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Spiced Blackberry Crisp

6 Oct

This is a very simple crisp, and came as a result of my desperate attempt to salvage my precious homegrown blackberries, after my fridge/freezer developed an attitude problem last night.    Delicious and healthy as it is, this dish is definitely a “comfort food” or “treat.”  Even though all the ingredients are “primal approved” (even the tapioca — I checked, and Mark Sisson says so), the dish is pretty high in carbs and thus probably a good idea to save for special occasions or as a reaction to appliance malfunctions.  🙂  If you allow dairy, this is delicious served with a dollop of plain full-fat whipped ceam or a drizzle of heavy cream.

Spiced Blackberry Crisp
Makes 1 9-inch pie pan of crisp

5-6 cups fresh or frozen blackberries (if using frozen, thaw and drain first)
1/4 cup Minute tapioca
2 Tbs honey
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg

Crumble topping:
2 Tbs butter
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flakes
4 raw dates, pits removed
1/4 cup macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 350F.  Generously grease a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan with butter or coconut oil.  Set pan aside.  In large bowl, combine all filling ingredients until well mixed (honey may clump a little, that’s okay) and set aside for several minutes.  Meanwhile, place all the topping ingredients in food processor and pulse until mixture has the texture of coarse, wet sand (will be clumpy).  Pour filling mixture into prepared pan and spread evenly.  Sprinkle clumps of the topping mixture over the filling.  Bake in preheated oven 20-25 minutes, until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbling.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool to room temp.  Filling will thicken as it cools.


Grokcakes (Primal Almond-Flour Pancakes)

29 Sep

Okay, so obviously Grok never ate these.  But “Grokcakes” sounds more interesting than “Gluten-Free Almond Meal Pancakes,” and it’s my blog about primal living, so.  Grokcakes it is.

Almond-meal pancakes with fresh local blueberries, butter, and a side of chive scrambled eggs.

Saturday mornings I am home alone, and pancakes have been The Saturday Morning Thing for me for a long, long time.  Before going primal, I enjoyed whole grain or oat pancakes made with Greek yogurt and flaxmeal with all kinds of adventurous mix-ins and toppings.  For the first 6wks of my primal lifestyle, I was pancake-free because I was afraid I would be terribly, terribly disappointed in primal-friendly almond-meal pancakes.  Surely the flavor would be icky!  Surely the texture would be off!  Eventually I missed them too much and started doing some research.  Once I got up the courage to try a promising recipe, I was hooked.  I’ve since made them plain, with blueberries, and with chocolate and bananas; each has been completely delicious on its own or with a little butter.  They don’t even need maple syrup or honey.  Pancake Saturdays are back!  🙂

Almond-meal pancakes with chocolate chunks, sliced bananas, a side of bacon, and a mug of Green Mountain Wild Blueberry coffee.

Almond-Flour Pancakes
Serves 2, 6-8 pancakes (recipe can be halved to serve 1)
Adapted from Low Carb Dude

1 cup almond flour (“almond meal” is the same thing)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch cinnamon
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk (or coconut milk, or water)
1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
2 Tbs melted coconut oil
Fat for frying (I prefer bacon fat or coconut oil, but butter works too)

Fresh berries (small handful)
Chopped chocolate (use 70%+ to keep it primal)
Nuts, dried fruit, dessicated coconut, spices, crumbled cooked bacon (!) etc.

Fresh banana slices
Other sliced fruit (apples, strawberries, etc.)

In large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon until well combined and no clumps of almond flour remain.  Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla (if using) all at once.  Whisk to combine well.  While whisking, slowly add the melted coconut oil in a steady stream and whisk until well combined.  Add any mix-ins now if using, starting with a little and adding until it looks right; stir well to combine.  Set batter aside to rest for 5-10 minutes.  Heat griddle or frying pan until hot and melt the fat on it for frying.  Pour the batter by 1/4 – 1/3 cupfuls onto the hot griddle.  Add any toppers now if using.  When edges appear dry and small bubbles form in batter, flip pancakes and cook until golden brown on the other side.  If using toppers like sliced banana, be careful when flipping and removing from griddle, as banana can stick and cause pancake to tear.  Serve immediately.

Baked Eggs with Sausage-Zuke Saute

22 Sep

Baked Eggs with Sausage-Zuke Saute (Eggs adapted from the Complete Tassajara Cookbook)
Serves 2

Organic ketchup (or tomato sauce, or salsa)
4-6 eggs (2-3 per person)
Salt and pepper
2 oz shredded cheese of choice (I use Bergenost)
8 oz sausage of choice (casings removed if it’s in link form)
1 medium zucchini, washed and chopped (no need to peel or seed)

Heat oven to 325F.  Butter as many wells in a muffin tin as you need, 1 for each egg you’re using.  Put about a teaspoon of ketchup in the bottom of each well.  Crack your raw eggs on top of the ketchup (don’t be a show-off…crack ’em into a cup first, so you don’t have to fish shell bits out of egg white AND ketchup goo).  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Snip some chives over each egg and top with a sprinkle of shredded cheese, about 1 oz per person.  Bake in preheated oven until just set (may still jiggle very slightly in the center); cooking time will vary by oven.  For me, this is 13-15 minutes.

While your eggs are baking, heat a saute pan over medium heat.  Brown  your sausage and break it up with a spoon.  When the sausage is fully cooked, stir in your chopped zuke.  Saute until the zuke is tender.  If you’ve got a lot of delicious brown bits on the bottom of your pan, pour in a couple tablespoons of water and stir it around; as it boils off, it’ll loosen all those delicious brown bits.  If your zuke saute is done before your eggs, just pull it off the heat and set it aside.  Mine were done just about the same time.  Serve them up together, perhaps with a mug of tea and an apple on the side like I do, and enjoy!  🙂

Spicy Chili-Garlic Stir-Fry

18 Aug

This dish is by far one of my favorite paleo creations yet.  It is simple, easy, and deliciously SPICY.  I used 1 rounded tablespoon of chili garlic sauce and found the dish to be delightfully zingy in that good almost-painful-but-not-quite kind of way; if you prefer less heat, use less.  You could also make this dish with thinly sliced pork or beef.  Or, with shrimp — though if you use shrimp, I’d cook all the veggies and the chili sauce first, then add the shrimp at the end to cook through as they will only take a few minutes.  One of my favorite parts of this dish was the shrooms.  J does not eat shrooms so I almost never get to have them.  When he is gone working his overnights, I sometimes splurge on a shroomy dish I can have all to myself in his absence.  If you don’t like shrooms, just leave them out!  (How many times can I say “shrooms” in this paragraph?  SHROOMS!)  Also, I used frozen vegetables, and I did not thaw them before cooking.  I just threw them in frozen, put a lid on, and the steam cooked them to perfection.  This will serve two hungry people; I made it when I was home alone, ate half for dinner that night and split the remaining half over lunch and dinner the next day.  Yum!  🙂

Spicy Chili-Garlic Stir Fry
Serves 2

2 Tbs coconut oil
3/4lb to 1lb raw boneless chicken breast, thinly sliced
1/3 cup whole raw almonds
2 1/2 cups mixed vegetables (I used broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower from the freezer section)
1/2 cup mixed bell pepper strips
6oz baby button mushrooms, stems removed and schrooms sliced
1-2 Tbs chili garlic sauce (I use Huy Fond Foods brand)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat coconut oil over medium heat in large saute pan until hot (a bit of moisture flicked in the oil will sizzle.  BE CAREFUL.)  Add sliced chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through.  Add almonds and cook about 3 minutes.  Add frozen mixed vegetables, bell peppers, button mushrooms, and chili garlic sauce.  Put a lid on the pan and cook until vegetables are heated through and mushrooms are tender, a few minutes.  Check frequently and stir as needed to prevent sticking/burning.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve.

Paleo Sketti

2 Aug

I’ve been doing a lot of reading up on paleo lately, getting some good ideas for recipes I want to try.  One thing I read about yesterday was alternatives to pasta.  Of course we all know about spaghetti squash, so named because it mimics spaghetti in appearance.  But, some other bloggers and posters mentioned using raw broccoli slaw as the base upon which to pile their favorite pasta sauce.  This sounded sufficiently delicious and weird, so of course I had to try it.

Here’s what I did:
1 Tbs olive oil (would have used coconut oil, but le jar is empty. Boo!)
1lb ground pork
1/4lb ground beef

  • Heated the oil until shimmery in a medium saucepan.  Added the ground meat and cooked until well-browned, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat into crumbly bits.

Minced garlic
Crushed red pepper
Fennel seed

  • Added these herbs to the browned meat, to taste.  I didn’t measure.  You can add however much you want, or swap these out for different herbs altogether.

Freshly ground black pepper

  • Stirred in some fresh coarse-ground black pepper and about 1/2 tsp salt, give or take.  Add a little salt, taste the sauce, and add more if you need to.  Remember you can always add more, but you can’t take it out if you add too much salt. Simmered the sauce at this point for about 25 minutes on low.

Raw broccoli slaw mix

  • Put 1 cup of broccoli slaw mix (raw, plain) in a bowl and microwaved it for about 30 secs to warm it up (hot pasta sauce on cold vegetables?  Blech).  Scooped 1 cup of meat sauce onto the slaw mix

Grated parmesan cheese

  • Okay, not totally paleo, but I have a small wedge of parm left that I need to use up, and I don’t want to waste food.  I put about 2 Tbs of grated parm on top, where it got all melty and delicious

Verdict?  Seriously yummy, filling, and does not leave my stomach feeling like I ate a brick, the way a heap of pasta does.  This will become a regular meal for me.  Paleo or not, it’s just delicious!  🙂

(p.s. Sometimes I might post pictures with meal ideas, sometimes not.  This isn’t a “food blog” really…I already have one of those, and taking photos of everything I cook gets tiring.  So, I just gobbled up my dinner this time around…maybe I’ll get a photo next time!)

OmNom: Crazy Superfoods Oatmeal

29 Jul

I’m working toward a nearly-paleo diet, but so far the one grain I am still unwilling to give up is my morning bowl of oatmeal.  I’ve had oatmeal almost every morning since I first started Bob’s Rules on June 30th, and it is working really well for me.  I get a hefty dose of carbs and fiber with the oats and calcium with the milk, then I focus on protein, veg, fruits, nuts/seeds for the rest of the day.  This morning it was just one of those days, the kind where you wake up and you know you need to do something crazy in the kitchen to snap yourself out of whatever you woke up in.  My usual oatmeal is just plain oats, 1%milk, and plain frozen berries…nothing else.  Today though I got to thinking about a fellow Rebel’s post on NF, re: add-ins for oats, and I decided to change it up.

“Mama Said There’ll Be Days Like This” Crazy Superfood Oatmeal: in a large microwave safe bowl, mix 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats and 1 cup milk or water (make sure your bowl is big enough to handle the boil-up effect).  Microwave until oats are cooked and at desired thickness (4mins 30secs in my micro).  Stir in: 1 tsp flaxmeal, 1tsp cacao powder, 1/4 cup frozen plain mixed berries, and 1/4 cup coconut milk. Stir until well-combined, making sure the cacao powder does not have any large lumps. Enjoy the heck out of your bowl of hearty superfoods goodness.  🙂