Category Archives: Dessert

Happy Holidays 2013!

Happy Holidays everybody! Now that everything has settled, I have just come to the realization that it’s been almost 10 days since I’ve posted anything, so I feel like a totally horrible blog person! It’s just been a little crazy with the holidays, as I’m sure many of you can relate. The funny thing is,  I didn’t even do that much cooking! I got my gifting stuff done pretty early, but there’s always some last-minute thingy-ma-bobbers and I was helping Mike with his last-minute wrapping. I do have a few tidbits to recap from the past week that I can share as part of my Holiday Post 2013!

Growing up Italian, Christmas Eve meant seafood….lots and lots of seafood. Staples were always Smelts (Basically a bait fish….Dredged in flour and fried), Baked Flounder, Stuffed colossal Shrimp, Crab Sauce, Stuffed Crabs, Baked Clams, Seafood Salad, Scungili Sauce, and Bacala (Salted Cod). Aside from the inevitable pasta, Most of this is very un-paleo because of the breading. For the past few years, we’ve been going to a restaurant, since my great-grandmother stopped cooking the feast a decade ago at 89 years of age, and it was getting too hard for my aunts and grandparents to carry the traditions on as they were. I miss them, but I think one day when I have the space and time, I will start something new, healthy, and paleo, but similar and inspired by my heritage. I love me some seafood!

I bring this up, since it was the inspiration for the dinner I made a few days before Christmas.  I happened to find a bag of Smelts at one of my Asian Groceries, and had to buy it! I dredged about half the bag in Coconut Flour (Seasoned with salt, pepper, nutmeg, oregano….you can do anything here), as sautéed them in coconut oil. The coconut flour didn’t stick as well as I hoped, So I might dip them in egg next time, but in reality, you don’t even need the “breading”. They were so good, and definitely brought back memories from past Christmas Eve’s!

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To accompany my little fried fishies, I rolled a few flounder filets in coconut flour (with Salt, Pepper, Basil, Oregano) and Baked them for 12 minutes or so at 375.

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These came out really good as well. I knocked off some of the extra coconut flour after they cooked. They were just the right amount of moist inside, with the dry flour outside. It was definitely beginning to feel like Christmas after that!

For Christmas, we went to both My parents, and Mike’s Mom’s parties. At my parents house, there were lots of paleo options. Brussel Sprouts, Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs, Turnips, Cauliflower, Parsnips. The desserts weren’t completely paleo, but almost everything was gluten-free. I sampled the gluten-free apple pie, as well as some gluten-free cookies and the gluten-free cake pops my sister made. Honestly, it didn’t kill me, and while I make it a point to stay away from gluten and dairy, I felt it wasn’t a big deal  to sample some of the treats since there was no gluten. I knew that at Mike’s Mom’s house the desserts were all going to be off-limits, so I indulged while I could. At his Mom’s. I stuck to sweet potato casserole, turkey, ham, turnips, and any veggies available. It was pretty easy to eat according to my rules. The only un-paleo thing I had, was a small portion of a wild rice dish with mushrooms and cranberries….it was good.

I DID make paleo cookies to contribute to the mix at both parties. The first type I made were Snickerdoodles, from CaveGirl Cuisine. Click my photo to go to the recipe on her page. These were awesome! And since I used my Ninja Blender (Dough Attachment) they were SUPER easy.

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Click to go to the recipe at CaveGirl Cuisine’s Blog!

The second type was Paleo and Nut-Free Cut-Out Cookies from  The Paleo Mom’s Blog. I used unsweetened cocoa powder instead of a bar of chocolate. I decided to make them into Dinosaur Shapes, since they were paleo….and well dinosaurs are awesome! They were a little crumbly, and hard transfer to my cookie sheet, but I managed. I blame my cookie cutter, and Brontosaurus having a thin, weak, neck. They had a strong honey flavor and weren’t so chocolatey, but they were delicious! I would definitely make them again! Click the picture for the recipe.

Click to go to the recipe at The Paleo Mom's Blog!

Click to go to the recipe at The Paleo Mom’s Blog!

Overall, I think I made it through the holidays successfully. No major upset to my digestive tract! With the drinks, and treats I don’t normally eat, including the nut/rice/processed stuff and sugar involved in the gluten-free desserts, I was a little gassy the next day, but clean eating on Thursday cleared it right up. I’m ok with that, and it was totally worth it! Part of living the way I do, is being smart enough to know that one day of treating yourself a little, shouldn’t de-rail you. Especially if you stay away from gluten and dairy! Life is also about having fun, not stressing!  I am strong enough and smart enough to know my body now, and what I can and cannot handle on occasion. Even though I was a little gassy, I wasn’t suffering from headaches, or pain, or major bloating and discomfort. I felt ok!

Gluten and Dairy – Nope,
Gluten Free and Paleo Treats at christmas time – Go!

Anyway, I hope everyone else had a holiday that was as warm and loving as mine, and made it through with similar success! Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!

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Raw Pumpkin Pie Balls

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***** Warning: Sugar Rush Ahead …. Just not added sugar *****

Woah, holy cow! I think I forgot what sweet tasted like. I normally don’t make treats, but I bought a big container of medjool dates at Trader Joe’s and had to use them. Besides, I wanted to play with my food processor again. These are definitely perfect if you’ve been craving pumpkin pie, or something completely decadent to satisfy a serious sweet tooth. They really taste like balls of super rich pumpkin pie. That’s awesome, but seriously, I don’t eat many treats, so I may freeze them and bring them to Thanksgiving, since my mom is having a Paleo Thanksgiving.  These are SUPER sweet, so you can dial down the number of dates to probably half to make a slightly less sweet version if you want. They’re also very heavy in sweet pumpkin pie flavor, so if you are looking for a savory bite, and not a “no doubts about it” dessert bite, I’d cut the amount of pumpkin in half, or even just make it a few tablespoons. Play with the ratio, and make it to your liking, that’s the beauty of dishes like this. I’m definitely not used to sweet things, so they caught me off guard. Next time I’m going to dial them down, but I know some people out there will totally appreciate these as is. They are easy too, no baking involved!

Ingredients:

•20 pitted medjool dates
•4 heaping ice cream scoops of cashew butter
• 2/3 – 1 cup pumpkin
•3 handfuls flaked coconut
•2 tablespoons almond flour
•1 – 2 tablespoon + cinnamon
•Dash of nutmeg, ginger, clove

All you have to do is blend until smooth – it will be very sticky! Then Form balls, place them on a tray or in a container lined with foil or wax paper, and freeze for at least an hour, *Nom Nom Nom*


Crustless No Sugar Added Paleo Pumpkin Bake

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This is more savory than your typical pumpkin pie, with just a hint of sweetness from the coconut butter. It made the house smell amazing as it was baking, just like pumpkin pie. When I took it out initially, it was done cooking (the toothpick came out clean),It tasted good, and it held together fairly well if I used a spatula, but wasn’t as forgiving if I tried to use a spoon or fork to remove squares of it. I decided to put it back in a little longer to get some more moisture out which did the trick. It still wasn’t as firm as traditional pumpkin pie, but letting it chill in the fridge helped it firm up more. Maybe next time I’ll play with the ratio, but it was definitely yummy and made for a great side to my eggs in the morning. If you’re looking for more of a dessert, or are feeling more indulgent, add some maple syrup, honey, or maybe some shredded coconut! But I liked it just fine this way.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 can organic Pumpkin
  • 1 can Trader Joe’s Light Coconut Milk
  • 1/4 cup (or a few heaping spoons) Raw Coconut butter
  • Some good big shakes of Cinnamon and Ginger
  • A large Dash of Nutmeg

Combine all ingredients with a hand blender until smooth, then pour into glass pan. Bake at 350 for 40-60 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. If there is still a lot of moisture, turn the heat down to 300 and cook 15-20 minutes longer. For best results, chill in the refrigerator, and then lightly warm when ready to eat/serve.

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Sultry Roasted Cherries and Figs

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It’s the holiday season, so I’m always looking for healthy snacks that can double as dessert. When It comes to eating something sweet, I usually go to berries. The great thing about berries, is that they are relatively low in sugar, and not a big threat on the glycemic index….plus they’re yummy, and full of vitamins and antioxidants. I had read a tweet earlier in the day about roasting fruit, so it inspired me to create a sort of naked, no added sugar pie. I decided to use cherries, since they’re rich, and can also be a bit savory.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 packages frozen cherries (I get the organic or 365 brand from Whole Foods)
  • 5-6 dried Turkish figs reconstituted with mulling spices and halved
  • Rosemary
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Pecan pieces
  • Dash of balsamic

I couldn’t find fresh figs, so I reconstituted some dried Turkish figs. I decided to spice them as well. I simmered them in water with mulling spices for 10 minutes or so until they plumped up.

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Then I cut them in half, and tossed them with the cherries in a glass pan. I seasoned the mixture with rosemary, salt, and cinnamon as well as pecan pieces, and then stirred to combine.

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I covered the pan, and put them in the oven at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until everything was soft, and the pan had a nice amount of juice that had come from the fruit. Oh my gosh, it was delicious. If food could be sexy, this was certainly sexy. It was sultry, dark, and rich…almost like wine, and the figs had amazing flavor from being in the mulling spices.


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