Category Archives: almonds

Paleo Buns

This recipe has been around a few times before but in case you haven’t seen it before, behold…

Paleo Bread

1/4 cup almond flour

2 tbsp flax meal

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp fat

1 egg

salt

 

Mix all ingredients. Oil a baking dish and our batter in. Bake at 350 until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Approximately 20 minutes.

What come out very closely resembles bread. I tried to build a grand hamburger on this bad boy and it couldn’t stand up to the test. However, I have used this recipe for breakfast sandwiches on a smaller scale and they were amazing. So if you are craving bread this is quick to make and is pretty spot on.


Kibbeh part 2

In Wednesday’s post I said I made a variation of this recipe for dinner. If you are interested here is the variation. I’ve made this a few times with tweaks to the seasoning and filling. Essentially it is a meat paste with seasoning, green filling with nuts, and a nut flour crust. The preparation is time consuming so it is not a good week night meal. However, it freezes well so make a bunch and freeze in batches for when you want them. I served this with a coconut milk mint raita. Raita is an Indian sauce used to cool down spicy foods. With a little whipping in a food processor and some xanthan gum the coconut milk thickened up just like yogurt. I added fresh mint for flavor.

I put about 2 lbs of pork loin and 1 lb of chicken thighs into a food processor and blended until it made a paste. I know it sounds gross but when you’re done it won’t be. I added garlic powder, coriander, onion powder, ground ginger, salt, and black pepper. I didn’t measure the seasonings but if I had to guess I’d say about 1tbs of everything then adjust from there. I made a test patty to make sure the meat wasn’t dry or without flavor. With pork loin if there is not enough fat the meat will be dry which is why I added the chicken. You can also add bacon fat or trim fat off another cut of meat. Refrigerate the meat paste for a few hours. This allows the flavors to mingle and the meat to rest.

While that chilled, I sautéed a minced onion with ~4 cloves of minced garlic in some olive oil. When the smell became less pungent and the onions started looking clear I added a frozen block of spinach. I’ve found that cooked spinach is better than fresh because the fresh loses so much volume when in the oven. Cook until the spinach is no longer frozen, then pass a knife thorough the spinach a few times to break any larger leaves apart. Set this to the side in a bowl. Using the same pan, heat some olive oil and brown about a cup of pine nuts. Keep an eye on them because they go from tan to black very fast. When the pine nuts are browned add them to your spinach.

To stuff your kibbeh take a small chunk of meat roll it in a ball then flatten it out to a pancake size patty. In the middle add some spinach mixture being careful to keep it from the sides of your pancake. I keep a bowl of water nearby to rinse my hands in between spinach applications. Fold up like a taco and pinch the sides of the pancake smoothing and rolling out any seams. The seams will open up in cooking if you don’t take care to do this step. When you’re done your meat will look like a foot ball.  You can play around with the size of these but my favorite is about the size of my palm. Continue until all your meat is used up.

In a food processor or blender blend almonds and unsweetened coconut shavings until it resembles a fine meal. If you have coconut/almond flour you can use that too. I like the slightly crunchier texture of making it myself. Set up a bowl with whisked eggs and another with some of your almond coconut mixture. Dip a ball in egg, then roll in the nuts, place on an oiled cookie sheet, and repeat. When all your balls are coated with nuts bake in the oven at 350 for an hour. Give these a try and play around with the ingredients. I make them different every time and they are always very tasty.

 

 


Grain-free, Vegan, Black Bean Brownies

I made these brownies for a clothing swap my friends were having. The host is vegan and therefore I wanted to make something she would also enjoy. I love a good cooking challenge and I’m really happy with the way these came out. They are very moist and fudgy. I never would have though black beans would be a good mix in a treat but it worked well. Obviously because these have beans they are not paleo. But these are a tasty treat that you would not know are healthier if you weren’t told.

Black Bean Brownies

1 can of black beans (rinse these well to help reduce the sodium)

1/2 cup of almonds

1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut

1/4 cup of cashews

1/2 cup of soaked dates

1/2 cup of apple sauce

1/3 cup of honey

1/2 and 1/8 cup of cocoa powder (I used a different recipe as a guide for this one. I don’t know where this crazy measurement came from but it makes the brownies super good)

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking powder

I didn’t add the chocolate chips because they were made with milk, thereby negating any efforts to make this vegan. However, they would be super good if you are so inclined.

In a food processor make flour from the coconut and almonds. People, I cannot say enough about how easy this is. Coconut flour and almond flour is very expensive. By blending it yourself you save a lot of pennies. It isn’t as fine as what you buy at the store which is the only downfall. But if you are serious about going grain-free then you really ought to try this out. Remove your “flour” from the blender and add the cashews. Blend these until you make butter. Then add all your ingredients including “flour” back to the blender and process until smooth. Spread in a well greased dish and bake at 350 for 3o minutes. If you like your brownies more fudge-y this is when you want to take them out. If you like them more done, leave them in longer. Since there are no eggs in this you don’t have to worry about under cooking it. You could eat this without baking if you want it as a dip. It is very tasty that way. When they cool you can cut them and eat them.


Five Spice Carrot Muffins

I made these this weekend. I wanted to use some carrots and my new addiction to Chinese five spice. I tried one as a cookie but they are so moist that it was much better as a muffin. Everybody who had one loved them. The only objection was from a sweet kiddo that refused to even try them on the grounds that there are carrots in them. But the other two kids who had them loved them. I figure any time you can get kids to willingly eat vegetables is good. The “flour” is ground nuts, and the sweetener is a combo of honey and dates. Try these delicious muffins the next time you are craving some paleo treat.

Five Spice Carrot Muffins

4 shredded carrots

2 cups of almonds

2 cups of pecans

1 cup of soaked dates

1 cup of honey

5 eggs

1 cup of raisins

1 tbsp vanilla

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ginger

1tsp cinnamon

1 tsp Chinese Five Spice

1/2 tsp salt

In a food processor blend the nuts until it resembles flour. Add the dates and blend again. Place the mixture in a large mixing bowl.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in the bowl.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes in a greased muffin pan.

Two out of three kids agree muffins are good.

Try to resist the urge to eat them until they cool down.


Pecan Apricot Spice Cookies

I swear I’m eating more than just cookies lately. It’s just that I’m not making anything new or interesting. You don’t want to read about how I grilled another chicken part and had another salad. You want new, interesting ideas. That’s why I read food blogs anyways, for new ideas. I’ll assume you do the same.

Today’s recipe is something new. I even have a mess to prove it! I used my last cookie recipe and made some tweaks and changed up some of the ingredients. I think I almost have a perfect cookie ratio when using nut flours. The smell in my house right now is amazing. T even liked them! He used some expletives to describe them.

Pecan Apricot Spice Cookies

1 cup of shredded coconut

1.5 cups of pecans

1.5 cups of almonds

3 eggs

3/4 cup honey

2 tbsp almond butter

2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 tbsp butter

1 1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ginger

4 dashes of clove (~1/8 tsp or a pinch)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup chopped apricots

Process coconut, pecans, and almonds in a food processor until you’ve made a meal. It will look like sand when it’s ready. You can use regular nut flour that you bought at the store too just measure a scant cup instead. Mix flour with all remaining ingredients. Spoon dough on to greased cookie sheet (I used bacon fat, of course!) and bake at 350 for 15 min.

 

That bowl came to me all the way from Afghanistan! Thanks Adam.


Coconut Almond Cookies

This is my first attempt at making paleo baked goods. I have been craving cookies. I wasn’t about to go and buy anything new to make these either. So, I guess you could call them lazy craving cookies. I think they came out pretty good. They are moist and not dense like I had worried they would be. They are not very sweet which is okay by me. The ones I made with raisins were obviously sweeter. After checking out a few sites for paleo cookie recipes I realize I’ll need to double the honey to get the desired sweetness. This is the recipe I made today without any changes. If you want a sweeter cookie increase the honey to 1/3 cup up to 1/2 cup.

Coconut Almond Cookies

2 1/3 cups shredded coconut (divided)

1 cup whole almonds

1/3 cup almond butter (I made my own with honey and coconut oil)

3 eggs

1/3 cup honey

1 1/2 tbsp butter

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

Pecans and raisins optional I used about 1/2 cup of each

Process 2 cups of shredded coconut and all of the almonds until a fine meal is produced. You could go the easier route and buy coconut flour and almond flour, but like I said I was lazy and didn’t feel like buying anything. This way is also a little cheaper. Add your meal to a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until incorporated. I actually removed half of the batter and placed it back in my food processor to make it finer. I’m so impatient when blending things that often it’s still too chunky. Aside from making it finer I don’t think this step did anything. If you are more patient than me I doubt you’ll need to do this.

I scooped out the dough with a large tablespoon onto a greased cookie tray. I rolled one cookie out and it was pretty and prefect and round but I didn’t really like it looking that way. I preferred the haphazard look to the plopped cookies. After I plopped down as many cookies as would fit I pushed a pecan in the middle. I baked these at 350 for 12 minutes rotating halfway through. (My oven is old and heats unevenly. If your oven was made in this decade it might not be necessary to rotate. ) Half of the batter was made without raisins for T the other half had a handful thrown in and mixed in.

In the time it has taken me to take pictures and type this up I’ve eaten 3. I think T (who said they weren’t sweet enough) has had an equal number. These are good. They’ve satisfied my cravings for a cookie and now I’ll have to find a way to ration myself to only one cookie a day instead of half a dozen.



Asado de Bodas

I love the food magazine Saveur. It has great writing and recipes. They did an article recently on traveling to Mexico and some food from the Zacatecas area. I used this recipe and modified it to be paleo. After having made it there are definitely things I will do differently next time. It was a little too sweet for the both of us and not spicy enough. The changes I made during cooking are below in the recipe. The ones I will do next time are in parentheses.

Asado de Bodas

8 dried New Mexico chiles (I couldn’t find chilies labeled New Mexico so I found dried chiles that look like the ones you can buy in New Mexico)

3 Guajilo chiles (These I found easily with other Mexican chilies and ingredients at HEB)

2 red jalapenos with seeds

1 cup of almonds

1/2 cup of raisins (I will omit this next time it was too sweet)

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

6 cloves of garlic

2 whole cloves

2 oz Mexican chocolate (I used Abuelita’s but I will try to find the one they recommend next time this one is very sweet)

3/4 yellow onion

5 cups of boiling water (I will use less next time I had to cook it with the lid off to cook it down a bunch. I think 3 cups would be plenty.)

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp bacon fat

salt and pepper

~2 lbs pork cut into chunks (I buy a huge loin from Sam’s club for about $20 and cut it into thirds extremely cost effective)

Heat chiles in a 12″ skillet over high heat cook, turning until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes transfer to a blender. (This step is important! I thought you could process all this in a food processor. Let’s just say food processor is not good for liquids.)

Return skillet to high heat and lightly toast almonds.

Transfer nuts to a blender. In the blender add everything but the fats and meat. Let this sit in the blender for a bit to soften up. In the same skillet add your fats. I liked the added taste of bacon so I used both. If you don’t like the taste, don’t use it. (But seriously, who doesn’t like the taste of bacon?) Brown the meat making sure to stir occasionally to get all sides.

By the time you’ve browned your meat, your sauce should be ready to be blended. Blend sauce until smooth.

(I did not do this and had to remove the meat to blend it some more before serving.) Pour sauce over meat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for an hour.

This meal had great flavor and made very tasty gravy that I ended up putting on top of my roasted broccoli. I served this over sliced red cabbage and it was a great paring of flavor. You could also make cauliflower rice as a tasty veggie to top.