Archive for the ‘grain-free’ Category

Quickie: Pasta-less Carbonara

This is a quick meal hack: making carbonara without pasta.  Generally, I don’t eat a lot of pasta anymore, but occasionally, I just say “screw it” and make a bowl of the real stuff.  None of this shirataki/squash BS; I have real rice sticks with my pad Thai and real spaghetti with my tomato sauce.  But this week, I flat-out forgot to buy a box of pasta, and my pantry is such that pasta just isn’t a staple I keep stocked.  So I’ve come up with a quick, easy, grain-free way to enjoy the eggy-creamy-cheesy-bacony goodness of carbonara without pasta.

Potatoes.  Yeah, not low-carb, but they’re delicious and I find them far easier on my digestion than gluten grains anyway.  I mixed in some diced zucchini as well, since I’m starting the produce and protein challenge tomorrow and also because I overbought zucchini at the market (easy to do this time of year).

Potatoes alla Carbonara

Potatoes alla Carbonara

3-5 small red potatoes, cubed

1-2 zucchini, diced

1 egg + 2 egg yolks

2-4 Tbsp. cream

1/2 c. grated hard Italian cheese (I think I used Romano)

6 strips of bacon, baked and chopped, grease reserved

Start by steaming the potatoes until just tender.  While the potatoes steam, whisk together eggy goodness, cream, and some pepper if you want.  Add the zucchini to the steamer about 5 minutes before the potatoes finish.  Remove your steamer basket and empty the water out of your pan and put the veggies back in over medium heat.  Add 3-4 Tbsp. bacon grease and stir to coat.  Add in the egg mixture and 1/2 the cheese.  Stir until a creamy sauce forms.  Add in the bacon.  Serve over a bed of kale and top with the rest of the cheese.  Makes 2 generous servings.

This post is part of Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet.

Greek Yogurt Cheesecake

I first encountered this recipe here, on Eat Live Run.  I thought it sounded good, and I’d been eating Greek yogurt lately.  But I tweaked and twiddled and really made the recipe my own.  First, I decided that I really wanted to commit to the whole healthy, nourishing food thing, so I didn’t want to make the crust with white flour.  And pate brisee doesn’t really lend itself well to soaking and I’m still stingy enough that I’m not about to shell out the $8 that a 2-lb. bag of sprouted flour costs at my store.  Maybe some day.

One thing I will say is that, in the future, I’ll make this with homemade yogurt cheese, rather than Greek yogurt.  I think it might even be cheaper.  And my store doesn’t carry full-fat Greek yogurt.  I made do with low-fat, since it didn’t have additives, but I bet it will be awesome with full-fat.  Also, I’m posting the recipe as I made it, but it would be even better with about 2/3 of the crust.  It comes out grain-free and gluten-free, as well as free of refined sugars.  And full of healthy fats and protein.

Each bite gets a blackberry. Perfect.

Yogurt Cheesecake

Crust:

1.5 cups whole hazelnuts

2 Tbsp. Rapadura

2 Tbsp. arrowroot powder

pinch of salt

6 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into chunks

1 egg white

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grind up the hazelnuts in a food processor, then add the sugar, arrowroot, and salt and process until combined.  Add the butter and pulse until it’s mixed in, then add the egg white and process until a lump of dough forms.  Press into the bottom of a parchment-lined, 8″ square pan.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until firm and slightly golden around the edges.

Filling:

16 oz. Greek yogurt (or 2 cups strained yogurt)

1 egg

2 egg yolks

1/2 cup heavy cream

2/3 cup Rapadura

1 tsp. vanilla

pinch of salt

1 Tbsp. arrowroot powder

Beat the filling ingredients together and pour into the warm crust.  Reduce oven temp to 350 degrees and bake for 50 minutes, or until jiggly but obviously set (mine had tiny bubbles that burst and left tiny craters all the way into the middle, like pinpricks).  Cool at room temperature, then refrigerate for 2-3 hours.  I stashed mine in the freezer for 30 minutes to accelerate this.  Remove from pan and peel away the parchment.  Cut into squares.  I got 9 generous squares, but it could easily be cut smaller.  Serve with fruit topping, if desired.

This post is part of Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade.

Italian Chip Steak Skillet

In the interest of maintaining my Sugar-Free Challenge commitment last week, one of the additional changes was to drastically reduce my intake of grains. This means I had to increase my intake of meats, eggs, fish, veggies, and dairy. Fruit I saved for special treats, since it was my only sweet. One thing I’ve found about grain-free eating is that it tends to get expensive for me. I don’t stick to an exclusively grain-free diet, but I do try to eat a lot less grain than the average American (2-4 servings per day, rather than the 6-11 recommended by the Food Pyramid).

But I can keep it cheaper. The last time I visited Hedgeapple Farm to buy more local, pastured beef, I stocked up on cheap cuts of meat. They were having a sale on rump roast (think pot roast) and chip steaks (think Philly cheese steaks), so I got 2 5-lb. rump roasts, 4 packs of chip steak, and some of the bulk 5-lb. packs of ground beef. Chip steaks are especially wonderful because they thaw relatively fast, are cheap, cook really fast, and offer a nice variety rather than eating ground beef all the time.

There are, however, only so many bread-less Philly cheese steaks a person can eat. So I mixed it up a little. This week, we’re having chip steak, three ways. Tuesday night, I made an Italian-inspired chip steak skillet meal. It cooks in one skillet, has no unfamiliar ingredients, and is delicious and hearty.

Italian Chip Steak Skillet
2/3 lb. of chip steak (also called sandwich steak, or use thin-sliced beef of another type)
Ghee or clarified butter (coconut oil for dairy-free)
salt and garlic powder
1 medium green bell pepper, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 can organic diced tomatoes (get the no salt added kind!)
1 oz. grated Parmesan cheese (optional, omit for dairy-free)
Lay the beef out on a plate and sprinkle with salt and garlic powder. Be liberal. Let that soak in while you slice up the veggies. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and melt your fat. Toss in your veggies and cook for a few minutes, until the onions soften slightly and begin to pick up a bit of color. Remove them and set aside. Add the meat to the hot pan and let it brown. When the meat starts to brown, add the veggies back in, along with the entire can of tomatoes. Bring this to a simmer, make sure all the meat is poked down into the sauce, and turn the heat to medium-low. Let this simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the meat is cooked through, the veggies are tender, and the sauce has thickened slightly. Serve it up, over rice or pasta if you want, or on its own for a hearty grain-free meal. Top with grated cheese. Makes 2 generous, grain-free servings. Could probably stretch to 3-4 servings if served with rice or pasta.
This post is part of Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet.