Friday, September 27, 2013

YES!! Paleo lasagna!!!!!

Yeah, I'm a little excited about this one . . . I do miss lasagna.  The only non-paleo ingredient is goat cheese.  I can tolerate goat cheese just fine (can only tolerate a wee little bit of cow cheese), and its sharp flavor is a nice complement to the dish.

Today I made a nice big vat of my paleo spaghetti sauce (in Cavemom's Cooking), and in this post I talk about woodear mushrooms, which are quite noodle-like.

I didn't want to make a big pan of lasagna if this wasn't going to work out, so I did a little test:

a nice big (cooked) woodear mushroom, spread on some goat cheese, layered in some fresh spinach, then a spoonful of my spaghetti sauce, topped with a little more goat cheese.  Then fold it closed:

It was a little messy eating it this way, but I learned what I wanted to know!  I CAN make paleo lasagna and it was really good!!!

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pumpkins + Apples = Pie-gasm!!

In honor of tomorrow being the first day of fall, I felt like making my paleo apple pie.  But with only 4 apples, it was either a trip to the farmer's market (where I'd want to spend way too much!) or get creative.  Then I thought about all the pumpkins I picked up yesterday . . . and an idea was born.  Although if you check Google, it's not exactly a new idea - it was just new to me! :)
First I had to bake up one of the pumpkins, let it cool, scrape out the flesh and mash.  I don't care for pureed pumpkin, to me pureeing it (or any squash) changes the flavor a little.  I'm happy with somewhat lumpy cooked pumpkin.  Then I began the process of making two pies into one.

Pumpkin Apple Pie
For this one you’ll need 2 recipes out of Volume 1, shared here:

Almond Pie Crust
If you use butter, you may substitute the suet for butter.

1 1/2 c. almond flour or almond meal
1/2 c. arrowroot
1 3/4 Tbsp rendered suet or tallow (I render suet as I need it)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 egg

Sprinkle on:
Maple syrup or honey

Mix ingredients and pat into a pie dish, patting the crust up the sides of the dish.  Save some crust to use as a crumble on top the pie!

Pumpkin Pie Filling:
1 1/2 c. pumpkin, cooked
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. raw honey (heat on low to melt if necessary)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 c. coconut milk

Mix thoroughly, pour 2/3 of the mixture into the pie crust.  Set the rest aside.
Apple Pie Filling (this recipe is halved and slightly modified from the original):
4 pie apples, sliced
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
Washed raw sugar or maple syrup to taste
1/8 c. pecans, chopped
In a large bowl, combine apple slices, spices, and washed raw sugar or maple syrup.  Let sit a few minutes for the apples to juice up.  If using frozen apples, this will create a lot of juice.  Gently place the coated apples into pie crust on top the pumpkin filling (in order to keep the apple slices from sinking, you may want to place each apple slice individually).  Save the excess spiced apple juice and mix it with the excess pie crust and chopped pecans.

Once the apples slices are placed, pour the remainder of the pumpkin filling on top.   Don't forget the topping!
I baked it for 35 minutes at 350F, and the topping was getting a little dark but the pumpkin filling could have been a little more done.  Next time, I'd wait with the topping, bake the pie for 30 minutes, add the topping, then bake for an additional 20 minutes.  Even if I didn't bake it perfectly with the first go-round, it was still extraordinarily delicious!!

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Monday, September 16, 2013

What, you don't like Brussels sprouts?

I hear a lot of people don't like Brussels sprouts. Honestly I don't ever remember eating them growing up; I don't think I tasted them until I was an adult.  But I love 'em!!

If you are used to eating a lot of sweet sugary foods, Brussels sprouts will taste more bitter to you.  But I urge you to skip the extra sweetness for a few hours and give this a try.  The parsnips and pecans have a natural sweetness of their own, which blends very well with Brussels sprouts.

This recipe is a great rustic fall side dish:

Brussels sprouts, halved with stems chopped off
Parsnips, sliced thinly
Pecan halves
Olive Oil
Sea Salt

When slicing the parsnips, don't slice them potato chip thin, but maybe about 1/8" thick or so - too thin and they'll burn. Toss brussel sprouts and parsnips with oil, salt, and pepper and place single layer on a baking sheet. Roast at 450F for 20 minutes. Add pecans, stir, and roast an additional 10 minutes. 

As a side note, if your dog is no stranger to table scraps, please keep them away from the Brussels sprouts, raw or cooked.  I don't know if it's all dogs, or just Cavedog Lola, but her stomach definitely doesn't tolerate them. :)

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Smells good in here!

Why?  Because I harvested my fresh herbs today!  I got 1 lonely basil plant, about 4 - 5 sage plants, and LOTS of parsley.  I thought about hanging them up to dry, or maybe using the dehydrator, but since dill and rosemary freeze so well, I figured I'd do that instead.

The amount of parsley that grew would last us a very long time, but I didn't actually grow most of it for us; I grew it for Miss Cavedog, Lola.  Earlier this spring she was diagnosed with immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, which you can read about here.  I chose to treat her holistically - parsley is part of her treatment as it is excellent for anemia!  I also have some parsnip-rooted hamburg parsley growing, but I'll wait for awhile yet to harvest that.  It has a milder flavor than regular parsley, which I actually prefer, but I'm growing it for the root crop.

The garden is pretty much done - just a few cucumbers & zucchinis left on the vine, and the two lonely little marrow squashes. I'm still sad the oregano, rosemary, and marjoram didn't make it, but there's always next year! 

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