It seems that most of the west is about to experience a bit of a cold front. I thought this would be the perfect time to share this recipe! I’m fortunate enough to still be in Arizona where a cold front means it’s going to be in the 50′s! I live in Colorado, so listening to the weather forecast here cracks me up!! What these people think is cold is definitely a hot winter day at home!
Even if it’s not cold where you are, this is a delicious soup recipe to enjoy for lunch or dinner. I served it with bacon pieces and used the bacon grease for flavor. If you’d prefer, you can certainly skip the bacon, but who skips bacon? This would also be good with shredded chicken as well.
Recipe: Creamy Roasted Cauliflower and Mushroom Soup
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into pieces
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2-3 pieces of bacon (optional)
- 2 tbsp bacon grease, butter or coconut oil
- 1/4-1/2 cup white onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp fresh thyme or 3 tsp dried
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 3 cups homemade chicken broth (or canned)
- 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
- 2 tbsp grass-fed butter (optional)
- sea salt and pepper
- Place the pieces of cauliflower in a bowl and coat with the 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Place single layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast at 400 for 25-30 minutes
- Cook the bacon in a skillet, reserve the grease, cut the bacon into pieces and set aside
- Place the bacon grease, coconut oil or butter in a large sauce pan with the onion. Saute the onions until slightly browned
- Add the garlic, thyme and mushrooms. Saute until the mushrooms are tender, about 5-10 minutes
- Add the white wine and de-glaze the pan
- Add the chicken broth and cauliflower and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer for 5 minutes
- Place the soup, coconut milk and optional butter in a food processor or blender and combine until desired consistency
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sprinkle the bacon pieces on top (optional)
I served this tonight and when I told Tom what I had made, this was his response: “If I saw that on the label of a soup can, I would not think it sounded very good.” About two bites into it, he kept telling me how awesome it was! I knew he was going to like it! Butter, bacon and mushrooms, who wouldn’t love this!!
As many of you know, I have used plantains as a base for some of my recipes. I quickly found that plantains have a bit of a corn taste to them when cooked. When I made this “Tortilla” Chip Recipe, I knew I had found a corn meal replacement…and a substitute for my corn tortilla chip addiction! A couple years ago, tortilla chips were my go to snack since they were gluten free. Today, I won’t touch anything made with corn for many reasons, including that it can be irritating to the gut and it’s one of the main GMO foods sold today!
Recently I created a simple Grain Free “Corn” Tortilla Recipe made from roasted plantain chips ground into a meal. This got the creative juices flowing…what else can I make with “corn” meal? How about some skillet corn bread to serve along side your favorite soups and stews this winter (maybe try The Paleo Mom’s Hearty Beef Stew, Offal (But Not Awful) Stew or Paleo Pumpkin Chili)! This dense bread was a huge hit served straight from the oven with some grass-fed butter!
Inspired by a recipe from Nom Nom Paleo
Recipe: Grain Free Skillet “Corn” Bread
- Preheat the oven to 350
- Combine the flour, plantain meal, soda and salt in a bowl
- Cut 1 1/2 tbsp of cold butter into small pieces and toss into the flour mixture. With hands, work the butter into the mixture so it’s crumbly
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, lemon juice, vinegar and honey
- Melt the remaining 1 tbsp of butter over medium heat in a cast iron skillet
- Dig a little hole in the center of your flour mixture and pour the egg mixture in the flour. Mix until a dough is formed
- Turn off the skillet. Make sure the melted butter is covering the entire bottom of the skillet
- Place the ball of dough in the center of the skillet and press down until it’s about an inch and a half high
- Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 20 minutes
*About 2 cups of chips yields 1 cup of meal. Roasted plantain chips can be found in the bulk section at Sprouts or in the pre-packages bulk section of Whole Foods. They should only contain plantains, palm oil and salt.
Solidified coconut oil may work in place of the butter, but I have not tried that.
Feel free to spice this up with some jalapenos or other spices!
Some of you may make the same menu every Thanksgiving, and others like to switch it up a bit. I am sure we all have our staples of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes and what ever else is a family favorite. Here is an idea for any of you looking for a new idea for a vegetable to serve. It includes bacon, so it’s sure to make everyone go after a second helping…except those vegetarians out there!!!
I have quite a few recipes to get out before the holiday, so I am going to keep it short and sweet in my upcoming posts. I have a fantastic muffin recipe coming that is perfect to include in your breakfast on Thanksgiving morning and a pumpkin tart dessert for anyone looking to do something different than a traditional pumpkin pie!!
Recipe: Sauteed Shredded Brussel Sprouts
- 2 lbs fresh brussels sprouts (2 bags), cleaned and trimmed
- 4 slices of bacon (US Wellness Meats is a great place to buy bacon that is pasture raised and sugar free)
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2- 1 cup onions, diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place the brussels sprouts in a food processor and pulse until they are shredded
- In a large skillet, fry the bacon until crispy. Set aside and reserve 2 tbsp of bacon grease in the pan
- Add the onion, salt and pepper to the pan and saute until the onions are close to translucent
- Add the sprouts and the garlic and continue to saute until completely cooked (about 3-5 minutes)
- Tear the bacon into pieces and stir into the sprouts
I found myself going back for more of this…it’s that good and such a different way to fix brussels sprouts. I think this would also be good with cabbage if any of you are not sprouts fans.
The other day, a fellow gluten free blogger asked for suggestions for a corn flour substitution. One of her readers wanted to make tamales but needed corn flour. I had a brilliant idea and shared it with everyone on my Facebook Page, but wanted to let all of you in on the idea as well.
I have a “Corn” Tortilla Chip recipe made from green plantains that really do have a corn taste to them. I knew plantains were the answer here, but not plantain flour (too starchy and doesn’t have a corn taste). I suggested buying the roasted plantain chips that Whole Foods (prepackaged in section with nuts, dried fruits, chocolate covered everything. May not be in bulk aisle but somewhere else in store) and Sprouts sell in their bulk section and grind it in a food processor until flour is formed. What a great idea!!!
That immediately got me thinking about corn tortillas and how many recipes I could do with them! I tried this recipe so many different ways. I tried to use my tortilla chip recipe and grind them up, I tried fresh green plantains roasted with coconut oil, and I tried the store bought chips I mention above. The winner is the store bought chips! The others just don’t grind into a fine enough flour so the dough doesn’t stick together. The roasted plantain chips are simply plantains, palm olein oil and salt. Palm oil is like coconut oil, a healthy saturated fat full of health benefits.
Palm oil is extracted from the flesh of the fruit of E. Guineesis. The oil is semi-solid at room temperature and is highly resistant to oxidation and prolonged exposure to heat. The palm olein has different characteristics than the palm oil, it remains completely liquid at room temperature. It is highly heat resistant, similar to palm oil, and it also resists the formation of breakdown products during frying and increases the shelf life of many products. Although palm oil and palm olein are produced from the same plant and share many similar properties, the main difference between them is their chemical state at room temperature. Semi-solid palm oil is used more frequently as a fat in bakery products, whereas liquid palm olein is considered the “gold standard” and is the most widely used oil for frying in the world.
This is such an easy recipe and blows the socks off any tortilla recipe that calls for almond or coconut flour and some eggs! I just can’t throw fajitas in those and feel like they are tortillas. These can be cooked a bit longer to make them crisp or less to make them soft. Either way you can fold or roll them and feel like you are cheating and enjoying Mexican food again!!! I can’t wait to make tacos next week!
Recipe: Grain Free “Corn” Tortillas
Makes 10 small tortillas
- 2 cups (heaping) roasted salted plantain chips* (should produce 1 cup four)
- 1/2 cup water
- Place the plantain chips in a food processor and grind to a fine flour
- In a mixing bowl, add a cup of flour to the water and mix well
- Knead the dough and form into 10 equal size balls
- Place a ball on parchment paper and then place another piece of parchment over the top
- Roll out into a thin small tortilla or use a tortilla press
- Carefully peel off the dough from the parchment, they are thin and delicate!
- Cook eat tortilla in an ungreased skillet over medium high heat for 30 -60 seconds on each side, slightly brown
*These are found at Whole Foods (read text above) or sold in bulk at Sprouts.
It’s definitely soup season here in Colorado!!! I just returned from ten days in Arizona and can’t believe how cold it feels here now! I’ve decided I prefer the warmth and the idea of never having to scrape ice off my windshield!
While I was in Arizona, I made this soup for Tom’s (my boyfriend) grandmother. She is 93…reminds me of Betty White, love her!! She hasn’t been feeling great and I think dehydration is playing a role in her tiredness. Old people don’t want to drink so they don’t have to go potty. She of course thinks she drinks a ton of fluids. It’s hard to convince her that her coffee with Starbuck’s Ice Cream in it in the morning and her Vodka on the rocks at night just doesn’t cut it!!! Needless to say, I was on a mission to get some fluids in her! I had her drinking coconut water and kombucha along with some homemade bone broth. I figured soup would be a great way to secretly increase her fluid intake. She loooooved this soup and ate it everyday for lunch and raved about it every time I dished it up for her. Hope you enjoy it as much as sweet Verna May did!!!
Recipe: Coconut Curry Carrot Soup
- 1 tbsp grass-fed butter or coconut oil
- 2 heaping cups of thickly sliced carrots (about 4 carrots)
- 2 thin slices of fresh ginger root
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 5 cups chicken broth (I prefer homemade*)
- 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
- 3/4 tsp red curry paste (add more if you want it spicier)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 scallion, sliced
- 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
- 2 chicken breasts (optional)
- Heat the butter/oil in a large saucepan and stir in the carrots and ginger
- Cook over medium heat until the carrots start to brown, about 6-8 minutes stirring constantly
- Add the onions and cook until they are translucent
- Stir in the broth, coconut milk and curry paste
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 25 minutes
- If you want to add chicken to this recipe, add it to the simmering soup. Remove chicken once it’s fully cooked and set aside
- Strain the solids so you can remove the ginger root and discard
- Add the solids plus 2 cups of the liquid to a blender and puree
- Add the remaining liquid and process until completely pureed
- Pour soup back into saucepan to add shredded chicken or pour into soup bowls (Use a fork to shred the chicken once it has cooled enough to touch. Add it to the soup and stir)
- Serve with some scallions and cilantro sprinkled on top and additional salt and pepper if needed
*I prefer to use homemade chicken broth for all of the health benefits. Store bought will work, but may be higher in sodium so be careful when you salt the soup. I use this recipe for broth. I also add onion, carrots, celery and garlic cloves to my pot for flavor. I use a large crockpot and let simmer for 24 hours to let all of the gelatin out of the bones.
Have you ever taken left over mashed potatoes and made potato pancakes the next day? I loved them, but no more potatoes for me so these “notato” pancakes made with cauliflower will have to do…and they do! If you eat white potatoes regularly, these may not do it for you and your starch addiction. Otherwise, give these a try and let me know what you think! You may also enjoy this Mashed Cauliflower Recipe next time you’re craving mashed potatoes!
Recipe: “Notato” Pancakes
- 1 large head of cauliflower, chopped and steamed
- 1-2 tbsp fresh chives, minced
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 tbsp coconut oil for frying
- Pat dry the steamed cauliflower to remove as much moisture as possible
- In a food processor, pulse the cauliflower into tiny pieces. Do not puree it!
- In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and add the cauliflower, chives, garlic, salt and pepper and stir until combined
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add 1 tbsp of oil
- Once the oil is hot, spoon the mixture into the pan and press down into a pancake shape
- Cook until brown and pancake is holding together enough to flip and brown the other side
- You may need to add more oil to the pan for the second batch of pancakes
- If your batter seems too running, add a bit of coconut flour if you’d like. I prefer these to be flourless!
Serve nice and hot!
I am sure many of you have heard of this idea or already serve cauliflower this way. I have never tried doing this, not a big cooked cauliflower fan, more of a broccoli girl. All I can say…why did I wait so long to do this!!! It really does remind me of mashed potatoes. I haven’t had white potatoes in a very long time, so someone that lives on them may disagree with me! This is a great starch free side dish to enjoy with out the guilt!
If you are someone that is skipping over this recipe because this is old news to you, just wait, I have a unique one coming that uses this as a base!!
Recipe: Mashed Cauliflower
- 1 head of cauliflower, steamed
- 2 tbsp grass-fed butter
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp chives, chopped
- 1/4-1/2 cup plain dairy free milk, unsweetened (optional)
- salt and pepper
- Place the steamed cauliflower, butter, garlic, milk and salt and pepper in a Vitamix or high speed blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour into a bowl and stir in the chives and additional salt and pepper if needed.
There are many variations to this recipe. Crumbled bacon would be good on top and you can also substitute the chives for green onion if you prefer.
I’m guessing most of you have not ever tried a parsnip, or if you have, you didn’t realize it. I am the girl at Whole Foods that always makes the cashier pull out her produce code book to look up all the random vegetables I buy. It’s not every day that they ring up parsnips, daikon radishes, black radishes, taro root, leeks, tumeric root or plantains to name a few.
According to Wikipedia, Parsnip is a root vegetable related to the carrot. Parsnips resemble carrots, but are paler in colour than most carrots, and have a sweeter taste, especially when cooked. While parsnips can be eaten raw, they are more commonly served cooked. They can be boiled, roasted or used in stews, soups and casseroles. Parsnips can also be fried or thinly sliced and made into crisps. The parsnip is richer in vitamins and minerals than its close relative, the carrot. It is particularly rich in potassium with 600 mg per 100 g. The parsnip is also a good source of dietary fiber.
The parsnip looks like a larger pale colored carrot, but in my opinion, doesn’t taste like a cooked carrot. I am not interested in eating a cooked carrot ever again as far as I’m concerned. I can’t stand them! I actually like parsnips a lot done as parsnip chips in the oven and really liked how this latke recipe turned out. They have a subtle taste of sweetness and seasoned with the onions, scallions and garlic, it was the perfect balance!!
Recipe: Parsnip Latkes
Makes 8-10 latkes
- 4 cups grated peeled parsnips
- 2 large eggs
- 2 green onions, sliced (all of the whites and light green parts)
- 1 heaping tbsp of the greens (scallions), sliced
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- 1-2 tbsp refined coconut oil (no coconut taste) for the pan
- Whisk the eggs in a large bowl
- Add the parsnips, onions, scallions, and seasonings to the bowl of eggs and mix well
- Place coconut oil in a skillet and heat over med-high
- Place about 1/3 cup of mixture into pan (about 3 fill fit at a time) and pat down to form a pancake
- Cook until brown and flip to brown the other side. You want them to be crisp on the outside, but still soft on the inside.
Just like anything, these are best right out of the pan, but they are still great as leftovers!
Plantain Flour…what the heck is that and where do you find it? I had no idea there was such a thing until a few months back. I ordered a bunch and have been experimenting with this starchy, moisture absorbing flour. After I created the Plantain Tortilla Chips Recipe, I knew I could make some sort of a tortilla as well. I will probably still try a “corn tortilla” that could be used for an open face taco, but until then, these bendable tortillas are perfect for tacos, burritos, wraps and so much more!!! I love them warm with melted butter and rolled up. I think next time I might add some cinnamon too!
There are so many different grain free tortilla recipes out there using almond flour and/or coconut flour. I just don’t think they taste much like a tortilla. These turned out to be the next best thing to a gluten filled one. If you have recently been eating “normal” tortillas, these may seem weird, but if you are used to the very different “bread like” products of the gluten free world, you will enjoy these! They actually bend without breaking and have that doughy taste and feel to them. I think they are best when served warm and used the same day they are made. They are fine a day or two later, but like most baked goods, they are best fresh and warm. I can’t wait to try this in an enchilada recipe.
Recipe: Plantain Flour Tortillas
- 1 tbsp palm shortening, softened
- 1 tbsp grass-fed butter, melted
- 2 cups non-dairy milk (I used plain carton coconut milk)
- 1 cup plantain flour
- 1 tsp sea salt
- coconut oil for the skillet
- Combine all ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth
- Heat a greased skillet (I used a small one) on med-high heat
- Once it is hot, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto pan and swirl around to coat it
- Cook until brown and flip to cook the other side
- I took the pan off the burner and lowered heat between cooking each one. It seems to get too hot and the batter won’t swirl around. If you lower the heat, it won’t brown the tortilla and make it crispy.
Makes about 10 small tortillas
Plantain Flour is inexpensive compared to nut and coconut flours. It can be found on Amazon, but is less expensive to order it directly from the company, Barry Farms. Here is another pancake recipe using Plantain Flour that will make it worth your while to purchase some of it!
One of my favorite greens and one of the most nutrient rich greens…Kale!!! I figured I better post a vegetable recipe before I post anymore sweet treats. I need to get better about providing more savory recipes and more vegetable ideas, but I really enjoy baking and not to mention taste testing those recipes. I love kale chips and all, but the cookies I’m perfecting are far more exciting!!
Kale is full of carotenoids and flavonoids, two powerful antioxidants that protect our cells from free radicals that cause oxidative stress. The key flavonoids are kaempferol and quercitin and there are 45 others! With the addition of high doses of vitamin C, vitamin A, and manganese, kale is certainly a smart choice to battle against cellular oxidation. Kale also acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, it provides omega-3 fatty acids that helps regulate the body’s inflammation.
Many other health aspects of Kale include, the high fiber content that can possibly lower cholesterol, the isothiocyanates from glucosinolates (whatever that is) found in kale can aid in both phases I and II of the body’s detoxification process and Kale is very high in Vitamin K. Vitamin K can help strengthen our bones, prevents calcium buildup in our tissues that can lead to atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and stroke. And there’s more…Kale contains high levels of vitamin A and C, both of which are effective antioxidants that boost immunity.
So do I have you convinced to either try kale or eat more of it yet? Kale chips are an easy way to enjoy kale and believe it or not, most people find them addicting. I could eat the entire batch and the best part is, I don’t feel a bit guilty about it!! The options are endless as to how you could season these chips. I am pretty simple and just enjoy olive oil and sea salt, but feel free to get creative.
Recipe: Kale Chips
- One bunch of Dino Kale, washed and dried
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or melted coconut oil
- sea salt to taste
- Tear the Kale into pieces (they will decrease in size as they cook so don’t tear them too small)
- Combine the kale and oil in a bowl and massage the kale with the oil so each piece is oiled
- Spread single layer onto a parchment lined cookie sheet
- Bake at 350 for about 6-8 minutes or until a hint of brown
- Let cool completely before storing. Do not pile on top of each other to cool, they will retain moisture and become soggy
- Store in a glass container
There are quite a few types of organic kale including red, green curled and lacinato better known as dinosaur kale. I prefer to use the dino kale for chips because the leaves are flatter and easier to get oil onto. I do love the curly green kale sauteed or steamed with a little oil and sea salt. There are so many ways to spice up kale chips and steamed kale. I like toasted sesame oil with a bit of red pepper flakes and sea salt on my steamed kale. Another option is to use a bit of raw apple cider vinegar in this kale chip recipe to make salt and vinegar chips.