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‘Tis pumpkin season, which calls for pumpkin muffins:  easy, clean and paleo.

pumpkin-muffins

I used Wellness Mama’s recipe, which turned out great. I added some Enjoy Life chocolate morsels (dairy-free, gluten-free and soy-free), and that’s why I used only 3 Tbs of pure maple syrup (instead of honey), and added pecans into the batter. All the rest, remains the same as the original recipe. Of course you can play around with the sweetener and the quantity.

Bon Appétit !

fall3

Fall Bliss

 

 

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I wanted to make a vegan cake for someone’s birthday, but most vegan desserts usually contain some grains or processed sugar, which I try to avoid, being Paleo. On the other hand, I do use eggs for baking, but that’s not vegan, right? I also wanted chocolate, thank you.

cake

This cake was gone after a day!

After googling endlessly for the ideal combination of vegan and paleo with chocolate, I found Ester Perez’ recipe that looked promising and really pretty. I made two versions of it after tweaking it to my needs (basically, to ingredients I had at home) and thought this version is the better one, cause I don’t like it too sweet:

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 7-8 pitted dates
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tbs water

***

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened organic cocoa powder
  • 4 Tbs melted organic cold-pressed coconut oil
  • 1 Tbs organic vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon organic cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

how to:

  1. combine first 4 ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until sticks together. You don’t want to turn it into a powder, but you don’t want any whole pecans in there either.
  2. Once blended, press the mix into a pie plate. You don’t have to butter the pan.
  3. Set that aside and make your filling.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients into the food processor or blender.
  5. Once ingredients are completely blended together into a creamy consistency, pour mix into the prepared crust.
  6. Set in the fridge to chill until serving, or if making ahead, freeze and serve at a later time, but thaw at least an hour to room temperature before serving.

This is a great dessert for a warm summer night, it’s cool and light. Only problem is, it’s so tasty and such an easy pie to make, that it’s tempting to make again and again. Bon Appétit!

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Call it ice-cream, call it pudding, as long as it’s chocolaty, soft, and cool in my mouth, it’s one of the ultimate heat breakers for summer. The fact that it’s gluten, and dairy free, both paleo and vegan, elevates it to ideal. And, to top it all, it’s easy to make. Oh, it will be somewhat grainy, as I like to feel some chunks (dates, pecans). Now that’s pure awesomeness.

chilled chocolate banana date mousse

chilled chocolate banana date ice-cream

you’ll need:

How to:

  1. Pulse the coconut flakes in a food processor, for about 1-2 minutes. At first it will be powdered, and then it will start to stick to the container walls.
  2. Peel bananas and cut roughly into slices, and add to the coconut mixture in the food processor. Add cacao powder, medjool dates (make sure no pits), and pecans. Add any optional flavors*.
  3. Blend in food processor until thick and creamy. If you like it smoother (and not feel the date, or coconut chunks), keep blending even more.
  4. Transfer to a freezer-safe dish, and tuck in the freezer 30-60 minutes, yet not too long so it doesn’t harden too much. If you do leave it too long, that’s fine, just thaw it outside for a while, before serving. Alternatively, you can save in the fridge, covered, to have it as a soft mousse/pudding treat. All of the above, if you don’t finish it right away.

optional flavors to add:

  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder + 1/8 tsp chili powder. YES, it’ll add pizzazz to your mouth;
  • 1/3 tsp cinnamon powder;
  • 1/3 tsp coffee powder + 1/8 tsp chili powder + 1 Tbs vanilla extract;
  • throw in some of your favorite nuts and berries (goji, mulberries, etc’);
  • throw in some mini chocolate nibs or chocolate chips.

What’s your favorite addition?

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I had no intentions of making any latkes this time around, didn’t feel like working too hard.  But, it’s that time of year, again. Cold outside, beautiful lights adorn the houses around us. Kids brought out the menorahs (we call them Hanukkiah) and fixed their asking eyes upon me: “Latkes…  Latkes…“. It took me just seconds to change my mind, especially having all the ingredients, and I set out to work. And guess what, it didn’t take that long. And kids got the feeling of a real Hanukkah.

coconutty sweet latkes with tangy applesauce

coconutty sweet latkes with tangy applesauce

The recipe is Paleo, and is inspired by Everyday Paleo’s recipe, I tweaked it to my liking. These latkes are on the sweet side. You’re gonna love them if you’re a coconut aficionada. You may also choose to make the savory latkes from a previous post.

you’ll need:

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • coconut oil
  • 1 Tbs raw honey or pure maple syrup (optional)
Mr. coconut oil forgot to join the group photo

Mr. coconut oil forgot to join the group photo

how-to:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients above, without the coconut oil.
  2. Heat 4 Tbs of coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Drop a small amount of latke mixture into pan. If the oil sizzles around the edges, it’s ready.
  4. Working in batches and adding more coconut oil to the skillet as needed, drop large spoonfuls of mixture into pan, and fry 1.5 minutes per side, or until golden-brown on both sides.
  5. Transfer latkes to paper towel-lined plate.
  6. Serve warm latkes with fresh applesauce (see recipe).
grated sweet potatoes

grate grate grate

Fresh applesauce :

Slice coarsely 2 washed apples (any variety), no need to peel them, and drop Into a food processor (but without the core). Add a peeled clementine* (make sure no seeds), pinch of cinnamon powder, and a pinch of nutmeg powder. Puree. Serve right away, on the warm, sweet latke.

*may be substituted with a squeeze of fresh lemon (no seeds).

latke mountain

latke mountain

Life is good 🙂

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Curried-Cumined Zucchini Soup

Curried-Cumined Zucchini Soup

Our winter is too long and too white. There, I said it! To break all this whiteness, I made a warm green soup.

you’ll need:

  • 2 Tbs fat (butter, ghee, coconut oil, tallow);
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds;
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped;
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped;
  • 1 tsp curry powder (if you like less spicy, use 1/2 tsp curry and 1/2 tsp turmeric);
  • 3-4 zucchini, coarsely sliced (I also used one Dudhi, an Indian type of long zucchini);
  • 3-4 cups liquids (bone broth, chicken broth, vegetable broth, water). Use less liquid (3 cups) for a thicker consistency;
  • salt and pepper;
  • lemon;

* optional: garnish (cilantro, parsley, sour cream)

ingredients assembly. not in the photo: lemon, broth, parsley, salt n' pepper

ingredients assembly. not in the photo: lemon, broth, parsley, salt n’ pepper

how-to:

  1. Melt fat in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and allow them to heat just until they let out their wonderful aroma. They will start to splutter. Don’t allow them to burn or blacken.

    sizzling cumin opening it's fragrance

    sizzling cumin opening it’s fragrance

  2. Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 4 minutes until they start to soften.

    zuc·chi·ni. noun, plural zuc·chi·nis

    zuc·chi·ni. noun, plural zuc·chi·nis

  3. Add liquid, zucchini, curry powder and salt (add more salt if using only water as your liquid). Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook gently for 30 minutes, until veggies are tender.
  4. Allow soup to cool, and blend (I use an immersion stick) until just smooth.
  5. Before serving, reheat soup. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Ladle into bowls, squeeze some lemon, and add some garnish.

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Orna and Ella are Israeli icon restauranteurs. Their place is a Tel-Avivian institution, and their yam latkes, or pancakes, are very popular, for a very good reason. If you’re ever in Israel, be sure to visit their place, and definitely try the yam latkes.

This year, Hanukkah falls smack on Thanksgiving, so a yam latke is a given.

paleo yam latkes

paleo yam latkes

So I took Orna and Ella’s original yam latke recipe, and tweaked it to fit my paleo diet needs, aka: no gluten, dairy, sugar…

you’ll need:

how-to:

  1. Heat oven to 370°f *. Spread some coconut oil on parchment paper on a baking sheet. * my oven seems to me to be less heating, so please start yours with 360°f.
  2. Just as the original recipe suggests: “Peel the sweet potatoes and chop into large pieces. Cook sweet potatoes in a pot of boiling water (or steam) until they are completely soft. Place the sweet potatoes in a strainer for an hour or two until they are drained of all water (they can also be left overnight in the fridge to drain).”
  3. Blend the yams with the rest of the ingredients above, without the coconut oil (which is only for greasing the baking sheet).
  4. Spread latkes (flatten them) on baking sheet. Put in oven for 40-45 minutes, as you make sure they’re not burned (see no.1 above).
flatten golden latkes on baking sheet

flatten golden latkes on baking sheet

Serve with apple sauce, yogurt, sour cream, or chive sauce in original recipe.

photo ain't doing no favor to these yummy latkes

photo ain’t doing no favor to these yummy latkes

from my pre-paleo era, recipe for light Hanukkah sufganiyot

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Every once in a while, I crave sweet, like all normal people. I especially want my CHOCOLATE. I love chocolate.

Usually I’ll have a few squares of 85%-90% cacao chocolate, like Lindt, or Green & Black Organic. Yet, sometimes, I just need to feel the soft, creamy, chocolaty, mousse-like texture on my tongue.  

Chocolate pudding, Paleo

Tad-dam
Chocolate Pudding.

Enter the chocolate pudding.

For this basic pudding, there are no more than 4 ingredients (!):

  • 1 whole avocado, ripe
  • 2 TBS coconut oil
  • 2 TBS cacao powder
  • 2 TBS pure maple syrup
group photo. say cheese, ahem... I mean chocolate

group photo. say cheese, ahem… I mean chocolate

how-to:

  1. With a spoon, scoop out all the avocado, sans skin and seed, into a food processor. Lick the spoon, it’s good for you.
  2. Add the other ingredients to the food processor.
  3. Start processing by pulsing on high speed, until the mixture is homogeneous, in a creamy-like consistency. You do not want to see little specks of avocado. Everything has to look like brown, chocolaty, unified pudding.
  4. At this point, you may transfer the cream into a nice container, and cool it for 10 minutes in the fridge. Or, I just finish it off right there and then.
ingredients for paleo chocolate pudding

ingredients enjoying their last moments as singles

paleo chocolate pudding

ingredients are blended into a soft, velvety chocolate pudding

notes:

  1. coconut oil, cacao powder and maple syrup- you want them of high quality, preferably organic.
  2. you better blend the mixture well, or else you’ll have green avocado specks. While that’s not too bad, try to explain that to your guests.
  3. Personally, I don’t go after a very sweet kick, a little will go a long way. Being Paleo kind of lowered my sweet-taste lever, so 2 TBS of maple syrup are enough for me. You may need to add maple if you like it sweeter.
  4. This is a basic recipe, but there are many add-ons that could elevate your pudding for a festive occasion or just to fancy it up. Add any one of these to the food processor: 1/2 sp. pure vanilla extract, 100 g of melted chocolate bar, chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, macadamia, etc.), shredded coconut (I used it on top, to garnish), chopped dates, chocolate chips, chopped banana chips, whatever makes you happy.
  5. do not refrigerate the pudding for too long, as the coconut oil tends to harden.
sweet life

sweet life

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