Perfect Paleo Pumpkin Pie

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Ingredients for the crust:

2 cups of almond meal

1/3 cup of coconut flour

3/4 cup of coconut oil

6-8 TBS water

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp sea salt

Directions for the crust:

Set oven to 400 degrees.

I did not melt the coconut oil. I put all the ingredients in a bowl and mashed it all together with a whisk or large fork (a pastry blender would probably work better, I just didn’t have one on hand).

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Roll out dough on a surface dusted with almond flour-or between parchment paper that is dusted with almond flour, and place it in the bottom of the pie pan. This dough is not easy to work with and breaks easily. Try not to get frustrated. I had to do some patching and pressing. It doesn’t have to look perfect. There will be extra dough as this recipe is originally for the type of pie with a top and bottom crust.

Having the extra helped make it easier to work with.  🙂

Bake the crust for 10 at 400 degrees.  Remove from oven, and turn oven up to 425 degrees.

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Ingredients for the filling:

1 (15 ounce) can of organic pumpkin puree

1 (13.5) oz can of Native Forest Organic coconut milk

2 large eggs

1/2 cup of Grade B Maple Syrup

3 TBS coconut flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp cloves

 

Directions:

MIX:  cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl.

BEAT: eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin, maple syrup, and spices. Fold in the coconut milk.

POUR into pie shell.

BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for an hour or until knife inserted near center comes out clean (mine took a little over an hour). You may need to gently cover the edges with foil if they start to brown too fast.

***Cool on wire rack for 2-3 hours. This step is necessary for it to firm up!

Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Top with whipped coconut cream!

 

Whipped Coconut Cream:

Refrigerate 2 cans of Native Forest coconut milk (not the reduced fat kind). Open the can and take the cream off of the top and place it in a bowl.

 

 

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*you can save the watery part for other recipes-you could even use it in place of water in dough for the pie!

 

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Whip with beaters until whipped cream consistency with 3 TBS Grade B maple syrup and 1 tsp of vanilla.

 

 Enjoy!

 

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Pork Fried Cauliflower “Rice”

 

 

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Ingredients:

(1) head of cauliflower “riced” in a food processor

(1) pork tenderloin chopped into small pieces (about 1/4 inch)

(1) egg beaten

(1) large leek finely diced

(3) cloves of garlic minced

(1) carrot shredded

*any other veggies you find in the fridge that you want to add, chopped.

(3) scallions chopped

(2) TBS ghee or coconut oil

(3) TBS coconut aminos

(3) TBS coconut vinegar

(1-2) TBS fish sauce 

pink salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

 

Directions:

1. Rice the cauliflower in a food processor, and steam it for a few minutes (I used a rice steamer, but a pot works as well):

 

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2. Saute the meat and veggies (minus the scallions) in 2 TBS ghee or coconut oil with pink salt and pepper in a large skillet until meat is browned and veggies are tender.

3. Fold in the riced cauliflower and add the coconut aminos, coconut vinegar, and fish sauce.

4. Add the beaten egg and stir until fully cooked.

5. Season with pink salt and black pepper to your liking.

6. Sprinkle with chopped scallions.

 

Enjoy!

 

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Bacon, Carmelized Onion, and Chive Ranch Dip

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My kids love the taste of ranch. However, I don’t like to purchase store bought dressings because of the use of GMO soy oil and other highly processed oils that cause inflammation in the body. This ranch flavored mayo based dressing can be used as a dip, dressing, or spread on a burger. It is very flavorful! My kids enjoyed dipping veggies in it. It can also be used as a spread for steak.

Ingredients:

2 egg yolks

1/2 tsp mustard

1/2 tsp sea salt plus extra for taste at the end

1 tsp white pepper

1 cup of macadamia nut oil, light olive oil (not extra virgin), or avocado oil

1 TBS vinegar

1 tsp lemon juice

3 strips of bacon diced

1/2 onion finely diced

2 cloves of garlic

1 bunch of chives diced

*water to thin to desired consistency

 

Directions:

Cook the diced bacon over med heat until crispy, remove from pan and set aside.

 

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Put the onions in the same pan with bacon dripping and cook over med low stirring occasionally for a good 1/2 hour until golden brown.

 

 

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Finely dice the garlic (I used a mini food processor) and set aside:

 

 

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Finely dice the chives and set aside as well.
Pictured below is the bacon, chives, onions, and garlic:

 

 

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The base of this dip is mayo. You can follow any paleo mayo recipe. This is how I usually make mine:

Put the egg yolks, mustard  and 1/2 tsp of sea salt in a mixing bowl. Using a wire whisk or electric beaters mix until egg yolk begins to emulsify (thicken). Slowly add the oil a drop at time while beating-be very patient, you want it to get thick. Once you are about half way through the oil doing little drops at a time, and the mayo is thick, you can pour it in a stream and finish up.

***be patient, whisk hard, and it helps to have a partner helping to drop the oil in one drop at a time. It also helps to have a good mixer because your arm does get sore if you do it by hand. ***

Add the vinegar, white pepper, lemon juice, and more sea salt to your liking. If the mayonaisse is on the thicker side, add distilled water (a few drops at a time) until desired consistency. If you are using this to put on burgers or steaks, you would want it on the thicker side. If you plan to use it as a dip or dressing, thin it out more.

 

 

Next fold in the bacon, chives, diced garlic, and carmelized onions, and transfer to a serving dish:

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Enjoy!!!

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Crockpot Paleo Pork “Goulash”

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On a recent trip to Florida I tried some authentic German goulash. It was amazing! I wanted to try and recreate some of the flavors in the dish and this is what I came up with…

 

 

Ingredients:

2 medium sized pastured pork tenderloins (or 1 large would work)

1 1/2 cups of beef broth or bone broth

1 small can of muir glen diced tomatoes

1 onion chopped

1 red bell pepper sliced

8 oz of sliced mushrooms

5 cloves of garlic-thinly sliced

3 TBS apple cider vinegar

sea salt

pepper

paprika

fresh cilantro

2-3 TBS potato starch or tapioca starch (to thicken at the end)

 

 

 

Directions: 

Cube the pork into 1-2 inch cubes:

 

 

 

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Sprinkle pork generously with sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, and paprika.

 

Place all ingredients except for cilantro and potato starch in a crockpot. Add salt and pepper to taste, mix it all up.

 

 

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Cook on low for 6-7 hours. At the end whisk in the starch to thicken the broth. Serve garnished with fresh cilantro.

Enjoy!

 

 

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From Farmer’s Market to Our Table-with Eric Hulse!

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It was my pleasure to have an opportunity to spend a day with Eric Hulse from Eric Hulse Wellness and his fiance Austin! We visited the Local Farmer’s Market here in Saratoga Springs NY, climbed trees, picked out fresh produce, had some wine, and cooked up a storm together. What a blast!

 

We started at the local Farmer’s Market

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Eric did some tree climbing with my kids!

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Eric tried the “Saratoga Springs” fresh mineral water

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and he found this awesome braided “super carrot”

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We picked out a bounty of amazing produce including different varieties of cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, basil, turnips, and garlic scapes. We picked up some homemade sauerkraut from a local farmer, and some swiss chard. We found some local pastured sausage.

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Then we came back to my place, poured some wine and started cooking…

Here we are doing some serious chopping!

 

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I worked on the roasted vegetables while Eric made the cucumber, tomato, and avocado salad…with fresh basil, sea salt, and cracked pepper.

 

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and here is the sausage and swiss chard:

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We also roasted some camera shy veggies on a cookie sheet in coconut oil: carrots, garlic scapes and turnips…we added some dill seasoning!

 

 

What do I want you to take from this?

Break out of your shell.

Visit your local farms and farmer’s markets!

Open your heart.

Buy local produce, get together with friends, and bond over cooking.

Cooking is pleasurable!

Don’t follow a recipe-create from your heart.

You are capable of more than you think.

Be inspiring.

 

What did I take from this? 

I made two amazing new friends…who enjoy bonfires as much as I do. What more could I ask for? Thank you Eric and Austin for an awesome day!

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” -C.S. Lewis

 

 

Dark Chocolate Coconut, Almond Butter and Raspberry Preserve Cups

I was brainstorming chocolate raspberry ideas and love the taste of almond butter and preserves together (before going paleo I would eat almond butter and jelly sandwiches. I feel much better not eating them, but I miss that combination). I picked up some low-sugar organic raspberry preserves and created these cups (inspired by peanut butter cups). They turned out fantastic! They are not too difficult to make either. These store well in the freezer.

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Ingredients:

2 bars of 85% or darker dark chocolate. I used Green & Black’s organic…3.5 oz bars (2 of them)

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1/2 cup of coconut oil

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3/4 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut plus extra to sprinkle on top

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Almond butter (I used Trader Joe’s crunchy unsalted)

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Low sugar raspberry preserves (extra points for homemade)

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1 tsp vanilla and a pinch of sea salt

 

 

Directions:

 

1. Line a muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners

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2. In a small saucepan melt the chocolate with the coconut oil, vanilla, sea salt, and 3/4 cup of the shredded coconut.

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3. Using a spoon spoon a small amount of melted mixture into each of the cupcake liners (about 1/2 inch).

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4. Put the tray into the freezer for about 15 minutes and then remove it.

 

5. Spoon about 1/2- 3/4 tsp of raspberry preserves on top of each one.

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6. Spoon about 1/2 – 3/4 tsp of almond butter on top of the jelly.

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7. Spoon the remaining chocolate mixture on top of each one, and sprinkle some shredded coconut on top. Immediately stick the batch back in the freezer before the coconut sinks in!

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8. Wait about 15 more minutes and they are ready to remove from cupcake liners and place on a plate. Store in the freezer, especially in the summertime as they melt easily.

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Enjoy!!

 

 

 

Teeny Tiny Meatballs, Marinara, and Spaghetti Squash

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Kids love small bite sized things and they love meatballs! My kids love to eat them with toothpicks. This recipe is easy to make and it is one of their favorites!

spaghetti squash:

Start this first as it takes the longest to cook. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds,  and place it in a 13 by 9 inch baking pan with a little water in the bottom (cut side down).

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Bake squash for approx 45 min to 1 hour (depending on size) until tender. Remove the squash with a fork (it scoops right out in “spaghetti-like” strands. Place in a bowl and cover with foil to keep warm.

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For the mini meatballs:

1 lb of grass-fed ground beef

1 egg

1/2 small onion diced very very fine (I use a mini food processor-my kids do not like big chunks of onion. Also the smaller pieces of onion help hold more moisture in the meatballs)

2-3 cloves of garlic finely diced as well

1 TBS coconut aminos

1/4 cup dried parsley (or fresh chopped)

sea salt and pepper to taste

I used the standing mixer with the meat hook. Mix everything and then roll into tiny (1/2 – 3/4 inch in size). I like to make them small because they cook super quick under the broiler with no need to turn them! The kids love that they are bite sized. Put the meatballs on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

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Now by the time these are all mixed and rolled out the spaghetti squash should be about done cooking. Take that out of the oven and turn the oven to broil and move the oven rack to the highest level (only a couple inches from the top).

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The meatballs cook super fast…no more than 5-8 minutes per batch and there is no need to flip them. One pound of meat filled about 3 large cookie sheets, so I did them in 3 batches (rotating 2 cookie sheets because that is all I have).

Marinara options:

sauce

jarred marinara

For down and dirty quick marinara there is a jarred sauce that I fall back on. It’s difficult to find a jarred sauce that does not contain vegetable oils, soy oil, sugar, or preservatives. You don’t want any of that in your sauce! However, my local Hannaford supermarket has an organic marinara with just tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, basil, salt and pepper. I fall back on that when I think of this meal last minute and don’t have time to make a sauce from scratch.

homemade marinara with cans (look for organic with BPA free cans-I use Muir Glen brand)

2 (28 ounce cans) of either whole plum tomatoes or crushed tomatoes

1 medium onion diced

3-5 cloves of garlic crushed

fresh or dried basil and parsley

2 bay leaves

1 pound of grass-fed ground beef (optional-for a bolognese sauce)

sea salt

black pepper

brown the meat (if using it) with the onions in a dutch oven over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 1-2 hours (longer for deeper flavor). I like to add a splash of extra virgin olive oil at the end, and remove the bay leaves. If using the whole tomatoes you may want to blend the sauce with a hand held immersion blender or blend in the blender to break it up (for a less chunky sauce/more smooth sauce).

***Homemade sauce from scratch-oh yeah!!! *** (best option)

Approx 12 fresh plum tomatoes

Score just the skin of each tomato with a sharp knife. Then, place scored tomatoes into a pot of boiling water and blanch the for approximately 1 minute. Remove tomatoes and immediately plunge them into cold water. Peel and dice the tomatoes.
Follow the canned sauce recipe from this point on-but use the blanched tomatoes in place of the canned tomatoes.You can serve the meatballs and sauce right over the spaghetti squash!

 

My kids like their spaghetti squash and sauce next to their meatballs. I usually serve with some kind of greens on the side. Tonight we had salad greens.

 

Enjoy!

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