Photo courtesy of Sara Salahub http://www.sarasalahub.com

Eat these in moderation!  Although they are gluten-free/dairy-free, they still contain sugar and should not be part of your regular Paleo/Primal diet.

In celebration of a very special girl’s birthday – Sio’s (one of the founders of Crossfit Quantum) – I wanted to test out my skills to see if I could do the unthinkable….make a Cupcake using paleo-ish ingredients! What the what?!?! Impossible!  No.  The cake was easy as I used the same recipe as my Pineapple Upside-Down cake (sans pineapple)…it was the icing that was going to be the challenge.  After scouring the internet for recipe ideas, I stumbled upon a world of fellow ‘healthy’ bakers – people whose lifestyle is foreign to me, aside from the fact that I heard Demi Moore might subscribe to this way of life – they are Raw foodies.  I highly recommend using “raw” as a search term when looking for recipes because you’ll find some amazing raw food blogs that can provide wonderful inspiration for Paleo meals.  I found the icing recipe from The Sunny Raw Kitchen blog and modified it a bit.

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)
Cake

– 2 Tbsp coconut oil
– 4 Tbsp coconut milk
– 1/2 Cup coconut flour
– 2 Tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
– 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
– 3 eggs
– 1 tsp aluminum free baking powder
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 2 whole mashed bananas (very ripe)
– 1/4 C toasted coconut shreds (for the garnish on the icing)
Icing
– 1/4 Cup macadamia nut butter
– 1/4 Cup coconut milk
– 2 Tbsp coconut sugar (I found mine at The Big Carrot in Toronto).  You could sub raw honey or maple syrup.
– 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice (or more)
– 1/4 Tbsp 100% vanilla extract
– 1/8 Cup coconut oil

Directions:

  1. To make the icing:
    1. Melt the macadamia nut butter (especially if you’ve had it in the fridge) so that it’s smooth and easy to mix.  Melt the coconut oil with the coconut sugar.
    2. Mix all of the icing ingredients together thoroughly.  Refrigerate for a few hours until it’s texture is similar to icing.
  2. For the cupcakes:
    1. Pre-heat oven to 350
    2. In a bowl, mix together coconut flour, salt, baking powder, coconut milk, vanilla extract, bananas and eggs
    3. Melt the coconut oil and honey/maple syrup and then slowly add it to the mix.
    4. Mix together thoroughly and pour into greased (use coconut oil or non-stick spray) muffin baking pan.
    5. Bake for about 20-30 minutes – check after 20 minutes because you might have a better oven.  You want to be able to stick a fork into the middle and have it come out dry.
    6. Remove from oven and let it cool completely (otherwise the icing melts off)
  3. To toast the coconut, spread it out on a baking sheet and pop it into the 350 oven for 5 minutes.  Shake it around and put it back in for another 2 minutes or until it’s toasted.
  4. Spread the icing on top of each and sprinkle with toasted coconut

Perfect for a Bachelor Party!

Eat these in moderation!  Although they are gluten-free/dairy-free, they still contain sugar and should not be part of your regular Paleo/Primal diet.

I’m starting this post with Semi-Primal Husband’s testimonial: “This is my new #1.  You could give this to anyone and I bet they wouldn’t know that it’s Primal.” I have to agree – this is my new favourite dessert.  The juices from the pineapple make the cake really moist and sweet. It was hard for us not to eat the whole thing.

Ingredients (serves 4 big pieces or 6 avg size):
For Caramelizing Pineapple:
– 2 slices of pineapple (about 1 inch thick)
– 1 tsp coconut oil
– 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For Cake:
– I used a rectangular small baking dish (see pic at bottom), which fit the 2 slices of pineapple perfectly.
– 2 Tbsp coconut oil
– 4 Tbsp coconut milk
– 1/2 Cup coconut flour
– 2 Tbsp raw honey
– 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
– 3 eggs
– 1 tsp aluminum free baking powder
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 2 whole mashed bananas (very ripe)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350
  2. Start with caramelizing pineapple slices – In a non-stick skillet, heat 1 tsp of coconut oil.  Add the pineapple and let it fry for about 2 minutes – until it’s golden brown.  Pour the vanilla extract on top while frying.  Flip pineapple and fry the other side.  Remove and put pineapple at the bottom of your baking pan.
  3. In a bowl, mix together coconut flour, salt, baking powder, coconut milk, vanilla extract, bananas and eggs
  4. Melt the coconut oil and honey and then slowly add it to the mix.
  5. Mix together thoroughly and pour into baking pan overtop of pineapples
  6. Bake for about 45 minutes – check after 30 minutes because you might have a better oven.  You want to be able to stick a fork into the middle and have it come out dry.
  7. Remove from oven and let it cool for a few minutes
  8. Put a plate overtop of the baking pan and turn it upside down so that the baking pan is now upside down over the plate.
  9. Remove baking pan so that pineapple slices are the centerpiece of the cake.
  10. Try not to eat the whole thing.

Pineapple gets caramelized.

Cake Dough - Pre-Baking.

Ready to be flipped upside down


Every year at Christmas my husband and I host a dinner with our siblings and their significant others.  After 3 massive turkey dinners, we wanted to do something completely different so we opted for an Asian theme.  I wanted to use this as an opportunity to try out a few new primal recipes and get some non-primal testimonials from our siblings.  On the menu:

– Sushi and Sashimi – Not primal.  Hence the title of this post being “Mostly Primal.”  You could easily omit this part of the meal if you wanted to keep it Primal.
– Primal Sesame Grilled Salmon & Chicken
– Grilled Steak
– Primal Asian Style Green Beans
– Primal Ginger Spinach and Water Chestnuts
– Primal Banana-Coconut Mini Cakes
– Primal Lemon-Blueberry Custard Tarts

 

Sesame Asian Chicken

 

Sesame Asian Salmon

Primal Sesame Asian Chicken & Salmon
Ingredients (serves 7-8)
Approx 3 lbs Salmon (boneless, skin-on)
– Approx 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
– 4 Tbsp dijon mustard
– 5 Tbsp tamari sauce (gluten-free soy)
– 10 Tbsp Sesame Oil
– 1 tsp minced garlic and ginger

Directions

  1. Whisk together sesame oil, garlic, ginger, tamari and dijon.
  2. Pour 1/2 of the marinade onto the meat and marinate in the fridge for ~30 minutes
  3. Grill chicken and salmon on the BBQ or indoor grill (350-400 temp).  About 5 min each side.
  4. Pour remaining marinade onto the meat before serving
 

Primal Asian Green Beans

Primal Asian Style Green Beans
Some may argue that Green Beans are not Paleo because they are a legume and legumes are excluded from the Paleo diet because of their Lectin load which could be toxic. Here is a link from Robb Wolf’s website explaining why in more detail. Mark from Mark’s Daily Apple (Primal Blueprint) has recipes that include green beans, so I suppose you can argue it both ways. Personally,  I eat green beans and avoid other legumes.

Ingredients (serves 7-8)
– 1 1/2 Pound green beans – washed and ends trimmed
– 2 Tbsp chopped garlic
– 1 tsp minced ginger
– 1/2 tsp chili pepper
– 1 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
– 3 Tbsp tamari sauce
– 1 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar

Directions

  1. Cook green beans until they are 90% cooked and soak in cold water to stop cooking them. I cooked mine in the microwave – in a casserole dish with a bit of water. Set aside
  2. In a large skillet, heat the sesame oil and add garlic, ginger and chili pepper
  3. Add green beans and stir-fry for 2 minutes
  4. Add remaining ingredients and stir-fry for another 2 minutes
 

Primal Ginger Spinach and Water Chestnuts

Primal Ginger Spinach and Water Chestnuts

Ingredients (serves 7-8)
–  3 Large bunches of fresh spinach (about 1.5 lb) – washed and ends chopped off
– 1 small tin of water chestnuts (about 2/3 cup)
–  2 Tbsp tamari (gluten-free soy)
– 1 tsp rice vinegar
– 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
– 1/2 tsp fresh minced ginger
– 1 tsp fresh minced garlic
– 3 – 4 Tbsp slivered almonds

Directions

  1. Heat sesame oil in skillet
  2. Add ginger, garlic and spinach.  Stir-fry for 3 minutes
  3. Add water chestnuts, rice vinegar and tamari.  Stir -fry for another 1-2 minutes.  Place in a serving dish
  4. Sprinkle slivered almonds on top and serve.
 

Primal Banana-Coconut Mini Cake and Lemon-Blueberry Custard Tart

Lemon-Blueberry Custard Tart (8 Tarts)

Eat these in moderation!  Although they are gluten-free/dairy-free, they still contain sugar and should not be part of your regular Paleo/Primal diet.

Ingredients
Tart Shell
– 1 Cup almond flour
– 3 Tbsp lemon juice
– 6 large Medjool dates

Filling
– 2 lemon rinds – finely grated/minced
– 16 Tbsp lemon juice (approx the juice of 2 lemons)
– 2 Tbsp raw honey
–  1/2 Cup coconut milk
– 6 eggs
– 1/2 cup blueberries

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. Put the dates through your food processor until they form a paste.  You can use your hands to break them down if you don’t have a good food processor (that’s what I usually have to do)
  3. Combine dates with remaining tart shell ingredients and mix together until it forms a dough
  4. Put the dough in between 2 pieces of wax paper and roll it out until it forms into a thin layer of dough
  5. Take pieces of the dough and mould them to fit into your muffin liners / muffin baking sheet.
  6. Bake the tart shells for about 10 minutes until they are brown and crisp.  Remove and set aside.
  7. In a small bowl, combine the coconut milk and eggs.  Whisk together and set aside.
  8. In a small pot, heat the lemon rind, lemon juice and honey.  Allow it to simmer at med-heat – about 2 minutes.
  9. Slowly add the egg/coconut milk mixture to the pot stirring constantly.
  10. Continue stirring and add the blueberries
  11. Keep stirring until the custard starts to get thicker and the consistency becomes like custard
  12. Pour into the tart shells and refrigerate.
  13. You might have leftover custard (I had quite a bit).  You can put them into small bowls and eat the custard without the tart shell.  It’s quite delicious this way too.

    Our Non-Primal siblings and significant others provided the following testimonials:
    “This chicken is so good – i need to get this marinade recipe from you.” The chicken was a big hit.
    “Can I have that second dessert?” Said twice.
    “This is all really good”
    “The spinach could probably use something else to spice it up.”
    I think I will add chili pepper next time.