I have made a lot of different type of patties. In India we also liked to call them cutlets. Vegetable cutlets, Chicken cutlets, Shrimp cutlets and Beef Cutlets. They all have almost a similar base – mashed potatoes, onions, garlic, some spices and then dipped in egg wash and coated with bread crumbs. Shallow fried to get a crispy crust and a soft inside. Ooh my mouth is watering!
Now that I am on a grain free and egg free diet, the above recipe wasn’t going to be of much use to me. But if you know me, you will know that I don’t give up that easily! A few months ago, I made Beef Cutlets that were grain free and egg free by using tapioca flour and shredded coconut. And since then I had been using this technique for a lot of other things – Crispy Calamari being another such recipe.
Tuna had been on my mind for the longest time. But somehow never got around to making Tuna cutlets until now. Last week I finally rectified that. And I am SO GLAD I decided to make these Tuna cutlets. OMG! These are I think the best patties/cutlets/cakes of all the different ones that I have made over the years. These are to die for! Seriously, I made a small batch of 6 cutlets and I ate almost 4 in one sitting!
Then I felt guilty and so made another batch the next day so I could share with the family and the kids absolutely loved it too! The crispy coating imparted by the shredded coconut and the soft interior with the shredded tuna mixed with just the right amount of spices, makes eating these cakes an incredibly delightful experience that every foodie needs to indulge in! Now I did add potatoes to this and so this is not Paleo. However, you could easily sub mashed yucca for potatoes in this same recipe. As for me, I LOVE potatoes and although I limit the quantity of starch I have, once a week I do like to cook something with potatoes in it. (actually it ends up being chicken and potato curry almost every week:) )
Tuna Masala Cakes with a coconut crust (Gluten Free, Whole30, Egg Free)
Author: Indira Shyju
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Fusion, American, Indian
Scrumptious tuna and potato cakes mildly spiced with Indian spices with a crispy coconut coating
2 cans 4.5 oz each of shredded tuna (in water or olive oil - I prefer olive oil)
2 small or 1 medium size boiled potatoes (about 1 cup when mashed)
1 tbsp coconut oil
½ of a red onion, chopped fine
2 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
2-3 fresh curry leaves(optional)
½ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or a pinch of cayenne pepper)
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala
½ tsp sea salt or as needed
For the crust:
2 tbsp cassava flour(see Notes)
pinch sea salt
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp water
about 1 cup dry shredded coconut (I used Bob's Red Mill)
Coconut Oil for shallow frying
Drain the water or the oil from the can of tuna and add the tuna to a large mixing bowl. Peel the potatoes and mash them well. Add to the bowl with the tuna. Keep aside.
In a small pan, add the coconut oil and the onion. Saute for about 2 mins and then add the chopped garlic and the grated ginger and the curry leaves )if adding). Saute for another 1 min. Lower heat and add all the spices. Sir well for 30 secs and turn heat off.
Add this onion and spices mixture to the bowl with the tuna and potatoes. Sprinkle the sea salt on this mixture (before adding salt make sure tuna is not very salty and accordingly lower amount of salt if needed). Now using a masher or your hands mix everything well to incorporate the onion and spices with the potatoes and tuna. The mixture should resemble a dough like consistency at this point.
Shape into about 6-8 patties (depending upon size of patty). Keep patties aside.
In a small mixing bowl, add the cassava flour and water and mix to get a batter. Keep this aside.
In a plate, add the shredded coconut.
Heat a frying pan with a layer of coconut oil (just enough for shallow frying)
When the oil gets hot, turn heat to medium and then dip each patty into the cassava batter coating it fully with batter and then dip it in the plate with the shredded coconut to get he coconut coating. Place the patty on the pan. Repeat similarly for all the patties.
Cook each patty for about 2 mins on one side until golden brown. Flip and cook the other side. Drain on paper towels to remove excess oil. Serve warm!
For a Paleo version, substitute mashed yucca in place of potatoes. For AIP version, in addition to using mashed yucca, omit cayenne pepper, cumin and garam masala and replace with cinnamon powder. You can use tapioca flour instead of cassava flour in this recipe but you may need to add a bit more water to get a slurry.
Having been gluten free for about two years now, tacos had become a thing of the past for me. I was rolling around and learning to live life without them. Until I discovered cassava flour that is! Yes, Yes cassava flour that is made from yucca (also called as tapioca or cassava). Now this is very different from tapioca flour, the reason being tapioca flour is only tapioca starch and does not have the fiber part of the vegetable. So tapioca flour is basically tapioca starch and it can replace corn starch in recipes. However, I repeat tapioca flour is NOT similar to cassava flour and you cannot replace cassava flour with tapioca flour in this cassava tortilla recipe!
Going back to my discovery of cassava flour – oh what can I say? Just that it has brought rotis, tacos and along with that the excitement of eating Indian and Mexican food back into my life! OK so I make cassava rotis/parathas/tortillas with it. That’s a recipe I have posted before when I posted the Vegan/Paleo Vegetable Korma curry. But that’s one recipe with multiple uses! So I had been eating cassava rotis / parathas with different sables and chicken curry 🙂 Yum! I couldn’t come out of that euphoric state for a while. And once I finally did come out, I had to make tacos next! So currently I am going crazy making all kinds of tacos – Last week I made a chicken taco with left over baked tandoori style chicken and it was so so delicious!
And then this week, one of the days for lunch, I was wondering about what I could eat when again the memory of those chicken tacos came to mind. I also had some of the avocado cilantro lime mayo left over. Darn I thought ! I don’t have any more left over chicken pieces though and baking chicken now didn’t seem feasible. So then my taco loving brain came up with the next best option (actually turned out to be the really best option!) – how about making shrimp tacos since I could pan fry shrimp fast enough!
Well, once that thought entered my head, I just had to start working on it. I was initially just thinking of doing quick pan fry of the shrimp with red chili powder and turmeric. But as I kept the shrimp to thaw another thought entered my head – how about making it caribbean style with cilantro, garlic, lime marinade? Ooh…ok an extra 5 mins to make this sauce ? sure why not? Remember the caribbean style grilled shrimp that I posted earlier this summer? That is such an easy recipe and comes out fabulous every single time with the shrimp bursting with so much flavor!
Well, I am so glad I decided to take the extra effort on the marinade …coz these grilled shrimp tacos were the BOMB! I mean it! OMG, they were so good that I almost felt guilty devouring them myself alone at lunch when the rest of my family were not home 🙂 However I promised my family that I will make these again soon 🙂 🙂
Btw, I have a video showing how to make cassava tortillas. Check it out!
In a large mixing bowl, add the cassava flour. Add the salt and the oil. Then add slowly the hot water in 2-3 portions and continue stirring with a spoon. When all the water is added, add 1-2 more tsp of oil and then knead with your hands to form a smooth dough.
Roll dough into tortillas and cook on a frying pan cooking about 2 mins on each side. You should get about 8 tortillas. Keep the tortillas aside (Leave them uncovered so they don't get soggy)
For the avocado cilantro mayo:
Add all the ingredients listed under Avocado cilantro mayo in a food processor/ blender and blend until creamy and smooth. Transfer to a bowl/container. keep aside.
For the shrimp:
Mix all the marinade ingredients together and blend in a food processor. Add this marinade to the cleaned shrimp. Marinate for 5-15 mins.
Heat a frying pan adding the coconut oil. When hot, lower heat to medium and add the shrimp (you may need to do in batches depending upon the size of your pan). Cook for 2 mins on one side. Then flip each shrimp to the other side and cover and cook for 1 more min. Transfer the shrimp to a dish/bowl and keep covered till assembling of tacos.
For making tacos:
Make tacos by placing 3-4 shrimp on a tortilla, adding the shredded lettuce, onions and the avocado cilantro mayo. Garnish with avocado slices, lemon slices and cilantro!
For A strict AIP version, eliminate green chillies entirely from this recipe.
It is amazing how many new foods you come across when you are on a restricted diet.! Starting on a grain free diet 10 months ago, I was a little apprehensive on how long I would be able to stick to it. But believe me, I have come across so many new grain free options that staying on the diet is not only possible but is also exciting and compelling!
I had come across ‘Korean sweet potato noodles’ a couple years ago at a potluck at work. It was absolutely delicious and I had learnt from the Korean co-worker who had made them that these were made from dried sweet potato noodles and that they were gluten free and grain free. At that time, even though I wasn’t looking for a grain free option, this dish had come across as incredibly novel and tasty and I had made a note to visit the Korean grocers sometime soon so I could pick these noodles.! She told me this dish was called as ‘Jap Chae’
Unfortunately I never got a chance to go to the Korean grocery store and I forgot all about these noodles. Until I went to a local Korean ‘Pick and Mix’ restaurant. I love their Bibimbap with vegetables and chicken or beef. My entire family loves this place now and we get take outs from here regularly 🙂
A few months ago, a fellow Paleo blogger posted a sweet potato noodle dish on instagram. I asked her where she got her noodles from and imagine my happiness when she told me she got it from ‘Amazon’ 🙂 How incredibly wonderful I thought and this time I did not waste any time ordering a pack for myself!
I now regularly make these noodles adding a ton of vegetables along with chicken or shrimp or beef. These noodles have so much flavor that the whole dish turns out be incredibly flavorful even without much spices or condiments. I only use a little bit of chilli peppers, fresh ginger and garlic and coconut aminos (soy sauce). Yum O! Thank Goodness for sweet potato noodles – staying grain free is not only easy but also delicious 🙂
2 cups cauliflower florets (or mix of cauliflower and broccoli)
1 cup zucchini cubes
1 cup spinach leaves
2 large cloves of garlic chopped fine
1 tsp red chilli flakes or cayenne pepper powder(omit for AIP)
2 tbsp coconut aminos
In a large cooking pot , fill upto about 3/4 th with water and bring to a boil. Add the noodles into the pot and heat for about 5 minutes until the noodles our soft. Drain the noodles using a colander and wash it further with cold water and strain again. Keep these noodles aside.
In a medium size cooking pot, add the chicken pieces along with the ginger, garlic, black pepper and sea salt. Add the water and cook for about 15 mins on medium heat until the chicken is well cooked. Let cool and then shred the chicken into small pieces. Strain the chicken stock and reserve.
In a large wok style pan, add the coconut oil. When hot add the vegetables and the garlic. Stir fry for about 1 minute. Then add the red chili flakes (or powder) and coconut aminos (or soy/tamari) and cover and cook for about 3-4 mins until the veggies are all cooked.
Now add the chicken pieces and the noodles to the wok and also add the reserved chicken stock. Stir to mix everything well. Check for seasoning and add salt or pepper as needed. Serve warm or cold!
You can use any combination of vegetables - some examples, broccoli,mushroom, cabbage etc
Since coconut aminos is sweet, I don't feel the need to add additional sweetener but you could a bit of honey too if you like a sweeter sauce
Ever since I went grain free about 9 months ago, tapioca has been my savior! Tapioca has a variety of different names in case you are confused – tapioca, yucca, cassava! Yes they are all the same root vegetable. The end product also comes in a variety of forms – fresh yucca roots, frozen yucca pieces, tapioca pearls (sabudana in hindi, also called a s sago), cassava flour, tapioca starch or tapioca flour.
And I use each of these different forms to create a multitude of dishes which enables me to not only stick to my grain free diet but also enjoy it! Tapioca pearls are a product made from fresh tapioca/yucca. In India this ingredient called as sabudana is primarily used during religious fasting periods. Sabudana Khichdi is one such popular dish.
Nowadays I have started using sabudana to make sabudaana kheer or pudding where I use coconut milk and coconut. This recipe is a variation of the tapioca pearl pudding recipe where I incorporated fruits to make it a ‘parfait’. So yum. This has become one of my regular items for breakfast now but this could easily be your dessert too!
A delicious and light parfait made with alternate layers of tapioca coconut pudding and fresh papaya and pomegranate.
½ cup tapioca pearls(sabudana or sago), soaked in water overnight (or at least for 4 hours)
½ cup coconut milk
½ cup water
1 tbsp grated coconut (fresh or frozen)
1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
¼ tsp sea salt
½ cup fresh papaya pieces, chopped
2 tbsp pomegranate arils
Drain the tapioca pearls using a strainer. Wash thoroughly in running water while in strainer. Place the tapioca pearls in a medium cooking pot and add all the rest of the ingredients except the fruits.
Cook on medium heat for about 7-8 mins stirring continuously until all the pearls turn translucent. Turn heat off. Let cool for a few mins.
In a tall serving glass, layer this tapioca pudding with the fruits and serve!
You can use any combination of fruits for this recipe
We all will agree that good food plays an important role in making a great party! Out of all the food categories, I think that a great appetizer is very important in making a party memorable! Hors d’oeuvres are actually the star of a party. Early arrivals to stragglers all tend to look at the starters with great enthusiasm. So whenever I throw a party, I pay special attention to what I should make for appes!
I generally go with one vegetarian and and one non vegetarian option. And chicken or seafood is a favorite one on the non vegetarian side. Every summer we throw a party around August. You see August is a special month in our house since both my children and my birthdays fall in August! Yeah my husband is the odd guy out 🙂 So anyways, speaking of our annual party, I start getting excited as soon as summer begins and I try pinning recipes on Pinterest – birthday cake recipes, dessert recipes as well as appetizer recipes.! So last weekend we finally had this party and I had been wanting to try this chicken teriyaki meatballs recipe that I had pinned. However the recipe had breadcrumbs and other ingredients that were not paleo. So I decided to create a paleo version of these ‘Chicken teriyaki meatballs’. Came out perfect even without any breadcrumbs and best part is that these are baked so you don’t need to spend any time deep frying or pan frying them!
These meatballs are sweet and spicy with a smoky flavor (baking in the oven gives them a nice flavor). I added a mix of Indian and other Asian spices – also added an unusual ingredient – crushed pineapple for some sweetness. Everyone enjoyed these meatballs at the party with the kiddos absolutely loving them!
Sweet and Spicy Chicken Meatballs (Gluten Free, Paleo)
Author: Indira Shyju
Recipe type: Appetizers
Cuisine: Fusion, Asian
Sweet and spicy chicken meatballs made with ground chicken using asian spices and covered with a hot and sweet teriyaki style sauce
For the meatballs:
About 2lbs (1 kg) ground Chicken (chicken kheema), thawed completely
1 small red onion, chopped fine
5 large garlic cloves, chopped fine
One 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped fine
½ cup of fresh cilantro, chopped fine
½ cup of spring onions (scallions), chopped fine
2 green chillies, chopped very fine - seeds removed (optional)
½ cup pineapple pieces, finely chopped(optional)
2 tsp Kashmiri Chilli powder
1½ tsp sea salt (or per taste)
1 tbsp coconut oil
For the sauce:
½ cup coconut aminos (or soy sauce for non Paleo)
½ cup honey (or maple syrup)
1 cup pineapple juice (from can of pineapple) or orange juice or lemon juice
½ tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or red chili flakes)
1 tbsp garlic, chopped fine
1 tbsp ginger, chopped fine
1 tsp tapioca starch mixed with ¼ cup water
Pre-heat oven to 500 deg F. Line a large baking tray with Al foil and brush it with coconut oil or olive oil.
In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients listed under 'For meatballs' and mix well using your hands to form a smooth well-blended mixture. Shape into smooth round balls and place on the tray. (you may need to use two trays or do in batches)
Bake in the oven at 500 deg F (lower rack) for a total of 10-12 mins. Half-way i.e. after about 5 mins or so, flip them so they get browned on both sides. (be very careful while flipping as the oven and the tray will be very hot)
While the meatballs are baking, you can make the sauce. Add all sauce ingredients except the tapioca starch slurry in a medium cooking pot and stir for about 3-4 mins. When it begins to bubble, add the tapioca flour mixed with water and try heat to low. Stir continuously until mixture thickens. Turn heat off.
Just before serving, pour the sauce over the meatballs and mix slowly to coat the meatballs in sauce. Serve warm!
Make sure the chicken is fully thawed before you start mixing with the other ingredients. Also make sure there is no water in the chicken. You can also deep fry or pan fry the meatballs instead of baking in the oven.