Archives for category: Condiment

When I found out that Tropical Traditions had a great recipe for a coconut flour-based pizza crust, I had to give it a whirl. So I did.

Unfortunately, my first experience with coconut flour pizza was kind of a bust, so the opportunity to redeem the dish was quite exciting.

My fiance and I give this dish two thumbs up. It’s not Dominos, or Caesars or Round Table. So don’t be expecting classic gluten-pizza taste and texture. However, the crust is flavorful with herbs and garlic, it holds up under the weight of pesto and toppings, and the edges get crispy. So I call that a success in the world of Paleo-Italian fusion cuisine.

Herbed Pizza Crust

3 eggs
1 clove garlic, crushed or minced
1 cup whole coconut milk
1/2 c. coconut flour, sifted
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Beat eggs in a medium-sized bowl, mix in milk and garlic.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and beat into the milk mixture. The batter needs to be thin enough to spread but not watery.
  4. Spread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper ( NOT WAX PAPER!)
  5. Bake 12-20 mins. until bottom edges begin to brown.

    browning on the sides

  6. Remove crust from the oven and carefully turn over. Could be achieved by placing a cutting board, face down, over the crust and flipping. Put the flipped crust back on the baking sheet
  7. Cover with your sauce and toppings. Bake for 5 -10 mins depending on your topping choice.

Nutrition Facts for the Pizza Crust

I made ours with a sun-dried tomato pesto.

The Sauce

Not a lot of measurement in this pesto… just get out your food processor and add these ingredients to your taste:

garlic cloves
sun-dried tomatoes
olive oil
walnuts, pine nuts, or pumpkin seeds
parmesan cheese
sea salt

I think I like this type of crust with a sauce/spread like a pesto instead of a more watery pizza sauce.

Our toppings were:

italian sausage, red onion, raw shaved parmesan, mushrooms, and zucchini.

Fully Loaded

Menu

The Feast

Honey Mustard Baked Chicken

 Grapefruit Fennel Salad

Steamed Artichoke with Olive Oil Aioli

Coconut Honey Custard with Fresh Strawberries

 

Usually dinner consists of some pretty easy/thrown together/stuff in the fridge ingredients. But sometimesI feel like making an actual “planned” meal. Dessert and all. Here are the recipes and pictures to prove it’s awesomeness.

Skin On.

Skin On.

Honey Mustard Baked Chicken

 2 Organic, Free-Range Chicken Breasts, skin on

1/2 c. mustard

1/2 c. olive oil

1/4 c. honey

1 clove garlic

2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

 fresh ground pepper and sea salt to taste

 

 

 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. In a blender, add mustard, oil, vinegar, honey, garlic, pepepr, and salt. Blend until smooth.

3. Using a spoon or spatula, spread the honey mustard sauce over the chicken. Bake for 25-35 mins until cooked through and the skin/sauce has begun to carmelize.
 
Fennel and Citrus should get married

Fennel and Citrus should get married.

Grapefruit Fennel Salad

 2-3 c. baby salad greens

1 fennel bulb, sliced thinly

1/2 red onion, sliced thinly

 1-2 grapefruits, supremed (reserve liquid)

 1/4 c. olive oil Juice and zest of 1 lemon

sea salt to taste

 

 

 

 1. Place sliced onion in a bowl with some water, let it soak for 20 mins. Then pat dry.

 2. In a blender, mix juice, zest, and salt. On the lowest setting, slowly add the olive oil to incorporate evenly.

 3. Toss greens, dressing, onion, and fennel. Add avocado for garnish (and because it’s awesome).

It's fun to play with this food!

It's fun to play with this food!

Steamed Artichoke with Olive Oil Aioli

 1-2 artichokes, trimmed

2 egg yolks

 1/2 c. olive oil

Juice of 1/2 lemon, some zest.

3-4 cloves of crushed garlic (HINT: roast the garlic for an even better flavor!)

sea salt to taste  

 

 

 

 1. In a pot, place artichokes stem down and fill with about 2-3 inches of water. Cover and turn heat on med-high and steam for 35-40 mins.

 2.In a blender  or whisk by hand all remaining ingredients, except the olive oil. Add slowly, like the dressing while whisking (or blending).

Imagine some chopped strawberries and a light dusting of cocoa on top.

Imagine some chopped strawberries and a light dusting of cocoa on top.

Coconut Custard with Fresh Strawberries  

4 Eggs

 2 c. Coconut Milk

1/3 c. Honey

1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract

Sea Salt

 5 strawberries, chopped for garnish

 

 

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Blend all ingredients except strawberries.

2. Divide custard into oven-safe ramekins and place on a baking sheet/pan. Fill the baking with water and bake for 1 hour.

The individual quest for knowledge should never be discounted, especially when it comes to health. I know that many people become disgruntled and borderline hypochondriac trying to diagnose themselves using WebMD, “health” magazine questionnaires, and the ever popular self-help section of the bookstore, however, an intelligent pursuit of scientific as well as anecdotal answers to biological concerns is a noble one.

Right now, as I finish up my culinary studies, I am well-aware that my learning and growing does not stop once I drive away from Santa Cruz. In fact, I have a lengthy list of books and topics to read and research once I have a bit more time on my hands!

As of right now, the best I can do is Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution. It’s a really great reminder of why I do what I do, why I cook what I cook, and why I preach it to everyone else. Reading the evidence, the scientific backing for Paleo creates a mindfulness that is shrouded when the world closes in with it’s questions, criticisms, and denials. I like to keep myself constantly in the intellectual circle of food and it’s effects on the body because without the reassurance that comes from other people’s stories and countless medical studies, I begin to lose sight of the greater importance of teaching others about their food choices. My personal experience definitely has helped me, but is that enough to change someone else’s mind. Well, the unfortunate truth is a resounding “no”. People need to be convinced. Believing is seeing, and seeing from all angles in all different lights.

Here’s my Paleo Sunday

Coffee with freshly made Cashew Coconut Cream (recipe below)

Sweet Potato Pancakes with Raw Honey and Eggs

Curry Flax Crackers with Smoked Oysters and Avocado

Sautéed Italian Chicken Sausage and Kale with Garlic

Apple, Dark Chocolate, and Salted Marcona Almonds

Cashew Coconut Cream

2 c. soaked cashews
4 c. coconut water
2 dates, soaked
1 can coconut milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
 
1. Blend cashews and coconut water, strain through nut milk bag or cheesecloth. Discard or save solids (use in paleo pancakes or crusts.)
 
2. Put cashew milk back in blender with other ingredients and blend until frothy!

coconut milk in coffee

 

As this week of conscious Primal effort comes to a close, I have noticed that I am much more mindful of the food passing from my hand to my mouth. Eating clean, whole foods takes some thought, some self-control, and some preparation. I enjoy cooking but as I talk to others and step into their “food” universe, I realize that most people do not have the time, knowledge, or determination to stick with eating the Wild and Free way.

Today, I had the pleasure to cook with some fellow Crossfitters. The meal was simple, seasonal, and Paleo but I realize that no matter how simple the preparation or how beneficial the nutrients, people must make a choice to commit to their kitchen or they will succumb to the pressure of the microwave oatmeal, the taco bell drive thru, or the pita chips and hummus. The way that you eat is entirely up to you. No one can force you to buy organic, spend time in your kitchen, and experiment with recipes.

With that said, here’s another day of deliciousness.

9:30 am – coffee at Mr. Toot’s coffeehouse and a bowl of papaya, orange, coconut, and cashews

12 pm – As I walked out of the newly opened Staff of Life natural foods market, they handed me a dark chocolate heart… Okay! Off to Crossfit for the catch 22 workout:

22 Deadlifts (103 lbs. )

100 m Farmer’s walk

22 Dumbbell Squat and Press

100 m Farmer’s Walk

100 m Sprint

22 Chest to Bar Pullups

400 m Run

22 OH Squat (53 lbs.)

400 m Run

2:30 pm – Made some fresh almond milk from soaked almonds, coconut water, vanilla extract, and a spoonful of honey. A raw lunch: Zucchini noodles with a basil/artichoke pesto, sundried tomato pieces, and smoked oysters

6 pm – Began my paleo cooking consult.

Menu:

Winter Citrus and Avocado Salad

Grapefruit, Blood Orange, Arugula, Olive Oil, Avocado

Roasted Vegetables

Beets and Kabocha Squash

Chicken with Cilantro-Pistachio Pesto

Organic Chicken, Cilantro, Pistachios, Cardamom, Lemon, Olive Oil, Garlic, Pepper, Sea Salt

Chocolate Mousse with Cashew Cream

Dates, Avocado, Cocoa, Vanilla, Honey, Cashews

Successful evening of good instruction resulting in good food. Here’s the Pesto recipe…

Cilantro Pistachio Pesto

1 c. pistachios
2 c. cilantro leaves, packed
1 clove garlic, chopped
4 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. cardamom
3/4 c. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a food processor, blend all ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pure Paleo is no easy feat, especially while attending culinary school. I’ve had more grains, legumes, sugar, and dairy beautifully displayed before my eyes (and stomach) three days a week for the past 5 1/2 months. My 80% Primal goals have tumbled to a more lenient 70%… maybe 60% Paleo regime. Unfortunate yes, but also very educational.

I have learned a multitude of reasons to continue to embrace a clean, original human diet vs. following the modern “health” standards. I’ve been faced with the comments and judgement of critics, the constant psychological obstacles, as well as the questions and concerns of the less or mis-informed public. All these things combine into one great learning experience.

While I do not wish to repeat the experience, I do value the knowledge and insights obtained during my brief stay in Santa Cruz and my journey through Chef school.

In an attempt to get back on the wagon, so to speak, I’d like to propose a public rebirth into my Paleo values. It seems like a necessary step, seeing as how I’d like to primarily focus on Paleo cooking as a Paleo Chef. Right now I feel like somewhat of a hypocrite due to unneccessary amounts of neolithic foods in my diet.. not to mention my days as a whole.

In the spirit of renewal and change, I propose an online daily report of my endeavor to return to the Paleo fold. This will most likely include a run-down of my daily Paleo-eats and activities. My attempt at optimum sleep, sunlight, and stress relief. As well as my fight to maintain Paleo composure in the face of all things sugared, flourescent, and unnatural.

So… starting tomorrow, you will see a daily post related to my assimilation back into Paleo heaven. It will not be easy (can you say “sugar withdrawal”?), but it will be worth it. My legitimacy as a Paleo professional hinges on my ability to practice what I preach.

So here we go!

Enjoy the ramblings, as I’m sure there will be many.

Today I was able to share some Paleo food with my class for my final presentation. And even though my final was based on a Gluten-Free condition, I incorporated Paleo recipes into my demonstration.

It seemed to be a successful presentation and I hope you love these dishes as much as I do.

Poisson Cru

2/3 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 red onion, finely diced
1 large tomato, seeded and diced.
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 pound sushi-grade ahi tuna, cut into 1/2″ cubes

  1. Set the tuna aside and combine everything else into a large bowl.
  2. Add the tuna and let marinate for 15 minutes.
  3. Drain excess liquid and serve.
    Option: Serve with avocado half.

Recipe by Laird Hamilton, Force of Nature

Poisson Cru and Papaya

Papaya and Cabbage Salad

1 papaya, battoneted
½ head cabbage, shredded
1 tsp. lime zest

  1.  In a bowl combine ingredients and toss with cilantro-lime dressing.

Optional plating: place papaya cuts on top of some shredded cabbage, drizzle dressing and garnish with cilantro leaves.

Cilantro-Lime Dressing

3 limes, juiced
1/3 c. olive oil
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. sea salt
½ c. cilantro, chopped

  1. In a blender, combine juice, spices, and cilantro. Slowly add oil to emulsify.

If you’re curious, here’s the handout from my presentation today… enjoy!
Student Handout – Bauman College 2011

Here we are, another fall season upon us. A season full of great comfort meals like soups, stews, and baked goodies galore!

I’ve been a huge fan of squash for a couple years and more recently, as a paleo eater, I have a newfound appreciation for these “starchy” vegetables since starchy grains are relatively forbidden. Spaghetti squash replaces spaghetti pasta, mashed butternut squash replaces rice side dishes, roasted acorn squash is another delightful and filling alternative.

Halloween is upon us and in keeping with the squashy season and the pumpkins of jack-o-lantern and pie fame, I made some pumpkin butter. It’s a nice paleo friendly treat to spread on some coconut pancakes or drizzle over cubed and roasted sweet potatoes. Another bonus: While cooking, it makes the house smell amazing.

Pumpkin Butter

1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup agave syrup or honey
1 Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Cinnamon
3/4  tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice*
Pinch of salt

* You can make your own pumpkin pie type spice by combining 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg.  You do not need to add cinnamon since it is already included above, however, if using this spice for another recipe; you would want to add 1 tsp ground cinnamon to the mix.

  1. Combine the pumpkin, agave nectar, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over medium heat, mixing until well combined. Stirring constantly, cook for about 15 minutes, or until thickened.
  2. Stir in the spices and salt, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from heat, and transfer your pumpkin butter to a small bowl or jar. Let cool completely before covering and refrigerating.
  4. Pumpkin butter will keep for about 2 weeks in a covered air tight container in the refrigerator.

NOTE

  Continuously stirring is really important in this recipe to keep your pumpkin butter from burning. If you have to walk away, add a few tablespoons of apple juice and turn down the stove heat to low, still continuing to stir as you can. (Add about 5-7 minutes additional cooking time if you do this.)

Makes about 2 cups ~ 32 Tablespoons

 Greetings friends and health seekers!

So this is what it takes for me to actually sit down and compile my first blog post… a rainy day. Pathetic I know, but it was just the motivation I needed to get this thing off and running.
 
 
I have just finished my 4th week at Bauman College on a quest to become a certified Natural Chef. Living here in Santa Cruz has been a very busy but fun adventure. I am loving the beautiful woods and abundant farmer’s markets. Bike rides to school involve a scenic view of the morning fog lifting off the Capitola Pier. Too many coffee shops, too little time.
 
 
I am loving all the food experiments at school. Last Friday was our “Vegetables and Greens” class. Here are some pictures of our creations!

The complete feast

Stir-Fried Szechuan Broccoli with Zesty Spiced Pecans

Blanched Greens in Cashew Curry Sauce

Roasted Eggplant, Zucchini, and Tomato Gratin with Basil Cream

The basil cream was so delicious that I decided to recreate it at home and I thought I’d pass along the recipe for those who want to give it a whirl.

 

BASIL CREAM

1 bunch basil

1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight, drained

2 Tbs nutritional yeast

1 cup water

2 tsp lemon juice

salt and pepper, to taste

To Prepare:

Heat a small pot of water and bring to a boil. Prepare a bowl with ice water. Take the whole bunch of basil and dip for a few seconds in the boiling water. Plunge immediately into the ice water. Drain and squeeze the basil in a towel to remove remaining water.

In a blender, add the basil, cashews, nutritional yeast, water, lemon, and salt. Blend until smooth and creamy. Season to taste.

 
This cream inspired a meal that I made for lunch/dinner (lunner?) today. Squash season is in full swing and in honor of the squash and I took a basil cream opportunity to make some spaghetti squash and topped it off with some lovely locally grown Roma tomatoes, some fresh basil, and some mini turkey meatballs.
 
Needless to say, it was heaven. And now heaven is in my belly.
 
Stay tuned. I sense a pumpkin butter recipe in your near future.