Chilled Melon Soup

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1 Rock Melon (Honeydew), cut into chunks

A handful of Mint leaves

Lime juice from 2 limes

1 small red onion (you can use this or omit it, depending on your taste)

1/4 cup or more of Coconut cream

pinch of salt to taste

optional add 1/4 cup of Grand Marnier swirled in before serving for a decadent appetizer or brunch addition 🙂

  1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor or strong blender. Garnish with extra mint or lime. You can also top with a dollop of coconut cream if you want!

Back in my university days, I worked as a waitresss every summer to finance my travels and my artsy lifestyle. One of the nicest restaurants I worked at was a country club on a golf course in Chatham, MA on the elbow of Cape Cod. I never had time to sit and eat while working so a bowl of their chilled fruit soups were one of my favorite quick snacks. They were refreshing, cooling, and just the right amount of food.

Right now, it’s still very hot in Dubai and this melon soup hit the spot today in between my school runs. Regional melon is quite delicious and cheap. The melon I used today was from Armenia. That’s just one of my many favorite things about Dubai, even our food knows no borders.

Enjoy and please comment with any fruit soup/gazpacho variations you love, I’m always looking for new ideas.

 

Grain Free Paleo Waffles

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I woke up this morning craving waffles. I also promised my friend Becky the recipe a LONG time ago. So, I figured I only have to pack for 5 people to go to South Africa and make a little birthday movie for my grandmother. I totally have time to mess around with a recipe for waffles I am trying to perfect. The kids loved them so that made it worth the time.

1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk ( I used a coconut almond mix that I’m obsessed with)

1 t. apple cider vinegar

3 eggs

1 t. vanilla

2 T coconut oil

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup tapioca flour

1/2 cup almond flour

1/2 t. baking soda

1/2 t. baking powder

1/4 t. salt

  1. Mix the teaspoon of vinegar in with the almond milk. Let sit while you mix the rest of the ingredients. This makes a vegan version of buttermilk, and buttermilk makes everything richer and moist.
  2. Whisk eggs with vanilla and coconut oil in a bowl. I added fresh vanilla bean paste too to make them extra yummy.
  3. Whisk flours together very well in a large bowl.
  4. Add remaining dry ingredients and whisk again.
  5. Add milk to egg mixture.
  6. Combine wet ingredients with dry. Mix well.
  7. Pour into a preheated, greased (I used coconut oil spray) waffle iron and cook
  8. My recipe made 5 large waffles.
  9. Top with berries, coconut syrup, maple syrup, grated apple, cinnamon or whatever you desire. If I hadn’t been so hungry I would have blended some berries and coconut cream together but I didn’t. I just dipped mine in good, old-fashioned maple syrup.
  10. This recipe does not call for any added sugar in the batter. You can add 1-2 T coconut sugar or sugar if you like your waffles sweeter.  If you want your waffles even lighter, add more tapioca flour and less coconut or almond flour.

Swedish Meatballs:Redesigned and Inspired

A year ago, when I was developing recipes for Dinnertime, I had a lot of fun developing paleo modifications for comfort classics. I have a husband that will eat almost anything that I put in front of him, he knows he’s lucky to get meals home cooked with love! He grew up with a mother that is a phenomenal cook and he has good taste. That said, he prefers meat and potato centered dishes. The higher the dairy and fat content, the better, in his eyes. So I really love taking a dish like Swedish Meatballs and making it healthier and free from dairy. I love it even more that he didn’t mind the changes at all. I know I’ve succeeded if he has seconds of a dish I have changed so much it actually deserves a whole new name.

When I first started eating dairy free, I struggled with the idea of everything tasting like coconuts or cashews. I have gotten over that fear and I am a little obsessed with coconuts, but I promise you this dish isn’t too coconutty… Traditionally, Swedish Meatballs are served with a ligonberry jam or sauce. Sure, I could drive to Ikea and get Ligonberries but I love replacing imported ingredients with locally abundant (i.e. cheaper) options. With fresh pomegranate seeds, you don’t need any sugar and they give the dish the perfect tart and sweet crunch it deserves.

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Swedish Meatballs over Cauliflower Mash 

800g or 1.7 lbs, Ground Beef (Grass Fed, organic if possible)

2 eggs

1 T parsley

1 t salt

1 t pepper

ÂĽ t cinnamon

ÂĽ t nutmeg

pinch of cloves

½ sweet onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 ½ T coconut oil

Gravy

1/2 sweet onion, minced

1 garlic clove, mined

1 can coconut cream

2 cups beef broth or water

2 T oil or ghee

salt and pepper to taste

2 T arrowroot or tapioca flour

2t oil

1-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 medium head cauliflower, chopped in florets

1-2 T Coconut oil

salt and pepper to taste

1 pomegranate, seeded

  1. Mix beef, eggs, and seasoning in a bowl
  2. Heat ½ T of oil in a pan
  3. Sauté garlic and onion until soft and add to meatball mixture, combine with your hands
  4. Form into balls with 2 T of meat mixture and place on a plate
  5. Heat ½ T of oil at at time to fry meatballs in batches (about 10 at a time for 5-8 minutes)
  6. Drain meatballs on a strainer or on towels when finished cooking
  7. Make gravy by cooking onion and garlic in same skillet for one minute
  8. Add coconut milk, broth, ghee and salt and pepper
  9. Whisk and cook for 5 minutes
  10. Remove a ÂĽ cup of liquid and whisk in arrowroot, return to pan and simmer to thicken
  11. Add meatballs to pan and simmer gently while you make cauliflower rice
  12. Heat oil in a pan and add garlic, stir for one minute on medium heat, set aside
  13. Steam cauliflower until a fork easily pierces the florets (this step can be done ahead of time)
  14. Blend cauliflower, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper to taste and/or desired consistency
  15. Top cauliflower mash with meatballs and gravy
  16. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds

Thai Style Sweet Potato Zoodles

 

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Recently, I discovered the most amazing recipe for sweet potato noodles: (http://kristineskitchenblog.com/sweet-potato-noodles-with-peanut-sauce/) and I binged on them, big time. I made them for ladies nights, my kids, and for visitors. I ate them hot, cold, for dinner and lunch. Then I did allergy testing and found out I am intolerant to just about everything (whole other blog post) so I decided to work with the recipe to find a way to keep eating them. These noodles are gluten, soy, and peanut free.  Thank you to Kristine’s Kitchen Blog for giving me an amazing template to work with! * Note I usually double this sauce so that I can have extra to add to more zoodles or other vegetables. That’s sort of a lie, I just like things really saucey 🙂

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup almond butter

1/4 cup coconut aminos (or tamari/soy sauce)

3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

2 inch piece of ginger, grated (adjust to your own taste)

2 limes, juiced

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper or hot sauce

2-4 T coconut milk if desired to thin sauce and add more Thai flavor

Assorted Zoodles ( I usually use 2-3 Sweet potatoes and 1 zucchini, I have also used butternut zoodles and beetroot zoodles, I play around with what I have on hand) but use about 5-6 cups of veggies

1 T coconut oil

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Toppings: chopped cilantro, green onions, and toasted sliced almonds or toasted sesame seeds

  1. Mix sauce ingredients together, dilute with coconut milk or water if desired.
  2. Heat oil in a wok or a large sauté pan.
  3. Stir fry until soft and water is released from veggies.
  4. Add the sauce and chickpeas, cook for several minutes to warm everything and blend the flavors.
  5. Add toppings and eat!

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

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Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Cashew Creamed Kale
This is a paleo version of a classic American comfort food that traditionally uses lots of
dairy and fat. This version has all of the flavour, without the empty ingredients.
200 g  or 1 cup Cashews
Coconut/Cooking Oil
Coarse Salt
Black Pepper
4 Sweet Potatoes, cut in half
2 bunches of Kale, center stalk removed, coarsely chopped
1-2 tsp  Nutmeg
3-4 T coconut oil, ghee, or butter
10 Shallots, peeled and sliced thinly
Soak cashews in enough water to completely cover them, 4 hours
to overnight (the longer the better. If  needed, soak in hot water for
30 mins).
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper
Drizzle with oil and salt and pepper
Cut sweet potatoes in halves (or quarters if very big). Dredge and coat both sides of
sweet potatoes with oil and salt and pepper
Roast skin side up for 20 minutes or until soft
Bring a salted pot of water to boil and cook kale until tender (10-15 minutes)
Prepare cashew cream by draining cashews and rinsing well
Blend with 200-250 ml of water, or more until you have a toothpaste consistency
Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper
Drain kale and mix with cashew cream to warm and mix flavors
Saute shallots in 3-4 T of oil until they golden and crispy (can be done ahead of time and stored in an airtight container).  These totally make the dish so don’t skip this step!
Serve sweet potatoes with creamed kale on top and sprinkle them with the crispy shallots.
The creamed kale with crispy shallots is amazing as a Thanksgiving side too…just saying 🙂

Beef and Broccoli or Chickpeas and Broccoli (15 min dinner)

I’m trying to be better about only buying what I need and using what I have…In an effort to do something unique with some frozen organic beef cubes I threw this together after school on Thursday. I served it with rice for my kiddos. For us, I briefly sautĂ©ed carrot and zucchini noodles in sesame oil with crushed red pepper. I tossed tons of green onion and toasted sesame seeds on top and  called it dinner. For myself, because I am trying to eat more plant based I skipped the beef cubes and added chickpeas, there was enough sauce in the pan to season my beans.

Gluten Free, Paleo (beef version), Dairy Free, Grain Free, Vegan if you make the chickpea version 

1 lb beef cubes

1 big bunch of broccoli florets

1 bell pepper, thinly sliced

5 cloves, garlic, minced

1 large chunk garlic, grated in microplane

3 T coconut oil

1 T sesame oil

Whisk together following ingredients:

1/4 cup Tamari or coconut aminos (still haven’t found these in Dubai and am still wondering wtf they are )

2 T cider vinegar

1 T arrowroot

1/2 lime, juiced

Toppings 

Green onions, diced

Sesame seeds, toasted in a dry pan

  1. Heat oil in a non-coated pan
  2. Brown beef cubes
  3. Add broccoli, garlic and peppers to pan and sauté for a few minutes to soften
  4. Add liquid and arrowroot mixture
  5. Cook to desired temperature, sauce will thicken
  6. Top with green onions and sesame seeds

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I only got a photo of this while I was cooking so you’ll have to take my word for it, it looked pretty before I ate it.