Sunday, July 15, 2018

Top Chef Winner Kristen Kish's Halibut

Here's a dish to make any meal a special occasion. The recipe from the book Kristen Kish Cooking, Recipes and Techniques is amazingly easy to prepare with huge payoffs in taste and sophistication.

I'm no martyr in the kitchen. Most high-end chef recipes are way above my cooking level, and take too long to prepare. But I had been thinking about making halibut, and this book was staring at me on the New Book shelf at the library. Synchronicity? I think so.

You can finish the halibut with her special ham hock sauce, but I was happy with just the fish. It's one of those dishes that brings "mmmm's" when you take your first bite - just as if a professional chef had made it for you!

My Paleo Marin Rating: 4.5 Persimmons


Ingredients:

For the Brine:

1 quart water
1/4 kosher salt
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 garlic clove smashed and peeled
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon coriander or fennel seeds

For the Halibut:

4 oz. halibut per serving (up to 16 oz.), from the center (meaty) portion of the fish
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Optional Toppings: Green part of scallions sliced on the diagonal, radishes sliced on a mandolin, herbs of choice.

Directions:

For the Brine:

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, salt, thyme, garlic, peppercorns, and seeds. Heat to a boil, and cook for about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer the brine to a bowl large enough to later hold all the fish, cover, and place in the fridge to cool for about 1 hour.

2. When the brine has fully cooled, nestle the fish pieces in the brine, cover the bowl, and marinate for 4 hours. When ready to cook, remove the fish, and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the brine.

For the Halibut:

OXO Fish Flipper*
3. In a large cast iron frying pan, heat the grapeseed oil until it starts to smoke. Turn the heat down to medium high and add the fish skin side down. Sear until golden-brown, about 3-4 minutes. Carefully flip the fish, and cook for another 2 minutes.

4. Add the thyme sprigs and butter to the pan, and spoon them over the fish repeatedly. When the fish is cooked through (has just started becoming opaque) and measures about 145 on an instant meat thermometer, move the fish pieces from the pan to serving plates.

5. Add toppings of choice, and enjoy!

#paleo #halibut #fish #maindish #dinner #glutenfree #healthyeats #topchef #kristenkish #kristenkishcooking #foodie 

*OXO Good Grips Fish Flipper 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.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Vajra Hotel's Tomato Soup

How can we be heading into the height of tomato season, and in the Bay Area we’re still wearing fleece? Seemed to be the perfect time to try to recreate a favorite tomato soup from our magical days at the Vajra Hotel in Kathmandu.

The Vajra Hotel is a complex of buildings and gardens designed by Western architects using Newari artisans. The carved wooden windows and doors, marble floors, and painted ceilings bring beauty everywhere you look.

The hotel serves delicious food inside the dining room, outside in the gardens, and up on the roof top cafes. Their traditional Tibetan and Nepali recipes are made following international cooking techniques, reflecting the two owners of the hotel: the husband is from Tibet and the wife is from Germany.

This recipe came very close to the Vajra’s tomato soup. Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen Every Day cookbook, the extra step of roasting the tomatoes and garlic added to the the depth of flavors found at the hotel. Just a bit of extra butter was all that was needed to say that this is the next best thing to being in Kathmandu. Except it's not. Please go if you can.

My Paleo Marin Rating: 5 Persimmons

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 - 28 oz cans tomatoes, or 3 pounds of fresh tomatoes juicy enough to give off 3 cups of juice
4 small garlic cloves, unpeeled
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon salted or unsalted butter
2 large shallots, minced
2 cups homemade chicken stock (see recipe link here), or vegetable stock (link here)
1/8 - 1/4 red pepper flakes

4 tablespoons salted butter

Optional: Sliced gluten-free bread with your favorite faux shredded cheese 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

1. Press tomato juice from tomatoes through a strainer into a large bowl. Set aside 3 cups.

2. Cover the bottom of a baking sheet with the olive oil. Spread the tomatoes out to cover the pan. Add the thyme sprigs on top. Wrap the garlic a a drop of olive oil in foil and place on the sheet. Bake for about 25 - 30 minutes, until the tomatoes turn color and are cooked through. Squeeze out the inside of the garlic and set aside. Discard any thyme stems.

3. In a large dutch oven, heat the oil and add the minced shallots. Cook through for about 3 minutes. Add the roasted tomatoes, garlic, 3 cups of tomato juice, 2 cups of stock, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and partially cover with the lid. Cook for about 30 minutes until all the flavors blend together.

4. Add 4 tablespoons of butter and let it melt. Taste for seasonings.

5. Using an immersion blender, process the soup leaving some of the tomato chunks.

6. If preparing the topping, toast the sliced bread and shredded cheese in a toaster oven and add to the soup when served.

#soup #tomato #VajraHotel #Tibetan #Nepali #himalayas #smittenkitchen #recipe #vegetarian 


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, July 1, 2018

Kite Hill Non-Dairy Cucumber Raita (Vegan)

On my foodie bandwidth of the internet, Kite Hill Yogurt is all the buzz. It’s an almond-based non-dairy substitute that can be used in baking, curries, marinades, dressings and - as shown here - raita. It is a delicious option for people who are lactose intolerant, or for those who want an alternative to cow's milk.

Cucumber raita dresses up any dish, and cools down spices in entrees or side dishes. I like this so much on spicy Indian dishes, I could (almost) become a vegetarian!

My Paleo Marin: 5 Persimmons


Ingredients:
Image from
Google Images Influenster

1 cup Kite Hill Non-Dairy Yogurt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1/2 cucumber (not peeled), grated; juices squeezed out and set aside
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

Directions:

1. Put the yogurt in a medium bowl. Add 1-2 teaspoons of water and mix well to get the the consistency you like.

2. Add the cumin, salt, cayenne pepper, cucumber and onion. Mix and adjust for taste.

3. Serve, or cover and store in fridge for about 4-5 days.

#paleo #vegan #vegetarain #raita #condiment #recipe #Indian #nondairy #dairyfree #glutenfree #kitehillfoods #yogurt

Recipe adapted from Vegan Richa 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, June 24, 2018

Asian Fusion Tamarind Toaster Oven Chicken

I’m a big fan of toaster oven chicken dishes: they are economical, cook without heating up the kitchen, and make great leftovers.

This recipe from Melissa Clark blends many of my favorite flavors: tamarind, honey, and toasted sesame oil. But, as Food and Wine Magazine asks: "What the he(ck) is tamarind, anyway?”

Turns out it's a legume from a tree that grows mostly in India, Thailand and Mexico. More flavorful right out of the pod, the familiar paste we use in jars adds a punch of flavor to any dish - savory or sweet. It's also a "secret ingredient" in the familiar Worcestershire sauce.

So here you go: sweet and spicy, sticky and zesty. Make this delicious dish ahead of time, and get the he(ck) out of the kitchen!

My Paleo Marin: 4 Persimmons

Ingredients:

4 bone-in (skin on or off) chicken thighs, rinsed and patted dry

Marinade:

3 tablespoons Red Boat fish sauce
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
Grated zest of 1 lime
1 garlic clove, grated on a Microplane or finely minced

For garnishes: lettuce leaves, micro greens, sliced green onions, lime slices and/or sliced Serrano chilis.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Marinade:

1. Combine the fish sauce, honey, sesame oil, tamarind paste, chili flakes, zest and garlic in a medium bowl.

2. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the chicken on top. Pour the marinade over the chicken and turn to coat all sides. OR

2A. Place the chicken in a large plastic freezer bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken. Seal the bag, and place in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

3. Bake the chicken until the chicken measures 165 degrees F, with an instant read thermometer, about 30 minutes. Remove from toaster oven, and set aside.

4. Prepare the plates with a bed of lettuce, and place the chicken pieces on top. Sprinkle with the garnishes. Serve.

#paleo #chicken #dinner #asian #tamarind #fishsauce #toasted-sesame #honey


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, June 17, 2018

"Appetites" Beet & Orange Salad

In tribute, a favorite salad of Anthony Bourdain's daughter from his cookbook, Appetites: A Cookbook:

Ingredients:

6 small beets, tops removed, scrubbed clean
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1-2 oranges, peeled, segments removed from pith
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup mint (optional)

Directions:  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

1. Toss beets in olive oil, and roast for 45-50 minutes, or until cooked through. Let cool.
2. When cool enough to handle, peel the beets and cut in 1/4" slices.
3. Combine the onion, orange segments, vinegar, olive oil and mint if using.
4. Toss the beets in the dressing, and serve.

My Paleo Marin Rating: 3 Persimmons


#beets #salad #appetites #anthonybourdain


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, June 10, 2018

Sensible Strawberry Cake

It takes a certain je ne sais quoi* to appreciate a cake like this. It might better be called "Cornbread with Strawberry Jam Bites" as it has about the same amount of sugar in the batter and is just slightly crunchy from the almond flour.

For those of us who love cake, however, it's a Dream Come True. Low sugar, gluten free, no dairy except butter, and quickly prepared in a stand mixer.

This recipe is adapted from the Smitten Kitchen website. Everyone loves Smitten Kitchen, but even she said her recipe had too much sugar! Most cakes that don't have to be white in color can get by with the boost of flavor in coconut sugar even if the amount is only half a cup.

So for a sensible summer treat, maybe say yes to the flip flops, but definitely no to the extra sugar!

My Paleo Marin: 3.5 Persimmons

Ingredients:
Image from Califia website

3/4 cup almond flour
3/4 cup gluten free flour, preferably Cup4Cup
3/4 cup almond flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature + extra for pie plate or cake pan
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 large egg

1/2 cup almond milk, preferably Califia
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or extract

1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and cut in half
1 tablespoon coconut sugar for dusting

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 10" pie plate, or a 9" springform cake pan.

1. Whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, add the butter (chopped into small pieces) and the sugar. Mix until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

3. Add the egg, and mix.

4. Add the almond milk and vanilla. Mix until just combined.

5. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Spread it out with a knife, and place the cut strawberries around the top. Sift or sprinkle the coconut sugar on top to caramelize strawberries.

6. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees F. For a 10" pie dish, bake for 40 minutes and check with a wooden skewer to see if cooked through. For a 9" pan, check at 45 minutes, and leave until skewer comes out clean, up to another 15 minutes.

7. Cool the cake on a rack. Serve, or add Coconut Whipped Cream. Store at room temperature for 1-2 days; can refrigerate for another day or two. Bring to room temperature to serve.

*"je ne sais quoi" = French for "I do not know...".

#paleo-inspired #strawberries #cake #almond #coconut #glutenfree #almondmilk


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, June 3, 2018

Japanese Tanaga (Omelet) Wrap with Salmon Roe & GochuJang Hot Pepper Sauce


While similar to a seaweed-wrapped egg roll dish made by professional Japanese chefs, this recipe is both easier to make and tastes much fresher.

Melissa Clark captured the essence of Japanese tanaga* in  her cookbook, Dinner-Changing the Game. She modified the Japanese version to accommodate the tastes of her young daughter and for ease of preparation. Ready in about 15 minutes, she also describes this dish as Adult Comfort Food. I describe it as Perfection.

I waited months in the library queue for this cookbook. There are so many promising recipes, I ordered a copy. I recommend you check it out, too - and Itadakimasu!

My Paleo Marin: 5 Persimmons
Image from Amazon.com

Ingredients: 

3 large eggs
1 teaspoon coconut sugar
1 teaspoon tamari sauce
1 teaspoon mirin
Pinch of kosher salt

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

Optional fillings or toppings: salmon roe, GochuJang Hot Pepper Sauce, pickled ginger, or furikake (or see link  for Japanese condiments)

Directions:
*Japanese Tanaga - Photo Allrecipes

1. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, tamarind, mirin and salt.

2. In a 10" frying pan, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Add the egg mixture, and turn the heat down to medium-low. Cook the omelet just until the underside sets, them swirl the extra liquid around the edges to aid in cooking. When most of the liquid is set on the top of the omelet, flip it over and cook for 1 more minute, until fully set. Remove to a cutting board or serving plate.

3. Cut the omelet into 2" slices. Fold the strips into thirds after adding fillings and/or toppings.

Makes about 1 to 2 servings. This size cooks well in the pan, and is easy to flip. To accommodate more people, double the recipe and increase the pan size to 12" or simply make it again in the 10" pan.

#paleo #omelet #Japanese #tanaga #glutenfree #dairyfree #vegetarian #coconut #healthyeats #kids #comfortfood

Recipe adapted from Melissa Clark's "Japanese Omelet" 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.
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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Paleo Hoisin Broccoli w/ Tamari Walnuts and Crispy Noodle Pancake


Curiosity peaked my interest about the tamari and walnut combination in I Sing in the Kitchen's recipe; satisfaction brought the dish back for several reasons.

First, the tamari sauce and walnuts tasted incredible together! With a pinch of salt, they could be served on their own as an appetizer or snack.

Second, the discovery of homemade paleo hoisin sauce was a revelation. It tastes clean and authentic without containing any questionable ingredients. It would go well with other veggies, meats, or fish.

And third, the dish was just as good without the pancake. Cutting out that step makes the dish ready to serve in a jiffy, even though there are lots of steps. You can prepare the sauces and prep the broccoli ahead of time. It should all come together in about half an hour in any case.

My Paleo Marin Rating: 
Tamari Walnuts: 5 Persimmons
Paleo Hoisin Sauce: 5 Persimmons
Broccoli: 5 Persimmons
Crispy Noodle Pancake: 0 Persimmons

Ingredients:

For the Tamari Walnuts:

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1/2 cup walnut halves
1 tablespoon tamari sauce

For the Paleo Hoisin Sauce:
Image from Amazon UK

Juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 teaspoon grated garlic
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon white rice vinegar, preferably Amoy brand
5 tablespoons tamari sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes or powder
1 teaspoon tomato paste

For the Cooking Sauce:

1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons white rice vinegar, preferably Amoy brand
1 tablespoon Paleo Hoisin Sauce (recipe above)
1 tablespoon tamari sauce
1 teaspoon coconut sugar

For the Broccoli:

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 lb. broccoli, stems trimmed and heads cut into florets

For the Noodle Pancake:*
8 ounces crispy Chinese rice noodles
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil


Directions:

For the Tamari Walnuts:

1. Heat a wok over medium heat, and add 1 tablespoon of oil.

2. Turn the heat to low, and add the walnuts. Stir constantly for about 10 seconds until they start to get slightly darker in color.

3. Add the tamari sauce to the walnuts, and stir until well coated (about 20 seconds). Watch carefully so they don't burn.

4. Set aside to cool.

For the Paleo Hoisin Sauce:

1. Add all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the mixture thickens. Stir frequently and watch carefully so it doesn't burn.

2. Pour into a small container; sauce will get thicker as it cools off. Cover and store extra in the fridge for up to two weeks.

For the Cooking Sauce:

1. In a small bowl, add the sesame oil, rice vinegar, Paleo Hoisin Sauce, tamari sauce, and coconut sugar. Whisk until smooth, and set aside.

For the Broccoli:

1. To the wok, add 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil, and heat to medium-low. Add the ginger, garlic and red pepper. Stir constantly for about 20 seconds. Remove from heat as necessary to prevent burning.

2. Turn up the heat to medium, and add another tablespoon of grapeseed oil if necessary. Stir fry the broccoli until it is well-coated with the oil and seasonings. Cover with a lid, and cook over medium low heat until crispy-tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir frequently.

3. Add the Cooking Sauce mixture, and stir to coat. Cook until sauce thickens a bit, about 3 minutes.

For the Noodle Pancake:

1. In a medium frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil. Heat to medium.

2. Form a pancake shape with the noodles, and place in the frying pan.

3. Cook for a couple of minutes, then turn the pancake over by placing a plate over the pancake, turning it over, and then putting it back in the frying pan with another tablespoon of oil if needed. Heat for another 2-3 minutes.

To Serve:

1. Place the pancake on a serving plate.

2. Spoon the broccoli mixture on the pancake, and sprinkle with the tamari walnuts.

3. Cut into wedges and serve.

#paleo #broccoli #walnuts #hoisin #tamari #chinese #asian #sidedish #maincourse #vegetarian #vegan #healthyeats 

Recipe for the paleo hoisin sauce from the Eat, Drink, Paleo website here.

*I bought already-cooked noodles by mistake because they looked like the photo in the original recipe. For the softer noodles and recipe, see the recipe from I Sing in the Kitchen blog 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, 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

Ingredients:

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)

Directions:

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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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.
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