Sunday, April 15, 2018

Peach Cobbler

This recipe is based on Danielle Walker's Against All Grain, where it can be found in her Celebrations cookbook - I've only made a couple of tweaks.  My father has specifically requested we make this a time or two for family gatherings - I think he likes it.  We do too.

Ingredients

  • 6 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1.5 to 2 bags frozen(*) peach slices (about 600g each, about 2 to 3 pounds total)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup cashew butter
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup palm sugar (coconut sugar)
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup canned coconut milk (shake well first)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375F
  2. Put the coconut oil in a deep baking dish or dutch oven, and place it in the oven to heat up.
  3. In a saucepan, combine the frozen peaches, honey, lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  4. Bring the peaches etc. to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cashew butter, arrowroot flour, coconut flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, and coconut milk.  Mix until well-combined.
  6. When the peaches and spices have simmered for 10 minutes, take the baking dish out of the oven, and CAREFULLY pour the peach mixture in.  The coconut oil will be hot, so it will make quite a lot of noise and could splash up a bit -- use care in this step.
  7. Once things have calmed down in the baking dish, spoon the batter over top, trying to get an even layer covering all of the peach mixture.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes or so, until the top is nice and brown.
  9. Serve warm.
(*) = I'm a huge fan of Alton Brown's.  He recommends using frozen peaches for this sort of thing, because the freezing process ruptures some of the cell walls and releases more juice during cooking.  I'd have to agree.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Low-carb Mac and Cheese (not Paleo though)

Disclosure: This post contains links to companies.  I do not receive money, or other consideration from these companies, and the links are provided for your convenience only.  These links should not be considered as endorsements of the linked companies or their products.

Hey, do you know about shirataki noodles?  Also known as yam noodles, these are zero-calorie, zero-carb noodles that have come on the market in the last few years.

At least one manufacturer, Miracle Noodles, has come out with ziti-style noodles.  (There might be more from other manufacturers; we buy ours from Low Carb Grocery.)

Anyway, it's been so cold lately that I got inspired to use the ziti-style noodles to make up a big batch of home-style macaroni and cheese, while keeping it as low-carb as possible.  It's not paleo because of the milk and cheese.  Here's how I did it.

Ingredients

  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon (the thicker the better!) cut into "lardons"
  • 4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) salted butter
  • 4 Tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 2 cups milk (I used 2% fat)
  • 0.5 tsp white pepper
  • 0.5 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp powdered mustard
  • 1 egg yolk (optional)
  • 6 packages ziti-style shirataki noodles
  • 4 cups shredded cheese (you can use one of those packaged blends from the store, or shred a bunch yourself - mix it up with cheddar, Parmesan, mozzarella, Gruyere, Swiss, and so on), divided into two portions of two cups each
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375F.
  2. Cook the bacon lardons and reserve them.  Keep the rendered fat for something else yummy - you won't need it for this recipe.
  3. Drain the ziti-style shirataki noodles in your sink and rinse with cold water.  Then boil them for two minutes, and drain well.
  4. In a sauce pan, melt the butter, and add the arrowroot powder to form a roux.  Cook the roux for a few seconds to let it brown up just a bit.
  5. While constantly stirring the roux, add in the milk.
  6. Heat the mixture, constantly stirring, until it thickens.  Stir in the white pepper, nutmeg, and powdered mustard.  (You've just made a bechamel sauce!)
  7. (Optional step!)  If you want, you can add an egg yolk to further thicken it.  Mix up the egg yolk in a bowl, and stir in a bit of the bechamel sauce to warm it, then stir the whole thing back into the sauce.  (If you just dump the egg yolk into the hot sauce, you'll end up with scrambled eggs in your sauce...)  I've made this both ways, and it turns out fine with or without the yolk.
  8. Add in 2 cups shredded cheese mixture, remove the sauce pan from the heat, and stir to combine.  (You don't want to keep heating the arrowroot mixture, or it will eventually, um, "unthicken".)
  9. When the cheese is melted into the sauce, combine your cheesy sauce with the noodles and cooked bacon lardons and put the whole thing into an oven-safe dish, such as a 9x13 pan.
  10. Smooth it out and top evenly with the rest of the shredded cheese.
  11. Put it in the oven for 20 minutes.  If you want you can broil it for the last minute or so to crisp up the cheese on top, but keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn!
  12. I recommend you let it sit for a few minutes after taking it out of the oven - that cheese will be lava-hot!
  13. Enjoy!

Incredibly rich chocolate buttercream frosting

I think I've come up with a frosting to accompany that orange cake recipe I published the other day.  A word of warning though - this is incredibly rich and decadent, and of course not exactly "hard core paleo" given that it's made with butter.  But the orange cake accompanies this frosting quite nicely, and I think I'll be looking for occasions to make this in the future.  The recipe is based off of this one, but I've altered the sweeteners a bit.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, salted
  • 1/2 cup erythritol
  • 1/2 cup "spoonable" stevia
  • 2/3 cup good-quality cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp chocolate stevia liquid
Instructions
  1. Cream the butter in a stand mixer (or use a bowl and a hand mixer).
  2. Add in the erythritol, spoonable stevia, and cocoa powder, and combine well.
  3. Add the almond milk slowly, making sure it's combined well with the mixture.
  4. Blend in the vanilla extract and liquid stevia.
  5. Ice your cake!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Orange Cake - Odd, yet delicious

I ran into this recipe for Orange Cake a while ago over on Elana's Pantry, and finally tried making it the other day.  It's very good, but cries out for a decent paleo chocolate icing to accompany it.  I'm researching options there...

Ingredients

  • 2 small oranges, seedless variety
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 0.75 cups honey
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
Instructions
  1. Wash the oranges well, and remove the produce stickers if present.
  2. Boil the oranges (yes, whole) in a pot full of water for about 90 minutes, until nice and soft, then let them cool.
  3. Preheat an oven to 375F.
  4. Process the oranges in a food processor until nice and smooth.
  5. Gradually add all of the other ingredients, "pulsing" the food processor to combine.
  6. Grease a 9 inch cake pan (okay, I used an 8 inch pan - still worked just fine).
  7. Pour all the batter into the pan.
  8. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the proverbial toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool for at least a couple of hours in the pan.
  10. (Still to come) Ice your cake with a nice paleo chocolate frosting...

Monday, December 19, 2016

Sous vide apples

A slightly different treat today - I'm marrying one of the "new" cooking techniques (sous vide, literally "under vacuum") with the oldest diet on Earth!  I have a couple of different sous vide rigs - a Dorkfood DSV (that turns your crockpot into a sous vide rig) and an Anova immersion circulator.  (As usual, I receive NO compensation or dispensation from anyone I may link to - I paid for both of these, fair and square.)

Sous vide cooking is pretty simple, really - you put food and seasonings in a food-safe plastic bag, remove all of the air (or at least as much as you can), and immerse it in water that's at the temperature you want the food to be at and leave it there until it's at the correct temperature, through and through.

In this case, we're doing apple slices with cinnamon, butter, and honey - it goes great in a bowl on its own, but if you can find some paleo-friendly ice cream (I've had some coconut ice cream that wasn't bad), it would be AMAZING...

Ingredients

  • Four apples (I use Granny Smith)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp honey (or use "spoonable stevia" or some other paleo-friendly sweetener)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Set your sous vide rig to 85C / 185F.
  2. Peel, core, and section the apples.
  3. Put all of the ingredients into a food-safe plastic pouch (like a Zip-loc(tm) bag) and shake well to distribute everything evenly.
  4. Remove as much of the air as you can from the bag (one of the best ways to do this is to put the bag under water, *almost* to the lip, and then zip it closed) - or if you've got your own vacuum sealer, go nuts!  Try to make sure that the apple slices are in a single layer to help speed the cooking.
  5. Immerse in the water bath and leave it there for 30 to 40 minutes.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Banana bread with chocolate chips

And our second banana-themed Christmas treat posting for the day comes courtesy of Danielle Walker over at Against All Grain again - this recipe is from her first cookbook, appropriately titled "Against All Grain - Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well and Feel Great".

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 0.5 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 0.5 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 0.25 cup almond flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 cup canned coconut milk
  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • 0.25 cup chocolate chips (again, Krisda brand is made with stevia)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. Grease a loaf pan (8.5 x 4.5) and cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom.  Don't forget to put the parchment paper into the pan!  
  3. Combine the coconut oil, eggs, honey, vanilla, and vinegar in a stand mixer and beat on high for 30 seconds.
  4. Combine the coconut flour, almond flour, baking soda, and sea salt in another bowl, and then gradually add it to the liquid in the stand mixer while the beater is mixing.  Continue to mix until well-combined.
  5. In yet another bowl, mash the coconut milk and bananas together until it's well-combined and sort of looks like baby food.
  6. Add this coconut-banana concoction to the rest of the batter while the beater is on medium.  Continue mixing until well-combined.
  7. Add in the chocolate chips and let it beat for a little longer until the chips are dispersed throughout the batter.
  8. Dump the whole thing into your loaf pan and bake for around 40 to 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven, let it cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes, and then put on a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Enjoy!

Chocolate Banana Squares

Okay, only got one post out yesterday rather than the promised two...  So let's see if we can get caught up today, with a pair of banana-themed recipes.  (Because nothing says "paleo" like bananas, right?)

First up, these chocolate banana squares!

Ingredients for Squares

  • 2 large REALLY ripe bananas - more brown than yellow, ideally
  • 0.5 cup crunchy-type almond butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 0.25 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 0.5 tsp baking soda
  • 0.25 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (Krisda brand is sweetened with stevia)
Ingredients for Topping
  • 1 ounce dark chocolate (as always, the darker the better! 😊)
  • 0.5 Tbsp palm shortening (or butter)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Grease a 9x13 pan with coconut oil (probably not the healthiest option, but I use the spray stuff)
  3. Peel the bananas, and mush 'em up real good.
  4. Combine the banana mush with the rest of the square ingredients, except the chocolate chips.  Mix well until it's a consistent batter.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips, mix thoroughly.
  6. Dump the whole thing into your greased-up pan, and spread evenly in the pan
  7. Bake for about 18 minutes.
  8. Let cool, and cut into squares.
  9. Put the squares side-by-side on a piece of parchment for this next bit.
  10. Melt the topping ingredients together in the top of a double boiler, and mix well until thoroughly combined.
  11. Drizzle the melted topping over the squares.
  12. Let stand until the topping has hardened.