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Posts Tagged ‘party food’

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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This year in B.C. we had the largest sockeye salmon run in nearly 100 years which meant that the fresh stuff was being sold everywhere.  I think I even saw someone selling whole fish right out of the trunk of their car!! 

While the salmon run has long since passed, there is still an abundance of frozen sockeye available at most local markets.  As the fish was pretty much frozen right off the boat, the previously frozen variety is just as tasty as the fresh stuff was.   

Cooking this recipe for a few friends, I opted to cook a larger piece of salmon fillet and then portion it off after cooking.  As salmon can be quite rich tasting, to lighten it up, I dressed the fillet with fresh dill and lemon before baking it in the oven.  Rounding out this awesome paleo dish was a generous portion of cauliflower rice and kale.  

For the Salmon

  • Ingredients
  • 1 – 1.5 lbs sockeye salmon fillet (any kind of salmon will work)
  • Fresh dill to taste
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Wash and dry salmon fillet and place skin side down on parchment lined baking sheet.  Season with pepper
  3. Wash and dry fresh dill, remove tougher parts of dill stem and generously place dill on top of salmon (I love dill so was pretty generous here) 
  4. Squeeze juice from one half of the lemon over the salmon
  5. Slice remaining half lemon into thin slices and lay these over the salmon
  6. Bake in preheated 375 oven for 12-15 minutes until fish is cooked through

For the Cauliflower Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, green leaves removed, washed and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup each finely chopped celery, carrot and onion
  • 1 bunch of kale, washed and torn into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (or more as required)
  • pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In large skillet, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat
  2. Add celery, carrot and onion and saute for a few minutes until translucent
  3. While veggies are cooking, in food processor add cauliflower in batches and process until it is a rice like consistency
  4. Add “riced” cauliflower to veggies in fry pan and stir to combine
  5. Add chicken stock, season with pepper and cover with lid
  6. Simmer over medium-low heat stirring occasionally until tender ~ 20 minutes, adding more chicken stock if pan starts to become too dry
  7. Once cauliflower is tender, add kale and cover until kale is wilted and tender, stirring occasionally
  8. Serve Salmon over a heaping spoonful of cauliflower rice – Enjoy!!

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This recipe comes with a huge disclaimer – I will not be held responsible if you sit down and eat nearly the entire batch!   Honestly, this is probably some of the best stuff I have made and I am really struggling with the  whole concept of “eat in moderation”, so much so that I packed a bunch of it up and gave it away to friends.  

For a sweetener in this recipe I did use some organic raspberry blossom honey, so it is definitely a treat and should be enjoyed in moderation!  If dariy still makes its way into your diet, this granola would be excellent sprinkled over plain yogurt and fresh berries. 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup each sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, ribbon coconut and chopped walnuts (really any mixture of nuts and seed will work)
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup each chopped figs and goji berries
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey (I used raspberry blossom honey)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, or more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. In saucepan over low heat combine coconut oil, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and salt.  Continue stirring until heated through, but not boiling.
  2. In separate bowl, combine nuts, seeds and fruit.   Drizzle hot oil/honey mixture over nuts, stirring until well coated.
  3. Place mixture on a cookie sheet and bake in 300 degree oven for 30 minutes, turning once or twice during cooking
  4. Remove and let cool. 
  5. Break granola apart and store in air-tight container.

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Like most of us who follow a paleo/primal lifestyle, I’m pretty familiar with zucchini as it forms an excellent noodle replacement for some previously starch laden dishes.  However, up until recently I had not given much thought to it in its raw state.  But, by using a mandolin slicer to julienne the zucchini and then tossing it in a simple dressing, it can be easily transformed into a wonderful summer salad that goes fabulously alongside any of your favourite BBQ’ed meats. 

Ingredients:

  • 4 zucchini, washed, dried and stem removed
  • ~ 20 cherry tomatoes, or any other small tomato variety
  • 3 small or 1 large shallot, diced
  • 1/4 cup Extra-Virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp grainy mustard, add more or less depending on your taste
  • 1/2 tsp honey (optional) – I find it helps to balance the flavour
  • salt & pepper to taste (optional)

Directions:

  1. Using a mandolin slicer set on the 1/8 inch julienne setting, julienne the zucchini into long strips.  Cut the strips into bite size pieces (I cut each into 3 pieces)  
  2. Cut tomatoes into bite size piece.  (I cut each into 8 pieces)
  3. Place zucchini and tomatoes into large bowl
  4. For dressing, in mini-chopper add shallots, oil, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard and honey.  Process until well combined.
  5. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to combine
  6. Season with salt & pepper to taste
  7. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve.
  8. This will also keep in the fridge for at least a few days and as it sits, the zucchini takes on more and more flavour.  Delish!

Note:  Don’t have a mandolin slicer – no problem!  You can either julienne the zucchini by hand or just chop the zucchini up into small pieces.

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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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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.

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