Monday, October 31, 2016

Trick or Treat Banana Sweet (Vegan)

Recently posted on Instagram:


      ON AVERAGE I SPEND 
                 ABOUT
       $80 A YEAR TO WATCH
      BANANAS TURN BROWN

If this sounds like your household, here's a suggestion for a 100% natural and delicious healthy treat, ideal for those Halloween Goblins under 5 years old. 

No ice cream maker required - except you!

My Paleo Marin: 2.5 Persimmons*

Directions and Ingredients: 

For "Guilt Free Banana Ice Cream" recipe, see the Vitacost website here. Substitute honey for agave syrup.

For the tempered chocolate topping, see My Paleo Marin here. Omit chocolate for vegan.

Chocolate covered sunflower seeds from Trader Joe's. Omit for vegan.

#paleo #vegan #raw #dessert #icecream #coconut #almondbutter


*My Paleo Marin 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, October 30, 2016

(Almost) Paleo French Onion Soup

The wet and chilly weather of late led to nostalgia for a steamy bowl of French Onion Soup. 

The toppings would need some tweaking to make a healthier version for my diet. Luckily, a bit of field work and internet research led me to substitutions that might taste good and have the satisfying mouth feel of this soup.

First, thick slices of French baguette float on top to hold the cheese. Good news! Against The Grain now makes a gluten-free baguette available in the frozen section of many local markets. This product met all the criteria for taste, texture and mouth feel.


Next up, the grated cheese. The cheesemonger at Whole Foods said there is no good non-dairy substitute for gruyere
 cheese. He recommended Manchego Sheep Cheese. Sheep eat only grass (grass-fed butter is ok on the paleo diet), and is easier to digest than cow or goat cheese. Plus, it tastes great and has the mouth feel you'd expect in the soup. He was spot on.

Last but not least was non-alcoloic wine, an ingredient in the soup. An internet search led to the Ariel Winery. They make a Chardonnay wine, then remove the alcohol with a cold filtration process. It was available at the local BevMo store. Turns out, the soup base didn’t need the addition of the sweet wine - the onions provided enough sweetness on their own. 


But it was lovely to have a chilled glass of white “wine” to complement the soup. Mission accomplished. Bon appétit!


My Paleo Marin Rating:  3 Persimmons*


Ingredients:


2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large yellow onions, ends cut off, peeled, cut into 4ths, then chopped into 1/4" slices (4-5 cups)


4 cups of high-quality beef broth, either homemade or a good stock, such as Stock Options Classic Beef Stock

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste

1 loaf gluten free baguette

5 oz Manchego Sheep Cheese, grated

1 bottle Ariel Chardonnay, optional 


Directions:


1. Heat the oil in a medium sized pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and stir with a wooden spoon to coat with oil. Cook the onions over low heat for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes. The onions are caramelized and fully flavorful when they have cooked down to about 1 cup and have turned brown (but are not burned).


2. While the soup is cooking, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the baguette into 1/2" slices and toast for 10 - 15 minutes on a baking sheet. Remove when they have dried out and just start to brown around the edges.

3. When the onions have cooked down, add the broth and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan (deglazing). Add the thyme, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Then simmer the soup over medium/low heat for 10 minutes.

4. Fill two large bowls with soup (or 4 ramekins). Add bread slices on top, and sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Put the bowls under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese melts and the bread is browned.

Serve immediately.

*MPM Ingredient Rating:
Baguette:  3 Persimmons
Cheese: 5 Persimmons

Wine: 1 Persimmon

For non-dairy hard cheese options, see link here.

#French #onion #soup #glutenfree #againsthegrain #manchego #sheep #cheese #lunch #dinner #comfortfood

Recipe adapted from the Chris Kresser website here.



*My Paleo Marin 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, October 23, 2016

King of Thailand Memorial Iced Tea w/ Whipped Coconut Cream

We arrived in Thailand in 2003 (not our first trip), and wondered why everyone was wearing yellow shirts? Turns out it was the beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej's birthday. Although he was not in good health, long life wishes were everywhere.

If you haven't been to Thailand, it is a great "exotic" destination. It's almost worth going just to eat Mangosteens - Queen of the Fruits.

The King passed away this month after a 70-year rule. Transition may be difficult as the king passed over his popular, well-educated, level-headed daughter in order for his son to rule. There may be a rocky transition (the country is basically run by the military), so stay tuned.
"Magnificant Mangosteens" from FoodFacts Website

In the meantime, here is a recipe for Thai Iced Tea with whipped coconut cream. I was surprised how close these ingredients came to the "real deal.” Please enjoy as you raise a toast to the late King Adulyadej. Yellow shirt optional.

My Paleo Marin Rating: 2.4 Persimmons

Ingredients:

5 cups water

1/4 cup honey
8 Assam black tea bags (or 8 teaspoons loose tea)
1 whole star anise
2 brown cardamom pods
Yellow shirts show support for King -
photo from South China Post

2 cups Trader Joe's Coconut Cream

Optional: Mint for garnish

Instructions:

1. Bring water to boil in a medium pot. Stir in the honey, then put in tea, star anise, and cardamom pods. Cover and steep for 30 minutes.

2. Remove the spices and tea. Chill in the fridge until cooled off. 

When ready to serve:

3. Whip the coconut cream in a stand mixer on high speed for about 2 minutes, until stiff peaks form.

4. Fill the glasses with ice. Fill the each glass 3/4 full with chilled tea. Add 2-4 tablespoons of coconut milk and serve immediately.

Serves 4 - 6.

#paleo #dairyfree #glutenfree #Thai #coconut #tea

Recipe adapted from Against All Grain website here.


*My Paleo Marin 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, October 16, 2016

Soggy Bottom Pumpkin Cardamom Coffee Cake

Not even Mary Berry will complain about this soggy bottom. That's the crumble filling inside warm pumpkin cake with flavors and aromas announcing that Fall has arrived.

No eggs; no stand mixer; no food processor - it's a winner in my book.


My Paleo Marin Rating: 4 Persimmons

Mary Berry 
Great British Baking Show

Ingredients:

For the cake:

Dry ingredients:

2 cups Cup4Cup gluten free flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 (slightly heaping) teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons MPM Spice* mix below:

*MPM Spice Mix:
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1-1/2 teaspoons ground allspice

Wet Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups packed pumpkin purée
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Crumble Filling:

1/3 cup Cup4Cup gluten free flour
2 tablespoons Muscavado sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter, cold

For the Glaze:

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons Califia almond milk, unsweetened
2/3 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Thoroughly butter a bundt pan.

1. Combine ingredients for the MPM Spice Mix. Set aside.

2. For the Cake, whisk together the the dry ingredients in a medium bowl: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and 2 teaspoons of the spice mix. Save rest of spice mix.

3. In another medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients until well blended: pumpkin purée, coconut sugar, grape seed oil, maple syrup, almond milk, and vanilla.

4. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Batter will be very thick.

5. For the Crumble Filling, mix all ingredients in a small bowl, cutting in the butter with a fork. Combine with your hands to get it all combined if necessary.

6. Scoop half the cake batter into the greased bundt pan. Tear apart the crumble and distribute around the pan. Use a spatula to spread it evenly on top of the batter. Add the rest of the batter on top of the crumble. 

7. Bake the cake for 30 - 45 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean. Remove to wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then turn over onto rack with a cookie sheet underneath.

8. For the Glaze, whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl. Drip about 4 tablespoons of the glaze on top of the warm cake. Allow the cake to cool. 

9. Move the cooled cake to a serving plate. Drizzle as much of the glaze as you would like around the top and sides. Serve with Coconut Whipped Cream here, if you must. 

Serves 8.

#pumpkin #spice #cake #glutenfree #Thanksgiving 

Recipe adapted from Food52 website here.

This just in: Saturday Night Light and "Soggy Bottoms" here.

*My Paleo Marin 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, October 9, 2016

Indian-Nepalese Heritage Camp Chicken

This dish is adapted from a popular Chicken Biryani recipe (minus the rice) by Chef Suzy Singh. She prepares it for families at the Indian-Nepalese Heritage Camp held in Colorado every summer. 

It's become our go-to comfort food for my daughter - just the aromas in the kitchen can spark her appetite and lift her spirits.

And then, surprise, surprise, we all feel so much better...

My Paleo Marin Rating: 5 Persimmons


Lettuce Boats

Ingredients:


2 Tablespoons grape seed oil

2 bay leaves
1 star anise
1 Tablespoon cumin seeds

1 small onion, chopped

1 Teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon grated ginger

1 Tablespoon garlic, finely chopped

1/4 Teaspoon cayenne pepper, or personal preference

1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon turmeric
2 Teaspoons garam masala
1 - 2 tomatoes, chopped
1 Teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons butter

2 Teaspoons ground cardamon
1 cinnamon stick
1 Teaspoon chopped mint 

4 chicken drumsticks and 4 chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), bone in and skin on


Crispy lettuce leaves


Directions:


1. Heat oil in cast iron pot or frying pan. Add bay leaves, anise and cumin seeds. Cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly.


2. Add chopped onion and salt and continue stirring until the onions start to wilt, about 2 minutes.


3. Add ginger and garlic and cook until golden brown, a couple of minutes.


4. Add cayenne pepper, cumin powder, black pepper, turmeric, garam masala, tomato and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.

5. Add butter, cardamon, mint and cinnamon. Stir to combine all ingredients, cover and cook on medium low heat for 6-8 minutes, until the mixture becomes similar to tomato paste.


6. Add 8 - 12 oz. of cold water, and stir to mix. Add chicken pieces to cover the bottom of the pot (I had to cook in 2 batches). Cover with tomato gravy, and cook over low heat with lid on for about 30 - 45 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Turn the chicken pieces a few times during cooking. Taste for seasonings.


7. Shred the chicken pieces or leave on the bone. Serve with lettuce leaves and extra sauce.


Serves 4. 


#paleo #chicken #Indian #Nepali #Biryani #glutenfree 


Copy of recipe thanks to Lisa P., and adapted from "Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani" from Chef Suzy Singh at Colorado Heritage Camp, 2012.



*My Paleo Marin 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.


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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Baked Paleo Plantain Chips w/ Coconut Oil & Sea Salt (Vegan)

Quick and delicious, could these plantain chips be the perfect substitute for white potato chips?

One test is how do you feel after eating a small handful of each? Do you feel bloated, yet still want more (potato chips)? or do you feel full and energized (plantain chips)? 

The plantain is a variety of banana that is lower in sugar than its popular cousin, the Cavandish banana. It provides a broad spectrum of nutritional benefits from iron, magnesium, and potassium to Vitamins A, C, and B6.

Admittedly, nothing quite satisfies like the crunch of a perfectly fried potato chip. But these plantain chips, baked in coconut oil with just a bit of added salt, are a much healthier option.

My Paleo Marin Rating: 4.8 Persimmons*

Ingredients:


5 plantains (skins blackened but the banana firm)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

Sea salt to taste


Directions:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


1. Melt the coconut oil in a small pan; pour into bowl large enough to fit all the banana pieces.


2. Score the banana skins lengthwise very carefully in 3 evenly-spaced lines around each banana. Peel off the skin. Slice the banana at an angle as thinly as possible (chips cook better if thin).


2. Toss the banana pieces in the slightly cooled coconut oil and lay carefully with tongs on baking sheets covered with silpat sheets or parchment paper.


3. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes, or until they are cooked through. Remove pieces as they turn brown and leave others to finish if necessary.


4. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve, or store in a container for a few days. 



#paleo #plantain #chips #seasalt #vegan #coconutoil #snacks #glutenfree #dairyfree #healthyeats


Recipe adapted from The Fed + Fit website here.




*My Paleo Marin 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.