Mango Chicken Curry [Instant Pot + Slow Cooker]

The Instant Pot is taking over the internet. Do you have one? I've had one of these slow cooking, pressure cooking, rice, yogurt (and apparently cheesecake!) makers for a long time now and it lives up to the hype. Slow cooking isn't my favourite form of cooking by any stretch but it really fills in the gaps when I can't be home to let something cook on the stovetop. With the Instant Pot you have the added bonus of the pressure cook function which essentially means you can take frozen meat and create a tasty soup or curry in 30 minutes! 

I think most slow cooker recipes take once flavourful foods and meld them into one big stodgy mess. If this has been your experience, try adding a bit of sweetness or acidic food and bright fresh herbs in at the end of cooking to brighten up the 'stodge-factor' (that's a thing, right?). In this curry, I use lime juice, frozen mango, spinach and cilantro to achieve a bright and lively bowl of curry. My turmeric coconut cauliflower rice would go nicely underneath this curry, or if you're like me, just grab a spoon and eat it as is. If you're feeling like forgoing the meat and going off the paleo-track - this curry would be wonderful with chickpeas.

Mango Chicken Curry

Mango Chicken Curry [Instant Pot + Slow Cooker]
serves 6

2 tbsp ghee
1 medium onion, diced  
3 cloves garlic, or 2 tsp garlic powder
1 inch garlic, or 2 tsp ground ginger
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp tumeric
½ tsp cayenne
½ tsp paprika
3 lbs chicken thighs - boneless, skinless
½ head cauliflower - about 4 cups
2 sweet potatoes, medium - large dice
1 cup chicken stock
1 can of coconut milk (400 ml)

2 cups frozen mango pieces
3 cups baby spinach
½ lime, juiced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Instant Pot method: 

Turn the Instant Pot on Saute and add ghee, onion, garlic, tomato paste, salt, curry powder, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, paprika and saute for 3 minutes until spice are fragrant and onions have softened. Add chicken thighs, sweet potato and cauliflower and stir to coat with the spices. Add chicken stock and coconut milk and stir to combine. Turn off Saute function, cover with lid and lock for pressure cooking. Set at Manual High Pressure for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, use the quick release method. Stir in the frozen mango, baby spinach and lime juice. Let the curry sit for 10 minutes before serving and top with cilantro. 

Slow Cooker method: 

Add all of the ingredients except mango, spinach, lime and cilantro to the slow cooker. Set for 4 hours on High or 6 hours on low. Add the mango, spinach and lime juice once the slow cooker time is complete and let sit for 10 minutes before serving and top with cilantro. 

Need an INSTANT POT? QUICK LINKS
CANADA | USA | UK 


disclosure: this post contains affiliate links, if the links result in a purchase, a very small percentage (at no cost to you) will be shared with me to help with the costs of creating delicious recipes and maintaining this website. 

Jerk Chicken Wings + 10 Paleo Game Day Recipes

How about that local sports team? 

I'm not much of a sports fan but I appreciate the zeal of football fans.  I willingly participate in March Madness and Super Bowl pools because I like to see how far I can get with almost zero knowledge. It's been a pretty good strategy so far - I won the entire March Madness bracket last year without even knowing all the rules of the game.

While I don't love sports I love an excuse to throw a themed party. We've hosted many Super Bowl parties where guests bring signature dishes from the opposing teams cities and another time a SOUPer bowl potluck soup competition, complete with tomato soup cupcakes and the fanciest of soups; a vichyssoise. Nothing says Super Bowl party like a chilled potato and leek soup! This year we are sticking with traditional Super Bowl snacks - oven baked jerk spiced chicken wings, Cincinnati chili, guacamole, plantain chips, pork rinds, and my citrus baked olives.

Jerk Chicken WIngs

Great baked wings at home are easy. The key is to bake them on a wire rack on a sheet pan and baste them with the sauce of your choice. For these jerk spiced wings I made a dry rub and let them marinade and then finished them with ghee before I put them in the oven and close to the end of the cooking time. When I do a saucier style wing, I like to baste with the sauce when I'm turning the wings and then toss before serving once they are finished cooking. Served with sweet potato fries and guacamole, these wings feel like a treat while on the Whole30. 

Paleo Jerk Chicken WIngs

Jerk Rubbed Chicken Wings
serves 4-6

note: if you'd rather not make your own jerk seasoning, I really love this one from Epices De Cru


3 lbs chicken wings, split
1/4 cup ghee, melted
1 tsp kosher salt

Jerk Seasoning
1 tsp allspice, ground
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper, fresh ground
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp coriander, ground
2 tbsp ginger, ground
2 tbsp dried thyme
1/2 orange, zested, optional
2 tsp coconut sugar, optional

Preheat the oven to 400F. 

Combine all the ingredients in the jerk seasoning into a large resealable bag. Add the chicken wings, seal the bag and shake the bag to coat the wings in the dry rub. Allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes while the oven preheats. 

Cover two sheet pans with foil or parchment for easier clean-up. Place wire racks on top of the sheet pans. Drizzle half of the melted ghee into the resealable bag and evenly coat the wings with ghee. Place the wings, evenly spaced, on the racks. Bake the wings for 25 minutes, remove from oven to flip each wing and baste with ghee using a pastry brush or carefully with a spoon. Return to oven and continue to bake for 20 minutes until fully cooked and crispy. 

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GAME DAY RECIPES! (click on photo for recipes)

Paleo Game Day Recipes - FPTP

The Whole30 Cookbook Review + Giveaway

Disclosure: I received a copy of The Whole30 Cookbook from Penguin Random House Canada for review purposes. All opinions are my own, as always. 

The Whole30 changed my life. After feeling stuck and out of control after having my first child, I found the Whole30 in 2013. Over that year, I lost about 60 lbs, completely changed my relationship with food and not only incorporated exercise into my life, but loved it. Fast forward four years to a second child and feeling stressed out and putting myself on the back burner while consuming sugar and fast carbs as fuel and stress relief. As if through divine intervention, a package from Penguin Random House Canada arrived with a copy of The Whole30 Cookbook by Melissa Hartwig. This was the no-excuses, get-your-butt-in-gear poke that I needed to make strides forward. 

I wanted to approach this review with fresh eyes and remember how full of hope, excitement and sheer terror I felt that first Whole30. The Whole30 is a 30-day reset to discover and target habits, relationships with food and sensitivities while removing dairy, sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, and certain additives. Do you see why I said sheer terror? Moving from my standard North American diet to the Whole30 was a huge leap into the unknown. I'd like to assure you, the Whole30 Cookbook WILL HELP! If I’d had this cookbook the first time I attempted the Whole30 I would have been relieved at variety of foods I could eat instead of focusing on the foods I couldn’t.

Salmon Cakes from The Whole 30 Cookbook
Moving from my standard North American diet to the Whole30 was a huge leap into the unknown. I’d like to assure you, the Whole30 Cookbook WILL HELP!
Moroccan Chicken from The Whole 30 Cookbook

The Whole30 Cookbook includes over 125 recipes from Melissa Hartwig and the biggest names in the paleo culinary scene. As a trained chef and primary cook for my family, it's important to me that Whole30 and paleo cooking is flavour-forward, interesting and worthy of entertaining guests. Thankfully, sacrificing flavour is a non-issue with the Whole30 Cookbook as Melissa has included dishes with an international flare like Thai Coconut Chicken soup and Mexican inspired Pork Posole that are perfectly suited for weeknights and entertaining a crowd.

The Whole30 can feel feel like a revolving door of sweet potatoes, salads and grilled meat. Melissa saves us all from a starchy carb rut with many unique solutions from rutabaga fries to crispy potato patties. Her lemony, spicy Moroccan Chicken with Carrot Pistachio Slaw was such a weeknight hit we made it twice and the Salmon Cakes with Pineapple Salsa perked up a cold January evening with a hint of the tropics.

The Whole30 Cookbook is a perfect introduction to the idea that I personally want to scream from the mountaintops - that clean eating can be healthy AND delicious! 

If you'd like a chance to WIN a copy of The Whole30 Cookbook, the kind people at Penguin Random House Canada have sponsored a giveaway for our Canadian readers. Enter below for your chance to win. Contest is open from February 3, 2017 to February 10, 2017. Good luck! 

The Whole 30 Cookbook (1 of 1).jpg

disclosure: this post contains affiliate links, if the links result in a purchase, a very small percentage (at no cost to you) will be shared with me to help with the costs of creating delicious recipes and maintaining this website. 

citrus baked olives

Until 7 years ago, olives were no friend of mine. As a kid, olives arrived on pizza, besmirching the entire pie with their essence. I finally came around to olives when I was going to school and working in Italy. That first meaty, sweet, bright green Castelvetrano olive changed everything and the next thing you know I was popping Cerignola, Taggiasca, Gaeta and Kalamatas like candy. If you're unsure about olives, try a Castelvetrano and see if it doesn't change your mind - and while it may help to be looking out on the Italian countryside, it isn't a requirement. 

I love making huge platters when I entertain, overflowing with charcuterie, nuts, grilled vegetables and baked olives. Citrus baked olives are always a part of our big gatherings because they are so easy to throw together and use simple ingredients we usually have on hand. Any type of whole olive or citrus fruit will do but I love the combination of blood orange, thyme, and rosemary with a spicy hit of pepper flakes. Baking the olives softens their intensity and renders them completely addictive. 

Citrus Baked Olives

citrus baked olives
makes 2 cups

2 cups whole olives, mixed
1 blood orange, orange, or lemon
1 tsp pepper flakes
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, rough chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme, removed from stem

Preheat oven to 350F. 

In a medium sized bowl, add olives, olive oil, pepper flakes, rosemary and thyme.  Remove blood orange peel with a peeler and slice into long thin strips or zest with a microplane. Add zest to olive mixture and stir to combine. Pour the olives into an ovenproof baking dish and bake for 20 minutes. 

Serve warm. Leftovers can be refrigerated and rewarmed or eaten cold. 

olive branch italy
olivegroveitaly
Paleo Citrus Baked Olives

turmeric coconut cauliflower rice

Do you say TOO-muric or TUR-meric?  I had one of those moments where my pronunciation didn't match the spelling and I thought I'd been embarrasingly saying it wrong all along. The "internet" has squelched my embarrassment and assured me I was correct in either spelling but that the pronunciation should be TOO-muric.

Now that I've settled that, let's chat about cauliflower rice. I'm not sure who anyone is trying to fool but cauli-rice definitively not rice. Let's just embrace cauliflower rice as a vegetable side dish and not a faux-rice and we can all be happy. Plain jane cauliflower rice is fairly depressing, especially if you're at the beginning of a whole 30 or switching to a paleo based style of eating. You're missing rice, you want that comforting bowl of steaming, starchy love and instead you're eating a steaming, starch-less bowl of...cauliflower. I get it. I've been there. This recipe is my solution to that feeling. By adding coconut milk, turmeric and cilantro we go from a blah bowl of cauliflower rice to a dynamic, rich side dish that pairs well with a spicy curry or jerk chicken. 

Have you ever had that sad feeling about paleo, grain-free or gluten-free mock recipes? Let me know in the comments and I'll do my best to come up with a recipe that changes that unfulfilled feeling to a positive one.

turmeric-coconut-cauiflower-rice
cauliflower-PEC

turmeric coconut cauliflower rice
serves 4-6

1 head cauliflower, riced (about 5 cups)  (how-to at the Kitchn)
2 tbsp ghee or avocado oil
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp curry powder
1 cup stock, chicken or vegetable
1 cup canned coconut milk
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup peas, frozen

In a large saute pan on medium heat, melt 2 tbsp ghee. Once ghee is melted, add spices and let them develop their flavour in the ghee for 1 minute before adding the chicken stock, coconut milk and salt. Stir to combine spices, stock and coconut milk. Add riced cauliflower, stir to incorporate and let simmer for 10 minutes until cauliflower is soft but not mushy. Add peas and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro and enjoy.
 

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turmeric coconut cauliflower rice

roasted squash + cashew cream zoodles

I’m a city mouse. I’ve been a fervent Torontonian for 16 years. As much as I love my city, I also love escaping it. What does this have to do with roasted squash zoodles? It started with a bucolic trip to Prince Edward County to visit family at Thanksgiving. We all loaded into our newly acquired boat sized mini-van and enjoyed a day of touring farms, meeting horses, picking apples and stopping at Hagerman Farms the most glorious farm stand  I’ve ever encountered. Astonishingly reasonable prices coupled with the sheer selection of gorgeous vegetables spiralled me into a frenzied state with only one goal: acquire ALL THE SQUASH. And I did. Now I have about 15 squash on my kitchen counter. I suppose this is what happens when food loving city folk go to the country.

If you hadn’t heard by now, let me fill you in on a little secret. Cashews are everything. They make the best nut milk, ice cream, salty snack or paleo "cream" alternative. These nuts are so versatile I wondered if they’d complement all those squash I have taking up residence on my counter and of course they did, because they are everything. 

pumpkins + squash in PEC
horse in Prince Edward County.JPG
apples in prince edward county
roasted squash + cashew cream noodles

roasted squash + cashew cream zoodles

1 squash, medium sized, kabocha halved and de-seeded
3 garlic clove, skin-on, unpeeled
1 shallot, peeled + halved
3 tablespoons avocado oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup chicken stock/bone broth/veggie stock

4 zucchini, spiralized
2 tbsp olive oil/ghee
1/2 tsp pepperoncino/pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 375F.

Cover raw cashews with hot water in a cup. Set aside while squash is roasting.

On a rimmed baking sheet with parchment, place halved squash skin side down and drizzle withavocado oil and sprinkle with salt. Flip squash over for roasting. On the same tray, add unpeeled garlic and shallot and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 25 minutes, or until squash is tender and fully cooked. Let cook for 5 minutes and then remove cooked squash from skin. Warm chicken stock on stovetop or microwave. 

Using a high powered blender, blend cashews and water for 1-2 minutes until completely smooth. Remove roasted garlic from skin and add to blender with roasted shallot and cooked squash. Blend on high until very smooth, adding chicken stock to thin it out to a sauce consistency.

In a saute pan over medium heat, warm olive oil/ghee with pepperoncino flakes for 2 minutes, allowing oil to be infused with the pepperoncino flavour. Add zucchini noodles and 1 cup of the squash sauce, using tongs to toss the zoodles with the sauce. Heat for 3 minutes and serve.

Additional toppings can include: sausage, fried sage, or caramelized mushrooms.

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sweet potato + pepper breakfast tray bake

sweet potato pepper tray bake
sweet potato pepper tray bake

I hate breakfast. Have I mentioned that before? My perfect morning involves a cup of coffee and some quality time with the newspaper. The Whole 30 requires a substantial breakfast that includes vegetables, protein and healthy fats which unfortunately is not the nutritional composition of my cherished cup of coffee. So when i'm working on the Whole 30 or trying to be a super by-the-book paleo superstar I find the only way I can get vegetables, carbohydrates and healthy fats into me in the morning is with this sweet potato and pepper tray bake. Roasted sweet potatoes, red onion and peppers are sweet enough to make me less weirded out about vegetables in the morning and to get my protein hit, a runny egg and sausage on top do the trick.  This tray bake is quick to assemble and easily can be doubled (or tripled!) because we all know successfully completing the Whole 30 is ALL about prep. 

sweet potato + pepper breakfast tray bake
serves 4

2 large sweet potatoes, 1-inch dice
1 red onion, 1-inch dice
1 red pepper, 1-inch dice
1 yellow pepper, 1-inch dice
1 orange pepper, 1-inch dice
3 tbsp avocado oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tsp dried rosemary

Pre-heat oven to 375F. 

Put sweet potatoes, red onion, and peppers on a large rimmed baking tray. Pour avocado oil on vegetables. Sprinkle salt, pepper, fennel and rosemary onto vegetables and mix with a spoon (or your hands!) until all vegetables are coated with oil and hers. 

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until sweet potato is fully cooked. Halfway through baking time, give the vegetables a stir around the pan to prevent sticking. 

sweet potato pepper tray bake breakfast

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mango salsa

Haden Mangoes - Paleo Mango Salsa
Mango Salsa - From Pasta to Paleo

I'm in love. Sorry, Mr.FromPastaToPaleo. I've found another and their mottled pink and orange skin stops me in my tracks, their sweet juiciness gets me every time. My new love, friends, is the Haden mango. Originally bred in South Florida, it's breathtakingly beautiful, a gigantic workhorse of a mango, it's fairly perfect. 

I've been hosting a weekly local mom party every week this Summer because I love to entertain, make overstuffed platters (see instagram!) and get to know my neighbours. I like to make appetizers I can prepare earlier while the kids are awake and assemble quickly in that sweet spot right after they've gone to bed, just before the wild mom party begins. My mango salsa fits this bill perfectly. It's a great accompaniment for lettuce wrapped Instant Pot pork carnitas or for tortilla chips. I added garlic scapes to mine, because they have been a constant in my summer life, but feel free to add some green onion instead. 

mango salsa

2 mangoes, large Haden variety, diced
1 avocado, peeled + pitted + diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
3 garlic scapes, ends removed and sliced thin OR green onion
1/2 cup of red pepper, diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 lime, tested + juiced
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 cup cilantro, rough chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and gently stir. Taste for seasoning and add salt/vinegar if necessary. If preparing ahead, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the salsa to prevent avocado from browning. 

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zucchini madness - the 25 recipe mega round-up!

It's that time of year when you wouldn't be surprised to see a giant zucchini left on your doorstep from a desperate neighbour. If you're panicking on how to get all those zucchini into your belly, here's a massive TWENTY FIVE recipe round-up by some of my fellow bloggers from the Food Bloggers of Canada. Click on the photos below to view the recipes!

cassava flour waffles

Can waffles be paleo? For hardcore paleo purists, absolutely not. For paleo enthusiasts like myself, absolutely! 

In the paleosphere, a waffle can be a bastion of hope in the desolate landscape of bread-free sandwiches and maple syrup free breakfasts. My tiny human enjoys the occasional maple syrup soaked breakfast, so these cassava flour waffles do the trick. I prefer a savoury breakfast so these waffles double as the bread for a fried egg and bacon sandwich or a lemony eggs benedict.  

I had a waffle maker in the past that created the most sad, flat waffles. I wanted fluffy grain-free waffles that paleo dreams are made of. After coveting a fancy flippable belgian waffle maker I finally took the plunge on buying a mid-range model (this one in Canada + this one is USA) just after I had my second child. I think it was part delirium or high hopes that I'd be baby wearing and making waffles all the time but that waffle maker didn't budge from the box for 8 months but let-me-tell-you, once it did my dreams came to fruition. These waffles are fluffy and crispy with a bit of a lemony tang and freeze extremely well for reheating in the toaster for quick breakfasts and late-night snacks.  

paleo-cassava-flour-waffle

cassava flour waffles
makes 16 quarters

240 grams cassava flour
4 tbsp baking powder
3 tbsp coconut sugar or raw sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 eggs - separated
3/4 cup ghee, melted or grassfed butter
1.5 cups unsweetened cashew milk
2 tbsp vanilla
zest of one lemon

Preheat belgian-style waffle maker. Combine cassava flour, baking powder, kosher salt, and coconut sugar in a medium mixing bowl. 

Using an electric mixer, or by hand, whisk egg whites until fluffy and stiff. 

Add egg yolks, ghee, cashew milk, vanilla and the zest of one lemon to the dry ingredients and stir until all the ingredients are fully incorporated. With a spatula, fold in egg whites carefully, trying to keep the egg whites fluffy in the thick batter. 

Open heated waffle maker - spoon about 1/3 cup of batter on the waffle griddle, close and use manufacturers instructions for cooking. The waffle should easily come off of the griddle when it is finished - about 7 minutes for a crispy waffle.

Serve + enjoy!
 
Freezer instructions: Let waffles cool completely + place in a freezer safe container or bag. The waffles keep well for 3 months in the freezer. To re-heat use toaster or oven. 

QUICK LINKS TO PURCHASE CASSAVA FLOUR
Canada: Amazon.ca or Flour Confections
United States: Amazon.com
Australia: Pantry Innovations
New Zealand: Food Compass

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disclosure: this post contains affiliate links, if the links result in a purchase, a small percentage (at no cost to you) will be shared with me to help with the costs of creating and maintaining this website. 

farmers market friday: kohlrabi

Farmers Market Friday - Kohlrabi.jpg
five-ways-to-use-kohlrabi
kohlrabi-heart-shaped

WHAT IS KOHLRABI? 
Feared most among CSA subscribers is the innocent kohlrabi. This totally alien looking vegetable is completely under utilized and desperately needs a marketing campaign to bolster its brand recognition. Admittedly, kohlrabi is confusing - it looks like a root but isn't and appears fibrous and tough but its not. Let's put all the confusion to rest! Kohlrabi is a member of the brassica family and like broccoli, it is entirely edible from leafy green to bottom. The texture is similar to jicama or radish and has an amazing crunch like none other. The bulbous bottom has a flavour similar to sweet cabbage and the stem and leaves taste rather kale-like. 

HOW TO BUY + STORE KOHLRABI
Kohlrabi is found in three variations, green, white and purple, though they taste the same.  When purchasing kohlrabi look for firm bottoms that have fresh looking greens attached and are free of brown spotting. The smaller bulbs tend to have more flavour. Kohlrabi stores very well for weeks in the refrigerator if you separate the leaves and stems from the bottom, which should be used within a few days. I use ziploc produce bags to keep my CSA vegetables fresh. 

HOW TO USE KOHLRABI
The bulbous bottom of larger kohlrabi has a tough skin that is edible but not altogether pleasant, peeling this tough skin with a good quality peeler or a paring knife does the trick. With smaller, super fresh kohlrabi, it isn't always necessary to peel the outside. The inside is easily sliced with a knife, mandoline or spiralizer. The stems and greens can be prepared in the same way as any hearty green and can easily substitute for kale or swiss chard. 

5 WAYS TO USE KOHLRABI + BONUS RECIPE!

  1. Slaw! A classic use of kohlrabi - use a mandoline and slice thin sheets of kohlrabi to julienne to substitute for cabbage in any slaw recipe.
  2. Quick Pickle! Slice kohlrabi into matchsticks and put in a mason jar. Heat a brine of 1 cup white wine vinegar, 1/2 cup water,  2 tbsp honey, 1 tsp crushed chili peppers - remove from heat and pour on top of kohlrabi. Cool to room temperature, put lid on and place in fridge where they will keep for 6 weeks. 
  3. Saute! Saute the greens and stems with olive oil, garlic, a squeeze of lemon juice and top with fresh herbs for a summery side.
  4. Soup!  Kohlrabi makes a great soup says the NYTimes and the greens could easily be substituted for kale in my absolute favourite soup - Ribollita
  5. Puree! Sick of cauli-mash? Kohlrabi can be steamed and pureed like potatoes or cauliflower.
  6. Spiralize! - A bonus method! Kohlrabi spiralizes like a dream. Recipe below!
spiralized vietnamese kohlrabi salad

spiralized vietnamese kohlrabi salad
serves 6

4 kohlrabi, medium sized, spiralized
4 carrots, julienned
4 green onions, sliced fine
1 cup cilantro, torn or rough chopped
1/2 cup basil, torn or rough chopped
1/2 cup mint, torn or rough chopped
2/3 cup rice wine vinegar
2 limes, juiced + zest of 1 lime
2 cloves garlic, grated
1/4 tsp crushed chili flakes
1/2 cup avocado oil
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Combine spiralized kohlrabi, carrots and green onions and herbs in a large salad bowl. 

In a mason jar, add lime juice and zest, rice wine vinegar, garlic, chili flakes, avocado oil, honey, fish sauce and kosher salt. Put lid on and shake vinaigrette.

Pour vinaigrette on top of salad and combine all ingredients with tongs. Let salad sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. 

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farmers market friday: garlic scapes

farmers market friday - garlic scares
10 ways to use garlic scapes
garlic scapes willowind farm

WHAT ARE GARLIC SCAPES?
Ever wondered what those strange green curlicues you've seen at the market in bunches or bushels are? Those are garlic scapes! Garlic scapes are incredible and not surprisingly taste like mild but spicy garlic. If you've ever grown garlic in your backyard, you've seen garlic scapes - they shoot up in the late spring and look positively alien. These immature stems are cut in late spring/early summer to promote garlic bulb growth underground. When I see garlic scapes at the market I applaud that first person that made garlic scapes popular - how brilliant they were to make a natural byproduct of growing garlic such a marketable commodity. Three cheers for delicious ingenuity! 

HOW TO BUY + STORE GARLIC SCAPES
Garlic scapes can be found in May and June where garlic is grown. They are typically found at farmers markets but can be found in some upscale grocers. Look for bright green, firm scapes. They can be stored in the refrigerator for at least a week and freeze fairly well. 

HOW TO USE GARLIC SCAPES
Garlic scapes can be used in place of garlic in most applications. When cooked they have a slightly milder garlic flavour but when raw can be a bit on the spicy side. To prepare - cut off the flowering end and if the bottom stalks are woody give those a trim as well. 

10 WAYS TO USE GARLIC SCAPES

  1. Pesto! Making pesto is a great way to preserve the glorious taste of garlic scapes for the whole year. I have a recipe below for a dairy-free, paleo pesto that freezes really well. 
  2. Pickle! I love to pickle scapes to use on impressive charcuterie plates later in the year or to make vinaigrette with the brine. Serious Eats has a great pickled scape recipe
  3. Raw! Scapes are great where you would use green onions or garlic. I like to slice them into thin coins and add them to salads or vinaigrettes. 
  4. Grilled! Grilling scapes is simple and delicious. Toss them with olive oil, balsamic and a touch of salt and grill for about 5 minutes until slightly softened. 
  5. Chimichurri! Top your grilled meat or fish with a garlic scape chimichurri. Substitute garlic scapes for garlic in this Bon Appetite chimichurri recipe. 
  6. Roasted! Scapes can be roasted in a 400F oven for about 25 minutes, lightly tossed with olive oil, balsamic and seasoned with salt and pepper. They would make a great accompaniment to roasted asparagus or mini potatoes. 
  7. Broth! Adding garlic scapes when you are making bone broth or chicken stock recipe will lend a nice garlic hint to the finished product. 
  8. Butter! I make compound butters for big bowls of warm new potatoes when we have large BBQs. Mixing fresh herbs and sliced garlic scapes to grass-fed butter and tossing with warm vegetables or potatoes is a truly glorious way to celebrate summer flavours for a large group.
  9. Vinaigrette! Using a high speed blender combine 1/2 cup of garlic scapes, 2/3 cup of avocado oil and 1/3 cup of white wine vinegar, salt + pepper, a teaspoon of honey and you've got a lovely vinaigrette to top fresh greens or grilled veggies. 
  10. Frittata! What can't you add to a frittata? Eggs and garlic scapes are a great combination - add sliced garlic scapes to a frittata or scrambled eggs for a quick and easy breakfast.
garlic scape paleo pesto

garlic scape pesto
makes about 1 cup

15 garlic scapes - cut into 1-inch pieces
2/3 cup raw cashews
1/3 cup pine nuts
3/4 - 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar

Put garlic scapes, cashews, pine nuts and red wine vinegar into a food processor or high powered blender.

Blend/process the mixture until nuts and scapes form a paste, drizzling extra-virgin olive oil slowly into the processor/blender until you achieve the consistency you desire for all your pesto needs.

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rhubarb cherry cassava flour snacking cake

rhubarb cherry cassava flour snaking cake

Cassava flour excitement is growing day-by-day in our house. This rhubarb cherry cassava flour snacking cake is a spin on a rhubarb cake I make every year with all-purpose flour from the lovely blog, smitten kitchen. It's not a showy dessert but a great companion to your morning coffee or school lunch box (cassava is nut-free! yippee!).  I was planning on going full-paleo with this recipe but I realized my coconut milk was 100% liquid and I really needed that luscious coconut cream to easily substitute for sour cream so instead I used full-fat good quality yogurt in the recipe. 

New to baking with cassava flour? Check out my grain-free baking 101

rhubarb cherry cassave flour snacking cake

rhubarb cherry cassava flour snacking cake
adapted from smitten kitchen

cake
2/3 cup rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/3 cup cherries, pitted and halved
2/3 + 3/4 cup coconut sugar (or cane sugar)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (or ghee/coconut oil)
1 tsp lemon zest
2 large eggs
165 grams cassava flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/3 cup full fat plain yogurt (or coconut cream + 1/4 tsp baking soda)

crumb topping
125 grams cassava flour
1/4 cup coconut sugar (or cane sugar)
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (or ghee/coconut oil)

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter the bottom and sides of 9x13-inch baking pan with butter and line with parchment. 

In a bowl, combine rhubarb, cherries and 2/3 cup coconut sugar. In another bowl whisk to combine cassava flour, baking powder, salt and ginger. Set both bowls aside. 

Using an electric mixture, beat butter, sugar and lemon zest until creamed/light and fluffy. Add the eggs and 3/4 cup sugar and mix on medium until incorporated. Add half of the cassava flour mixture, mix until combined and add half of the yogurt. Add the remaining cassava flour and yogurt and mix until just combined. 

Spread batter in a thin layer into the pan. Pour the rhubarb and cherries over the batter evenly. 

Make crumb topping by whisking the dry ingredients together and stirring in melted butter with a fork, creating a sandy crumb-like texure, Evenly dollop crumb on top of fruit layer. 

Bake for 45 minutes. Cool on a rack and serve. 

QUICK LINKS TO PURCHASE CASSAVA FLOUR
Canada: Amazon.ca or Flour Confections
United States: Amazon.com
Australia: Pantry Innovations
New Zealand: Food Compass

tag #frompastatopaleo on Instagram to show me your finished dishes!

disclosure: this post contains affiliate links, if the links result in a purchase, a small percentage (at no cost to you) will be shared with me to help with the costs of creating and maintaining this website. 

grain-free baking 101: cassava flour + banana chocolate chip muffins

grain free baking 101 cassava flour

WHAT IS CASSAVA FLOUR?
Cassava flour is the newest 'it' flour in grain and gluten-free baking. Cassava/Yuca is a root vegetable that is peeled, dried and finely milled into a flour. It has a fine texture which resembles all-purpose flour. One of the great things about cassava flour is that it's nut-free and school-snack friendly. 

HOW DO YOU USE CASSAVA FLOUR? 
This flour can be substituted for all-purpose in an almost 1:1 ratio so it makes grain-free and gluten-free baking fairly simple. The most precise way to substitute for all-purpose flour is by weight (grams) not volume (cups). All-purpose flour weighs 120 grams per cup so aim for that weight when measuring cassava flour which is heavier than all-purpose on a cup-by-cup basis. 

Often cassava flour is confused with tapioca flour because they come from the same root vegetable. Cassava flour is the whole dried root and tapioca flour comes from the extracted starch. These ingredients are not interchangeable in recipes. 

WHAT'S THE NUTRITIONAL LOW-DOWN ON CASSAVA FLOUR? 
Cassava flour is fairly high in carbohydrates at 14 grams per 1/8 cup (15g). This is why it's such a great subsistence food in a lot of cultures but cannot be a subsistence food in our house! 

WHERE CAN I FIND CASSAVA FLOUR?
Up until recently, it wasn't affordable for a Canadian to get their hands on the gold-standard of cassava flour, Otto's Naturals, but now its possible from Flour Confections online and the price is on-par with blanched almond flour. I have had success with cassava flour found in a Carribean food store in Kensington Market as well, it's a fraction of the price but is grittier and has a bit of an odour that Otto's doesn't. 

QUICK LINKS TO PURCHASE CASSAVA FLOUR
Canada: Amazon.ca (Chozi brand) or Flour Confections (Otto's)
United States: Amazon.com
Australia: Pantry Innovations
New Zealand: Food Compass

banana chocolate chip cassava flour muffins

banana chocolate chip cassava flour muffins
yields 24 muffins

1.5 cups cassava flour
1 cup tapioca flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1 cup melted ghee (or grassfed butter/coconut oil)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 cups ripe banana, mashed
2 tsp vanilla
6 eggs
3/4 cup chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand is dairy/gluten free)

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare two 12 cup muffin tins with muffin liners or silicon liners. 

In a medium bowl, combine cassava flour, tapioca flour, baking powder,salt and baking soda and mix with a whisk. 

In a large bowl, add melted ghee, coconut sugar, banana, vanilla, eggs and combine with a whisk until all ingredients are incorporated. Add half of the dry mixture to the bowl and stir until combined, add remaining dry ingredients and stir until combined. 

Using a heaping 1/4 cup measuring cup, evenly distribute the batter into the muffin liners. Bake for 20 minutes. 

Enjoy fresh for up to 3 days or freeze. 
 

tag #frompastatopaleo on Instagram to show me your finished dishes!

disclosure: this post contains affiliate links, if the links result in a purchase, a small percentage (at no cost to you) will be shared with me to help with the costs of creating and maintaining this website. 

farmers market friday: grilled bok choy

farmers market friday - Bok Choy.jpg

It's Farmer's Market Friday, a new feature that showcases seasonal produce and recipes inspired by my weekly trips to the market. Farmers markets are pure bliss for me. Our local Wednesday market is a magical slice of a small town in the big city. We have folk singers, kids playing, a solid group of regulars and mighty fine food vendors. Community building and a shared love of local food warms my sarcastic little heart to the core. This week I was lucky to score some gigantic bok choy. 

WHAT IS BOK CHOY?

Bok choy looks intimidating. It's a member of the cabbage family and has several names - pok choy, pak choi, and chinese cabbage. It's green leaves are tender while the white bulbous stems are crunchy and subtle tasting. I find it has an almost floral aroma, but maybe I'm just a bit strange. Bok choy is considered a "superfood" for its extremely nutrient dense and high in vitamin A, C and K. 

HOW TO BUY + STORE BOK CHOY

When purchasing bok choy look for the crispest looking bulbs that are firm to the touch. The leaves should be green and not wilted.  Bok choy lasts about a week in the refrigerator if stored in the crisper or in a perforated produce bags. Produce bags are the key to my summer vegetable success - they have an amazing ability to keep just about everything fresher for longer and can be found with the other storage bags at the grocery store.  I'm fairly obsessed with them.

HOW TO COOK BOK CHOY

Bok choy has gotten a bad rap as the floppy green addition in typical greasy chinese take-out. Bok choy is so much more than that! It can be elevated to deliciousness with so little work. Stir-frying and steaming are perfectly fine methods of cooking bok choy but at this time of year the only thing I really feel like doing is grilling.  I wasn't sure how the marinated bok choy would handle the heat of the grill, but it turned out great - the trimmed leaves took on a crispy roasted brussels sprout quality and the white stem maintained their crunch. I've included two marinade recipes for the bok choy and each has a sweetness that makes the bok choy caramelize on the grill nicely. 

Grilling isn't the only way to include bok choy in your summer rotation. It's versatile as a raw addition to salads and slaws and could easily be swapped for the fennel in my fennel + orange slaw recipe. For more bok choy ideas check out the (mostly gluten-free or paleo-adaptable) recipe round-up from a lovely group of talented bloggers after my recipe below.

sesame maple grilled bok choy


grilled bok choy - two marinades
serves 4

4 bok choy, large or 6 smaller

balsamic mustard marinade
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, grated on microplane
2 tsp grainy mustard
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup fresh herbs - assorted, to top finished dish

maple sesame marinade
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp tamari or coconut aminos
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp sesame seeds, to top finished dish

Preheat grill to medium heat while preparing bok choy. 

Choose one of the marinades and whisk together all ingredients (except herbs or sesame seeds) in a dish large enough to hold the bok choy. 

Prepare the bok choy by slicing across the bottom stem slightly, about 1/2 cm, so that only the outer leaves fall off. Cut the greens off the top so that only 2 inches are left above the end of the white part. Slice the bok choy in half and then in quarters if the bok choy are very large, being careful to keep the leaves attached to the stem. Gently rinse the bok choy.  Place bok choy in the marinade for 10 minutes. 

Grill the bok choy for 10 minutes at medium-low heat, turning them to cook evenly. Save the marinade to use as the sauce. The bok choy will be only slightly translucent when it is ready. 

Put bok choy on a platter, topping with the remaining marinade and fresh herbs or sesame seeds. 

MORE BOK CHOY RECIPE INSPIRATION! (click for recipes)

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