I have moved to blogging at AncestralChef.com.
Please follow me there for more delicious recipes!! If you haven’t seen my new FREE iPad e-book, then check it out on your iPad here. You can also reach me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Google+.
I am also featured in the first issue of Paleo Living Magazine for iPad (full of videos, interactivity, and gorgeous pictures!), and you can download the first issue for FREE here.
Who has time to make coffee and cook eggs! Now, you can pre-make caffeinated eggs to make your breakfasts healthy as well as fast! This recipe is simple to make, delicious to eat, and handy to take with you on the go.
It’s actually a traditional Asian recipe and the recipe itself can vary depending on who you ask. The crucial ingredients are: (1) the eggs (of course!), (2) soy sauce (or coconut aminos), and (3) tea. The spices also add quite a bit of flavor, but if you have those 3 crucial ingredients, then this will be a breeze!
Note: you can cook more eggs or fewer eggs in one go – the ingredients for the broth is the same. You can scale the broth up or down as long as the broth will cover all parts of all the eggs. My slow cooker is pretty big so I need a fair amount of broth to cover the eggs.
I saw a great recipe on Mark’s Daily Apple yesterday that I just had to try – crackers! You can dip them, spread cheese on them, or eat them by themselves. Of course, as Mark points out in his post, this is not something you should be eating for every meal just because it tastes so good, but it does make a great snack once in a while.
I’ve modified the recipe a little so that it’s not so crumbly, which makes it a bit easier to cut and cook. I substituted part of the almond meal for flax meal. This also adds some extra fiber to the cracker without really changing the taste or the texture. I’ve described the basic recipe below along with one option for seasoning, but you can change the seasoning to any spices that tickle your fancy.
Nutritional information (per cracker): 76 calories, 6.7g fat, 2.6g carb (1.7g fiber), 2.7g protein.
Yes, delicious low carb cookies do exist, and you are looking at a photo of them!!
I tried making low carb cookies several months ago but gave up after finding them to be too crumbly. However, my interest was piqued again this past week when my cafeteria served flourless (gluten free) peanut butter cookies. They were a sell-out! But, making a flourless cookie was only half the battle – I still needed to get rid of the sugar in the cookies. I’ve described my trial and error process below, but you’ll love the ending (I did)….
Crumbly Cookie: I looked up a simple flourless peanut butter cookie recipe, which was really simple: mix together 1 egg with 1 cup peanut butter and 1 cup sugar, and then bake for 10 minutes at 375F. I tried the simple substitution of liquid sucralose for sugar. The cookies came out delicious but incredibly crumbly – in fact, I could barely get the cookie to my mouth before it disintegrated into powder. The cookies were vanishing into dust, and I wasn’t even eating them!
Substitute Splenda For Sugar: Next, I tried using Splenda. Although I’m not usually a big fan of Splenda (because of the bulking agents it adds), my cookies were in dire need of some sort of bulking agent! The cookies came out less crumbly, but were still very dry and all-too-eager to break into pieces.
Xanthan Gum? I took some serious action after that by adding in some xanthan gum (which is a thickening agent that’s great in soups like egg drop soup). This made the cookies more coherent, but it also gave it a chewy texture – reminiscent of Japanese mochi or rice balls (both which are generally made from glutinous rice flour).
Eureka: I soon (after quite a few more batches!) realized that perhaps eggs could act as the glue in this recipe. But I couldn’t just add more eggs in – it would make the recipe way too liquidy. I had to add something in with the eggs. That’s when it came to me…flax meal. The xanthan gum went out and the flax meal and extra eggs came into the mixture. The cookies came out more solid, with a texture rather like oatmeal! Success at last.
Making the Cookies Rise: Now that I had figured out how to make the cookies not crumble, I turned to the problem of making them rise. I wanted cookies that were lighter and less dense. Baking powder and baking soda are the common ingredients for making baked goods rise. To minimize usage of baking powder (because it contains a little bit of unnecessary carbs), I used cream of tartar instead. I’ll explain in my next post what all that means. Basically, I tried adding just baking soda (the cookies on the right), and then both baking soda and cream of tartar (on the left), and the cookies definitely rose more with both ingredients (even before putting it into the oven)! As you can see, cream of tartar also lightened the color of the cookie. (The photo shows the cookie dough prior to cooking.)
Ingredients (12 cookies):
Note: the dough may look rather oily before you put it into the oven (and I think the cinnamon might draw some of the liquids out of the dough so that it looks like your dough is sitting in a puddle of water), but it comes out non-oily and moist on the inside!
I used to hate tuna fish, and even now I still don’t eat much tuna fish, despite the fact that I generally love seafood. I find tuna fish dry and odd tasting, so the only way I’ll eat tuna fish is in the tuna salad pictured to the left. It’s based on a recipe that I found on allrecipes.com (Barbie’s Tuna Salad), but I’ve modified it slightly to lower the calories and make it taste even better. I use light mayo (Smart Balance, which is low fat and low calorie), less sweet pickle relish and no parmesan cheese (I couldn’t taste it at all!) to cut down on the calories. I also put in less dill and more curry powder than the original recipe calls for (my version is below, of course). All in all, it’s a delicious tuna salad that’s full of protein, is low in carbs, and is relatively low in calories. I make it by the bucket load, so that I have enough to eat for at least a week – Costco sells tuna in 5lb tins, and each tin makes a huge mixing bowl-full that takes me around a week to finish eating.
Here’s my recipe:
This is the simple part – just put everything in a large bowl and mix well (make sure all the tuna is well flaked so that the flavors can mix in with it).
This takes around 20 minutes to prepare. I would say it makes around ten 8-oz servings, and each serving contains around 250 calories.
You can obviously scale the recipe down if you don’t want to make so much tuna in one go, but just be careful to do the calculations correctly.
Dehydrator?? I recently bought a dehydrator, which just dries out various foods like fruits, vegetables, and even meats (think beef jerky). It’s a simple device – it basically blows hot air at your foods until they become dry. It’s reasonably cheap for a food device -mine cost $60 on Amazon. I got the Nesco FD-75PR 700-Watt Food Dehydrator, which comes with 5 trays to place food on and has a variety of temperatures for drying different foods. See the pictures below.
How to Dehydrate Foods? It’s so easy to dehydrate foods. For the veggies, I like to slice them into thin slices (around 1 millimeter thick) so that it doesn’t take too long for them to dry. I also like to salt them, which makes them taste better and helps to dry them faster (you can also try adding spices to them) – so boil some water and add a bunch of salt and dump the sliced veggies into the water for 1 minute. Fish them out quickly before they get too soggy. Then place the slices on the dehydrator. I dehydrated the zucchini and eggplant slices for around 9 hours – it’s a bit of a trial and error game because it was difficult to get the slices the same thickness, and the drying time really depends on how thick the slices are. For pears and kiwis, I cut them into thin, 1-2 millimeter slices. They took a little longer to dehydrate though (probably because they were thicker and didn’t have any salt on them). I put them in for 11 hours, and they came out pretty crispy but still a tad chewy and leathery (so it’s not going to break at the touch).
Why dehydrate fruits and vegetables when they taste perfectly good fresh? There are a variety of reasons for this! First, it allows the foods to stay fresh for much longer, so you can buy of box of apples (which is often cheaper than buying them a few a time – think Costco!) and eat those apples several months later. Then, there’s the variety – the dried fruits and veggies are a great snack that you can take with you anywhere in a small ziploc bag. Also, dehydrated fruits and veggies are “not cooked” so they count as raw food if you’re on the raw food diet. It’s super healthy and tasty. I’ve noticed these kale chips in Wholefoods recently. They cost a fortune (they’re not trying to rip you off – it really just cost a lot to produce them!), but you can make your own by buying some kale, salting it, and dehydrating it!
I started making some dried watermelon slices…
Need some mash to go with those bangers? I found this great recipe for mashed cauliflower on foodnetwork.com and then modified it a touch to make it more buttery.
Ingredients (makes 4 medium portions)
Bacon Wrapped Blue Cheese-Stuffed Dates of course!! I couldn’t stop thinking about these after having them at Traif last weekend. And they are so easy to make as I discovered from an allrecipes.com recipe. They are great as an appetizer or as a quick snack (or even as a dessert I think!). So here’s the recipe:
Ingredients (makes 14):
Preheat oven to 350F. Slice each date along one side so that it opens up as shown in photo 1. Fill the date with blue cheese and close it up (photo 2). Wrap one of the half slices of bacon around the date and place in a baking tray with sides (as the fat from the bacon tends to run) (photo 3). Then place the tray in the oven for 20min before flipping the bacon-wrapped dates over (I found tongs useful for this). Cook for another 10min (i.e. for a total of 30min) in the oven.
End Result: Deliciousness!