Paleo Macaroon Fail (sort of)

Disclaimer:  this isn’t really a “fail” – and I really like Civilized Caveman‘s website.  His ideas are so creative (rosemary fried lemon!), and his photos are really beautiful.  That’s all success!  But the recipes on the site include a lot of paleo treats, which tempt me but rarely work out the way I wish they would (with the exception of Blackberry Nut Clusters, which are the bomb.)

So, I didn’t have super-high expectations for these Raw Chocolate Pumpkin Pecan Macaroons.

coco pumpkin balls

I wanted to make a treat for a potluck, mostly so *I* wouldn’t eat a ton of the other treats I knew would be there.  This strategy worked – I successfully avoided the pie and brownies and ice cream – but the rest of the guests wouldn’t touch these.  And I understand that.  Whether or not I’m low-carbing it, the “healthy” sweet treats don’t usually cut it for me.  Let me eat cake!  Or just no treats at all.

The verdict?  These were easy to make and much better for you than traditional treats.  But not so appealing to me, personally.


Paleo Banana Carrot Muffins that don’t taste like you are eating a brick.

I am sick of eggs for breakfast – just sick of them.  I don’t care if I never see an egg again, well, at least for a week or so.  I saw this recipe, and at first I was a tad suspicious. I have never really baked with almond flour before, but I have to say that I am impressed.  These muffins are not beautiful, but they are very yummy.  Breakfast is saved!

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I found this recipe at a cool website called Paleo Plan – it was posted on a Facebook Whole 30 Group page.

http://www.paleoplan.com/2009/12-31/carrot-banana-muffins/

 

Ingredients

–         2 cups almond flour

–         2 tsp baking soda

–         1 tsp salt

–         1 Tbs cinnamon

–         1 cup dates, pitted

–         3 ripe bananas

–         3 eggs

–          1tsp apple cider vinegar

–         ¼ cup coconut oil, melted

–         1 ½ cups carrots, shredded

–         ¾ cup walnuts (or nuts of choice) finely chopped

Instructions:

–         Preheat oven to 350 degrees

–         Line muffin pan with paper liners

–         In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon

–         In a food processor, combine dates, bananas, eggs, vinegar, and oil

–         Add mixture from food processor to dry mixture in large bowl and combine thoroughly.

–         Fold in carrots and nuts

–         Spoon mixture into paper lined muffin tins (At this point, I was worried that the muffins might overflow and burn in the bottom of my oven – they didn’t, so feel free to go ahead and fill the muffin cups up to close to the top.  You don’t have to stop at 2/3s full like you would for regular muffins.)

–         Bake for 25 minutes

–         Try to let them cool before you eat one!


Chorizo Stuffed Peppers with Spanish “Frice”

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I’m back!  The Holidays are over, the kids are back in school, I am back in the kitchen, and back on Whole 30!  Here is what we had for dinner last night – very easy, very good, and the leftovers will freeze for another day!

I got this recipe from a neat website – a ‘whole’ family does Whole 30-http://wholefamilystrong.com/2012/01/22/whole-mexican-family-stuffed-poblano-peppers/

 

Ingredients for the Chorizo Stuffed Peppers

 

–         5 poblano peppers ( I could not find these, so I used some random kind of pepper I found at the store. I think just regular bell peppers would be great too.)

–         ½ pound chorizo sausage

–         1 large onion, thinly sliced

–         1 large tomato, diced

 

Instructions for Stuffed Peppers:

 

–         Preheat oven to 425 degrees

–         Brown the chorizo, onion and tomato in a skillet until meat is cooked through.

–         Wash and open peppers – remove ribs and seeds

–         Fill the peppers with the chorizo mixture

–         Place peppers on a lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until peppers are soft and tender.

Ingredients for the Spanish ‘Frice’

–         1 head of cauliflower

–         1 Tbsp olive oil

–         Half can of small tomato sauce

–         ½ Tbsp onion powder

–         ½ Tbsp garlic powder

–         1 Tbsp minced garlic

–         ½ tsp Cayenne pepper

Instructions for ’Frice’:

–         Chop cauliflower into florets and then pulse in a food processor until it looks like rice or couscous consistency

–         Sauté cauliflower in skillet with hot olive oil

–         Add tomato sauce and spices (Really, I think any Spanish or Mexican spices you have on hand would work for this recipe.)

–         Serve and enjoy!


Eggs in a Nest

A couple of weeks ago I was privileged to see Leonard Cohen in concert, preceded by tapas at Portland’s Toro Bravo (A primal restaurant if ever there was one!  And good luck getting seated.)  One of the small plates I shared with friends was sauteed chard with garlic topped with an egg.  It was so simple and delicious, and I figured I could make this at home.

So, I checked the internet for a suitable recipe, and I’ve been experimenting.  I have tried adding red onion and pattypan squash.  Here are a couple of links which gave me the bare bones, and here’s the recipe I’m most satisfied with:

Ingredients

One bunch of swiss chard (preferably organic, because greens are likely to have pesticide residue)

1/2 red onion

2-3 cloves of garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

2 eggs

Olive oil

Directions

Medium chop red onion.  Saute in olive oil on low to medium heat.  After a few minutes, finely mince the garlic and add to the onions.  The garlic is absolutely key to this recipe.  Wash and chop the chard, discarding the stems.  Add the chard at the last minute.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Once the veggies are done, divide and transfer to buttered ramekins.  Crack an egg over each ramekin.  Bake at 350 for 6 to 8  minutes, until the egg is soft set.  Do not overcook the egg.

The result – crazy good!  You MUST try this.  It is definitely better suited to a weekend morning or dinner, due to the extra chop time.  And it wouldn’t make good leftovers, but that shouldn’t be a concern.

Chard   Eggs in a nest


Orange Chicken

 

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This was so good that I actually licked my plate when I was finished.  Seriously.

I found this great recipe at one of my favorite websites: http://www.health-bent.com/poultry/paleo-orange-chicken

Ingredients:

 

–         1 lb boneless, skinless chicken (I used breast but feel free to use thighs)

–         3 Tablespoons coconut oil

–         Juice of 2 oranges (make sure they really smell good or you won’t get a big orange flavor)

–         Zest from one orange

–         1 teaspoon fresh ginger  (I grated it)

–         3 Tablespoons coconut aminos or wheat-free soy sauce

–         1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce or Sriracha

–         3 green onions, chopped

Instructions:

–         In a medium size sauce pot, add the orange juice, zest, ginger, coconut aminos, and Sriracha.  Set over medium heat and let simmer to reduce and thicken while the chicken cook.  (Mine never got that thick – but honestly, it was so good, I did not care)

–         In a sauté pan, heat your coconut oil over medium heat and add the cut up chicken (I just used my kitchen shears and cut the chicken into bits right over the pan).  Saute until a nice brown crust has developed and the chicken is cooked all the way through.

–         Add chicken to the sauce pot and stir till chicken is coated in sauce.

–         Serve with chopped green onions sprinkled on top.

–         Enjoy!  (We enjoyed this with a side of veggies with some more of the orange sauce drizzled on it – fabulous!)


Brussels Sprouts in Cherry Sauce from Purely Primal

You know, people freaking HATE Brussels Sprouts.  Really, really hate them.

Except me.  I like them all ways, and I like them all the more because I can only get them in the autumn.

So if you, like me, actually enjoy Brussels Sprouts, fly your freak-flag high, and make this dish from Purely Primal.

Here’s the recipe as written from the website:

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 lbs fresh Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and cut into halves
  • 1 cup dried sour cherries, divided
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place ½ cup cherries into a small food processor or blender with the butter.
  3. Process until to form a smooth paste.
  4. Toss the trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts into a medium mixing bowl with the remaining cherries.
  5. Spoon half of the butter mixture into the bowl and turn everything to evenly coat the cherries and sprouts with the mixture.
  6. Transfer to a sheet or bar pan in a single layer and place in the oven. Set a timer for 15 minutes. Check after 15 minutes, and cook longer if not browned and starting to crisp.
  7. Meanwhile, roll the remaining butter mixture up inside of a piece of wax paper to about the diameter of a nickel and place it into the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes. When chilled and firm, remove and slice into ⅛” thick pats.
  8. Once the Brussels sprouts have roasted for about 20 minutes (they should be starting to brown heavily on the exposed sides, and some will be getting rather crispy), pull them out and transfer everything to a serving bowl.
  9. Serve warm, with a pat or two of the cherry butter on top.

Their website (which is awesome – check out this cool shopping list!) has better instructions, with photos.

Naturally, I didn’t follow the recipe.  I didn’t have any dried sour cherries, but I did have dried bing cherries, so I used those.  Also, I thought some roasted hazelnuts would be good in this – and I was right!  It made a gorgeous side dish, and I had leftovers (because people freaking HATE Brussels Sprouts), but these froze well.  Here it is mid-prep, and just before serving:

brussel sprouts    brussels2

 

 

 


“Thai Crunch Salad” -or – “Oh my God, where did you get that dressing?”

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I had this for lunch today and I am having it again for dinner tonight.  It is crazy good!  Even if you do not make the whole recipe, do yourself a favor and make the dressing for veggie dip.  Honestly, this one is a keeper.

I got the recipe from a neat website called Against All Grain.

http://www.againstallgrain.com/2012/02/06/thai-crunch-salad/

I modified the recipe a bit – my grocery store was out of jicama  and Napa cabbage so I bought an Asian cabbage mix.  I made the dressing in my food processor because my blender just was not up to mixing almond butter into anything.

Ingredients for Dressing

(Go ahead and double this – trust me….)

 

–         2 teaspoons minced garlic

–         1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro

–         1 Tablespoon creamy almond butter

–         1 ½ Tablespoons lime juice

–         ½ Tablespoon Coconut Aminos

–         ½ Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

–         ½ Tablespoon fresh chopped ginger

–         1 Tablespoon coconut milk

–         1 teaspoon honey

–         ½ teaspoon sesame oil

–         ¼ teaspoon chili sauce (optional)

–         ¼ cup oil.  The original recipe called for safflower oil, but I only had light olive oil.  It worked fine.

Ingredients for the Salad

 

–         1 cup cooked chicken – shredded

–         – a big handful of cabbage mix – or chop up some Napa cabbage, carrots, and jicama

–         1 cup sugar snap peas

–         1 mango, peeled and sliced

–         ½ cucumber, sliced thinly

–         2 Tablespoons chopped almonds and hazelnuts (optional)

–         Fresh cilantro for garnish.

Instructions:

–         Mix all dressing ingredients, except for the final ¼ cup oil,  in a food processor or powerful  blender.  Once ingredients are mixed well, slowly add the oil and blend till smooth.

–         Plate up your cabbage mix, mango, snap peas, cucumber, and chicken.

–         Drizzle about ¼ a cup of dressing over the salad.   Garnish with nuts and/or cilantro if you want!

–         Enjoy!