Saturday, November 30, 2013

Is this the Ultimate Flatbread?

Seedy flatbread hidden by slices of Manchego cheese,
tomatoes, cucumber and a plop of aioli. I forgot to take a picture
before I decorated it. Yum.
First off, this recipe originated over at Oh She Glows, and I am so glad to find it! Please visit the original recipe here. I'm going to share my version.

Ultimate Seedy Flatbread

(Savory Italian version)
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (the shelled pepitas)
  • 1/2 cup organic buckwheat flour (or other friendly gluten-free flour) seeds
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
Mix dry ingredients together (including seasonings if desired), add water and stir until moistened. Spread into either a 9x9" square baking pan, or another similar sized pan, that has been sprayed with either olive oil or coconut oil spray. I used a smallish 9x13" pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until it is firm. Cool slightly and cut into squares.

The Italian seasoned version is delicious with a bit of melted pecorino romano and a slice of fresh tomato. How about pesto? Some goat cheese?

I'm looking forward to trying other versions - this is great for a quick lunch or snack.

Monday, November 11, 2013

What's for Dessert? or, Another Pumpkin Bar Recipe!

Has anyone noticed that this blog has been suspiciously quiet? I didn't think so.

S and I have been eating by "The Plan" for several months now - more or less. We were pretty strict in the beginning, but once we started to "test" different foods, things got hard. Short story is that it is a great protocol for testing for food sensitivities or allergies — but not a lose-weight-fast plan. If you have a social life and eat outside of your own kitchen even occasionally, it can be a challenge. HOWEVER. I have learned a great deal about how my body works, what foods work better for me, and how to decrease inflammation in my body. And that has totally been worth it. I now avoid all corn and cow-dairy products as much as possible, and feel so much better for it. I drink more water, take my probiotics, and pay attention to how my body likes the foods I feed it. (It likes goat cheese.)

Now, for dessert. I wanted to come up with a quick fall dessert last night, and did a fast internet search for a "paleo pumpkin cake" since I had basic ingredients around and wanted to use up some almond butter. I found this one by Erica at the, and it was a hit. I'm retyping it since I made some minor changes. I used a larger pan, and made Pumpkin Bars, and our brownie-loving friends devoured them.

Paleo Pumpkin Bars

1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup almond butter (I used creamy)
1/2 cup honey
2 eggs
1/2 cup chocolate chips (organic are better)
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice blend (that's what I had; you could also use pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg or just use the cinnamon)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat eggs and honey together; beat in pumpkin puree and almond butter. Add remaining ingredients, and pour into a 9x13" pan. Bake 20-25 minutes, until they test done. Allow to cool and cut into squares. To be fancy, you could frost with some coconut cream or "cheat" with some real whipped cream, but they are excellent plain. 

Please note that these are quite different from Hilary's Pumpkin Bars, which are made with coconut flour. Those are yummy too! Try both and have a Pumpkin-Bar-Off. Sounds like a good party idea.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Finally Figured Out What's for Breakfast

Eating Paleo/primal/low-carb/gluten-free/whatever has been a revelation in many ways. I feel so much better, have lost a bit of weight and generally have more energy. But breakfast? You can only eat so many eggs, even with a bit of bacon or spinach or sriracha. Or all three. I save wheat and rice for special occasions, and usually only eat a small amount with no negative effects. Cornbread, on the other hand, generally means an instant headache.

I found a recipe for a "Skinny Muffin" in Jorge Cruise's book "The 100" and it looked interesting. Flax meal, eggs, healthy oil; all ingredients I regularly use. I tried it, once, as written, and then immediately took off and developed my own Breakfast Muffin. 

The real clincher for this recipe? Three small muffins, usually eaten with a bit of butter/olive oil spread, regularly keep me satisfied for three-five hours. And that's impressive.

First, the basic muffin recipe.

Cindy's Breakfast Muffins

5 eggs
2 tbsp melted coconut oil or mild olive oil
1/4 cup almond milk
3/4 cup flaxseed meal
2 tbsp coconut flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
1 packet (or 1-2 teaspoons) stevia (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Beat eggs, oil and almond milk together; add dry ingredients and stir to blend. Lightly grease (I use Trader Joe's coconut oil spray) a muffin tin, and divide the batter for 12 muffins. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

These muffins are small, and not anything like those giant pieces of cake that Costco calls a muffin. Split, and enjoy with a bit of butter, yogurt, ricotta or cream cheese or whatever makes you happy.

Now for Weekend Muffins.

Do you have one of these in your cupboard?
I used the same batter and cooked the muffins in my old grilled-cheese-sandwich maker. I'm sure it made more than 12, but we ate them so fast I didn't have time to count.
Weekend Muffins!

Somehow the new shape made the difference. We split these, spread with greek yogurt and added fresh raspberries. My husband drizzled some maple syrup over his, and I found a jar of homemade plum jam in the refrigerator and added a tiny smidge. Delicious! Who needs waffles?

Well, I bet you could cook the batter in a waffle iron, or even as pancakes in a cast iron skillet. Enjoy!

Monday, April 8, 2013

What Would Hil Eat: Dinner + Mug Cake

After a weekend of not-much-cooking, I had a cooking marathon yesterday. I made Paleo Mayo, roasted some sweet potatoes, browned ground pork, made pumpkin bars, then made dinner. Sauteed kale, roasted Brussels sprouts and carrots, and chicken with leeks.

Starting with kale, wash the leaves and cut off the big stems, then roughly chop the leaves (not your fingers...I've learned the hard way).

In a large skillet on medium high, melt some coconut oil, then pile in your kale. It might look like it won't fit, but trust me, it will cook way down.

Here is where you can get creative: add some garlic, seasonings, a little balsamic (if that floats your boat), maybe a little chicken broth or water to help the kale soften. Don't add too much liquid or it will get soggy. My favorite lately has been a little garlic, some chicken broth and a splash of balsamic, salt and pepper, then some honey (good idea, Mel!) toward the end to make a bit of a glaze. Let it simmer for a while, using tongs to flip and stir occasionally. At this point, I usually test a piece of kale to see if it's cooked--I like it a little crunchy. Turn the heat off.

My mom has recently recommended leeks (who knew?) sauteed with chicken, so I decided to try it. I used chicken tenders (aka chicken breasts cut into smaller pieces, thank you Sprouts).

Leeks can be misleading. They're huge when you buy them, but you only end up using maybe half of the whole stalk. But fear not, there are so many layers in a leek, you'll still end up with plenty. I only used one medium/large leek for this and it was enough.

Cut off the root and the top (the thick green leaves won't be good to eat), leaving the white/lighter green part. Cut it in half lengthwise and slice pretty thin. It's easiest to wash them now because there are so many layers...rinse in a colander and let dry a bit.

We'll pretend I remembered to wash them...
In a large skillet over medium high, melt coconut oil, then toss in the leeks. I think I added a little bit of water here to help them cook. Let them simmer and soften for a while, then add your chicken. As the chicken is cooking, season the pieces, then flip and repeat. The leeks will keep cooking with the chicken, and the whole pan will brown, so have some oil/broth ready to keep it from burning or drying out. Cook time will depend on the size of your chicken, so use your best judgement and don't overcook it!

Peel and chop some whole carrots. Rinse and chop Brussels sprouts (halves or quarters depending on the size).  Toss in olive oil and salt/pepper/whatever you want.  Put in the oven at 425 for approximately 15-20 minutes, but keep an eye on it, they might cook faster, or might take longer than that.

The way I cook, nothing is ready at the same time, so I just plate it then microwave the whole thing.

2 eggs
1/2 ripe banana
1 tbsp warmed coconut oil
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp coconut flour
1 tbsp cocoa
dash of cinnamon
dash of salt
Get creative, add what you want!

Either in a bowl or the food processor, mix eggs and banana until combined, add coconut oil, then the dry ingredients and keep mixing. Pour into a mug and microwave for 2.5 to 3 minutes or until cooked through. I only ate half, topped with chocolate chips and a little almond butter.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Paleo Pumpkin Bars

I'm still working on this recipe, but I like the way it's turning out so far. It's pretty basic, so make adjustments and add things, then let me know how they turn out!

Preheat your oven to 375. Grease an 8x8 or 9x9 square pan.

Into a food processor:
1 cup pumpkin puree (about half a can)
3 eggs
1 ripe banana

Blend until smooth.

Now, add:
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp coconut flour
1 tbsp melted (but not too hot) coconut oil
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon (or a couple shakes from the jar...)
1 tsp vanilla (or a dash...who measures vanilla?)
pinch of salt

Blend until smooth.

Pour/scoop the batter into the greased pan and spread it out so it's all even. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through.

Optional: add honey/agave, chocolate chips, almond butter, sweet potato instead of pumpkin, or whatever you have in your cupboard...then tell me how they turn out!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Best Chili, Ever.

How good is this chili? Well, I made a large crockpot FULL, and ate two small bowls before running out to my painting class. When I came home, there was a medium plastic container of chili left, and a dirty crockpot. Which was quickly washed by the man who ate three large bowls of chili. I think we're strategizing over who gets to the leftovers for lunch first.

I think this combines the best of traditional red/tomatoey/beef chili with one of my favorite dishes, Chile Verde. There's beef, pork, tomatoes AND green chiles. Yum.

Mom's Best (Paleo) Chili

1 lb ground beef, browned
2 lbs boneless pork country-style ribs, cut in 1" pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
red (or yellow or green) bell pepper, chopped
8 oz mushrooms, chopped
carrots, chopped or shredded (I used pre-shredded carrots that I chopped up)
4 smallish yams, peeled and chopped
1 can stewed tomatoes, chopped
1 can Rotel Original tomatoes with chiles (small can)
1 can (16 oz) tomato sauce
2 cups water
2 tbsp (or to taste) chile powder

Brown meats separately, add to large crockpot. Saute vegetables in some olive oil until softened and add to crockpot. Add remaining ingredients, cover and cook on high 4-5 hours, or on low 8-10 hours. Probably would be best if refrigerated overnight, but no chance of that in our house.

It was delicious with some chopped avocado. Mmmmmm.

Adjust vegetables to contents of your refrigerator, but this is a good combination. Hil, you can leave out the mushrooms. I was going to add some chopped kale, but never got around to it. Maybe next time. Feel free to add beans if that's up your alley.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Paleo Chicken-Potato Salad

Let's ignore the name of this recipe, it was actually most of the contents of my fridge thrown in a bowl with some Paleo mayo.

First, Paleo Mayo. Make it. Everything that Melissa tells you to do, do it--really slowly. It took me like twice as long as she said to stream in the olive oil because I was scared I was doing it too fast. But my mayo turned out perfectly and I was stoked so, worth it? Yes.

Then comes Sweet Potato Chicken Salad. I found that recipe on my Pinterest from a long time ago, and it served as my inspiration. This recipe could make a lot of food or just one serving, depending on the amounts of each ingredient. Of course, I made way more than I planned but it was great leftover, so no problems there. Naturally, add more potatoes/chicken/veggies/mayo than listed below if you're making a bigger batch.

Paleo Mayo
Sweet potatoes (1-2 depending on how much other stuff you have)
Cooked chicken breasts (1-2 depending on how much other stuff you have)
Raw carrots, celery, snap peas, bell peppers, any other veggies you might have...
Garlic Powder
TJ's Everyday Seasoning and/or Lemon Pepper
Olive Oil

So, cube your sweet potato(es) and roast those the way you want (oil + s/p at 425 until tender). My chicken was already cooked, so I diced that. I chopped some carrots, celery, snap peas, bell peppers, who knows what else (it's been a month or so since I actually did this). Basically, any veggies you want would work in here. Once the potatoes are done and cooled, add those with all your chopped veggies/chicken in a mixing bowl. Plop a couple spoonfuls of mayo and start mixing (but don't mash the potatoes). Add more mayo, depending on the amount of veggies and chicken. You could also drizzle some olive oil in with the mayo to thin it out a bit. Then add seasonings: garlic powder and dill, salt and pepper, TJ's Everyday Seasoning if you'd like. Mix it up and eat it all.

Paleo Pizza

I actually followed this recipe for pizza crust and it turned out a little flat-bread-y, but it still worked for a pizza. It could probably be really good for sandwich bread too...

Paleo Pizza Crust from Caveman Strong

3 eggs
1 garlic clove- crushed
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk

Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease it with coconut oil.
Beat eggs and milk together with both garlics. Add the coconut flour and baking soda and mix/whisk until smooth. Let it sit for a minute to thicken. Pour onto greased parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes.

From here, I flipped the crust over, added some cheese (shhh, I know it's not Paleo), cooked ground chicken sausage, leftover sliced Brussels sprouts, roasted bell peppers, and some more cheese (shredded cheese would have been easier than slices). I was just pulling things out of the fridge and throwing them on there, so this could be any kind of pizza, depending on what you have. I stuck it under my broiler for 5 minutes, then drizzled Trader Joe's Balsamic Glaze (buy this, just do it) with some olive oil over the top.

Since the crust was soft, it wasn't easy to pick up and eat, so I ate most of it with a fork and knife. I had enough for dinner with leftovers for lunch and a piece or two to spare.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Lazy Chili

I think I made this on New Year's Day, since I wouldn't be eating the traditional black-eyed peas, and I wanted to feel like I was eating beans...without actually eating beans. And this is probably the laziest meal way to make chili, so go ahead and add more things!

Warning: I didn't measure anything, but none of it needs to be exact. I probably used two smallish sweet potatoes, and maybe the equivalent of 1.5 chicken breasts. I had enough leftovers for a couple more servings, but this could all be easily increased for more chili.

Sweet potatoes--peeled and chopped into smallish chunks (depending on how you're feeling..1 inch?)
Shredded chicken
1 can diced green chiles
Onion (I used half)
Canned tomato sauce (I only used half a can)
Chicken broth
Coconut oil
Salt, pepper, cumin, garlic, etc.

In a pot over medium high heat, add approximately 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Chop the onion, add to the pot, and let it simmer. When the onion is translucent, add the green chiles and sweet potatoes. I let that sit for a minute or two and then added the tomato sauce and chicken broth until I was happy with the amount of liquid. I wanted enough to make it saucy, but not quite like soup. Add seasonings to taste and stir together. Let this all simmer until the potatoes are almost fork tender. Then add the (cooked and shredded) chicken. I added a little more broth since I didn't want to open another can of tomato sauce and wanted more liquid. Continue to simmer until everything is incorporated, hot, and cooked.