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)

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.

Mushroom Soup with Italian Sausage and Fennel

mushroom soupby Karen Frazier

Tendergrass farms makes a tasty grass-fed, sugar-free Italian sausage. I really like it, and so I enjoy using it in soups, spaghetti sauce (with zucchini spaghetti of course), and other recipes. In the fall when delicious mushrooms are so abundant, I especially enjoy mushroom dishes, which is why you’re seeing so many of them in my recipe feed lately.

This soup is delicious and hearty. It really hits the spot on a cold fall evening. I use my typical thickening method…pureeing the vegetables and adding them back into the broth, because it works so well.

Mushroom Soup with Italian Sausage and Fennel

  • 1 bulb organic garlic, the top sliced off
  • 2 tablespoons melted fat (lard, duck fat, etc.)
  • Sprinkling of sea salt
  • Sprinkling of organic chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 package organic dried porcini mushrooms
  • 6 cups homemade beef or chicken bone broth
  • 3 tablespoons melted fat (I use duck fat)
  • 1 pound sugar-free, organic pastured pork Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 pound seasonal organic mushrooms (can be any variety), sliced
  • 1 bulb organic fennel, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry (or more broth)
  • 1 teaspoon organic dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper.
  • Two tablespoons chopped organic fennel fronds
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the cut garlic heads on a large piece of foil. Drizzle them with two tablespoons of the melted fat and sprinkle them with salt and rosemary. Wrap them in the foil. Roast the garlic in the preheated oven for about 90 minutes, until soft. Allow it to cool slightly, and then squeeze the cloves out of the papery skin and into a bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the bone broth until it simmers. Remove the broth from the heat and add the dried porcini mushrooms. Cover and allow the mushrooms to soak until they are soft, about two hours.
  3. In a large dutch oven, heat three tablespoons of fat over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the Italian sausage and cook, breaking the sausage apart with a spoon, until it is browned, five to seven minutes. Remove the sausage from the fat with a slotted spoon and set aside on a platter.
  4. Add the onion to the fat in the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it softens and begins to brown, five to seven minutes. Remove the onions from the fat with a slotted spoon and set it aside in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal chopping blade.
  5. If needed, add a little more fat to the pan. Over medium-high heat, cook the mushrooms in the fat, stirring occasionally, until they soften, seven to ten minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the fat with a slotted spoon. Put half of the mushrooms into the food processor with the onions and put the remaining half on the platter with the Italian sausage.
  6. Add the fennel to the remaining fat in the pan (or add a bit more if necessary). Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the fennel is soft, five to seven minutes.
  7. Add the red wine to the pot. Using the side of your spoon, scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  8. Use a slotted spoon to remove the reconstituted porcini mushrooms from the stock and put them in the food processor with the other vegetables. Pour the stock into the cooking pot.
  9. Add the cooked sausage and mushrooms from the platter, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow it to simmer.
  10. Meanwhile, add the roasted garlic to the food processor with the mushrooms and onions. Process until the vegetables form a smooth paste, 30 seconds to one minute.
  11. Stir the vegetables back into the pot of soup to thicken it.
  12. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the soup warms through, about five more minutes. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
  13. Serve garnished with fennel fronds.

For an easier to make but still paleo version, but with a slightly higher carb count (about 12 g per serving versus about 7 g per serving):

  • 1 package organic dried porcini mushrooms
  • 6 cups homemade beef or chicken bone broth
  • 3 tablespoons melted fat (I use duck fat)
  • 1 pound sugar-free, organic pastured pork Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 pound seasonal organic mushrooms (can be any variety), sliced
  • 1 bulb organic fennel, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry (or more broth)
  • 1 teaspoon organic dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper.
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Two tablespoons chopped organic fennel fronds
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the cut garlic heads on a large piece of foil. Drizzle them with two tablespoons of the melted fat and sprinkle them with salt and rosemary. Wrap them in the foil. Roast the garlic in the preheated oven for about 90 minutes, until soft. Allow it to cool slightly, and then squeeze the cloves out of the papery skin and into a bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the bone broth until it simmers. Remove the broth from the heat and add the dried porcini mushrooms. Cover and allow the mushrooms to soak until they are soft, about two hours. Remove the mushrooms from the broth and chop them roughly. Return them to the broth.
  3. In a large dutch oven, heat three tablespoons of fat over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the Italian sausage and cook, breaking the sausage apart with a spoon, until it is browned, five to seven minutes. Remove the sausage from the fat with a slotted spoon and set aside on a platter.
  4. Add the onion to the fat in the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it softens and begins to brown, five to seven minutes. Remove the onions from the fat with a slotted spoon and set it aside with the sausage.
  5. If needed, add a little more fat to the pan. Over medium-high heat, cook the mushrooms in the fat, stirring occasionally, until they soften and brown, seven to ten minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the fat with a slotted spoon. Set them aside with the sausage.
  6. Add the fennel to the remaining fat in the pan (or add a bit more if necessary). Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the fennel is soft, five to seven minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  7. Add the sherry to the pot. Using the side of your spoon, scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  8. Pour the stock into the cooking pot. Add the cooked sausage, mushrooms, and onions back to the pot along with the thyme, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
  9. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow it to simmer.
  10. In a small bowl, whisk together the arrowroot powder and water. Pour them into the simmering pot, stirring constantly, until the soup thickens slightly.
  11. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
  12. Serve garnished with fennel fronds.

photo credit: RonjaNilsson via photopin cc

Country Style Spare Ribs with Apples, Cabbage, and Fennel

porkby Karen Frazier

Things are about to take a turn here at Recipes for My Kids. As you may have already noted, I often include gluten-free and dairy-free recipes because I have celiac disease and a casein allergy. While the kids were still at home, I went ahead and prepared their favorites that contained dairy and gluten anyway. The result was that I cross-contaminated myself frequently, and often wound up feeling very ill.

Now Tanner is off to college, and Kevin is only here one or two weekends per month. When Tanner left about a month ago for college, I realized it was the perfect time to turn my kitchen into a gluten-free, dairy-free mecca. I meticulously cleaned the entire kitchen, removing all traces of gluten or dairy that had accumulated in drawers and cupboards over the years. I purchased new gluten-free cookware and utensils. I designated a small counter and a single cupboard the spot for preparation of gluten-containing foods like sandwiches or toasts, and implemented very specific cleaning protocols so if someone made a gluten-containing food, it didn’t cross over into my pristine area. Even the freezer has a designated gluten area (the bottom shelf), and the kids have a refrigerator up in their room if they want to store some gluten-containing food when they are home.

As a result, I started feeling better than I had in years. With even the tiniest traces of gluten and dairy cross-contamination removed from my home, the years of symptoms I’d experienced such as exhaustion and digestive discomfort went away. Clearly I was on the right track.

With dairy and gluten grains off the table, my ultimate plan was to move in the direction of an ancestral style diet that didn’t contain any grains, processed foods, industrial seed oils, chemicals, processed sugar, or processed salt. My plan was to move into a more ancestral way of eating gradually. Then, about a week after Tanner left for school, Jim had a heart attack. I decided at that moment it was time to truly revamp his diet and mine in order to protect his heart health in the future.

Today, just four weeks later, my kitchen is a very different place. I cook every meal from scratch – all aspects of it – and I make it without grains, processed foods, or industrial seed oils. Jim has already lost 15 pounds in about two weeks, and his health is the best I have seen it in quite some time. We’re lucky because his heart attack was very mild. It served as a wake-up call to both of us.

Because I’m cooking so much, I’ve come up with a few strategies to give myself a break so I’m not in the kitchen constantly. For example, I typically make enough in each meal so that we get two dinners out of it, as well as something for the freezer. That way, on nights I don’t feel like cooking, I’ve got food in the freezer that can easily be thawed and reheated.

I’m also using my slow cooker. A lot. When it’s not in use cooking meals, I’ve got it simmering with a bone broth or stock to use in recipes. To make the stocks, I use bones and trimmings from meat, carrots, onions, celery, garlic, and herbs. I simmer it for 12 to 24 hours depending on the type of bones and freeze it so I have it on hand whenever I want to make a quick soup.

So – this is a very long way of saying this. You’ll notice things changing here on the blog. All recipes from this point forward (unless I’m getting in the way back machine and pulling out a favorite recipe from the past) are both gluten-free and dairy-free. More likely than not, they’ll also be grain-free and contain lots of healthy plant foods and pastured ingredients. Some may call it paleo. Some may call it primal. But I just call it delicious. So here’s the first paleo recipe. Enjoy!

Country Style Spare Ribs with Apples, Cabbage, and Fennel

  • 2 sweet tart organic apples (such as honey crisp), peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 organic fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • Dash cayenne
  • 2 pounds pastured country style pork spare ribs
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 small green organic cabbage, cut into small pieces
  1. In a large slow cooker, combine the apples, fennel, onion, garlic, apple cider vinegar, chicken stock, cinnamon, thyme, and cayenne. Stir to combine.
  2. Season the pork with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Add to the slow cooker and stir to combine with the vegetables and apples.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 8 to ten hours, or on high for five hours.
  4. An hour before serving, stir in the cabbage. Cover and continue to cook on low for an additional hour.

Pub-Style Bison Burger

burgerby Karen Frazier

These delicious burgers use grass-fed bison. You can make them gluten-free and dairy free, as well. I especially love the sauce on these burgers – it’s addictive.

Pub-Style Bison Burgers

  • 2 pounds organic ground bison (or grass-fed beef)
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 6 gluten-free (or regular) ciabatta rolls, halved and toasted
  • 6 strips uncured bacon, cooked crisp and halved
  • 1 tablespoon bleu cheese crumbles per burger (omit for dairy-free)
  • 2 tablespoons burger sauce (recipe follows)
  • Fried shallots (recipe follows)
  1. Fry shallots according to recipe below. Set aside to drain on paper towels.
  2. Form bison into patties and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Grill patties to medium.
  4. While patties grill, toast buns, cook bacon, and prepare burger sauce.
  5. Top burgers with two half-slices of bacon, crumbled bleu cheese, and fried shallots. Spread buns with burger sauce.

Fried Shallots

  • 6-8 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sweet rice flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • Peanut oil
  1. Heat 2 inches of peanut oil in a large dutch oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place shallots in a small bowl and toss with flour, salt, and pepper.
  3. Add shallots to oil and fry until golden brown.
  4. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Classic Burger Sauce
(Cook’s Illustrated Recipe)

  •   3/4 cup mayo
  •   2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
  •   1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins is gluten-free)
  •   1 tablespoon brown sugar
  •   1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  •   1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  •   1-2 cloves of garlic, through a garlic press or finely minced

Whisk together all ingredients.