Sunday, October 22, 2017

Thai Chicken & Sweet Potato Curry w/ Coconut Milk

Can't remember when I've enjoyed sweet potatoes more. This dish was supposed to be about the chicken, but the sweet potato chunks absorbed the creamy sauce and left me checking the pot for more.

Ease into fall with this NYT recipe - use chicken, fish or just vegetables - and you've got Sunday supper covered.

My Paleo Marin: 5 Persimmons

Ingredients:

4 -6 large chicken thighs
Kosher salt
Black Pepper

2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil

1/4 cup scallion, finely chopped
1" fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Serrano Chili, seeded and finely chopped

2 Tablespoons Thai red curry paste

1 can coconut milk, preferably Thai Kitchen
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks (try the oblique cut shown here)

Optional garnish: toasted coconut flakes, black mustard seeds, fresh cilantro, lime wedges

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

1. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Set aside on a plate.

2. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a 5 qt. dutch oven. Add chicken pieces to cover the bottom, and brown for 6-8 minutes per batch. Add more oil as needed. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

3. Turn the heat to medium, and add the scallion, ginger, garlic and chili to the pot. Stir and cook down until soft, about 1-2 minutes.

4. Stir in curry paste and cook for about 1 minute.

5. Add coconut milk and sweet potatoes, and stir to combine. Place the chicken pieces on top and add water to come half way up chicken pieces, about 1/2 cup.

6. Bring the curry ingredients in the dutch oven to a boil, cover, and place in a heated oven for about 40 minutes, or until the ingredients are cooked through.

7. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a platter. Place the dutch oven on the stove and simmer the sauce over medium heat until it reduces to thickened consistency, about 10 minutes.

8. Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables, and add garnishes per personal preference.

#paleo #chicken #curry #thai #comfortfoot #casserole #sweetpotatoes #glutenfree #dairyfree 

Recipe adapted from the NYT link here.



Sunday, October 15, 2017

No-Sugar-Added (No Kidding) Apple Cobbler w/ Coconut Whipped Cream

Fall apples and baking are something to look forward to each year, but what about all the added sugar?  If you're glucose intolerant, or just want to eat healthier, the options are not very appealing.

I decided to take this on as a challenge, putting the package of sugar back twice as I pondered how to modify this seasonal comfort food without added sugar or dairy.

In a Food & Wine recipe, I figured that the biscuit topping would be sweet enough by substituting coconut milk for dairy and dusting the top with cinnamon before baking. It was. Sort of.

That left the apple filling. The recipe called for a pomegranate juice reduction, and so, instead of a cup of sugar, I tried mixing the juice reduction with Medjool dates in a food processor, and voila! A naturally sweet syrup in which to bake the apples. It was delicious.

The coconut milk whipped cream was the crowning glory that brought it all together. And the payoff for a "pretty good dessert?" No digestive payback from one of my favorite comfort foods!

My Paleo Marin Rating: 3 Persimmons

Ingredients:

Filling:

2 cups pomegranate juice
4 oz. Medjool dates
1/4 cup gluten free flour, preferably Cup4Cup
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled, halved and sliced 1/3 inch thick

Cobbler:

2  cups gluten free flour, preferably Cup4Cup
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 stick cold butter, 4 oz., cut into small pieces
1 can coconut milk, preferably Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk, refrigerated overnight

Toppings:

Pomegranate seeds

1 can coconut cream, preferably Thai Kitchen Coconut Cream, refrigerated overnight upside down

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Filling:

1. Over medium heat, boil down 2 cups of pomegranate juice until it measure 1/3 cup (about 15 minutes).

2. Pit the dates; mix with the juice reduction in a food processor until well combined.

3. Place the prepped apples in a large bowl. Coat the apples with 1/4 cup flour, salt, and the date/juice reduction by stirring with a stiff spatula. Pour mixture a 9" round glass baking dish.

Cobbler:

1. Add the 2 cups of flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.

2. Add the butter pieces and work to combine with 2 knives or a pastry cutter. Knead with hands until dough slightly holds together.

3. Put the coconut milk in a small bowl and stir until the lumps dissolve. Set aside about 1/8 cup. Fold the remainder of the coconut milk into the dough just until thoroughly mixed.

4. Place the dough in clumps over the top of the filling. Spread to cover the top if you prefer. Brush the top with the remaining coconut milk. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon using a fine sieve.

5. Place the baking dish on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the topping is golden. If the top starts to get too brown, cover with foil.

Toppings:

1. Place the cooked cobbler on a rack to cool for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the top with pomegranate seeds.

2. For the coconut whipped cream, open the can and put the firm part of the cream in a mixer. Beat until stiff peaks form.

3. Add the whipped cream and extra pomegranate seeds to serve.

#paleo #apple #cobbler #coconut #coconutcream #glutenfree #dairyfree #noaddedsugar #Medjool #pomegranates #comfortfood #food&wine

Recipe adapted from the Food & Wine recipe here.


My Paleo Marin Rating 1-5 Persimmons
I try out these recipes so you don't have to (and modify them for Paleo where possible). The rating will reflect my opinion of the final result in terms of taste, ease of preparation, nutrition, and sometimes, cost.













Saturday, October 7, 2017

Ayurvedic Spinach & Mushroom Soup (Vegan)

The 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for Medicine was awarded to three American scientists "whose work has left us at an important juncture where...insights from Ayurvedic and modern medicine could probably offer solutions." Solutions for not only keeping us healthy based on the circadian rhythm, but also curing us when we get a disease.*

Ayurvedic medicine is the traditional Hindu belief system of striving for balance in all of the body's systems. Ayurvedic practitioners believe that your nutritional health "is the result of what, when, where, how and why you eat... Food should be eaten mindfully, with gratitude, and be lovingly prepared with the highest ingredients."**

This Spinach and Mushroom Soup comes close to providing the "sweet, sour, salty, warm, heavy and moist" elements prescribed for a dish. And to align with the circadian rhythm, please enjoy the soup between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM for the best metabolism, digestion, and energy production!



My Paleo Marin Rating: 4.8 Persimmons

Vegetable Stock

Ingredients:

1 large yellow onion
3 carrots
3 celery stalks
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 small bunch parsley
1 leek, green parts

Directions:

1. Wash and roughly chop all the vegetables. No need to peel the vegetables.
2. Generously cover them with water in a 5 qt. stock pot.
3. Bring water to just under a boil over high heat. Turn heat down, and gently simmer for about an hour. Stir occasionally.
4. When finished simmering, remove the vegetables from the pot with a slotted spoon. Pour the stock through a colander covered with cheesecloth. 
5. Add to the soup recipe below. Or store in airtight containers for up to a week, or freeze to use later.

Soup

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or butter or ghee for non-vegan)
1 lb. mixed mushrooms such as brown cremini, shiitake, chanterelles, etc., chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 large shallot, finely chopped

1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground allspice

5 cups homemade vegetable stock (may have to add water to equal 5 cups)
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper

5 ounces baby spinach, washed

Fresh lime juice to taste

Directions:

1. Heat the olive oil in a 5 qt. stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have released the liquid and are well-browned, about 8-10 minutes.

2. Stir in the tomato paste, thyme, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and allspice. Cook until the spices are fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.

3. Add the vegetable stock, salt and pepper and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Cook gently for 20 minutes.

4. Stir in the baby spinach and let cook until just wilted, 1-2 minutes.

5. When ready to serve, add fresh lime juice and check for seasonings.

6. Store extra in airtight containers in fridge, or freeze to eat later.

Serves 4.

#paleo #ayurvedic #soup #spinach #mushrooms #vegetarian #vegan #glutenfree #dairyfree #Indian #Pakistani #nobelpeaceprize

*Quotes from The Swarajya Magazine article "This Year's Nobel Prize in Medicine Puts Fresh Focus on Ayurveda" here.

**Ayurvedic references from the Balance and Bliss website here.
Vegetable Stock recipe adapted from The Kitchn recipe here.
Soup recipe adapted from the New York Times recipe here.


My Paleo Marin Rating 1-5 Persimmons
I try out these recipes so you don't have to (and modify them for Paleo where possible). The rating will reflect my opinion of the final result in terms of taste, ease of preparation, nutrition, and sometimes, cost.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

George's Foraged Nettle (or Curly Kale) Pesto

Take a walk on the wild side, and - like our friend George - have the unique experience of making a delicious dish in which you not only have the satisfaction of harvesting the main ingredient, but it's also free!

Look for new growth on wild stinging nettles. They are found mostly along trails in forested areas where the soil is moist. You'll need a knife, doubled plastic veggie bags, and tongs or a stick. Do not touch the nettles with bare hands. Cut the stalk about 4" from the top of the greens, and carefully place the nettles in the bag to bring home.

The pesto is mild tasting, and packed with protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc. It is a perfect accompaniment to zoodles, salmon, cooked vegetables, and my favorite appetizer at potlucks: a tray of crudités.

Or, if nettles are not available, curly green kale is a perfect substitute.

My Paleo Marin: 5 Persimmons

This was the quantity of
nettles used in the recipe
Ingredients:

1 veggie bag (10" x 16") full of freshly-picked stinging nettles, OR about 6 oz. of green curly kale

1 heaping tablespoon walnuts
1 oz. Parmesan cheese (or vegan hard cheese)
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
Big pinch of salt
Fresh juice of one small orange (or lime or lemon)

Directions:

1. Put a medium pot of water on to boil. Empty the bag of nettles into a large colander. Use tongs to pick out twigs, etc. Rinse nettles under cold water. Boil the nettles for about 3 minutes until the leaves wilt (you can now safely touch them). Remove from the pot with tongs to a colander and press out excess water with a spoon or tongs.

Note: for curly kale, chop the stalks in thirds before putting in boiling water.

2. In a food processor, chop the walnuts, cheese and garlic. Add the olive oil and salt and mix. Add the greens and mix until the pesto is well combined. Add the freshly-squeezed orange juice and pulse a couple of times.

3. Taste for seasonings. Store in an airtight container for about a week.

#pesto #nettles #foraging #kale #condiment #sauce #paleoinspired

My Paleo Marin Rating 1-5 Persimmons
I try out these recipes so you don't have to (and modify them for Paleo where possible). The rating will reflect my opinion of the final result in terms of taste, ease of preparation, nutrition, and sometimes, cost.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

"Gobi Manchurian" ~ Cauliflower Indian/Chinese Fusion

Fools rush in.

I ordered this dish at the local Tashi Delek Tibetan restaurant and loved the blend of Indian and Chinese flavors.

I'll try to make it at home, I thought. 

This recipe delivered the flavors, but the florets weren't as crispy as I'd hoped. 

Next time, I think I'll follow Anthony Bourdain's lead and let the professionals cook. He ordered it at the Juhu Beach Club in Oakland (what he ate here). Sadly, The East Bay Express just announced that this restaurant is closing soon - a victim of its own success as the facility is now too small. So please do rush in to eat there! Or check for a restaurant in your local area with "Gobi Manchurian" on the menu, and take yourself out for a real treat.


Photo of Anthony Bourdain 
from Juhu Beach Club website
My Paleo Marin Rating:  
Homemade:2.5 Persimmons
Restaurant: 5 Persimmons

Ingredients and Directions:

See "Gobi Manchurian Dry Recipe" link here.


For Paleo; substitute arrowroot starch, gluten free flour, tomato sauce, and coconut aminos for soy sauce.

#paleo #cauliflower #Indian #Chinese #appetizer #glutenfree #paleo #fusion #gobi #manchurian 

*My Paleo Marin Rating between 1-5 Persimmons
I try out these recipes so you don't have to (and modify them for Paleo where possible). The rating will reflect my opinion of the final result in terms of taste, ease of preparation, nutrition, and sometimes, cost.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Beat the Heat: Toaster Oven BBQ Chicken

Not all of us can put the proverbial "shrimp on the barbie," and sometimes it's just too hot to cook outside. You don't have to miss out on delicious BBQ chicken, though, thanks to this easy recipe from The Pioneer Woman website.

Prepare this early in the morning or even at dinner time in the toaster oven, and you can serve juicy and delicious chicken in just about an hour without heating up the kitchen.

My Paleo Marin Rating: 5 Persimmons

Ingredients:

BBQ Sauce (for 4-6 thighs):

1 cup BBQ sauce, preferably Bulls Eye, or see link here for Paleo approved)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Peach Preserves
1 teaspoon Schiricha Sauce

Chicken: 

4 chicken thighs (or number needed per person - adjust sauce quantity accordingly)

Directions:

BBQ Sauce:

Combine all ingredients and bring to boil; lower heat and let bubble for about 5-8 minutes, until well combined. Set aside.

Chicken:

1. Place foil in the bottom of a baking pan that fits in your toaster oven. Brush with olive oil. Place chicken thighs skin side down and bake in 400 degree oven F for 25 minutes.

2. Remove from oven and brush tops with BBQ sauce. Turn chicken over and brush tops with sauce. Return to 400 degree F oven for 7 minutes.

3. Remove from oven and brush with BBQ sauce. Return to 400 degree F oven for 7 minutes.

4. Repeat step No. 3.

5. Remove from oven and brush with BBQ sauce. Turn up oven to 450 degrees F and cook for another 5 minutes.

6. Serve, or place in a covered glass container and keep in fridge until ready to serve.

#BBQ #chicken #dinner #maindish #glutenfree #dairyfree #paleo-inspired #pioneerwoman

Recipe adapted from the Pioneer Woman website here.


My Paleo Marin Rating 1-5 Persimmons
I try out these recipes so you don't have to (and modify them for Paleo where possible). The rating will reflect my opinion of the final result in terms of taste, ease of preparation, nutrition, and sometimes, cost.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Easy Raspberry Jam with Chia Seeds


100% more Omega 3 than salmon; 64% more potassium than a banana; three times more iron than spinach ~ Chia seeds pack a healthy crunch in this simple fruit spread:

2 Cups Red Raspberries (or fruit of choice)
2 Tablespoons Honey or Maple Syrup +/-
2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds

Place berries, sweetener and lemon juice in a medium sauce pan. Heat to boiling, then press berries down as they soften. Add chia seeds. Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. Taste (I used 2 tablespoons maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of wildflower honey). Let sit in pan for 15 minutes. Place in sterile jars and keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.


Serve with Miyoko's European Style Cultured Vegan Butter on a delicious slice of Savory Herb Quick Bread here. And for the amazing benefits of chia seeds, see the diagram below.


My Paleo Marin Rating: 4 Persimmons


#paleo #jam #berries #lowsugar #glutenfree #dairyfree #vegan (with maple syrup) #chia #vegetarian #miyoko


Jam recipe adapted from Paleo Crumbs website here.