Fitness, Food, Wine & Travel

Posts tagged “pecans

Recap of the California State Fair Cooking Demo & Recipes

Look at that beautiful crowd! I want to thank all the people who came out to our cooking demo at the California State Fair. I realize many people were just passing through the kitchen and saw a place to sit down for a while, but there were a lot of people who stayed through our class, and many who actually new about Paleo, and wanted more information.

I was impressed there were a few couples in the crowd that showed up to see the demo because they already practice the Paleo/Primal diet/lifestyle. They were so nice to us (important because of my semi-stage fright/shyness), and it was fun to compare notes and results. It was a real encouragement to have like-minded people in the audience cheering us on!

Andy made a dish from last year, his ever-popular Bacon Wrapped Dates, which are simply three of the best ingredients you can find, bundled in a little package and secured with a toothpick. Pecan halves, Medjool dates and thick-cut premium (preferably applewood-smoked) bacon. Below is Andy making a tray to be baked in the oven (while we are actually doing the cooking demo) so some samples would be ready to be passed around before the end of the class.

We were supplied with pitted Medjool dates (along with the rest of our ingredients) this year thanks to Savemart. The pitted dates saved a step in prepping those trays, as Andy places half a pecan in place of the pit, and wraps the date in one half slice of thick cut bacon, then secures each piece with a toothpick.

After your tray looks like this, place in the oven at 400°F and bake for 12-15 minutes (start checking them when it gets close). The bacon should be cooked and browned.

For my part of the demo, I made this Paleo Mud Pie. Recipe is below:

Serves 30-40 people

3 cups almond flour/almond meal
1 stick of butter or 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp cinnamon

Combine crust ingredients and spread on a large baking/jellyroll pan (you’ll want the pan to be at least 2″ deep).

Bake the crust for 20 mins at 375°F, or until you can smell the butter and the crust has turned golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, prepare your filling:

For the Filling:
8 medium -10 large Avocados
1 cup honey (ohhh yeahhhh)
8 Tbs Almond butter (once again, ohhh yeahhh)
1 cup cocoa powder
3 Tbs instant coffee
1/4 cup hot water
2 tsp vanilla extract

1-2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Place the instant coffee in the hot water and allow to dissolve completely.
So, since there are a lot of ingredients quantity wise, you’ll want to split the recipe into half and then mix it all together in a big bowl. For instance: In a food processor, pureé the 4-5 avocados in a food processor, add 1/2 cup honey, 4 Tbs almond butter, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, then 1/2 the coffee mixture and 1 tsp vanilla. Transfer the mixture into one big bowl, then repeat with the remainder of the ingredients.

Then you’ll combine both chocolatey mixtures into one big bowl and stir together to incorporate fully. When the two mixtures are combined completely, spread them over the cooled crust, and then refrigerate the pie for 2-3 hours before serving.

To serve, sprinkle 1-2 cups chocolate chips over the pie. If you can get mini-chips, even better. I prefer the Enjoy Life brand because they are dairy free.

Paleo. Chocolatey. Mocha. Goodness.

The State Fair experience makes me want to do some local cooking demos/classes. Would anyone be willing to attend/pay for that sort of thing? Just curious. Leave me a note and tell me your thoughts!! xo

Cobb Salad Featuring Santé Nuts


On the evening of January 31st, I made my favorite meal–a Cobb salad–so that I could enjoy chicken and bacon one last time until March 1st (at least, maybe longer… we’ll see how it goes). During the month of February, I’ll only be eating seafood and eggs as my main sources of protein. Gone are the days of bacon-wrapped dates, at least for a while… 😉

Why am I going mostly vegetarian? I just felt like I was eating too much meat, that’s all. It was getting to be pork or chicken or beef almost every single night for dinner. I don’t feel like it’s very good for me or for the environment, even though I buy organic and grass-fed meats when at all possible. I asked myself if I would have been willing to kill and butcher every single piece of meat that I had eaten since my diet has been so meat heavy (in the last two years). And, though I would have definitely been willing to hunt/forage/kill/clean some of the meats in the meals Andy and I have enjoyed (especially the holiday ones), I have to admit I would not want to have to kill something everyday or clean it everyday. I’d rather go pick an apple and get down with some almond butter! 😉

I decided since February is the shortest month, it would be completely doable to cut out feathers, fur, or animals with snouts. 😉 I’ll be enjoying seafood once or twice a week, nuts (in moderation), some cheese (organic), Greek yogurt, and rarely–organic beans/lentils for protein. Not as Paleo, but again… I am always questioning why salami or bacon is Paleo and some other things like organically grown beans, corn, or rice aren’t…

I had a charcuterie plate for dinner about 2 weeks ago, and I was just sitting there thinking, man… I probably shouldn’t be eating this. So many calories and cholesterol… So much meat… So much salt. Need. To. Cut. Back!

So veggies for a month it is! But first…

I studded my last meaty meal with Santé Roasted Salted Pecans, sent to me after attending the NASFT Winter San Francisco Fancy Food Show. What I liked best about this variety of Santé is that it didn’t have any added sugar like some of the other varieties do. I rarely buy pecans because of their high calorie content, so when I get them sent to me, it’s a rare treat.

In addition to the Roasted Salted variety, Santé also offers Candied Pecans, Cinnamon Pecans, Sweet & Spicy Pecans, Candied Walnuts, Cardamom Cashews, Chipotle Almonds, and Garlic Almonds.

Some fun nut and wine pairings can be found on their website here.

You can buy Santé Nuts local to Sacramento at Whole Foods market and at Draeger’s in the Bay area. There is also a product locator you can use on their website. You can find them on Facebook here and follow them on Twitter here.

This month, stay tuned for some vegetarian recipes using more products from manufacturers I met at the Fancy Food show! It will be exciting to use my creativity in the kitchen and share with you here… maybe even gain some vegetarian readers while I am at it.