Mediterranean cuisine is exotic, unique and packed with so much flavor. Aside from the usual kafta/kefta that i’ve made a couple of times, my husband and I opt to frequent a local restaurant whenever we have a craving for Mediterranean food. I’ve always been intimidated to make it at home due to the long list of (unknown) ingredients and I knew it would be time consuming and needed tweaks here and there to make a dish Paleo compliant.
The Mediterranean Paleo Cooking cookbook is like a dream come true for me. Finally, healthy Paleo recipes such as Fig and Ginger Chicken Tajine, Harissa-Spiced Chicken Wings, Baba Ghanoush, Falafel and Moussaka just to name a few. There’s a wide variety of tajine recipes in this book though the actual tajine pot is not required. The recipes can easily be cooked in a stockpot or dutch oven but I think getting my very own tajine pot would be a good addition to my kitchen!
The recipes in Mediterranean Paleo Cooking have modifications for Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), GAPS and SCD, Low Carb, Nut and Egg free so there is something for everyone.
I started off by making the Strawberry Coffee Cake last night because my husband and I wanted some dessert to enjoy after dinner. As a baking novice (and someone who avoids baking as much as possible) this was super easy to prepare and I managed not to botch it up!
I made some minor modifications based on what ingredients I had on hand and substituted grass-fed butter for the coconut oil, 15 drops of liquid stevia for the honey and lemon zest for the orange blossom water. I sprinkled 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar on top after I took it out of the oven to mimic that sugary crust found on regular coffee cakes. I also baked it in a loaf pan instead of an 8-by-8 baking dish and we loved how it tuned out even after all the modifications!
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-by-8 inch baking dish with coconut oil.
- Sift the coconut flour and baking soda into a medium bowl.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs and flax together and let sit for 2 minutes. Then add coconut oil, orange blossom water and honey, and mix until well combined.
- Slowly add the dry flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Gently fold the strawberries into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
This recipe also makes great muffins, which are especially easy to transport if you use paper muffin liners. For muffins, fill 10 lined muffin wells two-thirds full. Don't skip the sifting of the coconut flour - it makes for a fluffier texture. If you do not ave a flour sifter, you can use a wire-mesh strainer for the same effect.
Buy organic strawberries. Conventionally grown strawberries top the Environmental Working Group's annual list of most contaminated produce, also referred to as the "Dirty Dozen", because their thin skin easily absorbs toxic pesticides.