Paleo Pizza with a CRISPY thin crust! (yeah, I said crispy!)

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I know, I have been missing for a while. As much as I think I am a blogger, I really spend all my time raising my daughter and working.
So I finally buckled down and got myself an awesome personal trainer who is helping me get the fitness thing going, and I have had a few moments to think about things in the kitchen!
After my workout this morning, I was crazy hungry and just wanted to lay down. But my brand new copy of ZenBelly (amazing paleo cookbook…give it a read!) was laying on the table as I walked by and I flipped through it becoming more and more inspired. I took a few notes of things i needed from the store to make a couple of the recipes and headed to Whole Foods. While there, I stumbled across the most beautiful tomatoes I have ever seen! And what crossed my mind was pizza.

I have tried many different pizza crusts from different cookbooks and in restaurants…all trying to be the best paleo crust ever and all they ever tasted like were burnt nuts, and soggy at that.
I have used a recipe a couple of times that got the flavor right, but still got soggy as soon as you put toppings on, so I decided to start tweaking it. And this time, I got it! Real pizza crust flavor and crispyness to the crust that doesn’t sog out in the first 5 minutes!

There are more pics of this over on my instagram at paleo_k so come check it out!

Alright, enough banter, on with the Pizza!

Pizza Crust
In a large bowl, combine:
1 cup Tapioca Flour
1/4 cup plus 1 tsp Potato Starch/Flour
1/2 tsp salt
In a small bowl:
1/3 cup water
1 tsp gelatin (sprinkle over the water)
1 egg
1/4 cup olive oil
Whisk the wet ingredients and add to the dry by mixing with a spoon until combined then kneading with your hands a few times.

Press dough out on your cookie sheet or pizza pan (greased with olive oil). I like to split the dough into 3 or 4 small crusts for more crunch edges. Press the crusts out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Prick the crusts all over with a fork and put in a 400 degree oven for 16-18, until golden and lightly browned.

Remove from the oven and start building your pizza!

MY PIZZA:

Brush the prepared crusts lightly with olive oil.
I topped with shredded Rumiano’s mozzeralla cheese (from organic grass-fed cows!)
VERY thin slices of onion
Thin slices of cherry tomatoes
torn basil
Light dusting of salt and fresh cracked pepper

Put under the broiler for 3-4 minutes, until cheese melts and begins to brown.
Cut with a pizza cutter…..and devour!

NOTE:  I find when I use pizza sauce, the sog happens.

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A Lovely Plate

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Nothing complicated here, just clean, easy yum.

Fresh avocados with a squeeze of lemon juice and a dusting of coarse sea salt.
Thick cut no sugar all natural bacon, perfectly fried.
A small pile of fresh fruit, all organic.
And the raw crunchy salad I am so addicted to!

The fast way today:

In the bottom of the bowl, 2 TBSP of home made paleo mayo, 2 tsp honey, couple of splashes of raspberry balsalmic vinegar to taste….wisk wisk wisk.
Now add to the bowl a handful of bite size raw broccoli and of cauliflower. also a few dried cranberries. (I usually add radishes and pecans, but was in a hurry!).
Now toss everything together! The longer you have, keep tossing and the flavors build!

So dump the salad on your plate, your done!
Ready, set, delicious!

Oh Simple Thing, where have you been?

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The other night I was on my own for dinner, for a change, and was really having too much fun in the kitchen trying to time a quick meal that would be healthy and yummy while watching the Voice, (vice!) And I remembered a beautiful bunch of asparagus I had in the fridge. I had to do something with it! And it had to include my home made mayo! (The husband only likes mayo when he doesnt know he is eating it, same with my daughter. They see white and start gagging!!!)

So this little side dish made it on my plate, and besides being oh-so-good, was a pretty little number too!

Quick cook the asparagus…2-3 minutes in a shallow pan of boiling water, drain and squeeze lemon juice over the asparagus with a bit of salt.
Have a few pieces of bacon frying up while that is happening.

Place your asparagus on your plate, give it a very generous dollup of home made paleo mayo, and crumble your bacon over the top!

Could it be more simple? Maybe, but dang this is easy and so so so good!
I used nice fat asparagus this time…I usually prefer the thin, but these were fun to just pick up and eat.

Try it. You will like it, I am sure of it!

Let me know what you think!!!

Nom!

Refreshing light lunch – Paleo Chicken Salad

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My usual hurried run home for lunch found me with a few extra minutes, I actually got to eat it at home instead of packing it up to go!
A grapefruit was calling my name loudly…and I knew that would be in the mix, but I wanted to change up the chicken a bit, so I took the Poached Chicken I have been eating off of this week and diced it up to make a quick chicken salad today….really nice!

Here’s what I did…

Paleo Chicken Salad:
1 cooked chicken breast, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1-2 radishes, diced
Handful of halved grapes
small handful of chopped pecans
salt and pepper
juice of 1/4 lemon
2-3 TBSP home made mayo (see previous post)

Mix all of the above gently and enjoy!
Of course there are a million variations, I was really wanting a little fresh parsely, but I was out!

Simple, beautiful, mayo

mayoI was asked by a follower on instagram for this one…

I have been a big fan of mayo for as long as I can remember! My childhood consisted of mayo and bread sandwiches, mayo+white bread+american cheese (!), mayo+lettuce+white bread, and on and on… every day for most of my young life! As I grew up, I would eat it on crackers, veggies, you name it. I would pick mayo over butter any day of the week! And, I was a Hellmanns girl. None of that sweet Miracle Whip or Duke’s (although I learned to appreciate MW on a ham sandwich from time to time…).

I always heard how difficult mayo was to make and that home made was ultra delicious, but very tricky.

When I found paleo living, I saw so many bloggers and chefs making their own healthy mayo which had good healthy fats and amped up so many meals, but the recipes were complicated, often needing all ingredients brought to room temp, some were yolks only, some use the blender, some use the food processor, and often it was a game of chance if it would firm up or break.
I have probably tried a dozen different recipes, multiple times each, and was running a 50/50 chance as to whether the mayo would “make” or not!
I started seeing some people using immersion blenders, and that seemed to speed things up! (especially from the workout of using the old fashioned hand wisking method!….pant pant!)

My mother swears by the immersion blender….and I tried it, several times, cursing it every time, as i just didn’t have knack for it. And then I watched her do it and thought, really Kristen? You can do this…

Here is how you do it….

Use a mild flavored oil….I use a LIGHT olive oil that I find at whole foods (NOT extra virgin!)

Beautiful Paleo Mayo!

so….put all of these items in the immersion blender container or a tall narrow container:
1 cup light olive oil
1 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp lemon juice
dash of salt
up to 1 tsp dijon mustard
1 whole egg

put the blender in the cup all the way to the bottom and start whirring away…bring it up slowly, then slowly back down and up a couple of times until you see the consistency you like…less than a minute.

That’s it! SO simple! and so delicious! This will keep in your fridge about a week or a little longer, if it lasts that long!

And, that’s Lunch

and thats lunch

All right, one last one for today.
Lunch kind of just happened today, but happened really well!

So, I posted earlier about a little cucumber veggie salad that I like alot made with chopped veggies, mayo, Sunny Paris Seasoning, fresh garlic, S&P and a little vinegar. Well, the nice thing about that mix is it gets better as it sits, and I had a little (very little!) left over last night, and I kept it! I decided to make a salad at lunch and a sweet potato and a little leftover grilled chicken.

I just made a salad with spinach and lettuce leaves. Added a little more veggies (more radishes, carrots, a stalk of hearts of palm) and a tiny bit of organic feta cheese (goats). I hit the whole bowl with a small dollop of mayo, a little more vinegar, and dumped the remainder of last nights salad on top! mix mix mix . wow and WOW! look at that plate! I sort of went into a trance while I was eating away, ended up not even eating much of the chicken and of course devoured that tater!

So this I guess is kind of a recipe? More of a guideline of how quick and easy paleo lunches can be! Keep easy things on hand like leftover proteins, lettuce, fresh organic veggies, and a fresh jar of your home made paleo mayo at all times!

Hope you like my pretty plate, I know I did!

Cinnamon Swirl Success

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I am always on the prowl for something bready in the mornings, but quickly defeated by time and availability. I often make paleo muffins on the weekends but they are gone FAST…mostly by my own doing, but hey, I like my baked goods people!

Also a sucker for anything cinnamon, I came across a recipe a while back from a very good paleo cookbook, and although I liked it, it had too much coconut “tang”to it for me, personally. Sometimes the paleo recipe writers really get heavy on the coconut, using flour, oil and milk all in one recipe, leaving the whole thing tasting like coconut whatever it is supposed to be, and not much else. Coconut is great…very healthy, and I am all for it! But sometimes, just for me, I have to tone it down.

So I tweaked the recipe and made it my own…and wow what a difference! The flavors and texture sing of good old fashoined coffee cakes or muffins your grandmother used to make! Buttery and flavorful, and a much better texture, due to a quick swap of a little tapioca flour in for some of the coconut flour. This looks like the bread you used to know so well, and the texture on your tongue will make you close your eyes for a minute before you go back in the kitchen for the next slice!

Here’s how:

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8×8 pan (with butter or coconut oil) or line it with parchment paper.

Wisk together in a medium sized bowl:

2 Tablespoons of Butter from a grassfed organic source, like Kerrygold (or go with coconut oil if you prefer…) – melted
2 Tablespoons of WHOLE milk from a grassfed source, or coconut milk, or almond milk.
1/2 raw organic local honey, or agave nectar if you prefer. I used honey.
5 eggs
a dash of vanilla

Bowl to sift or “fork” together:

1-2 Tablespoons of Tapioca flour PLUS coconut flour to TOTAL 3/4 cup
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

With a SPOON (not a wisk!) stir the dry ingredients into the wet until combined.
Optional mix ins at this point…a handful of golden raisins, a handfull of chopped nuts, or even chocolate chips would be good!
Pour into the prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl mix together:
1 Tablespoon Butter from a grassfed source, or coconut oil
1 Tablespoon raw organic local honey or agave nectar
2 tspns cinnamon

Drizzle mixture over the batter then swirl with the end of a knife.

Pop it into the oven for 25-30 minutes.
Let it cool completely before cutting into it.
Really tasty with your hot cup of coffee or tea!

Enjoy it! Let me know how you like it…I love to hear the feedback!

When all else fails, and sometimes it does!

Jake shake

Guess I am still on yesterday’s topic! Perfect example of how the day can get away from you and you run out of time and energy but you have to do something because you are really hungry and confident there is a bag of M&M’s somewhere in the house! Full day at work, straight to my daughter’s swim meet, pets at home waiting waiting waiting for me to come home and feed and walk them, I sit happily watching her swim, but can hear the ticking of the clock in the back of my mind. Chatting away with a friend in the stands who is grabbing a quick bite during the meet, I got to thinking, what in the world am I going to eat and when? by the time I got home it was after 8:00 and the dogs needed attention! Cat was tapping her paw on the staircase using her catskills to chastise me for such and unacceptably late dinner while watching my every move to make sure hers was first!

Pets happily fed and watered, it is 9:00. Should I just go to bed? NO! I’m actually hungry! But tired, but lazy, but hungry.

Smoothie time. Smoothie time!!!

How fast is a smoothie? So fast! And is light or heavy as you decide to make it.

Here is what happened:

Into the blender went
1 ripe banana
1 cup of almond milk
cinnamon to taste…maybe 1/2 tsp
a dash of vanilla
1 Tbsp raw organic local honey
ice cubes

2 minutes later…Banana smoothie! (in the Adventure Time glass of choice, becomes a “Jake Shake”!)

To beef up the smoothie, try this:
add any or all of the following:

1/4 of a ripe avocado
1-2 Tbsp Almond Butter…or Almond Flour…nice protein boost
1-2 Tbsp Cacao Powder….gives it a hint of chocolate with all kinds of health benefits!
or add other fruits too…strawberries are good here!

This worked….I felt good, not hungry any more, and could get a few things done before hitting the sack.