cardamom pancakes with orange blossom water

white flowers
flowers in hand
cardamom pancakes with orange blossom water
cardamom pancakes with orange blossom water
cardamom pancakes with orange blossom water

Every once in a while, life throws us the most unexpected and marvelous things, maybe even life changing. Okay, okay perhaps not life changing but certainly unexpected and most definitely marvelous. I speak of none other than orange blossom water.

I first read about orange blossom water in Mimi Thorisson’s books A Kitchen In France and French Country Cooking. At first glance it hardly impressed me but over time I kept going back to those pages, intrigued by the role of this mysterious water in sweet dishes. What could be so impressive about it? Of course I imagined it would simply be orange flavor which is fine but I certainly wouldn’t attach the adjective unexpected to it.

So this orange blossom water sat in my Amazon cart for some time until I decided that I had nothing to lose and would just order it and see if I’d ever use it. Well, the moment it arrived and I unscrewed the cap, put a bit on my finger and dabbed it behind my ears and wrists and just sat with the scent for a while.

It was unlike anything I had smelled before - sweet, warm, deeply intense. I knew that I would this smell and flavor in my life often. And so it occurred to me - I would add it to paleo pancakes, which I eat every day. And to go along with the orange blossom water, another ingredient that’s deserving of praise and that’s cardamom.

And so these cardamom pancakes with orange blossom water have been my staple morning companions for the last 2 months. Truth be told, I’m not adventurous when it comes to breakfast. I know what I like and I stick with it so when I find something new, I’m usually ecstatic. And since I prefer sweet to savory in the morning, these pancakes topped with almond butter, a pinch of salt, drizzle of honey and chia seeds, became a perfect match for my morning coffee. I look forward to breakfast every morning.

I like making a big batch of pancakes and storing them in the refrigerator all week. All they need is just a minute in the micro, if you like them warm. If you’re not a micro person, toaster oven will work just fine to warm them through.

cardamom pancakes with orange blossom water
cardamom pancakes with orange blossom water
cardamom pancakes with orange blossom water
cardamom pancakes with orange blossom water
cardamom pancakes with orange blossom water
cardamom pancakes with orange blossom water

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cardamom pancakes with orange blossom water

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • cooking time: 20-25 minutes

  • makes: 12-15 pancakes

Ingredients:

Equipment:

  • large mixing bowl

  • large cast iron or non-stick skillet

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl and whisk well. Let batter sit for 5 minutes.

Preheat skillet on medium heat and add a little bit of coconut oil. Add roughly a 1/4 cup of batter to skillet (I can usually fit 3 pancakes at once) and cook until pancakes start to bubble (about 1-2 minutes), then flip and repeat. Continue with the rest of the batter.

Serve with suggestions: peanut or almond butter and honey or keep it classic with just maple syrup.

Pancakes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week and reheated as needed. (I do 1 minute in micro for 3 of them)


If you want to take your paleo pancakes to a new level, try adding cardamom and orange blossom water to them! The combination is incredibly flavorful, creating a delicious unexpected pancake. Try it for yourself! #paleopancakes #paleobreakfast #paleo #glutenfreepancakes #grainfreepancakes #glutenfreebreakfast #glutenfree #grainfreepancakes #grainfree #vegetarian #breakfast #brunch #orangeblossomwater #orangeflowerwater #calmeats




paleo chocolate crepes with salted caramel

egg shells, cocoa and almond flour
chocolate paleo crepes
chocolate paleo crepes
chocolate paleo crepes

I believe in the timing of things. My impatience often being put in its place by the realization that things happen when they’re supposed to - in their own time.

I toyed around with caramel sauce two years ago and for one reason or another abandoned the endeavor. But a few weeks ago I woke up on a blustery Friday morning determined to make caramel. I’m not exactly sure why this strong need, but I’m not one to question inspiration so I listened.

Typical caramel requires cream and sugar and since none of those are part of my diet, I set up camp around the stove determined to find the right substitutes to make my caramel dreams come true. I wanted a sticky, luscious consistency; sweet, salty, with a certain depth. I have to admit it’s not a bad job sitting near the stove with a spoon continuously adjusting and tasting, lips sticky from the concoction.

Then to my utter surprise, the caramel sauce I had dreamed of was becoming a reality before my eyes. Something so simple, with so few ingredients, yet so velvety and rich. A sprinkle of flaked salt and there it was, caramel sauce in all its glory.

With a jar of caramel sauce on my hands, I wondered what I could put it on. Sure, I could use my finger as a spoon and slowly make my way through the jar over the coming days, but I thought a more appropriate vehicle would be in oder and one that everyone could enjoy. Chocolate crepes were an obvious choice.

And so a little French paleo magic happened in my kitchen when chocolate crepes and salted caramel sauce met. I could go into detail about how delicious the combination is but I’ll let you try it for yourself…

chocolate paleo crepes
chocolate paleo crepes
chocolate paleo crepes
chocolate paleo crepes

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paleo chocolate crepes with salted caramel

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • cooking time: 25 minutes

  • makes: 10 crepes

Ingredients:

For chocolate crepes

For salted caramel sauce

Equipment:

  • small sauce pan

  • large mixing bowl

  • crepe pan or small stick frying pan

  • large whisk

Directions:

In a small sauce pan, add coconut sugar, coconut cream and vanilla and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer caramel for 25 minutes, stirring regularly.

When caramel has thickened, add a pinch of sea salt (or to taste) and pour into glass jar. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

In large bowl combine all ingredients under crepes and whisk well.

On medium heat coat crepe pan with a little coconut oil. Add 1/4 cup of crepe batter and tilting pan, distribute evenly until you have the desired thickness. Cook for 1-2 minutes per side or until you start to see bubbles.

Continue with with the rest of the batter.

Serve with salted caramel sauce and optional, add banana slices as well.

You can store leftover crepes in the fridge for up to a week and re-heat for a few seconds in the micro or dry frying pan.


These chocolate crepes with salted caramel are a delicious treat if you’re looking for something special. They’re paleo, gluten free and vegetarian and are incredibly easy to make. So check out this delicious sweet and salty dessert. #paleodessert #paleo #glutenfree #grainfree #vegetarian #calmeats #sweets #chocolate #caramel #saltedcaramel #dairyfree #vegancaramel




paleo granola

walnuts, pecans, almonds, coconut flakes, cashews, pumpkin seeds
walnuts, pecans, almonds, coconut flakes, cashews, pumpkin seeds
walnuts, pecans, almonds, coconut flakes, cashews, pumpkin seeds
walnuts, pecans, almonds, coconut flakes, cashews, pumpkin seeds

When I first changed the way I eat in March of last year, it was mostly gluten and dairy free. While I noticed a significant improvement, grains still bothered me, particularly oats. That was pretty bad news for someone who ate oatmeal every day of her life for about 15 years and indulged in granola on a regular basis.

And yes, I tried the certified gluten free kind but without success. So I finally had to break it off and kiss oats good bye for good. No more oatmeal, no more granola. I was pretty bummed about it but there was hope. Enter paleo granola. I know, how can it be?? But it's true, you can make granola without oats and have it be magnificent.

This granola requires mostly nuts and also coconut...which is a nut. Is it a nut? I think it's a fruit or a nut...no a seed...Who cares? It's freaking amazing! Anyway, back to nuts. If you don't like nuts, this recipe is probably not for you, but it you do, this is pretty much a nut-coconut orgy. 

If you eat a mostly paleo diet, nuts will quickly become a go to snack and something that you will always have in your house…bag, desk, car…you get the idea. So for this granola, I had to make minimal effort to round up what I needed. Walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, cashews and pecans are tossed with coconut oil, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and coconut flakes. The combination is sensational. You can’t go wrong with this one.

It makes a fantastic snack, though one that may disappear rather quickly. I tried it with cashew milk for breakfast as well and it is spectacular. So whether you're in the mood for a snack or breakfast, this has you covered. I try and keep the sweetness subtle so if you like it a little sweeter, you can always add more honey. 

So let's get to this nutty deliciousness. 

walnuts, pecans, almonds, coconut flakes, cashews, pumpkin seeds
walnuts, pecans, almonds, coconut flakes, cashews, pumpkin seeds with jar
walnuts, pecans, almonds, coconut flakes, cashews, pumpkin seeds

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paleo granola

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • roasting time: 8-10 minutes

  • makes: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut

  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts

  • 1/2 cup raw almonds

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews

  • 1/2 cup raw pecans

  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

  • 2 tbsp raw honey

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • small pinch of salt

Equipment

  • medium sauce pan

  • baking sheet

  • parchment paper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Over medium low heat, melt coconut oil or butter, honey, cinnamon, vanilla, salt in sauce pan and stir to combine. Next add the rest of ingredients and mix well. 

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and spread mixture in an even layer with spatula and bake for 8-10 minutes, tossing once halfway. 

When finished, let cool and enjoy. 


grilled vegetables with balsamic and basil

grilled vegetables with balsamic
grilled vegetables with balsamic
grilled vegetables with balsamic
grilled vegetables with balsamic
grilled vegetables with balsamic

Red onion - an unassuming vegetable hiding a gentle sweetness and flavor behind its many layers. It took me a while to fully come around to this lovely vegetable. I used to catch glimpses of it in the grocery store, modestly nestled next to the sweet and yellow variety but hardly ever did I think to cook with it. I guess it seemed a bit intimidating so I stuck with the familiar kind. 

But truth be told, red onion is now one of my favorite vegetables. Aside from its alluring color, red onion has a sweet, mild flavor that enhances many a dish. 

Las weekend my mother visited. And as is typically the case, she comes baring little gifts of one kind or another. While I insist that I need nothing and she doesn't have to, this time though she nailed it when she walked in with a massive pot of basil. There are few things that bring me as much joy as fresh herbs. But along with the basil she also brought an array of vegetables that were now strewn about my counter so my job was to figure out what to do with the mishmash. 

Days past and I still hadn't figured out what to do with all the vegetables on hand. Roasting of course was always an option but I wanted something else. Then I remembered the red onion sitting in the fridge from a previous recipe I'd made and it all came together. I would keep things very simple and grill the vegetables, toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper and finish them with balsamic vinegar and fresh basil. 

I won't lie, you can play around with this recipe as you see fit and swap out the vegetables to suit your liking but what you absolutely can't be without is the red onion. It changes the entire flavor profile of the vegetables. It brings out the best in them in an almost inexplicable way. You'll see...

grilled vegetables with balsamic
basil
grilled vegetables with balsamic
grilled vegetables with balsamic

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grilled vegetables with balsamic and basil

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • grilling time: 10 minutes

  • makes: 4 servings

Ingredients: 

  • 1 red onion, sliced

  • 1 zucchini, sliced

  • handful of green beans, trimmed

  • 2 red bell peppers, roughly chopped

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper

  • 2 balsamic vinegar

  • 1 tbsp fresh basil chopped

Equipment

  • large mixing bowl

  • tongs

  • grill

  • grill safe plate

  • cling wrap

Directions:

Preheat grill on low.

In large bowl combine all ingredients aside from vinegar and basil and mix well. 

Add all vegetables to grill safe cast iron plate (most grills come with one) and grill for 10 minutes on low (stirring occsaionally) until soft but still retaining a bite. 

Place grilled vegetables back in bowl, add balsamic vinegar and basil and stir until vegetables are coated. Cover with wrap and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve right away. 


If you're looking for the prefect side for pretty much any dish, check out this simple 10 minute grilled vegetables recipe. Red onion, bell peppers, zucchini and green beans come together with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and fresh basil. This recipe is vegan, paleo and whole 30. #calmeats, #grilling, #grilledvegetables, #vegetables, #sidedishes, #vegan, #vegansides, #whole30

paleo cardamom carrot muffins

paleo cardamom carrot muffins
paleo cardamom carrot muffins

I’m often astounded at how much there is to learn about cooking and how I’ve only just begun scratching the surface. So many ingredients to explore and numerous spices still yet to be tasted. Admittedly it’s a slow process. But cooking with new ingredients is an exploration. Not everything will turn out but it's in the process where the fun and frustration lie.

It took me some time to come around to cardamom. If you've not ventured in to the cardamom world yet, I highly recommend you do. Before I started getting fairly serious about cooking, I had no idea what it was about. It sounded intimidating and certainly not a spice I thought I'd be using in my cooking. 

paleo cardamom carrot muffins

Well I was wrong. Cardamom is a surprisingly versatile spice and works in sweet and savory dishes. Its smell and taste sets it apart in the spice world. My first attempt at playing around with cardamom was curry – an obvious one. I was shocked at just how distinct and flavorful the sauce was. It was one of those: “why didn’t I know about this sooner?” moments.

Since then I experimented with it a handful of times and was burning to use it in a new recipe. With a surplus of almond and coconut flours I decided maybe some baking would be in order. 

I rummaged through the cabinets and fridge in hopes that something would inspire me. While tearing things out and shoving them back in, I caught a glimpse of a carrot so I it dawned one me - cardamom carrot muffins. Everyone loves muffins, so why not? They're perfect as a breakfast food or snack. I figured carrots would keep the batter nice and moist and add some texture as well. Plus, vegetables in baked goods are always a good idea.

It worked beautifully with the cardamom and while I was at it, decided some raisins may work well too. So that's how cardamom carrot muffins were born and quickly became a favorite treat. 

Chances are, if you're following a gluten free/paleo lifestyle you likely have all these ingredients already on hand. Coconut and almond flour are absolute staples in my house and I always have them in my pantry

paleo cardamom carrot muffins

paleo cardamom carrot muffins

  • Prep time: 5 minutes

  • Total cooking time: 25 minutes

  • Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup almond flour

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour

  • 5 tbsp melted coconut oil

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp cardamom

  • 4 organic eggs at room temperature

  • 1 cup organic shredded carrots (about 2 medium)

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 2 tbsp organic raisins

Equipment: 

  • large mixing bowl

  • spatula

  • muffin tin

  • muffin tin lineres

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Combine all ingredients in bowl and mix well. You can use a whisk but I found that just using a spatula and mixing everything well is enough. 

Line muffin tin with liners and pour in batter. Bake for 25 minutes.

Let cardamom carrot muffins cool completely before serving. They taste even better the next day!


Cardamom makes everything better and these decision muffins are no exception. Get a mouthful of flavor with no gluten or dairy. These cardamom muffins re a perfect breakfast or treat any time of the day. #muffins @calmeats #cardamommuffins #paleobreakfast #paloerecipes #glutenfreebreakfast #glutenfree #glutenfreebakin