Category Archives: Food

{Paleo Pantry} Peach Vinaigrette

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In August and September, we are drowning in peaches around here. Our favorite pick-your-own farm, Rose Hill Farm (now TimTheFarmer’s farm) has amazing peaches in late summer/early fall and there’s NOTHING better than a fresh-off-the-tree, perfectly ripe peach. When they’re ripe coming off the tree, however, they don’t have a long shelf life, so we’re always scrambling to eat them up or put them up before they go bad. By the time October rolls around, our shelves are full of jams, sauces, and canned peaches and our freezer has gallon baggies of peach slices for smoothies. 

Aug1Yes, that’s whiskey. I was prepping for our peach whiskey BBQ sauce. Yum!

Two summers ago there were no peaches up in these parts because of a late frost – so last summer, when they were plentiful, I may have gone a bit overboard with the picking. I’d exhausted our canning options, so I turned to another trick I use is to preserve the awesome flavors of late summer: making baby food. Just kidding. Sort of. I take the method moms use to make homemade baby food (pureeing and freezing in ice cube trays) and apply it to anything I can puree. We eat pesto year round (or until February when we run out) with this method. I pureed tons of peaches (everything but the pit, duh) in our NutriBullet, poured the puree into ice cube trays, and then stored in freezer baggies. 

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The peach puree is so good I could (and sometimes do) eat it with a spoon. There is nothing like the flavor of perfectly ripe peaches. Yum! One of our favorite recipes from this peach puree is Peach Vinaigrette. It is super quick and easy to make and immediately takes a salad from typical to AMAZING. It pairs really well with goat cheese, red peppers, red onions, or sliced almonds and seriously takes under 5 minutes to make. 

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Don’t worry if you don’t have peach puree on hand! Just grab some frozen peaches from the grocery store and put 8-10 in a bowl to defrost about 30 minutes before you’re ready to make your salad dressing. Then, puree them up and follow the directions below. Easy peasy.

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This dressing is awesome in the dead of winter because it brings back the taste of summer. Enjoy!

I should throw a disclaimer in here. I realize fruit can be off limits in the hard core inner cirlce of the paleo community. We, however, love our fresh local fruits and are completely ok with eating them in limited quantities.  I don’t want to live in a world without peaches, ok?

Peach Vinaigrette
Yields 1
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 5 peach puree cubes* or 8 frozen peach slices or 1 fresh peach (pitted)
  2. 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  3. 2 tbsp water
  4. 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1/2 tbsp raw honey
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Defrost peach puree.
  2. Combine all ingredients in blender, except the honey, and puree until smooth. Taste your dressing - if it needs a little extra sweetness, add a bit of honey in (and puree again) until it's just right.
  3. Store extra dressing in the fridge for up to a week.
Notes
  1. * I take the frozen peaches out when I start dinner - 30-40 minutes before I plan to make the dressing - to allow them to defrost. You could also microwave for 15 seconds at a time.
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{Farm Fresh} Spicy Maple Glazed Coconut Carrots

I’m sitting in Penn Station in NYC waiting for my train home after a work event watching the pigeons, which always makes me think of Mary Poppins #feedthebirds. Except for that I’m not in smoggy early 20th-centruy London; I’m three stories below ground in a dingy train station. Seeing pigeons flying around, below ground, feels a little post-apocalyptic or something. Wouldn’t you agree? Mary Poppins and post-apocalyptic in one paragraph…not bad for a random start to a blog about carrots, eh?

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Anyway, I’m about as far as you can get from farm fresh here in the bowels of Penn Station, but it makes me all the more grateful for the fresh “country” life we’re living up in the Hudson Valley…and these awesome carrots we had last night. 

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There aren’t a lot of local farm fresh veggies at this time of year, but carrots are one of those root vegetables that store well and last well into late winter. You can still find them at your local farmer’s markets into March.

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Up until TimTheFarmer became a farmer, I never liked cooked carrots. They can be so mushy-bleh! I have, however always loved them raw. For some reason though, I feel like you MUST cook your dinner veggies…that’s just the rule, right? 😉 Anyway, we were drowning in carrots from Tim’s farm, so I thought I’d revisit the cooked carrot. I made sure not to overcook them—we grilled them and they still had a decent crisp to them—and I loved them. Who knew? Now we cook them all the time.

My mother-in-law made carrots for holidays that she’d toss in maple syrup #yesplease! I drew inspiration from that recipe and added a little cayenne to give these a kick. I love roasting root veggies in coconut oil as they pick a bit of the flavor and sweetness up from the oil. Sprinkling a few coconut flakes on drives the coconut flavor* home. These are a super easy side dish. Enjoy!

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*It’s key to use unsweetened coconut. It’s healthier and doesn’t give you that weird, synthetic Almond Joy flavor. 

Spicy Maple Glazed Coconut Carrots
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. Whole (not baby) carrots (3-5/person)
  2. Coconut oil (melted)
  3. Maple syrup (2 tbsp per 10 carrots)
  4. Pinch of cayenne pepper
  5. Unsweetened coconut flakes (or shredded coconut)
  6. Salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Peel carrots, chop bottom off, leave the tops
  3. Toss carrots in coconut oil, enough to coat
  4. Place carrots on baking sheet in a single layer
  5. Sprinkle salt and pepper on carrots
  6. Bake for 25 minutes
  7. Stir cayenne pepper into maple syrup
  8. Remove from oven and immediately drizzle with maple syrup
  9. Sprinkle with coconut flakes and serve
Isn't That Grand? http://isntthatgrand.com/


{Paleo Pantry} Homemade Mayonnaise – You Can Do It!

Happy Monday friends! This weekend, full of the little things – errands, good cooking, projects, family time, was just what the doctor ordered. Except for when I lost my keys in Target. That was a little less awesome. But they were found. So that made it all ok again. Also, after MONTHS of an egg drought, our chickens have finally decided to earn their keep, including our blue egg layers. We used to get 10-15 eggs a day, so you know it’s been bad when there are three eggs in the basket (including one blue one) and I do a happy dance. Like I said, it’s the little things, people. 

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So, today’s Paleo Pantry recipe is a SUPER easy and SUPER quick homemade mayonnaise recipe. I realize the world is quite divided about mayonnaise. Some people can’t stand even the look of it. Some can’t get enough. And some prefer Miracle Whip…ewww! I’m in the can’t-get-enough category.

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Many people don’t know what mayonnaise actually is, so that’s where we’ll start. Mayonnaise, at it’s simplest, is an emulsion of a light tasting oil, egg yolks, and an acid (lemon juice or vinegar). You can dress it up a bit with a bit of mustard, salt and pepper, and/or garlic. If you make it a slightly different way with more garlic (and usually olive oil) you end up with an aioli. The mayonnaise you buy in the store is pasteurized and contains sugar and additional preservatives. Which I really really love. Hellmann’s is my jam.

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Unfortunately Hellmann’s doesn’t cut it in the paleo world. We work to avoid all vegetable oils (and only use olive oil in uncooked applications), sugar, and preservatives. For the last 18 months I’ve tried to come up with the perfect homemade substitute, but it always ended up a little funky (i.e. tasting like Miracle Whip). Then, I found it!

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In all my years making aioli in restaurants, I had never added mustard, but that ended up being key. It’s adds just a touch of the sweetness I love in Hellmann’s. And, as opposed to the garlic-forward aioli that uses fresh garlic, the garlic powder helps to give it a more subtle, neutral flavor that you can then dress up depending on your use. To achieve the subtle effect of canola oil, I used extra light tasting olive oil. Despite my love of avocados, I find avocado oil a teense to avocadoey. How’d you like that? Two non-words in one sentence. Finally, for some reason, using the whole egg brings the whole thing together (there’s an emulsion pun for your first thing Monday morning).

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I make a batch of this once every week or two and store it in the fridge. It seriously takes under 5 minutes. I use it as I would regular mayonnaise and after lots of funky tries at paleo mayonnaise, my family approves this Hellmann’s substitution.

Also, don’t be afraid if you’ve never emulsified something before. It’s SUPER easy. All you do is blend all your ingredients except the oil, and then just pour a steady stream of the oil in while the blender or food processor is running. This is also true for salad dressings or sauces or anything else oil-based that should be smooth.

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Am I the only one out there that puts this much thought into mayonnaise?

Paleo Mayonnaise
Yields 1
A quick and easy paleo-friendly mayonnaise.
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 egg
  2. 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  3. 1/8 tsp garlic powder (heaping)
  4. 2/3 tsp gluten-free Dijon mustard
  5. pinch of pepper and sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
  6. 2/3 - 1 c. of extra light tasting olive oil
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except the oil in a food processor.*
  2. With the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream (the diameter of a pencil). Continue adding until mayonnaise reaches a thickness you prefer.
  3. Store in a closed container for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
Notes
  1. *You could also use a tall cup and immersion blender or regular blender if you don't have a food processor.
Isn't That Grand? http://isntthatgrand.com/