Archive for the ‘Sides’ Category

Cauliflower Hawaiian Balls (Paleo)

This week has been ridiculously cold. To the point where I have been rather unproductive; my survival instincts have taken over and I rather curl up in a ball under the covers than do homework. Unfortunately, my professors didn’t get the memo 😦

The only comfort I got was the space heater in my basement. My brother and I would come home from school, crank the heater on high and sit in front of it until our skin literally turned red. That is, until this week when it no longer turned on. Apparently my dad did get the memo (the bill) that we were using it and he shut off the heater 😦 😦

And so, to mentally escape the cold, I am posting a rather tropical recipe today. Hey, if I can’t live in Hawaii right now, I can pretend with food, right?

(The answer to that is a resounding “yes”).    

Cauliflower Hawaiian Balls

Cauliflower Hawaiian Balls (Paleo)

Ingredients:

1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets

1 egg

1 cup pineapple, divided

2 tbsp cilantro

1/2 tbsp garlic powder 

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup bell pepper (any color), chopped into small pieces

2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/3 cup precooked ham, chopped into small bits

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and oil a baking sheet.

In a food processor, process cauliflower until it resembles rice. Add in egg, a 1/2 cup of the pineapple, cilantro, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt and process until evenly mixed.

Transfer cauliflower mixture to a bowl and mix in bell pepper, the rest of the pineapple, shredded coconut, and ham.

Roll into small balls (I get anywhere from 35-40 balls) and place on baking pan.

Bake for 35 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from tray (NOTE: Use a spatula for removal- it gets until the Hawaiian balls and lifts them with leaving anything behind).

Pear and Cheese Tarts (Grain-Free and Paleo Crust)

I now officially love Superbowl Sundays. But not for the typical American reason. In fact, this year I lied to several people about having too much homework to do to attend Superbowl parties (sorry mom and dad).

As a result, I had the house to myself and full reign in the kitchen to try out some “inventions” I’ve been itching to try.

With the Superbowl playing in the background (I had to see if I was winning any block games!), I set to work. By the time 4th quarter rolled around, I had my own array of Superbowl foods to eat all by myself. Including this

I believe a new tradition has just been born 🙂

Pear and Cheese Tarts (Grain-Free and Paleo Crust)

Pear and Cheese Tarts (Grain-Free and Paleo Crust)

Ingredients:

1 cup tapioca flour

1/2 tbsp onion powder

1/2 tbsp garlic powder

1/2 tbsp oregano

1/2 tsp salt

pepper

1 egg

1/4 cup water

——-

1 cup shredded cheese (I used a mixture of mozzarella and gorgonzola)

1 large pear

optional: balsamic vinegar

optional: basil

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine tapioca flour, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper. Add in the egg and water and mix altogether for about 20 seconds (do NOT add extra water). The dough will be oddly gooey and slippery (don’t worry- it doesn’t stay this way). Transfer dough to a greased baking pan and allow to spread. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Take out, add on a layer of cheese and then top with pears. Place back in the oven for 10 more minutes. If desired, top with a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper before serving.

Arugula Dip/Pesto (Nut-Free and Paleo) 

Setting aside the excitement around the holidays, I am not a winter person. Mainly because I do not like cold weather. And no matter how many sweaters and jackets I put on, I am still cold. Having my bedroom in the basement of my house probably doesn’t help either. Hmmmm…

It’s a bit pathetic, but after being outside in the cold, my dog and I plop ourselves in front of our space heater and literally sit there until I turn red. I then just turn my body over and roast my other side.

Anyway, main point is: I want summer. But until I can burrow myself out of my blankets, I’ll take summer food instead. Which is how this recipe came to be.

As we no longer have garden-fresh basil (sob), arugula made for an interesting, yet satisfying twist. And the hidden broccoli made it a filling dip as well! I highly recommend serving/bringing this to your New Years Eve party. I’m sure hibernating family members and friends will appreciate it 😉

Arugula Dip/Pesto (Nut-Free and Paleo) 

Arugula Dip/Pesto (Nut-Free and Paleo) 

Ingredients: 

1 spear of broccoli florets (thick stems discarded)

1 cup fresh arugula, packed 

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice 

2 large garlic cloves 

1 tsp salt 

Directions: 

Place broccoli florets into a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. Afterwards, drain of water and place florets in a bowl of cold water for another 5 minutes. Drain from the water again and transfer florets to a food processor. Add in the rest of the ingredients and puree until smooth. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour to allow dip/pesto to cool and for flavors to set. Serve!

This year's Sibling Christmas Pic! (I'm on the right)

This year’s Sibling Christmas Pic! (I’m on the right)

Pumpkin-Nut Butter Dip

I have to say, one of the benefits of dual-majoring in education is the many parties we have throughout the semester. After all, teachers need to know how to throw classroom parties! Ummmm, or so our professors tell us…

Well, my one education course is an 8am class.

And surely none of my classmates wanted to eat sugar and chocolate for breakfast, thought me. Wrongly.

And so, Halloween started off with brownies and cupcakes galore (and the little assembly of fruit I provided). Yup, everyone now knows who the health nut in the room is.

So for our Thanksgiving party, I created a more “treat-like” recipe. However, I think this dip is perfectly acceptable for a special occasion breakfast when paired with apple slices.

Luckily, college students make perfect guinea pigs and I got great feedback on this dip. My professor even asked for the recipe. For a second, I thought of giving her a completely messed up recipe- she’s not exactly my favorite teacher- but my professionalism got in the way.

Stupid conscience.

Anyway, thanks to my classmates, I have a final recipe to provide- and just in time for the holidays 🙂

Pumpkin-Nut Butter Dip

Pumpkin-Nut Butter Dip

Ingredients :

3/4 cup pumpkin

1/2 cup almond butter or peanut butter

1/3 cup plain, whole milk yogurt

1/2 tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp allspice

Optional: 1 tbsp pure maple syrup

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients (except maple syrup) in a food processor. Taste and add in the maple syrup if you believe you need more sweetness (sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t- it depends on the brand of nut butter I’m using).

Coconut Flour Bacon and Jalapeño Cheddar Biscuits

When I was little, I never looked forward to Thanksgiving. To me, it was just an early dinner with my family. And since I didn’t really enjoy eating (I just wanted to go play), Thanksgiving dinner was just boring. Except for the biscuits.

I ate those biscuits like it was my job. And would then get in trouble for eating too many :/

However, times have changed and I have come to love Thanksgiving (and obviously food!). While turkey and sweet potatoes have replaced biscuits as my favorite Thanksgiving food, I still have a soft spot for biscuits.

In case you haven’t noticed, more and more of the recipes on my blog are grain-free. After much research, I have eliminated grain from my daily diet. HOWEVER, this does not mean I will never have a slice of cake again (I’ll save it for special occasions). I’ve just decided to stop making recipes that use flour. Since I often cook for myself, my grain-intake has automatically dropped.

Anyway, this decision led to my urgency to create recipes that can be substituted in for recipes using grain. Which leads us to these biscuits.

True, the bacon and jalapeño are not part of a traditional Thanksgiving, but I think it adds a nice and complex taste to the meal!

Happy Turkey Day!

Coconut Flour Bacon and Jalapeño Cheddar Biscuits

Coconut Flour Bacon and Jalapeño Cheddar Biscuits

Ingredients:

1 egg

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

2 and 1/2 tbsp coconut flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled into small pieces

1 tbsp jalapeño pepper, finely chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together the egg and water. In another bowl, combine the shredded cheese, coconut flour, baking powder, salt, bacon, and pepper. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix together. Let sit for 3 minutes for the dough to thick. With a spoon, scoop up the dough and drop it onto an oiled baking pan. Repeat process of each biscuit. Bake for 15 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before eating.