Saturday, June 30, 2012

Off the Deep End?

Maybe, but it sure is fun down here!

It's Saturday! And in the Reynolds' home, Saturday means....PANCAKES!!

Since we embarked on our No-Grain diet, I have been looking for a good pancake that the kids will like, and which fits our new way of eating. I found a few, but the reviews were not that great, so I have not at this point tried any of them. Until today that is, when I found a non-Paleo recipe that talked about whipping the egg whites and then folding them into the batter. Ureeka! That one caught my attention right away.

The problem with the other almond flour based pancakes seemed to be heaviness and that they were very fragile. Most reviewers wrote that the pancakes fell apart while flipping, and we all know that falling apart pancakes are no fun at all!

So feeling inventive this morning (amazing what 7 1/2 hours of sleep will do for your foggy mind, not to mention getting rid of grain), I decided to take two different recipes and make my own Saturday Morning Savory Pancakes. You will be thrilled to know that I MEASURED everything!! Oh the JOY of a real, live Trinarecipe with measurements!

Saturday Morning Savory Pancakes

Preheat griddle to 275 degrees; on the stove this would be a medium-low heat.

Dry Ingredients

2 C fresh ground raw almonds (I used my food processor to do this...not sure what the exact equivalent would be for store bought almond flour, since it tends to settle, but I would start with less and add a bit more if needed)

2 T Coconut Flour

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Ginger

Mix all these dry ingredients together and set aside.

Wet Ingredients

4 large eggs, separated

1/2 C Water

1/2 C Mashed Ripe Banana

stay with me here...1/2 C finely mashed ripe Avocado (equals about 1 normal sized avocado)

2 tsp Vanilla

1 T Maple Syrup

Beat egg whites till foamy and set aside while you...

Combine rest of wet ingredients, mixing well. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in egg whites, mixing until combined well. Batter is thicker than your normal gf batter...don't even ask me how it compares to regular wheat batter...I have not made those in so many years, I don't even remember!!

Using your 1/4 c measuring cup, put batter on the griddle, using the bottom of the measuring cup or a fork to spread the batter out to an even thickness. These pancakes need to cook slowly, so don't rush them or they will be burned on the outside and raw in the middle! Yuck!

I'm not sure if this conforms to the Paleo mindset, but we topped our pancakes with a little pat of butter and our delicious Grade B Maple is dark and full of wonderful minerals and tastes like a bit of Heaven on your tongue!

If you are just leaving the gluten filled world, I am guessing that this pancake will take some getting used to. Because it is made with nut flour, it has a grainier texture than even a gf pancake would have. We normally put ground walnuts in our gf pancakes, so it was not a real stretch for us.

Also, I would not advertise the avocado in the pancake until your family has tasted them!! One of my kids knew about it (he was helping me cook) the other two and my Darling Hubby did not, and all three of them really liked the pancake a lot. There is absolutely NO avocado flavor in the pancake at all! I promise! It just adds creaminess and lots of good oil.

So, if you are brave, give these a whirl and come back and tell me what you think!

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Research in food always gets my brain going...and you just never know what might come out of the pan!

Right now I am looking at the Paleo/Primal ideas of food. Basic premise: eat good meat, good fats, lots of veggies, minimal fruit and dairy. Doing this keeps your blood sugar balanced, and keeps you away from inflammatory foods, which can wreak havoc in your body. As happens with most "diets", you have the full range of investment, from the radical, "all out" folks, to the people who just take everything as a suggestion.

As I was talking to a friend last night about these ideas she told me about a cool cookbook that really has my brain stewing. It is called Well Fed, and I think it may be my new favorite cookbook!

What I think I am really going to love, is the author's idea of doing some big prep on Sundays, to make meal prep during the week go so much more easily. Even though today's recipe has nothing to do with her book, I will give the author Melissa Joulwan the credit for our yummy dinner!

It all started with mushrooms. Mushrooms and broccoli. Except the broccoli ended up back in the fridge, a casualty of my other favorite 'cookbook', The Flavor Bible. I had this idea to saute mushrooms a la Julia Child, in coconut oil. We had some leftover roasted chicken and had just purchased some ginger today as well as some asparagus, so I looked both of those up in my Flavor Bible and it all came together like this:

Chicken with 'Shrooms and Asparagus

5-6 mushrooms, peeled and sliced
2-3 Tbsp coconut oil
butter - skip this if you are dairy free
salt and pepper
1 bunch baby asparagus (the big ones are too tough), ends chopped off and cut in half
thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and grated fine
leftover roasted chicken, chopped (I used about 2 cups)
salt and pepper

* Heat pan to medium heat.
* Add coconut oil, and let melt.
* Add mushrooms in one layer. Saute gently, then flip and cook on other side (I salted mushrooms and added a few tsp of butter here). This will give you beautifully golden mushrooms...a la Julia Child!
* Remove mushrooms from pan, and return pan to burner.
* Add a little more coconut oil/butter and bring to temp. Add asparagus and a little salt. Stirring and tossing til cooked al dente.
* While asparagus is cooking, chop chicken and grate ginger. Add chicken to the pan.
* Return mushrooms to pan.
* When chicken is warmed through, add ginger and toss all ingredients together. Check salt and pepper and adjust accordingly.

I dished this yummy concoction onto our plates, and topped it with a bit of freshly grated Parmesan. It added a nice tang, and truthfully, I thought it might encourage the kids to dig in if they saw cheese on top! They are pretty brave eaters, but the idea of mushrooms was throwing the boys off.

Verdict: They LOVED it! Even AJ was asking for more! It fed four of us, and they had some leftover limas on the side (a casualty of cooking on the fly...the limas were already warming as I created the asparagus dish, so I went ahead and served them anyway). When I make this again for all of us, I will probably double it, or perhaps serve it with a salad.

Let me know how you like it, and if you make any modifications!