Monday, October 14, 2013

Delicious Paleo Apple Cake (or breakfast, as I like to call it)

In my house (and everyone else's I presume) mornings can be hectic in getting us all out the door on time.  That's why on Sundays I like to make something healthy and yummy that's easy to serve my little hungry monster all week long.  This time I made something that will last more than one week.  I LOVE my bundt pan yet in the almost seven years that I have had it, I've never used it!  I finally found a good recipe and altered it so it had NO added sweetener (other than fruit) and plenty of good nutrition.  I cut it in half and froze some slices for another week.

Paleo Apple/Banana Bundt Cake 
(Grain Free, Paleo, Gluten Free, Gaps) 

2 ripe bananas- mashed 
3 large eggs 
12 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee, melted
1/4 cup coconut milk 
3 cups almond flour (I use Honeyville brand)
6 tablespoons coconut flour 
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (I use Great Lakes)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt 
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (Morton & Bassett brand has no sugar)
3 cups grated apples (I left the skins on)
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
Instructions :
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (rack in the middle position) and butter your bundt pan.
2. In one bowl mix mashed bananas, eggs, butter/ghee, coconut milk and vanilla
3. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, gelatin, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon
4. Combine wet ingredients into dry and then fold in the apples and the coconut.
5. Pour batter into your buttered bundt pan and bake for 60-90 minutes until a tester comes out clean and the cake is a deep golden brown. 
Serve warm.

*To freeze, place in an airtight container and place in the freezer for up to 3 months.  

Serves 16-20

Monday, April 15, 2013

Strawberry-Basil Vinaigrette...dreaming of Summer on a misty Spring day

As the weather warms, I once again begin to eat salads regularly.  I just can't bring myself to eat cold crisp vegetables in the dead of Winter or even the brisk Fall.  I lean towards soups and stews and roasted vegetables during those months.  But now we've had a couple hot, hot days and I'm back to buying the giant mixed greens from Costco once again...until my own garden becomes plentiful.  So today is shopping day and in a last minute decision I came home for lunch.  All we have are greens.  No cucumber, no avocado, no apples, no nothing.  Just greens.  So I peak around every corner of my fridge to see if I can find something, ANYTHING, to dress up this salad. Ah-ha!  I found Strawberry-Basil Jam from a local market down in Charlottesville.  Perfect!  I quickly made a vinaigrette and my not-so-fancy greens became a delicious salad.  Topped with a little cold/leftover flank steak and lunch was complete.  Here is a modified version of what I did to make the dressing, I assume not everyone has Strawberry-Basil jam sitting around in their fridge.  Use what you have, almost any flavor will do! And kids LOVE these slightly sweet salad dressings.

1/3 cup good balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (cold-pressed)
1 tsp stoneground or Dijon mustard
1 tsp strawberry preserves (with real ingredients, no junk) or to make it Paleo just crush up some fresh strawberries
A few basil leaves (shred in advance if you won't be using a blender/processor)
A pinch of salt
A grind or two of pepper
Process in a blender, vitamix, food processor or whisk intensely until all ingredients are well incorporated.

Monday, April 8, 2013

10:00pm pork dinner

So it's 9:55pm and I realize that I will NOT be home in time to cook dinner the following evening.  AHHHHH!!!!  Mama just wants to finish the dishes and go to bed!  I needed something easy and I needed something FAST!  I had an organic pork tenderloin in the fridge, found this recipe and made my own changes of course..... It was in the oven in no time, only ONE pan to clean and I did all the dishes and evening chores while it was roasting.  It came out just perfect, even the next day.  In fact, I just had the last piece of it for breakfast this morning, four days later!  I even made it to bed before 11:00pm = success.
Here is my version which I served with a nice kale salad.
Hope you enjoy!
  • 1 large pork tenderloin (about 14 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons lard, ghee or coconut oil, divided (I used lard)
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds (I only had 1 tsp left, so I also added 1 tsp of dried rosemary)
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced 1/4 inch thick (I only had one honeycrisp apple, two would've been better)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or apple cider (I never even got to this step and it was still delicious!)
Preheat oven to 450°F. Season pork with salt and pepper.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil/lard in large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and sear until all sides are brown, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes. Transfer pork to plate. Cool slightly. Spread mustard over top and sides of pork; press fennel seeds and/or dried rosemary into mustard. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil/lard to skillet. Add onion slices and apples; sauté over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Spread evenly in skillet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place pork atop apple-onion mixture.
Transfer skillet to oven and roast until apple-onion mixture is soft and brown and meat thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 150°F, about 15 minutes. Transfer pork to platter and tent with foil. Let stand 5 minutes. 

***I stopped here because my computer died and I thought that was the end.  We ate the pork with the onion-apple mixture as it is, and it was perfectly yummy!  If I had remembered and had time, I may do the final step, written here...
Meanwhile, pour white wine over apple-onion mixture in skillet. Stir mixture over high heat until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Cut pork on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Spoon apple-onion mixture onto plates. Top with pork and serve.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Thai Coconut Chicken's Paleo!

I LOVE Thai Food.  And this soup is one of the easiest and most Thai-tasting Thai dishes I make.  As always, I didn't really measure, so I'll do the best I can to re-create.  I also had a very busy-bodied-won't-stop-talking-leave-mommy-ALONE SO I CAN FINISH DINNER...sorry, it was just one of those moments.  He was the perfect child ALL DAY, until it was time for me to cook.  Then ALL he wanted was to help but this was one of those times when the help of a four year old was more burden than anything else, I needed to get dinner on the table.  And fast!  (I know I know, I will look back at this when he's fourteen and wants nothing to do with me or my cooking and wish I could turn back the clock...anyways...) My point is if I can whip this up in the time I did with the distractions I had, anyone can!
So here's the "recipe"...
  • 1 quart chicken broth (homemade is best, for tonight I used Kirkland Organic Chicken Stock)
  • 1–2 red Thai (or jalapeno) peppers, seeded and finely chopped (plus slices for garnish) ***totally optional, I don't use them.
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • zest of one lime
  • juice of one lime
  • 3-4 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
  • 1 container shiitake mushrooms, sliced (approx. 2 cups)
  • 1 pound(ish) package boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 handful of watercress or fresh spinach
  • 1-2 scallions, chopped *optional, I had some that needed using
  • 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro (plus sprigs for garnish)
Combine broth, coconut milk, pepper if using, garlic, ginger, lime zest and fish sauce in a medium saucepan or soup pot.  Bring to a simmer and add chicken, stirring, until chicken is cooked...about 3 minutes.  Add mushrooms and cook about 2-3 more minutes.  Stir in scallions and watercress/spinach until it begins to wilt, about 1 minute. Add cilantro.  Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with sprigs of cilantro and slices of pepper.  For non-Paleo eating you could have this over some rice or rice noodles but if you are watching your weight or have blood sugar issues, I would not recommend this.  Also, if the lemongrass at my store wasn't moldy I would've added that to the recipe too. 

(there is just no reason NOT to make it!)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Magic snack

So I like my son to think he eats somewhat normal...but really, I know he already knows that he doesn't.  Regardless, I like to make him "normal" looking treats.  These are not as sweet as they look, but (to me and my family) they taste delicious.  Give them a try if you are looking for something special while still trying to maintain a Paleo/Primal-esque lifestyle.  I didn't use a microwave like the recipe suggested (come on, you know me!)  And I put 55% dark chocolate chips on half the batch AFTER they came out of the oven.  Half Paleo, half mostly Paleo.  Enjoy!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Time to make the doughnuts...

My son recently caught a glimpse of a box of Dunkin Donuts, and his eyes were drawn to the chocolate cake doughnut.  Not the frosted, not the glazed and not the ones with sprinkles (which surprised me) but as most of you know I do not give my son gluten or sugar (or or or...) SO there was my challenge.  Create a chocolate cake-like doughnut using only approved ingredients for our household.  I went to the store and bought a doughnut pan which was almost as exciting to my son as the doughnuts themselves.  I found this recipe and made a few changes.  No ginger, lemon peel or orange flower water.  Instead I added raw cacao powder (about 2 tsp, add more if you actually want them to taste like chocolate) and I added a splash of vanilla extract.  Instead of honey, I used real maple syrup.  They were delicious, although not very chocolate-y, my son didn't notice.  For the second batch I decided to make cinnamon doughnuts (which I liked much better.)  I used no cacao powder this time, still the maple syrup instead of honey and I added 2 full tsp of cinnamon and 1/2 tsp of vanilla.  I enjoyed mine drizzled with a little maple syrup but they didn't even need it.  Not only do they taste delicious but they make a healthy breakfast, snack or anytime treat.  Happy baking!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Potatoes, potatoes and more (you guessed it) POTATOES!

So our wonderful farm share over at Singing Frog Farm has loaded us up with potatoes galore.  After a quick trip out of town I came home to see the potaotes were still there, in the pantry, no eyes, but waiting for creativity and consumption.  For my first trick I used an old standby recipe of mine...see here...this time using lamb, vermouth and chicken stock since there was no red wine in the house (crazy, I know!) and sans the celery since we had none.  Tomorrow night I plan to make a giant batch of German potato salad (recipe suggestions welcome, so far I found this one.)  It's a favorite of my brother whom I will be visiting this week so I plan to make plenty to share.  If that won't take care of the bushel load, I will probably just give the rest away or trade them for eggs (anyone?)
We generally don't eat too many potatoes (or many starches for that matter) but we always love to use everything our CSA provides, plus they are delicious...and certainly a whole food.  If you are diabetic, pre-diabetic or trying to lose weight- simply limit your consumption of white potatoes/starches in general.  A good guideline is to limit yourself to one serving or less per day, and make that serving what fits into the palm of your hand (cup your hand, there...that's your serving, no piling too high!)  Also, remember to have your potatoes with plenty of good fat and some protein too.  Happy end-of-summer eating!  As sad as I will be saying goodbye to hot and sunny, long Summer days (and perfect tomatoes) I look forward to my most favorite season for cooking- the Fall.