Bacon-Wrapped Scallops

IMG_5901This is such an old recipe, and I’ve seen many versions of it. It’s quick and simple, and can be part of a nutrient-dense meal, or served as appetizers. Make sure you get good organic pastured bacon if you can (local farms, farmers’ markets, good butchers, etc).

Ingredients:

6 slices of bacon, cut in half
12 medium-sized scallops (or 6 large, cut in half)
approx. 5 T butter, melted
as much garlic as you want (a few cloves), minced or pressed
salt and pepper
12 toothpicks

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lay the bacon out on a flat baking pan and bake it for about 10 minutes each side. You want it to really start cooking, but still be pliable. Remove from oven and lay on a plate to cool to the point that you can touch it without burning your fingers.
Pour most of the leftover bacon fat out of the baking pan (strain and save it–it’s great for cooking everything, or making mayo out of (recipe soon).
Add the garlic, salt and pepper to your melted butter. (You can keep some of this aside to pour over at the end.)
Dip each scallop piece into the garlic butter. Thoroughly coat each one.
Then wrap each scallop with a piece of the bacon and secure it with a toothpick (make sure toothpick goes all the way through the whole scallop and bacon on each side, so it doesn’t fall apart in the baking).
Place each scallop onto the greased baking pan.
Bake until scallops are done and bacon is starting to crisp a little (approximately 20 minutes).
Remove from oven, arrange on plates and pour remaining garlic butter over all.
These are also delicious with a chipotle mayo, for which I will try to get a recipe up soon.

 

Raw Chocolates, sugar-free and delicious

No time left today, but will get this recipe up very soon, so stay tuned. I promise it will be in the next couple of days. These are incredible, if you are a true chocoholic and like dark bitter chocolate, but don’t want (or can’t have) all the sugar.

 

Spicy Almond-Pecan-Cranberry Holiday Bread

OK, It’s been a long time since I’ve posted recipes on here, so I am going to try to put up a whole bunch of posts today with holiday ideas among them (and yes, more breakfast ideas for those who keep asking!)

First on the list of holiday recipes is this delicious pecan bread that I adapted from a recipe a friend gave me a couple of years ago, which I think she may have adapted from The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cook-Book, by Elana Amsterdam, a great resource for how to use almond flour I have recently discovered, though she uses ingredients I don’t recommend, such as Agave Nectar, which is basically High Fructose Corn Syrup. Anyway, here’s my final adaptation of this bread, great for the holidays, but also a good low-carb, sugar-free, gluten-free breakfast staple. (Pictured above with home-made yoghurt cream-cheese.)

Ingredients:
3/4 cup creamy raw almond butter
4 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup blanched almond flour
1 T maple syrup (optional, for a sweeter bread)
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
1/2 t baking soda
10 to 12 scoops KAL organic stevia (or to taste–this bread is good sweet or not)
1 t cinnamon
1/8 t cloves
1/8 t fresh ground black pepper
1 t nutmeg
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or dried tart cherries, like Montmorencies)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a bread pan with butter or ghee and dust with almond flour.  Mix together the almond butter and eggs (and maple syrup if using) until thoroughly blended. In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour, arrowroot powder, baking soda, stevia and spices. Combine the wet and dry ingredients well, then fold in the pecans and cranberries or cherries (or both!). Pour batter into the greased pan.
Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until a fork inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in the pan for about an hour. Keeps well in the fridge for at least a week. This bread makes great toast and great french toast too (more breakfast ideas).

Like this knife? Check out Zeke’s amazing new knives at his etsy shop, echtzeke. He’s getting new ones up every couple of days, so keep checking back. Great gift ideas!

Gluten-Free/Grain-Free Holiday Stuffing #1

A few people have been asking me for stuffing ideas(dressing for you Brits [one person asking was a british friend]!), so here’s one I just did this week that was great. I’ll get up a few more soon, as Thanksgiving approaches. Sorry these aren’t the greatest photos. I’ll try to get better ones next time.

Grain-Free, Gluten-Free Vegetable Holiday Stuffing #1

This will be enough to stuff a medium-sized turkey or chicken and have some left over to bake separately. Really the great thing about stuffing is the flavor the herbs give it. We didn’t miss the bread at all here.

2 or 3 medium-sized carrots, diced
2 large stalks celery, diced
1 large (or 2 medium) leeks, sliced thinly
1 medium to large onion, finely diced
1 T dried rosemary, ground up a bit
2 T dried sage, ground
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 pound butter, melted
1/4 to 1/2 cup bone broth
1/4 to 1/2 cup blanched almond flour

Saute all the veggies until soft in a couple T of the butter, adding the herbs toward the end. Place veggies in a baking dish (I use pyrex or ceramic) with the rest of the butter, broth, and the almond flour. Stir a bit until well-mixed. Place in a 350F oven and bake for about 25 minutes, until slightly browned on top.
Alternately, you can take as much of the stuffing as will fill your turkey or chicken, then bake the rest as above. Serve with gravy. It’s delicious!

Here’s the roasted chicken we ate stuffed with the above dressing last week, which I rubbed with butter,  fresh garlic, paprika, thyme, sage, a little cumin, salt and pepper before I put it in the oven. Kept basting the whole time, every 20 minutes or so, and it came out great. A trick my stepmother taught me for doing large birds is to start baking it in the oven upside-down for a while. Then all the fat from the underside and the dark meat, etc., runs into the breast side which can sometimes dry out a bit. I tried it last Thanksgiving and it really worked. You just have to take it out about half-way through and flip it breast-side up and rub with more herbs, so you get the crispy skin on top without too much drying.

Obviously, gearing up for the holidays already! Who says every day can’t be Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday, since it’s all about food, friends and family–certainly not about stealing the country from our Native American ancestors for my family! That’s for another day when I feel like ranting)? I think I feel pretty thankful most of the time, especially with a diabetic kid.

Two Really Easy Gourd Recipes

Roasted Delicata Circles

Delicata is delicious, sort of sweet, but not as starchy as Butternut, so doesn’t spike sugar/insulin as badly. My daughter loves these cold the next day for lunch.

A couple of small to medium delicata squash
Extra Virgin, cold-pressed organic coconut or olive oil
sea salt to taste
ground pepper to taste (optional)

Slice the squash in thin rounds (about 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch thick). Clean out the seeds. Spread in a single layer on a baking dish that’s been sprinkled with the oil (I use a pyrex dish–you’ll need more than one, or the other option is to pile the squash up in a thicker layer, but then make sure to stir frequently so it all gets cooked). If using coconut oil, bake at 350 F for about 15 minutes, then turn circles over and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until just slightly browning. If using olive oil, bake at a lower temperature, around 300 F, for about 20 minutes each side. Remove from oven. Sprinkle salt and pepper over all and enjoy warm or cold.

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Creamy Coconut Pumpkin Soup

I have been craving everything pumpkin lately (have I mentioned this already?). It must be the power of suggestion, some subliminal thing. Ya think? They’re everywhere, here in New England, right now:every roadside, every porch, every schoolyard. People keep bringing them over (we happen to not have grown any this year–not sure why–just forgot). We have a bunch of various-sized ones in our front hallway that my daughter has great plans for:she’s presently obsessed with Harry Potter,  being 1/2-way through the fourth book, so the pumpkins will soon be carved into a plethora of fantastical characters from the books (for some reason, none of her favorites, none of the main characters, rather some of the secondary more obscure ones). I’ll put up some pics in here when they actually get carved, see if anyone can guess who they are…
Meanwhile…. this oh-so-simple and satisfying soup:

To make pumpkin puree:
Cut a baking pumpkin in half and scoop out seeds, etc. Prick each half in a few places with a fork. Place face-side down on an oiled baking dish. Roast in oven  at 350F to 375F for approximately 1/2 an hour (depending on size of pumpkin), or until soft when pricked with a fork. Remove from oven. Cool enough that you can handle it with bare hands. Scrape pumpkin meat off of skin with a large spoon and place in food processor or blender and puree, adding small amounts of  broth or water if necessary to make smooth. Add fresh raw pastured butter and/or cream, salt and pepper, and you have a delicious veggie, or make the soup:

4 cups pumpkin puree (either canned or home-made)
1 and 1/2 cups coconut cream
1/2 to 1 cup home-made bone-broth
salt and pepper to taste
Cilantro (finely chopped) is also good in this (optional)

Stir everything together in a pot, and bring almost to boiling point. Serve warm with an extra dollop of coconut cream (or sour cream) and sprinkling of cilantro or rosemary.

Remember, pumpkin is not a very low-carb food, though nowhere near as high on the glycemic index as sweet potatoes. If you eat it with lots of good fat (coconut, raw cream, etc) and in a meal with some protein too, you should be OK.

Pictures of recipes I promise I’ll post once I get home

In this post are three recipes I promised I’d get in here when I was out of town:

1. Grain-free/Sugar-free Almond Flour Mixed Berry Scones

2. Raw Cream/Cacao-Almond Cookie Mini-Cakes (sugar-and-grain-free)

3. Coconut/Almond/Maple Pancakes with Raw Creme Fraiche

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Grain-free/Sugar-free Almond Flour Mixed Berry Scones:

These are basically big muffins, but I call them scones because I use large muffin cups, and pile on lots of batter, so they really look more like a cross between a muffin and a scone (see photo above). There are so many berries everywhere for the picking where I live, that we make lots of berry recipes all summer long. This is a favorite, protein-filled breakfast. delicious (and healthy) with a large dab of fresh-pastured raw butter. They also work for dessert!

Recipe:

3 cups blanched almond flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup butter or coconut oil or combination of the two, melted over low heat
3 eggs
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fresh strawberries
1 T grated lemon or orange peel
1 T vanilla extract
Powdered stevia to taste ( I use about 12 little scoops of the organic KAL stevia–about 3/4 of a tsp)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 12 muffin cups with those paper-liner muffin things (you could also use just parchment paper, but then I would grease the sides well with butter first, to be safe, so you don’t get any sticking).
In a large bowl, combine almond flour, stevia and baking soda.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs well, then add the oil/butter, vanilla extract and grated citrus rind. Whisk together, then stir into the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined.
Fold in the berries.
Spoon batter into the muffin cups.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until slightly browning, and until a fork inserted into center of  a “scone” comes out clean.
Let cool in the pan for about 1/2 an hour.

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Raw Cream/Cacao-Almond Cookie Mini-Cakes (Suger-free/Grain-free):

These are for serious dark, bitter chocoholics like myself (I’m not bitter, but I like my chocolate that way, and so, surprisingly, does my daughter! I guess raising her with no sugar at all has paid off. No real sweet-tooth, though she does like her stevia.) Once again, these are healthy enough to eat for breakfast. Unadulterated chocolate is one of the best sources of magnesium there is, a mineral diabetics in particular need in abundance.

Recipe:

Chocolate mini-cakes:

3 cups blanched almond flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
1/2 cup raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
1 and 1/4 cups butter or coconut oil or combination of the two, melted over low heat
1 T vanilla extract
Stevia to taste (I use about 24 little scoops of KAL stevia in this, but I like very bitter chocolate, so you may want to use a little more–remember, it will taste sweeter when you taste it before cooking than it will after)
2 tsp orange extract (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine almond flour, baking soda, arrowroot powder, cocoa powder and stevia. Stir together well.
In a smaller bowl, combine the oil/butter and extracts.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until well combined.
Spoon the dough onto the baking sheet to make cakes that are approximately 2 and 1/2 inches in diameter and about an inch thick (like big thick cookies). Leave about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch between them.
Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, until the cakes just start to look dry and crack a tiny bit on the tops. Remove promptly and let cool completely for at least 1/2 an hour, then place in fridge for another hour or so.

Meanwhile… The cream:

2 to 3 cups fresh raw whole-fat cream
1 T vanilla extract
Stevia to taste

Whip these ingredients together well, until soft peaks form when you pick the mixer out of the cream.

Assemblage:
Place a mini-cake on a plate, layer whipped cream on top, place another cake on top of this, put more whipped cream on top. You could keep going I suppose. I did only 2 layers. Doing a whole bunch would be decadent. If anyone tries it, let me know.

Enjoy.

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Coconut/Almond/Maple Pancakes with Raw Creme Fraiche: