Category Archives: Other Dinner

Jackfruit Pulled “Pork”

Here’s another way to lie to yourself that you’re eating meat, hehe… Although to be honest, it’s a recipe that holds on is own. Some people have reported that it tastes like chicken, but I think that it tastes more like artichoke, rather than meat.

jackfruit

Ingredients (for 2)
* 1 can of jackfruit in water (not brine or syrup)
* 1 teaspoon paprika
* 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
* 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
* 1 teaspoon of onion powder
* other spices of your choice
* 1 Tbspoon avocado or olive oil
* 1 cup of vegetable broth
* 1/2 cup of gluten-free, low sugar, bbq sauce (or make your own)

Directions
1. Drain the jackfruit can and rinse in a colander. Cut out and discard the woody triangle end of each piece.

2. Using your fingers, or two forks, “pull” the “pork” apart. Add the spices, and coat well using your hands.

3. Place in a frying pan, with a little of oil, and cook until all juices have evaporated, about 5 minutes.

4. Add the vegetable broth and the bbq sauce, cover the pan, and cook until all juices have evaporated and the mixture resembles that of a pulled pork, about 30 minutes.

5. Serve hot, in romaine lettuce leaves, or in oopsie buns, along a coleslaw.

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Bean Burgers

I’ve been salivating over the idea of bean burgers for a few months now. Finally, tonight I bit the bullet and I made some. And they were amazing. Even my French husband, who is a (gluten-free otherwise) meat eater, loved them.

beans

Ingredients (makes 7-8 burgers)
* 1 can of black beans
* 1 can of garbanzo beans
* 1/3 cup of almond meal
* 1/2 of a large onion, chopped
* 3 tbspoons of avjar pepper spread (get it at Trader Joe’s or Amazon)
* 1 tbspoon of garlic powder
* 1/2 tbspoon of Sriracha or other hot sauce (to taste)
* 1 tspoon of ginger
* a handful of cilantro, chopped
* avocado or olive oil for frying

Method
1. Drain the beans, run under cold water, and drain again.

2. In a large frying pan, add some oil, and fry the onion until almost transparent, about 4 minutes.

3. Add the cilantro, and avjar spread and continue stir-frying for another minute or so.

4. Add the beans, and stir-fry until most of the liquid has gone, about 3-4 minutes.

5. Place all fried ingredients in a large bowl, and let cool for a few minutes.

6. Add the ginger, hot sauce, garlic powder, and almond meal, and using a potato masher, start mashing the mixture.

7. Using a measuring cup, measure about 1/2 cup of the mixture, and then form burgers using your hands.

8. Add some more oil in the frying pan. Fry under medium heat for 4-5 minutes, until golden brown underneath, and then carefully turn the burgers and fry some more.

9. Remove from fire, and place on a kitchen towel. You can choose to freeze some of the burgers after they got a bit cold.

10. Assemble your burgers: lettuce wrappers or oopsie buns, cheese, mustard, ketchup and your hot bean burger. Enjoy!

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

This is the best version of the well-known in the low-carb circles, cauliflower pizza. The original versions were using cauliflower as-is, and mozzarella cheese, which resulted in an extremely “mushy” pizza. This version retains much less water by cooking the water out of the cauliflower first, and using a hard cheese type.

This version also holds together better than the mozzarella version, so that the crust is freezable for future usage. This is why the recipe below is for 4 crusts, and not 1. You prepare these once, maybe a weekend afternoon, and then you can have pizza available almost immediately in the future! I could even argue that if it’s just you in your household, you can cut the baked crust in two, and freeze it / re-bake it as halves, because this pizza is super-filling (due to being high-fat)! My husband barely managed to go through half of the pizza, and I managed only 2/3s of the other half.

pizza2

Ingredients (makes four 10″ pizza crusts)
* A large cauliflower head (largest you can find)
* 445 gr (1 lb) of thinly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
* 4 large pastured eggs
* 3 tbspoons almond meal or 2 tbspoons of psyllium husk (optional)
* toppings of your choice (e.g. pizza sauce, then pizza cheese like mozzarella/provolone, then mushrooms, anchovies, bell peppers, onions, olives, squeezed pineapple, artichokes, greens etc)

Method
1. Cut the cauliflower into 4. Put 1/4 of it in the food processor and run it using the S blade. Run it until the cauliflower resembles small grains (smaller than you would cut it for cauliflower rice).

2. Place the cauliflower into a large pan, without any oil, and under medium heat, cook out the water. It can take 10-15 minutes to do so, stir often.

3. Transfer to a big bowl, and let cool.

4. Continue steps 1-3 with the rest of the cauliflower parts.

pizza1

5. Add 1/4th (about 110 gr) of the cheese in one of the bowls, 1 egg, and the optional 1 tbspoon of almond meal. Mix well together using your hands, and you will see now that the mixture holds together.

6. Put some parchment paper on to a pizza baking pan (I bought two of them), transfer the dough on it, and shape it using your hands. Make sure the edges are not too thin, or they will burn out too fast.

7. In a preheated 400 F (205 C) oven, place the pizza crust, and let it bake for at least 15 minutes. Using a spoon, lift it slightly, to see if it has baked underneath or not.

8. When it has baked well underneath, remove from the oven, turn upside down, throw away the parchment paper, and here is where you make a choice:
– A. You add the toppings (sauce, cheese, veggies) and bake again for another 8-10 minutes. Eat hot!
– B. Put back as-is in the oven (without toppings), and bake until the bottom is golden brown too. Remove from the oven, let cool well, and then freeze it in a large plastic bag in the freezer (make sure it’s placed completely flat). When you want to bake them in the future, preheat oven to 425 F, let the dough to slightly unfreeze, place your toppings, and bake for at least 10 minutes.

9. Do steps 5-8 with the rest of the cauliflower. Enjoy your future pizzas!

pizza3

Note: While this is a healthier pizza overall, it still contains obscene amounts of cheese. Especially Parmesan, with its high natural MSG, could create problems to some people.

Colcannon

One of my favorite Irish recipes.

cauliflower-colcannon1
Image courtesy of OurLifeInFood

Ingredients
* 1 head cauliflower (or 2 yellow yams, or 2 rutabagas, or 3 parsnips)
* Splash milk or kefir
* 1 leek, chopped
* 1 cup of thinly sliced cabbage
* Chives
* 1/4th stick butter or ghee
* salt & pepper

Method
1. Cut the cauliflower in florets. Boil it for 10-15 minutes until soft. Strain it, place in a large bowl, add the splash of milk/kefir, and use an immersion mixer to puree until smooth. Season with salt & pepper.

2. Add the leek and cabbage to the pan with butter. Cook for a few minutes until all of the vegetables are softened.

3. Mix in the pan the puree with the veggies. Cook enough to heat through, sprinkle with chives, and serve.

Variation: Make it even more interesting by also frying some thinly sliced mushrooms in step 2, and adding a bit of lemon at step 3.

Spanakorizo

Here’s a quick meal that it’s really easy and fast to cook, it has enough quantity to stop your hunger cold. From the original Spanakoryzo (spinach and rice) Greek recipe.

If you’re in the phase of the diet that you can’t have rice yet, or if you just don’t do rice at all, substitute it with cauliflower rice.

spanakorizo

Ingredients (for 1)
* 25 gr rice
* 80 gr spinach
* 1/4 of a lemon
* salt to taste
* 1 tbspoon olive oil

Method
1. Medium-heat 1 cup of water in a pan and add the rice in it.

2. Wash the spinach and add it in the pan too.

3. Cook until most of the juice has evaporated and the rice has cooked through.

4. Remove from the heat, and squeeze the lemon on top. Serve hot or cold with some olive oil as a salad.

Ratatouille

This is a traditional southern France vegetarian dish that I first had at JBQ’s grandmother place. Awesome veggie power!

ratatouille

Ingredients (for 1)
* 1/3 of an eggplant
* 1/2 of a small zucchini
* 1/4 of a green bell pepper
* 1/4 of a yellow bell pepper
* 1/2 cup of vegetable broth
* herbes de Provence
* 1 big tomato
* 2 shallots, chopped
* 1 garlic clove, chopped
* black pepper & salt to taste
* 1 Tbspoon olive oil

Method
1. Cut in small cubes the eggplant, zucchini, ball peppers and tomato and set aside.

2. Under medium heat add the oil, and saute the onions and garlic. Preheat oven at 350 F (180 C).

3. Add the cube’d vegetables in the pan and stir. Sprinkle a bit of black pepper, salt and herbes de Provence.

4. Continue stir-frying in the pan for 3 more minutes and then add the vegetable broth juice.

5. Take a small, shallow baking dish and pour the ingredients into it. Bake for 30 minutes until most broth has evaporated. Serve hot or cold.

Miso Soup

While soy is to be avoided on this diet, when it’s fermented and its protein/lectins are broken down by the beneficial bacteria doing the fermentation, it becomes an acceptable ingredient. Tamari (wheat-free) soy sauce for example is used by many Paleo dieters, while natto (fermented soy beans), and soy-based gluten-free unpasteurized miso paste are all considered very good for our health. Tofu on the other hand is very processed, and it still carries loads of agglutinin (SBA), so it’s not an acceptable food in the Paleo-sphere.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to find these ingredients in all countries, especially the unpasteurized miso paste. Most miso pastes are pasteurized, so their cultures are dead, making miso itself useless. In my local Japanese food store I only found one product that was unpasteurized, and many more than weren’t. Also, make sure that your miso does not contain grains/barley.

This miso soup is very easy to make, and very healthy because it includes various bone minerals, the miso live culture, and iodine & other rare minerals found only on sea-vegetables. My husband usually dislikes miso soup in sushi restaurants, but he loved this one (he asked for a refill, rare for him).

miso

Ingredients (for 2, 5 gr of carbs each)
* 2 heaping tspoons of unpasteurized barley-free & gluten-free miso paste
* 2.5 cups of water
* 2 tbspoons of dried sea vegetables (I used this 6-variety pack)
* 4-6 oyster or wood-ear mushrooms
* Green part of 1 green onion, chopped

Method
1. Place the dried sea vegetables in warm water, and let them stand for 10 minutes. Then rinse them well.

2. In a saucepan add the water, under medium heat. Using a tea cup, submerge it to the warm liquid and remove about 1/3 cup of it. Set aside the cup.

3. Add the sea vegetables and mushrooms in the saucepan and bring into a boil for about 5 minutes. Remove from fire.

4. Add the miso paste into the warm-ish water in the tea cup and try to liquify the paste using a teaspoon. It’s important for the water in the cup to not be very hot, or the active culture will die.

5. When the soup in the saucepan has cooled down a bit (warm, not hot), add the chopped green onion, and the now-liquid miso paste. Mix well, serve immediately, possibly with some sashimi!

Oopsie buns

Oopsies are the Americanized version of the French souffle. My French husband loved them. They can be baked in ramekins for a more authentic souffle taste (in this case omit the almond flour), or as bread buns. They’re extremely low carb, and Paleo/Primal.

Ingredients (makes 6 buns)
* 4 eggs, yolks and whites separated in two bowls
* 3/4 cup of creamy goat cheese, or shaved emmental cheese
* 2 tablespoons of almond or coconut flour
* 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar (or baking soda)

Method
1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). On the bowl with the whites, add the cream of tartar.

2. Beat the whites in high speed until very-very stiff, about 4-5 minutes.

3. Add the cheese and flour to the yolk bowl, and beat until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.

4. Fold the yolk mixture slowly into the whites, and mix carefully with a spatula for a few seconds.

5. Spoon the mixture in 6 pieces, on a baking sheet with a parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Per Serving (3 buns): 430 calories, 3 gr of net carbs, 36 gr of fat, 25% protein, 83% Lysine. 45% B12, 72% Riboflavin, 63% choline, 55% A, 23% calcium, 59% phosphorus, 31% selenium, 33% copper.

Mashed Roots

One of my favorite foods, is mash. Super-easy to make! I made a batch tonight, using 2 turnips, 1 rutabaga, and just half of a purple yam. It turned everything a beautiful purple color. I kept some for tomorrow, and I froze the rest.

mash

Ingredients
* Any roots or bulbs you have around: white potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, turnips, rutabaga, carrots, parsnips, kohlrabi
* 1/4th stick of butter
* 1/4th cup of kefir or coconut milk
* Salt & pepper

Method
1. Peel, wash, and cut the roots in cubes.

2. Boil in water for about 20 minutes under medium to high heat.

3. Drain, and place in a large bowl. Add the butter, kefir, salt & pepper.

4. Using an immersion mixer, mix everything well.

5. Serve immediately, refrigerate up to 2 days, or freeze in plastic boxes.

Best Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower fried rice is the best substitute for Chinese fried rice on low carb and grain-free Paleo diets. Here’s a generic recipe for it, but accompanied with hints and tips on how to make the recipe work best. You see, if you treat cauliflower like rice, you will end up with a mushy, cabbage-smelling dish. Following the tips below, will bring your fried cauliflower much closer to the real thing.

wpid-14064318020091

Ingredients (for 2)
* Half a cauliflower head, in small florets
* 1 egg
* 4 tablespoons of olive oil
* 1 small leek, cleaned and chopped
* 1/2 cup of frozen peas
* 1 cup of shelled shrimp or mushrooms
* 1/2 cup of veggies chopped (e.g. carrots, peppers, broccoli etc)
* 1 green onion, chopped
* 1 clove of garlic, chopped
* 1.5 tablespoons of gluten-free tamari soy sauce, or coconut aminos
* 1 teaspoon of turmeric (optional)
* black pepper to taste

Method
1. On a small frying pan, with a tablespoon of olive oil, crack an egg on low heat. Using a wooden spoon, swirl continuously the egg, until you achieve a scrambled egg consistency. Turn off the heat before the egg is fully cooked, set aside.

2. On a wok or frying pan, add the shrimp (or mushrooms), 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil, peas, veggies, leeks, garlic, and black pepper. Stir occasionally. Add the soy sauce. Cook in medium heat until the shrimp is done and the leeks have become transparent and soft, and there’s no liquid left in the pan. Set aside.

3. Using a food processor and its S blade, add half of the cauliflower in it. Give it 5-6 jolts until the cauliflower has become “riced”. Do not make the pieces too small, but it should still feel a bit chunky. Set aside, and process the rest of the cauliflower.

4. On a very large frying pan (I used a 14″) that is not wok-like (but rather it has a flat surface), add 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil, the turmeric (if using), and the cauliflower. Under high heat, fry the cauliflower, stirring occasionally, until it starts to get burned marks and it starts to feel dry.

5. Add the meat mixture in to the big frying pan with the cauliflower rice, and stir. Add the scrambled eggs, green onion, and stir. A minute later, turn off the heat, and serve.

IMG_20160823_192505

Tips
1. We use a very large, leveled frying pan instead of a wok because woks tend to trap moist. We’re trying to get rid of as much moist from the dish, because it’s that moist that brings the cabbage smell to cauliflower.
2. We’re using leeks because these emulate the sweetness of rice. Without it, the dish comes out a bit flat in taste.
3. Do not process the cauliflower too much, or too much moist will come out of them.
4. Do not crack the egg on the same pan as the cauliflower. While scrambling the egg on the side of the pan works with rice, it doesn’t work as well for cauliflower. Same goes for the meat mixture.

“Blatzara” Greek spinach pie

Blatzara (aka “plastos”) is the original version of the popular Greek spinach pie. The recipe goes back thousands of years, but only a few villages still make spinach-pie this way. In fact, this is one of these recipes that you can’t find anywhere else online. I’m originating from the Souli mountain villages of Epirus, so this is as original as it goes. I double-checked with my mom & grand-mother too.

Blatzara is made similarly to modern Greek spinach-pie, but without a dough/phyllo. It does retain the same taste though, and it’s easier to make! This makes it perfect for the Paleo diet, with only a few small changes: I used “riced” cauliflower instead of white rice (although white rice was optional in the original recipe anyway). The rest is the same as in the ancient recipe!

Ingredients (for 6)
* 1/2 cup spinach (thawed from frozen), or 2 cups fresh spinach
* 1 cup fresh sorrel (or baby kale), chopped
* 1 cup fresh Swiss chard, chopped
* 1 cup of other green leaves you got (e.g. chopped amaranth, kale, collards, beets, dandelion etc). Use more spinach & swiss chard if you can’t find such kinds of greens.
* 2 leeks, cut in 1/4-inch rounds
* Some chopped mint
* 4 scallions (or 1/2 of a big onion), chopped
* 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
* 1/2 cup cauliflower, “riced” with a shredder (or semi-cooked rice)
* 100 gr feta cheese, crumbled (optional, only if you do dairy)
* salt to taste

Method
1. Wash the leaves with cold water. In a big bowl place the chopped onion, parsley, leeks, mint, spinach, sorrel, Swiss chard and other greens. Add salt to taste. Using your fingers, work the mixture, until they almost start looking wilted.

2. Crumble the feta cheese using your fingers, and add it to the mixture. Add the riced cauliflower too. Carefully mix all ingredients again. Pre-heat the oven at 400 F (200 C).

greek-pie

3. Move everything in a deep baking pan. The raw ingredients should be forming a mass of about 2.5 inches thick in the pan.

4. Bake for about 45-50 minutes. Half-way through check it out and notice if it looks too dry. If yes, drizzle a bit more olive oil on top of it. When it has started getting some nice color on top, remove from the oven.

5. Serve it with either by squeezing some lemon juice, or with butter. In Greece we drizzle lemon juice, but my French husband loves it with butter (since it gives the dish a more creamy texture). Enjoy!