Bean-free Hummus

I am, in fact, pretty amazed with this hummus. No beans and super delicious. Not only that, it tastes like hummus.

Yeah.

I so wish that I came up with this recipe but I did not. I discovered this one on Damy Health.

Bean-free Hummus:

4 garlic cloves
2 zucchinis, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup raw tahini
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin 
Dash of sea salt








Method:

Add the garlic, zucchini and tahini in your food processor and pulse. Next, add in the rest of the ingredients and blend until the consistency is smooth and looks like that of hummus.

This was so good. I'm pretty sure you could fool average hummus-eater ;)  Spread atop some veggies, on some primal bread or just eat it plain. Awesome.

This will keep in your fridge for about 72 hours. 

Enjoy ;)

Variation 

1 garlic clove
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 zucchinis, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup raw tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin 
Dash of sea salt

This variation was quite lovely. If you are sensitive to garlic then I would recommend this recipe.

Clean Pesto

I have gotten so use to not having condiments that I typically prefer all my meals that way. In fact, when I see people slathering their meals with mayo, ketchup, BBQ etc I kind of tilt my head like a confused puppy.



Hey, to each their own right?

Anyway, I do LOVE pesto. And making pesto dairy free is actually very easy! And pretty dang healthy from my perspective.

This recipe was adapted from Gluten Free Goddess.

Clean Pesto: 

1 cup fresh spinach 
1 cup fresh herbs, stems removed (I used mint, parsley, basil & cilantro)
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup pecans (hazelnuts and pine nuts can work as well)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil



Method:


In a food processor or small Ninja, blend up the spinach and herbs really well. Add in the garlic and pecans and blend until a paste begins to form.



Add in half of the oil, blend some more and then add in the rest of the oil. Blend and pulse and viola ;)  



Absolutely delicious and so very fresh. Love it. I highly recommend this if you are missing toppings for your burgers, chicken, eggs etc.

Enjoy ;)

The Pumpkin Waffle

I didn't know what else to call this waffle other than 'The Pumpkin Waffle.' It seemed fitting. I had to experiment with flours a bit to get the recipe but I was on a mission. Part of the mission was two not use a banana like in the Coconut Flour Waffle, another part was to use less coconut and lastly, I wanted to avoid using sorghum, xanthum gum or guar gum. I'll get into why I don't like to use or consume those in a later post...

So, I came up with a  sort of a 'special' gluten and grain-free flour concoction.




This one has a few steps, but trust me, it's worth it. 

The Pumpkin Waffle:

2 eggs (organic cage-free), separated
1/4 cup water
1 tsp ground flax-seed (be sure it's ground or it will stick to your waffle maker!)
2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 tsp 100% pure maple syrup
3 tbls pumpkin puree
1/2 cup potato startch
1/4 cup tapioca flour
2 tbls coconut flour
1 tbl baking powder
Dash of salt


Method:

Heat your waffle maker to desired baking temperature/level. Mine has 5 levels and I set mine to about 2.5).  Rub some coconut oil on the irons first if there isn't any remaining oil from the last round, I find I need to do this about every third use to prevent sticking.

Separate the eggs, placing the egg whites in a small bowl and the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl.  Whip the egg whites until they start to froth and set aside (I use a small froth gadget that's actually intended for lattes :))

Frothin' the egg whites!

Add the water, flax-seed, olive oil, vanilla and maple syrup to the egg yolks and beat until everything is combined. Add in the pumpkin and mix thoroughly. Then add in the potato starch, tapioca flour, coconut flour, baking powder and salt and blend until a dough forms. Lastly, fold in the egg whites and stir thoroughly.

The Pumpkin Waffle batter

OK, I'm calling these primal. Many paleo and primal eaters are on the fence about potatoes but I am 100% for them (in moderation blah, blah blah...) Although the starch went through some processing, it's not nearly as processed and manipulated as a grain.

Here's a quote from a post that I found interesting on the carb: "Potatoes are the most misunderstood carbohydrate in my opinion. It always amazes me to see many weight loss experts telling people to avoid them. There is a reason potatoes are the preferred carbs of many in the physique development world. They are easy to cook, require no extra preparation and travel easily. Many people have been misled by nutritionist, trainers and physicians who dont have the experience to combine with their book smarts. Potatoes are NOT the high glycemic index bad guys they are portrayed to be and can actually range from 5o (low GI) to 85 (higher GI) on the glycemic index depending on what type (new, sweet, russet), how they are prepared and processed..."

As far as tapioca, this is another that is up for debate. Though most in a primal lifestyle consider them safe while the strict paleo folks may say otherwise mainly because of their carbohydrate content. I was pretty happy when the idled Mark Sisson deemed this starch safe and primal. :)



Wow, OK, I'm done...

So please, enjoy ;)

Crab Cakes & 'Pasta'

I happened to by some packaged claw crab meat the other day because it looked good and then figured well, I suppose I could try and make some crab cakes.

So, I did.

I looked at some crab cake recipes and then looked in fridge... did it again... and then decided to just throw some stuff in a bowl.

Crab Cakes & 'Pasta'

For mayo/sauce:

1 egg, organic cage-free
Pinch of sea salt
Splash of apple cider vinegar
Pinch of paprika
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Method:

I used a blender but I would suggest using a kitchen aid to mix this together. Beat the egg, add in all of the ingredients except for the olive oil. Mix well and then slowly add in the olive oil. Had I been using a kitchen aid or mixer, I think this would have fluffed up but I used a blender so it stayed a liquid. Not to worry though, it still worked out.

For the Crab Cakes:

8oz of crab meat (fresh would be even better)
1 egg
Dash of sea salt
Dash of ground pepper
1/4 tsp fresh garlic clove, diced
1 tbls fresh yellow onion, diced
1 tbls fresh celery, diced
2 tbls almond flour (blanched or unblanched)
1 tbls coconut flour
1/2 tbls tapioca flour
Splash of lemon juice
Dash of paprika
1/4 cup of mayo/sauce (above) 

Method:

Blend the crab meat into fine pieces first then add into a bowl. Add in each ingredient in the same order as listed above until everything is mixed thoroughly. If it is too runny then try adding in some more onion, celery and one of the flours.

Place in a heated olive oil greased pan. Cook on low-medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side and then repeat for a total of 6 minutes on each side.

Makes 4 patties.



For the 'Pasta'





I used a new grain-free pasta that I found at Vitamin Cottage called Cappello's. It is made from almond flour, egg, tapioca flour, potato starch, salt, potato starch and xanthum gum (which I'm not a huge fan of but I'm guessing it's a small amount).




Place the noodles in bowling water for about a minute and then drain. I tossed mine in some extra virgin olive oil and fresh parsley.





If you don't have these noodles, you can of course use another gluten free noodle or something that is naturally gluten free such as zucchini, eggplant or asparagus.

This would go lovely with a Sauvignon Blanc though I did not get that adventurous... yum.


Enjoy ;)

Almond 'Cream Cheese'

Cheese.

I use to love cheese. So much so, that some of my friends when we were in high-school would see me and say "Hey, got any cheese?" Mmm. Brie, Munster, Provolone, Swiss, Gouda... In fact, there wasn't a cheese that I tasted and didn't like. I think what I missed most is the companion to whatever it was that I was eating. Apples, slices of meat, breads.

I have made progress on the bread situation (some of my breads are here) so cheese was next.

Many of the cheese alternative products out there have casein which is derived from dairy milk. And soy. Neither of which jive for me.

This recipe was adapted from an awesome site that I am in love with called Healthy Living How To.

Almond 'Cream Cheese'

1 cup blanched almonds (make sure they are blanched or you can blanch them on your own)
1/2 cup water
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
 Dash of salt




Method:

In a KitchenAid or other electric mixer, place the blanched almonds and 1/4 cup of the water. Mix on the lowest level and then add in the lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Add in the rest of the water and put on the next level and then the level after so that it is whipping the 'cheese.' Add in the salt and whip some more.

There ya' have it. Some pretty good imitation cheese. Its no brie, but it's a nice substitute ;) I had it today with carrots and some salami for an afternoon snack.

I just had a thought that I'm not sure I can shake... Grain-free bagel with lox, capers and this cheese? Um I think I have to do some investigating...

Enjoy ;)

Coconut Vanilla Frosting

I had a hard time getting my frosting to fluff up prior to this go-around but using coconut butter along with the oil solved this problem. Yay ;) I found the idea for this on a website called, The Clothes Make the Girl.

Coconut Vanilla Frosting

1/2 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup coconut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1 tbl 100% pure maple syrup
1/2 tble honey


Method:

In a small bowl, mix the coconut oil and coconut butter, microwave for about 20 seconds and stir. It should be softened but not melted. Place in the fridge for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in another small bowl, combine the vanilla, maple syrup and honey. Pour that into the coconut oil and butter blend and whisk until it becomes fluffy.

If it is too runny, add more softened coconut butter.

This is enough to cover one small cake.


Grain-free Vanilla Pound Cake

 Talk about melt in your mouth. Mmm. 

Enjoy ;)



Easter Brunch 2012

What was on the menu for Easter brunch you ask?

Well, all items below are gluten, soy, dairy and yeast free and most are paleo friendly (chocolate chip cookies and tapioca pudding are cheats or... paleoish). I didn't 'obtain' recipes for all or capture photos for everything but I'll do my best...

Gorgeous Sunny Colorado Day


Easter Brunch


Ham with a honey glaze (Compliments of mom)
Brunch Time ;)

Deviled Eggs (cutest deviled eggs ever!!! Compliments of my step-mom)


Bacon wrapped dates

Beet Salad (Compliments of my mom)

Cucumber and radish salad with a 'special' vinaigrette (Compliments of my sister)


                  

                         We had fun... ;)

Delicious fruit  (pineapple, watermelon, plums)
Chocolate chip cookies  (compliments of my sister)
We had quite the spread...

Coconut macaroons
Sister's hubby. A man's gotta have his beer ;)

Tapioca pudding
Paleo Carrot Cake 


How grateful I feel to have such amazing people in my life that not only support me in my way of eating, but have fun in doing so. My sister is also dairy & gluten free and my mother doesn't eat a lot of gluten either but has a nut allergy. Put us all in a room to make an Easter Brunch and instead of a hot mess (although we did create a lot of dishes), we take it as an enjoyable challenge and embrace all the things that we can eat. It was the best brunch spread that I have seen. And my body thanked me for it.

Thank you lovely family ;)

Unblanched Almond Flour

Talk about easy.

This is about the simplest thing to do and I'm so excited that I have begun to this. If you bake with almond flour then you know how expensive it is to buy it.

So, let's make our own :)

~ 1 lbs unblanched raw almonds

Method:

Get out you're Ninja (our other super awesome chopper/blender) and blend away. Blend and pulse.


Keep an I on it as you want it to be finely ground but the longer you go it may turn into almond butter so be aware :) I had to do three separate batches; which made about 3 1/2 cups. I suggest keeping in the fridge- I'll let you know how the recipes go...