Sunday, March 29, 2015

So if you happened to just get about 150 emails from me.....

So we're in the process of launching a brand new site (cat's out of the bag now)....and apparently blogger thought sending this all out again was a good idea.

Sorry about that.... :)


Monday, March 16, 2015

Cassava Flour Tortillas (Grain/Gluten/Egg/Nut Free)

Normally I would try to have something poetic, elegant and subtle in this part of the blog post....but that's just not happening today. Today I'm just going to lay it all out in plain speech because I've got a ton of things going on but I don't want you to have to wait any longer for this amazing recipe. 

But before we go there, I just have to pause and announce: we got our book, My Paleo Patisserie back from the printers. YES, it's really here! If you don't already know what I am talking about, follow the won't be sorry, I promise. It is soooo beautiful and I am super thrilled with how it turned out. My Paleo Patisserie will be rolling out onto the bookshelves and into your homes (if you pre-ordered on Amazon) on April 7th. I will be posting a a little "look in to the book" in the next week or so.

Now on to the nitty-gritty of the recipe: 

The flour of the hour is.... Otto's Naturals Cassava flour.  I will say a a few things about this little treasure, but I encourage to check out their site to get more information on their amazing product. But in short, cassava (also known as yuca) is a root vegetable that when dried and ground (in this case using Otto's proprietary preparation) becomes a delicious, gluten and grain-free wheat alternative. It is wonderfully versatile and can often be used to as a 1:1 substitute for wheat flour in recipes. Sometimes cassava flour is thought of and even labeled tapioca flour and vice versa, and even though they do come from the same plant, they are processed and behave very differently in cooking and baking. You can read more about this on Otto's site.

Is Cassava Flour for Everyone? 

Because cassava flour is new to many people, I often get asked what my thoughts are on it. I am always thrilled to add a new grain-free flour to my baking options. Not only does it help reach a wider range of dietary needs, it also gives me more options and versatility  for getting creative in the kitchen. I like to mix my cassava flour with other grain free flours to get amazing textures and flavors, but it is also delicious used on it's own in recipes.

Obviously no food is perfect for everyone. People who are already sensitive to tapioca starch may find that they are sensitive to this as well. And remember, this is not a low starch food. So moderation is good, unless you are very active. Meaning, don't eat a whole 2lb bag of it in 1 day like we did... whoops.

Here are a few things I truly love about cassava flour: 
  • It's nut free, which is great for all the nut free folks out there who need more options. 
  • It works much better and produces a far less "gummy' product when making egg free baked goods.
  • It acts much more like traditional wheat flour than any other grain free flour, which translates into delicious fluffy cakes, breads and even bagels, yes bagels! And as you will see here...traditional stye flour tortillas.
Also, I would be a bad friend if I didn't tell you about the Yiddish Kitchen written by the "Yuca Queens" themselves Jennifer and Simone. And that amazing bagel I talked about earlier...yea, thats all them.

So without further's a few working tips and the recipe. Enjoy!

A few tips for getting started on building your own recipes with cassava flour:

A. Cassava flour weighs more than traditional wheat flour. It does sub 1:1 well in many cases, IF you are talking in terms of weight. But when using measuring cups (by volume instead of weight) there can be a significant weight difference from 1 cup of wheat flour to 1 cup of cassava flour.  It is always my preference to weigh my ingredients when working with flour substitutions for this reason. 

1 cup of wheat flour weighs about 120 grams, while 1 cup of cassava flour weighs about 140 grams. This variation can make a big difference in a recipe. If you choose not to weigh your ingredients I recommend using about 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of cassava flour in place of 1 cup of wheat flour when converting recipes.

B. When measuring by volume, don't pack the flour in. Use the scoop and sweep method for best results. Simply scoop up a rounded cup of loose flour, then sweep over the top with a butter knife or a flat edge. But really....just weigh it, it's so easy!

CBecause cassava flour doesn't contain gluten, just like other gluten free flours such as rice, millet, buckwheat lacks "stretchability", which can make it delicate to work with (though I find it much easier to work with than rice flour"). This isn't really a problem per-se, but something to be aware of if using it in a roll out dough, like the tortillas below. So take extra care when working with it in this way. I like to add golden flax seed to my cassava flour both to refine the working texture and to give it a delicious mellow, bready flavor. But there are endless ways to mix it up and make your own delicious recipe variations that suit your dietary needs and tastes. You can read more on that in the recipe. 

Now on to the recipe.....

Grain Free Tortillas


Note: For individuals on an Autoimmune Protocol (Paleo or otherwise), or for any issues with flax, these tortillas can be made with all cassava flour and no flaxseed. "Fork and Beans" blog has a great recipe that will work for you. However the recipe below has a delicious mellow "bready" flavor, and the dough is flexible and easy to work with due to the flaxseed. There are endless options for variations in any recipe. My goal here was to create a tortilla with great texture and a traditional flavor profile.


100 grams (3/4 cups) Ottos Naturals Cassava Flour (Get it here)
3 tablespoons arrowroot flour (Get it here)
1 tablespoon whole golden flax, finely ground*
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fat of choice (palm shortening, lard, ghee)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoon (165ml) warm water

*Or 2 tablespoons pre-ground flax meal. The flax used in this recipe is used as a flavor and texture enhancer, not an egg replacement. Though there has been some concern raised about heating and baking with flax, an overwhelming amount of studies suggest that ground flax is stable for baking up to 350°F/176°C. Read more HERE


1. In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flours, ground flax and salt until well combined. 

2. Add the fat and use your fingers to rub it into the flour until a crumbly mixture is formed. 

3. Add the water, then using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir the mixture together till it forms a smooth ball of dough. It will be quite sticky at first, you will even think "this is all wrong". Keep stirring till it comes together. Once it comes together, knead the dough with your hands until it becomes smooth.

4. Separate into 8 even balls for small tortillas or 4 even balls for large burrito sized tortillas. Keep the balls of dough covered with plastic wrap till ready to roll or they will dry out and form a crust o the outside.

5. Lay down a clean flour sack towel or a large piece of parchment paper. Generally dust the surface with more cassava four, then place a round of dough at the center of the towel or paper. Gently press the dough down with your palm to flatten it some. Dust the top with flour then using a rolling pin, carefully roll the dough into a 6 or 7 inch round for small tortillas or 8-9 inch round for large tortillas.
Rolling nice round, even AND thin tortillas can take some practice. Sometimes it helps to draw a circle of the size tortilla you want on the bottom side of your parchment paper as a guide at first

6. Carefully peel the tortilla dough from the towel or paper. Sometimes it helps to lift the towel or paper slightly to help it separate from the dough. Repeat with each ball of dough.

Note: I have success with stacking these on top of each other on a plate. To do this you need to sprinkle a little flour on the tops before laying another one down, to prevent sticking. Otherwise you can lay them out individually, uncovered, on a sheet of parchment paper.

7. Pre-heat a cast iron flat griddle or pan over medium heat for a few minutes or until evenly heated. Place one tortilla at a time on the hot griddle. Let cook on one side for about 25-30 seconds, or until the dough starts to puff, bubbles form, and the bottom has some brown flecks on the surface. If desired, move the tortilla around the pan a few times while it cooks for more even puffing.

Flip over and cook on the other side for another 25 seconds or so and the tortilla puffs up some more. Times will vary depending on your pan and heat level. Again, look for some brown spots on the bottom. Do not over cook or the tortillas will be crisp and dry. Adjust the heat as needed.

Serving and storing: Best served immediately, though they need to be kept covered with plastic wrap till ready to use. Dough can be made ahead of time and be stored, covered, at room temp for a few hours or in the fridge overnight. Bring to room temp before using.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Paleo Chicken Lumpia ( Fried Spring Rolls)

Somewhere around the mid-1980's, when football sized shoulder pads seemed like a good fashion choice for women and men were rolling up their white suit jacket sleeves (I'm looking at you Miami Vice); when we were all walking like Egyptians and the price of gasoline was a mere 89 cents a gallon... I was having my first nearly religious experience with lumpia. 

Lumpia is a Chinese-style spring roll that comes in a wide range of varieties and can be found most predominantly in the Philippines, which is where my family and I were living during the mid 80's. Generally speaking, lumpia is a mixture of veggies like cabbage and carrots, meat (usually pork, but I use chicken here), and/or seafood rolled into a thin wrapper (typically made from wheat flour). 

Why I Love Lumpia

Looking back, I'd say that my introduction to lumpia is probably one of the more influential and pivotal culinary experiences in my young life and is in many ways responsible for establishing my abiding love of cooking (and eating!) ethnic cuisine. 

But this wasn't just about it tasting so fabulous; for me, it was about experiencing the process...   

At the time, my family and I were living in the Philippines, running a refuge and recovery home for young women who had escaped the sex trade (see a little more about that here.) There were about 25 girls living in the home with us and we quite literally shared everything.

One day we were preparing for a big celebration and there was a room full of us sitting at long tables making wrappers, chopping veggies, filling...rolling....more chopping, filling, rolling and….well you get the idea. Things weren't moving too fast or too slow; the girls were laughing, telling stories and singing songs. Everyone was in sync, and right in the midst of this well choreographed chaos I had a moment. 

I realized in that moment what incredible power there is in "process." Power to share joy and teach about life; to heal brokenness and restore hope. There's just something mystical that happens when you gather with people to work on something, a common project, and in my experience, there's no more fertile ground for this kind of thing than cooking together.

It took us hours to roll enough lumpia for the large party that was planned and only a few short moments to eat the fruits of all that labor.....but it was worth every moment spent. Because when the lumpia was finally served, it wasn't just something to fill our bellies. We had history with it. We had those shared moments; the smells, stories, textures and laughs that now culminated with us sitting down to enjoy, finally.....the taste. And that taste was all the richer because of the process we had shared. 

Because of my dietary limitations I obviously don't make the traditional recipe that we used to make all those years ago, but the essence of that moment and the deliciousness of the recipe are alive and well and I'm so glad to be sharing it with you guys today.

Paleo Style Lumpia (fried spring rolls)

Grain or Gluten Free

Makes 9-10 rolls


2 tablespoons ghee or other oil
1/2 cup (60g) diced onion 
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup (60g) diced carrots
1/2 cup packed (50g) shredded cabbage
1/2 cup (40g) copped green onions
2 cups (8oz/225g) diced roasted chicken
1 tablespoon coconut amino's
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Fresh cracked pepper, to taste
10 round rice or tapioca spring roll wrappers (8 1/2"/22cm)
Preferred oil for frying (I like to use THIS one)

*Click on green links to find out where to buy select ingredients. Although tapioca and rice wraps can generally be found at an Asian market. 


Pre-heat a heavy bottomed frying pan with the 2 tablespoons of fat, over medium- high heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots and cabbage and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring periodically. The veggies don't need to be cooked all the way through as they will be cooked again later when fried. 

Remove from heat and and transfer to a large bowl. Add the chopped chicken, green onions, coconut amino's, salt and pepper to the other veggetables and toss to combine. Set aside.

Rolling and frying the spring rolls:

Fill a large bowl with lukewarm water. Dip one wrapper into the water for a few seconds to soften it. Lay the wrapper flat on a clean, damp towel. 

Place about 2 rounded tablespoons of filling toward the one-third of the wrap nearest to you. Gently fold the top over the filling, tuck it under the filling and pull it snug. Fold the sides inward over the filling (but not all the way to touching, or your roll will be too fat; see pictues), then tightly roll up the wrap. Take your time at first. Getting a tight roll is key to them not bursting in the oil. Be sure the end seam is secure and place them seam side down on another damp clean towel or plate. Repeat until all the filling has been used. 

Note: Remember, You want these little guys to be skinnier than an egg roll (about 1 to 1 1/2 inch round) and tightly rolled so they will stay together once they hit the hot oil. 

Fill a medium sized pot or deep pan with about 3 inches of fat/oil and heat till the oil reaches about 350F/176C degrees on a candy thermometer. Adjust the heat as needed to keep the oil steady at this temperature. Carefully slip in one spring roll at a time into the hot oil, being sure the rolls do not touch each other or they will stick. I usually fry 2 rolls at a time in a 2.5 quart sauce pan, but you might fit more if using a larger frying pan. If they do stick together, it is best to leave them alone till they are done frying. Otherwise you will cause a tear in the wrap and the filling will burst out. They will separate once fried.

Fry for about 4 minutes, then remove with a metal tongs and drain on paper towels. If using a shallower pan, turn the spring rolls half way through the frying time or as needed to ensure even cooking.

Serve and enjoy!

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Tomato-Less "Marinara" Sauce: Nightshade-Free, Tomato Style Sauce

Somewhere around 2005 I was deep in the middle of my advanced yoga teacher training. A natural, whole food approach to eating had already been a well established culture for our small little family but as a part of the training program I was encouraged to experiment with different perspectives and approaches to healthy living. We embraced this challenge with enthusiasm and as it has turned out, this "explorer" mentality is something that our family eventually just adopted as a general way of life.

This approach has led us through a number of amazing seasons. We've been vegetarians and vegans. We've embraced Ayurvedic cooking and medicine (learn more HERE) and explored all sorts of other fun and interesting choices. And as we've meandered down this path of discovery, we've found that some recipes just stuck with us, even when our journey evolved into another new phase. They've become our standards; the kind of beloved staples that one generation passes on to the next.

This blog was originally started as a way to share our journey, and the recipes we found along the way, with other people on this same path. For us, food has always been about community; about "breaking bread".....even if we are in a time when "bread" is off the menu.  

Even before I needed to be nightshade free for personal health reasons (learn more HERE), this tomato-less marinara was one of our family's most treasured staples. It's been in our family for over nine years. In fact, an earlier version of this recipe was the second post that I put up on here! It has evolved a bit over the years but I can honestly say that it is one of the greatest things that I have ever made. One of my favorite things being how packed with healthy vegetables it is. I'm super excited to be sharing it anew with you guys and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.....maybe this will become a favorite for your family as well. 

Tomato-less Marinara (No-mato sauce)
Makes about 1 US quart (4 cups/945ml)

For results that are most representative of this recipe, I recommend making it by the weights listed instead of volume (cups).


8oz/225g (1 1/2 cups)  1" cubed carrots (about 2 medium)
1lb/455g (3 cups)  peeled, 1" cubed Butternut squash (from a 1 1/2 lb/680g squash)
8oz/225g (1 1/2 cup) peeled, 1" cubed red beets 
5-6 garlic cloves, minced
9oz/250g (1 1/2 cups) diced yellow onion (1 medium)
3 TBLS Ghee or other fat for frying 
1 1/2 cups (375ml) water 
1/2 (125ml) Merlot or Cabernet wine (see subs*)
2 tablespoons vinegar, like AC, coconut or other vinegar)
1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice 
1-2 whole bay leaves
1 1/2  to 2 tablespoons dried Italian herbs**
2  teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper, or more to taste
1/2 cup or more water/wine to desired consistency.

*Since the wine plays a large role in mimicking the acidity and flavor of marinara, omitting the wine will significantly change the flavor of this sauce as it is written. But it will still taste fabulous. 

Sub options: Sub water for the wine, but increase the vinegar to taste (balsamic is a delicous option in small amounts).

**Dried Italian herbs is simply a blend of dried rosemary, thyme, basil, sage and oregano. There should be no other added ingredients.


Prepare the first 5 ingredients as stated above (chopping, mincing, etc…), set the garlic and onions aside. Steam the carrots, butternut squash and beets together till soft (can be pierced with a skewer). This takes about 40 minutes with a stove top steamer, over a medium high heat.

While the veggie mixture is cooking, heat the ghee (or other fat) over medium heat till melted and hot. Add the prepared garlic and onions to the hot pan and cook until they are caramelized and soft (this adds extra savory flavor to the sauce and imparts flavor to the fat). Set aside until the rest of vegetables are ready.

Transfer the steamed vegetables, onion mixture, water, wine, vinegar and lemon juice to a medium sized sauce pan and blend till smooth. I like my immersion blender for this job. If you don't have an  immersion blender, use a regular blender, then transfer the puree to a medium sauce pan. 

Stir in the bay leaves, herbs, salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat for 15-25 minutes. Stir periodically to keep the sauce from sticking or burning to the bottom of the pan. Add more liquid to desired consistency. 

Remove from heat. Serve immediately or pour into mason jars and let cool to room temperature. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. The sauce will thicken some once chilled. When ready to use, reheat over medium heat first then add more wine or water if needed.

We love to pair this sauce with our favorite grain free pasta by Cappello's. It is delicious!

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Cherry Cream Pies w/ Chocolate Macaroon Crust(Nut/Grain/Dairy/Egg Free)

These days it seems like waiting around every corner there's a profound and thought provoking new perspective anxiously coiled in anticipation for that bright, illuminating moment when our respective smartphones and tablets spring to life. Poised and ready, these new views seek to challenge us to think different and re-evaluate this thing called life and the vast and inexhaustible mysteries of the human experience. 

It's during times like these that I find myself drawn back to days gone by; to nobler times when the genteel overruled the grotesque and when dignity and propriety were the order of the day. It is from these revered times that I draw the sentiment which so aptly describes how I feel about this particular recipe. It is in the immortal words of the seminal and enduringly timeless rock band Warrant that I find my truth:  
She's my cherry pie, cool drink of water, such a sweet surprise. Tastes so good make a grown man cry....Sweet cherry pie, oh yea
In all seriousness though, I spent a number of my younger years in the "valentine's haters" club. Over the past 16 years of marriage, motherhood, working, sickness, recovery, life etc etc, I've realized that there are a whole lot of things out there that legitimately deserve to be on my 'dislike' list; and at the end of the day.....a holiday that celebrates love and appreciation for the people in my life just isn't one of those things.

And amazingly enough, once I let go of that particular bias, I found that my love of Valentine's day and everything surrounding it has just grown and grown with each passing February. So now I make no apologies for throwing my heart and soul into celebrating it each year. Mind you, I don't think shimmery balloons, teddy bears and cheap chocolates are ever a suitable demonstration of your feelings (unless you count that one year that I completely filled Ben's office with them while he was away at lunch....but that was different), however....I do believe that there is no greater time of year to throw yourself into extravagant, indulgent, luxurious desserts. I mean honestly...."love" always gets a pass right?! And so, in the name of love, I give you this year's offering......

Cherry Cream Pie Tartlets w/Chocolate Macaroon Crusts

Makes 12 mini tarts


Chocolate Macaroon Crust

1 1/2 cups unsweetened extra fine-shredded coconut*
3 tablespoons cocoa powder

Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon full fat coconut milk

*I recommend Let’s Do Organic coconut for my recipes

Cherry Cream Filling:

1/2 cup (about one cans worth) of cold coconut cream, like found at the top of a chilled can of coconut milk.
4-5 tablespoons cherry jam (store bought or see recipe below**)
added sweetener if needed

Whipped Cream Topping:

1/2 cup of cold coconut whip cream (as seen above)
Honey or maple syrup if desired, sweeten to taste (1 tablespoon is usually good)
Shaved bittersweet chocolate and/or whole cherries to garnish

Directions for the tarts:
All components can be made ahead of time and assembled when desired.

For the crust: 

Makes 12 mini (2 1/2 inch) tartlets, 4 small (3 1/2 inch) tart shells 

Preheat the oven to 345 degrees. Lightly grease your tart pan then combine all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Mix well. 

Press the macaroon dough evenly into the tart pans. About 1 rounded tablespoon per mini tart or 3 level tablespoons for the four small shells. Take your time pressing the dough firmly into the pan and shaping the sides for best results. If your house is super warm, chill the unbaked tart shells in the freezer for a few minutes.

Bake the mini shells for about 15 minutes (times will vary from oven to oven and size of pan). Check them half way through. Gently press down the center of each tart if it is rounding up, rotate the pan and continue to bake till done. They should be firm to the touch. Let cool completely in the pan or they will break apart. They will be much stronger once cooled.

For the Cherry Chiffon Cream:

Transfer the cold coconut cream to your standing mixer bowl (or medium sized bowl if using a hand mixer) and beat on high until thick and fluffy. This can take longer with a hand mixer. Slow the mixer as you add the jam one tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed to high again and beat the mixture for a few more minutes to get the lightest, most airy cream possible. You want the cherry cream to have the texture of softly whipped cream.

Clean the beaters and bowl to remove any residual cherry cream, then beat the rest of the coconut cream with the optional sweetener. Beat till light and airy. 

Assembling the tarts:

Carefully remove the cooled tart shells from the pan, I usually place a cookie sheet on top of the mini tart pan and flip the shells out onto the sheet. Sometimes they require a little tap to get them all out. Be gentle as the tart shell edges can be fragile.

Scoop mounds of the cherry cream into each tart. Using a piping bag fitted with a star tip (or whatever tip you like), pipe a small amount of plain coconut cream on top of the cherry cream. Garnish with shaved bittersweet chocolate and a whole cherry. Serve right away or chill for later use.

Cherry Jam** 

(make a few hours to 3 days in advance)
1 pound fresh or frozen pitted cherries 
1/4 cup Madeira wine or water
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup (more if desired)
1 tablespoon lemon juice 

Directions for making the jam: Gently pulse the cherries in a blender or food processor. Do not puree them, just pulse until the cherries are coarsely ground, leaving some large pieces for texture

Transfer cherries and the rest of the ingredients to a small sauce pan, then bring to a simmer. Cook until the liquid starts to thicken, 20-35 minutes. Stir often toward the end, pulling the spoon across the pan. You'll know it's about done when you pull the spoon through the jam and it takes a second for the juices to fill the space back in.

Remove from heat and allow to cool completely, then chill. The jam will continue to thicken as it cools. 

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Caramel Apple Coconut Macaroons (Grain/Dairy/Refined Sugar Free, Vegan)

Caramel Apple Coconut Macaroons

Makes 12-15 cookies


1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
1/4  cup coconut milk 
1 1/2 cups finely shredded coconut (I use  "Let's Do Coconut")
1/2 cup super fine blanched almond flour (for best results use THESE brands)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup Bare Fruit Crunchy Green Apple Chips, broken into tiny pieces (or homemade)
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil

Get the caramel topping recipe HERE  


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small sauce pan, combine the maple syrup and coconut milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook till the liquid is reduced by about half (or 1/4 cup but no less). This takes between 5-7 minutes. You can check by pouring the sauce into a liquid measuring cup. If it's not quite there, just pour back into the pot and reduce some more.

While the sauce is cooking, combine the almond flour (scoop and sweep method), coconut*, cinnamon and crushed apple pieces in a medium sized bowl. Mix till well blended.

When the sauce is ready, add it, the vanilla and the oil to the mixture. Mix until well combined. Careful the sauce may still be quite hot.

Using a rounded measuring tablespoon, scoop up a spoonful of dough. Drag the spoon up the side of the bowl to gently press dough into the spoon. Tap the spoon with the open side facing down on the side of the bowl and allow the formed dough to fall into you hand. Place on parchment covered cookie sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or till golden around the edges and a little on the tops. Times will vary from oven to oven.

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet. Cookies will be fragile while they are still hot, but will hold well once cooled. 

Eat as is or drizzle with your favorite caramel recipe and allow to set. Get my caramel topping recipe HERE.  If desired, push a Popsicle stick in the tops of each cookie and serve.

Makes 12-15 cookies depending on how packed your dough was and how much dough you ate while working. :)

*If your coconut shreds are fairly thick, you may need to pulse the almond flour and coconut together in a food processor a few times to get the right texture.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Vietnamese Inspired Chicken & Cabbage Salad (Paleo)

Once upon a time...long long ago, a little American girl packed up with her family and moved to Southeast Asia. As you might imagine this was quite an adventure!  It was filled with new smells, tastes, sounds, colors and many more things the girl had never experienced before.  
The open markets in Asia remind me of the farmers markets here, only on steroids.  They're bustling with hundreds of people selling, waving hands, yelling and negotiating prices for fresh vegetables, herbs, spices and much more! It was a beautiful thing!  My love for these new tastes and experiences was forever sealed.  I pretty much love all Asian styles of cooking now. 
This recipe is a light salad, reminiscent of Vietnamese and Cambodian cooking.  The Nước chm Sauce is modified to make it a little less fishy for my kids...and they LOVE it.  I also added olive oil for body and omitted the commonly used garlic and red chili's.  This makes for a very fresh salad taste that your whole family will love.

The Savoy Cabbage in this dish is a sweet, tender, light and crinkly cabbage.  Savoy is high in vitamin K, vitamin C and fiber.  It's also a very good source of fiber, manganese, folate, vitamin B6, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids.  If you have trouble finding it at your market you can also use Chinese cabbage, or a mixture of romaine and ice burg lettuce cut into very thin slices.

A word about fish sauce... it is important to buy a good fish sauce that is from the first pressing, with no added fillers, colors or chemicals. "Red Boat Fish Sauce" is a great fish sauce and is free of additives and sugar.

Vietnamese Style Chicken and Cabbage Salad
Serves 2-4 depending on if its a side or full meal


2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
1 small head Savoy Cabbage, thinly sliced (5 cups)
1 cup julienned carrots
6-7 green (spring) onions, thinly sliced long ways
1/4 cup  Mint leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup  Basil leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup  Cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

Nước chấm Inspired Salad Dressing

1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (to taste)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons honey (omit for 21DSD & Whole30 plans)
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoons Olive Oil (optional)
1/2 red seeded chili, chopped (optional)


To roast chicken breasts:  Place them in a baking dish with a cup of chicken broth and roast them at around 300 degrees for about 25 minutes or till cooked through (165 internal temp), baste a few times. Cool a bit then pull into thin strips or shred with a fork. Set aside.

Thinly slice the cabbage, carrots and spring onion tops(the green parts) into long strips.  Then roughly chop the herbs and place all the above ingredients into a large bowl.

In a separate bowl or mason jar, measure out all the dressing ingredients.  Shake or mix well. Pour the Dressing over the salad, toss and serve with Sriracha or other chili sauce.

Play with the salad dressing ratios to suit your taste.

This recipe is Paleo, Grain/Gluten/Dairy/Egg/Nut Free

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