Tag Archives: coconut milk

Salmon with Lemon Dill Cream Sauce

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Coconut milk is great for making simple gravy or sauce to spice up any meal. In this case, I decided to use dill and lemon, to make a cream sauce for a nice salmon filet. I had some enoki mushrooms that I picked up at the Asian Market, and decided to throw them in too. They are really mild in flavor, so it just added some more texture.

For the Salmon:

Season with

  • A squeeze of lemon
  • dill
  • thyme
  • salt
  • pepper

Bake covered at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, until it flakes easily with a fork and is cooked through but still moist.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce….

Lemon Dill Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 bunch enoki mushrooms

In a sauce pan, heat the coconut milk, lemon juice, dill, and enoki muchrooms covered for a few minutes and stirring occasionally. Then, uncover, and let cook down until it’s a little thicker to your liking.

I served with baked spaghetti squash, sprinkled with salt, pepper, and thyme.


Crock Pot Spiced Cherry-Fig Beef Roast

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Oh my! I feel like I’ve just been on a steamy kitchen date. This dish is mega dark, rich, and fruity. The Figs and Cherries are poached in red wine and mulling spices to reconstitute, and all the flavors compliment and play off each other in a sultry evening dance. The beefy flavor of the chuck roast intensify the bold flavors, but the sweetness of the fruit balance and subdue the beef flavor. My boyfriend, who normally doesn’t like “beefy” flavors, gave it a thumbs up. A subtle smokey spice from ancho chili powder adds a mild kick to envelope your taste buds a little further.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Carrot, chopped
  • 3-4 Shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 Turnip
  • 1-2 lb Chuck Roast
  • 2-3 tablespoons Ancho Chili Powder (I use Kalustyan’s)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (For Browning)
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Dried Cherries
  • 7 dried Unsweetened Turkish Figs
  • 2-3 cups Red Wine (Cabernet Sauvignon ) + and extra 1/4 cup
  • Mulling Spices
  • salt, pepper, thyme
  • 1/2 split Vanilla Bean
  • 1/2 cup Light Coconut Milk

Instructions:

  1. First, Peel and chop your vegetables and add to the slow cooker the carrot, shallots, parsnip, and turnip
  2. Then, rub the ancho powder all over both sides of your meat, and brown in coconut oil for a few minutes20131123-223340.jpg
  3. Then, Add to the crock pot as well
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  4. add 2-3 Cups red wine, leaving about a 1/4 cup reserved to the side, the cherries, the figs, and mulling spices (in a spice bag), to a sauce pan. Simmer until the fruit has soaked in most of the wine and the figs look plump and moist.
  5. Pour over meat into the crock pot.
  6. Add the remaining wine, spices (salt, pepper, thyme, and a little more ancho powder), 1.2 a split vanilla bean, and 1/2 a can of light coconut milk to the crock pot.
  7. Cook on low 8 hours.

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Crock Pot Pulled Balsamic Chicken and Mushroom

Served with baked Cauliflower Polenta (Click for Recipe)

Served with baked Cauliflower Polenta (Click for Recipe)

My poor crock pot is such a work horse. I really should get a few of them. This dish, like pretty much anything I do in the crock pot, is really easy, and yields a lot of shredded chicken so you’ll have Leftovers for sure! I’m always excited to try new experiments with the crock pot, since it makes  dinner after a long day at work, and a busy life, seem a little less overbearing. Give this a try, It’s not too earthy, but comforting and flavorful. It’s lightly spiced, so it can be really versatile, and can be served with almost anything.

In the crock pot, combine the following ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs of chicken breast
  • 1.5 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 onion, cut into a few chunks
  • 5 small or 3 large shallots, halved
  • 3 medium portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 4-5 large shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/3- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 can (14 oz) Trader Joe’s Light Coconut Milk
  • 6 oz vegetable broth
  • Spices: oregano, thyme, basil, salt, pepper, allspice

Cook on low for 8-10 hours, then shred the chicken with a fork.

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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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Paleo Peppermint Mocha

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It’s getting cold out, and as much as I like to curl up with a cup of tea, or a black coffee, sometimes I miss the indulgent feeling of a cafe drink. You know mochafrappachinolatte type things. Well anyway, this one is relatively unsweetened, so with the exception of it not being WLC compliant (Alcohol in the peppermint extract), I don’t think it’s really a “cheat” or unhealthy. It’s super duper comforting though, and should prove to be a great addition to holiday cheer! If you do want to make it more indulgent, some peppermint schnapps or brandy would probably go nicely….

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can Trader Joe’s Light Coconut Milk
  • 4-5 Tablespoons Organic Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • Coffee
  • 1/4 teaspoon (a couple of drops) Peppermint Extract
  • up to 1 teaspoon Coconut Butter (Optional)

In a saucepan, heat the light coconut milk. If you don’t have light coconut milk, you can use regular coconut milk, which is probably thicker. When it heats up, use a hand mixer to mix in 3-5 tablespoons of organic unsweetened cocoa powder until totally combined. Then add a couple of drops of peppermint extract and mix that in as well. USE PEPPERMINT EXTRACT SPARINGLY! I also mixed in 1/2 a teaspoon of coconut butter, just to sweeten it ever so slightly. Pour it into a mug, until it’s 3/4 of the way full, and then fill the rest with coffee.


Getting Ready for the WLC: Pantry Stuffers

Since the Whole Life Challenge is coming up fast, I thought I’d write a post about canned goods and items I frequently keep in the pantry. Of course, with things like vegetables, you want to buy fresh when possible, but there are inevitably items that you are going to purchase canned, I’ll also touch on fat sources (which are usually in a jar not a can). All I can say is – READ LABELS! You can’t even trust a particular brand, since ingredients may differ from product to product. If you find one thing that is compliant, don’t assume that all related items are also compliant. For example, legumes are allowed on the challenge. Here is a picture of 3 cans of various beans. Two are 365 (Whole Foods) and one is Stop and Shop. All 3 are compliant to the WLC, as the only ingredients are the beans, water, and maybe sea salt.

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Awesome. Now here is a can of Dark Red Kidney Beans – Also Stop and Shop brand. Very NOT compliant. It contains a bunch of forbidden ingredients, including sugar, calcium chloride, and Disodium EDTA! WHY…..why does it need that? The others just needed water…..I don’t get it!

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Anyway, Here is a list of products I use all the time, that should be pretty easy for you to find, so stock up!

1. Coconut Milk: Trader Joe’s Light Coconut Milk

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I use this A LOT. You can use it for anything, from gravies to curries, smoothies to sauces. This stuff is really versatile. It is one of the few brands I’ve seen (without buying online) that does not include guar gum. It’s also really yummy, and I haven’t had any issues with it being a little thinner than traditional full fat coconut milk when using it in recipes. I wouldn’t mind finding a full fat coconut milk, but in a pinch, and in most curries and smoothies, this works just fine. It’s affordable too at only $0.99 a can!

Ingredients: Coconut Milk, Water

2. Cento Brand Crushed Tomatoes

20130821-225924.jpgThis is great for sauces and stews. I get the large 28 oz cans. You have to be careful though, most of Cento’s other products contain Citric Acid.

Ingredients: Fresh Vine Ripened Tomatoes

3. Wild Planet Sardines in Water

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Now I know this nutritious little fish is not for everyone, but you should really learn to embrace this potent little swimmer. They are packed with good protein, calcium (eat the bones and all… really they’re good!), and omega 3’s. I’ve always just eaten them straight from the can, but throw them on a salad, or cook them into a sauce if you want to mask the flavor a bit. I stay away from “Natural Smoke Flavors”, and while you can find quite a few cheaper WLC compliant brands, I find Wild Planet Sardines the most enjoyable. Some of the cheaper ones have grainy roe in their stomachs, and off flavors. Most of the really cheap ones have additives, and are just really poor quality. More expensive Brislings are always safe flavor wise, and might be better for newbies as they are smaller and easier to eat, but read labels. Wild Planet Sardines are sustainably produced and look and taste fresher than any sardine I’ve tried in the past. They are kind of mid range in price, and can usually be found under $3 a can.

Ingredients: Sardines, Water, Sea Salt

4. Trader Joe’s Pitted Green Olives

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These are awesome. They don’t contain citric acid, or sulfites, or any of the colorings and nasties that are in most canned olives. I love chopping them up for recipes, or adding them to salads. Just for your information, if you are put off by variances in color, you may be alarmed. I have never found a can without flaws, as there are always spots, or discolorations between the olives. I just take it as a sign that they are not hiding the fact that fruits, vegetables, and seeds are hardly ever perfectly uniform. They always taste good, and so I embrace it!

Ingredients: Green Olives, Water, Sea Salt

5. Purity Farms Ghee

20130821-221830.jpgOk, so let’s talk Ghee. I discovered it when I ran out of Duck Fat. I was skeptical, because it’s made from butter/dairy, but this brand which is Organic and GMO Free, is Lactose (The protein found in milk) and Casein (The protein found in cheese) free. Because of this, it doesn’t seem to bother my stomach (While butter, milk, and cheese will), though I still try to limit its use. I use it as a backup, in case I run out of other fats. Unfortunately, because I do have a problem with dairy products, I’ve noticed that if I have ghee a few  days in a row, my sinuses start acting up, which is annoying because it’s tasty, but for many of you it won’t cause problems. For myself, I’m going to stick with Duck Fat and Tallow, but my love affair with ghee was nice while it lasted.  I found it in Wild By Nature, but you should be able to find it in most natural food stores (or online). It has a really nice, rich, buttery flavor, and is better for cooking as it doesn’t burn like butter does. Sometimes, you don’t want to use coconut oil, and in those cases you should use this ghee (or get yourself some FatWorks!)

Ingredients: Clarified Butter

6. Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil

20130821-221958.jpgAs you can tell by the picture, I go through a lot of this. I think it’s $5.99 which isn’t too bad. I haven’t really tried any other brands, but I am happy with Trader Joe’s product so far, and always have a jar (or two!) in the pantry. The flavor is nice, and it behaves beautifully when cooking. Sometimes I blend it into my coffee….yum.

Ingredients: 100% Organic Coconut Oil

7. Trader Joe’s Spanish Olive Oil

20130821-222035.jpgYou can find a lot of information about what to look for in an olive oil. I don’t know how this stacks up against some of the more expensive brands (I think I pay around $8), but it has a fantastic flavor, and is perfect on salads, marinades, and drizzled over food for flavor. I keep it in the pantry, so it’s stored away from light, and I don’t cook with it, so for what I do use Olive Oil for, this is a really good option.

Ingredients: Olive Oil

8. FatWorks Duck Fat

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I am completely I FatWorks fan girl, I admit. I just ordered another jar of this stuff, since I’ve been out of it for a couple of weeks (*Sobbing*). I ALSO ordered the Tallow (which is rendered beef fat) so I’m sure that will end up on this list as well. Like I said, I had my brief love affair with ghee, even though it was mean to me (aka sinus inflammation), but my true love lies here, with this glorious golden goodness (hows THAT for alliteration!). Now, you can buy duck fat elsewhere (my mom proudly showed me her shiny SMALL jar of Duck fat she got off amazon, for practically the same price as this nice big FatWorks jar), but WHY on earth would you do that! FatWorks is quality, and most importantly, it comes from pastured ducks. So really, what are you waiting for! There is a permanent link to the FatWorks website on the left side of my blog. I love them THAT much.


Chicken Paleoindaloo

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Ok, so the name needs a little work. Open to suggestions!

Fairly often, one of my flavor cravings is indian food. So I decided to make something with a bit of spice and indian flair, my way. It’s not a particular dish, but the heat build up reminds me of a clove heavy vindaloo, which is one of my favorite dishes. I like cloves, which is why I added more than normal, but not everyone does, so you may want to cut back a little if you’re not sure. The heat definitely builds on this one – so keep that in mind if you are sensitive to spicy food.

I didn’t measure anything – so any spices in bold, I used GENEROUS amounts of. I apologize in advance if some of the pictures aren’t as nice as usual…I usually don’t photograph the cooking process (because I’m busy focusing on cooking), and didn’t have special lights to set up over the kitchen while dodging tomato splatter ha!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Chicken Breast
  • 3 large shallots
  • 3 large cloves of garlic
  • 2 yams or sweet potatoes – peeled and cubed
  • 1 28 oz can Cento Brand crushed tomato
  • 1 can Trader Joe’s light coconut milk
  • 2-3 cups sliced okra
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 whole allspice and cloves – smashed
  • Cardamom
  • Red cayenne pepper
  • Ginger
  • Hungarian paprika
  • Coriander
  • Tumeric
  • Cumin
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt

Put all spices in a ziplock with chicken and rub around as a dry rub – let marinate for 1-2 hours

Cut up and cube 2 yams or sweet potatoes and chop 3 large cloves of garlic and 3 large shallots

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garlic and shallots

Heat 2 tablespoons duck fat.

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Using a kitchen scissors cut the chicken I to cubes or chunks and cook for a minute or two before adding the garlic and onion. Then throw them in and stir.

Chicken

After a minute add the sweet potato and stir.

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After a few minutes add the canned crushed tomato (28oz Cento brand) and coconut milk (Trader Joe’s) and stir. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice

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Add more of the spices you used earlier and 2 bay leaves, cover and let simmer. After it starts simmering hard, turn the heat down to medium – add a little lime juice.

Chop and add 2 stalks of celery and 2 cups (or 5 handfuls) frozen sliced okra.

Cover and continue to simmer and occasionally stir for 20 or so minutes until it starts to thicken as the sweet potatoes soften.

Add 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, stir, and turn off heat.


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