Tag Archives: vegan

Copy Cat Primal Kale Salad

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My slightly different version of Smitten Kitchen’s featured recipe this week! If you aren’t familiar with the Smitten Kitchen, I highly suggest stumbling over and getting sucked into her vortex of endless fresh seasonal recipes and heavenly indulgent baked goods. I love this perfectly simplistic kale salad, especially to take to the Santa Monica beach concert to share with friends! And if you are dairy free or paleo simply leave out the pecorino cheese or swap it for a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and you’ve got yourself a delicious dairy-free salad.

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Primal Kale Salad (Slightly Adapted from Smitten Kitchen) (Difficulty-Easy, Serves 4-6)

  • 1/2 c walnut halves or pieces
  • 1/4 c organic dried cranberries
  •  1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 c almond meal
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Coarse or kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch purple kale, washed and patted dry
  • 2 oz pecorino cheese, grated or ground in a food processor, which makes it delightfully rubbly (1/2 cup total) (optional)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes, to taste

Prepare walnuts: Heat oven to 350°F. Toast walnuts on a baking sheet for 7 minutes, tossing once. Let cool and coarsely chop.

Prepare cranberries: In a small saucepan over low heat, simmer white wine vinegar, water and cranberries for 5 minutes, until plump and soft. Set aside in liquid.

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Prepare crumbs: Toast almond meal, garlic and 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a skillet together with a pinch of salt until golden. Set aside.

Prepare kale: Trim heavy stems off kale and tear leaves off of the ribs by hand. Stack sections of leaves and roll them into a tube, then cut them into very thin ribbons crosswise.

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Assemble salad: Put kale in a large bowl. Add pecorino (if using), walnuts and cranberries (leaving any leftover vinegar mixture in dish), remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and lemon juice and toss until all the kale ribbons are coated. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt, pepper and some of the reserved vinegar mixture from the cranberries, if needed. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving, if you can, as it helps the ingredients come together. Just before serving, toss with almond meal crumbs and, if needed, a final 1 teaspoon drizzle of olive oil.

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My Accidental Paleo Stir Fry

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I had quite an eventful weekend in San Francisco for the Outside Lands festival (which was epic!), but returned home to an empty refrigerator. So Tuesday, still completely exhausted from our non-stop four days of fun, I stopped at the grocery store on the way home from work to throw together an easy stir fry. I had my heart set on a pad-thai-like dish with spaghetti squash, shrimp and veggies. I got home, threw the squash into the oven to roast while I started prepping veggies, and only upon pulling the squash out of the oven did I realize that in my brain-dead state I grabbed a butternut squash at the  store. Don’t you just hate when that happens?! So there I was fantasizing about Thai noodles with no noodles. Alas, it was getting late and I was getting hungry so I begrudgingly diced up the squash and threw it into the skillet with the rest of my ingredients. As it turns out, it was happened to be a very tasty stir fry! Generally I opt for the sweet butternut for my favorite rustic Fall dishes, but it went surprisingly well with my Thai inspired creation. Try it out for a new, yet quick, weeknight meal. First I ate the veggies with sautéed shrimp, and then as leftovers I piled them onto a portion of quinoa. Get creative with it!

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Paleo Squash & Broccoli Stir-Fry (Difficulty-Easy; Serves 4)

For the Sauce:

  • 1/3 c gluten-free soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 3 Tbsp organic rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha, or more to taste
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • coarse sea salt

For the Stir-Fry:

  • 2 Tbsp organic virgin coconut oil
  • 3 organic scallions, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb organic broccoli, florets and stems diced
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 c shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 c organic basil leaves
  • chopped almonds and sesame seeds for topping

 Make the Sauce: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Season with salt and sriracha or red chili flakes to taste. I put a lot of sriracha in mine as I LOVE spice!

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Make the Stir-Fry:  Heat the oven to 400°F. Place the squash onto a baking sheet and roast whole for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the scallions and cook until slightly soft, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli florets and stems and mushrooms and cook until slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Make a well in the center of the veggies and add the coconut to toast. Pour half of the sauce into the veggies and allow to cook down, about 2 minutes.

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Once the squash is roasted and slightly cooled, peel and dice and add into the hot skillet with the remaining sauce and torn basil leaves to finish cooking a few more minutes. Remove from the heat and serve with quinoa, shrimp, or chicken, or your protein of choice. Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped almonds for a little crunch.

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Creamy Basil Zucchini “Pasta”

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I’ve made my share of spaghetti squash dishes in place of pasta which is so easy, but I had yet to do anything with zucchini since I didn’t have a spiralizer and was honestly too lazy to julienne zucchini noodles by hand. When I saw this recipe on Pinterest I decided it was time to invest in a veggie spiralizer and I am so glad I did! I bought this GEFU Spiralizer on Amazon and it is super easy to use and makes beautiful zucchini spirals. I definitely recommend it! I also recommend this creamy, raw, paleo dish to go with an Italian Summer meal. It went wonderfully with my Paleo Shrimp Scampi.

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Creamy Basil Zucchini Pasta (Courtesy of Running to the Kitchen) (Difficulty-Intermediate; Serves 4)

  • 4 small zucchini, ends trimmed and spiralized with a julienne peeler or spiralizer
  • 1 avocado
  • ½ an organic cucumber, chopped
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons almond or coconut milk
  • about 8 leaves of organic basil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • halved cherry tomatoes for garnish

Place zucchini spirals in a large bowl. In a mini food processor, combine the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Toss the zucchini with the avocado sauce until fully coated. Garnish with cherry tomatoes and basil leaves, season with more salt & pepper to taste.

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Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

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There’s nothing more comforting and satisfying than a deliciously chewy chocolate chip cookie straight from the oven–except one that doesn’t make you feel guilty straight after eating it! You can enjoy these paleo chocolate chip cookies every once in a while without getting that glucose-crash or feeling completely gluttonous. And they are ridiculously delicious!

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Paleo Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies (Adapted from Running to the Kitchen) (Difficulty-Easy; Makes a dozen cookies)

  •  1 1/2 c. almond meal
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp. melted organic extra virgin coconut oil 
  • 2 Tbsp. raw honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon organic coconut milk
  • 1/3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 c. shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)

Preheat oven to 350° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk together wet ingredients in a small bowl. Add wet to dry and mix together. Fold in the chocolate chips and coconut if using. Scoop a tablespoon of dough into your hands and shape into a ball. Bake for 10-11 minutes until bottoms just start to brown. Remove from oven and let cool 2-3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. They will be soft when removed from oven but firm up in a couple of minutes.

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Basil Cannelini Hummus

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One of my favorite LA summer attractions is the beach concert series at Santa Monica Pier. Every Thursday evening they offer a free concert where everyone sets out a blanket in the sand and brings a picnic to share with friends amidst the delightful ocean breeze–sounds pretty perfect, right? So last week I was trying to think of what to make and I remembered this basil cannelini hummus I had seen on Pinterest. I thought it would be the perfect healthy summer snack with an assortment of raw crisp veggies. Generally I don’t eat any legumes or beans being on the Primal diet, but I thought I could make an exception for this occasion. Check out the paleo chocolate chip coconut cookies I made for dessert!

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Basil Cannelini Hummus (Slightly Adapted from Greatist) (Difficulty-Easy, Makes about 2 cups hummus)

  • 1 can organic cannellini beans
  • 1 handful of fresh organic basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. tahini
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • /4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced 

Blend all ingredients except for olive oil in a food processor until smooth. Add oil while food processor is still running. Serve with raw organic cauliflower, celery, cucumber, and red bell pepper!