Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category (feed)

Oopsie buns

Oopsies are the Americanized version of the French souffle. My French husband loved them. They can be baked in ramekins for a more authentic souffle taste (in this case omit the almond flour), or as bread buns. They’re extremely low carb, and Paleo/Primal.

Ingredients (makes 6 buns)
* 4 eggs, yolks and whites separated in two bowls
* 3/4 cup of creamy goat cheese, or shaved emmental cheese
* 2 tablespoons of almond or coconut flour
* 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar (or baking soda)

Method
1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). On the bowl with the whites, add the cream of tartar.
2. Beat the whites in high speed until very-very stiff, about 4-5 minutes.
3. Add the cheese and flour to the yolk bowl, and beat until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
4. Fold the yolk mixture slowly into the whites, and mix carefully with a spatula for a few seconds.
5. Spoon the mixture in 6 pieces, on a baking sheet with a parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Per Serving (3 buns): 430 calories, 3 gr of net carbs, 36 gr of fat, 25% protein, 83% Lysine. 45% B12, 72% Riboflavin, 63% choline, 55% A, 23% calcium, 59% phosphorus, 31% selenium, 33% copper.

Best Cauliflower Rice Tips

Cauliflower fried rice is the best substitute for Chinese fried rice on low carb and grain-free Paleo diets. Here’s a generic recipe for it, but accompanied with hints and tips on how to make the recipe work best. You see, if you treat cauliflower like rice, you will end up with a mushy, cabbage-smelling dish. Following the tips below, will bring your fried cauliflower much closer to the real thing.

Ingredients (for 2)
* Half a cauliflower head, in small florets
* 2 chicken eggs, or 1 duck egg
* 4 tablespoons of olive oil
* 1 small leek, cleaned and chopped
* 1/2 cup of frozen peas
* 1 cup of boneless chicken, or shelled shrimp
* 1/2 cup of mushrooms, chopped (and/or carrots, peppers, broccoli etc)
* 1 green onion, chopped
* 1 clove of garlic, chopped
* 1.5 tablespoons of gluten-free tamari soy sauce, or coconut aminos
* 1 teaspoon of turmeric (optional)
* black pepper to taste

Method
1. On a small frying pan, with a tablespoon of olive oil, crack an egg on low heat. Using a wooden spoon, swirl continuously the egg, until you achieve a scrambled egg consistency. Turn off the heat before the egg is fully cooked, set aside.
2. On a wok or frying pan, add the chicken (or shrimp), 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil, peas, mushrooms/veggies, leeks, garlic, and black pepper. Stir occasionally. Add the soy sauce. Cook in medium heat until the chicken is done and the leeks have become transparent and soft, and there’s no liquid left in the pan. Set aside.
3. Using a food processor and its S blade, add half of the cauliflower in it. Give it 5-6 jolts until the cauliflower has become “riced”. Do not make the pieces too small, but it should still feel a bit chunky. Set aside, and process the rest of the cauliflower.
4. On a very large frying pan (I used a 14″) that is not wok-like (but rather it has a flat surface), add 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil, the turmeric (if using), and the cauliflower. Under high heat, fry the cauliflower, stirring occasionally, until it starts to get burned marks and it starts to feel dry.
5. Add the meat mixture in to the big frying pan with the cauliflower rice, and stir. Add the scrambled eggs, green onion, and stir. A minute later, turn off the heat, and serve.

Tips
1. We use a very large, leveled frying pan instead of a wok because woks tend to trap moist. We’re trying to get rid of as much moist from the dish, because it’s that moist that brings the cabbage smell to cauliflower.
2. We’re using leeks because these emulate the sweetness of rice. Without it, the dish comes out a bit flat in taste.
3. Do not process the cauliflower too much, or too much moist will come out of them.
4. Do not crack the egg on the same pan as the cauliflower. While scrambling the egg on the side of the pan works with rice, it doesn’t work as well for cauliflower. Same goes for the meat mixture.

Paleo Tuna Casserole

Ingredients (for 2-3)
* 2 small cans of tuna (solid chunks), or a tuna fillet
(* For veg*n, you can use 150 gr of “chicken of the woods” mushrooms)
* 2 large zucchinis
* 2 tablespoons of olive oil
* 1 cup of ‘cream of mushroom’ soup (recipe with dairy, or without)
* 1/3 cup of frozen peas
* 1/4 cup chopped onion
* 1/2 cup coconut, almond or full-fat dairy milk
* 1/2 cup of crumbled pork rinds (optional)

Execution
1. Wash the zucchinis and cut them in half. Using the Blade A of the spiralizer device (the blade with no triangles that creates ribbon-like noodles), spiralize them. Then cut the long spiralized ribbons to not be so long. If you don’t have a spiralizer, cut the zucchinis in half, and then cut thin slices out of them (about 3″ long each). Preheat oven at 400 F (200 C).

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2. On the stove, use a deep frying pan and pour the olive oil in it. Under medium heat lightly fry the onion and peas in it for 3 minutes. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon.
3. Add the cream of mushroom soup, milk, and stir until the mixture becomes smooth, it starts bubbling and most of its liquid has evaporated. Turn off the heat.
4. Drain the tuna cans, and pour the tuna into the hot mixture, and very gently stir 2-3 times. Add the zucchini noodles and frozen peas and stir gently again a few times.

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5. Pour the whole thing into a baking dish. Crumble the optional pork rinds with your fingers and spread them on top. Bake for ~30 minutes until it gets golden brown, and there’s not a lot of liquid left in the dish (zucchini tends to release liquid). Serve hot.

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Regarding honor killings

“Pregnant Pakistani woman stoned to death after marrying for love. ‘Honour killing’ in broad daylight outside Lahore high court involved father and brothers,” says The Guardian.

Terrible news, of course. But the also disturbing thing is that the commentators at the Guardian continue to get it wrong. They place “religion” and “non-education” as the reasons why these honor killings happen. I’m sorry, but these people, these supposedly progressive and smart readers of The Guardian, think only skin-deep.

YES, religion is often the vehicle where this terrible action materializes. But it’s not the reason why it happens. As someone who was beaten rather regularly by my traditional Greek father for having my engagement break apart in the early ’90s, I can tell you, there was no religion behind it. And education has often little to do with all this too.

It was primarily social pressure.

You see, when you live in tribal-like communities (like most non-Westerners do), where everybody kind of knows everybody else in the vicinity at large, there’s extreme social pressure to maintain status and control within both the group, and within the family. My father constantly used to tell me that “we live with others”, hence, in his mind, he was supposed to maintain an IMAGE. The image of a strong family man. A man who had everything under control. A man where you could TRUST to give him a job (my father was a house builder, a profession that requires trust).

As such, having a daughter breaking up her engagement to a man from the same village, it was a social disaster for him (in his own mind at least). The gossip that ensued was unbearable for my family. So he acted out any way he knew how to maintain his illusion of control.

I have forgiven my dad, I hold no grudges whatsoever. In fact, there is nothing to forgive, because I know where he’s coming from. Exactly because I can understand his limited point of view, and even if I don’t agree with it, it’s enough for me to not hold grudges.

Besides, the people who carry out these acts are victims themselves. Victims of their own inability to escape cultural programming, and victims of the closed society they’re in. Close societies like that do have their advantages (they never let one of their own go hungry, for example), but you gotta play with their unwritten, irrational rules to gain their support. Societies are exactly as twisted as humans can be, because they’re made out of humans.

So, Primary reasons of honor killings/beatings:

– Re-assuring of one’s social status by doing what others expects you to do according to the local societal rules.
– Power and control within the immediate and extended family (ego and super-ego at play).
– Illusion that this way they save the rest of the family (by taking out the bad apples, the family is again pure enough for the society’s expectations).

Secondary reasons that act as permission, rather than as the main reasons:
– Cultural traditions masquerading as religious laws
– Low educational status
– Dowry and other such financial assets getting lost

So there you have it.

Paleo Fish & Chips

When I was living in the UK, more than 12 years ago, fish & chips, and bangers & mash were my regular pub food. So, here is part I, the Paleo version of fish & chips.

Ingredients (for 2)
* 2 wild cod fillets (about 200 gr each)
* 1/3 cup of tapioca starch
* 1/3 cup of ground flax seeds
* 1 egg
* 3 tablespoons of coconut (or avocado or olive) oil
* Salt, pepper, paprika and any other spice you like

Method
1. Wash the cod fillets and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Set aside.
2. On a large semi-deep dish add the tapioca, flax and spices. Using your hands, mix well. Take the fillets one by one and coat them with the dry mix on both sides. Set fillets aside again.
3. Add the egg to the mix, and whisk it well. The resulted paste must be thick, but not dry. It should have the consistency of oatmeal. It might require to add a bit of water if it’s too dry.
4. Add the fillets again, and coat them well. Set the frying pan on medium heat, with the oil. When the oil is a bit hot, add the fillets in. If your frying pan has a cover, all the better. Turn the fish only once, after it has become golden brown on one side. Overall, it takes about 6-8 minutes of frying.
5. Serve with lemon, a two parts mayo + one part ketchup sauce, and fried sweet potatoes (or other root vegetable, like parsnips, turnips, rutabaga for lower carb).

Per Serving: (fish part only) 550 calories, 11 gr of net carbs, 28 gr of fat, 55 gr of protein, 6 gr of omega-3 (cod has only 0.3 gr of O-3, the rest comes from flax, so it’s ALA). RDA: 95% B12, 38% B3/Niacin, 48% B6, 55% choline, 46% phosphorus, 29% magnesium, 86% selenium.

Zughetti Carbonara

I’ve tried this classic carbonara recipe using spaghetti squash in the past, and it came out all wrong. But it was a slam dunk using spiralized zucchini tonight. My husband loved it, and that surprised both him and myself. This is a recipe to definitely try if you’re on Paleo.

Zughetti Carbonara
Click for a larger view

Ingredients (for 2)
* 3 medium zucchinis
* 6 slices of smoked bacon (6 button mushrooms for vegetarian)
* 1 tablespoon of creme fraiche or sour cream
* 1 egg
* Black pepper
– A spiralizer device

Method
1. Wash the zucchini. Cut the top and bottom of each zucchini and then cut it in two pieces. Spiralize each piece using the device, using the blade with the smaller triangles. Cut the resulted zoodles with a knife or kitchen scissors at about 8″ length. Set aside.
2. Cut the bacon in small pieces and add on a cooking pan under medium heat.
3. In a bowl, whisk together well the sour cream and the egg. Add black pepper.
4. When the bacon becomes crispy to your liking, remove from heat, and drain away the rendered bacon fat. Return bacon to medium heat, and add the zucchini.
5. Keep stirring for 1-2 minutes and add the egg-cream mix. Turn off the heat, stir well a few more times, remove from the stove, and immediately serve. The zucchini must not be fully cooked, or it will become soggy. The less you cook the egg-cream too, the more creamy it’ll be. Enjoy!

Per Serving: 320 calories, 4.5 gr of net carbs, 23 gr of fat. About 30%-35% of the RDA for each of the B vitamins, 12% folate, 36% vitamin C, 45% phosphorus, 35% selenium, 30% zinc.

Greek Lentils with Ham

I don’t subscribe to dogmas, so the Paleo belief that all legumes are bad for you, doesn’t sit with me anymore. It’s true that legumes are high in lectins, but it’s also true that are very high in nutrients, and also, when soaked for 24 hours and cooked well, they become benign. Certainly more benign than nuts. Just do your own research for the truth of this statement.

Personally, I started eating legumes here and there almost 2 years after I went Paleo (by that time, my gut was mostly healed). I haven’t had a single issue associated with them (i.e. indigestion, gas etc).

The following recipe is the way my mom prepared lentils as a kid, plus 2 additional ingredients that I found that they bring more to the dish. My husband loved it tonight.

Greek Lentils with Ham

Ingredients (for 2)
* 1 cup of lentils (preferably sprouted)
* Half of a fennel bulb (optional)
* 250 gr (0.5 lbs) of ham (optional)
* 1/4 of a big onion
* 3 garlic cloves
* 2 bay leaves
* 1.5 tablespoons of tomato puree
* juice of half a lemon
* extra virgin olive oil
* Olives
* Salt & Pepper to taste

Method
1. If your lentils weren’t bought sprouted (Whole Foods sells some), you must soak them in water for 24 hours. Also, go through them carefully, sometimes there are small stones or barley hiding among the lentils!
2. Bring 4-5 cups of filtered water into boil, in medium heat. Add the lentils in it.
3. Roughly chop the garlic, fennel, and onion, and add them to the boil, along the 2 bay leaves. Cover, and cook until the lentils are done and some of the water has evaporated — about 30-40 minutes (depends how much soup-y you’d like your lentils or not).
4. Chop the ham into half inch cubes (1 cm). Add them to the boil, cook for 3 minutes.
5. Add the tomato puree, and the lemon. Add salt and pepper. Cook for another 3 minutes.
6. Remove from the fire, and serve hot. On each plate, add 2-4 olives, and pour olive oil on top (about a tablespoon for each person). Enjoy!

Paleo Pakoras

A Paleo/Primal version of the popular Indian vegetable fritters. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now!

Paleo Pakoras

Ingredients (for 4)

– Batter
* 1/2 cup of tapioca flour
* 1/2 cup of almond flour (use more as needed)
* 2/3 cup of full fat yogurt

– Veggies #1
* 1 small sweet potato
* 1/3 of zucchini
* 1/3 of red pepper
* 1 carrot
* 1 onion
* 1/3 cup of broccoli florets
* 1/4 cup of eggplant (optional)
* 1/4 cup of peas (optional)

– Veggies #2
* 1/2 cup of spinach, chopped
* 1/4 cup cilantro or Italian parsley, chopped

– Spices
* 1 tspoon (each) of chili powder, paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground ginger
* 1 TBspoon (each) of garam masala, curry powder, turmeric, ground fenugreek, garlic powder
* Sea salt

– Oil
* 2 tbspoons of coconut oil
* 1/2 cup of olive oil

Method
1. Peel the sweet potato, wash it, and cut it in 1/3 inch sizes. Wash and cut the rest of the “Veggies #1″ similarly.
2. Add the coconut oil on a frying pan under medium heat. Add the “Veggies #1″ along 1/3 cup of water. Cover, but stir often.
3. When the water has evaporated and the veggies are almost soft, remove them from the fire and set aside to cool a bit.
4. In a big bowl, add the spices, and the batter ingredients. Mix well with a big spoon. Then, add Veggies #1 and #2. Mix well again. The batter should not be too liquid, but not to rigid either. Adjust as required.

Paleo Pakoras Batter

5. Add the olive oil in the frying pan under medium heat. Spoon over 4-5 heaping batter spoonfuls. Cook about 4 minutes per side, or until very well golden brown. Do the same for the rest of the batter. Expect this pakora version to be somewhat moist inside while hot.

Tsigaridia (Greek pork belly)

This is the Greek version of pork belly, as we prepare it in the Epirus department of Greece. I consider it a more Paleo and healthier alternative to bacon (which is actually processed). My French husband loves it too!

Tsigaridia, Greek pork belly

Ingredients (for 2)
* 1 lb (~0.5 kg) of pork belly
* 2 tbspoons of olive oil for frying
* Juice of a large lemon
* 1 tbspoon oregano
* Sea salt & black pepper to taste

Method
1. Wash the pork belly. Using a sharp knife, remove the thick pork skin on the one side (if it was sold as such).
2. Cut the pork belly into 1 inch cubes.
3. Heat the olive oil under medium heat, and add the pork cubes. Fry until cooked-through and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stir a few times.
4. One minute before they’re ready, add the salt & pepper, oregano, and lemon juice. Stir.
5. Turn off the heat, remove the cubes to a plate (without taking much of the oil with you). Serve hot with fries (and tzatziki, if you do dairy).

Fried Razor Clams

Here’s the Paleo recipe for fried Razor Clams. They’re extremely high in B12 (1400% RDA) and iron (132% RDA). I found them at my local Asian supermarket, in their frozen shellfish aisle (wild-caught). I really liked their taste!


Fried Razor Clams

Ingredients for the main recipe (for 2)
* A packet of frozen razor clams (usually 370 gr)
* 1 cup of fine almond flour
* 1/2 cup of tapioca flour (or more almond flour)
* 1 large egg
* Coconut or olive oil for frying
* 1/2 teaspoon of good, mineral salt
* 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon of Hungarian or other paprika
* 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

Method
1. In a bowl, beat the egg slightly. Add half of the spices. Beat the egg a bit more.
2. In a separate bowl, add the rest of the spices. Add the almond flour and tapioca flour. Mix well.
3. Remove the clams from their packet, and run clean, cold water through them in a colander. Strain them softly.
4. Put the clams in the bowl with the egg and mix well.
5. Add a generous amount of oil on a somewhat deep frying pan, under medium heat.
6. Take a big handful of the clams from the egg bowl, and make sure you strain excess egg liquid. Add them to the flour bowl, and mix well until they’re well-coated.
7. Fry for ~3 minutes, turning them 2-3 times. Don’t overcook them, and make sure they don’t turn very brown. Nut flour oxidizes very easily and becomes toxic when browns too much.
8. Remove the clams when done on a clean plate. Add more oil to replace the one that the clams absorbed. Follow step #6 until all the batches are done. You might need to add more flour if you have lots of clams.
9. Serve hot. Use Sriracha hot sauce, or lemon, to add additional flavor. Goes great with a raw green salad.