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Coconut Manna, Plantains, and a One-Pot-Chicken Dish

Have I mentioned before how much I love eating delicious, yummy food? I amuse Stephen by the inordinate amount of time I spend thinking about food, searching for recipes, and planning our meals.  For those of you who know me, I’ve gone through a number of dietary restrictions in the past two years due to an ulcerative colitis diagnosis.  As I am weaning off one medication and decreasing my dosage of another, I’ve now jumped on the “AIP” diet, also known as the “Auto-Immune Protocol” diet, to heal my gut.  If you want to learn more about it, you can read about it at Sarah Ballantyne’s blog The Paleo Mom.  It’s an elimination diet (no grains, no gluten, no dairy, no legumes, no processed vegetable oils, no processed food chemicals and ingredients, no added sugars or nonnutritive sweeteners, no seeds or seed oils, no nightshades, no spices derived from seeds, no eggs, alcohol, or coffee).  But the upside is that I’m eating beef, pork, and lamb again in abundance with lots of vegetables.  And so far I think it’s helping me.

And in the process of looking for AIP-friendly recipes, I’ve discovered coconut manna and plantains–my two new favorite foods.  I’m just going to link to the recipes in today’s post, so if any of these sound appealing to you and you’re reading this in your email, you’ll need to open this post in your browser in order to open the links.  First up–coconut manna.  I no longer can eat oatmeal (or at least for the time being until I start to reintroduce foods into my diet), and so I found this “fake oatmeal” recipe, bananas and cream oatmeal, that has coconut manna.  I tend to eat it as my dessert instead of breakfast.

Next up are plantain tortillas.  I can no longer eat corn tortillas and of course flour tortillas are out.  I’ve had my fair share of meats wrapped up in cabbage leaves, which I’m really enjoying, but today I made plantain tortillas, and boy are they satisfying for someone who can’t eat bread. I haven’t quite perfected the recipe yet, but they were still really good.  Zoey ate two of them with her dinner.  You’ll find it here at the fresh tart blog.

And the final recipe is a simple one-pot chicken dinner–roasted chicken thighs with capers and olives.  I used bone-in chicken thighs but didn’t need to change the cooking time.  The recipe calls for squash, but I added carrots so I could puree them and give them to Zane. On a side note, I gave him the pureed carrots with applesauce I canned from our ranch apples last year along with a bit of coconut oil–he smiled and seemed to like it.

I am gently reminding Stephen that we need a house update.  So if we’re lucky, some photos of our house will appear in the next few weeks.


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Cauliflower Salad

For weeks now I’ve been meaning to post a chili recipe.  I know, I know it’s hot and most people are already thinking about summer.  It seemed less ridiculous at the end of last month, but now with the temperature in the 100s where we are, I’m thinking I’ll save the chili recipe for autumn or winter and share with you this recipe instead.  You’ll have to click on the link to see a photograph of this salad because I’ve never actually made it myself.  (I probably should mention here that if you are reading this in your email, you may have to click over to read the blog in your browser in order to open the link.)  I attempted to make it for a Mother’s Day picnic, but the organic cauliflower I bought turned out to have aphids underneath the plastic it was wrapped in (and somehow I didn’t notice that when I bought it? I’ll blame it on sleep deprivation).  And although I tried to wash away the aphids, it was just a lost cause so I never made it.  But my mama has made it twice now–one time for me when I was down visiting recently and it was delicious.  And I forgot to take a photograph.  If I can find someone other than myself who likes cauliflower, then I’ll try to make it again soon.

Black Pepper Cauliflower Salad

2 pound head of cauliflower, cut into tiny florets (think dime size)
3/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed
1 cup toasted pistachios, roughly chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (my mom omitted the feta for me and it was still yummy)
3 apples, diced*              
1/3 cup chopped black olives                                                                                                                                                                                    


* To keep apples from browning after slicing, place them in a bowl of water with a big squeeze of lemon juice until ready to use.

 

Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt well and cook the cauliflower for a minute, until just tender. Drain, run under cold water to stop cooking, drain well, and set aside.

You may notice that the recipe at 101 cookbooks says the following “Combine the red onion, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and black pepper in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the onions have turned pink and infused the oil and vinegar mixture, remove from heat and set aside.” But my mom just marinated the onions in the vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper without cooking them, and that was delicious, too.

When ready to serve, place cauliflower florets into a large bowl. Add the pistachios, feta, apples, olives, and 2/3 of the red onion vinaigrette. Toss everything together gently and give it a taste–depending on the saltiness of your feta, you might wish to add a little more salt. You might want to add the remaining vinaigrette as well.

Serves 6.

I know the ingredients of this salad sound a little weird together, but if you’re not opposed to vinegar and cauliflower as my husband is, then you may be pleasantly surprised by this salad.  And it tastes really good cold, too.

 

 


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My Favorite Granola Recipe

My love for recipes is like my love for books.  I walk into a library or bookstore and I imagine myself reading all the books on the shelves, although realistically I know I won’t like all the books on the shelves–just the idea that it could be possible makes me happy.  I feel the same way about recipes.  I get excited about reading through a recipe and am eager to try new ones.  Sometimes I get lucky and find one I like, but there are just as many times when I try a new recipe and it’s awful.  So I thought it would be fun to add a food section to this blog and share recipes I’ve enjoyed and that I think are delicious in case you want to try them, too.

First up is the granola I’ve been talking about for several weeks now.  I made a few additions and subtractions to the recipe, but it’s basically this granola I found at the Wednesday Chef blog.  Here’s the recipe below with my changes in italics.

French Chocolate Granola
Makes approximately 10 cups

6 cups rolled oats (gluten free rolled oats)
1 cup raw almonds, chopped (raw cashews)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tablespoons granulated sugar (I left this out and thought it was plenty sweet without it)
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp of ground cardamom
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
12 tablespoons mild honey
4 tablespoons vegetable oil (Organic extra virgin coconut oil)
½ cup finely chopped bittersweet chocolate (currants)

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, coconut, sugar, and salt.  Stir well to blend.

  3. In a small saucepan, warm the honey and oil over low heat, stirring gently, until the honey is loose. Pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to combine well.

  4. Spread the mixture evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden. Set a timer to go off halfway through the baking time, so that you can give the granola a good stir; this helps it to cook evenly. When it’s ready, remove the pan from the oven, stir well – this will keep it from cooling into a hard, solid sheet – and cool completely.

  5. When cool, transfer the granola to a large bowl, storage jar, or zipper-lock plastic bag. Add the chocolate (this is where I added the currants or any dried fruit), and stir (or shake, if using a jar or bag) to mix. Store in an airtight container.

I like to eat this with plain yogurt and berries on top for breakfast or with almond milk for my late night snack.  If you have a favorite granola recipe you like, post it in the comments.