Almond Flour Trail Mix Scones

IMG_6264

Scones, in their traditional form, are pretty much devoid of nutrients and are high in carbs, making them a less than desirable breakfast option.  They are, however, undeniably delicious and go quite nicely with your morning coffee or tea.  These almond flour scones make for a much more nutritionally dense option that is higher in protein as well as heart-disease fighting plant sterols and Vitamin E.  You can choose any dried fruit and nut combination you like.  Enjoy these with a pat of grass fed butter!

Makes 10 small scones

 2 cups almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup pistachios, chopped
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons honey

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, combine almond flour, baking soda and sea salt.  Mix in the dried fruit and nuts.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and honey,  then add the wet ingredients to the dry.  The mixture will seem too dry at first, but just keep stirring until the dough comes together. Form dough into a ball, then shape into a square, about 1/2 inch thick.  Cut into 10 triangles.  Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

Baked Eggs in Tomatoes

IMG_6239

This breakfast recipe is any meal-prepper’s dream.  It’s super simple and delicious and requires only a few ingredients.  The tomatoes provide a good source of the antioxidant lycopene when cooked, while the eggs provide necessary protein, omega 3s and sulfur.  The final product is sturdy and travels well, making it ideal for a breakfast on the go or a quick mid-morning snack.  They are also a fun and easy idea for entertaining and can be made relatively quickly and in large batches for your next big brunch!

4 large tomatoes
8 pasture-raised eggs
sea salt
black pepper
3 T fresh basil or parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the tomatoes in half and carefully scoop out the seeds and center portion. Reserve this part for soups or sauces. In a ramekin, crack the eggs one at a time, then carefully slip into the scooped out part of each tomato. Season with salt and pepper and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until whites are set and yolks are still slightly runny. Top with fresh herbs.

Apple Cinnamon Protein Pancakes

 IMG_5874

Pancakes, though delicious, are traditionally pretty much devoid of nutrients, and thus rarely make an appearance at my breakfast table. White flour, white rice, white sugar, even white potatoes don’t really stand a chance in my kitchen. Even the whole grain varieties of pancakes are lacking substantial protein, essential to a good breakfast. These pancakes are a super yum way to add more protein to your breakfast, while still satisfying a pancake craving. They are grain free and made with almond meal, apple sauce and protein powder.  I cooked them in grass fed ghee to give them a little extra healthy fat boost, then topped them with caramelized apples and local honey.

Makes about 12 medium sized pancakes, or 3-4 servings

For the pancakes:

4 eggs
2/3 cup apple sauce, unsweetened
1/2 cup almond meal
1 scoop plain grass fed whey protein, or your protein powder of your choice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon maple syrup or honey

1 teaspoon grass fed butter or coconut oil, for cooking

Whisk the eggs in a small bowl, then add the applesauce, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon. Add in the almond flour, protein powder and baking powder and mix until thoroughly combined.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium. Add a small amount of butter or coconut oil . Once heated, pour in about 3-4 Tablespoons of batter. Cook 2-3 minutes per side, turning once bubbles start to form and the pancakes are firm enough to be flipped. Please note, these pancakes are a little more delicate than normal pancakes, so be careful when flipping!  Repeat with the remaining batter.

For the apple topping:
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 teaspoon grass fed butter or coconut oil
2-3 Tablespoons maple syrup or honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
squeeze lemon juice
In a small saucepan, combine the apples, butter, maple syrup or honey, lemon juice and cinnamon. Heat over medium heat until bubbling, then lower the heat and cook 10-15 minutes until apples soften and liquid thickens. Pour over pancakes and serve hot!

Lamb Burgers with Greek Yogurt + Cucumber Sauce

IMG_5731 IMG_5717 News flash: I’m not vegan anymore.  After seven years of devout veganism, several more years of vegetarianism, and even a brief foray into raw foodism, I am cured. Er, maybe not the right word…but suffice to say that I have happily rejoined the world of the (extremely conscious) omnivores.  And what a glorious world it is.  I can walk into a restaurant and order just about anything on the menu, no questions asked, and there are whole entire food groups previously ignored in my culinary self-education for me to play with.

Vegetables will always be my first love, and I’m not eating any less of them now that I’m also eating meat…and eggs….and cheese.  I’m still very concerned with where my food comes from, perhaps more so than ever.  If I’m eating out at a restaurant who is less than transparent with their sourcing, I’ll still elect a vegetarian option.  I choose clean proteins in the form of grass fed beef, pasture raised chicken and eggs, raw milk cheeses and recently, grass fed bison and lamb.  My reasons for making the switch were many and it wasn’t an easy decision, but so far I’m pretty pleased with the results. This lamb burger pairs really nicely with my Grain Free Tabouli recipe.  I went bun-less here with butter lettuce to keep carbs low, but you could opt for toasted pita bread or a whole grain or sourdough roll as a vessel.

Serves four

 For the lamb burgers: 
1 pound grass fed ground lamb 
1 small onion, minced
 1 clove garlic, minced 
3 Tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped 
3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
 pinch sea salt 
pinch black pepper 
olive oil 

In a stainless steel bowl, combine the ground lamb with the onion, garlic, mint, parsley, salt and pepper. Shape into four patties about 1/2 inch thick. Lightly coat both sides with olive oil. Grill the burgers over medium high heat on a grill or in a cast iron skillet on the stovetop.  Cook 10-12 minutes, turnings once or twice, until cooked through and browned on both sides.
For the Greek Yogurt + Cucumber Sauce : 
1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt, preferably Nancy's or Wallaby Brand 
1/2 seedless cucumber, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 Tablespoon olive oil 
1 Tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
 1 clove garlic, minced 
1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
black pepper to taste 

Scoop out the seeds from the cucumber half and dice the remaining flesh finely. Combine the garlic with the salt, then add in the chopped herbs and olive oil. Stir in the yogurt, then fold in the cucumber. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For assembly:
8 leaves butter lettuce or similar, washed and patted dry
4 slices red onion
4 slices ripe tomato

Place two leaves butter lettuce on a plate, overlapping. Place the lamb burger on top of the lettuce, then top with red onion, tomato and a generous dollop of Greek Yogurt + Cucumber Sauce. Serve alongside Grain Free Tabouli.


			

Grain Free Tabouli

IMG_5688 Parsley is abundant right now and to me that means only one thing–tabouli. Traditionally, tabouli is made with bulgar, yielding a distinctly nutty flavor while also lending some bulk.  Here, cauliflower and almonds replace the bulgar for a grain free alternative that is bright and crunchy and full of detoxifying sulphur compounds and antioxidants.  I like to mix in a dollop of greek yogurt and serve it alongside chicken or lamb.

¼ cup almonds
½ head cauliflower
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 cucumber, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
2 Tablespoons olive oil
juice of one lemon
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste

Place the almond in the food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Set aside. Break the cauliflower into florets and place in the food processor. Pulse until it resembles small grains. Combine the cauliflower and almonds, then fold in the parsley, mint, garlic, tomato, cucumber, and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice, and sprinkle with allspice, salt and pepper. Mix until incorporated and season to taste.