Sunday, May 20, 2018

Momofuko’s Crack Pie w/ Chia Seed Crust

Charged with making a last-minute dessert for the staff at Momofuko Restaurant, pastry chef Christina Tosi scavenged ingredients in the pantry and created her now infamous Crack Pie.

Originally baked with an oatmeal crust, you might assume the name comes from the crunch. But it became so popular, the addictive meaning of the drug also applies. I saw it best described as a pecan pie without the nuts.

Even with substitutions of chia seeds for oatmeal, coconut sugar (in a reduced amount in the crust), and coconut cream for dairy, it was still melt-in-your-mouth delicious. You might, however, have to do a little 'splaining about the name.

My Paleo Marin: 4.8 Persimmons


Pie Crust Cookie (goes in the crust):

6 Tablespoons grass-fed butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons coconut sugar

1 egg

3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 cup Cup4Cup gluten-free flour
1/8 Teaspoon baking powder
1/8 Teaspoon baking soda
1/4 rounded teaspoon salt

Pie Crust:

3 Tablespoons grass-fed soft butter, room temperature
1 Tablespoon coconut sugar
Crumbled Pie Crust Cookie from above

Pie Filling:

1/2 cup cane sugar
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cut (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, and cooled slightly
6 1/2 tablespoons coconut cream
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Powdered sugar (for dusting if desired)


Pie Crust Cookie:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2-inch metal baking pan with parchment and spray with non-stick vegetable spray. Set aside.

1. Add 6 tablespoons butter and 3 tablespoons coconut sugar in a stand mixer with the metal whip attachment. Bean on medium high until the mixture is light and fluffy. about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

2. Add the egg and beat until pale and fluffy.

3. Add the chia seeds, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat until well blended, about 1 minute.

4. Spread batter out onto the prepared baking sheet, pressing it out evenly throughout the pan.

5. Bake until the cookie turns light golden on top, 17 to 18 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to a rack and allow to cool completely.

Pie Crust:

Butter the bottom and sides of a 9” glass pie plate. Set aside.

1. In a large bowl, crumble the chia cookie. Add 3 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar. Mix with with your fingers, rubbing between your palms to thoroughly mix.

2. Using fingers, spread the mixture on the bottom of the pie plate. With your fingers or the bottom of a glass, press the mixture up the sides of the pie plate. Try to get a consistent thickness on the bottom and sides.

3. Place the pie plate on a metal baking sheet and set side to make the filling.

Pie Filling:

1. In a medium bowl, whisk both sugars, milk powder and salt to blend. Add melted butter, and whisk until blended.

2. Add coconut cream, egg yolks and vanilla and whisk until well blended.

3. Pour filling into prepared crust, and bake for 30 minutes filling may bubble up). 

4. Reduce heat to 325 degrees F. Continue to bake for another 15 - 20 minutes until the filling has some brown spots and has set around the edges. The center may still jiggle slightly when the pie is moved.

5. Move the pie dish to a rack and let cool for about 2 hours. Chill uncovered overnight. Serve cold.

6. Sift with powered sugar when ready to serve, optional.

Pie can be stored in the fridge for about 4-5 days. Let sit out awhile before serving so it is easier to remove from the pie plate.

Recipe for "Crack Pie" from the Bon Appetit website here.

#paleo-inspired #glutenfree #nutfree #pie #chia #chiaseeds #coconut #coconutsugar #coconutcream #dessert #momofuko #christinatosi #crackpie #recipes 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Zen and Carrot Cake

Celebrate those you love this weekend with a homemade cake, and you might also do something good for yourself:

"Baking for others can increase a feeling of well being, contribute to stress relief, and make you feel as if you've done something good for the world."*

Aside from creating feelings of creativity and altruism, the process of baking can also foster a zen-like state of focused concentration. Culinary Art Therapy has now officially joined Art and Musical Behavioral Activation Therapies as an activity that can lead to better mental health.

So when you’re felling stressed out, set aside some time to bake. Then get out your prettiest plates, and shower the people you love with cake.

My Paleo Marin: 4.2 Persimmons


For the Cake:

1 cup golden raisons
1/2 cup Nantucket Nectars Pineapple Orange Guava Juice Blend Cocktail, or other thick juice
Image from TalDepot website

1 1/2 cups Cup4Cup gluten free flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup coconut sugar
3/4 cup grapeseed oil
1 ripe banana, mashed

3 large eggs

3 medium carrots, peeled and grated
1 cup chopped walnuts, or pecans, or eliminate for nut free

1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Frosting:

7 tablespoons butter, or Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
8 oz. Daiya Cream Cheese Style Spread
1/2 cup fine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla


For the cake:

1. Place the raisons and juice in a small bowl, and let soak for 2 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform cake pan with butter, line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper and grease.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon and set aside.

4. In another bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar. Mix in the banana.

5. In a stand mixer with the wire whip attachment, pour in the oil, sugar and banana mixture, and combine until the lumps are gone (1-2 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix just until well incorporated.

6. Remove the bowl of ingredients from the stand mixer. With a spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the carrots, nuts (if using), and raisons with all the juice.

7. Add the dry ingredients to the wet. and mix just until combined. Add the vanilla and mix.

8. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake for 40 minutes. Check with a wooden skewer. The cake is done when the skewer comes out clean.

9. Set the cake pan on a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the springform pan and allow to finish cooling on the rack.

For the Frosting:

1. In a stand mixer with the wire whip attachment, add the butter and cream cheese spread. Combine thoroughly at medium high speed. Add the sugar and vanilla extract. Taste and adjust the sugar to your desired preference.

2. When the cake has thoroughly cooled, spread the icing around the sides and on top of the cake.

Serve. Store extra in the fridge for up to 4 days, or freeze.

#paleo-inspired #carrot #cake #dessert #zen #glutenfree #nutfree #dairyfree #vegan #culinaryarttherapy #huffpost 

See "Psychologiets Explain the Benefits of Baking for Other People" in a HuffPost online article here.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Turmeric Noodle Stir Fry with Brocollini, Celery and Radish Sprouts

Paleo meets Pinch of Nom/Slimming World in this adaptation of what was probably a very sumptuous stir fry from the website 101 Cookbooks.

Paleo focuses on anti-inflammatory ingredients; Pinch of Nom holds the line on fat. This recipe merged the two philosophies and resulted in a very healthy dish that really makes you appreciate how much flavor fat adds to a dish.

This post is offered as a non-inflammatory, nut free, legume free, soy free, dairy free, gluten free, low fat, weight loss dish. No tofu; no egg; no peanuts. Instead, chopped celery and radish sprouts.

If I haven't lost you by now, visually the dish is beautiful, and the turmeric-soaked noodles are a good way to incorporate this ayurvedic spice in your diet and possibly do something good for your brain.*

My Paleo Marin Rating: 2 Persimmons


6 oz. dried rice noodles
3 tablespoons turmeric
Pot of boiling water

3 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
2 tablespoons coconut aminos
2 tablespoons Red Boat fish sauce, or Tamari for vegan

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 bunch of broccolini, stems removed

3/4 cup chopped celery

3/4 cup green onions, sliced on the diagonal
3/4 cup radish sprouts

1 - 2 limes, cut in wedges


1. To prep the noodles:  Fill a bowl (preferably non-staining) with boiling water. Add the turmeric and mx. Place the dry noodles in the water and stir with a fork. Let sit for about 10 minutes, until the noodles soften. Drain and set aside.

2. To make the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar and sugar until combined. Add the coconut sugar, coconut aminos and fish sauce or Tamari, whisk and set aside.

3. Heat the oil in a wok to medium heat. Add the broccolini and stir for about a minute. Turn down to medium, cover and cook for another 3-5 minutes. The broccolini should still be bright green.

4. Add the celery and stir for about a minute. Add the sauce to coat all the veggies. Mix in the drained noodles to warm them up.

5. To serve, sprinkle green onions and radish sprouts on top. Serve with lime wedges.

*For a discussion of turmeric from the NBC News Diet & Fitness site, see "Is Turmeric Good for You? It's complicated" here

For some great ideas on using turmeric in your diet, see the website Being Co here. Also check out their Instagram page.

#paleo #stirfry #turmeric #ricenoodles #broccolini #sprouts #asian #fishsauce #tamari #vegan #coconutaminos #coconut #coconutsugar #antiinflammatory #ayurvedic #pescatarian #lowfat #slimmingworld #pinchofnom #101cookbooks #healthyeats #brainhealth #beingco #being_co

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, April 29, 2018

Pea & Prosciutto Salad w/ Lemon Vinaigrette & Shaved Horseradish

All you really need to know you learn in Kindergarten.* Take for example, "Make a New Friend Friday." You might think you don't care for prosciutto. You may assume you won't like shaved horseradish. But if you give them both a chance, you might be pleasantly surprised.

Bon Appétit featured a cooking video of a beautiful, easy English and snap pea salad last week. As English peas are a spring tradition on My Paleo Marin, I saved the video, but immediately started thinking of substitutes for some of the ingredients I assumed I didn't care for.

I thought that Virginia ham, a taste from my childhood, might be a good substitute for prosciutto (which I had only tasted out of plastic packages). Online ordering of the ham didn't look feasible for several reasons, so I thought maybe a good butcher might have a tasty alternative.

Belcampo Deli in Larkspur Landing, CA
Belcampo sells their farm to table meats in stores, restaurants and online. With a shop close by in Larkspur Landing, I headed over to try their ham. And right there, in the front of the meat case, was the most beautiful shank of prosciutto I've ever seen. I asked for a taste of that and the smoked ham. "Hands down," I said. "The prosciutto." It was dry with a very mild flavor of smoky meat, slightly reminiscent of Virginia ham without all the salt. I only needed a quarter pound - so that combined with fresh peas from our local Iacopi Farms at the farmers' market - would become the mainstays of the salad.

All that was left to decide was whether to use parmesan or fresh horseradish for the garnish. I'd never tried the horseradish, but assumed it would have a harsh, bitter taste. I picked out the cheese, and then thought I'd at least check out the original ingredient. The video said markets usually have horseradish, you just can't recognize it from all the other root vegetables. I asked a team member to find it, and then cut in half the piece I picked out  (as I didn't know if I would use it). Immediately, the aroma was magnetic - a light, peppery scent. It would be a perfect complement to the bitter greens and prosciutto, and a good substitute for parmesan in future dishes.

Check out the video here for the recipe. It includes instructions for ordering a very cute apron for $20 as well as a suggestion to buy used olive oil bottles on Amazon with a pour spout for recanting your oil. Or, for a link just to the recipe, see Bon Appétit's “Pea and Prosciutto Salad" post here.

My Paleo Marin: 4 Persimmons

*All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten link here.

#paleo #salad #englishpeas #snappeas #prosciutto #vinaigrette #horseradish #belcampo #iacopifarms #glutenfree #dairyfree 

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, April 22, 2018

Paleo Salmon Burgers

Those gorgeous fish cakes at my local market have increased from $6 to $9 in the last couple of years, making them a bit too pricy for our family. However! For a few dollars more than the cost of one thick salmon cake, I recently purchased enough ingredients to make eight thinner burgers - and got a tip from the fishmonger as to how to prepare them.

Just six healthy ingredients were used in this recipe from Time Magazine's Health Food website. While the patties were a bit tricky to keep together when turning over, it didn't matter a bit to the light, fresh, flavorful taste.

Enjoy these salmon burgers with "Ugly Delicious" Twice-Baked Veggie Fries and/or Le Grand (Saffron) Aioli. A good source of omega 3's, they are packed with protein and will keep you full for hours!

My Paleo Marin: 3 Persimmons


1 pound of fresh wild salmon

3 Tablespoons chopped flat parsley
2 spring onions (scallions), sliced
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
1 egg
Cracked pepper and salt to taste

1 cup almond meal

2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided

1-2 lemons, cut in wedges


1. Cut the salmon in 1 1/2" chunks. Add to food processor and process for about 10 seconds. Remove salmon to a large mixing bowl. Note: This was the tip from the fishmonger: remove the salmon before you add the other ingredients in the blender otherwise the fish will turn to mush.

2. Next, to the food processor, add the parsley, chopped onions, lemon zest and juice, egg and salt and pepper. Mix until combined.

3. Add the mixture in the food process to the salmon in the bowl. Mix with a spoon or your hands.

4. Put the almond meal in a medium bowl. Take a handful of the salmon mixture, and roll it in the almond meal to coat it. Form a patty, and set aside on a plate. Makes about 8 patties. Put in fridge for about 15 minutes to 1 hour to firm up.

5. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a cast iron frying pan (preferably). When the oil is hot, cover the bottom of the pan with the patties. Cook for about 3 minutes per side. Flip them with a spatula carefully; if they fall apart, reform the patty with the spatula.

6. Remove the cooked burgers to a serving plate, and finish cooking the rest of the patties.

Serve with lemon slices, salad, fries, or a condiment. The patties are perfect cold for leftovers the next day.

#paleo #salmon #omega3 #fish #maincourse #glutenfree #dairyfree #healthyeats #fishcakes #timemagazinehealthfood

Recipe adapted from Time 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, April 15, 2018

Sweet n’ Spicy Korean Chicken with Cauliflower Rice a Better Way

Maybe you are better at reading Korean than I am, but making this dish was somewhat like traveling in Asia.

Ranch 99 is a huge Asian Market in the Bay Area. I went to find a specific Korean chili paste called Gochujang. I found more jars of condiments than you could ever imagine, many with labels I could not read.

It took 20 minutes of looking up and down the aisles, with help from another shopper, before I finally gave up and asked a staff person for assistance. He immediately went way up on a top shelf, and handed me a jar with a Korean label. I had a hunch the taste would be authentic.

The recipe included cauliflower rice, something I'd tried in the past but wasn't too keen on. I found "a better way" on the BBC website - slowly roasted instead of sautéed that got a 10/10 on their taste tests. The “rice” was light and fluffy, and went perfectly with the Korean chicken.

This dish is easy and quick, and worth the adventure to find the chili paste or order it online. The Wang brand was on the sweet side; here is a link to select the Gochujang of your choice.

My Paleo Marin: 4.5 Persimmons

Wang Brand Gochujang

Chicken and Marinade:

4 - 6 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on (my preference)
OR 1 1/2 pounds of skinless, boneless thighs

3 Tablespoons honey
3 Tablespoons Gochujang (Korean chili paste)
1 Tablespoon coconut aminos
1 Teaspoon sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 Teaspoons grated ginger

Garnish: Sesame seeds and green onions sliced on the diagonal


1 medium head cauliflower, stem removed and broken into florets
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 Teaspoon fine sea salt


Chicken and Marinade:

1. Place the chicken thighs in a 1 gallon plastic storage bag. 

2. In a small bowl, mix together the honey, chili paste, coconut aminos, sesame oil, garlic and ginger.

3. Add the marinade to the bag, cover the chicken thoroughly, and place in the fridge for 4 hours to overnight.

4. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400 degrees f. Place the marinated chicken pieces on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees with an instant read thermometer. 

5. To serve, top with green onions and sesame seeds (optional).

Makes 2-4 servings.

Cauliflower Rice

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F

1. In a food processor, cover the bottom of the bowl with florets and chop for about 15 seconds, until the cauliflower looks like rice. Repeat until all florets are chopped.

2. Place a handful of the chopped cauliflower in about 3 paper towels and squeeze out the moisture into another bowl. Repeal until excess water is drained from all the cauliflower.

3. Spread out the cauliflower on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil and salt on top. Stir to combine well. 

4. Bake for 12 minutes, stirring half way through. 

5. When lightly toasted, fluff and serve.

Makes about 4 servings.

#paleo #maincourse #chicken #korean #asian #gochujang #wang #cauliflower #rice #cauliflowerrice #lowcarb

Recipe  for "Sweet Korean Paleo Chicken Thighs with Cauliflower Rice” from The Endless Meal website here.
Recipe for cauliflower rice from the BBC goodfood website here.
Gochujang Wikipedia reference 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, April 8, 2018

The Art of Cambodian Rice Noodle Soup

Similar to building up an oil painting with layers of color, Cambodian soup is served in layers of ingredients from the bottom up. And like any work of art, it takes time.

To serve the soup, set out individual serving bowls and assemble as follows:

For the base, lay a lettuce leaf on the bottom, next add cooked noodles coated in garlic-infused olive oil, and then the long-simmered soup broth. In the middle, choose from optional choices of shredded chicken, sautéed shrimp, pork tenderloin, and/or sautéed ground pork. And for the top, sprinkle with sautéed dried shrimps, fried garlic chips, sprouts, Thai basil, and/or pickled Thai chilis.

This dish was a bit pricey and took days going to various markets to collect all the ingredients (I recommend starting at your local Asian Market). However, it was convenient to have all the fixings to mix and match for quick lunches throughout the week. If you would like to try the recipe, see the link here.

My Paleo Marin Rating: 2.5 Persimmons

Note: For a grain free noodle, use zucchini zoodles or another vegetable of your choice.

#paleo #cambodian #soup #pork #chicken #shrimp #Asian #southeastasian #foodandwine

Recipe adapted from Food and Wine February issue 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, April 1, 2018

Braised Red Cabbage with Sweet Potatoes

The original recipe from Life Changing Foods is called “Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Braised Cabbage.” After tasting it, I flipped the title to feature the red cabbage, an amazing vegetable I didn’t even know I loved!

Much of the success of the cabbage was due to stumbling upon the perfect vegetable stock. After reading label after label in the market, the Aneto Natural Vegetable Stock carton listed ingredients I would have bought for homemade. While the taste is clean and fresh, the creamy texture is more appealing than any of the watery vegetable stocks I have made at home. Well worth a search at your local markets (I found it at Mollie Stone’s), or order it online here.

My Paleo Marin Rating: 5 Persimmons


4 sweet potatoes, scrubbed with a brush and pricked on top with a fork (about 3-4 times for each potato)
1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons coconut oil
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
Image from Amazon
1 small red onion, diced
1 medium sized head red cabbage, shredded
1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup Aneto Vegetable Broth

Garnish: Flat Leaf Parsley


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

1. Place the sweet potatoes and water in a baking dish. Put in a preheated oven, and bake until a fork goes smoothly in the center of the potatoes, about 45-60 minutes.

2. In a dutch oven or large pot, heat the coconut oil over medium high heat. Sauté the garlic and onion until cooked through, about 3-5 minutes. Add the shredded cabbage and cook down a bit over medium heat, about 2 minutes. Add the 1/2 lemon, sea salt, and vegetable broth. Cover and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes. Check doneness for personal preference.

3. Cut a slit down the center of the sweet potatoes, and lightly mash down the insides. Stuff the pockets with the cooked cabbage until overflowing.

Serve while hot with chopped parsley.

#paleo #cabbage #sweetpotato #vegetables #vegan #sidedish #aneto #spanish #yam #medicalmedium #lifechangingfoods

Recipe adapted from The Medical Medium Life Changing Foods book 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, March 25, 2018

Le Grand (Saffron) Aïoli with Garlic Rosemary Shrimp, Veggie & Egg Platter

This week I put on my big girl apron and made aïoli for the first time. Chefs always claim this elevates a dish, but for some reason I've been too intimidated to try it.

Surprise, surprise. A food processor whipped all the ingredients into a familiar mayo consistency within minutes. The result was lighter and fresher tasting than anything store bought. Why did I wait so long?

That left how to cook the shrimp. The recipe in Food & Wine Magazine said to boil them in wine, and peel off the shells. The fishmongers at Whole Foods weren't too keen on that method, so instead, I sautéed them in olive oil, then added chopped garlic, rosemary, and a Thai chili, with a finishing sprinkling of salt. I left the shells on (optional), and again, the result was outstanding.

My taste tester called the platter “restaurant quality," but it did take more time than expected. You might want to make some of the ingredients a day ahead.

My Paleo Marin: 5 Persimmons

Edmond Fallot Dijon
Available at most markets
Photo Amazon

For the Aïoli:

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads

2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard,
preferably Edmond Fallot
3 large egg yolks
2/3 cup olive oil
1 cup grape seed oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Piment d'Espelette
Photo Amazon, link here

1/2 teaspoon ground Piment d'Espelette (French red chili powder)

For the Platter:


1-1.5 pounds shell-on large shrimp
1/4 cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
1 Thai pepper, split with seeds removed


4 quarts water
1/2 teaspoon of salt + 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound haricots verts beans
1-2 bunches asparagus, thick bottoms trimmed off

2 bunches breakfast radishes

1 fennel bulb


1 dozen eggs
Water to cover eggs

For the Platter:

2 lemons, cut into quarters
Sprinkling of Piment d'Espellete


For the Aïoli: (can be made a day ahead)

1. Put the lemon juice and saffron threads in a small bowl, stir, and let sit for 15 minutes.
2. With a mortar and pestle, grind the garlic and salt together to make a paste.
3. In a food processor, place lemon juice mixture, garlic paste, salt, Dijon, and egg yolks. Mix.
4. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle 1/3 of the grape seed oil, then 1/3 of the olive oil, followed by a splash of cold water until all the oil is mixed in. Mixture should resemble mayonnaise.
5. Spoon into a bowl and chill.
6. When ready to serve, place in a serving bowl and sprinkle with Piment d'Espelette.

For the Shrimp: (can be made a day ahead)

1. If peeling, remove the shell leaving the tail, and carefully slice down the back of the shrimp to remove the black vein. If leaving the shell on and you’d like to remove the vein, gently slice down the back of the shell and remove the black vein. Or, just sauté them intact.

2. Heat the olive oil in a (preferably) cast iron frying pan. Add shrimp just to cover the bottom of the pan. Sauté for about 2 minutes per side, until they turn pink. Remove to a plate. If peeling, remove the shells, leaving the tail. Repeat with the rest of the shrimp.

3. When all the shrimp are cooked and set aside, add the chopped garlic, rosemary and chili to the pan. Cook until the garlic just turns brown and the rosemary is aromatic, 1-2 minutes.

4. Add the shrimp back to the pan, and coat with the garlic, herbs and chili. Sprinkle with salt while hot so it sticks to the shrimp. Remove all to a plate, scraping the remnants off the bottom of the pan, too. Put in a covered container in the fridge if saving for later.

For the Vegetables: (can be made a day ahead)

1.  Bring the water to a boil and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Blanch the green beans for 2 minutes; taste test. Boil 1 more minute if not done enough. Remove the beans with a slotted spoon, and set aside. Refrigerate if not eating right away.

2. Bring the water to a boil again, and add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Boil the asparagus for 2 minutes, taste test. Boil 1 more minute if done done enough. Remove the asparagus with a slotted spoon, and set aside. Refrigerate if not eating right away.

3. Soak the radishes in water. Repeat until the water is clear. Drain. If not using right away, store in a bowl covered with plastic wrap.

4. Slice the fennel bulb into bite-sized slivers. Set aside, or refrigerate in a covered bowl.

For the Eggs: (can be made a day ahead; mine tasted better the first day)

1. Fill a dutch oven with about 4" of cold water. Carefully place eggs in the pan. Bring the water to a boil. Cover the pot and let sit 11 minutes for small/medium eggs; 12 minutes for medium/large eggs.

2. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and put in a bowl with cold water for about 5 minutes. If serving later, put eggs in a bowl in fridge. If serving right away, peel the eggs and cut in half.

For the Platter:

1. Place the aïoli in a serving bowl. Sprinkle with Piment d'Espelette.
2. Arrange the vegetables, shrimp and eggs around the platter. Sprinkle the eggs with Piment d'Espelette.
3. Place the lemon wedges near the shrimp.

Enjoy all your hard work!

#paleo #aïoli #saffron #shrimp #asparagus #maindish #appetizer #healthyeats #breakfastradishes #pimente'espelette #foodandwine #wholefoodsblithedale #wholefoods

Aïoli and platter recipe adapted from Food & Wine "Le Grand (Saffron) Aïoli" recipe here.
Shrimp adapted from food52 "Shell-on Shrimp with Rosemary, Garlic and Chile" 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, March 18, 2018

Mango Nectar Upside Down Cake (GF) (DF)

A few tweaks on the typical upside down cake resulted in a mango cake that could easily rival its more popular cousins of pineapple and peach.

To start, marinating slices of mango in fresh lemon juice added a welcome tangy note. Using Mango Nectar instead of a milk product added moisture to the cake which sometimes can be dry. And reducing the sugar in the cake to 1/2 cup resulted in a European-style cake that is not overwhelmingly sweet and highlights the star of the show.

Mangos are on sale now, so check for special deals. Thanks to my local Nugget Market for the "Secret Special" online price of 50 cents for these!

My Paleo Marin Rating: 5 Persimmons


2 -3 firm, slightly ripe Ataulfo mangoes
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 cups Cup4Cup gluten free flour
1 slightly heaping teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, (1 stick), softened
1/2 cup cane sugar
3 large eggs, 2 of them separated (whites set aside)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup mango nectar, preferably Gina Mango Nectar

Note: for a sweeter cake, use 1/2 cup brown sugar in the topping and 2/3 cup cane sugar in the batter.


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the bottom of a 9” spring form pan on top of a 18” square piece of parchment paper. Insert these into an unlocked spring form pan, then close the clasp. Press the bottom down firmly until it fits snugly in the bottom. Fold the parchment paper around the sides, and butter the bottom and sides of the pan.

1. Peel the mangoes with a vegetable peeler. Stand each one upright and slice down the fleshy side. Cut the pieces lengthwise into 3/8” pieces. Place the slices in a bowl, and cover with the lemon juice. Let sit for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Melt the butter and sugar in a small pan until the sugar is absorbed. Let it cool a bit. Pour the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Spread the mango slices around in a fan shape, spreading the butter and sugar mixture evenly around.

3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

4. In a stand mixer, add the stick of butter and cane sugar and beat on medium high until they are light and fluffy, about 4-6 minutes.

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5. Add the whole egg, and 2 egg yolks, one at a time, beating on medium high until they are well combined. Beat in the vanilla until it is mixed in. Add the flour mixture at low speed, 1/2 at a time, just until it is fully combined with the wet mixture. Add the mango nectar and mix.

6. If using the same mixer, pour the cake batter into another bowl. Clean the mixer bowl and beater. Add the 2 egg whites and beat just until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whites into the cake batter, until just combined.

7. Gently spoon the cake batter over the mangoes, spreading it around evenly. Bake for 45 minutes and check the cake to see if a wooden spear comes out clean. Take out of oven when cooked through, and cool on a metal rack for 10 minutes.

8. Place a cake plate over the top of the spring form pan, and turn the cake over. Unhook the clasp, and remove the parchment paper and bottom of the pan. Let the cake cool completely on the plate on the rack. Serve, or store extra cake in the fridge.

#paleo-inspired #cake #mango #upsidedown #dessert #glutenfree #dairyfree #epicurious #nuggetmarket

Recipe adapted from Epicurious “Mango-Upside-Down Cake recipe, link 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.