Banana Bread

Since I’ve been on the Paleo Diet I’ve been trying out different breads that you can purchase at the store and I’ve even tried a few recipes as well.  If you are a bread eater then you know that most breads are soft and fluffy.  Some have a nice crunchy crust, but you know that a majority of breads are soft in the middle.  Moist.  The gluten free or Paleo friendly breads that I’ve been trying are dense, dry and sometimes they crumble.  I made one recently that was very eggy, but that was because it was coconut flour and coconut flour sucks up all the moisture.  I’ll probably post that recipe sometime later.

I am determined to find a fluffy, moist and soft Paleo friendly bread recipe.  I miss having a simple grilled cheese sandwich sometimes.

So for this recipe I got my google on and found this recipe on FOOD RENEGADE.  I opted out of honey and chocolate chips, though thinking back on it now…  I should’ve made one loaf with the chocolate chips.  Ah well.  It’s all trial and error anyway.  I had a lot of bananas that were getting a bit ripe and I would rather it not go to waste.  So I baked.  As you’ll see in the pictures the bread doesn’t rise (no yeast) and I know that baking soda and baking powder are leavening agents and are supposed to help the bread rise, but that didn’t happen.

But… what I did like was that the bread didn’t taste eggy, there was more moisture in this bread than what I’ve tried in other breads.  Perhaps next time I’ll use honey and see if that adds more moisture.  Opting out of the honey doesn’t mean that the bread didn’t have any sweetness to it at all.  The bananas, being as ripe as they were, gave it just enough sweetness.  I’m also considering pureeing some dates instead of honey.  We shall see.  Oh and it also wasn’t crumbly.  It held together while we were ripping into it this morning.  I didn’t have time to cut slices and so I just wrapped it up in plastic and took it with me to eat on the way to work.  I would also like to see if I can substitute a cup of almond or coconut flour with another flour.  Perhaps that will fluff it up a bit?  Again, we’ll see.  I’ll tinker around with the recipe, but for now…  here is the recipe from FOOD RENEGADE.

Note:  I’ve pretty much kept the recipe the same.  Anything I changed or didn’t use I have put my notes in parenthesis and italicized.  I also added my pictures because I am a visual and hands-on learner, and I’m sure there are some of you people out there that are like me.

Almond Flour Banana Bread

The Players

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  • 4 C. almond flour (Got mine at Sprouts for 5.99 a pound)
  • 2 C. coconut flour (got mine at Whole Foods for 6.99 a pound)
  • 1 C. dark chocolate chips (I didn’t add this to my bread, but you can if you want.  Cocoa nibs will give it a nutty flavor and crunch, Chocolate Chips will add more sweetness)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder (I got my can at New Leaf)
  • 1/4 C. honey (I opted out of honey because I knew that my bananas were very ripe and would be sweet enough)
  • 1/2 C. coconut oil (Got mine at Sprouts)
  • 6 eggs (Used conventional eggs because that’s what was in the fridge.  The organic eggs I usually have are at PaleoJoe’s place)
  • 2 tbs. vanilla (Got mine from New Leaf)
  • 2 1/2 C. mashed bananas (approximately 5 small bananas, I threw them in a food processor.  If you don’t have one, then mash em like you would potatoes.)

The How-To

1. In a mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients — almond flour, coconut flour, chocolate chips, salt, baking soda, & baking powder.

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2. In a separate mixing blow, combine all wet ingredients — honey, coconut oil, eggs, vanilla, & bananas.

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3. Combine wet and dry ingredients thoroughly with a spoon. (I mixed it a little bit at a time.  I didn’t dump it all into the bowl at once.  It’s less mess and it ensures that all ingredients combine well.) Transfer into two loaf pans or one bundt cake pan or 24 muffin tins. Cook at 350F. If using two loaf pans, cook for about 40 minutes. If using a bundt cake pan, cook for about 45-50 minutes. If using muffin tins, cook for about 25 minutes. (Now as you can see in the second picture that it’s not a liquidy batter like in cake.  It’s kind of like play dough.  I used two loaf pans, as you can see from the pictures, and I greased it up with a coconut oil spray.  I separated the dough and pressed down so that it was even on all sides.  My daughter helped by using her hands on the one on top, and I used the spatula for the one on the bottom.  She did a great job right?  🙂 Baked for 40 minutes.)

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4. Remove cooking tins from oven, and let cool completely (I turned it out onto a bakers rack about a 2 minutes after they came out of the oven and they were fine.  I did leave them out overnight to cool down.  Then I wrapped both in plastic wrap in the morning.) before removing from cooking tins and serving up this delicious almond flour banana bread to your family and friends. Freeze whatever you don’t think you’ll eat within a couple of days!

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And there you have it.  I would like to keep tweaking the recipe and see if I can use other flours so that I can really fluff up this bread.  Going by this recipe it’s very good.  If you would like to, add some walnuts for another texture.  I would also like to add a bit of cinnamon to give it some spice.  Perhaps a teaspoon.  I’m also considering changing the bananas to pumpkin and making it a pumpkin bread.  Hmmm…  We shall see.

ENJOY!

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Faux Fried Chicken (Baked Parmesan Crusted Chicken)

I really wish I had taken more pictures when I had made this dish.  Ah well…

I LOVE chicken!  I especially love my fried chicken and would have no problem eating at KFC, Popeye’s or Jollibee.  But then I started eating healthier and then I turned to the Paleo lifestyle and now no longer eat food that has been cooked in the non-Paleo friendly oils.  What’s a girl to do?  Bake it!  The end result is a moist chicken that is crunchy like it was fried, tasty, and hey look at that… healthier!  Don’t worry my fellow Paleo people, I used coconut flour instead of all-purpose/wheat.  We’re keepin’ it Paleo!!

So on this dinner night, PaleoJoe and I had defrosted a whole chicken.  I took a knife to it and butchered that thing like I knew what I was doing.  I don’t want to toot my own horn or anything, but I think I did a FABULOUS job.  😛    In the fridge there was a large container of shredded parmesan and I figured that there wasn’t any way in heck that all of this was going to be used before the expiration date.  Hence… the parmesan crust.  There was also an expiring cauliflower which we cooked up and “mashed”.  The Colonel had it right…  “Fried” chicken and “mashed” potatoes compliment each other VERY well.  A similar recipe for “Mashed Cauliflower” can be found HERE.  In that one we added broccoli.  Same thing, different color.  😛

The recipe below is easy and I don’t measure much when I’m cooking so all measurements below are guesstimates.  Please use your best judgment when you’re seasoning your food.

 (Faux Fried Chicken) BAKED PARMESAN CRUSTED CHICKEN

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken (Or if you don’t want to cut it up yourself then go ahead and buy just the meat that you want.)

Coconut Flour

Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Fresh Italian Parsley (chopped)

4-6 eggs (scrambled)

Any seasoning you want!!  This is what I used: Salt, Pepper, Onion and Garlic Powder, Cayenne Pepper, Cumin

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2.  Grab three big bowls or something that is big enough to fit a piece of chicken so that you can roll it around in whatever is in the bowl without making too much of a mess.

3.  In the first bowl you’re going to put about a 1/2 cup of coconut flour.  (You may need to add more later so leave the measuring cup out).

4.  In the second bowl you’re going to scramble 2 eggs.

5.  In the third bowl you’re going to throw in the rest of the ingredients.

6.  Your bowls are now lined up.  You’ve got your raw chicken at the front next to the coconut flour, and a baking dish of some sort at the end.

7.  Take a piece of chicken and cover it with flour.  Tap lightly to release excess flour.

8.  Roll chicken in egg.  Let drip for a bit to take off excess egg.

9.  Roll chicken in seasoning bowl and…  you guessed it!!  Tap off excess seasoning.

10.  Place chicken on bakeware and repeat with the rest of chicken until you’re done.  As you’re going through the process you might have to add more to each bowl so please be sure to WASH YOUR HANDS before you do this.

11.  Pop the chicken into the oven and cook for 30 minutes on each side.

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12.  Chicken will be nice and toasted and crispy and yummy and…

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Well you get my drift.  If you don’t want cheese then omit the cheese and replace it with whatever you want.  Want more garlic?  Add it.  Want more herbs like Lemon Thyme?  How about adding lemon juice to the eggs and it’ll be a lemon pepper chicken.  Ooohhh….  the possibilities are ENDLESS!!  Make it how you like it and you can’t go wrong.  ENJOY!!

Steak Rolls with Honey Miso Sauce

I was scrolling through facebook yesterday afternoon and I saw a picture of Balsamic Glazed Steak Rolls.  It’s vegetables rolled in steak.  I thought…  “OMG…  I need this in my belly RIGHT NOW!”  So I clicked on the link and found myself itchin’ to go to the store and purchase everything necessary to make this dish.  I’m not a fan of balsamic so I made a honey miso sauce instead.  The recipe is below.  PaleoJoe and I made it last night and there was only three rolls leftover for lunch.  Since I’m a fabulous girlfriend, no really…  I am, I let PaleoJoe have it for lunch the next day.

Eating this dish with a side of our Homemade Kimchee (Kimchi) was just perfect!!  Hope you enjoy because we certainly did!!

Please note that I don’t measure when I’m cooking so all measurements listed are guesstimates.  Please use your best judgment when you are adding seasoning to your dish.  Always taste!  Also, if you don’t have butter you can just as easily use coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil.

 

STEAK ROLLS

Ingredients:

4 tblsp of butter

3 cloves of garlic (SMASH!!)

1 red bell pepper (sliced)

2-3 green onion stalks (cut in 3)

1 small zucchini (sliced)

1-2 carrots (shredded, unless you have pre-shredded carrot then use about a handful)

1-2 pounds of skirt steak

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  Cut your steak into 3-4 inch long strips and then get your aggression out and SMASH THEM!!  Then season with a bit of salt and pepper on each side.  Set this aside.

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2.  In a pan put heat to medium high and melt 2 tblsp of butter.  Add garlic when butter starts melting.

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3.  All your fixin’s are going to be thrown into the pan.  cook for about 5 minutes.

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4.  Season your veggies and using some kind of utensil, place an even amount of veggies in the middle of the steak pieces.

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5.  Roll them up and stab them with a skewer or toothpick.

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6.  You’re going to use that same pan again, so heat up the rest of the butter (2 tblsp) and then place your meat on the pan seam side down.  Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side (5-7  minutes if you like your meat well done.  PaleoJoe and I like our meat rare.)

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And now….

 

HONEY MISO SAUCE

Ingredients:

1 tblsp of butter

1/2 a small onion (chopped)

1 tblsp of honey

2 tblsp of Miso

1/4 cup of Tamari

1/4 cup of Water

Directions:

1.  Melt butter in sauce pan on medium high heat.

2.  Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes.

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3.  Add the miso, honey, water and tamari

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4.  turn the heat down to medium and let the sauce reduce down about 7-10 minutes.

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5.  In a blender or food processor or if you have an immersion blender, blend the sauce til it’s smooth.

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6.  Pour as little or as much as you want or serve on the side.

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ENJOY!!

 

Trotter Adobo

Shopping at the local oriental market, to me, is a lot of fun.   There’s a large selection of meat and seafood to choose from, but it’s inexpensive.  You most likely will  not find grass-fed beef or free-range chicken, but at 89 cents a pound for chicken legs…  Uh…  yeah.  SOLD!  The other day I picked up two packages of pigs feet, or, as my friend Miiss Dee would call them:  Trotters.  I kinda like calling them “Trotters”.  She says it’s a Southern thing.  I couldn’t remember the last time that I had eaten them so I had to have them.

There are many different ways to cook and serve Trotters, but this particular recipe calls for a crock pot.  PaleoJoe (My boyfriend) and I took a bunch of friends to the Los Gatos Creek Trail to go hiking.  Before we left I had gotten the crock pot out and prepped dinner.  I figured I would go back to my roots and serve up Adobo.  What I love about the Filipino Adobo recipe is that you can use any kind of meat.  Though I have yet to use or see anyone use seafood.  Not sure how that would taste.  But anyhoo…  chicken/pork/beef adobo is super YUM!

Please note that I do not measure when I cook.  All measurements listed below are guesstimates so please season your food to your liking.

 

TROTTER ADOBO (PIG’S FEET ADOBO)

 

Ingredients:

2 packages (3-4 pounds I think) of Pig’s Feet

1 medium yellow onion (Cut into 1/4’s)

4 garlic cloves (SMASH!! RAWR!!)

salt and pepper (or if you have the whole peppercorns then I would use about a tablespoon.)

4-5 bay leaves

1/2 cup of soy sauce

1/4 cup of vinegar

1/4 cup of water

Directions:

1.  Throw everything in the crock pot and turn it on high.

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2.  At about the 5 or 6 hour mark I took the meat out and cut it.  Then I put it back in the crock pot, mixed it about so that the meat is covered in the sauce, and then I put the top back on and let it cook another 2-3 hours.

 

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3.  Your food will be cooked at 8-10 hours.  The meat should be falling of the bones.  The kitchen should smell wondrous.  At this point you want to turn your crock pot down to warm or shut it off completely.  Serve it in bowls and ENJOY!!

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Note:  Normally, I would put potato in the pot or serve it with a side of rice, but…  I am on the Paleo Diet so no grains or potatoes for me!!  If you want to add potatoes, I suggest the yukon gold potato.  Use about 2 small ones, or 1 medium/large one and cube it up.  Maybe…  2 inch cubes.  Put them potatoes in after you cut the feet.  So at about the 5-6 hour mark.  If you put them in at the start they’re just going to get mushy.  What I love about Trotters is the marrow!!  I don’t know what it is about marrow, but I find it quite tasty.  You will also need baby wipes because if you’re like me…  you’re going to get messy and your hands are going to get sticky.  I don’t know why they will, but they will.  So don’t make this if you’re trying to impress a date and get laid.  😛

Curry Chicken and Spinach

I made this dish last night because I had defrosted a bag of chicken and I was meal prepping for lunch.  It’s one of my favorite recipes to make because it’s super easy and you could pretty much substitute the chicken for other meat.  Please note that I do not measure when I cook so the measurements listed below are guesstimates.  Please add the minimum amount of seasoning first and when the dish is cooked add more a little at a time until it is to your liking.  Oh and I used a pan that I had a cover for.

 

CURRY CHICKEN AND SPINACH

Ingredients:

2 chicken legs

2 chicken thighs

2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil

3 cups of chicken stock

2 roma tomatoes (cut into wedges and seeded)

1 small yellow onion (cut 4 times.  I really don’t know how to explain this.  See pic below.)

4 cloves of garlic (minced)

Couple handfuls of spinach

1-8 oz. box of coconut milk

Yellow Curry Powder

salt and pepper to taste

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Directions:

1.  Preheat your pan on medium heat and melt coconut oil.  When done preheating put in your chicken.

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2.  Cook on each side for about 5-7 minutes.

3.  Add Onions and let cook for 1 minute.

4.  Add tomatoes and let cook for 1 minute.  To mix the onion and tomatoes up in the pan so that everything is cooking evenly,  I used tongs.

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5.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.

6.  Pour coconut milk into pan and let simmer for about 3-5 minutes.

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7.  Pour chicken stock and let simmer for 15 minutes.

8.  Add spinach and cover pan for 2-3 minutes.

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9.  All done!!  Serve in a bowl and ENJOY!!

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Curry Pork Chops with a Yam Noodle Vegetable Stir Fry

I had made this the other night hoping that my boyfriend would like it because he had mentioned to me before that he wasn’t a fan of pork chops.  I personally find it super tasty so I made them.

There’s a store next to where I live called Manila Oriental Market, or I like to call it MOM’s.  It doesn’t have the best customer service, but if you’re looking for Asian food that’s where I go.  The meat selection is huge and so is the seafood.  I couldn’t tell you if they had grass-fed or wild caught items there and believe me I’ve asked, but I don’t think they understand what I’m asking.  I’ve given up trying to find out and just smile, point, and raise my fingers to indicate how many pounds of that particular protein that I want.  the trick is to know what you want so that when they come to you there’s no attitude.  Oh and it always helps to smile and say thank you.

On this shopping trip I picked up some pork chops and a pack of yam noodles.

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Pork Chops

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Yam Noodles

Since I’ve changed my eating ways to that of the caveman I’ve been exploring alternatives to eating grains.  These noodles made of yam made an excellent substitute to the rice noodle.  There ‘s also shirataki noodles (Though make sure you check the ingredients on the bag because sometimes they sneak a little sugar or even soy into it) or even, my personal favorite, Konjac Glucomannan (The first noodle alternative I’ve tried and it’s purely the ground konjac root and water.  Nothing else.) which can be found HERE.  The Konjac noodles come in all different shapes and sizes so if you’re feening for some spaghetti, ravioli, or even rice they have em.  Plus, they’re inexpensive.

Anyhoo…  back to the recipe.  Please note that I don’t really measure when I’m cooking.  I pretty much eyeball everything so all measurements listed are guesstimates.  Please add a little bit of seasoning at a time and taste taste TASTE!

CURRY PORK CHOPS

Ingredients:

1 pound of pork chops

1-8.5 fl. oz. box of coconut milk (AROY-D is awesome because it’s 100% Coconut Milk, no preservatives and lasts for a year after purchase)

2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil

1-2 tsp of curry powder

Salt and Pepper or any other seasoning that you like to use.

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Instructions:

1. Preheat your pan to medium high to high heat with your coconut oil in it.

2. Season your pork chops with the ingredients.

3.  Place pork chops on the pan.  Sear each side for 2 minutes.  Turn heat to medium.

4.  Pour coconut milk into pan.  Let cook for about 5-7 minutes.

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5. Take pork chops out of the pan and put them aside to rest.  (Or if you’re hungry and want em now ENJOY!)

For this next recipe I pretty much used the same pan.  So if you want, you can use the same pan or you can use a different pan.  Entirely up to you.  I figure I’m going to use the same seasonings on my stir-fry anyway, so why not?  Less mess for me to clean up in the end.

YAM NOODLE VEGETABLE STIR-FRY

Ingredients:

1 bag of Yam Noodles (Some noodles, like the shirataki and Konjac sometimes have a fishy smell to them.  That’s natural and it comes from the root.  Just give it a quick rinse and you’re good to go.)

2 Tomatoes (You can take out the seeds if you wish.)

7 sticks (are they called sticks? Meh whatever…) of Asparagus

3-4 garlic cloves

Handful of Baby Bok Choy

1/2 a yellow onion

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Instructions:

1.  Make sure the pan you are using is on medium to medium high heat and you have some coconut oil in there.

2.  Just do a rough chop of all of your vegetables.

3.  Throw in the onions and asparagus.  When the onions are nice and caramelized (3-4 minutes) you can add the garlic and tomato.

4.  Add Yam Noodles.

5.  Add baby bok choy and cover pan.  Cook with lid on for about 3-5 minutes.

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POW!  Veggie Stir-fry COMPLETE!!

Note:  I didn’t add seasoning to this recipe because I had re-used the pan and it was plenty seasoned with the coconut milk, the curry powder, and the salt and pepper.  If you decide to make it on your own feel free to add whatever you like.  If I hadn’t made the pork chops I probably would have added some freshly minced ginger, low sodium soy sauce,and perhaps some mirin.

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Dinner COMPLETE!!

I prepared the leftovers for my boyfriend to eat for lunch the next day and he texted me with “Lunch was amazing love!!” 🙂

YAY!!

Hope this meal was amazing for you.  ENJOY!

Grass Fed London Broil, Sauteed Onions and a Broccoli/Cauliflower Puree

Can I tell you how much I love being a carnivore?  There’s nothing wrong with being a vegetarian or a vegan and I must admit that I went vegetarian for a week because a girlfriend of mine challenged me.  Challenge ACCEPTED!!  Though I must say that it was a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be.  My friend doesn’t eat meat at all.  Not even eggs.  You would think that a simple packet of instant miso soup would be fine, but apparently there is some kind of fish powder in there that wasn’t acceptable to her vegetarian ways.  I did pretty good in the end.  I did have a few mishaps only because I wasn’t  paying attention to the ingredients, but other than that I was good.  I learned that I am definitely a carnivore.

Anyhoo…  most of our grass-fed steaks or roasts are purchased at a store called Lunardi’s.  It’s a small selection, but it’s not like we buy much.  It’s usually only what we need for whatever meal we’re having that day.  For this particular recipe we got a london broil.  I believe it was about 2 pounds.  The boyfriend takes a mallet to it and beats it up pretty good.  Then it’s seasoned with salt and pepper.  We usually keep our steaks simple.

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The grill is then fired up and it doesn’t stay on there too long.  We like our steak blue-rare to rare.  I’m talking about the steak still mooing and asking, “Why are you doing this?!  I just wanted to eat grass and produce milk!!” and we respond with, “Because you’re super delicious and belong in my belly!!”

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The steak rests on the cutting board for a couple of minutes prior to slicing…

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Looking at this picture makes me want steak…  So for the side dishes it’s very simple.  Please note that I do not measure when I’m cooking so the measurements listed are guesstimates.  I’m also not very good at keeping track of how long to cook things as I eyeball it.  More guesstimates.

SAUTEED ONIONS

Ingredients:

1 small yellow onion (sliced like you’re going to make onion rings)

1 small red onion (sliced like you’re going to make onion rings)

A handful of small peppers, maybe 5-7 (to be honest I have no idea what these peppers are called.  We bought them at Nijiya Market in Sunnyvale.  They’re not too spicy, but it gave it a nice kick.  You don’t have to add them.  It’s just what the boyfriend put in at the time.  You can also put in some minced garlic.  That would be tasty too!)

2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1.  Heat up a frying pan with the coconut oil on medium or medium high heat.

2.  Throw in all ingredients (except salt and pepper) and sauteed it up until the onions are nice and golden.  Maybe…  10 minutes.  Just keep an eye on them.  Of course, you don’t want to burn them.  The edges should have a nice gold/brown to them.  It should also lose it’s sturdy circle shape and they should be soft and limp.  Add salt and pepper to your taste.

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BROCCOLI and CAULIFLOWER PUREE

Ingredients:

1 head of broccoli (chopped)

1 head of cauliflower (chopped)

1 box of chicken stock.  (I’m not sure how big the box was.  I’m thinking it was 16 oz.  but I could be wrong.  Either way, I used the entire box and it was enough to cover the veggies.  If you don’t have enough stock then just add water.  If you have too much, then only put enough to cover the veggies and save the rest in the fridge.  Oh and if you don’t have stock at all then just use water.  You’re going to drain it anyway.  I use stock because it gives it a bit more flavor.)

4 tablespoons of butter

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/4 – 1/2 cup of Milk or Heavy Cream (optional)

Instructions:

1.  Get a pot large enough to fit all of the vegetables and the chicken stock/water.

2.  Put the cover on and turn to high heat.  Boil that sucker for 10-15 minutes.  Check on it every now and again to see if the vegetables are cooked through and soft.

3.  Drain when cooked.

4.  Add butter and milk/heavy cream.

5.  Blend until it is the consistency that you like.

6.  Add salt and pepper to your liking.

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By now, everything is cooked.  Your kitchen smells delicious and I’m sure you are very very hungry.

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I am considering looking up my vegetarian adventure posts that I typed up about a year ago and posting them on here.  I ended up trying out some new fruits and vegetables that I think would be fun and educational for anyone that might be interested.  Anyhoo…  I hope you enjoyed this recipe as I know I did.  🙂