Brunch

Paleo Almond Pancakes

I’m not totally in love in bananas. I only eat them if they are so ripe they are brown, or I put them in smoothies. Sometimes, I bake with them because who doesn’t love a classic banana bread? But overall…I don’t love bananas.

As I scoured the web for a Paleo pancake recipe, I repeatedly found that a key ingredient is mashed banana. Disappointing, at best. After days of patience, I came across The Roasted Root’s Almond Flour Pancakes. They are SO good. I made them this morning and will probably make them every morning for the rest of my life. Trust me, add raspberries.

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Almond Flour Pancakes
recipe hardly adapted from The Roasted Root
yields 9 pancakes

1 3/4 C almond flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
2 eggs
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t almond extract
3/4 C almond milk

In a medium sized bowl, combine almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a liquid measuring  cup, measure out almond milk, add extracts, then add the eggs. Whisk very well until all wet ingredients are well combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, gently combine, then set aside while you warm up your skillet.

This is essential: use oil to cook your pancakes. Don’t use butter. I would assume that coconut oil is your most Paleo option; however, I use olive oil for everything because why not? I’m not hardcore Paleo. Cook these over medium, medium-low heat. You want the pan hot enough to give the cakes a crust, but not so hot that the cakes don’t cook all the way through. It’s a delicate balance that I’m still working to figure out. Careful flipping these cakes! They’re delicate.

Serve hot off the skillet with maple syrup and fresh raspberries.

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Root Vegetable and Sausage Hash w/ Eggs

I love to have friends over for brunch. I fondly remember a cold, snowy morning two years ago when I was temporarily crashing on the futon in a couple of my friends’ apartment. There were always people around, and I would make brunch – cornbread with sautéed spinach, bacon crumbles, and poached eggs. Or pancakes that would accommodate everyone’s tastes and dietary needs. Now that I have my own particular dietary needs, I’m always struggling to find exciting food that won’t cause me to get sick. Actually, that’s a lie. There are plenty of delicious foods I can eat; the issue is with finding the time to prep them. This recipe for root vegetable and sausage hash with eggs is moderately time consuming, but Megh-friendly! I made it for friends a few weekends ago, and we dressed it all up with guava mimosas and elaborately garnished bloody marys.

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Root Vegetable and Sausage Hash w/ Eggs
serves 4 hungry lumbersexuals

1 1/2 C diced butternut squash (1 cm. pieces) – this is less than half a typical-sized squash
1 1/2 C diced turnip (1 cm. pieces) – this is one very large turnip
1 1/2 C diced carrot (1 cm. pieces) – this is just about 2 large carrots
generous splash of olive oil
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t dried thyme leaves
sprinkle, sprinkle cayenne pepper

reserved bacon fat- doesn’t everyone keep this on hand?!
1 small onion, diced
3 fresh mild italian sausages, removed from casings
4 eggs
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a cookie sheet or baking pan with aluminum foil.

Prepare your root vegetables. This means peel, cut, and dice. Dice small – about 1 cm. chunks. For each veggie, you will want a liquid measuring cup filled just over the 1 1/2 C line. Toss prepared root vegetables with olive oil, garlic powder, thyme leaves, and cayenne. Spread out onto baking pan so that vegetables rest in one layer. Roast in preheated oven for 15 – 18 minutes. When the vegetables are finished, a fork will be able to pierce a carrot without much give back. Let the veggies cool on the counter while you continue preparation.

In a shallow, oven-safe dutch oven or large skillet, over medium heat, melt 2 T of reserved bacon fat. I don’t cook bacon a ton, but when I do, I save the drippings in a reused glass jar with a lid. This is a very tasty fat to keep on hand! Anyway, I digress – add the sausage to the pan and cook until brown, about 5-7 minutes. Remove sausage from pan and set aside. Add the onion to the dirty pan and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Now it’s time to add the roasted root vegetables. (It’s also time to preheat the oven again, this time to 400 degrees.) Add another 2 T of reserved bacon fat, increase the heat to medium high, and add the vegetables. Cover all of the space on the bottom of the pan, and press the vegetables down. Leave them alone for 5 minutes or so before tossing them around and repeating the process. Do this again and again until your vegetables are as dark, crunchy, and as caramelized as you want them. Once vegetables are cooked, return the sausage to the pan and stir to combine. Crack four eggs over the top of the hash, sprinkle with some salt and pepper, and transfer skillet to the preheated oven. Let them cook for 7 minutes in the 400 degree oven, then turn off the oven and set the broiler to high. Broil for 2-3 minutes, or until whites have set. The yolks will still be runny.

Yum!! It’s time to eat!