primal

super chocolatey brownies (nut-free)

Posted by on Sep 5, 2013 in Dessert, grain-free, nut-free, primal | 31 comments

super chocolatey brownies (nut-free)

Every time I post a baked goods recipe, I get asked about how to adapt it to be nut-free. My answer, sadly, is pretty much always “I really have no idea”. I’m not being snarky here, it’s just the nature of recipe development. I can only attest to the version that I tried, adjusted,  tried again, tested, and then posted. But all of these nut-free inquiries have made it abundantly clear that a lot of people are nut-free, and I have been promising for a while now that I would step it up with compliant recipes. So when I decided that I needed a perfectly fudgey, rich, grain-free brownie recipe, I went with a nut-free one. I know, I know. I’m starting with the easy stuff… brownies are the easiest things to make grain-free, since they’re usually so low in flour to begin with. But as usual, I was going for perfect here. Perfect, to me, is a brownie that is dense, super chocolatey, and has a bit of chew to it. Bonus for that incredible crust on top. (These have that, but it fades away after a few hours) After a few trials and eating too many not-quite perfect batches of brownies, I think I finally got it. I hope you love them, too, and my New Year resolution on this Rosh Hashanah is to post lots more nut-free recipes for you! Shana Tova! Super Chocolatey Brownies   5 eggs, preferably pastured 1 cup coconut sugar, sifted 1/2 cup honey, preferably raw 1 cup cacao powder, sifted 1/2 cup chocolate chips 8 oz butter OR ghee OR coconut oil for dairy-free 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1/4 cup tapioca OR arrowroot powder 1 tablespoon coconut flour 1/4 teaspoon sea salt Preheat your oven to 350 and grease a 9 x 13″ baking dish. (8×8 if you want thicker brownies, you’ll need to cook them a bit longer) Melt the butter (or other fat) with the chocolate chips and honey over low heat. Stir to combine. In a large bowl, or bowl to your stand mixer, beat the eggs until fluffy and light yellow. Add the remaining ingredients and beat for one more minute, or until well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before serving. All of the links on zenbellycatering.com are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly...

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Rainy Day Biscuits

Posted by on Mar 21, 2013 in Dessert, grain-free, primal, Vegetarian | 53 comments

Rainy Day Biscuits

I grew up in New England, where snow days where a regular occurrence. Sometimes, the school district over reacted to the weather report so much that they canceled school the day before. While it was nice going to bed at night knowing that there would be no alarm to rip you out of REM sleep the next day, it took away from the magic of waking up to a world that had unexpectedly been turned white and fluffy. In my house, snow days meant biscuits. My mom is a 4th grade teacher, so if we had a snow day, so did she. I’m not sure there’s a snow day on the books that didn’t include her in the kitchen making biscuits when my brother and I groggily shuffled in. I had it on my list for this week to perfect my biscuit recipe, so when I woke up Wednesday morning to the sound of falling rain, I knew it was the day to do it. Living in San Francisco, it wouldn’t make sense to wait for a snow day. While I can’t say I miss the snow, with the exception of the first magical one of the season, I obviously miss biscuits. Because duh, biscuits are awesome. They’re versatile too. This recipe is a perfect cake for your strawberry shortcake, a replacement for rolls at Easter or Thanksgiving, or for breakfast with scrambled eggs and bacon jam. Of course warm from the oven with a slathering of grass fed butter isn’t so bad, either. Rainy Day Biscuits makes 6 large biscuits 2.5 cups almond flour 3/4 cup arrowroot flour 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) cold butter, preferably grass-fed 2 tablespoons honey 2 eggs, preferably pastured 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 teaspoon baking soda Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, arrowroot, salt and baking soda. Combine with a whisk. Cut the butter into 4-5 pieces and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or 2 knives. You’ll want the result to look like coarse crumbs, no larger than pea sized. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey and eggs. Gently mix into the dry ingredients, but try not to over mix. You want it just to come together. Drop the batter onto your prepared sheet with a large spoon. It helps to dampen your hands to shape them a bit- the dough is sticky. This recipe makes 6 large biscuits. (If you make smaller ones, adjust your cooking time accordingly) Bake for about 15 minutes, but give them a peek after 10.                 All of the links on zenbellycatering.com are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly...

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Indian Spiced Grilled Lamb Chops

Posted by on Mar 8, 2013 in Dinner, Lamb, primal, Shmooper's Top 10 | 2 comments

Indian Spiced Grilled Lamb Chops

I can’t remember the first year that my mom made grilled lamb chops for Passover, but I definitely can’t remember anything else ever being in the center of the table. As I mentioned in my post about brisket, there would be certain mutiny if she tried to swap out these chops for anything else. While grilling lamb chops for a crowd might seem daunting, it’s not bad if you’re prepared. If you have everything else staying warm in the oven, you can throw these on the grill at the last minute, and they’ll be done in under 10 minutes. The best thing about these is that they’re extremely low maintenance, aside from the actual grill time; The magic happens in the overnight marinade! Wondering about weather? Passover is in Connecticut for me, not California. We haven’t been bamboozled by a Passover snow storm yet, and if it ever does happen, someone will be out there with a shovel. Indian Spiced Grilled Lamb Chops serves 6-8 4 pounds lamb loin chops (about 2 chops per person) 3/4 cup full fat plain Greek yogurt 2 inch piece ginger, peeled and grated 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced 2 tablespoons garam masala 1 teaspoon cayenne, chili powder, or chipotle powder 1 teaspoon cumin 1 t coriander 1 teaspoon cardomom 2 teaspoons salt 2 tablespoons olive oil (confession: I forgot to put this in the marinade and it was no issue, if you’re concerned about olive oil + high heat, leave it out) lime wedges, for serving In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the lamb chops. Stir to combine. Coat the lamb chops with the yogurt marinade and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. Turn your grill to medium high heat. Remove the chops from the marinade, leaving as little of it on the lamb chops as possible (it’s done it’s job!)  Discard any remaining marinade. Once the the grill is hot, grill each chop for 3-4 minutes per side. (to yield medium-rare chops) Remove to a platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm. Serve with lime wedges All of the links on zenbellycatering.com are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly...

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No Joke Dark Chocolate Cake

Posted by on Feb 13, 2013 in Dessert, primal | 191 comments

No Joke Dark Chocolate Cake

I’ve made the paleo chocolate birthday cake recipe from Paleo Spirit countless times and had great results. It’s delicious. But since it’s all coconut flour, it is quite dense, and uses a lot of eggs.  I don’t have a problem with egging up my baked goods, but when I quadruple (or more) the recipe for a party I’m catering, it gets a little crazy, and expensive, considering I’m extremely particular when it comes to my eggs. Let’s talk about that for a moment, shall we? You may have noticed that the vast majority of egg cartons boast the words “vegetarian fed” Sounds good, right? But is it? Are chickens supposed to be vegetarians? Pretend for moment that you are lucky enough to have chickens in your backyard. What are they pecking at back there? Corn and soy? Hmmm… Probably not. The truth is this: Chickens are not vegetarians. Based on what I’ve been told by chicken owners, they’re essentially the pigs of the bird world. They eat everything, and especially love the bugs and grubs that they find in the ground. (also pizza crusts, but we won’t go there) This begs the question: If free range chickens are vegetarians, where (and what) is this range they’re so free on? They aren’t vegetarian by choice, which means they’re kicking it on some pretty impenetrable concrete, outside of tiny cages perhaps, but not much of a step up. Phew. Now that we’ve covered that, you’re probably wondering which eggs to buy. My first choice is the pastured eggs I get at the farmers market from the same wonderful people I get my meat from, Fallon Hills. I’ve been to the ranch, and the chickens really are hanging out in the grass, being chickens, acting dumb. Pastured eggs such as these are more expensive than the free range organic ones you find at your supermarket but to me, it’s worth it. If you have a farmers market near you, find a farmer who sells eggs and ask them about how the hens spend their days. My second choice are pastured eggs from a larger company, such as Vital Farms. They supplement with corn and soy, which I’m not crazy about, but it’s still a better option than the rest. At least their chickens get some quality outside time and as many bugs and grubs as they can find. Well, I bet you never saw a big lecture about eggs coming on a post about chocolate cake, did you? I honestly didn’t either. This is what happens when I write first thing in the morning while still drinking coffee. Apologies. Now, on with the cake.   No Joke Dark Chocolate Cake Feel free to make this as complicated, or as simple as you’d like.  This cake would be perfectly lovely plain, no frosting, with some berries. For a birthday or other special occasion, Go all out! Chocolate whipped cream filling and ganache glaze makes this cake one to remember. This recipe made 2 small spring form pans. If you plan on making a large (10″ or so) cake, double the recipe. For the Cake: 1 cup almond flour 1/2 cup arrowroot powder 1/4 cup coconut flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup cocoa powder 1 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup coconut oil (plus more for greasing pans) 4 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract For the chocolate whipped cream filling: 3/4 cup heavy cream (or equivalent in coconut cream, from the top of an unshaken can of coconut milk 1/4 cup chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life because they’re gluten and soy...

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Have your coffee cake and your crumb topping too!

Posted by on Jan 12, 2013 in Breakfast, Dessert, grain-free, primal, Snacks, Vegetarian | 46 comments

I’ve been making a version of this coffee cake for years, and it’s always done me right. Before I went paleo, it was made with a blend of gluten-free flours. For a while, I’ve made it with just almond flour and it’s come out great, but… I’m a perfectionist when it comes to the things I eat. For example: I made and enjoyed plenty of paleo chocolate chip cookie recipes, but was not 100% satisfied until I created what I believe to be the perfect ones. And I’m on to something: The perfect grain-free flour blend. 1 part coconut flour | 2 parts arrowroot starch | 4 parts almond flour There is still more experimentation that needs to be done; I haven’t tried it in every recipe. But for this coffee cake, it’s golden. Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake with Walnut Crumb Topping For the cake: 1/2 cup almond flour 1/4 cup arrowroot starch 2 tablespoons coconut flour 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar 1 tablespoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon butter, plus more for greasing the pan 2 eggs 1/2 cup sour cream or full fat Greek yogurt (or cream from a can of refrigerated coconut milk) 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup grated apple (about 1 large apple) For the topping: 1 1/2 cups walnuts (or pecans, if you prefer) 1/2 cup almond flour 4 tablespoons melted butter 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar 1 tablespoon cinnamon pinch salt Preheat your oven to 350° and grease a 8 x 8 baking dish. Make the topping: pulse the walnuts in a food processor 10-12 times or until they are course crumbs. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse 2-3 more times until combined. Set aside. Wipe out and dry the bowl of your food processor and add your dry cake ingredients. (almond flour through salt) Pulse a few times to mix. Cut the tablespoon of butter into smaller chunks and add it to the dry ingredients. Pulse 8-10 times or until it’s cut in to the dry ingredients, similar to if you were making a pie crust. In a small bowl, mix your wet cake ingredients (eggs through vanilla) and whisk until well combined. Stir in grated apple. Add to the food processor and mix until combined. Scrape down the sides once or twice to make sure it’s well mixed. Pour into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the topping over, as evenly as you can. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool, and enjoy!               All of the links on zenbellycatering.com are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly...

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Chocolate Chip Cookies, like you remember ’em.

Posted by on Jan 5, 2013 in Dessert, grain-free, potluck, primal | 50 comments

Chocolate Chip Cookies, like you remember ’em.

It’s not unusual for me to make 8 different cookie recipes before I decide that the recipe I’m looking for does not yet actually exist. I’m more of a chef than a baker by far, so I love that there are so many amazing grain-free bloggers out there. I love when the talented paleo bakers do the work for me.  But sometimes, I don’t find what I’m looking for, and have to play baker. This is why I buy almond flour in bulk. The problem with the paleo and primal cookie recipes I’ve tried is that they’re too soft and cakey. They might be delicious, but they’re boring texture-wise. I want the cookies of my childhood; Crispy on the edges, and soft and chewy in the center. I want this:   And so do you, I’m willing to bet, so here ya go. Chocolate Chip Cookies makes about one and a half dozen cookies 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, preferably grassfed, softened * 1 cup almond flour 1/2 cup arrowroot 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar 2 tablespoons maple syrup 1 large egg, preferably pasture raised 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips Preheat oven to 350. In either a food processor or with beaters, cream the butter, coconut palm sugar, egg, maple syrup and vanilla for about 30 seconds. You might need to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula to get it all mixed in. Add the almond flour, arrowroot, baking soda and salt and mix until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. Drop by tablespoons on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, or at least as long as you can stand it. * If you want these to be dairy free, you can sub palm shortening for the butter. I can’t promise the texture will be the same, though.             All of the links on zenbellycatering.com are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly...

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