Chimichurri Sauce

PARSLEY  is the star of the show today. I grow it in large containers in summer. It is abundant and keeps on giving. Cut it back and a few days later you have MORE!

Valdishesout

Chimichurri:

an herb-based condiment that is a culinary specialty of Argentina and Uruguay. Typically served alongside grilled steaks, roasted beef and pork sausages, it is made from parsley, dried oregano, garlic, salt and pepper in a base of olive oil and vinegar.

I add a little red pepper flake for that kick. 

Recipe: 12 servings 1 tbsp each

  1. Large bunch of fresh parsley washed stemmed and finely chopped = 1 cup
  2. 1/2 cup olive oil
  3. 5 cloves garlic finely chopped
  4. 2 tsp dried oregano
  5. 1 tbsp + red wine vinegar 
  6. 1 tbsp + fresh lemon juice
  7. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  8. Fresh cracked pepper
  9. Dried chilli flakes (optional)

MACROS

99 calories  per TBSP

Fat 9.3 Carbs 3.2 Protein 1.8

Paleo crusted Pizza

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I have had the opportunity to taste some of the best pizza in the world. All of which were in my home country, Italy. Perhaps my opinion on this is slightly biased. No matter.

My mother also made a pretty awesome pizza. Both a chewy and crisp crust. I’ve not been able to replicate it. As the base for your toppings, the crust is first and foremost important.
Pizza was a Saturday night ritual in our home. Something to look forward to after a night of partying. My mother always made sure to leave some warming in the oven for us. Actually, I believe it was incentive for my then boyfriend to get me home, and to keep him coming back for more. After all it is said that the way to a mans heart is through his stomach. ♥️ I’ve had some pretty big shoes to fill. Thanks mom.
Fast forward to a few days ago when I was craving pizza of another kind.
I’ve been investigating a few different methods of preparing a Paleo pizza crust, and I chose this particular one because I had the ingredients on hand and it seemed easy enough.
Recipe adapted from Love and lemons

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium head of cauliflower
1 cup almond meal( I used nuts.com)
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
3 eggs beaten
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp fresh basil finely chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup chopped or ground prosciutto
4 Tbsp pitted roasted black olives
3 oz. goat cheese crumbled

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 450′

Process the cauliflower using this blade

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In a large bowl mix the first 7 ingredients.
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Place a piece of parchment paper over a baking tray unless you prefer a pizza stone. Either will work.
Spread the “dough” over the parchment evenly to a 1/4″ base.
Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, spread with some tomato sauce but not too much.

imageThen add your preferred toppings. Reduce oven temperature to 350′ and bake another 15 minutes.
I had the prosciutto olives and goat cheese so those were the toppings I chose.
By all means use whatever toppings you like.
Serves 8 as a side.
Protein 11.7g
Carbs 11.4g
Fat 14.8g

Quinoa Cakes

Quinoa, a grain or seed? You decide. I won’t get into that. Should you eat it? YES!!!
It’s so versatile and easy to cook. From sweet to savoury, on its own or added to vegetables, a little goes a long way. So here is one of my fav’s.
My family loves these Quinoa cakes and I’m sure you will as well😉. These remind me of summer 2014☺️so bear with me, not bare with me😇these little cakes make me happy😄

Preparation/Cook time about a hour Makes 15 1/4cup size cakes

INGREDIENTS
5 +1/2 cups (cooked )quinoa as per package instructions ~2 cups dry
3/4 cups finely chopped shallots(or onions)
1/4 cup more or less😐Olive oil-(or try Coconut oil)
1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes( I like mine pulverized😊
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup homemade fresh breadcrumbs*
4 eggs beaten
1/4 c finely chopped parsley(in summer I prefer fresh chives which are so easy to grow😎

*to make fresh breadcrumbs cut a fresh loaf of italian bread into pieces small enough to fit into a VITAMIX or other blender. Process until they are crumbs. Voila😊

TOOLS

large non-stick skillet
Spatula
Ice cream scoop 1/4 liquid measure

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PREPARATION

Sauté shallots in 2 tbsp olive or coconut oil with a pinch of salt and hot pepper flakes. Cook on medium heat until tender and set aside to cool.
Measure out the cooked and cooled quinoa, place in a large bowl. Add cooled shallots or onions.
Beat 4 eggs with 1/2 cup water, add Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs and parsley.
Add the latter to the quinoa. Combine until blended. Let stand about 10 minutes.
On medium high heat add 1 tbsp oil in skillet. Measure out a level scoop full of quinoa into skillet. I cook about 5 per turn in my skillet. Make certain to leave some space between the cakes.

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Now this is where things get pernickety 😁so hang in there with me.
After a few minutes of cooking, use the back of your spatula to ever to slightly press the cakes down to form patties. Continue searing for another 3 minutes.
5-6 minutes total per side. Patience😯 now gently turn each one over and cook for another 5-6 minutes or until they are nicely golden. You may need to coax the runaway quinoa back to their pod😅I mean patty.

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They will be crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside.
Eat them cooled or warm. We like a little spicy aioli with ours😍Place them on a platter for summer bbq’s, or store them in an airtight container once cooled and take a few for lunch.
This is a basic recipe. Add in whatever you wish. I prefer mine simple.
Try them out. Let me know how it went.
Love to hear from you. Be kind😘

Fresh herbs add flavour to summer salads

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I love my herb garden. This year I’m growing basil, parsley,lemon thyme, sage, oregano,coriander and even curry.
Next time you make a salad, try adding fresh parsley and basil to your salad greens. It will brighten things up.

Breakfast frittata with Pico de Gallo

Egg white frittata with fresh chives from the garden pico de gallo black beans for fibre and added protein and ripe avocado for healthy fat

#eatbreakfasteveryday#addherbsforflavour#keepitlite#deliciouslybalanced

Start with one whole egg and add 3 egg whites.
Scramble.
Chop fresh chives. Add to eggs
Heat virgin coconut oil in a fry pan.
Pour in egg mixture. Maybe just a pinch of salt.

Cook over medium high heat, fold in half until cooked through.
Serve with fresh avocado, black beans and Pico de Gallo, or salsa fresca.

PICO DE GALLO

1 large hot house tomato chopped
1 medium sweet onion chopped
1/2 chopped jalapeño
1 tbsp pickled chopped jalapeño
3 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
Juice of one lime
Pinch of salt

Nonnas pickled beets

Looking for a quick side tonight?

This strata of pickled beets takes about 10 minutes if you purchase pre- cooked whole beets or canned will work too.

INGREDIENTS:

2 bunches of beets or 3 cans of cooked beets
2-3 large garlic cloves thinly sliced
4-5 mint leaves
Red wine vinegar
A few drops of olive oil
A few tbsp bread crumbs

PREP:

Once boiled, if you choose fresh beets let them cool. Peel them and slice into 1/4 inch disks.
Chiffonade your mint leaves. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJEQFgfv7iw

In a serving dish (2-3 inches deep) lay down the first layer of beets. Drizzle generously with red wine vinegar and a few drops of olive oil. Add sliced garlic, mint and some bread crumbs to coat. Repeat until all beets are done.
Cover and refrigerate. Serve at room temperature.

Pickled beets

30 minute cod chowda

This dish was inspired by a recent visit to Boston. You might say I tried a few different chowders during my stay. Crab and of course New England clam chowder stood out. The best was the crab chowder at The Four Seasons. I’m sure there are many amazing chowders out there but I only had three days and much more to tick off my list.
The chowders I’m speaking of are usually laden with cream and milk so I thought I’d lighten it up with my version.
So here you have it, Cod chowder.
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INGREDIENTS:

3 tbsp virgin organic coconut oil
1 bunch of leeks, washed and thinly sliced
3 cups of diced butternut squash
2 stalks celery washed and thinly sliced
1 box organic chicken or fish broth ( see picture below)
1 236 ml clam juice
1 400 ml can lite coconut milk
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger ( or jarred puréed ginger)
3-4 lbs wild Atlantic cod fillets, cut into large chunks ( available at Costco)
Salt and pepper to taste
Freshly chopped parsley

PREPARATION:

Start by prepping your vegetables. Slice your leeks, celery, and squash. In a Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot melt your coconut oil, add to it the leeks, celery and diced squash. Cook on medium heat while stirring, about 7 minutes or until the squash has softened.
Add the broth, clam juice and can of lite coconut milk. Increase heat, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium for another 5 minutes. Add in the ginger, stir.
Using a hand held immersion blender, partially purée the chowder, leaving it a little chunky. This will help to thicken the chowder.
Add chunks of cod, cover with lid and cook 6 minutes. Taste. Add salt and pepper and a little freshly chopped parsley.

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Kick ass Paleo chocolate cake

If you can’t live without chocolate then this one’s for you.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking soda
pinch sea salt
10 oz. pitted medjool dates
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp freshly brewed warm coffee
3 eggs at room temperature
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 325*.

When measuring your dry ingredients be sure to be accurate. Level off the ingredients with a knife.
Mix together all dry ingredients (almond flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt) in a bowl and
Sift these ingredients onto parchment paper, and set aside.
Place the dates and warm coffee in a food processor and blend until it forms a smooth paste. Then add eggs coconut oil and vanilla extract. Continue blending and scraping down sides of processor. The mixture should have a smooth consistency.
Add the wet to the dry and stir until smooth.
Grease an 8″ round cake pan with coconut oil and add a few tbsp of almond flour & cocoa to coat the pan and tap out the excess flour. Pour the batter in the pan. Tap the pan. Don’t worry if the batter isn’t perfectly smooth on top.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 28 minutes in an electric oven worked well.
Let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving so that it has time to set.
Place a large plate over the pan. Give the pan another few taps and Invert it into the plate.
Serve as is or with this simple frosting care of Elenas pantry.

Simple chocolate frosting :

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Place chocolate and coconut oil in a bowl over a simmering pot of water.
Melt then add the vanilla. Place the frosting in a fridge for a half hour.
Frost your cakes over a rack as the frosting may drip down the sides.
The cakes can be left out at room temperature for a few days, or refrigerate in an airtight container for a week.