Paleo Crisp Bread with Smoked Ham and Hazelnut Pesto

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I LOVE PESTO. Like I really, really, really adore pesto with a passion, and often find myself fantasizing about fresh pasta tossed with homemade pesto with lashings of parmesan cheese on top. But alas, I am staying away from the pasta, but that doesn’t mean I have to say no to pesto!

I recently made Paleo Crisp Bread, and decided to make a homemade hazelnut pesto to compliment some smoked ham I had bought as a topping for the bread. This recipe is inspired by traditional Danish Smørrebrød.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of Paleo Crisp Bread
  • 2 slices smoked ham (or whichever cold-cuts you prefer)
  • 1/2 hazelnuts
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup low-fat cheddar or parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 spring onion

Blend the hazelnuts until finely ground. Add basil, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper, and a dash of olive oil. Blend again, adding olive oil until desired consistency. I usually add a little water to thin-out the pesto a little bit, to save on the oil.

Slice the spring onion and set aside. Place two slices of Paleo Crisp Bread on a plate and put a piece of ham on each slice. Add desired amount of pesto and garnish with spring onion.

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And voila! There you have Paleo Crisp Bread with Smoked Ham and Homemade Hazelnut Pesto!

FOOD FACT: BASIL

Screen shot 2013-06-26 at 5.02.43 PMBasil not only tastes great as a main ingredient in pesto, but it also has many surprising health benefits! Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, basil also has antioxidants that can protect the body from premature aging, skin complications and even some forms of cancer. Basil oil can be used to treat stomach complications such as constipation, cramps and indigestion as well as the common cold. (via. Motherearthliving.com).

Here’s a fun fact about basil: In Hindu cultures basil is considered a sacred plant.  In some cultures basil is a sign of love and devotion between young couples (it’s probably easier to find than mistletoe too).

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Oven baked chicken with celeriac fries

Do you find yourself craving french fries, but you’re trying to follow either a low-carb or Paleo lifestyle, and all you can make is sweet potato fries? Here’s a low-carb alternative to making your favorite fried tots, and with no guilt involved.

You can literally eat as many of these celeriac fries as you wish, and your waistline will continue shrinking with every bite!

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Even though it’s summer I reside in Denmark, and there is never, ever a guarantee for sunshine or warm temperatures in the summer months, even at the end of June. As I sit here writing my next tasty update the wind is howling tirelessly against the windows and giant rain drops are pounding on the grey tinted glass. Although I would prefer sitting on the beach with a Skinny B*tch (my favorite drink at the moment) there is one really great thing about cold summer days: you can make comfort food! Screw barbecuing freshly roasted meats and tossing light zesty salads with a cold Carlsberg in your hand, when the weather is in a bad mood there is only one thing to do, treat yourself.

I was really hankering for fried chicken with french fries, but as I am on a health kick I had to come up with something else that would hit the spot. To satisfy my comfort cravings I decided to make oven baked chicken with celeriac fries and a side of what I like to call cabbage slaw (although it is in no way shape or form the same recipe as what you would consider traditional coleslaw), and I must say (with as much humility as someone who thinks they really are a great cook, can muster) it tasted DIVINE! So here it is, my healthy rendition of fried chicken with french fries.

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts or thighs (up to you)
  • 1 celeriac
  • 1/2 head of cabbage
  • 2 onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Coriander (optional)
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Cumin
  • Curry powder

Preheat your oven to 350 °F / 180 °C

Marinate the chicken in cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, cumin and olive oil. Finely slice 2 cloves of garlic and add to the chicken. While the chicken is marinating cut up your celeriac into fries. You can do this as you please, and make them thin and crispy or big and soft, depending on your taste preferences. Once the fries are cut up toss them in olive oil, salt, black pepper and the remaining garlic.

Place chicken into a baking dish and put in the oven for around 45 minutes (depending on your oven).  Throw the celeriac fries on a baking sheet and place in the oven as well, turning after approximately 15 minutes (they should be done in around 35 – 40 minutes).

Slice up the cabbage, onions, carrots and remaining clove of garlic. Stir fry in a pot with olive oil, and add desired spices (I used cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper and curry powder), but you can really use anything you please.  Serve with coriander on top.

FOOD FACT: CELERIACScreen shot 2013-06-26 at 4.17.40 PM

Celeriac not only helps you lose weight by boosting your metabolism, it also contains high amounts of fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and potassium besides containing vitamins B1, B2 and E. According to Giverecipe.com celeriac also helps cure kidney diseases and promotes healthy skin and hair.

Paleo Crisp Bread with Seeds and Nuts

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Paleo Crisp Bread with Seeds and Nuts is inspired by traditional Nordic crispbread, which is often served with cheese, ham or other light cold-cuts and toppings. This version is completely Paleo friendly, and contains no gluten or wheat at all. I chose to test something new with this recipe, and added half a head of cabbage to the seeds and nut mixture, giving the bread fill and lending enough mass to make Banana Bread with Walnuts and Cinnamon with half the batch!

This bread can last up to a week when stored in an air tight container. Paleo Crisp Bread is perfect on its own as a snack, as an accompaniment to soup or salad or as a base for delicious sandwiches.

Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup hazelnuts (or almonds, whatever nuts you have and like will do)
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup dried, unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 head of cabbage
  • 1 cup flaxseed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons oil

Blend the walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and flaxseed in a food processor. Once finely ground, add the cabbage and coconut and continue blending. Mix in the eggs and oil slowly, and process until the consistency is almost like a smooth paste.

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Add the sesame seeds and mix by hand (this is so you have some varying textures in your bread, and added crunch).

Heat your oven to 300 °F / 150 °C.

Roll out half the mixture on a piece of parchment paper. Place another piece of parchment paper on top of your dough, and roll the batter out until thin with a bottle or other object. Any additional dough can be added back to the other half of the mixture you still have (this can be used for Banana Bread with Walnuts and Cinnamon or just to make more Paleo Crisp Bread with Seeds and Nuts).

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Roll the dough until you have a thin bread, and then cut it with a sharp knife (I usually make pretty small square like shapes, but you can also make larger or smaller pieces, it’s totally up to you).

Once you have bread that looks like this (below) you can put it in the oven.

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Bake in the oven for up to 40 minutes, preferably on dry heat, as this dries out the bread rather than burns it. Keep an eye on the bread as you go along, as oven time may vary. Store bread in an airtight container for up to a week.

FOOD FACT: FLAXSEED

Flaxseed is full of Omega-3 essential fatty acids, and has been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.

flaxseedHere’s a fun fact about flaxseed: Flaxseed was cultivated in Babylon as early as 3000 BC. In the 8th century, King Charlemagne believed so strongly in the health benefits of flaxseed that he passed laws requiring his subjects to consume it.  Now, thirteen centuries later, some experts say there is preliminary research to back up what Charlemagne suspected. (via. WebMD.com)