Grapefruit Torte

Fresh citrus in the winter is one of my favorite things. It’s dreary here in NW Oregon and the cloud cover and constant drizzle (this year it’s just cold, not a lot of drizzle), really puts a damper on the mood. It’s no wonder people around here take Vitamin D supplements, fake-and-bake and become snowbirds to beat the winter blues. I’m a fan of Vitamin D and take a large dose of it a day. I’m also a fan of eating happy fruit. I don’t know why, but I consider citrus happy fruit. This breakfast dessert is fantastic. And super easy to make. So easy, in fact, that most people will think you slaved over it when they eat it. When they make those comments, smile sweetly and say “Thank you” – this recipe will be our little secret. Unless you decide to share it with them.

For the crust, I use Danielle Walker’s, of Against All Grain, honey graham pie crust. It’s good. It’s easy. And it hasn’t failed me yet. If you don’t know who she is, check her out. Her story is fascinating and an inspiration to those of us with digestive health problems. I had the pleasure of meeting her a few months back – she’s so sweet and if I lived in San Fran, I’m sure she and I would be the best of friends. Or so I tell myself. She’d also have to share with me where she gets her shoes. They were so totally cute.

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If you have never segmented and cleaned a grapefruit, here’s a short little video to help you out. It’s super easy. And looks fantastic. I squeeze the remaining fruit meat and drink it for a bit of fresh juice. 

And my sister being a super-nerd and getting excited for dessert:

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Enough of my rambling, on to the recipe:

Grapefruit Torte

  • One honey graham pie crust
  • 1 package organic pasture-raised cream cheese, softened (8 oz)
  • 1/3 cup creme fraiche (it’s bacteria cultured – and is sold at Trader Joe’s for a reasonable price)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp grapefruit zest
  • 3 cups fresh grapefruit segments
  • Coarse sea salt
  1. Prepare the crust, per Danielle’s instructions on Against All Grain. If you don’t have a torte pan, use a spring form pan. Let the crust cool and leave in the pan.
  2. For the filling, combine the cream cheese, creme fraiche, honey, ginger and grapefruit zest and mix at medium speed with a mixer until smooth. 
  3. Spread mixture over crust.
  4. Line grapefruit segments on filling to cover.
  5. Sprinkle coarse sea salt over tart, slice and serve immediately.

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PIZZA!!!!!! (and it’s paleo!)

A few months ago, I tried to make paleo pizza dough but it was an abysmal failure. After scouring Pinterest (yes, I’m addicted to that as much as I am to running), I decided to modify a recipe and lose the cheese.

Apparently you really do need cheese sometimes – it was barely palatable to say the least.

This last week, the cravings for carbs and protein hit like none other thanks to my new attempts at CrossFit (I look like a flailing goat or some other highly pathetic animal but I plan on mastering it). Grocery shopping was not in the gameplan – it’s the end of the month which equals time to get creative, make mistakes (hopefully they taste good), and only get messy enough that I don’t destroy my kitchen…. oh, and not spend any money.

The pizza was delicious and both paleo and non-paleo roommates enjoyed it thoroughly, with a request to make it again soon. If the non-paleo likes it,  you know it’s good!

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Paleo Pizza
For the crust:

  • ½ head of caulflower, “riced”
  • 2 ½ tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • dash of salt

Toppings:

  • 1 bottle Trader Joe’s Artichoke Antipasto Pesto (or whatever it was called – it’s not paleo because of the oil type but it was on my shelf from who knows when and I wanted to get rid of it) OR you can do my Tomato-Free “Tomato” Marinara
  • ½ medium Onion, sliced very thinly
  • 5-6 cloves of Garlic, sliced thin
  • a few handfuls of Arugula
  • ½# Ground Chicken sauteed with 3 cloves minced garlic, salt and pepper
  • A handful of Organic Grape Tomatoes, halved (omit if on SCD or anti-inflammatory diets)
  • Kalamata Olives, halved and pits removed
  • salt and pepper
  • Seriously. Whatever you have in your fridge.
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a food processor, process small amounts of cauliflower until they are the size of small tapioca, scraping down the sides as needed. You may need to remove any large pieces and put them in the next batch so you don’t juice your cauliflower. Remove and dump into a bowl. Repeat until all cauliflower has been riced.
  3. Mix in remaining ingredients (you could put some herbs in for some extra something).
  4. Line a pan with parchment paper and pat out a crust. Precook for 15 minutes, or until the sides of the crust are starting to turn golden brown.
  5. Remove from the oven and place toppings on. Place back in oven for 15 min, or until the bottom of the crust is a light golden brown.
  6. Let cool for a few minutes, cut and serve! Note: This is an"eat with fork and knife" crust – I haven’t perfected the crunchy crust quite yet but am working on it!image

Paleo Pumpkin Bread

I don’t know why I have been craving pumpkin bread lately but I have. Some things are better unargued and simply embraced. So when this morning was surprisingly cool at the homeplace, I decided YOLO. Why not. Why not make paleo pumpkin bread (and get rid of that last can of organic pumpkin puree gracing my shelf)? And now you know the real reason I wanted to make pumpkin bread is out and in the open.

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No matter, it had to be done – Autumn will be here before you know it and I’ll be really really craving pumpkin bread… to go along with my pumpkin spice rooibos tea. And pumpkin orange scarf. While carving pumpkins. AND back to summer. Okay. I’m going to get my summer on – I hope you all enjoy this deliciousness!

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Paleo Pumpkin Bread

  • 1 cup Pumpkin Puree – either fresh or canned, organic
  • 5 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Oil, melted
  • ¼ cup Raw Honey
  • ½ cup Coconut Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ¾ tsp ground allspice
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Rub coconut oil (not included in the 2 tbsp) or spray coconut oil cooking spray (from Trader Joe’s) on a metal loaf pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat wet ingredients together until well blended using either a mixer or a wooden spoon.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix.
  4. Fold dry ingredients into the wet and stir until incorporated.
  5. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, test for doneness with a toothpick, which should come out of the middle clean.
  6. Remove from pan when slightly cooled and place on cooling rack.
  7. Enjoy with organic sweet cream butter. And go back for another slice.

Pumpkin Spice Almonds

It’s game day. Which means that yummy and healthy snacks are a necessity. And, in case what team I hold allegiance to, well… let’s just say, I love my Ducks!

(Obligatory Duck fan Youtube video below.)

I’m donning my “I love my Ducks” t-shirt and Duck earrings. Bring it. They’re playing Cal and there’s only one state I dislike more than Washington when it comes to football – California. (Sorry to all of my Cali readers – I like you guys otherwise and am completely jealous of your year-round exposure to Vitamin D.)

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Since my whole family went gluten-free earlier this year, we’ve been struggling to find gluten-free snack foods for game day that were still junky enough to qualify as game day food but that were also healthy. It’s a delicate balance. And I think these almonds hit the mark. Especially when it’s cool, crisp, and overcast outside. (Seriously. It’s only supposed to get up to 45 here today.)

The recipe was adapted from a Halloween baking exchange I went to. The original called for raw almonds, I used roasted and cut down the oven-time by 10 minutes. Also, the original called for pre-made pumpkin spice mix. Due to diet restrictions, I have to make my own spice blend (and I do love my pumpkin spice blend). I loved these almonds so much – I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Pumpkin Spice Almonds

  • 2 cups raw almonds 
  • ¼ cup raw, local honey
  • 1 ½ tbsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp organic vanilla exract
  • sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix spice blend, except the salt, in a separate bowl.
  3. Add the almonds and mix until coated.
  4. Spread out on a jelly roll pan, lined with parchment paper or a silpat.
  5. Sprinkle the almonds with sea salt.
  6. Bake in then oven for 18-20 minutes, checking often to make sure they don’t burn.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool. Store is a sealed container.

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Gingery Gingersnaps

It’s finally the rainy season here in the Pacific Northwest. After almost three months of sun, the skies are cloudy and as I type there is a steady, cold rain falling gently outside and snow is falling up in the mountains.

It’s a Miles Davis or John Coltrane, good book, comfy-oversized sweater, wool socks and Pumpkin Spice Rooibos tea kind of morning.

And one that calls for super-gingery and chewy gingersnaps. They’re made with almond flour so they’re heart-healthy and egg-free so they could be classified as vegan if I wasn’t using honey. But I am.

When I went back for my fifth cookie, I didn’t feel a bit bad about it. In fact, it might be the only cookie you can go back for more and not worry that this phrase might come true, “Once on the lips, forever on the hips.”

Note: I made them with Bob’s Red Mill almond flour/meal. I wouldn’t recommend using theirs as it’s too coarse but I was cooking for a bake exchange and I needed more than what I had. I’d recommend using Honeyville. They have coupons and specials if you sign up for their email list – I highly suggest signing up!

Enjoy!

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Gingery Gingersnaps

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 4 cups salted butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • salt shaker filled with Himalayan salt
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix all almond flour, sea salt, and baking soda together.
  3. Add butter – cut in with fork and with clean hands, mix until dough is crumbly and butter is mixed throughout.
  4. Add honey and stir with fork until combined.
  5. Add spices and mix until combined.
  6. With wet hands, form into balls and place on a Silpat lined baking sheet about two inches apart.
  7. With a wet fork, press down like you would for peanut butter cookies. Cookies will not spread and should be rather close to each other at this point.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and flip the cookie over. Turn down the oven to 175 degrees Fahrenheit and put the cookies back in for another 15 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack.

This recipe was modified from Comfy Belly.

Coconut Macaroons

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of eating a Hail Merry macaroon, you’ll know what heaven has to taste like. I don’t care what St. Brigid said when she thought that all of heaven had to be a great lake of beer – she had never tasted these macaroons. So it was only fitting that spending a ton of money for four macaroons wasn’t going to float my boat for a long period of time. I had to figure out how to make them. After a lot of reading and recipe comparing, I finally decided to venture off on my own. The first batch tasted like you were licking a salt lick. No bueno. The second batch was sweet, sweet heaven. And they were gone within 24 hours. All 24 of them. Whoops. My hips hate me.

They’re not officially “raw” since I used maple syrup – which isn’t raw in case you were ever wondering. It has to be cooked down. However, it’s as close as you’ll come to raw. And they’re still alive and not cooked so you get all of the health benefits of raw honey.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy them as much as my friends and family have!

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Bon appetit!

Coconut Macaroons

  • 1 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1 cup organic shredded coconut, non-sweetened
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 4 tsp raw local honey
  • 2 tsp organic Grade A maple syrup
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp organic almond extract
  • ¼ cup organic coconut oil, room temperature
  1. Mix the dry ingredients together until salt is evenly mixed throughout.
  2. Add the wet ingredients and blend until moistened.
  3. Shape about a heaping teaspoon into the desired shape and place on a pan lined with parchment paper. Place in the fridge for a few hours until firm.
  4. Yields about 2 dozen, give or take.

Zucchini Bread Muffins

I’m pretty sure that zucchini could cure world hunger. I mean, it grows extremely well, yielding multiple fruit (it’s a squash and squash is technically a fruit – mind blown yet?). It’s hardy. Low maintenance. And it’s packed with nutrients. It’s also extremely versatile and can be used in bread, grilled, as noodles, in salad, cooked into eggs – I could go on and on and on. But I won’t.

Thankfully, zucchini bread yields itself quite willingly to a paleo/SCD/anti-inflammation diet. And it tastes better and is full of protein due to the almond flour. There’s also no oil in it and it’s relatively low in honey. Feel free to reach for multiple slices or for multiple muffins. I made them for my drama students and they LOVED them. And were asking me to make them more. If high schoolers like them, they must be good.

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Zucchini Bread Muffins

  • 1 ½ almond flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • dash allspice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 large organic eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup shredded, unpeeled organic zucchini
  1. Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit and prepare a muffin tin with liners (unless using a silicone muffin pan – I use silicone pans for all of my grain-free baking).
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl, set aside. 
  3. Place the wet ingredients in a bowl and beat with a hand mixer for 1-2 minutes at medium speed until frothy fully combined. Add the zucchini and fold in with a spoon or spatula. 
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients with the mixer running and mix until fully incorporated.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin or the silicone muffin pan and bake in the center rack for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Batter can also be baked in a oiled and almond floured bread pan.
  6. Let cool and remove.

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Rhubarb Strawberry Almond Galette

I love rhubarb. And I love strawberries. And I love the two of them together. Especially in a wonderful galette. Especially one that’s my diet friendly and, moreover, fits my sister’s Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). Especially when rhubarb is one of the vegetables (yes, it’s a vegetable) that I can eat a lot of. It’s in the 3% carb group which means the more, the merrier!

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I read up on a few gluten-free recipes that were floating around on the internet. But they used sugar, oat flour, potato starch – items she just can’t eat. (I’m off sugar and potato starch, too but could have used stevia or coconut sugar in place of cane sugar easily enough and tapioca starch in lieu of potato starch.) The strawberries have enough natural pectin to make the “gel” that the starch would have created anyway when it’s finally cooled.

This recipe was born because I didn’t want to leave her out of Sunday brunch. We Portlanders love our Sunday brunch. It’s a way of life. Go to church, go to brunch, work in your garden or go for a hike or go fishing.  They made a whole entire Portlandia episode entitled “Brunch Village” and it’s so true. All of Portlandia is so true – it’s a little creepy sometimes all of the time. But, I digress.

For those of you who are on the SCD, this is for you.

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Enjoy!

Rhubarb Strawberry Almond Galette

For the dough:

  • 1 ½ cups almond flour
  • 1 large organic egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, chilled until hard
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 ½ tbsp raw honey
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • pinch of salt

For the fruit filling:

  • 3 rhubarb stalks, cut into ½" sections, about 2 ½ cups
  • 2 cups strawberries, sliced (add more if you want to, it doesn’t matter)
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 ½ tsp lemon zest
  • pinch of salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix all of the dry ingredients together for the crust. With a pastry cutter, cut in the hardened coconut oil or put in a food processor and pulse until the coconut oil is broken up and evenly incorporated throughout the mixture – about 15-20 seconds in a food processor.
  3. Add the egg and blend just until just incorporated. Dough should be able to be made into a ball.
  4. Take some parchment paper or a Silpat and line your pan. (A flat cookie sheet works best or a jellyroll pan.)
  5. Cut the rhubarb and the strawberries and mix together with the remaining filling ingredients in a separate mixing bowl. Set aside.
  6. Form dough into a ball on the parchment paper or Silpat and with a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is a ¼"-1/8" thick circle. Note – this dough will be very sticky and using the rolling pin for the whole thing might not work. I had to eventually use water-dampened fingers to pat out the dough to finish getting it to my desired thickness. 
  7. Dump the fruit filling into the middle and spread around, leaving a 2" uncovered ring all the way around the crust.
  8. In 4-5 incremented sections, fold the galette up. It will crumble, it’s the nature of the dough. Simply pinch the dough back to where you want it to be.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes on the center rack, or until the crust is lightly browned, the edges should be a dark golden brown. (See photo below.) Remove from oven and let cool. Transferring the galette will be a two-person job – find a plate big enough and a friend to help you transfer it. Also, there will be some juice that oozes out. Just break off the blackened part and no one will know the difference!
  10. Let fully cool before you serve it. Use a sharp knife to cut and a thin spatula to serve. Store remaining galette in the fridge. But, I very much doubt there will be any left!

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Thanks, Edible Perspective for the recipe idea!