Monday, October 14, 2013

Apple spice protein pancakes (grain-, dairy-, and nut-free)

My apple tree runneth over. Seriously, I have far more apples than I know what to do with. So expect some apple-y recipes for the next few weeks at least. First up: pancakes! My weekday breakfast is typically smoked sausage with sauerkraut, largely because it is so easy, but I had a lazy Saturday morning and felt like making pancakes. This is similar to my fluffy buttermilk pancake recipe, but I modified it a bit to make it dairy-free. I also amped up the flavor with some warm spices and a touch of molasses, resulting in an apple spice cake taste.

APPLE SPICE PANCAKES
Makes 6 pancakes (about two servings)

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 eggs, separated (make sure not to get any drops of yolk in the white)
  • 1/2 cup liquid egg whites or egg substitute (or 4 fresh egg whites)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (either lite or full-fat will work)
  • 1/2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs unflavored or vanilla protein powder*
  • 3 Tbs coconut flour
  • 1 Tbs arrowroot or tapioca flour (or just use an extra tablespoon of coconut flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp each ground nutmeg, allspice, and cloves
    (note: if you'd like, you can substitute 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice for the all of the spices)
  • 1 apple, cored and cut into eight wedges, then wedges sliced very thin
  • Coconut oil, ghee, or butter for greasing the pan
DIRECTIONS
  1. Combine the coconut milk and lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Start preheating a nonstick skillet over medium-low.
  3. Beat the egg whites that came from the whole eggs with a big pinch of salt. Use an electric mixer with whisk attachment to beat the whites until they reach soft peaks. Set aside.
  4. Combine the coconut milk mixture, egg yolks, liquid egg whites, molasses, and vanilla extract in a medium-sized bowl and whisk well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, arrowroot or tapioca, protein powder, baking powder, and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk until thoroughly combined. Stir in HALF of the chopped apple.
  5. Vigorously stir about a fourth of the whipped egg whites into the batter to lighten it. Fold the remaining whipped egg whites into the batter mixture, being careful not to deflate the whites.
  6. For each pancake, brush lightly with oil or grease with a bit of butter. Pour a quarter cup of batter into the skillet, shaking lightly to distribute batter (it will be slightly mounded up due to the beaten egg whites). Be sure to scoop the batter from the bottom of the bowl as the apple slices will sink. Cook until bubbles are visible on top, then flip the pancake over and cook until the other side is golden brown.
  7. While the pancakes are cooking, heat a bit of oil or ghee in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining apple and saute until softened. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon and remove from heat.
  8. Serve the pancakes topped with sauteed apples.
 *I used unflavored unsweetened beef protein isolate for these. Yes, beef. I love it in gluten-free baked goods. You can read about why it works well in the guest post I made on Protein Pow. However, feel free to substitute your favorite protein powder, or just leave it out.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Afghani pumpkin and beef (Kaddo Bourani)

It's pumpkin season! I get excited when I see pumpkin recipes, but there is one recipe instruction that pretty much guarantees that I won't be making that dish:
(relevant Know Your Meme entry)
I'm not gonna do it. Nuh-uh. Not gonna happen. However, there's an Afghani dish involving pumpkin that I really wanted to recreate at home. My solution? Cut a pumpkin in half, roast it until soft, then easily peel off the rind and cut the flesh into cubes. This caused far less gnashing of teeth, plus I got that nice roasty caramelized flavor in the oven that you don't quite get from the stove top.
"Sugar Pie" pumpkin cut in half and roasted.

Slice it into wedges...

Use a paring knife to slide the soft pumpkin off of the skin.

So how did I discover kaddo bourani, anyway? Well, I was in New York visiting my family and I came across an Afghani restaurant, Khyber Pass. If I see a cuisine which I've never tried, I immediately want to eat it. So we walked in and were treated to meaty dishes with eggplant, pumpkin, bell pepper, and okra. My kind of eating! Seeing as its pumpkin season, I decided to recreate this particular dish at home. Normally it is served with a yogurt sauce, but to keep it dairy-free I made a tangy coconut milk dressing.

AFGHANI PUMPKIN AND BEEF (KADDO BOURANI)
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 pumpkin, any variety intended for cooking rather than decoration. I used a 2.5 lb "Sugar Pie" pumpkin, which produced about 8 cups of cubes.
  • 1 onion, chopped (about a cup)
  • 1 Tbs olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 Tbs fresh ginger root, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • One 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 cup thick full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs minced fresh mint leaves
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
DIRECTIONS
  1.  Combine the coconut milk, lemon juice, mint, and garlic powder. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Put in the refrigerator to chill.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut your pumpkin in half lengthwise. I use a paring knife to make the initial cut, then I separate the halves with a large chef's knife. Scoop out the seeds. Place it cut side down on a baking sheet lined with nonstick foil or parchment paper (or use regular foil and grease it). Roast for about 30 minutes or until soft but not mushy. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and let it cool. 
  3. Meanwhile, brown the ground beef with the minced garlic in a large deep skillet over medium-high. When it is no longer pink, drain the grease (I use a turkey baster) and season with salt, pepper, turmeric, coriander, and cinnamon. Add the crushed tomatoes, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered until ready to eat.
  4. Cut the pumpkin into wedges, then cut the pumpkin away from the skin and cut the flesh into cubes. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the onion and saute until translucent. Add the jalapeno and ginger and saute for about a minute or until fragrant. Stir in the pumpkin cubes, then deglaze the pan with a cup of water, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. To serve, mound the pumpkin cubes on a plate, then top with the meat sauce and drizzle with coconut sauce. If desired, garnish with a sprinkle of cayenne.
Prep-ahead variation: You can roast the pumpkin and brown the ground beef with garlic ahead of time, which is what I did.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sweet potato & bacon turkey meatloaf with mustard glaze

I love the flavor of sweet potato, but when it comes to veggie sides I tend to choose ones which are less starchy. So, I like the idea of a meat loaf which incorporates a small amount of sweet potato. I adapted this recipe from PaleOMG, but made a few changes; some for flavor, some to make it a bit less indulgent for a weeknight supper. I nixed the almond flour and scaled back on the quantity of sweet potato, raisins, and bacon. I've found that meat loaf holds together just fine without any binder, so I usually leave it out. I'm also not a huge fan of bacon-wrapped meat loaf since the slices on the outside end up being quite distinct from the loaf itself. Instead, I made an easy sweet mustard glaze by combining mustard and apple butter. The sharpness of the mustard was a nice contrast to the sweet and smoky flavors. Finally, I subbed ground turkey for ground beef, largely because I thought that sweet potato and bacon would complement it nicely.

I thought that the leftovers tasted even better than when it was freshly made, and it freezes beautifully. I individually wrapped the leftover slices and froze them that way. In the morning I grab a couple slices and put them in a tupperware container with some veggies, and by the time I'm ready for lunch the meat has thawed and I just heat everything up in the microwave.

SWEET POTATO & BACON TURKEY MEATLOAF WITH MUSTARD GLAZE
Makes 6 hearty servings

INGREDIENTS
  • 2.5 lbs 93% lean ground turkey
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion
  • One 6 oz sweet potato (I used half a 12 oz tater)
  • 6 oz bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) golden raisins (I think dried cranberries would work too!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (I used super strong Vietnamese cinnamon, if you use something milder you might bump this up to 1.5 tsp)
  • 2 Tbs smooth mustard (I used yellow mustard, you could try Dijon or brown deli mustard)
  • 2 Tbs unsweetened apple butter (can substitute applesauce if you'd like)

DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. Peel and shred the sweet potato. Dice the onion. I did both of these in the food processor.
  3. Put the chopped bacon in a cold skillet. Turn the heat to medium-high. Once the fat starts to render, stir in the raisins, onion, and garlic. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until the onions are translucent and the bacon is starting to crisp. Add the cinnamon and stir to combine, sauteeing for about 20 seconds or until fragrant. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside to cool.
  4. Beat the eggs in a large bowl with the sweet potato, salt, and pepper. Add the ground
  5. turkey and mix thoroughly (it's easiest if you use your hands). Add the onion-bacon mixture and combine.
  6. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil (I used nonstick foil). Shape the meat mixture into a loaf on the baking sheet. Combine the apple butter and mustard in a bowl, then evenly coat the loaf with it using a basting brush or the back of a spoon.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

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