Sunday, March 2, 2014

Paleo Crepes

Happy March! It is snowing outside as I write this... alas it is still winter.

I was at the mall with my mom & sister when we passed by this cute crepe stand. It was literally a made to order crepe stand, complete with the real cooking stones & gigantic spatulas. The menu was pretty solid- everything from savory to sweet with meat, veggies, fruit, chocolate, and nutella. There was one gluten-free offering, but I decided, hey, why don't I try making it myself?? And a paleo one at that!

My recipe is easy & simple, the way life should be: tapioca flour, milk of choice, & eggs. Seriously, that was it! They came out pretty good, minus a couple flipping mishaps :P  The crepes were soft, sweet, and delicious, albeit a tad on the stretchy/sticky side due to the tapioca. I filled them with blueberries, literally frozen from a bag and heated on low until the berries burst. I made another batch with the "flipping fails" with sliced bananas & a dash of maple syrup (not pictured here to prevent eye sore), also delicious!

Paleo Blueberry Crepes

Blueberry crepes, minus the flipping mishap on the right :P
1 c tapioca flour
1 c milk of choice
1 egg (or 2 egg whites if you're avoiding yolks)

1. Mix all ingredients together. Tapioca will dissolve into the milk, though it may initially feel clumpy at the bottom.
2. Heat a small frying pan on medium heat. Spray with oil. Pour about 1/3 c batter into the pan. When the bottom has cooked (edges will turn white), carefully flip to the other side and repeat.
3. Transfer to a plate. Repeat the process until all crepes are made.
4. Crepes are ready to be eaten as is, although honey or maple syrup drizzle is recommended. If using a filling, add it down the center of the crepe. I used blueberries and bananas, but the sky is the limit. Fold, roll, or stack and gobble up!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes

This winter has been absurdly awful. The midwest was ridiculously subzero, the south got snow, and all other regions were colder than usual - for longer - and got way more snow. Another snowstorm will be coming tonight and another on Wednesday. Seriously??

Cold winter days are the kind of days when it's nice to be warm and cozy indoors. Cold weekends are even cozier with a warm batch of pancakes for brunch :)  This recipe is definitely my favorite paleo/gluten-free pancake recipe so far and were a huge hit with the family! 

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Adapted from Against All Grain

1 banana, mashed
2 egg whites
1/4 c coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp coconut flour
1/3 c blanched almond flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Chocolate chips

1. Mash banana in a medium bowl. Add the wet ingredients: egg whites, milk, vanilla, & honey. Mix until combined and the eggs are slightly foamy.
2. Add the dry ingredients: coconut flour, almond flour, baking soda, & salt. Mix all that goodness together and all clumps are broken up.
3. Heat griddle on medium-low heat. When it's hot, spray oil on pan. Pour 1/4 c of batter per pancake onto griddle and use spatula to shape into a round shape. .
4. When pancakes start to bubble (about 4-5 minutes), sprinkle on chocolate chips. Flip and cook until pancakes are done, about 2-3 minutes. 

Tip: These are gluten-free pancakes so they are more delicate than typical wheat ones. Flipping these babies is the easiest when the pancakes are smaller (4 inches in diameter is ideal) and smaller than the spatula. Smaller spatulas tend to work better than larger ones. DO NOT touch the pancakes until they begin to bubble and the outer edges start to turn white, otherwise they will fall apart.

Yield: 8 pancakes

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Primal Pumpkin Mac and Cheese (gluten-free)

Cold this winter? Love mac & cheese? Eating paleo/primal? Try pumpkin mac and cheese for a tasty twist on an old favorite. The pumpkin adds a subtle flavor that excellently compliments the traditional cheddar cheese. It was a huge hit in my house and was the perfect way to warm up a chilly snow day!

Primal Pumpkin Mac and Cheese (gluten-free) 
Adapted from Inspired Taste
Serves 3-4

8 oz gluten-free pasta, any shape
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp arrowroot
1 c milk (any type will do)
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 c pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
2 c shredded cheddar cheese (additional 1/4 c optional for topping)

1. Preheat oven to 350 (only if baking to make a crusty top layer). Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then cook pasta according to the package directions.
2. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a saucepan on low heat. Once melted, add and stir to dissolve. Pour in milk and bring to a simmer, then simmer for 1 minute. Mixture will get thick.
3. Sprinkle in salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in mustard and pumpkin. Add 2 c cheese and keep stirring until melted and all that goodness is evenly combined.
4. Grease an 8x8 casserole dish or other serving dish. Gently transfer pasta to dish, be careful as gluten-free pasta is more delicate. Pour in cheese sauce and gently mix everything so pasta is evenly coated. Mac n cheese is ready to eat as is, but to make a crusty top layer, sprinkle the extra 1/4 c cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes.
5. Eat that bad boy up!!!! My family destroyed it in less than 5 minutes :P

Friday, January 3, 2014

Holiday Veggie Wreath

Happy new year! Hello 2014!

Each family has their own holiday traditions. My family usually whips up a whole batch of appetizers (see last year's post) but this year, we were all really tired from... life. So, my mom & I decided to do 2 appetizers, the holiday veggie wreath and chicken wings.Yes, the wreath is not paleo, but it's only once a year and very festive :)

Holiday Veggie Wreath 
(adapted from Betty Crocker)

4 oz onion & chives cream cheese
2 cans refrigerated dough (Whole Foods has a very good one; Pillsbury is full of chemicals)
8 oz spinach (or broccoli, chopped)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 egg white
Sesame seeds

1. Preheat oven to 375 (or temperature on dough can).
2. Heat a small saucepan on medium. Add a tsp of oil and cook the spinach until it reduces in size.
3. Unroll dough and arrange in a circle on a a round cookiesheet with the widest part slightly overlapping and the points radiating outward (see picture below). 
4. Spread cream cheese on the dough.
5. Transfer the spinach to the dough and evenly distribute over the widest part of the dough triangles. Add diced peppers (and/or broccoli). Only spread until you reach the end of the cookiesheet; do not put vegetables beyond the cookiesheet (why? when you flip the dough, it might fall out).
6. Flip end points of the dough triangles over the veggies and tuck underneath the wide part of the dough. 
7. Brush egg white over the dough ring. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
8. Bake for 15-20 minutes (look at timer on dough can). Wreath is done when it is golden brown. Garnish the center however you want... more food, candle, holiday decorations, or nothing at all.
9. Dig in!!! Optional: cut the wreath by crescent roll before serving. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Back from hiatus!

Hello foodies! I am back from hiatus! I got my PhD finally and started a new job at a market research firm in NYC. In between reading, writing papers, moving from Chicago to the east coast, learning my new job, and training for my third marathon, I lost track of things!

Christmas 2013 was a lot of fun with the family. We went to my sister's place in Delaware. She whipped up some pretty awesome dishes and I took care of the desserts :)  I also had a week off from work, which was literally the first break I've had since... winter break 2012. Finishing out my PhD program was one of the most stressful things I've ever had to do, then commuting 4-4.5 hours each day for work on top of the usual 9-5 office grind made me ready for a break. I've been sleeping a lot and definitely feeling a ton better!!

Any sushi lovers?? There's a pretty good AYCE sushi place in north NJ called Arigato. $20 gets you unlimited sushi, rolls, appetizers, & hot tea. This is what my buddy Megan and I polished off!

For all the meat lovers out there - this was one hefty sampler from a Greek restaurant at a holiday party! Four lamb chops, one chicken souvlaki skewer, one pork souvlaki skewer, two Italian/Greek sausages, one lamb/beef burger patty, & a side of lemon herb potatoes. And yes it serves one.

That's it for now. More food + recipes to come!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Honey BBQ Chipotle Chicken

Procrastinating on preparing for my dissertation defense, so posting a delicious new recipe! There are so many ways you can prepare chicken and having it taste completely different each time. This honey BBQ chipotle chicken is an awesome twist of tangy, sweet, and savory. The avocado is the perfect blend to combine all the tastes... it sounds odd, but it really works with this dish!

Honey BBQ Chipotle Chicken

Served with a side of roasted zucchini, paleo pigs on a blanket, and a paleo apple cake dessert (recipe forthcoming)

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
2 tbsp chipotle powder, separated
4 tsp cumin, separated
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 c tomato puree
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp coconut aminos or tamari
1 avocado, sliced
Shredded cheddar cheese, optional (omit for paleo)
4 tbsp coconut oil 

1. Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Pour coconut oil into pan. 
2. Sprinkle chicken with 1 tbsp chipotle powder, 2 tsp cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder. Saute until all sides are cooked. Place on a plate off to the side.
3. In the same skillet, add another tablespoon of coconut oil. Saute minced garlic until begins to brown. Add 1 tbsp chipotle and 2 tsp cumin. Saute for 1 minute.
4. Stir in tomato puree. Cook until mixture thickens, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes.
5. Stir in vinegar, honey, and tamari.
6. Add chicken and cheese (if using). Toss until everything is thoroughly combined, chicken is heated, and cheese melts.
7. Slice avocado on your plate and place chicken on top.
8. Devour!!! There were no leftovers here :)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Almond-Crusted Tilapia with Zucchini "Spaghetti" & Paleo Chocolate Bars

Yikes, long time since my last post!! All time & energy focused on the dissertation and job search. Should be getting my PhD in 9 days and accepted a new job in NYC! Time to celebrate with paleo goodness...

Almond-Crusted Tilapia & Zucchini "Spaghetti"

Almond-Crusted Tilapia
1 lb tilapia
1/2 c almond meal (unblanched is fine)
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp old bay, optional
Juice of 1 lemon, optional
1 egg white
Coconut oil, for frying

1. Combine almond meal, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and old bay.
2. Heat a large skillet on medium heat.
3. Crack the egg white in a separate dish. Add coconut oil to the heated skillet. Oil is hot when a flick of water poured into the pan sizzles.
4. Coat tilapia in egg white, then dredge into the almond meal mixture. Fry until both sides are cooked to your liking (took me ~4 minutes per side). 
5. Sprinkle with lemon juice if you like.

Zucchini "Spaghetti"
1 medium-large zucchini
1 batch of lazy tomato sauce (see below) or other sauce (see basil pesto or kale pesto for alternatives)
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes with garlic & herbs
1.5 c spinach, optional (adds extra veggies and disguises the taste)

1. Wash zucchini and cut off ends. Fill a large pot 2/3 full with water and bring to a boil.
2. With a mandoline, slice zucchini into 1/4" pieces. Use a nice to cut them into long ribbons, spaghetti shape.
3. Place zucchini "pasta" into boiling water and boil until softened, about 2-3 minutes. NOTE: do not over-cook or zucchini will be a little mushy (not the end of the world, but not quite 'al dente').
4. While zucchini boils, place canned tomatoes & spinach in a food processor or blender. Whip until blended into a smooth paste, about 5 seconds.
5. Drain zucchini. Add tomato sauce to the pot and mix until combined. The heat of the zucchini will warm the tomato sauce.

Paleo Chocolate Bars

1 medium sweet potato
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 egg + 2 egg whites
1/4 c honey or agave
1/4 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp coconut flour
1/4 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt
1/4 c chocolate chips, optional

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Poke holes in sweet potato and bake until soft, about 40 minutes.
2. Turn oven down to 350. Slice potato in half, scoop out the insides, and mash in a bowl. 
3. Add the wet: coconut oil, eggs, honey/agave, & vanilla.
4. Then add the dry: cocoa powder, coconut flour, baking powder, & salt.
5. Combine. Stir in chocolate chips if using.
6. Pour into a greased 8x8 pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes. 
7. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Slice into squares. Devour!