Archive for July, 2015

MELT® Organic Love

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Peg H., diagnosed with incurable cancer, sat down with Cygnia, Founder of MELT® Organic, to discuss her new soy-, dairy-, and casein-free food love: Rich & Creamy MELT.

Thank you Cygnia! I just discovered Rich and Creamy MELT® Organic at my grocery store, and cannot tell you enough how wonderful it is! Amazing! After being diagnosed with incurable cancer five years ago, complications of ongoing treatment left me permanently unable to tolerate any dairy or soy proteins.  If your experience is similar to mine then you know how sad and challenging it can be to have dairy and soy dietary restrictions as they are found in almost everything. There are few choices in butter substitutes that contain no dairy or soy. They nearly all have one, the other, or both. The few alternatives that met my dietary needs were not wonderful to taste.

I cannot tell you how much I LOVE MELT.  Best snack to date – ever – was popcorn popped in Rich and Creamy MELT, then shaken in my homemade Almond Vegan Parmesan Cheese substitute.  Can’t get enough of it!!  Can’t wait to try it in my recipes, but for now I mostly savor MELT on bread and crackers, yum!

For me it was chemo damage that left me unable to handle proteins from dairy and soy so even buying everyday staples like bread became a challenge, and convenience freezer type foods became a thing of the past.  However, once you settle into the idea that you need to cook basically everything from scratch, there is still the challenge regarding ingredients like butter and margarine, which typically have whey, casein, soy or any combination of the three.  When it comes to soy, even going vegan doesn’t work.  Many available options just taste so bad or bland that it reminds you of just how sad the situation is.

That’s what made my chance encounter with MELT so wonderfully surprising.  So much so that I had to take the time to thank you.  Since going through my life changes, I have become very creative at finding solutions, like making dairy-free versions of Alfredo and Stroganoff. However, Cygnia, you didn’t just find a solution, you created one – an absolutely marvelous one.  I am certain you know how wonderful it is to find something that feels and tastes familiar, but without all of the pain. MELT is that for me… a delicious spread, just the way I remember butter tasting.

I never want to be out of MELT again!

I still want to cry when passing a cheese counter? How about a Cheese 2.0??

Slow Cooked Short Ribs (Gluten-Free)

Monday, July 20th, 2015

This Slow Cooked Short Ribs recipe is one of my favorites. It’s the ultimate comfort food, especially served over traditional Indian basmati rice, and a wonderful dinner to come home to after a long day at work. Serves 5 to 6.

IMG_0800

Ingredients

2 lbs short ribs

½ head of cauliflower, chopped into florets

½ to 1 lb of small carrots, peeled, with the bases cut off

1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil

2 to 3 tablespoons MELT® Organic

½ onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon of high quality curry powder mix – the quality will affect the outcome

1 teaspoon salt

Pepper to taste

1 cup homemade bone broth

1-14 oz can of Glen Muir roasted chopped tomatoes

Cilantro, leaves removed from stems, to taste

Directions

  • Turn Crock Pot on “high”.
  • On your stovetop, preheat a skillet on medium with virgin coconut oil. When the oil is liquid (but not smoking) and the pan is hot, brown the short ribs.
  • Add the browned short ribs to the crock pot with its juices.
  • Turn the stovetop down to medium-low and sauté the onions in MELT until the onions have softened.
  • Add the garlic, curry powder, salt, and pepper, and sauté lightly for a few minutes to activate the spices.
  • Add the broth and tomatoes to the skillet and bring to a simmer.
  • Pour and scrape all of the skillet contents over the short ribs in the Crock Pot.
  • Add carrots and cauliflower to your Crock Pot, but only so they are resting on top and are NOT submerged in liquid.
  • Cook on high in your Crock Pot for 6 to 8 hours. Add the cilantro leaves about 30 minutes prior to serving.
  • Serve with cooked rice of your choice.

Goat Cheese and Pesto Pizza (Gluten-Free)

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Odds are you don’t have any idea how much vitamin K you are getting in your daily diet. Should you? Probably not, but if you’re interested in knowing; vitamin K is kind of like a glue for other proteins. It helps bind calcium to your bones and helps blood coagulate.

What does this have to do with pizza, you ask? Basil has 98% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin K.

If I were a doctor, and I want to be very, very clear about this – I am not a doctor. But if I were, I would write you a prescription for this pesto pizza.

Take one slice of this Pesto Pizza with liquid. For maximum results, take two.

Seriously, though. Not a doctor.

 

Yields one 12” pizza.

pizza

Ingredients

For the gluten-free crust:

3 cups gluten free flour blend (1 cup white rice flour + 1 cup brown rice flour + 1 cup tapioca flour + 3/4 tsp xanthan gum)

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon yeast

1¼ cup warm water, divided

1 tablespoon MELT® Organic, softened

For the Pesto

3 cups lightly packed bail leaves

2 cloves garlic, pressed

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium/ high heat until toasty)

1/3 cup olive oil

Juice of ½ lemon

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Toppings for the Pizza

4 oz fresh goat cheese

Toppings of choice: 1 thinly sliced tomato and sautéed shitake mushrooms

Directions

For the crust:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, combine yeast and ¾ cup warm water (about 110 degrees). If the water is too hot it will kill the yeast! Let it set for 5 minutes to activate. Sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of the sugar a few minutes in.
  • In a separate bowl, combine gluten free flour blend, salt, and baking powder. Whisk until well combined.
  • Make a well in the dry mixture and add the yeast mixture. Add the MELT and an additional ½ cup of warm water before stirring. Then use a wooden spoon to stir it all together until well combined.
  • Lightly coat a baking sheet or pizza stone with non-stick spray and plop your dough down. Using your hands and a little brown rice flour if it gets too sticky, work from the middle and push to spread/flatten the dough out to the edge until the crust is pretty thin – less than 1/4 inch.
  • Place the pizza crust in the oven and pre-bake for roughly 25-30 minutes, or until it begins to look dry. Cracks may appear, which is fine. Remove the pizza crust from the oven.

For the Pizza:

  • Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  • Make the Pesto by combining the basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a food processor and process until just slightly chunky. With the motor running, slowly drizzle the remaining olive oil in a steady stream. Add the lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and continue processing until smooth.
  • Generously spread the pesto sauce over the top of the pizza crust and add the toppings of your choice (sliced tomato and sautéed shitake mushrooms) followed by soft mounds of goat cheese.
  • Carefully place the pizza in the oven until your toppings are warm and bubbly and the crust edge looks golden brown, between 15 to 25 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and serve.
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