Nourishing Bolognese with Vegetables [Dairy & Gluten Free]

This meat-based sauce is a more recognizable dish among the Italian classics. There is no one recipe for Bolognese sauce but the staple ingredients tend to be the same. The following recipe was inspired by my recent trip to New York City where Italian food lines every avenue. I was especially impressed by the widespread acceptance for dietary accommodations within the city. Contrary to many other restaurants, meals were offered free of allergens without compromising the taste or experience.

Authentic Bolognese sauce does not like to be rushed and requires about 4 hours of simmering. It reminds me of a woman who’s getting ready for an evening out. Tell me I have to be ready with only half of my hair curled and I’m not going to come out as appealing. Just like the sauce, we women don’t need so much preparation but it’s worth the wait.  Of course, there are short cuts available since most of us don’t have the luxury of prepping a meal most of the day.  

The wonderful thing about Italian food is its potential to work with fresh, whole ingredients. Most everyone loves it and is approachable for any level of cooking expertise. The following recipe differs from classic Bolognese sauce as it includes a hefty dose of cauliflorous vegetables and omits allergens such as dairy and gluten. The sauce attains it's orange appearance from dairy but in my opinion, dairy makes the dish far too heavy.  If you're not concerned with making your dish more nutrient dense with cauliflorous vegetables simply omit them for a more classic sauce. Even with a few alterations, the sauce lacks nothing when it comes to taste and richness, making it an excellent way to disguise vegetable for picky eaters. 

This is a large serving size: about 8

For the sauce:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 4 small carrots diced
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 4 garlic cloves diced
  • 5 slices pancetta (organic bacon) diced
  • ½-1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½-1 teaspoon basil
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper
  • Extra Veggies: sliced broccoli, carrots, cabbage: slaw style. Purchase a pre-chopped bag from the produce section. Finely dice in a food processor.
  • 2lb lean ground meat I used a blend of grass-fed beef and bison
  • 1 cup dry white wine (Chardonnay)
  • 2 cups almond milk (don’t use cream) I omitted the milk altogether & it tasted fine.
  • 1 16-oz can organic tomato sauce (or you may use whole tomatoes + juice but I do not prefer them)
  • 1 cup organic beef or chicken stock

Procedure:

  1. Place a large saucepan to medium heat greased with olive oil. Once hot, sauté carrots, celery, onion, garlic, extra veggies if desired, and a pinch of salt. Stir continuously for about 5 minutes. Add pancetta/bacon and cook for another 10 minutes until vegetables are soft.
  2. Turn the sauce pan to high heat (Or use a separate saucepan greased with olive oil) and brown the meat. Add sections of the meat a little at a time and break up with a wooden spatula. This allows the liquid to evaporate, the meat to caramelize, and keeps it from boiling. We want bits of golden meat sticking to the pan but we do NOT want it to burn. If not already, combine the meat and vegetables into one large saucepan.
  3. Now, lower the heat to about medium. Add in the white wine. Take your wooden spoon and scrape off the meat from the bottom of the pan. Keep reducing the heat if necessary so not to let it burn. The white wine should evaporate.
  4. Add the milk, tomato sauce, stock, salt, and pepper.
  5. Ensuring that nothing is stuck to the bottom, bring to boil, reduce to the lowest setting, and allow simmering for 4 hours.
  6. Before serving, adjust seasonings to your liking.
  7. Serve over pasta with fresh basil leaves. Sprinkle on parmesan for our dairy eating friends.

Gluten Free Dinner Rolls [Paleo, Dairy & Grain Free]

You will need:

  • 1 Cup Tapioca Flour/Starch
  • 1/4 Almond flour (substitute coconut flour for nut-free)
  • 1/2-1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tablespoons flaxseed meal (optional. I like the texture)
  • 1/2 Cup olive oil
  • 1/4 Cup warm water
  • 1 large egg whisked

Procedure:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F
  2. Line a baking sheet with greased parchment paper (or grease a muffin tin like I did)
  3. Combine dry ingredients first: Tapioca, almond flour, & salt.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients: whisk the egg, pour in oil, and slowly add the warm water. About a tablespoons at a time. We don't want the mixture becoming too thin.
  5. If the mixture is too thin, add in almond flour and or flaxseed meal slowly. Combine until the mixture is not watery but doughy enough.
  6. When using almond flour, the dough did not reach a consistency that was sticky enough to roll out onto balls. So I placed the batter into muffin tins
  7. If the batter is doughy, roll out small 1 inch balls onto a parchment sheet.
  8. Place in the oven, Set the timer for 30 minutes. (No longer than 35 minutes).

You will have perfectly crispy, flakiness on the outside and chewy goodness on the inside! YUM!

Gluten-Free Nut Butter & "Jelly" Crepes [Paleo, AIP, Plantain Crust]

This recipe came to me in a dream last night- no kidding. I woke up in a frenzy and wrote down the idea before it vanished from my memory. I put off my morning routine to whip out my food processor, turn on my oven, and peel some plantains. The paleo god's blessed me with enough ingredients left in my cupboard to whip up this dish. The result was nothing short of divine.

You will need:

  • 1 plantain
  • 2 teaspoons of sea salt, keltic, or pink Himalayan salt.  
  • 2 tablespoons of bacon grease, coconut oil, or fat of choice
  • 1/4 cup of tapioca flour

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with greased parchment paper.

2.      Peel your plantain and chop into sections.

3.      Place plantain pieces in food processor. Add salt, add fat (oil), and blend until smooth.

4.      With a spatula, pour out the plantain mixture into a bowl. Fold in the tapioca flour.

5.      On your lined, AND greased baking sheet, spread the batter across the sheet until it's completely flat & evenly reaches each corner.

6.      Place the dough in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Check on the dough after 10 minutes. Be certain that this does not overcook. If parts become crispy, it will leave holes in the dough.

flat crepe.JPG

7. Once the batter turns golden & appears a bit fluffy, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once, cool, grab the opposite edges of the parchment paper and flip the dough upside down and onto a cutting board.

8. Add your filling: I choose to process an assortment of nuts with blueberries along with some creamy almond butter.

9. (Not shown in the photo) But cover the opposite end of the crepe with nut-butter to seal it off once it's rolled up.

10. Roll slowly & eat up!  

 

Medjool Date Dark Chocolate Truffle Recipes [Paleo]

Date "truffle" balls. Used with 90% cocoa.

Recipes below:

  • Cinnamon chai, dark chocolate truffle, & Chocolate coconut

 

 

12 Medjool dates, pitted
1Tbsp cup natural nut butter
¼ cup cocoa powder or chopped chocolate bar
½ cup almond flour...
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon, chai seeds, and cocoa powder for rolling

Place the dates, the nut butter,chocolate almond flour, salt, & vanilla in a food processor. Blend until well combined. Take a spoonful of the mixture and roll into a ball with your hands. Roll each ball and in your choice of each: chai seeds with cinnamon, cocoa powder, or coconut flakes.
Enjoy