I sometimes wonder if I could indeed have completed one year on Paleo/AIP if I had not come across cassava flour! Although I have embraced many different types of foods and cuisines in the last twenty years since moving to the United States, one thing that I can still not have enough of is ‘curry’! Yes I need my curry, ma’m and I need something to dunk into that curry you know? Rice and curry or Rotis and curry! Gosh that first couple months on AIp was tough when I just ate a lot of steamed / boiled yuca. Was finally so glad to come across Cassava flour via Instagram. And even more thrilled when I realized I could make tortillas aka rotis aka parathas with them!
Yes, once I got a handle on that, there has been no looking back! Cassava rotis, Cassava parathas stuffed with veggies, cassava tortillas for any kind of tacos. Agreed that it is some amount of work to make these but since I was so used to making the Indian whole wheat rotis on a regular basis for my family that making a few cassava ones additionally didn’t amount to too much work. Besides, I make the dough for a batch of 8-10 tortillas/rotis. And then cook them on an ‘as needed’ basis. The dough stays in the fridge for 3-4 days without any issues.
And lately I noticed a couple AIP flatbread recipes by some AIP bloggers. One of them was for Flatbread Pizza by The Unskilled Cavewoman. Ever since coming across this recipe, I was thinking of trying a version for myself. Last week I had some left over dough that I had made for making cassava rotis/tortillas. Now this is a dough I make every week. Here’s my video for making the cassava rotis/tortillas.
I make it slightly differently than the recipe by ‘The Unskilled Woman‘. One of these days I will try her recipe too. But anyways, since I had the dough left, I had an intense desire to try making a flatbread with it. I decided to first just add some red onions and olives to it since they are my favorite toppings for pizza. I just spread the dough flat on a baking tray and added the toppings. The flatbread came out awesome. I just had it with some herbed extra virgin olive oil.
And then I made it again for the second time this week!. As I started making it, I thought of adding a few cranberries too! And then while it was baking in the oven, I decided to whip up a sauce to spread on top. I was thinking something ‘pesto like’. But then I saw the avocado and decided it would be ‘creamy avocado and basil’. Then I thought of throwing in spinach too since I always try to incorporate as many vegetables as possible into every meal!
The flatbread came out so delicious – loved biting into the cranberries and olives. And don’t forget the red onions. They are the star! You cannot skip them! And the pesto cum sauce complemented it perfectly.! I cleaned up everything in like 5 mins! I did not even want to waste time taking too many pics 🙂
Take a large mixing bowl and add the cassava flour, the salt and oil to it. Then add half of the hot water and stir using a spatula to wet the flour. Then add all the rest of the water and the extra olive oil. Knead using your hands to form a smooth dough.
Line a baking tray with Al foil and brush liberally with the olive oil. Place the dough on this tray and flatten it using your fingers to form a rectangle / flatbread like shape. Pierce lightly with a fork.
Place the toppings on top and again press to get them inside the dough.
Place tray in the oven and bake at 425 F for about 10-12 mins until the bottom is crispy. Take out and brush again with olive oil on top and bake again for another 3-4 mins.
For the sauce:
Add all sauce ingredients to food processor or blender and blend till smooth and creamy. Check for salt and add more if needed.
For the herbed dipping oil:
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.
I use Anthony's Goods Cassava flour. If you use a different brand, then the dough consistency and consequently the consistency of the flatbread may come out different.
I can’t believe I am going to be completing one year on Paleo in another two weeks! When I first started on Paleo and that too with AIP in December of last year, I was very apprehensive about how long I could last without eating rice. Rice had been a staple for me – at least one meal a day for all my life! Considering my initial trepidation, I guess I did great! I was on strict AIP for only 4 weeks and after that I slowly started reintroducing spices. The ‘Indian’ in me was learning to live without rice but she definitely needed her spice! With my vast repertoire of Indian curries that use spices in varying proportions, with each blend having its own distinctive flavor, how could I stay away?
I however use very less quantity of spices than what a traditional indian curry might call for. But I definitely needed them! And as long as I could go back to my curries, albeit less spiced versions of them, I was good. And then began a quest for making some kind of bread with which I could sop up all the delicious curries! Cassava flour to the rescue and I started making cassava rotis/parathas/tortillas and was one happy mama!
Now only one thing remained. I needed something substantial for breakfast since I do not like to eat meat for breakfast. I don’t know why …perhaps just because I never did that before. And since eggs and oats were out too, I was left with very slim options. So even large bowls of smoothies couldn’t satisfy my appetite for breakfast. And that’s when I started making lots of other sides to go with the smoothies – plantains – boiled and pan fried, boiled sweet potato, mashed sweet potato, yucca mash etc etc. And then I rediscovered tapioca pearls and started making tapioca pearl pudding, tapioca sweet potato savory hash etc etc. If you check my instagram page, you can see all my creations there!
And finally last month I came up with this sweet potato and tapioca pearls pancake. In India, there is a similar recipe for a savory pancake where potatoes are used instead of sweet potatoes. So I decided to swap the potato with the sweet potato and tried different variations of the recipe to come up with something that was absolutely perfect for me. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. A slight drizzle of maple syrup or honey is all you need to make your breakfast perfect!
This pancake recipe is unlike other regular pancakes where you have a flowing batter. Here you get a dough and then you need to pat the dough carefully between plastic or parchment sheets to make a pancake shape. I have attached step wise pics so you can see the consistency of the dough as well as the detailed steps. Believe me, its not too hard once you get the hang of it. I make it literally every other day! This recipe below makes 5-6 pancakes which is like 2 servings.
Hope you try this and let me know how you like it!
I wonder who discovered brownies and whether it was an accidental discovery? Was it a cake batter not rising adequately or a cookie batter becoming a bit runny? Well, we will never know for sure. But when I googled this question, it seems that in 1906, a cookbook author, Fanny Farmer adapted her chocolate cookie recipe to a bar cookie baked in a rectangular pan and this was published in the Boston Cooking School Cookbook1. Well, whoever discovered this cross between a cookie and a cake, definitely raised the bar (pun intended 🙂 ) on ‘snacking’ ! Can you imagine what kids’ school events, bake sales, other fund raising events and office parties would be without the ‘much coveted brownies’ ?
When I see folks going for the boxed brownie mix, it really saddens me! Ugh! I have a funny recipe related to this. So my very first month at work here in the US (many many moons ago :)), our departmental assistant baked these delicious brownies that were so perfect – a bit dense from outside but when you bit into it they were really gooey and so chocolatey. I was impressed. That was my first time eating a brownie ever! (yeah since in the late 1990s until I left India, brownies were not available there, alas!). Since I loved baking, I immediately asked this assistant if she would share her recipe with me. She just looked at me and said ‘Oh I just add 3 eggs instead of two’. I felt a little surprised by that response but more than that I felt embarrassed in front of my other colleagues that I wasn’t even aware of the general brownie recipe which everyone seemed to know about! Well, it was only later that a friend told me that most folks generally use a boxed mix! what a tragedy! What is funny is that I don’t even think that using the boxed mix saves any time! So why add a few dozen chemicals into your body unnecessarily?
Anyways, sorry for that detour there! Getting back to homemade brownies, I have a few recipes that I have regularly used in the past. And then in the past couple years, I have been trying to bake healthier versions of brownies. One of them is the Black Bean Brownies. My kids absolutely love this one. So of late I have been meaning to try paleo brownies and I had pinned a few recipes. Finally this past weekend I got a chance as we were having a get together with our friends and I had signed up to bring dessert! So I chose a recipe that used coconut flour instead of almond flour since one of the kids was allergic to nuts. As I began ready to bake, I realized that I was out of maple syrup and so I replaced maple syrup with coconut sugar. And then as I was wondering if the consistency of the brownie would get affected because of this change, my oven timer went off and I realized that I had just finished roasting a pumpkin. So you can guess what happened next! Yes, some pumpkin puree went into my brownie batter 🙂
Pleased to report that four kids cleaned up this batch in a matter of minutes! And since I knew what went in these delicious and moist brownies, I did not mind it all 🙂
A delicious and moist brownie made with coconut flour, cocoa and pumpkin puree and topped with dairy free chocolate chips
½ cup minus 2 tbsp coconut flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
½ cup cocoa powder
½ cup plus 2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
3 eggs, at room temperature
½ cup coconut sugar
¼ cup thick pumpkin puree, packed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ cup dairy free chocolate chips(optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 deg F (180 deg C) and grease a 8 by 8 in baking dish using coconut oil. Line with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs and beat using a hand-held electric blender. (You could use a stand mixer too).
Add the coconut flour, cocoa, coconut sugar and the melted coconut oil. Continue mixing and then add the pumpkin puree, vanilla, salt and baking soda. Mix till well blended. The mix will be a bit thick and not too runny which is ok.
Dump mixture into the baking dish. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top if adding. Bake for about 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes before cutting into squares.
Check for doneness beginning at 18 mins since you don't want to overbake them.
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