Simple Shrimp & Grits
If you are avoiding corn, I also have a corn-free recipe for a "polenta" of amaranth and millet that you can put under this shrimp sauce, instead. This recipe has the corn version, however.
Paleo Bacon Egg "Muffins"
Technically muffins are a bread item, but these are basically breakfast--bacon & eggs with a new twist! Pretty simple to prepare, and you need to allow some time for the bacon to cook partway as well as the oven to get up to temperature.
This is so simple and easy to make that when I was a vegetarian, I would almost live on these. I had a garden with tomatoes and bell peppers, and that was half the filling right there! Shown here is a "black rice" tortilla, so it looks much darker than normal (it also has brie cheese in it instead of cheddar). The best size tortilla is one that will fit comfortably in your frying pan.
This can be made with more rice, and more ingredients inside--this is the most simple incarnation of this meal. I love to sauté shrimp in butter to also add to this roll, and strips of cucumber and/or carrots would be nice, also. I used to make these at work all the time, because they are really quick to make, and I would just start the rice beforehand.
Garlic Eggplant with Thai Basil (stir fry)
If you have access to thai basil, this is a wonderful Asian dish that is pretty quick and relatively easy to prepare, being basically a stir fry. I eat it just as it is, but you can also serve it over rice and it will go twice as far (though of course, if it is over rice, it will no longer be grain-free). shown here with shrimp, this is a simple recipe to convert to vegan, as well.
Grain-free Fried Chicken Fingers
I was craving fried chicken lately, and decided to try a breading technique I do to make eggplant parmesan, but using almond flour instead of gluten-free breadcrumbs. These certainly did turn out very well! Not quite as crispy as regular fried, though, and not flakey, but very, very tasty! They are pan-fried, not deep-fried.
Chicken Shepherd’s Pie
This is a great way to use leftover chicken, and it’s grain-free! I usually do some baked chicken legs with potatoes, and whatever we can't eat the first time, goes into this recipe, including the stock & fat from baking the chicken.
Gai Tom Ka
Coconut lemongrass galangal soup from Thailand. This can be made vegan by omitting the chicken and using tamari sauce instead of fish sauce, and adding pureed butternut squash for some more body.
A simple chili that is pretty quick to make after you've soaked the beans overnight. It's just spicy enough, so if you like really spicy, you might want to up the ancho. Note that this recipe uses a pressure cooker, but if you use canned beans, you could skip that step--you'd need 4 cups of canned beans instead, and cook it all together. The dried beans have to be cooked first with NO ACID (tomatoes, that is) or they will remain crunchy, but that wouldn't be an issue with canned beans.
Black Eyed Pea Stew
I first formulated a version of this for New Year's, and each version is usually a little different, depending on what is in season and what I can get. I don't always put tomatoes in it, but I have so many in my garden now, I'm struggling to find uses for them all! If you do use tomatoes, be sure to cook the beans first, as they will be forever crunchy if you try to cook them for the first time with the tomatoes, from the acidity. It's fine to add tomatoes AFTER the beans are soft. Canned beans would work as well. For cooking dried beans, a pressure cooker is invaluable!
Bahamian Coconut Curry Lentil Soup
The origin of this recipe comes from a tourist mag I picked up in Nassau, Bahamas, but I did my own tweaks to it perhaps make it less "Bahamian." It was one of the cheapest to make recipes in the magazine, so I was glad I tried it. The original recipe calls for soaking the lentils for 4 hours, but I usually soak them overnight, or even 24 hours, pouring off the old soaking water, and rinsing them.
Grain-free chocolate chip banana muffins or bread
This is quite delicate and has rather a long cooking time, but is delicious, all the same.
For baguettes you will need a special baguette pan…otherwise, you can use a loaf pan as long as you grease it well, or use a silicone pan. For step-by-step instructions to this recipe with pictures, you can also visit my personal blog. You can omit the coconut sugar, but it may not rise as fast, and will not be quite as brown, and will not have a hard, crunchy top crust.
Apricot Bread (gluten-free)
I came up with this trying to get rid of some old dried apricots we had that were too hard to eat!
Snacks & Crackers
Unlike regular saltines, which are light and flakey, these are hard and crunchy, and would cause problems for people with TMJ, but I like them because they are salty. Note that while these are grain free, they are NOT starch free, and would be consequently high in carbohydrates, containing potato and tapioca flours. They can be made vegan, as well, by substituting water and a little lemon juice for the yogurt.
Snacks & Crackers
Cheesy Gluten-free Sesame Sticks
You don't have to add cheese to these, if you would like them to vegan. I just like the taste of cheese crackers ;) These are mainly rice flour crackers, with sesame seeds.
Snacks & Crackers
Grain-free Almond Cocoa nib Granola
I actually do these as bars, because it's nice to have a quick snack, but you can also break this up into pieces and eat it with milk for breakfast. It stays very crunchy in milk. Note that "low-glycemic" in this case does not mean low calorie--nuts contain a lot of fat.
Snacks & Crackers
I first came up with this recipe a few years ago, when a friend mentioned making kale chips in a dehydrator with tahini and lemon juice rubbed into leaves. That sounded way too simple for me, and this recipe is more complex, but essentially the same idea--make a dressing and coat the pieces of kale and dehydrate them to make a guilt-free, crunchy, salty snack! Now one can find kale chips everywhere in health food stores, but it is still more cost-effective to make them at home.
Snacks & Crackers
When traveling or camping, it's nice to have a quick snack that's high in protein that does not need cooking. This lasts for quite a while in the fridge, but I do not really recommend keeping it at room temperature for extended periods of time. Commercial jerky found in the store usually has high amounts of sugar used to preserve it. These are more savory.
Snacks & Crackers
Grain-free Cheese Biscuits
These are actually more like crunchy cheese "cookies," and what I was going for was a grain-free version of "cheese straws," which my husband loves. Technically they are not paleo, containing dairy, and are essentially shortbreads, but are a nice, savory, low-glycemic snack. They are high in fat, though.
Snacks & Crackers
Crunchy Oat Granola
The most time consuming part of this is prepping the nuts, so if you have pecan pieces, walnut pieces, etc., the process will go much faster. This is a tasty, crunchy granola that will stay crisp for a while in milk, but know that it is high in calories from the nuts, seeds, and oils in it. It really has to be stirred while baking or it might burn, but if you would prefer to make granola bars out of it, you could mix in an egg white as well, roll it out like the grain-free granola recipe and score it into bars which you can flip.
Paula's Bodacious Eggnog (not for the faint of heart)
This is a pretty heady mixture with a high alcohol content, and very very rich--a must for the holiday season! It's so rich, in fact, like a mousse, that I'd recommend--while I originally made it with all cream--mixing cream and milk half and half just so you can get it out of the container later. Using all cream, it will literally solidify in the fridge, though it's lovely for drinking right away.
White chocolate "liquor"
I concocted this for my mother-in-law, who cannot have caffeine, but loves white chocolate since she can't have regular chocolate. Eventually, I will have to get her to try it...
In the past, I would let the milk separate overnight and scoop off the "cream" the next day, but nowadays, using the Vitamix, I find that it actually homogenizes the almond milk! This milk will not last long, however, and can only be kept around 3 days at fridge temperature on its own. It keeps much longer frozen. Almond flour is a byproduct of this recipe.
Technically this is a fermented drink, and while I will probably add a brewing category at some point, that will be for alcoholic drinks. Kombucha is essentially a fermented black tea, using a "SCOBY" or "mother" for the culture, a "symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast," to produce a probiotic drink. A quick search will yield a wealth of health benefits for this beverage, which I will not go into here, but suffice it to say that it makes a refreshing cold drink for the summertime that has low sugar!
You will need to find a starter SCOBY for this--ask your friends, or pick one up at the health food store, but once you have one, you will be set for life, because every batch produces a new one, and you can still use the old one until it turns brown.
Brandied Cherry Liqueur
Extremely easy to make (unless you pit your own cherries) and low sugar, high alcohol, this liqueur just takes some patience. Essentially it is really a cherry tincture, with brandy and vodka, and after setting it out of sight for a month to do its thing, you can then bring it up and serve at parties to really wow people. The cherries themselves provide the sweetness. Afterwards, the cherries can be used in ice creams, as they will not freeze solid, and are a great alternative to maraschino cherries.
Sugar-Free Instant Hot Chocolate Mix
My husband and I were going on a cross country trip a few years ago that would involve camping, and I wanted an easy, sugar-free hot cocoa mix without chemicals. This mix will last a long time, though it may darken with age, and is really delicious! I use goat's milk powder because it's higher in fat, but you could certainly use another powdered milk (as long as it's instant). The directions for mixing will be influenced by what powdered milk you use.
Iced Herbal Tea
Usually in summertime, I make this from fresh herbs, picked from my garden, and don't measure other than to take a colander out and fill it with the same herbs I use dried--chocolate mint, tulsi, lemon balm, stevia, and maybe some others such as catnip. This tea is predominantly mint, and really helps to cool one down in hot weather. Since most people have access to dried herbs, the recipe will be written for that. And sometimes it's just too hot to go out and pick those herbs... The sweetener in this is stevia leaves, fresh or dried.
Mango Lime salad dressing
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Maple pepper bacon marinade
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Black Bean Hummus
My husband loves hummus, and it's pretty simple (and inexpensive) to make! This one is pretty intense, and I'm still formulating it--I think I will cut down the tahini next time, to see if I can get more black bean flavor. I make this with canned beans, but it would be possible to soak some beans and cook them, too--it just wouldn't be as fast, of course.
Coarse Ground Mustard
My husband loves mustard, and researching it, I realized that mustard is not all that hard to make, and we could probably save some money on some of the fancy mustards he'd like to buy. I found that the 48 hours process of letting the mustard seeds soak in an acidic environment were important for the enzymatic activity, and that it was important to keep the seeds just covered--they can soak up quite a bit of liquid in just the first couple of hours. The amounts I give are what I came up with in the end, but if your seeds soak up more and are exposed to air during the initial 48 hour process, just keep covering them with more apple cider vinegar until you are ready to grind.
Honey Mustard Sauce
This is about the simplest sauce you can think of. Invented out of necessity for dipping chicken fingers in. You can vary how much you make depending on how much you need.
Bittersweet Espresso Chocolate Mousse Torte
This is one of my new favorite things to take to parties, and it is simpler to make than a full mousse cake. It is comprised of 2 Layers--mousse on top of either cake or pecan rum crust. Make the cake or pecan rum crust layer before making the mousse. The crust is easiest (but more ingredients), and I have gravitated towards just making that, because it overwhelms the flavor of the cake if you make all three.
Sugar-Free, dairy-free chocolate lava cakes
These are so decadent, and sweetened with a combination of stevia and chicory root or yacon (you could certainly use other substitutes, too). The eggs give them their texture, so caramelization is not an issue. "Just Like Table Sugar" is a sweetener I found out about from a Paleo Dessert cookbook, and is based on chicory root, which has inulin fiber (which gives some people gas, so I use it sparingly!). Yacon syrup seems to work much better, however. Someday I'd like to try monk fruit with this recipe.
Grain-Free Indian Style Carrot Cake
This cake started out as a more interesting version of a carrot cake as the birthday cake for a friend, but as the main ingredients in the cake are carrots, it was pretty simple to formulate first a gluten free version, and then finally a grain-free version that was GAPS diet friendly to be another friend's wedding cake.
Grain-free Pineapple Upside Down Cake
This actually started out as a muffin recipe, but then I saw the potential for making the cake version. But sometimes (and I may have to modify it somehow) this turns out more like a cobbler than a cake, so the muffins have a more successful texture, perhaps. It can be made dairy free with coconut milk instead of regular milk. Sweetened with dates and a little maple syrup, it is almost paleo. For now I will put both muffin and cake recipe modifier in this recipe.
Salted Caramel Mousse Torte
This is not as sweet as it sounds, and is loaded with protein and fat! With a date/nut/rum crust, it is also grain-free. It does help to have a candy thermometer when doing this recipe, as the sugars are already very dark.
Marzipan Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse Torte
I made this for my husband's birthday, and the whole cake disappeared in a frenzy, even though it was a small party, before I could take a picture of it! Next time, though, if I have time, I would make a cake layer for the bottom and put the marzipan on top of it, because it was a little difficult to dig down to get the marzipan crust out without cutting the wax paper I'd lined the pan with.
Cookies & Brownies
Easy Chewy Nut Butter Brownies
The peanut butter in these makes them incredibly chewy--if you can't have peanut butter, try substituting all almond butter instead, and they will be more cake-like, or also try subbing tahini or coconut butter. Technically, to be paleo, you should probably omit the chocolate chips, however.
Cookies & Brownies
Chocolate Coconut Almond cookies
These are my new favorite cookies! Low sugar, vegan, and pretty easy and quick to make (if you have a food processor), they take a little "dehydrating" in a warm oven to get totally crisp when the weather is humid. Don't attempt to make these if your kitchen is hotter than 75 degrees however because the coconut oil seems to just ooze out of the cookies.
Cookies & Brownies
Cookies & Brownies
Grain-Free Fudgey Nibby Brownies
These are sweet and decadent, needing the sugar to caramelize (but at least it's coconut sugar), but are pretty cakey, too, when done as mini-muffins especially. The main ingredient is chocolate. How many mini-muffins you get depends partly on your mini muffin pan. You can also do these as regular pan brownies and use a 13 x 9" pan.
Cookies & Brownies
Grain-Free, Sugar-Free Mexican Wedding cookies
These are are shortbreads, so they are very forgiving of what sweetener one uses, not needing one that crystallizes. For purely sugar-free, though, since there are chocolate chips, you'd want to use a kind that does not use sugar, such as Lily's dark chocolate chips, sweetened with erythritol. For the powdered xylitol dusting, you can also add in a teaspoon of tapioca starch or arrowroot, but that will raise the glycemic index. They can certainly be eaten plain, too!
Cookies & Brownies
Hazelnut maple shortbreads
This is a “blond” version of the vegan chocolate chip cookies we like so much, but this version is not vegan (though it could certainly work that way), because I wanted the taste of butter in it. You can also substitute chocolate chips for the dates! But then it wouldn't be blonde.
You can also make this into the most delicious chocolate chip cookie (as I have done)! I will put a note in the directions--basically it requires a half cup more almonds and a cup of chocolate chips, but the texture will be still be crisp, but not spread as far as the picture shows. With the extra ingredients, the yield increases to 32 cookies.
Cookies & Brownies
Chocolate Chip Banana Pecan Grain-free Scone
Decadent but fairly low carb, and pretty easy to make! This uses a mostly almond flour, though, so it is definitely caloric.
Cookies & Brownies
Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies
This is my new favorite chocolate chip cookie, which I make constantly so as to always have them in the house… This actually started out as my Hazelnut Maple Shortbreads, but with chocolate chips added. The result was spectacular, and I thought finally that it deserved its own recipe space.
Chocolate Bourbon Ice Cream
The bourbon keeps it from freezing as hard, but even with this much bourbon, it is pretty hard by the second day in the freezer! This could also make interesting fudgesicles...
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
This is an easy recipe--the hardest thing about it is probably making the chocolate "chip" beforehand. You can use any alcohol or none at all--I just prefer using peppermint Schnapps.
Maple Pecan Ice Cream
This is a light enough ice cream that it can be made without the rum, but once I included rum, I never went back. This is a very simple recipe, and can also be made vegan, using a liter of coconut cream instead of the milk and cream, but the rum helps if you make it vegan, because it will freeze harder.
This is basically a frozen mimosa, and is quite light, and like a slightly alcoholic slushy. I used lychee juice, which is hard to find, but you could also use orange juice or white grape juice, with the former being even closer to a mimosa.
Bananas Foster Ice Cream
This is a good way to use up ripe bananas. The rum (I like to use dark) keeps it from freezing too hard. I have not tried setting it on fire (it really doesn't taste that alcoholic), but it might be nice to serve it with rum poured over it, too.
Vegan Chocolate Coconut Fudgesicles
Want something rich and chocolatey, but vegan and sugar-free? Have I got the thing for you…and oh, so simple, too! These do not require an ice cream churn--only a blender. These make a great summer snack to store in the freezer for a quick cool down. You can also view step-by-step picture instructions on my food blog.
Chocolate Orange Ginger Ice Cream
Intense flavor ice cream with the ginger and orange together! This used to be an old favorite, and back when I did custard ice creams, I would cook eggs in milk for this, but this is a no-heat recipe, no eggs, but still rich, and the alcohol keeps it soft enough.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream
The alcohol in this helps keep it soft, but of course it is optional. I happened to put half rum and half vodka in this, and the rum overwhelmed the flavor of the peanut butter! So I think just vodka would allow the peanut butter to come through more, or add peanut butter... You could also make this sugar free by using baking chocolate instead of bittersweet, or just using all cocoa powder
Custards & Pies
Cashew Chocolate vegan "pots de creme" (or pie)
Some recipes are so good, I have to adapt them to other things! This one started out as a vegan, rich, "pots de creme" recipe, but I also developed a pecan pie crust for it to make it into a pie, as shown. For gluten-free, however, use the brown rice syrup instead of barley malt syrup--honey or maple syrup would also work fine. If only making pots de creme, then this would be grain-free as well as raw.
Custards & Pies
Paleo Key Lime Pie/Cheesecake
This is a no-bake concoction, and I really wanted to make it so that it did not need to be frozen, but, as I experimented with it, in order to get it to harden up sufficiently, I did end up needing to freeze it. That said, in order to serve it within a day, it needed to be frozen. I never did try taking it out after it had hardened completely to see if it would stay solid in the fridge--mainly because then it was nice to have a frozen dessert to pull out! But it will freeze rather hard after a few days. Note: I say "key lime" pie, and you can use key limes, which are sweeter, but since this is zested, and it's hard to find organic key limes, I opted for organic limes instead. This dessert is not too sweet, and is pretty tangy from the lime juice. The extra lime oil is for added lime flavor.
Vegan Rhum Coconut truffles
I actually usually make these without rum or extract--they taste more like the maple extract than anything--almost a butterscotch taste.
Vegan Raspberry truffles
Usually for my almond milk based truffles, I make the almond milk from scratch with organic raw almonds. These would probably work with commercial almond milk, however, or even coconut milk, because the cashews add some richness.
Coconut Peppermint Patties
These need to be kept refrigerated, or they will melt at temperatures above 75F. The main ingredient is coconut oil, and these are sweetened with stevia, making them a guilt-free indulgence! Perfect for "after dinner mint" cravings. The mint layer is sandwiched between two chocolate layers.
Cocoa Chocolate Chip Meringues
For a holiday treat, I like to add peppermint oil to these and have them be mint chocolate meringues! You can also reduce the sugar to 1/3 cup, but that will result in a flat, cookie-like meringue. The sugar helps give it volume, while the cocoa can deflate it if you're not careful. Start out with slightly warm egg whites if possible. I like to store egg whites in containers in the freezer, and pull them out for projects like this. I like to leave these all night in a warm oven after turning it off, to let them get super crisp. Note that it's more difficult to make meringues successfully in humid weather.
Mint Chocolate Swirl Bark
I made this the first time for St. Patty's Day, for a potluck, and wanted to make the mint white chocolate part of the bark as bright a green as I could, using natural colorants like liquid chlorophyll, but one could also leave it white, too. This version is a bit lower sugar, in that I use more cocoa butter than white chocolate (which is quite sweet). You can also make your own white chocolate from scratch, and make it less sweet.
Grain-Free Rum Balls
These are easy and quick to make (if you have a food processor), and since they are sweetened with dates, free of refined sugar. I like to use Bacardi 151 for the rum to make them super potent, but dark rum would work, too.
Someone gave me a bunch of red chard once, and I knew I couldn't eat it all before it went bad, unless I fermented it, so I came up with "red" recipe for sauerkraut that put a little ginger twist on the regular sauerkraut.
Cough it Up Expectorant
My husband seemed to have a constant cough at one time, and I wanted to concoct something that would bring up phlegm if coughs needed to be productive, but otherwise, if there was nothing to bring up, I wanted it to calm coughs (Lobelia). When I first developed this recipe, all these ingredients were much easier to find at the local Coop in bulk, but that has changed, so if you try to make this, use what you can find. The major constituents were what I used more of, and I used various essential oils and cinnamon mainly to make it taste better.
Cinnamint Itchy Heat Rash Powder
This might be similar to the Gold Bond "Medicated" body powder, except that it uses starch, not talc. It's a bit clumpy, which is unusual in a body powder--instead of dusting it over, one has to take a bit in the hand and rub it in--but oh, how cooling it is! I'm loving it, and it has a wonderful smell, too. The cinnamon in it is good for inflammation (and turns it this tan color, incidentally), and the menthol is for cooling. The tea tree oil makes it anti-fungal as well. Note that this powder would be a bit intense at first for under-arms, but after a while, it calms down. Menthol is around 1.64%. This powder will also initially make the skin more red, even though it feels cooling. If you have some zinc oxide powder, you could add that as well for even more anti-fungal properties.
Analgesic Muscle Balm
I wanted this to be something like Tiger Balm, but with better base ingredients (ie NOT petroleum or mineral oil). The menthol (an extract of mint) gives it a cooling effect, the wintergreen an analgesic one, and the cinnamon helps potentiate the other ingredients. Camphor is also penetrating, and clove is good for slightly numbing dental stuff, so I thought it could help here, too! In any case, this balm smells wonderful, and is solid in a warm house. Time will tell how long it is shelf stable.
Xylitol Cough Drops
These actually may not make as good cough drops as breath mints, as they still dissolve quicker than commercial cough drops, but these are still quite strong, and very tasty! I made them with xylitol to make them sugar free. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, and has calories, but does not impact the pancreas and so is safe for diabetics. Technically, it can crystallize without getting to high temperatures, but in this case, I was mixing liquids and oils with it, and the higher temperatures make these turn out harder, so they don't dissolve as quickly as they otherwise would.
This is a variation on the salad which is my default salad--just some greens, carrots, etc thrown together. Avocado adds some fat, as does the dressing (a tahini vinaigrette in this case), and bacon adds some crunch (but without the bacon, it would be vegan). Salads are like casseroles--you see what you have, and throw them together. This salad is a meal in itself.
Chicken Salad (and Mock Chicken Salad)
While this recipe is definitely not vegan, you can easily do a vegan version of (and call it "Mock" Chicken Salad, if you like) with tofu and Vegenaise. Otherwise, as a chicken salad, this is a great way to use up leftover chicken and have a cool meal on a hot day.
This is more like a collection of ingredients than a salad, and one can certainly use many different fruits than the ones pictured here! But I find these work well for me, sometimes with some pineapple thrown in, or peaches. My husband picked nearly a gallon of blueberries yesterday, and I had a couple of mangos needing to be eaten on the counter, so I made fruit salad.
Our garden is booming now, and while I know dill would be the usual spice with cucumber salad, I do not have dill in my garden, but have lots of basil, so I used that. This is a nice cooling salad that will keep at least a couple of days in the fridge.
Corn-Free Cheesy Polenta
For those who have to avoid gluten, avoiding corn as well becomes a real challenge! I came up with this as a substitute for either grits or polenta, and it can certainly be made without cheese, as well, but the milk helps give it a richer consistency. Certainly coconut or almond milk could be substituted for the milk for a vegan variety, as I've made this with just water, too. The grains are amaranth and millet.
Ginger Juice Cubes (frozen)
I use these in so many things! They are great to add to soups in the winter time, as well as to flavor salad dressings, truffles, add to cold herbal teas to spice them up, etc. They keep for a long time in the freezer.
This is a by-product of making almond milk, actually, and not the traditional almond meal, which is just ground up almonds. The advantage of this flour is that it get "de-fatted" in the process of making the almond milk, so may be more absorbent than regular almond meal.
Gluten-Free Rice Flour Crepes
I call these a building block mainly because, while they can be eaten by themselves like pancakes, they are really best at dressing up leftovers, or making a special dessert. If you don't have tortillas on hand and you want something to wrap a filling, these will definitely serve!
Flock Block for chickens
These may smell incredible baking, and make you hungry, but don't eat them yourself! You may want to make some banana bread in addition, just so you'll feel that you got something for your time cooking... But they will not smell as strong after they cool, and they need to cool completely before you try to take them out and hang them up. They're not as strong/hard as the commercial suet blocks you can buy, but more like dense bread in texture. One block will keep my 7 chickens busy for nearly a day.