Plantain Pizza Crust or Sandwich Bread (Grain, dairy, egg, soy, nut-free)

Plantain pizza crust

Sometimes I feel such sadness for my kids as they navigate all of their food allergies and GI issues. They are already quite aware that they eat very differently than most of their friends, and we have already had some issues come up with birthday celebrations and playdates. A few weeks ago, my 4 year old son pulled the jar of Daddy’s peanut butter out of the pantry and asked if he could have some with his apple slices. (We were out of almond butter, which he loves.) I told him that he couldn’t eat it because he is allergic and it would hurt his body. When he asked why he was allergic I replied “because that is the way God made your body.” He replied in a very sad, subdued voice “I wish God had made me a body that can eat all kinds of food.” It broke my heart.

Aurora at Castle Park

God didn’t create my childrens’ bodies so they could eat all kinds of food, but I am so very thankful that He did create them to be able to enjoy a wide range of healthy foods, and that He started to raise up awareness of the Paleo movement and its surrounding community right when we needed it the most. My kids eat a huge variety of fruits, vegetables, safe starches, fats, and healthy meats. And because of ideas from other Paleo bloggers and my own need to creatively meet my family’s nutritional needs, I have even been able to bring in occasional treats that nourish their bodies and comfort their sweet hearts. (I am also thankful that I don’t have the checkout line meltdowns when they see all the candy there!)

Jonathan is at an age where he understands when I tell him he can’t eat a food because he is allergic. Unfortunately, Aurora at age two, doesn’t understand, and will eat anything and everything she can get hold of, which can be really tricky at playdates and church.

Aurora at Castle Park

Every kid loves pizza- at least in the US. And I have really struggled to come up with a pizza alternative that my whole family could enjoy together, without thinking about what is missing or different. It is a bit of a struggle to come up with a crust that is delicious, fairly close in texture, taste and substance to the original (wheat) version, and is dairy, egg, nut, soy and grain free. I have made it a couple times with my Chebe Bread Hack, but that gets a bit gummy. Before Aurora joined our family and we didn’t have a tree nut allergy to contend with, I adapted an almond flour pizza crust by Elena Amsterdam (from this cookbook.)

But it was definitely time to think way outside the box and come up with something that would work for a pizza crust for the whole family. As always, I circled back to our love of everything plantain, which I think must be one of the most versatile foods on the planet. We have really loved integrating this into our menu planning- it’s so fun to have a pizza night every once in a while! (In fact, Jonathan asked for it for dinner tonight.)

We top our pizza with homemade basil pesto, bell pepper, zucchini, pepperoni, ham, sausage, and sometimes caramelized onions. Just choose your favorite toppings, or let your kids make their own delicious creations.

4 Plantain pizzas

As an added bonus for my sandwich loving son (who has never had anything that could even remotely be considered sandwich bread), I discovered it makes a great sandwich bread. Great to have a “bread” we can use to make and take sandwiches for a picnic.

Sandwiches with plantain bread

Jonathan approved

Plantain Pizza Crust or Sandwich Bread
Serves 6
A delicious pizza crust or sandwich bread made from plantains. Soooo good!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 large green plantains, peeled and cut into chunks
  2. 1/4 C nutritional yeast
  3. 1/2 C pumpkin puree
  4. 1/4 C oil or fat of choice (may need additional to make smooth batter)
  5. 1 tsp. baking powder
  6. Optional: salt and Italian seasoning to sprinkle on top.
  7. Pizza toppings of your choice. i.e. tomato sauce or pesto, veggies, pepperoni, sausage, etc.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Using a high speed blender, puree all of the ingredients together until a smooth batter is formed. You may need to add a bit more oil to get a smooth batter.
For pizza crust
  1. Spoon about 1/4 C of batter onto prepared baking sheets. (I can usually get 4 crusts on a baking sheet.) Use a spatula to spread out into a small circle, about 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick. (For a thin, crunchy crust, spread it thinner. If you like a doughier crust, spread it thicker.)
  2. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and quickly add toppings. Return to oven for an additional 10-15 minutes, until crust is cooked through and toppings are done.
For sandwich bread
  1. Spoon all of the batter onto the prepared baking sheet. Using a spatula, gently spread it out until it is a uniform 1/8 inch thick.
  2. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, until top is golden brown.
  3. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into sandwich bread.
Notes
  1. Remember that you can control how crispy or doughy the crust is. Just spread it thinner or thicker according to your preference.
Created To Be Paleo http://CreatedToBePaleo.com/

Flounder Stuffed with Kale

 Flounder Stuffed with Kale

Because of my daughter, Aurora’s allergy, we don’t have fish as often as I like, but when I found some wild-caught flounder filets at a great price,  I decided to give it a try. This is a quick and simple meal to prepare, but with the rich green of the kale, deep red of the dried cranberries, and the sprinkling of bacon on top it is a visually stunning meal to present to your family or guests. The first time I served this, my husband told me that he felt like he should have dressed up for dinner. And the same husband who doesn’t usually eat kale will gladly accepts seconds of this. We have had it many times since, and it has become a family favorite.

Feel free to experiment with different varieties of fish. We also really enjoy it with Swai, which is a lot more cost effective.

Swai stuffed with Kale

 

Flounder Stuffed with Kale
Serves 4
A beautiful, rich meal that is deceptively easy to prepare.
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Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs wild-caught flounder filets
  2. 12 oz package bacon, cut into small pieces
  3. 1 large bunch kale, stems removed and torn into bite sized pieces (you may want more kale, depends on how much you like it!)
  4. 1/4 C dried cranberries
  5. 1/8 C sliced almonds
  6. 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
  7. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Prepare the flounder filets by patting dry, sprinkling with salt and pepper to taste, and placing into a foil lined pan. If desired, drizzle lightly with olive oil. Bake 10-15 minutes until golden brown and fish gently flakes when pricked with a fork.
  3. In a large skillet, cook the bacon pieces until crispy and brown. Remove the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate to cool and crisp. Reserve the bacon grease.
  4. Add the kale, cranberries, and almonds to the bacon grease in the hot skillet. Toss gently with lemon juice, and continue to cook until the kale is a bright green.
  5. On each plate, scoop a generous serving of the kale mixture. Add a flounder filet on top, and sprinkle generously with the bacon pieces.
Notes
  1. Pairs nicely with steamed vegetables and baked sweet potatoes.
Created To Be Paleo http://CreatedToBePaleo.com/

Mango Chicken Salad with Chipotle Dressing

 Mango Chicken Salad with Chipotle Dressing

 One of our favorite meals and a frequent choice for our meal plan is this absolutely delicious Mango Chicken Salad with Chipotle Dressing. The original inspiration for this came from the wonderful Sarah Fragoso at Everyday Paleo, but it has really changed and evolved so much since I first glanced at the original recipe that it has become a creation all of its own. (Have you noticed that we like mangos yet?)

One of the great things about this particular recipe is that you can do most of the preparation ahead of time, so that it can be really quick and easy to throw together on a busy weekday evening. The chicken is precooked, so I will often bake a pan of chicken breasts in the oven earlier in the week for this recipe. Then it is a matter of chopping up some peppers and onions, cooking up some bacon and assembling the salads. It is especially nice when you are having guests for dinner, since you won’t be stuck in a hot kitchen and can enjoy some fellowship and conversation.

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Mahi Mahi with Mango Salsa

 Mahi Mahi with Fresh Mango Salsa  DSC_1874

I was trying desperately to come up with something to eat for dinner the other night, since I had forgotten to thaw anything out. My musings led me to fish, because it can be thawed in a matter of minutes in cold water. So I went out to the freezer and pulled out some Wild-Caught Mahi Mahi filets. And then I began to ponder how to dress it up, from a plain fish meal to something extraordinary. I looked around my kitchen, saw some mangos at just the right level of ripeness, grabbed a cucumber and a serrano pepper, and a delicious meal was born! The sweetness of the mangos was nicely balanced with the tanginess of the lime juice, and just a touch of heat from the serrano made it a real husband-pleaser.

It was pretty quick and simple to throw together, which was especially good because both kiddos are sick and want to be held by mommy constantly. Prepare the Mahi Mahi anyway you would like. I cooked them on the griddle, but they could be baked, broiled, or grilled with equally delicious results. Paired with tostones, cucumber salad, and some fresh avocado, it was a perfect light meal for a hot summer day (the downside to living in Florida is that summer lasts well into October, and sometimes beyond.)

Mahi Mahi with Fresh Mango Salsa
Serves 4
A quick and easy dinner that will keep you and your kitchen cool.
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Total Time
25 min
Total Time
25 min
For Fish
  1. 4 Wild-Caught Mahi Mahi Filets
  2. Healthy fat of choice
  3. Salt and pepper, to taste
For Fresh Mango Salsa
  1. 1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
  2. 1/2 C cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  3. 1 serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped (any chile will do, it just depends how hot you like it)
  4. 2 Tbsp green onions, diced
  5. Juice from 1 lime
  6. salt and pepper, to taste
  7. 1-2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (opt.)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the griddle, and lightly coat bottom with the fat of your choice (i.e. bacon grease, lard, coconut oil, olive oil). Season fish filets with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook fish filets for 5-7 minutes on each side, until fish flakes easily with a fork and is cooked through.
  3. While the fish is cooking, prepare the mango salsa by gently stirring all ingredients together until well-combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve by spooning the mango salsa over the fish. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. I served this with tostones, a simple cucumber and onion salad, and fresh avocado slices. For the kids, I made them a simple salsa, without the chile or green onion.
Created To Be Paleo http://CreatedToBePaleo.com/

 

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