Curried Sweet Potato Fritters (Paleo)

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I love all types and varieties of sweet potatoes. They’re all yummy and have been a great way to incorporate better, smarter carbohydrates into my diet. My typical breakfast consists of eggs, some greens, and sweet potatoes or yams (mashed, hashed, or baked)

I’ve been playing with this recipe for a while. I’ve tried it with yams, experimented with different types of herbs. You really can’t go wrong with it.  You can use any veggies you like as well, I love zucchini fritters with dill and a little Parmesan cheese (if dairy is not an issue), also cauliflower is great when steamed, mashed into chunks and cooked as a pancake! Whatever veggies you try, let me know in the comments what you come up with.

These are very easy and my kids love anything that looks like a pancake! You can have these for breakfast with some fried eggs, lunch or dinner.

Yields: About 15-18, 2 inch fritters.

Ingredients*:

  • 1 large Sweet Potato (white)
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder, cumin, paprika, garam masala.
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon, red pepper flakes, turmeric.
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut flour
  • 1 Tbsp Madras Curry (or any curry variety)
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2-4 Tbsp Coconut oil, for frying
  • Mango Chutney, for dipping (optional)

Directions:

  1. Peel the sweet potato and carrots cut into chunks. In a food processor with the grater attachment, grate the vegetables and put them in a big mixing bowl.
  2. Add all the spices, coconut flour, salt and pepper to the vegetables and stir very well.Image
  3. Mix in the eggs very well. Use your clean hands to get all the carrots and the sweet potato well coated with the egg mixture. Your mixture should be sort of wet. If it’s dry, let it sit for 10 minutes, it should be wet and ready to be fried. Prepare a cast iron or a non-stick pan with 1-2 Tbs coconut oil on medium heat until hot.Image
  4. Using a 1/4 size measuring cup or an ice-cream scooper, scoop the mixture and press it well with a wooden spoon or a spatula then flip it into your prepared pan on medium heat. The fritters will need 3-5 minutes on each side depending on your stove.ImageImage
  5. Using a spatula or a wooden spoon, flatten the fritters a little so they cook evenly. Don’t flip the fritters until they’re evenly browned.
  6. Serve with chutney. ImageImage

* You can increase the spices I used depending on your taste preferences. I increase or decrease the spices in most of my recipes depending on how I feel🙂 Hope you enjoy this recipe!

Almond Macaroon and Raspberry Ganache Tart

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Hello there, it’s been a while. It’s been busy around here but now I’m back to cooking regular, healthy meals. I won’t talk what went down during Thanksgiving (and after that) let’s just say the Paleo gods wouldn’t be very pleased.

Remember that recipe sharing thingy I had proposed back in November. Well, you’re in luck cause one very special dessert expert sent me a recipe on time but I just haven’t had the time to post.

So here’s a delicious recipe from my very special friend, Sumiya, a.k.a the dessert queen🙂 I love Sumiya’s food, especially her desserts. She puts on such great presentation that it’s very hard not to go for seconds (and thirds). She’s also an amazing party planner, she threw my graduation party! And it was Moroccan themed, y’all! With amazing food, tea, and tagine favors! She had some other amazing ladies give her a hand, too. My CT friends are awesome like that. So many lovely memories:))

Here’s what Sumiya told me about this recipe, “Here is a recipe for your blog, I thought it would be appropriate for Paleo enthusiasts since its flour free (except for a tiny amount).” So yes, you can certainly try variations with almond or coconut flour, coconut sugar or even maple syrup. I’m telling you this recipe is yummy and gorgeous. A simple, yet impressive, dessert to bring to a potluck, a dinner party, or share with your neighbors during this holiday season!

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Adapted from recipe on Cooking.com
Makes 10 servings

The crust for this tart is chewy like a giant almond macaroon, and the
filling is like a raspberry-flavored chocolate truffle.

INGREDIENTS
For the Crust:
All-purpose flour
1 cups whole almonds (about 5 ounces), toasted
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1/4 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract

For the Filling:
1 12-ounce package frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed, strained
3 tablespoons seedless raspberry preserves
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon honey
2 1/2-pints baskets (about) fresh raspberries (or other berries)

Garnish: Shredded coconut (optional)

DIRECTIONS
FOR THE CRUST:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom with heavy-duty foil,
pressing foil into scalloped sides of pan. Grease foil and dust with flour.
Finely grind almonds, sugar, cinnamon and salt in food processor. Add half
of beaten egg (about 1 1/2 tablespoons; reserve remaining egg for another
use) and extract and blend until dough holds together. Using moistened
fingertips, press dough over bottom and up sides of prepared pan.

Bake crust 10 minutes. Wrap fingertips with paper towels and gently, but
quickly, press puffed crust to original shape. Continue to bake crust until
pale golden, about 3 minutes longer. Again, gently press crust to original
shape. Cool crust completely (crust will crisp as it cools). Turn crust out
of pan and carefully peel off foil. Return crust to pan.

FOR THE FILLING:
Puree thawed raspberries in food processor until smooth. Brush bottom of
crust with 1 tablespoon preserves. Melt butter  in heavy medium saucepan
over medium-low heat. Add chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth.
Remove pan from heat; whisk in 2/3 cup raspberry puree and honey. Pour
chocolate filling into crust; smooth top. Refrigerate tart until filling is
firm, at least 3 hours.

Brush filling with 1 tablespoon preserves. Arrange enough berries, side by
side, atop filling to cover completely, pressing berries lightly into
preserves to anchor. If desired, stir remaining 1 tablespoon preserves in
small saucepan over low heat until melted. Brush tops of berries with warm
preserves to glaze. Sprinkle shredded coconut over berries as garnish if
desired. Refrigerate tart uncovered up to 8 hours before serving.

DO-AHEAD TIP:
Tart can be prepared 3 days ahead before decorated with fresh raspberries.
Cover and keep refrigerated.

Butternut Squash soup with Chestnuts

Butternut squash has fall written all over it and nothing is more comforting than a warm cup of soup in this cold weather. I love butternut squash; mashed, sauteed with some sage and butter, baked in the oven with some olive oil, I might even try it in this pumpkin pie recipe. My favorite, though, is: butternut squash soup. You can add a whole bunch of vegetables to it and blend the whole thing in a food processor, and you’ve got yourself a really good cup of soup.

The trouble with soup is that it needs croutons. Yes, it’s very hard for me to eat soup without some crunch in it. So I decided to pair this soup with some roasted chestnuts, which turned out really nicely. I love the combination of flavors and the texture the chestnuts add to the soup.

Here’s what I gathered to make the soup:

  • 1 butternut squash, about 11/2 lbs
  • 1-2 Tblspn butter or olive oil or a combination of both
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 Carrots, chopped into very small pieces
  • 1/2-3/4 coconut milk
  • 1/2-1 tsppn dried thyme (you can also use fresh)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 cups water (you might need more) or chicken broth
  • 1/4 lb chestnuts
  • Fresh sage leaves (optional) for garnish.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1-Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler, cut it in half, then into small cubes. Preheat the oven to 400˚. Make small cuts into the chestnuts with a pairing knife (this is very important so they don’t explode while cooking) and roast in the oven for about 25 minutes or until they open up.

2- Heat up the butter and oil, add the chopped onions and sautee until softened.

3- Add the chopped garlic, celery, butternut squash, half of the carrots, bay leaf, thyme, salt, and pepper.

4- Stir everything together then add water or chicken broth.

5- Bring everything to a boil then lower the heat to simmer. Cover the pot and let cook until the vegetables are nice and soft.

6- Once the vegetables are cooked, about 20-30 minutes, put all the ingredients in a food processor or a blender (I used a blender), blend until it’s very smooth and creamy. You might need to do that in 2 or 3 batches to puree the whole thing.

7- Transfer the soup back to the pot, adjust the seasoning. Add more thyme if you want. Then add the coconut milk and the rest of the carrots, let it simmer for few more minutes until the carrots are soft. Peel and chop the chestnuts.

8- Serve with some chestnuts and fried sage.

Soft Baked Pumpkin Cake

If you’re not an Arabic speaker you may have wondered what the heck does the title of my blog mean? Mumkin, pronounced moumkin, in Arabic can mean a few things: maybe; it’s possible; is it possible?; can I have?; or you may have!

So yes, you may have some pumpkin… absolutely, especially this season. I’m going to be cooking up a whole lot of pumpkin recipes. To name a few: these amazing custard cups (delicious, I just made them); Egyptian pumpkin dessert (world renowned – darn those Egyptians really CAN do everything!); a paleo version of the Egyptian pumpkin dessert; and some paleo style pumpkin bread/cake. So scroll on down.

This recipe was inspired by this colorful and very informative book. Yes a book dedicated exclusively to sweet potatoes (and other food/health related topics). I’m a food nerd like that! The recipe in the book is absolutely delicious, but since we’re in pumpkin season and pumpkin is awesome and my family’s official mascot, I’ve decided to make it with pumpkin and tweak a few other things!

Go add the following to your grocery list:

  • 1/2-3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup honey (from my brother in-law’s beehive!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup blanched almond flour (I’ve used this – the almond meal at Trader Joes, and I’ve also made my own)
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1/4 tspn ground sea salt
  • 3/4 tspn baking soda
  • 1/4 tspn nutmeg
  • 1/2 tspn cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)

Directions:

1- Heat your oven to 350˚. Chop the dates, and get all your ingredients ready by your food processor.

                                       (Yes, kids need to earn their pumpkin!)

2- In the food processor, combine the pumpkin puree, honey, and eggs. Pulse until well blended together, for about 1 minute.

3- Add the chopped dates and pulse 1-2 times.

4- Add the flour and seasonings for another one minute.

5- Pour the batter into a greased 8×8 square baking pan (I used coconut oil for the pan). Bake for about 30 minutes, but check it after 20 minutes. Make sure you don’t over bake the cake.

Enjoy!

Good For You Brownies

Aren’t all brownies really good for you?! I’m one of those people who believe that chocolate is a health food dark chocolate is a health food and I eat it quite often.  I devour things like ganache, anything topped with ganache, dark chocolate truffles…etc You get the idea. I LOVE chocolate.

I grew up eating things like éclair and sablés (yes, I had a very tough life) not brownies, though.So I have a lot of catching up to do here on all those years!

Yesterday I was in the mood for brownies and what better recipe to turn to then my favorite! I didn’t want to go all out though, and eat white sugar and flour, (cause I know what happens on weekends) and it was only Friday! I also know I’m not the type of person who will eat one piece of brownie. So like any wise cave woman would do, I eliminated the white sugar and flour and used almond flour and honey as a substitute.

Gluten Free yummy brownies inspired by David Lebovitz

Here’s what I gathered to make the brownies:

  • 6-8 oz dark chocolate
  • 6 Tblspns butter, I used salted
  • 1/4 honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c coconut flakes
  • 7 small dates, which was about 1/3 cup (not packed)
  • 1/3  cup fine Almond flour
  • 1/4 tspn sea salt
  • 1 tspn Vanilla extract
  • 1 Tblspn cacao nibs (optional)

Directions:

  1.  Preheat your oven at 350˚. Chop the chocolate bars into small pieces.
  2. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper and butter it.
  3. Soak the dates in hot water for 10 minutes, then put them in a food processor until they’re mashed.
  4. Melt the butter and chocolate in a medium sized sauce pan, stirring with the whisk until all melted and mixed thoroughly
  5. Take the sauce pan off the heat, then add the honey and the vanilla extract.
  6. Whisk the eggs in the mixture, one a time, then add the coconut flakes, chopped dates, and the salt. The mixture looked like this:

7. Now here’s the fun and most important part according to my favorite recipe recipe: add the almond flour then whisk everything together for 1 full minute, time yourself. Apparently this step makes the brownies nice and moist.

8.Pour the batter into the prepared pan and make sure you smooth the top, then sprinkle the top with cacao nibs (they add a really nice crunch. )

9. Bake for 20-30 minutes. I baked them for 20 minutes and they were just right. I let them cool on a rack and cut them with a big serrated knife.

The brownies were REALLY good. I will definitely make them again (may be tomorrow.) They passed 3 taste testers, one of whom has a VERY sweet tooth a.k.a the hub:) One taste tester even described it as fudge! Go make them!

Persian Soup – Ash

Ash (the a pronounced like the a in Fall) is a very popular Persian dish. It’s a mixture of beans, some sort of grains or reshteh (Persian noodles,) and a lot of herbs and spinach. It is just perfect for this time of year and I’ve never made it! The first time I had it was at friend’s house in CT 5 years ago and never forgot how scrumptious it was.

But Yasmine, I thought you’re eating like a Cavewoman?  Well, not all the time. I love beans, I grew up eating them. And let’s be honest with ourselves, it’s a staple in my country! I’m not here to tell you what’s good and not good for you. I will leave it for the wonderful people here to tell you more.

Moving on…

After reading through 10-15 recipes online on how to make Asheh Reshteh or Ash.I was inspired by this and also this, then I decided to make do with whatever ingredients I had at home, after buying some herbs. I gathered some ingredients and started making the soup:

  • 1 lb stew beef
  • 2 medium sized onions, chopped.
  • 1-2 onions sliced, for frying
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 11/2 tspn of turmeric
  • 3 cups mixed sprouted beans
  • 1 cup of (some random grain I found in my pantry. Seriously, I’m not sure what it is.) Barley, may be!
  • 1 bunch Parsley
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1/4 cup Chives
  • 1/4 cup dill
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 10 cups water + 1 cup Chicken broth
  • 2 Tblspns of olive oil + more for frying the onions for garnish
  • Yogurt or sour cream for garnish

Here’s how I made the Ash:

  1. I started by sauteing the onions in 2 Tbspn olive oil until translucent.
  2. I added the beef and browned it on all sides, then threw in the garlic, turmeric and stirred for few more minutes.
  3. Then I added the beans, the mysterious grain, 8 cups of water, and the chicken broth.

4- I left the soup to simmer on low heat for about 2 hours. I added more water half way through and gave it few stirs. I started browning the extra 2 onions in some olive oil, I cooked them for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly on medium heat. (The caramelized onions are an essential part of the dish, they add a lot of depth to the mélange flavors in the soup, that’s my humble opinion)

5- When the meat was tender, I took it out and threw it into the food processor as this brilliant recipe suggested, gave it a few pulses until it was chopped.

6- I put the meat back in the pot and let it simmer for few more minutes while I finished chopping all the herbs and spinach.

7- I put the herbs in the pot and let it simmer for 20 more minutes until the spinach was nice and soft and everything was cooked through. At this point, I added salt and pepper and some more turmeric!

8- I Got the fried onions, yogurt, and some soup bowls ready and served my hungry children and husband:)

Bon Appetit or as they say in Persian..  nuş e jan –نوش جان