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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
I’ve been seeing primal and paleo pancake recipes across the web for months now and I just never really felt the impetus to try them. Generally I’m more of a savory breakfast girl than one to order pancakes or french toast. I can never turn down an omelet or egg scramble loaded with fresh veggies and preferably something spicy! But my brother recently sent me this recipe he had adapted from The Paleo Solution so I figured it was about time I find out what all the paleo pancake hype was about. It does amaze me how similar the texture is to real pancakes using no grains at all, and it was just as tasty! I added raspberries and unsweetened coconut to the batter while cooking and then drizzled the liquid left from the raspberries on the top with some pure maple syrup. So now I know, when I feel like a sweet breakfast treat I can have my pancakes and my protein too!
Paleo Pancakes (Adapted from The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf) (Difficulty-Easy, Makes 3 medium pancakes)
- 3 organic free-range eggs
- 1/3 c. unsweetened applesauce (**I made my own–instructions below)
- 1/3 c. raw almond butter (or other nut butter)
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- organic virgin coconut oil for frying
- optional toppings: berries, sliced bananas, coconut, maple syrup
Whisk the eggs, applesauce, almond butter, cinnamon, salt and vanilla in a bowl until smooth. Homemade Applesauce: If you want to make your own applesauce, simply dice 1 or 2 organic apples and add them to a small saucepan. Squeeze 1-2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, add 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon and 2 Tbsp. water to the pan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 15-20 or until apples are tender. Using a hand masher, mash the apples until they form a sauce.
Grease your cooking surface with about a Tbsp. of coconut oil. Spread a thin layer of batter on the skillet or griddle set on medium heat. Add raspberries and shredded coconut or other toppings. Flip after 1-2 mins when the batter starts to bubble and top and the bottom is slightly browned. Be careful flipping as this batter is definitely more delicate than its grain-filled counterpart.
Top with pure maple, applesauce, sliced fruit, or whatever else your heart desires.
It was time for the Thursday night pier concert again!! And I had leftover figs to make this perfectly salty and sweet (non-primal, gluten-filled SORRY) snack for our beach picnic. And when I read the description of the Found Object Syrah at Trader Joes with notes of fig and vanilla I obviously had to get it to go along–it was too perfect not to. While this dish is certainly full of grains, it makes a great appetizer or not-so-sweet dessert for guests if you’re feeling like you want a little glutenous (or gluttonous ;)) treat in your life.
Nutty Fig Toasts (Adapted from Food Network Magazine) (Difficulty-Easy; Serves 4-6)
- 8 to 10 fresh figs, halved
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- coarse sea salt
- 1/2 c. unsalted almond butter
- 1/2 c. raw hazelnuts
- 1 Tbsp. organic virgin coconut oil
- 1/2 c.cottage cheese
- 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp. honey, plus more for drizzling
- Toasted multigrain bread, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the figs with the olive oil and a pinch of salt in a baking dish. Roast until soft, about 12-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, puree the almond butter, hazelnuts, coconut oil and 1/2 tsp. sea salt in a food processor until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the cottage cheese, honey and cinnamon and pulse until combined, about 1 minute.
Spread the ricotta mixture on the bread and top with the roasted figs. Drizzle with honey and top with chopped nuts.
Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/nutty-fig-toasts-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback
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!
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!