Friday Faves and Finds – October 25

At the risk of causing panic – Christmas is two months from today! My first find for this week is a wonderful website that will surely help out with your holiday shopping, from the comfort of your own home. Seeds For Kindness is full of gifts that give back to the earth!  I first stumbled upon this site when I read an article about these enchanting flip-flop animals. These adorable animals are playful art pieces that have positively impacted many by cleaning up over a thousand tons of flip-flops from the ocean and waterways in Kenya, as well as providing steady income to over 150 low-income Kenyans. I bought myself a panda – and can’t wait to start on my holiday shopping!

The combination of the full moon this week, along with all the negativity in the news, has had me feeling on edge. I’ve been having a hard time focusing and even my meditation practice has been a struggle. Thankfully, I’ve discovered some great guided meditations that really help when I’m having a hard time settling down. One of my faves is “Let Go” by Power Thoughts Meditation Club. Their home page features some helpful information on meditation and they have so many great guided meditations! Ommmmmm …

I don’t know about you, but when I’m feeling on edge I crave PASTA, my fave go-to comfort food! This is an issue as I’ve been trying to cut grains out of my diet. I bought a spiralizer, but let’s get real – when you’re craving pasta, a big bowl of zucchini just doesn’t quite cut it! My fave find of the week is this completely grain free pasta by Cappello’s. When I spotted it in the freezer section of Whole Foods I was cautiously optimistic. After cooking it up for a quick dinner (takes about 2 minutes) along with some bolognese sauce I had in the freezer, I was in pasta heaven! Finally, a delicious guilt-free pasta – I can’t wait to try their lasagna noodles.  Buon Appetito!

Any dog mom – or dad – knows that our BFFs (best fur friends) are also affected by the full moon, perhaps even more than we are! Hope loves to chew, especially if she’s feeling anxious or bored. We’ve tried all different kinds of bones and chews – and either she demolishes them in record time or she tires of them quickly. And then I found Benebones! These nylon chews are made in the US and feature 100% real food ingredients, such as bacon, chicken, peanuts, mint or maple wood. Hope’s faves are the bacon flavored, she gives them two high paws! And I love that the company donates to shelters around the country, win-win!

Wishing you a beautiful Fall weekend! I hope you’ll take the time to relax, pamper yourself, enjoy a good meal with loved ones – either 2 legged or 4 pawed – in the comfort of your home and preferably in your jammies!

Blessings,

Melissa

Note:  The beautiful photos of Hope were taken by The Soulful Dog.

Grain Free Mediterranean Flatbread

I love bread, pasta and basically all things ‘carby’!  Unfortunately, my body doesn’t love them as much as my taste buds do.  Over the past year I’ve been experimenting with grain free cooking.  I still indulge in bread, pasta and one of my favorites, risotto, from time to time but I feel so much better if I stick to a mostly grain free diet.  So, when I’m craving carbs, this is one of my go-to recipes. I found this delicious recipe for a grain free flatbread on one of my favorite blogs, Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain.  The original recipe is for a Balsamic Pesto, Peach, Goat Cheese and Arugula Flat Bread, but I’ve adapted it to incorporate my favorite summer combination, basil pesto and tomatoes, and I’ve added sheep’s milk feta (I’m trying to stay away from cow’s milk products, too) and Greek olives.

This is perfect for a light dinner or as an appetizer for a dinner party.  It’s so quick and easy to make and best of all, you don’t need a lot of specialty ingredients!

 

Making the Grain Free Flatbread Crust

  • 1 ½ cups of blanched almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons of tapioca starch (potato or arrowroot work too)
  • 1 teaspoon on garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt (I use Pink Himalayan Salt)
  • 1 large farm fresh egg
  • 2 tablespoons of oil (grape seed oil, olive oil, melted butter or coconut oil which is what I use)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of your standup mixer, combine almond flour, starch, salt, baking soda and garlic powder. In a small bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar and egg.  Add the wet mixture to the dry flour mixture, mixing until it’s well combined.
  3. If the dough seems a bit tacky and sticky, that’s ok. Work the dough a little longer and let it rest for a few minutes.  Roll the dough into a large ball (you can also make two smaller flatbreads).  If you’re making the dough ahead of time, place in fridge until you are ready to use.  When you’re ready to make your flatbread, roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper to about 1/8” thickness.
  4. Place the rolled dough between the parchment paper onto a baking sheet. Carefully peel off the top layer of parchment paper.  You can patch any tears in the dough with your fingers.  Drizzle a little oil of your choice over the flatbread and spread it out evenly. (I sometimes forget to do this and my flatbread turns out fine, so if you want to use less oil, it’s ok to leave this step out!)
  5. Bake the flatbread at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until its just beginning to turn a golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and turn the temperature up to 400 degrees.

Assembling Your Mediterranean Flatbread

  1. Spread basil pesto over the entire flatbread (I usually make homemade, but store bought is ok, too!).
  2. Next place sliced fresh tomatoes evenly over the entire flatbread.
  3. Crumble feta cheese and sliced Greek olives over the pesto
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for another 10-15 minutes until the goat cheese is beginning to melt.
  5. Take out of the oven and sprinkle with fresh chopped basil.

And voila, you’ve got a quick and easy, healthy and most of all, delicious flatbread – sure to delight your taste buds and satisfy your carb tooth!

Blessings,

Melissa