Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New Year's Citrus Salad

Please help yourself to this kaleidoscope of flavors and colors from the Kitchen Gypsy cookbook by Joanne Weir.* Topped with a white balsamic vinegar and honey dressing, the salad is a perfect way to lighten up and keep those New Year’s resolutions.

A delicious discovery in this recipe was the Condimento Bianco di Modena white balsamic vinegar (Whole Foods, $10.99).  It added just the right amount of sweetness to balance the acidity of the fruit, and I've since used it in cole slaw and tuna salad. Plus, the thick cork top and beautiful label bring a touch of Italy to my kitchen and a smile inside every time I see it on the shelf.



1/4 cup grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1 to 2 tablespoons honey (personal preference)
Juice of 1/2 lime
Salt & pepper


1 white grapefruit
1 ruby grapefruit
2 Cara Cara oranges
2 blood oranges
1 small red onion
10 kumquats
1 lime
Zest of 1 orange and 1 grapefruit.

Optional mint or other chopped greens for garnish (I used dandelion greens).


1. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside. 

2. With a sharp knife, cut the bottoms and tops off of the grapefruits and oranges. Cut the peel off of the sides. Slice each one horizontally into 1/4" pieces. 

3. Peel the onion and cut 1/8” slices. Cut the kumquats in half and remove the seeds. Cut the lime into thin slices and cut in half again.

3. Arrange the grapefruit, oranges and onion on a plate. Drizzle the dressing over the slices. Add the kumquats, lime, zest and optional chopped greens.

Serves six.

#paleo #citrus #salad #glutenfree #dairyfree #healthyeating

*Recipe adapted from Kitchen Gypsy cookbook by Joanne Weir.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

cake, cranberries, holiday eating glutenfree
’Tis the season for a Cranberry Upside Down Cake. This recipe uses coconut milk, minimizes the sugar, and adds lemon zest to allow the taste of the fruit to shine through. It looks beautiful on the table, and is a refreshing light dessert after a big meal.

Once again, the Cup4Cup flour worked great. The pastry chef at The French Laundry restaurant started experimenting with gluten-free flours, and Thomas Keller, head chef, encouraged her to develop her own brand. It’s now available in stores and online.


For the Topping:

2 cups fresh cranberries
1/4 cup fresh orange juice

3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, preferably Muscovado Light Brown

For the Cake:

1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour, preferably Cup4Cup
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

8 tablespoons butter (1 stick) at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup coconut milk, mixture of solid and wet parts

Zest of 1 lemon

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar for final dusting

Optional Coconut Milk Whipped Cream: 1 can coconut milk, preferably Trader Joe's Coconut Cream


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the topping:

1. Combine the cranberries and juice in a bowl. Set aside.

2. In a 9” cake pan, add the butter and brown sugar. Put in oven and keep a close watch until the sugar beings to caramelize, a couple of minutes. Remove from oven.

3. With a slotted spoon, add the cranberries to fill the bottom of the pan in a single layer. Pour the remaining juice over the berries, and set aside.

For the Cake:

1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

2. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and slightly fluffy. Add the vanilla, and then the egg yolks, one at a time, until all is mixed well. 

3. Alternate adding the flour blend and coconut milk ending with the flour just until blended together. Put the batter in another bowl, and fold in the lemon zest with a rubber spatula.

4. Clean the mixing bowl and attachment. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gently fold the whites into the batter. The mixture will be quite wet. 

5. Spread the batter over the cranberries in the cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. until a wooden skewer comes out clean; check at 25 minutes. My cake took 40 minutes.

6. When done, place the cake pan on a rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Place a serving plate on top of the cake and turn it all over to allow cake to drop on the plate. Let cool down, and sprinkle the confectioner’s sugar on top through a sieve. 

The cake is best served warm. If desired, top with Coconut Whipped Cream, instructions here.

#cake #upsidedowncake #cranberries #glutenfree #holidayeating

Recipe adapted from Alice Water’s website here.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Valrhona Spice Cookies

Inspired by round iced cookies historically made for Rosh Hashanah, later infused with a European spice palette by immigrants to Jerusalem in the 1930’s, and now updated and served in a London restaurant by Yokam Ottolenghia, these spice cookies (with a bit of paleo tweaking) are a delicious blend of cultures, cocoa and candied fruit for the holiday season.

Ingredients for Candied Meyer Lemon Peels (prepare the night before):

6 Meyer Lemons, cut in half and juiced
Water to cover lemons

2 cups water
3 cups pure cane sugar

1 teaspoon pure cane sugar (for finishing)

Directions for Candied Meyer Lemon Peels (prepared the night before baking):

1. Cover the lemon halves with water by 1 inch and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes.

2. Pour off liquid, and repeat Step 1. Peels should easily be pierced with a knife (or repeat). Drain and let cool.

Note: for Eureka Lemons or orange rinds, rinse 3 times.

3. Scoop out and discard the inner rind of the halves with a spoon. Slice the peels into 1/4” strips with a knife. Gently scrape the inside of the strips with a knife or spoon to remove any excess pith, leaving a thin film of white against the colorful zest.

4. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water and sugar to a boil. Add the lemon peels and lower heat to a simmer. Cook gently (to avoid making the rinds tough) until the peels are slightly translucent and the temperature measures 220 degrees F.

5. Put a rack over a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. With a slotted spoon, place the lemon peels on the rack to cool. Air dry the cooled peels in fridge overnight. When ready,  cut the peels into various shapes: triangles, rectangles, squares, small strips. Toss the cut peels in a teaspoon of cane sugar, shake off excess, and set aside.

6. Store the candied peels in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a year.

Ingredients for Spice Cookies:

3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons currants 
4 tablespoons white grape juice 

2 cups gluten-free flour, preferably Cup4Cup
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 ounces Valrhona Guanaja 70% chocolate, finely chopped
2 ounces Ghirardelli 60% chocolate, finely chopped

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup pure cane sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste, or extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest

1/2 large egg, beaten

Directions for the Spice Cookies:

1. Soak the currants in the white grape juice for at least 10 minutes .

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda, spices, salt and chocolate shavings. Set aside.

3. In a stand mixer with the beater attachment, mix the butter, sugar, vanilla, and zests together for just 1 minute. Do not aerate too much. With the mixer running, slowly add the egg and mix for another minute. Add the dry ingredients until just mixed together.

4. Remove the bowl from the stand and add the currants (with juice), mixing in with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Then knead the dough with your hands until it forms a cohesive ball.

5. Divide the dough into about 1 3/4 ounce chunks (about 1 tablespoon), and roll with your hands to make balls. Place balls 3/4” apart on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, and let rest in the fridge for an hour.

6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes and check with a wooden skewer. They should be firm on the outside but soft on the inside. Do not over-bake. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan on a rack. Transfer the warm cookies to the rack, and place the rack on top of the baking pan and parchment paper.

7. While still warm, drizzle 1 tablespoon of glaze (below) over the top, and put 3-5 pieces of the candied lemon peel on top.

Serve when cool, or store in airtight container fridge for about 3 days.

Ingredients for Glaze:

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup powdered sugar

Directions for Glaze:

1. Whisk together the lemon juice and sugar.

Makes about 30 cookies.

#cookies #dessert #chocolate #glutenfree #nutfree 

Cookie recipe adapted from the Jerusalem cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi.
Candied peel recipe adapted from The Art of Simple Food II by Alice Waters.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

British Butter Cookies & Lime Curd

If you haven’t watched The Great British Baking Show on PBS, I highly recommend it. In the UK, this season’s finale was the BBC’s most-watched program of 2015.

Over a period of 10 weekends, amateur bakers compete for the title of Best Baker. The contestants are given three challenges each week: a signature bake, a technical challenge, and a show-stopper. The judges look for excellent flavors, uniform sizes, and an elegant presentation.

I can hear Mary Berry now tasting my cookies and curd: Well, the biscuits and curd have very good flavor, but the presentation and uniform sizing falls a bit short. Remember, it’s style and substance that counts.


The judges, Paul and Mary Berry, taste a show-stopper. 
Photo downloaded from internet.
Lime Curd:
6 tablespoons butter at room temperature
2/3 cup pure cane sugar
2 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Shortbread Cookies:
2 cups gluten-free flour, preferably Cup4Cup
2 tablespoons grated lime zest
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
1 cup finely chopped cranberries


Using the ingredient list above, prepare the cookies following the directions from the Bribery Bakery website here.

Makes about 30 cookies.

#dessert #cookies #curd #glutenfree #greatbritishbakingshow #maryberry

Recipe adapted from the November Food & Wine Magazine feature on the Bribery Bakery recipe.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Winter Walnut, Beet & Pear Salad

This salad is dedicated to our local Mill Valley Market where most of the ingredients were purchased. It is a family-owned market, and many of the items come directly from their family farm.

Not only did the green grocer offer great suggestions for the best combination of veggies for taste and texture (as well as the photograph), he also cautioned me to wait until Wednesday to purchases the lettuces - not an easy thing to do for someone who likes to prep ahead!

Plus, seeing the friendly faces of the staff who have worked there since I started going to the market 27 years ago made very clear why shopping local is important - on so many levels.

*MPM Rating: 5 Persimmons


Note: After making the salad platter above, there were enough greens leftover to make another large bowl of salad. The dressing recipe is for just the platter; if making all the salad greens in a bowl, double the dressing recipe.


1 head red butter lettuce
1 head escarole
1 head little gem lettuce (2 for bowl)
1 head Belgium endive
1 head frisee
1 head radicchio
2 bunches baby beets
1 Bosc pear
1/2 pound French feta*
2 tablespoons fresh dill
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted as shown here, optional

*For paleo, omit feta cheese.


1/3 cup grapeseed oil
Juice of 1 1/2 fresh lemons
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, to taste
2 tablespoons honey, to taste
1 garlic clove, minced
Sea salt & ground pepper to taste


1. For the beets: cut off the tops, rinse, and put in roasting pan. Fill pan to 1/8” with water. Cover the pan tightly with foil, and roast at 425 degrees F for about 40 minutes, or until a fork slides easily into the middle. Set aside to cool. Remove the skins and cut into quarters (can be prepared the night before and stored in a covered container in the fridge).

2. For the walnuts: toast a baking sheets at 350 degrees F for about 10-12 minutes, until slightly browned. Set aside to cool (can be prepared the night before and stored in a covered container).

3. Combine the ingredients for the dressing, whisking as each one is added. Set aside.

4. Rinse and thoroughly dry all the vegetables.

5. Thinly slice the pear with a mandolin and cut the slices in half.

6. For the platter: Arrange the ingredients on the dish in the order presented. Add just enough of each one to fill out the plate. Put the rest in a bowl and set aside for later. Drizzle the dressing on top, with extra on the side. Serve immediately.

For a bowl: Roughly tear the veggies into bite-sized pieces and put all ingredients in a bowl. Add dressing and toss well. Serve immediately.

#salad #vegetarian #glutenfree #healthyeating

Recipe adapted from website.

*MPM 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, November 22, 2015

Repost: Cauliflower Mashers

One of my favorite discoveries on this diet has been how much better I like the taste of these cauliflower mashers over mashed potatoes.  It only takes about 15 minutes and 4 ingredients to made a delicious side dish to accompany any food - or just enjoy by itself.


1 large cauliflower
4 ounces of European unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (preferably Diamond Crystal brand)
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground pepper

Optional: 1 clove garlic
Optional: Chives for topping

1. Chop the head of cauliflower into florets.  Steam the florets in a double boiler for 8 - 10 minutes, or until a fork goes easily into the stem. 

2. Put the steamed cauliflower, butter, salt and pepper in a food processor. Blend until the cauliflower mixture looks like mashed potatoes.  Taste for butter, salt and pepper.

Optional:  Add 1 clove of finely chopped garlic in the food processor.

Top with chives, if using. Serve. 

Makes 4 side servings.

#paleo #cauliflower #glutenfree #lowcarb 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Thanksgiving Apple Cider Cake

This apple cake is adapted from a traditional New England family recipe.* Topped with apples, cinnamon, sugar and a creamy apple cider reduction glaze, it's a perfect fall dessert and beautiful addition to your Thanksgiving table.


To Prepare Ahead:

1 can coconut milk left in fridge overnight, upside down, preferably Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream Extra Thick & Rich

1 additional can: optional to serve alongside cake

1 cup apple cider, reduced to 1/2 cup, cooled for about an hour
1 cup apple cider, reduced to 2 tablespoons, cooled for about an hour (watch carefully at end)

For the Whipped Cream in the Cake (note: only 1/2 cup of mixture will be used in cake):

1 cup coconut milk: 3/4 cup solid and 1/4 cup liquid
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cake:

1/4 cup softened butter (4 tablespoons or half a stick)
3/4 cup cane sugar
2 eggs

2 cups gluten-free flour, preferably Cup4Cup
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut whipped cream, previously prepared

1 Granny Smith apple, chopped into 1/8” cubes (about 1 cup)

For the Topping:

1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons cane sugar

1 Granny Smith apple, sliced thinly with a mandolin

For the Glaze:

2 tablespoons apple cider reduction, previously prepared
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2-4 tablespoons whipped coconut cream, or enough to drizzle glaze off a spoon or knife but still be a bit firm

Optional Whipped Cream to Serve alongside Cake:

1 cup of firm coconut milk from top of can
1-2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the inside of a 9” springform baking pan.

For the Whipped Cream in the Cake:

Combine the coconut milk, powdered sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer and beat with the whisk attachment for about 1 minute. Mixture should be a slightly runny. Put in covered container in fridge to chill.

For the Cake:

1. Add butter and sugar and mix on medium in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until smooth.

2. Add the eggs, one at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed; mix on medium high for about 3 minutes until batter is light and fluffy.

3. In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup apple cider reduction and 1/2 cup of the coconut whipped cream until well mixed.

4. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Add 1/3 of the dry mixture to the batter, followed by 1/3 of the apple cider/whipped cream mixture. When all the ingredients are combined, remove bowl from mixer. Gently fold in the cup of chopped apples.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange the apple slices on top in a fan shape. Sprinkle with the sugar/cinnamon blend. Check in 50 minutes. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean. [I baked the cake for an hour, turned off the oven, and let the cake sit in the oven for another 10 minutes.]

6. Cool the cake pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and let cool on rack for about an hour.

7. Combine the 2 tablespoons cider reduction, sugar, and whipped cream until it is thin enough to drizzle from a knife over the top, or put it in a squeeze bottle and decorate the top. Save the extra glaze to put on slices as they are served.

For the Optional Whipped Cream to Serve with Cake:

Add the coconut milk solids, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer; beat on medium high for about 3 minutes; mixture should be more firm than that used in the cake.

Store the cake for about 3 days in the fridge, or freeze in plastic wrap and foil.

#cake #dessert #Thanksgiving #glutenfree

*Recipe adapted from website.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Morning Meringues

There can’t be an easier cookie recipe:
  • Toast 3/4 cup pecans for 10 minutes at 350 F; 
  • Whip two egg whites and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter until soft peaks form; 
  • Add 1/2 cup cane sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste and 1/4 teaspoon cardamom; whip 2-3 minutes until stiff peaks form;
  • Gently fold in chopped pecans, 3/4 cup chocolate chips, and 1/2 cup dried cherries; 
  • Drop 2” balls onto foil-lined cookie sheet;
  • Bake in preheated 350 F oven for 5 minutes; turn off heat and leave to finish overnight (or at least 8 hours). 
Makes about 26 cookies. Store for up to 3 days in the fridge, or freeze. 

Ingredient List:

3/4 cup toasted chopped pecans

2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/2 cup cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract if not available )
1/4 teaspoon cardamom 

3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cherries

#meringues #glutenfree #dairyfree #cookies

Recipe from November Food and Wine Magazine.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Trick-or-Treat Orange Sweets

Halloween isn’t just for kids anymore!

Taking candy corn to the next level, these Valhrona chocolate and candied orange slices will amaze and bedazzle your family and guests.

For a fresh alternative to stale packaged treats, enjoy these Halloween Orange Sweets ~ 


2 oranges, peel on, thinly sliced with a mandolin

1/2 cup cane sugar
2 cups water

40 oz. Valrhona Guanaja 70% Baking Bar 
40 oz. Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar

1/2 teaspoon Maldon salt, optional topping


1. Bring the water and sugar to boil in a medium saucepan. Stir until the sugar dissolves, and add the orange slices. Immediately turn the heat to very low, cover pot partially with lid, and cook for about 1 1/2 hours. Stir the mixture occasionally, and when the slices are cooked through, remove with tongs to a baking sheet or plates covered with parchment paper. Place in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

2. When the oranges are ready, temper the chocolate as follows: Put 2 inches of water in a saucepan and place a wider metal bowl on top to make a double boiler. When the water boils, put 1/2 of the chocolate pieces in the metal bowl and melt the chocolate, stirring constantly, heating it to a temperature of 105 degrees F. with a candy thermometer.

3. Add the rest of the chocolate to the melted chocolate. Stir briefly to melt most of it, then take the bowl off of the boiling water.  Mix until all the chocolate is melted and the temperature has cooled down to about 82 degrees. The chocolate is “tempered” (blended well, good color, and will have a crunchy bite) when it has a glossy sheen.

4. Dip each end of the orange slices in the chocolate and place on parchment paper. Add salt if desired. Return to the refrigerator to chill for for about 1 hour. Serve.

Recipe adapted from GiveRecipe website.

#halloween #chocolate #dessert

Sunday, October 18, 2015

My Thai Coconut Curry Soup

A little heat. A little sweet. My perfect soup to come home to on a cool autumn evening.

For this recipe, I followed the guidelines for making soup from Epicurious: chop; sweat; season; add liquid (broth or water); blenderize.

The result was an intensely flavorful, creamy soup. Customize your ingredients and enjoy!


For the Chop:
1 medium yellow onion
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces, about 4 cups
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2” pieces, about 2 cups
1 apple, chopped into small pieces, preferably Pink Lady or other sweet red apple
Pinch of fine sea salt

For the Sweat:
1 tablespoon butter + 1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the Seasoning:
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons Red Thai Curry Sauce

For the Liquid:
4 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon fish sauce, preferably Red Boat Fish Sauce

1/2 cup coconut flakes, pre-toasted, or make them here
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk for drizzling on top
Cilantro sprigs
Fresh lime juice


1. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and oil in soup stock pot; add onions and stir for a couple of minutes until they start to soften. Add the seasonings while the oil is hot to allow their flavors to release. Now add the remaining butter, squash, apple, carrots and salt and stir to combine. Cook about 8-10 minutes until onions are translucent, stirring frequently.

2. Add the liquids, and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables soften. 

3. Transfer the soup to a blender in small batches. Tip: remove the plastic knob on top and cover with a towel to allow steam to escape. 

4. Serve, or reheat the soup when ready to eat. Add toppings of choice.

Makes about 4 servings.

#paleo #thai #curry #soup #healthyeating #glutenfree #dairyfree

Recipe adapted from Running on Real Food website.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Cranberry Apple Acorn Squash

’Twas a cold and windy night when I turned on the oven to cook this acorn squash.

An hour or so later, the warmed kitchen was filled with the aroma of apple pie and this pastiche of fall colors was ready to eat!

Ingredients for 1 Squash:

1 large acorn squash (2 - 4 servings)

3/4 cup apple juice


1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 apple, chopped into bite-sized pieces (I used a Fuji)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons grass fed butter, melted (or coconut oil or grape seed oil)

Fine sea salt


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

1. Wash and dry the acorn squash. Set the squash on a cutting board with the stem side on the bottom. Cut the squash in half vertically. Clean out the insides with a spoon.* 

2. Pour the apple juice in the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the squash halves cut side down in the juice, and place in preheated oven.

3. While the squash is roasting, mix together the ingredients for the filling in a bowl. 

4. Remove the pan from the oven after 30 minutes, and turn the squash halves over. Add a pinch of salt to each half. Spoon in the filling, sprinkle with salt again, and return to the oven.

5. After another 30 minutes (1 hour total), check the squash. My squash took another 15 minutes (45 minutes total) until the color was golden and the flesh pulled apart with a fork. I turned off the oven and let it stay for another 15 minutes. To serve, cut into portions for a side dish, or serve one half per person. Be sure to stir the filling with the flesh of the squash to blend the delicious flavors together.

*Discard the stringy parts, and if desired, bake the seeds later at 200 degrees F until they are slightly browned, about 3/4 hour; sprinkle with salt.

#paleo #veggies #squash #glutenfree #healthyeating

Recipe adapted from Elana’s Pantry website.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes never tasted so good!

Slice the potato, add butter and salt, and an hour or so later prepare your topping of choice.

Delicious, nutritious, easy. My mantra for the week.


Sweet potato of choice: 

I used one extra-large Japanese sweet potato that was plenty for 3 side portions

Butter, preferably grass fed
Fine sea salt to taste

Toppings of choice:

Melted butter, preferably grass fed
Bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces and baked or fried
Scallion, sautéed 
Garlic cloves, sautéed
Chives, cut
Maldon Sea Salt Flakes


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

1. Scrub the potato clean and dry it with a towel. Using a steady hand and a sharp knife, cut slices in the potato 1/8" wide, about 3/4 of the way through, or as far as you can cut without the potato coming apart. My potato was so big, I baked it for an hour, and then cut deeper when it had softened up. 

One suggestion for cutting the slices is to place a chopstick on each side of the potato to stop the knife before it goes through to the bottom; if it is small enough, place the potato in a large wooden spoon and the sides of the spoon will stop the knife. 

2. If possible, gently place butter with a knife in between the slices; add salt. If the potato is too rigid, bake it for about 45 minutes, and then insert the butter. Add butter and salt to the top. 

3. Check the potato about 1 hour into baking. The potato is done when a fork can easily be inserted toward the bottom of it. My enormous potato took about 1 1/2 hours. 

4. Add toppings of choice and serve.

#paleo #veggies #hasselback #sweetpotato #healthyeating 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Matcha Tea Truffles

Channeling my inner Ina Garten, I wondered what to make for a friend coming to tea who loves dark chocolate and green tea lattes?

Matcha Tea Truffles, of course!

If you appreciate the health benefits and tastes of green tea, coconut, and dark chocolate, you also will love these melt-in-your-mouth treats.



1 cup coconut butter (manna)

1 tablespoon matcha tea powder
3 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 

Chocolate Coating:

14 ounces dark chocolate: I used:

   2 ounces Valhrona Noir Guanaja chocolate, chopped
   4 ounces Ghiradelli 60% chocolate, chopped
   8 ounces Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips 

3-4 tablespoons almond milk


For homemade almond milk, start the night before and follow the recipe here.


1. In a food processor, mix the coconut butter, match tea powder, and maple syrup until well blended, about 30 seconds. Stir in the shredded coconut with a wooden spoon.

2. Put mixture in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for about 15 minutes, or until it is firm enough to form into balls.

3. Using a heaping teaspoon of filling, roll into a ball, and place on parchment paper on a plate. When all balls are rolled, place in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Makes about 24 balls.

Chocolate Coating:

1. If you have the patience and a candy thermometer, omit the almond milk and melt and temper the chocolate as described here. The result will be a beautiful sheen on the chocolate, and the balls can dipped and covered with chocolate using 2 forks. 

Or (as I did this time),

1a. Put 2 inches of water in a pot and add a wider metal bowl on top to make a double boiler.  When the water boils, add the chocolate pieces and the almond milk. Stir with a wooden spoon until all the chocolate is melted together. Remove from the heat, and add enough milk so the chocolate is thin enough to roll the balls of filling in. Stir briskly to mix the chocolate and milk together.

2. When the balls are firm, roll them in the chocolate with your hands until they are covered. Place them on parchment paper on a plate. Place the plate in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.

Makes about 24 truffles. Keep refrigerated for a few days, or freeze.

#paleo #truffles #matcha #chocolate #dessert #glutenfree

Recipe adapted from My Whole Life website.