Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Paleo Almond Flour Waffles

A joyous moment has occurred: we have figured out a recipe for grain-free waffles! I started with this recipe and tweaked it so that it wouldn’t stick in our waffle iron. Make no mistake that these waffles are a treat, but they are still Paleo as they contain no grain and are sweetened with just a bit of honey. Of course we went and topped them with loads of butter, real maple syrup, and fresh strawberries. Yum! I’m pretty sure this was one of the best mornings of Dylan’s life since we allowed him to watch two airplane videos on Netflix (we generally do zero screen time at our house) and he got to eat a waffle for the first time ever!

Paleo Almond Flour Waffles (makes 2.5 full-size Belgian waffles)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of blanched almond flour (not almond meal)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon (optional)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Method:

Preheat your waffle iron. Whisk together the dry ingredients and then add the wet ingredients in the order listed. Whisk thoroughly so that the batter is uniform. It’ll be a bit gritty since you’re working with almond flour, but should not contain any sizable lumps. I recommend greasing the waffle iron lightly with coconut oil or grapeseed oil (you want an oil that can handle high heat). We did not grease the iron for our first waffle and had serious issues with sticking even though our waffle iron has a nonstick coating; subsequent waffles released easily because we’d greased the iron. Adding more oil to the batter only seemed to make the resulting waffles heavier, I don’t think it helped with the sticking. So, grease your iron and pour your batter in. We used about 2/3-3/4 cup of batter per waffle but just use however much will fill your iron. You will need to whisk the batter before you fill the iron each time because the ingredients settle out really quickly. We set our iron on a light-medium setting and they got plenty browned. Almond flour will brown (and burn!) much more easily than wheat flour so keep that in mind. Top your waffles however you like and enjoy! If you have leftovers you can wrap in foil and seal in a freezer bag, they store well in the freezer and reheat well in the toaster oven.

 

My Favorite Cole Slaw Ever

I love cole slaw, but I hate, rather vigorously, that crap that passes for cole slaw in most restaurants. I like my cole slaw vinegary, not sweet at all, and I want to be able to taste the cabbage. Many guests in my home have complimented my cole slaw, so I figured I’d share my method. I don’t have a true recipe with set measurements but I will describe as best as possible what I do. This is for one smallish head of cabbage, which I prefer to slice very thinly (either by hand or with a food processor) rather than mince/chop. I just prefer that texture, but do whatever works for you. Also, I make this almost exclusively with red cabbage (yay vitamins and pretty color!) but it is equally delish with green and would probably be just lovely with savoy or any other type you want to try.

Couple heaping Tbsp mayo
Heaping tsp dijon mustard
2-3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2-3 Tbsp good olive oil
Small shallot, minced
Handful Italian parsley, finely chopped (fresh basil is an amazing alternative to parsley, I just stack the leaves, roll into cigars & chiffonade)
Sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

Whisk first four ingredients together and taste. I like it a little sharp because it mellows once on the cabbage. You want a good balance of mustard sharpness and vinegar sharpness. Adjust as necessary to get it where you think it’s good and then add the other ingredients. Taste and adjust again. You will probably want more salt & pepper than you think you do, just trust me on that. I prefer the pepper to be freshly ground and more on the coarse side. If using parsley, I often throw some extra chopped up parsley in with the cabbage, I like parsley. If using basil I’ll take the teeny tiny leaves and throw those in with the cabbage, they are hard to chiffonade anyway and look so pretty with the cabbage. Pour the dressing over the cabbage & mix well. It’s best if it gets to sit in the fridge for about an hour before you eat, but it’s also damn tasty served right away. Also amazing leftover, I particularly like it for breakfast with a couple fried eggs on top (I swear this is so good!).

Nut-Crusted Tilapia Recipe

This has become a go-to recipe in our house. You can make the nut topping in advance and store it in a jar in your spice cabinet so you have it ready to go for a quick weeknight meal. I usually buy 8 frozen filets of tilapia and this recipe makes enough coating to cover them all with some leftover.

1/2 C almond meal
1/4 C pecans, roughly chopped
1/4 C walnuts, roughly chopped
2 scant Tbsp lemon pepper
1 Tbsp dill
1 tsp paprika
~1 tsp sea salt (amt depends on preference and whether or not your lemon pepper has salt in it)

Mix ingredients in a bowl. If you are not sure about amount of salt err on side of less, you can always salt the fish after cooking. Prep a large baking sheet w/ foil and then oil the foil just a bit. Prep your defrosted (or fresh if you are so lucky!) fish by rinsing, patting dry, and brushing with thin coat of olive oil. Preheat oven to 400F. Spoon the nut mixture as evenly as possible over each filet. I do a fairly generous coat because I fear that it will just meld into the fish if the coating is too thin. I also try to distribute the nuts pretty evenly on the filets but I have some control/perfectionist issues, this step is really not necessary. Bake fish for about 20 minutes, it will depend on your oven but you obviously want the fish flakey and done and the coating should be a bit golden. If the fish is done but the coating still seems kind of raw you can broil it briefly but watch it! I have burned some nuts this way, the pecans especially seem to get burned easily. Serve with a hearty squeeze of lemon (mine & Dylan’s preference) or not (Brian’s preference).

Cocoa-Nut Coconut Snacks

These snacks are dense and satisfying with an irresistable chocolatey-cinnamony flavor. Perfect as a between-meal snack or as dessert with a cup of tea. Brian affectionately refers to them as “nut balls.” Mmmm, appetizing!

I started with this recipe and tweaked it to suit my tastes. Here’s my version:

Cocoa-Nut Coconut Snacks

  • 1/2 cup each:
    • Almonds
    • Walnuts
    • Pecans
    • Hazelnuts
    • Pumpkin seeds
  • 5 dates, pits removed (use 6 dates if yours are small)
  • 1/2 cup shredded or flaked coconut
  • 2 Tbsp virgin coconut oil (It’s best if the coconut oil is not totally solid; mine was liquidy with chunks & that worked well.)
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (Use the good stuff, please. Ghirardelli is my go-to cocoa powder.)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut to roll the finished snacks in

Grind the nuts and pumpkin seeds in a food processor until ground into a fine flour. Dump the nut flour into a mixing bowl. Grind the dates and coconut in the food processor until they make a uniform paste; it will look lumpy but if you touch it the texture will be sticky and pastey. Add the date-coconut paste to your mixing bowl and mix with the nut flour. Add cocoa powder & cinnamon and mix well. Be sure to break up all the lumps in your cocoa powder! Finally, add the coconut oil and mix very well, until it is completely uniform. Compress the mixture into balls and then roll them in the shredded coconut. I found that the best technique was to really squeeze the mixture hard and form the compressed lumps into balls with my fingertips because the mixture is kind of crumbly and doesn’t respond well to rolling. Use your powerful grip and pretend you’re making diamonds out of coal! Refrigerate your snacks to firm them up.

Another (easier) technique is to make bars rather than balls. To make bars, line a 9×13 baking dish with wax paper (let the paper hang over the edge of the dish a little bit) and press the mixture into the dish really really hard. You want it to be very densely packed into the dish. Freeze the dish overnight. Once frozen, use the wax paper to lift the frozen slab of cocoa-nut coconut snack mixture out of the baking dish. Set the slab on a cutting board and use a very sharp knife to cut into bars. As these snacks are dense and filling, you’ll want to make smaller sized pieces than if you were cutting up brownies.

Regardless of whether you make balls or bars, they should also be stored in the fridge to maintain freshness and because I think they taste better cold. I actually really like them best straight from the freezer–they get kind of crumbly and cookie-like in texture when frozen. Also, if you live in a warm climate be warned that these snacks may lose some of their integrity if they get too warm because of the coconut oil turning into a liquid. Enjoy!

What We Eat: Broccoli Stalks

broccoli stems & radish greens
Sautéed broccoli stalks & radish greens

Yes, you read that correctly, I am doing an entire post on broccoli stalks. They are one of my new favorite foods and I bet you will love them too if you just give them a chance!

When you buy broccoli, do you just eat the crowns and then throw the thick stalks into the trash or compost? I used to do that because I thought they were too woody and tough to bother with. Over the past year or so I’ve become increasingly interested in using ALL of the parts of food we buy, both plant and animal. I was so disturbed by my own wasteful actions that I figured out ways to eat a lot of things we had previously tossed, including broccoli stalks. Oddly enough, I have come to prefer the stalks to the crowns. They have a mild flavor and a nice watery crunch. The trick is that you have to peel the tough outer layer off of the stalk (and yes, trash it or compost it…). The inside of the stalk is then ready to eat raw like a carrot, chop up into a salad, or sauté with radish tops and garlic as shown in the photo above. Those are just a few ideas. The stalks are incredibly versatile and would be delicious on a crudité tray, in soup, in stir-fry…the list goes on. I admit that the first time I decided we would eat the stalks I opted to cook them because I don’t like the flavor of raw broccoli and figured the stalks would taste similar. Not so! Removing the outer layer also removes that odd bitterness and the inside is, I dare say, almost sweet! Below is a recipe for a delicious green side dish featuring two commonly thrown-away items, broccoli stalks & radish greens.


Garlicky Broccoli Stalks & Radish Greens

2-3 broccoli stalks
1 bunch well-washed & spun (or blotted dry) radish greens
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2-1 Tbsp olive oil
A pinch or two of sea salt

Peel the broccoli stalks using a paring knife (really, a peeler is pointless here), quarter lengthwise, and slice thinly. Heat olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add garlic and broccoli stalks. Sauté for a minute or two, until you smell that delicious garlic aroma and the stalks look a little less raw. Add the radish greens and stir to distribute the oil and get all of the greens in contact with the heat. You may need to add a tiny bit more oil at this point if it seems that you don’t have enough in the pan to cover all of the greens. The oil helps them cook and also helps you absorb the fat-soluble vitamins in the veggies, so don’t be shy. Toss in a pinch or two of sea salt. Continue to stir the greens (it’s really more of a folding motion, actually) until they are all wilted, which takes about 5 minutes or so. Enjoy!

What We Eat: Frittata

frittata

We eat a lot of frittatas around here. A LOT. I make huge frittatas (the one pictured above was made with 20 eggs, which is the norm), so there is pretty much always some frittata in the fridge for breakfast or snacks. Frittatas are one of my favorite foods because they are healthy, easy, and can be made with whatever I’ve got laying around. They are an especially great way to use up veggies (or eggs, for that matter) that are getting a little past their prime.

The basic method I use is to sauté whatever ingredients I want in my frittata, add them to a bowl of beaten eggs, then pour the whole mess back into the pan, distribute the “fillings” evenly if necessary, and let it cook for a while over low heat. No stirring! At the end I throw the pan under the broiler for a couple minutes to thoroughly cook the top and get it a little brown. When the frittata is cool, I slice it into wedges and store in an airtight container in the fridge; it will keep for 5-7 days that way. You can eat the frittata cold, let it come up to room temperature, or heat it in a toaster oven or microwave. We don’t do the microwave thing and I find that about 7 minutes in the toaster oven at 350F gets my fresh-out-the-fridge frittata warm without drying it out.

Technique notes:

  • Make sure your ingredients are in small pieces. Brian has a habit of putting gigantic pieces of kale in our frittatas and it’s really no fun to bite into the frittata and come away with an entire kale leaf hanging out of your mouth. Especially in front of company, oy!
  • If you are using meat (we prefer sausage removed from its casing), cook that thoroughly first, add to the beaten eggs, and then use the grease from the meat to sauté your veggies. I typically use about a 1/4 lb of sausage for 16-20 eggs.
  • If you are not using meat, I suggest the following fats for your sauté purposes: bacon grease (you should really have a jar of rendered bacon grease in your fridge at all times), butter, olive oil. My dad would put coconut oil on this list but he is crazy. If you don’t mind the taste of coconut in your savory egg dishes, go for it.
  • Cook your veggies thoroughly before adding them to the eggs unless you want raw veggies in your frittata.
  • Salt & pepper your eggs. I also add salt to my veggies while they are cooking.
  • I typically plan 2 eggs per serving. We use large cage-free eggs.
  • Greens cook down a lot so use more than you think you need, especially with really wilty greens like spinach or radish tops. You may need to cover tougher greens like kale to cook them through, it’s really unfun to get semi-raw, fibrous, hard-to-chew pieces of kale when you bite into a frittata.
  • Obviously you will need an oven-save pan for this method. This is also one of the few occasions that you really need a nonstick pan, too. And please make sure your pan is large enough that your frittata is no more an inch or so thick or you will have a hard time getting it to cook through without burning the hell out of the bottom.
  • Do not walk away while your frittata is under the broiler. It really only needs a minute or two and burnt eggs are yuck.
  • You can mix cheese into the eggs or put it on top. Try both and see which you prefer, they both yield a slightly different flavor. I prefer it mixed in because cheese on top gets a little soggy in the fridge and in my opinion never fully recovers. Another option is to leave the cheese out of your initial cooking and keep a container of shredded cheese ready to go so you can sprinkle it on top when reheating your frittata.

Ingredient combination ideas:

  • Spinach, onion, garlic (that’s the combo pictured at the top of this post)
  • Chorizo, lacinto kale, onion
  • Rutabaga greens, onion, parmigiano-reggiano
  • Italian sausage (we like a mix of hot & mild), garlic, bell peppers
  • Zucchini, onion, cheddar (cut the zucchini into small thin slices & get it a little brown)
  • Spinach, mushroom, onion, garlic (be sure you cook the mushrooms until they are shrively and brown, otherwise your frittata will be wet)
  • Mushroom, onion, garlic, bell pepper
  • Spinach, feta, onion, garlic (this one is also good with zucchini)
  • Garlic sausage (they have this at Whole Foods), radish tops, broccoli stems (peeled & sliced thin), onion
  • Bacon, spinach, cheddar (broccoli is also really good in this one, just make sure it’s in small well-cooked pieces)
  • Bacon, kohlrabi bulb (peeled & sliced thin), garlic

If you have questions please leave them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them. And please leave your frittata ingredient ideas, too!


What We Eat: Salmon Salad

salmon salad

For lunch today I ate:

  • Salmon salad
  • Sprouted grain toast with butter and homemade fig spread
  • Mixed Greek olives in spicy marinade

In case you are wondering, it was delicious! Also, because I’m sure you’re curious, I did not make the fig spread, it was a gift from a very talented friend who has also bestowed upon us blueberry jam, salsa, and grapefruit-ginger marmalade. Oh, yeah.

Salmon salad is one of my go-to meals when I need something quick. It takes 5 minutes to whip up and the ingredients aren’t set in stone so you can really make it with whatever you have lying around. Because this is the inaugural What We Eat post, you also get a recipe! So here it is, even though you probably don’t need one for this dish:

Salmon Salad

1 7.5-oz can sockeye salmon, drained
3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
3/4 chopped green bell pepper
1 scallion, chopped
Dill (1 tbsp if using fresh, 1 tsp if using dried)
Juice from 1 lemon wedge
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Toss the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Enjoy!

Other vegetables that work well in this dish are tomato, cucumber, red onion, and radish, but you really can use anything you like. Fresh parsley is nice, as is fresh garlic if you are feeling crazy. If you want your salmon salad to resemble more of a traditional seafood salad, dice your veggies up small and mash everything together with slightly more olive oil and lemon juice than is listed in the recipe above. Just please don’t add mayo, it makes salmon sad. Lastly, I drain off the juice/oil that is in the can and give it to Cooper, but Brian prefers his canned salmon with all of the juice, it’s really a personal thing so try it both ways and see which you like better.

I feel it necessary to note that the deliciousness of your salmon salad is directly related to the quality of the canned salmon you use. Please don’t use that nasty Bumblebee stuff, okay? We buy ours from Vital Choice and get the salmon with the bones & skin–it tastes much better and is way more nutritious. We eat the skin and the bones, except for the little salmon vertebrae because they totally freak me out.

I also feel it necessary to note that the photo above is in fact NOT an iPhone photo. I don’t believe this is the first “real” photo to appear on this blog, but it’s certainly the first one in a long time. I deserve a pat on the back!

Kick-Ass Trail Mix Recipe

kick-ass trail mix

We eat a lot of nuts around here. They are a great source of fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals. The thing is, sometimes plain nuts are a little bit boring. In an effort to jazz things up a bit, I concocted this trail mix. Who needs a recipe for trail mix, you say? Good point. But I know that sometimes I can get stuck in a rut, making the same trail mix again and again, so I figured I’d share this mix in an effort to inspire you to include something different the next time you make yours.

A few key points to note are that I’ve used raw nuts rather than roasted (a healthier option because the fats are not oxidized in raw nuts like they are in roasted) and unsweetened coconut (to keep sugar to a minimum). Also, opt for mini dark chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips–there are no extra additives (chocolate chips have them so they’ll keep their shape when baked!) and the percentage of cacao is much higher. If you can’t find mini dark chocolate chunks in your grocery store, just get a dark chocolate bar (preferably 70% cacao or higher–yum, antioxidants!) and chop it up.

Kick-Ass Trail Mix

1 heaping cup raw almonds
1 cup raw cashews (pieces work better than whole nuts)
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup mini dark chocolate chunks

Mix all the ingredients together in an airtight container. That’s it! You can store this in the fridge to keep it tasting fresh longer, but I bet that you will eat this so quickly that freshness will not be an issue.

What To Do With Leftover Potatoes

potatoes, redux

Me, after just finishing lunch: I need more food.

Brian: Do you want some of these leftover potatoes?

Me: Yes, I was going to fry them up in the skillet that’s soaking in the sink.

Brian: I’ll do it. Do you want cheese on top?

Me: YES! GRATED CHEDDAR! AND COOK THEM IN BACON FAT!

Brian: Well, of course.

Note: Potatoes were small Yukon Golds that I quartered and roasted the other night, but I messed up and they came out more baked than roasted. Brian sauteed them in a cast iron skillet with bacon fat and onions and then grated very sharp Vermont cheddar on top. You should do this!

Homemade Crunchy Granola

Something we’ve gotten into the habit of doing since we moved to Seattle is making our own granola from scratch. We were inconsistent for a while, but lately have been making a batch every week. It’s delicious and easy to make, and so much healthier and cheaper than store bought. Tastier, too – I can only think of one store-bought granola that even comes close (and we can’t get it on the west coast anyway). One batch lasts us about a week, give or take depending on how much we gorge ourselves. We eat it with almond milk, or sometimes just grab a handful as a snack. For the past couple weeks I’ve been tossing a handful of organic Thompson’s raisins on top of each serving since I’m trying to keep my iron levels up (no sign that they’re dropping, but this is around the time in my pregnancy that they would be likely to, as the baby takes more and more for himself).

Note that this recipe doesn’t make chunky granola. I still haven’t figured out how to modify it to make the chunks, but it is crunchy and holds up well in milk. Feel free to halve the recipe to make a smaller batch, or use all honey instead of a mix of maple syrup and honey. You can also modify the nuts and seeds you use, but I highly recommend trying this combination before you go crazy  – it really works well in terms of flavor and texture. Yum!

GRANOLA

6 cups rolled oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup raw walnuts (chopped)
3/4 cup raw pecans (chopped)
2/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Set out two large rimmed baking sheets.

Roughly measure out the coconut oil and melt almost completely in microwave (in glass measure). Use whisk to stir in small lumps so that the oil is completely liquid. The amount when melted should be 2/3 cup or slightly less. Add honey & maple syrup to glass measure and whisk to combine with coconut oil (this takes a few minutes). Add vanilla to liquid ingredients and whisk to combine. Make sure that the mixture is completely uniform, especially at the bottom of the measuring cup.

Measure dry ingredients into large bowl and stir to combine. Pour liquid ingredients over dry ingredients and stir THOROUGHLY. This takes a while but it is very important that all of the dry ingredients are evenly coated with the wet ingredients. Divide mixture between two baking sheets making sure the layer of granola on both sheets is pretty uniform.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, stirring and turning every 10 minutes until toasted. Switch the position of the two baking sheets each time you stir the granola. If granola is not uniformly reddish-brown after 20 minutes, put one or both sheets back in the oven for as many 3-5 minute increments as necessary, being careful not to burn the granola.

After baking, allow to cool on sheets thoroughly. Loosen granola from pan with a spatula, breaking it into small chunks as you go. Store in airtight container.