Paleo plantain burgers

Paleo plantain burgers

Anyone who has been on the Paleo train for more than a minute has likely eaten their share of lettuce wrapped items.  And while I too enjoy a good lettuce wrap from time to time, there are moments that just call for something a little more substantial. 

The other day I picked up local grass fed beef and decided to kick off the end of summer with some grilled burgers.  Because nothing helps me forget that this summer flew by in a nano second and that the leaves are already falling more than a thick juicy patty grilled on an open flame.  It is the quintessential food of summer. 

As I began assembling my burger toppings I felt a tinge of jealousy.  While I should have been drooling over the smell of the grill I was actually feeling sorry for myself about the fact that I was about to eat yet another lettuce wrapped thing while my kids and husband enjoyed their burgers on a bun.  So I made a quick u turn on the lettuce wrap and decided to try a different breed of burger, a plantain burger. 

OMG yes! As soon as I bit into my burger all jealousy subsided.  Not only was I more satisfied than I am after my usual lettuce wraps, I was in flavor heaven.  I actually felt sorry for the rest of my family not eating their burger on a plantain.  Seriously, I can’t believe I haven’t done this before!

The key to a plantain that will hold up as a burger bun is to use a very starchy plantain, aka a green one.  Once  your plantains have reached the point of yellow with black spots they’ll probably be too soft to hold all your toppings.  Yellow plantains also take on more of a sweetness that lends itself better to sweet flavours, imo.

My favorite way to enjoy plantains is twice fried, also known as tostones.  They become soft and fluffy on the inside with a great crunchy shell, the perfect vessel for all your burger needs.  One full plantain is a good size for one burger so if you make these for a group make sure you get a bunch. 

For one burger you will need:

One plantain

One tbsp coconut oil

Sea salt

Directions:

Heat your oil over medium low heat

Slice your plantain in half and slowly start to brown in the hot oil. Don’t cook it too fast as burned plantains take on a bitter flavour, allow it to caramelize slow and low.

When your plantain is golden brown on all sides remove from the heat and place on a paper towel to cool for a minute. 

Using the back of a glass gently flatten the plantain to just over ¼” thick. 

Return to the oil and continue frying slow and low until it super golden brown and crispy. 

Drain on a paper towel and sprinkle with sea salt while still hot.   

Top with burger toppings of choice and enjoy.  

Paleo dairy free cinnamon rolls

Paleo dairy free cinnamon rolls

During my first pregnancy cinnamon rolls were my number one craving. I would practically prance in to the local mall food court, giddy with the anticipation of a delectable hot bun and would often end up grabbing a half dozen all for myself- with extra icing! Unfortunately that little habit ended me in my doctors office being tested for gestational diabetes in my third trimester. No bueno.

Now that I am much older and more health conscious I pretty much sprint past those chewy gooey buns when I’m at the mall, I don’t even look. Even the insulin regulating addition of cinnamon can not negate the sugar bomb that is dough covered with sugar covered with icing. They are simply bad news.

But what is life without the promise of ever eating another cinnamon bun again? Lame-o.

So I rolled up my sleeves and created a recipe that would satisfy my craving for some buns without sending my insulin levels on a roller coaster and making me feel like doo doo.

Not only are these gluten free, but they are devoid of grains and dairy as well. I do use egg in this recipe but I’m pretty confident an egg replacer would work just fine to make these completely vegan. Going to try that next time.

Flavor wise these are similar to the mall buns but texturally they are denser with a slight crumble. Like most paleo baking, if you are expecting a replica of the real deal you may be disappointed, but if you understand the limits of baking without gluten you will be pleasantly surprised. If you, like me, are a cinnamon bun lover who hasn’t indulged for way too long due to dietary restrictions, you will be blown away. These are definitely worth a go.

Paleo Dairy Free Cinnamon Rolls

Dough Ingredients

dry

1/2 cup almond flour

1 cup tapioca flour

1/4 cup coconut flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

wet

2 eggs

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp vanilla

Filling ingredients

2 tbsp coconut oil

1/3 cup coconut sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

Icing

1/4 cup soaked cashews

1/4 cup vegan yogurt

1/4 cup coconut cream (the thick creamy part in the can)

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

Directions

Assemble the icing by blending all the icing ingredients in a high speed blender – chill in the fridge. (It will firm up as it chills)

Assemble the filling by mixing all the ingredients together – set aside.

Preheat oven to 350

Mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients in separate bowls and combine into a dough. It should be malleable without sticking to your hands. If you find it too wet add a bit more tapioca and if it’s too dry at a tsp of water.

Chill the dough ball in the fridge for 20-30 minutes – this makes it easier to work with.

Roll it into a rectangle and spread the filling over the dough leaving about an inch along the far long end.

Gently roll into into a long log pressing as you go, wrap it in the parchment and chill in the freezer for 20 – 30 minutes.

Remove from the freezer and using a sharp knife, slice into 1.5 inch rounds.

Place them on a parchment covered baking sheet with a bit of space between them and bake for 18 – 20 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before icing or eat them hot, the icing will melt a bit and act as more of a glaze (as pictured). Either way they are delicious.

If you try this recipe let me know what you think and if you made any successful modifications.

Enjoy!

Easy sausage and lentil soup

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School is back in, woot woot! Leaves are turning every shade of red, woot woot! Kids are sniffling, woo- wait no.

Fall is my favorite season but every year without fail, fall serves us up a hot steamy plate of illness. Yes guys, cold and flu season is officially here.

We got hit with flu the first week of school, and now it seems like a second round of something nasty is upon us.

Classic chicken soup just doesn’t excite me like it used to and I wanted to shake things up a bit.

I’m (finally) in school for nutrition and learning so much about how simple carbs effect PCOS’ers like me, so I knew I wanted to make a soup rich in protein and fiber, both key for slowing digestion and sugar release into the bloodstream. Noodles floating in some watery broth was just not going to cut it for me friends.

Because I use a bone broth as the base for this soup, it is loaded with essential aminos, healthy fat and delicious flavour. Bone broth is a much better option than powdered ‘soup’ stock or cubes filled with strange additives and unknown ingredients, but if that’s all you have on hand, you do you.

Most days I have some sort of broth bubbling in my cock pot, the stock for this soup was made from parts of my organic thanksgiving turkey carcass and aromatic veggies.
Even if you’re not sick, do yourself a favour and make this soup, it is so yummy, filling and nutritionally balanced so you can eat it on it’s own as a meal. It freezes well and stores in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Sausage and lentil soup, serves 4

Ingredients:
2 chicken sausages (use organic, gluten free, preservative free if possible) I used a local organic brand of chicken apple sausage that I love
1 tbsp grass fed butter, ghee or virgin coconut oil
1 small onion or large leek
2 cloves of garlic
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
½ cup tomato sauce or a chopped organic tomato
¼ tsp of each thyme, basil, rosemary and oregano
1 bay leaf
½ cup soaked lentils
8 cups bone broth (or stock of choice)
2 cups of kale, chard or leafy green of choice
½ lemon or lime juiced
Parsley for garnish

Directions :
Heat your fat in a soup pot and gently fry the sausages over medium low heat do not burn
Remove sausage from the pot and set aside, stir in onion and garlic and cook until just translucent
Add herbs, aromatic vegetables (not the greens), tomato sauce and bone broth, place the sausages back in the pot and simmer it all together until veggies are softened
Remove the bay leaf and sausages and blend with an immersion hand blender (super easy way to get kids to eat veggies but skip this step if you love a chunky soup)
Add soaked and rinsed red lentils and cook until softened or about 30 minutes to an hour
Finish with fresh lemon juice, chopped parsley and torn greens
Allow the greens to wilt in the hot soup, adjust salt and pepper to taste (this will vary depending on how salty your broth is)
Enjoy and share it if you love it!