Coconut Cardamom Tapioca Pudding

Tapioca pudding is a weird phenomenon. It’s bizarre what those little pearls turn into once cooked (seriously reminds me of tiny clear fish eggs). It creates such a strange, gooey texture that is kinda creepy, yet oddly delicious.

This gummy pudding is a little bit of a blast-from-the-past as well. I remember eating it as a kid, though not in its traditional form. My mom used to make some sort of fruit “salad” (one of those that’s not actually a salad in any way, shape, or form) that had tapioca in it and I recall really liking it. But, today, it doesn’t seem like something people really make anymore. I don’t know…maybe it’s lost its luster, but I’m all about bringing it back because this stuff is G-O-O-D! I even enjoy eating a small dish of it for breakfast, but it’s great as a little treat too.

Also, know that this version is egg-free, dairy-free, and date-sweetened. It’s full of coconut flavor with just the right amount of cardamom and natural sweetness. I prefer eating it topped with raw sprouted pumpkin seeds for a little crunch, but you can top it with whatever seeds/nuts you like.

On another note, less than one week until I head to Poland! Tuesday is the big day and I’m SO excited!

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup small pearl tapioca (I used this brand)
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk
  • 6 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Raw pumpkin seeds (preferably sprouted) or other seed/nut of choice for topping, if desired

Directions:

  1. Add tapioca pearls and the filtered water to a small saucepan, and let soak uncovered for 30 minutes. Do not drain remaining water, if any.
  2. Next, add the coconut milk, chopped dates, sea salt and ground cardamom. Bring to a boil over medium heat and then simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens.
  3. Remove from heat and cool for about 15 minutes before stirring in the vanilla extract. Serve warm or place in refrigerator to chill and serve cold. When ready to serve, top with pumpkin seeds or other raw seed/nut of choice.

Yields: 3-4 servings

Advertisements

Blueberries N’ Cream Scramble

Blueberries N' Cream Scramble.

Blueberry season is in full effect here in Portland and I am loving it! I always look forward to this time of year and take full advantage of any opportunity to gobble up these juicy, sweet morsels. Berry season doesn’t last that long, so I have to savor it while it lasts. Normally, I moderate my fruit intake a bit more, but during berry season I make an exception. Jesse and I usually go up to one of the nearby farms and pick every summer, and we will this year too. I think we may even go this weekend! You may remember my berry picking post from last year.

**********

This breakfast delight is basically a pancake and scramble hybrid. Its flavors are reminiscent of pancakes, with the cinnamon and vanilla, but the texture is all eggs with fresh pops of blueberry. It’s incredibly delicious and nice when you’re craving something on the sweeter side for breakfast. Pair it with a side of crispy bacon or sausage — then, you’ve got yourself a complete meal!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 3 pastured eggs, beaten
  • 2-3 tbsp full-fat coconut milk (I like this brand and this brand)
  • Dash of Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup fresh blueberries
  • Scoop of coconut butter, for topping

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, sea salt, coconut milk, cinnamon, cardamom, and vanilla. Then stir in the fresh blueberries.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once melted, pour in the egg mixture. Allow mixture to cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or so (to get scrambled pieces).
  3. Once done, remove from pan and place a big dollop of coconut butter on top, allowing it to melt over the hot eggs. Alternatively, you can melt the coconut butter first and then drizzle on top of the eggs.

Yields: 1 serving

IMG_3606

Cardamom Spice Sunbutter

Cardamom Spice Sunbutter.
Cardamom Spice Sunbutter.

Before you decide to make this recipe, here’s a few words of caution: do not attempt if you are not patient! That is no joke either! This was my first time making any sort of homemade sunbutter and it takes WAY longer than making nut butter. Holy cow, it was a good 30 minutes of back and forth blending and scraping the sides down. It might have even been longer! I couldn’t believe it, because nut butters come together in a flash, but not sunflower seed butter. With that said, be sure to allow yourself enough time and don’t expect it to come together in a pinch. In the end, it’s worth it because you have homemade sunbutter and saved money by making it yourself. Plus, it’s fun to play with flavor varieties, as I did here.

Also, if you don’t care for cardamom, feel free to omit it.

*****

Totally unrelated, but stay tuned for part II of my San Francisco trip, coming this Thursday! More great pictures to come!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 4 pitted medjool dates, or more if desired for extra sweetness
  • 1 Tbsp Madagascar pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1-2 Tbsp melted coconut oil

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, combine the sunflower seeds, coconut and dates. Blend until well ground into flour. Scrape down sides and continue to process.
  2. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom and sea salt and continue to process, scraping the sides down as needed. Keep processing and scraping – back and forth, back and forth.
  3. Then, add the coconut oil and continue to process. Continue to blend and scrape. Taste and adjust spices and sweetness as desired.
  4. Once desired consistency is reached, pour into jars and store in the refrigerator. Before using, remove from fridge and let sit on the counter for a bit to soften and come closer to room temperature. It firms up quite a bit when cold.

*Note: You can make your sunbutter to be thick like a paste or creamy and runny, which takes more blending. Just watch out, so you don’t overheat your food processor! It takes A LOT of time.

Simple Supper Friday: Turkey Cabbage Stew with Multicolored Carrots

IMG_2932
Turkey cabbage stew with roasted multicolored carrots.

Another week of school down (hooray!), and I must say, this week went by extremely fast. I’m okay with that too. As much as I’m trying to enjoy the process, I’m really ready for this term to be over. Being busy definitely helps the time fly by though. Full-time school, part-time fitness coaching, part-time freelance writing, blogging, treat making at the food cart, working on a project with Jason Seib, and life. I may even be taking on another project, which will be determined later today. I might be burning the candle at both ends a tad, but it’s awesome to be a busy little bee. I’m learning so much, especially about myself, and I feel ready for the next big thing.

Meanwhile, the sun is shining bright today and it’s a high of 60 degrees. I’ve already had a chance to enjoy the sunshine a little bit, but I’m hoping to get outside later for a walk. I have tons to do, but 60 and sunny is a great excuse to take a break.

Happy Friday all!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey thighs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp fat of choice (I used grass-fed tallow)
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 head cabbage, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2-4 Tbsp chicken broth
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk

Directions:

  1. While your carrots are roasting (see instructions below), get started on the stew. In a large pan over medium heat, melt your fat of choice. Add the garlic and saute about 20-30 seconds, or until fragrant. Next, add the ground turkey and season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Be sure to break up the ground meat a bit with a spatula.
  2. After several minutes, when the meat is nearly done browning, add the cabbage, cardamom, chili powder, broth and coconut milk. Mix well and continue to simmer over medium-low heat for several minutes. Adjust seasonings and liquid as needed.
  3. Once done, serve into bowls and top with roasted carrots.

IMG_2920

For the roasted carrots:

  • 1 bunch multicolored carrots (about 5-7 carrots), chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 Tbsp fat of choice, melted (I used a combo of grass-fed tallow and ghee)
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375. On a baking sheet, toss carrots with fat of choice, and season with sea salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or until tender and slightly browned.
  2. Serve atop of turkey and cabbage mixture.

Yields: 3-4 servings

IMG_2929

Simple Supper Friday: Indian-Style Turkey Stew

Indian-style turkey stew, served over steamed kale.

I don’t know about all of you, but it’s been one heck of a week for me. I honestly felt like I didn’t have enough time in the day to get everything done, and was tempted to give life a call and say that I wasn’t going to show up. It’s funny, because my yoga teacher said this exact same thing yesterday morning, and mentioned that she was tempted to call in and find a sub, because she wanted a break from life. But, she didn’t…she showed up anyway and shared her honesty. She remembered the bigger picture, and the notion that when we show up on the days we feel like throwing in the towel, we often have the richest experiences.

Everything she said was so reminiscent of my week. I was drowning in assignments, studying, writing, work and projects, and wanted so badly to stop everything. I wanted a reprieve. Instead, I moved forward and did the best that I could, knowing that giving up was not an option. What good w0uld it do, and how would it benefit me? I have goals and aspirations, but challenges and struggles are always going to present themselves. It’s part of the process, and how I face these challenges is reminiscent of my character. This journey is not meant to be easy, and this week especially, I needed that reminder from my teacher to embrace it.

What do you do when you are burnt out, under a lot of pressure and feel like giving life a timeout (that worked on Saved by the Bell, but doesn’t work in real life, unfortunately)?

Meanwhile, here’s a quick and tasty recipe for your Friday. It features garam masala, a warm spice blend that I sadly forget about more often than not. Thankfully, my dear friend, Macala has reminded me about it’s loveliness on numerous recent occasions. It’s one of her favorites to add to ground meat, and I can definitely understand why. I even thought of her when using it in this recipe. Miss Macala, I appreciate you, in more ways than one!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey thighs
  • 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 14.5 oz can no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1-2 Tbsp grass-fed ghee or butter
  • Steamed greens of choice for serving (I used kale)
  • Cilantro for garnish, optional

Directions:

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and saute for a couple minutes. Next, add the ground turkey and break up the meat with a spatula.
  2. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper, and allow meat to brown for several minutes.
  3. Next, add the spices,  diced tomatoes and coconut milk, and mix well. Continue to cook for a few minutes over medium-low heat, until mixture thickens up a bit. Then, mix in the ghee.
  4. Serve over steamed greens of choice (I recommend kale) and garnish with cilantro, if using.

Yields: 3-4 servings

Yes, that is bright, vibrant green grass in the background. Looking at my backyard, you'd almost think it was spring.

Simple Supper Friday: Butter Beef Stew

Everyday Paleo’s better butter chicken is one of my absolute favorite recipes. It always satisfies and never disappoints. Additionally, it’s insanely easy to make. I tweak it a tiny bit, but it’s pretty darn close to Everyday Paleo’s original recipe.

To switch things up this time, I decided to try it with beef instead of chicken. I had one pound of grass-fed stew meat that needed to be used and figured it’d taste good in this sauce. So, did it taste good? Yes, of course. To be honest though, the protein swap really didn’t change the flavor much because the sauce is where it’s all at anyway. It was still worth the experiment though and definitely still delicious. As you’ll notice, I called it butter beef stew because I thought better butter beef sounded weird.

Also, side note, but I’m so ready for this early darkness to go away! I made this recipe before going to work the other day, so that it would be ready when Jesse and I got home. I finished cooking and plating at about 5 p.m., and it was way too dark outside for photos. I attempted it, but sadly, it wasn’t too pretty. Of my indoor photos, this one was the best.

Butter beef stew, slightly adapted from Everyday Paleo’s, better butter chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 lb grass-fed beef stew meat (feel free to cut chunks smaller if they’re big — it’ll be easier to chew in this recipe!)
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 oz tomato paste (1/2 a can or a little more than 1/2 a tube)
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup  full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 – 1 Tbsp coconut flour (omit if sauce is thick enough)
  • 1-2 Tbsp pastured ghee or butter
  • Steamed kale, for serving

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté a few minutes, until translucent.
  2. Turn heat down to low and add the minced garlic, cardamom, coriander, and chili powder. Stir well to make a paste.
  3. Add the tomato paste to the onion and spices, and stir to form a thick mixture.  Add the stew meat and let brown for a few minutes over low heat.
  4. Turn the heat back up to medium and add the coconut milk and sea salt.
  5. Bring the stew to a simmer and turn the heat down to medium-low. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the meat is cooked all the way through. Stir occasionally throughout the process. If the sauce is too thin at the end of the cooking time, mix in the coconut flour to thicken.
  6. After the beef is cooked, add the ghee and mix into the sauce until melted. Serve atop of steamed kale.

Rhubarb Strawberry Shortcake

Shortcake has been in my head lately for two reasons: 1. Oregon strawberries are at their peak right now and 2. I recently made a batch of biscuits that I knew would serve as killer shortcake.

Another seasonal item has been on my mind too: rhubarb. Often, rhubarb season comes and goes before I make the time to grab some and create something delicious with it. This time, I picked some up at the Alberta Co-op, before it was too late.

Rhubarb and strawberry go together like peas n’ carrots, so I thought why not add some rhubarb to the shortcake party? I do not recall ever seeing a rhubarb strawberry combo shortcake — I’ve only ever seen the two combined in pies or fruit pizza (something my mom made from time-to-time). I ran with the idea and made a rhubarb strawberry compote and served it on top of homemade biscuits with coconut milk whipped cream. The combination of everything is literally a match made in heaven!

Rhubarb Strawberry Compote:

  • 2 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1 vanilla bean pod
  • 1 pint strawberries, stemmed and cut in half (hull if necessary)

Directions:

  1. Add rhubarb, honey, lemon juice, cardamom and sea salt to a saucepan and cook over medium heat for 5 – 7 minutes, or until rhubarb starts to soften.
  2. Cut a slit lengthwise down the vanilla bean pod. Carefully run a knife over the pod, scraping out the seeds. Add to saucepan, along with the pod.
  3. Add strawberries to the saucepan and stir. Let cook for about 5 minutes more, until the strawberries have broken down a bit.
  4. Remove from heat and let pan cool in an ice bath or in a sink filled with cold water. Discard the vanilla bean pod. Taste the compote and add more lemon juice or honey if necessary.

Coconut Milk Whipped Cream:

  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk (I used this brand)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp raw honey or more to taste

Directions:

  1. Place coconut milk in the fridge and chill for about two hours. Do not shake can before putting in fridge.
  2. Meanwhile, place a small bowl (metal works well) in freezer to chill.
  3. Remove coconut milk from fridge and open. You will notice the coconut milk solids concentrated at the top. Scoop the solids into the chilled bowl, being careful not to scoop any of the water from beneath. Save the water for another recipe, smoothies, etc.
  4. With hand mixer or whisk, beat coconut milk solids together with vanilla and honey. Boom, whipped cream!

Click HERE for the biscuit recipe.

To serve, cut a biscuit in half and spoon compote over top. Top it off with a dollop or two (or four, five…whatever!) of whipped cream. Dive in and try not to freak out because of how amazing it tastes!

strawberry rhubarb shortcake

shortcake bite