(*This recipe was posted in my other blog PaleoCurious in 2013 and I am reposting it here)
Last weekend, I went to Omaha, NE to visit some of my favorite college chums. We try to get together 1-2 times a year because it's cheaper than therapy. This past trip was a blast as we laughed, make fun of each other, and watched a movie that we later quoted from the rest of the weekend. (If you haven't seen Sordid Lives, go watch it on Netflix...it is hilarious!) Our friend Stacie made some incredible paleo pumpkin muffins. I know there are a gazillion pumpkin muffin recipes out there, but I can tell you these were legit. Her recipe has some honey in it, but if you are doing a Whole30, no sugar version of paleo, they still taste good without the added sugar. I've made them sans the sugar so I know!
Paleo Pumpkin Muffins
1/4 C coconut flour
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t ground cloves
***OR 2 t pumpkin pie spice instead of individual spices
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 C pureed pumpkin
6 eggs beaten
4 T coconut oil or unsalted Kerrygold butter, gently melted
1/3 C honey
1 t vanilla extract
1/4- 1/2 C chopped pecans (optional)
1/2 C semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (optional) or 1/2 C raisins (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease muffin pans very well.
Sift coconut flour, baking soda, salt and spices into a small bowl, blend well and set aside.
Place Pumpkin puree in mixing bowl and whisk eggs one at a time into the pumpkin.
Add gently melted coconut oil or butter, honey, and vanilla to pumpkin mixture and combine thoroughly.
Add flour mixture to egg and pumpkin mixture and blend well with a whisk until most of the floury lumps are gone, but don't stir more than necessary to blend.
Gently fold in nuts, chocolate chips or raisins if using them.
Spoon into each muffin tin two thirds full.
Bake for 16-18 minutes.
I purchased these great muffin tins from Sur laTable at my friend's suggestion. They are awesome because nothing sticks to them, even if you don't use parchment liners. I got rid of all my cruddy pans, invested in two of these and am so glad I did.
It was a great weekend to get away, hang with friends and enjoy Stacie's muffins. For something extra funny, watch Betty White on SNL talk about her Dusty Muffin. LOL!
I have been looking for a tried and true pesto recipe for a long time. Most people tell me they use a "little of this and a little of that", but that's not always easy to replicate and I end up using too much of this or that. My friend Kim L. from bookclub so graciously shared this recipe with us and it was just how I liked it! This is her special recipe and I give her all the credit. It's got a good balance between basil, parmesan, nuts and olive oil. (If you do not do dairy, this would still be delicious without the parmesan). This is one of those tried and trues you will go back to again and again.
2 C. basil
1 C. pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 C. light tasting olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/3 C. grated parmesan or asiago cheese
Trim basil and loosely pack in measuring cup. In the bowl of a food processor, chop garlic, basil and pine nuts until ground and blended. Add 1 cup light tasting olive oil and blend. Add in parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste and blend one more time.
Serve with fish, steak, chicken, scrambled eggs, pasta, vegetables, on tomatoes or however you like to enjoy it! Such a versatile sauce.
This recipe is a take on the popular seafood cevice that I love with a fruit and veggie twist. It has just the right amount of zing to take it from ordinary chopped melon to an extraordinary summer salad.
1 English cucumber
Fresh cracked pepper
2 t. Tajin seasoning (or 1 t. chili powder and 1 t. salt)
Cut jicama in half and peel away the thick skin. Cut into thin, medium length pieces, about 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Place in large bowl.
Cut watermelon in half. Remove rind and cut melon into thin, medium length pieces.
Cut cantaloupe and cucumber into bite sized pieces and add to the bowl. Mix up the fruit in the bowl and add the juice of one lime and about 2 Tablespoons of chopped cilantro. Sprinkle Tajin seasoning over the top and mix again. If you don't have Tajin, use salt and chili powder instead.
Finish with a few shakes of fresh ground pepper.
Enjoy this delicious summer salad along side any of your favorite grilled meats. It's light and refreshing on a hot summer day.
I love me some homemade potato salad. It's one of the first things I heap on my plate whenever we are having some of my husband's famous brisket and chicken wings. But in an effort to cut back on carbs, I decided to try a lower carb version made with cauliflower, the miracle vegetable. Everything else in this recipe is the exact same as what I would add in traditional potato salad except potato and guilt!
1 large head cauliflower
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
3 sticks of celery, diced
5 green onions, chopped including part of the green
1 large dill pickle, chopped
1 small jar pimentos
1/2 -2/3 cup paleo mayonnaise (depending on how creamy you like it)
*You can make your own or use Primal Kitchen Mayo
2 T. yellow mustard
1 t. celery seed
salt and pepper to taste
Cut cauliflower up into medium pieces and steam until al-dente but not completely falling apart. Let cool. Add chopped hard boiled eggs, diced celery, chopped green onions, dill pickle, pimentos, mayonnaise, mustard and celery seed. Mix to blend. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill until ready to serve.
I know the name of this recipe sounds disgusting but let me give you some context so you understand. My husband loves pizza, but enjoys the toppings more than he likes the crust. So if there is leftover pizza lying around and he's in the vicinity, he will proceed to eat all the toppings off the pizza and leave the "pizza bones" to the unsuspecting person who left said pizza out in the first place. We proceed to chide him for "scalping" our good pizza.
In an effort to stop the insanity, I decided to make him Pizza Scalp. Basically this is all the good toppings of the pizza without the crust. If you are gluten free or going for a lower carb meal, this is a great way to still enjoy the flavors of pizza but without the gluten and carbs. Sacrilege you might say, but it works for us! There are no rules to making pizza scalp. Simply think about the things you love on top of pizza and then arrange them in a baking dish and bake. We usually eat with steamed spinach or zucchini noodles. This is the version I made last night:
Pizza Scalp with a Lasagna twist
1 container whole milk ricotta cheese
1 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed and juice pressed out
1 T Italian seasoning (or a mix of dried basil, oregano, garlic and thyme)
1 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. kosher salt
1 lb. grassfed beef
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 lb. mushrooms
1 jar quality marinara sauce (I used some from Thrive Market)
8-16 oz shredded mozzarella cheese or Italian cheese blend
1/2 c. fresh parmesan reggiano
Mix ricotta, 1 beaten egg, spinach, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and salt in a bowl. Meanwhile, salute the grassfed beef and the Italian sausage until cooked through. Toss in the mushrooms and cook until slightly softened. Drain off excess liquid.
In a rectangular baking dish, spread the ricotta mixture along the bottom of the pan. Pour half of the marina on top and spread evenly with a spatula. Spoon beef/sausage/mushroom mixture over ricotta and marinara. Top with a bit more marinara (you may have some leftover because you don't want it too watery) and sprinkle mozzarella cheese all over the top. Shake parmesan over the first cheese. Bake at 350 until hot and bubbly and top browns to your liking.
Dip zucchini rounds or steamed broccoli into hot toppings or serve on top of zucchini noodles or baked eggplant.
Variations: add pepperoni, red pepper and onions, black olives, goat cheese or whatever your heart desires. You can also omit the ricotta and add different cheeses if you like.
Cold "scalp" is great the next day as well! The hardest part is not eating the whole thing in one sitting.
Stop the presses! You don't ever have to search for a good Banana Nut Muffin recipe again. Ever. It's right here and it's the last one you'll need...I'm that confident. My daughter walked in from school today and the conversation went something like this... "What's that smell...are you making muffins?" I was like, "Yes, banana nut!". As I predicted, she responded, "Are they paleo?" And much to her dismay, my answer was "Yes". In her mind, any baked paleo treat is crumbly, tasteless and bland and definitely not worth her time. But these smelled so wonderful and came out hot and fresh. To no one in particular, she said, "OK, fine, I'll try it." After her first bite, she asked if they were really paleo. "They're really good Mom!" And it was then I knew that I found the perfect recipe. Believe me, I've made my fair share of muffin recipes and have a whole folder of paleo banana nut breads, muffins, cookies, and pancakes. I feel like the Bubba Gump of bananas. But this one is so much better than the rest. The combo of almond flour AND coconut flour, along with a few added dates and ripe bananas give these a good texture and the right amount of sweetness. You must try.
2 cups almond flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup dates (or raisins if you prefer)
3 ripe bananas
1 T. vanilla (I prefer Mexican vanilla)
1/4 cup honey
3 T. coconut oil melted
2 T. almond butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (In a non stick pan, roast pecans on medium heat until fragrant tossing gently as they roast. This step is not a must but it adds another level of flavor and complexity to the muffin.) Set aside.
Mash bananas with a whisk or fork, and add honey and almond butter. Beat eggs and add to banana mixture. Add oil and vanilla and blend well. In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients, including pecans. Mix wet with dry ingredients. Spoon batter into lined muffin cups or a non stick muffin pan. (I love my non stick muffin pan from Sur la Table. NOTHING sticks to this and it's so easy to clean.) Bake 15-20 minutes. Makes 12-15 muffins.
One of my favorite places to go to lunch is a Vietnamese restaurant called Pho Long on Olive. Their mein ga is a delicious chicken soup with rice noodles served up with a plate of bean sprouts, thai basil, cilantro, limes and jalapenos. The broth is rich and savory and I've tried to recreate that flavor at home. I make mine without noodles, which just makes more room for all the other goodies I put in the bowl. Part of the trick is simmering the chicken on low for
a few hours which adds richness to the broth. You will love this soup!
1 Whole Chicken (preferably free range or organic)
10 cloves of garlic, smashed
2 large yellow onions
salt and pepper
1 bunch green onions
2-3 cups bamboo shoots
1 bunch thai basil
1 bunch cilantro
1 lime cut up
Place chicken in a large stock pot and add about 4 quarts water. Peel garlic. Set garlic piece on cutting board and place broad side of knife over it. Place your palm on the flat side of the blade and press down on garlic, smashing it. Throw smashed piece into the pot with the chicken and water. Continue with all the garlic pieces. Smashing it releases the flavor. Slice an onion into quarters and add to pot along with 2-3 t. salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer on very low for about 2-3 hours. Simmering on low helps keep the broth clear. When cooked, strain the broth into another container. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pick the meat from the bones. Return all broth and meat back into stockpot. Slice another onion into thin rounds and add to pot. Slice up green onions into small rounds halfway up to the green part. Add to soup pot. Taste broth and season with more salt and pepper. Simmer on low until onions are soft and clear.
One of my favorite things to eat when I'm visiting my parents at their place in Rockport, Texas is my mom's ceviche. It is so fresh and delicious and reminds me of everything that is good about the Texas gulf coast. She and my dad will cruise over to the harbor where the shrimp boats come in and buy the shrimp right off the boat, and she uses the fresh speckled trout we catch off the pier. It don't get any fresher than
this, folks. So I guess you could say I'm a little "spoilt" when it comes to my seafood.
Now that I live in Missouri, the landlocked capitol of the world, I have to rely on Whole Foods or Bob's seafood to get fresh fish for my ceviche. While it's not the same as getting it fresh out of the water, it still gets the job done. Making ceviche is easy and is such a delicious summer meal. Just be sure and look for the freshest options for your seafood.
1 lb fresh white fish (speckled trout, red snapper, halibut, swordfish, etc,)
1 lb fresh large shrimp, peeled
1 bunch green onions
1-2 jalapeno peppers
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
3 tomatoes, chopped (or a small container of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half)
8 limes, juiced
salt and pepper to taste
Juice the limes.
(In this photo, I used key limes, but large, conventional limes work better and yield more juice.)
As my new group of paleo challengers embark on their 6-week journey into PaleoLand, I'm always searching for good things to make and share in hopes that taste buds will approve. Inspired by the food I grew up with in south Texas, I know that anything with peppers, cilantro, tomatoes and limes will not disappoint. I also want something that is simple to do and fairly quick. This weeknight Tex-Mex meal does the trick. And the beautiful thing is...it's all Whole30 compliant. The plate is rounded out with Lettuce Wrap Tacos, grilled peppers and onions, Mexican cauliflower "rice" and homemade salsa. Get out your food processor and let the party begin.
lettuce Wrap Tacos
Mexican cauliflower "rice"
Cut cauliflower up into pieces and place in food processor. Chop until cauliflower resembles "rice". (Be careful not to overprocess.) Set aside. You should have about 4 cups of "rice".
Sautee peppers and onion in 2 T. olive oil until softened. Add cauliflower and toss gently to mix. Saute and stir about 3 more minutes. Add spices and water and stir until combined. Cover and continue to cook until all water has evaporated and cauliflower "rice" is softened, but not mushy. Garnish with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime.
Sauteed Pepper N onions
Cut tops off bell peppers and discard. Remove seeds and slice long ways into 1/2 inch wide pieces. Slice onions in rounds or long ways...however you like it. Saute in olive oil until softened and slightly browned. Add chopped cilantro for garnish. You can use whatever kind of peppers you like in whatever combination. I used the half peppers left over from the cauliflower rice. The more the merrier! Add kosher salt to taste and serve alongside tacos and rice.
Here is where you will find all my favorite, go to recipes. Whether you are looking for a weeknight staple or a "once in a while" treat, these are my tried and trues.