Monday, April 25, 2016

Hummingbird Pancakes with Coconut Cream

Paleo Hummingbird Pancakes

Did you ever just want to eat dessert for breakfast?

Of course you did.  

Even if you're more of a savory breakfast person like I am, there must be times when you just want to grab a doughnut or piece of cake for breakfast.

These paleo hummingbird pancakes give you the feeling of dessert without the guilt.  They're free of gluten, grain, dairy and refined sugar and packed with healthy ingredients like almond meal, eggs. bananas and pecans. And if the pancakes themselves weren't enough, the coconut cream really takes them to new levels of deliciousness.

This is dessert-for-breakfast done right my friends.

Paleo Hummingbird Pancakes with Coconut Cream
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5-6 minutes per batch
Servings: makes about (15) 3" pancakes 

Ingredients for the Pancakes
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 2 very ripe mashed bananas
  • ½ cup crushed pineapple, with its juice
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Ingredients for the Coconut Cream
  • 13 oz can of full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • ¼ tsp vanilla

Video Tutorial: 

  1. To make the coconut cream topping, chill the coconut milk at least overnight so the coconut cream rises to the top and solidifies.  Open the can from the bottom and pour off the liquid then transfer the cream into a bowl and stir in the honey and vanilla until well combined and refrigerate to keep solidified until ready to use.
  2. For the pancakes, stir together the almond flour, tapioca starch baking powder and salt and set aside.
  3. Beat the eggs then add the melted coconut oil, mashed bananas, pineapple, pecans and cinnamon and beat until well combined.
  4. Add the dry ingredient and mix until you have a well combined slightly lumpy pancake batter.
  5. In a large buttered non-stick skillet over a medium low heat, ladle in scant ¼ cup measures.  These pancakes are much more difficult to flip than regular pancakes so it is important to make them a little smaller and cook them a little slower than whatever you are used to doing.
  6. Allow the pancakes to cook low and slow for 3-4 minutes or until the tops begin to dry out a little and bubbles begin to form then flip the pancakes and let them cook for a couple of minutes on the second side or until they are a light golden brown then remove from the pan and serve with the sweetened coconut cream and additional crushed pineapple and pecans.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Baked Veggie Frittata

Baked Veggie Frittata

If you need a quick brunch idea this Spring, a frittata is the way to go.  Eggs are always nice in the morning, and a frittata elevates the humble egg nicely.  It is also easy to customize this dish based on what's in season or what you think your guests would most enjoy.

Typically a frittata is done entirely on the stove-top where the eggs and veggies cook on one side before the whole thing is flipped to cook on the second side.  Some people may have trouble pulling off the whole flipping thing.  But this baked frittata eliminates all that making this one of the easiest brunch dishes you can pull off.

It's also convenient to serve because it tastes amazing at room temperature so there's no problem making it a few hours in advance.  And if you really want to make it look more upscale, don't hesitate to chop over some fresh herbs and drape on slices of prosciutto before serving.  It's to die for.

This is sure to be a hit with your friends and family.

Baked Veggie Frittata
Prep time: 10-15
Bake Time: 30-35
Servings: 6-8

  • 4 oz broccolini (chopped into small pieces)
  • 1 bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 eggs
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 4 scallions chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Video Tutorial: 

  • Preheat oven to 375ºF (or 190ºC) and grease an 8 or 9 inch nonstick cake pan.
  • Over a medium heat, sauté the broccolini, bell pepper and onion in a tablespoon of olive oil with a little salt and pepper for 3-5 minutes until the veggies start to wilt and develop a bit of color the set this aside to cool a little.
  • In a large bowl whisk the eggs and heavy cream together with some salt and pepper to taste then add the chopped scallions and sautéed veggies and stir to combine.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared pan bake at for 30-35 minutes then remove from the oven and let it cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from the pan and cutting. 
  • Top with fresh herbs and prosciutto before serving if you want.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Orange Scented Walnut Cashew Butter

Walnut Cashew Butter

This version of Walnut Cashew Butter pairs just as nicely with savory items as it does with sweet things. 

Of course I love it atop ice cream or in a yogurt parfait; but I love it even more so in a small ramekin nestled on top of a cheeseboard or as a sandwich spread with whatever you can dream up.

This truly is a versatile spread.  

I've used it combined with herbs to stuff chicken breasts or as a quick pesto component.  You truly are only limited by your own imagination.  

And beyond its rustic texture, the hint of orange from the zested fruit, as well as the deep flavor achieved by toasting the walnuts, this spread has qualities that you just don't find in mass produced commercial nut butters. 

Orange Scented Walnut Cashew Butter
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: Makes About 2 cups

  • 1 ¼ cup walnut halves 5 oz by weight
  • ¾ cup cashews 3.5 oz by weight (soaked & drained)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • zest of an orange
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 6-10 tbsp water or unflavored oil (see notes)

Video Tutorial: 

  1. Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes stirring continuously until you start to see a very slight color change and can smell the toasty nutty aroma.
  2. In a food processor fitted with the chopping blade add the soaked drained cashews, 1 tablespoon of honey, the zest of an orange and ¼ tsp of salt.
  3. Process until almost creamy with a bit of chunkiness left.
  4. Add the walnuts and pulse, scrapping down the bowl as necessary then add water or unflavored oil (1 tablespoon at a time) until you have your desired consistency.   (see notes)
  5. I like it chunky because of the various ways I like to serve it but you can process this as far as you’d like.
  6. Store refrigerated in an airtight container. 
  • In Step 4,  to thin the nut butter to the desired consistency, I typically use water if the nut butter will be used with a week but for longer storage (up to a month) I thin with unflavored oil.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Hazelnut Crepes with Ricotta Filling

Hazelnut Crepes with Ricotta Filling

It’s Spring! 

And with Spring comes the realization that weekend brunches seem to pop up a few times a month.  People just like to get out more as the weather warms so naturally you’ll find more friends and family dropping by on the weekends. 

Now I don’t know about you, but when people drop by, I don’t like to send them home hungry. 

These hazelnut crepes with their sweet cannoli-like ricotta filling are the perfect plate for these unplanned gatherings.  You can mix up the batter and filling in mere minutes and soon you’re enjoying these impressive crepes and your surprise guests.  

Don't forget to put the coffee on.  

Happy Spring.

Hazelnut Crepes with Ricotta Filling
Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 3-5 min
Servings: 5

Ingredients for the Crepe Batter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp melted butter (salted)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour (I used bobs red mill 1 to 1 baking blend)
  • ½ cup hazelnut flour
  • additional butter to fry the crepes

Ingredients for the Ricotta Filling
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta, drained or with a dry consistency
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp mini chocolate chips

Garnish Ingredients
  • powdered sugar
  • reserved ricotta filling
  • Nutella spread
  • chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • mini chocolate chips

Video Tutorial:

  1. For the crepe batter, in a medium bowl whisk the eggs very well before whisking in the milk and melted butter then add the gluten free flour and hazelnut meal and continue to mix until the crepe batter is thoroughly combined then set the batter aside allowing the dry ingredients time to absorb the liquid ingredients while you prep the filling.
  2. To make the ricotta filling in stir together the ricotta, heavy cream vanilla honey and mini chocolate chips.
  3. To make the crepes, stir the batter again to mix in any settled ingredients and check that it still has a thin pourable consistency.  If it seems too thick add more milk 1 tablespoon at a time until it looks right.
  4. Add some butter to a small nonstick pan over a medium low heat then add about ¼ cup of the batter and swirl the pan until the bottom is fully covered all the way to the edges and allow the crepe to cook for a few minutes until the surface starts to look dry and the edges are golden then flip it and cook it for about a minute on the second side.
  5. To assemble, add a heaping tablespoon of the ricotta filling to one side of the crepe and spread it over half the crepe then fold it in half then place it onto your serving dish with a second fold slightly off center. 
  6. Garnish with a sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar, another dollop of the filling, a drizzle of Nutella hazelnut spread, mini chocolate chips, and toasted chopped hazelnuts.

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