Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pretty Primal Cookies

They're a treat, but about as healthy as a treat gets without tasting like sawdust. Sweet but not too sweet, these are packed with nutrition!

Oven 350

Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Stir together in one bowl:
1 1/4 cup almond meal (Trader Joe's)
1/4 cup each shredded coconut and walnuts
1/2 cup each honey and dark chocolate chips
1/4 tsp each salt and baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Drop with cookie scoop onto parchment lined tray and bake anywhere from 11-17 minutes, depending on your oven. I added an optional zest of one orange to mine- really ups the flavour!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Dairy Free Nutella recipes, via ravelry

200-400 grams chocolate bars of your choice - I use 1/2 dark and 1/2 milk
(for dairy free use Lindt 99% chocolate or plain cocoa and sugar to taste.)
Walnut oil
200-400 grams ground hazelnuts or almonds - your choice

break up the chocolate into a pan (or glass container if using the microwave) and add about 1/4 cup walnut oil. slowly melt over low heat, stirring constantly (micro - med heat & stir every 30 seconds). Do not let ANY water get into the mixture. When the chocolate is melted, it should be a thick fluid - about the consistency of fluid honey or a tad thinner. If too thick, add a bit more oil. Amount of oil needed will vary on what kind of chocolate you use.

Stir in nuts until it makes a thick paste - about the same weight of nuts as chocolate. This will keep @ room temperature for several months. I know it will keep in a cool cellar for 8 months or more - because I hid a jar and forgot about it. The DH was thrilled when I found it!! Usually it doesn’t hang around that long. Europeans use it as a spread on bread for breakfast or snacks. this version also makes a fabulous filling for cakes, or ‘glue’ for pairs of cookies. It will stiffen up when cool, but should still be spreadable. If you find it’s not, warm briefly to use, and use more oil in the next batch.

Nut free, dairy free:
500 gram jar of spun honey (the spreadable kind, not runny-honey)
3-5 heaping tablespoons of dark (NOT Hershey’s) Cocoa

Warm the honey for just a very few seconds in the microwave. just enough to warm it so you can stir it - but not enough to melt it.

Carefully stir the cocoa powder into the honey. Stir until completely blended.

Why do you want to make these instead of buying Nutella? If you have food allergies, the answer may be obvious. But even if you don't modern Nutella isn't real food.
Also via Hillary: Nutella these days is: 13% hazelnuts, with the rest being hydrogenated vegetable fats and chocolate.
OK folks: I'm hungry now!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fresh Mayo!

Last night I made souffles, and with the leftover yolks I decided to make mayo. It is so very very good you won't believe it has the same name as that stuff you buy in a  jar.
Throw into the cup of your blender 3 egg yolks, 1 whole eggs, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp each paprika, Dijon mustard, and 1 TBL apple cider vinegar. Blend about 5 seconds. Slowly dribble in about a cup of olive oil (you can go with extra virgin or light, depending on how strong you like your olive taste) with the blade running. It should be very thick at this point! Slowly add 1 TBL FRESH squeezed lemon juice, and run the blender JUST til all the lemon juice and oil are incorporated.

Store in a clean jar. Make sure you label it if you have similar looking jars of stuff, like honey Dijon dressing:

If is seems thin at first, I promise it will set in the fridge:
Makes a lovely chicken salad!

A French Celebration

Yesterday was Bastille Day. I'm not French, but I DO love French Food, as well as the idea of overthrowing the upper classes. Which meant celebration!
You'd think a French feast would be incompatible with paleo eating, but it doesn't have to be, especially if you eat some butter. If not, simply substitute olive oil.
For the pork: slice an onion and about 4-6 cloves of garlic  and toss it in a large frying pan with a generous pat of butter. Cook on medium low for about 20 minutes until the onions turn golden brown. The layer on the top 4-6 boneless pork chops, then cover with a large handful of fresh sage, chiffonaded. Cover and let simmer about 45 minutes to an hour, depending upon the thickness of the chops.

My side dishes were garlicky broccoli and the roasted fennel from Everyday Paleo .

For dessert I made the raspberry souffles from Jacques Pepins Simple and Healthy Cooking  .

 I simplified it, omitting the sauce, and brought dessert to the table with three simple ingredients- egg whites, sugar, and fresh raspberries picked by the Gothling. Souffles are so ridiculously easy, unless you have some physical or philosophical reason not to eat eggs, they MUST be in you repertoire of mad kitchen skills. Just...make sure you don't put them in without enough room to expand.

 With my leftover egg yolks I made home made mayo- look for that post later today!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

What I'm eating, July 2011

I've been doing this semi paleo thing for about 3 1/2 months now.  There's a lot I've eliminated, a lot I haven't, and I've started loving new foods. I feel it's time for me to make some more changes.
First, I'll tell you about the new foods I've added: sweet potatoes and fennel. I always thought I hated sweet potatoes, but it turns out I hate mushy, sweetened, sweet potatoes. I love them with savory seasonings and roasted.
Fennel is delicious, roasted or pan fried with the green attached.
I've already given up all gluten grains and dairy at this point. At first I tried giving up all grains but without beans and rice I felt deprived. I'm finding now that I don't feel good after eating beans. I have resisted this for years, but I have to acknowledge that if something gives you that kind of gas, your body is saying not to eat it! They  taste much less good to me now. So I will for the most part be cutting out legumes. I may have occasional dal and I am making an exception for occasional soymilk. I make my coffee black at home, I no longer eat cereal...so I don't think the occasional soy mocha is out of line.
I also plan to cut way back on white potatoes. They also don't taste very good to me any more. they're inflammatory, and since one of the things that got me exploring paleo was osteoarthritis is seems a good thing to cut way back on. Sweet potatoes are much less inflammatory.
I'm going to try to schedule fewer meals with rice or corn, but enjoy them when we do. The corn will have to be organic. So far I can say rice has had no ill effects on me and my favourite meals wouldn't be the same without it!
Baking? Don't get me started. You know I'll be doing gran free baking, and using cane sugar. I may try to use some honey in more things though.
So, if I'm looking to restrict things more, I'll want to find more food to love. What do you suggest?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Eating well in Astoria, OR

We just spent the past two days in Astoria, OR. In addition to seeing dear friends, climbing the Astoria column, and visiting the Astoria Column  , and visiting the Oregon Film Museum , I knew I would have to eat. This can be nerve wracking for anyone trying to hold to a particular way of eating; but for me it's more than that. I'm not "just paleo". There are foods I CAN'T eat in any quantity; I'm allergic to whey and peanuts and intolerant to dairy and wheat. The dairy has been a part of my life for a while but since the peanuts and wheat are new, I'm unused to navigating them outside my own home.
I'm happy to report nothing but good!
For lunch, both days we were there, we went to Cecil's. I can't find a link or review anywhere, but it's on the waterfront between 10th and 11th. Both times I got a Cecil's burger, no cheese, wrap style. The first day I got potato salad and the second side salad. The beef is DELICIOUS! The service is excellent but don't go if you're in a hurry to eat.
For our one supper, we went to Himani Indian Cuisine. You can find it at   (503) 325-8171
1044 Marine Drive
Astoria, OR 97103

Not only is is some of the best Indian food I have ever eaten, but they people there are something special. WE had been at Fort Stevens Park and gotten back to the hotel late- 8:40 PM. Spence at Cannery Pier Hotel asked them to hold a table for us, and they did. (My kids have declared Spence "The King of Astoria".) I had the Chicken Coconut Korma, hot. (Yes, you hardcore paleo folks, I did have the lovely basmati rice) . The eldest had Kedai lamb, and was pleasantly surprised to find he did like Indian food. The Girl  and our friend's son had the Himani chicken and Turbo had the Lamb Biryiani. The DM had his usual Indian restaurant fare, the grill plate.
For tea time, we went to Astoria Coffeehouse . The atmosphere was lovely, and my soy mocha was tasty and beautiful.
The gluten free, vegan brownie was one of the few things I had that failed to satisfy. It was crumbly, not moist, and lacked depth of chocolateyness. I am sure I could make a much better gluten free, vegan brownie myself.
Having been back home a day, I am thrilled that I have had no negative repercussions from anything I eat- including no weight gain! (OK, running up all 64 steps of the column barefoot, twice, might have helped).  It's not hard at all to have  primal trip to this beautiful Oregon coast town, and I hope it won't be too long until I have other places to review for you!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How not to feel deprived at a birthday party!

Today is my youngest son Andrew's birthday- an occasion for pizza, cake, and ice cream! A time when someone with intolerance to wheat and dairy might feel deprived. But there's no need to!

Pizza- thanks to Everyday Paleo . I substituted 1/2 of the almond meal for flax meal. There's peppers, Hormel uncured pepperoni, spicy chicken  sausage from Trader Joe's, and BACON!

My best friend mentioned this would make great scones. I think if I replace the olive oil with butter, add some honey, and some chocolate chips (of course!) they will be awesome!

Chocolate Cake: I modified  the chocolate almond joy bars recipe from Elana's Pantry. To make the cake, mix together :
  • 4 eggs

  • ¾ cup coconut milk

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1/2  cup cane sugar

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • ½ cup  almond flour

  • ½ cup coconut flour

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 4 oz 72% Trader Joe's Pound Plus bar

  • I made the little cake and 14 cupcakes, baked at 350 for 25 minutes.
    My dairy and wheat eating husband said it had a pleasingly complex flavour, and the BFF even suggested I make it for her next birthday, so we can all have the same dessert.
    (paleo/primal folks, DON'T ask about the frosting)

    That's mango sorbet from TJ's and So Delicious Raspberry Sorbet.
    How much do I love the raspberry sorbet?

    Last but not least, the obligatory birthday cake picture. That's the standard cake everyone else ate, that is much requested.