Paleo Friendly&Fabulous
 
This recipe has been much requested – so here it is.  I am very excited to share
this one as I consider Paella to be my “signature dish”.  Paella is something my family always serves on very special occasions. We would always have Paella for Noche Buena on Christmas Eve.  I learned how to make paella during a visit
to Madrid many years ago.  I was staying with my aunt, Chelito, who invited her good friend tita (means aunt in Spanish) Maripaz to come and teach me how to make an authentic paella mixta.   It has since then become my signature, showstopper of a dish for Holidays and parties. 

This however, is my paleo friendly and fabulous version.  It has all the yummy comforting  flavors of my paella but I substitute cauliflower for short grain rice for a healthier one pot meal.

*My recipe for basic cauliflower rice is on a previous post.
Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup - 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup clam stock (use all chicken broth if you omit seafood)
  • 8  littleneck clams, scrubbed clean
  • 8 - 12 mussels, scrubbed clean
  • ½ pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 ounces chorizo sausage, casing removed and crumbled (homemade or nitrate free)
  • 4 chicken thighs, cubed (boneless and skinless)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. organic tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 16 cups cauliflower rice (see recipe from a previous post)
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • lemon wedges for garnish
Directions:
1. Prepare cauliflower rice.  Set aside

2. Bring the remaining broth to a boil, then add the clams and mussels. Cover and cook for 6-7 minutes, until the shells have opened up. Discard any that haven’t opened. Remove the shellfish with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the
shrimp to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, until pink. Set aside with the shellfish.

2. Combine the chicken stock and clam juice in a saucepan set over medium heat. Keep warm while you cook the meat.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add
the chicken pieces and sausage. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to brown the chicken on all sides.  Remove from pan and set aside.

4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil then add onion, garlic, tomatoes, salt, tomato paste, paprika, pepper, and saffron. Continue to sauté for another 7 minutes until the onions have softened.

5. Pour ¾ cup of the broth mixture into the skillet, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the cauliflower rice and simmer for 5 - 10 minutes.  Since the rice is cooked already this should not take long.
 
6. When most of the juices have evaporated, nestle the shrimp, clams, and mussels into the paella. Cook for another 10
minutes then remove from the heat. Let the paella stand for 10 minutes before serving.
 7. Sprinkle the parsley over the top and serve each dish with a lemon wedge.  Paella is best with a squeeze of fresh lemon right before eating




 

 
 
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Cauliflower Rice
My Now  Love Affair with Rice (Cauliflower that is…)

“Hello Cauliflower!”  it’s nice of you to come and play Rice for me today”.  Yes, this versatile vegetable is now my
substitute for rice, mash potato and even Alfredo sauce.  Filipino dishes served best with garlic fried rice are now back on the menu along with some of my childhood favorites like Arroz a la Cubana (recipe posted on 8.31.2014) and the ever so popular Filipino Adobo and rice.  Paella, my signature dish, is no longer relegated to "special occasion" only
status -  recipe for that will be posted soon, but something the family can enjoy more often with cauliflower rice as a healthier and less filling, not to mention less carb alternative.

Ingredients:
1 head cauliflower or 1 2 lb. bag of Cauliflower florets from Costco 
11/2  tablespoon coconut oil, melted
3/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425F.  Cover a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2. Break the cauliflower into florets, removing the stems. Place the florets in the food processor bowl and pulse until the cauliflower looks like rice.  If your food processor has a grater attachment, use this and feed the florets into the food processor instead.  This takes about 10 to 15 one-second pulses. You may need to do this in two batches to avoid
overcrowding.
3.  Place the cauliflower rice in a large bowl, add the melted coconut oil, salt and pepper.  Toss
with two wooden spoons until the rice is coated with the oil. Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast until tender and beginning to get a few brown spots, about 2o minutes.
4.  Serve with anything that needs a lovely bed of rice or use as rice substitute for
fried rice, risotto and even paella (Those recipes to come later)


  


 
 
This is long overdue as this #pff  paleo friendly&fabulous Pad Thai has now become
 a weekly staple in my household.  It starts with what Melissa Joulwan calls her Sunshine Sauce. 
Thank you for this Melissa as I love peanut butter anything! 
One of my concern when I started my whole30 and transitioning to a
Paleo lifestyle in general,  was giving up peanut butter.   I could eat PB off a spoon and call it a meal. 
Not to mention any type of peanut sauce for dipping veggies or any type of satay.   
Naturally, one of the recipes I wanted to try immediately from the Well Fed cookbook was Sunshine Sauce. 
This is AMAZING!!!!  Use this as a dipping sauce or use this for making Pad Thai – Just try
it!  It is that good!

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Ingredients: Sunshine Sauce adapted from Well Fed
 
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon coconut aminos (this is a substitute for soy sauce and I
get it from Amazon)
1/4 tsp. powdered ginger
1/2 tsp. rice vinegar
1/4 cup sunflower seed butter (I like Organic Sunbutter no sugar added)
dash ground cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 cup coconut milk

Directions:
1. Place all the ingredients except the coconut milk in the bowl of a food processor and whirl
until well blended.
2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber scraper, then add the coconut milk.
Process until it’s blended and smooth. Store covered in the fridge if not using immediately.
3. Use in Pad Thai or as a satay dipping sauce.

Note:
The organic Sunbutter contains ONLY roasted sunflowers seeds, so if you’re
very committed to avoiding added sugars, go for the organic. 






PictureRoasted Spaghetti Squash
Next up, you have to prepare your faux noodles. 
I like to use spaghetti squash and I like to roast mine al dente.   I roast the spaghetti squash at 375 degrees for 35 min.  You may cook
it longer  if you prefer a softer  texture. This can be prepared ahead
of time and kept in the refrigerator until ready for use. 
Zucchini is another great faux noodle substitute. 
Either green or yellow will work but you will need a julienne peeler
 or a spiralizer to slice through the zucchini making them look like spaghetti strands. Don’t include the seeds if using a julienne peeler as this will make for watery noodles.


 

Ingredients: Basic Zucchini Noodles Adapted From The Clothes Make The Girl
4 zucchini, julienned with a julienne peeler or spiralizer (about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
1. Place the julienned zucchini in a colander or wire strainer and toss generously with salt until the
strands are lightly coated. Allow the zucchini to sit for 20-30 minutes to remove excess water. Rinse with running water, drain well, and pat dry with paper towels. Now you have two choices: go directly to step 2 or… for
absolutely al dente noodles that do not get mushy, return the noodles to the colander and place in the fridge, uncovered, for 1-2 hours. This allows the strands to dehydrate even further.

2. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add the prepared zucchini noodles.
Sauté them in the dry pan until just tender, about 1-2 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low and drizzle the olive oil over the noodles, stirring gently to coat the strands. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Skip this step if you
are using Zucchini as your faux noodles for Pad Thai

PRO TIP! You can julienne and sweat the zucchini in advance, then store raw
noodles in a covered container in the fridge for 4-5 days. Quick pasta whenever
you need it!


PicturePad Thai Fixings
You’ve got the sauce and the noodles, now for the other
components – protein and veggies.   You can use chicken, ground pork,
shrimp or keep it vegetarian.   For veggies, I like to use sugar snap peas, red bell peppers for that pop of color and I garnish with cilantro, chopped cashews  and spring onions.    
There is quite a bit off prep work involved in making a #pff Pad Thai so this is definitely a weekend meal or you can do what I do which is to “prep”  on
a Sunday so I can just put it all together  for a quick stir fry on a weekday.   I can assure you that it is worth all the work plus you can enjoy a serving or two of this dish and not feel like you are in a “food coma” afterwards.


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#pff Pad Thai
Ingredients: for Paleo Pad Thai, serves 2 
 
1 batch Sunshine Sauce
2 large eggs
2 tsp. coconut aminos
2 tsp. plus 1 tsp. coconut oil
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup snap peas, thinly sliced lengthwise
2 cups cooked spaghetti squash (I typically use 1 med –large size spaghetti squash) or Zucchini noodles
6-8 ounces grilled chicken thighs, diced or 1lb cooked ground pork (Sauteed with some onions until
brown and cooked)

Directions:
1. Crack the eggs into a small bowl, and use a fork to scramble them with the coconut aminos. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons coconut oil  to the skillet, and when it’s melted, pour in the
eggs and let them spread like a pancake. Reduce the heat to medium and cover with a lid, letting the eggs cook until they’re set and beginning to brown on the bottom, about 3-4 minutes. Flip and lightly brown the other side. Remove the
eggs from the pan and cut into strips with a sharp knife.

2. Using the same pan, increase heat to medium-high and add 1 teaspoon coconut oil to the pan. Sauté the onion and snap peas, stirring with a wooden spoon, until they’re crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add the spaghetti
squash, chicken, and cooked egg to the pan and, stirring with a wooden spoon, cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.

3. Add the Sunshine Sauce to the pan and stir-fry until everything is well-blended and hot. Divide among 2 bowls, sprinkle with your garnish du jour and enjoy!

Top your Paleo Pad Thai with any or all of these:
  • chopped cashews, almonds, or sunflower seeds
  • chopped scallions
  • chopped cilantro
  • a squeeze of lime
  • red bell pepper strips
     

 


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#pff Pad Thai served Family Style
 
 
I first posted this on 6.26.2014. 
El Minzah is the famed five star hotel in Tangier  frequented by famous
poets, Hollywood actors, dignitaries and politicians since it opened it's doors
in 1930.  It is still considered the most prestigious hotel in North Africa
and I believe this salad is still being served to this day.  I've actually been to Tangier,  for a quick
day trip while on holiday in the southern coast of Spain, but I have not had the pleasure of visiting this hotel.

The combination of  sweet orange, cool mint, salty olives, crunchy &
slightly sweet fennel feels like a party with Moroccan flavors in your mouth.
 It is the perfect summer salad to complement any of your grill-tastic
recipes.
So I digress a bit from Melissa Joulwan's recipe by adding a slaw of sweet kale,
brussel sprouts, cabbage and radicchio from a pre-made mix I bought at Costco.
 You can certainly make your own slaw but I love this particular Sweet Kale
Salad mix.  It added a nice bite and crunch along with the fennel.
Ingredients:
4 - 5 large seedless oranges
1 cup slaw mix 
1 fennel bulb, sliced thinly with a mandolin 
1/4 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
1 cup large black olives, pitted and cut in half
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 clove garlic minced
salt & black pepper to taste
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Fennel fronds, minced, for garnish

Directions:

1. Use a sharp knife to peel oranges, removing all of the
bitter white pulp and the membrane on the outside of the orange sections.
 with your fingers, separate the sections and cut them into 1-inch pieces.
Place in a large bowl.

2. Remove the fronds from the fennel and reserve some
for garnish.  Cut the ends off the fennel bulb and slice it very thinly,
crosswise or use a mandolin which is what I do.  Add the fennel, onions,
olives, slaw mix, and mint to the oranges.  Gently combine with a rubber
scraper.

3. In a bowl, whisk together lemon juice, paprika, cayenne,
coriander, garlic, salt and pepper.  Add the oil in a slow drizzle,
whisking continuously.  Pour the dressing over the oranges and toss gently
to blend.  Let the flavors meld for about an hour before serving.
 Taste and adjust seasonings,  fill the hallowed oranges with the salad mix, then top with minced fennel fronds.

Enjoy!

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El Minzah Orange Salad