Honey Garlic Shrimp with Coconut Jalapeño Cauliflower Rice | Paleo / Whole30

My partner is giving the paleo diet a try for a month, so I’m on a mission to find delicious meals to cook for him. Here’s my first one. It was super easy to make and he loved it.

Disclaimer: If you are strict paleo/Whole30, you may want to review the ingredients to confirm that they’re in line with your diet. As I’m new to this method of cooking, it’s possible that some of these ingredients aren’t strict paleo/Whole30 approved. 

Servings: 4-5

Ingredients (Cauliflower Rice)

  • 1 crown cauliflower, chopped then blended into rice-sized pieces for about 7 seconds
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 jalapeno, diced (optional)
  • Juice from half a lime

Ingredients (Honey Garlic Shrimp)

  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1.5 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon oil (I used olive oil)
  • 8 tablespoons honey
  • 6 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

To make the honey garlic shrimp:

  • Combine the honey, coconut aminos, ginger and garlic and stir well. Cover the shrimp with about 1/4 cup of the sauce and marinate in the refrigerator, setting the rest of the sauce aside for later. (Note: I marinated the shrimp for about 2 hours, but you can do anywhere from 10 minutes to 24 hours.)
  • When the shrimp is almost done marinating, make the cauliflower rice (see below)
  • Place broccoli florets in a small bowl, sprinkle with a few teaspoons of water and steam in microwave for 2 minutes
  • Remove the shrimp from the marinade and discard the marinade.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large, heavy duty skillet and heat over high heat.
  • Add the shrimp to the skillet and sear on each side until browned, about 1-2 minutes per side. (Note: I did 2 minutes per side, flipping after each minute.)
  • Add the broccoli to the pan and drizzle with the remaining sauce (Note: You may not need to use all of it.)

To make the cauliflower rice:

  • In a large bowl, mix the blended cauliflower pieces and the coconut flakes
  • In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat
  • Add the cauliflower and coconut flake mixture to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently until it’s throughly heated through
  • Remove from burner and stir in the almond milk and jalapeños. Squeeze in the lime juice.
  • Set aside until the shrimp are ready

To assemble:

Scoop a generous helping of cauliflower rice onto a plate, topping with 4-5 shrimp and several pieces of broccoli. Spoon some sauce from pan over the shrimp for added flavor.

*Recipe adapted from: Easy Honey Garlic Shrimp and Broccoli*

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Slow Cooker Beef Stew

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I’ve been on a mission to find healthy crockpot recipes to make for my fiancée, who is not a vegetarian. I find that if I make him a crockpot meal over the weekend, there’s enough leftover for him to eat it all week. He said this is one of the best beef stews he’s ever eaten.

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, plus more for garnish
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for coating
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound small white potatoes, halved
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, halved
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine (Note: I used Pinot Noir)
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed parsley leaves, chopped

Directions

Toss the beef with the paprika, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Coat in flour and shake off any excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook undisturbed until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook, turning the beef as needed, until mostly browned, about 3 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the beef to the insert of a 6-quart slow cooker; add the potatoes, mushrooms, carrots and onions and stir to combine.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the tomato paste and stir until the oil begins to turn brick-red, about 1 minute. Add the flour and wine and whisk until thick (it’s OK if there are some lumps). Add the beef broth, thyme, caraway if using, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and bring to a simmer, whisking; continue simmering and whisking until the gravy is smooth and thick, about 4 minutes.

Pour the gravy into the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 8 hours OR 4 hours high + 1 hour low (Note: I do the later to save some time). The meat and vegetables should be tender.

Season with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley.

*Recipe adapted from Slow Cooker Beef Stew*

The Best Vegan* Macaroni and Cheese Ever

I don’t maintain a strictly vegan diet, but copious amounts of dairy upsets my stomach. As you can imagine, that makes it challenging to satisfy my mac & cheese craving. I’ve tried numerous vegan mac & cheese recipes over the years, and this one is the only one I’ll eat. I like it because it doesn’t call for nutritional yeast, which I’ve never been crazy about.

Here’s the deal: While this doesn’t taste exactly like mac & cheese, it 100% fulfills my mac & cheese craving. I’ve served it to plenty of non-vegans and no one has ever been disappointed.

*Asterisk included because I make mine with real butter. It can easily be made entirely vegan if you use margarine or Earth Balance though.

Ingredients

  • 4 quarts of water
  • 8 ounces macaroni
  • 2 slices of bread, toasted and torn into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon + 1/3 cup butter (or a vegan alternative)
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup red or yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until al dente. In a colander, drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, make breadcrumbs by pulverizing the toasted bread and 1 tablespoon butter to a medium-fine texture. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, add shallots, potatoes, carrots, onion, and water, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.
  4. In a food processor, process the cashews, salt, garlic, 1/3 cup butter, mustard, lemon juice and black pepper. Add softened vegetables and cooking water to the food processor and process until smooth.
  5. In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta and blended “cheese” sauce until completely coated. Spread mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish, sprinkle with prepared breadcrumbs. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese sauce is bubbling and the top has turned golden brown.

*Recipe adapted from Veg News*

Zucchini Lasagna Boats

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Serves 2.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchinis, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • A couple tablespoons marinara sauce
  • 5-10 mini mozzarella balls, sliced thinly
  • A couple basil leaves, sliced
  • A couple tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Using a spoon, scoop out the insides of the zucchini, leaving about a 1/4-inch. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta, 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan and Italian seasoning.
  4. Brush both sides of your zucchini halves with olive oil and place side by side in a 9 x 9 inch baking dish.
  5. Scoop your ricotta mixture into the zucchini halves and top with salt and pepper. Top with marina sauce.
  6. Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and place mozzarella slices on top. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and put it back in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until mozzarella is melted and zucchini is tender.
  8. Remove from oven and top with sliced basil.

Polenta Cakes with Pico de Gallo

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Makes about 3-4 small servings. Can be served as an appetizer, a side or an entree.

Ingredients

  • 1 18-oz. tube polenta, sliced 1/4-1/2-inch thick
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium-sized beefsteak tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • A few tablespoons chopped cilantro (adjust to your preference)
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • A few tablespoons quick-pickled shallots
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup shredded smoked Gouda

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in pan over medium-low, then pan fry the polenta until golden brown (about 5 minutes on each side).
  2. While the polenta is pan frying, mix together your pico de gallo. In a medium-sized bowl, add the chopped tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, lime juice. Mix and add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  3. When your polenta is ready, remove it from the pan and place on a couple piece of paper towel to blot the oil.
  4. Arrange your polenta slices on a plate, sprinkle with shredded smoked Gouda, and top with pico de gallo. Finally, top with quick-pickled shallots.

Seitan Tacos with Ancho-Lime Sauce

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Ingredients

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/4 cup water

Tacos:

  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1  8 oz. package cubed seitan
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 6 6-inch soft corn tortillas, warmed
  • Shredded lettuce for garnish
  • Salsa for garnish
  • Guacamole for garnish

Directions

  • To make sauce: Puree all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • To make tacos: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for about 4 minutes. Add seitan, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 4 minutes until golden brown. Remove from heat. Stir in cumin and chili powder.
  • Assemble the tacos: Smear some of the ancho-chili sauce on the tortilla, then top with lettuce, seitan/onion mixture, guacamole, salsa and cheese. You can switch up the order, but that’s the order I prefer.

*Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Times*

Pumpkin Mac & Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Apples

Sounds like an odd combination, but it works. The pumpkin flavor isn’t very strong at all – it just gives it a nice creaminess.

Serves: 4-6

11898791_10103478142531290_4330710274081016585_nIngredients

  • 8 oz dry macaroni pasta (I used orecchiette)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 apple, peeled and chopped (I used Fuji)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin beer
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/4 cups grated cheddar cheese (Note: I used half applewood smoked cheddar and half seriously sharp cheddar. It was pretty smoky. If you’re not a fan of smoky, you can use all sharp cheddar.)
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water, according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, stir to coat with oil, and let cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper. Let cook another 5 minutes or so and then add the chopped apples. Lower heat to medium-low. Continue to cook apples and onions, stirring occasionally, for an additional 5-10 minutes or so, until onions are caramelized and apples are softened and golden brown. Set aside.

Start your roux. Add butter to a medium saucepan and let melt over medium heat. Add flour to the melted butter and whisk continuously for about a minute. Raise heat a bit and add the beer.  Reduce until almost evaporated and mixture is quite thick, then whisk in the maple syrup and milk. Season with mustard powder, nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Let cook until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Whisk in the pumpkin then whisk in the grated cheese until incorporated.

Stir together the pasta, cheese sauce, onions, and apples. Spread the mixture into an 8×8 glass baking dish and sprinkle breadcrumbs on top. Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, let cool slightly, then serve.

*Recipe adapted from Pumpkin Mac & Cheese with Apples and Caramelized Onions*

Butternut Squash & Leek Galette with Brie and Cheddar

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For the crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

For the filling:

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts cut into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 oz. brie, cut into small squares
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar

Directions

First, start out by making the crust.

  • In a food processor fitted with the flat paddle attachment, stir the flour, salt, and sugar together.
  • Add butter to flour mixture and mix (on a KitchenAid mixer, which is what I use, this is Speed 2) for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Make sure you don’t over-mix it. You want the mixture to stay crumbly and the chunks of butter to be about the size of peas. (Note: If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a pastry cutter.)
  • Stir in the rosemary
  • Combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice in a large measuring cup or small bowl.
  • Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture, and mix until it is fully incorporated.
  • Add 1-2 more tablespoons of the ice water mixture, mixing until fully incorporated.
  • Squeeze and pinch with your fingertips to bring all the dough together, sprinkling dry bits with more small drops of the ice water mixture, if necessary, to combine.
  • Put dough on a lightly floured surface and pat it together to make one uniform piece. Flatten into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes-2 hours.

While your dough is chilling, work on your filling.

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Toss the squash with about 1 tablespoon olive oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper on a baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 30 minutes.
  • Heat about 1/2 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Sauté the leeks and garlic until the garlic is fragrant and the leeks have softened, 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Combine the roasted squash with the leeks. Taste and season, if necessary. Allow to cool to room temperature or refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the galette.

Roll out your dough and assemble the galette.

  • Roll your dough into an 11-inch round. (Note: If it has been in the refrigerator for the full 2 hours, it may need to sit out at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before you can roll it out.) Transfer the rolled out dough onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (Note: Try your best to make sure there aren’t any cracks where the filling can leak through.)
  • Add the shredded cheddar to your butternut squash and leek mixture and mix until combined.
  • Spread the mixture onto the dough, leaving about a 1 1/2 inch border. (You won’t have to use all the mixture, which means you’ll have some leftover to do whatever you want with – yay!)
  • Dot the top with the brie.
  • Gently fold the pastry over the butternut squash and leek mixture, pleating if needed to hold it in.
  • Using a pastry brush, brush the dough with your lightly beaten egg.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes until crust is golden brown.

*Recipe adapted from All-Butter Crust Recipe and Butternut Squash, Leek and Brie Galette*

Spinach and Ricotta Galette

Ingredients

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For the crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

For the filling:

  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 7.5 oz fresh baby spinach (about 13.5 cups)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced (Note: I don’t like things too garlicky, so I go light on the garlic. Feel free to go heavier!)
  • 3/4 cup ricotta, divided
  • 1/2 cup shredded asiago, divided
  • salt + pepper to taste

Directions

First, start out by making the crust.

  • In a food processor fitted with the flat paddle attachment, stir the flour, salt, and sugar together.
  • Add butter to flour mixture and mix (on a KitchenAid mixer, which is what I use, this is Speed 2) for about 30 second to 1 minute. Make sure you don’t over-mix it. You want the mixture to stay crumbly and the chunks of butter to be about the size of peas. (Note: If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a pastry cutter.)
  • Stir in the parsley and chives
  • Combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice in a large measuring cup or small bowl.
  • Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture, and mix until it is fully incorporated.
  • Add 1-2 more tablespoons of the ice water mixture, mixing until fully incorporated.
  • Squeeze and pinch with your fingertips to bring all the dough together, sprinkling dry bits with more small drops of the ice water mixture, if necessary, to combine.
  • Put dough on a lightly floured surface and pat it together to make one uniform piece. Flatten into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes-2 hours.

When your dough is almost done chilling, start putting together your filling.

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a large skillet or pan over medium high heat, add the olive oil.
  • Once the olive oil is hot, add the garlic and onions, stirring frequently for a few minutes until the onions begin to look translucent.
  • Add the spinach, stirring frequently until it has wilted and cooked down.
  • Transfer the mixture from your skillet or pan into a medium-sized bowl.
  • Add 1/4 cup ricotta and 1/4 cup asiago and mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Roll out your dough and assemble the galette.

  • Roll your dough into an 11-inch round. (Note: If it has been in the refrigerator for the full 2 hours, it may need to sit out at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before you can roll it out.) Transfer the rolled out dough onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (Note: Try your best to make sure there aren’t any cracks where the filling can leak through.)
  • Spread 1/2 cup ricotta onto the dough, leaving 1 1/2 inch border. Sprinkle with asiago.
  • Spread the spinach mixture over the ricotta and asiago, again leaving 1 1/2 inch border.
  • Sprinkle remaining asiago on the top.
  • Gently fold the pastry over the spinach mixture and cheese, pleating if needed to hold it in.
  • Using a pastry brush, brush the dough with your lightly beaten egg.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes until crust is golden brown.

Cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack before serving.

*Recipes adapted from All-Butter Crust Recipe*

Gnocchi with Tomato Broth

Homemade gnocchi is a super easy way to impress all your friends.

Makes about 4 servings.

Tomato Broth Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oilScreen Shot 2015-07-22 at 6.28.45 PM (1)
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 medium stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
  • 1 28-ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes with juices
  • Small handful fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Gnocchi Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. Russet potatoes (3-4)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting surface

Directions

Bake the potatoes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, pierce the potatoes a few times with a fork, and cook them for about 45-60 minutes, turning halfway through. You’ll know they’re done when a knife can easily pierce through them.
Make the tomato broth. Heat the oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the carrot, celery, and onion, and cook together for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for one minute more. Pour in the wine and cook until it is reduced by half, for several minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, mashing them a bit with a spoon, and the basil and stock, and simmer until the tomato broth thickens slightly, for about 45 minutes. Strain out the vegetables in a fine-mesh colander, and season the broth with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until needed.

Make the gnocchi. Let the potatoes cool for 10 minutes after baking, then peel them with a knife or a peeler. Grate the potatoes on the large holes of a box grater. Cool them to lukewarm, about another 10 minutes. Add the egg and salt, mixing to combine. Add 1/2 cup flour, and mix to combine. Add the next 1/2 cup flour, mixing again. Add 1/4 cup flour, mixing again. Finally, add 1 tablespoon of flour. You want the dough to be soft but only a little sticky (so that it won’t stick to your hands) and able to hold its shape enough to be rolled into a rope. Knead the dough together briefly on the counter for a minute.

Divide the dough into quarters. Roll each piece into a long rope, about 3/4-inch thick. Cut each rope into 3/4-inch lengths. At this point, you can use a floured fork to give each piece the traditional ridges, but you don’t have to. Place the gnocchi on a plate.

Cook the gnocchi. Place the gnocchi, a quarter-batch at a time, into a pot of boiling well-salted water. Cook the gnocchi until they float, about 2-4 minutes, then drain.

Assemble the meal. If you need to, heat the broth back up to a simmer, then spoon about 1/2 cup into a bowl. Gently drop the cooked gnocchi into the tomato broth. Top with shredded Parmesan, thin strips of basil, and ricotta (optional).

*Recipe adapted from Gnocchi in Tomato Broth*