Monday, September 24, 2012

Cauliflower Garlic Mashed Faux-tatoes.

Like most people, I love mashed potatoes.  I think they are the best when the skins are left on, they are creamy but hold their shape, and they have a nice garlic flavor.  Every since going gluten-free, becoming healthy, and really changing my diet, mashed potatoes have gone out the window.  While they were a treat before, they are now a complete rarity.  Until now.

Since I found out about the Weston A. Price foundation and Primal eating, I have rediscovered mashed potatoes. Only now they aren't actually made of potatoes, they're made out of cauliflower!  I used to think cauliflower was ghastly, and I would say that it was just a bad tasting version of broccoli (I love broccoli).  Well I am a firm believer that vegetables must be tried in several preparations, and more than one time, before anyone can say they don't like them.  Because now, I love cauliflower.  And after trying several fruits and vegetables several times, I now like them.  Once I didn't like cucumbers!

Now that cauliflower has made it's way into my diet, I've decided to make them in mashed potatoes.  This idea has been floating around in the Primal community for a while, and while I have made "cauliflower mash" before.  This time was different.  I went all out.  Roasted garlic.  Butter.  Whole milk.  Food processor.  Super smooth texture.  Oh yeah! 

Cauliflower Garlic Mashed "Faux-tatoes."
   makes about 8 servings

    1 head of cauliflower, steamed or boiled
    1/4-1/2 cup  raw whole milk
    4T - 6T  real grass-fed butter
    8 cloves of home-roasted garlic
    1/2 tsp  unrefined sea salt
    1/2 tsp  black pepper

To make your mashed potatoes:
  1.  Place hot boiled or steamed cauliflower, in a food processor.  Add butter and roasted garlic cloves.  Blend until smooth. Add spices. Blend.  Lastly, add milk until desired consistency is reached.
  2.  Taste.  Modify if needed. (Becareful, these are really good, it was hard to stop eating them! ;)
  3.  Serve warm with some more butter (if desired) along with a nicely cooked protein, like grass-fed beef, chicken or turkey!

Leftovers (if there are any) keep really well in the fridge.  Eat within a week.  They are even great cold!  This recipe is a great side dish option for those of us who do best on low carb, low starch, Primal, paleo diets.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Cranberry Sauce with Oranges.

My mom loves cranberries!  This past Christmas I decided to make some real cranberry sauce to accompany some turkey we were having.   The recipe was an experiment but a complete success.   I knew I wanted to blog about it, but had to wait until the summer to make it again, tweek the ratios/flavors, and give it a photo shoot.  I am happy to say that the recipe was again successful!  So here it is... cranberry sauce in September.  The meal photos are from one July evening this summer, when I decided to make a miniature "Thanksgiving" meal in July.  It was delicious!  With some cornbread taken from the freezer, some roasted turkey breasts and frozen cranberries we froze during cranberry season, a miniature Thanksgiving in July was served. 

I plan to make this cranberry sauce again, and again for all the remaining Thanksgivings and Christmases to come.  It's a fantastic alternative to the canned refined-sugar gelatinous mass that usually is called cranberry sauce.  This recipe is gluten-free, primal, paleo, yada-yada, and very easy!  The honey balances out the tartness of the cranberries, and gives a hint of sweetness.  Cloves and chinese five spice make it just a little bit spicy ;)

Cranberry Sauce with Oranges. 
    makes 10-12 servings

    8 oz  bag fresh organic cranberries
    3  oranges, peeled, ends cut off and sectioned
    1 T  organic coconut oil
    1/4-1/2 cup  raw honey
    zest of 1-2 oranges
    1/4 tsp  chinese five spice
    1/2 tsp  (or more) ground cloves
    pinch  unrefined sea salt
    water as needed

To make your cranberry sauce:
  1.   In a 10" inch skillet or sautee pan, simmer cranberries with coconut oil.
  2.  While cranberries are simmering, zest oranges.  Juice oranges into the skillet.  Simmer until cranberries soften and break apart ~10 minutes on medium and high heat.  Stir every few minutes.  Add some water if needed.  Do not let it burn.  Add zest to skillet.
  3.  Add honey, spices, and salt.  Stir well.  Simmer for another 10 minutes.  If sauce is too thick, add some water to thin it out.
  4.  Serve with turkey and some delicious cornbread.  May be served cold or hot.  Keep leftovers in the fridge.  It can also be frozen.

When cranberries come back into season this winter, give this recipe a try!  Your family will love it's sweet and spicy flavors as an alternative to the "classic" canned cranberry sauce.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Cashew Cookie Butter.

Rarely do I ever see a recipe online and go out and buy all the ingredients and then make it.  But I did exactly that with this recipe (and in less than 24 hours!)... it just looked too good.  This recipe comes from Studio Cuisine blog.  I love to try different combinations of nut butters, like my cinnamon honey almond butter, and this one was fantastic!  It tastes amazing -- just like sugar cookies! But it has none of the undigestible grains or refined sugars, and the cashews make it full of protein.  Therefore it makes a great snack, or a great spread for breakfast!  If you love cashew butter, you'll love this cookie butter.

Cashew Cookie Butter.
    adapted from Studio Cuisine
    makes one cup

    1.5 cups  organic whole raw cashews
    1/3 cup  unsweetened organic banana chips
    1 T  organic coconut sugar/palm sugar - source
    4 tsp  organic coconut oil
    1/3 tsp  vanilla
    1/4 tsp  cream of tartar (optional - for flavor)
    1/4 tsp  baking soda (optional - for flavor)

To make your cookie butter:
  1.  In a food processor, blend coconut sugar, banana chips and cashews together until it become homogenous and balls up.
  2.  Add honey, vanilla, cream of tartar, baking soda, and blend again.  Lastly, add coconut oil and blend until smooth.  If you'd like your butter a little more runny, add more coconut oil.  Mine was a perfect consistency at just 4 tsp.
  3.  Store in an airtight container.  It keeps outside for a little over a week.  For longer storage, refrigerate.

I can't wait to try some of this in my Vitamix! Make sure you share it with your friends :)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Grain-free Unsweetened Banana Cake.

Today is my birthday, so I thought sharing a cake today would be only appropriate.  I didn't make this cake today, however, but made it sometime early summer.

Banana bread has always been one of my favorites.  Since going gluten-free, I've made lots of different versions.  Up until now, my best recipe has been my original banana cake recipe.  Then there was a banana cake made with oatmeal.  There was also my gluten-free whole-grain banana bread, which I adapted from my favorite wheat-based recipe when I first went gluten-free.  And now there is this banana cake.  Made with grain-free flours, left-over soured milk, and bananas, this banana bread is easy to digest, primal and absolutely delicious!  I also love it because it give me a use for raw milk that has gone a little bit too sour to be palatable.  Raw dairy is so valuable nutritionally, it's such a waste to not use it!

I've made this recipe twice now, and it's been fantastic.  The first time I made a frosting over the whole cake made with peanut butter, butter, yogurt and coconut oils.  It was fantastic and I ended up eating it for breakfast because it had enough protein and fat to make my metabolism happy :)  The pictures you see here have one layer of a peanut butter-butter frosting in the middle, but not over the entire cake.  I hope to tweak my peanut butter recipe, get it just right, and then share it with you.  For now, feel free to mix equal parts, butter, fresh ground peanut butter, a few drops of Stevia clear, and vanilla extract together to make a wonderfully nourishing peanut butter filling for the middle of these cakes.  And be sure to share with family!  It's so good (and makes a lot) so sharing should be mandatory!  This cake is also completely unsweetened (bananas only) and it's Primal!

Grain-free Unsweetened Banana Cake.
    makes two 9" rounds

    1 cup  blanched almond flour - source
    1 cup  organic coconut flour - source
    3 cups  ripe bananas, mashed
    6 small  real eggs
    2 cups  soured raw milk
    1 Tbsp  warm spice blend (mine was a mix of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, allspice)
    1 Tbsp  vanilla
    1 tsp  baking soda
    1/2 tsp  unrefined sea salt
    2 Tbsp  grassfed butter (to grease the pan) - source

To make your banana cake:
  1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (convection or non-convection, same results for this cake). Use your fingers to butter the cake pans liberally.
  2.  In a large bowl, mash bananas, whisk in eggs, sour milk, and vanilla.
  3.  In another medium sized bowl, combine flours, baking soda, and sea salt.
  4.  Mix wet ingredients into dry, using a spatula to incorporate.
  5.  Distribute batter evenly between both pans. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until sides have pulled away from the pan and top is golden brown. When the cakes have cooled, remove from pans by gently inverting them onto your hand or a plate.  Wait until cakes are completely cooled to frost, if desired.

Texture up close.

This cake has quickly become one of my favorites, I hope you enjoy it too!