Fig Bars

Paging through the calendar of unusual holidays at brownielocks.com, I discovered today (January 16th) is Fig Newton Day. To celebrate, I offer you my take on the classic cookie. I was inspired by Elana Amsterdam’s recipe, but she made hers with almond flour and I wanted mine without nuts. I also wanted a smaller bar, so I could eat more of them! During my testing process, the kids gobbled theirs up with big grins and pronounced them “really good.” My husband, who still indulges his sweet tooth occasionally in grain- and dairy-filled goodies, said they taste just like the real thing.

Fig Barsfig bars

½ c dried figs, about 10 figs (75 g)
3 T water
1 T lemon juice
1 t vanilla extract, divided
½ c coconut flour (57 g)
½ t baking soda
¼ t salt
3 large eggs
2 T coconut oil, melted
1½ T honey (32 g)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F line a large baking sheet with parchment
  2. Place figs in a small container, cover with water, lemon juice and ½ t vanilla, and set aside
  3. Whisk together coconut flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl
  4. In a separate bowl, beat eggs until frothy and uniform in color
  5. Beat oil, honey, and remaining ½ t vanilla into eggs
  6. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until a soft dough forms
  7. Puree figs and liquid into a paste
  8. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces (about 90 g ea)
  9. For each portion, form a thin log and roll out between pieces of parchment into a 12×3 rectangle
  10. Spoon 2 T fig paste onto dough and smooth into an even layer along the center of the rectangle
  11. Use parchment to fold long sides of dough over fig paste and transfer bar to prepared pan
  12. Bake bars for 10-11 min until golden and firm
  13. Allow to cool 2-3 min on pan
  14. Cut each log into 8 1½-in bars before removing to wire rack

Yield 24 bars

What is your experience trying to recreate store-bought treats in your own kitchen?

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DISCLAIMER: This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to purchase an item after clicking through one of my links, I may receive a small commission. Your cost remains the same. Thanks for supporting The Hyphenated Kitchen!

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Beef and Cranberry Bowl

I recently started following The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), which begins with the elimination of major inflammatory food categories, including nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs, nightshades, dairy, soy, and grains. If you are interested in learning the science behind the protocol, I highly recommend The Paleo Approach by Sarah Ballantyne. Since I’ve cooked dairy-, grain-, and nightshade-free meals for years, I have been surprised by what a transition this still is for me. Apparently I was eating more eggs, seeds, legumes, and nuts than I realized.

Breakfast on the AIP diet is particularly challenging with all the major American breakfast staples off the menu. I’ve mostly been stir-frying meat with fruits and vegetables or cooking a vegetable porridge. A week or so ago, I was inspired to create this dish after seeing a recipe for Corned Beef and Cranberry Hash. This has been one my most popular concoctions to date. The last time I made it, the kids requested I double the recipe and serve it for lunch, too!

Beef and Cranberry Bowlbeef and cranberry bowl

1 lb raw ground beef (454 g)
2 c shredded carrots (227 g)
1 c diced onions (160 g)
1 c chopped spinach (142 g)
2 garlic cloves, minced (6 g)
1 T dried parsley
1 t ground turmeric
1 t salt
½ t dried thyme leaves
¼ t ground cinnamon
¼ t ground cloves
2 c cranberries (227 g)
1 c beef or chicken stock

  1. Brown ground beef with carrots and onions
  2. Add spinach, garlic, and spices, and cook an additional 1-2 min until fragrant
  3. Stir in cranberries and stock
  4. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have popped and stock has been absorbed (about 20 min)

Yield 5 1-cup bowls

What is your favorite breakfast food?

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DISCLAIMER: This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to purchase an item after clicking through one of my links, I may receive a small commission. Your cost remains the same. Thanks for supporting The Hyphenated Kitchen!

Guacamole

I first discovered fresh guacamole when I was in college. It quickly became my go-to party dish. When I found out that I can’t tolerate nightshades, I thought perhaps my excellent guacamole days were over. I mean, I know you CAN make guacamole with just avocados and salt, but it’s really not the same. After some testing and tweaking, I finally have the proportions for my new recipe just right; I don’t even miss the tomatoes and peppers! I hope you like it as much as we do.

Guacamoleguacamole

Meat from 4 avocados, mashed (400 g)
1/3 c finely diced onion (60 g)
1 bunch cilantro (60 g)
2 cloves garlic, minced (6 g)
1 t lime juice
½ t salt

  1. Stir together all ingredients until well blended.
  2. Serve immediately or press cover directly on the surface of the dip to minimize browning.

Yield 2 cups

What do you like to dip in guacamole?

Midnight Chocolate Frosting

I suggested banana cake for breakfast the other morning, intending to make My Favorite Banana Bread in a round pan and call it “cake.” My daughter promptly informed me that what makes it cake is the frosting! I had to agree that cakes are truly cakier with frosting. So I let her whip up a batch of this wonderful fudgy frosting (that I’d put together to cover my Chocolate Birthday Cake) and the kids were very happy with their breakfast!

chocolate_cakeMidnight Chocolate Frosting

1 c coconut oil, melted
⅔ cocoa powder (53 g)
2 T honey (42 g)
1 T vanilla extract

  1. Stir together all ingredients
  2. Chill until set, but not hard (20-30 min in the fridge)
  3. Beat with electric mixer until fluffy

Yield about 2 c frosting (just right to frost one layer or 12 cupcakes)

This is a truly dark, bittersweet chocolate flavor. If you’re looking for something a bit sweeter, I have found it works well with 3 T honey. If you want something even sweeter, I recommend Elana’s Paleo Chocolate Frosting recipe which uses melted chocolate chunks.

Variation: This also makes a great chocolate peppermint frosting. Simply replace the vanilla with 1 t peppermint extract.

What’s your favorite way to eat chocolate frosting?

Cranberry Muffins

When I was a kid, we made cranberry bread using the recipe from the book Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin. As an adult, Carol Gelles’s recipe from 1,000 Vegetarian Recipes became a family favorite. Once we’d cut grains out of our diet, though, we clearly needed a new concept for cranberry bread. This recipe combines the best parts of both favorites, leaving behind the grains, dairy, and copious measures of sugar. Plus, you don’t have to chop up the cranberries!

cranberry_muffinsCranberry Muffins

¾ c coconut flour (85 g)
1 t cardamom
1 t baking soda
½ t salt
8 large eggs
½ c coconut oil, melted
2 T orange juice
1 T honey
1 T molasses

1¾ c whole fresh or frozen cranberries (170 g)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Line 12 standard-size muffin cups with parchment
  3. Whisk together coconut flour, cardamom, baking soda, and salt
  4. In a separate bowl, beat eggs until frothy and uniform in color
  5. Beat in coconut oil, orange juice, honey, and molasses
  6. Add flour mixture and stir until smooth
  7. Fold in cranberries until evenly distributed throughout batter
  8. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups
  9. Bake for 35 min, or until firm and springy in the center
  10. Remove immediately to wire rack
  11. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes before serving

Yield 12 muffins

How do you like your cranberries best?

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DISCLAIMER: This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to purchase an item after clicking through one of my links, I may receive a small commission. Your cost remains the same. Thanks for supporting The Hyphenated Kitchen!

Monday Meatloaf

The weather has cooled, and something about the feel of autumn puts me in the mood for meatloaf. I would have guessed, once upon a time, something with “meat” in it’s name wouldn’t be too hard to make without grains. I would have been wrong. I used to make a great recipe with pork rinds and cheese in the binding. Then we went totally dairy free about three years ago and I hadn’t made a decent meatloaf in a while. Until last month, when my husband tossed together a loaf that was remarkably stable. I asked him how he got it not to fall apart when he cut it. His secret, it turns out, was garlic and onion powder. I’ve made this about once a week since then and the kids clean their plates and ask for more every time. (Please forgive the poor-quality photo. My daughter was anxious to eat and kept grabbing for the dish!)

Monday MeatloafMonday Meatloaf

loaf
2 lbs raw ground beef (900 g)
2 large eggs
1 T onion powder
1 T garlic powder
2 t salt
2 t crushed rosemary
1 t black pepper
½ t dried thyme leaves
¼ t dry mustard powder

topping
¼ c Cranberry-Beet Ketchup (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Stir together all loaf ingredients until thoroughly combined
  3. Press mixture evenly into a 9×5 loaf pan
  4. Bake for one hour
  5. Remove loaf from oven and spread with ketchup, if using
  6. Increase oven temperature to 400°F and bake for an additional 15-20 min until internal temperature reaches 165°F

NOTE: This recipe is sugar-free with the optional topping omitted.

We usually serve meatloaf with baked squashed or a mashed root vegetable and some greens. What do you like with your meatloaf?

Apple Cinnamon (Coffee) Cake

I wanted something sweet for breakfast the other morning, and the kids (crazy little people) told me they were tired of banana bread. Given the abundance of apples in our house this year, I thought apple cake might just hit the spot. Given that all three of my kids asked for a second piece, I’d call it a big hit!

apple-cinnamon-cakeApple Cinnamon (Coffee) Cake

2 c peeled, diced apples (250 g)
1 T cinnamon
½ c apple juice
¾ c coconut flour (85 g)
1 t baking soda
½ t salt
8 large eggs
½ c coconut oil, melted
1 T apple cider vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Grease and line 8-in round pan
  3. Combine apples, cinnamon, and juice in large flat-bottomed pan
  4. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until apples are softened and liquid is syrupy
  5. Whisk together coconut flour, baking soda, and salt
  6. In a separate bowl, beat eggs until frothy and uniform in color
  7. Stir coconut oil and vinegar into eggs until well combined
  8. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and stir until smooth
  9. Mix in apples, including syrup, until evenly distributed throughout
  10. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 40-45 min, until fully set in the center
  11. Allow to cool in pan 5-10 min before removing and slicing

Yield: 1 8-in cake

To make this a more dessert-y dish, I recommend adding a dollop of coconut whipped “cream” and/or drizzling with your favorite caramel sauce.

Do you prefer your cakes for breakfast or dessert?