Zucchini Taco Shells

Zucchini Taco Shells

Zutacos may just be the next zoodles. Just maybe. Zucchini Taco Shells are delightful and such a tasty way to enjoy summers abundance of zucchini. I cannot take the credit for this marvellous invention at all. Those gardening and food photography geniuses consisting of Todd and Diane invented them, I just made them gluten free.

You can pile whatever your favourite taco adornments are, I made some spicy smoked paprika ground pork topped with kimchi and fresh veggies, YUM.

This is my first post in a long while. It’s not that I haven’t been cooking up a storm and enjoying the hell out of summers abundance. It’s just a matter of taking an extended break to focus on other projects and make sense of life, all that jazz. Not that I’ve made sense of anything at all, aside from loving food, and the inevitable company it brings.

 

 

Zucchini Taco Shells

My sister got me hooked on this useless facts website. A dragon fly has a lifespan of 24 hours. I’m really not sure they are all accurate. There’s an entire section devoted to Chuck Norris, I mean reeeeeeeally. 7 Up pop used to contain lithium, too bad it still doesn’t, we could call it crazy pop. They say nutritious food costs 10 times as much as junk food. I don’t think this is true either. But it’s definitely double the cost, even though you’d think less chemicals would equal less expensive. This website makes bold statements, like if you eat lemons you’ll live longer and the older the father of your child is the uglier the child will be. I’d really like to see some evidence beyond the anecdotal here.

A few wise words of warning… don’t put grapes in the microwave, don’t intravenously inject nutmeg, don’t put your pearls in vinegar and when eating peanuts be sure not to combine them with other components of dynamite.

Well I feel good that I learned something today, know any weird ass random facts?

 

Zucchini Taco Shells

 

 

Zucchini Taco Shells

Ingredients

  • 3 small zucchini or 4 C worth, grated
  • 3/4 C almond flour
  • 1/2 C parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • fresh pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Strain any excess juice from the zucchini as best you can.
  3. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, drop zucchini mix by the spoonful, 4 tacos per sheet, and press down evenly.
  5. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes and let cool slightly before peeling off the parchment.
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Zucchini Taco Shells

Bacon and Scallion Paleo Pancakes

Bacon and Scallion Paleo Pancakes

bacon and scallion paleo pancakes

Okay I’ll just let the cat right out of the bag…these pancakes were supposed to be waffles. Never buy a waffle iron at a second hand store, there is a reason its there. After one very sticky pile of nothing I thought it would be best to turn them into pancakes which luckily was a massive success.

bacon and scallion paleo pancakes

I’ve never been a huge fan of sweet breakfasts, so savoury pancakes are right up my alley. If you’re into cheese, you can throw some aged raw cheddar in these for an extra special treat. I like to smother them in butter with a bit of maple syrup.

Bacon and Scallion Paleo Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 C almond flour
  • 1/4 C coconut flour
  • 1/4 C tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 C almond milk (unsweetened) or coconut milk
  • 1/4 C ghee or butter (melted)
  • 2 Tbs bacon fat (melted)
  • 6 pieces of crispy bacon, chopped
  • 6 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 raw cheddar cheese (shredded) (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients until smooth
  2. Heat a cast iron skillet and melt fat or oil of choice
  3. Drop 1/4 C of batter at a time and let cook until bubbles start to show around the edges, about 2 minutes per side.
  4. Makes about 12 pancakes
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bacon and scallion paleo pancakes

Nettle Pesto

Nettle Pesto

nettle pesto

Nettles, the stinging sisters as Susun Weed calls them, these magical stinging weeds turn into luscious nourishment once the heat touches them.

Nettles make me so giddy, they are such a treat and they don’t last long. When they arrive in early spring I stalk them and try to get them at their most prime, before they go to seed and get too rough and woody to enjoy. They are one of the first fresh local greens to come on the scene.

nettle pesto

They like to grow in marshy wet places, alongside fields and swamps, near creeks and moist woodlands. When harvesting nettles, wear gloves and long pants, bring scissors to snip off the tender top shoots and if you’re lucky you can go around for a second harvest.

nettle pesto

Many people see stinging nettles as an invasive weed, but they are actually a delicious food. All wild foods are far more nutrient dense than the domesticated plants we eat most often. Stinging nettles when lightly steamed to remove their sting, are reminiscent of spinach. They make a delicious earthy tasting tea and when infused for 4 hours or more offer an amazing source of key minerals that many of us are lacking.

 

 

 

We eat a lot of nettles this time of year, basically you can enjoy them in any dish you would use spinach for. So far we’ve really been digging stinging nettle omelettes, hummus, palak paneer, teas and other delightful nettle experiments.

nettle pesto

This pesto is ah-ma-zing, it’s really a classic pesto just nettles instead of basil, which gives it a more demure taste but equally satisfying. We ate it with zoodles (zucchini noodles) and roast chicken which was divine, the next days leftovers were spread on crusty sourdough bread from the french bakery in town.

Henry David Thoreau once said ” All good things are wild and free.” I would have to agree, and nettles definitely fall into that category. Food is meant to be free and the Earth provides plentifully, we just have to know where to look.

 

Nettle Pesto
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 C
 
Ingredients
  • 3 C fresh nettle leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ¾ C pine nuts
  • ¼ C olive oil
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • ¾ C parmesan or asiago cheese, shredded (optional)
Instructions
  1. Put a pot of water on and when its boiling dump the fresh nettles in for just one minute.
  2. Strain well and get as much water out as possible. Add nettles to blender or food processor.
  3. Add garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, sea salt, lemon juice and cheese if you're using it.
  4. Pulse until smooth and creamy and salt to taste. Enjoy!

 

nettle pesto

Prosciutto Wrapped Kale & Feta Lentil Bites

Prosciutto Wrapped Kale & Feta Lentil Bites

prosciutto wrapped kale & feta lentil bites

Those perfect fatty salty sheets notorious for wrapping whatever they touch in pure goodness. A tear through the fridge unveiled a bunch of caramelized onions, some kale, feta cheese and almond flour. Sounds like a pretty luscious filling to me.

prosciutto wrapped kale & feta lentil bites

 

But wait, its just not right- there’s a certain smoothness lacking and the consistency just isn’t there.

Tear through the pantries, which are looking quite barren lately. Behold, the humble lentil gleaming orange and begging to be used. Sure lentil, I’ll give you a chance, you might just fit the bill.

prosciutto wrapped kale & feta lentil bites

Cooked lentils, pureed until smooth and creamy, the perfect binder, a vehicle to backpack big flavours on. Oh humble lentil, maybe your the next up and comer in this crazy world.

 

Prosciutto Wrapped Kale & Feta Lentil Bites
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
Ingredients
  • 25 slices of prosciutto
  • ½ C red lentils
  • ½ C feta
  • ½ bunch of kale around 2 C chopped
  • ½ C caramelized onions (or you could just fry up an onion)
  • 1 C almond meal
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp thyme
Instructions
  1. Boil water and add lentils, cook for about 15 minutes until soft and drain well. Steam the kale over top the lentils for about 5 minutes.
  2. Puree steamed kale or finely chop.
  3. Combine kale,feta, onions,almond meal,salt and thyme in a large bowl.
  4. Lay prosciutto sliced on a lined baking tray, set oven to 350F.
  5. Puree the cooked lentils in a blender or food processor and add to the filling.
  6. Scoop one tablespoon filling into the middle of each prosciutto slice and wrap.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, best served hot.

 

 

prosciutto wrapped kale & feta lentil bites

Creamy Kale and Chicken Curry

Creamy Kale and Chicken Curry

Creamy Kale and Chicken Curry

Reinventing the wheel is fun, I really enjoy creating new versions of an old classic in my kitchen laboratory. Has it been done before? Maybe. But for me, it’s new, it came out of my imagination and this is how all great things were born!

Oh my, I’m getting a little carried away. Most new creations occur for me because of this- I hate when food goes to waste, it gets under my skin and I feel horribly guilty and terrible every single time I have to throw food in the compost (hey, at least its going back to the earth). This repugnance to wastefulness all started when I travelled to India and saw just how little people live off, and oh how those living in poverty cherish even the smallest morsel. Arriving back to Canada, broke ass and needing a job asap I worked in a high end restaurant as a server (though my heart is in the kitchen). The amount of food left on plates destined for a fate in the trash can (of course, no compost) it was really gut wrenching. Though probably illegal, I would have my own little doggy back which I would take home,ahem, for my dog. I didn’t last very long and after this embraced cooking over serving, with my trusty compost bucket always at my side.

Creamy Kale and Chicken Curry

The moral of the story.

The kale in the fridge was getting past its prime and my brain wanted to make curry for dinner. Don’t get me wrong I love kale…sometimes…but I didn’t want any leafyness in the curry, I wanted smooth and creamy luxuriousness sans leaf. Palak Paneer is one of my favourite indian dishes, if you aren’t familiar, paneer is a type of indian cottage cheese and its cooked with curried creamed spinach, the texture and satisfaction this dish brings makes it a beloved classic. This creamy kale and chicken curry basically emulates the texture of palak paneer but instead of paneer chunks I’ve used chicken. If you’re fully paleo you can omit the heavy cream and cream cheese and opt for coconut cream, the result isn’t quite as rich but deliciousness nonetheless.

Creamy Kale and Chicken Curry

 

Creamy Kale and Chicken Curry
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 Tbs bacon fat or coconut oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbs garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 bunch of kale, roughly chopped (remove the stems for a smoother sauce)
  • ¼ C cream cheese
  • ¼ C heavy cream OR omit dairy for ½ C coconut cream
  • ½ tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet melt fat and add onion, ginger and garlic to simmer, when onions are translucent add cumin seeds and garam masala, let this cook together for a few minutes on med.
  2. Add the chicken to the skillet and cover for a few minutes.
  3. Put a pot of water on with a steamer preferably for the kale. Steam until just tender but still bright green, about 3 minutes.
  4. Puree the steamed kale in a blender or food processor with the cream or coconut cream.
  5. Add to the skillet and stir in cream cheese until melted if your using it.
  6. Salt and enjoy alone or with basmati rice, coriander and plain yogurt.

 

Creamy Kale and Chicken Curry

And remember kids, don’t let your eyes be bigger than your belly, tee hee.

I don’t know, am I alone in this? Does wasting food grate your nerves like it does mine? I know those of us with kiddos are probably frustrated about this. What do yo think?

Sweet Potato Cakes

Sweet Potato Cakes

sweet potato cakes

The ultimate in comfort food, these crispy on the outside, soft and pillowy on the inside little sweet potato cakes are the latkes great cousin. Super simple and consisting of about 5 ingredients, you just can’t go wrong. Top them with anything from lox to caviar, guacamole to a fried egg- the possibilities are endless.

 

sweet potato cakes

Inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi‘s recipe, I have simply made a gluten free version with a zippy lemon-chile yogurt sauce. I’ve been cooking with sweet potatoes a lot lately as baby Mav just loves them, he’s my kinda guy. Ottolenghi is a huge inspiration, his cookbooks make vegetables look as exciting as skydiving off Mount Corcovado.

 

sweet potato cakes

It’s sunny and beautiful out and the massive pile of snow is swiftly melting down, the igloo J built has caved in on itself and winter seems to be dissipating for the time being. So I’m going to keep this short and sweet, just like these little cakes, and go for a jaunt in Vitamin D land out there.

sweet potato cakes

Sweet Potato Cakes
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 3 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ C coconut flour
  • 3 Tbs green onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp tamari or coconut aminos
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ C butter or ghee for frying
  • For the yogurt chile lemon sauce: 3 Tbs yogurt
  • 3 Tbs sour cream
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 red chile, diced
  • 1 handful coriander, chopped
Instructions
  1. Steam or boil your sweet potatoes until soft.
  2. Mash the sweet potatoes and combine with egg,coconut flour, tamari or coconut aminos, green onions, salt and pepper.
  3. Form walnut sized balls and press into patties about 1 cm thick. Fry in butter or ghee until golden brown on both sides.
  4. To make the yogurt sauce simply combine all ingredients, yogurt, sour cream, lemon, olive oil,chile and coriander.

 

sweet potato cakes