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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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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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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!

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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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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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