Monday, November 20, 2017

Perfect Paleo Pumpkin Pie

So, I'm such a sucker for alliteration!  Let's break down the title.

Perfect- This pie checks all the boxes for texture, taste, and appearance
Paleo- This is completely free of grains, dairy, and refined sugars. That being said, the amount of natural sugars definitely throws it into the dessert/treat category.
Pumpkin Pie- I think you've got this!  😉

When thinking about Thanksgiving, I think pumpkin pie!  Many Paleo recipes use coconut milk for the filling.  I do not like coconut flavor in my pumpkin pie. That led me to create my own Paleo compliant recipe.

After testing many crust recipes, I really like this one.
It does make 2 pie crusts, so I guess you will have to make 2 pies.  Pecan, apple, blueberry, chocolate cream, oh the possibilities!

Filling (makes 1 9-inch pie)
2 cups raw cashews (only 3/4 if not making the cashew vanilla cream drizzle)
1 cup maple syrup
2 TBSP coconut sugar
1 can pumpkin
2 large eggs
1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla
3/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup cashew milk

Vanilla Cream Drizzle:
Remaining cashews
1/3 cup filtered water
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 Tbsp maple syrup

1.  Soak all 2 cups of cashews in filtered water for about 4 hours.
2.  Prepare the crust
3.  Position rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
4.  Drain cashews and measure out 3/4 of a cup. Place in high powered blender.  Set aside remaining cashews.
5.  Add all other filling ingredients.  Process on high speed for 2 minutes or until completely creamy and no lumps remain.
6.  Pour filling into unbaked crust and bake for about 20 minutes.
7.  Cover crust edges with a pie shield or foil and continue to bake another 25-30 minutes until the filling is lightly browned and filling is set up.
8.  Let cool completely, about 2 hours, then chill for 2 hours or more.  Can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
9.  If desired, make vanilla cream drizzle by placing all ingredients in high power blender and processing until creamy.  Chill.  Drizzle over pieces before serving.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Paleo Friendly Chicken Pot Pie

Sometimes it's fun to recreate an old favorite.  This is one I've been working on for awhile, but have finally perfected it.  I made a couple regular pot pies full of flour and milk today also, but hubby liked the paleo better!  Can't think of a better way to determine that this is good.

A few thoughts about homemade chicken pot pie:  They are a labor of love!  I always make at least 2 since it's so much work.  What do you do if you don't need 2?  I recommend giving one away.  The recipient will thank you.  Boil a great quality chicken the day before.  De-bone and cube up the meat.  Refrigerate the broth overnight and skim off any fat the next day.  This really helps cut down of the time the next day.  Any unused chicken or broth can be frozen or refrigerated for later use.

Ingredients to make 2 pies
3 cups almond flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1 heaping Tbsp celery seed
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup palm shortening
5 Tbsp cold butter (I used salted)
6 Tbsp ice cold water

2/3 cup butter (I use salted)
2/3 cup arrowroot powder
2/3 cup chopped onion
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
fresh thyme
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/3 cup non-dairy milk (I use coconut-almond blend)
4 cups cubed chicken
1 1/2 cups diced potatoes
1 1/2 cups diced carrots
1 1/2 cups frozen peas

Start by combining flours, celery seed, salt, and baking powder.  Pulse in palm shortening and butter.  Gradually add in water.  Divide pastry into 4 parts, 2 slightly larger than the other 2.  Wrap the 2 smaller portions in parchment paper dusted with tapioca flour.  Place in the fridge.  Press other parts into 2 9-inch cake pans or pie plates using wet hands.  Set aside or cover and chill in fridge.

Chop carrots and potatoes & place in a microwave safe bowl.  Cook for 3 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften.  For the filling, melt butter in a pot.  Add onion, arrowroot, salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring until mixture is bubbly.  Remove from heat and add chicken broth and milk.  Heat to boiling and boil for 1 minute.  Stir in carrots, potatoes, peas and chicken.  Fill bottom crusts evenly.  Roll out top crusts between 2 pieces of parchment paper dusted with tapioca flour.  Carefully transfer to the top, seal edges, and cut slits with a knife.

Bake at 425 for 35-40 minutes.  May need to cover lightly with aluminum foil halfway through to prevent burning.  

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Fruit Pizza

Really wanted something to finish out our homemade pizza night.  Fruit pizza it is!  Looked at several recipes and settled on this one.  Some reviews were not favorable, but ours turned out great.  Baked it on a stone and added a bit more arrowroot to the glaze.  Consumed in a flash!  Will be making this again soon.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Fried Zucchini - Updated

Two years ago I posted my fried zucchini recipe.  It is so super simple and has a great flavor.  After testing a couple times, I have now discovered how to keep the breading from sliding off and must update this recipe.  I have always done egg mixture, then breading.  I now know to do breading, egg mixture, then breading.  No more salty, crispy goodness sliding off!

Rena's Fried Zucchini
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 egg
2 Tbsp almond milk
coconut oil, refined
grape seed oil
1-2 zucchinis

In the first bowl mix flour and spices.  In the second bowl whisk egg and almond milk.  Slice zucchini in about 1/4 inch slices.  Heat oils in a skillet or electric skillet (I use my electric skillet at around 375 degrees.)  Dip squash in flour mixture, the egg mixture then back in the flour mixture.  Fry in oil flipping once.  You want them to brown slowly so they cook through.  Place on a paper towel lined plate.  When making a big batch, keep warm in a 200 degree oven until serving. 

Served with Lemon Aioli Sauce.

Summer Zucchini Basil Frittata

My neighbor asked me to keep an eye on her zucchini and cucumber plants while she is gone.  I have been harvesting lots of zucchinis and making many recipes! One of my favorites has been a frittata.  I used this recipe as a base.  I only made half the recipe and swapped out the sausage for turkey bacon. The half recipe still made about 4 servings.  It was delicious even when reheated.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Persian Spiced Beef with Butternut Squash

I love to be adventurous and try new recipes.  After reading an ingredient list, I can often tell if it will be well received or not.  In an effort to expand our horizons, I occasionally try something I'm not sure how it will go over with the fam.  This was one of those nights!   This 1 dish meal had wonderful flavor and not a bit was left in the pan.  Next time I will definitely double the recipe.  I made a couple alterations, so here are the links to the spice blend and original recipe.

Here is what I made:
For advieh spice blend, mix together
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cumin

Persian Spiced Beef with Butternut Squash:
2 lbs butternut squash peeled, deseeded and chopped into even chunks (about 1/2 large squash)
1 lb grass fed ground beef
1 medium red onion sliced into half moons
1/4 cup organic raisins
1/4 cup pistachios, crushed (I used roasted & salted and that was good.  Original called for raw, unsalted)
advieh spice mix
2 Tbsp ghee or grass fed butter
handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
sea salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 220C/425F.
  2. Place cubed butternut squash into a large mixing bowl and season with S&P, then drizzle over 1 Tbsp of melted grass-fed butter or ghee. Toss to coat.
  3. Place into the lined baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the squash is roasted and tender.
  4. While the squash is baking, heat a skillet on medium heat. Add in another Tbsp of grass-fed butter or ghee.
  5. When the skillet is heated add in the red onion and cook for about 10-15 minutes, until softened.
  6. Add in the grass-fed beef and using a wooden spoon, break up the meat as it is cooking.
  7. When the beef is nearly browned, season with some S&P and the advieh. Mix to combine.
  8. Add in the raisins and stir to mix. Let cook for about 5 minutes then add in the pistachios and stir.
  9. Once the meat is almost done, stir in the freshly chopped parsley.
  10. Remove the baked butternut squash from the oven and add it into the beef mixture.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Spaghetti Squash Frittata

Here's a great way to eat your veggies for breakfast.  This came together quickly and was very satisfying.  Next time I make spaghetti squash, I plan to hold back a cup and enjoy this again.  I topped mine with fresh cilantro.