Tuesday, February 23, 2016

coconut-flour pumpkin pancakes

I haven't made these pancakes in ages, and I got a hankering for them this past weekend.

The recipe is based off the pumpkin pancake recipe in Practical Paleo (by Diane Sanfilippo), but I (of course) change it to my liking and to what I have on hand. She doesn't call for any flour, but I like to add 1/4 cup of coconut flour to a double batch of these pancakes. I find they stick together better and are fluffier.

You'll need (for a double batch to feed four people):
  •  8 eggs
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin (I used homemade from kabocha that I had frozen in 1/2-cup bags)
  • 2 t. vanilla extract
  • 4 T. melted coconut oil
  • 4 T. maple syrup or honey (optional)
  • 2 t. pumpkin pie spice (I use a mixture of mostly cinnamon with some nutmeg and ground ginger thrown in)
  • 2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 c. coconut flour
Do this:

Whisk eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, oil, and syrup in a bowl, then sift in the spices, baking soda, and coconut flour. Oil your skilled with more coconut oil and cook as you would normal pancakes, flipping when the edges are firm.

And to serve? Oh MY! We tried a little regular maple syrup for some, and as an alternative, our local Yamato Soy Sauce Company's soy-sauce ice-cream topping. Amazing. It's very caramel-y, with dark sweet and salty depths. 

But why is that table empty except for Mama's portion? Well, if you make pancakes, be prepared to eat at the stove as you go and/or eat later by yourself after serving everyone else along the way. No problem, though, because these were worth it. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

dairy-free chocolate-banana-peanut-butter smoothie

You'll need:
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 3 heaping teaspoons fair-trade dark cocoa powder (no sugar)
  • 200 ml milk (I used half soy and half almond)
  • a few ice cubes
  • 4 T. peanut butter (I made it with organic salted peanuts and a little walnut oil)
Do this:

Blend on a smoothie setting and distribute among four small eager glasses.


It's so yum I wrote a haiku about it:

Smoothie mine: you're yum
So lovely I want more now
Thick rich creamy love

lotus-root (renkon) and kabocha (pumpkin) curry

We had some leftover chicken curry and I wanted some veggies to go with it. The renkon (lotus root) and kabocha (Japanese green-skinned pumpkin) were staring at me from the produce drawer, expectant and wanting to be friends.

I found my inspiration from this Sri Lankan curry, but changed it drastically to use what I had on hand.

You'll need:
  • 2 pieces of lotus root (washed, peeled, sliced, and soaked in cool water for ten minutes, then drained), or I might suggest you could used cubed potatoes instead if you don't have access to lotus root
  • 1/4 kabocha, washed and chopped (skin left on), or regular pumpkin or squash
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 3 T. tomato paste
  • 2 t. dried onion flakes (or chopped fresh onion)
  • 1 1/2 t. dried garlic flakes (or freshly minced garlic)
  • 1 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 t. chili powder
  • 1 t. turmeric
  • 2 t. curry powder
  • a little coconut oil
Do this:

Saute your renkon (or potatoes) and kabocha in some coconut oil for a few minutes, then add the rest of the ingredients and stir till combined. Let simmer for a little while until the kabocha is soft. The renkon will stay pretty crunchy.

And that's the beauty of this curry: crunchy and soft, sweet and spicy.

Serve with rice and some leftover chicken curry.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

paleo breakie sans eggs

I get the loveliest farm-fresh eggs from a local source here in Kanazawa, with deep orange yolks from happy hens.

But when you run out, and you try to focus on eating Paleo for feeling your best, what do you do about breakie?

This morning: natural ham slices (no preservatives or colors or yucky stuff), apple wedges with homemade almond butter, and "cereal" (chopped raw almonds, cashews, pecans, raisins, dried cranberries, and hemp hearts) to which I added almond milk after I took the photo.

Plus tea and almond milk.

It was delicious, and even though it's 12:30 and lunchtime, I'm not ravenous.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

gluten-free chocolate-dipped gingersnaps

Happy Love Day! One of the ways we celebrated was baking together. It was a real labor of love, actually, because I had to start by making my own almond flour the day before. I blitzed some raw almonds in my blender (with skins) till powdery, though there were a few almondy chunks left here and there. I didn't worry about those, because I knew this recipe would involve a food processor today and everything would be sorted out with another blast.
Honestly, I think gingersnaps are my favorite of all cookies. There's something about a spicy crisp bite with a cuppa to help make the world seem a little bit more beautiful.

And aren't these fellas handsome? I'm so loved by and in love with the three special blokes in my life.
I based this recipe on Against All Grain's gingersnaps here. (And not all the cookies came out this heart-y. Some of them were more on the blobby side after cooking and spreading out.)
You'll need:
  • 1/4 C. honey
  • 2 T. Okinawan black sugar (or sugar of your choice)
  • 2 T. butter (or coconut oil)
  • 1/4 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 C. almond flour
  • 1/8 C. katakuriko (potato starch) or 1/4 C. arrowroot powder
  • 1 T. coconut flour
  • 2 t. ground ginger
  • 1/4 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
Do this:

Preheat your oven to 350 F /170 C. To make a caramel-y/molasses-y syrup, you heat up your honey till bubbly on the stove, then a few minutes later whisk in the sugar, butter, and vanilla. It'll be on the brown side. Turn it off and set aside for a minute.

Put all the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and whiz for a minute or so. Add in the liquid from your pan and blitz again till it gels together. Take it out, plop it into a bowl and form into one giant sticky ball with your hands.

Slap it between two pieces of parchment paper, roll it out (not too thinly), and cut into desired shapes. Continue till you've used up all your gingery dough, and bake the cookies on parchment paper for about 6-7 minutes.

Cool 'em off on a wire rack. If you want to add a little pizazz, grab one of your Valentine 72% bitter chocolate bars, melt, and dip. Slide into the fridge for some chill-out time, and your cookies will be even crispier.

Chocolate and ginger. LOVEly together.