Paleo-ish Cinnamon Toast Waffles

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Okay, I went a little crazy with the photos. But come on, how good do those look?

…aaand these photos also remind me of Louis C.K.’s Cinnabon joke. If you want to know what I’m talking about, listen to this video. And if you really want to know what an artist this comedian is, listen to his commentary on the episodes of his show on FX, Louie, or go watch American Hustle.

Something you should also take a look at, Paleomg.com. I’m always using her recipes! Especially the chocolate waffles. Put some strawberries on that with some whipped cream or ice cream and you no longer have breakfast, you have a dessert.

In an earlier post, I mentioned the cinnamon toast waffles at Family Meal and I decided to recreate them and make a paleo-ish version using some of that churro waffle recipe from paleomg. These are very dense waffles, so I also made an attempt to recreate that creamy cinnabon cream they had on the side of the dish at Family Meal to moisten it up a little…aaaand I forgot to measure anything. So, if the directions/ingredients for that part are a little iffy, I apologize. Enjoy!

This makes 6-8 waffles.

Ingredients:

3 cups of almond meal/flour

4 eggs, whisked

1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon + a few dashes/sprinkles for coating

2 tablespoons honey

2/3 cup heavy cream or coconut milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

3-6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4-1/2 cup coconut palm sugar

Cream:

1/4 cup heavy cream

1-2 teaspoons mascarpone cheese, room temp

1-2 teaspoons coconut palm sugar

1-2 teaspoons honey

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, while your waffle iron heats up, mix together the almond flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, whisked eggs, vanilla, and heavy cream/coconut milk. Once well combined, scoop mixture into the waffle iron.

2. While they cook, melt the few tablespoons of butter in a dish big enough to dip the waffle in.

3. In another dish, mix together the coconut palm sugar and extra cinnamon.

4. As the waffles come out of the oven, dip a side (or both sides, what the hell) in the butter and then dip in the cinnamon sugar mix.

5. To make the cream: With a beater on low speed, beat together the heavy cream and mascarpone cheese just until combined (don’t make whipped cream!) Then gradually mix/fold/lightly beat the coconut palm sugar and honey into it. Add it little by little, you might not want it that sweet, since you’ll be adding maple syrup on top of these waffles, I’m sure.

By the way, these are great to freeze (pre-dipping in butter and sugar). Just heat them up again in the oven or toaster and then do the dipping part. Good stuff ūüôā

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Honey Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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This was really good. I’ve tried a few chicken lettuce wrap recipes the past couple of years and I always felt like something was missing. So, I decided to try another one last night and add some of my own touches. I got this recipe from wegottaeat¬†and they apparently adapted theirs from Pioneer Woman (A blogger turned food network show chick).

I think I need to mention in this post my favorite/healthier substitute for Kikoman soy sauce- Organic Wheat Free Tamari Sauce. Check it out, you’ll probably find it in your local grocery stores gluten-free section.

This is what it looks like:

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Ingredients:

2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp coconut palm sugar
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
A dash or two of ground red pepper
1/4-1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger or ground ginger
2 tsp sesame oil
4-6 tbsp honey, depending on how sweet you want it
2 tbsp + 1 tbsp set aside of wheat free Tamari sauce or soy sauce.
1-3 tbsp coconut oil or butter
1.5 lbs chicken breast, diced
1 small onion, finely diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup cashews, chopped
2 8oz cans of diced water chestnuts (I diced them up a little more, as you can see in the pics)
8 leaves romaine or iceberg lettuce, washed & dried..I find romaine to be a little easier with lettuce wraps.
sesame seeds or green onions for decor if you want
Directions:
1. For the sauce, mix together rice vinegar, coconut palm sugar, red pepper flakes, ground red pepper, ginger, sesame oil, honey, and 4 tbsp of Tamari/soy sauce Рmaking sure to dissolve sugar. Set aside.
2.¬†Heat coconut oil or butter in pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add diced chicken and brown. Don’t cook it for too long, you don’t want it to get tough. You don’t want to cook it all the way through, it will finish cooking later. Remove chicken from oil, put it in a separate bowl to the side.
3. Add diced onions and minced garlic to pan and a tablespoon or so of Tamari/soy sauce to the pan; brown. When onions and garlic are brown and tender, add stir fry sauce, browned chicken, water chestnuts, and cashews. Saute mixture for a few minutes and taste to see if you want to add more honey or Tamari/soy sauce. I added the honey and Tamari sauce by tablespoon and kept tasting it while it was sauteing, until it was just right.
Enjoy!

Breakfast Frittata

Have you been to a Cafe Deluxe? If you haven’t been there for breakfast yet, you should go. If not only for the Bottomless Mimosas. I tried another new place for breakfast recently called Family Meal. It’s one of the restaurants owned by Bryan Voltaggio from that Top Chef show…yeah…I never watched it, but his recipes are delicious. I had the Cinnamon Toast Waffles and they were to die for. Covered in cinnamon and sugar and served with a creamy, light, cinnabon type icing and spiced maple syrup…well….just take a look for yourself…

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Is that not a great logo too? And I love the robins egg design on those plates.

Eventually, I will have to recreate a paleo-ish recipe of those waffles. Stay tuned.

Switching gears here, I made a breakfast frittata the other day that got a few likes on Instagram (follow me on Instagram! Username: fryahya) so I decided to post the recipe here. This took me 20-25 minutes to make and I could throw any leftover veggies I have from other recipes in it. Very low-carb and the leftovers were great too! For this recipe you need a skillet that’s also oven proof. Make sure it’s cast iron or entirely metal.¬†This recipe has been adapted from Linda Wagner.

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Isn’t that pretty? You can make any design you want on the top. Bring out your artsy side.

Ingredients:

10 eggs, whisked together

1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved

1 bunch of asparagus, 1/2 of it chopped in 1 inch pieces, the other half with the bottoms cut off (snap the bottom off of one stalk and that’s how you know where to trim the rest)

4 garlic cloves, minced

A few handfuls of fresh baby spinach

salt & pepper to taste

2-3 tablespoons of butter, oil, or your fat of choice. Bacon fat would work really well.

Optional: 1/2 cup of feta cheese, crumbled

If you don’t have asparagus lying around, add whatever veggies you got! You could leave this at tomatoes, spinach, and feta cheese. You could do diced bell peppers, onions, and mexican cheese instead of feta…get creative.

Directions:

1.Preheat oven/broiler to 400F

2. In a large skillet over med-high heat add butter, oil, or your fat of choice, minced garlic, 1/2 of your halved grape tomatoes, the 1 inch slices of asparagus (or whatever veggies you decided on!), and salt & pepper to taste. Saute for about 5-8 mins until veggies are starting to get slightly soft. I think asparagus takes a little longer than 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Toss that spinach in the skillet with the rest of your sauteing veggies. Keep stirring until spinach has wilted.

4. Reduce the heat of the skillet and add the whisked eggs. Mix everything in the skillet together then let sit until the eggs are set. Keep an eye on it, this doesn’t take long. You want the edges kinda stiff and the middle still runny.

5. Decorate the top with whatever veggies you want! Then sprinkle some more salt and pepper to taste.

6. Put the pan under the broiler/in the oven for 3 minutes or until golden on top. Add cheese crumbles on top and put back in for another 2-3 minutes until the feta gets a little browned.

Enjoy! Let me know what veggie/cheese combinations you come up with!

Sesame Ginger Salmon

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I get my chinese take out fix from time to time. I don’t believe in depriving myself in dieting. I try to be paleo/low carb 80% of the time. If I told myself I could never have chinese food, waffles, or pizza again, I would probably want it even more. And when I would have it I would feel really bad about myself and gross. Everything in moderation. If I can remember the last time I had chinese take out, it’s probably too soon to have it again. I go about it that way with a lot of carb-loaded foods. I can’t remember the last time I had a hamburger on a bun….well….now I know what I’m gonna eat the next time I feel like indulging.

Anyway, I found this salmon recipe on the blog How Sweet¬†It Is. Whip this salmon up with your favorite veggie side dish and dinner is served! Marinate it overnight or while you’re at work, class, whatever. Then throw it in the oven when you get home. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs raw salmon

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons toasted or plain sesame oil

2 tablespoons rice vinegar..Not exactly paleo, but come on…it’s just two tablespoons.

2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar

2 tablespoon wheat-free Tamari sauce

2-3 garlic cloves, grated

1 tablespoon/1inch freshly grated ginger. I freeze any fresh ginger root I get. Makes it easier to grate.

1-2 tablespoons toasted or plain sesame seeds

4 green onions, sliced for garnish

Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for Glaze:

1/4-1/2 cup honey. I added more honey because I like a thicker glaze. I used 1/4 cup like the original recipe called for and it was too runny.

1 teaspoon toasted or plain sesame oil

1 teaspoon soy sauce or wheat-free Tamari sauce

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

1/2 teaspoons toasted or plain sesame seeds

Add a little Sriracha sauce for a kick ūüėČ

Directions:

1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack over top. Spray the rack with nonstick spray or rub it down with some olive oil and a paper towel.

2. In a large bowl or baking dish, combine olive oil, sesame oil, wheat-free Tamari sauce, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, coconut palm sugar, and whisk well until combined. Add salmon to the dish or bag everything in a ziplock bag, then refrigerate and marinate for at least 30 minutes. The longer you marinate, the better it will taste. I let mine sit overnight.

3. Once you’re ready to cook it, preheat the broiler in your oven. If you have an oven like mine, you will want to put it on the High setting. Another option is to preheat your oven to 450F. Cooking time is the same.

4. While you wait for the oven to preheat, combine all of the glaze ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth.

5. Remove salmon and place directly on the wire rack. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt and pepper, then place in the oven on the top rack. Cook for 10-15 minutes, depending on the salmon’s thickness, until opaque and easily flakable with a fork. Keep an eye on it. I had one thick piece of salmon that took 20 minutes. Another way you can tell salmon is cooked is when you see a little of the white juices come out of the salmon…Ew…

Serve immediately with the glaze and green onions on top.

Thumbprint Cookies

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These paleo cookies go fast in my house. I have a hard time not eating them all when they come right out of the oven…I’ve burnt my tongue a lot…I’m just impatient…whatever…So, I found this recipe on this blog –¬†Bakerita¬†and it is probably the quickest paleo recipe ever. ¬†4 ingredients, 11 minutes in the oven. I don’t think home made cookies get better than that. Oh and I almost always double this recipe. If I don’t feel like cooking them all at once, I’ll refrigerate the dough for up to two days. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 ¬ľ cup Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour or throw some whole almonds in a food processor.

3-4 tbsp coconut oil, melted. Coconut oil is amazing. You can use it to moisturize your hair and skin and it smells good too. Go get some.

1.5 tbsp pure maple syrup…you can probably use honey too.

1/4-1/2 cup of fruit preserves or jam. I use either Bonne Maman brand or St. Dalfour. In the pic I posted with this recipe, I used Bonne Maman’s cherry and raspberry preserves. I try to use preserves or jam that’s simply fruit with fruit juice or something sweetened with evaporated cane juice/cane sugar.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper if you have it. It’s okay if you don’t. You’ll just have a cookie sheet to clean afterwards.

2. In a medium or large bowl, mix together all ingredients except for the preserves/jam. If the mixture seems a little too dry, add a little more (by teaspoons) melted coconut oil until it’s at the consistency you like. The dough will be crumby. Throw in a ziploc bag and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or however long you want to wait. I’ve put them straight in the oven without refrigerating before and they were just fine. Just harder to form them into balls. If I do refrigerate them, I put the dough in a big ziploc bag and flatten out the dough in the bag as thin as I can, then put it in the freezer or refrigerator. Cools faster that way. Did I mention I’m impatient?

3. Form balls from the dough, about the size of a ping pong ball (1-1.5inch?). Make a well in the center of each cookie with your thumb. That’s why they’re called thumbprint cookies. Duh.

4. Bake for 5.5  minutes. Then, take them out of the oven and fill the middle of the cookies with whatever preserves/jam you have. Put them back in the oven for another 5.5 minutes or until very light golden brown around the edges.

Italian Stuffed Peppers

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This recipe includes my touches to the recipe found on the blog Barbells and Bellinis. Really, you need to take a look at that blog. Anyway, I’m always looking for new paleo friendly recipes to try. The man friend works crazy off hours in his line of work and usually doesn’t have time to cook. I’m always doubling recipes and making sure there is a good amount leftover for him to take to work. This one is a favorite and fairly easy to make. Although, there’s a lot of chopping/prep involved. Also, keep in mind, if you follow this recipe you will probably have leftover filling mixture. Either grab some more peppers and another casserole dish or eat the leftover filling like chili, or on top of spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles…whatever…Enjoy and let me know what you think!

 

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs ground beef or ground turkey. They both work well in this recipe. A mix of both works well too.

3 carrots, diced and/or half of a cauliflower, chopped. I use cauliflower every time because the man friend hates cooked carrots.

3 celery stalks, diced

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 large zucchini, diced

1 10 oz box of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained. I squeezed the water out of it by hand.

1 bunch of basil, chopped. If I don’t have fresh basil, I add more Italian seasoning or dried basil.

1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon of dried oregano (I substituted this with another tablespoon of Italian seasoning)

1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning

1 tablespoon of salt. Be careful and check if your canned tomatoes have salt added to them already. If they do, only add ¬Ĺ tablespoon or none at all.

1/4-1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Depending on how spicy you like it. 

3 cloves of garlic, minced 

1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes. Save a little less than a third of it to put in the bottom of the casserole dish.

1 16 ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained

1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce, saving some for bottom of the dish

8-10 assorted bell peppers, tops and seeds removed. I also slice a little off the bottoms so they sit upright in the baking dish. You could also cut the peppers in half and stuff them that way too.

1 cup Peccorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, shredded

2-4 tablespoons of olive oil. I added a little more when I used ground turkey, since turkey tends to be a little more dry than beef.

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.

2. In a large pot, heat olive oil over high heat.  Add celery, carrots and/or chopped cauliflower, garlic, and onion and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. I also diced the tops of the peppers and threw that in too. Why waste it?

3. Add zucchini, thawed and drained spinach, basil, nutmeg, oregano, Italian seasoning, salt, red pepper flakes and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, stirring¬†occasionally. ¬†These veggies are going to be cooking again in the oven, so make sure they don’t get too soft. Add ground beef or ground turkey or mix of both and cook until browned, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add crushed tomatoes (saving a little for the bottom of the dish), drained diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce (reserving 1/4 for bottom of casserole dish) and stir to combine.  Pour remainder of tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes in the bottom of a casserole dish with raised edges large enough to accommodate the peppers.

5. Fill bell peppers with meat and veggie filling (reeeaally pack the filling into each pepper) and place in the casserole dish.  Bake for 35 minutes.  In last 5 minutes of cooking, top peppers with the shredded Peccorino Romano or Parmesan cheese.

Like they say in the original post, this is a great recipe to double the portions and freeze. I’m the most impatient person ever, so I eat the leftover filling like a bowl of chili before the peppers finish cooking.

Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes with Cherry Filling and Mascarpone Whipped Cream

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I went on a big google search for a good flour-less chocolate cake recipe to satisfy a serious chocolate craving (and I mean serious, I’m going on two weeks now) and landed upon this recipe for Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes with Cherries and Homemade Mascarpone from the blog My Blueberry Kitchen. I try to follow the Paleo diet the best I can, which leads me to my adaptation of this recipe. So, my version has no refined sugar and no grains. I use coconut palm sugar which is low glycemic, has a bunch of vitamins and amino acids and stuff…Let me know if you have any questions. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes

3.5 oz dark chocolate, broken into cubes. I used about 3 oz of a leftover 70% chocolate bar from Trader Joe’s and a a half ounce of 80% dark chocolate bar by Green&Black. I usually look for chocolate sweetened with organic cane sugar.

3/4 stick of unsalted butter

1 tbsp strong black coffee

2/3 cup coconut palm sugar (I get it from Moms Organic Market, 4.99-5.99 for a 1lb bag)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

3/4 cup ground almonds- I used Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour. You can also throw some almonds into a food processor. Same thing. Whatever.

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

For the filling  (you can skip the filling if you want, they taste great either way)

1 cup cherries, pitted

1 tbsp coconut palm sugar

2 tbsp pure orange juice

For the topping

2/3 cup heavy cream

4oz mascarpone (I used the Bel Giosio brand. Room temp.)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 heaping tbsp coconut palm sugar

Your favorite dark chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life brand. I found the best price per bag at Moms Organic Market) or cherries to decorate

Directions:

To make the cupcakes:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a cupcake or muffin tin with cupcake cases. Set the mascarpone cheese out on the counter to get to room temp.

2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl, over a saucepan of gently simmering water (double boiler). Stir in the coffee and leave to cool. Once cooled, stir in the coconut palm sugar and vanilla. The sugar won’t dissolve, if it’s gritty looking that’s okay.

3. In a separate bowl beat the egg for about 3 minutes until fluffy. Gently fold in the chocolate mixture, followed by the almond meal, salt and baking powder. Really make sure that chocolate mixture has cooled down before you fold it in. You don’t want it to cook the egg.

4. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cups, filling each one about 2/3 full. Bake for about 20-23 minutes until crisp on the outside, but still slightly gooey in the middle (insert a clean skewer into the middle to check.) Cool on a wire rack if you feel like it. I left mine in the tins and they were just fine.

To make the cherry filling: ( again, they will taste great without filling if you want quicker cupcakes)

1. Put the pitted cherries, coconut palm sugar and orange juice in a saucepan and simmer for about 15-20 minutes – stirring and gently pushing the cherries down with the back of a wooden spoon fairly regularly – until the cherries have turned mushy and most of the liquid has been absorbed.

2. Leave to cool, then fill the middle of each cupcake with a generous teaspoon of compote. If your cupcakes didn’t sink in the middle, kind of push the center down with a 1/2 teaspoon measurement.

To make the mascarpone whipped cream:

1. Beat the heavy cream, coconut palm sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form. Gently beat in the mascarpone until well combined.

2. Pipe or spoon a dollop of cream onto each cupcake. I used a ziploc plastic sandwich bag to pipe it. Easy.