roasted carrots with orange tahini sauce and pomegranate

carrot bunch
carrots on parchment paper
roasted carrots, orange tahini sauce and pomegranate

The coffee was lukewarm, making my stomach feel slightly oceanic. It was comfortable inside, the smell of books filling the air. I looked out the window - fog hanging low, branches bare; the field in the distance stripped of its vibrant green. December always makes my heart ache a little. 

The cafe was busy, so I opted for a big, comfortable chair. I turned back to the reason I was there in the first place and opened to the winter section. It was the book I was desperately trying to at least partly devour during my short visit to the book store. 

When I first laid eyes on it, my heart skipped a beat. Photograph upon photograph of beautiful food, landscapes, quiet and slow living. Then I read her writing. She spoke like I felt. Her appreciation for food, wine and life gave me pause. A much needed pause in my generally harried days. 

Coffee long abandoned, I read, I imagined, I filled myself up with as much as I could. It was a sweet hour. For only a short while, I was teleported to the sleepy town of Medoc, where people spoke of mussels, wine and weather. 

Mimi Thorrison is my favorite blogger, turned author. Her love and appreciation for cooking seasonal food from scratch has provided much influence over the years. And granted that she cooks French food with lots of cream, butter and flour, her approach has nonetheless inspired me to look to the seasons when I cook and use what’s available. Her cooking philosophy and approach much match mine by keeping things simple and letting ingredients shine through in all their glory.

So this is exactly how I approached this roasted carrot recipe. I just took what I had recently purchased at the market and made it work. Carrots, pomegranate and citrus are all in season right now and a quick tahini sauce, marries all the flavors beautifully. Since winter is cold and grey, these bright orange carrots and shiny red pomegranate seeds provide some much needed warmth and color.

roasted carrots with orange tahini dressing and pomegranate
roasted carrots (9 of 15).jpg
roasted carrots with orange tahini dressing and pomegranate

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roasted carrots with orange tahini sauce and pomegranate

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • roasting time: 20 minutes

  • yields: 4 servings


Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches thin carrots, greens trimmed and cut in half

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper

  • 2 tbsp runny tahini

  • 1/4 cup orange juice

  • 4 tbsp olive oil divided

  • 1/4 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro


Equipment:

  • 2 baking sheets

  • medium mixing bowl

  • optional: use blender

  • whisk

  • parchment paper


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide carrots between 2 sheets and toss with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Line them up face down.

Roast for 10 minutes, flip carrots to face up, and switch oven racks so both sheets of carrots cook roast evenly. Roast for another 10-15 minutes until desired softness. (I like mine to still have a bit of a bite)

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl or blender, combine remaining ingredients aside from pomegranate seeds and cilantro to create tahini sauce.

Once carrots are finished roasting, lay carrots on serving platter, pour over tahini sauce, chopped cilantro and pomegranate seeds.


Take roasted carrots to a new level with this flavorful, creamy tahini sauce, topped with finely chopped cilantro and pomegranate seeds. They’re a feast for the eyes and the taste buds! Bonus, they’re vegan, paleo and whole 30 approved! #calmeats #paleo #whole30 #vegansides #paleosides #vegansides #whole30sides #roastedcarrots #carrots #realfood #glutenfreesides #dairyfreesides #tahini #pomegranate



zucchini pancakes from korean paleo cookbook

korean paleo cookbook
zucchini pancakes
zucchini pancakes
zucchini pancakes

Have you ever had gochugaru? I hadn’t until recently and it was eye opening.

I feel, while I try my best to eat and cook a variety of food, I inevitably get stuck in my ways and in my food bubble. I know what I like and I generally play around within my comfort zone without much sway. But when Jean Choi, the author of Korean Paleo asked if I would review her new book, I was honored and excited to cook outside my safe space.

While there are numerous recipes I will be making, I wanted to try something that I felt was a bit intriguing. A recipe with only a few ingredients but one in particular that I had never been exposed to before - gochugaru. I didn’t know what to expect.

While a zucchini pancake seems fairly straight forward, it is utterly transformed the moment it touches the sweet and sour dipping sauce. For me it was a moment of awe. After the first bite, I had to stop and take in the experience - it was new, unfamiliar and intriguing. A simple sauce can elevate a food to new heights and in the moment, I knew, I was going to love the rest of the book as much as this recipe.

Unless you have a specialty or Korean market in your area, I recommend purchasing gochugaru on Amazon as well as the cassava flour, which isn’t commonly found in your standard stores.

So let’s talk about the pancakes. You’ll need zucchini, cassava flour, egg and sea salt. Few ingredients but they create a crispy, light, savory pancake that melts in your mouth. And I hope you will experience the same moment of intrigue as I did the moment you dip a delicious hot zucchini pancake in the sweet and sour sauce.

So be sure to check out Jean’s Korean Paleo cookbook and get your hands on incredible, flavorful recipes!

zucchini pancakes with sweet and sour dipping sauce
zucchini pancakes
sweet and sour dipping sauce
gochujang
korean paleo cookbook

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hobakjeon - zucchini pancakes from korean paleo

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • cooking time: 5 minutes

  • yields: one large panacke or several small

Ingredients:

For pancakes:

  • 2 cups zucchini, julienned (about 1-2 zucchini)

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 1/2 cup cassava flour

  • 1 egg

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil of your choice

For sweet and sour dipping sauce:

Equipment:

Directions:

Combine all ingredients for sweet and sour dipping sauce and set aside.

Toss the julienned zucchini with the sea salt in a bowl. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Use a cheesecloth or a nut milk bag to squeeze out as much liquid as you can from the zucchini, and reserve and set aside the liquid.

Place the zucchini in a mixing bowl and add the cassava flour, egg and 1/2 cup of zucchini liquid. Mix with a fork. If the batter seems too thick, add more zucchini liquid. (1 tablespoon at a time) until it reaches the consistency of pancake batter. If you run out of liquid, use plain water.

Heat your choice of cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Wait 5 minutes until the pan gets very hot. Add the entire batter if you want to make 1 large pancake, or you can add a few tablespoons at a time to make smaller pancakes. Let it cook for 1 minute and then reduce heat to medium and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until browned and crispy on the bottom. flip and cook the other side for 2 minutes adding more oil if needed.

Serve immediately with a side of sweet and sour dipping sauce. You can cut the pancakes in smaller pieces or rip them apart as you eat.


A delicious crispy zucchini pancakes dipped in a mouthwatering sweet and sour sauce. Recipe created by Jean Choi, author of Korean Paleo. @whatgreatgrandmaate #whatgreatgrandmaate #koreanpaleocookbook #koreanfood #zucchinipancakes #koreanzucchinipancakes #paleo #vegan #glutenfree #dairyfree #calmeats #jeanchoi










warm brussels sprouts salad with bacon and dried cherries

brussels sprouts salad
brussels sprouts salad with bacon and cherries
Brussels sprouts salad

I've had a special fondness of cherries my whole life. More than any other fruit, cherries are by far my favorite. I don't know if it's because they're a beautiful fruit or because they taste best only when in season. 

When I lived in Germany, we rented an apartment from a sweet, generous couple on the outskirts of a sleepy village. We shared the house. They had the downstairs and my family the upstairs. It was a decent size place - not big by any means but it was comfortable and we made do. We were used to small living but I don't recall spending much time inside anyway. Even during the coldest of winter days, I would play outside until numbness took hold of my fingers and toes. Back then, the elements didn't have the same hold of me as they do in my adult years. 

But summer...summer was my favorite time of year. Aside from hours spent roaming around on my used white Schwinn, one of my favorite activities was simply hanging in the back yard, daydreaming. On many days, I would climb a cherry tree and help myself until I could eat no more. Suspended above freshly cut grass, there was no sense of time, nothing pressing to get to and no anxieties to indulge. Gazing through branches at a clear, blue sky on a July afternoon, belly full of cherries, was a perfectly acceptable way to pass the time. 

Maybe this is where my love of cherries solidified. Maybe I associate them with carefree summer days, where the sweet smell of warm air in my mind still mixes with the sense of possibility and all is right in the world, if only for a few moments. 

brussels sprouts (9 of 19).jpg
brussels sprouts salad with bacon and dried cherries

Since cherries are out of season right now, the next best thing is dry cherries. Real, juicy dry cherries with no added sugar. I impulsively bought a few too many and wanted to make something with them aside from eating them by the handful. I had a bunch of Brussels sprouts in the fridge, a few leftover slabs of bacon and this is how this salad was born - crunchy, salty and sweet. This salad is definitely not for the lighthearted. While I'm only using two strips of bacon, I use every single part of the bacon, including the cooking fat, to whip up a delicious dressing. 

brussels sprouts (13 of 19).jpg
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warm brussels sprouts salad with bacon and dried cherries

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • cooking time: 10-12 minutes

  • makes: 2-4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 thick slices of bacon cut into small pieces

  • 1 16oz package of Brussels sprouts sliced

  • 1 shallot finely chopped

  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • 2 tbsp dry cherries or cranberries

  • 2 tbsp sliced almonds

  • pinch of salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Equipment

  • cast iron pan or another sturdy pan

  • small mixing bowl

  • plate

  • paper towels

Directions

Preheat pan on medium and add bacon. Cook until crispy stirring regularly - about 5 minutes. Remove bacon and set on paper towel lined plate. Reserve cooking fat in mixing bowl. 

In the same pan, add olive oil and shallot and cook for 2 minutes, constantly stirring. Add Brussels sprouts and pinch of salt. Cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. You still want a bite to the Brussels sprouts. 

Meanwhile, combine leftover bacon fat, mustard, lemon and 1/4 tsp pepper and whisk well. 

Once sprouts are cooked, turn off heat and add bacon, dressing, cherries and almonds. Stir well to combine all ingredients. Enjoy. 


Brussels sprouts make an unbelievably delicious salad, especially when they're cooked with bacon, shallot and dried cherries. The combination of sweet, salty and savory is heavenly! #brusselssprouts, #calmeats, #cherries, #bacon, #realfood, #glutenfree, #dairyfree, #paleo, #whole30

paleo mini coconut cupcakes

paleo coconut cupcakes in tin
paleo coconut cupcakes cooling rack
coconut cupcakes
paleo coconut cupcakes

I know, I know, it's the new year and everyone is on one sort of diet or another. But I'm craving sweets so let's talk sweets for a bit. I crave them just about every day but there are those days when I need them like I need air. Most of the time it's chocolate. Dark, pure, melt in your mouth chocolate with just a hint of sweetness is my weakness. But my other one would have to be cake. Not just any but the tiny kind...in the form of cupcakes. Just seeing them makes me smile. And while the cake part is fine, what I'm after is the frosting. Specifically whipped cream frosting. Buttercream frosting never quite did it for me other than maybe send a jolt of pain through my teeth from the overwhelming sweetness. 

The dilemma is that whipped cream frosting is made from cream and since I don't eat dairy, in comes the next best thing - coconut milk. I tried a few different variations to get the cream to consistency. A runny thick coconut milk with a bit of arrowroot powder left the icing too gritty...it was good but not good enough. 

So I moved on to another option. Chilling a can of coconut milk which I know consistently has a thick layer of cream on top and whipping that into an acceptable frosting. And wouldn't you know it - a can of coconut milk, a tablespoon of honey and a teaspoon of vanilla left me with a beautiful frothy whipped coconut milk frosting. So simple and creamy and truth be told, I find whipping cream to be cathartic. 

These cupcakes are not overly sweet. I may like sweets, but I don't go overboard with sweetness. The entire recipe makes 24 mini cupcakes and the whole thing contains 5 tbsp of honey. Not too bad if you're trying to eat well but not depriving yourself entirely. One of these little guys is the perfect treat when you're in the mood for a little something sweet. 

paleo coconut cupcakes
paleo cocconut cupcakes

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paleo mini coconut cupcakes

  • prep time: 5-10 minutes

  • baking time: 14-15 minutes

  • makes: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

For cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour

  • 2 tbsp coconut cream (or coconut milk)

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 4 room temperature eggs

  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 4 tbsp runny honey

  • pinch salt

For frosting

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk refrigerated for at least 6 hours (I highly recommend this brand as it has a thick layer of cream on top)

  • 1 tbsp runny honey (I use this brand)

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (I use this one)

  • 2-3 tbsp shredded coconut

Equipment

  • mixer

  • 2 large mixing bowls

  • mini muffin tin (I use this one)

  • mini muffin liners (optional)

  • large whisk

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you have mini muffin liners, line your tin now. If not, you can use coconut oil and grease the tin well. 

Combine all ingredients under cupcakes in large mixing bowl. Fill muffin tin until all batter is gone. This should yield exactly 24 cupcakes. 

Bake on middle rack for 14-15 minutes. Test with a toothpick to make sure toothpick comes out clean. Set cupcakes aside to cool. 

Open coconut milk can on the bottom and drain out the liquid. You can use it for smoothies or discard it. Scrape the thick cream into mixing bowl along with 1 tbsp honey and tsp vanilla. Mix with mixer for 1-2 minutes until you have a thick frosting. 

Add a generous amount of frosting to cooled cupcakes and top with shredded coconut. 

Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. 


Here is an easy way to make a delicious and impressive tiny cupcake the paleo way. These are sweetened with honey, grain free and topped with a creamy coconut frosting and topped with shredded coconut. Click to find out more! #cupcakes, #paleocupcakes #grainfreecupcakes #glutenfreecupcakes #paleodesserts #glutenfreedesserts #calmeats #grainfree #glutenfree #dairyfree #refinedsugarfree #naturallysweetened #honeysweeteneddesserts #nosugar

 

 

 

salmon cakes with lemon dill sauce

salmon cakes with lemon dill sauce

Have you ever walked by the canned fish isle and thought, "oh my god, that looks amazing"? Yeah me neither. But I have figured out a way to make a can of salmon pretty damn delicious. Salmon cakes are one of the simplest dishes you can make with a can of salmon and a few other ingredients. 

Once upon a time, I used to make these cakes with breadcrumbs and saltines. But when I completely overhauled my diet, I had to find a way to make them taste great without all the added gluten. Admittedly it took a few tries to nail the recipe down.

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