Monday, July 7, 2014

Flat breads & Foccacia


These are the closest to naan bread I think we can get in the paleo world. They can be used for so many different things! I use them with lamb meatballs as pita, dip them in soup, sop up sauces and roll up sandwiches. They are lightly seasoned and go well with anything.

Flatbread
You will need: 
1 bag of The Primal Pantry pizza crust mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup of broth or water


Directions
Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly in a mixing bowl. Pour about 1/3 cup into a non-stick pan that is on medium heat. In a really good pan, you shouldn't need grease. Rotate the pan on an angle to move the batter around creating a large circle. You will start to see air bubbles coming up through the top side. Once it is holding together, flip the entire bread like a pancake and cook on both sides until it looks the way you want. You can also drop a spoonful of batter into the pan first as a tester. If you want more seasoning, this would be the time to add it.



This is the stuff that makes you forget about real bread. Remember dipping bread sticks in olive oil and balsamic? This is the paleo version. You can cut it into sticks or enjoy whatever you can rip off with your hand. Go easy... you don't need to eat all of it in one sitting as tempting as it may be. Cut off pieces the next day and throw them in the broiler to toast up again. If you make a sandwich with this, I'd love to see it!

Foccacia
You will need: 
1 bag of The Primal Pantry pizza crust mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup of broth or water
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tablespoon of organic balsamic vinegar
Sea salt, organic oregano and organic basil for dusting
Organic extra virgin olive oil

Directions
Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly in a mixing bowl. The reason for adding the balsamic is not only for that added sweetness but because it has a reaction with the baking powder and creates a fluffier bread. Pour the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread it out evenly and sprinkle the top with the extra seasoning. Bake it in the oven on 375 degrees for about 15 minutes or until it is a golden brown color. Drizzle it with olive oil once it has cooled.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Pancakes, Muffins, Waffles and more...


The below recipes are using The Primal Pantry grain-free, sugar-free, dairy-free Pancake/Muffin Mix seen on the right above.


Blueberry Muffins
You will need:
1 bag of mix for 10 - 12 muffins
3 eggs
1/2 cup of full fat organic coconut milk
1 cup of fresh or frozen organic blueberries

Directions
Empty the bag of mix into a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs and coconut milk and whip until smooth. Fold in the blueberries and pour into muffin cups. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. It's that simple!



Waffles
You will need:
1 bag of mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup of full fat organic coconut milk

Directions
Empty the bag of mix into a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs and coconut milk and whip until smooth. Pour into a waffle-maker on medium heat and let it sit for about 5 - 8 minutes. After this time check every minute until it is to your preferred level of doneness. Drizzle with a tiny bit of maple syrup or add fruit and voila! You can also add blueberries or chocolate chips to the batter. Yum!



Simple Pancakes
You will need:
1 bag of mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup of full fat organic coconut milk

Directions
Empty the bag of mix into a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs and coconut milk and whip until smooth. Pour into a greased or non-stick pan and well... you know... make pancakes! 

Other uses for this mix:
Banana nut bread, gingerbread, blueberry lemon etc.....
Cakes
Cookies
Cupcakes
Pie crust
Doughnuts
Crepes

Any other ideas? Please share your recipes!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Hard and Soft Taco Shells


To make these, you will need 1 package of The Primal Pantry pizza crust mix... which I may start calling my "Magic Mix" since it can take so many different forms.


What you also need
rolling pin
parchment
muffin tin
1 egg
1/4 cup of water

Directions
Mix the ingredients of the bag in a mixing bowl with the egg and half of the 1/4 cup of water using a fork. Slowly add the remaining water until the dough sticks together but doesn't stick to your finger. You may not need all of the water. 
Once your dough is mixed, divide it until you have about 1 and 1/2 inch dough balls. You should have 10 to make 10 large taco shells or tortillas. If you want more, you can make them smaller. Remember that the larger they are, the harder it may be to keep them upright in the mold when making hard shells.


Take each ball and using your rolling pin, roll it into a circle between two pieces of parchment paper or one folded in half. I use this small one-handed rolling tool so that I can hold and rotate the parchment with my other hand. It definitely makes things easier!







For Hard Shells: 
Take your rolled out rounds and using the underside of the muffin tin, place them upright with the parchment still underneath. These will be baked at 350 degrees until they are hard to the touch and have a little brown on the edges.
If you are having trouble with keeping the shells upright before getting them in the oven, you can also hang them over the bars of your oven rack. Just keep both pieces of parchment on for this method.






For Soft Shells:
Keep your rolled out rounds between the parchment laying flat and bake them at 350 degrees. You are going to really want to watch these carefully. Check them after 5 minutes and every couple of minutes after that. You are trying to achieve cooking without hardening. The pieces of parchment protect the middle from cooking too quickly. So, when you start to see the edges of the parchment curling up and the edges of the tortilla are getting stiff, take them out. The middle should still be soft enough to bend when you pick them up. The degree of difficulty is pretty high for these because you really have to avoid letting them go for too long. If you have a tortilla press (if only!) you are a lucky person and may be able to use that to master the perfect even temp for soft shells.



When you have achieved the perfect tortilla, you can create many amazing things like these delicious fajitas! Good luck!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Basic Sauces


If you don't have the magic bullet, you can use a food processor... but again, I HIGHLY recommend making it easier for yourself and just getting this awesome tool. These are all made in the bullet in a matter of seconds. How can you beat that...?

Basic Mayonnaise
Blend in the bullet with the flat whipping blade equal parts egg and extra-light tasting olive oil with a pinch of salt. If you don't feel like it tastes like the stuff in the jar, you can add a splash of apple cider vinegar and squirt of mustard. Also, when the oil gets cooled in the fridge it will thicken up... but you can add more oil if you really want peaks.

Ranch Dressing
Blend with the flat whipping blade basic mayo with equal parts garlic powder, onion powder and dill. For a one egg batch, start with about 1/8 of a tsp of each and add more if you want more flavor. Also, the more salt you add, the more it will taste like the stuff straight out of the bottle. Big shocker there.

Dressing Variations
To the ranch dressing, add an one or more of the following:
-one fully ripened avocado
-roasted red pepper
-lemon juice
-balsamic vinegar
-dijon mustard- also good in combination with balsamic
-roasted garlic

Ketchup
1 whole can of organic stewed tomatoes blended until smooth in the bullet with:
1 tbsp. of white vinegar or balsamic
1/8 tsp of ground cloves
2 tbsp. of xylitol
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp of apple cider (not totally necessary, but I had some)  
2 of the tiny scoops of stevia extract the spoon that comes in the container (probably about 1/8 tsp.)
Boil it all on the stove until it reduces and thickens... add more salt to taste.
I may have also added a tbs. of coffee because I find it makes things taste richer. Definitely cool a little spoonful and taste it to make sure it is the way you want. It only gets better when it is cooled off!

Dairy-Free Alfredo
Using the basic mayo recipe and adding some lemon juice and garlic, whip it up in the bullet. Pour the mix into a sauce pan and whip it with a whisk while heating slowly. It will thicken and you will know when it is done. It takes some practice, but as long as you are continually moving the sauce around and not heating too quickly, it will keep a nice smooth texture. As soon as it is ready, pour it over your veggies, noodles, etc...

Creamy Tomato Sauce
Using the same method and recipe as above, add some organic tomato sauce and check the flavor before it has heated and thickened. If this is a sauce you've eaten often, you will know when it's the right consistency.

Russian Dressing
Use the mayo base and add ketchup, a squirt of mustard and some organic pickle relish or chopped pickles.

BBQ Sauce

Steak Sauce

Hollandaise Sauce

Dairy-Free Hollandaise Sauce
3 eggs
2 1/2 tbs organic lemon juice
1/2 cup lard or extra light tasting olive oil
A pinch of organic paprika
Salt to taste
Whisk everything in a sauce pan on low heat until it thickens.


Deviled Egg Mix (to add to yolks)
Use the basic ranch dressing mixing in the bullet and add:
1 tbsp organic mustard (yellow, stoneground, horseradish... it's up to you)
1/2 tsp organic lemon juice
1/2 tsp organic apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp paprika
-Makes enough for 1 dozen eggs deviled. Don't add it all at once. It should be the right consistency with all of this mix added to the yolks, but add it in increments to make sure. It will depend on what size eggs you used. You can also mix in capers, chopped red onions, pickle relish, etc... to give the filling a different taste. Stuff it all into a ziploc bag and cut the corner to pipe it into the eggs.

Taste everything as you go! You know what taste you are looking for! The flavors will also become more noticeable as the ingredients sit together longer.
This list of sauces will grow as I continue to create more and get requests for specific recipes.

Friday, December 21, 2012

BBQ Sauce



Ingredients
Two cans organic tomato sauce (or homemade)
1/2 cup brewed strong organic coffee
1/2 cup organic apple cider
1/2 cup organic apple cider vinegar
2 tsps chopped organic garlic
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp organic cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp organic onion powder
1/2 tbsp organic yellow mustard
1 tbsp organic xylitol
1/4 tsp organic stevia extract


Directions
Blend all ingredients into a saucepan to simmer. Once the mixture has thickened, check the taste and add more stevia if you would like it to taste sweeter or more cayenne for extra spice. Add more salt to taste if needed.  If you are familiar with liquid smoke, you can add that smoky flavor as well. You could really make 3 flavors with this recipe: sweet, spicy and smoky. Let it cool and store it in a mason jar in your fridge.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Butternut Squash Homefries


Why not actual potato homefries? Come on now... if you don't know the answer, then I can't help you. Sweet potato homefries would be okay but you can't beat the nutrients in this disguised winter squash. It also has a little sweetness to it.  It's the sweet/savory balance that makes it a perfect breakfast side.

Ingredients
1 large organic butternut squash
2 tbsp pastured lard, bacon grease or butter (Kerrygold)
1/2 organic white onion chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp organic parsley
1/2 tsp organic garlic powder
1 tsp organic mixed seasoning
1/4 cup homemade bone broth (chicken, beef, pork or whatever you have)
2 pieces of bacon (optional)

Directions
Skin, de-seed and cube your butternut squash to about the size of potato homefries. If you are using the bacon, you will want to chop it up into small pieces and start it cooking in a large skillet with the lard, grease or butter. I didn't have bacon to spare, so I left it out of this batch. 
Once the skillet is hot, add the cubed butternut squash and cook it until you get a nice browning on as much of it as possible. Add the chopped onion about halfway through.



After the squash has a good amount of color on it, add the dry seasonings and mix everything together. By this time the squash should almost be cooked through. Pour the broth in the skillet, mix it around and put a lid on it to steam. In about 5 minutes take the lid off and let the excess liquid cook off. 
Serve hot and enjoy!
If you want to spice it up a little, you can add some chopped pickled jalapenos or a pinch or two of cayenne.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Squash cake


This is a variation of zucchini bread that I decided to make because we bought some organic yellow squash at a farm stand. I had a hard time choosing between this recipe and a more traditional spiced zucchini bread. It was the fennel that caught my interest. The original recipe came from the Martha Stewart site where they have around 75 different ways to use zucchini.

Ingredients
1/2 cup lard, butter or coconut oil (or combination)
2 cups almond flour

1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder (grain-free)
2 medium organic yellow squashes
2 medium organic green zucchini
1 cup shelled, unsalted pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cups xylitol
1/4 tsp stevia extract
3 large organic pastured eggs
1 tsp organic pure vanilla extract
3/4 tsp organic ground fennel

Directions
Melt your oil, lard or butter in the baking dish with the oven preheating at 350 degrees. Mix all the dry ingredients except for the xylitol in a mixing bowl. Then take the xylitol, eggs, vanilla, and your melted oil and blend those in a blender or bullet. Mix the liquids with the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl to which you will add the squash once you have grated it with a box grater or shredded it in a food processor. Lastly, you will add the pistachios and pour into your dish to bake for about 45 minutes to an hour until the top is golden brown. If you have two loaf pans, it might be better to make 2 shallow loaves instead of one big casserole loaf, as I have done.


By the way, it is amazing! Considering that it is 75% veggie and egg, how can you go wrong eating a ton of this? The fennel flavor reminds me of the traditional italian pitzelles which use anise. I think next time I bake this I will add a hint of lemon in there too.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Breakfast Sausage


This is something we would eat everyday if it was in the fridge. It is the easiest thing to make and a good substitute for bacon (but why would you not want bacon...?). Because this is just as amazing. I don't know if my husband is aware, but I mentally keep tabs on how much sausage he has eaten, just so I can make sure I'm getting my fair share.

Ingredients:
1 lb of ground pork (preferably pasture-raised)
1 tsp organic onion powder
1/2 tsp organic garlic powder
1 tsp organic thyme (if ground use 1/4)
1/4 tsp organic ground sage
3/4 tsp sea salt 
pinch of organic pepper
pinch of organic cayenne (or more if you like spicy)
3/4 cup almond flour

Directions:
Mix all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl with your hands. I add almond flour to bulk up the volume that this recipe produces. It soaks up the flavor and juices from the meat and when you eat it, you would never know it's in there. It also gives a good crispy texture when you cook it. If I didn't add this (and it's totally optional), I fear the sausage rations would last half the time. If you decide not to use almond flour, you may want to cut the amount of salt down by 1/4 tsp.
Once everything is mixed thoroughly you will want to form the sausage into a big log and wrap it in cling wrap. This way, you can just cut a slice off the end in the morning to have a ready-to-cook sausage patty.
Brown on both sides, cook a couple of eggs in the grease and you have a complete primal breakfast in minutes.





Friday, March 16, 2012

Coconut Macaroons


This is one of my first recipes as a primal baker (so please excuse it's informality). Now I know and must point out the differences between using sweetened or unsweetened coconut. Besides the obvious variation in amounts of sugar, the unsweetened really seems to be extra dry. I would suggest perhaps leaving some of the yolks in with the mix to make up for that lack of moisture.

I wasn't terribly exact when whipping these up, so you'll have to excuse my use of guessed measurements.
I have made a recipe from the back of a coconut bag before, and this was a different brand. So, the recipes were a little different. One had flour, one didn't, etc....
This is roughly what I did:

Ingredients
2 bags (approx. 32 oz) of coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup of almond flour
6 egg whites
1 cup almond or coconut milk
sea salt and sweetener to taste 
dark chocolate to drizzle on top (I used baking chips, which melt faster)
slivered almonds
coconut oil for the pan

Directions
Basically, I mixed all the ingredients in a bowl. I greased the pan and set the oven for 325-350.
Since I didn't have an ice-cream scoop to make perfect little blobs, I greased up a small measuring cup (probably 1/4 cup), and used it to make 16 coconutty mounds. I baked them while continually checking and changing temps, making sure they weren't getting burnt here or there. When there was brown crispy coconut all over the tops and especially bottoms, I took them out and let them cool before adding the toppings.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Coconut Coffee Hobnobs


This is a great primal and gluten/grain free dessert. I don't feel at all guilty about eating these...


Coconut Coffee Hobnobs

Dusting powder:
4 tbs unsweetened coconut finely processed
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp coconut flour
1 handful organic chocolate chips

Hobnobs:
12 large organic pitted dates
2 tbs brewed coffee
1/4 cup almond milk + 1 tbs
1 1/2 tbs coconut oil

3/4 cup whole almonds
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 tsp ground sea-salt
2 tsp coconut flour
1 1/2 tsp cocoa powder

1/4 cup coconut flour set aside

For the dusting powder, chop all of the ingredients in a food processor until desired consistency and mix together. Set this aside.
For the hobnobs you need to mix wet ingredients and dry ingredients, then combine the two.
Blend the dates, coffee, almond milk and coconut oil in a food processor until it is smooth and buttery. Separately put the almonds (you can use another kind of nut, or several kinds), salt, coconut flour and cocoa powder in the processor to create the nut meal. After these two blends are mixed together, slowly add up to 1/4 cup of coconut flour until the mixture has the consistency of sticky pizza dough. Once it can be rolled into a ball a little bigger than an inch in size, drop it into your dusting mix and cover it completely.
Place all of the finished treats on a sheet and chill in the fridge until you just can't resist the temptation to eat one!
The recipe makes 12-15 hobnobs.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Gingerbread with Orange Cream Cheese


This was a special request for Thanksgiving that sounded something like, "Hey you need to come up with a recipe for gingerbread and orange cream cheese." My friend didn't actually think I was going to make it, and neither did I.  Damn I'm sure glad I did.
One thing about this recipe is that the almond does tend to overpower the ginger... so I had to up the ante about 1/4 tsp.  Make sure you taste the batter before you pour it and see if it still needs more. And try to stop yourself from sitting on the couch with a spoon and the bowl of cream cheese because it will tempt you.
This would be a great cupcake and frosting situation.  ... I'm thinking minis...

Gingerbread
10 pitted organic dates
1 organic orange (juiced)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 pastured eggs
1/2 tsp baking powder (Grain Free)
1/2 tsp arrowroot powder
1 tbs xylitol
1/8 tsp stevia extract
1/4 tsp organic cinnamon
1/8 tsp organic ground clove
1 1/4 tsp organic ground ginger
1 1/2 tbs coconut oil (lard or butter)
1/2 can organic full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 3/4 cups almond flour
pinch of sea salt


Directions
Put the dates in a bowl or container with the orange juice and vanilla extract and leave it at room temperature for about an hour. This is to soften them. When it looks like some of the liquid is disappearing, they are ready. Preheat the oven and put your oil (butter or lard) in a loaf pan and stick it in the oven to melt.  Add your spices, the eggs and stevia to the date mix and blend it all together until you have a nice smooth liquid. In a large mixing bowl put all the other dry ingredients together then add the blended date mix, coconut milk and melted oil. Mix with a hand mixer and taste it to check the sweetness and ginger. Pour the mix into the loaf pan (or cupcake molds) and bake in the middle of the oven at around 375 until there is some color on the top. Serve with delicious orange cream cheese.


Orange Cream Cheese
1 package organic cream cheese
4 tbs organic coconut milk
1/4 cup organic orange marmalade (I make my own - see below for substitution*)
pinch of organic ground ginger
1/8 tsp stevia extract


*If you can't get organic marmalade or one without sugar, you can take a whole orange and puree it, put the puree in a sauce pan with a tiny bit of liquid (water or fruit juice) and simmer it with a tbs of xylitol. Taste it for the level of sweetness you want but try to keep it a little tart. Once it seems to have reduced or thickened, let it cool.


Directions
Whip the cream cheese and coconut milk together in a bowl and add the other ingredients while you mix. Check the taste as you go, adding more marmalade or sweetener as you desire. It is not supposed to be an overpowering orange flavor... it is more of a hint. Smother on a piece of gingerbread and welcome to heaven.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sweet Mashed Potatoes


Here is a great Thanksgiving recipe that will help your whole family eat a little healthier. My sister and I consulted each other on this one in attempts to get our family away from good ol' green bean casserole. Everything in that recipe is canned... it's just so wrong... and yet somehow it became family tradition. Hopefully this week I can post enough recipes to break all of the unhealthy traditions going around.
This is a much healthier potato dish than your standard mashed potatoes. Tried and documented by Kelly Sharon (my sister).

Ingredients (for 8 servings)
3 organic sweet potatoes
½ of an organic sweet yellow onion
1 head of roasted organic garlic
Organic or homemade Chicken broth (set aside 1 1/4 cups)
Butter or lard (for dairy-free)
1 package of bacon 
1/2 tsp sea salt
sea salt & pepper to taste
organic rosemary

Directions 
Put the garlic in the oven to roast. Boil the sweet potatoes in half water, half chicken broth with about 1/2 tsp of sea salt and 2 sprigs of rosemary. Boil until fork tender, then drain the water. Mash the potatoes with the roasted garlic, about 6 tbsp of butter and approx 1-1 ¼ cups of chicken broth. Add in the chopped onion and about 5 pieces of chopped bacon.  Salt & pepper to taste.  Put in a greased baking dish with the rest of the crumbled bacon on top and a little more butter.  Baked on 400 deg for about 20 minutes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Steak sauce


One thing I really miss is A1 Steak Sauce, and with all those steaks we eat, there has to be a substitute. So, this is what I came up with.

Ingredients
1/2 cup organic orange juice (I squeezed my own)
6-8 pitted organic dates
1/4 cup coconut aminos
1/4 cup organic apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons organic dijon mustard (sugar free)
1/2 cup brewed coffee
2 tablespoons organic ketchup (sugar free)
2 tablespoons chili sauce
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp stevia extract (optional- add after ingredients have cooked down)



Directions
Blend all ingredients in the bullet and pour into a saucepan to simmer. Once the mixture has thickened, check the taste and add the stevia if you would like it to taste sweeter. You can also add a little arrowroot powder to help with the thickness (1/2 tsp or so).

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Chocolate Mousse tart


This is a chocolate lover's delight! Another experiment gone perfect led me to this mousse on a crunchy crust. My husband keeps saying I should do it without the crust, but I prefer the texture. Plus, the cacao nibs are awesome.

Oh, and... did I mention you can eat this for breakfast? It won't hurt you one bit and is packed with protein.

Crust
1 Tbsp Lard, Butter or Coconut Oil
1 Cup raw organic cashews
1/4 Cup organic cacao nibs
1 Cup organic almonds
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 Cup organic cocoa powder
1/2 Cup xylitol
1/8 tsp stevia extract
1 Tbsp coffee grounds



Filling
6 Whole pastured eggs
1/2 Cup xylitol
1/4 tsp stevia extract
1/2 Cup organic cocoa powder
1 tsp brewed coffee
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 Cup organic orange juice



Directions
For the crust: Put all of the ingredients, except the cacao nibs, in a food processor and chop until the nuts have broken down, but maintain a chunky texture. Mix in the cacao nibs with a mixing spoon, not with the processor blade. Pour the crumbles into a square baking dish and push into the sides. Place in a preheated oven (about 375 or 400 if you live at altitude) and let bake while you make the filling.



Filling: Whip all ingredients in a blender, food processor or bullet and pour into the crust.
Bake the tart until the top gets a little color and the center is not jiggling. It will probably inflate like a brownie when it's almost done, but it will deflate when it cools. It tastes great at room temperature or chilled.






Friday, November 11, 2011

Eggnog (dairy and sugar-free)


I don't know about you, but I am obsessed with eggnog (sans the alcohol). Every year I get super excited for the season. I usually go through a half-gallon in a week on my own, and that is with a mix of half eggnog - half milk in my glass. It is dessert for me. But because it is primal, that means I can have it any time of day, in a latte or by itself. The fact that I now can drink a ton of it and not gain weight is unbelievable to me.
This recipe is dairy AND sugar free because my husband and I are staying away from dairy (even though that is the best way to have it).


Ingredients
6 pastured eggs
1 tbs xylitol + some stevia extract (to taste)
1/8 tsp freshly grated organic nutmeg 
1 can of organic coconut milk/cream (for dairy version, use 1 pint of heavy cream + 2 cups milk if you prefer it not so thick) 

Directions
In the bullet or a blender whip the eggs, sweetener, vanilla extract and nutmeg. When the eggs look thoroughly mixed add the coconut milk (or cow's milk) and continue to whip. Chill and serve with a little nutmeg as a garnish.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Primal Apple Crumble




Tis the season... of apples! Apples baking makes me not just think of, but feel like fall, Halloween; leaves rustling in the wind and bundling up next to a window with something sweet. Just to have that warm smell in the house, I came up with this recipe and was extremely thankful for the whim.

Primal Apple Crumble
6 organic apples cored and sliced (you can use any variety)
1 tbsp xylitol
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp lard, butter or coconut oil


Directions
Heat the oven to your usual baking temp (mine is about 400 degrees) and put a casserole dish in with the tablespoon of lard, butter, or coconut oil until it melts and you can coat the dish. Throw in the apple slices tossed with the cinnamon and sweetener. This gives the apples a head start while you put together the crumble topping.


Crumble Topping
1 2/3 cups almond flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp arrowroot powder
1/4 tsp baking powder (Grain Free)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground clove
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup xylitol
1/8 tsp pure stevia extract
1 pinch of sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp lard, butter or coconut oil
1 pastured egg


Directions
Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl making sure to break up any clumps of coconut flour or other ingredients. Use a pastry dough blender to mix in the wet ingredients until you have a crumble that is the same consistency of our quiche crust. This means it is a loose crumble but still sticks together when pressed. Take the apples out of the oven and with a spatula flatten them or move them around until you have a reasonably flat surface for the topping. Pour the crumble on and move it around to cover the entire apple filling, pressing just enough to have it stick together. Put it back in the oven until the topping becomes a little browned (at least 20 minutes). I know when stuff is just about done the good-ol'-fashioned way... when I can smell it. When apple cinnamon starts wafting through the house, it probably only has another 5 minutes or so.

Serve it hot or cold, with ice-cream or custard, whip cream or créme fraiche. You could even add some whole walnuts in with the apples or chopped into the topping. It is an addictive way to use the abundant fruit this season. I will probably make this for my non-primal family for Thanksgiving (win them over with sweets that aren't bad for you).  Enjoy!


Tools: Pastry Blender


This is one of my favorite tools and will be needed for the next recipe post.  Since I bake so much and am constantly creating bread alternatives, this is the only thing I need to make quiche, tart, pizza crusts and crumble topping for my primal apple crumble. I highly recommend you add one to your primal pantry tools.
It is used to mash the butter or lard into your dry mixed ingredients and create that crumbly texture needed for crusts. It distributes the wet ingredients very thoroughly. Just make sure you have already mixed your dry ingredients.



I have the one pictured above right. It is nice that the blades go all the way up the sides to the handle but sometimes the nut that holds it all together comes loose and parts go flying. I would probably prefer one that was a little more sturdy like the one on the left. Either way, you probably won't spend more than $15 for even the top-of-the-line dough blender.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Nut Clusters Cereal


I don't really eat cereal and never cared for it. But I had an idea that it would be easy to make cereal primal, and it is. It is nice to have something crunchy to eat when I get that craving. This stuff is, as my Grandma once said, "nuttier n'a squirrel turd."

Ingredients
2 cups chopped almonds (or your favorite nut)
1 cup of each of the following:
  sunflower seeds
  pumpkin seeds
  shredded unsweetened coconut
  chopped walnuts (or another kind of nut)
6 oz of dried fruit (I used apricots)
1/4 cup organic lemon juice
1/4 tsp stevia extract

Directions
Put the dried fruit in a bullet cup, add the lemon juice and fill with water until covered. Let this sit for a couple hours at room temp or until you notice the water has mostly dissappeared. Once the dried fruit looks nice and plump add the stevia and blend until it is a thick paste.  
Mix all of the nuts in a large mixing bowl and add the sunflower seeds. Put the shredded coconut in a food processor with the pumpkin seeds and blend until the mix is pretty well broken down. Add this into the nut mixture and stir until everything is evenly distributed.
Now add the fruit paste to the dry mix and spread it out on a baking sheet to toast in the oven. Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes or until everything looks toasty, making sure to stir it around every couple minutes. When it looks done, turn off the oven and let the mix stay in there to dry out completely. Maybe throw in a few slivered almonds or dried berries.  Put it in an airtight container for later.
Voila! Nut clusters!




You can use any kind of fruit or nut, making sure that you are countering more bitter nuts with a sweet fruit. Pumpkin seeds also tend to be bitter. Try a banana-walnut version but make sure you add a little more sweetener to make up for the strong walnut taste. You can also add cocoa powder to the paste to make a chocolate version or you can add dried berries to the mix after it has been toasted. Yum!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Quiche


This recipe is mainly for the crust.  Once you have this part down you can make any kind of quiche imaginable.  In fact, you can take all of the savory elements out of the crust recipe and replace them with sweet ones to make the perfect crust for a tart!

*UPDATE - I have made this crust many times for sweet and savory dishes having omitted the ground flax seed. It works just as well with 3 cups of almond flour or 2 cups almond flour and 1 of coconut flour. This should simplify things a bit on the supply end of things. I also use this for pies and anything that needs a crust.

Quiche crust
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1 1/2 cups fresh ground golden flax seed 
10 or more roasted garlic cloves (I roast my own)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup cold water
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp of seasoning of your choice (I used a little cayenne, onion powder, and an organic mixed seasoning)

*If you eat dairy, definitely throw some parmesan cheese in there!
**If you are making tart crust use 2 to 1 ratio almond to coconut flour.  Use lard or coconut oil instead of olive oil; sweeten with stevia extract or xylitol (both is better); cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and vanilla extract to season; lower the amount of salt to a pinch or two.

Directions
Mix all of your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl with a whisk to make sure it is evenly distributed.  Crush or chop the garlic cloves and add to the dry mix with the olive oil and water.  Use a pastry dough blender (a food processor works just as well) to mix the ingredients until you have an evenly moist pile of crumbles.  Dump the crumbles into a pre-greased baking dish and begin kneading them down into an even layer all the way up the sides.  I usually bake it for about 5 minutes before I fill it.
And there is your crust!


Now for filling the quiche.  I use bacon almost every time because I can sauté all of my veggies in the bacon grease to really get the flavor in everything.  I did this with red onion, spinach and fresh parsley this time and if I were eating dairy right now you can bet there would be cheese!


Once all of your veggies and extras are spread evenly around in the crust, you can pour an egg mixture over the entire thing almost up to the top of the sides. For this size quiche I used 1 1/2 dozen eggs, however, if I were eating dairy I would have used a dozen eggs, a cup or so of organic heavy cream and 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.  Cream cheese or goat cheese is definitely a wise choice. 
Don't forget to season this egg mixture too!  Use about 1/2 tsp or more of sea salt and maybe a pinch of some of the seasonings you used in your crust.



Once the egg mixture is poured over everything it will go in the oven until everything has a little brown color on it and a toothpick comes out clean.  I usually bake on or around 400 degrees because I have no patience.  Just remember, I am baking at 10,000 feet and I am constantly checking the progress of what I am cooking.  Generally, when you start to smell what you are baking, it is time for it to come out of the oven or pretty close to it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cauliflower Pilaf


Using cauliflower as an alternative to rice is nothing new to some people but perhaps I can offer what I think is the best way to prepare it.  I have never liked cauliflower cooked or raw and have heard the same from many others, so why not mask the taste as much as possible?  This is a recipe inspired by my sister, who proved to be quite a primal chef while putting me up for the last couple weeks at her place in Encinitas, CA.  (Sidenote: Jimbo's is a great place to shop for most of your primal needs if you live in that area.)

Cauliflower Pilaf
1 head organic cauliflower
10 or more cloves of roasted garlic (I roast my own)
handful organic fresh parsley
4 tbs. bacon grease (or organic butter)
4 organic green onions
1 cup organic broth (doesn't matter what kind - I make my own stock)
sea salt and pepper to taste
organic no-salt seasoning

Directions
Grate the head of cauliflower or put it into a food-processor until it has the same consistency or size of rice.  Chop your green onions, roasted garlic and parsley and throw them into a skillet with the bacon grease.  Add the cauliflower rice and seasoning.  *I used a grill seasoning mix and a couple dashes of hot sauce for an extra kick.
After the pilaf is getting a little color (it won't turn yellow- this happens to be the color of the cauliflower we used) pour the broth in the pan and let it soak into the mix.  That's it!

You really can use any kind of veggies or seasoning you want.  The key to the recipe is really the butter or bacon grease giving it that meaty flavor.
The bar-b-que chicken thighs are a recipe passed down from my fiance's family, so I will let him post that one.