By Be Well Health Coach Kerry Monaghan
Our favorite gluten-free chef Elana Amsterdam has a new cookbook! All 100 recipes in here are free of gluten, dairy, grains and processed foods.
I use Elana’s recipes and recommend them to patients at the Eleven Eleven Wellness center all the time for three reasons:
1. They are simple, using minimal ingredients that are easy to find.
2. They are delicious. I have never made one of her recipes that didn’t turn out great!
3. They are paleo, or grain-free.
What is Paleo, anyway?
You may have heard buzz about the paleo or “caveman” diet, but be wondering what exactly that means.
A Paleo diet is a grain-free diet. For 2.5 million years, our ancestors were hunter-gatherers. Only in the past 10,000 years did we start cultivating grains. So with a Paleo diet we go back to the way our ancestors ate: lots of vegetables, some lean animal protein, fruit, nuts, seeds and oils.
At the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center, when a patient has high blood sugar, we often recommend a Paleo diet and emphasize not to eat too much fruit. Why? Because grains and fruit convert to sugar.
We also use a Paleo diet for patients with leaky gut. We have found that it’s not only gluten that can irritate the gut, but all grains can be problematic for certain people. Removing all grains has provided immense relief for these patients.
We’re delighted to share two recipes from the new cookbook:
- 1 (12-ounce) package kelp noodles
- 1/4 cup roasted almond butter, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon ume plum vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
Soak the kelp noodles in a bowl of hot water for 30 minutes. Drain the noodles and rinse thoroughly. In a small bowl, whisk together the almond butter, sesame oil, vinegar, and honey. Add the noodles and toss to combine. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
As you’ll see, this recipe uses kelp noodles, which I’ve been wanting to try for a long time. If you’re on a gluten-free diet and missing pasta, then you must try kelp noodles! I picked up a packet at my local Whole Foods and was amazed to learn that they are fat free, gluten free, low calorie, a good source of calcium and so easy to cook with. As a bonus, sea vegetables such as kelp are great because they have iodine which is important for thyroid health. A big bowl of noodles on a gluten-free diet? Yes, please!
And now for dessert…
Upside-Down Apple Tartlets
- 2 cups blanched almond flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla crème stevia
- 6 large apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place eight 1-cup wide-mouth Mason jars on a large baking sheet.
To make the crust, pulse together the almond flour and salt in a food processor. Add the coconut oil and stevia and pulse until the mixture forms a ball. Transfer the dough to a piece of parchment paper and place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
To make the filling, place the apples, apple juice, lemon juice, arrowroot powder, and cinnamon in a large bowl, and toss to combine. Transfer the apples to the Mason jars so that each one is overfull. Divide the remaining juice from the bottom of the bowl between the jars.
Remove the dough from the freezer, place between 2 pieces of parchment paper generously dusted with almond flour, and roll out the dough 1/4 inch thick. Remove the top sheet of parchment. Using the top of a wide-mouth Mason jar, cut out 8 circles of dough and place one on top of each apple-filled Mason jar.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the juices are bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Serve the tartlets hot out of the oven.
Coconut Whipped Cream
Makes 1 Cup
This dairy-free whipped cream recipe calls for full-fat canned coconut milk. The fat is what makes the recipe creamy and luscious; light coconut milk won’t work and results in a watery mess. Serve over Upside-Down Apple Tartlets (page 101) or Peach Cherry Crisp (page 98). See photo on page 100.
- 1 (13-ounce) can Thai Kitchen coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 drops vanilla crème stevia
- Pinch of sea salt
Place the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator at least 24 hours before making the whipped cream, so it is well chilled. Chill a metal bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Take the coconut milk out of the refrigerator and remove the lid. Gently scoop out the coconut fat, placing it in the chilled bowl. Pour the remaining liquid into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator, saving it for another use.
Using a handheld blender, whip the coconut milk fat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Whip in the honey, vanilla extract, stevia, and salt.
Use right away or store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
To enter to win a free copy of Elana’s cookbook:
1. Leave a comment below.
Contest ends July 2nd at 11 pm EST. Winner will be selected at random using random.org and will be announced in this post next week. No purchase necessary and must be a US resident to enter. Winner will be notified by email and if he/she does not respond on how to claim their prize an alternate winner may be chosen.
A big congrats to Tommy for winning Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry! We will send you an email today to collect your mailing info. Thanks for everyone who entered!
Reprinted with permission from Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free Recipes by Elana Amsterdam (Ten Speed Press, 2013). Photo Credit: Leigh Beisch.