.3 San Juan race I was brought back to the kitchen of my mother. The flavors exploded in my mouth and I was determined to re-create everything I ate.  This included mofongo, tofu in criollo sauce, platanos maduros, and arroz con bichuela.  Those dishes would be a fried plantain dish.  Criollo sauce is a tomato based sauce with peppers and capers.  Platanos maduros are fried plantains that are squashed and fried twice.  Arroz con habichuelas is rice and beans, typically made with pinto beans but I love black beans. For a few weeks I kept playing over and over in my head how to make any or all of these dishes in one night.  Then while at the CPR/AED course yesterday I was inspired and when I got home I knew what I was having for dinner.  Part of the inspiration came from watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network where the highlighted restaurant boiled the plantains.  This idea made it easier to make the mofongo because I would not have to fry it.  Side note I have eliminated oil from diet thanks to Engine 2 Diet and consequently have lost 3 pounds in a week effortlessly. Here are the recipes for the various pieces to the dish I made last night.  All servings are for one person.

Arroz Con Habicuelas (Rice and Beans)

This is a take off on that since I used quinoa instead of rice, but if you were to use rice I would use long grain brown rice.

Ingredients: 1/2c Quinoa (cleaned), 1 1/2c Vegetable Stock, 1/4c Black Beans (rinsed and drained), 1/4c White Onion (chopped)

Nutritional Information: 259 calories, 2.5g Fat, 60g Carbs, 17.5g Fiber, 14.6g Protein


  • In medium pot on medium-high heat add quinoa and toast for 3-5 minutes.
  • In separate pot add beans, onions and enough water to cover.  Turn heat to medium-low and cover.
  • Add vegetable stock to quinoa, cover with lid and bring to boil.
  • Lower heat to simmer.
  • Allow quinoa to absorb all the liquid.
  • When all the liquid is gone turn off heat, remove pot and set aside.
Green and Mushroom Empanadas
Ingredients: 1/2c Whole Wheat Flour, 4-6 Tbsp Warm Water, 1-1 1/2c of Greens (I used Turnip Greens, Kale, Spinach, and Cilantro), 3 Baby Bella Mushroom (chopped)
Nutritional Information: 245calories, 1.2g Fat, 46.6g Carbs, 6.8g Fiber, 14.5g Protein Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 405*
  • In food processor add flour and turn on.
  • While blade is going drizzle water in until a dough is formed.
  • Take dough out of food processor and set aside on wax paper.
  • While dough is resting bring pot of water to a boil.  Once water is boiling add all the greens.
  • Once greens have wilted remove from water and place on towel.
  • Squeeze all the excess water out, add mushrooms and combine well.
  • Roll out dough into 3" circles.  Add in green/mushroom mixture and fold dough over.
  • Pinch with work and set aside on silpat on baking tray.
Ingredients: 1 Plantain, 4 Garlic Cloves, 1/2c Vegetable Stock
Nutritional Information: 260 calories, 0.06g Fat, 68.5g Carbs, 5g Fiber, 2.8g Protein
  • Bring medium pot of water to boil.
  • Cut plantain into large pieces and add to water.
  • Allow to boil until softened.  Approximately 10-15 minutes.
  • In food processor add garlic and vegetable stock.  Once plantains have boiled add them to food processor as well.
  • Pulse the ingredients until they are well combined and somewhat sticky (that is the starch releasing from the plantain.)
  • Set ring molds on same baking sheet as the empanadas and fill to top with mixture.
  • Place in oven and cook for 10-15 minutes until tops begin to brown.
  • Once tops are browning extract mofongo from the ring mold and flip over.
  • Remove empanadas from the tray and set to broil.
  • Broil the mofongo for another 5-10 minutes until golden brown.
Serve all the pieces together on a plate and enjoy.
Nutritional Information (entire plate): 764 calories, 4g Fat, 175g Carbs, 29g Fiber, 31g Protein
Nutritional Breakdown (entire plate): 81.4% Carbs, 14.4% Protein, 4.2% Fat
Ideally you would like more fat and one way to do that would be to add a medium avocado to the plate.  The medium avocado would add 161 calories to the dish, but bring the nutritional breakdown to 71% Carbs, 13% Protein, 16% Fat.

[flagallery gid=13 name="Puerto Rican Cuisine"]

Published in Lunch Recipes
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