Healthy-ish Homemade Reese Eggs

Food, GF, Treats, Uncategorized
Healthy-ish Homemade Reese Eggs

Is it even really Easter without Reese’s eggs? If you’d asked me as a kid…or even three years ago as an adult, I probably would have told you no. The cute, festive wrapper, the egg shape – obviously the best of all the giant Reese’s shapes, and the perfect peanut butter to chocolate ratio made those babies perfection. They’re still delicious, I’ll admit, buuuut so not worth the way that the soy, dairy, and sometimes wheat in the Reese’s makes me feel.

On top of icky side effects, it’s quarantine time so we’re going to the store ONLY for essentials. Reese’s eggs – no matter what your heart may tell you at the time – are NOT an essential item. Keep your booty home!! The good news is: I bet you’ve got the ingredients to make these healthier-for-you nutty chocolatey eggs in your pantry RIGHT now. (Note: if you DON’T have ingredients listed – see me on insta or Facebook and I’ll help you find a suitable substitution!)

Ingredients

Okay, the sooner we get started, the sooner you get to enjoy the deliciousness, so let’s dig in!

  • 1 cup peanut butter – you want the good stuff, JUST nuts and salt (I actually used Trader Joe’s Almond Butter because it’s a pandemic and Thrive Market is way behind on orders so no PB in my house!)
  • 3 Tbsp cassava flour – other good subs: coconut flour and almond flour (you’ll need more than 3 Tbsp if using almond)
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil

Procedure:

  1. In a mixing bowl, add nut butter, cassava flour, maple syrup, and salt. Stir until well combined.
  2. Using a cookie scooper, portion out filling then flatten and form into an egg-like shape.
  3. Freeze eggs for 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight.
  4. Melt 1 cup of chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil – I like to use the double boiling method: a glass bowl overtop about 2 cups of water boiling in a saucepan.
  5. Remove chocolate chips from heat and dip the eggs using a fork to flip and cover both sides.
  6. Drop onto wax paper and refrigerate for at least ten minutes or until chocolate sets.
  7. Store in the refrigerator until serving.
You’re looking for eggy shapes – they don’t have to be perfect to be cute!

Try these babies out and let me know what you think of them! Be sure to post to Bites With Beth on Facebook or @bethannsbites on Instagram! Better yet, share it with a friend who you know would love it too!

Whole30 Fried Pork Chops

Food, GF, Whole30
Fried pork chops, roasted red potatoes, and green beans

Okay y’all, these pork chops DO NOT taste gluten free/grain free/healthyish. I promise you won’t miss traditional flour in this dish. Holy yum! I tested the final batch while my parents were eating dinner with us and my mom, who typically eats little to no meat, ate her whole pork chop! If you know my mom that is a BIG compliment. *Brushes dirt off shoulders*

Seriously though, I modeled these pork chops off of my husband’s legendary fried pork chops. He said last night these were “easily the best fried pork chops I’ve ever had.” Going to pretend for a brief moment my mother-in-law totally isn’t reading this. Shhhh. No one tell her!

Okay, I’ll stop talking these up and get to the nitty gritty. You’ve seriously GOT to try this recipe out ASAP! Pair it with some red potatoes and your favorite green veggie and you’re set! It would seem like the breading would make these so that they aren’t good leftovers…but that assumption is wrong. They reheat very well so those bulk packages of pork chops are your friend here! To keep that perfect crispiness, just reheat in a cast iron skillet.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup arrowroot starch/flour (you’ll see it marked both ways)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 pounds of pork chops

Procedure:

  1. Prepare a dredging station with two medium prep bowls – I like mine to be near my stove so I can just pop the prepared chop right into the pan.
  2. In the first prep bowl, stir two eggs until even in yellowish color and yolks are completely broken up.
  3. In the second prep bowl, add arrowroot flour, almond flour, salt, and pepper. Mix well until the mixture is even.
  4. If your pork chops are slimy or wet, use a paper towel to try them off – this will help the breading to stick better!
  5. Dip the chops in egg, allowing the excess egg to drip off.
  6. Dip the chops in flour mixture, being sure to coat the pork chop evenly.
  7. Drop that baby right into the skillet and let it sizzle! Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes for thin pork chops or 3-5 minutes for thicker chops. (When in doubt, use a thermometer and be sure it reaches at least 145 degrees fahrenheit.)
  8. Continue cooking until all chops are cooked, letting the completed pork chops land on a plate with a paper towel covering it or a cooling rack.

I truly hope you’ll give this recipe to try. It’s a really good one!! Pork chops are so great for weeknights because they cook up quickly, saving you precious weeknight time. They’re also great for entertaining because it’s an economical cut of meat!

No matter why you decide to try it, just do it! Be sure to share the recipe and let everyone know how you like it. Especially helpful if you share with someone who is Gluten/Grain Free!

As always, share your creations using #biteswithbeth and tagging me @bethannsbites on instagram.

Grain Free S’Mores Cookies

Food, GF, Treats, Uncategorized

With just 6 days until Valentine’s Day, now is the perfect time to start thinking about ways to treat your sweetie, or your bestie, or maybe your favorite co-worker. Today’s recipe is a little self-serving because I was thinking ways to treat my valentine too!

Grain Free S’mores Cookies

One of John’s favorite flavor combinations is a s’more. We recently ordered the Girl Scout cookie version of a s’more and we were not wishing for some more…it wasn’t our favorite cookie combination by any means. So this year for Valentine’s Day, I’ll be treating John with a big batch of these Grain Free S’mores Cookies by ME rather than the Girl Scouts.

Since John is still currently away for work, the recipe will be new to him (even if he gets a preview of these bad boys online) but they’ve been co-worker and student approved! They’re so easy and quick to whip up, you’ll want to add all of the ingredients to your grocery order…like now!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup cassava flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp melted clarified butter or ghee (coconut oil will also work but I prefer the clarified butter flavor!)
  • 2 tbsp creamy almond butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (if you’re dairy free I like Enjoy Life!)

Procedure:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, add both types of flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir until combined.
  2. Add in eggs, maple syrup, melted clarified butter, almond butter, and vanilla extract. Stir until combined well and lumps are gone.
  3. Stir in marshmallows and chocolate chips. Note: Highly recommend using miniature marshallows (usually found by cake and cookie decorating stuff) or cutting your marshmallows into fourths. I simply used my kitchen shears and cut them into fourths before I began mixing because the mini ones were $4 and store brand was $.88 and mama didn’t raise no fool. — The reason for this: if you have larger marshmallow pieces they explode and don’t give you as much of a s’more property but more of the empty tomb Easter roll effect.
  4. Roll dough into balls and flatten slightly before dropping onto a baking sheet prepared with parchment paper.
  5. Bake for 13-15 minutes at 350 degrees.

These bite-sized beauties would pair perfectly with coffee, if you’re like me or a glass of milk, if you’re more like John! Low in added sugar, grain-free, and super delicious! Give these a try this weekend and let me know how you like them.

Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

Food, GF, Uncategorized
Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding with berries

Inspired by First Watch’s superfoods bowl, this Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding is excellent as a breakfast, snack, or even a post-dinner dessert. I personally, love to have this as a breakfast. It packs well, I like to drop it in a wide-mouth mason jar with plenty of room for berries, granola, and stirring. It also holds up well from a Sunday meal prep.

This recipe is especially great for expectant and breastfeeding mamas because chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, and high in both fiber and calcium. Coconut is a lactogenic food and many mothers who breastfeed credit it to replenishing a low supply.

Ingredients:

1 – 13.5 ounce can of full fat coconut milk (Trader Joe’s is my favorite but there are many other good options!)

1/2 cup chia seeds

splash of good quality vanilla extract

1/4 cup agave (I like Wholesome organic Blue Agave)

pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt

Procedure:

1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients until well combined. It will be a watery consistency but will thicken quickly. (One note about the coconut milk: you wanted canned coconut milk to get the correct creamy consistency but you do not want it to be separated completely. If you open your can of coconut milk and it is separated or chunky, simply heat it on the stove on low heat until it has an even consistency.)

2. Refrigerate the entire bowl of chia seed pudding for 3 hours. The chia seeds will expand as they absorb the liquid from the coconut milk creating a delightful pudding-like texture.

3. Serve chia seed pudding in a bowl (or jar for meal prep). Top with fruit and granola as you please.

This is an easy recipe to whip up tonight! Give it a try and share it with me and all of your friends on Facebook or Instagram using #biteswithbeth!

Cauli-Potato Mash

Food, GF, Uncategorized, Whole30

This Whole30 compliant side dish is equal parts healthy and creamy!! This cauli-potato mash has been a lifesaver for meal prep and family dinner while John and I complete a Whole30. (We’re currently 19 days in and still holding strong!) This Whole30 Cauli-Potato Mash pairs well with almost anything you’d make for dinner! It preps well to eat all week and pairs expertly with my Secret Ingredient Swedish Meatballs as pictured above! If you haven’t made them yet, go try them out!

Now, I’m sure you cauliflower haters are thinking this sounds disgusting, but you honestly can’t taste the difference! You can ask my husband – he has picky eating tendencies and enjoyed these SO much. He loved that he was sneaking in a veggie that he doesn’t normally eat on its own too!

Great for meal prep. Great for picky eaters. Just easy, healthy, and delicious. Go. Try. It.

Ingredients:

  • 4 white potatoes peeled
  • 1 bag (16 oz) frozen cauliflower
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tbsp coconut cream (you can use the hard top of a can of full fat coconut milk) – can also sub Nutpods!
  • 3-4 tbsp clarified butter or ghee
  • salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:

  1. In a pot, boil water with peeled and cubed potatoes – you want a lot of extra water above the potatoes since you’ll add the cauliflower later! Boil for 10-12 minutes or until nearly fork-tender.
  2. Add frozen cauliflower and allow to boil for 5-7 more minutes until cauliflower is boiled through and potatoes are fully fork-tender.
  3. While cauliflower and potatoes are boiling, roast the two garlic cloves in a skillet. I like to use a cast-iron skillet and allow the sides to brown. This will bring out a sweet flavor profile and really add a delicious garlicky twist to the cauli-potato mash.
  4. Drain potatoes and cauliflower.
  5. Using an immersion blender or mixer, mix all remaining ingredients into the cauliflower and potato mixture. Salt and pepper to taste. Continue to mix/blend until the mash is as smooth as you like!
  6. Serve next to your favorite meal for some extra hidden veggies!

Be sure to let me know how you like this recipe! If you enjoy it, share the love with your friends and family on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #biteswithbeth — and tell all of your friends! They need this recipe in their lives too!

Secret Ingredient Swedish Meatballs

Food, GF, Uncategorized

John and I decided in late December to complete a January Whole30. We’re on day 11 and going strong! One thing that I’m loving about Whole30 so far is how creative it has pushed me to be in the kitchen.

If you follow me on Instagram (@bethannsbites – go follow if you don’t already!), you saw the Swedish meatballs I prepped for week one. I was so excited to share this recipe with you that I even shared a glamour shot preview!

These Swedish Meatballs are your meal prep dream. The real deal plus a special ingredient that makes them my own. They freeze well and reheat well for meal preps or leftovers.

I bet you’re wondering by now what the secret ingredient is, it’s sage. Swedish Meatballs are typically seasoned with allspice and nutmeg but I’ve added sage for two reasons: 1. I love a sage sausage. 2. my parents always get their pork processed with the same butcher and have for my entire life and he puts a heavenly amount of sage in every batch, so it’s partially nostalgia.

Regardless, I PROMISE you won’t regret giving this recipe a try whether you’re on your own Whole30 journey, Gluten Free, or just looking for a decently healthy meal for the family!

Ingredients

For the meatballs:

  • 1 lb plain ground pork (I got an 80/20 ratio)
  • 1 lb ground beef (I got a 93/7 ratio)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

For the gravy

  • 1/4 cup clarified butter or ghee
  • 3 tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 2 cups beef broth or beef bone broth (if you’re on Whole30 check for sulfites and sugar!)
  • 3 tbsp coconut cream (can sub nutpods or compliant milk if on Whole30)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Procedure

  1. In a skillet, saute onions in olive oil over medium heat until they become almost clear.
  2. In a large mixing bowl add sautéed onions to ground beef, ground pork, almond flour, eggs and seasonings. Mix well and form into 1-2 inch meatballs.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes on a baking sheet – I sprayed mine with avocado oil.
  4. While meatballs are baking, heat ghee, beef broth, and coconut cream in a saucepan over medium heat.
  5. Take about a 1/2 cup of broth and place in a small bowl. Whisk arrowroot starch in. It will turn white-ish in color and be thin at first.
  6. Add the arrowroot slurry to the beef broth that is still on the stove. Continue to whisk the gravy until it thickens.
  7. When you noticed it has thickened, remove from heat or place on very low heat setting and avoid much stirring. Arrowroot gravy can come apart from overheating or over-stirring.
  8. Serve with a great mashed potato and a veggie side for a balanced meal.

Be sure to give this recipe a try! If you like it, share on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #biteswithbeth — and tell all of your friends! They need this recipe in their life too! These Whole30 approved Swedish Meatballs will change your life!

Gluten Free Must Haves

Allergies, Food, GF, Nutrition

Because I know how overwhelming making a major diet change can be, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite gluten free products. I will admit, I felt completed restricted when I began the switch to gluten free options. Strangely, I felt limited to JUNK foods! I found foods that were labeled gluten free and marketed as such. This led me to a small little corner of an aisle in HEB with about five things to choose from.

Before we dive into the list of Gluten Free must haves, it’s important to understand labels and the distinctions between gluten free and other things you might see on a food label. I personally gravitate towards Gluten Free options not because of a gluten intolerance, but because of a wheat allergy.

Gluten is naturally occurring and can be found in a variety of foods including: wheat, barley, rye, bulgur, and oats. It’s important to note that the oats themselves do not produce gluten but there is often cross contamination during processing. If you are GF for a gluten intolerance, be sure to get certified Gluten Free Oats, should you choose to enjoy them.

Gluten Free All Purpose Flour

GF All Purpose Flour is a safe place to start when making the switch. Other flours can take a learning curve to figure out what exactly they’ll work for and how you personally like to eat them. The great thing about GF All Purpose is that it can be swapped 1-for-1 for any recipe you’d use regular flour in. (Note that you’ll want to verify this on the package when you are purchasing as some GF flours leave out xantham gum, which is an important binder for some recipes.

A few GF all purpose flours that I have tried and loved are as follows.

  • King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure flour – this is a finer flour, great for baking
  • Pillsbury Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour – this flour has a friendly price point and is great for cooking as well as baking depending on your project!

Almond Flour

Almond flour is something you’ll DEFINITELY start to run into when you venture into GF baking and cooking. Many times, it is paired in varying amounts with other types of flour to achieve the taste and texture desired. If you’re looking for an easy place to start with Almond Flour, I suggest Kelsey from Little Bits Of Real Food’s Cheeseless Chicken Parm, or if you’re looking for something sweet and simple, Rachael’s Good Eats’ Cashew Chocolate Chip Cookie. In fact, I believe these were two of my first successful almond flour recipes that I tried! (I won’t lie, there are some DOOZIES out there!)

I’ve been very happy with HEB Store Brand, and for those of you not in the great state of Texas, Bob’s Red Mill and Nature’s Eats are both affordable and good quality Almond Flours as well.

Coconut Flour

Similarly to Almond Flour, Coconut Flour is Often mixed with varying amounts of other flours to achieve the taste and texture desired. Coconut flour is a good thickener. Because of it’s role as a thickener, it is important to mention that it will suck up ALL of the liquid. This makes it unideal for baked goods on its own, but fantastic when mixed with other types of flour.

Potatoes, Rice, Oats

This one may seem obvious, but when I went Gluten Free, I went HUNGRY because I hadn’t adjusted my diet to be balanced. I just started avoiding wheat and all the other things. It was tough, wheat is in a lot of things and this girl sometimes requires a healthy amount of carbs to feel satisfied (and avoid eating 300 servings of chocolate later!)

Potatoes can be an excellent healthy carb in moderation. We like to keep some type of white/gold/red potato as well as Sweet Potatoes and occasionally Japanese Sweet Potatoes as a special treat – they’re hard to find in our area unless we drive an hour to Whole Foods!

Although rice itself is gluten free, if you’re avoiding due to gluten intolerance, be sure to get a brand that is certified Gluten Free. I like Lundberg Farms. They are Gluten Free, Non-GMO, and carry just about any type of rice you could possibly want! We swear there is a taste difference as well, it’s just better.

Oats are another simple pantry staple that are so useful for a hearty bowl of oatmeal or to use when baking…or not baking – don’t discount those No Bake Cookies you felt so adult when you made by yourself in middle school! As previously mentioned, if you’re avoiding gluten be sure to get Gluten Free Oats!

Bob’s Red Mill GF Products

I know, I know, I’ve mentioned Bob’s Red Mill a lot in this post. It’s not sponsored, they just have so many great Gluten Free Options. A few that I highly recommend trying out – especially if you’re new to GF and just learning to make all of those carby wheaty things you’re probably craving, are:

  • Bob’s Red Mill GF Pancake Mix: I can typically find a great deal on this in bulk on Amazon. It’s great because it’s so easy to customize for whatever type of pancake you’re craving. I also recently modified the recipe to create THE BEST gluten free waffles I’ve had.
  • Bob’s Red Mill GF Pizza Dough Mix: I’ve really only ever used this to make pizza, but it makes a delicious, massive, satisfying pizza big enough to share with friends.
  • As previously mentioned, their almond flour, all purpose Gluten Free, and Gluten Free Oats are high quality and affordable as well!

Simple Mills Chocolate Chip Cookies (NOT the soft baked – the crunchy.

Though I wouldn’t call these a pantry staple, they are SUPER good and healthy-ish. Just be sure to get your serving out of the box and then tuck that sucker far far away and out of reach because you WILL eat the whole box.

Simple Mills Soft Baked Peanut Butter Cookies

I just recently tried the Soft Baked Peanut Butter Cookies. I won’t lie, I bought the soft baked Chocolate Chip several months ago and was super disappointed. They were delicious but I really had my heart set on the Crunchy Simple Mills Chocolate Chip cookies. There’s just something about them. I digress. The Soft Baked Peanut Butter Cookies are phenomenal on their own but would also be decadent when paired with a chocolate mousse or pudding.

Simple Mills Crackers

I love a good box of Simple Mills Crackers. They’re a simple snack or side to add to a packed lunch. They are awesome alone and even better when paired with Hummus or Kitehill Cream Cheese. My personal favorites are Sun-Dried Roasted Tomato and Rosemary and Sea Salt.

As I began to work on this post, I realized I have a lot of feelings on this topic. What can I say? I love food and I’m allergic to so much of it! If you’re just getting started with a GF diet and don’t know where to start, send me a message with questions! I will do my best to help you out!

Gluten Free Greek Pasta Salad 3 Ways

Food, GF, Salads

Pasta salad is always a crowd pleaser and never more satisfying than at a hot 4th of July barbecue. If you’re looking for a fuss-free potluck recipe that won’t have you roasting in the kitchen, this recipe is for you!

Pro-tip: If you’re a reader who has food allergies, I like to always bring a side that I’m able to eat and that I’m excited to eat! It keeps you in the clear to enjoy the party without worry of feeling crappy later!

Enjoy with Feta, if you’re not avoiding dairy
Enjoy over a bed of sweet baby greens for an extra nutrient dense meal
Or, with avocado for a dairy-free source of healthy fats

Ingredients

  • 16 oz gluten free pasta (dry) – I used Barilla Penne here
  • Large English Cucumber, quartered and cored, then sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 15oz can black olives

For the Greek dressing:

  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

To garnish:

  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, sliced

Procedure

  1. While water is heating to a boil, mix together the ingredients for the dressing in a shaker or bottle.
  2. Prep vegetables while pasta is cooking, setting aside in a large bowl with the dressing from step 1. Note: if you are using feta, toss it in the dressing as well so the flavors can marinate.
  3. When pasta is al dente, strain it over the sink running cold water through the strainer to cool.
  4. Toss cooled pasta with vegetables and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  5. When ready to serve: garnish with freshly sliced basil leaves tossing salad to be fully coated in dressing. Serve over a bed of greens or top with avocado as you please.

Be sure to share your creations on Instagram and tag @bethannsbites!