Sunday, January 31, 2016

Endive Salad w/ Salmon Caviar and Cashew Crème Fraîche

Make the “faux” crème frâiche ahead of time, and this beautiful winter salad can be on the table in under 15 minutes. The cashews add a delicate flavor and heart-healthy fat, and provide a dairy-free option for those who are lactose-intolerant.


Cashew Crème Frâiche: 

1 cup whole cashews 

1/4 cup water

Juice of 1 large lemon
Fleur de Sel Salt & Pepper to taste

Optional: 2 tablespoons of coconut cream, preferably Trader Joe's

Endive Salad:

4-6 heads of Belgium endive

2 ounces salmon cavier
1 bunch of chives, chopped


Cashew Crème Frâiche:

Note: Soak cashews overnight 1-2 days ahead of making the salad, or for 1/2 hour in hot water if pressed for time.

1. Put the cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Let soak overnight, preferably.

After soaking:

1. Drain the cashews in a colander and put in a food processor or blender.

2. Add the water, lemon juice, (coconut cream, if using), and salt and pepper. Blend all ingredients well. If the mixture is too wet, add a few more cashews; if it is too stiff, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time. Taste for seasoning. 

2. Store in a covered container in the fridge for about 3 days, or proceed with making the salad.

Endive Salad:

1. Separate the leaves of the endive heads and trim off the bottoms. Wash the leaves thoroughly, and pat dry with a towel.

2. Arrange the endive leaves on a platter or plate. Add a dollop of crème frâiche. Put the salmon caviar on top of the crème frâiche. Sprinkle the chopped chives over the salad.

Makes 4-6 servings. Serve immediately.

#paleo #glutenfree #dairyfree #cleaneating #healthyeating #salad #endive

Recipe adapted from Joanne Weir’s Kitchen Gypsy cookbook.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Watercress Salad w/ Creamy Mascarpone Vinaigrette

Is it possible that watercress is the Fountain of Youth?

"The top dog, the unrivaled champion, the chairman of the cutting board, watercress may also be the closest thing yet to a true anti-aging food."*

In addition to keeping skin dewy and youthful, raw watercress contains four times the beta carotene of an apple to boost immunity, and is believed to help fight cancer. So do yourself a favor inside and out - eat up!


For the Vinaigrette:

3 tablespoons mascarpone
1/3 cup coconut cream, preferably Trader Joe's
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
Small garlic clove, minced

For the salad:

2 cups watercress, washed thoroughly and towel dried
3 heads Belgium endive, washed and towel dried
2 red grapefruit, outer peel removed, segments cut away from outer membranes
2 pomelos, outer peel removed, segments cut away from outer membranes
1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt and Pepper to taste


1/2 cup slivered almonds, slightly roasted in pan on stovetop
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds


1. Put ingredients for the vinaigrette in a medium-sized bowl; whisk to mix completely.

2. Put the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add about half of the vinaigrette and mix thoroughly. Taste. Add more vinaigrette, salt and pepper as desired.
Store extra vinaigrette in the fridge and use on salads, vegetables, or fish.

Serves 4.

#salad #vegetarian #watercress #glutenfree #healthyeating #cleaneating #fountainofyouth

* "SUPERFOOD #1 Watercress; Nutrition Score: 100," article on Huffington Post website.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Roasted Cauliflower, Brown Butter Leek Sauce and Coconut Cream Dressing

For 2015, The New York Times named Heritage by Sean Brock as the "blue ribbon chef cookbook of the year."

Following his ingredient list and clear instructions, I adapted the recipe for roasted cauliflower.

The first clue this was going to be fantastic was the aroma of the star anise in the vegetable stock. The whole cauliflower browned beautifully after 20 minutes of ladling butter and oil over it. The brown butter sauce with leeks smelled delicious, and the coconut cream (substituted for dairy) and cauliflower pieces pureed in the blender tasted fresh and complemented the other ingredients perfectly. The result was a mélange of flavors that would make any amateur cook feel like a 3-star chef!

My Paleo Marin Rating: 5 Persimmons


Vegetable Stock:

2 chopped leeks, white part only
1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1 fennel bulb, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 quarts cold water
1 cup white grape juice
1 teaspoon dried herbs, or 3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 whole star anise
1 bay leaf


1 large head cauliflower with about 1-inch stem
Kosher Salt
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
Metal cookie cutter (or similar) to hold cauliflower upright in stock pot

Brown Butter and Leek Sauce:

8 ounces butter, preferably grass fed, or Plugra
Juice of 1/2 Meyer lemon
1 teaspoon tumeric
2 leeks, white part only, sliced horizontally into 1/4" pieces

Coconut Cream Dressing:

1-2 cups vegetable stock
Cauliflower stem and extra smaller pieces leftover from center cut wedges
1/2 cup coconut milk solids, preferably Trader Joe's Coconut Cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper


1 bunch watercress, washed and patted dry
Grated zest of 1 Meyer lemon (use a Microplane)
1 tablespoon red peppercorns


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Vegetable Stock:

1. In a food processor, chop small batches of the leeks, onion, fennel, celery and garlic until they are the size of peas.

2. In a stock pot, heat the grapeseed oil over medium-high heat and sauté the vegetables until just tender, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the water, grape juice, star anise and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and skim off any impurities on the top. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 45 minutes. Add more water if necessary. Stock should be fragrant and rich in color when done.

4. Pour the stock into a colander lined with cheesecloth that has been placed over a bowel or pot. Discard the vegetables in the cheesecloth; do not squeeze excess into stock.

5. Put the stock in the refrigerator for about an hour to cool down. Skim off any residue on top of the stock. 

Cauliflower Before Ladling

1. Fix a small metal cup or cookie cutter to the bottom of the whole cauliflower. Put in a stock pot. Generously sprinkle the cauliflower head with kosher salt.

Add the butter and oil and heat to medium high. Spoon the oils continuously over the cauliflower head with a ladle until it is well-browned, about 20 minutes.
Cauliflower After Ladling

2. Move the stock pot with the cauliflower to the pre-heated oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until it pierces easily with a fork.

3. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes.

4. Cut off the stem and set aside. Starting at the top of the cauliflower, slice 1/2” pieces through the head and place on a greased baking sheet. Return to the oven to stay warm and finish cooking through.

5. Chop the stem into small pieces, and set aside with other cauliflower pieces that are leftover from the slicing.

Brown Butter and Leek Sauce:

1. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat until it turns brown and smells slightly nutty, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice until emulsified. Return to low heat and add the turmeric and leeks; cook about 2 minutes to blend flavors and slightly wilt the leeks. Set aside and warm up later.

Coconut Cream Sauce:

1. In a small sauce pan, add the extra cauliflower pieces and chopped, peeled stem. Pour 2 cups of vegetable stock over the mixture, or enough to cover the vegetables. Bring to a simmer, add the coconut cream, and stir until heated through. Put everything in a blender and puree, about 2-4 minutes. Add salt and black pepper and mix to combine.

To Serve:

Can be assembled on a platter, or individual plates as follows:

Cover the area on the plate for the cauliflower with coconut cream sauce. Arrange the cauliflower slice(s) on top. Reheat and spoon the leek sauce over the cauliflower. Drizzle a bit more coconut sauce on top. Garnish with water cress, lemon zest, and red peppercorns. Serve warm.

Makes about 4 servings.

#paleo #vegetarian #cauliflower #glutenfree #healthyeating #cleaneating

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.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Baby Bok Choy w/ Tahini Sauce

Baby bok choy is abundant this time of year in Northern California. While often lost in stir fry or swimming in soup, bok choy is the star ingredient in this recipe.  Even if it’s not your favorite vegetable, the subtle nut butter, ginger and fresh orange flavors in the sauce will pleasantly surprise you.


1 pound baby bok choy, washed with ends cut off, leaves separated

6 ounces crimini (or shitake) mushrooms, cleaned, 1/4” slices, and slices cut in half
2-3 medium carrots, julienned

2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon tahini
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut aminos
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Cilantro for garnish, optional


1. For the sauce, whisk together the orange juice, tahini, coconut aminos, and ginger. Set aside.

2. In a medium sauce pan, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently until they are tender, about 5-6 minutes. Drain and set aside.

3. In the bottom of a steamer, bring two inches of water to a boil. Steam the bok choy in the steamer basket just until they start to wilt, about 4-5 minutes. Drain excess liquid in a colander.

4. In a large bowl, toss the bok choy with the carrots, mushrooms and tahini sauce. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle sesame seeds (and cilantro, if using) on top.

Makes 4+ side dishes.

#paleo #bokchoy #veggies #healthyeating #cleaneating

Recipe adapted from the Whole Foods website.