Sunday, August 17, 2014

grain-free pumpkin gingerbread muffins

fall is nearly upon us.'s still over a month away, but school starts this week which is putting me in an autumn state of mind. leaves will begin to change colors, temperatures will begin to cool (at least for all you non-california folks), jackets and sweaters will come out of hiding...and pumpkin-everything will soon be everywhere. i am quite excited about that last bit because my love for pumpkin is a year-round affair.

muffins have been a hard sale since going paleo. my first experiments with almond meal were overly moist, muffins made with coconut flour were either too dry or too eggy, and, although we consumed every last one of anything i made, we were all left wanting my perfect, gluten-and-sugar-filled muffins of yesteryear. the following recipe is the result of playing around with a couple almost-there paleo muffin recipes and have become one of my favorite things to bake.

i have become a big fan of tapioca flour because it takes otherwise sad paleo baked goods and gives them the right amount of fluff and binder to border the edge of "normal" treats. these muffins are a nutrient packed food that is wonderful for an occasional weekend breakfast or as a grab-and-go weekday option. this makes 24 muffins if you measure out the batter well, so even if you have four children you can enjoy them for more than one sitting. ;)

grain-free pumpkin gingerbread muffins

1 C coconut flour
1 C tapioca flour
1/2 C coconut sugar
2 t baking soda
1 T cinnamon
1 T ginger
2 t ground cloves
1 t nutmeg

whisk together dry ingredients, then add:

1 can pumpkin
6 eggs
1/2 C unsweetened applesauce
1/4 C molasses
1/2 C coconut oil or butter, melted

whisk until everything is combined. with a large cookie scoop, divide between 20-24 cupcake holders. bake for 20-25 minutes at 350. allow to cool slightly before eating. once completely cool, these muffins release the best from cupcake liners of any paleo muffin i have made.

i just realized these are also nut-free, so should be pretty universally edible. ;)

Friday, August 1, 2014

curry nachos...with or without grains

there was a restaurant in downtown oregon city that andy and i loved. their lamb shank was fall-off-the-bone delicious and they had this unusual but great appetizer...curry nachos. long story short, we moved, they went out of business (hopefully not because we moved!), and i had to replicate the recipe. it is surprisingly easy and tastes exactly as i remember it at cypress.

curry nachos

1 lb ground turkey
1 T curry powder
salt and pepper

brown the turkey, adding the curry powder as it cooks. season to taste with salt and pepper.

here's where the grain/no-grain option comes in. on two baking sheets spread out either one bag of tortilla chips (my favorite is trader joe's organic white corn) or cut baby peppers in half (some may need to be cut in quarters, depending on the size) and remove seeds/membranes. for the size of this recipe you would need to cut most of a 2-lb bag of baby peppers.

preheat your broiler (i like mine on high). sprinkle the curried turkey on top of your "chips". shred monterey jack cheese on top and broil for 2-3 minutes, until cheese bubbles and begins to brown. remove from oven to cool for a couple minutes before topping with:

2 roma tomatoes, diced
3-4 green onions, finely sliced
1/2 bunch of cilantro, minced

serve with plain yogurt on the side (this is a condiment not to be left really makes all the flavors come together). this feeds my whole family of six well. the chip version does not save (soggy chips are gross) so if you aren't making food for a small army you may want to scale back...or invite friends over! ;)