Clam Chowder (Paleo-Style)

clam chowderby Karen Frazier

Clam chowder….what can I say? It’s a family favorite, but with my Celiac disease and dairy allergy, I’ve had to make it over in a way that works for my diet. This version is made with anti-inflammatory ingredients, and it’s lowish in carbs and paleo, so it’s perfect for people with all sorts of inflammatory autoimmune conditions, like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

  • 6 slices pepper bacon, cut into pieces
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 8 cups bone broth
  • 2 (6-ounce) cans clams, undrained
  • 1 celery root (celeriac), peeled and cut into half-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Pinch red pepper flakes (or to taste – I like mine a bit on the spicy side)
  • 3 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds
  1. In a large pot, cook the pepper bacon on medium-high until it is browned. Remove the bacon from the fat in the pot with a slotted spoon and set it aside.
  2. To the fat in the pan, add the fennel, celery, onion, and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to brown, five to seven minutes.
  3. Add the bone broth, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with the side of a spoon.
  4. Add the clams, celery root, thyme, tarragon, pepper, salt, and pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer. Reduce to medium-low and cook until the celery root is tender, about 10 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the arrowroot powder and water. Pour it into the soup in a thin stream, stirring constantly. Simmer, stirring, until the chowder thickens slightly, about three minutes more.
  6. Stir in the reserve bacon and the fennel fronds.

photo credit: Pike Place Chowder via photopin (license)

Advertisements

Peanut Butter Fudge Pie

pieby Karen Frazier

If you’re on a low-carb or gluten-free diet, you can still enjoy sweets from time to time. This peanut butter fudge pie is easy to make, low in carbs, and it has a chocolatey nut crust, so it’s gluten-free and dairy-free, as well. To make it paleo (but not low-carb), you can replace the sweetener in the crust and the filling with pure maple syrup or honey to taste. I don’t like things to be super sweet, so I recommend doing the add a little sweetener and taste until you get to your desired level of sweetness, or the pie might not be sweet enough for you as written.

  • 1  1/2 cups pecans
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup granulated Truvia (in the green plastic jar) or Swerve sweetener
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3 (14-ounce) cans coconut milk (full-fat), refrigerated overnight until the liquid separates from the cream (discard the liquid), or 2 cups coconut cream, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 15 to 20 drops of liquid stevia or liquid sucralose (or to taste – you may want more)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease a pie plate with coconut oil.
  3. In a food processor, pulse the pecans, cocoa powder, and Truvia or Swerve until well chopped, about 15 one-second pulses.
  4. Add the melted coconut oil and continue processing for 30 seconds.
  5. Press into the prepared pie plate. Bake the crust in the oven until browned and fragrant, 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
  6. In a small saucepan (or in the microwave), melt the chocolate and peanut butter, stirring to combine.
  7. In a large bowl, combine two of the cans of the coconut cream (just the thick part with the water poured off – about one and a half cups) with one teaspoon of the vanilla and the liquid stevia or sucralose.
  8. Add the melted chocolate and peanut butter. Beat until well combined.
  9. Pour into the cooled crust. Refrigerate until the filling hardens.
  10. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining one can of coconut cream (or a half cup of the cream without the liquid), the remaining teaspoon of vanilla, and stevia or sucralose drops to taste. Beat with an electric beater on high until fluffy, three to four minutes. Spread on the chilled pie. Return to the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

photo credit: “Squared” Coconut Pie via photopin (license)

Coconut Blueberry Pancakes with Orange-Maple-Ginger Syrup

pancakesby Karen Frazier

Pancakes are a sometimes treat for us. I don’t do a lot of low-carb and paleo baking because I don’t want to get in the habit of eating baked goods. I prefer to stay pretty basic. However, from time to time, I get bit by the baking bug. While pancakes aren’t quite baking, they have a lot of similarities. In fact, with a few modifications this recipe also makes tasty muffins.

Coconut Blueberry Pancakes

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil, plus more for cooking
  • A few drops liquid stevia
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • Organic blueberries
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In another medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut oil, stevia, vanilla, and coconut milk.
  3. Carefully fold the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring until just combined.
  4. Heat a skillet on medium-high. Grease it with the coconut oil.
  5. Ladle the pancakes onto the skillet, dropping blueberries on each pancake.
  6. Cook until the pancakes bubble, about four minutes. Flip and cook a few more minutes on the other side. Serve with the syrup.

Orange-Maple-Ginger Syrup

  • 1 cup Truvia (not the baking blend, which has sugar – the stuff in the green jar), Swerve sweetener, or granulated erythritol
  • 1 cup hot water
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 3-4 slices ginger root
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple extract
  1. In a small saucepan, bring all ingredients to a simmer on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer for five minutes.
  2. Turn off heat and allow the syrup to steep for one hour.
  3. Strain out solids.

The syrup won’t be thick like you’re used to, but it will add wonderful flavor to your pancakes.
photo credit: Blueberry & Ricotta Pancakes via photopin (license)

Patty Melt Soup

caramelized onionsby Karen Frazier

I used to love patty melts. In fact, it was one of my favorite things to order when we went out to dinner at a greasy spoon. Celiac disease (and a low-carb paleo diet) put the patty melt out of reach for me, but I know I could find a way to get all the same flavors without it having to be a greasy burger.

Whenever I’m trying to recreate flavor profiles of a favorite dish I can no longer have, my first stop is soup. I figure you can recreate almost any flavor in a soup. In this case, it worked. Patty melt cravings satisfied in a delicious, low-carb, paleo way.

Patty Melt Soup

  • 4 slices bacon, cut into pieces
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground caraway seed (use a spice grinder if you can’t find it ground)
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 8 cups beef bone broth
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
  1. In a large pot, brown the bacon on medium high. Remove the bacon from the fat with a slotted spoon and set it aside.
  2. In the same pot, cook the ground beef, crumbling it with a spoon, until it is browned, about five minutes. Remove it from the fat with a slotted spoon and set it aside.
  3. Reduce the heat to low. Add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are browned and caramelized, 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the beef broth, caraway, and mustard powder, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pot with the side of a spoon. Return the ground beef and bacon to the pot. Turn the heat to medium.
  6. Bring the pot to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for ten minutes.
  7. If you’d like a little cheesy flavor with the  soup, stir in the nutritional yeast.

If you like more veggies in your soup, add some sliced carrots, zucchini, or any other vegetables you enjoy. Cabbage is also a tasty addition.

Chocolate Nut Butter Fudge

fudgeby Karen Frazier

I bought a few cans of coconut milk the other day and found, as often happens, the coconut milk had separated into cream at the top of the can with the water condensing in the bottom. This separation of the solids and liquids, I realized, is the perfect way to add a creamy element to a lot of different foods.

My first thought was using these coconut milk solids (the coconut cream) to make icing, since they had a texture similar to chilled butter, albeit a bit creamier and less dense. However, I didn’t feel like messing with paleo flours to bake a cake or brownies, but I still wanted to mess around with the cream a bit.

Then it hit me. If I mixed the coconut cream with a nut butter and some melted chocolate, it would develop a fudge-like consistency. Or that was my hope. So I gave it a try, and it worked. The result was a creamy, low-carb, vegan, paleo, tasty fudge with the perfect texture and the exact right level of sweetness.

You’ll need to use canned coconut milk here – the full-fat kind, not lite coconut milk. Usually you can tell if the solids and liquids have separated by giving the can a shake and listening. There won’t be a liquid sloshing sound. If, for some reason, it hasn’t separated, then you can refrigerate the unopened can overnight, which should do the trick.

The cans of coconut milk where this is most likely to happen are those without any additives or emulsifiers – so check the ingredients and make sure it only lists coconut cream and water. This is the type that is most likely to separate.

When you open the can, pour away the water and use a rubber spatula to scrape all of the solid coconut cream out. Some stores also sell coconut cream, and you can use that, as well.

Choose a nut butter that works with your diet. If you’re paleo, sugar-free, organic almond butter works well here. If you’re not paleo, then use organic, sugar-free peanut butter instead. I don’t specify an amount of liquid stevia (for paleo), or liquid sucralose (for non-paleo, low-carb) because sweetness preferences vary. I tend to like my dessert not very sweet, so I don’t add a lot of sweetener. To get the right amount of sweetness, add a bit of the liquid sweetener (5-10 drops), taste, add more, taste – and continue until you reach the desired sweetness level.

Chocolate Nut Butter Fudge

  • 2 ounces unsweetened dark, vegan chocolate
  • 1/3 cup nut butter
  • 1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk, drained or 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Liquid stevia or liquid sucralose to taste
  1. Line an eight-inch square pan with parchment.
  2. In your microwave or on the stove, melt the nut butter and chocolate. If melting on the stovetop, do it on low heat and stir frequently. In the microwave, cook on high for 30 seconds, stir, and repeat until smooth.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl or stand mixer, beat the melted chocolate and nut butter, coconut cream, vanilla, and sweetener until smooth. Taste and add more sweetener as desired.
  4. Pour into the prepared pan using a rubber spatula to spread it in an even layer. Freeze for one hour. Cut into squares, and store the fudge in a zipper bag in the fridge or freezer.

photo credit: Coffee Fudge via photopin (license)

Drunken Steak

drunken steakby Karen Frazier

If you have steak that’s looking for a good time, then drunken steak is for you. It’s a really delicious way to prepare skirt steak or tri-tip.

  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 1 skirt steak
  1. Whisk together the bourbon, soy sauce, garlic, and sriracha.
  2. In a shallow bowl or a zipper bag, marinate the steak in the above mixture for eight hours.
  3. Grill on high heat for three to five minutes per side.
  4. Cut the steak against the grain into thin strips.

Low-Carb Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

IMG_1460by Karen Frazier

When I take a day off from paleo, it’s often for dairy foods. However, I always try to keep carbs deeply in check and still use the healthiest forms of the ingredients I can find. So while I may occasionally make, oh….say….a cheese cake, I make it as low in carbs as possible. I also do it infrequently – once or twice a year – so when I do, it’s a real treat.

Jim’s favorite low-carb cheesecake is a pumpkin-bourbon cheesecake with Chinese five spice powder, but I love peanut butter. So I thought I’d try to make a cheesecake that has peanut butter cup flavors, but keep it relatively low-carb.

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 3/4 cup pecans
  • 3/4 cup peanuts
  • 3/4 cup Swerve sweetener, Truvia (the kind without sugar), or erythritol
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons grass-fed butter

For the filling:

  • 4 (8 ounce) packages grass-fed cream cheese, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup organic peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup grass-fed sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups Swerve sweetener, Truvia (not the baking blend, which has sugar), or erythritol

For the topping:

Instructions

For the crust:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-inch spring-form pan with grass-fed butter on the bottom and sides.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the pecans, peanuts, sweetener, and cocoa powder for ten one-second pulses.
  3. Add the butter and pulse for ten more one-second pulses.
  4. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared spring form pan and set aside.

For the filling:

  1. In a stand mixer, food processor, or a large bowl (you can use an electric mixer to mix), combine all of the filling ingredients. Process or mix until smooth.
  2. Pour into the prepared spring form pan, spreading it over the top of the crust.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the middle is set, 50 to 55 minutes.

For the topping:

  1. In a small bowl, beat the sour cream, peanut butter, and sweetener until smooth.
  2. Spread the mixture evenly over the top of the cheesecake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Return the cheesecake to the oven for five minutes.
  3. Cool the cheesecake on a wire rack for two hours.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the chopped peanuts and the chocolate chips.
  5. Sprinkle evenly over the topping.
  6. Run a butter knife around the inside edge of the pan.
  7. Release the cheesecake from the spring form. Refrigerate for two more hours.

Low-Carb Nachos

IMG_1462by Karen Frazier

I’m a big believer in the 90/10 principle of a paleo diet. Stick with paleo foods 90 percent of the time, and about 5 to 10 percent of the time you can sneak in a little something extra. For me, that something extra is often dairy. While I have a dairy allergy, it isn’t debilitating, although I will be stuffed up and inflamed for a day or two after eating it. Still, occasionally I sneak it in – just not very often.

However, even during that 10 percent of the time, I try to stay low-carb. I always avoid sugar, grains, gluten, starchy foods, and most processed foods. In fact, for me, dairy (and occasional sweetener like stevia/erythritol combos, or peanuts/peanut butter are my non-paleo foods I enjoy.

And every once in a while, I get a powerful hankering for nachos. That’s when I pull out these low-carb bad boys that have all the stuff that tastes marvelous with fewer carbs than traditional nachos. The dish is pictured here with a low-carb vodka, soda, lime cocktail.

This recipe serves 3 to 4.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups grated grass-fed Colby Jack cheese
  • 4 ounces grass-fed Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup guacamole (or more)
  • 2 tablespoons grass-fed sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Chopped green onions (for garnish)

Instructions

  1. In a large saute pan, cook the ground beef on medium-high, crumbling as you cook, until browned, about five minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to low. Add the water, chili powder, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for four minutes. Set aside.
  3. Line your microwave with a piece of parchment.
  4. Working a quarter cup at a time, mound the Colby-Jack (or cheddar) cheese on the parchment, and then spread it into a thin layer in a rough circle.
  5. Microwave for two minutes on high, or until the cheese is browned and crisp.
  6. Peel the cheese from the parchment and place it on a cold ceramic plate to cool. Continue working with the Colby-Jack cheese until you’ve used it all.
  7. Break the large pieces of cheese into smaller bite sized pieces, putting them on a plate.
  8. Sprinkle the cheese chips with the grated Pepper Jack cheese. Microwave for one minute, or until cheese melts.
  9. Top with the ground beef, guacamole, sour cream salsa, and sprinkle with the green onions.

Cocktail Time!

by Karen Frazier

vslThis may seem like an odd recipe for a blog called Recipes for My Kids. However, when I started it, my kids were children. Now they are adults, and this has been where I keep all my low-carb, gluten-free, and paleo recipes. So – I’m not suggesting that you offer this to non-adult children, I promise!

I enjoy the occasional cocktail, and one of the things that frustrates me about going out for a drink is that most cocktails have sugary mixers, use sugary liqueurs, or sneak in simple syrup which is made from, of course, sugar. While some bars do have lower carb cocktails (or you can always order a straight shot of liquor or a glass of wine), when you’re in the mood for a mixed drink on a low-carb diet, you need a go-to drink. Vodka-soda-lime is my go-to cocktail, and it’s just as easy to make at home as it is in a bar. It’s also delicious

All the ingredients are in the title, and it also serves as a tasty starter for other sugar-free, low-carb cocktails. Below, you’ll find some variations on the vodka-soda-lime theme, as well as a tasty infused vodka you can make, and the cocktail you can make from it.

Basic Vodka Soda Lime

  • 1 shot vodka
  • 3 ounces soda
  • 1 lime wedge
  • Ice

Combine all ingredients in a glass, squeezing the lime wedge into the glass before adding it.

Tarragon and Orange Cocktail

  • 2 sprigs fresh tarragon, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 shot vodka
  • 3 ounces soda
  • 1 orange wedge
  • Ice
  1. In a cocktail shaker, crush the tarragon leaves lightly to release the aroma.
  2. Add the vodka and soda. Shake to mix well.
  3. Strain into a glass with ice. Squeeze in the orange juice and add the wedge.
  4. Garnish with a sprig of fresh tarragon.

Lime Basil Cocktail

  • 2 mint sprigs plus one for garnish
  • 2 drops liquid stevia
  • 1 shot vodka
  • 3 ounces soda
  • 1 lime wedge
  • Ice
  1. In a glass, crush the mint leaves using a muddler.
  2. Add the liquid stevia, vodka, soda, lime, and ice.
  3. Stir to mix.
  4. Garnish with additional mint leaves.

Caraway, Mint, and Cinnamon Infused Vodka

  • 750 mL vodka
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 3 mint sprigs
  1. Add the cinnamon, caraway, and mint to the vodka.
  2. Seal the bottle and let sit in a cool, dry place for up one month, shaking occasionally.
  3. Strain solids from the vodka and seal in a bottle.

Cinnamon, Caraway, and Mint Infused Vodka Cocktail

  • 1 shot caraway, mint, and cinnamon infused vodka
  • 1 orange wedge
  • 2 drops liquid stevia
  • 4 ounces soda
  • Ice

Combine all ingredients in a glass, squeezing the orange wedge into the glass before adding it.

 

 
photo credit: A Tonic for the Soul… via photopin (license)

Lemon and Artichoke Shrimp Scampi

by Karen Frazier

scampiThis meal came together within 15 minutes, and it’s really tasty. It’s also low-carb and paleo.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or your favorite paleo-friendly fat
  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 zucchini, spiralized into noodles or cut into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
  • Sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup basil, finely chopped
  1. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil on medium-high until it shimmers.
  2. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, three to five minutes.
  3. Add the shallot and artichoke hearts. Cook, stirring occasionally, for four minutes.
  4. Add six of the minced garlic cloves and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the lemon juice, shrimp, white wine, and zucchini. Cook, stirring frequently, until shrimp is pink, about four minutes.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. In a small bowl, mix the remaining 2 minced garlic cloves, the parsley, the basil, and the lemon zest.
  8. Stir into the shrimp mixture just before serving.

photo credit: Healthy Zucchini Noodles with Prawns via photopin (license)