Sunday, February 28, 2016

Pan-Fried Mackerel w/ Preserved Lemon ‘Harissa' & Beet Orange Salsa

February is Heart Health Month, and one of the best ways to nourish the heart is to eat oily fish containing omega-3s.

Our bodies can’t produce omega-3s, so we need to add them in our diet. Mackerel is a rich source of this fatty acid needed to keep a healthy metabolism and help prevent inflammation throughout the body and brain.

Mackerel is a strong-tasting fish, but you can almost pretend this dish is pizza with these flavorful toppings adapted from the Jerusalem cookbook. You’ll barely taste the fish, and can enjoy a colorful main dish with a protein that costs less than $1.00 for two fillets - even at Whole Foods!


Preserved Lemons: (Prepare 3 days ahead (minimum; best is to prepare a month in advance), or purchase at a Middle Eastern market

See link here for ingredients and directions. I used lemons in this recipe after three days, and put the rest in the refrigerator to finish brining and use later.

Preserved Lemon ‘Harissa' Paste:

1/4 cup preserved lemons, chopped into small pieces
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed in mortar & pestle
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed in mortar & pestle
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more to taste)
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil


1 medium golden beet, washed and ends trimmed
1 medium orange, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped in quarters
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika


4 mackerel fillets
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt


Preserved Lemons:

Prepare lemons three days in advance (according to link above). 

Preserved Lemon ‘Harissa’ Paste

1. Mix preserved lemon pieces, coriander and cumin seeds, garlic, salt and olive oil together in a bowl. Rub the mixture into both sides of the mackerel, and put in fridge until ready to cook.

2. Can be prepared a day or so ahead of time.


1. Boil the beet in water until a fork pierces it, about 20-30 minutes. Cool the beet, then peel and chop into small pieces.

2. Peel the orange, removing all pith and seeds, and cut into bite-sized pieces.

3. Combine the beet, orange, chopped olives, onion and parsley in a bowl. Set aside for at least 10 minutes to allow flavors to combine. Can be prepared a day or so ahead of time.


1. Just before serving, heat the olive and grape seed oils in a frying pan. Add salt to the skin side of the mackerel, and place in hot oil. Cook for 2 minutes, salt the top side, and turn over. Fry for about 1-3 more minutes until done. Don’t overcrowd the pan.

2. Transfer mackerel to plate(s) and spoon salsa on top. Eat immediately.

Serves 4. 

Recipe adapted from the Jerusalem cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tahimi.

#paleo #fish #mackerel #salsa #omega3s 
#hearthealthy #healthyeats 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Glazed Carrots w/ Parsley Gremolata, Goat Cheese & Honey

Celebrating the colors of the Tibetan New Year in this dish, and sending best wishes for a Happy Losar 2143 to all ~

The Soho Farmhouse Cooking School in Oxfordshire, England shared this recipe in the current issue of Food & Wine Magazine. Aromatic herbs infuse the carrots before they are gently cooked in stock. Then they are placed on a goat cheese and honey base and topped with parsley gremolata, one of the most delicious layers on the plate.

What a beautiful way to eat your veggies!



1 cup chopped flat parsley
1/4 cup chopped tarragon
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt & pepper


1 1/2 pounds carrots (thin ones work best), peeled, tops cut off about 2” from end of carrot
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tarragon sprigs
2 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 star anise
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
Sea salt and pepper

2 tablespoons honey, plus more for finishing
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade

6 oz. goat cheese and Maldon flaky sea salt for topping



In a medium bowl, prepare and combine all the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.


1. In a large deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Melt the butter in the oil. Add the carrots, garlic, tarragon, thyme, rosemary bay leaf, star anise, and cumin, fennel and mustard seeds. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat until the carrots slightly caramelize on the outside, about 12 minutes. Add two tablespoons of honey and cook for about 3 minutes until it caramelizes. Stir in the vinegar and cook until the carrots are coated with the sauce, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and cook over medium-low heat with the lid partially on top. When a fork pierces a carrot, remove it from the pot. If some carrots are not cooking through, cut them in half until they are done.

2. On a platter, crumble the goat cheese and drizzle the honey on top. Arrange the carrots over the cheese. Sprinkle the gremolata on top of the carrots. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt.

Enjoy the carrots warm, or cold. Makes 4-6 servings.

#vegetables #carrots #healthyeating #Losar #nepali #tibetan #paleoinspired

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentine Vegan Blueberry 'Cheesecake'

Love your heart on Valentine's Day with this vegan no-bake ‘cheesecake’ from the Swedish baking blog Call Me Cupcake.

No, it doesn’t taste like a traditional New York cheesecake. Kept in the freezer, it’s more like a Mexican paleta (ice pop) made of Medjool dates, almonds, blueberries and coconut cream.

See the link, "Vegan No Bake Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake," for ingredients, instructions and beautiful photographs of the cheesecake.

#paleo #glutenfree #dairyfree #eggfree #vegan #hearthealthy

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Mountain Forest Honey & Satsuma Marmalade

Mountain Forest Honey gives this marmalade a rich floral essence, and is a great way to boost immunity during the winter months. 

Satsumas (packed with Vitamin C) are in season for just another few weeks here in northern California. 

Enjoy them both in this flavorful, low-sugar jam inspired by award-winning Chef Sean Brock from his Heritage cookbook that celebrates his Appalachian roots.

My Paleo Marin Rating: 4.5 Persimmons


3 pounds satsuma mandarin oranges

1 1/2 cups of honey, preferably Mountain Forest Honey, Light Amber (Whole Foods), or honey of your choice
1 cup cane sugar
1 tablespoon low-sugar pectin

Prepare ahead:

Sterilize jars and lids as shown here, or run though dishwasher and leave until ready to use. Smaller jars, such as 4 oz. or 8 oz. are recommended.


Place two small plates in the freezer for testing the marmalade later.

1. With a vegetable peeler, trim off the outer layer from the rind of 2-3 satsumas. If there is pith on the inside, scrape it off with a knife and discard. Cut the rind across the short side into very small strips and then in half again for about 1/4 cup.

2. Peel the rest of the satsumas and put in a bowl. In another bowl, save the juice by slicing the segments in half and squeezing them with your hands. Put the remaining segments in another bowl, removing the membranes of the segments as best you can and discard. The rest will filter out in the food mill at the last step. Set the juice (1 to 2 cups) and segments aside.

3.  In a medium pot, heat the honey to just under a boil. If you like a stronger "burnt" flavor like Brock, cook the honey for up to 10 minutes (color of jam in jar above). I made the jam twice, and preferred 5 minutes for a lighter taste and color (more like the jam on the toast). Just stop when it tastes good to you.

4. Add the satsuma juice and segments to the pot, and heat through at medium-high heat.

5. Mix the sugar and pectin together in a small bowl. When the honey and juice mixture is warm but not boiling, add the sugar and pectin a little at a time and stir. 

6. Continue stirring the mixture for about 15 - 20 minutes. The color will turn darker and the jam should coat the back of a spoon. The temperature is supposed to rise to 240 degrees F, but mine did not go that high. Turn off the heat, and test to see if the jam has congealed on one of the plates in the freezer. If not, cook a a little longer. If you get any lumps from the pectin, they will come out in the next step.

7. Put a food mill over a bowl and pour in the cooked jam. Process it through a large-holed sieve. 
It will be thinner than the final product at this point. Scrape off the marmalade from the bottom of the sieve into the bowl. Ladle the jam into sterilized jars and add lids and screw tops. Put the jars in the refrigerator to cool. The jam will gel in about 3-4 hours.

8. Store jars in the refrigerator. If the seals are tight, the marmalade should be good for a few months. 

Makes about 5 cups of marmalade.

#satsuma #honey #marmalade #immunebooster

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.