Spinach and Mushroom Crustless Quiche

As I have mentioned is several other posts, crustless quiche make great lunchbox fillers.  They are also very tasty for a light evening meal or even for breakfast.

This particular one is vegetarian, but it is not vegan because it does contain some cheese for added protein.  This also means that while it is gluten free, it is not dairy free.  I tend to make this quiche on the days when I know I won’t be needing lunch as I cannot eat it.

Spinach and Mushroom Crustless Quiche

serves 6

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  • 2 onions – chopped
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or other fat of choice
  • 6oz mushrooms – sliced
  • 283g (10oz) bag of baby spinach – washed
  • 12 eggs – beaten
  • 3 tbsp coconut milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 4oz cheddar cheese – grated

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°¼½¾F.

Melt the coconut oil in a large skillet and add the onions.  Cook over a medium heat, stirring often until they are tender and golden brown in colour.  Add in the sliced mushrooms and cook until tender.  Add the washed spinach, and toss until it is wilted

Transfer the contents of the skillet to a bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the coconut milk, salt, pepper, thyme and nutmeg.

Mix the egg mixture with the spinach mixture and transfer to a circular 9″ diameter baking tin.  I use a silicone one for ease of removal.

Sprinkle over the grated cheese taking care to spread it evenly over the surface.

Bake the quiche in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the egg is set and the cheese is starting to brown.

Cool in the tin before cutting into portions.

Serve warm or cold.

Paleo Banana Pancakes

I decided to treat the kids to pancakes for breakfast.  I have always failed spectacularly with a lot of the banana pancake recipes that I have found via a web-search, so I am not sure quite why I decided to do this…

But this time, they worked perfectly!  I didn’t even use a recipe, I just threw everything together, and it worked.  I suspect that the tapioca flour helped hold everything together, but also I think that part of the reason for the success was that I kept the pancakes small, using no more than 1 tbsp of the batter for each pancake.

Paleo Banana Pancakes

serves 2-4

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  • 2 bananas (preferably slightly under-ripe)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp tapioca starch
  • coconut oil to cook
  • 100% pure maple syrup to serve

Put the bananas, the eggs and the tapioca starch in a blender and blend until you have a smooth batter.

Heat a little coconut oil in a skillet over a medium-high heat, then add the batter, using no more than 1 tbsp for each pancake.  You will be able to fit several of these teeny pancakes in your skillet.  The exact number depends on how big your skillet is.

Cook until the bottom is browned and the top has set.

Flip and cook for a minute or two on the other side until that is browned.

Remove from the skillet and keep warm (or serve them immediately to hungry mouths!), and repeat until all the batter is used up.

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Serve drizzled with 100% pure maple syrup.

Lacto-fermented Cucumber Relish

This is the relish that I served with the Gravlax that I posted about earlier.

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It is very simple to make, and contains lots of gut-friendly probiotics.  It has a pleasant tangy, slightly sour flavour rather than the sharp vinegar flavour that a lot of conventional, vinegar containing relishes have.

Unlike a lot of lacto-fermented relish recipes that you will find, this one does not contain whey or any other starter culture.  (most add whey as a starter to get the fermentation going quicker).  While this means that this recipe may take a little longer to ferment, whey is not paleo, and is an allergen to a lot of people.

This recipe is not only paleo, it is also AIP friendly.

It is very good with gravlax, but is equally good with any other fish.  And it would be perfect paired with hot-dogs, sausages or burgers, or anything else that you want a tangy relish along side.

Lacto-Fermented Cucumber Relish

makes 1 pint-size mason jar full

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  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill
  • 1 tbsp sea salt

Wash the cucumbers under running water but do not scrub them.

Chop the cucumber finely – the easiest way to do this is to use a food processor.

Chop the dill and mix it into the cucumbers along with the salt.

Pack the mixture into the mason jar, pressing down firmly to extract as much liquid as possible.  You want to make sure that the liquid covers all of the cucumber to avoid mold forming.  If there is not enough liquid, add a little filtered water until it just comes just above the level of the cucumber.

Cover the jar tightly with a lid, and leave in a warm place for 2-5 days, releasing the lid slightly once each day to allow any gasses to escape.

Start tasting the relish after the second day.  It is ready when it tastes tangy and good to you.

Store the finished relish in the fridge.  It will keep several weeks (if it lasts that long!), and will gradually get more sour over time.  Refrigeration will slow down the fermentation process but will not stop it completely.

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Shared at Allergy Free Wednesday #114

Shared at Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #24

 

Gravlax (Cured Salmon)

I love salmon, and one of my favourite ways to prepare it is as gravlax.

Gravlax is a Nordic (Norwegian and Swedish) cured salmon dish, where the fish is cured in a mixture of salt and sugar, usually with dill, and is then consumed raw.  If you love smoked salmon, you will most likely love this fish preparation as well.

The name gravlax means “buried salmon”.  In medieval times, and possibly even earlier, the raw fish (not just salmon, but also herrings and other oily fish) was buried in holes in the ground and left to ferment as a means of preserving the fish for consumption during the winter when food was scarce.

Modern gravlax is not buried in the ground, and is not fermented.  Instead it is cured in salt (and usually sugar), in the fridge for a few days.

It is very simple to make and tastes delicious.  Don’t be put off by the fact that is is served raw, it has a texture very similar to smoked salmon.  It is also safe to eat the fish raw as long as it has been frozen for a minimum of 7 days as this kills any parasites that may be in the flesh.  You could also buy sushi-grade salmon to be extra safe.

This recipe is AIP friendly, and because the fish has not been cooked, it is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, so very good for you.

Use it just as you would smoked salmon.  It is excellent as an appetizer, as a light main-course and the leftovers are great for breakfast.  I often add leftover gravlax to scrambled eggs.

My recipe for gravlax is loosely based on a recipe in Cured by Lindy Wildsmith.  I cut out the sugar for this cure to make it Paleo/AIP and added a small amount of honey for a little sweetness.

Gravlax

serves 12

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  • 2 x 2¼lb (1kg) pieces of salmon fillet (skin on) – previously frozen for a minimum of 7 days then defrosted
  • 4 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 bunch of dill finely chopped

Thaw the salmon in the refrigerator, then check carefully for any pinbones, removing them with a pair of tweezers.

Mix the salt, pepper, honey and dill together.  You may need to warm your honey to make it liquid if it is the creamed, solid kind.

Place one piece of salmon skin-side down in a shallow dish and spread the salt mixture evenly over the flesh.

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Top with the second piece of salmon, flesh side down.  Cover the dish and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

After 24 hours, turn the fish over so that the top piece is now on the bottom, recover and replace in the refrigerator for another 24 hours.

After this time, wipe off the salt mixture,

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sprinkle the top of the fish with a little extra chopped dill, slice thinly on the diagonal, leaving the skin behind, and serve.

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I served this with a green salad, roasted beets and carrots and some lactofermented cucumber relish.

If you want to serve fewer people than 12, you could halve the recipe, just using one piece of fish that you cut in half lengthwise to give 2 similarly shaped pieces of fish.  I usually make the recipe just as it is though as we love this fish so much that we will happily eat all of it.  Any leftover sliced fish will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days.

Shared at Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #24

Cod with Beet Fries and Greens

I make a point of including some kind of wild-caught fish in our diet at least once a week.

This week’s fish was some cod fillets.  I like to cook my fish very simply – often just oven baked, grilled or pan-fried.  I don’t like fish messed around with too much.

In this case, I sprinkled the cod with plenty of herbs, drizzled over a little olive oil and baked it in the same oven that I was cooking the beet fries in.

Cod with Beet Fries and Greens

serves 6

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For the Beet Fries:

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  • 6-8 large beets – peeled and cut into fries
  •  2 tbsp coconut oil
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp dried thyme

For the Fish:

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  • 6 cod fillets weighing  4-6oz each (aprox 2lb of fish in total)
  • olive oil to drizzle
  • 1 lemon – sliced
  • 1 onion – peeled and sliced
  • 2 carrots – peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 2 stalks of celery – cut into matchsticks
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder

For the greens:

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  • 1 cup of walnut pieces
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 283g (10 oz) bag of spinach leaves – washed
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F.

Place the beet fries on a large, rimmed baking sheet and toss with the coconut oil, salt, pepper and thyme.  Bake in the top shelf of the oven for 30-40 minutes until the fries are tender and starting to crisp up a little.

Meanwhile, prepare the fish.

Place the onion, carrot and celery in a baking dish and top with the fish fillets.  Drizzle over a little olive oil and scatter the fish with the herbs and garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Now sit a slice of lemon on top of each fish.

Slide the baking dish into the oven underneath the fries and bake for 10-15 minutes until the flesh is opaque and flakes easily.  Do not over cook the fish or it will be dry.

While the fish is cooking, prepare the greens.  Put the walnuts in a large skillet along with the coconut oil and toss over a medium-high heat until they are toasted.  Add the greens and toss well until they are wilted and combined with the walnuts.

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Serve the fish with the veggies it was cooked with and the beet fries and greens.

 

 

 

Panfried Chicken Livers with Root Fries and Green Salad

We eat a lot of chicken livers – not only are they very good for you, they are insanely cheap and they are quick to cook as well.  As I try to include at least 2 offal meals in each weeks mealplan, we tend to eat chicken livers at least once a week.

They have a much milder flavour than beef or pigs liver, so don’t be put off you you don’t like the strong taste of those. And to minimize that “livery” flavour, you can soak them in some coconut or almond milk for an hour or two if you really cannot get past the liver flavour.  I don’t usually do that though, because we all enjoy the taste.

This recipe is gluten and grain free, Paleo and also AIP-friendly.

Crispy Panfried Chicken Livers

serves 6CL4

  • 1½ – 2lb chicken livers
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • coconut oil to fry

Trim the chicken livers and cut into neat, even sized pieces about 2″ across.  Pat dry with a paper towel.

Mix together the coconut flour, garlic powder, salt, pepper and thyme.

Pour the mixture into a large ziplock bag, add the chicken livers, seal and shake well to coat the livers with the flour mixture.

Heat 1-2 tbsp coconut oil in a large sautee pan.  Add the livers in a single layer (you will have to do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan) and saute until they form a crisp crust – this will take 3-5 minutes.  Flip them over with tongs and brown the other side. Don’t over cook the livers – you want them just a little pink in the middle or they will be tough and bitter tasting.

Transfer the livers to a plate lined with a paper towel and keep warm while you cook the next batch, adding more coconut oil as necessary.

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Serve the livers right away.  I like to serve them with root vegetable fries and a simple green salad.

Root Vegetable Fries

serves 4-6

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  • 4 – 6 parsnips
  • 4-6 carrots
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil – melted
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.

Peel the carrots and parsnips and cut into “fries”.  Toss these with the coconut milk, thyme and season with salt and pepper.

Spread the “fries” out on a rimmed baking sheet and cook in the oven until crisp and golden brown – 30-40 minutes.

Serve at once.

Simple Green Salad

serves 4-6

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  • 1head green laf lettuce – torn into pieces
  • 1 bunch watercress – chopped
  • 1 bunch radishes – tops removed, trimmed and cut into 4
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Tear the lettuce up into bitesize pieces and place it in a large salad bowl.  Add the chopped watercress and the trimmed and quartered radishes.

Toss well to mix.

Place the lemon juice, olive oil and some salt and pepper in a glass jar with a lid and shake to mix.

Use the lemon dressing to dress the salad, tossing well to ensure that everything is coated in the dressing.

Serve at once.

 

 

Nomato “Chilli” in the Slow Cooker

I have had the family bugging me about the lack of chilli that we have been eating since I have been eating AIP – that would be because I can’t eat nightshades, and tomatoes and chilli, 2 important components of most chilli recipes are not AIP friendly…

I have seen some AIP Chilli recipes in the past, but none of them were cooked in the slow-cooker…  and I wanted a slow-cooker recipe so that it would cook while I was at work.

I decided I would play around with my usual slow-cooker chilli recipe and see what I could come up with…

This recipe is AIP-friendly, nightshade, gluten and dairy free, and contains no beans.

Because this recipe contains no chilli, it is not spicy, so if you are not AIP and can tolerate chilli well, feel free to add chilli to this.  Or you could just do what Hubby and the kids did and add some hot-sauce to spice it up.

Nomato “Chilli”

serves 6 with leftovers

NMC3

  • 2 medium onions – chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • 2lb ground beef – preferably grass-fed.
  • 3 cups bone broth
  • 3 large carrots – peeled and dicd
  • ½ medium rutabaga – peeled and diced
  • 2 medium beets – peeled and grated
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp allspice (according to The PaleoMom, this is on the “be cautious” category – leave it out if it is a concern)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour to thicken (optional)
  • Homemade guacamole to serve

All I did with this recipe was pile all of the ingredients except for the tapioca flour into the slow cooker and give it a good mix.

Cook on low for 8 hours.

Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.  If necessary, thicken with some tapioca flour mixed with a little water.  I found this was needed.

Serve topped with a spoonful of guacamole.

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I also served this with cauliflower rice.

 

Packed Lunch (04/16/14)

This is what Hubby packed for lunch today:

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Clockwise from the top left-hand corner:

We also took a piece of fruit each (a choice of  an apple, orange or banana), packed separately, and a reusable water-bottle of water.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts

We scored a great deal on some chicken breasts the other week, and they have been languishing in the freezer ever since.  I decided last night that it would be a good time to use them up.

Because boneless, skinless chicken breasts are often dry and tasteless when cooked (there is very little fat in them, and fat = moistness and flavour), I decided that I would wrap them in bacon.

OMG these were to DIE FOR!  Totally delicious.  The bacon crisped up wonderfully and contributed a lot of flavour to the dish.

They were also very quick to cook as well.

This recipe is AIP-Friendly.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts

serves 6

CBB2

  • 6 chicken breasts – preferably pastured/organic
  • 12 rashers of bacon – preferably from pastured pigs
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning (I use one that is a mix of parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary and marjoram)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

This is such a simple recipe!

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Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F.

While the oven is heating, season the chicken breasts well with the poultry seasoning.

Wrap each chicken breast in 2 rashers of bacon.

Place them in a roasting tin and season with sea salt and black pepper – you probably won’t need to use much salt if your bacon is salty. But the pepper really helps the flavour.

Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until the bacon is crispy and the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 82°C/180°F.

Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes while preparing the sides.

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I served this with some sauteed ruby chard and oven-roasted carrot and beet fries.

Shared at the Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #23

Shared at Allergy Free Wednesday #113

Shared at Gluten Free Wednesdays 4-16-14

Chocolate Chunk Cookies – Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

I don’t really like a lot of “paleofied” baking, mostly due to the large amounts of almond flour that gets used.  It is very easy to overeat almonds when eating baked goods that use almond flour, and lets face it, a cookie is a cookie even if it is a gluten-free, “paleo” one.

Having said that, my kids LOVE cookies, so I do bake them for them for occasional treats.

I feel that the odd cookie once in a while makes you happy…  just don’t eat these every single day.

This recipe makes around 15 cookies.  That makes it 3 cookies each for Hubby and the 4 kids (I don’t eat these as I have not managed to reintroduce nuts yet).  Once cookie each over a 3 day period on the rare times I do make them (once a month or less) is probably not too bad…

These are not nut free, but they are gluten, dairy and egg free.

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

makes aprox. 15 cookies

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  • 2 cups blanched almond meal
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup coconut oil – melted
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g (3.5oz) bar of extra-dark (90% cocoa solids) chocolate, cut into rough chunks

Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F.

In a food processor, combine the almond meal, salt and baking soda.  Pulse in the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla until you have a sticky dough.

Transfer the dough to a bowl and mix in the chocolate chunks by hand (the food processor will break them up too much).

Place the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow it to firm up.  This makes it easier to handle and stops the cookies from spreading too much.

Once the dough has chilled, scoop out tablespoon sized balls of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Using your hands, press each scoop down gently to achieve a fat cookie shape.

Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes until browned.

Allow the cookies to rest on the baking sheet for 10 minutes to firm up slightly and then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

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Once they are completely cold, store in an airtight container.

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