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MAPLE BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

Anyone can enjoy muffins health-fully now. I’m still amazed by the idea that we can take nuts, grind them up to a fine powder, and use it as a flour substitute. If you’ve never heard of this, I swear this is true. And it tastes amazing. Almonds have a lot of healthy fats so when used as a flour it yields a very moist muffin. So, no oils needed in this recipe. I’m sure this can be made using regular flour but I’m so not interested. These are super low carb, high protein, flavorful, diabetic friendly, and surprisingly filling.

Recently I discovered One Minute Muffins (OMM) which is basically a single serving of a muffin made in a coffee mug in the microwave; mostly prepared as a low-carb, high protein breakfast or dessert alternative. Sounds kinda weird but it’s incredible. I took the idea of a basic recipe, created my own version, and multiplied the ingredients for a half-dozen recipe to make in the oven to last through the week. They’re moist and they hold so well! And, if you don’t want to use maple extract use vanilla extract instead.

You can split this recipe in thirds and make just two muffins in ramekins. All you have to do is cook them in the microwave for about a minute to a minute and a half depending on your microwave. The amount of blueberries doesn’t have to be exact, it will if anything affect your cooking time, and you don’t have to spray the ramekins with cooking spray. All you’re looking for is a solid rise. Use a toothpick to poke down the center. If it comes out clean, they’re ready!

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MAPLE BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
Servings
muffins
Ingredients
Servings
muffins
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven at 375 F degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl mix the blueberries and sugar substitute together. Mash the blueberries to your desired texture. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl add the almond flour, sugar substitute, ground flax seed, baking powder, and ground cinnamon. Whisk everything together. Then, add the eggs, maple extract, and unsalted butter into the dry mixture. Mix everything together.
  4. Spray 6 of the muffin reservoirs of a muffin tray with cooking spray and add the muffin batter about 3/4 of the way.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes give or take. Edges should be golden, peaks stiff, and toothpick through the center should come out clean.
  6. Let them cool before removing. They're very moist, using a butter knife or spoon may help to scoop them out.
Recipe Notes

Feel free to use muffin liners instead of cooking spray.

LAMB STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS

If you love stuffed cabbage rolls, then you’ll love this recipe! It takes the whole dish to a whole new level. I know some people are purists but you’ll be surprised to find there are many cultures including the Middle East that have their own variation of stuffed cabbage or some other kind of leaf. So I took the concept of the traditional Polish stuffed cabbage and used a more flavorful meat like ground lamb and complimenting it using the proper spices for it. Yet another fusion dish perhaps that is worth the prep work, I swear!

I’ll say though, it may sound like a lot of work but it really isn’t. You can make the lamb mixture the day before which is super fast. Then take care of the rest later. One major word of advice though is make sure you have a big, tall pot one you’d use to cook spaghetti in. Also, a hand held strainer that would fit a cabbage head in. This will make removing a piping hot cabbage head so much easier preventing burnt hands.

One last thing, the very end of the leaf can have a very thick spine which makes it difficult sometimes to roll the cabbage leaf. In the picture above you can see I cut an upside-down “V” to remove most of it off. It does make a big difference. Don’t worry about ruining the leaf! If you are confused and have any questions don’t hesitate to ask!


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LAMB STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a pan over medium-high heat drizzle the olive oil and sauté the onions, garlic, black pepper, cumin, and cinnamon together until the onions are softened, about 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Mix the ground lamb, rice, cooled onion mixture, fresh cilantro and salt thoroughly in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Fill a large pot with water and bring to boil. Place the cabbage head carefully into the boiling hot water using a large strainer with a handle for about 5 minutes. You want the leaves to appear bright green.
  4. Remove the cabbage head into a large bowl. Peel off some of the softened leaves and place onto a plate covered with paper towels. Place the cabbage back into the boiling water for a few minutes until the next layer of leaves are ready to be peeled. Do this a few times until you peel most of the leaves off the head. Save the damaged and/or outer leaves to cover the bottom and top of the baking dish.
  5. Using a knife cut an upside-down “V” to remove the toughest part of the spine at the bottom of each leaf. This will make rolling the leaves easier. Place each cabbage leaf sideways, spoon about ¼ cup give or take of the lamb mixture onto the bottom part of the leaf. Roll it up and tuck in the sides before completely rolling it up.
  6. Line a 9” x 13” baking dish with imperfect cabbage leaves, place the stuffed cabbage rolls into the baking dish and sprinkle the top with garlic powder, sea salt and pepper. Add the bay leaves and vegetable broth. Top the rolls with tomato puree, the remaining fresh chopped onion and feta crumbles.
  7. Cover everything with remaining leftover cabbage leaves and aluminum foil. Bake at 350 F for about an 1h 15min to 1hr 30min. Everything should be boiling hot.

BOURBON PEACH CRUMBLE

Here’s another peach recipe I recently went crazy over. Buying a half bushel of peaches from The Peach Truck over at the Nashville Farmers Market was one of the more fun things I’ve done this year. Shhh, don’t judge! I’m a simpleton. And I must say, cooking with bourbon is a new thing for me, which I’m loving! It must have something to do with living in Tennessee the last few years, hmm I dunno. I think it’s important to share that you don’t have to like bourbon to enjoy this dessert. The bourbon mixed with butter and sugar truly gives a very caramel-like flavor. And it just pairs so well with peaches. I wouldn’t want peaches any other way in a crumble!

You don’t have to be a baker to make a crumble. Trust me, I’m not a baker! You can easily put this together very quickly; in fact I think cutting the peaches is the longest part LOL. It’s so worth it though! So the fun part, you know… all the ways you can enjoy a crumble. Of course you can eat as is, piping hot. Yet it’s amazing straight out of the fridge too. Serve it over ice cream if you dare. I pretty much learned from my Father that you can put anything yummy on ice cream LOL. And I know this may sound strange but, this is good over toast or an English muffin. It’s not too far from a jam! All I’m saying is, this won’t last long when you make it. Prepare to have to make it again. Enjoy!

 

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BOURBON PEACH CRUMBLE
Servings
servings
Ingredients
BOURBON BUTTER
CRUMBLE
Servings
servings
Ingredients
BOURBON BUTTER
CRUMBLE
Instructions
  1. Place the peaches in a 9” x 9” baking dish.
  2. Put the bourbon, vanilla extract, butter, and arrowroot powder in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, stir until it comes to a boil. Add the brown sugar, lower temperature to low-medium, whisk while it simmers for about 3 minutes. Let cool.
  3. In a food processor add the all purpose flour, sugar, 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, chilled butter, cinnamon, and salt. Make sure the butter is cold and cut in small cubes. Pulse everything about a dozen times until everything resembles coarse meal.
  4. Drizzle the bourbon butter mixture over the peaches and sprinkle the crumble on top evenly.
  5. Bake at 375 F degrees for about 25 minutes or until everything is gold brown on top.

GRAIN FREE ALMOND BREAD

Grain free. Gluten free. Low carb. High protein. High fiber. Healthy fats. Nutrient Dense! And it tastes pretty damn good! This is not a sweet bread, it’s a great alternative to everyday bread. Most breads you find in the grocery store use bleached all purpose flour, fortify it with crap quality vitamins and minerals then flavor it with some kind of sugar derivative like the popular high fructose corn syrup that is practically every other packaged good. There are much better alternatives for loaf bread usually found in the freezer section of your grocery store. But, homemade means you can control everything. This recipe is so quick and easy that you don’t need to dirty your standing mixer. Just two large bowls and mix!

What can you use this bread for you ask?! Anything and everything. I’ve tried so many ways already. And I’ll tell you: your favorite sandwich, peanut butter (or other nut butter) and jelly, sliced bananas with cinnamon, avocado with sea salt, pepper, lime juice and some fresh cilantro, EGGS! Spread some real grass-fed butt on it after toasted with sea salt and your favorite jam. Apples and honey. You see where I’m going with this? Anything and everything!

Feel free to add any of your favorite nuts or seeds into the recipe too. You can replace the almond butter with a different nut butter too. And if you’re opposed to ground flaxseed (doesn’t add a taste to the recipe) feel free to add anything else in place of it. This is truly a great recipe to help get you started and comfortable baking your own healthy breads. Enjoy!

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GRAIN FREE ALMOND BREAD
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Coat a loaf pan with olive oil cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl beat the eggs, add the maple syrup, and almond butter. Mix everything together thoroughly.
  3. In another large bowl whisk the almond flour, baking soda, ground flaxseed, and cinnamon together.
  4. Pour half of the dry ingredients into the wet, mix. Then, mix in the last half of the dry ingredients. Make sure everything is incorporated well. The consistency should be thick like cake batter. Add a splash of almond milk if needed.
  5. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake at 350 F degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool and keep refrigerated.

TOFU CHORIZO

This Tofu Chorizo tastes practically identical to the traditional Mexican chorizo we’re all familiar with at the store. The major difference which seems to be a huge deal is that the pork is replaced with tofu. It sounds absolutely ridiculous but it really isn’t. Chorizo is all about the combination of spices and of course the grease factor because it’s pork. But you can add all the same spices with your favorite oil (mine is olive oil) and make it just the same. The reward is that you can eat as much chorizo often, keep your waistline smaller, your cardiovascular system healthy and avoid the feeling of weighed down from heavy, greasy foods. For some people, eating high fat/greasy foods can result in gallstones and later on require removal of the gallbladder. With some dietary compromises, you can avoid a lot of trouble. Here are the many ways you can enjoy my chorizo…

I’m crazy for burrito’s. It must be a California thing, who knows but I love making my own homemade Mexico City Refried Beans to pair with this chorizo. Top it off with fresh watercress greens, some chopped cherry tomatoes and a little bit of queso fresco. SO GOOD! I’ve made scrambled eggs with the chorizo too and it’s amazing with hot sauce. You can do a chorizo omellete, make tacos, even a taco salad or a quesadilla with your favorite cheese and grilled onions. OH! Ever go to Chipotle and get a burrito bowl? Have you tried their sofritos? Last time I went there I realized how much my tofu chorizo tasted like their sofritos and so later on I made my own burrito bowl with all the goodies. It was amazing! As you can see your options are endless. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!


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TOFU CHORIZO
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Remove the tofu from its container and slice it in about ½ inch thick slices.
  2. Cover a large surface with a few layers of paper towels and place the tofu on top. Place another few layers of paper towels on top of the tofu. Press on top firmly with your hands to remove excess water.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat drizzle the olive oil and break the tofu up.
  4. Add all the spices to the tofu and use a wooden spoon to break apart the tofu finely as it cooks, stirring regularly. After 5 minutes, add the lemon juice and continue to stir everything together for another 5-7 minutes.