Archives for category: Raw

Perfect day for a brunch!

Another recipe from our honeymoon feast! The star of this dish is definitely the crust. It has a “lara bar” like texture and taste. Many agreed that the crust could stand alone as a dessert however, the addition of the fruit gives it a fresh and bright taste. It’s easy, gluten and dairy free, and delicious. A perfect addition to a weekend brunch with friends.

Raw Pear and Blackberry Tart

2 D’anjou or bartlett pears(firm), sliced

1 pkg. blackberries, washed thoroughly

1  1/2 c. sliced almonds (or any combo of nuts you like)

1/2 c. shredded coconut

5-6 dates

1/2 tsp cinnamon

pinch salt

  1. In a food processor, blend nuts, coconut dates and spices until sticky. Add a date if it’s too dry and crumbly.
  2. Press nut crust mix in small tart pan or pie plate.
  3. Layer pear over the crust.
  4. Top with blackberries.
  5. Cut and serve.

    Satisfy the Sweet tooth

Caramel Sauce (optional)

1/2 c. honey or maple syrup

1/2 c. coconut milk

1 tsp. vanilla

  1. In a saucepan, heat sugar on medium-high, stirring constantly until it gets close to a boil.
  2. Immediately add coconut milk and vanilla and stir to combine. Allow to cool.
  3. Serve over tart.

This was a HUGE hit at my own engagement party this summer. This chilled soup can be made with any kind of melon. A really good honeydew would taste great with the jalapeño and green onion.

Watermelons haven’t always maintained a good reputation in the “paleo” movement because of their high fructose content in relation to their glucose content. Many proponents of Paleo suggest avoiding watermelon, especially if you have diabetes, or are trying to reverse a metabolic condition.

Aside from these issues, watermelon does have some great nutrients, but it’s important to remember that no single fruit is necessary for humans to thrive.

I personally would suggest eating only moderate amounts of watermelon while it is in season. No reason to go searching for a watermelon fix in the middle of February. Enjoy fruits while they are at their best and then wait until they come back around next year. I like the anticipation of foods  in their season. Butternut squash in May? um, No. Figs in December?… impossible. Persimmons in July? unlikely. But I love those foods when the time is right. It almost feels like my body is expecting them as their season approaches.

Watermelon :

High in Vitamins A and C.

The presence of Lycopene obvious in the red/pink varieties

Has been shown to support prostate health

Chilled Watermelon Soup with Mint Lemonade

Watermelon Soup

6 cups cubed ripe melon
1/2 cup diced seedless cucumber
6 tablespoons lime juice, divided, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallion green, plus 1 whole scallion, divided
1 jalapeño pepper, plus more to taste
1 cup cold water
1 2-by-1/2-inch strip orange zest
1/2 cup orange juice, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, or mint for garnish (I used mint)

  1. Dice enough melon to measure 1 cup and combine in a small bowl with cucumber, 2 tablespoons lime juice and scallion green. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve the soup.
  2. Place the remaining melon and 4 tablespoons lime juice in a blender. Chop the whole scallion and seed and chop jalapeño; add to the blender along with water, orange zest, orange juice, ginger and salt. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and add more lime juice, jalapeño and/or orange juice, if desired.
  3. Refrigerate the soup until chilled, 2 hours.
  4. Stir the reserved diced melon mixture and divide among 4 soup bowls. Pour the soup into the bowls. Garnish each serving with mint (or cilantro), if using.

    recipe from Eatingwell.com

Though uncommon, sometimes I am asked to cover a shift at trader joe’s working Demo . Many people know it as the sample place, snack corner… or, if you’re a free-loading pig, it’s lunch.  Either way, I’m never totally stoked about these shifts. Something about the general public, free food, and a predetermined, unhealthy TJ’s concoction just doesn’t suit my particular sensibilities.

Fortunately, my bosses usually cut me some slack and let me experiment in the kitchen as long as I continue to dole out nasty small plates to the customers.

I decided that not only would be wise to introduce my coworkers to a late night snack in the realm of Paleo, but also include some unfamiliar ingredients. While many may think that Trader Joe’s is a healthy establishment full of hippie lettuce munchers and knowledgable vitamin pushers, I regret to inform you that you are sorely mistaken. As a whole (keep in mind, I’ve worked at not one, not two, but FOUR different stores.) most crew members are satisfied on a diet of cigarettes, beer, and frozen pizza.

With that in mind I give you:

Stuffed Dates

Goat Cheese-Stuffed Dates with Lemon Curd

1 case Trader Joe’s Medjool Dates (pitted)

4 oz. plain goat cheese

2 Tbsp. lemon curd

sesame seeds for garnish

1. Slice one side of the date lengthwise to take out the pit and create a space for the goat cheese.

Little Date boats waiting to be filled with goodness.

2. In a bowl, mash together goat cheese and lemon curd and scoop into a pastry bag, or a ziploc.

3. Trim off tip of the bag and squeezing from the top, fill each date with a little bit (…or a lot) of goat cheese.

4. Garnish with some sesame seeds (black, white, or toasted will do fine)

Pistachio Version

Goat Cheese-Stuffed Dates with Pistachios

4 oz. plain goat cheese

1/4 c. roasted and salted pistachios (chopped)

2 Tbsp. honey

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Same process as the first batch, just different ingredients.

2. In a bowl, mash together cheese, most of the chopped pistachios (reserve about a tablespoon of pistachio pieces/dust), vanilla, and honey.

The Pistachio Filling

3. Fill the dates and garnish with the reserved pistachios.

As promised, here is another delicious version of Halva. Feel the freedom to toss in a multitude of different flavors, nuts, etc. It’s foolproof in the sense that you don’t need to heat it correctly to crystallize the sugar. Another feature is that, unlike traditional halva, it’s not super sweet. That’s a bonus in my paleo book altough some may argue the opposite. I personally would like to know that only 1 Tbsp. of honey went into the whole batch rather than 2 c. in a regular batch of halva. Not only is there less honey, but making this recipe raw also means you can use RAW honey.

Raw Honey

Like coconut, raw honey is an anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal substance. It’s a good energy source that will help replenish liver glycogen stores, post workout. It’s also traditionally been used as an immunity booster, cough suppresant and can be used to treat wounds due to it’s anti-bacterial and healing properties.

Keep in mind, although raw honey is a Paleo-friendly sweet, it should not be used in excess (think like a caveman… would they have daily access to bottles of honey? I think not). You should also consider your needs and goals. People who want to lean out (gain muscle, decrease fat, lose weight) and decrease insulin resistance should limit all sweeteners… fruit, honey, maple syrup, coconut nectar, dates… you get the idea.

That being said, here’s the goods… another delicious culinary adventure in my brand new Kitchen Aid food processor!

Raw Chocolate Halva

1 c. tahini

1 c. coconut shreds (unsweetened)

1/2 c. raw sliced almonds or 1/4 c. almond meal

1/4 c.  cacao (more to taste)

2 Tbsp. maca powder

1 Tbsp. raw honey

1Tbsp. spirulina

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. sea salt (to taste)

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. coffee grounds

1. Throw it all in a food processor and press GO.

2. When it’s all mashed up into a moist meal, taste test and add additional ingredients as necessary.

3. If it’s too dry, add more tahini. Too wet, add some coconut or almond meal.

4. Press into a coconut oiled pan and refrigerate until firm. Cut into squares.

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

 

Here we go again! Sorry, no pics from today… but hopefully I’ll get some good ones tomorrow.

8:30 am – green tea

10:30 am – 1/4 papaya, 1/4 c. coconut flakes, and 1 Tbsp. pecan pieces

12 pm – Crossfit! ( I was forced to take a bite of a horrendous macaroon upon arrival… pshhh.)

2 pm – snacked on some walnuts while making a basil-artichoke pesto

2:30 pm – The always delicious skillet. Cabbage, 1/2 beet, 2 mushrooms, 1/2 onion, broccoli slaw, 2 eggs.

3:30 pm – unsweetened chocolate (or as the BF calls them = dirt. I call them delicious)

6 pm – sweet potato chips and blood orange

7:30 pm – 1 can tuna, 1/2 jar TJ’s salsa verde, 1 avocado, 1 cucumber, hot sauce and chili pepper flakes

9 pm – pink lady apple and a handful of almonds

Still a few too many nuts throughout the day but overall I feel pretty good about today’s eats. Papaya in the morning is my new favorite thing. It helps start my day with some good natural enzyme power!

Papaya with Coconut Flakes (this pic was taken in Hawaii!)

Papaya –  a wonderful source of carotenes, anti-oxidants present in orange colored fruits and vegetables. They also contain anti-inflammatory properties such as papain and chymopapai, digestive enzymes which help break down proteins in the digestive process. Papayas also provide immune supporting vitamins such as Vitamin A and C.

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

Had an early Crossfit workout today, but before I head to work I must refuel!

This means Paleo Breakfast time… My personal favorite.

Here’s what’s on my plate today

Fried Eggs and Papaya and Avocado Salad

3 organic jumbo eggs
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 Tbsp. jalapeno hot sauce (trader joes)
1/2 organic Papaya
1/2 organic avocado
3 Tbsp. coconut flakes
Juice of 1/2 small lime

1. In a skillet, heat coconut oil and fry eggs on both sides, drizzle hot sauce on top.

2. Cut up papaya and avocado into chunks and mix with lime and coconut flakes.

Saturday's Paleo Breakfast

Other items on the menu for today:
Turkey Jerky
My favorite trail mix: coconut flakes, goji berries, cashew pieces, and cacao nibs
Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie (recipe forthcoming)

Have a great weekend everyone!