Sunday, August 14, 2011

Six Fun New Grain-Free Recipes

One of the best things about going GFG is that it really forces you outside your comfort zone.  You can't just make a sandwich or boil some pasta or a bag of rice and call it dinner.  You have to get creative!  My google reader is just overflowing with fun recipes to try every single day, and while I pretty much am dying to try all of them, certain ones I just know were practically made for me.  Here are a few recipes that I've come across this past week that I can't wait to try.  I hope you'll try them too!

Laura Calder French, Food at Home's Halibut and Brown Butter with Carrots and Cumin, Chickpeas and Green Olives

  • 1 cup or 14-ounces dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives
  • Handful chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 8 slender carrots
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seed, lightly crushed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup or 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 (4-ounce) halibut fillets
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the chickpeas:
Soak the chickpeas in a bowl of cold water overnight. Drain and rinse, then put in a pot with the onion and bay leaf. Cover the beans, just with water. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, until very tender, about 45 minutes. Drain the beans, discarding the onion and bay leaf.

Heat the oil in a saute pan, and gently fry the garlic, 30 seconds. Add the chickpeas, salt, and pepper, to taste, to heat through. Crush a bit, here and there, with a potato masher, leaving some chickpeas whole. Remove from the heat, and stir in the olives, parsley, and lemon zest. Add lemon juice, to taste. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, and serve as a base for the fish or chicken.

For the carrots:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Slice the carrots lengthwise, leaving a bit of green top attached, for looks. Toss on a baking sheet with the olive oil, crushed cumin seed, and salt and pepper, to taste. Roast until tender and golden-edged, about 30 minutes, depending on their size. They should be slightly crinkly and golden-edged.

For the halibut:
Melt the butter in a saucepan, and cook until lightly brown and foaming. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, and set aside.

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Season the fish with salt, and pepper on both sides, place the fish in the hot pan, and fry 4 minutes. Flip, and cover to finish, 4 to 6 minutes. Serve the fish with some brown butter dribbled over.

Almond Flour Chicken adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded
1 egg, beaten
1-2 T olive oil (enough to generously coat the baking sheet)
1/2 cup almond meal
1 tsp. paprika (not smoked or hot)
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Turn on the oven to 400.  Brush a baking sheet liberally with olive oil and put the pan in the oven to heat as the oven preheats.

Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken breasts, and pound out making everything the same thickness.  Crack egg into bowl and beat with fork.

Combine the almond meal, paprika, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper in a bowl, mixing together well. Dunk chicken in egg and then dredge each piece into the almond meal mixture, pressing on with your fingers so it coats the chicken. Coat all the chicken before you remove the baking sheet from the oven.

When all chicken is coated, lay them on the hot baking sheet and cook 12 minutes, or until the side touching the pan is lightly browned. Remove pan from oven, turn chicken, and bake 10 minutes more on the second side, until lightly browned and cooked through.

Giada Inspired Meatball Pizzaiola

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained (5 or 6)
  • 1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground turkey or turkey and lean beef
  • 6 ounces smoked mozzarella, cut into 36 (1/2-inch) cubes
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 cups marinara sauce, warmed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside.

In a food processor, pulse together the shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, shredded mozzarella, Parmesan, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, and salt. Process until blended. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add ground meat, and using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until well combined. Form the mixture into 36 equal-size meatballs (about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter).

Insert 1 cube smoked mozzarella cheese into the center of each meatball and form the meat around it, completely enclosing the cheese.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat half the oil over medium heat. Add half of the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until well browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining oil and meatballs.

Place the browned meatballs onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes for medium doneness. Set aside to cool slightly, and serve with warm marinara sauce

Chocolate and Carrot's Almond Crusted Fish Tacos

  • 1 (15 ounce) can reduced sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 chopped small bell pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) can no salt added diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups spring mix salad
  • 1 cup unsalted almonds
  • 2 tilapia filets, cut down the middle (long-ways)
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoon skim milk
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, enough to coat the bottom of the pan
  1. Prepare the salsa: In a bowl, mix the black beans, peppers, tomatoes, pepper and salt together. Set aside.
  2. Place 1/2 cup of spring mix salad on each plate
  3. Spoon out 1/2 cup of salsa on top of the spring mix salad.
  4. Meanwhile, in a food processor, grind up the almonds to a crunchy almond meal. Just pulse until you get the texture desired.
  5. Pour the crushed almonds in a low bowl.
  6. Put the flour, pepper and salt in another bowl.
  7. Pour the egg, egg whites, and milk in another bowl.
  8. Over medium heat, get a pan with olive oil ready.
  9. Meanwhile, coat the tilapia filet halves in the flour, then the egg, then the almond meal. Place in the pan. cook a few minutes per side and serve over plated salad and salsa.  
All Day I Dream About Food's Garam Masala Eggplant Chips with Cilantro Mint Raita

2 Japanese Eggplants
1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp garam masala
additional salt to taste

1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Cut eggplant into 1/4 inch slices and lie in a single layer on a large parchment-lined baking sheet (you may need two baking sheets). Sprinkle with salt and let sit for an hour to remove some moisture. Blot dry with a paper towel.

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a small bowl, combine olive oil and garam masala. Brush both sides of each eggplant slice with the oil mixture and place back on baking sheets. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, or until slices are crisp and browned but not burnt. Remove from oven and sprinkle with additional salt to taste. Serve warm.

For the raita, whisk yogurt, cilantro, mint and cumin together in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve alongside eggplant chips.

Paleo NOatmeal Cookies adapted from Primal Palate

2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup ground flax
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup sweetener dissolved in almond milk for 1/2 cup of liquid
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
Optional-1/2 tsp nutmeg and/or 1 cup raisins or chopped walnuts

Combine dry ingredients.  In separate bowl, combine oil, eggs, vanilla, almond milk mixture and mix.  Pour wet into dry, then stirring in raisins/nuts if using.  Drop batter in 1 tbsp increments onto parchment lined baking sheet and bake 15 min at 325. 

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