A few weeks ago we experimented with a Paleo Pizza Crust Recipe that used a fair amount of coconut flour as the base. While the result was good, we wanted to explore a few more options. We used Making a Gluten Free Pizza Crust as a base and made something that came out quite well. This recipe is a bit unusual, since it involved mixing 2 cups of cheese into the crust before baking it. But that addresses one of the only things we didn’t like about the first recipe–a lack of elasticity in the crust. It was a little crumbly.
The recipe we used was:
- 2 cups shredded whole milk organic mozzarella cheese
- 3 large organic eggs (not 2 as suggested in the original version)
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
From there it was just a matter of following the original recipe. We added all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mixed until they formed a nice sticky wet dough (that’s why I added the 3rd egg–it wasn’t nearly “sticky” with just 2).
We pre-heated the oven to 350 and cut a piece parchment paper to fit in the bottom of the cast iron skillet. Then we spread the dough evenly across the paper and we baked it for 15 minutes, removed it from the oven, and flipped it onto a second piece of parchment paper.
Then we baked it another 15 minutes before removing it from the oven to add some of our favorite toppings (including more cheese).
With the toppings on, put it back in the oven under the broiler and cook for 2-4 minutes (until the cheese starts to brown and bubble).
Since drafting this posting, we made the pizza a second time–with a twist. We added some fresh herbs (oregano and rosemary) to the crust mix. That punched the flavor up another notch. It’s safe to say this is one of our favorites, and we’ll probably be making it every week or so.
We are growing blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and black currant in our summer garden. Inspired by our garden and the berries we are getting from our CSA, I decided to try a paleo friendly berry cobbler recipe.
- 3 cups of berries
- 1 farm-fresh egg
- 1 1/2 cups of almond flour
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
- cinnamon to taste
- 1/4 cup wild honey
- raw whipped cream
Preheat the oven to 350F. Pour the berries in a pie pan and drizzle honey on top. Greasing the pan is not necessary. In a bowl, add flour, egg, and oil. Mix with your hand. At first, this seems very wet but after a few minutes the flour absorbs the moisture and it becomes tacky and dough like. Add cinnamon to the dough and fold in again. Keep adding the cinnamon until the taste comes through with the raw dough. Crumble the mixture on top of the berries.
Place the plan in the oven for 35 minutes. Once cooked, serve in bowls with whipped cream. This serves about 6 people.
This tastes great. The cinnamon and honey add a hint of sweetness and enhance the taste of the berries. The taste of the crumble crust adds a taste and texture that compliments the dessert. We both enjoyed this. We can see adding mixed berries, cherries, peaches and maybe apples in the future.
Give this one a try!
A few nights ago, we made a roasted free-range chicken. Afterwards, we followed a newly established tradition which is making wonderful chicken broth with the left over bones, chicken meat and skin. Inspired by fresh chicken broth and a recipe of classic chicken stew from Cook’s Illustrated, I set out to make my own version of a classic chicken stew.
- 2 pounds of organic, free-range chicken thighs cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 pound of new baby potatoes, quartered
- 8 large organic carrots sliced
- 1 tablespoon of fresh oregano
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup of white wine
- 3 cups of chicken broth (not low fat!)
- 2 cups of filtered water
- 3 cups of chard cut into 1 inch pieces (any green can be substituted)
- 2 onions chopped
- salt and pepper
On the stove top, add broth, filtered water and white wine to the soup pot. Let it simmer. Add chicken thighs and stir. Add garlic, oregano, bay leaves, onion, potatoes, and carrots. Stir again. Let the stew simmer on low for about 1 hour. Stir occasionally. About 10 to 20 minutes before serving, add the chard. Also, add salt and pepper to taste.
We enjoyed this dish. It had the thickness of a stew. All the vegetables were well cooked but not overcooked. The chard picked up the flavor of the stew and tasted like paleo-friendly noodles.
Since we’ve gone Paleo, we haven’t eaten our beloved pizza. (I used to live for pizza as my family could tell you.) Over the past few weeks, I have reviewed recipes online for tips on how to make a good Paleo pizza. Often times, I see less than flattering comments regarding the end product. This helped to steer me away from almond flour based recipes and more towards coconut flour.
Tonight, I tried a modified recipe from Coconut Recipes. We are very pleased with the results.
- 3 free range eggs
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup of whole milk
- 1/2 cup of coconut flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon of fresh oregano
Preheat the oven to 375F. In a mixing bowl, add 3 eggs and beat with a hand mixer. Add the remaining ingredients. Mix until the contents appear dough like.
To cook the crust, we used a cast iron skillet. Grease the skillet and then add the dough. I used a spatula to evenly spread this onto the bottom. Place in the oven and let bake for 20 minutes.
Next, remove from oven and add toppings. We made ours a Hawaiian pizza since I wondered how the coconut flour taste would work with the toppings. I baked this in the oven for an additional 20 minutes. We are at 3000 ft. so cook times may vary due to your elevation. The main thing is to bake until the toppings are golden.
It tasted like pizza. The coconut flavor of the flour is very subtle. There is no reason that this won’t work well for other types of pizzas. The crust can be a bit loose so eat with a fork. In the near future, we’ll try a variation where we add cheese to the dough. We’ll post that next version on this site.
Give this a try. Experiment. Let us know the results!
I’ve long been a fan of Everyday Paleo, and when I came across Sarah’s recipe for Mexican Meatballs the other day, I knew we had to try it. And given that we have some excellent local grass fed ground beef as well as our recently acquired ground pork from Foothill Grassfed Meats, there was really no reason not to give it a try.
I won’t reproduce the recipe here. You should definitely visit Everyday Paleo to see the original. But I will supply pictures and ideas we’ve had for future variations.
First, a shot of the meatballs after the first round of cooking and before applying the sauce.
Paleo Meatballs, cooked without sauce
And then after the sauce is on, they’ve cooked a bit longer, and we’re ready to eat.
Palo Meatballs, cooked and with sauce
The recipe was great: very tasty and quick to prepare using ingredients we tend to always have on hand. But we could also see using various chilis to spice up the sauce a little bit. Maybe a jalapeno or serrano peper to add some heat. Or a nice chipotle to add to head at smoky flavor at the same time. I could also see adding some shredded cheese right as the come out of the oven.
After Kathleen’s recent trip to Foothill Grassfed Meats, we made Dijon Pork Chops (which were fantastic). And that got us wanting to have pork a bit more often, so we went out in search of a simple pork chop recipe that we could make without much effort. (And by “went out in search of” I mean “I asked my co-workers”.)
Two Pork Chops
That search led to a simple recipe from Cook’s Illustrated (thanks, Kevin) called Easy Pork Chops. The beauty of this recipe is that you need nothing more than 1/2 inch thick bone-in pork chops (at room temperature), oil, salt, pepper, and a tiny bit of sugar (not really necessary, but it’s in the original recipe).
You put a bit of oil on both sides of the pork and add some salt and pepper. Then you place them in a cold non-stick pan. Turn the heat on to medium and cook on the first side for about 4-6 minutes. Then flip them over and cover, cooking another 3-6 minutes (until the inside reads 140 degrees on an instant read thermometer).
For added taste, you can remove the chops and let the juices that remain in the pan cook down a bit and pout them over the pork when you serve it.
They say starting in cold pan is the key to this recipe. I can’t tell you why, but it really works!
Over the past year, we’ve been experimenting with making all sorts of food with traditional methods. Recently, I reported on making Kimchi since it is considered one of the most healthy foods we can eat and its a great source of probiotics. Another tradition food and natural probiotic is sauerkraut.
Germans tend to eat sauerkraut with similar frequency and interest as Koreans eat Kimchi. As with Kimchi, the tradition of making sauerkraut goes back to over a thousand years ago. It is made by the lacto-fermentation process.
Using the basic recipe from Nourishing Traditions cookbook, I first gather all the ingredients. These include:
- 1 head of cabbage that has been cored and shredded
- 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds
- 1 tablespoon of sea salt
- 4 tablespoons of whey (A note on making whey: Leave a cup of raw milk at room temperature for 1 to 4 days (until milk solids separate from the semi-clear liquid (aka. whey)). Separate the whey from the milk solid by pouring the mixture through a cheese cloth.)
Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix. I fold the mixture several times using my hands. Firmly press down on the mixture with a meat hammer to release juices. Next, get out two wide-mouth mason jars and add the mixture. You’ll want to press down firmly on the contents of the jar to release more juices. Before closing the lid on the jar, check that the cabbage is an inch below the top. I was able to get two mason jars full of sauerkraut.
Let the jars sit at room temperature for a week. You may need to occasionally relieve pressure as gas builds up in the jar as seen by the concave top. Time can vary based on the room temperature. I have made the mistake of not letting this ferment long enough and I didn’t like the taste. If in double, seal up and ferment longer. When fermentation is complete, move to the refrigerator.
We tried it tonight and we really enjoyed the flavor. We’ve been buying sauerkraut for $7 a jar and this is just as good and costs around a dollar or two to make.
Due to the health benefits of natural probiotics, I have been experimenting with different sauerkraut recipes – looking for one Jeremy and I really like. Earlier, I made a sauerkraut recipe only using salt and no whey. The recipe turned out too salty. Then, I tried another recipe using whey, cabbage and caraway seeds. This tasted better but we didn’t love it. At the same time, we have been getting jalapeno sauerkraut from our CSA. This is very tasty but also expensive. Recently, with Pam’s encouragement, I made the Kimchi recipe in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook.
Kimchi is Korean Sauerkraut that has been discussed in literature going back 3,000 years. It has been listed of top five “World’s Healthiest Foods” for being rich in vitamins, aiding digestion, and even possibly reducing cancer growth. Kimchi is adored by Koreans who can eat it as often as three times a day. Americans like Jeremy and Pam’s family enjoy it, too. Since it is known to be beneficial to health and very spicy, I thought I should give this a try.
- 1 head of cabbage, shredded
- 1 bunch of green onion, chopped
- 1 cup of carrots, grated
- 1/2 cup of radish, grated
- 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, grated
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 a teaspoon of dried chile flakes
- 1 tablespoon of sea salt
- 4 tablespoons of whey (Whey is easy to make. Leave a cup of raw milk at room temperature for 1 to 4 days (until milk solids separate from the semi-clear liquid (aka. whey)). Separate the whey from the milk solid by pouring the mixture through a cheese cloth.)
Our Cusinart 9-cup Food Processor saves a lot of time in shredding the veggies.
Place everything in a bowl. I used my hands to mix the contents. I spent a few minutes folding the mixture to help ensure good mixing. Next, I pounded the mixture with a meat hammer to release the juices. This didn’t require much force or time. The juices easily separated from the mix. Next, I placed the mix into two wide-mouth mason jars and press down firmly with a meat hammer until the juices rose to the top. The top of the vegetables should be an inch below the top of the jar.
I covered the jars and placed them on our gas fireplace (only the pilot light is on). The recipe says that the fermentation process takes about 3 days at room temperature but ours took about 7 days. (I made the mistake of trying it after 1 day and it tasted weird…. So more fermentation is better than less.) Generally, if temperatures are cool, it will take longer. After fermentation has taken place, put it in cold storage.
We tried ours tonight and it is excellent. At dinner, we ate a half of jar. (I should start another batch tomorrow.) The taste was spicy and flavorful. Give it a try. It is very good, healthy food!
Kathleen recently wrote about her trip to Foothill Grassfed Meats, where we get farm-raised chicken and pork. With all that newfound pork in the freezer, we realized it was time for making one of our favorite tasty pork recipes: Pork Chops with Dijon Sauce.
While I’m not going to reproduce the entire recipe here (it’s pretty much as described from the Simple Recpies link above), it’s worth pointing out two particularly awesome things about this recipe:
- It’s really, really tasty. You can vary the ratios, of onion, cream, and mustard to match your exact taste. For example, I add about 2-3 times the amount of mustard that is called for in the basic recipe. So you can experiment a lot and have something that tastes quite good but also a bit different each time you make it.
- All of the ingredients are things that we typically have on hand in our kitchen. Unless we’ve literally run out of pork, there’s no need to go running to the grocery store for anything. I love recipes that use basic, every-day ingredients but can still taste amazing.
I should apologize a bit here too. In our enthusiasm for this dish, we didn’t focus quite enough of taking a good picture of it. But believe me, these are some fine tasking pork chops.
My sister Kim recently reminded me how difficult it can be to eat healthy when traveling for work. This inspired me to develop a list of Paleo Friendly Foods To Go that go beyond the obvious list of fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts. Give some of these options a try.
- Hard Boiled Eggs (preferably pasture raised): These can be prepared early in the week and kept in the fridge. Before you’re heading out, just wrap these in a paper towel and put into a small Tupperware container. These have worked out very well for us.
- Trail Mix: Again, you can easily make your own weeks ahead of your planned travel. Mix some dark chocolate chips with your favorite raw nuts and dried fruit.
- Dehydrated snacks: Last Christmas, I gave Jeremy a dehydrator. With this, you can make several snacks that are good on the go. These include beef jerky, kale chips, fruit roll-ups… and the list goes on.
- Nut Butter Sandwiches: Over the past year, we noticed that Safeway sells freshly made nut butters of all types (Cashew, Walnuts, Pistachio, Almond, Peanut). You can spread this on some toasted sprouted bread, place it in a sandwich bag and go.
- Healthy Bars: Larabar brand sells a large variety of flavors. The thing we love about these bars is that there are only a handful of natural ingredients. No sugar or preservatives are added.
- Paleo Cookies: We have a few recipes on our blog: chocolate chip cookies, sweet potato based cookies
- Paleo Bread: We made a yummy banana bread a little while ago. This is a good snack!
- Leftover chicken soup in a stainless steel thermos: We often make chicken based broth soups. Heat-up some left-over and put in a thermos before heading out. There are some good stainless steel thermos options that retain heat for several hours.
- Smoothie or Protein Shake in a stainless steel thermos: Make your favorite shake, add some ice and put in a thermos. This can stay cool for a few hours and can be a tasty option on the road.
Remember that these snacks should be kept out of the sun and eaten the same day since this is all real food.