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Recipe: Gluten Free Bread

As I’m moving towards a Pegan diet (Paleo minus too much red meat, plus beans), I feel that some occasional bread (e.g. once a week) could have a place in my diet. This is a recipe with the least bad ingredients in it: no grains except rice, and no gums.

Gluten Free Bread

Ingredients (makes a 1.5 lbs loaf)
* 1 egg
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 cup warm water (or more, as needed)
* 1 tspoon brown sugar
* 1 tspoon salt
* 1 tspoon baking soda
* 2 cups rice flour (white or brown)
* 1/2 cup tapioca flour
* 1/2 cup potato starch (not flour)
* 3 tspoons gluten-free active dry yeast
* 2 tspoons psyllium husk (optional, used for binding)
* 1 tspoon nutritional yeast (optional)

1. Turn on your oven at 400 F, and let it get warm, for 1-2 minutes. Turn it off.
2. Mix all the ingredients with clean hands, or a hand mixer, and knead/beat them. The dough must be very loose, almost like a batter. Add more warm water if needed.
3. Place the batter/dough in a baking pan, and in the slightly warm oven. Let it rise for 1 hour.
4. Turn on the oven at 375 F (290 C), and bake until the bread is browned (depending on the oven, it will take anywhere between 30 to 50 minutes).
5. When done, remove from pan, and use a cooling rack.

1. The psyllium husk is used as a substitute to various gums (like xanthan gum, which is known to create health problems). Psyllium husk adds fiber into the bread.

2. The nutritional yeast will add B1 vitamin to the bread, a vitamin that most gluten free dieters easily get deficient on (wheat flours come enriched with B1).

3. Eating the bread cold, will help you get more “resistant starch” (that comes primarily from the potato starch). That type of starch isn’t digestible (so it doesn’t make you gain weight), and it’s food only for the good gut bacteria. That starch is only “resistant” when it’s cold.

Cooking for those who don’t cook

How to eat healthily, and with great diversity, without having to know more than 2-3 basic recipes? This is a guide for just that. The recipes are based on Chris Kresser’s version of Paleo (fermented dairy, potatoes, and optionally, white rice and some beans, are allowed).


– For the main recipes and the soup, you can even prepare them days in advance and then microwave them when needed.

– The only cooking tools you’ll need is a large frying pan (I use this), and a wooden spatula.

– When I say “veggies”, use as many different veggies as you can. Maybe up to 8 different kinds at a time! The more different veggies you use, the more vitamins you’ll get. Keep them al-dente, so not all their vitamins get destroyed in the cooking process.

– Have fish 4-5 times a week for lunch. Wild, low-mercury fish only (e.g. wild salmon, canned sardines) and shellfish (farmed ok, primarily get canned oysters in olive oil (“Crown Prince”)).

1. Breakfast

Veggie omelet

Beat 2 eggs, peel and cut into 1 inch cubes 1 white potato, wash and chop in 1″ size veggies you have around (mushrooms, spinach, kale, chard or other greens, onions, broccoli, zucchini, peppers, cherry tomatoes, carrots, cilantro, parsley etc). Fry the potato in some avocado oil on a non-stick pan under medium heat, and stir a few times. When it starts to get golden, add the veggies, and stir fry them too for 3 minutes. Beat the eggs lightly, add salt and pepper in them, lower the heat, and add them to the pan. Make holes for the eggs to cook completely (cover too). Add some feta, goat, or blue cheese on top, and serve immediately with 1/4th raw avocado.

Also, have a smoothie: in a blender (I use this one) add 1 cup of kefir (most potent probiotic of all), frozen fruits of your choice, a handful of raw green veggies, cilantro, cacao, whey protein etc. A good understanding of the basic formula can be seen here. Consider getting all this with 2000 IU of D3 vitamin, and a K2-Mk4 vitamin, 2-3 times a week.

2. Lunch


Cut up veggies of your choice in small size, some green peas, a bit of garlic, and also cut in thin stripes any meat, offal, shellfish, or wild fish of your choice. If using fish or shellfish, fry separately after you have cooked the veggies (definitely have seafood 3-5 times a week btw). If using meat, offal or shrimp, fry them first in some oil until browned for 1-2 minutes, and then add the veggies. Stir fry everything under high heat for 4-5 minutes until the veggies are al-dente. At the last minute, add 1-2 tbspoons of tamari gluten-free soy sauce. Note: chicken, turkey and pork require more cooking than other types of meat. Fish usually needs less time.

Serve as-is for low carb, or on top of white rice (you can cook it first with some water and set aside, or you can buy microwaveable bags), or with half a (strained and reheated) gluten-free can of beans of your choice (except for soy). Go for 3-2-2 in a week (3 low carb, 2 rice, 2 beans).

Couple that with CoQ10 Ubiquinol (not Ubiquinone), 2-3 times a week, and a fresh fruit.

3. Snack

A small handful of nuts or seeds (except peanuts). Consider getting some sunflower seeds, since they’re high in both B1 and E (otherwise impossible to get enough B1 in a gluten-free diet, since B1 is added on flours exactly because most of our foods are devoid of it).

4. Dinner


Peel and cut up a sweet potato/yam in small cubes (the yellow ones inside are like normal potatoes, the orange ones are sweet, and the purple ones are more starchy). Cut up carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, greens and any other veggies you have around. Add some avocado oil in the pan, cook the potatoes for 2 minutes (cover & stir occasionally), and then add some minced meat of your choice and stir for another 3 minutes. Add the veggies and stir/cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add half a can of chopped tomatoes (or cut up 1 tomato yourself) and add it to the mix. Add salt and pepper, stir occasionally, and cook until most of the juices have evaporated.

Serve with some Greek salad (4 times a week) or a soup (3 times a week).

Greek salad: cut a tomato, some cucumber, some green pepper, a few olives, small pieces of lettuce, sliced onion, some feta cheese. Add extra virgin olive oil, some lemon, oregano, mix, eat!

Soup: Cook covered with 1 cup of water 1 cup of various veggies, cut in cubes. When most of the liquid has evaporated, turn off and remove from the heat. When the veggies are just warm (not hot), pour them in the blender, and add about 1/5th of this bone broth carton (fastest way to get gelatin into your diet is to buy bone broth than to cook it yourself). Blend for a few seconds until smooth, re-heat the whole thing back in the pan, add some salt & pepper, oil or sour cream, and enjoy. You can make a large soup batch and freeze it in small containers too, so you don’t have to cook this too often.

Couple that with a yeast-free B-complex, 2-3 times a week that also has folate in it (not just folic acid). Unfortunately, there are only 1-2 brands that are both yeast-free and have folate.

5. 30 minutes before bed

Microwave (or boil in the pan) water with an organic chamomile bag (herbal, no caffeine). You could couple that with some Magnesium vitamins, 2-3 times a week.

Sleep by 9:30 PM (after the sun has set). Wake up early, and either exercise in the morning, or at least walk outside with the first sun, preferably without shoes in some natural environment or a park (not concrete).

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)

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

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.

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)

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).


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.


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.


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

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

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

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

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.