12.20.2012

Spiced Orange Date Balls


Little globes of spiced holiday joy! ...Can I entice you further?  I made these on a whim from an inspiration to use the delicious sun-ripened oranges I got as a thank-you for climbing my neighbor's orange tree to help her get them down before the frost. (Apparently Tucson has about three days of frost a year. Who knew?)

Anyway - please make these. Everyone will love them, and no will will ask where the flour, added sugar, etc are. Bonus - these are paleo and vegan! Perfect for any party.... aaand they freeze well! Seriously. My new favorite dessert/snack/powerfood/littlemorselofhappiness.

Ingredients:
2c pitted dates (any variety)
3/4c shredded coconut, plus 1c for rolling
1c almond flour
1/4c chopped pecans
zest and juice from one small orange, or half a large (naval) orange
1/2 tsp allspice

Pulse everything in a food processor or heavy-duty blender (aka vitamix) until the consistency you like. I like leaving in a few coarse bits :)
Spoon out a little bit and roll in shredded coconut until its a ball-shape. I like little bite-size pieces myself....so I can eat more of them! Omnomnom ^_^


Happy Holidays!!!

11.17.2012

Blackstrap Waffles

EHRMEGERD, WERFLS.



*ahem*

I mean, wow I forgot how much I love waffles!
Mmmmmmm.......


Ok back from delicious reverie. 
I made them with two eggs initially, then needed to add a third to compensate for the lack of gluten. They came out fantastic!

Turn your waffle iron on high.

Into a bowl: 3 jumbo eggs (I used duck eggs), 1-2tbsp butter, 1tsp vanilla, 2tbsp blackstrap molasses (just a hint of sweet and good for you too!) Blend. 
Add 1.5c milk of choice (I used fresh almond milk), and blend again.


Through a little sifter add 1tsp baking powder, 1/2tsp salt, 1/3c coconut flour, 1/3c almond flour, 1/3c flaxmeal (fresh grind 1/3c flax seeds). Blend again and voila!


If your iron is hot, spray with a little oil or just spoon some coconut oil onto the bottoms like I did and wipe some on the top side, too. Put a heaping 1/3c batter for each waffle, and cook for about 4-5 minutes. Peek at 4 and see how they're doing. 

If they are crumbly like my first batch, add another egg. Again- these were 3 jumbo duck eggs, so it might be more like 4 chicken eggs.

Make 6 awesome delicious waffles. So probably feeds 3.

These aren't super sweet - you could use them as pancake batter, and sweet with syrup and berries or savory with smoked salmon and capers! 

Imagination is King. 

(Breakfast this morning - with pure maple syrup and a little ginger powder)




Acupuncture, El Hobbit, and The Most Amazing Chai

Hello friends!

What a wild ride life can be sometimes. There are ups and downs, and sometimes corkscrews, or long flat stretches when you think you might lose momentum and just stop entirely, and waterfalls and zero-gravity points... 
This past month was a lighter rotation working in the surgery clinic only 50 hours a week, so I have been capitalizing on the opportunity to expand my life. Spanish learning, guitar playing, Tony Robbins Personal Power cassettes (yes, cassettes!!), yoga, Buns of Steel (note the early 90's theme...), gardening, and of course cooking and eating!

Life is too precious to waste it on being mundane.

And so here I am, status post an amazing acupuncture session to move my stagnant overworked Qi, with a copy of El Hobbit next to me as incentive to practice my Spanish (because El Hobbit is far more interesting than SeñioBurridan's Donkey).  
I humbly present to you my favorite new recipe of this past month:

The Most Amazing Chai


This starts with amazing almond milk.
Buy a bag of blanched almonds. Don't bother blanching and peeling them yourself- there is minimal cost difference and it's just
 not the same.


Place 1 cup of said almonds into blender with 3 cups of water and 1 tsp good vanilla extract.
Blend. A lot. 



Strain through good cheesecloth, the thicker the cloth the longer it will take - but the creamier the end product will be. I actually use a cloth yogurt straining bag. (and save the almond paste to make something yummy!)
You can stretch to 4 or even 6 cups of water for everyday almond milk, but only use 2.5 - 3 for the thick creamy texture of "half&half" for good chai :)

For the chai itself, follow this recipe: (credit where credit is due-  this tea base is amazing)
http://chai-tea.org/rec/rec101.html

I changed the following: I boiled the spices for a while before adding the tea since I didn't want a bitter taste from using black non-Indian tea. I added the almond milk (instead of half&half) after I strained the tea, with 1 tsp of honey per 6oz tea instead of sugar.


If you boil the almond milk it may separate!!





It is amazingly delicious and makes enough to share...or just more for you!





Peace and Good Eats,


Elizabeth


More recipes to follow, every week, I promise!!

10.18.2012

Spiced Cherry Glaze over Grilled Porkchops


My mom says, "What do you want to have for your early birthday dinner?" 
And the first thought that popped into my mind was "Cherries."   Why? Because they are tart and sweet and luscious and rich and scream "Celebration!" with every bite!!

So I made this sauce, and Mom grilled up some AMAZING porkchops - still not sure how she's so good making really good food, and we added steamed asparagus and a salad with romaine, baby spinach, and ripe gorgeous yellow/rose Bartlett pears (made fabulous with some fantastic sharp salty gorgonzola for those of you not in the Whole 30 right now)

I intended the sauce for the chops. 

I maybe poured it over everything on my plate. :ahem:

Spiced Cherry Glaze
Into a small saucepot on medium low heat, add:

1/2c water
1/2c dry red wine
3/4c dried tart cherries
1/4c Polaner all fruit seedless raspberry (they don't use any added sugar)
1/2tsp each: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice

Bring the mixture to a low simmer.  Stir every 5-10 minutes to make sure it's not sticking to the bottom.  Add a little water and wine (equal parts) if you need more volume, or let the sauce reduce down until it is thick enough to coat the spoon for a glaze. 

I followed the above recipe and simmered until the cherries were rehydrated- soft and plump.  I then took all the liquid and used it to marinate about 2lbs of porkchops for 30min before my momma grilled them to perfection.  I then added the all the same liquids and spices to the rehydrated cherries to make a second batch of sauce with them and it came out fantastic - so one could probably use as little as 1/4c of tart cherries for this and it would do beautifully. 

I think fresh fruit would also work well, but I would reduce the water by 1/2 and leave the wine at the same volume.  Cherries, blackberries, raspberries or peaches would be best I think, and you could try brandy instead of wine. I would strain the mix if using blackberries since they are so seedy.  Experiment and let me know how it turns out!

10.13.2012

Happy Noodles



Happy Noodles!

I love noodles. I love that slurpy, soft-yet-substantive, dances in my mouth texture. I love that they sop up flavors and hold court with the delicate and down-home alike. I love that each form tastes different than its brothers - a thin wide ribbon so unlike short grains of risotto or fat springy spirals! 

...Did I mention I love noodles?  Oh yeah, and I'm Italian. And I've realized it's not the wheat I'm in love with when it comes to these delicious noodley bits - its the noodleyness! And we can Absolutely make amazing noodles out of vegetables.  I hate calling it zucchini "pasta", or cauliflower "rice". It feels like a cop-out. Like I'm attempting to substitute for the real and better thing. It makes me miss "real pasta" and "real rice" - except I don't! Truly I don't - wheat pasta doesn't float on the tongue the way a well cooked zucchini noodle does, white rice doesn't hold a candle to the texture and flavors I can build with grains of cauliflower!

All this little burst of inspiration hit me when I was home, thinking up something to cook for me and my mom. So I made noodles. Happy noodles. :)   Enjoy!

Ingredients: (serves 2, easily made for more)
1 sweet bell pepper, pith and seeds removed. Julienned or chopped.
1/2c sweet grapes, chopped
1/2c sweet tomatoes, chopped
1/2c baby spinach
1/2c onion or shallot, diced - or pearl onions halved
1/4c cashews, chopped (if salted you may not need to salt the dish)
1tbsp olive oil
2 zucchini, peeled then stripped with a veggie peeler into noodles

salt, fresh cracked black pepper, garlic to taste
(If using fresh garlic saute in pan with the rest. My mom has this amazing spice grinder of roasted garlic flakes that you grind up right onto your food - amazing flavor for dried!)



Into saute pan on med-high heat: olive oil, onions and garlic if using until fragrant. Add all ingredients except zucchini and spices. Saute until they blacken a little and release their juices. Stir only every 6-7 minutes to allow that caramelization to happen, about 15 min total.






















Meanwhile, strip your zucchini into noodles. Don't include the outer peel, and stop when you reach the seedy middle. Save that part for roasted veggies later - seedy noodles are not so good and break apart easily in the pan. This is so easy! I love the wide flat texture, they cook up so slippery and noodley and hold onto a good amount of sauce mmmmm


Once your spinach is wilted and veggies are sufficiently softened and blended, remove from pan leaving the oil behind. Into the skillet toss your noodles on high heat, allowing them to brown and soften without becoming mushy. This only takes about 2 minutes. 





Toss the toppings back into the pan and mix them with the noodles, then serve it up with some cracked black pepper, garlic and salt to taste! 


Happy Noodles

10.08.2012

Bell Pepper Sauce over Zucchini "Pasta"


Shrimp with Bell Pepper sauce over Zucchini noodles:

This is another stunner. My sweet Nonna surprised me with a package - I opened it up to find six Gorgeous red bell peppers from my Poppa's garden!! I couldn't believe they held up to shipping so well - I could feel the love radiating from the box. She sent it with this recipe (how sweet!) - I just swapped out yummy zucchini noodles for pasta.

Ingredients: (feeds 3-4)
- 6 sweet bell peppers (organic)
- 1 sweet onion (yellow or white)
- olive oil
- 1-2 large zucchini (however much noodles you want)
- 2 vine-ripe red tomatoes
- a handful of fresh basil leaves, or 2tbsp dried
- 2 tbsp white raisins (trust my Nonna...it's amazing)
- 10 large shrimp per person (thaw in cool water if frozen)
- garlic, salt, pepper


First roast the peppers: place sliced cleaned peppers and chopped onion with generous olive oil, basil, garlic and a pinch of salt in oven to bake at 375 for 30-40 min until soft and the skin peels off easily. Peel skins off peppers, then slice or dice finer as desired. If the skins are thin and don't peel off, don't worry. Not all of mine did and I hardly noticed, but the texture will be smoother if the skins can come off.

While they are roasting, make your noodles. I have seen them made into wide flat noodles with a veggie peeler, but I make mine with this World Cuisine Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer from Amazon.com* to make my zucchini pasta (about $32):

The zucchini "noodles" come out perfect every time and it's such a time saver that veggie noodles can actually be a regular occurrence. I use it to make sweet potato curly fries and noodles too and it works like a charm.



Pour the oil from the roasting peppers into a skillet and saute the noodles on med-high until they are almost done-- cooking at a higher temp helps get them toasted without getting mushy.  Remove them to a plate, leaving the oil in the skillet. 
Add to the hot skillet your chopped tomatoes, basil, 1-2 cloves garlic or 1-2tsp powdered, and raisins and cook until the tomatoes are reduced and the raisins are plump. Add the peppers and onions plus the shrimps and heat until the shrimp are just pink through. Toss with the noodles until all hot and combined - and voila! Season to taste with cracked black pepper and sea salt. 

Enjoy with a dry red wine and some good company.  Mangia!



*I have no affiliation with Amazon or World Cuisine. I bought the slicer of my own accord.

Carrot Ginger Coconut Soup


Carrot Ginger Coconut Soup

This soup is heavenly - like velvet on the tongue. It could easily be adapted into a cold custard with the addition of an egg yolk or two and sweetener to taste, it's that good.

The roasted garlic is the key to the flavor depth - I tried making it with fresh garlic cloves and, while delicious, lacked the Symphony in my mouth that the first batch created.
This was a serendipitous soup, created from the happened roasted things of a happy Sunday roasting day - a 'by-product' of sorts to fill the oven and avoid wasted energy while I roasted a chicken, etc. for the week. I'd suggest a similar approach...especially since I roasted the carrots and sweet potatoes in the leftover chicken drippings! :gasp:  I'm sure that had Nothing to do with the scrumptious flavor at all.... ;)

Ingredients: (feeds 3-4)
2 roasted sweet potatoes -- no skin, roasted with olive oil, garlic powder (1tsp), cinnamon (1tsp), and ground cloves (1/2tsp), ground nutmeg (dash)
two roasted carrots
2 cloves roasted garlic (mmm....maybe 3...)
one piece ginger (1 inch)
one can coconut milk 
one small apple (no core, and no skin if your blender isn't powerful)
1/2 tsp good salt
1/8 tsp ground cloves or allspice

Blend until smooth then heat until gently simmering. 
For a savory side dish, serve as is or with a little cracked pepper on top (pretty presentation!)
For a sweeter treat, add a dollop of coconut cream and a drizzle of good maple syrup!

*For custard: add 1 egg yolk while blending, heat to a simmer, add sweetener at that time to taste (try 2 tbsp maple syrup) and cool in individual custard cups

Did I mention...
This is SO GOOD



9.26.2012

Coco-Lime Cauliflower "Rice"



My first attempt at cauliflower rice - it's as easy as everyone makes it sound, and it came out so great! My only issue - 6 servings?? Hardly. Maybe 3....  or 2 if I'm feeding my man ^_^
I love the coconut & lime flavors. I used to cook regular rice like this alll the time...

Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower
1 onion
1-2 tsp coconut oil
1/4 - 1/2c coconut milk
1 lime (or 2-3 tablespoons lime juice)
pinch of salt


If you have a food processor rinse and chop the cauliflower into ping pong ball sized pieces and throw them in, and pulse until rice sized.
I do not have a food processor, but I do have a blender. SO if you put the pieces into the blender and add water until they float...and pulse the blender it'll do the same thing! Then just drain the water...(I poured it over one of those screens you use on your skillet to keep the bacon fat from popping out. Props to self for MacGyver-ing my kitchen.)


Set your skillet onto medium high, add the chopped onion and coconut oil and cook until translucent. (I used this time to make my greens for dinner).


Then add your cauliflower rices, squeeze the lime with some pulp into it (or add the lime juice), and add your coconut milk. If it's regular use 1/4 cup, light use 1/2 and cook the water out longer. Add your pinch of salt (you can add more after it's cooked if you want).


Cook you up some chicken or fish while this is going - it'll take about 10 minutes. I left it uncovered so the water evaporated to make it more ricey textured. Worked great!
I seared up some Alaskan Char in a pan with a little coconut oil, and sprinkled it with garlic and curry powders. Served it all up together and had a happy little meal by myself to celebrate....I dunno. Felt like celebrating. ^_^

Let me know what you think!

Zucchini Pancakes



These are Far more delicious than I would have imagined, though I shouldn't have doubted since they're an adaption from my Nonna's recipe. 

I substituted pistachio flour for traditional wheat flour, and it's a stunning culinary combination. I swear these are mom approved, kid approved, boyfriend approved, roommate approved...the whole 9 yards!

True to form, these are easy peasy and a snap to make - or make them ahead and pop into a skillet (or the microwave) for a hearty healthy breakfast in seconds! The recipe is easily halved or doubled - as written it makes about 8 hand-sized pancakes.


















Ingredients:
3c Grated zucchini
4 eggs
1/2c nut flour - I used pistachio!
1/4c dried parsley (1/2 if fresh)
1 tsp salt (**omit if nuts were salted)
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Heat up your skillet to pancake temperature - on my stove that's about a #4, or medium-low.
Use the best eggs you can find - farm raised eggs or duck eggs just taste so much better! Beat the eggs with the nut flour and spices. Squeeze all the water from the zucchini and mix it into the egg batter. 
Once a drop of water dances across your skillet you're ready to go!
Drop the batter by spoonfuls and flatten them out a bit so the cook through evenly. Flip after 3-4 minutes to  brown on both sides and enjoy!!

Make em big, make em small...either way they're freakin' delicious. 

(I may have eaten the whole batch in a day...)

7.27.2012

Duck Eggs for Breakfast

A pauper's breakfast fit for a King. Or Queen.

I put them in enough water to cover by 1/2 inch. Bring the water to a boil. 
Once it starts to boil set the timer for 5 minutes for soft boiled, 6-8 for medium to hard boiled.

Peel. Sprinkle with a little herbed Himalayan sea salt. Breathe sighs of utter contentment. Enjoy.

Happy Breakfasting

7.25.2012

Easy Baked Ratatouille


Isn't it gorgeous??? I was Thrilled with the way this came out. I fall in love with my CSA share every week, and was so happy to see eggplant in the baskets! For some reason a lot of people don't like their eggplants and leave their shares on the trading table. I ditched my ears of corn and got two extra shiny fat eggplant instead....an excellent trade if I do say so myself.


Ratatouille is technically a dish of cooked vegetables including tomato and eggplant with garlic and herbs, though the cooking method and spices used vary widely. In this one I used what I had on hand and baked the whole thing so there wouldn't be a million steps of sauteing and baking and simmering etc. etc. It's delicious and this pan made enough for about 6 meals!


Ingredients:
2 medium eggplant. they should be shiny! it's ok if they're a little soft though since they'll be baked well
1 big summer squash or a couple zucchini 
2-3 yellow onions
Tomatoes - a handful of grape or a couple larger varieties
Olive oil
Basil
Garlic


Slice the eggplant top and bottom off the slice into 1/4-1/2" thick slices (I like mine thick and meaty!)  Lay on a clean surface or towel, sprinkle liberally with salt, and let them sit while you cut everything else. This step is critical to make them taste good! The salt draws the bitterness out and when they're ready you'll see beads of brownish liquid. If you have high blood pressure you may rinse them after, otherwise just pat them dry without rinsing and don't add extra salt to the dish. Dry thoroughly before adding to the pan.


Meanwhile: Preheat your oven to 400F, or better yet put these in while you're cooking a chicken to save energy and make a whole meal! 


Slice your veggies all about the same size except slice the onions very thin so they caramelize well. I do the onions in half, then slices so I get half-rings.
Layer the slices of squash, then onion, then tomato, then eggplant. 
Drizzle the whole thing liberally with olive oil then sprinkle with dry or fresh basil and powdered or fresh chopped garlic to suit your tastes. Again - my method for spice amounts is really just sprinkle from high up (about 6") and lightly cover the surface of whatever I'm making. 


Put the pan in the oven and cook at 400F, checking every 15-20 minutes. It'll take 45-1 hour since it's such a lot. 


Amazing. I had this with my roast chicken for almost every meal for a week. And for someone who craves variety...that means it must've been damn tasty. Just sayin'. 

7.22.2012

Christmas in July Roast Chicken


I am finally back from my long cooking and blogging hiatus!


For those still following - I've missed you, and my apologies for the absence. I've made the move to Tucson, adjusted to the heat and extremely low humidity, caught Valley Fever, and ate about 3 weeks worth of restaurant food and microwave type things until I was very sad indeed. Once I got my kitchen unpacked, I purged my new home of all foods non-paleo (except a bag of sugar for the hummingbird feeder). I am now 3 full days into eating delicious organic home-grown goodness and I feel amazing!


The focus of the blog will, as in past, henceforth be especially dedicated to things easy to make and super nutritious since I now can only cook once or twice a week (sad). Intern year will be pretty heinous in terms of hours so I have to plan ahead if I want to withstand the temptation of bagels at morning rounds. 


First up....chicken! Big roast chickens. SO easy, and they make tons of meat to last me the week. Plus I love the gravy that they make over the veggies, and I love that I get dark and white meat, and the offal inside. 


Ingredients:
One chicken. Free range/organic/what have you. Defrosted in the fridge for a few days if needed. Don't bother rinsing, it's not necessary. Just fish out the inside bits.
Bag of organic baby carrots, or chop some up yourself. About a cup.
2 medium onions, chopped coarsely
A root vegetable chopped same size as carrots and onions. Sweet potato, turnips, parsnips, beets...whatever strikes your fancy!

Preheat oven to 400F.
Put chicken in pan. Put veggies around chicken (NOT in it! They won't cook evenly if you do)
Sprinkle generously with garlic powder (2tsp), cinnamon (2tsp), and ground cloves (1tsp). Add a dash of nutmeg if you have it!
Drizzle with a few tablespoons of good olive oil.
Pop in oven for an hour or so - depending on size of chicken. Mine took 1:20. But I got work done while I waited!! You want the juices to run clear - meaning when you pull the thigh away it comes easily and you see NO pink.
Tear off a chunk and eat it for dinner while you wait for the bird to cool down. One bird feeds me for 2-3 days by myself. (4-5 meals).


Your house will smell like Christmas, and the taste is divine. I literally caught myself singing Christmas carols...


VARIATION -I made the same roast chicken a few days later, but instead of olive oil, garlic, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg-- I used coconut oil (a couple tablespoons) and garlic and curry powder! OMG my house smelled like a Bazaar. ....I like smells, can you tell? 
It was delicious. Try it. 


Happy Eating!

6.14.2012

Lime in the Coconut....on some Chicken!



This was so good my man and I ate it all.....and made a second batch right then and there...and ate it all again!!!


You put the lime in the coconut and shake em both up.... just kidding  ^_^  What I love about this is how the chicken and sweet potato flavors are so completely different, yet Perfectly complement each other.


Ingredients:
Chicken breast, chopped into bite size pieces
Flaked coconut, unsweetened
Juice of 1/4 lime
Coconut milk, 2 oz.
Sweet potato
Cinnamon powder
Cayenne pepper


Toss the chicken bites in a hot skillet until almost cooked through, then add the coconut flakes until they are brown and toasty and you start to get that fabulous coconut aroma. 
Add the coconut milk and squeeze in the lime juice and simmer on low until the sauce thickens.


Meanwhile...
Cook up the sweet potato however is your fancy. Truthfully...it's about the only thing I use the microwave for. Potato in, 6 minutes, done. The skin comes off easily and they're perfectly tender without added water or oil. Chop into bite sizes.
Put potato bites into a bowl and toss with equal parts cinnamon and cayenne - about 1/4 tsp each per serving. 
Spoon the chicken and some sauce into the bowl and viola! 


A taste of the islands with just a hint of kick and warmth. SO GOOD.



6.07.2012

Taco Night!


When a man has a craving for tacos...there is no stopping him.  So I took it as a personal challenge to make them delicious, nutritious, and beautiful...and inexpensive since student loan debt hovers over me like a black cloud of doom.


End result: success on all counts. 


Ingredients:
Ground beef. I got 97% lean on sale, but I'd get grass-fed if I had access.
An onion, diced.
Romaine lettuce "shells" - washed and dried. 


Fixins: bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, avocado, roasted green chiles (or a spicy pepper like jalapenos), and the secret ingredient...green pumpkin seeds!  Trust me. It's a texture wonderland.






In a big skillet brown the diced onion in olive oil. 
     *Remember - heat the pan first, then add oil and food together and stir, preventing sticking and damage to the oil from heat.
When the onions start to brown and become translucent, add the beef. Crumble the ground beef as it cooks until well browned. I add spices after so they don't mask the done-ness.
Spice to taste - I add to 1lb beef about 1tbsp garlic salt, 1tbsp chili powder, 2tsp paprika, 1/2tsp oregano, 1/2tsp thyme, 1/2 cayenne pepper. Delicioso.


In a separate pan, saute bell peppers with pepitas (pumpkin seeds) until the peppers are browned and the seeds are toasted. Spice with a pinch of salt.


Finally, you may either coarsely chop tomato and avocado and use strips of green chile as I did here, or mash the avocado with tomato and jalapenos to make a guacamole/salsa. Your choice :)




Assemble onto the lettuce shells: beef mix, chile strip, peppers and pepitas mix, avocado and tomatoes. Get messy and enjoy!!

6.02.2012

Thai Cabbage Rolls



Cabbage rolls are a little time intensive only because the cabbage leaves take time to cook. You could boil the cabbage and peel the leaves ahead of time and store in the fridge up to two days, tightly sealed, to speed this up. They are so worth it though! Delicious, a nice way to get your cruciferous veggies in, and great fix for a burrito craving!


I put the beets and cabbage in the same pot of boiling water since they take about the same time to cook :)
Put the veggies in, add enough water to cover them and bring to a boil. 
As the cabbage leaves turn translucent, take it from the water and peel them off one at a time then return to the boiling water to continue cooking. 


Meanwhile - cook up whatever you want for filling!


I used tilapia, broccoli, and beets, and made a delicious almond sauce to go with!


Tilapia: Pan fry the fish until opaque and flakes easily. Don't flip until you see the fish is more than half cooked through.
** TIP ** : To get a crisp fry without heat the pan first, then add your oil right before adding the food so the oil doesn't have time to smoke. Then shake the pan a little right away and every minute or so to keep the food from sticking.


Broccoli: Use the same technique as for the tilapia, but add some flaked coconut (UNsweetened), garlic, and a splash of tamari.


Beets: These add a great texture and earthy flavor, but carrots could be used as well. Boil the beets until a knife can pierce them through easily (20-40 minutes depending on the size of the beets). Put into a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking. Pierce with a fork to stabilize the beet on the plate and use a knife to cut the skins off, then slice and chop into sticks. Beware beets can seriously stain! Fingers, clothes, countertops - be careful!!


When everything is cooked and done - fill a cabbage leaf, roll the edges in, and viola! 


Thai Almond Sauce: Blend 2 tbsp almond butter, 1 tbsp tamari, 1/2 - 1 clove of garlic, 1 tsp sriracha (no sugar added!), and 1 tsp honey to taste. Yum!



Confessions of a Non-Baker....and Paleo Pancakes




I...am not a baker. I can bake a few (non-paleo) things very well - I have "famous" chocolate chip cookies, for instance. But I've been working from the same recipe since I was 10, and for someone who hates stagnation and doing the same thing more than once....it's not a practice I usually follow. 

Baking requires patience. Perfection. Balance. Chemistry. Exact numbers and temperatures and times. This can be a beautiful thing and I admire all who can pop out a souffle or a Baked Alaska. Alas, I am not one of them.

I am a cook. Spontaneous. Heat of the moment. Passion and Emotion. There are no mistakes - nothing a little more liquid or a longer cooking time can't fix. I love that I can forage for Paleo things at my mom's house - and whip up something like frozen shrimp with frozen green beans, frozen basil, and powdered garlic in canned coconut milk. And it is unreasonably delicious.

That said - I have been craving, and I mean CRAVING pancakes.  I don't like to bake. I don't like to make paleo versions of non-paleo foods. But since my skin breaks out in a rash at the mere mention of Denny's...going out for a fat stack of pancakes just isn't an option.


So here is my attempt at Paleo Pancakes. Wish me Luck.
*Sourced with modifications from http://paleopancakes.co/paleo-pancakes-fluffy-coconut-flour-pancakes 

Ingredients:
4 eggs, room temperature, separated.  (I use Omega-3 eggs, and the closest to pastured I can afford)
1 & 1/4 cup coconut milk, full fat of course. (Of note - "light" is just mixed with water, always buy the full fat kind and water it down if you want to save $$$!)
2 tsp vanilla extract (or you could infuse coconut milk with 1/2 a vanilla bean)
2 tbsp honey
3/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Cooking fat - coconut oil is easy, but ghee (clarified butter) would be delicious
Maple syrup and fruit for toppings!


Separate the eggs. Whip the whites until they form peaks. In a separate bowl - beat the yolks until smooth and blend in the coconut milk, vanilla, and honey. 


In a third bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. 
Add the wet to the dry, mix gently until no lumps, then fold in the whites until well blended. 
My Papa always told me the secret to fluffy things is to mix thoroughly - but not too hard and don't take your time about it. A light, quick hand does the trick!
While your batter is setting up:
Get your pan or griddle nice and hot - about medium high, or 6-7. 






Let the batter set for 5-10 minutes - this is important to let the baking powder do its job!
Grease your skillet well. 
Ladle the batter in small amounts - for ~ 3" diameter 'cakes. Big pancakes won't firm up with this batter.
Wait to flip until the edges look dry and are lifting up from the pan. 
Flip, let them cook another few minutes so they are done. 
Viola! 



And the verdict is....DELICIOUS!


4.23.2012

Nutty Shrimps over Kale


This is a fun recipe balanced in fats and proteins and PACKED with nutrients thanks to the kale and pepitas!  And I think it took me all of 7 minutes to make...love it!

Ingredients:
10 shrimp, thawed, peeled
3-4 big leaves of organic red kale
1/2 ounce (small handful) of pepitas (shelled raw pumpkin seeds)
2 oz coconut milk

Rinse and coarsely chop the kale and put in a heavy saucepan with a lid and a few splashes of water, cook until they're soft enough for your liking. Add the pepitas and the shrimps and cook for another 2-3 minutes, just until the shrimps are that awesome orange color. 
Plate and pour the coconut milk over the top. Easy-Peasy. And yummy!