Feb 16, 2013

Organic CCA (Choco Cashew Almond) Butter

I made this recipe with all organic ingredients. It cost around $6 and 10 minutes of time.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 5 tbsp melted coconut oil, plus 1 tsp for pan
  • 2 tsp cocao powder
  • 1 tsp honey (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
NOTE: Adjust cocao, honey, cinnamon, or salt to taste. 

Preparation

1. Heat 1 tsp coconut oil in pan over med heat. Add cashews and almonds, and toast. Keep an eye on them.

2. Meanwhile, melt 5 tbsp oil in the microwave.

3. Blend nuts until finely chopped. Add melted oil and continue to blend until mixed well.

4. Add cocao powder, cinnamon, and sea salt. Blend.

5. Lastly, add honey.

Makes about 8 oz.
I store mine in a cabinet. It taste just as good refrigerated, though the cold will harden the coconut oil a bit and render the butter un-spreadable (still awesome on a spoon...just sayin').

Because I have better ways to spend 20 bucks.

Feb 2, 2013

Grain-free Banana Pancakes

This is EASY. If fact, I created it from ingredients that I decided I should probably eat before I ended up having to throw them away. If you could hear the thoughts that go through my head some days while standing in front of the open refrigerator. "Hmmm...I wonder if green apples and Sriracha would taste good together?". Anyway, back to the pancakes...

Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (optional)
  • 1/2 tbsp melted butter (optional-omit for dairy-free recipe)
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour (omit 1 tbsp if not adding pumpkin)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Cinnamon to taste, or add spice any you'd like (some good choices are nutmeg or ginger)
  • Pinch of salt 
  • Fat for cooking (GF butter, coconut oil, ghee, or bacon fat will work. I used some of the bacon fat left in the pan. Bacon rarely makes it to the plate, hence it missing in most pictures).
NOTE: You do not need sweetener of any kind in this recipe. The banana will take care of that. 
If your pancake mix looks too wet, add a bit more flour. Just remember, this is not a traditional gluten flour pancake mix, so it shouldn't be thick and viscous. 

Preparation

1. In a medium bowl, add the banana and pumpkin puree and mash together. 

2. Add the eggs and melted butter and mix. Let the melted butter cool a bit before adding. You don't want to cook your eggs in the bowl.

3. Add the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, spices, and salt) and mix well. You may want to sift the dry ingredients to get rid of the notorious coconut flour clumps. I have no desire to wash an additional kitchen utensil, so I usually skip this step and just mix it well.  

4. Heat cooking fat in a large skillet over medium heat. When fat is melted and hot, add the pancake batter. I used a 1/4 measuring cup, and it made 4 equal sized medium pancakes. The pancakes are ready to flip when the edges begin to cook. About 4-5 minutes each side should work. 

5. Transfer to plate, and finish with butter and top shelf maple syrup if you desire. 

Makes 4 medium pancakes. 







Oct 7, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Truffles

This, along with copious amounts of hard cider, was a part of my pre-Whole 30 bender this weekend. I modified this recipe (written by Elizabeth LaBau) with a few adjustments in ingredients and technique that I found to work better. 


Ingredients:

Truffle
  • 8 oz chopped dark chocolate (I used 80%)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (I substituted with coconut milk)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree 
  • 1 oz (2 tbsp) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (you could use pumpkin spice here and omit the nutmeg altogether)
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Cocoa powder and cinnamon for rolling
Coating
  • 12 oz chopped dark chocolate 
  • Sea salt
Note:  I used 16 oz of dark chocolate and with the melted chocolate that remained, added pumpkin spice and sea salt to taste. Pour on parchment with truffles to harden. Salted pumpkin chocolate-oh yeah. 

Preparation:
1. Place the 8 oz chopped chocolate in a heat-safe bowl. Combine the heavy cream (or coconut milk), pumpkin puree, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk until the pumpkin and cream are smooth. Heat until the mixture just starts to boil.
2. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Whisk the cream and chocolate together until the mixture is shiny and smooth. Allow it to cool briefly.
3. When it is still warm but no longer hot, whisk in the butter until it is incorporated. Press a piece of cling wrap on top of the chocolate and refrigerate it until it is firm enough to scoop, 2 hours to overnight.
4. Combine cocoa and cinnamon on a plate. When the chocolate is firm, use a candy scoop or a teaspoon to scoop mixture.  Roll into small balls and dust lightly with cocoa/cinnamon mixture.  Place on parchment lined baking sheet. 
5. Melt the remaining chopped chocolate in the microwave or double boiler until it is smooth and fluid.
6. Dip the truffles in the coating, using dipping tools or a fork. Place back on baking sheet. While chocolate is still wet, sprinkle top with sea salt.  
7. Refrigerate the truffles to set the coating before serving. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Don't worry. They won't last that long.

Serving:  About 30 truffles
The small flecks you see in the truffle is grass fed butter that didn't fully incorporate. This is not a bad thing. 


Apr 23, 2012

Tandoori Chicken

I changed some of the ingredients in this America's Kitchen Cooking for Two recipe to make it Paleo friendly.  Traditional tandoori chicken recipes involve long marinating times.  This is a quick and easy take on the Indian classic.


Ingredients:

Sauce
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt *
1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
1 tbsp minced fresh mint
1 small garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper

Chicken
2 tbsp coconut oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp grated or minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt *
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp salt
2 (12 ounce) bone-in skin on split chicken breasts
Lime wedges for serving

*You can use thickened coconut milk in place of the yogurt if avoiding dairy

Procedure


Remove chicken from refrigerator.  Remove the skin.  If the ribs are attached, cut this part off, then cut breasts in half crosswise.


Sauce
  • Combine the yogurt, cilantro, mint, and garlic in a small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, cover, and refrigerate while preparing the chicken.

Chicken
  • Heat the oil in an 8-inch skillet over med heat until shimmering.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the garam masala, cumin, and chili powder, and cook until fragrant, 30-60 seconds.  Remove from the heat. 

  • Combine 1 tbsp of the garlic spice mixture, yogurt, and 1 tbsp of the lime juice in a med bowl and set aside.
  • In a med bowl, combine the remaining spice mixture, remaining 1 tbsp lime juice, and salt.  Score chicken (about 1/8 inch deep, 1 inch apart).  Add to the bowl with the spice-salt mixture.  Rub the mixture into the chicken to evenly coat each piece and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Set a wire rack inside a foil lined baking sheet.  Transfer the chicken to the bowl with the yogurt-spice mixture and gently toss to coat.  Lay the chicken, skinned side down, on the prepared baking sheet.  Discard remaining yogurt mixture.  Bake until the chicken registers 125 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 15-25 minutes.
I had to use the rack from my roasting pan.  Improvise!
  • Remove the chicken from the oven, position the rack 6 inches from the broiler element, and heat the broiler.  Flip the chicken pieces and broil until the chicken registers 160-165 degrees on the thermometer, 8-15 minutes.  Transfer the chicken to a plate, tent loosely with foil, and let rest 5 minutes.  Serve with the yogurt sauce and lime wedges. 


Yum!!

 




Apr 21, 2012

Coconut Chocolate Bites

I found this recipe from Tessa, the Domestic Diva online and knew I had to test it out.  Mostly because I had a bag of shredded coconut in my fridge for weeks.  I had to change the amount of coconut oil (wouldn't bind with the bagged coconut), and added pure vanilla extract to the recipe for flavor.  You can leave the honey out of the filling.  The shredded coconut will give it a slight sweetness anyway.


Ingredients:

Filling:
4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup coconut oil, melted
3 tbsp honey, melted (optional)
1/2 cup coconut butter, melted (optional. Add 1/2 cup of coconut oil if omitting)

Optional add-ins: chopped nuts

Coating:
7 oz. dark chocolate (I used 2 bars of 85% Lindt).  I also snuck in a few pieces of orange chocolate.
2 pinches sea salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract (you could use any flavor extract you like)
1/2 tbsp coconut oil, melted




Procedure:

  • Add filling ingredients to a food processor or large bowl and mix.   
  • Line a 8x8 pan with wax or parchment paper.  Pour filling in pan and press flat with your fingers. If you want to add in nuts, or another filling ingredient, do it now. 
  • Place the pan in the refrigerator until the filling is solid (an hour or two).  When solid, pull out of the pan, remove the wax paper, and place on a cutting board. Cut into desired size squares.
  • The Lindt bars come in 3.5 oz. size, so instead of melting both bars at once, I melted one at a time in a small bowl (make sure to cut coating ingredients in half). The chocolate cools down and begins to thicken quickly, so it works out better doing one batch at a time.  Break chocolate into pieces and place in a heat safe bowl.  Microwave in 15 second increments, stirring each time.  About midway through, add vanilla, sea salt, and coconut oil. 
  • Coat pieces of coconut squares with melted chocolate, and place on parchment paper or rack to cool.  You can store them at room temperature.
  • Yum!



Apr 3, 2012

Chocolate Hazelnut Crepes

This is a variation of the Strawberry Crepe I made yesterday.  I lean more towards savory foods for breakfast, so I'd choose to make this as a dessert next time around.  If you like sweet stuff in the morning, this is right up your alley.

NOTE:  For a dairy free option, replace the butter with coconut oil.  The almond flour gives the crepes a chewy texture.  If you want a lighter crepe, you can use coconut flour in it's place for the crepe batter (using 1/4 cup coconut flour total).  The crepes are also good without the sweeteners.

Makes 4 8" crepes


Ingredients:
You'll need a full can of coconut milk for this recipe


Crepe batter
4 eggs
1/8 cup almond flour
1/8 cup coconut flour
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp coconut milk
1/4 cup water (or almond milk)
1 tbsp butter

Optional:  4 drops liquid stevia or 1 tsp raw honey

Filling
3/4 cup thickened coconut milk
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
2 tbsp raw or toasted chopped hazelnuts
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Optional:  2 drops liquid stevia or 1/2 tsp raw honey

Topping
2 oz. dark chocolate (I use 85%-avoid chocolate that contains soy lecithin)
2 tbsp raw or toasted chopped hazelnuts


Preparation:
  • Open the can of coconut milk or scoop the thicker part of the milk out and place in a separate bowl (what I did) uncovered to thicken overnight in the refrigerator.  Don't shake the can beforehand.  You'll want to leave the watery part on the bottom.  
  • Crepe batter-In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs.  Add the flours, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, coconut milk, and water and combine. Set aside.
  • Filling-In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Set aside.  

  • Crepes-Heat 10" skillet on med-high heat.  Add 1 tbsp butter.  When melted and hot, add around 1/4 cup crepe batter to the pan and swirl around to cover the bottom of the pan.  Let cook until slightly browned, then flip carefully to cook the other side.  Repeat until all three crepes are cooked.
  • While crepes are cooking, melt chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave.  I melt it using 15 second increments so it doesn't scorch. 
  • Place crepe on a plate, fill with thickened coconut milk mixture, and fold over.  Top with melted chocolate and chopped hazelnuts. Serve!   



Apr 1, 2012

Strawberry Crepes with Lemon Honey Sauce

As much as I love eggs and bacon for breakfast, sometimes it's nice to change it up.  There are a ton of gluten free crepe and pancake mixes out there, but many contain flours made from rice or beans.  After experimenting a bit, I came up with this one using coconut and almond flour.  I got the idea for this recipe from a Chocolate Frosting Shot recipe that was brought to my attention on Pinterest (thanks, Stephanie!).  While making that recipe I thought it would make a great dairy free crepe filling.  Strawberries are also just coming into season around here, and they are delicious with crepes.  Sounded like a plan!

NOTE:  For a dairy free option, replace the butter with coconut oil.  The almond flour gives the crepes a chewy texture.  If you want a lighter crepe, you can use coconut flour in it's place for the crepe batter (using 1/4 cup coconut flour total).  The crepes are also good without the sweeteners.

Makes 4 8" crepes


Ingredients:
You'll need a full can of coconut milk for this recipe


Crepe batter
4 eggs
1/8 cup almond flour
1/8 cup coconut flour
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp coconut milk
1/4 cup water (or almond milk)
1 tbsp butter

Optional:  4 drops liquid stevia or 1 tsp raw honey

Filling
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 lemon (juice and zest)
1 tsp butter
3/4 cup thickened coconut milk
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pure vanilla

Optional:  2 drops liquid stevia or 1/2 tsp raw honey

Sauce
1/2 lemon
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp raw honey

Preparation:

  • Open the can of coconut milk or scoop the thicker part of the milk out and place in a separate bowl (what I did) uncovered to thicken overnight in the refrigerator.  Don't shake the can beforehand.  You'll want to leave the watery part on the bottom.  
  • Crepe batter-In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs.  Add the flours, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, and coconut milk and combine. Set aside.
  • Filling-In a medium bowl, combine thickened coconut milk, cinnamon, vanilla, zest of 1/2 lemon, and sweetener. Set aside.  Heat 1 tsp butter in a small skillet on med-low heat.  Add strawberries and juice of 1/2 lemon and cook for a few minutes until warmed through. Place in a small bowl.  Don't clean the skillet.

Mar 21, 2012

Simple Spicy Garlic Shrimp with Mango Salsa

I'm back after a 3 week break.  Well, a break from recipe testing at least; not from the craziness of life!  This shrimp dish is based off of a traditional recipe (soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar), so nearly all of the ingredients are substituted with another ingredient.  The original recipe is here.  The website is full of great Chinese recipes, although many will have to be altered to be Paleo friendly.
NOTE:  Make the Mango Salsa first.  It needs to sit for at least an hour.

Spicy Garlic Shrimp

Ingredients:


1 1/2 lbs. uncooked large shrimp (I use peeled, tail-on to make it easy)
3 tbsp coconut aminos
2 tbsp chili sauce (some chili sauces contain sugar.  You can replace with a few pinches of red pepper flakes if you'd like)
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp sherry or apple cider vinegar
2 tsp honey
2 tbsp coconut oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
Black pepper
1 scallion, thinly sliced


Preparation:
  • In a small bowl, mix together coconut aminos, chili sauce or pepper flakes, sesame oil, sherry, and honey.
  • In a wok or large pan, heat the coconut oil over medium high heat.  Stir fry the garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and cook until pink, a few minutes.  Add the sauce mixture and cook until shrimp are coated.  Season with black pepper.
  • Remove from heat and garnish with scallions, and top with Mango Salsa


Mango Salsa

Ingredients:

2 large mangoes, medium diced
1 red onion, small diced
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp chopped cilantro

Preparation:
  • Combine all of the ingredients together in a small bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour, up to one day.   


Feb 27, 2012

Butternut Squash Soufflé

This is an old Tyler Florence recipe, with some tweaking to make it Paleo.  I had a mad crush on him back in the day when he used to show up at the homes of cooking challenged women all over the country (a la Food 911).  I think I may I have mentioned something about it, and that's the reason why my brother bought me his cookbook as a gift, half joking.  I guess it paid off because the recipes are pretty great.
Many people are a little freaked out when they hear the word "souffle".  There really isn't any reason to be-they're pretty simple to make.  And yes, you can talk in the kitchen while they are in the oven.  Your voice won't deflate them :)

You can go savory or sweet with this recipe.  I like blue or gorgonzola cheese with butternut squash.  You can use whatever kind you like.  If you decide to go savory, add the cheese, but leave off the sauce.  For sweet, leave out the cheese and rosemary, add a few more dashes of cinnamon, and top with sauce.

Feb 24, 2012

Pumpkin Coconut Squares

I'm the type of person who will stand for ten minutes in front of my cabinet at 8pm because I'm bored and hungry, trying to figure out what to eat.  A thought similar to "hhmm..what can I make with capers, almonds, and chocolate chips?" usually runs through my mind.  Sometimes it doesn't turn out so well.  Last night I realized that I've had the same can of pumpkin in my cabinet for some time now and I wanted to use it...plus, I haven't posted a recipe in a while and I was in the mood for something "cakey".
I borrowed this recipe from the Civilized Caveman.  Just a few adjustments-only 1 tsp of allspice (instead of a tbsp-too strong a spice for me), and I added salt.  You could also replace all three spices with pumpkin spice mix.

Feb 15, 2012

Coconut Butternut Squash Soup



Ingredients:

3 shallots, unpeeled
2 lb butternut squash
16 oz. canned full fut coconut milk
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
2 tsp salt, or to taste
2 tbsp fish sauce
Black pepper
1/2 cup minced scallions



Feb 8, 2012

Trail Mix Bars

This is a recipe I pulled from the Wheat Belly blog, however, I made a few adjustments to it.  Walnuts aren't my favorite nut, so I replaced them with almonds.  I also could not find pure cocoa nibs locally, so I used cocoa powder.  Lastly, I decided to use maple syrup as the sweetener.   I used less sweetener than what the original recipe called for.  I think the dates made the bars sweet enough.  They will be soft when they are just finished cooking, but will firm up (but still be chewy) when they are cool.


Feb 7, 2012

Grass Fed Steak with Mustard Basil Butter

You can use this flavored butter on anything.  It is great on roasted vegetables.  I actually used it to cook eggs this morning (yum!). You can keep it in a container or roll into a log to keep in the refrigerator or freezer to use as needed.