Fruit Leather!

Hello all!  After an incredibly busy holiday I have finally been able to play with some of my new kitchen gadgets that gifted by my amazing family.  One of my favorite new toys is my Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator.  This thing is so easy to use and a lot of fun!  I’ve made a few different tasty treats with it and I will be publishing all of them in the coming weeks.  But first, here is one that brings back memories of my childhood and is great for kids!

Fruit Leather!

Ingredients

  • 2 large overripe pears
  • 1 large apple
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 (or 2) Tbsp honey
  • coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Remove seeds and stems from pears and apple.
  2. Cut into pieces and place in high-speed blender.
  3. Add cinnamon and honey.
  4. Blend until completely smooth.
  5. If your coconut oil is solid, use a clean plastic bag to spread along the inside of the drying tray. If liquid, pour in a small amount and evenly spread with the bag.
  6. Pour blended fruit into the drying tray until about 3/8" thick.
  7. Dry at 135 degrees. Check after 4 hours. If still wet, continue drying for up to 8 hours. Mine took about 6.
  8. Enjoy!
http://coasttocoastpaleo.com/2014/01/fruit-leather/

Spritz (not really Paleo, I know!)

Alright! Recipe #2 in this last minute Christmas countdown. I never grew up with Christmas spritz cookies, but my husband did. My in laws are here this year and even my MIL approves. Hurrah!

You’ll need a cookie press (or as my son calls it, a cookie gun!) for this recipe. I highly recommend this one. It has served me well for years now.

Spritz (not totally paleo, I know!)

Spritz (not totally paleo, I know!)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • ½ cup arrowroot flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 egg plus 1 additional egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup coconut sugar (If you prefer a sweeter cookie, increase to ⅔ cup)
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick) softened

Instructions

  1. Using stand mixer with whisk attachment, eggs with coconut sugar until it appears dissolved nicely and a little fluffy (about 3 minutes on 4). Gently whisk in butter. Add almond & vanilla extract.
  2. While things are mixing, in another bowl blend together flours, baking soda and salt.
  3. Once the wet ingredients are creamy and delicious smelling, slowly mix in the flour mixture. Dough should be thick, but have a fluffy/springiness to it. Use your handy dandy cookie gun to make awesome shapes!
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 mins.
http://coasttocoastpaleo.com/2013/12/spritz-not-really-paleo-i-know/

Almond Macarons

I am SO sorry my foodie friends. Life has been insane and I haven’t had a chance to come on here and share some recipes. So, to make up for it, I’m going to share one each day up until Christmas. Sound good? Well let’s get to it!

Today, we have a simple recipe that I adapted from the awesome cookbook, Country Cooking of France. 

Almond Macarons

Almond Macarons

Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites, room temperature, whisked until very frothy. More may be needed.
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (or more to taste)

Instructions

  1. Whisk those egg whites! Prepare a baking sheet with silpat sheets or parchment paper.
  2. Throw the rest of the ingredients in your food processor. Pulse once or twice to mix it up.
  3. Now, put your whisked frothy egg whites in there too.
  4. Pulse until it forms a ball. If it seems to dry, add more whisked egg white.
  5. Now, run on high for 3-4 minutes until it forms a smooth, sticky paste.
  6. To bake, I like to put the dough into a pastry bag and squirt out cute little stars. My kiddo loves it, but you can also just roll into small balls and flatten them with your hands.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on the site of the cookie. To prevent cracking, you might want to hit the pan on your stove once. That'll get some of those air bubbles out. I personally don't care. I'm all about taste.
  8. Once they're done, remove and let cool fully. If you used parchment, you can pour some water underneath onto the hot pan to get the cookies to destick.
  9. Enjoy!
http://coasttocoastpaleo.com/2013/12/almond-macarons/

Love Grace Juice Cleanse Review

juice

Hey readers!  So, two weeks ago, my husband and I took a trip down to Austin, TX.  Great place, great people, amazing food.  A little too amazing…..  After cheating with queso and chips a little too much the entire weekend, we had to do something to get rid of this heavy, gross feeling.  Ugh.

So, I heard about the Love Grace Juice Cleanse.  Raw, organic, cold-pressed and made right in NYC!  I never tried a juice cleanse before, but I just had to give it a shot!  To my surprise, my husband signed up with me.  My husband who cringes at the sight of my green smoothies and would rather order a pizza than eat an avocado….

We signed up for the 3 day cleanse.  Enough to maybe lose 5 lbs, but not too much that we would have to padlock the fridge.  To my delight, this shipped SUPER fast and we had our cleanse within a few days.  We organized the juices so that we knew exactly which one to drink when (and we could have chosen to drink them in any order we wished).

Day 1:

The day started off with a refreshing coconut water based drink with lots of greens.  I loved this drink and I would have one every morning if I could!  My husband, not so much.  But, he got by and was able to finish his by the time we had to drink the next one!  The ginger bomb was exactly what it’s name stated.  Whoa!  What a drink.  It certainly woke you up!  This was my husband’s favorite drink.

Around mid-day we both started to really feel hungry, but we made sure to drink lots of water and that would get us through to the next drink.  The Super Cider was delicious and the Green Smoothie helped keep our hunger at bay for a bit longer.  I do have to say, the last two drinks of the night were a bit tough if you are not used to “green” drinks.  After struggling through my ballet class, we were both pretty light-headed, very hungry and grumpy so we called it an early night and crossed our fingers we would feel better in the morning.

Day 2:

We both woke up surprisingly not hungry, grumpy, or lightheaded!  This day was much easier to get through, and even tap class seemed much easier for me.  We had some different juices and smoothies to try and that kept things interesting.  I enjoyed the Longevity Tonic (never heard of shilajit before).  The Probiotic smoothie was great!  The end of the night was still a bit tough but much better than the night before.

Day 3:

Feeling great!  This day was the best by far, but we were certainly missing food at this point.  The Chocolate Superfood Smoothie was the highlight of my day.  We weighed in and I lost a total of 4.6 lbs and hubby lost 6.6 lbs.  Not bad for three days!

All in all, I’m VERY happy that we tried this cleanse.  I know it’s not permanent weight loss, but it felt good to feel healthier after eating so bad during vacation.  I would highly recommend this cleanse to anyone looking to jump start their diet or just looking to feel refreshed.

This even inspired me to research some juicers so look for some yummy juice recipes coming soon to the blog!

Paleo Laddu

Two recipes in one day?! WHAT!? Well, I was chatting with my friend today about this delicious treat she had just gotten due to Diwali… so of course, I had to try making my own version. I love it so much that I needed to share it for those who want a little paleo Diwali goodie.

HAPPY DIWALI! 🙂

Paleo Laddu

Paleo Laddu

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Splash of lemon juice
  • 4-6 pitted dates (depending on size, about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp ground cardamom (depending on preference)
  • To roll in -
  • Pistacho flour
  • Shredded coconut

Instructions

  1. Put ingredients in food processor and run it until it starts to become tacky & you can roll it into balls.
  2. Roll it into balls, about an inch big.
  3. Roll the balls, pressing gently, in a little pistachio flour & shredded coconut.
  4. Chill if necessary or eat immediately.
http://coasttocoastpaleo.com/2013/11/paleo-laddu/

Apple Custard Cake

This recipe is a grain free, sugar free modification of a recipe from my favorite cookbook, Around My French Table. It is the reason I bought it. Her publisher had shared the recipe, along with her awesome stuffed pumpkin recipe, on Amazon. I tried them, they were awesome, and I was sold. This is our “go to” cookbook. We both have loved everything we’ve made from it.

Obviously, this isn’t paleo since I use grassfed butter. However, it’s worth it folks.

Apple Custard Cake

Apple Custard Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (I make my own with arrowroot powder, cream of tartar, and baking soda)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 large apples
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons grassfed unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Butter pan of your choice (The original recipe suggested using a springform pan. I usually just use my Emile Henry which doesn’t make as nice of a presentation). If using a springform pan, put it on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a little bowl.
  4. Peel the apples (if that’s what you prefer. I like the skins on!), cut them in half and core them. Cut the apples into chunks.
  5. In a stand mixer, beat the eggs with a whisk until they’re foamy. Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or two to blend. Whisk in the rum and vanilla. Whisk in half the flour and when it is incorporated, add half the melted butter, followed by the rest of the flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so that you have a smooth, rather thick batter. Now, switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples, making sure you coat the apples in the batter.
  6. Put it in your pan, and try to use the spat to even things out a bit.
  7. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean.
  8. These directions are from the original recipe author for springform pan users.
  9. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes. The cake may have pulled away from the edges of the pan. If using a springform pan, carefully run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the springform pan. (Open the springform slowly, and before it’s fully opened, make sure there aren’t any apples stuck to it.) Allow the cake to cool until it is just slightly warm or at room temperature. If you want to remove the cake from the bottom of the springform pan, wait until the cake is almost cooled, then run a long spatula between the cake and the pan, cover the top of the cake with a piece of parchment or wax paper, and invert it onto a rack. Carefully remove the bottom of the pan and turn the cake over onto a serving dish.
http://coasttocoastpaleo.com/2013/11/apple-custard-cake/

“Better Than” New England Clam Chowder

clamchowder

Brrrr! It’s getting chilly out there, and what better way to warm up than a nice hearty bowl of New England Clam Chowder?  Well, with this paleo-ish version, you get the same comfy feel, without all the flour and potatoes weighing it down.

When I first thought of making a paleo version of New England Clam Chowder, I was stumped with how to get the same rich and hearty feel, with a healthy paleo twist.  Coarsely chopped mushrooms and onions and almond flour were the perfect replacements to typical flour and potatoes.  My (non-paleo) husband loved this so much, he requested this to go into our regular rotation!

“Better Than” New England Clam Chowder

Ingredients

  • 4 cans of clams
  • 1 large onion coarsely chopped
  • 16 oz mushrooms coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup organic heavy cream (you can use coconut or almond milk instead, but it will probably taste sweeter)
  • 2 cups of broth (vegetable or other)
  • 3 tbsp organic butter (or coconut oil)
  • 4 tbsp almond flour
  • parsley
  • shallots
  • dash of red pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • bay leaf

Instructions

  1. Sautee onion and mushrooms in butter until soft with a little salt.
  2. Add flour and stir.
  3. Add broth, heavy cream, juice from clams, and seasonings.
  4. Let simmer for 15 - 20 minutes until flavors blend.
  5. Add clams and let cook for 2 minutes.
  6. That's it! Enjoy!
http://coasttocoastpaleo.com/2013/10/better-than-new-england-clam-chowder/

Huckleberry (or Blueberry) & Port Wine Sorbet

Today I want to pay homage to my new home, Seattle. I am absolutely loving living here. It is completely different from my home state (Wisconsin) and my home of the past 8 years (Southern California). I know some people complain about the rain, but honestly, it’s worth it when I get to enjoy gorgeous mountains, beautiful greenery, an awesome growing season for my container garden and like minded foodies! 😉

I have been LOVING these farmers markets. They’re not as big as some of the ones we frequented in Southern California (like the one in Hollywood), but they are jam packed full of AWESOMENESS. One of the awesome things I recently discovered were wild mushrooms and huckleberries. There is a vendor at the Seattle markets that just specializes in collecting wild edibles. How nifty is that? I immediately had to learn more about these fabulous foods so I bought Pacific Feast: A Cook’s Guide to West Coast Foraging and Cuisine. It is jam packed full of wonderful information on foraging and delicious recipes to make with your findings. This is my modification of one of my favorites. Enjoy!

Huckleberry (or Blueberry) & Port Wine Sorbet

Huckleberry (or Blueberry) & Port Wine Sorbet

Ingredients

  • 1 cup port wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup honey (more if you prefer sweeter or if your berries are tart)
  • 8 cups huckleberries (blueberries work as well)

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, bring your wine water and honey to a simmer.
  2. Once simmering, add berries and return it to a simmer.
  3. Once it has simmered again, remove from heat and cool.
  4. Puree in a food processor or using an immersion blender. Strain if you prefer a smoother sorbet. I personally don't mind the skins.
  5. Follow directions on your ice cream maker for freezing. If you don't have one, freeze in a shallow glass baking pan. Cut it into chunks and then run through food processor to smooth it out. Refreeze again for 3-4 hours.
http://coasttocoastpaleo.com/2013/10/huckleberry-port-sorbet/

**Note: This recipe is modified from “Huckleberry and Port Wine Sorbet” in Pacific Feast: A Cook’s Guide to West Coast Foraging and Cuisine. PNWers, or those interested in wild edibles, this is a must read!**

Gluten-Free Spicy Chickpeas & Quinoa

chickpeas

Okay, so this next recipe is not exactly Paleo but it is one of my absolute favorite “cheat” meals.  This recipe was inspired by one that my husband’s best friend makes “Chickpeas & Israeli Cous Cous.  Obviously, cous cous is the farthest thing from paleo so I wanted to find a suitable alternative that would have health benefits.  Quinoa is one of those things that isn’t exactly paleo but I allow it in my diet because of the protein benefits.  Beans are one of those things that I try to limit as much as possible but I do allow myself to have occasionally.

So here it is.  Super simple, pretty quick, and extremely filling!

Gluten-Free Spicy Chickpeas & Quinoa

Ingredients

  • Small Onion
  • 1 cup of Organic chili peppers & tomatoes (either canned or fresh. You can also use Rotel if you don't have anything else)
  • 1 large can of Chickpeas
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • s&p

Instructions

  1. Dice a small onion and sauté it with a little salt in a medium sized pot.
  2. Drain a can of chili peppers & tomatoes and add it to the pot with some salt & pepper.
  3. Cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Start cooking the quinoa according to package directions in a separate pot.
  5. Add paprika, smoked paprika and cumin to the onion, tomato and chili pepper mix. Cook a couple minutes.
  6. Drain a can of chickpeas and add it to the mixture and cook 15 more minutes.
  7. Add white wine to taste.
  8. When cooked, pour over quinoa and enjoy!
http://coasttocoastpaleo.com/2013/09/gluten-free-spicy-chickpeas-quinoa/

Brown butter & orange honey madeleines

We’re Francophiles in this household. My son goes to a French preschool and my husband & I are in the process of learning the language. (J’ai etudie le francais pour 6 ans, mais j’ai oublie beaucoup…including how to use accents on WordPress!) We hope to go summer in France in a few years once the kids are older.

My husband and I also just adore French food. If you looked at our cookbook shelf, you could tell. Our cookbooks are either locally oriented, Paleo, or French. What can I say? We like what we like. I hope you’ll like this one too! I have made a TON of modifications to my madeleine recipe that I’ll be sharing over time on this blog. I adore these cookies. They’re amazing with coffee or tea (not really paleo, I know, but we’re already established I’m paleo-ish. I love coffee too much to give it up!).

For those of you who don’t do dairy, use lard. It is awesome and works well. Just skip all the directions for infusing and go with lemon zest for a more traditional tasting madeleine.

Brown Butter & Orange Honey Madeleines

Brown Butter & Orange Honey Madeleines

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • ⅛ cup honey (I recommend a local honey for the best flavor!)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 TB orange zest or the fresh zest of one large orange
  • Infused Brown Butter Ingredients
  • ⅛ cup butter (You can use coconut oil, but do not brown, obviously!)
  • 1 vanilla bean - the caviar scraped from inside
  • 3-5 green cardamom pods, crushed
  • Makes 8 large madelines

Instructions

  1. Grease your madeline pan or cookie sheet (these can just be flat cookies!) if you’re using metal. If you’re using a silicone pan, I highly recommend the de Buyer Elastomoule. Only lightly grease this pan if it’s your first time using it.
  2. Melt butter and bring to a simmer over low to medium heat. Cook until the butter turns the color of a nut and smells nutty.
  3. Add the crushed cardamom pods & vanilla bean caviar just as the butter starts to brown.
  4. Turn off the heat once the butter is nutty and transfer to a clean bowl to let it cool down to room temperature.
  5. While that is going on, toss your two room temperature eggs in your stand mixer. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, you’ll just have to take this one step at a time! I recommend asking for one for Christmas. ;o)) Beat them on high until they turn pale and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
  6. While that’s beating, prep your dry ingredients in a separate bowl - almond flour, cream of tartar and orange zest. Mix them all up thoroughly. Use a fork to press out any lumps in almond flour ahead of time.
  7. Strain your butter to remove crushed cardamom pods. You’ll be using it in the next step!
  8. Alright, back to the eggs. After they’ve turned pale and fluffy, add in the honey and beat on medium for another 1-2 minutes.
  9. Then, slowly pour in the infused brown butter while mixer is still going. Be sure to get it all in there - those dark bits and the vanilla bean taste so yummy! Spatula power!
  10. Mix your wet ingredients gently into your prepared dry ingredients. Try not to over mix!
  11. Spoon or pipe your batter into the molds so they are about ¾ full. I always end up overfilling mine, but it still works out okay. You may have a little leftover, but it’s delicious so feel free to eat it. ;o)
  12. Place the pan in the refrigerator. Start preheating your oven to 375 degrees. Set a timer for 20 minutes.
  13. Times up? Alright, well now put them in the oven 10-15 minutes (depending on what type of pan you are using. If you decided to make mini madeleines, your baking time will be shorter). Take them out when the edges start to turn a nice deep golden brown.
  14. Let the cool for a few minutes, then pop them out onto a plate and let them cool the rest of the way.
http://coasttocoastpaleo.com/2013/09/brown-butter-orange-honey-madeleines/