Nom Nom Paleo

Yummy Mummies (a.k.a. Halloweenies)

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Yummy Mummies by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Halloween is a BIG DEAL in our household. It’s not just because our neighborhood is notorious for throwing itself into the ghastly spirit of the holiday, or because my kids are aspiring Hollywood monster make-up artists. It’s not even because Henry proposed to me 15 years ago on the most special date he could think of: Halloween night. 

It’s ’cause we love scaring the living daylights out of people.

Really. Every Halloween, while the boys strike terror in the hearts of our neighbors…

Yummy Mummies by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…Henry strings up fake skulls in front of our house, and cackles when trick-or-treaters are too freaked out to approach the front door.

Yummy Mummies by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

As for me, scaring people is a year-round avocation. I’m the kind of mommy who likes to crouch behind doors and corners until my unsuspecting children amble by—AND THEN SUDDENLY JUMP OUT AND SHRIEK IN THEIR FACES. They scream; I laugh and point.

(To be fair, they do this to me, too. But I’m scarier and better at hiding.)

Yummy Mummies by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Being a fearmonger is hard work, though, so I like to make sure our entire family fuels up with creepy edibles before heading into the night to sow panic and dread.

The only problem? Halloween’s become all about ingesting sugar bombs and sweet treats. Finding a Halloween-themed recipe that’s suitably spooky and Paleo-friendly is more difficult than trying to figure out why Michael Myers is wearing Captain Kirk’s face. But this just made me more determined to come up with a savory Halloween dish. 

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Paleo Pumpkin, Coconut, & Maple Custard Cups

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[UPDATED October 29, 2012: This ain’t a new recipe (it’s from a year ago), but I wanted to repost it for folks jonesing for an easy pumpkin dessert recipe to serve for Halloween. Enjoy (again!)]

Who misses pumpkin pie after going Paleo?

Look no further — here’s a mini crust-less version where the silky spiced custard and crunchy coconut topping will surely satisfy your autumn sweet cravings. You can bake these custards in the oven or pop them in a SousVide Supreme (195°F for 60-90 minutes). 

Here’s what to gather to make ten 4-ounce ramekins:

  • 1-1/4 cup coconut milk (I used Aroy-D)
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup grade B maple syrup
  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin puree (I use Libby’s)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup toasted coconut flakes (bake raw flakes in a single layer at 300 F for 3-5 minutes until golden brown)

Here’s how to make them:

Gather your ingredients…

…preheat the oven to 325°F, and boil a full kettle of water.

Get two 9” x 13” glass baking dishes and lay a small towel on the bottom of each one (the towel will keep the ramekins from slipping around).

Heat the coconut milk in a small saucepan over low heat until it’s steaming but not boiling.

Crack the eggs into a large bowl, add the maple syrup…

…and whisk well.

Slowly add the warmed coconut milk to the egg and syrup mixture (a little bit at a time) and mix vigorously.

(Don’t be impatient and add the hot coconut milk all at once or you’ll end up with scrambled eggs!).

Toss in the pumpkin, spices, vanilla, and salt…

…and stir until well-blended.

Divide the ramekins into the two towel-lined baking dishes (ten ramekins won’t fit in one dish) and ladle in the mixture.

Pour boiling water into the baking dishes until it reaches halfway up the ramekins and carefully transfer them to the oven.

Bake custard cups for about 30 minutes. The custards are ready when a knife inserted into them comes out clean and they’re still slightly jiggly in the middle.

Cool the custards on a wire rack until they’re room temperature (about 1 hour)…

…and top each one with a sprinkle of toasted coconut.

These custards taste great cold, too. Refrigerate the ramekins and top with toasted coconut right before you devour them.

Paleo Eats: 10/31/11

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Boo, bitches! It’s Halloween!

This morning, I started my day with a yummy French omelet (fried by Fitbomb) that I topped with half an avocado and sliced tomatoes.

I also gobbled up some mac nuts, coconut flakes, and part of a Bernard Castelain Noir Infini 99% cacao bar. I know I mentioned conducting a dark chocolate blind taste test with an official panel, but I’ve been slowly eating my way through the samples. Bad Nom Nom. (FYI, my faves are Domori Il 100%, Pralus Le 100%, Bernard Castelain Noir Infini 99%, and Michel Cluizel Noir Infini 99% in that order.)

After breakfast, I walked the Double-O’s to Big-O’s Halloween parade and class party.

Lil-O was super excited to spend the morning with the big kids and show off his ninja outfit.

When I came home, I reheated the last of the Thai green chicken curry and ladled it over a bowl of nuked spaghetti squash. It was a tasty and quick lunch.

Since we were going out trick-or-treating, I started dinner prep early. I plopped a pre-cooked sous vide pork tenderloin into the SousVide Supreme to reheat. Then, I roasted a tray of San Marzano tomatoes

…and sauteed baby lancinato kale with minced garlic and Red Boat fish sauce in coconut oil.

When the veggies were finished, I torched the tenderloin

…sliced it up…

…and plated it.

Here’s my supper:

Afterwards, I took the Double-O’s trick-or-treating with their buddies while hubby stayed home and gave out the treats. What did we give out at our spooky, bone-strewn house to those who dared approach the front door? Dark chocolates, Play Doh, and playing cards.

It sucks to trick-or-treat on a school night ‘cause the kids will be crankerific tomorrow. Can’t wait.

Bloody Eyeballs (Blueberry-Stuffed Longans in Berry Sauce)

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What little monster doesn’t like downing a couple of bloody eyeballs now and then? Especially if they’re sweet and juicy?

Here’s a quick and easy Halloween treat you can assemble with just a handful of ingredients: longans, blueberries, and frozen mixed berries.

I purchased a couple pounds of fresh longan fruit from 99 Ranch Market

…and enlisted the help of the Double-O’s to help peel them.

If you start at the stem end, the rest of the skin is pretty easy to remove.

The peeled longans already look like eyeballs — hence the name, which literally translates to “dragon eye” in Chinese.

The large seeds in the center are inedible so I removed and replaced ‘em with blueberries.

Yes, you can find canned and de-seeded longans at an Asian market, but they’re steeped in heavy syrup and who knows what else. I’m not gonna lie — removing seeds from fresh longans is kind of a pain in the keister because the flesh clings to the fruit —- but it’s worth it.

After the longans were halved and deseeded, I placed a blueberry in the center of each bisected piece of fruit.

Once the eyeballs were assembled…

…I blitzed half a bag of Trader Joe’s Very Cherry frozen berry blend.

I plated the “bloody” berry puree on a plate, dotted it with “eyeballs,” and added extra “blood” to each “sclera.”

Lil-O found them almost too creepy to eat.

Sweet yet revolting — kind of like me!