These amazingly moist, grain-free, gluten-free lemon scones were a long time coming, and relied on a major evolution of forces in order to be made at all.
It started with the cherries, thoughtfully pitted and frozen by me last summer and promptly forgotten until we moved last month. A coworker and I chatted for a while a few weeks ago about what I could possibly do with these cherries, and she immediately suggested jam, to be served with lemon scones. Of course! What else?
And then, in one of those lovely coincidences that seem to only happen with the oldest of friends, my best friend from high school sent a housewarming gift that included a bag of light muscovado sugar. With its rich molasses notes, I knew this was just the thing to temper the tartness of the lemon juice, deepen the sweetness and warm the flavors up to something a little more appropriate for March, rather than June.
Further coincidence? It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and scones are still to this day one of the things I miss most about Ireland. I know it’s essentially a biscuit. I still miss them. And I’m pretty sure, anyway, that you can’t do better than this recipe for a gluten-free scone.
Grainless Lemon Scones
Yummy grain-free scones, infused with muscovado sugar and lemon juice
- 2 cups almond meal
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 2 Tbsp cold butter
- ½ cup muscovado sugar
- zest from 2 lemons
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 3/4 cup milk of your choice
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and set aside.
- Combine almond meal, coconut flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom in a large bowl and whisk until combined. Add butter and work with your hands until the mixture is crumbly.
- In a small bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest and whisk until very fragrant and well-combined. Whisk into the other ingredients.
- Add lemon juice and milk, and stir with a spatula until very well combined. The mixture may be crumbly, but you’ll see it will come together when pressed.
- Dump dough onto the baking sheet and press into a ball. Flatten ball until the dough circle is about one inch high. Split with a knife into eight equal segments, wiggling the knife to create a solid separation between the wedges.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the outside is golden and the inside is still moist. Cool on a wire rack; serve with plenty of butter, margarine and/or tea.
Pretty much all I want to eat these days is a giant bowl of salad with a slice of bread. It’s summertime, work is busy, and I’ve been forbidden from turning on the oven, so that’s also the simplest solution.
But I also want some interesting flavors, you know? Which is why this pesto is so enjoyable. Guess what? It doesn’t have basil in it, just a bunch of powerhouse greens and some yummy, nutty-tasting flax. There’s not much to say about it, except that it’s inspired by this recipe by Cookie and Kate and it’s perfect with anything — spread on bread, used with sort of a bruschetta, spread on pizza crust in lieu of sauce or simply thinned and tossed into pasta. Or zucchini! Your call.
As you can see above, I went the simple route.
I’m going to keep this post pretty short and sweet — make this fig butter. Think apple butter, but with more depth of flavor, more subtle caramelization and little seeds that pop and crunch between your teeth.
The butter itself is vegan, paleo, and gluten-free, though if you’re paleo, it might be harder to find things to spread it on. For those of you so inclined, imagine this on a sandwich with brie, arugula and prosciutto, the brie melting out the sides and the sweetness of the fig butter contrasting with the salty prosciutto and peppery greens. You could stir this into oatmeal, breakfast quinoa, yogurt. You could spread this on apple slices and call it a day. Or you could spread it on a cinnamon-raisin bagel and pretty much have the best day ever. Continue reading
When you start “eating clean,” as the kids call it these days, suddenly everything gets more difficult.
Every label is scrutinized; every ingredient, dissected; every pre-packaged food must somehow justify its existence in your house. The days of picking up salad dressing at the store on your way home from work are over. If you want dressing, or stock, or even a tortilla, you’re going to have to make it from scratch.
There are two restaurants in the town where I live that make their own ketchup.
In the case of one restaurant — a burger and beer joint — this attention to detail helps elevate the entire experience to something more sophisticated. Sure, it’s burgers and beer, but it’s microbrewed beer, burgers on a brioche bun and a little dish of homemade ketchup with the perfectly cooked fries.
Making your own ketchup might not seem like it’s worth the 30 minutes it takes. But I assume that if you’re on this blog, you are like me, and half an hour for ketchup is a drop in the bucket, the proverbial bucket being the amount of time you spend cooking in any given week. Make it every Saturday and you’ll always have a supply…or, if you’re like me, make it only when you are planning burgers or meatloaf.
Like that restaurant’s burgers, homemade ketchup will bring your paleo barbecue or meatloaf to another level. Plus, you get to say you made your own ketchup. That’s pretty awesome all by itself.
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp mustard powder
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 pinch allspice
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/8 tsp paprika
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- Combine all ingredients except garlic in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
- Add garlic cloves (whole) Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Watch for the mixture to thicken; when it does, remove the garlic cloves and allow ketchup to cool before serving.
- Store in fridge for up to two weeks.
Adapted from Paleo Comfort Foods
You know what’s both harder and easier than you would think? Mayonnaise.
It’s hard to get really good mayo. It’s also really hard to find mayo with an ingredient list that doesn’t turn you right off the idea the second you look at it. But mayonnaise tastes so good that the thought of totally giving it up isn’t appealing, either. Some people switch to Miracle Whip (with an even worse ingredient list), and some switch to olive oil mayo (still contains the other bad oils).
Some intrepid souls make their own. Despite its reputation, mayonnaise is deceptively easy to make if you can be precise about following directions. I am the first to admit that I cut corners when following recipe instructions, but not here — here, I respect the mayo.
Mayonnaise is simply oil whisked very fast into a mixture of eggs, mustard, salt and an acid such as lemon juice or vinegar. When done right, you end up with an emulsion that is nothing short of magic — when done wrong, you get scrambled eggs in oil. The key is drizzling the oil as slowly as you can into the egg mixture, only pouring faster when the emulsion has basically already formed.
The New York Times recently printed what they say is the most reliable mayo recipe out there. In addition to the ingredients listed above, it includes cold water, meant to help everything blend better.
I’ve used this mayonnaise in Paleo chicken salad, on chicken just for fun, and in a homemade (non-Paleo, obviously) pasta salad. It’s amazing any way you want it — even, if you eat grain, on a perfect turkey sandwich. Stir in a little Sriracha or cranberry sauce for a flavor burst.
- 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp prepared or Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp cold water
- 1 1/2 cups avocado, light olive or grapeseed oil
- Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk together yolks, lemon juice, mustard, salt and water until well blended.
- Slooooooooowly, with the speed of a stoned snail, dribble the oil into the egg mixture while the whisk is going at full speed, pouring the oil down the side of the bowl to slow its progress.
- When you’re about halfway through the oil, feel free to pour a little faster, but still go pretty slowly. Continue until all the oil is whisked in. Store in the fridge for up to a week.