that's forking good

adventures in a culinary neophyte's kitchen

Posts Tagged ‘paleo’

the great do[ugh]nut debate

Posted by culinaryneophyte on February 6, 2015

mint chocolate paleo doughnuts​I recently got into a spirited debate (at the gym, of all places) about the proper spelling of everyone’s favorite circular, fried treat with a hole in the middle. I steadfastly stood in the “doughnut” corner versus two “donut” supporters. Listen, people: It’s doughnut. “Donut” is part of a brand name; it should follow “Dunkin” or any other company/product that has legally filed its name to include the misspelling, but that’s it. Are you one of those people who calls tissues Kleenex? Stop giving these companies free marketing! (And if you’re spelling it that way because you’re too lazy to type it the correct way… just… go. Please.)

The great doughnut debate of 2014 reminded me that I had not made doughnuts in a really long time, so I took to Pinterest to find myself a healthy[ish] alternative to Dunkin’ Donuts (note the proper spelling in this instance), and found these paleo mint chocolate doughnuts from the Healthy Maven. (Sorry if you’re sick of paleo. I’ll make the next post something bad for you.)

The doughnuts were pretty minty, and the frosting was pretty pretty with the green tint come from a bit of matcha mixed into the coconut cream. I opted to top mine with crumbles of Mrs. Thinsters brownie thins for a little added pizzazz. (If you really want to unhealthify [speaking of poor grammar] this treat, Thin Mints would also be a delicious topping.)

(​​Slightly adapted)

Makes 6 doughnuts

For doughnuts
♦1 c. almond meal
♦2 tbs. coconut flour
♦1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
♦1/4 tsp. baking soda
♦1/2 tsp. baking powder
♦1/4 tsp. sea salt
♦1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce (*I did not have applesauce in my house, so I made my own from one apple — peeled, chopped into bits, tbs. of lemon juice and boiled til it was soft enough to pulverize with my immersion blender. Yes, everything must be a project.)
♦2 eggs
♦3 tbs. honey
♦1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
♦1/2 tsp. peppermint extract​
♦Toppings if desired

Combine almond meal, coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.Add applesauce, eggs and extracts. Stir well.

Grease a doughnut pan with coconut oil, and divide batter evenly. (You could also roll into balls if you don’t have a pan.) Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Allow doughnuts to cool 15-20 minutes before removing from pan. Carefully transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

For frosting
♦1 can full-fat coconut milk (left in fridge for at least 1 hour), do NOT shake
♦1/2 tsp matcha powder (mostly for color — not taste; you may also use spirulina powder)
♦1 tbs. honey

While doughnuts are cooling, open coconut milk. (Do not shake the can before opening.) Scrape the cream from the top and place in mixing bowl. Beat on high for several minutes until the cream stiffens and can hold peaks. Add in matcha or spirulina powder and honey, then beat for one more minute. It does not look like a lot, but it will go a long way. Carefully spread frosting on doughnuts.

Total time? 10 minutes prep, 15 bake, 10 minutes decorate
Cost? $6.99 almond meal, $8.99 coconut flour, $6.99 matcha powder, $1.99 canned coconut milk, ? applesauce (or the cost of the time I won’t get back from having to whip up homemade applesauce to make doughnuts… Not bitter.)
Overall success relative to expectations? 10 out 10. These were good — like, way better than I expected. I immediately fell in love with the frosting. It was only coconut cream with a little bit of matcha, but I could have eaten it with a spoon if I hadn’t globbed all of it onto the doughnuts. (A little goes a long way, but not enough to have a frosting snack.) The doughnuts stayed fresh for at least four days (I had to fend off a few suitors to make them last that long), and the flavor was good. Obviously, they’re not going to taste like fried balls of doughy goodness, but they’re definitely a viable alternative, especially if consumption of any traditional doughnut leaves you with guilt pangs for hours… days… weeks… Do not mock; this is why I stopped going to Dunkin’ Donuts. Well, that, and the misspelling.

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chocolate-covered strawberry paleo pancakes

Posted by culinaryneophyte on January 19, 2015

Thank you to Mrs. Thinsters for featuring my breakfast on their social media channel!

paleo chocolate-covered strawberry pancakes with Mrs. Thinsters brownie batter cookie thin crumbs.

chocolate-covered strawberry pancakes with Mrs. Thinsters brownie batter cookie crumbs.

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paleo mocha chocolate chip cookies

Posted by culinaryneophyte on December 10, 2014

paleo mocha chocolate chip cookiesFor the last few years, I’ve been participating in a cookie exchange with the same group of girls — past and present soccer teammates who have become good friends. And while I love catching up with them, I have to admit, it’s become a biz (yeah, that’s short for biznatch) coming up with a new recipe each year to top the previous year’s cookie.

This year, I went with the cookies I made for my fantasy football draft a few years back. In searching for an idea, though, I realized I don’t have all that many cookie recipes on here, so here’s a new one — paleo mocha chocolate chip cookies.

Now, they’re gluten free and made with natural ingredients, but they are still cookies. Please don’t think you can eat 100 and be chiseled. (Challenge accepted!)

From Paleo Spirit
♦2 1/3 c. almond meal/flour
♦1/2 c. cocoa powder
♦1/2 tsp. sea salt.
♦1/2 tsp. baking soda
♦2 tsp. instant espresso powder
♦1 tbs. vanilla extract
♦1/2 c. coconut oil, melted
♦1/2 c. coconut nectar
♦3/4 dark chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Add in chocolate chips. Form dough into 1/2-inch balls and place on parchment paper. Press each ball down to form a disc. (They do not flatten on their own.) Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Total time? 20 minutes prep and bake.
Cost? $9.98 almond meal, $7.99 coconut oil, $2.99 chocolate chips, $7.49 coconut nectar
Overall success relative to expectations? 10 out 10. Whenever something is labeled #paleo or “clean” or whatever, people assume it won’t be as tasty as the “real” thing. (Funny to put that in quotation marks when it actually means real, but is referring to what everyone has come to accept as real… which is fake. How meta.) These are legitimately good. I brought them to a tailgate, and no one could tell they were “caveman cookies.” This recipe is very simple and the mix goes a long way, but the ingredients are on the pricier side. If you aren’t on a strict paleo diet, it may not be worth the investment; but if you are or you don’t care about budget, see what you think.

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ya make me wanna soup

Posted by culinaryneophyte on October 23, 2014

photo(5)The temperatures are starting to dip here in the northeast, and it’s only a matter of time before people start getting sick. Not Ebola sick (calm down, everyone), but, like, sniffles sick. The last time I was feeling under the weather, I happened to have some fresh ginger in my fridge and found a recipe for a paleo ginger carrot soup that also utilized the spare pound of baby carrots in my fridge. Didn’t even have to leave the house for ingredients, which was fortunate because I was looking scarier than Twisty the Clown.

Makes about 3 servings
3 c. chopped carrots
3 tbs. minced fresh ginger
1 can coconut milk
3 c. organic vegetable broth
1/2 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
​​♦1 tbs. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Saute garlic and onion in olive oli over medium heat. Add chopped carrots, ginger, coconut milk, broth and seasoning. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and run through food processor in small batches, or use an immersion blender (that’s what I used) to blend into smooth consistency.

Total time? 30 minutes
Cost? $1 fresh ginger, $2.50 carrots, $2.19 coconut milk, $2.99 broth
Overall success relative to expectations? 10 out of 10. This soup was so creamy and delicious, and carried the perfect amount of spice in each bite. They say ginger can be used to calm upset stomachs and remedy colds. Even if it’s just folklore, this soup was easy to make and delicious enough for me to happily eat three days in a row, providing a simple, warm escape from my sick, sad mood.

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I love it when a plan[tain] comes together

Posted by culinaryneophyte on October 5, 2014

chipotle turkey burger plantainSometimes I’m so excited about my food, I refuse to accept it is unphotogenic. That’s pretty much what happened with this creation: a chipotle turkey burger with bacon, caramelized onions and fresh guac on a plantain bun. It’s like when you’re defending a girl you’re dating to your friends who are judgingly flipping through her Facebook pictures — trust me when I say it was way better looking in person.

For such a seemingly complex dish, the most difficult part was not burning the shiz out of my onions like I always seem to do whilst caramelizing. Some people might say I’m not the most patient person… and that also applies to caramelizing onions. For the sake of the dish, I curbed my impatience best I could and focused on the other elements, like this newfound plantain bun.

One of my friends at the gym told me she used jicama to make a burger bun, but I couldn’t find that on a late-night ShopRite run (I’m sure I’ve mentioned my local ShopRite is the worst one on the planet), so I went searching for some other novel sort of something. Enter: the plantain. I remembered seeing something like this before on Instagram (my favorite #foodporn spot), and it was brilliant. (And no, It doesn’t taste much like eating a smushed banana around your burger.)

makes four slider-sized burgers
♦1 ripe plantain
♦1/2 lb. ground turkey
♦Dashes (I didn’t measure — sorry!) of chili powder, sea salt, cumin and chipotle seasoning
♦1/2 red onion, cut into slices
♦1 tbs. coconut oil or butter + 1 tbs. coconut oil
♦4 slices of bacon, cooked
♦avocado slices

Mash up plantain, split into two separate ramekins and place in the fridge for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, heat frying pan over medium heat and add coconut oil (or butter). Once melted, add sliced onions and cook and stir to caramelize over the next 15-20 minutes. Be patient (unlike me)!

Also in the meantime, combine spices and turkey, then form into mini patties for a slider-sized burger.

Remove plantain ramekins from fridge. Loosen plantain mash from sides of ramekins and pop out whole. Heat coconut oil over medium heat. Once melted, place plantain in pan and sear for three minutes per side. Once removed and slightly cooled, slice longways to create two “buns” from one mold. (You could use each mold as a side of the bun, but I initially found that was too thick and too much to put in my mouth [get the “that’s what she said” out now — go ahead], so I sliced it in half. [Yow!])

While aforementioned plantain patties are cooling (pre-slice), add turkey burgers to pan and cook eight minutes per side or until cooked all the way through.

Add turkey patty to sliced plantain bun, top with avocado, bacon, onions and/or whatever your heart desires.

Total time? 25 minutes
Cost? $4 meat, $1.50 avocado, $3.99 bacon, $1 plantain, $5.99 coconut oil
Overall success relative to expectations? Obviously, these are not as “real burger-y” as a bread bun, but they present a very palatable paleo option. The burgers held together really well, which I found surprising considering there’s no egg to use as a binder, and kept well as leftovers. She may not be a looker, but she’s definitely a keeper.

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bejeweled breakfast

Posted by culinaryneophyte on December 27, 2013

This year, most of my gift giving and Christmas revelry took place in advance of the actual holiday, leaving my Dec. 25 all to myself. I did not let this opportunity go to waste. I set my alarm for a rare “late” start (10 a.m.), donned some mismatched sweats, put on a little Ke$ha and got to work in the kitchen. What emerged was a a glorious breakfast of coconut vanilla waffles with vanilla protein “fluff” and homemade pomegranate syrup.

coconut pom waffles

I had this idea saved on Pinterest for weeks, but wanted to make it paleo/clean, so I made some alterations and thankfully ended up with a beautiful and tasty plate. Frankly, I was giddy over it. While everyone on Facebook was posting pictures of their presents, their babies, their dogs, their dogs with presents, their babies with presents, their babies with dogs as presents…  I was posting pictures of waffles.

I have been obsessed with pomegranates for awhile now. Once I had my first taste of those  juicy little jewels, I couldn’t get enough. I already had my pomegranate deseeded, so that saved time because it’s a slight process. There are a few ways to get into that baby, but I use the water bowl method: cut pomegranate in half, submerge in water for 10 minutes, then pull apart the rind and allow it to float to the top of the water while the seeds (arils) sink; strain arils, then dry on paper towel.

The genesis of the protein “fluff” was initially for aesthetic purposes (I wanted to brighten it up a bit before adding the dark pom syrup), but I dug the creaminess it added, plus it’s always nice to sneak a little extra protein into a meal that may not otherwise be that rich in it.

This was a fabulous start to my day. I ran around cleaning and organizing the file cabinet I bought for myself (oh yeah, be jealous), then spent the next five hours marathoning the hell out of season two of “Girls.” Pretty much the best Christmas ever.

coconut pom waffles 2makes two waffles
inspired by foodiecrush
♦1 egg, whisked
1/8 c. coconut milk
3/4 c. almond meal
1/8 c. shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 tbs. coconut flour
1 tbs. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Heat waffle iron. Whisk egg, then add milk. Combine almond meal, coconut, coconut flour and baking soda, then add to wet mixture. Add honey, vanilla, sea salt and cinnamon. Put batter into iron and cook for three to four minutes or until golden.

for protein fluff
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Cellucor)
about 2 tsp. almond milk
(play around with these measurements until the consistency is correct; you want it somewhat liquescent, but not runny)

for pomegranate syrup
1/2 c. pomegranate arils
1 c. POM Wonderful juice
1/8 c. organic coconut sugar
1/2 tbs. coconut oil

Heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add arils, juice and coconut sugar. Heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture has reduced by half. (This took a bit longer than I thought it would, so start it going before you start cooking waffle mix.)

Total time? 20 minutes (without deseeding of pomegranate)
Cost? $3.99 POM, $1.50 pomegranate, $6.99 almond meal, $8.99 coconut flour, $3.99 organic coconut, $4.98 organic coconut sugar, $5.99 coconut oil
Overall success relative to expectations? My first bite of the waffle on its own was underwhelming. I thought it was a little bland and moderately dense. (I may separate the egg first next time.) The good news is all the toppings help sweeten and moisten up the dish, and the combination is perfect — like a holiday in my mouth.

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