search icon
Andalusian recipes, travel, and design

Tag: grain free

Asparagus Quiche with Spaghetti Squash Crust

The other day for breakfast, I made a similar quiche with smoked salmon and grated yuca as a crust, but the pictures I took were really bad. So, I didn’t think that I could create this post, while still in the US. (The light quality in Florida is surprisingly not good compared to my own kitchen in London. Who would’ve thought?! So the pictures are still not great, but okay enough I hope.)

IMG_9011

Today, we went to repeat the quiche again with yuca, but when we cut the yuca, we noticed sadly it was rotting inside. So instead, my mother and I decided that we would do a spaghetti squash crust, as we both love this vegetable.

IMG_9014

Growing up in Spain, I used to eat it every once in a while as “cabello de angel”, which is a candied spaghetti squash or “cidra” squash. But since then, I had not tried it again until last Christmas when we visited my parents. I absolutely love it, especially in savoury cooking. But I have not been able to find it in London yet… so whenever I’m at home with my parents, it becomes a special treat to eat spaghetti squash!

IMG_9018

I wish I could say I’ll be repeating this at home, but mostly likely not unless I find the squash in London… however, I’ll be making the yuca crust quiche again as soon as I can! I’ll be sharing the recipe too.. so stay tuned. 😉

Asparagus Quiche with Spaghetti Squash Crust
Recipe Type: Main
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
Serves 4-6 or one 10-inch quiche.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash (use about 2 1/2 – 3 cups of the meat for this recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large leek, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 5 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup coconut milk/almond milk/dairy milk (I used almond milk, as that’s all that we had left)
  • a bunch of thin asparagus (about 2 cups), cut in halves or large pieces
  • 1 medium tomato, cut in thin slices and then halve the slices
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).
  2. Carefully split the spaghetti squash in half. (It can also be baked whole, but it will take longer.)
  3. Remove the seeds and sprouts, if any, with hands.
  4. Place cut-side down on a baking pan.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes, or until tender.
  6. In the meantime, poach the asparagus in some water, until just tender. Remove from water and set aside.
  7. Allow the spaghetti squash to cool a bit before removing the meat with a fork.
  8. Mix about 2 1/2 to 3 cups of the meat with 2 tablespoons of butter and mix well.
  9. Add sea salt and pepper, to taste. (Remember that the egg mixture will also contain seasoning, so don’t go overboard.)
  10. Pat the squash into a quiche form, covering the sides and bottom.
  11. Bake at 400F (200C) for about 5-8 minutes, until golden and slightly crispy. Remove from oven and set aside.
  12. In a saucepan, over medium heat, cook the leek slices with the 3 tablespoons butter, until tender.
  13. Allow to slightly cool before pouring into the beaten eggs.
  14. Add the milk, nutmeg, sea salt and pepper to taste.
  15. Place the poached asparagus pieces on top of the spaghetti squash crust.
  16. Pour the beaten eggs and leeks over top, covering the asparagus evenly.
  17. Place the tomato pieces on top.
  18. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

 

Quick Breakfast Mofongo with Calamari

Sometimes I get bored of eating eggs for breakfast. And although I have read that we can eat as many eggs as we want every day, a little voice in the back of my mind keeps telling me that too much of anything is probably not a good idea…

IMG_9005

I tend to eat leftovers from dinner or create a quick breakfast like I did today with things I have on hand. Breakfast for me is no longer the typical “bread with something”. It hasn’t been for a long time; and I feel much healthier, my internal system works much better, and I am satiated for much longer during the day. Breakfast has become my most important meal of the day, and one I actually look forward to each morning, especially at home.

IMG_9001

To make this mofongo, I used ripe plantains, so it resulted in a sweet-savoury mix. However, to make a real mofongo, use green plantains instead.

IMG_9002

I’ll be posting a “real” mofongo recipe soon, once I am in my London kitchen. 😉

Quick Breakfast Mofongo with Calamari
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Latin American
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
Serves 1.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium ripe plantain (or green plantain)
  • 4-5 baby squids/calamari, cleaned and pat-dried
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • olive oil or fat of choice
  • sea salt, to taste
  • cilantro or parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. Peel and cut the plantain into slices.
  2. Add some olive oil or fat of choice to a pan over medium heat.
  3. Saute the plantain pieces until golden brown on each side.
  4. Place the cooked plantain pieces into a mortar, and with the pestle roughly grind them up with 2 minced garlic cloves.
  5. Place the mixture into a small bowl or mould, creating a “hole” in the middle in which the squid will later be placed.
  6. In the same pan as before, add a bit more olive oil (or fat of choice) and stir-fry the squid with the remaining garlic clove, until tender.
  7. Add sea salt and pepper, to taste.
  8. On a cutting board, cut the squid into bite-sized pieces and spoon over top the mofongo bowl.
  9. Garnish with cilantro or parsley.
  10. Eat immediately and enjoy!

Leek Salad

This salad is usually served as a side dish at our home. But it can be eaten as a main meal or even breakfast, if desired.

IMG_8881

This salad served 4, as a side dish.

IMG_8885

IMG_8886

Leek Salad
Recipe Type: Salad
Cuisine: Spanish
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 2 large leeks, washed and with some of the top layers taken off (if necessary) and cut into 2-in pieces
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper and sea salt, to taste
  • herbs for garnishing
Instructions
  1. Steam the leeks until tender.
  2. Drain the water over a colander.
  3. Place the leeks on a serving plate and sprinkle the tomato and egg pieces over top.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and seasonings.
  5. Garnish with herbs, as desired.
  6. This salad can be eaten warm or cold.

 

Paleo Banana Bundt Cake

I feel very fortunate to be visiting with my parents for a few weeks. Living the expat life is fabulous in many ways, but being away from family is always hard. We have the opportunity to visit at least once, sometimes twice a year; and of course Skype helps with the distance to see each other often.

IMG_8992

But nothing beats in person, of course! While visiting, we are not only enjoying each other’s company and conversation, but we are also able to share experiences in the kitchen, which always brings us together. My mother has been making some delectable typical Spanish and Portuguese dishes, that I had been longing to eat again with her special touch. And I’ve been baking quite a lot more than I generally do.

I baked a Paleo carrot cake for my mother’s birthday per special request from my father. Okay.. it was her birthday and he chose the flavour. 😉 But we all enjoyed it.

I’ve also been making a lot of things to “teach” her how to bake Paleo style. The following cake is an example.

IMG_8998

Since going Paleo, reading about and experiencing the nutritional benefits of this lifestyle, I’ve been trying to share my new-found knowledge with my family. Every day cooking is very easy to adapt to Paleo. However, baking is a more complicated venture.

Nut flours, and coconut flour especially, react differently to heat and liquid content. And although in Spanish pastry making the almond is used quite frequently, my mother has never really baked with nut flours alone. Therefore sharing my recipes and techniques with her is helping her learn how to use them.

IMG_8976

(This is the batter with the swirl dropped into it. I apologise for the poor picture quality, which was taken late at night.)

Baking with bananas is a good starting point in Paleo/Primal baking. Bananas act as a binding agent and a liquid component at the same time. So it’s an easier ingredient to experiment with and add nut flours, coconut flour and/or starches, such as tapioca and arrowroot.

For this cake, I kept it simple. And it’s quite delicious and very easy to make; in fact, it’s a great recipe to share with children.

IMG_8977

(The swirl incorporated into the batter.)

IMG_8992

By making it in a bundt tin and adding the banana-cinnamon swirl, this cake is also a delicate and elegant dessert, which can be served at a party, yet works great for “every day” use.

We are enjoying it “bare”; but I do see it as a beautiful event cake with some icing….

By the way, I was inspired to make the banana-cinnamon swirls by this recipe from Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations.

Paleo Banana Bundt Cake
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • For cake:
  • 4 ripe bananas, thoroughly mashed (1 1/2 cups or 400ml)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup almond flour (ground almonds)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • coconut oil, for greasing
  • For swirl:
  • 1 ripe banana, thoroughly mashed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Grease a cake tin with some coconut oil (I made a bundt cake). Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, blender, or by hand, blend until smooth the bananas, eggs, honey, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. (I did this by hand in a bowl, as I was being lazy and didn’t want to wash more dishes.)
  3. If using a food processor, pour the batter into a mixing bowl for the next steps.
  4. Add the almond flour and baking soda and mix well with a hand whisk.
  5. Add the coconut flour and mix well with a hand whisk.
  6. Pour the batter into the cake tin.
  7. For the swirl:
  8. Mash the banana and mix well with the cinnamon.
  9. Place spoonfuls of the swirl over top the cake batter and with a fork, cut the swirl into the batter.
  10. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

 

Sweet Spinach Pie with Basic Paleo Almond Crust

I found an interesting article the other day, “Three Ways Cooking Has Changed Over the Last 300 Years,” which I posted on my Facebook page.

“With help from food historian Annie Gray, Finnamore has been cooking – and blogging — her way through The Unknown Ladies Cookbook, a 300-year-old British compendium of family recipes. Jotted down by hand by several different women between 1690 and 1830, the recipes provide insights into the cooking habits of the Georgian and Regency periods. They also tell us quite a bit about how much culinary craft has changed over the centuries.” ~exert from “Three Ways Cooking Has Changed Over the Last 300 Years”.

IMG_8714

The article intrigued me, and even more captivating were the use of some ingredients, such as spinach in a sweet pie. Yes, I know we use vegetables in many sweet versions, especially zucchini, carrots, potatoes… But somehow, I hadn’t thought of spinach as something for a dessert. However, having said that, this dish was not considered a dessert, but a second course! 

IMG_8720

‘To Make a Spineage Tort:’ Sweet spinach tart – a surprising combination of sweet and savory ingredients. This recipe has been largely forgotten in Britain, but a very similar dish is still made in a parts of Provence during the Christmas celebrations. This would be served as a second course.

“Take 6 eggs, yolks & whites. Beat them well with a pint of sweet cream, a qr of a pd of crums of bread, a good handfull of spinage cut small, half a qr of currons, half a qr of almonds pounded wth a little rose water, half a nutmeg, half a pd of white sugar. Half a pound of drawn butter, 3 spoonfulls of brandy. Mix all well together. Lay paist thin at the bottom & sides of the dish & cross bar at top. 3 qrs of an hour bakes it.”

 I loved the sound of this and therefore have made my own version of sweet “spineage” tort, which I have found delicious.

IMG_8715

My version is of course Paleo and Primal. The crust is a basic almond-coconut crust, of which I only made enough for a 6-inch pie. If you plan on making a larger pie, you may want to double up the crust recipe.

IMG_8713

As for the filling: I also followed the basics of spinach, almonds, and eggs, added a bit of coconut flour for more of a baked-goods texture, and included the rosewater (the secret ingredient I’ve been mentioning on Instagram and Facebook). I know the rosewater can be overpowering for some, but personally I wouldn’t omit it. It adds depth and an exotic taste to the pie, and actually brings out a nice flavour in the spinach.

For a slightly less sweet version, reduce the coconut sugar to 3/4 cup.

Enjoy!

Sweet Spinach Pie with Basic Paleo Almond Crust
Cuisine: Old English
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
One 6-inch pie.
Ingredients
  • For the pie crust:
  • 1 cup ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of sea salt
  • For the spinach filling:
  • 300g fresh spinach leaves (1 cup cooked)
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater
  • pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. For the crust:
  2. In a mixing bowl, knead all the ingredients together until a dough is formed.
  3. With your hands, press the dough into a pie plate, bottom and sides (I used a 6-inch round plate).
  4. Set aside.
  5. For the spinach filling:
  6. In a medium-sized pot, place the spinach and about 1 cup of water. At medium heat, bring to a boil, and cook about 5 minutes.
  7. Reduce the heat to low and cook an additional 5 minutes.
  8. Turn heat off and allow to cool in the pot with water.
  9. Once the spinach is cool, drain into a colander and press the spinach to remove all of the water. I pressed it with the back of a spoon.
  10. Put the spinach, egg yolks, rosewater and sea salt into a food processor. Pulse until a a puree is formed, about 1 minute.
  11. Add the almond four, coconut flour and sugar and pulse again until everything is well incorporated.
  12. Pour the dough into a mixing bowl.
  13. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  14. Fold the egg whites into the spinach mixture. Mix well until no white is visible.
  15. Pour the spinach filling into the pie crust.
  16. Bake at 180C (350F) for 35-45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out dry.

 

Quail Egg Stuffed Mushrooms

I find quail eggs simply adorable. Not only are they pretty, but they are fun to use in recipes, such as appetisers, garnish or as I used in this breakfast dish.

IMG_8406

This recipe is for 1 serving for a meal. It doesn’t take too much work and it’s healthy, nutritious and something different.

IMG_8405

(Beautiful quail egg shells.)

IMG_8398

(All my ingredients, chopped and ready to start cooking.)

IMG_8399

(Mushrooms with the stuffing.)

IMG_8402

(Mushrooms, stuffed and with the quail eggs on top, now ready for the oven.)

IMG_8408

(Ready to eat and served with the remaining stuffing sautéed with some kale, as a side.)

I hope you enjoy!

Quail Egg Stuffed Mushrooms
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves 1.
Ingredients
  • 6 medium sized button mushrooms (large enough to hold some stuffing and an egg on top)
  • 6 quail eggs
  • 2 slices of back rashers, cooked and minced (can be substituted for cooked bacon or raw jamon serrano pieces)
  • 1 small red onion, very finely diced
  • 1/2 stalk celery, very finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 mushroom stems, diced
  • a pinch of ground cumin
  • a pinch of ground rosemary
  • coarse sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • butter or fat of choice
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F), while you prepare the ingredients.
  2. In a pan, place the butter, onion and celery. Over low heat, cook until the onion is tender, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, mushroom stems, back rashers, spices and seasoning (if desired) and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Place the washed and de-stemmed mushrooms in an oven proof dish, with the inside facing up.
  5. Spoon some of the stuffing into each mushroom.
  6. Break the quail eggs individually into a small glass bowl and carefully pour one egg on top of each stuffed mushroom.
  7. Bake for 7-8 minutes.
  8. If you have leftover stuffing, as I did, you can sauté with some kale, for example and serve as a side to the stuffed mushrooms.
  9. Garnish with freshly cut parsley or cilantro, if desired.
  10. These also work well as an appetiser for parties.

 

Banana Chestnut Crunch Ice Cream (No Sugar, No Dairy)

You all know the “one ingredient” ice cream going from blog to blog and spreading through Facebook like wild fire, right? Well, I’ve never tried it. I love bananas, and banana ice cream, but banana alone as an ice cream intrigues me less…and although I love simple cooking and simple dishes, I also like to add something different to my culinary repertoire.  For me, it keeps things more exciting in the kitchen, where I spend a lot of my time.

IMG_8721

This ice cream came about for two reasons. Firstly, I love this fruit juice I used to get in a juice bar in Vistahermosa, en El Puerto de Santa Maria, in Spain. It was made with bananas, orange juice and strawberries. Every once in a while, I also have it at home, although I don’t tend to drink fruit juices too often. The combined flavours are really delicious, and as I was thinking with what to blend the banana, I immediately thought of this drink.

IMG_8730

Secondly, I wanted a “crunch” factor. I have found that chestnut flour is so versatile and fun, and it can be eaten “raw” when mixed with coconut oil and/or honey. (Chestnut flour is made from already roasted chestnuts.) So, the “crunch” in this is made with a chestnut-flour dough, sort of like “chocolate chip dough” ice cream, which my nieces and I used to adore getting at Dairy Queen. (Now, there’s another recipe to be made soon… )

IMG_8728

And one of the best things is that it has no sweetener at all. I’ve kept the natural flavours and sweetness of the fruit and the chestnuts.

So, we can all indulge a little without much guilt! 😉

Banana Chestnut Crunch Ice Cream (No Sugar, No Dairy)
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
No Sweetener added at all.
Ingredients
  • For the banana ice cream:
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • zest of one orange
  • For the “peanut butter” crunch:
  • 1/2 cup chestnut flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Blend all of the ice cream ingredients in a blender or food processor until a puree is formed.
  2. Pour into the ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. In the meantime, in a small bowl, mix with your hands the chestnut flour and coconut oil until a dough is formed.
  4. As the ice cream is churning, break off small chunks of the chestnut dough and drop them into the ice cream maker.
  5. Allow the ice cream maker to finish churning and then serve ice cream.
  6. Or store in freezer for later use.

 

Dutch Tomato Soup with Meatballs – Hollandse Tomatensoep met Balletjes

My husband, who’s Dutch, has been begging for me to make this dish for over a week now. The ironic thing is that I’ve never made tomato soup on my own until now. I always relied on my mother telling me what to do; and it’s been a long time since I’ve made tomato soup.

IMG_8694

Yup, you guessed it: I had to call her for her recipe. 😉 After speaking with her, I did a quick search on the internet to know if the traditional Dutch soup has any special spices or whether or not it is made with cream. My mother’s tomato soup is made with “hierbabuena” or mint; however, the Dutch version is quite basic, so I decided to keep it simple.

IMG_8672

Well, I got my husband’s seal of approval, both on the tomato soup and the meatballs. However, he did mention that in The Netherlands, the meatballs are cooked inside the soup?  I’ve asked a few Dutch friends for their versions of this, but I haven’t heard back yet… therefore, I’ll have to let you all know when I find out.

IMG_8673

The truth is I’ve never fried meatballs before, until this recipe. I have a couple of meatball recipes already on the blog, one is a family recipe, and the other is for a Spicy Paleo Meatball Soup, where in both I cook the balls in the soup/sauce.

However, in my quest for the proper ingredients of the soup, I ran into the advice of Mark Sisson. And I have to be honest, I rather like the extra flavour frying adds to the meatballs and the soup. And as I said, I got a “Dutchie’s” seal of approval on the overall taste… so that’s a few positive points in favour of frying! 😉

IMG_8690

(Yet next time I make this, I’ll try cooking them in the soup itself… I’ll get back to you on those results as well.)

The soup is delicious on its own and very easy to make. And while creamy, it contains no cream, not even coconut milk. So, if you’re not into meatballs, give this soup a go by itself. It can be accompanied by or garnished with pieces of whole, roasted vegetables, bacon bits, a drizzle of olive oil (or truffle oil, as a friend of mine suggested.. she’s the garnish queen, so I would take her advice!), a sprinkle of cheese (if you do dairy).. or anything with which you would like to pair the flavour of the tomatoes.

And as the Dutch say, “eet smakelijk”!

Dutch Tomato Soup with Meatballs – Hollandse Tomatensoep met Balletjes
Cuisine: Dutch
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Makes 36 mini meatballs and about 4 1/2 cups of soup (about 3 servings of soup).
Ingredients
  • For the meatballs:
  • 800g minced/ground beef (or half beef, half pork)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons flaxmeal
  • 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • some fresh parsley, chopped
  • coconut oil or butter, for frying
  • For the tomato soup:
  • 6 medium ripe tomatoes, peeled and cut into medium chunks
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into medium pieces
  • 1 celery stalk, cleaned and cut into pieces
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • parsley, for garnishing (optional)
Instructions
  1. For the tomato soup:
  2. Place the olive oil in a medium-sized soup pot with the carrots, onion, garlic and celery pieces.
  3. Over low heat, cook about 10 minutes, until the carrots and onions are slightly tender. Stir frequently to not burn.
  4. Add the peeled tomatoes, water, and bay leaf.
  5. Cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
  6. Turn off heat and allow to cool directly on the stove top.
  7. In the meantime, make the meatballs.
  8. For the meatballs:
  9. Mix all of the ingredients (except the coconut oil) together, by hand. Do so, until well blended.
  10. With a tablespoon measure, scoop out the mixture onto a cookie sheet (covered with parchment paper).
  11. Once all of the mixture is scooped out, with your hands form balls out of each tablespoonful.
  12. In a pan, add some coconut oil or butter (about 1-2 tablespoons) and brown the meatballs, a couple of minutes on each side.
  13. Place back on the cookie sheet.
  14. Bake at 180C (350F) for about 20 minutes, turning over half way. (Also, if you have two cookie sheets, place one on the middle and one on the top shelf. Swap them half way as well.)
  15. The meatballs can be cooked completely in the oven; however, they will not be as pretty as with this method, since they do release some liquids. This can also slightly happen even after frying. Simply scrape that off, if you want a prettier dish. If looks are not an issue, this doesn’t alter the flavour at all.
  16. Back to the soup:
  17. Remove the bay leaf.
  18. With an immersion blender or food processor, puree the soup.
  19. Pour it back into the soup pot. Add salt and pepper, to taste; and warm up.
  20. Add the meatballs to the soup, just before serving or in the individual serving bowls. (If they are slightly cold, you can also add them in the pot, while you warm up the soup.)
  21. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil for a nice touch.

 

Paleo Shortbread & Tomato-Honey Jam Cookies – SABH

“Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?” …

IMG_8664

It’s that time of month again…to join in on the fun of recipe exchanges with the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop! I love the creativity and enthusiasm I find in all the participants; and very much enjoy being part of this special group.

IMG_8656

If you’re a blogger, you too can join! Just check out the instructions at the bottom of this page for all of the information.

IMG_8655

I’ve missed a few SABH lately and I really didn’t want to miss August’s “Cookie Monster” hop. So, I created this cookie especially for this event.

IMG_8647

Why tomatoes?

IMG_8648

Well, we bought a box of  5kg the other day and I need to use them up! In fact, I’m making a Dutch tomato soup, by special request from my husband, tonight, and I’m blanching and freezing up the rest for later use.

Paleo Shortbread & Tomato-Honey Jam Cookies
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: The Saffron Girl
Serves: 10
Makes 10 cookies/biscuits.
Ingredients
  • For the shortbread:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 1/4 cups ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • For the tomato jam:
  • 6 medium tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeesed orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • freshly ground rosemary (optional)
Instructions
  1. For the shortbread:
  2. Place the butter and honey in the food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until a dough is formed.
  4. Create a ball or sausage with the dough and cover with a piece of parchment paper.
  5. Freeze for about 30 minutes.
  6. Bring out of the freezer and let stand 10 minutes before using the dough.
  7. On a sheet of parchment (or the same one used to freeze), roll out the dough with a rolling pin.
  8. Cut out desired shapes and transfer the cookies with a spatula to a a cookie sheet covered with a sheet of parchment paper.
  9. Bake at 180C (350F) for 6-8 minutes on the bottom rack. Remove from oven and let cool before touching, so they can harden.
  10. For the tomato jam:
  11. Peel the tomatoes with a sharp knife. (You can also scald them in water; but I personally find it easy to simply peel this small amount.)
  12. Cut the tomatoes into small chunks and place them in a medium sized pot.
  13. Add the honey and orange juice.
  14. Over low heat, cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  15. Add the ground cinnamon and nutmeg and mix well.
  16. Cook 5 minutes longer.
  17. Remove from heat and allow to completely cool.
  18. You can either keep the jam with chunks or puree it with an immersion blender for a smoother spread. Strain if desired. (I kept mine with chunks, as it gives it a more rustic feel.)
  19. Pour into a jar and refrigerate.
  20. For using the jam with the cookies, make sure you refrigerate at least an hour before applying to the cookies. Overnight is better.
  21. To assemble:
  22. Place about 2 teaspoons of the jam on a “whole” cookie.
  23. And place the cookie with a “hole” on top.
  24. Sprinkle with some ground rosemary, if desired.
  25. Repeat until you have completed with all the cookies.
  26. NOTE: You can add more flavour to these cookies for other recipes by adding in the dough one of the following, for example: rosemary, edible lavender, sesame seeds, or even chopped up nuts.

 

********

SABH_13-08_Cookie-150

The Sweet Adventures Blog Hop, or SABH, is brought to you by 84th & 3rd and monthly Guest Hostesses.

The August 2013 ‘Cookie Monster’ hop is open for linkup until 11:59 pm, Friday 23 August [AEST Sydney time].

IMPORTANT – The instructions below cover how to link up but if you aren’t sure of something don’t hesitate to ask! Detailed instructions can be seen here. Remember, SABH is open to all food bloggers but only new posts published after the hop goes live can be linked up.

  1. Add a link to this post somewhere in your post. You won’t be able to link up in the hop without a ‘backlink’ to this hostess post included in your post.
  2. Click here for the Thumbnail List code – Copy the code and add it to the bottom of your post in HTML view.
  3. Click here to Enter the Hop – Make sure to do this step so you appear in the list too! Add the link to your SABH post (NOT your homepage). Your entry will be submitted when you click ‘crop’ on your photo.

Use the #SABH hashtag to tell the world about your post! You can follow us on Twitter: @SweetAdvBlogHop and on Facebook /SweetAdventuresBlogHop for new hop announcements and general deliciousness. Thanks for joining!

This is a Blog Hop!

Zucchini, Tomato, Potato & Cheese Muffins (Nut Free)

These are a nice muffin to make in advance and have on hand for breakfast or a snack. They are filled with vegetables and nutrients. Additionally, they are nut free, which I tend to prefer when consuming something that is not a treat.

IMG_8478

From a definition point of view, these are probably more Primal than Paleo, as they contain raw cheese. I’m lactose intolerant; and in my case, I have no issues with cheese, especially made from raw milk vs pasteurised milk. Manchego is also a goat cheese, which is even easier on the digestive system than cheeses made from cow’s milk. (Plus, it’s really tasty!)

IMG_8473

(Ready for the oven, pictured above.)

IMG_8484

Pictured above are the muffins with some homemade chicken liver pate. A lovely combination!

20130819-140741.jpg

(The way the potatoes and the courgettes – zucchini – looked after cooked on the stove top, pictured above.)

Bon Appétit!

Zucchini, Tomato, Potato & Cheese Muffins
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Cuisine: French
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
Makes 12 muffins.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium zucchini (courgette), yellow or green, diced with skin
  • 2 medium white potatoes, peeled and diced (you can also use swede/rutabaga)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 50g butter (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup flaxmeal
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 80g (about 1/2 cup) grated aged Manchego (or Parmesan or Gruyere)
  • 6 eggs
  • olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Prepare a muffin tin with the muffin wraps and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
  3. Rinse and prepare the vegetables.
  4. In a pan, over low heat, add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and the diced potatoes. Cook stirring frequently until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Pour into a glass or ceramic bowl and set aside.
  5. In the same pan, over low heat, add another tablespoon of olive oil and the zucchini (courgette) pieces. Cook, stirring frequently about 5 minutes. Pour in the same bowl as the potatoes. Sprinkle with some sea salt, pepper and the herbes de Provence and mix. Set aside.
  6. In a small pot, melt the butter in the coconut milk over low heat. Cool.
  7. Beat the eggs in a medium mixing bowl. Add the cooled coconut milk-butter mixture and whisk together.
  8. Add the flaxmeal, vegetables, herbes de Provence, and grated cheese. Mix well.
  9. Add the coconut flour and baking soda; and if necessary fold in with hands instead of a whisk or spoon.
  10. Mix well again until everything is well incorporated and there are no traces of the flour.
  11. Taste, and add sea salt and pepper, to taste. Mix again.
  12. Place into the muffin wraps and sprinkle with a little bit of coarse sea salt.
  13. Bake for 40 minutes on the middle rack.

 

Roasted Strawberry Custard Popsicles

I follow Cannelle et Vanille on Instagram, since I love Aran’s food photography and interesting ideas. I was ecstatic when her book came out last year and promptly purchased it. I have made a few recipes from it; and it has inspired me to create some of my own.

IMG_8623

Today is one of those days where I drew inspiration from one of her photographs. Aran posted some gorgeous    strawberries with thyme (much prettier than mine, as she’s a professional food photographer!), that she was preparing to roast. And since I had two packages of strawberries that were threatening to go bad on me, I thought what a perfect idea…for some ice cream!

IMG_8436

I wanted something super creamy, like a custard… so I used egg yolks in this recipe. If you’re worried about raw eggs.. don’t be. They are cooked.

None of my other ice cream recipes are made with eggs, except the rhubard semifreddo; and I must say the custard makes this ice cream spectacular! In fact, it’s so creamy that after putting it through the ice cream maker, I had to freeze it a bit longer to make it hard enough to scoop.

IMG_8614

However, after being in the freezer overnight, it was hard as a rock. So, I put it out to defrost a bit and forgot all about it… so instead of putting it through the ice cream maker again, I decided to make popsicles.

896_498888290187981_343968077_n

They are a bit tangy, as I didn’t add much sweetener on purpose, since my intention was to pair the ice cream with a balsamic reduction. So, if you like things sweeter, just add more honey.

For a slight variation (last photograph): make an extra batch of roasted strawberries with the coconut sugar and blend with the immersion blender. Place this puree into the popsicle molds first. Freeze until it solidifies. Then place the strawberry custard mixture on top of that. Add some more of the roasted strawberry puree and insert a popsicle stick. Freeze again until solid. You will get a more colourful popsicle and also one with more intense flavours!

 

Roasted Strawberry Custard Popsicles
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Makes 6 popsicles.
Ingredients
  • For the ice cream:
  • 300g strawberries (about 2 cups cut)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups coconut milk (if using canned, make sure it’s full fat)
  • 1/4 cup raw honey (more for a sweeter version)
  • 1/2 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 3 egg yolks
  • pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. For the ice cream:
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
  3. Clean the strawberries and take the stems off. Cut in halves.
  4. Place them on a double sheet of parchment paper on a cookie tray or in an ovenproof dish.
  5. Drizzle with the lemon juice, zest and coconut sugar.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  7. In the meantime, in a pot over very low heat, mix the coconut milk and honey and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  8. Beat the egg yolks in a glass bowl and stir in a few tablespoons of the hot milk into the yolks, stirring constantly with a whisk.
  9. Add the arrowroot into the egg yolk mixture and mix well. Add a bit more hot coconut milk if necessary.
  10. Pour into the hot milk and continue cooking over very low heat until the sauce thickens and becomes a custard, stirring constantly.
  11. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Should you need to strain it, do so, while it’s warm, but not hot (you could burn yourself).
  12. Place the caramelised strawberries (with all the liquid, but remember to discard any lemon seeds) in the immersion blender or electric blender bowl. Pulse to liquify.
  13. Add the cooled custard and pulse to mix well.
  14. Add a pinch of sea salt and mix well.
  15. For popsicles:
  16. Pour the mixture in the popsicle molds and freeze.
  17. For ice cream:
  18. Place the entire mixture in your ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to churn.
  19. If you do not have an ice cream machine, don’t fret. Simply place the mixture into a sealable freezer container and freeze for about 4 hours, stirring every once in a while to avoid crystallization.
  20. For a slight variation (last photograph): make an extra batch of the roasted strawberries and blend with the immersion blender. Place this puree into the popsicle molds first. Freeze until it solidifies. Then place the strawberry custard mixture on top of that. Add some more of the roasted strawberry puree and insert a popsicle stick. Freeze again until solid. You will get a more colourful popsicle and also one with more intense flavours!

 

Paleo Churros, the Real Deal

As I was frying these churros, my house was engulfed by the smells of the oil and the dough that transported me to the traditional churrerias in Spain. Eating churros in Spain equates to eating pancakes in certain countries… it’s not just about the  food, but the rituals that accompany it.

IMG_8559

For me, it reminds me of the many times my mother, my aunt and I would meet up in Sevilla to go shopping, first stopping to have a “churro con chocolate” breakfast around the corner from my great-aunt’s apartment in San Gonzalo. We still indulge in some churros with our afternoon coffee when we go shopping; but as we all see less of each other, it only happens when we are together in Sevilla.

IMG_8550

However, and this is a big one for me, I always have gotten an upset stomach after eating them. I don’t know if it’s the dough (made with wheat flour) or possibly the oils in which they are fried. But it hardly ever fails. So when I eat them out now, I usually have only one (and yes, I admit dipped in white, refined sugar, or dipped in chocolate as pictured below).

IMG_8530

But as I’m on a quest to Paleolise many of my favourite Spanish indulgences, I finally tackled the churro.

IMG_8566

My first attempt was based on the recipe for buñuelos (a fried-dough pastry, similar to choux) that I found in a book I bought on our last visit, called “Come Sin Gluten y Disfruta” by Begoñia Naveira. Yet, the dough was raw and still quite sticky inside after frying and baking. And honestly, it was a slippery glob when handling.

IMG_8547

As the process is slightly labour-intensive, I thought of giving up and trying it another day. But then my ambition and determination got the better of me, and I tried again. The secret to my success is the addition of coconut flour and altering the amounts of the ingredients a bit.

IMG_8564

These truly taste and feel like the real churros from Spain. I tried two ways: frying and baking. And while frying is the authentic way to make them, especially in olive oil, using a different oil (with a healthier smoke point, such as lard or coconut oil) will make them a healthier treat. If you want the real taste, though, frying them in olive oil is the way to go. And after all, this is a treat, so just don’t over-indulge!

IMG_8513

As for the baking: I like the results, but it’s more of a choux pastry then, instead of a churro. So… this recipe lends itself to more experimentation and to making some “Neapolitans” filled with cream and some delightful choux!

IMG_8565

I also froze some of the fried churros to see how they would “work” the next day. I took them out of the freezer, and stuck a few directly into the oven at 180C (350F) and heated them up for about 5 minutes (probably effectively 3 once the oven reached the temperature). They were delicious! I would say they were even better the next day!

IMG_8537

I left the choux-like mounds (pictured above) at room temperature overnight and they were also very nice the next day. They held their shape and texture, and the inside was still perfect.

And one last word of praise to this recipe: they do not seep in the oil when frying. The inside stays nice and dry, which is a really good thing since the real churros actually sometimes get oily inside.

IMG_8559

So go ahead and give this a try! I can’t wait to hear your feedback. Personally, I’m ecstatic that this worked and I know I can create more things with this basic recipe. 😉

¡que aproveches!

Paleo Churros, the Real Deal
Recipe Type: Dessert, Breakfast
Cuisine: Spanish
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 100g (7 tablespoons) butter, measured when slightly softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea/himalayan salt
  • 33g (1/4 cup) coconut flour (scoop and scrape method)
  • 66g (1/2 cup) arrowroot powder (scoop and scrape method)
  • 3 eggs
Instructions
  1. Be prepared for some intense stirring and a bit of a workout. But these churros are worth it.
  2. NOTE: You will notice that the amounts are given in both metric and U.S. And although the amounts are not an exact conversion, they both work. I’ve tried it both ways to ensure both are foolproof. Don’t “mix and match”; either stick to metric or U.S. when making this recipe.
  3. I recommend preparing and measuring everything out before starting, as you will have to move rapidly and will not have time to measure once you’ve commenced the process.
  4. Also, crack the eggs in individual bowls before hand. (I always crack eggs separately when cooking/baking to ensure I don’t throw away a batch because of one bad egg.)
  5. Prepare your piping bag and tip as well. I used the Wilton 1M.
  6. Combine the coconut flour, arrowroot powder and salt together in one small bowl.
  7. Over low heat, in a medium pot, melt the butter in the water and when it starts to bubble, immediately, still over low heat, dump in the flours all at once.
  8. With a wooden spoon, stir vigorously until a ball is formed, which will be in about 30 seconds or less. (The dough will become a ball as you stir and will be sticky in itself but not stick to the pot. See photos attached.)
  9. Keep stirring for about 1 minute in total.
  10. Remove from heat and let cool about 5 minutes. (I actually timed this.)
  11. Add one egg at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition.
  12. The dough will slightly come apart when you first add each egg, but once you stir long enough, it comes back together, although never as dry as like in the beginning. (The dough starts to get noticeably stickier after egg number two.)
  13. Once all the eggs have been incorporated and the dough is well blended, spoon the dough into a piping bag.
  14. For Spanish looking churros, you’ll want to use a star or round tip. (Churros in Spain are typically either star shaped – pictured- or long round pieces.)
  15. Heat your oil of preference in a deep pot or a deep fryer (for an authentic Spanish taste, use olive oil).
  16. Once the oil is hot enough, carefully pipe the dough into the hot oil. You can use a pair of scissors to help you cut off the dough. (Be careful not to burn yourself or cause splatter.)
  17. Make either long or curled shapes.
  18. Fry turning over with a tong until golden brown on each side.
  19. Note: as the oil gets warmer, the dough will turn darker quicker, but still needs to be cooked through.
  20. Remove the churros from the oil with the tong and place on a plate prepared with paper towel (to absorb the extra oil).
  21. Serve immediately with thick, sweetened hot chocolate or dip in some coconut sugar.
  22. This dough also worked well in the oven, for a “healthier” version:
  23. Preheat oven to 200C (400F).
  24. Place a sheet of parchment on a cookie sheet.
  25. Pipe out desired shapes. Depending on what shape you choose, the baking time will have to be adjusted.
  26. For churro shaped rounds or “sticks”, bake about 8-10 minutes, turning over half way.
  27. For choux shaped mounds, bake 15 minutes. (These are also good the next day, stored at room temperature.)
  28. You can also freeze the fried/baked dough and reheat in the oven at 180C (350F) for about 5 minutes.