Archives for the month of: January, 2011

Okay, so I know I’ve been attempting to limit the nut consumption recently, but it’s so dang HARD!

One reason is these little pieces of amazing known as Rosemary Pecan Cookies. Good for breakfast, good with coffee, good for an afternoon snack, good for dessert. Just plain goodness.

I was recently introduced to these by a classmate at Bauman College. They are only slightly sweet and can be modified in many different ways to suit various tastes and diet preferences.

Pre-oven


I made them with olive oil and I also added a bit of coconut flour to lessen the “sticky” factor. Only a single tablespoon of sweetener is necessary (or none at all for strict Paleo) but for the sweet toothed folks you can increase it by another Tablespoon (now lets not get carried away…)

Rosemary Pecan Cookies

1 1/4 c. almond flour or almond meal

½ c. pecans, finely chopped

1/4 c. grapeseed oil (I used olive, could also use other oils such as coconut, macadamia, hazelnut, or avocado)

2 Tbsp. Grade B maple syrup (can use less, I used 1 T. honey)

1 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary

1 tsp. vanilla extract (alcohol-free)

1/4 tsp. baking soda

Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350º. In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, salt, and baking soda.
In a small bowl, whisk together oil, syrup (or alternative), and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into dry. Fold
in rosemary and pecans.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form dough into ½- to 1-inch balls and
press onto prepared baking sheet. (If batter gets sticky, add some coconut flour before
forming cookies.) Bake for 6–7 minutes, until golden. Cool on baking sheet.

Makes about 12-14 cookies

Rosemary Pecan Cookie

I’m HUNGRY! What do I eat? No chips, no bean dip, no sandwiches, no quesadillas, no hummus! Does this sound familiar?

 When starting out a paleo lifestyle, sometimes it seems as though there are very few options in the way of clean, fast, easy snack foods. I mean, who has time to steam a fish and stir fry some perfectly julienned vegetables on your 15 min work break? I mean, really? For those who feel no desire or inclination to imtermittently fast between luxurious time slots of kitchen cooking (riiiight.) you will need some quick and easy Paleo snack suggestions. Keep in mind, some of these snacks can and should be prepared ahead of time (during those kitchen times) and packaged accordingly.

Here are some wonderful suggestions. Some are Nikki originals, other’s not so much, but take note and be filled.

  • Hard Boiled Eggs – Everyone has a method.
  • Guacamole and Salsa with vegetable dippers i.e. cucumber slices, endive spoons, carrot slices, jicama, etc.
  • Turkey, Beef, Bison, Salmon Jerky (see recipe below)
  • Oysters canned in Olive oil with hot sauce and lemon juice
  • Nut butter on fruit
  • Avocado, halve it, spice it, eat it. Alternatives: spoon some canned shrimp in avo and a squeeze some lime, sprinkle some salt. and enjoy.
  • Make your own trail mix, my favorite is cashews, macadamia nuts, goji berries, coconut flakes, cacao nibs. Just mix in a huge bag and portion (think 1/4 -1/2 c.) in baggies or other containers of choice.
  • Blanched broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus holds up well in the fridge and can be dipped or seasoned
  • Make your own olive tapenade
  • Lunch meat wraps (please consider the quality of the lunch meat). Roll with some lettuce, avocado, mustard, tomato, sauerkraut, etc.
  • Sweet Potato Fudge (see last post)
  • Bacon (Did i mention that Trader Joe’s just got in Beef Bacon?)

As you can see, the possibilities are somewhat endless. Enjoy your snack time everyone!

Turkey Jerky

1 organic turkey breast
1/2 c. Gluten – Free Tamari (available at New Leaf/Whole Foods, Staff of Life)
1/4 c. grapeseed or sesame oil
1 Tbsp. crushed garlic
1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
1-2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
  1. Trim off all fat, skin, and ligaments from the turkey and slice into 1/8 inch slices against the grain.
  2. Place turkey in a plastic bag and add the remaining ingredients. Seal the bag and massage the meat with the marinade. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. Lay turkey slices on the dehydrator sheets and turn on the dehydrator to 135-140 degrees. Should take 7-10 hours.

Note: Partially freeze turkey breast for easy and even slicing.
Option for tamari-free marinade: use pineapple juice, chili oil, ginger and garlic.

 

Meat. Vegetables. Fruit. Nuts. Seeds. So begins the Paleo Challenge of 2011. It’s simple but hard. One might wonder why a “Paleo Chef” would participate in a Paleo Challenge? Well, since paleo is not a strict religion for most, it has a tendency to be a bit flexible, with adherence generally holding around 70% paleo and 30 % other stuff. After all, we live in a modern age with things like fish tacos, bags of trail mix, and my personal favorite; almond horns from Trader Joes (yes, they are gluten-free and made from almond flour… and sugar.)

All to say, this primal chick could use a chance to reassert her wild and free rights. Enter Crossfit West’s challenge, to maintain a paleo diet for 3 months including pre-tests, post-tests, potlucks, and prizes. Sounds great, right?!

The first potluck was this past Sunday. Here were my contributions to the delectable feast:

Cashew Curry Chicken Salad

Salad

3 c. 3 oz. chicken breast, poached or baked

1 c. cashew pieces

2 stalks celery, chopped finely

½ c. unsweetened coconut shreds

½ c. currants (optional)

½ c. red onion, minced (soaked in water/apple cider vinegar)

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 Tbsp. curry powder

Pinch cayenne

Dressing

¼ c. olive oil

1/8 c. vinegar

Juice from ½ lemons

 1 Tbsp. coco milk

Salt

2 heads cabbage

  1. Shred and chop the cooked chicken
  2. In a large bowl, mix together salad ingredients with the chicken
  3. In a small bowl whisk together dressing ingredients. Add to salad and combine thoroughly.
  4. Remove outer leaves from head of cabbage and steam for 5-10 min. until leaves pull away without tearing.
  5. Take steamed leaves on a clean surface and spoon 1-2 Tbsp. of salad into the center of the leaf. Fold in the sides of the leaf and roll until closed. (like a dolma or spring roll)

 

Cashew Curry Chicken Salad with a Carrot Curry Sauce. (I like alliteration)

Here’s a delicious sauce, straight from my Bauman College education. 

Carrot Curry Sauce

 3 cups fresh carrot juice

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 small shallot, minced

1 Tbs curry powder

¾ tsp salt

3 Tbs olive oil

  1. Simmer the carrot juice, uncovered, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it is reduced and thickened to a sauce consistency, 30-45 minutes. Add the garlic and shallots in the last 10 minutes of cooking.
  2. Combine the reduced carrot juice, curry powder, salt, and olive oil in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Serve.

 

 I also made some dessert. My favorite dessert to be exact. This has been a “go-to” recipe when I’m in the mood for creamy chocolate goodness. Keep in mind, this recipe does not need sugar or sugar substitute. It is sweet enough on its own, especially for those who have been paleo or low-sugar for a while.

Sweet Potato Fudge

 2 cups sweet potato puree

½ c. coconut oil, melted

¾ c. cacao powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

Sea salt to taste

Stevia to taste (optional)

  1. Blend all ingredients in a bowl or food processor until smooth.
  2. Line an 8 x 8 dish with parchment paper leaving a little extra on the sides to lift out the fudge with ease.
  3. Chill for an hour or so until firm, cut into desired pieces.

Options:

  • Add nuts, cacao nibs, coconut shreds into fudge.
  • Toast nuts or coconut and garnish.
  • Sprinkle coarse sea salt or cacao nibs on top before chilling.
  • Can also be made with same amount of black bean puree (NOT PALEO), but must add ½ – ¾ c. sweetener (honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.)

 

Sweet Potato Fudge

 

On a personal note, my goals for this Paleo Challenge are as follows:

1. Diet to consist of mostly leafy and cruciferous vegetables, fish, seeds, free-range organic eggs and poultry. I am going to be limiting my nut consumption considerably. Yams and sweet potatoes will be limited as well. Squash and root vegetables are good and seasonally available. Beverages will include water, coffee (cause its awesome), tea, and coconut water. Chocolate must be unsweetened (sounds gross i know, but I’m a huge fan. Most sweetened chocolate is unpalatable to me.)

2. Crossfit Total over 400 lbs. ( 1 rep max; backsquat, strict press, and deadlift)

3. Focus on getting adequate sleep (7-9 hours), sun, and supplements (Omega-3 (including EPA and DHA), Vitamin D, and SuperEnzymes)