Sunday, April 24, 2016

Lemon Angel Food Cake w/ Preserved Lemon Curd

While my cake didn't look as professional as the one in the New York Times, it sure tasted amazing!

How could it not with fresh Meyer lemon zest in the cake, and preserved lemon juice in the curd. Angel food cakes are a light, low-fat choice for a dessert. And, of course, I used gluten free flour in the cake and coconut cream in the curd. Couldn't be healthier. Right?

MPM Rating: 4.5 Persimmons*

Ingredients & Instructions:

To make the cake and lemon curd, see the New York Times link here.

For the Lemon Cake, I used 1 cup of Cup4Cup gluten-free flour instead of cake flour, and cut back the sugar to 3/4 cup. 

For the Preserved Lemon Curd, I substituted 1 can of Trader Joe's Coconut Cream for the dairy cream, and cut back the sugar to 1 cup.

I made the cake twice to adjust the amount of sugar. The second time, I followed the recommendations in the article, "When It Comes to Angel Food Cake, God is in the Details" for processing the egg whites. The result was a much lighter cake than the first one.

Original recipe for the lemon cake from the New York Times website.
The article on how to make an angel food cake is from the Fine Cooking website.

#cake #lemon #preservedlemon #coconut #glutenfree #coconut #angelfood #dessert #paleoinspired 

*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, April 17, 2016

English Peas and Himalayan Yak Cheese on Toast

Canelle et Vanille posted these toasts as an antidote to all the holiday sweets consumed in February and March. Layered with goat cheese and chives, a drizzle of olive oil, English peas, and slices of Spanish sheep cheese, you could set these open-faced sandwiches out anytime as a healthy snack or light meal. 

The star of the dish for me was the sheep cheese, Idiazabal, but an excellent substitution would be "free-range, grass fed" Himalayan Yak Cheese from Nepal. Now available for shipping anywhere in the world. you can order it here, and a portion of the proceeds will go to the ongoing earthquake relief efforts in Nepal.

For an exotic taste of spring where East meets West, please enjoy!


1 pound fresh English peas with pods (look for young, tender pods)
5 ounces goat cheese, preferably Laura Chenel Original Chabis
1 bunch chives
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced on a mandoline
8 ounces (250 grams) Idiazabal sheep cheese or Himalayan Yak Cheese, thinly sliced
Bread of choice: gluten-free, olive loaf, Sunflower Seed Bread (shown in photo), etc. - 6 slices


1. Shell the peas from the pods. Blanch the peas in lightly boiling water for 30-45 seconds. Remove and set aside. Boil the pea pods for 1 minute; remove the tenderest ones and set aside.

2. Toast the bread for about 2 minutes in a toaster oven. Mix the goat cheese with 2 tablespoons of the chopped chives and spread on the toast. Continue toasting for about another 2 minutes. Place toasts on serving plate(s).

3. Drizzle the olive oil sparingly over the goat cheese; add the radishes, pea pods and peas as desired. Place the sliced sheep or yak cheese slices on top; garnish with chopped chives.

Serves 6.

#peas #vegetarian #snacks #himalayan #yak #cheese #cleaneating #Nepal #earthquake

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Roasted Chicken Shawarma w/ Paleo Pita Bread

paleo, chicken, pita bread, shawarma, middle eastern
Shawarma is a traditional middle-eastern street food in which marinated meat is roasted all day on a vertical spit, then shaved off and served in a wrap with feta, tomatoes, onions and cucumbers.

Now, thanks to Reed Freyermuth, our Mill Valley neighbor and Home Cook Extraordinaire, you can recreate this amazingly aromatic dish right in your own oven. Reed
 shared his recipe and this note: 

"Please find attached my take on Roasted Chicken Shawarma. In my humble opinion, this is the best tasting chicken EVER.

Reed didn’t exaggerate. Follow his easy recipe, and soon your home will resemble a bustling marketplace in Marrakech as your guests serve themselves, and you just "sit back and enjoy the compliments."

*MPM Rating: 5 Persimmons

Roasted Chicken Shawarma:

Note: Marinate the meat a day or two before cooking:

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons ground pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red peper flakes
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil

2 pounds chicken thighs, boneless and skinless

1 red onion, quartered

Garnish: 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

For stuffing pita breads: chopped tomatoes, sliced white onion, cubed cucumber, crumbled feta cheese, and olives.  


1. Combine the paprika, cumin powder, pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, salt, pepper flakes, garlic, lemon juice and olive in a bowl or container.

2. Add the chicken pieces and toss to cover well. Cover and store in the refrigerator for one or two days.

3. When ready to cook the meat, heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Add the red onion to the chicken and mix once. Put the mixture in a baking pan and roast for 40 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through.

*(See note on Gluten-Free Wraps below)

4. Remove the chicken from the pan. Slice it thinly, and place under the broiler for about 4-5 minutes to add some crunch and extra flavor.

5. Place all ingredients on a platter or individual bowls. Garnish the chicken with parsley.


1. For a gluten-free pita bread option, see the recipe here (shown in photo); substitute grape seed oil for the vegetable oil. 

*2. Make the dough while the chicken roasts. Bake the pita pockets in the oven after the chicken is roasted and while you slice the chicken. When the pita breads are baked, put the chicken pieces under the broiler to finish cooking. Serve immediately.

Alternative wraps include red lettuce leaves, or store-bought pita bread (non-Paleo) briefly heated in the oven after the chicken is completed.

Serves 6. 

#paleo #chicken #shawarma #glutenfree #dairyfree #healthyeating 

Thanks to Reed Freyermuth for the Roasted Chicken Shawarma recipe.

Thanks to Gluten-Free on a Shoestring for the pita bread recipe.

*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, April 3, 2016

Avocado + Egg Salad Lettuce Boats

So beautiful. So delicious. So easy. Sometimes you forget just how good a simple dish can be.

Paleo Magazine featured this recipe in their March issue. It's a keeper, and a perfect way to use up extra hard boiled eggs. But don't wait just for that - treat yourself soon for a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner!


6 large eggs
1 ripe avocado, peeled, cored, and mashed with a potato masher
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1/4 cup finely chopped flat parsley
1 tablespoon mayonaise, preferably Vegenaise w/ grape seed oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, preferably Edmond Fallot
Juice of 1 lemon

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 head red-leaf lettuce, for serving

Optional toppings: sprouts, shredded carrots, chopped herbs


1. In a dutch oven, cover the eggs with 1” of water, and bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat, add a lid, and let the eggs sit for 12 minutes. With a slotted spoon, place cooked eggs in a bowl of cold water to cool down. (Note: or use your favorite way to make hard boiled eggs.)

2. Peel the cooled eggs. Coarsely chop the eggs and put in a medium bowl.

3. Add the avocado, green onions, parsley, mayonnaise, mustard and lemon juice. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

4. Place egg salad on individual lettuce leaves to serve.

Makes 8 lettuce cups.

#paleo #egg #salad #glutenfree #healthyeats