What’s in my cupboards?

I heard a rumor that some of you lovely readers want to know what a *SANE pantry, ‘fridge and freezer look like.  And, you want pictures.  I can see how this could be a frightening prospect to some cooks, but I have what I like to think of as a tidy – albeit rather complicated – mind.  I think my therapist may have another term for it, but let’s keep going with the tidy mind concept.  My kitchen cupboards reflect this.  Well, the tidy part at least.  They are definitely not complicated.  A little unorthodox, perhaps.  Complicated, no.

You’ll notice I do not like packets very much.  Or cans.  Or boxes.  I do like glass storage jars.  Matching ones.  It makes things remarkably easy to find; and let’s face it – we’d all rather I spend my time making up new *SANE recipes than scrabbling around trying to locate the flax seed or the dried cranberries.  I admit I also have a bit of a thing for my labeling machine.  I like to think that I’ll remember what all those different white powdery things are, but the reality is that labels make life much simpler, and I am all about a simpler life.

Writing this reminds me of the time my cousins from England showed up in Seattle, hungry from an Alaskan cruise.  Yes, I realize that “Alaskan cruise” and “hungry” is a bit of an oxymoron, but I promise it’s a true story. They all piled into my kitchen looking for something to eat, then threw open every cupboard before exclaiming, “Where’s the food???!!”  Which is a very interesting question when the contents of the cupboards look like this.

Carrie Brown Kitchen Cupboard

Because, as you can see – my cupboard is full of food.  You know real food.  Whole food.  Food that used to live on a tree or a bush.  I can only assume that they were looking for packets and boxes and cans filled with something else.  Something that merely resembled food.  Sad.

My cousins also photographed my cutlery drawer, because they wanted to immortalize the fact that there was someone on planet earth who kept their cutlery drawer so ridiculously tidy.  Another true story is that I once dated a man based on the tidiness of his cutlery drawer.  Many, many years of therapy later, I no longer use that as a dating criteria.  Oh.  Wait.  I no longer have a dating criteria – I haven’t dated in 6 years.  I am certain that cats are so much easier than husbands and children.  Hey, how we got from people wanting to know what a SANE pantry looks like, to my dating habits, I am not entirely sure, but let’s get back to the food.  It’s way more interesting.

Here’s a list of the things that I stock my kitchen with.  Keeping these staples on hand makes it super-easy to rustle up a SANE meal or snack at a moments notice.  The ones that are hyper-linked will take you to a page where they are explained more fully and tell you where you can get them if they are new to you.

Fridge:

Dairy

  • Butter: salted / unsalted
  • Cottage cheese, non-fat
  • Cheese, Cheddar (sharp / strong)
  • Cheese (unsweetened): Parmesan / mozzarella / ricotta / goats / feta
  • Cream cheese
  • Greek yoghurt: non-fat / 2% / full-fat
  • Shirataki noodles
  • Sour cream: non-fat

Non-dairy

  • Eggs
  • Fish, smoked
  • Flaxseed, ground
  • Hemp seed, ground
  • Lemon juice
  • Lime juice
  • Mayonnaise, unsweetened
  • Meat: roast chicken / turkey slices
  • Milks, unsweetened: Coconut / almond / hemp / sunflower (in cartons)
  • Nut butters: Almond / peanut
  • Stocks: chicken / vegetable (clear)

Fruits / veggies – a whole bunch!

Freezer:

Nuts (I keep a jar in the kitchen and store the rest in the freezer to keep them fresh longer)

Fruit / Vegetables

  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Mixed berries
  • Peas
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

Meat / Fish

  • Beef: ground
  • Chicken: breasts / tenders / thighs
  • Lamb: chops / ground
  • Pork: chops / bacon / bacon ends
  • Prawns
  • Salmon: fillets / burgers
  • Sausages: chicken / turkey / pork
  • Turkey: fillets / breast / ground / burgers

Pantry:

 

 

 

 

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Mark Harris - This is a fab article thank you.
What I could do with big time is a book (ideally) that outlines what to have for breakfast (with recipes and pictures), lunch and dinner, all with pictures and recipes. To be honest when I think of eating the kinds of foods written about and in fact when I’ve had a go I feel very unsatisfied, I miss the sauces, rice and noodles…yet the evolutionary argument is very hard to argue against….again thanks for a fab article really liked it.

Heidi - I live in the NW and where do you find unsweented dried fruit that is on your list above? I looked at Trader Joes yesterday and my local grocery store and they all had added sugar.

And your thoughts on Sugar Free Syrups? Are they SANE? I am trying to cut out sugar or sugar replacements. I use the syrups in my coffee but I am trying to cut back becuase I thought they were not SANE? I use just one pump for my large coffee travel cup which is down from 2 pumps. So I am doing better. But again trying to cut them out because I thought they were garbage for you.

Where do you get Mayonnaise, unsweetened? What brand do you buy? And regular not low fat or all the new kinds with Olive Oil or Canola Oil or the Smart Balance brands?

Thank You for all that you do for all of us,
Heidi

Jenny - I’m wondering about low fat and fat-free dairy… I know that they are described in this diet as the right choices, but it doesn’t make sense to me: When fat is reduced or removed from dairy, other things {unhealthy additives} are put in to give back some of the creaminess and flavor. Fillers are almost never a good thing. Also, the processing is heavy, and we want less processed food. So why not eat whole, grass-fed, natural dairy in moderation versus eating synthetic, highly manufactured “fat free” versions?

carrie - Jenny – very much depends on the brands you buy, for example, there are no other added ingredients in Trader Joe’s non-fat Greek yogurt over their full-fat version. We tend to use low or non-fat versions not because they are lower in fat but because they are higher in protein. Depending on the amount of other healthy fats in your diet, you may choose the full-fat versions over the non-fat. Then you would just need to make sure you get the extra protein elsewhwere. Hope that helps!

carrie - Heidi – will get back to you on email – lots to answer here!

Nancy - Curious about the Shirataki noodles and the Konjac flour?????

carrie - Ah ha, Nancy! You noticed. Darn. I haven’t done recipes with these yet. Coming soon!

carrie - Thanks, Mark!! So glad that you found it useful. Before the book comes out, you can find breakfasts here: http://www.marmaladeandmileposts.com/archives/category/food/sane/breakfasts dinners here: http://www.marmaladeandmileposts.com/archives/category/food/sane/dinner-meals smoothies here: http://www.marmaladeandmileposts.com/archives/category/food/sane/smoothies lunches here: http://www.marmaladeandmileposts.com/archives/category/food/sane/lunch and you can use the navigation on the left hand side to find further categories. Hope that helps!

Katie - I am having trouble finding the konjac flour. Was wondering where u get it or if there is a substitution for it?

Leanda Kayess - Thanks Carrie!

Michelle - Do I spy Crio Bru in your pantry? That’s a staple in mine! Not many people know about it.

carrie - Yes, Michelle! Well spotted :-)

Jeanne - Wine? Do you use it in cooking? Can I live SANE and still drink some in moderation?

carrie - Hi Jeanne, I use wine here and there in cooking. I don’t drink alcohol at all – but that was the case long before I went SANE. I would say it depends on where you are starting from and what your goals are as to how much wine you want to consume, since, being made from grapes it quite high in sugars. If you have a long way to go on your journey then I would stay away until your metabolism is healed and you are burning fat well. Hope that helps!

Roast Turkey Casserole

It occurred to me earlier that because The Monday Memo got derailed by Christmas Eve and New Years Eve and all the related holiday shenanigans, you’ve missed a few things that have been going down over here at Marmalade HQ.

Exciting things.  Like the bi-fold door to the closet-under-the-stairs being replaced by a *proper* door.  To appreciate why this is so exciting you would need to understand that since the pantry lost the fight with my contractor’s crowbar back in November, the cat food has been relocated to the aforementioned closet.  The cats were thrilled about the relocation.  They can open a bi-fold door with ease.  So for 3 months I’ve had a chair wedged under the door knob to prevent a month’s worth of food being chowed down in 2 days.  Given that this closet also houses the shoes, the cowboy boots, the coats, the baseball caps and floppy straw hats, not to mention the water main shut-off, having to un-wedge and re-wedge a chair multiple times a day lost it’s appeal about 3½ days after the pantry was demolished.  Then, in a flash of inspiration, I wondered if the pantry frame and door that have been lolling in the garage for the last 3 months would fit the closet.  You know, the frame and door that I have been walking by at least twice a day when getting the car in and out of the garage.  The frame and door that are now on guard duty at the closet.  The cats are not amused.  Penelope is particularly fed up because she can no longer hide in there and freak the house-sitters out.  I am hoping Penelope will soon forget she’s fed up.

I’m hoping you’ve all forgotten that you’re fed up with turkey now that the holidays are but a fading memory – carefully packed up with the baubles and wreaths in that tattered box in the garage.  It would be quite terrible if you made this for dinner and there was eye-rolling and murmurs rippling round the table like a stationary Mexican Wave without the cheer.  Because this casserole is awesome.

Roast Turkey Casserole

I took some into the studio for Bailor a few weeks back and he scarfed it down like it was his last meal.  He declared it to be like eating Chicken Pot Pie.  Without the pie bit.  Between you and me, I’m confused.  When I hear the word “casserole”, I think of a stew.  It’s the Brit in me.  So when I was newly landed on this great chunk of land and introduced to my first American casserole, I was a bit bewildered.  It was as much like a stew as a baseball cap is like a floppy straw hat.  Since then I have determined “casserole” seems to be a blanket term for anything baked in the oven in a deep dish.  Which would include lasagna, shepherd’s pie and moussaka.  Clearly not casseroles.  And then I noticed – almost without exception – the meals I’ve encountered called a “casserole” involved a can of condensed soup, which would normally find me running from the building screaming.  Truth be told, I still don’t know what a casserole really is an America, but I am going with the whole deep-dish-and-baked-in-the-oven theory, because frankly, I’ve not been able to make anything else make sense.  I think most Brits would call American casseroles a “bake”.  Except this particular recipe would definitely not be a British “bake”.  Then Bailor piped up with the words “Chicken Pot Pie”, except it has no “pie”.  It’s more like a Quiche, but without the pastry.  Really it’s a massive omelet.  So I called it “casserole”, because for reasons that escape me entirely, it seemed the best fit.  Now we can all be confused together.

Leftover Turkey Casserole

This turned out to be perfect for just about every meal  you can think of – breakfast, check; lunch – check; dinner – check; snack – check.  It would not, however, be my first choice for dessert.  It is fabulous hot right out the oven, but once cold, it can easily be transported for lunch and eaten either warm or cold.  It is majorly filling, and there’s a whole bunch of veggies baked right in, so if you were not in a place where you could add some exciting sides or a glorious salad, you’d still be doing good.  Or, consider a hybrid – take this in for lunch and grab the greens from the cafe, if your work place provides one.  I find it much easier to avoid cafe *inSANEity if I don’t make eye contact with anything other than the salad bar.

I don’t often make my recipes twice, as I am always conjuring up something new for you.  This I have made several times.  It’s (at least) 4 days worth of lunch right there – brilliant if there’s a super-busy week ahead.  Whatever you decide to call it.

4.5 from 2 reviews
Roast Turkey Casserole
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • Coconut oil spray
  • 1lb / 450g roasted turkey, chopped
  • 8 oz. / 225g leeks, finely chopped
  • 2 oz / 55g celery, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp dried sage
  • 1 cup / 8 fl oz. non-fat cottage cheese
  • 8 eggs
  • Lemon pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Spray a 7 x 11" / 4 pint / 2 quart baking dish with coconut oil.
  2. In a bowl, mix the turkey, leeks, celery, sage and cottage cheese together.
  3. Spread the turkey mixture evenly in the baking dish.
  4. In the bowl, whisk the eggs and lemon pepper well.
  5. Pour the eggs evenly over the turkey mixture.
  6. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan evenly over the surface.
  7. Carefully place the baking dish in the oven.
  8. Bake at 375 F for 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a skewer poked into the middle comes out clean.

Roast Turkey Casserole

 

 

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

MargieAnne - Hi.

I’m so happy to have your Blog to read, inform, encourage and amuse me. I’m just as confused as you are about what Americans call their food because I’m a New Zealander and we are very British just don’t tell the neighbours. I’m also in love with North America so I guess I’m a bit mixed up.

At least twice a month I make a deep frittata, baked in the oven … I know a frittata is cooked in a pan on the stove and finished under a grill but somehow these yummy deep dishes filled with eggs and spinach and lots of tasty cheese and other yummy things get called Frittata on the Cafe menus here. I’ve begun to notice that it sounds similar to something Americans call egg bake or potato egg bake etc.

It took me a while to cotton onto the idea that a pie is a flan in U.S. too. How can we be so similar and yet so very different? No! Don’t try to answer that one. *smile*

Love your podcasts with Jonathan Bailor too. Sooner or later I will get my head around eccentric exercise. I’m 73 and lost 60 lbs last year. I need to lose a lot more but I’m maintaining perfectly, too perfectly.

Keep up your good work. Recipe looks yummy but turkey is a ridiculous price here so will try it sometime with chicken

Blessings

carrie - Love this, MargieAnne! Thanks for all the love :-) HUGE congrats on your progress!!!!!

Patti - This looks so good! I pinned it to Pinterest last night and already it’s been repinned 11 times! Can’t wait to make this on Sunday! Thanks Carrie.

carrie - Patti – THANK YOU for the Pinterest love! Any help in driving people here to get SANE recipes is hugely appreicated.

Kristen - Thank you for being an inspiration. I’ve listen to every ssos podcast. I’ve been in the fitness industry for years, a nutrition coach, and now I’m a professional dancer in Chicago and a hs dance teacher. If I could work for ssos I would! That’s how on board I am with everything you two support. Thank you again!

carrie - THANK YOU so much for your kind words, Kristen! Happy to hear that I can be of some help.

Matilda - Carrie, this recipe is AH-MAZING! Wow just lick the plate delicious. My kids loved it too, and it was so easy.
I did have to make some modifications. I used roast chicken instead (as turkey is not that popular in australia unfortunately, cause I love it), and I had no sage, but used mint and basil, and it worked out just as well.

carrie - YAY, Matilda!! Shame about the turkey. Funny aside…I always name my Thanksgiving turkey Matilda :-)

susan, gran, and aj - Just made this – all on our second helping! We love it!!! Excited to make more of your recipes for our gluten-free Granny while she’s here visiting! :)

carrie - GO, Granny!!!

Helen - Mmmm Mmm Mmm! Love this. Part of me thinks I should have halved the recipe as a single girl though the (larger) part of me is happy I have this to eat for the next few days :) Thanks Carrie!

carrie - Oh Helen – I love this recipe. I always make the full amount just for me and eat it for several days. It seems to taste better and better every day!

Sarah - What a great recipe! As a single person I’m always looking for ways to use leftover turkey and chicken, this looks delicious!

Regarding American casseroles, that’s a secret we keep pretty close. You seem like a nice person, though, so maybe this will help clear the confusion… As a life-long Midwesterner, I must first point out that the proper term is “hot dish”, not casserole. :) and yes, they’re always cooked in a casserole dish. The easiest, for newer cooks or a busy cook is (literally) throwing a bag of frozen veggies, some meat, and a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup (as a binding agent) in the casserole dish, throw it in the oven for 45 minutes at 350* and you’ll have an edible meal for a family for a few bucks. Use green beans, ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, and top with tater tots you’ll have Minnesota’s state hot dish, “Tatertot Hotdish”. If you had the luxury of learning to cook and can make a simple white sauce, you can adapt it any way you wish (my favorite is a sundried tomato sauce) and use that as the binding agent. Using fresh veggies, good meat, some great cheese, and the sky’s the limit with your Hotdish creations!

carrie - What an education, Sarah!! :-D

101 Recipes for Leftover Turkey - […] Roast Turkey Casserole » Carrie Brown | Life in the SANE lane Perfect for just about every meal you can think of – breakfast, check; lunch – check; dinner – check; snack – check. It would not, however, be my first choice for dessert. It is fabulous hot right out the oven, but once cold, […]

Cinnamon Raisin Muffins

Uh-oh, there goes another white t-shirt.  1 month into 2013 and 2 white t-shirts have bitten the dust.  This one got hit with an attack of the cocoa powder; plus some red food coloring, just to make it more interesting.  And no, I do not use red food coloring – I was in the process of throwing it away.  Just thought I’d clear that up right out the gate.  One of these days I hope I can remember not to wear a white t-shirt when I am cleaning out cupboards in the kitchen, or eating anything drippy.  At this rate my white t-shirt budget will be higher than my almond flour budget, and baby, that’s big.

Talking of t-shirts – earlier this week our fearless leader and I were in the studio podcasting, and he showed up wearing one of his new t-shirts.  I knew you’d love to see a picture of him wearing it, so I snapped one for you.  He would not let me include his head because he had a serious case of designer stubble going on.  I was fine with that because I didn’t spend much time that day looking at his head anyway.

Do you love the t-shirt?  What do you mean, “Huh?” ?!  Focus, people, focus!  You’re supposed to be looking at the t-shirt.  Love the t-shirt?  You can get your very own right here.

Jonathan Bailor Eccentric T-shirt

In other news, if the sight of Bailor in a t-shirt doesn’t inspire you to do your 10 minutes of eccentric exercise, you might want to have a friend check your pulse.  I’ll be right back.  I have a date with a dumbbell.

Carrie Brown - Cinnamon Raisin Muffins

Have we all stopped quivering yet?  Because I have something else for you to get all googly-eyed over.  I’ll give you a clue.  It’s a muffin.

I thought it only fitting to add a muffin recipe to this post, because there certainly ain’t no muffin tops anywhere else on this page.  Plus, I promised you muffins last weekend, and muffins you shall have.  These are probably my most thrilling experiment with baked goods yet.  I still can’t quite believe it when I eat one.  If you didn’t know this was a *SANE muffin, you’d never guess this was a *SANE muffin.

Carrie Brown - Cinnamon Raisin Muffins

It looks just like a regular muffin.  And by golly, it tastes just like a terribly tasty regular muffin.  When I took these into the office earlier in the week they were met with an enormous amount of muffin love.  Everyone is still really confused about how they can possibly be wheat, gluten, grain, sugar, dairy and added fat free, but that didn’t stop them swooning once they’d eaten one.  And demanding the recipe.  Repeatedly.  Oh, and did I mention fast and easy to make?  They are really fast and easy to make.

Carrie Brown - Cinnamon Raisin Muffins

Here, have some Cinnamon Raisin Muffins and rejoice the day you discovered what *SANE meant.  And that you can eat more and exercise less and yet be healthier and slimmer than ever.

I bet you are SO ready for that!

4.5 from 10 reviews
Cinnamon Raisin Muffins
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • Coconut oil spray
  • ½ oz / 15g chia seeds
  • ½ oz / 15g sunflower seeds
  • 1 oz / 28g unsweetened coconut
  • 4 oz / 110g almond flour
  • ½ oz / 15g ground flax seeds
  • 1 oz / 28g almond meal
  • ½ oz / 15g vanilla whey protein powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 oz / 55g xylitol
  • 4 oz / 110g raisins
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup / 6 fl oz. COLD water
Instructions
  1. Spray 12 silicone muffins cups with coconut oil and place them in a muffin pan.
  2. In a coffee grinder, grind the chia, sunflower seeds and coconut well.
  3. Tip the ground seed mixture into a mixing bowl (preferably one with a pouring lip) and add the almond flour, ground flax seeds, almond meal, whey powder, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, xylitol, and raisins and mix all together well.
  4. In a small bowl whisk the eggs and cold water together.
  5. Add the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and stir well until completely mixed.
  6. Pour the mixture into the muffin cups, stopping a little short of full.
  7. Bake the muffins in the center of the oven at 325F for 30 minutes, until golden brown on the top.
  8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes until you can handle the silicone cups.
  9. Turn each cup top down in one hand, and using the other hand gently squeeze the sides of the cup all the way round until the sides release and the muffin pops out. Be gentle.
  10. Place each muffin on a cooling rack to cool.

Carrie Brown - Cinnamon Raisin Muffins

 

 

 

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Claire Lucas - Hi Carrie, can’t wait to make these!! Can you tell me what almond meal is called in the UK?

Mikki - Carrie these look Delish! If I left out the xylitol and whey powder (maybe added vanilla essence) do you think that would dramatically change these? Thank you! Mikki.

carrie - Mikki – you will likely want some kind of sweetener in there, but if you want to replace with an equivalent to xylitol that would work. If you take the whey out it will lower the SANEity, and I would add in the same amount of almond meal to keep the ratio of dry v. wet ingredients the same. I wouldn’t worry about the vamilla extract. I am also not guaranteeing these will work or be as yummmy! Hope that helps.

carrie - Claire – I am not sure if it goes under a different name, but it looks like your best bet is a health food store or place where you can get bulk foods like nuts and beans. Please let us know where you find it! Alternatively, you may have to get whole (skin on) almonds and grind your own.

Urzay - Hi Carrie these look sensational and I’ll be trying them today or tomorrow.
I actually bought coconut flour and ground chia seeds last week – could I use those instead of the chia seed and unsweetend coconut? And if so, would I use the same amount of weight? The thing is I’m a great cook but not that good in making weets and desserts i.e. in the baking department, so you might think this is a silly question.

carrie - Urzay – there are no silly questions! Especially when it comes to baking :-) Yes on the ground chia seeds, NO on the coconut flour – it will throw the recipe off. Coconut flour is not just ground coconut.

Urzay - Cool thanks Carrie. I just checked the ingredients list on my coconut flour:- Dried coconut meat only. The brand is “Banaban”

carrie - Urzay – right, coconut flour is coconut meat but most of the oil is removed which makes it behave very differently to whole coconut meat that has been dessicated or shredded. Coconut flour absorbs liquid like a sponge. Trust me – using coconut flour will not be a good substitution.

Urzay - Carrie I trust you indeed I do like I said not real good in the baking dept hahahaha. anyways since I’ve now bought this flour, any suggestions in how to use it in baking bread like products. I will also go to youtube and see if there are any recipes.
Thanks for your time and help
Cheers Urzay

carrie - Urzay I am working on some coconut flour recipes. Stay tuned!

Mikki - Thanks Carrie, I’ll play around with it and see how it tastes :)

Susan - I am going to make these for sure because a lot of the ingredients remind me of your hot cereal which I LOVE LOVE LOVE!

thank you for continuing to create great SANE recipes!

carrie - Susan – I think you will love them!! They have solved my Cinnamon Raisin Bread addiction! :-))

Juanita - Hi Carrie, I would like to know if it’s okay to use Stevia or Splenda instead of Xylitol. It makes my stomach hurt! Thanks!!

carrie - Juanita – in this recipe, yes. In most other baked goods recipes, no.

Deborah - Carrie, these look great. I’ll try them for sure.

Deborah - I made these today. To make them more SANE, I omitted the cinnamon and raisins and used a bar of ‘no sugar added’ chocolate (chopped into small pieces) and the zest of an orange. They are really good. My 20-year-old son ate 4 of them after dinner, so that’s a pretty great endorsement :)

Claire Lucas - I’ve just got to say, I loooove these!! First batch was gone in two days, making more today and I know they’ll go just as quick. I’m going to freeze test one too, so will let you know how that goes. Haven’t found almond meal yet, so just used a bit more ground almonds, which didn’t seem to do any harm. Thank you Carrie :)) yum, yum, yum!

carrie - So glad you love them, Claire! Let us know how the freezing goes. You’re a stronger woman than I!

Diane - I just made a batch. I baked them in heart shaped tins and watched closely for time differences but none. I also tweaked to my liking, no sweetener, no raisins, no cinnamon, no water, replaced with dried cranberries and an orange (vitamixed to oblivion) with the zest. I ate one muffin and had to post. Now off for another. Not only are they delicious, they taste normal.

carrie - Hurrah, Diane, hurrah!!!

Deborah - Diane, I LOVE the idea of the whole orange in the Vitamix. I’m going to try this for sure since my first batch is pretty much gone (eating the last of them today). Did you use unsweetened dried cranberries? The only ones I’ve used in baking are sweetened and I wondered if unsweetened would be a little too tart.

Diane - Yes, my cranberries were sweetened. I have not run across unsweetened dried fruit and I am trying to rid my diet of sugar. Let me clarify the orange was zested first, then I peeled it, throwing my peels in the compost pile. I sectioned my orange then blended it for a while. This recipe was a big success. Next time I try it with raisins. Carrie, I have been trying so many of your recipes with tasty results. And yes, I have tried leeks. A lot of leeks. Not in this recipe though.

carrie - Love it, Diane! Even without leeks ;-)

Deborah - Diane, thank you for letting me know that about the oranges. I was wondering whether or not to throw the whole thing into the Vitamix. I did think that perhaps that wasn’t the case because you said ‘with the zest’. YUM, I’m very excited to try it with the orange. Will do that in the next couple of days for sure!
Carrie, I’m in love with leeks too, so I love all the recipes you post which include them :)
Thanks so much for this and all the great recipes!

Ladyp1234 - These were delicious. I loved the hint of seeds and the slight crunch. Yum. Unfortunately my daughter tasted the seeds and refused to eat but I’ll try it without perhaps and also try with orange. I just left out the raisins.

carrie - Leeks ROCK! :-) Absolutely my pleasure on the recipes, Deborah!

carrie - Thanks, Lady P! Does your daughter know how insanely (ha ha) good those seeds are for her??!

carrie - Diane – the only dried fruit I buy that is sweetened is cranberries – everything else you can (and should) get with no added sugar. Thanks for the recipe love!

carrie - Great idea, Deborah! Do you mean 100% cocoa chocolate?

Deborah - Hi Carrie,
It was 70% cocoa chocolate, but the no-sugar-added kind which is sweetened with maltitol. I buy it at a local grocery store for $2 for a 100g bar which I think is a pretty decent price. I was also thinking of adding some raw cacao nibs next time.

carrie - Check this out on malitol: http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/nutrition/a/maltitol.htm The whole sweetener thing is a minefield :-( I am working on a post on sweeteners which I hope will help everyone. I will also do a post on chocolate, because that too can be very confusing. Sigh. Nothign is ever straight forward is it?? Love your ideas, Deborah! THANK YOU for being part of the move towards SANEity.

Deborah - Hi Carrie,
Yes, I’ve read all the info. on all the sweeteners and had actually avoided pretty much all of them for many years. I always stay far away from asparatame and avoid sucralose much of the time although I recently started using it occasionally as it’s in one of the protein powders I have. When it comes to maltitol, I figure if I get a tiny bit in my chocolate in a muffin, that’s not a big deal. I don’t eat much of it and since I eat no grains (haven’t for almost a year) and rarely any kind of starch except for a treat once in a blue moon, I’m doing ok :)
Loving all your recipes. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

carrie - That’s awesome Deborah! As long as we are aware before we make choices, it’s all goodness. Huge congrats on your no-grain way of life and great job on your perspective. Love it!

Claire Lucas - Hi Carrie, well I ate the frozen one this morning (I defrosted it first of course) – it was absolutely fine :) So this weekend I will be making three batches and freezing one of them. Yay :)

Ladyp1234 - A post on sweeteners would be great. You’ve encouraged me to continue trying to get my daughter to eat these with seeds. However, at 13, listening to me is not top of her agenda!!!

carrie - Maybe chia seeds making her more gorgeous would make her see them in a different light?!

carrie - Hurrah for batch baking and freezers!!! Great job, Claire.

Kerry - I made these muffins yesterday and they are fantastic. I had two yesteday while they (were still warm) and I have had two for breakfast today (I know, I have been really restrained). I think they were even better the next day. Thank you so much for coming up with yet another cracking recipe. By-the-way, I didn’t have vanilla whey so I used chocolate, I didn’t have almond meal so I used some more ground almonds.

For the English people – I have found Xylitol in Sainsbury’s and it is called Totally Sweet.

MVP - I have now made 3 batches of this muffins and am still head over heels for them! My 1 year LOVES them and eats them as afternoon snacks. These are a great treat to have handy so you don’t sneak inSANE treats! <3

carrie - Love it, MVP!!

carrie - Now I want to eat some, Kerry! Thanks so much for all the love. HUGE THANKS for the Xylitol info!!

Julia - When measuring the dry ingredients in ounces is it best to weigh or just measure with the measuring cup? I’ve tried both and the amount of almond flour almost doubles when you weigh it. My entire family loves them!

carrie - Julia – weigh, weigh, weigh when making baked goods! You can’t do it by volume and expect to be successful. Read this post for context: http://www.marmaladeandmileposts.com/archives/21158

Paula - Hi Carrie. Just made these muffins and there were fantastic! Because of you, I bought a digital scale. My daughter has made several batches of your strawberry jam and it is delicious on paleo bread, mixed in yogurt, and just plain out of the jar!

So far, we have only used the powdered form of xylitol, but several of us are looking to share a bulk purchase, and were wondering whether we should get powdered or granular. I tried to do some research, and one website said the powdered can be substituted one for one for regular sugar, while the granular you only need half the amount. Is this the case? Which form do you use? Do you use both, for different applications? And can you make powdered yourself out of the granular by putting through food processor or coffee grinder?

Thanks for any help you can give us with this. And thank you, too, for all the hard work you do coming up with these recipes!

carrie - Hi Paula!

I LOVE that you bought a food scale!!!! I use the brand of xylitol called XYLA. It is granular. If I need it powdered I powder it myself in the Vitamix. PLease send me the links to the place where it says for granular xylitol you have to use half. That powdered cna be used 1:1 but not granular suggest they are using another filler and that could be really bad. If you would send me links to both places that would really help me solve this. In the meantime, I recommend XYLA granular xylitol – it’s what I use in all my recipes.

Paula - Carrie, here is the website where I got that information. It was just an article on how to use xylitol. It didn’t actually sell anything.

http://www.ehow.com/how_5508243_use-xylitol-sweetener-sugar-substitute.html

We did purchase the Xyla brand from The Natural Sweetener Store.

Do you think it will powder up in a food processor? We don’t have a Vitamix.

Thanks for your help! Can’t wait to try more of your yummy recipes!

carrie - I would ignore that article :-) For my recipes I use granular XYLA xylitol, so if you are baking my recipes then you need make no adjustments. If you are switching out XYLA granular Xyliotl for sugar in other recipes, switch out 1:1.

I am sure it will grind just as well in a coffee grinder or food processor as a Vitamix. It does take longer than regular sugar, it seems to be a lot harder than sugar, but it will powder eventually. Hope that helps!

Deborah - Paula, I’ve ground mine in my coffee/spice grinder and it powders beautifully. I did this when I made meringues and the texture was just right. Hope that helps :)

Paula - Thanks, Deborah! And thanks, Carrie!
I just ordered a 55 lb bag for several of us to share, and just in case anyone wants to order from the Natural Sweetener Store, there is a coupon code for 15% off. It’s 15OFF. That saved me $30!

carrie - Thanks Deborah! GO, Paula!!

Lisa - I wonder if you’ve done any experimenting with coconut flour in place or in addition to using nut flours? And if so, is there a rule of thumb for substitutions that you’ve come up with? I know coconut flour takes in a lot of liquid and you need to account for that, but not sure where to go after that, except for trial and error.

carrie - HI Lisa – I am trialing cocnut flour at the moment, so there will be some recipes coming soon. I can tell you that coconut flour is a pain in the a**!!!

Jyoti - Is there a Sane alternative to Coconut oil spray? I don’t like the taste or the smell of coconut oil.

carrie - Hi Jyoti – you cannot smell or taste the coconut oil after it is cooked. The alternative would be to use melted butter. Hope that helps!

Creamy Lemon Coconut Cereal » Carrie Brown | Living a SANE Life - […] used it as a starting point for my Cinnamon Raisin Muffins, which is also a Top 15 most popular recipe, and I have another couple of recipes I am working […]

Kelly - Hi Carrie,

I was comparing your recipe to a “classic insane” recipe for muffins, and i was wondering what you thought of rice flour, or other types of flour much more similar to wheat flour, and a lot more accessible for me than all those different seeds. I’m having a really hard time finding all the right ingredients, converting all the measures and everything, and it’s making this sane lifestyle a bit harder.

No problems at all with all your amazing vegetables dishes! I love them! :)

Thanks!
Kelly

carrie - Hi Kelly – I will get all the recipes on the blog updated with measuring conversions as soon as I can. As for the ingredients – rice and other flours made from grains similar to wheat flour as just as inSANE as regular flour, so you would not be doing yourself any favors except in the easier shopping department. Once you have stocked your cupboards with SANE ingredients it all becomes a lot more natural and easier. Amazon is a great resource for finding stuff without all the running around. Hope that helps!

Brenda - Hi Carrie – My husband despises raisins… would subbing in chopped apples work? or would they be too wet?

Equipment That Makes SANE Recipes Easier and Quicker

Many of you lovely readers who are making the move to a *SANE lifestyle are finding that you need to get busy in the kitchen a lot more than you used to, especially when it comes to baking.  If you want SANE baked goods you pretty much have to make them yourself from scratch.

For those of you who haven’t spent much time in the kitchen prior to embracing SANEity, you may be overwhelmed by all the gadgets available, and are not sure what you need to make your time in the kitchen most effective and get you the results you want.  Many of the items I list here are not essential by any means – they just make cooking and baking easier, quicker, and help you to get great results time after time.  Many of you have asked me what I use when I am in my kitchen, so here’s a rundown of the things I use most often.

Note: using these links to make your purchases *may* result in me receiving a small commission (with no additional cost to you), which will help enormously in being able to maintain this site and create new recipes for you.  The costs of running this site and developing recipes come entirely out of my own pocket.  The purpose of this site has never been – and never will be – to make money, however, I would hugely appreciate your support by using these links, if you feel so inclined.

 

High Powered Blender

A Vitamix or Blendtec will be your very best friend once you start using it to make your smoothies and soups.  These machines smash everything that goes in them into liquid.  Forget juicers – with one of these beasties you put whole fruit and veggies in and get juice out, with all the fiber still in it – you just can’t feel it.  Given that a SANE lifestyle requires fiber, one of these will help you enormously to make sure you’re getting all the fiber you can.  Jonathan and I both have a Vitamix.  I’ve heard that Blendtec are just as good.

Second jug for Vitamix / Blendtec – I find having a second blending container incredibly handy.  Or maybe I just don’t like washing up when I am on a roll in the kitchen.

Blender

I have a KitchenAid blender in addition to my Vitamix, for those times when I don’t want to pulverize everything into oblivion.  Some recipes just need texture, or don’t require the extra power.  I use this Kitchen Aid blender when I don’t want or need to use the Vitamix.  Grinding nuts is a great example – try this in a Vitamix and you’ll have awesome nut butter, but you won’t have any ground nuts.

Food processor

Not essential, but it does make things easier and quicker.  I use mine mainly for mixing doughs, but it is also super handy for slicing and all manner of other uses.  I love this Cuisinart Food Processor because it comes with three bowls that sit inside one another so you can do three different things before you have to wash up.  Love that.  It also has a large capacity, which I find very useful when making large batches.

Hand mixer

I use a hand mixer for quick things like whipping egg whites and mixing batters when I don’t need the power of a food processor, or don’t want to get too much stuff dirty.  I use this Cuisinart Hand Mixer because it has 9 speeds and a timer, so it is useful for lots of different recipes.

Kettle

When I moved to the US I was completely dumbfounded that no one had an electric kettle.  Brits use kettles multiple times a day, and I cannot imagine living without one.  Boiling water is a breeze.  I have this Cuisinart Kettle and I love it because it has pre-set temperatures and other features that make it even more useful than a regular kettle.  For any Brits reading this, I can hear you all shrieking, “What??  No kettles??!!!”

Steamer

My steamer is in constant use for steaming veggies instead of boiling them in a pan of water, as it keeps the nutrient content much higher.  We love that.

Hand-held blender

I have a multi-purpose hand-held blender that doubles up as a grinder / chopper as well as a blending stick for blending directly in a pan or bowl.  I have the Cuisinart Smart Stick that comes with a whisk and chopper attachments.  Super useful.

Scale

If you read some of my baking posts you’ll know I insist on weighing things, rather than using cups.  Cups are not consistent.  The only way you can hope to have baking success time after time is to be accurate when measuring ingredients.  A scale is your best friend.  I use this Oxo Digital Scale because it can weigh an awful lot of stuff, plus it has a pull out screen so you can put really large bowls on it and still read the display.  I reverse weigh a lot and this scale makes it so simple.  It also weighs in both ounces and grams, so you can switch between the two and not have to do any conversions in your head – keeping everyone happy all the time.  Hurrah!

Mandoline

A mandoline is a slicer that makes very short work of cutting, slicing, dicing and otherwise making all manner of veggies into uniform sizes and shapes.  When you’re eating a ton of veggies it’s more important that those veggies look super-appetizing and you have a lot of variety to keep it interesting.  There are many mandolines available – choose one that fits your budget, although usually, the higher the cost, the better the machine is.

Julienne Peeler

This handy little gadget makes short work of turning vegetables into “spaghetti”.  Especially good on zucchini (courgettes), cucumber, and carrots.  I use it with zucchini instead of baking a spaghetti squash.  Super simple, super fast, and won’t break the bank.

Measuring spoons

I have 4 sets of these measuring spoons, because when I am making stuff up for you I use them constantly, and rinsing them every 5 seconds is just annoying.  These are double-ended, which effectively doubles the number of spoons you have.  They are also magnetic so they stick together tidily and don’t get lost, and they have flat bottoms so they will sit on the counter without tipping over.  Who knew someone could get so excited about measuring spoons?

Microplanes

Microplanes are the bomb.  I have several different shapes and sizes and use them for all sorts of things.  So much better than a grater – faster, cleaner, way sharper.  Grating is no longer a chore with these puppies.  Yay!

Sieves

I am a perfectionist, so I use sieves a lot.  A lot.  Strawberry pips in the sauce?  Sieve.  Hazelnut skins?  Sieve.  Cocoa powder?  Sieve.  Nut dust in the nuts you just chopped?  Sieve.  Ice cream custards?  Sieve.  Green tea got a few stray leaves?  Sieve.  I sieve everything in the name of texture perfection.  You don’t have to go as far as me, but I do recommend having at least one really good fine mesh sieve.  Plus a set of regular general purpose sieves.

Huge mixing bowl

For making large quantities of recipes like Strawberry Seed Porridge I use this huge, awesome bowl.

Melamine pouring bowls

I use these melamine pouring batter bowls more than just about anything else in my kitchen.  The handle design makes them stackable – saving tons of space, and the melamine means they do not transfer flavors and colors like plastic, but they are way lighter than glass.  I use them for mixing up just about everything, and find the handles super useful.  If you hadn’t realized – I LOVE these bowls.

Cutters

For all those scrumptious SANE cookies and scones, you’ll need cutters, because cutters make food fun.  And pretty.  Anything that makes your SANE food more appealing is a good thing.  Cutters will help.  Get metal ones in whatever shapes and sizes make you happy.  Plastic cutters will stop your scones from rising so well.  Metal is best.

Pyrex storage

I am not a fan of plastic for storage.  At all.  I use these glass Pyrex lidded dishes for storing everything – in the ‘fridge, in the freezer, in the cupboard, and to transport breakfast and lunch to the office.  If plastic is capable of absorbing colors and flavors, then that means the plastic is not impermeable.  The thought that the chemicals in plastic are therefore capable of transferring back into my food is highly unpleasant to me.  In the Brown house, it’s gotta be glass.

 

For me, using kitchen equipment is like an extension of my body, so I may have forgotten things that are new to you.  I’ll add to this as I think of things that I think you may find helpful.  If there is something missing, please shout!

Happy, happy cooking!

 

 

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Bob - One of The things I love about cooking is the variety of ways you can go about it.
The only utensil I have that vaguely resembles anything on this list is a beat up kenwood mixer!
I also swear by all things made from clay, but that’s not really surprising, ( and I have the arms to lift them all up !)
Despite all of this, I KNOW we both have just as much fun.
And I hope my food is as delicious as Carrie’s (i confess I STILL leave the strawberry pips in !!!!!! :-)

ellen - Carrie, GREAT list! Thanks! I would like to mention a tool that I LOVE – my julienne peeler. I can make “spaghetti” out of yellow squash and zucchini which is quicker than spaghetti squash. I can send you a link if you’re interested.

carrie - Oh, oh, oh Ellen! I totally forgot to include that one, and I use it all the time! Silly me. I will add – THANK YOU for the reminder!

Traci - Which models of vitamix do you and Jonathan each own? I want to get one and there are so many choices!

carrie - Traci – I own a 5200 and I use it A LOT!!! Works like a dream. Hope that helps!

Sandy Shepard - totally agree re electric kettle. I use mine a billion times a day – and as you surmised, didn’t know they existed until I lived in Britain. Oh, foolish us ;-) I would add one more thing to your list, a “spiral slicer.” It’s a BLAST to use, a stupidly easy “gadget,” and makes making “zucchini spaghetti” etc. a breeze. Also, I recently got an avocado “peeler” (??) at Goodwill for 5 cents and I am using it like a crazy person – it goes down an avo half with small “wires” that slice out perfect avo pieces? (Do you know what I’m talking about?) Finally, again, another “unitasker” but OMG life saver is a mango slicer. With one of these you’ll never look at mangos again and say “delish, but if they weren’t so dang hard to ~pit~”…Happy Holidaze!

LeeAnn O'Connell - I have to share my good news with you all here because I know that you will understand why I did my happy dance last night. I received as a gift yesterday my very own Vitamix Creations Turbo machine. It is so new that I have not used it yet. It is sitting on the counter in my kitchen. I could not afford one. I have been making my smoothies with an old blender (which was working fine but had it’s limits). I am so excited! My sweet mother bought it for me as a “thank you” gift for handling some personal matters for her. I never even asked for one. Just kept telling her about the smoothies I was making. I can not wait to dive into Carrie’s soup recipes this weekend!! I promised mom some soups. The perfect time of year to get started. Yeah!!!

carrie - LeeAnn – this is indeed awesome news! Congrats! What goes around come around. Have a blast with your new toy :-)

Tomato Salad Soup

Soup.  It’s part of “Getting Your Veggies In 101″.  Like smoothies, you can cram a ridiculous amount of vegetables into soups, and I thoroughly recommend it as a strategy for eating those 10 servings a day that our beloved Mr. Bailor reminds us about at any given opportunity.  Especially in the winter months.  I find salads easy-peasy to eat in the spring and summer, but as soon as the leaves turn – yeah, not so much.  Another brilliant thing about soups is their portability; oh and let’s not forget how easy it is to make an enormous batch all at once and eat it over several days, or freeze it in ready to serve portions.  Soups rock.

I don’t know about you, but I am already thinking about summer.  And salads.  Even though it’s mid-winter where I am.  This soup got started when I had all the typical ingredients for salad lurking in the ‘fridge, but the temperature here had just turned to not-salad-eating degrees.  I wondered what I could do with all the lettuce and cucumbers and tomatoes if I wasn’t going to eat them raw as salad.  So I decided I would see what happened if I threw all of them together into soup.  The same soup.  And, in an instant, Tomato Salad Soup was born.

Tomato Salad Soup

In the first iteration I even squirted in some mayonnaise.  I do not recommend this.  AT ALL.   Please do not do this at home.  It was not good.  AT ALL.  The second iteration, on the other hand, was a huge hit.

So next time you have a craving for salad in mid-winter but really want something warm – soup it up.  No one will ever guess just how much green summery stuff is hidden in there.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Tomato Salad Soup
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb 11oz. / 760g English cucumbers, roughly chopped
  • 1½ lb / 670g tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup / 8 fl oz. chicken or clear vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 6 oz / 170g unsweetened tomato paste
  • 1 small avocado
  • 3 tsp dried basil
  • 3 TBSP white wine
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 TBSP 2% Greek yogurt (Do not use non-fat!)
  • 1 large head Romaine lettuce
Instructions
  1. Put the cucumber, tomatoes, stock and salt into a large pan or stock pot and cook for 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
  2. Working in batches, place the vegetables in a blender and blend until very smooth.
  3. Add the tomato paste, avocado flesh, basil, white wine, lemon juice and Greek yoghurt, and blend to mix.
  4. Separate the leaves of the lettuce and blend into the soup on high speed until completely smooth.
  5. Re-heat gently if necessary.

Tomato Salad Soup

 

 

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

mazie - Thank’s for this recipe I will be trying it out..I just love your soups thankyou

carrie - THANK YOU, Mazie!! I am definitely a soup girl :-)

Veronica - Carrie: How long is the freezer life of soups like this?

carrie - Veronica – I would use within one month, although mine never make it that long!

Stephanie - Sounds fantastic! Can’t wait to try it!

Sierra - Yum yum yum. This soup is sooo good and easy to make. Plus it used up the tomatoes I’ve had in the freezer from last years garden. This one is going into the family recipe binder. Thanks again Carrie!

carrie - Hurrah for salad soup, Sierra! Who knew lettuce could taste so good?! :-)

Sierra - Wow Carrie, I can’t believe you respond to all these comments…on every recipe! You ROCK. I don’t know how you find the time. P.S. I love your (and Bailors) podcast :)

carrie - I do my best, but don’t always manage to get to everything or everyone. Thanks for the podcast love!

Barbara in Tx - Hi Carrie!

I LOVE your soups! I’m working through every soup recipe in your book! I’ve never ever done that with another cookbook. Wait……yes I have, your ice cream cookbook! 8-) Okay so I’d like to ask a question….do you peel your cucumbers and zuchinni? You see….some of my soups aren’t coming out the beautiful colors that your pictures show and I think it may be my added vegetable peel?

Thanks! What’s the next cookbook going to be? I just can’t wait!
Barbara