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Posts tagged as breads

Plantain Tortillas (AIP, Grain-free, Gluten-free, Paleo, Vegan, Delicious)

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Feb 18, 2014 at 12:10pm

Plantain Tortillas | Fresh TartHi! I’m still here! I’m still working on Twin Cities Chef’s Table, which has meant no blogging for me. Because I didn’t have enough going on – writing a book, getting a divorce, dealing with this seriously fucked up winter – I also decided to spend the next 60 days on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) which is in effect an elimination diet to weed out food sensitivities. Long story short: It’s not just gluten, baby. With the stress of above, other food sensitivities that I’ve suspected all along but kind of gotten away with are no longer cooperating with me. Also, I took the opportunity of seclusion and cooking only for myself to undertake an experiment, adding a few things back into my diet that I had avoided when I gave up gluten almost 4 years ago – time flies! – namely corn, rice, potatoes, dairy, some starches like tapioca and arrowroot starch. My body said: HELL NO, STEPHANIE. Bloating, abdominal pain, joint pain, puffy eyes, fatigue, hair loss, low body temperature, basically all the inflammation/hypothyroid symptoms I had before I gave up gluten.

Scary and disappointing.Plantain Tortillas | Fresh TartAnd so, back to the drawing board. I’d been meaning to do it eventually anyhow. I really, really want to know the foods that cause damage to my gut and my immune system to attack my thyroid. Rebirth is the order of the day. Spring will be upon us soon enough and I’m ready to be my rock-n-roll self again, even if it means eliminating for the next several weeks:

All grains & grain-like substances (including chia, hemp, millet, oats, etc.)
All nuts, seeds, and their oils
Nightshade plants (potatoes, tomatoes, chiles/peppers, eggplants)

Yup. I made the commitment to myself last week, cried for about 20 minutes, made a grocery list, and hit the store. I can totally do this. It’s not even that far off from how I already eat. And in fact, it’s totally spurred my creativity – helped by the fact that I feel so much better already, now that I’ve gotten past two days of coffee fog. Also: immediately glowing skin. It really is so powerful what eating a nutrient-dense (and inflammation-free, because I’ve eaten a nutrient-dense diet for years) diet does for skin. I also credit adding bone broths to my routine a few months ago – eat collagen to make collagen. I definitely see the difference.

I’m not going to over-exaggerate, eating this way is not simple. First of all, it requires a lot of prep and cooking, which I enjoy thoroughly, but I know many don’t. Also, I’m feeding one or two people, none of whom are picky and small. The biggest loss for me, given my lifestyle and career, is eating out. All restaurants cook with canola oil, which I wish they didn’t because it’s terrible for everyone, but it’s cheap and vegetarian, so there it is. Also, if you think about it for a minute, almost all seasoning involves nightshades or seeds: chiles, cumin, caraway, coriander, on and on.

Please follow me on Instagram or follow Fresh Tart’s Facebook page (links on the right) for the daily meals I’ve been rather merrily preparing for myself. At the end of the 60 days, I’ll reintroduce the eliminated foods one by one, one week at a time, and gauge my reaction to them. And then I’ll know. Once and for all. I might be sad to know, but it’s better than suffering ill health.

If you’re interested in the protocol yourself, please read everything on The Paleo Mom’s amazing website and buy her new book, The Paleo Approach, which will explain the scientific, food-related causes of autoimmune disease and how to address it. Plantain Tortillas | Fresh TartAnd in the interim, Paleo Tortillas! I first made The Paleo Mom’s plantain crackers, because having something salty/crunchy to snack on was the first loss I really felt. They are fantastic. Then I started poking around for plantain “bread” of some sort and came upon a modified version of the crackers, turned into a pizza crust. I thought, I’d bet this process would make killer tortilla/wraps so I played around with the recipe I found on the blog Simple & Merry and tada! Absolutely delicious. Soft, chewy, mildly sweet, wonderful stuffed with beef, avocado, and a zippy garnish of lime and cabbage. I’m totally making fish tacos with these – plantains and fish are marvelous together. And as I mention below, I can imagine leaving out the garlic and serving these filled with berries and a drizzle of coconut cream, mmm. Plantains…who knew? (I know, millions of people, just not native Midwesterners, ha.) See what you think.

Plantain Tortillas (AIP, Grain-free, Gluten-free, Paleo, Vegan)
Adapted from a pizza crust recipe on Simple & Merry
Makes 12 tortillas

Note: the color of the tortillas varies by ripeness of the plantains combined with the reaction of baking soda with vinegar. I have been unable to predict, by looking at a plantain, what color the finished tortilla will be, so be prepared for them to perhaps be brown, or perhaps yellow, or perhaps somewhere in between. Also, if the batter isn’t completely buttery smooth, they will likely not puff.

1 pound peeled, cubed large green plantains (I’ve found they can be at various stages of ripeness, anywhere from bright green to yellow-ish; I suspect super-ripe/blackened plantains would be delicious if you left out the garlic and ate them with warm fruit for breakfast or dessert; plantains are most easily peeled with a paring knife)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup avocado oil (or extra-virgin olive oil; avocado oil is more neutral tasting and takes high heat better)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange racks in the middle of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Add ingredients to the bowl of a blender (a Vitamix is wonderful for making these). Add 1/3 cup of water to the blender, cover, and puree on lowest setting for a minute or two. Gradually turn speed up, adding a bit more water if needed, to form a thick, very smooth puree, similar to smooth hummus.

With a spoon, smooth batter into 12 equal tortillas onto the two baking sheets, approximately 1/4-inch thick and 6 inches across. Bake for 10 minutes, switch racks, and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until puffed and browning in spots.

Cool for 5 minutes before serving. Or, cool to room temperature and store in airtight container for up to 3 days. Can be gently reheated before serving.

Grain-free Gluten-free "Bread"

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Apr 27, 2013 at 8:29am

I saw a recipe for this bread on the terrific blog Against All Grain. As I’ve noted before, I find eating even gluten-free grains inflammatory (and with a bigger carbohydrate punch than I can get away with, unless I want to gain weight and feel exhausted…). You could call this way of eating Paleo, but I do fear that people have come to believe that a Paleo style of eating means gnawing on huge amounts of bacon, which isn’t true at all. Paleo really just refers to eating the whole, unprocessed foods that humans evolved healthfully to eat for most of our existence – greens, roots, nuts, fruits, eggs, and free-range animals. Grains, sugar, and dairy are avoided (some people tolerate dairy better than others, although it’s worth noting that when one gives it up for a month and then reintroduces it, it’s common to notice low energy and congestion and perhaps even stomach cramps). I do eat legumes in small quantities (per my quinoa cake recipe below). Healthy, naturally occurring fats – olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, grassfed animal fat, nuts/nut oils (not vegetable oils/margarines or transfats) – are not limited but in fact make up the primary source of calories. (Even though I try not to eat loads of cheese, I do still eat butter and ghee/clarified butter).

I find it an incredibly delicious and satisfying way to eat and it has certainly done wonders for my health. Eating carbohydrates in the form of vegetables, nuts, and small amounts of fruit (particularly fresh berries) instead of processed grains and sugars is the path to appetite control, glowing skin, and steady energy.

I’ll take all of those, straight up, thank you.

That’s a long introduction for how I came to make this bread! So here it is: I follow Against All Grain on Facebook so when Danielle (the blog’s lovely author, with a compelling story of how she manages ulceritive colitis with a grain-free diet) posted photos of a grain-free bread that looked like BREAD I had to give it a go. The bread is primarily raw cashew butter, eggs, and a bit of coconut flour. I’m tempted to call this a cake – a pound cake in particular – more than a bread, but I must say that it makes AMAZING French toast, the way that challah or brioche does. I could easily imagine adding citrus zest to the mix or icing a warm loaf with the cinnamon butter glaze from Roost blog’s (another terrific grain-free site) pumpkin donut recipe. Needless to say, I think this is a clever recipe that can be adapted any number of sweet or savory ways. That makes it a winner in my book! (Find Danielle’s recipe here.)

I made the French toast pictured with eggs and hemp seed milk and topped it with crushed blackberries (quite terrific right now) sweetened with a bit of maple syrup, courtesy of my friend Kathy Yerich’s maple trees. My belly is pleasantly full of grain-free French toast, it’s going to be more than 70 degrees today, and I’m off to judge a butchering competition at Whole Foods Lake Calhoun.


Happy spring-y weekend! xoxo


Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Dec 21, 2011 at 2:03pm


It actually hurt me a little bit to bake a pan of popovers for the photo. I don’t miss many things since giving up gluten – mostly good beer, honestly – but oh, popovers! Truly the world’s most perfect butter delivery vehicle, soft and eggy, steamy and crusty, marvelously ragged with melted-butter-pooling crevices. In college, I would make myself a batch of twelve, eat eight hot out of the pan – with soft butter – then save four to fry the next morning – in melted butter.

I long for those days.

Make a gluten-free batch, you say? I’ve tried. They’re fine but not holy, not like real popovers, so I’m trying to make my peace with remembering how they taste. I was home alone with the batch pictured, so I just smelled them, watched them cool, put them away, and fried them in butter for my son the next morning to eat with maple syrup.


If you’re not as maniacal about butter as I am, keep in mind that popovers are phenomenal with roast beef, particularly beefy pan drippings. If you make a lovely roast for the holidays, use a bit of fat from the pan to grease the muffin tin and call them Yorkshire puddings.

Recipe for Popovers at Dara & Co./Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Cranberry Sauce Sour Cream Muffins

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Nov 29, 2011 at 2:56pm

cranberry sauce sour cream muffins

As I mentioned below, I had the pleasure of chatting all things leftovers on Saturday morning, on the Fresh & Local radio show, with host Susan Berkson and Mike Madison of local hip hop group Unknown Prophets. While Mike is a musician by trade, he is also a fantastic cook. His passion for teaching children about good food is completely contagious. We had a great time talking about cooking fresh food, reaching out to chefs like Mike DeCamp at La Belle Vie for ideas and tips, and how involving children in meal preparation is The Way to encourage them to try new and different foods.

Since I had a nice amount of cranberry sauce leftover, I made up a batch of muffins and took them with me to AM950. Despite the fact that I forgot to put sugar in them – I baked them at 6:30 am, hey – the muffins got the thumbs up from Mike and Susan, and from my family, to such a degree that I’ve made them twice more.

Reicpe for Cranberry Sauce Sour Cream Muffins at Dara & Co./Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Thanksgiving 2011

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Nov 28, 2011 at 12:36pm

fried quail

Thanksgiving kicked off when my dad pulled up to the house last Tuesday afternoon, fresh from a quail hunt in Tennessee. My stepmom Susanna flew in a few hours later from Sheridan, Wyoming, their now home.

dad marinating quail

My house and kitchen were immediately improved. Dad sharpened my knives and starting halving and marinating quail in buttermilk and hot sauce. Susanna started washing dishes, straightening the house, and running loads of laundry. I felt a huge weight lift from my over-scheduled shoulders that can only come from guests who don’t ask what needs to be done, but just find things and jump in. Usually those guests are family members, but not always.

Whoever the hell they are, they are always welcome in my home.

Sasha came by for dinner Wednesday night, just home from her freshman year at Wellesley. It was so good to see her! While we all chatted, Dad fried the quail: After their buttermilk soak, he dredged them in flour (gluten-free AP for me, which worked like a charm), let them rest on a rack for 15 minutes or so, then fried them in a couple of inches of hot oil.

fried quail

My god. Tender-crispy-sublime. We devoured them.

Later that night David, Etta, and my cousin Craig arrived in various shifts from NYC and DC. I had big plans to stay awake to feed them late dinners. I even went for an almost-midnight walk, giddy in the balmy air, but upon return…I totally fell asleep.

Which was probably for the best, given my early-Thursday-morning playdate with butter and herbs and the big ol’ turkey that I had brined overnight Tuesday, then let dry out in the fridge overnight Wednesday. That one-two punch always yields ridiculously crispy skin, lightly salty, perfectly buttery. I hit it pretty hard while Dad carved the bird.

In fact, if I could eat just crispy turkey skin and a pile of stuffing and call it Thanksgiving dinner I’d be so happy.

herb roasted turkey

Which is why I am in fact I am happy, because that’s exactly what I did.

mashed potatoes with sour cream and chives

OK, I – as well as my uncles Bruce and Jim, aunts Mary and Marge, cousin Craig, brother David, sisters Stacey and Etta, John, Mom, Dad, and Susanna – also inhaled these amazing Melissa Clark sour cream mashed potatoes, prepared by Stacey & Susanna. They have earned a do-ahead spot on my Thanksgiving table, for sure. The chives are a particularly lovely addition, as is Parmesan cheese on top. We skipped the called-for breadcrumbs and didn’t miss them.

My aunt Mary brought green beans – no, not those green beans. Her version was fresh and simple – fresh beans tossed in an anchovy vinaigrette. Delicious.

cornbread dressing gluten-free

I was thrilled with the way the (gluten-free) cornbread stuffing turned out. I added both spicy and sweet sausage, mushrooms, plenty of fresh sage, and Parmesan cheese. We’ve been frying the leftovers for the last few days, to top with poached eggs… Goodness do that.

wild rice salad

My stepmom Susanna was the first to bring this gorgeous wild rice salad to the Thanksgiving table, sometime in the mid-90s, and one of us makes it every year, this year my aunt Mary. The citrus dressing is a welcome sweet-tangy palate cleanser in the midst of lots of buttery sausagey richness.

My mom made a cranberry-orange sauce and The Curry Diva herself, lovely Heather Jansz, gifted me a jar of her precious chutney. Both were stunning with the turkey, at the dinner table and on many sandwiches afterward.

I got too busy eating, talking, and drinking wine to snap a pic of my aunt Marge’s perfect pumpkin chiffon and pecan pies! No! Needless to say, they were attacked as usual. Gone baby gone. She is a master.

ruhlman oven stock turkey

I made this Michael Ruhlman oven stock from the carcass. It’s the best stock I’ve made and so easy! With the stock, turkey, and leftover mashed potatoes I made a shepherd’s pie, which we dug into last night. And turkey wild rice soup and latkes, which we ate Saturday night. And I’ll be making this Mark Bittman turkey & spinach coconut curry for tomorrow. (I’m taking a break from turkey today…I need a little breathing space. Uff.)

puppy jake

mom with etta

Mom’s cranberry sauce has appeared in three batches of muffins, one of which I brought with me to AM950 on Saturday morning, when I was on the Fresh & Local Show with Mike Madison of Unknown Prophets. We talked leftovers for an hour with host Susan Berkson and barely scratched the surface! The whole conversatoin left me starving so I came home and made myself a big batch of turkey nachos. I do so love turkey with chiles.

What fun have you been having with leftovers? I hope you all had a terrific holiday!

Cornbread Dressing

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Nov 20, 2011 at 7:41am

cornbread dressing gluten-free

Last Thanksgiving was my first since giving up gluten, so to keep things easy, I just skipped eating my favorite part of my favorite meal…the dressing. Boo! I really missed it, as much as I dig turkey and mashed potatoes.

Which is very, very much.

This year, particularly since I’m hosting, I decided to play around a bit and see if I could come up with a gluten-free dressing. Even though it’s not my family’s tradition, I’m a big fan of cornbread dressing, loaded with sausage and fresh sage; given that cornbread can be made gluten-free quite nicely, it seemed a particularly tasty place to start.

The beauty of this dressing – and all dressing – is that you can add in whatever you like. Apples, nuts, wild rice, cheese, mushrooms, oysters, pork in any form, any herb, on and on.

Recipe for Cornbread Dressing at Dara & Co./Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Poached Egg, Crispy Pork Belly, & Watercress On (Gluten-Free) Rice Flour-Potato Pancake with Bacon-Maple Vinaigrette

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Apr 19, 2011 at 5:26pm

poached egg bacon vinaigrette pork belly gluten-free pancake

I worked out this decadent, completely over-the-top (gluten-free!) dish with the help of friends Andrew Zimmern, Scott Pampuch, and Ken Okumura.  A delicious, collaborative blast.

Recipe for Poached Egg, Crispy Pork Belly, & Watercress on Rice Flour-Potato Pancake with Bacon-Maple Vinagrette (whew!) at Dara & Co./Minnesota Monthly Magazine.  Have at it!

PS I realize that’s two poached egg posts in a row.  I’ll give it a rest for awhile, I promise.

Roast Chicken Sandwich with Pickled Marmalade

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Mar 29, 2011 at 2:43pm

Roast Chicken Sandwich with Pickled Marmalade

Corner Table Restaurant chef/owner Scott Pampuch’s recipe for Roast Chicken Sandwich with Pickled Marmalade, on Sunstreet Breads baguette, from Corner Table’s Farm & Table Community Supported Kitchen (CSK) box, at Dara & Co./Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Corner Table CSK

Say that 20 times after a glass of champagne…

Orange Yogurt Pancakes

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Mar 26, 2011 at 6:09am

orange yogurt pancakes

Recipe for Orange Yogurt Pancakes at Dara & Co./Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Almond Flour (Gluten-Free) Pancakes and a Giveaway

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Dec 5, 2010 at 9:51am

This is a recipe from the excellent blog Elana’s Pantry.  Since giving up gluten, I’ve been mining her extensive recipe database, feeling inspired and thrilled.  Elana is an expert at baking with almond flour, a delicious and nutritious substitute for wheat flour (unlike other gluten-free flour concoctions, which are fine once in awhile, but are for the most part highly refined starch and fillers).

I tend to enjoy savory breakfasts (eggs, eggs, eggs!), but once in awhile pancakes are exactly what I’m hungry for, usually on Sundays.  Not only are these pancakes gluten-free, they’re also naturally low-carbohydrate and deliver a nice serving of protein.  I found them to be incredibly adaptable – add water to create the consistency you like.

I made fluffly silver-dollar pancakes, and then thinned the batter to make a few crepes.  Both versions turned out beautifully.

Elana’s recipes call for blanched almond flour, which I ordered online (here are her recommended resources).  The Bob’s Redmill almond meal you can find at grocery stores will not work for her recipes.  The bag I ordered, from Honeyville, is large and will be lasting me for many months! 

In the spirit of the holiday season, leave your name in the comments below, and next Sunday I’ll draw a name to give away a bag of Honeyville’s blanched almond flour.  If you have no interested in gluten-free baking, leave your name on my Fresh Tart Facebook page, where I’m giving away Dorie Greenspan’s latest cookbook, Around My French Table!

On a non-food-related note – a huge thank you to the kind person who nominated me as a Twin Cities Top Ten Titan in Social Media 2010.  I feel like the cutest boy in high school just asked me on a date, squee!

Oh, and one more – if you blog about food (a little or a lot, for yourself or for others) and you live in the land of Uff Da, check out (and add yourself to!) the Minnesota Food Bloggers Facebook page.  And be sure to pencil in a networking event at 128 Cafe on February 7, 2011!  Follow on Twitter #MNFoodBloggers.

And yet one more!  I used the same Honeyville blanched almond flour to make these decadent (gluten-free) Almond Triangle Christmas cookies for the LoveFeast Table cookie exchange.  Buttery caramel almond-crunch heaven.  Yeah.

Almond Flour Pancakes
From Elana’s Pantry
Makes 16 silver dollar-size pancakes

3 large eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. agave nectar (optional)
1 1/2 c. blanched almond flour (see note above)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
oil for cooking (grapeseed or almond)

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and agave nectar (if using).  Add almond flour, salt, and baking soda and mix until thoroughly combined.  Add enough water to thin batter to desired consistency (I started with 1/4 c. and kept adding until I achieved pancake batter consistency).

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add a little oil and when it’s hot, cook pancakes (2-3 Tbsp. of batter each) until browned on both sides.  Serve hot.  (Cover and chill remaining pancakes.  Reheat in the microwave, or use cold for sandwiches.)