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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Paleo Pie Crust

Friday, November 21st, 2014

pie_crust1With Thanksgiving around the corner, it seemed like a good time to post a basic Paleo pie crust recipe. Pumpkin, blueberry, apple or left-over turkey pot pie are just a few ideas for filling this staple with whatever you wish for the holidays.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon unflavored, grass-fed gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, preferably coconut or maple
  • 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into chunks (for pure Paleo, use 6 tablespoons ghee)

Directions

Place almond flour, coconut flour, salt, sugar and gelatin in food processor and pulse to combine.

Next add butter or ghee and pulse in 10 second bursts for a about a half minute, then process continuously until the mixture comes together to form a dough.

Transfer dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a flat, round 9-inch disk. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Remove plastic wrap from the dough and press onto bottom and up the sides of a greased 9″ pie dish. Crimp edges of crust. Refrigerator for an additional 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 º and place oven rack in middle position.

Before placing crust into the oven to cook, cut out a round piece of parchment paper to fit on the bottom of the pie crust and cover with pie weights or beans. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove pie weights and parchment and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes until just turning golden brown.

Source: deliciouslyorganic.net

The Cave is proud to announce that we are now selling RAW ORGANIC Coconut water!

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Although I have personally never been a coconut water drinker, seeing as I am not a fan of the old socks and grandpa’s sofa flavor, this particular brand of coconut water had me seriously reconsidering my stance.

Sustainably and ethically (Fair Trade!) produced by a local San Francisco-based company Harmless Harvest, this wonderful completely paleo sports drink comes with many benefits, beating your regular post-workout drink out of the water.

It doesn’t taste like old socks: it has a refreshing, nutty-like taste and unlike your usual water, you actually feel immediately hydrated after drinking. Because it is raw (the only raw coconut water on the market), all of the good stuff in it (active compounds) is much more potent than in regular, pasteurized coconut water! Besides a few good carbs to replenish those lost during exercise, there are also plenty of very necessary electrolytes, such as…..

Lots of POTASSIUM (more than a large banana and fifteen times more than Gatorade or Powerade), Magnesium, Phosphorus, Calcium and Vitamin C and a bit of sodium to complete the mix.

It also contains high amounts of LAURIC ACID, which kills bacteria and viruses, and boosts your immune system.
It comes with lots of phenols, which are strong antioxidants, helping to reduce inflammation after workouts (keep those DOMs away!) and keep you looking wrinkle-free.

PS…. it’s also a great hangover-cure!

Come to the office or swing by the Crossfit area this week to try a free sip of this awesome paleo post workout drink and see what the fuss is all about. Drink it during or after your workout, and you can even mix it with your favorite protein powder. Large 16oz = $5.00 and Small 8 oz = $3.00
Just remember to keep your bottle refrigerated (remember, it’s raw), and don’t worry about the pink color - that’s created by the phenols when they are hit by light.

ENJOY!

Fresh Homemade Pomegranate Juice

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

pom_juice

No Sugar Halloween Treat

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

pumpkin_seedsIf you’re planning on carving any pumpkins for Halloween, take advantage of the fabulous treat inside with this no-sugar snack recipe that’s nutritious, fun, easy to make, and a great alternative to secretly munching on whatever you’ve sworn to only give out at the door.

Ingredients

  • fresh scooped pumpkin seeds
  • EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • salt and seasonings of choice

Directions

Rinse seeds. I’ve found an easy way to do this is to place seeds in a mixing bowl and fill with water. Pumpkin bits sink, seeds float, so after swooshing them around a bit, let the water settle and scoop the seeds off the top.

Place seeds in a pot with about 2 to 3 times more water than seeds, a teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Strain seeds through a sieve or colander and pat dry. For seeds that stick to the towel, just grab on either side and snap towel, seed-side down, over the colander.

Transfer seeds to a plastic container with tight-fitting lid, add about a teaspoon of EVOO, a scant quarter teaspoon of salt and any other seasonings you might like. Cumin and cayenne are good as well as rosemary, pumpkin pie spice mix, or cardamom for something a bit wonderful and exotic.

Pour seeds onto a baking sheet and spread evenly, trying to keep seeds to one layer. Place in oven and let bake for about 25 to 30 minutes. Check and give a stir after the first 15 minutes and then in 5 minute increments after to make sure seeds don’t burn and are cooked to your liking. Store in an airtight container and keep in front of the monster candy snack-pack.

Happy Halloween!

Monkey Salad

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

monkey_saladIf you eat Paleo or are ditching grains for a Whole Life Challenge, then think of salad as the new cereal. Perfectly Paleo and just about as easy as pouring something-O’s from a box, monkey salad is a wonderful way to start a day or enjoy a great anytime snack.

Ingredients

  • 1 just-ripe banana
  • flaked or shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • any combination of your favorite nuts (e.g., cashew, almond, pepita, walnut)

Directions

Slice banana into a serving-sized bowl. Add coconut and stir so banana slices are deliciously coated. Add nuts. Stir again. Enjoy!

Paleo Pear Muffins

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

pear_muffinsSummer fruits are explosive, vibrant; they shout like children running through sprinklers on a hot day. Brilliant sunset-cast peaches, thirst-quenching watermelons, cheeky cherries full of flavors that wow like a roller coaster theme park or an action packed summer blockbuster. Fall fruits on the other hand are quiet, thoughtful, moody-hued affairs with gentle flavors that slowly seduce like a walk in the woods or a cozy romance novel. As I’m in the process of embracing the transition to the latter season’s delights, I was thrilled this week to receive from a dear friend the recipe that follows which is absolutely perfect for a chill fall morning when you want to sit and be thoughtful in culinary comfort and watch the rain.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium-sized ripe pears (organic bosc are great right now)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (or shortening of choice)
  • 3 tablespoons local, organic honey
  • 1 1/4 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot flour
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°.

Peel and halve pears. Place 3 halves into a food-processor or blender. Fine-dice the other three halves and set aside.

To the processor/blender add the rest of the wet ingredients (eggs, oil and honey) and blend until smooth. Add the diced pears and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix well. Add to this the wet ingredients and combine until well incorporated.

Scoop into lined (or silicone) muffin tins and bake for about 30 minutes or until done to your liking: less for moist, more for springy.

Best enjoyed warm on a cold and crisp fall day!

Lemon Artichoke Soup

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

artichoke_soupIt’s officially fall, and even though California’s warm Indian Summer still beckons me to the beach, I’m also getting giddy about the idea of mittens, bringing out my favorite boots and comforting warm soups. A little over a week past the equinox and with great restraint the winter clothes are still on the shelves, but beyond that my self-discipline broke down, and I loved every bit of the high-potassium artichoke soup I have to share:

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup each of minced onion, carrot and celery
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups artichoke hearts (I used canned), loosely diced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced green onion
  • 3 cups coconut or almond milk

Directions

In a large soup pot with burner set to medium, heat oil for a minute then add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook stirring frequently until onion is translucent.

Add broth, chokes and spices and let simmer 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and either transfer in batches to a blender mixing until smooth or use an immersion blender to do the same.

Return soup to medium heat and add lemon juice, zest and green onion. Simmer another 10 minutes and don’t wait for a cold day to serve!

Tom Kha Gai

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

tom_kha_gaiThis is my favorite soup. It is especially wonderful with the traditional Thai spicing of kaffir lime leaves and galanga. You can find these in most Asian Markets (can be found in the Asian market on Mary St next to Peets and across from Whole Foods in San Rafael). Substitutions for these are noted below; lemongrass can found in Safeway. I keep packets in the freezer of these 3 spices mixed with the garlic which allows me to get this on the dinner table as a meal with kale on the side in 15 or 20 minutes.

I usually included minced jalapeño pepper and red bell pepper, but as nightshades are not Paleo, I’ve omitted these. If you know you are not sensitive to nightshades, they add fantastic kick and color respectively. If in doubt about nightshades, stick with black pepper as that is in the family Piperaceae as opposed to bell pepper, jalapeño, cayenne, et al which are in the Capsicum family and are nightshades.

In case you’ve wondered, the reason these nightshades and others including tomato, white potatoes, and eggplant are avoided in the Paleo diet is because of the potential inflammatory response of the body to lectins which, in sensitive individuals, can provoke an immune system response similar to that toward the WGA lectin in wheat/gluten in folks who are gluten-sensitive or celiac.

Basically, know yourself, listen to how your body responds to certain foods even if they are Paleo approved. This soup is awesome with or without the nightshades!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves minced garlic (I use 4 cubes of TJs frozen garlic)
  • 1/4 cup scallions, fine slice
  • 1 stalk lemon grass minced (if minced, stays in soup and is eaten; alternately – to make things easy – cut into 2” lengths and remove before serving)
  • 1 inch piece of galanga, fresh or dried (fabulous, delicious Thai root spice but if you can’t find it, ginger can be substituted)
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves or 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 to 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons arrowroot, depending on amount of chicken used
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 can straw mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (make sure it’s wheat free)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Directions

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. After oil is heated, add garlic, scallions, lemon grass, galanga, and lime leaves. (If substituting lime zest, save this until later below.) Heat and occasionally stir for 2 minutes.

Add water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, slice chicken into bit-sized slices or cubes and toss with arrowroot to lightly coat.

Add chicken to soup and cook for 4 minutes.

Add coconut milk, pepper, mushrooms, fish sauce lime juice and lime zest if making this substitution. Simmer for 2 minutes.

Stir in cilantro and serve.

Kind Bars – The Homemade Kind

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

kind_yosemite

I’m hiking in Yosemite this week and made my own version of Kind bars for the trip. I got the recipe from thenourishing home.com, and though I want to experiment with a lower-sugar version, this was really delicious for a start! Here it is:

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup organic honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/3 cups toasted and chopped nuts-of-choice
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried fruit-of-choice
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, coarsely chopped

Directions

Preheat oven to 300°. Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment leaving some of the paper to hang over two sides of the dish.

In a large bowl, add the honey, coconut flour, almond butter and salt. Stir until well combined. Then add and mix until thoroughly combined the nuts, dried fruit and coconut flakes.

Place the mixture into the parchment-lined baking dish and fold side flaps over ingredients. Evenly and firmly press; this will make bars hold together better after baking. Then gently peel the parchments flaps back off the bars leaving them to hang at the side of the baking dish as this will make it easier to remove the bars after baking.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool, about 1 hour.

Place in fridge to cool further until very cold and hard. At this point, remove dish from refrigerator and run a knife along the two non-parchment edges to detach mixture that’s stuck to baking dish. Then using the parchment paper ends, lift the bars from baking dish and place on a cutting board.

Cut into 8 bars and individually wrap and store in the fridge or freezer. These get sticky at room temp, so make sure wrapping is tight and of a material that will allow for easy removal of your delicious bars. Now go take a hike!

P.S. recommended reading today in the NYT: Artificial Sweeteners May Disrupt Body’s Blood Sugar Controls

Balance Your Protein Intake With Gelatin

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

gelatin_snack_2Gelatin is a worthwhile consideration for balancing protein intake. Although it does not have the kind of amino acids needed for post-workout muscle recovery, it does have what is needed for connective tissue health.

In taking a Paleo view of nutrition, our modern protein consumption has become unbalanced favoring a limited diet of muscle meat and its amino acids over the aminos found in organs, cartilage, bone and sinew. We throw a lot of the animal away that would have been consumed by a hunter gatherer. That leaves us deficient in essential building blocks such as glycine, proline and collagen needed to support healthy joints, connective tissue, skin and bone.

Studies demonstrate gelatin’s ability to maintain strong ligament, tendon, and bone integrity providing clear benefits to weightlifters, body builders and other athletes whose joints and connective tissues are regularly subjected to stress. Gelatin builds the strength of our muscle’s supporting structures and reduces joint pain which in turn supports successful muscle-building.

Gelatin can be flavorlessly and texturelessly added to cooking or a protein shake in the form of non-congealing collagen hydrolysate as well as used in the traditional gelling form to make snacks such this week’s recipe below.* I purchase both forms of gelatin from Great Lakes as their gelatin products are antibiotic and hormone free.

Blueberry Peach Gelatin Squares

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh peaches, peeled and diced (I almost threw out my mealy end-of-season peaches before realizing they were perfect for this recipe; any disappointing fruit would work for this!)
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon**
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup gelatin

Combine blueberries, peaches, coconut water, honey and cinnamon in a saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Let simmer stirring occasionally until fruit has liquified, about 10 minutes.

While fruit is simmering, add gelatin to coconut milk and let sit for 10 minutes. After sitting, add to fruit mixture and stir for a few minutes until gelatin has dissolved; do not allow to boil.

Pour mix into a square pyrex pan or mold of choice. Chill a few hours then dice as desired and enjoy!

*10 grams a day recommended

**The lovely thing about cinnamon and other sweet-friendly spices such as cardamom is that they enhance the perception of sweetness allowing one to minimize the use of sweeteners in a recipe.