Monday, July 6, 2015

Rainbow Salad with Grilled Chicken and Raspberry Walnut Dressing #30MinuteMondays

Rainbow Salad with Grilled Chicken and Raspberry Walnut Dressing #30MinuteMondays |
All the colors of the rainbow are represented in this quick paleo salad with a creamy, dairy-free raspberry walnut dressing.

I've been wanting to make a rainbow salad for a while now, but this seemed like an especially opportune moment. Summer produce is everywhere in all its resplendent hues, and more Americans are able to get married than ever before. Let's celebrate with this salad!

Rainbow Salad with Grilled Chicken and Raspberry Walnut Dressing #30MinuteMondays |

This healthy salad has pretty much all the colors of the rainbow (if you kind of merge indigo and violet together) plus pink. Pink is my favorite color and it's not really fair that it's not a part of the official rainbow, so I made sure it was included by making a nice pink dressing. Despite how creamy it looks, the dressing is dairy-free--the creaminess comes from the walnuts and shallots, and the color is thanks to the raspberries. It's inspired by the creamy shallot dressing from my pan-seared chicken, orange, and walnut salad, but this one's even better because it's pink.


Friday, July 3, 2015

Cashew Chia Cacao Nib Pudding

Cashew Chia Cacao Nib Pudding (Gluten free, Paleo) |
This cashew chia cacao nib pudding is paleo, gluten-free, and easily made vegan. It's also a snap to make and surprisingly satisfying!

Happy fourth of July weekend! I made you a healthy dessert packed with superfoods: chia seeds, cacao nibs, honey, and cashews. Well, I am not totally sure that honey and cashews are superfoods, but they're not bad, right? I think this pudding would be a welcome change on a weekend when desserts are often pumped full of artificial colors and flavors. (Although, if you do need something naturally red, white, and blue, may I suggest my pico de gallo de frutas? Just use blueberries instead of kiwis.)

Since this pudding is a make-ahead dessert, it's perfect for having guests over. While you're out grilling lamb burgers and mixing drinks (agua fresca, perhaps?) these perfectly-sized treats will just be gelling in the fridge.

Cashew Chia Cacao Nib Pudding (Gluten free, Paleo) |

This was my first time using chia seeds and cacao nibs, and I loved them both. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about the cacao nibs since they're unsweetened chocolate, but while I wouldn't necessarily eat a handful plain, they were perfect in this pudding. Some of the cacao nibs are blended with the cashew and chia base to deepen the chocolate flavors of the entire pudding, and some are sprinkled whole on top. This gives each bite of cashew chia pudding this craveworthy chocolatey crunch. It's so good!


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Stuffed Lamb Burgers + Paleo Burger Buns

Stuffed Lamb Burgers + Paleo Burger Buns |

Lamb burgers are stuffed with manchego cheese and cherry jam for an elegant twist, and served on easy-to-make yeasted paleo burger buns!

Last year, my fiancĂ© Ben asked me to make stuffed lamb burgers for his birthday dinner. At that point I had never made a stuffed burger or even cooked with lamb, which I didn't think I liked. Since it was his birthday, though, I went for it. 

Can you see where this story is going? Spoiler alert: the burgers were delicious. Stuffed burgers are not hard to make, and it turns out I DO like lamb!

Paleo Burger Buns |

I make burgers all the time because they are such an easy, simple dinner, but I usually make them with beef and use butter lettuce for the buns. Upgrading to a lamb burger (and a stuffed one at that!) and making my own paleo burger buns definitely kicked my burger night game up several notches.

These burgers are stuffed with manchego cheese and cherry jam, so you end up with the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and meaty tastes. The strong flavors of lamb pair really well with fruit preserves, and I chose manchego because it's one of my very favorite cheeses. If you're avoiding dairy, you can stuff the burgers with just jam and they'll still be delicious. You could even add some avocado slices on top for extra creaminess. Or, if adding jam to a burger freaks you out, you can stuff them with only the cheese (but I do hope you'll try the jam at least once!).


Monday, June 29, 2015

Roasted Shrimp and Asparagus with Green Goddess Dressing #30MinuteMondays

Roasted Shrimp & Asparagus with Green Goddess Dressing (Paleo) | #30minuteMondays

Succulent roasted shrimp and asparagus are served with a tangy garlic scape green goddess dressing for an easy, 30-minute paleo dinner that's also Whole30-compliant.

I'm kind of mad at myself because I missed the boat on ramps this year. At the photography workshop I went to in May we ate them at almost every meal (there's a picture of them in this post), and when I got home I vowed to track some down so I could cook with them myself for the first time. However, I'm a lazy late-evening grocery shopper and there were never any ramps left. Before long, their short season had ended.

You'll be relieved to hear that I am NOT missing out on garlic scapes.

garlic scapes v3

While ramps are their own kind of plant and are usually foraged wild (hence their limited availability), garlic scapes are the flowering stalks of garlic plants that farmers cut off so the plant's energy can be fully devoted to the bulb forming below. Garlic scapes are cool looking (see evidence above) and I like their name: it sounds like they've been trying to escape from the head of garlic, which is pretty much what they actually do.

Garlic scapes are milder than regular garlic with some fresher, grassier notes to their flavor--kind of like a cross between garlic, scallions, and chives. Here I used them to make a green goddess dressing with some fresh herbs and Primal Kitchen's avocado oil mayo, which I just tried for the first time. I'm not a mayo person at all so I don't foresee myself ever eating it straight up, but once some other flavors are mixed in to create a dressing or aioli, I can usually hop on board. (If you haven't seen garlic scapes at your local market, don't worry. You can substitute scallions and a clove of regular old garlic.)


Friday, June 26, 2015

Gluten-Free Menu by Akinto at Wink & Nod

Disclosure: I was invited to a complimentary dinner to try the gluten-free menu at Wink & Nod. I wasn't obligated to blog about it, but it was so delicious that I wanted to share.


Last month Ben and I had the opportunity to attend an amazing gluten-free dinner for Boston-area bloggers at Wink & Nod, a unique restaurant & bar in the South End that features a rotating kitchen. That means every six months a new chef takes up residence there to serve their own menu alongside Wink & Nod's cocktails and other libations. Right now Chef Patrick Enage is cooking his Akinto menu, which is heavily influenced by his Filipino heritage and features many gluten-free items. You can read more about the chef and his menu here. Also, you might want to get over there soon, because he'll only be there through the end of the summer!

The dinner at Wink & Nod was one of the best restaurant meals I've ever had. (You might think I don't eat out much because I'm so busy cooking myself, but you'd be wrong! I have always loved eating out and do it way more than I should, so I've been to my fair share of great restaurants.) Everything we tried was both delicious and beautiful, which, as a wanna-be food stylist, I really appreciated. Each dish was built with contrasting flavors, colors, and textures that made the food really satisfying and interesting at the same time.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Breakfast Casserole with Bacon, Sausage, Sweet Potato, and Kale

Breakfast Casserole with Bacon, Sausage, Sweet Potato, and Kale |

When I make a recipe, I always expect it to turn out great. Of course, sometimes it doesn't, but if I weren't expecting delicious results, why would I bother making the recipe at all?

On the other hand, sometimes there's a qualifier. I might say to myself, "These cookies will be great--for sugar-free cookies." Or in this case, "This will be wonderful--for a dairy-free breakfast casserole."

Breakfast Casserole with Bacon, Sausage, Sweet Potato, and Kale |

You may have already guessed that this recipe blew that qualifier right out of the water (especially since only recipes that are amazing without qualifiers end up on the blog at all!). This breakfast casserole is so delectable that I do not think anyone will notice or care that it's dairy free.

I found this recipe over at Susan's blog, Food.Baby.Life, which was my assignment for this month's Secret Recipe Club reveal. Susan is a busy mom of three boys under age five, and still finds time to study, cook, and share delicious recipes on her blog! I, for one, am very impressed. Susan's recipe index includes a huge selection of allergy-friendly baked goods along with lots of family-friendly main dishes like this one.


Friday, June 19, 2015

Crispy Chicken with Fig and Shallot Compote

Crispy Chicken with Fig and Shallot Compote | A simple but gourmet paleo dinner, perfect for a Whole30 or anytime. @beckywink

So, there may or may not be a poem at the end of this post, entitled "Ode to Figs" and written in the style of Pablo Neruda. (Have you read his poem "Ode to the Artichoke"? I'm not very into poetry but I'm very into artichokes--it's one of the few poems I truly appreciate. Here it is in Spanish and English.) Figs are special, so I'm sharing a special but easy recipe that showcases them in all their glory. Plus, my ridiculous poem.

Crispy Chicken with Fig and Shallot Compote | A simple but gourmet paleo dinner, perfect for a Whole30 or anytime. @beckywink

I got so excited when I discovered fresh figs at the market earlier this week. It seems that figs have a short season in early summer and a longer season in the fall, so if you can't find them now, hopefully you'll bookmark this post for later.