Yes.. I'm a child of the 90's and yes I have a lot of time on my hands in which to come up with interesting (and, in my opinion, witty) blog titles that involve MC Hammer rip offs. That being said.. who likes gyros??
We sure do, especially when they are super delish and 100% paleo-friendly!
I went the traditional route and chose ground lamb as the starting point for these puppies (I think that's traditional?... Greek folks like lamb right? This is what tv tells me, so I'm running with it). I also chose to make a homemade tzatziki sauce using coconut yogurt. Now, normally, I would rate coconut yogurt somewhere between "god awful" and "oh hell no", but for this recipe it really works! Honestly, the recipe ends up tasting like a darn good donair!!
For the "pita" part of the gyro I used my plantain tortilla recipe found here and I just made them larger. I found a 10" gyro held all the meaty goodness! As for the rest of the of the recipe, let's get started!
1 lb of ground lamb
1 teaspoon coconut flour
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and the pat the mixture into a parchment-lined, 8" square pan.
2. Bake at 350 degrees until done, approximately 25 minutes.
3. Remove from oven and let cool until meat can be removed from pan.
4. Transfer meat to cutting board and thinly slice.
1 cup coconut yogurt
1/3 english cucumber, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
1. Place grated cucumber into a metal sieve, placed over a bowl, and sprinkle with salt. Mix to incorporate salt and let sit for 20-30 minutes.
2. Place salted cucumber into a clean tea towel, or cheesecloth, and gentle wring out any extra moisture.
3. Place the cucumber in a bowl and combine with the rest of the ingredients.
4. Place sauce in the fridge and let flavours combine for 1-2 hours before serving.
Red onions, chopped
1. Place the warm "pita" on your plate, top with lamb strips, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions etc.
2. Top with homemade tzatziki!
3. The most important step....ENJOY!!
In the effort to embrace this whole dairy-free thing, and to use up some super ripe avocados, I bring you a deliciously creamy Paleo ice cream.
I loved black forest cake as a kid and the flavours were the inspiration for this ice cream. On a side note, you can eat this before frozen and it is an amazing pudding!
3 avocados, skin removed
1/2 cup honey
1 can coconut milk
6 tablespoons cocoa
2 teaspoons vanilla
pinch of sea salt
1 cup sweet cherries, chopped
1. Place all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth.
2. Pour into a running ice cream machine and let it churn for 20 minutes, or until almost frozen.
3. Add cherries to ice cream machine while it is still running so they become evenly dispersed.
4. Stop the machine and scoop frozen treat. Garnish with more cherries.
5. Remainder can be frozen in an resealable container. Enjoy!!
Well, I'm not sure what it's like in your neck of the woods, but it is rainy, windy, and awful in Quinte West. On days like today, I just want a warm bowl of comfort food, my favourite being creamy chicken soup! There's some about tender chunks of chicken, veggies, fresh herbs and cream that make your insides happy!
Wait a second, fresh cream is off the market now (damn dairy and it's delicious irritants!) so I had to find a way to make this stoup (stew+soup = stoup) creamy and satisfying sans dairy ( ohhh "sans", oui, je parle en peu francais!!) Ok, I need to stay on track here. Ok... creaminess.
I read a few websites that used pureed veggies as a thickener so I figured this would be a good option. OMG guys... best decision ever. I ended up making what I call "cauliflower-turnip milk" and from this day forward, it will be my thickener for soups, stews, and gravies. It was that awesome!! Oh.. and I felt so awesome about this recipe that I totally tried my hand at dumplings! Never had them pre-Paleo so I have no comparison, but these were soft and delish! So let's get into it!
1 whole organic chicken (approx. 4lbs)
2 litres of water
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 cup turnip, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
2 parsnips, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1. Take your chicken and place in a LARGE stock pot and add the 2 litres of water. Cover and simmer until chicken is cooked. Remove chicken and set aside to cool.
2. Remove 3 cups of stock from pot and set aside.
3. To the pot, add the cauliflower florets and turnip, and simmer for 30 minutes. Pour stock and turnip/cauliflower into a large bowl and set aside to cool.
4. Add olive to stock pot and add onion, carrots, celery, and parsnips. Sauté until onions are translucent. Add garlic and dried thyme.
5. Add the 3 cups of stock reserved from earlier. Simmer until veggies are soft and liquid is reduced by 3/4.
6. Once the cauliflower, turnip, and stock has cooled slightly, add to a glass jar blender and puree until smooth. It will have the consistency of cream. Set aside.
7. Remove meat from chicken carcass and reserve half (for lunches). With the remaining half, chop into bite-size chunks.
8. Add in cauliflower-turnip "milk" and chicken into the stock pot. Simmer long enough to combine flavours, 10-15 minutes. Add in chicken chunks
7. Season with salt and pepper.
1/2 head cauliflower, grated
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1. Place grated cauliflower into a large glass bowl and place in microwave for 4 minutes to steam. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
2. Once cool, place cauliflower into a tea towel and squeeze out all excess moisture.
3. Place the squeezed-out cauliflower into a bowl and sift in the coconut flour and tapioca flour.
4. Add in the egg and salt and combine.
5. Form into small shapes and gently float the dumplings on the top of the simmer stoup. (Note: I made mine into thin patty-like dumplings... In the future I will use my smallest cookie scoop and drop them in little balls. I think they will hold up better!)
6. Cover the pot of stoup and steam the dumplings for 10 minutes.
7. Serve and enjoy!
I think hubby thinks I'm losing it. I've done nothing but talk about tacos for the past week. I've been craving those delicious Mexican treats since before Easter and ever since we returned home, I've been on a mission to make a Paleo-friendly soft taco recipe. This is what I came up with.
Let's start with the tortillas. I've tried a couple different recipes, one that was basically scrambled eggs, and one that I have turned into an excellent crepe recipe (will post). Both of those were missing that classic "chew" that a yummy soft taco shell has. I pinned a couple plantain tortilla recipes but frankly, I was a bit terrified of them. Well today, my craving allowed me to break through! The recipe I used is an adaptation from zen belly catering.
2 large green plantains
1 whole egg
1 egg white
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Peel and chop your plantains. Place in blender and pulse until smooth. Add in egg, egg white, melted coconut oil, vinegar, and salt. Puree until smooth.
Drop 2 tablespoons of batter into four areas on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Zen belly recommends using a ladle and then wet fingers to spread out the batter but I found a small, wet, offset spatula worked phenomenal (and no messy fingers!). Spread the batter so that they end up being 5" in diameter. Pop into the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges just turn golden brown. When removed from the oven, wrap the tortillas in a damp tea towel and place in a warm spot until you are ready to eat.
I topped mine with seasoned ground beef, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, and homemade salsa.
Tell me that doesn't look amazing!
As you can see, it's soft, pliable, and soooo yummy! They were even hubby approved and he raved that they tasted "so fresh".
Note: This recipe should make 12+ tortillas. I ended up only making 8 and seasoned the rest of the batter with homemade taco seasoning and baked it into "homemade Doritos" for tomorrow's taco salad lunch. Exact same batter just smear batter into a thin layer and bake for 7 minutes. After 7 minutes, cut the dough into cracker/Dorito shaped pieces and pop back into the oven and bake until crisp! Yum! I will do my best to post a full recipe for this!
I'm a huge fan of roasting free-range, organic chickens. There are like the super-thrifty food. I get so much out of them. We will usually get two dinners, and four lunches out of a chicken, plus I make stock out of the carcass! Yesterday I roasted a full chicken and used it as part of our dinner. To roast my chicken, it's nothing special. Salt and pepper and in the oven it goes to sizzle away at 400 degrees for 1-2 hours depending on the weight of the bird. I wanted something hearty to pair with a simple roasted chicken and I decided to do a vegetable hash. This is what I came up with.
Bacon Apple &Turnip Hash
6 slices of natural bacon, sliced into lardons (homemade is best!! Post to come)
2 shallots, diced
3 cups of diced turnip (I used frozen)
1 apple, peeled & diced
1 cup water
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon herbes de provence
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the bacon in a cast iron skillet and sauté for approximately 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté for a couple more minutes, until translucent. Add turnip, thyme, and water. Simmer for 10-12 minutes over medium-low heat until water is evaporated and turnip is almost cooked. Add in apple and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve as a bed for some delicious roast chicken!!
Picture to follow, since I'm a meatball and forgot to take one last night.
Yup... I'm reaching for a title. Easter is over and done with. I actually did a chocolate-free Easter!! That's pretty impressive. We spend Sunday with hubby's family in Stoney Creek and it was amazing. Food was delish and the visit was even better! We spend the night in Niagara with my MIL and did some shopping in the morning before we made our way home. In our travels, we managed to find Mahi Mahi fish. Never had it before and I was intrigued. As I move more towards autoimmune protocol (AIP) I'm trying to incorporate wild-caught, sustainable seafood options in the effort to bring my omega 3:6 ratios closer to the 1:1 goal! This seemed like a great opportunity. If you haven't heard of Mahi Mahi before it's a large tropic fish, also known as dolphin fish, that is fast-growing, long-spawning and is considered a sustainable catch! It's a white fish that has a delicate texture and no fishy taste. OK... officially side-tracked... back to my story.
Anywho, we picked up the Mahi Mahi and decided we would try it for dinner. I wanted something that had a summer-y feel to it. This is what I came up with:
BBQ Mahi Mahi with Mango Reduction
4 - 4oz Mahi Mahi fillets
1/2 cup fresh, organic mango juice
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
pinch cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste
Preheat your bbq (or oven) to 400 degrees.
Place mango juice, pepper, thyme, and coconut oil in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and then lower heat and allow to simmer until reduced by 3/4. Set aside to cool slightly.
Tear off and form two "pouches", each one big enough to hold two fillets of Mahi Mahi. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. In each pouch, drizzle with approximately a tablespoon of the mango reduction and then seal up each pouch. Place the pouches on the grill and cook for 10-12 minutes, until the flesh flakes easily.
Dish up the fish and drizzle remaining mango reduction over the fish. Enjoy.
I served mine with garlic roasted asparagus and roasted sweet potatoes. YUM!
Well home-skillets, it's Easter Weekend! That makes turkey/ham and endless dainties/desserts... well normally anyway. We are heading to Easter dinner on Sunday and we will be spending it with hubby's famjam. I figured I would do some baking to contribute with but had no idea what I should take.
I should say that I have been on a massive pineapple kick lately. Slowly moving from a craving to an obsession. I decided on an upside-down cake. For this recipe, I incorporated fresh pineapple and mango. That, combined with the coconut milk, deliver a tropical taste bomb in every bite! So here's what I started with:
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple
1 cup fresh mango
1 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup coconut cream
1/3 cup fresh mango juice/puree
2/3 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
First things first. Place all the topping ingredients in a pan and gently simmer for 15-20 minutes.
While the topping is simmer, combine all your wet ingredients in the mixer.
Once the fruit is slightly translucent, remove from heat.
Pour into a 9" square pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Pop this into the freezer to cool off while you finish the cake batter.
Sift together all the dry ingredients and then add to the wet ingredients. Mix for medium for 2-3 minutes.
Remove pan from freezer and pour batter on top of the fruit topping. Pop into a 350 degree oven and bake for 50 (ish) minutes. A knife/toothpick should come out clean. Let the cake cool for 20 minutes and then remove from pan. I like to trim the edges for uniformity. Look how pretty it is!
The mango and pineapple turn into beautiful little jewels. Absolute delish! Enjoy!
Ok peeps... this is my go-to baked good! It's the thing that convinces my husband that Paleo isn't a soul-crushing endeavour. I usually make it on Sunday's, slice it, wrap it, and freeze it. It's a super easy, make ahead breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack etc.! And it's beyond delicious! So here's what I started with:
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup organic honey
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
6 organic eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla
1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/2 cup finely ground flax seed
2 tablespoons hemp seed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Optional: 1/2 cup Enjoy Life Mega Chocolate Chunks or 1/3 cup Enjoy Life Mini Chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Add everything except the mini chips into the blender. Blend until smooth.
3. Pour batter into a greased standard loaf pan and sprinkle a couple extra mini chips on top.
4. Pop that sucker in the oven for 50(ish) minutes, long enough so that a knife/toothpick comes out clean!
5. Let the loaf cool off for 15-20 minutes.
6. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the loaf pan and place on a baking rack to finish cooling.
7. Slice and enjoy!!
I don't think I'm the only one to say this... but there are still things I miss from the pseudo-food aisles and I find I'm ill-equipped to recreate some of those things post-Paleo. I look for recipes, get all excited, see the ingredient list, spot the almond flour/almond milk, cashews, etc. and I want to throw my iPad. Cashews in friggin ranch salad dressing??? Go. bleep. yourself.
This same attitude has been passed on to my grocery shopping. It has, at the same time, become easier and harder. Easier, because I can avoid all other areas of the grocery store except for fruits/veggies and the organic aisles. Harder, because... well... I'm find I'm at the level of "informed" that makes me a wee bit neurotic. If you've ever seen me in Independent or Metro, I'm usually muttering to myself and it goes something like this:
"Oh crap... need coconut milk" *heads toward the organic dairy case for the coconut milk*
"Awww bleep...it may contain traces of almonds" *heads towards the organic aisle with the carton of coconut milk*
"YES!! No nuts! Damn it... it has carrageenan" *heads towards international food aisle for organic canned coconut milk*
"@$#%!!! Guar gum!! WHY??? Screw it... I'll make it myself!" * heads to the baking section and grabs unsweetened shredded coconut*
"May contain traces of peanuts/tree nuts.... FML"
By this time, my left eye is twitching, a fit is brewing, and I'm only on the second item on my list. If you're wondering.. I ended up paying $3.49/can for organic Thai Kitchen coconut milk with the GD guar gum in it!!! I want to spare you the ridiculousness that is my food shopping.
So... for quite some time I have wanted to do a "local" buying guide for Paleo/Primal folks. I think I have found some pretty awesome places that allow me to feed myself and hubby local, grass-fed, and/or organic ingredients for less than $7/person/day! So here goes!!
Grills Orchards (Belleville) - LOVE LOVE LOVE this place! Not only do they carry raw, local honey and fresh apples, they carry frozen meats from local farms. They are super at letting you know whether the met is grass-fed/grain-fed and beyond helpful and friendly!
Limestone Organic Creamery (Kingston) - This is an amazing place! They have an assortment of organic dairy including kefir, milk, cream, and cheese. They also carry a variety of artisanal sausages and stock ground beef that is 90%+ grass-fed. The cows are pastured-raised and are only given corn "as a treat" on rare occasions. As it warms up, they seem to be bringing in fresh produce as well!
Haanover View Farms (Belleville) - An awesome family farm that carries local beef and pork. We get out pork belly from them to make our homemade bacon! The Haan's are wonderful people and can be found at the Belleville Farmer's Market each Saturday.
Earth Haven Farms (Tweed) - A local family farm that carries beef that is organic and grass-fed. They aren't a drop-in kind of place but will take orders of the phone/email.
Chesher Bros Inc. (Frankford) - An awesome family owned farm that raises venison. They also carry local bison and elk meat.
Metro (Trenton) - I find Metro is the best for fresh organic produce. They also carry a much wider variety of canned coconut milk. They do lack in the organic dairy/almond/coconut milk area!
Independent (Trenton) - Metro is great for the organic pantry aisles! They have a variety of frozen organic fruits/veggies as well as things like coconut milk creamer/coconut yogurt. They also carry a lot of allergen free products by Enjoy Life (mini chips that are free of dairy/soy/nuts etc.)
If there are any places that I have missed, please feel free to let me know and I will keep this up-to-date for everyone! Hope this helps!