Tag Archives: paleo

Spaghetti Squash-Zucchini Fritters [Paleo + Gluten-Free]

Advertisements

SPAGHETTI SQUASH-ZUCCHINI FRITTERS [PALEO + GLUTEN-FREE]*

I’ve been buying a lot of spaghetti squash at the farmer’s market as a healthy, gluten-free substitute for pasta in various dishes, like spaghetti Bolognese. One spaghetti squash provides a TON of “spaghetti”, so I decided to turn some of the leftovers into fritters by combining it with some grated zucchini. The fritters came out great (no pun intended…) and created a fun and filling lunch.

{ Lovin’ from the oven, Chelsea }

Makes about 12 two-inch fritters

3 cups cooked spaghetti squash (directions follow)

3 cups grated zucchini

1 tsp salt, plus extra to taste

3 tsp garlic, minced

¼ cup yellow onion, minced

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Freshly ground black pepper

½ cup almond flour

½ tsp baking powder

Olive or another oil of your choice, for frying

TOPPING (OTPIONAL)

½ cup crème fraiche

Juice of half a lemon

1 small minced or crushed clove of garlic

Pinches of salt

Freshly ground pepper

Prepare spaghetti squash (directions below), preferably the day before.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Trim ends off zucchini and grate them on the large holes of a box grater. 

In a large bowl, toss spaghetti squash and zucchini with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and set aside for 10 minutes. While the squash and zucchini shreds are resting, sauté garlic and onion in an oiled pan for about 5 minutes or until cooked. Set aside.

Wring out the squash and zucchini in one of the following ways: pressing it against the holes of a colander with a wooden spoon to extract the water, squeezing out small handfuls at a time, or wrapping it up in a clean dishtowel or piece of cheese cloth and wringing away. (This is an important step because it will prevent the fritters from being too soggy!)

Return squash and zucchini shreds to bowl. Taste; add more salt if needed. Stir in cooked garlic and onions, egg and some freshly ground black pepper. In a tiny dish, stir together almond flour and baking powder, then stir the mixture into the zucchini batter.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Drop small bunches of the zucchini mixture onto the skillet, only a few at a time, so they don’t become crowded and lightly nudge them flatter with the back of your spatula. Cook fritters over moderately high heat until the edges underneath are golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. If you find this happening too quickly, reduce the heat to medium. Flip the fritters and fry them on the other side until browned underneath again, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Drain briefly on paper towels then transfer to baking sheet and then into the warm oven until ready to serve. Repeat process with remaining batter, keeping the pan well-oiled.

For the topping, if using, stir together the crème fraiche, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper and adjust the flavors to your taste. Dollop on each fritter before serving.

* Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

HOW TO COOK SPAGHETTI SQUASH: Cut squash in half lengthwise with a sharp knife. Scoop out seeds and save for another use (I strongly recommend roasting them with some salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme!). Place squash halves cut side up on a heavy-bottomed roasting pan. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 375F for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a fork punctures the flesh of the squash easily. If the squash seems to be drying out while baking, brush with an additional tablespoon of olive oil. Remove squash from the oven and allow it to cool just enough so you can handle it, about 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape flesh from squash into wonderful, stringy “noodles” with a sturdy fork and place in a small serving bowl. If some of the strands clump or gather together, simply separate them using your hands.

MORNING GLORY MUFFINS* [Paleo + Gluten-Free]

This is my ideal muffin: dense, sweet, and nutty. The sweet potato, carrot, and raw honey add a natural sweetness that combines perfectly with the cinnamon and hearty texture of the almond flour and chopped nuts. It’s wonderful that a muffin can be made from such clean ingredients AND taste so good. You won’t miss the regular flour or refined sugar one bit.

As a side note, I’ve found the world’s best “Miel de Montagne” (mountain honey) here in Gap, France. It’s sold by the cutest little French beekeeper at the bi-weekly farmers’ market. He goes on and on in French (even if he knows you only speak English), refuses to let you buy any of his products without trying a sample first, and won’t let you leave without a little honey candy – or two. It’s the greatest.

{ Lovin’ from the oven, Chelsea }

Makes 6 muffins

¾ cup almond flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

½ cup sweet potato, mashed

1/8 cup carrot, shredded

½ cup walnuts, chopped

½ cup shredded coconut

½ cup raisins

2 eggs

¼ cup raw honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350*F.

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and blend well with a wooden spoon.

Coat muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray (or use paper liners) and divide batter among six cups.

Bake for 28-30 minutes or until muffins are cooked all the way through. Keep a close eye on the muffins towards the end of the cooking time and be careful not to over-bake them. (I prefer to take them out slightly under-baked, just as the tops are getting golden, to ensure that they’re not too dry.)

Allow to cool before serving.

*As seen on Carrots ‘N’ Cake

ALMOND JOY CANDY BITES*

Coconut – always the coconut. And chocolate. Definitely can’t go wrong with this classic combo. Plus, they’re bite size, so you can gobble up a few without any remorse. This recipe is so quick and easy, you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself. Well, neither did I, so don’t feel too bad.

{ Lovin’ from the oven, Chelsea }

Makes about 15-20 candy balls, depending on the size

1 cup sweetened coconut flakes, lightly packed

3 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

15 (or more) whole almonds

~4 ounces 60% cocoa chocolate chips

1. Line a baking sheet or plate (or something that will fit in your freezer) with parchment paper.

2. In a food processor, process the coconut, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and salt until it becomes a thick paste, about 2-3 minutes. Form the coconut mixture into bite-size balls and drop onto the parchment-lined tray. If you want, press an almond on top of the coconut. Otherwise, save the almonds for later, to top off the chocolate. Freeze the coconut balls for 15-30 minutes, or until solid.

3. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 15 second increments, stirring between each increment until the chocolate is smooth. Skewer each frozen candy bar onto a toothpick and dip into the melted chocolate, tapping off any excess chocolate. If you didn’t use your almonds before, add them to the top of the chocolate before it hardens. You can also sprinkle them with shredded coconut. Wait for the chocolate to dry before removing from the toothpick.

Serve immediately or store at room temperature for several days.

* adapted from Pastry Affair

GLUTEN-FREE COCONUT CARROT CAKE* + COCONUT CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Since I’m moving to France before my birthday, I celebrated with my family a little early. I refused everyone’s offers to make me a special dessert and decided to bake my own, non-traditional birthday cake instead. (I really hope that’s not bad luck.) Because I love dense and hearty treats, a carrot cake sounded like the perfect option. I cannot get enough coconut in my life, so, of course, I added it to the cake. Without any cane sugar (other than the frosting), this not-too-sweet cake was the perfect way to end my birthday dinner!

{ Lovin’ from the oven, Chelsea }

Makes one 9 inch cake. Double to make a layered cake!  

2 cups almond meal

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup coconut oil (or for lower fat try 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce)

½ tsp Stevia or 1 tablespoon honey

1 cup raisin sauce*

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3 cups carrots, grated or chopped

4 eggs

½ cup walnuts, chopped

~1 cup shredded coconut 

*Raisin Sauce: Place one cup of raisins in container with about one cup of water. Soak raisins overnight or longer in refrigerator. Puree the raisin and water mixture in blender.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and powder-sugar (tastes better than flour!) a 9 inch round cake pan.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Using a hand- or stand-mixer, mix in the coconut oil, Stevia, raisin sauce, and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the grated carrots, walnuts, and coconut. Pour into the cake pan. For extra crunch, add a layer of chopped walnuts to the top!

3. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until done. Allow to cool completely before frosting with Coconut Cream Cheese frosting (see recipe below).

4. Serve warm if not frosted, or at room temperature with Coconut Cream Cheese frosting. Refrigerate if not serving until next day, or leftover, but return to room temperature to serve.

COCONUT CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Don’t forget to double (or even triple) the recipe if you’re making a layered cake.  

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

¼ cup butter, softened

½ cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1. Mix together all ingredients with a hand- or standing-mixer until smooth. Spread immediately on cooled cake.

2. Top with toasted coconut and toasted walnuts.

* adapted from Skinny GF Chef