The Cook Awakening

Archive for the ‘The Simple Kitchen’ Category

Blueberry-Coconut Panna Cotta

August 28, 2014
Posted in: Food Sensitivities, Integrating Lifestyle Changes, Just for Fun!, Recipes, The Simple Kitchen

It’s been awhile since I posted a recipe – I assure you I still love to cook! And, we still have food sensitivities in our house.

I thought I had created a brand new recipe, but people have been comparing this one to Panna Cotta, so I guess I’m channeling something from a past life in Italy. I’ve never eaten Panna Cotta, and barely heard of it before. There you go. This one is dairy and sugar-free, so most of us can eat it. I made it with bananas for my eldest who is sensitive to berries of all kinds, and he gave it the thumbs up.

Blueberry-Coconut Panna Cotta

Blueberry-Coconut Panna Cotta

For a true Panna Cotta you could gel the coconut cream alone and top it with the fruit afterward, but I would recommend using fresh berries then. And, truly, the huge benefit of making this the way I have it outlined is how quick it is. Pouring the warm coconut-gelatin mixture over frozen blueberries is shear genius – the gelatin sets up in minutes! Quick, delicious and healthy.


Blueberry-Coconut Panna Cotta

  • 2 cup coconut cream (I use Aroy-D and LOVE it) or coconut milk
  • 2 tsp gelatin powder, preferably Great Lakes or Jensen brand
  • a pinch Celtic sea salt
  • 20 or so drops of vanilla or plain Stevia extract
  • enough frozen blueberries to fill 5 – 8 ramekins, depending on their size
  • Directions
    Sprinkle the gelatin over the room temperature coconut cream or milk and let sit till it “blooms” – meaning it absorbs enough liquid for it all to look wet. It will expand a bit.

    Heat the coconut cream or milk and gelatin until almost bubbling.

    Mix the hot coconut cream mixture, stevia and sea salt and stir until smooth.

    Pour into blueberry filled ramekins until full. Refrigerate until set. Which, if you use frozen bluebs, won’t take long at all.

    Great for a quick dessert – and if you make a few extra ramekins they’re a delicious breakfast, too!

    Perfect Everything-Free Pumpkin Pie

    November 29, 2013
    Posted in: Food Sensitivities, Integrating Lifestyle Changes, Just for Fun!, Recipes, The Simple Kitchen

    Okay, almost everything-free. Pretty darned close. No gluten, grains, nuts, eggs, dairy, or added starches. No added sugars if you choose the stevia option.

    Yes, I know this is too late for you to make for Thanksgiving, but I only just made it myself today, so I couldn’t post it earlier. Hey, I haven’t posted since September, so I figure I’m doing pretty well!

    Truth is, this is just food, folks. A little high in carbs if you’re really trying to keep those low. But, you could make it for breakfast. Pie for breakfast. That sounds just fine. Think I will.

    By the way, this is a kabocha squash. In case you wonder when you read the recipe. Sometimes it’s called a Japanese pumpkin, and is what is in Thai pumpkin curry dishes.


    Save Yourself Slow Cooker Chicken

    September 5, 2013
    Posted in: Integrating Lifestyle Changes, Life on Life's Terms, Recipes, Seasonal Change, The Simple Kitchen

    I’ve been feeling done lately. Just done. I don’t want to cook, I don’t even really want to eat much.

    Some of it’s the heat (which is thankfully starting to abate). It’s definitely the humidity, which is continuing even as the temperature is dropping. It’s the busyness of getting in the last events of the summer while preparing for the school year’s beginning. Then there’s trying to keep up with a hyper fertile, crazy huge pear tree that came with the house we bought three years ago. I’m starting to wonder if maybe we could just sell the tree.

    Pears in a pot

    20 quarts of windfall pears – just one batch of too many to count.

    But, I just can’t let the pears rot, so I’ve been chopping, cooking, drying, leathering, juicing and reducing batch after batch of windfall pears. And I don’t even eat the things. Can you tell I’m a little over it?


    Minty White Bean Salad

    August 7, 2013
    Posted in: Food Sensitivities, Integrating Lifestyle Changes, Recipes, The Simple Kitchen

    More than halfway through the summer. I’m loving the lazy heat of it. The late to bed and not so early to rise. How can I go to bed when it’s still light and hot? Or make the kids go?

    We went camping last week. My youngest is going back on the GAPS/SCD diet with some herbal antibiotics to finally take care of some lingering bugs in his gut, so I needed to think through the food a little more carefully than usual. And, I didn’t have a lot of energy to do extra shopping, so I hunted around in the pantry to see what I could use – and there they were.

    White beans. Shhh… don’t tell. I don’t usually eat beans, but white beans are GAPS/SCD legal. So, into a jar they went, covered in water. Then sprouted for a day. So sweet, with little sprouty tails just appearing. Red onion, mint and Italian parsley from the garden, a little balsamic, lemon, olive oil and salt. So simple, and really, really good. I remembered at the last minute to take a photo, after most of it was eaten.

    Minty White Beans

    Minty White Beans – photo snapped at lunch break on an 8 mile hike.


    Velvety Chocolate Cake

    July 8, 2013
    Posted in: Food Sensitivities, Health and Nutrition, Integrating Lifestyle Changes, Just for Fun!, Recipes, The Simple Kitchen

    Chocolate Cake

    Velvety Chocolate Cake on one of my favorite depression glass plates

    We’re on vacation at my husband’s family cottage in New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee. (I can finally spell that without having to look it up.) The amenities are basic, the cottage is shared with a number of family members and is only used during the summertime. The mixing options are an ancient Waring blender with a glass carafe and hard plastic lid that doesn’t seal (I LOVE this blender on an aesthetic level, but it’s not the most effective appliance I’ve ever used), and a hand mixer. Never to shy away from a challenge, I wanted a new treat that I could eat without paying for with my health. It’s nice to have time to tinker in the kitchen.

    Roasted Asparagus

    April 19, 2013
    Posted in: Recipes, Seasonal Change, The Simple Kitchen

    Back Yard Tulip

    My mother has been on my mind a lot recently. Our birthdays are two days apart in early April, and last year she and I traveled from California to Oregon together on the day between our birthdays.

    She loved flowers. I see the tulips blooming in our back yard and I remember her noticing them as she walked toward her little cottage for the first time that day. “Oooohh!” she said. “Look at them!” The blooms this year come from the same bulbs that lay hidden under the earth since then.