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.