Archive of ‘Almost Paleo’ category

Pear Prosciutto Wraps – easy holiday appetizer

Pear Prosciutto Wraps 3

Looking for a great easy appetizer for your holiday potluck? You are in luck with these super easy and delicious Pear Prosciutto Wraps. One of the reasons I started this blog was to keep track of my favorite recipes and how I modified them. Keeping track of recipes I make and love is so much easier with a blog. My pinterest account is totally unorganized plus full of things i’d like to try. You also never know if a recipe that has been posted will still remain years into the future so the blog is a great reminder of what i’ve made that I love. This is one of those recipes I want to keep track of. I love using seasonal fruits and vegetables in my cooking and pears are in season right now. I found this original recipe here and I just realized now I totally made it wrong. I just went by the photo without reading the actual recipe and used the following ingredients and they were delicious:

Pears Sliced
Basil
Gorgonzola Cheese – Crumbled
Prosciutto

I loved the combination of sweet pears, salty prosciutto, lovely basil and strong gorgonzola. Next time I make these i’ll be adding honey to them and I think they will taste even better.

Pear Prosciutto Wraps 2

Pear Prosciutto Wraps

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Ginger Ponzu BBQ Chicken Skewers

Dinner really can’t get any easier than these ginger ponzu bbq chicken skewers. Ponzu sauce is a citrus sauce used in a lot of Japanese recipes. It’s made by simmering mirin, rice vinegar, katsuobushi flakes (from tuna), and seaweed (kombu) over medium heat. The liquid is then cooled, strained to remove the katsuobushi flakes, and finally the juice of one or more of the following citrus fruits is added: yuzu, sudachi, daidai, kabosu, or lemon. If you find it on a menu, most restaurants use the version of ponzu that contains soy sauce so be sure to confirm with the restaurant if it is or isn’t gluten free. My version of ponzu sauce is much simpler. I usually just combine citrus and soy sauce to make it quick and easy.

Ginger Ponzu BBQ Chicken

Ingredients
1 lb. Chicken Thighs Cut Into Cubes
1/8 Cup Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp Ginger
Juice of 1 Orange
Optional – Sriracha Sauce on the side

Instructions
1. Combine all of the ingredients except the sriracha in a bowl and place in fridge for about 30 minutes to marinate.
2. Place chicken on skewers and discard remaining marinade.
3. BBQ on direct medium for 5-6 minutes per side or until fully cooked. To prevent sticking, do not flip too early. To make sure each piece of chicken gets fully cooked, make sure to place the pieces of chicken loosely on the skewers.

Ginger Ponzu BBQ Chicken Skewers

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Heirloom Tomato and Peach Caprese Salad

This heirloom tomato and peach caprese salad is definitely not my invention. If you google it you can find so many variations that all look so good. I love this salad so much that I had to share it. Not only is it fun to make and a beautiful presentation, but it’s another salad that I actually like to eat. I am not usually a tomato fan. In pasta dishes or cooked down to a sauce I am ok but don’t really like regular tomatoes on their own. However, I love heirloom tomatoes all summer long and ripe peaches are so delicious when combined with the sweet tomatoes.

There are many varieties of heirloom tomatoes and you can now find them at almost any grocery store. Some taste better than others. They have a shorter shelf life typically than regular tomatoes which is why you often see them a little too ripe in the store. I like to buy mine in the multi-package at Trader Joes and store them in the refrigerator to make them last a little longer even though the flavor is better when you leave them out.

Heirloom Tomato Peach Caprese Salad

Serves 2

Arrange the following on a plate:
1 Heirloom Tomato, Sliced
1 Ripe Peach, Sliced – yellow or white but make sure it’s ripe
Fresh Mozzarella, Sliced
Chopped Basil
Fresh Pepper
Drizzle with Olive Oil
Optional – Drizzle with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Heirloom Tomato Peach Caprese Salad

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Mediterranean Chicken Casserole

I’ve been making these Mediterranean Chicken Packets from Martha Stewart for several years and they are so delicious I decided to turn this recipe into a Mediterranean Chicken Casserole. I have gotten really lazy lately. I have great aspirations of cooking everything I love to eat but just don’t have the energy in my third trimester to cook everything I aspire to. The best thing about casseroles is they have very little hands on time. You just throw a bunch of things in a dish, put it in the oven, and forget about it until the timer goes off. That’s exactly what i’ve done for this recipe to have a great meal with very little time. You can get so much done or just relax and do nothing while dinner is in the oven making itself.

Mediterranean Chicken Caserole

Serves: 4-6
Hands On Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 55 Minutes

Ingredients:
1 lb. Boneless Chicken Breast Tenders
28 oz. Diced Tomatoes Drained
14 oz. Canned Artichoke Hearts Quartered
3 Tbsp Sundried Tomatoes
30 Pitted Greek Kalamata Olives
6 tsp Capers
1 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
1 tsp dried Oregano

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Spray casserole dish with olive oil.
3. Place chicken breast tenders in bottom of pan and season with salt and pepper.
4. In a bowl combine the diced tomatoes, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, kalamata olives, capers, feta cheese, and oregano.
5. Pour mixture over chicken.
6. Cover dish with foil.
7. Bake covered with foil for 40-50 minutes until chicken is fully cooked.

This is what my casserole looked like before I put it in the oven.
Mediterranean Chicken Caserole

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Capella Ixtapa Cucumber Margarita

We had an amazing stay last week at Capella Ixtapa in Mexico. It’s hard to believe we will soon be three instead of the two of us all the time. We are so incredibly excited for our baby girl to arrive and wanted to take one last trip just the two of us while we still could. We loved the Capella Ixtapa so much we left only for about 20 minutes the whole trip to the beach nearby and immediately returned. There was no reason for us to leave the resort. My favorite drink on our babymoon was the non-alcoholic Cucumber Margarita so I asked the bartender to share the recipe with me so I could make the real version after the baby arrives. The non-alcoholic version of this drink is so delicious and refreshing. The bartender didn’t show me how to make the non-alcoholic version so I made my own recipe below. I can’t wait to have the real one in a few months.

Capella Ixtapa Babymoon

Margarita Ingredients:
2″ Piece of Cucumber, Peeled
1.5 oz. Silver Tequila
1 oz. Silver Cointreau Orange Liqueur
1.5 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
Agave to taste

Non-Alcoholic Margarita Ingredients:
2″ Piece of Cucumber, Peeled
2 oz. Fresh Orange Juice
2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
Agave to taste

Plus:
3 thin slices of cucumber for garnish
Tajin or Salt for rim of glass
Lime
Ice
Sparkling water (non-alcoholic version only)

Instructions:
1. Muddle the cucumber to get all of the flavor of the cucumber
2. Add the cucumber and remaining margarita ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake with ice.
3. Rub lime on outside of glass and dip into Tajin or Salt
4. Fill glass with ice and pour margarita over ice.
5. Add cucumber slices for garnish

If you don’t want to muddle the cucumber, I made the non-alcoholic version with cucumber, lime juice, orange juice, and agave using a blender instead. After blending and shaking the 3 ingredients I topped it off with sparkling water and it was so delicious.

Enjoy!

Here’s more about our stay at the Capella Ixtapa:
The past couple vacations we have taken have been to Hawaii which we love for the many activities we can enjoy while on vacation. We knew I wouldn’t have the energy to go on big hikes or anything that took a lot of energy so we decided on Mexico. We picked Mexico for this trip because the food is incredibly gluten free friendly and it was a short 3 hour direct flight from LAX. The staff at the Capella Ixtapa went out of their way to ensure the food I ate had no gluten or alcohol. We mentioned my gluten intolerance the 2nd night to one waiter and every server plus the room service staff thereafter knew I had a gluten intolerance and paid special attention to everything I ordered and ate. I cannot recall a better experience anywhere I have stayed.

Capella Ixtapa Babymoon

Capella Ixtapa Babymoon

Capella Ixtapa Babymoon

Capella Ixtapa Babymoon

My favorite meal of the trip was the fish grill on the patio overlooking the ocean which we luckily were able to do twice.

This was the fish selection as we entered the restaurant:
Capella Ixtapa Babymoon

The view from our table was breathtaking.
Capella Ixtapa Babymoon

Our appetizer of guacamole and chips. The hotel also brought this to our room every night around 5pm. For me they brought sliced carrots and cucumber because they couldn’t guarantee the chips didn’t have any flour in them.
Capella Ixtapa Babymoon

This Octopus Salad was delicious and I loved the presentation.
Capella Ixtapa Babymoon

This was my dinner. In addition to the fish I ordered the plantains which were delicious and corn.
Capella Ixtapa Babymoon

Hopefully we will be able to return there again someday. The service was amazing. The food was incredible. It was so relaxing and the perfect vacation for what we were looking for. If you are planning a trip to the Capella Ixtapa and have any questions about our stay, please leave a comment below or email me.

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Easy Pasta With Zoodles

Zoodles Gluten Free Pasta Spaghetti

I never have become a fan of any gluten free noodles i’ve tried. I’ll have them if I am at a restaurant but don’t like making them at home. Vegetables have so much more flavor than the gluten free noodles i’ve tried. Before I discovered Zoodles, I used to always use spaghetti squash for pasta dishes. I even taught my boyfriend who always gets home from work before I do how to prep the spaghetti squash and get it started roasting to save time after work. It’s super easy to make but just takes so long. Recently I switched to Zoodles and like them so much more. They are delicious and way faster than spaghetti squash so they are perfect for a quick and easy 30 minute meal like this one.

Zoodles Gluten Free Spaghetti Pasta

Here is what you need:
1lb. Sliced Spicy Chicken, Pork, or Turkey Sausage
1 Pint Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Crushed Garlic
1 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
1/4 Cup Kalamata olives
1/2 Cup Sliced Mushrooms
1/4 Cup Sundried Tomatoes
Basil
3-4 Zucchinis
Fresh Basil
Shaved Parmesan Cheese

Here is how you make it:
1. Heat olive oil to medium in a large sauté pan.
2. Sauté sliced sausage until fully cooked.
3. While the sausage is cooking, create zucchini spirals with a spiraling tool like the Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer or use a vegetable slicer to create zucchini “noodles”.
4. Remove any excess fat from the meat.
5. Add garlic and sauté until aromatic.
6. Add the tomatoes to the meat and cook covered for 3-5 minutes until soft. You know the tomatoes are done when they crush with very little effort. Once they are done, use a potato masher or back of a large spoon to crush up tomatoes.
7. Add sundried tomatoes, ground pepper, sliced mushrooms, and kalamata olives and stir and sauté until mushrooms are cooked.
8. In a separate pan, sauté zucchini noodles with olive oil until cooked but still slightly crunchy.
9. Place zoodles on plate and top with pasta sauce.

Top with basil and parmesan and enjoy!

Zoodles Gluten Free Spaghetti Pasta

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Perfect Christmas Salad {Gluten Free Recipe}

Until about a year ago I never knew how to cut a Jicama. I still don’t. But at least now I can easily get the skin off. I tried a peeler and it was too hard so I just use a regular knife. Cut as close to the skin as possible to get the skin directly off the jicama. I don’t know how you are supposed to do it, but this works for me.

I love love love this salad. About a year ago I was at a video shoot and the catering company for the shoot made this salad and gave me the ingredients, not the exact recipe, along with 2 other salads I love to make from them. So that week I went and bought all the ingredients so I could come up with the recipes. This salad is so easy, delicious, and a really fun and unexpectedly refreshing flavor combination. Also, it’s so pretty and looks just like Christmas to me. Perfect for holiday potlucks.

Ingredients:
1 Jicama, Skin Removed & Chopped
1 Cucumber, Sliced – I use my Spiral Vegetable Slicer
1 Pomegranate, Seeded
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh dill
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar

Perfect Christmas Salad {Gluten Free Recipe}

Instructions:
1. Combine the Jicama, Pomegranate, Cucumber, and 1/4 tsp salt in a bowl. Let sit for 5-10 minutes to allow salt to draw out juices from jicama and cucumber.
2. Add Fresh Dill and Red Wine Vinegar. Mix to fully combine.

Enjoy!

Perfect Christmas Salad {Gluten Free Recipe}

Just for fun, I found an old photo of this same salad I took last year with my iPhone. I wanted better photos for my blog without having to spend a lot of money on a camera so I googled and found this blog post about how to take better food photography especially at night. It’s not realistic for me and my schedule to only cook during the day when the lighting is better. So, I bought the Clamp Lamp, Light Bulb, and Umbrella all on Amazon for less than $30. It has made such a huge difference. I still want to take better photos and buy a nice camera someday. But for now I am happy with this very inexpensive solution until I am able to upgrade. Here is a photo of the before and after plus my setup at home.

how to take better food photography at night

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Seared Ahi with Ginger, Sesame, Soy Sauce {Gluten Free Recipe}

Making seared ahi is stupid easy. It’s so easy that it’s stupid restaurants make it seam like such a big deal. The hardest part is finding sushi grade tuna which you can find at Japanese markets or your local fish market. 1 lb serves 2-3 people.

Seared Ahi with Ginger, Sesame, Soy Sauce {Gluten Free Recipe}

Ingredients
1 lb. Sushi Grade Raw Tuna
Fresh Ground Pepper
Olive Oil

For the Citrus Sesame Sauce:
1/3 Cup Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
1.5 Tbsp. Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce
1.5 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp. Minced Ginger

Seared Ahi with Ginger, Sesame, Soy Sauce {Gluten Free Recipe}

To Make The Seared Ahi:
1. Heat pan coated with olive oil to medium heat.
2. Coat both sides of Ahi with a lot of fresh ground pepper. Don’t be shy.
3. Sear Ahi about 1-2 minutes per side.
4. I am no sushi chef as you can see in the photos, but i’ve been told to slice opposite the fish grain.

Seared Ahi with Ginger Citrus Sesame Soy Dipping Sauce {Gluten Free Recipe}

To Make The Sauce:
Combine orange juice, sesame oil, ginger, soy sauce in a bowl or dish.

That’s it, stupid easy like I said. I served mine with white rice and these awesome black sesame green beans.

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Gluten Free Fried Chicken with Honey Mustard Sauce {Yes, Gluten Free Recipe}

Yes, gluten free and fried chicken can be in the same sentence. And, this recipe is amazing. Praise whoever came up with this traditional Japanese dish because it is so seriously delicious. Why is it that when you can’t have something it makes you want it even more? That is exactly why I started cooking. I love food. Plus, I really don’t like being told I can’t have something I want. I was tired of going out to eat and not being able to eat whatever I wanted anymore and was tired of getting sick after accidentally having small amounts of hidden gluten. So many things had gluten that I had no idea. This includes soy sauce, blue cheese, and anything fried in the same oil as other items that contain gluten. I always have to ask so many questions when I go to eat at unfamiliar places and often still get sick. So then I decided to start making things myself at home. I don’t have to ask questions. I can eat whatever I want. And, I can guarantee it’s gluten free. It has taken a lot of trial and error and learning what works and doesn’t work and I have gotten way better at modifying recipes.

So now for this AWESOME recipe. I know I say everything is delicious, awesome, yummy, and super easy. And it’s true! That’s just the way I like to cook. I really wanted fried chicken one day and had heard from my Japanese friends that one of my favorite Japanese foods, chicken karaage was almost gluten free. It was only the soy sauce that contained gluten. I love that my friends are always looking out for me giving me new tips on what I can eat. It’s awesome. So I read a bunch of recipes and below is the modified version of the one I liked the best. The original recipe I started with was pretty easy to modify to make it gluten free. I have to admit the first time I made this, I was terrified of frying anything. But I had to get over it because I really wanted fried chicken and couldn’t find a really good gluten free version anywhere. If you are terrified like I was, just follow the instructions and you will have no problems. Of course this recipe is super delicious, easy, and fast.

Ingredients:
2 lbs chicken thighs cut into bite sized pieces (about 1.5″ x 1.5″)
1 Tbsp Minced Ginger – I used the pre-minced ginger from a jar
6 Tbsp Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Dry White Wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
1/2 Cup Corn Starch
Canola Oil For Frying – enough to fill your pan to cover the chicken pieces

For the Honey Mustard Sauce:
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup mustard

Optional:
Japanese short grain rice on the side.

Fried Japanese Chicken Karaage with Honey Mustard Sauce- Gluten Free Recipe

Instructions:
1. Combine chicken, Ginger, Soy Sauce, and Wine in a bowl and mix well. Marinate for at least 10 minutes or up to 1 day in the fridge.
2. Heat the oil to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Do not skip this step. If the oil is not hot enough, your chicken will be a soggy mess. It’s happened to me before.
3. Add enough corn starch into the chicken to coat each piece.
4. Fry the chicken pieces a few at a time, rotating if needed, until completely golden brown just before burnt.
5. Place chicken on a wire rack to drain.
6. To make the honey mustard sauce, mix the honey and mustard together in a bowl.

Enjoy!

Fried Chicken Karaage with Honey Mustard Sauce- Gluten Free Recipe

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Sriracha Honey Chicken Wings with Spicy Coconut Dipping Sauce {Gluten Free and Almost Paleo Recipe}

Uhhhhhmazing Sriracha Honey Chicken Wings - Gluten Free Recipe

Since when did they add so many nights of football? When I was a kid Sundays were football days. Then there was MNF. I learned what that meant when I was invited to a MNF happy hour. And now there is Thursday night too? When did Thursday night get added? Or, has it always been a football night not marketed properly? Is Thursday now TNF? Football season in my mind is a season for awesome food and these wings are no exception. This recipe is totally gluten free and oh so super close to being paleo. So if you aren’t being super strict paleo this recipe is for you. Of course it’s delicious.

Serves: 4
Total Cooking time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Hands On Time: 15 minutes

For the rub combine:
1 Tbsp Crushed Garlic
1 Tbsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Coriander
1 Tbsp Honey
2 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
1/2 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon

For the sauce combine:
1 Stick Melted Grass Fed Butter
2/3 Cup Sriracha
3 Tbsp Honey

You will also need:
Coconut Milk
15-20 Bone In Skin On Chicken Wings – duh

Uhhhhhmazing Sriracha Honey Chicken Wings - Gluten Free Recipe

Here are the super easy instructions.
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Prepare chicken wings if needed and rub the chicken wings with the rub
3. Spray a lined baking sheet with olive oil.
4. Place the wings on the baking sheet and roast (remember what I said about roasting?) for 30 minutes.
5. Flip the wings and roast for another 20-25 minutes until the wings start to blacken slightly.
6. While the wings are roasting the 2nd time make the sauce.
7. Put wings in bowl and pour enough sauce in to coat the chicken. Stir until completely combined.
8. Mix remaining sauce with an equal part of coconut milk for dipping.

Enjoy!

Uhhhhhmazing Sriracha Honey Chicken Wings - Gluten Free Recipe

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