Paleo Candy Bars

Mike and I ate so so so bad B.C. (before Crohn’s)  We dated and were engaged long distance and when I came to visit, we’d spend the whole weekend eating fake chinese (fasian), fried everything and sugar galore!  When we went to movies, we’d sneak in at least 3 different types of candy bars and multiple soft drinks.  Honestly, it was awesome.

But eating like that has a high cost (Crohn’s being just one of them) and since starting the SCD, I’ve tried hard to monitor my sugar intake.  However, going to the movies bums me out.  I miss my candy and soft drinks!  Last night, Mike and I decided to go to “Argo” and I decided to do something about the candy situation.

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As a disclaimer, eating these on a regular basis isn’t a part of a healthy, whole living plan.  But once in a while, man does it hit the spot!

Paleo Candy Bars:

  • 1/2 bar 100% Cacao (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup raw, unfiltered honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped roasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup raisins

Instructions:

  1. Heat coconut oil, honey and raw cacao over medium heat in small sauce pan until all ingredients have melted.  Stir to prevent burning.
  2. Add vanilla extract and remove from heat.
  3. Make sure to pre-soak your almonds!  Roast at 250 degrees for 2-3 hours with a sprinkling of sea salt.
  4. Add almonds to your food processor and pulse until roughly chopped.
  5. Mix almonds and raisins into the chocolate mixture.
  6. Pour chocolate mixture into a cold ice tray, filling about 1/2 of the way up.
  7. Freeze for at least 1 hour.
  8. Crack the tray like you would ice.  They fall right out!  Store in the fridge to keep from going soft but they will keep their shape at room temperature.

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Indian fried “rice” with Chicken Coconut Curry

At least two times a week I am surrounded by the delicious, pungent and seductive smells of Indian spices.  As a medical social worker at a refugee resettlement agency, I work with a lot of Bhutanese clients.  These are the Lhotshampa people, ethnically Nepali people who were forced out of Bhutan and have lived for over 20 years in refugee camps in Nepal.  I just love working with them.  They bring with them an incredibly tight knit community, amazing hospitality, great work ethic and amazing cooking (among other things).  A couple of times a week I will go to do a home visit and spend an hour or so inhaling the most incredible smells of their cooking.  They share a lot of the spices I commonly associate with Indian cooking.  B.C (before Crohn’s), I ate my weight in Nepali food– huge mounds of white jasmine rice,  Aloo Achar (potato salad) and lentil curries.  So delicious!  Now I have to refuse the hospitality of my hosts using my limited Nepali to explain that I’m so sorry (mauf garnus) but I have food allergies!  Explaining the SCD bacteria theory is a little beyond me for now.

A post by Jenni from Urban Poser on Indian “fried” rice made me think about trying to recreate a basic Nepali curry recipe.  I followed her instructions for making the rice pretty closely.  More Nepali delicacies to follow but for now, try this out!  Make sure to look at Jenni’s original recipe as well.  Her photos are out of this world!

Indian “Fried” Rice:

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 3 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 serrano chili, finely chopped
  • 1 medium sized carrot, chopped in small pieces
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp whole yellow mustard seed
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp corriander
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 TBSP cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lime, squeezed

Instructions:

  1. Wash and chop cauliflower and put it in food processor.  Pulse until it resembles rice.  See Jenni’s recipe for recommendations on hand grating.
  2. Heat 1 TBSP of coconut oil in 10 inch skillet.  Once it’s hot, put a layer of the pulsed cauliflower over the oil.  Watch it carefully and scrape to keep from burning.  When it starts to brown and almost burn, remove from heat and put on the next layer, adding coconut oil as needed.  Keep warm.
  3. Once finished, add 1 TBSP of coconut oil.  Once hot, add carrots and serrano chili.  After 2 minutes, add chopped onion.  Stir to keep from burning.  After 5 minutes, add peas and lower heat.  Add the “rice” back in.
  4. Mix all the spices together and stir.  Once well combined, add to the hot “rice” mixture and stir in 1 tsp honey.
  5. Finish with 2 TBSP of cilantro and squeeze lime over it.
Indian fried "rice"

Indian fried “rice”

Coconut Chicken Curry:

  • 1lb boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 3 peppers (I use 1 yellow and 2 smaller red)
  • 2 tsp curry powder*
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 can coconut milk (Make sure it is SCD legal.  I use Aroy-D, Trader Joe’s or Natural Valley)
  • 2 tbsp cilantro (or more!)

Instructions:

  1. Cut chicken into 1 in pieces.
  2. Combine salt and pepper.
  3. Coat chicken in 1/2 of it.
  4. Cook chicken in skillet with coconut oil.  Set chicken aside.
  5. Add more oil to skillet and saute carrots, peppers, and onion for 5 minutes or until tender crisp, stirring occasionally.
  6. Stir curry powder, raisins, coconut milk, and remaining salt/pepper mixture and add to skillet.
  7. Add chicken and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken.
Simmer for a few minutes to thicken

Simmer for a few minutes to thicken

*Curry powders can very from company to company.  Make sure that you know all of the ingredients in yours!  I recommend Penzey’s or The Spice Hunter.

Serve while hot!  The cauliflower rice will absorb the coconut milk so don’t combine, rather pour over to keep the rice texture.  Dari Ramro (so good)!

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Leek and Cauliflower Fritters with Sundried Tomato Pesto

I am back into the swing of life; back into work, back into cleaning and back into Saturday mornings at a coffee shop.  Oh but I miss vacation already!  I miss not being busy.  I miss cooking for as long as I want and cleaning up at my leisure.  But as I am neither a famous chef nor a kept woman, I am posting a recipe for an “on-the-go” food that I will be eating a lot of now that I’m back to the real world!

I’ve made these little fellas a couple of times, including a New Years celebration, and they don’t disappoint!  I got the idea while driving home to Minnesota for Christmas.  My awesome friend Laura gave me the new SmittenKitchen cookbook and I was SMITTEN with the beautiful pictures and delectable recipes!  Unfortunately they are filled with big old SCD no-foods so I will be forced to get creative in creating some of them.  Deb has a recipe for Leek fritters with garlic and lemon cream sauce.  It looks awesome and if you don’t have food restrictions, you should definitely make it.  SCD and Paleo friends, you should make my recipe because it is delish and is no second cousin in taste, texture or do-ability.

Color explosion!

Color explosion!

Leek and Cauliflower Fritters:  Makes 8-9 fritters

  • 1/2 Cauliflower head (about 2 cups chopped finely)
  • 3 large leeks chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup harvati cheese
  • 1/4 cup sharp cheddar (I like using goat aged cheddar)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

Instructions:

  1. Chop cauliflower finely or process in food processor until you have small pieces.  Place in large sauce pan along with water and heat over medium heat until soft.  (About 15 minutes)  If cauliflower looks like it is drying, add more water, 1 TBS at a time and lower heat.
  2. Chop leeks very finely and add to cauliflower after cauliflower has softened.  Cook together with minced garlic for about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and drain excess water.
  3. Lightly beat eggs in a large bowl.  Add Cauliflower/leek/garlic mixture to bowl.  Combine and then add all ingredients except the coconut flower.
  4. Refrigerate mixture for 1 hour.
  5. Heat 1 TBS coconut oil in a large skillet until water sizzles when it touches.  Remove mixture from refrigerator.
  6. Use a large ice cream scoop or 1/3 cup to put mixture on skillet.  Cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.  Adjust heat accordingly.  If it crumbles, just put it back together with the spatula.  It will hold!
  7. Remove fritter from heat and repeat, adding more coconut oil as necessary.

Sundried-Tomato Pesto: Makes about 1 cup

  • 1 bag sun-dried tomatoes from Trader Joe’s or about 3/4 cup
  • 2 bunches of basil (or 3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon squeezed
  • 1/4 cup cheese (Parmesan gives me a stomachache so I use harvati)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)

Instructions:  Throw it all into a food processor and pulse until desired consistency.  Spread it on fritters and enjoy!

They are the perfect “to-go” food!  They are great re-heated, eaten cold or frozen for another day.  They hold up remarkably well and I even like them better the next day.  Plus, unlike a lot of SCD food, I can carry them in a zip lock bag!  They are featured here at my favorite tea shop during a hectic day’s lunch break.  It’s a nice alternative to the Tupperware full of salad and veggies I usually cart around with me.   Happy eating!

Featured on a paper napkin?  How vulgar!

Featured on a paper napkin? How vulgar!

Oh Charles, how quaint!

Oh Charles, how quaint!

Almond Flour Crepes with Herb Chicken and Caramelized Onions

I am sitting here on my couch, savoring the last few minutes before I have to go to bed because when I wake up, my vacation ends and I’m back at work.  I have had such a relaxing break.  I’ve slept an average of 10 hours a night, read for fun, looked at an inordinate amount of food blogs and spent a lot of time with my wonderful family.  And now I am girding my loins to go back to work.  I think the last couple months, I’ve had a hard time keeping sight of the fact that I need to take care of myself in the stress of my job.  Something to add to my list of resolutions!  A good place to start is with good food.

Resolutions for a New Year

I made a delicious and hearty almond flour crepe with herb chicken in a cranberry-pear vinaigrette.  Seriously, so many good things happening in this crepe.  The tang of the vinaigrette and the little burst of the pomegranate seeds balanced the savory of the chicken and chives.  To top it off, I added caramelized red onions for a heady aftertaste.

Almond Flour Crepes: 

  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil

I used coconut oil and a 10 inch skillet.  I mixed all the ingredients together.  I made sure the oil was really hot before pouring 1/4 cup batter into pan and cooked it for about 2 minutes on each side.  It made 5 crepes.

Caramelized Onions:

  • 1 red onion
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Coconut oil for skillet

Heat oil and slice the onion very thin (I used my mandolin).  Mix onion and honey together.  Heat on medium for 15-20 minutes, stirring infrequently to keep from burning.

Herb Chicken:

  • 5 three ounce chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped chives
  • 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped basil

Roll chicken in herbs.  Salt and pepper.  Cook at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  Tear for crepes.

Cranberry Pear Balsamic:

Ok, this is where it gets a little out of the ordinary.  I bought cranberry pear balsamic from Stillwater Olive Oil.  Worth every penny!  So incredible sweet yet tart.  I shook it up and it was ready to go!

  • 1/8 cup Cranberry Pear Balsamic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Finally, I bought turnip greens and red kale for my greens and soaked them for 10 minutes in warm water with a tablespoon of lemon and a teaspoon of salt.  Assembled while warm and served right away.  A good start to the year!

Almond flour crepes with herb chicken

Almond flour crepes with herb chicken and caramelized onion

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