Cocoa Roasted Figs

After a bad experience with fresh figs many years ago (think finding worms inside one I was eating during a tour in Israel) I’ve been traumatized and haven’t bought them since! As I was cleaning out my pantry this weekend and found a package of dried figs I was about to toss them when I decided to see if I could change the taste if I added some chocolate to them because chocolate coated anything makes everything better in my book! I was pleasantly surprised what a little Trader Joe’s cocoa powder could do to otherwise blasé figs after being roasted since it tasted like candy! This recipe is so simple and you could make it on Pesach too!

Recipe for Cocoa Roasted Figs

Ingredients:

  • Dried figs
  • Olive oil
  • 1T 100% unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. Chop up dried figs into small pieces and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil or spray
  4. Evenly coat with cocoa powder
  5. Roast for 20 minutes using a spatula to flip it all at the halfway point.

Xo,

Miriam

My Bobbi’s Stuffed Cabbage 2.0-Instant Pot Recipe

Growing up Purim has always been my favorite Jewish holiday. I loved everything about it from the mishloach manos packaging to getting dressed up and spending all day delivering said mishloach manos. However, the thing I always cherished most about Purim as a kid was spending time with my Bobbi Rochel. After megilla reading it was tradition to stop at Gross’ Bakery on 16 Ave and pick up Hamentaschen and overnight cookies, and for the Purim seudah she always came to my parent’s house armed with a big pot of chicken soup and stuffed cabbage that she referred to as “choloptchas.” Stuffed Cabbage hands down is my favorite traditional food but I always associated it with a big patchka and since I predominantly follow the paleo diet I avoided it since it is typically made with a sweet sauce and meat mixture made with rice.

This past Wednesday (The 6th day of Adar) was my grandmother’s yahrzeit and it has been 14 years since she was last with us and 15 years since she last shared a Purim seudah with us. I was shopping in Whole Foods on Wednesday and my daughter who is named after my grandmother pointed at a head of cabbage and said: “What’s that”?? I laughed to myself reminiscing about my grandmother’s stuffed cabbage and on a whim added it to my cart thinking maybe I can make something with it in my Instant Pot. Here are some facts about my Bobbi: She was sixteen years old when she was sent to Auschwitz with her sister and was the only member of her family to survive the war. Her sister made it to the end of the war with her but got very sick shortly after and after being taken somewhere for help she was nowhere to be found again. After moving to NYC after the war, my grandmother married my grandfather, and even though they both spoke different languages, they made it work and built a family while learning to speak English together. My earliest memories of my grandmother were her in the kitchen but when I asked my mother for a picture of her cooking she had none.

After playing around with the recipe and technique I received from my mother, I managed to paleoify the recipe and make it in the Instant Pot which is a win-win for me! I used cauliflower crumbles instead of rice (you can make your own in a food processor, or you can take the easy way out and buy it in the refrigerator section at Trader Joes ;)) and instead of adding sugar to the sauce use maple syrup. If you are doing a whole30 I would replace the maple syrup in the recipe with some fresh pineapple for added sweetness! Most recipes call for the addition of eggs as a binder, but since my daughter is allergic, I omitted eggs and added coconut flour to bind the meat together. I used the leftover meat mixture to make unstuffed cabbage in the oven which is simply shredded cabbage, meat mixture with tomato sauce mixture, coconut aminos, and sliced mushroom mixed in a 9 x13 pan baked covered for 45 min at 350.

What is great about stuffed cabbage is it is an awesome make ahead recipe because it freezes so well!

The finished product! I garnished with chives because that is what is currently overgrowing in my herb garden!

When it comes to mixing meat I prefer to throw everything in a gallon sized Ziploc bag and mix by kneading the bag…just be careful the bag doesn’t open!

Using a sharp knife carefully remove the vein on the leaves

Roll the leaves from the base side up and tuck the sides underneath
Place the rolls in the bottom of the insert
Pour tomato sauce mixture on top
Chop up the remainder of the cabbage head and place on top of the rolls
This was the last photo I took with my Bobbi. I was not going to share it because I was worried it was a picture of me from my awkward years but the memory was more important so here it is.

Recipe for My Bobbi’s Stuffed Cabbage 2.0-Instant Pot Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb ground meat
  • 1 large head of cabbage
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups of riced cauliflower crumbles (uncooked and best not to use frozen)
  • 1 medium onion (diced, minced, or grated)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder or 2 cloves of fresh garlic minced
  • 1 carton of Pomi tomato sauce
  • The juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp of coconut aminos
  • 2 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp of coconut flour

Directions:

  1. Soften the leaves of the cabbage by placing the whole head of cabbage on the IP trivet and adding the 2 cups of water to the pot. Steam for 5 minutes. There are alternate ways to remove leaves which include freezing or placing the head of cabbage in a pot of hot water and removing once the leaves have softened.
  2. Combine the tomato sauce in a bowl, with the maple syrup, lemon juice, and coconut aminos
  3. Combine the meat with the riced cauliflower, garlic, coconut flour, onion, and 1 tbsp of  the tomato sauce mixture
  4. Carefully remove the cabbage leaves so you don’t tear any. I found that the easiest way to do this was to cut the base of the cabbage off. If you do tear any of the leaves no worries just continue to roll it up and stick it in the pot as well..it will still taste delicious.
  5. Roll the leaves from the stem up and tuck the sides underneath and then place in the pot.
  6. Once you can no longer obtain any more leaves from the remainder of the cabbage…shred it with a knife and place on top of your cabbage rolls.
  7. Pour the tomato mixture on top of the stuffed cabbage rolls in addition to a half a cup of water.
  8.  Secure the lid and cook on manual for 18 minutes.
  9. When the timer goes off make sure to quick release to avoid overcooking.
  10. Garnish with fresh chives for a pop of color

Happy Purim!!!!

Enjoy!

Xo,

Miriam (@thepaleopharmasis)

Pineapple Maple Meatballs (grain-free, egg free, GF)

I always find that I arrive at my best ideas when I’m in a time pinch. For instance, this past weekend when I was preparing for shabbos at 2 PM and had to get creative with the ingredients I had on hand. My challenge these days is making food that my allergy baby can eat as well which means no peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, or eggs. I had a pack of ground meat on hand and I wanted to make meatballs but I’ve never done so without eggs so I decided to see what would happen if I added some coconut flour instead and bake them a bit so they would not fall apart and only then add to the sauce. The result was outstanding…perfect meatballs that did not fall apart and had a nice sweet taste. My sauce was just a can of low fat Trader Joe marinara sauce mixed with a can of crushed pineapple and a splash of coconut aminos.

Recipe for Pineapple Maple Meatballs:

Ingredients

  • 2lb of ground meat (it doesn’t matter which ground meat you choose i.e. chicken or turkey)
  • 1 T coconut aminos
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1/2 T coconut flour
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 can/jar marinara sauce
  • 1 can of crushed pineapple
  • Fresh basil for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Mix meat with onions, coconut aminos, maple syrup, and coconut flour and form golf sized meatballs. The easiest way to mix meat in my opinion is to add it all to a gallon sized Ziploc and mix like that. Also, if you prefer smaller meatballs you can always use a cookie scoop.
  3. Transfer meat to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20 min
  4. While the meat is in the oven mix the marinara sauce with the pineapple (you could use fresh pineapple as well but I just had a can at home) and add a splash of coconut aminos in a large sauce pan. Cook on low heat.
  5. After 20 minutes transfer the meatballs to the saucepan and let it simmer on low covered for about 30 min or so.
  6. Serve over broccoli and rice.

Enjoy!

Miriam

Paleo Shallot & Mushroom Bolognese with Almond Flour Fettuccini

There are very few things that I truly miss when I follow the Paleo diet. I used to really, really miss having dairy so that I could have my beloved Talenti gelato every so often..but now when I think of gelato I think of the massive sugar crash I experience every single time I have some. When I heard that there was a paleo approved pasta that was kosher I was skeptical about trying it because I’ve tried many gluten free pastas and they all kind of tasted the same in my opinion. So when I tried Capello almond flour pasta I was pleasantly surprised..it was like eating artisanal pasta from an Italian restaurant and soooo good! The stuff is not cheap so I saved it for a day where I needed all those carbs (crazy Spartan race training) I made a bolognese with sautéed shallots and baby bella mushrooms to mix with the pasta and the flavor was insane! This is the perfect dish for a date night for two. Oh and my husband does not eat Paleo and he said this was the best pasta dish he ever tasted if that says anything!

Recipe for Shallot and mushroom bolognese:

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground meat
  • 1 box of Capello almond flour fettuccini or zoodles!
  • Cooking fat (i.e. avocado oil, coconut oil)
  • Can of Trader Joe low fat marinara sauce
  • 1 carton of baby bella mushrooms (sliced thinly)
  • 3 shallots (sliced thinly)
  • S&P
  • Basil for garnish
  • Roasted fresh garlic (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat oil in skillet and brown meat using a wooden spoon to break apart the meat into small crumbles
  2. In a separate pan sauté the mushrooms and shallots (if you have truffle oil on hand add a small amount to intensify the flavor)
  3. Once the meat has browned add the can of marinara sauce and stir it into the mixture. Add in the sautéed mushrooms and shallot and lower the heat to a simmer.
  4. Place lid on pan and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Serve over almond flour pasta or any spiralized veggie!

Xo,

Miriam (@thepaleopharmasis)

Sesame Lime Chicken Crumble

I love making ground meat/chicken/ turkey crumbles and putting “stuff on top of stuff” as Melissa Hartwig refers to it. I defrosted ground chicken and all I could think about yesterday was coming home and making avocado zucchini chicken poppers and maybe some guacamole on the side…. the only problem was that when I got home last night I was beyond exhausted and just wanted to collapse. The thought of grating the zucchini and and shaping the chicken was NOT appealing. So what I did was break up the whole package of ground chicken into crumbles in a greased pan using a wooden spoon and topped it with unlikely ingredients with a surprisingly divine end result! I plated it with water cress whose taste reminded me of arugula and garnished with cilantro to make it look pretty of course 🙂

Sesame Lime Chicken Crumble

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon of cooking fat (I use avocado oil)

1-2 lb of ground chicken

4 large stuffing mushrooms

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 tablespoon coconut aminos

1/2 tablespoon turmeric

Juice of 1 lime

1 bunch of green onions

Cilantro for garnish

S&P

Directions:

1. Heat oil in pan and then add package of meat

2. Using a wooden spoon break meat up into crumbles

3. Slice mushrooms and green onions (1/2 inch pieces)

4. Once the meat has browned add sliced mushrooms to pan with the turmeric, sesame oil, and coconut aminos. Keep stirring until mushrooms soften.

5. Squeeze the juice of a lime onto the meat and mix. Garnish with green onions and cilantro.

6. Serve with avocado and greens.

Xo,

Miriam