Sunday, December 8, 2013

Vanilla Paleo Coconut Milk Pudding

My kids are sick this week.
Really sick. . .with the kind of bug that causes a Mom to stay by their side from 1-4am simply to provide comfort.

I don't like my kids to consume dairy when they have a stomach bug, as the enzymes that digest dairy are the first to disappear when a bad stomach illness hits.

My kids' favorite comfort food is vanilla pudding, and I've finally mastered a simple, creamy, nutritious pudding that is deliciously nurturing.

Vanilla Paleo Coconut Milk Pudding
1 can coconut milk (not fat-free)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 c. agave syrup

1/4 t. salt

3T arrowroot powder (cornstarch can be substituted if necessary)
3T cold water
1/2 t. vanilla

Whisk together coconut milk, eggs, agave and salt in a saucepan. Begin warming over medium heat.

Combine arrowroot powder with cold water until dissolved. Whisk into saucepan mixture. Whisk constantly over medium heat until pudding thickens. Simmer for one minute and remove from heat.
Stir in vanilla.

Divide into 6 small bowls or ramekins, or simply pour into a larger bowl.
Serve warm or refrigerate for a cold, creamy treat.

Be well!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Rosemary Mushroom Pot Roast

Nothing says "late autumn" like a pot roast simmering in the oven.
I was craving something different than your traditional carrot-onion-celery pot roast recipe. The earthy shitake mushrooms, tangy tomato paste, and savor rosemary and thyme transform a frugal cut of meat into a succulent afternoon feast!

This recipe's simple 30-minute preparation has an exceptional result. Its rich, complex flavor will compliment your fall day of football and bulb planting. Enjoy!

Rosemary Mushroom Pot Roast
~3-1/2 lb Beef Chuck Roast or Arm Roast
2 cups Essential Beef Stock or Beef broth
3/4 cup red wine
1 t agave syrup or sugar
2 T. tomato paste
1/2 oz dried shitake mushroom
1 onion, chopped
1 shallot, chopped fine
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. dried rosemary
5 sprigs thyme (or 1 t. dried thyme)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Immerse the dried shitake mushrooms in a small bowl of ~1c of very hot water. Weight down with a small plate or bowl to submerge all mushrooms. Let soak for 20-30 minutes to soften, then slice thinly. Retain the delicious mushroom broth!

Combine beef stock, mushroom broth, sliced mushrooms, wine, agave and tomato paste in a dutch oven (or an oven-safe pot with a tight-fitting lid).

Generously salt and pepper the beef, then brown meat on all sides in a frying pan set to medium-high heat. Place browned meat in dutch oven with liquid.

Saute onions and shallot in olive oil over medium heat until translucent. Brown slightly if you wish. Saute garlic during the final minute. Add onion mixture and herbs to dutch oven.

Cover and cook for 3-4 hours at 300 degrees. Turn meat every hour (this is not necessary). Add more beef broth as desired.

Remove meat from Dutch oven and cool slightly on a cutting board. De-bone and remove excess fat. Shred with fork and return to the Dutch oven to combine with the aromatic liquids.

Serve over mashed potatoes or rice and sauteed greens.

Enjoy Autumn!

Monday, July 1, 2013

My Favorite Balsamic Vinaigrette

This dressing is simplicity at it's finest.
Savory, slightly sweet and balanced.
Make it in about 5 minutes for pennies a bottle.
Use liberally for a perfectly dressed salad on a lovely summer's day!

My Favorite Balsamic Vinaigrette
3T Balsamic Vinaigrette
1T dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. good olive oil
1 t. agave syrup
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground pepper

Shake all ingredients together in a salad dressing cruet and enjoy!
Happy summer.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sunny Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

I've fallen in love.
(Don't tell my husband. . .)

Our luscious garden arugula has been whispering sweet nothings in my ear as it's matured, and is finally ready to divulge its peppery, complex, tart wonderfulness!

Liberally drench a washed and dried handful of arugula with this dressing and enjoy. A few grilled shrimp atop the greens make it a meal. I love this salad.

Sunny Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing with Arugla
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon agave
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano, chives, basil, or sassy herbs of your choice.

a big handful of Arugula, torn or cut to preferred size

Combine all in a bottle or jar and refrigerate.
Serve at room temperature.
Give it a good shake before serving.
Drizzle heartily over arugula.

Delightful with slivers of manchego cheese, feta cheese, or slivered almonds.

Happy summer love!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Colorado Beef and Turkey Laab (Laab Neua Ki Ngwng)

You may pronounce the name of this beef and turkey dish any way you wish, but one my 10-year-olds called this "Laab Awesome Goodness", and I think that's the most fitting name!

This was a completely satisfying paleo dinner, from the noodles, to the veggies, meat and garnish. I used Shirataki white yam noodles for my base, and it was divine (I'm not sure if these are paleo, but they're certainly grain-free and I feel great after eating them). Make sure you rinse the noodles well and cook according to package directions.

Laab is one of my favorite dishes at Thai restaurants. It's a traditional dish of meat, herbs, lime and fish sauce. I wasn't able to find plain ground pork today, so I used half beef and half turkey, and I thought the mix of the two meats' flavors was superior to pork alone.

I call this "Colorado Laab" because we often can't find fresh lemongrass or other traditional Thai staples in the Rocky Mountains (and I usually use less than half of the fish sauce called for in Thai recipes as well). This dish was made with my pantry staples, and it is delicious. Read on, and enjoy a Thai night soon.

Colorado Beef and Turkey Laab (Laab Neua Ki Ngwng) or "Laab Awesome Goodness"
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground turkey
2 T. olive oil
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic
1 T. ginger, shaved or very finely minced
1 t. agave syrup
1/4 t. crushed red pepper (or more to taste)
2 t. paprika
2 T. fish sauce
3 T. freshly squeezed lime juice
6 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 c. mint leaves, thinly sliced (extra mint leaves for pretty garnish)
1/4 c. basil leaves, thinly sliced
2 T. finely sliced red onion for garnish

Thai Slaw
1/2 head green cabbage, thinly sliced
2 carrots, julienned
2 T. red onion, minced

Thai Slaw Dressing
1/4 c. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 T water
1 T. white wine vinegar
1-1/2 T. fish sauce
2 T. olive oil
2 t. agave
2 T. scallions, finely minced

2 T. mint, finely minced
2 T. cilantro, finely minced

1/2 t. paprika (and/or chile flakes to taste)

1 package Shirataki Noodles (white yam, not tofu) or sticky rice
chopped peanuts or cashews for garnish
Sriracha sauce for added heat

Brown the beef, turkey, salt and pepper together in olive oil. Drain and set aside.

Saute the onion in olive oil until translucent.Add the garlic and ginger and saute for one minute more. Add in meat, agave, pepper, fish sauce and combine over medium heat. Add in lime juice and stir well. Reserve the sliced scallions and herbs and add just before serving.

For the Thai Slaw, combine cabbage, carrots and onion and toss together. Toss with ~2 T of the dressing (or to taste). Serve immediately. If you're short on time, simply enjoy the slaw veggies without dressing or add a dash of lime juice, olive oil, and salt into your cabbage and toss well.

Serve the laab atop the slaw with rice or noodles on the side.

Garnish with chopped peanuts or cashews.
Have some Sriracha sauce on hand for added heat.

(a polite way of saying "eat!" in Thai)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Cindy's Perfect Paleo Pancakes

I'll admit it. . .I'm a paleo pancake snob.

Life is too short not to enjoy a really delicious stack of pancakes with real maple syrup. While paying proper homage to the brave pioneers of paleo cooking (all the wonderful gluten-, grain-, dairy-, and legume-free chefs out there), I still hadn't found a pancake recipe that wasn't too sweet, too grainy, wouldn't burn too quickly, or wouldn't dissolve onto my spatula in an attempt to flip it. I had my work cut out for me.

But this recipe is fabulous! These little diddies are tender, complex, not-too-sweet, and perfect for paleo sandwich bread as well. The chestnut flour lends a lovely light texture and slight nuttiness to this recipe. You can find chestnut flour at most health food stores now. Fun Fresh Foods brand Gluten Free Italian Chestnut Flour works perfectly.

Cindy's Perfect Paleo Pancakes
5 eggs
1/4 t. vanilla
2 t. maple syrup
2 T. melted coconut oil
1 T. chestnut flour (or coconut flour if you don't have on-hand)
3 T. almond meal
3 T. coconut flour
1/8 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder

Preheat your largest nonstick pan over medium-low heat.
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl until batter is smooth. Using a 2 T. measure (coffee scoop), spoon out the batter into a heated, lightly oiled pan to create a pancake of your perfect size. Once a bubble or two forms on the surface of the pancakes, peek at the underside, and flip each pancake when it's browned to your heart's content. Remove from pan once the second side is just browned.

Enjoy with a side of bacon, berries and maple syrup.
Also fabulous with my Sour Cherry Sauce or a fruit topping.

These keep well in the refrigerator for several days. Just toast or microwave slightly to heat up for best taste and texture.  Use the pancakes for yummy sandwiches, bread, AB&Js (Almond Butter and Jelly Sandwiches), flatbread for dipping in stews, mini flatbreads for appetizers, or hamburger buns.