Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Paleo Crepes with Coconut Whipped "Cream"

On the weekends when Dave is not working, we always do big breakfasts. Crepes with strawberries is one of Dave's favorites. We were both quite happy to find a paleo-friendly crepe recipe and now make it almost every weekend.

From Girl Gone Primal, serves four


100 grams almond flour
4 eggs
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted, plus extra for pan
1/2 cup water
1 cup strawberries, sliced

1/2 can coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup, optional


For the coconut whipped "cream", spoon the top thick layer of coconut milk from the top of the can into the bowl of the stand mixer. You can use the runnier coconut milk at the bottom of the can but it will not yield as stiff of whipped cream.

Using the whisk attachment, beat the coconut milk until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and sweetener, if using, and beat to combine. Set aside.

For the crepes, combine flour, eggs and oil in a large bowl. Stir well. Gradually add the water whilst stirring, until the desired consistency is reached. For crepes, the mixture should be runny. For pancakes, use only about half of the water.

Heat coconut oil in a large pan. Add about a quarter of the batter to the pan and swirl gentle until the batter covers the bottom.

Cook until it begins to borwn and bubbles form in the middle. Flip the crepes gently. Cook the second side until it begins to brown.

Remove from heat and serve immediately topped with strawberries and whipped "cream".



Friday, May 25, 2012

Vegetable Fritters

These make a fantastic fast lunch, light dinner or side dish.

Adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon, serves two


1 sweet potato, peeled and grated
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 zucchini, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1 egg
1/2 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Olive oil

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon curry


Squeeze as much liquid out of the grated vegetables as possible. Combine the vegetables, garlic, egg, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Stir well.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Form the 2 to 3 tablespoons of the vegetable mixture in to a ball with your hands. Gently press to flatten and place in the skillet.

Fry 4 to 6 minutes, flip, and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the fritters to a lined baking sheet in a warm oven to keep hot until serving.

To make the curry mayonnaise, combine the mayonnaise, cumin and curry in a small bowl.

Serve the hot fritters with the curry mayonnaise.



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Paleo N'oatmeal Raisin Cookies

These cookies are good.

You would be hard pressed to guess that they do not contain any grains.

Adapted from Primal Palate, makes three dozen


2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup flax seeds
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs


Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line cookie sheets with parchment or Silpat.

Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on low speed until combined.

Using a cookie scoop, drop tablespoon size balls onto the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until starting to brown at the edges.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Paleo Stuffed Chicken

Serves two


2 boneless chicken breasts
4 strips bacon
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
2 cup spinach or mustard greens


Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly oil a baking pan.

In a skillet over medium high heat, saute the greens until wilted. Set aside.
Flatten the chicken breasts by gently smashing with a mallet or rolling pin. Season with salt and pepper.

Drape the bacon over the flattened chicken.

Place the wilted greens and sundried tomatoes on top of the bacon.

Tightly roll the chicken around the filling and secure with a toothpick. Transfer to the prepared baking pan.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Once I made my first successful batch of caramel, I kind of went overboard... What good would it be to make salted caramel sauce with out making salted caramel ice cream to go with it?

Adapted from David Lebovitz, makes one litre


2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
5 egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the sugar, stirring constantly. Continue cooking the liquefied sugar until it starts to darken. 

Just as the sugar starts to smoke (do not let it smoke or it will burn), add the butter and salt. Stir to combine. Add in the cream and whisk until smooth. If the caramel hardens into clumps, return the sauce pan to low heat and stir until melted.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Gradually pour half of the warm caramel mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly. Transfer the egg yolks back to the sauce pan and cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens into a custard. 

Add the milk to a large bowl over and ice bath. Pour the custard into the milk, add the vanilla and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate overnight. 

Freeze as per the ice cream makers instructions.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

30 Day Paleo Challenge: Week 4

At the end of week three we started to get cocky... musing that we really didn't see the benefit of eating "strictly paleo" compared to the loose version we had been following previously... claiming that we would be reintroducing limited amounts of dairy, soy... rationalizing that neither of us had really shown any sings of being sensitive to the foods in the first place.

Then we allowed ourselves a "cheat meal". We were going out for an early Mother's Day lunch and didn't want to force our family to a restaurant that was paleo-friendly (not really sure those exist in Calgary...) so we decided to allow ourselves the luxury of eating anything we wanted for that one meal. We didn't stray far... Dave had a cheeseburger, I had eggs benedict.

But oh did we pay. I will save you the details, but both of us were almost instantly ill.

Unfortunately we both had multiple "cheat" ingredients in our meals... dairy, bread, potatoes... so it is impossible to pin point exactly what the culprit was.

For me, I suspect it was the small amount of cream I put in my coffee. I have always been sensitive to large amounts of milk but previously enjoyed generous amounts of cream in my daily coffee(s) without any issue. I think I will be sticking to black coffee from this point forward. Although I have never had issues with fermented milk products so I am interested to experiment with reintroducing cheese and yogurt once our 30 days are over. With a toilet close at hand, of course.

Our experiences definetly strengthened our commitment to the paleo way of eating. I think we were both surprised how sensitive we were to foods that we thought our bodies could handle.

A lesson learnt the hard way.

Another lesson learnt this week - Paleo and PMS are not friends.


Morning Snack

  • Sliced strawberries
  • Small fruit smoothie


  • Leftovers from dinner
  • Salad with strawberries and steak

Afternoon Snack

  • Almonds
  • Paleo pineapple coconut mini muffins


  • Roast chicken with salad
  • Sausage with isreali poached eggs
  • Grilled salmon with mango salsa
  • Steak with grilled asparagus


  • Sliced strawberries with cocoa nibs
  • Strawberry sorbet
  • Frozen mango


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tiramisu Cake

I made this cake for my grandparent's anniversary dinner. Traditional tiramisu is much less work but this is one delicious cake. Anything soaked in coffee and alcohol has to be delicious.

The original recipe made a two layer cake but the batter seemed a little shy, so I made a single layer.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, makes one 9" cake


2 cups
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons boiling water
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Amaretto, Kahlua or brandy

8 ounce container mascarpone
1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Amaretto, Kahlua or brandy
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, shaved


Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 9 inch round cake pan and dust the inside with flour, tapping out the excess.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add the sugar and beat for an additional 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients, one third at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan after 15 minutes. When fully baked, the cake will be springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean.

Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for about 5 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the cake and unmold from the pan. Flip back right-side-up and allow to cool to room temperature.

In the meantime, prepare the espresso syrup. To make the espresso, stir the espresso powder and boiling water together in a small bowl. Set aside. Stir the water and sugar together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Add in the liqueur and 1 tablespoon of the prepared espresso. Set aside.

To prepare the frosting, in the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream into stiff peaks. Combine the mascarpone, sugar, vanilla, remaining espresso and liqueur in a large bowl. Gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone.

Using a pastry brush, soak the cake with the espresso syrup.

With a long icing spatula, smooth the frosting over the cake. Refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours before serving to allow the flavours to develop.

Just before serving, dust the top of the cake with shaved chocolate.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Slow Cooker Tagine

This is one of those horrible slow cooker meals that make the house smell so wonderful before you leave for work in the morning that you spend the entire day thinking about food.
Usually if I am using the slow cooker it means that Dave is on night shifts and sleeping all day. I have always wondered if he dreams about food when the house smells like dinner all day long.
I know I would.
Serves four

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 pounds lamb or beef, cut into one inch cubes
1 large onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dried apricots, quartered
1/2 cup raisins or dried currants
2 carrots, chopped
2 cups beef broth
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger


Heat a pan over medium-high and add the oil. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Brown on all sides. Transfer to slow cooker.

Add the broth to the pan, scraping off the drippings. Transfer to the slow cooker.

Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker.

Cook on low heat for 8 to 10 hours.

Serve with couscous.


Saturday, May 5, 2012

30 Day Paleo Challenge: Week 3

We have definitely fallen into a groove with the paleo diet now. It is much easier to say no to temptation - sugar, breads and potatoes really are just not that appealing now that we are not craving them. I even managed to eat out a Food Truck on Friday and choose a completly paleo friendly option!

However, both of us have begun to dream about what our first cheat will be once we are done... cheese burgers and sushi seem to top the list.

We have also been contemplating what we will and will not allow back into our diets. Both of us are planning to reintroduce limited amounts of dairy but are hoping to continue to steer clear of processed and added sugars.

11 days left!


Morning Snack

  • Sliced strawberries
  • Small fruit smoothie


  • Leftovers from dinner
  • Vegetable juice
  • Paleo egg salad over lettuce
  • Vietnamese chicken stirfry
  • Salad with a fried egg, bacon and tomatos

Afternoon Snack


  • Grilled lobster with asparagus
  • Oxtail stew
  • Salmon with avocado sauce
  • Pork chops with saurkraut, apples and bacon
  • Grilled steak with salad
  • Roast chicken
  • Omletes



Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

Butter chicken is one of my favorite Indian dishes. I was pleasantly surprised how delicious and authentic of butter chicken could be produced in a slow cooker. And with almost no effort!

Serves four


6 boneless chicken thighs or 4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
15 green cardamom pods
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 tablespoon curry paste
1/2 teaspoon crushed chili flakes
2 teaspoons tandoori masala
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 can coconut milk
1 5-1/2 oz can tomato paste


Add the spices, coconut milk and tomato to the slow cooker. Mix gently to combine. Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours.

Remove cardamon pods. Serve with rice, naan or Indian Spiced Peas.

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