Monday, June 30, 2014

The cheapest butter in town {Tahini Nut Cookies}

Just drop the batter on the
tray for  puffy cookies.
Tahini is the cheapest nut or seed butter I can buy around here. And I don't have to make a special trip to some faraway organic or whole foods store - I can find it in my local grocery stores as well as in many different ethnic and fair trade stores, which means I can often pick up a jar wherever I choose to go shopping.

It's also pretty dang versatile. I can make both savory and sweet dishes with it (the same goes for most nut and seed butters, by the way). I've even been know to eat it straight from the jar with nothing but a spoon :p

Flatten the dough out before
baking for crispy cookies.
All of that leads me to a pretty obvious usage: cookie making.

And let me tell you, these particular cookies are the bomb.

First off, the batter is to die for. I could easily eat the entire batch raw without ever looking towards the oven. And I could do so with an easy mind as these cookies just so happen to be egg free. These cookies are vegan, actually.

(Vegan and paleo, of course. No gluten or dairy for me at all.)

Secondly, you can make this how you want. Do you prefer puffy cookies? Drop the batter onto the baking surface and pop them into the oven as is. Prefer a crispier cookie? Flatten those suckers out as thin as you'd like and cook away. They taste great either way.

Last, they are filling and satisfying. One or two will give you plenty of protein to keep you going, and they are just rich and sweet enough to kick any craving to the curb. (But if you feel like eating more than one or two, feel free to do so - I won't tell!)

Now, like usual, have fun playing with this recipe by switching out ingredients, adding spices, etc. I'm sure any nut or seed butter (or, gasp!, even peanut butter!) would work just fine.

The same goes for the hazelnut meal - try it with almond or pecan meal if you fancy. A bit of cinnamon would be great, or even a handful of chocolate chips! Personalize these cookies as you see fit using the ingredients you have on hand.

Enjoy!

Tahini Nut Cookies

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup hazelnut meal
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Method:
  1. Mix everything together well.
  2. Drop by the spoonful onto a nonstick baking surface (flatten with the back of a spoon for a crispy cookie).
  3. Bake 10 minutes at 180°C (350°F).
  4. Allow to cool 1 minute before removing from baking tray, and a couple minutes more before eating.

Friday, June 27, 2014

It doesn't take much... {tomato chops}

I usually don't cook elaborate meals for dinner. I usually just sear a good piece of meat in a pan with a bit of fat, and whip up a couple sides of veggies. Dinner, most nights, is on the table in about 20 minutes flat.

Because my meals are so simple, I like to change them up using little tricks that won't add more time to the prep work. Luckily, it doesn't take much to make a meal seem a bit more special.

One trick is to throw together a sauce of some sorts to serve over the meat I'm cooking. I put the meat in the pan, prepare the sauce, flip the meat, prepare a veggie or two, and when the second side is done cooking, the sauce has finished simmering. BAM. Dinner in no time. And it looks special. :)

This is one such sauce. I usually use up odds and ends in the fridge to throw this one together, but here is my basic recipe. Have a couple olives laying around? Throw them in! Is there a carrot that needs using? Chop it up! Want something with a bit of a kick? Add some chili pepper!

But most of all, get in and out of that kitchen quick, and get to spending time around a good meal with the ones you love!


Tomato Chops

Ingredients:
Method:
  1. Heat your FOC in a frying pan. When hot, add the pork chops and cook 5-7 minutes until browned. Flip and continue cooking until heated through and browned on the other side.
  2. Meanwhile, chop the onion and saute in FOC until soft.
  3. Dice and add the tomatoes, tomato paste, bone broth and spice mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Allow the sauce to simmer at least 5 minutes. Spoon over cooked pork chops to serve.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Nosh & Nourish Inspiration {Reese's Spinach Shake}

When I first starting eating clean and trying to eliminate excess start from my diet, I stumbled upon Kelly's blog and immediately feel in love with her, with her inspiring story, and with her deliciously simple recipes - but mostly with her adorable little girl, Babycakes.

At the time, her blog was known as The No Sugar Sweet Life {I hope I remembered that correctly!}. As she, and her eating habits, evolved, so did her blog which is now called Nosh & Nourish. Her recipes are nourishing, always sneak in super foods and are family-friendly.

Sadly for me, very few of her recipes are paleo-friendly, and my food allergies really keep me from making even small exceptions to try them out. I still enjoy following her though, reading about her adventures, watching Babycakes grow up, and drooling over her gorgeous photos.



One recipe couldn't be passed up though. I had to taste this one particular smoothie no matter what.

I wasn't going to make myself sick over it though, so I set about making it paleo-friendly.

Now, I don't know if it tastes like Kelly's version, as I can't try hers, but I can assure you that this recipe is a keeper! It is soooooo good!

The flavor of the Tahini marries perfectly with the cacao and completely hides the taste of the spinach! I really was surprised at how delicious this ended up being, as I'm not much of a smoothie person and really haven't played around with them all that much.



As is, I would consider this more of a milkshake, closer to healthy treat than a meal. If you'd like to add a bit more nutritional value to it, throw in a couple of raw eggs and enjoy this as a tasty breakfast-to-go!

If you don't have a nut allergy and don't need nut free smoothies, you could also substitute any nut butter you have on hand.

I'm also thinking a handful of cherries or strawberries added to the mix would be absolutely divine!

Any way you choose to prepare this, you're bound to love it! And head over to Kelly's blog while you're at it to thank her for having such a great idea :-D

Reese's Spinach Shake



Ingredients:
  • The top half of a chilled can of coconut milk + a bit of the bottom half as needed
  • 2 tbsp Tahini
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp cacao
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 6 ice cubes
Method:
  1. Add everything to a high-powered blender and pulse until everything is mixed.
  2. Then, blend on high until smooth.
  3. Add extra coconut milk as desired for a thinner consistency.
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Food is Love {Bacon Shrimp Salad}

I don't have many friends, but the ones I do have are true ones. And while my friends always try their best to feed me food that won't kill me, there is only one who nearly kills herself with her attempts to nourish me: Sarah.

Now, not only is this girl one of the most generous and warmhearted people I have ever met, but she's also one of the best cooks! Her meals are never very complicated, but the simple flavors of the few ingredients come together so perfectly that no ones leaves her dining table unsatisfied.



The last time I ate at her house was no exception. She took inspiration from a past vacation to Portugal where she had eaten shrimp sandwiches. Crunchy baguette was bought for the her and our men, and crisp salad was prepped for me.

She was so worried that I wouldn't like it, or that I wouldn't have enough - but she had no reason to fret! The salad was one of the best I'd ever eaten, and I was stuffed when I left her table!

The salad was so good in fact that I couldn't wait to recreate it at home!



And without further ado, I present to you Sarah's Bacon Shrimp Salad. While this salad was served to me warm, it's also delicious cold and is the perfect meal to make colleagues jealous ;)

Below are the amounts for one salad - multiply as necessary to meet your needs.

Sarah's Bacon Shrimp Salad

Ingredients:
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 slice of thick-cut bacon
  • 10 shrimp
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1/4 a head of iceberg lettuce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Fat of choice for cooking
Method:
  1. Slice the onion and saute in FOC over medium-low heat until softened and browned.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. When cooked, chop into pieces and set aside.
  3. While the bacon and onion are cooking, chop the lettuce and tomato and dress on a plate.
  4. In the bacon grease, cook the shrimp over medium-high heat, flipping them over and adding the garlic after two minutes.
  5. Add the onions and bacon to the salad, then top with the shrimp.
  6. Mix together the olive oil and vinegar, seasoning to taste. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Strong Woman Problems {Ruben O has the solution}


I met Ruben through my dear friend Sarah. He was in the middle of creating his kickstarter video and needed an American native speaker, preferably a woman to balance out his male voice.

Now, as strange as that may seem, Americans aren't found on every street corner here in Belgium :P Luckily for him though, he mentioned what he was searching for to Sarah, and even luckier for him, he liked the sound of my voice.

I agreed to help him out even before learning what he was promoting, but I soon fell in love with the idea and support this company 100%.

Ruben believes in a better, more durable world, much like the one our grandparents knew. Things were crafted by hand, food was grown naturally, and quality in all aspects of life was of utmost importance.

On his quest to return to better times, he has decided to start with custom made, quality clothing - and first up are pants!


Not only are these pants made to fit YOU perfectly {ever have to buy pants a size or two too big, just to fit your thighs only to take the waist in after?}, but they are also completely European, from start to finish. {Don't worry though, Ruben O wants to spread the European quality worldwide - there is no limit!}

Finally! Pants to fit your #quadzilla body!

Go check out his kickstarter video {or watch it below} and pledge your support today - you'll get a great pair of pants in return!

You'll also be supporting someone who's interested in our future... he may or may not have mentioned wanting to delve into eating crickets after Ruben O Apparel takes off correctly... 



Sunday, June 22, 2014

Nut Free is the Way to Be {Coconut Crepes}

Before going paleo, I tried in vain to recreate my mother-in-laws' perfect crepes. She never measured out any of the ingredients, yet they consistently turned out delicious - perfectly foldable, easy to pick up, light and airy, yet slightly crunchy around the edges.

She had given me her recipe many times, but I consistently failed as it was written like so many family recipes around here: a cup of this, a spoon of that... which wouldn't be so bad, except by "cup" they could mean "a drinking glass, not quite full" or "a coffee cup filled like if you were serving a Senseo coffee"... and by spoon they mean "a soup spoon" but you never know if it's leveled off or slightly rounded or...

Once she even carefully weighed out and noted each ingredient for me. I had measures such as "73 grams of this" - and even with that precision, I failed.


I had come to the conclusion that I would never make delicious crepes. After lots of trial and error, I finally came up with a recipe that worked for me. It wasn't as good as my MIL's, but it was still super yummy and hit the spot whenever a craving came calling.

Then celiac happened.

My good-enough recipe went out the window.

I tried numerous paleo recipes after that, each one failing worse than the last. I eventually gave up, deciding to just live with pancakes and to let the dream of crepes go.

One day though, I decided that enough was enough. I wanted crepes and by golly I was going to have crepes!

I had recently perfected a nut-free pancake recipe, so I decided to go off that base to create my crepe recipe. I noted the changes I would make, and mixed everything together. I heated up my pan... poured in the batter... waited one long minute... and flipped over the most perfect crepe I had ever made.


There were light and airy bubbles everywhere. The surface was a perfect shade of golden brown. The edges crisped and curled perfectly as they should. I plated the crepe and torn off a small piece to test the texture. It. Was. Perfect. I quickly gobbled up the entire crepe plain, reveling in my long-awaited success!

It took going paleo and nut free to finally be able to make my own deliciously perfect crepes.

Now, I had been waiting so long to eat a crepe, I had many cravings that needed to be fulfilled. I decided to go the savory route and spread one with a bit of ghee, topped it with bacon and closed it up. I also decided to go the sweet route, filling one with cinnamon cherry jam and topping it with tahini and filling another with chilled coconut cream and drizzling it with liquid honey.



I honestly couldn't tell which one I liked best after that, so I combined everything into one monster crepe - and if I had cooked more than one slice of bacon, I would have added that into the mix as well!

This recipe makes 5 medium-sized crepes, which I found to be the perfect amount for me. Feel free to double/triple/... the recipe for a larger crowd.

Coconut Crepes

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Fat of choice for frying
Method:

  1. Blend together the egg, milk, flours, oil, vanilla and salt.
  2. Heat FOC in a frying pan over medium-low heat.
  3. Slowly pour about 1/4 a cup of the batter into the pan, twirling the pan slightly to spread everything out evenly. 
  4. Flip when the bottom is lightly browned, about 1 or 2 minutes.
  5. Continue cooking until the second side is lightly browned, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  6. Plate the crepe and repeat the process with the remaining batter.
  7. Serve hot and filled/drizzled with your favorite toppings.

These crepes aren't delicate and hold up quite well. They would make excellent savory breakfast wraps and could quite possibly even replace tortillas in various recipes. You can fill these with just about anything, pick them up, and enjoy!

For those doing a Whole30, omit the vanilla and only use these in savory preparations {or do whatever you want because you're an adult and can make your own decisions :p}.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Nut Free is the Way to Be {Fluffy Coconut Pancakes}


I have an amazing pancake recipe that isn't SWYPO at all - it tastes and looks exactly like "real" pancakes should! They cook up real high and fluffy, have a deliciously crunchy outside and absorb maple syrup like no other!


The only problem: nuts.

My amazing fluffy pancake recipe uses almond flour. If your tummy has no problem digesting copious amounts of nut flours, then that is the recipe for you!


If, like me, your digestive tract prefers that you avoid consuming more than 5 nuts in any one sitting, read on...

I wasn't going to to settle for pancake-ish pancakes, just because I try to avoid nuts. I wanted the real deal, fluffy on the inside, crunchy on the outside perfect pancakes I had grown up eating. I got to work playing in the kitchen - and two tries later, I present to you my Fluffy Coconut Pancakes.


You can go the savory route and serve these with a side of bacon and a generous dollop of ghee, just omit the vanilla in the batter.

You can also go the sweet route like I chose to do - I topped these beauties with ghee and a drizzle of homemade cherry jam {a coworker made this especially for me - and it's so good!}. Of course though, I still served it with a side of bacon :p


This recipe makes 8 palm-sized pancakes, which I found to be the perfect amount for me. Feel free to cut the recipe in half for fewer pancakes, or to double/triple/... it for a larger crowd.

Fluffy Coconut Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 heaping tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Fat of choice for frying
Method:
  1. Blend together the egg, milk, baking powder, flours, oil, cinnamon and salt.
  2. Heat FOC in a frying pan over medium-low heat.
  3. Slowly pour 1/8 of the batter into the pan (about 2 tbsp or 1/8 of a cup). 
  4. Flip when the bottom is lightly browned, about 2 or 3 minutes.
  5. Continue cooking until the second side is lightly browned, about a minute.
  6. Plate the pancake and repeat the prices with the remaining batter.
  7. Serve hot and drizzled with your favorite pancake toppings.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookies v1.0 {Chocolate Chip Scones}

I've been trying to develop a chocolate chip cookie recipe that is as good as my old recipe for a little over a year now. There is just something so magical about flour and cane sugar though and it's pretty much impossible to recreate something that relies on those two ingredients without using them!

To make matters even worse, I wanted this cookie to be nut-free as I have realized eating too many nuts in one sitting causes me tummy problems.

I think I've finally gotten pretty close with this recipe though - but it wasn't without a bit of trial and error! There were many attempts before this one, but this was the first nut-free version I tried, hence the title "Chocolate Chip Cookies v1.0".



And while I wouldn't consider this to be a true chocolate chip cookie, it did end up being a pretty tasty chocolate chip scone! So, if you're into to that sort of thing, give this recipe a go! It would also be delicious with any sort of add-in besides chocolate - don't hesitate to personalize this and make it your own.

You can either drop this onto the baking sheet to create individual scones, or press it out into a flat shape and cut apart - whichever you prefer :)


Chocolate Chip Scones
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Ingredients:
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Blend together the ghee, honey, tahini, egg and vanilla.
  3. Stir in the baking powder and sea salt, then stir in the coconut flour.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Drop onto a non-stick baking surface and bake for 8 minutes.

Chocolate Chip Cookies v2.0 & 3.0 {Chocolate Chip Cakies}

I've been trying to develop a chocolate chip cookie recipe that is as good as my old recipe for a little over a year now. There is just something so magical about flour and cane sugar though and it's pretty much impossible to recreate something that relies on those two ingredients without using them!

To make matters even worse, I wanted this cookie to be nut-free as I have realized eating too many nuts in one sitting causes me tummy problems.



I think I've finally gotten pretty close with this recipe though - but it wasn't without a bit of trial and error! There were many attempts before this one, such as this recipe for Chocolate Chip Scones, as well as v2.0 which also had a cake-like texture, but wasn't as good as this third version...

I can't call this a chocolate chip cookie because the texture is too fluffy, but I can't call it a cake either, as it's flat. I therefore decided upon "cakie" even though the name is not an original idea of mine. 

I'm thinking these would make a delicious substitute to slices of bread for a sweet sandwich - but of course they are pretty tasty as is!

Chocolate Chip Cakies
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Ingredients:
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Blend together the ghee, honey, tahini, egg and vanilla.
  3. Stir in the baking powder and sea salt, then stir in the coconut and tapioca flour.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Drop onto a non-stick baking surface and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Chocolate Chip Cookies v4.0 {Chocolate Chip Cookies}


I've been trying to develop a chocolate chip cookie recipe that is as good as my old recipe for a little over a year now. There is just something so magical about flour and cane sugar though and it's pretty much impossible to recreate something that relies on those two ingredients without using them!



To make matters even worse, I wanted this cookie to be nut-free as I have realized eating too many nuts in one sitting causes me tummy problems.

I think I've finally gotten pretty close with this recipe though - but it wasn't without a bit of trial and error! There were many attempts before this one, such as this recipe for Chocolate Chip Scones, as well as the Chocolate Chip Cakies... 



I wouldn't say these are as good as my wheat-filled cookies, but they are pretty damn close - the closest I've tasted since going paleo! And to make the deal even sweeter, they are nut free, gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, grain free, legume free... perfect for maintaining my delicate gut health all while treating myself!



These taste great fresh from the oven, cooled on the counter and even cold from the fridge or freezer! Dunk into a tall glass of cold coconut milk and you have the perfect afternoon snack that will fool even the most difficult non-paleo eater you know!

Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Ingredients:
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Blend together the ghee, honey, tahini, egg and vanilla.
  3. Stir in the baking powder and sea salt, then stir in the coconut and tapioca flour.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Drop onto a non-stick baking surface and bake for 12 minutes.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Healing My Gut {MMC & Feeding Schedules}

I am attempting to rid myself of a few persistent digestive issues by following the real food approach as is outlined in Diane Sanfilippo's Simplified Guide to SIBO {free to newsletter subscribers}. After much reading and research, I believe Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth to be to blame for my discomfort.


Part of approach this includes taking supplements, which you can read more about here, and another part involves modifying my diet slightly for 4+ weeks, which you can read more about here.

The third and final part of the healing process I'm implementing is respecting the MMC better. The MMC, or Migrating Motor Complex, was completely unknown to me when I first read about it in Diane's guide.


What I've since learned is rather fascinating, albeit a bit complex. And it completely knocks the eat-frequent-small-meals theory out of the water. Here's a simplified explanation of digestion, at least how I understood it. {Feel free to contact me to correct any mistakes I may have made.}

  • First, you eat your food. This food goes into your stomach to be initially digested, before moving on in your system, going next into the small intestine. On average, it takes between 3 and 5 hours to completely empty your stomach of all the food {liquid foods, such as smoothies, leave faster than solid foods, such as a steak}.
  • Second, 2 to 3 hours after your meal, the MMC begins. This process sweeps what is left of the food you ate along the small intestine, allowing you to absorb necessary nutrients along the way. This phase can last anywhere from 80 to 105 minutes.
  • Third, the food, mostly waste and water at this point, enters the large intestine. And when there is "enough", evacuation occurs :)


If you did the math, you noticed that it takes between 4 and 6 hours for the food you eat to be swept away into your large intestine... So why in the world is everyone saying we need to eat frequent, small meals throughout the day in order to be healthy? If you eat every 3 hours, as many experts suggest, you will never feel hunger - because your stomach will never be empty!


Another point worth mentioning: the MMC makes noise. This is what most of us refer to as a "growling" stomach. And it doesn't necessarily indicate hunger! We have all grown up hearing that when your stomach growls, it's because you're hungry, when in fact, it's just your small intestine doing a bit of housekeeping! You've barely finished breaking down the food you ate, give your body the chance it needs to clear a bit of space before the next meal come barreling down at it.

If you don't believe me, try this fun experiment I do with my students in class. Place your left hand on your stomach {just below your rib cage on the left side of your body} and place your right hand on your intestines {just below your belly button}. Now take a deep whiff of a really great smelling food. First, you'll feel a rumble begin in your stomach under your left hand... then you'll start to feel the same thing in your intestines under your right hand! It truly is a chain reaction and your bodies' way of cleaning itself out.


So what am I going to do about it? Stop snacking. I've already said goodbye to my mid-morning snack a long time ago, but I still tend to snack in the afternoon once I get off work, even when I'm not really hungry. It's more of a comfort thing, since it's a habit I've had since I was a very small child. 

I'm thinking of replacing this afternoon snack, if I really feel the urge to have one, with a nice herbal infusion. If I'm actually hungry, or if I know I'll be eating late that night, I might allow myself a fat bomb as I would imagine them to be rather easily and quickly digested.

My eating schedule will look something like this then:
  • 07:00 - Breakfast
  • 12:15 - Lunch
  • 16:30 - Snack if needed
  • 19:00 - Dinner {21:00 the nights the hubster works out}


If I don't snack, or if I only snack on the nights the hubster's at the gym, I'll have 4 to 5 hours between each meal. That sounds just about perfect for emptying my stomach out and allowing the MMC to clear away my food bits.

What are your eating patterns like? Do you ever feel hunger, or do graze throughout the day? Has this post changed the way you look at your feeding schedule any?

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Hubster Cooks {coco pork & beef wok}


As most of you know, I'm married to my best friend, who I have lovingly dubbed "hubster". What you may not know is he's Belgian and I'm American. I followed him halfway around the world when I was only 18 years old because I knew he was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

We have now been married for 7 years and 2 months. I believe the success of our marriage comes from our complementary personalities. I'm happy, easy going and have my head in the clouds. He's serious, well grounded and very rational. I'm artistic and constantly creating. He's scientific and looks for logic in everything.

I cook. He eats.



Every so often though, he dons an apron and works his magic in the kitchen. And it's always delicious. Those magical meals had become less and less frequent as of late, so when I suggested we start Device Free Fridays, I also suggested that HE cook. I would be there as his sous-chef, but that the meal choice would be his and the grunt of the labor as well.

And just like that, the magic was reborn. I got a day off from cooking, was able to spend time doing something fun with the man I love, and got to eat a meal prepared by someone else for a change!



All of that cooking gave me an idea: I would start a mini-series on my blog and I would call it "The Hubster Cooks". He has a few tried and true recipes that outshine any I've ever made myself {just wait until he shares his truffle and chocolate mousse recipes!} and nearly every Friday now, he invents a new meal that instantly gets added to our collection of go-to recipes!

To kick off this series, I'm sharing last nights' dinner. This is a Hubster Original Recipe and even though this was delicious, he has a couple suggestions to make. He says that although he used powdered ginger and chili, fresh would really take things up a notch {we just didn't have any}. He served his with rice sticks and mine with zoodles, but he things white sticky rice would be perfect as well. And lastly, as with most dishes of this sort that are always better the next day, he suggests making it the day before and reheating it to really allow the flavors to develop.



That being said, go grab the ingredients and get woking right away! :p

Coco Pork & Beef Wok
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Ingredients:
  • 250 grams steak
  • 250 grams pork fillet
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 2 large garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • Fat of choice
Method:
  1. Heat fat of choice in a large wok over high heat.
  2. Slice the onions, steak and pork into strips. Add to wok and stir until meat begins to brown.
  3. Slice and add bell peppers to the wok and finish cooking the meat. 
  4. Stir in the remaining ingredients and cook on high for ten minutes. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for another five to ten minutes or until thickened as desired.
  5. Serve hot with rice noodles or zoodles.

Note: To keep this dish Whole30 compliant, serve with zoodles as rice is a grain and not allowed on Whole30.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Cookbook Review {Recettes sans Gluten + Chocolate Chestnut Fudge}



Every December 31st, the hubster and I ring in the New Year with our close knit posse - and to make things even more fun, we organize a gift exchange. The years before, we had bought silly gifts in a White Elephant state of mind, pulling a name out of a hat right before giving our gift!

Last year though, we decided to go the Secret Santa route and pull the names beforehand, so as to give personalized gifts {we are getting older anyway and a 5-10€ gift is no longer considered a splurge :p}.

Pam Pam, my Secret Santa, obviously knew of my love for cookbooks, and she was, of course, aware of my dietary restrictions. Therefore, I received the cookbook Recettes sans Gluten by Sarah Cook, edited by Larousse.


I don't usually buy "gluten free" cookbooks, because I also have dairy and grain sensitivities, but after a quick glance through this book I was reassured in the fact that there were some recipes I could make without any modification at all, and many more where I would just have to change minor substitutions.

Recipe content aside, this book is gorgeous! Each recipe comes with a full-color photo, beautifully staged to make your mouth water! The recipes cover a wide range of cultures, from Asian to English to French inspired cuisine. And finally, this book may be a smaller format, it's still jam-packed with recipes! Jam-packed with 219 recipes, to be exact!



So when the task of choosing which recipe to try first came about, I had a hard time choosing. I decided to go the sweet route, and paleo-fy one of the dessert recipes. Boy did I ever choose well! The resulting "cake" was very fudge-like in texture, and impossible to eat in moderation! I think I ate the whole thing in a matter of days, with the hubster only getting a slice or two for himself!


Here is the recipe, modified to fit my dietary needs. It needs to be prepared in steps, so plan to start this at least the day before - and keep in mind that it only gets better the longer it sits in the fridge!


Chocolate Chestnut Fudge

Ingredients for the fudge:
Ingredients for the optional topping:
Method:
  1. Line a small loaf pan with plastic wrap.
  2. In a double boiler, melt together the ghee, chocolate, milk and vanilla. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the chestnuts and honey to the bowl, use an immersion blender to mix everything thoroughly.
  4. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan, smooth out the top and fold over the edges of the plastic wrap. 
  5. Refrigerate 24 hours or more.
  6. Remove the fudge from the loaf pan, placing it on a serving tray and removing the plastic wrap.
  7. If using the topping, melt together the ghee, chocolate and milk in a double boiler. Pour chocolate mixture over the top of the fudge and return to the fridge until hardened.
  8. Slice and enjoy, drizzled with coconut cream if you desire.

If I only ever make this recipe from this cookbook, it will be enough. This fudge is out of this world!

BOOK STATS:
  • Number of recipes: 219
  • Recipes with photo: 100%
  • Number of paleo recipes: 3 {1%} This number increases if you tolerate dairy and safe starches, such as potatoes and rice.
  • Number of recipes easily made paleo: 17 {8%} These recipes are easily modified, such as by using zoodles instead of pasta, coconut milk instead of cows' milk...