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Posts Tagged ‘paleo’

In the spirit of the holidays, here is another quick little holiday treat recipe that comes together in no time. Loaded with coconut, these macaroons are full of paleo goodness.

For and added twist if you’re feeling adventurous, once the macaroons have cooled, dip the top of each one into some melted 85% organic dark chocolate for a truly decadent treat.

Enjoy and all the best to you and your loved ones this holiday season.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup coconut ribbons (or 1 more cup shredded coconut if you can’t find ribbons)
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp celtic salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • In large bowl beat egg whites until stiff peaks form
  • Add salt, vanilla and maple syrup and stir until just combined
  • Stir in coconut
  • Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls on parchment line baking sheet
  • The mixture may fall apart slightly so using your finger tips, press the mixture back together into tight little mounds, creating a slight peak at the top if you can
  • Bake in preheated 325 oven for 15 minutes or until lightly browned
  • Remove and cool on wire rack
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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

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Recently, Crossfit Vancouver organized a Grass-Fed Bison delivery from Maluma  and I was quick to jump all over this.  My “starter box” of varying cuts of meat weighing in at a whopping 45lbs arrived straight from the farm.  I’m not going to lie, 45lbs of meat is a little bigger than I imagined it would be!   Thankfully all of it fit nicely into my freezer and since arriving I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen just a little bit!   Bison meat is awesome and one of my new favourites.  It’s so full of flavor and it’s health benefits are far superior to traditional red meats. 

For this recipe I’ve used braising steaks which are traditionally a tougher cut of meat so are best if marinated overnight.  In addition, it’s important to not over-cook your Bison.  You will find that the meat will cook much faster than your traditional store-bought meat and like any grass-fed meat it’s better served medium-rare.  

Ingredients:

  • 2-3lbs Braising Bison Steaks (any kind of steak will work)
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 lb sliced mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dry sherry wine (optional)

Directions:  

  1. In large ziploc bag combine 1/2 cup of the beef stock, rosemary and pepper.  Add the Bison steaks, seal the bag and place in refrigerator to marinade over night or up to 24 hours.   
  2. Heat coconut oil in large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.   Remove Bison steaks from marinade and discard marinade. 
  3. Add Bison to skillet and sear both sides of Bison (~ 2 min/side).  Remove Bison and set aside
  4. Add remaining 1/2 cup beef stock to pan and de-glaze pan (basically scrape the skillet to free up any stuck bits and mix these into stock). 
  5. Add mushrooms to pan, cover and cook until mushrooms are tender ~ 10 minutes.
  6. Add Sherry and bring to simmer, this will evaporate any alcohol from the Sherry.   Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add Bison to mushroom mixture and heat until Bison is medium rare.  This will depend on the thickness of your steak  – for 1″ thickness this was about 5 minutes. 
  8. Remove Bison and mushrooms from pan and simmer sauce until thickened slightly.    Pour over Bison and enjoy.
  9. I served my Bison with a mixture of sautéed swiss chard, mushrooms and onion.

This recipe may seem a like it has a lot of steps, but it was dead easy and ready in about 20 minutes (minus the marinade time of course)!

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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

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One of the best things about living right next to the Ocean is the abundance of fresh fish and seafood.  So fresh in fact, that you can even buy it right off the boat!  Fish is perfect for the paleo diet as it is high in protein and an amazing source of Omega 3’s.  It is also full of flavour, requiring little seasoning making it one of the easiest things to cook.  Being that it is summer, I’ve been cooking all my meals on the BBQ and this Halibut recipe is no exception.  By cooking the fish in a foil package on the grill, the Halibut cooks up tender and moist and when paired with the fresh tomato and avocado salsa, it is the perfect meal for a hot summer’s day.

For the Fish – 1 serving

  • 1 piece of halibut
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 fresh lime
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Pre-Heat BBQ to medium-low. 
  2. Tear off a piece of aluminum foil about 16 inches long.   Lay foil on work surface shiny side up and drizzle olive oil in centre of foil.
  3. Lay fish on top of olive oil, squeeze lime juice over fish and season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Fold up the edges of the foil to make a package. 
  5. Place on BBQ, close lid and cook over medium-low heat until fish is tender ~ 8 minutes.
  6. Carefully remove fish from foil package and plate with a good spoonful of the salsa (see recipe below).

For Salsa – Serves 2-4

  • 1 avocado
  • ~ 12 cherry tomatoes, chopped into quarters
  • 1/4 finely chopped red onion
  • juice of one line
  • handful of cilantro, chopped
  • salt to taste (optional)

Directions:

  1. In bowl, combine tomatoes, avocado, red onion and cilantro. 
  2. Drizzle with lime juice, season with salt (if using) and toss gently to combine.
  3. Serve with Fish.  Enjoy!

Note:  Don’t have a BBQ, no problem.  Place fish on a parchment paper line baking sheet and cook the fish in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for about 8-10 minutes (depending on thickness).

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Tabouleh

I love summer… shorts, sandals, BBQ’s and most importantly an abundance of local Farmer’s Markets!   There is something so wonderful about being able to buy locally grown fresh ingredients straight from the farmer’s field.  Being that this is my first summer in B.C. I’ve been enjoying exploring these little neighbourhood markets that seem to pop up right in the center of the City each weekend.   Not only is the people watching fun, the produce is constantly changing depending on what happens to be in season that week making each trip different from the last.  This recipe was made exclusively with ingredients that I picked up at one of my local markets and is a new paleo twist on a classic middle eastern favourite – Tabouleh. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups cauliflower rice (see below)
  • ~ 5 fresh vine ripened tomatoes, diced into small cubes
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 handful mint leaves, finely chopped 
  • 1 – 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • pinch of salt (optional)

Directions:

  • In bowl, combine cauliflower rice, tomatoes, scallions, parsley and mint.  Stir to combine. 
  • To make dressing, in small bowl combine lemon juice and olive.  Add to salad and stir well to combine. 
  • Add more lemon juice if desired and season with salt if using.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Note:  To make cauliflower rice – process one head of cauliflower in food processor until it is a rice like consistency.   In saucepan over medium heat, simmer cauliflower in approximately 2 cups organic chicken stock  (or water) until tender.  Remove from heat and using a sieve, drain the cauliflower rice, reserving it to a bowl.  Discard liquid.  Cool before using in above recipe.

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Wow what a month!  For most of April, I found myself wheeling my little suitcase through airport after airport answering to the demands of my day job.  But now I’m back home on the West Coast making up for lost time by cooking up a storm and working on some exciting primal by design projects!

With Spring now fully upon us, I find that I’m craving lighter foods, especially healthy, colourful salads.  Having finally sourced Kelp Noodles locally, I wanted to create a quick cold salad to serve as a refreshing side dish.  To speed up the prep and reduce the clean up, I opted to buy a bag of tri-colour coleslaw mix instead of shredding my own.       

Ingredients – makes 4-6 servings

  • 1 bag (16 oz) of Kelp Noodles
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock
  • water
  • 1 bag tri-coloured coleslaw mix
  • 1 green pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 recipe spicy citrus vinaigrette – see below
  • Toasted silvered almonds

Directions:

  1. Rinse Kelp Noodles under cold water.
  2. Pull noodles apart and place in a sauce pan with chicken stock.  Add enough water to cover noodles.
  3. Bring noodles to a boil and simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes
  4. Drain and rinse under cold water. 
  5. Place noodles, coleslaw mixture, red and green pepper in bowl and toss to combine.   You’ll likely find that your hands will work well for this as you will need to pull the noodles apart.
  6. Pour vinaigrette over the vegetable mixture and continue tossing until well combined.
  7. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving in order for the flavours to blend. 
  8. Sprinkle with toasted silvered almonds just before serving. 
  9. This recipe can be made a day ahead and refrigerated until ready to use. 

Spicy Citrus Vinaigrette

  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • zest of one lime
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp honey

Add all ingredients to mini-chopper and process until well combined.  Let sit in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving in order for the flavours to blend. 

Looking for Kelp Noodles – In Vancouver try Organic Lives.  In Toronto try The Big Carrot.   Noodles can also be ordered online from Upaya Naturals.

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