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Showing posts with label Baked. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Baked. Show all posts

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Chewy Vegan Gluten-Free Brownies


Last night after a full day of surfing and our weekly family grill night, Rich said he was craving brownies. I love having a stocked pantry that allows me to whip up whatever sounds yummy at the moment. Good quality cocoa powder is a must. My favorite is Equal Exchange Baking Cocoa, which is fair trade and has such a profound impact on all of my baked goods. A baking cupboard full of gluten-free flours is helpful, too.

The foundation for this recipe came from my much loved (and smeared with lots of chocolate) copy of Babycakes by Erin McKenna. However, I changed the recipe substantially, skipping the applesauce, chocolate chips, and xanthan gum. I also used palm shortening instead of coconut oil and used brown sugar in place of white sugar because the complexity of brown sugar complements chocolate so beautifully, which I learned about 10 years ago from Nigella Lawson in How to Be a Domestic Goddess.

These brownies are crispy on the edges and decadently chewy on the inside. We ate them straight out of the pan while they were still so hot they burned our mouths and crumbled everywhere. Hey, surfing burns a lot of calories. We were hungry! They are even better once they cool off a bit.

Yields 15 small squares 
1 cup garbanzo (chickpea) flour
1/4 cup potato starch
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
1/2 cup good quality cocoa powder
3/4 cup brown sugar* or coconut palm sugar  
2 teaspoons double-acting, aluminum free baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 scant teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup palm shortening
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water
1 tablespoon powdered sugar* (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Line a 6x8-inch baking dish with parchment paper. 
  2. Combine the garbanzo flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. 
  3. Add the palm shortening, vanilla extract, and hot water and stir until just combined. 
  4. Spread the mixture into the baking dish and smooth with a spatula. Bake for 27 minutes. The top will still be slightly jiggly. 
  5. Allow to rest for at least 30 minutes before sifting powdered sugar over the top, slicing and serving. 

*Note: If you are vegan, look for a vegan brown sugar and powdered sugar. Alternately, use coconut palm sugar and skip the powdered sugar.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Loaded Paleo Nachos Recipe



Whenever I get really hungry and find myself tempted to indulge in something decidedly un-paleo, the first thing on my mind is loaded nachos. This kind of hunger doesn’t occur often; it’s only when I become too strict about my food choices—stressing about FODMAPs or nightshades, for example—that I end up consuming too little and become crazy hungry (read: stark raving “get out of my way kids, mommy is STARVING!” lunacy.)

It’s a challenging balance to strike when you adopt a primal lifestyle—eating the kinds of foods your body thrives on and eating enough of them to keep you thriving. However, the balance becomes easier as you find what foods are best for your body, discover recipes you enjoy, and find time-saving methods for preparing them. 

I'm slowly adding to my repertoire of paleo recipes and Juli Bauer's recipe for nachos from The Paleo Kitchen: Finding Primal Joy in Modern Cooking is good enough to make again and again. Here's my take on her version.

As a side note, I typically don't care whether something is vegan or not, but I do respect people who choose a vegan diet and am happy to offer recipes that please everyone. If you're sharing this meal with meatless friends, swap the chicken for black beans or simply skip it altogether. 

Loaded Paleo Nachos 
Serves 2 to 4 
1 large sweet potato, scrubbed
3 tablespoons coconut oil 
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
16 ounces cooked chicken, diced 
1 cup guacamole
1 cup pico de gallo
1 cup homemade paleo barbecue sauce, see below
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro 
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Slice the sweet potato in ultra thin slices with a good chef's knife or a mandoline.
  3. Toss the sweet potato slices together with the coconut oil and sea salt. 
  4. Arrange the sweet potatoes on the baking sheet being sure not to overlap. You may have to roast them in batches. 
  5. Bake for 15 minutes. After the 10-minute mark, remove any that have browned and allow to rest on a cooling rack. Cook all of the sweet potatoes this way. 
  6. To serve, top the freshly-baked sweet potato chips with chicken, guacamole, pico de gallo, and barbecue sauce. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve immediately. 

Homemade Paleo Barbecue Sauce Recipe
yields  2 cups
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 cup diced onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced
One 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons brown mustard
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
juice of 1 lime
  1. In a small sauce pan, cook the onion in oil for 5 to 7 minutes, until slightly softened.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. 
  3. Pour in the tomato sauce, vinegar, spices, and salt. 
  4. Simmer on low for 15 minutes uncovered. 
  5. Finish with lime juice and adjust the seasonings. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Easy Baked Chicken with Fennel and Sausage


This chicken drumstick recipe strikes the perfect balance between ease of preparation and depth of flavor with fewer than five ingredients! As it cooks, the fennel caramelizes and produces a soft,  creamy texture that complements the savory Italian sausage and chicken legs beautifully.

If you're concerned about the nitrites in the sausage, you may want to read Chris Kresser's post on processed meats. I read it while working on a cookbook for a client who challenged my use of sausage in a recipe. Before my research for that book, I believed that purchasing nitrite-free bacon was important. However, I've come to believe it's akin to purchasing a product simply because the label says it's gluten-free. Don't get me started.

Kresser explains the issue well, but in a nutshell, our bodies produce nitrites in far greater amounts than we could obtain from food. Moreover, processed meats contain fewer nitrites than do foods that we'd never think to restrict, green vegetables for example. While processed meats shouldn't form the basis of your diet, they're a delicious complement to an ancestral way of eating.

serves 2
1/4 cup olive oil 
4 chicken drumsticks
1 fennel bulb
2 hot Italian sausages
Freshly ground pepper
Sea salt 

1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
2. Slice the fennel bulb into quarters and then into 1/2-inch thick pieces. If you wish to leave the base of the bulb intact, it will keep each of the slices held together but is too tough to be palatable.
3. Slice the sausage in 1- to 2-inch-long pieces.
4. Arrange the fennel, chicken, and sausage in a large baking dish.


5. Drizzle with olive oil, tossing to coat.
6. Season with pepper.
7. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the fennel is soft. If the chicken and sausage cook more quickly, you may remove it to a serving platter and continue cooking the fennel for another 10 minutes.

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