Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘comfort food’

I love the holidays and growing up my family used to host a neighbourhood party where my mum would spend a solid month in the kitchen baking enough food to feed an army.  I was her little sous chef always happy to measure, stir, mix and of course tastes these delectable treats.   I think it was days spent in the kitchen with my mum where my love for cooking developed.  

More recently having switched to paleo eating and also challenged by my food allergies, many of my childhood favorite treats are no longer ones I can eat.   However with some simple substitutions and a little experimenting in the kitchen, I’ve been able to put together some paleo friendly holiday treat recipes and these cookies I have to admit are one of my favorites.  They cook up crispy on the outside with a soft chewy center and with the addition of some organic crystalized ginger they are full of flavour and 100% friend approved.  The hardest part will be stopping yourself from eating just one!! 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of almond flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 tsp gluten & corn free baking powder (you can find this at Whole Foods)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and finely minced (I used my zester)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ~ 2 tbsp organic crystalized ginger finely chopped (optional) – try to find some made with raw sugar

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • In small bowl, mix dry ingredients together (almond flour, baking powder and baking soda)
  • In large bowl, beat together egg, oil, maple syrup and vanilla until well combined
  • Add ginger, cinnamon and allspice and beat until combined
  • Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until combined
  • Stir in crystalized ginger if using and mix well. 
  • Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto parchment line baking sheet and press each cookie to flatten.  They will not spread during baking so you’ll need to form them into your desired cookie shape before baking
  • Bake in preheated 325 oven for 12-15 minutes until edges begin to brown slightly
  • Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack
Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I love a good Sunday brunch and growing up brunch was always a stack of steaming pancakes, buttered and drenched in pure maple syrup served with a side of crispy bacon.  Up until I was in my teens, pancakes in our house were delivered courtesy of Aunt Jemima, a prepackaged mix consisting mainly of bleached flour, sugar and preservatives (yikes!).   Later, my mum traded in Aunt Jemima for her own recipe and what she still believes to be a much “healthier” version made using whole wheat flour.  While both were equally delicious, they are both full of refined grains and sugar, making them far from paleo friendly.   

Since moving to a paleo/primal lifestyle, I’ve been experimenting with pancake recipes and think I have finally come up with a recipe that makes super light and fluffy pancakes that I believe are far tastier than the traditional paleo pancakes that use almond meal or coconut flour as their base.  The trick I found to making these ones light and fluffy is to beat the egg whites into soft peaks before adding the remainder of the ingredients.   These pancakes are fluffy, delicious and taste just like pumpkin pie.  Feel free to serve them up with some fresh berries and bacon because bacon makes everything better!!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/4 cup organic pumpkin puree (make sure you use puree not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 tbsp raw almond butter
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • cinnamon to taste (optional)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

Directions

  1. Separate egg.  Place yolk in one bowl and egg white in another.
  2. To the bowl with the egg white, add the additional 1/4 cup of egg whites.   Beat egg whites with electric mixer on high-speed until soft peaks occur ~ 2-3 minutes (you can also use a whisk, but this will take much longer!)
  3. To the bowl with the yolk, add the remaining ingredients (pumpkin puree, vanilla, vanilla seed (if using), almond butter and spices).  Blend with mixer until combined.
  4. Add the pumpkin mixture to the egg whites and beat on slowest speed with mixer until just combined.  Don’t over-mix as you don’t want to lose the air out of the egg whites. 
  5. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat.  Melt coconut oil and remove excess with paper towel.
  6. Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan to make one pancake, repeat to make 2 or 3 more depending on the size of your skillet. 
  7. Cook pancakes for about 2 or 3 minutes until golden brown on bottom.  Flip with spatula and continue cooking on other side until cooked through and bottom is golden brown ~ 2 to 3 minutes
  8. Remove to plate and serve immediately.  
  9. Feel free to serve the pancakes with any of your favorite fruits and of course bacon! 

***For a twist on this recipe try replacing the 1/4 cup pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice with 1/4 cup mashed very ripe banana and cinnamon.   Equally delicious!

Read Full Post »

With the days getting shorter and the temperatures falling, I find myself craving warm hearty meals once again.  Being the kid of a British mum, Shepherd’s Pie was a fairly regular weeknight winter meal at our dinner table.   It was one of our favorite dishes and seldom were there any leftovers.  We would even fight over who got the crispy potato pieces left on the sides of the empty dish!

This recipe is my take on this classic favorite where I’ve switch out many of the traditional ingredients to create a much healthier paleo friendly meal that will definitely have you coming back for seconds.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs lean ground beef or ground bison
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup beef stock, or more if required
  • 1 bunch of black kale (or any kind of kale), washed, thick part of stems removed and torn into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 tsp each red pepper flakes, thyme and fennel seed
  • 1 tsp each dried rosemary and parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In large saucepan over medium high heat, heat coconut oil
  3. Add carrot, celery, onion and red pepper and saute for a couple of minutes until soften slightly
  4. Add mushrooms and saute until being to sweat ~ 5 minutes
  5. Add ground meat and cook until browned ~ 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently
  6. Add spices and beef stock, cover and simmer over low heat for ~ 20 minutes
  7. Add kale, stir to combine and cover and continue cooking until kale is tender
  8. Using a slotted spoon so not to transfer any remaining fluid, transfer meat mixture to oven proof casserole dish
  9. Top with Mashed Cauliflower (see recipe below), spreading evenly to all sides to completely cover the meat mixture .  Then, using a fork, lightly drag it across the cauliflower mixture to create lines (this will help with browning)
  10. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes until heated through
  11. Turn broiler on for last 5 minutes of cooking time (or more if required) to create a lightly browned top 
  12. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving

Mashed Cauliflower

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Steam cauliflower until very tender
  2. Transfer to food processor and puree until mashed consistency
  3. Add coconut milk and season with salt & pepper and puree until combined

Read Full Post »

Like many of us, I grew up eating grains and it has only been in the past few years since becoming primal have I come to understand how truly bad grains are for us.  Not only are they a poor source of vitamins and minerals they also have a high glycemic load which contributes to a host of other issues.

As I’m all about looking for substitutions, a rice substitute that I have come to love is cauliflower as it has a mild flavor and when chopped finely in your food processor, it takes on the consistency of rice.  Creating a pilaf by cooking the cauliflower “rice” in a mixture of veggies and chicken stock will create a wonderful side dish that will leave even your grain loving parents asking for seconds. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, broken into small florets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1/4 diced onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chicken stock, you may require more depending on how much cauliflower you have

Directions:

  1. Place 1/3 of the cauliflower in food processor and process until it is a rice like consistency.  Remove and set aside. 
  2. Repeat step with remaining cauliflower until all has been processed into a rice like consistency. 
  3. Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat
  4. Add onion, garlic, carrot, celery and red pepper and saute until softened ~ 5 minutes
  5. Add chicken stock and bring to boil, turn down and simmer for 2 minutes
  6. Add cauliflower “rice” to stock mixture and stir to combine
  7. Simmer over medium-low heat until cauliflower is tender.   Fluff with fork and serve.

Note:  Most of the liquid should evaporate during cooking however, if you find that you have excess liquid, use a sieve to drain the cauliflower.  Return to saucepan, fluff with fork and serve.

Read Full Post »

Pork and Apple Stew

We’ve all been there, we arrive home after a long day, starving and in search of something to eat.  For some reason, these days always seem to be the ones where we haven’t been to the grocery store to stock up on supplies.  However, even with only a few ingredients, you can still pull together a very quick and satisfying paleo friendly dish like this one. 

The inspiration for this meal came from some grass-fed pork that I had recently picked up at the market.  By paring this with the few lonely items that I had left in my refrigerator that included a bag of broccoli slaw, kale (I love kale!), and a few apples, I was able to create a very satisfying dish with a touch of sweetness in less time that it would have taken to order in takeout!   

Ingredients (4-6 servings):

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 lbs grass fed pork, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 bag broccoli slaw
  • 2 apples, cored and cut into 1 inch chunks.  I used gala apples because that is what I had, but granny smith would be nice too
  • 1 bunch of kale, washed, stems removed and torn into pieces

Cook it up:

  1. In large saucepan or dutch oven, heat oil
  2. Season pork with salt and pepper, and meat to pan and brown, turning occasionally for about 6 minutes.  Remove and set aside.
  3. Add onion to pan, saute until softened, about 3 minutes
  4. Add chicken stock, water, rosemary, Dijon mustard and bring to a boil
  5. Add pork, broccoli slaw and apples to pan and simmer until apples are tender ~ 10 minutes
  6. Add kale and simmer until kale has wilted.  Enjoy!  

Not a fan of broccoli slaw, try adding shredded cabbage  or any other veggie instead.

Read Full Post »

When we think of cinnamon, we always tend to associate it as an ingredient used primarily in sweet dishes and deserts, however many Middle Eastern main dishes use cinnamon as part of their spice blend.   When cooked with meats and vegetables, the  cinnamon takes on an unexpectantly different flavour that adds extreme warmth to this wonderfully fragrant dish.   As traditional Moroccan dishes often contain chickpeas and/or potatoes, I’ve paleoize this one by substituting these ingredients for various paleo and primal friendly root vegetables and served it with a side dish of steamed kale. 

Ingredients:

  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast cut in 1 inch pieces and season with salt & pepper
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 turnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 parsnips, peeled, core removed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 28 oz can whole plum tomatoes broken into bite size pieces 
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • chopped fresh cilantro

Cook it up:

  1. In large sauce pan or dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat
  2. Add chicken and saute until golden, but not cooked all the way through.  Remove and reserve in bowl
  3. Add onion and saute until golden
  4. Add garlic, cinnamon, curry and cumin, stir to combine
  5. Add  turnips, parsnip, rutabaga and chicken stock.  Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  6. Add butternut squash and continue simmering for a further 10 minutes or until the veggies are tender
  7. Add tomatoes and chicken.  Simmer until chicken is cooked through  5 minutes
  8. Serve with a sprinkling of cilantro on top

Note:  This can also be made in your slow cooker, but it does take about 2 steps.   To cook in slow cooker, add all ingredients with the exception of the tomatoes and butternut squash.  Set slow cooker on low for 8 hours.  When there is approximately 3 hours remaining in the cooking time add the tomatoes and butternut squash and continue cooking. 

I have cooked this stew both ways, the first using the slow cooker and the second on the stove.  The slow cooker method is equally as delicious, but you may find that your veggies and chicken get quite soft and may break apart a bit more than the stove top method where you can better control the desired tenderness of your veggies.

Read Full Post »

  • I love Indian food especially curry as there is something so wonderful and fragrant about the spices in the dish that make it a great meal for a cold winter’s night.  Traditionally, most curries are served with either rice or naan bread  both of which are definitely not primal/paleo friendly so my goal was to find an equally delicious and satisfying primal/paleo substitute.  Enter cauliflower “rice”.  Cauliflower has a great mild flavour and by using your food processor, in about 3o seconds you can easily transform a head of cauliflower into rice-size grains that can be used as a substitute for rice or pasta in all your favourite dishes.   For my curry recipe, I opted to add the cauliflower to the curry while it was cooking to help it absorb the flavour and create a Biriyani style curry.  But, this dish would be equally as good if you served the curry over steamed cauliflower “rice”.    In addition, to speed up the prep of this dish, instead of opting to roast and grind my own spices (which I have done and let me tell you it was a bit ambitious!), you can find some great primal/paleo friendly curry pastes in your local grocery store which will make quick work for this fabulous dish. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs stewing beef or other game meat
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 6 tbsp curry paste – I used a Biriyani paste, but any kind will do
  • 1 can low sodium diced tomatoes
  • 1 head cauliflower, stem and outer green leaves removed and broken into florets

Directions:

  1. Heat oil over medium heat, add onions and saute until glossy
  2. Add beef and turn heat up to medium-high.  Saute beef until brown on all sides
  3. Stir in curry paste and cook with beef and onion mixture for about 5 minutes
  4. Add canned tomatoes.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. While curry is cooking, place cauliflower in small batches in food processor and pulse until the cauliflower resembles a rice sized consistency.   Place in bowl and set aside.
  6. After curry has cooked for about 45 minutes, add cauliflower to curry mixture, stir to combine.
  7. Simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.   

Note:  This recipe yields about 8 servings, so it will give you lots of leftovers to pack in lunch size servings for a grab and go meal

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »