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This carrot and ginger dressing is based on the Japanese salad dressing from teppanyaki restaurants, like Benihana. So simple and healthy, you won’t believe how easy it is to make. Jump straight to the recipe.

Carrot and Ginger Gluten Free, Vegan, Japanese Salad Dressing

Somewhere between celebrating my birthday at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour and celebrating in a night club, there was a magical period where birthdays only meant one thing…. Japanese food at Benihana. From the ages of 11 to 17, my birthday dinner with family always meant going to the famous Japanese-influenced steakhouse. There, we watched chefs throw their sharp knives in the air, ate food that had been cooked right in front of us, and posed for cheesy polaroids with men in tall toques long before the era of the celebrity chef. At the end of the night, I often left with a container of my favorite thing: the carrot and ginger Japanese salad dressing.

I haven’t been to a Benihana or any other teppanyaki place for many years, but sometimes when we’re out to sushi, I’ll have a salad topped with that beautiful, bright orange, Japanese salad dressing.

After picking up a ton of carrots at the local farmers market, I decided I would match a batch (or three) of this carrot ginger dressing for myself. The results are too good not to share. The dressing is gluten free, vegan, and I’ve included paleo options too. Try this dressing on a fresh green salad or drizzled on top of cooked fish, veggies or meat.


Ginger and Carrot Japanese Salad Dressing

Rating  5.0 from 4 reviews

Prep time:  10 mins

Total time:  10 mins

Ginger and carrot dressing just like the one you get at a Japanese Steakhouse. It's so easy and healthy- you won't believe how delicious it is!
  • ½ lb carrots, tops removed and peeled
  • ¼ of a small red onion
  • 2 tablespoons freshly gated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic (optional)
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar (coconut vinegar for paleo)
  • 2 tablespoons tamari/gluten free soy sauce (use coconut aminos for paleo)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • ½ cup neutral flavored oil like avocado or expeller pressed grape seed
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  1. Add carrots, onion, ginger, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, and oils to a blender or food processor and blend until mostly smooth. Small bits of carrot and ginger are good and add to the texture. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.


Carrot Ginger Soup from Simply Recipes
Gluten Free Carrot Ginger Muffins
Ginger and Tamarind Glazed Carrots
Linguine with tofu, carrots, and ginger

The post Carrot & Ginger Japanese Salad Dressing appeared first on The Tomato Tart.

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This gluten free chocolate bundt cake is fragrant with fresh rosemary. It comes together in just a few minutes- no mixer required—and stays super moist for about a week. Although, in truth, if you have the willpower to keep this cake around that long, you’re pretty awesome! Jump Straight to the Recipe

Gluten Free Chocolate Bundt Cake with Rosemary

Since my first taste of rosemary with chocolate, I’ve been completely enamored with the flavor—which reminds me of a more sophisticated play on mint with chocolate. If you’re raising an eyebrow at the thought of having rosemary in dessert, just hear me out. Rosemary has a fresh, bright, and slightly piney flavor that elevates the bitter sweet flavor of chocolate. In this gluten free holiday cake, it shines through the richness of the dark cocoa, butter, and sour cream to create a subtle and balanced flavor.

Easy Gluten Free Chocolate Bundt Cake with Rosemary - YouTube

I’ve had the pleasure, this year, of working with Nugget Markets. Nugget is a Sacramento Valley based and family-owned company. Since 1926 they’ve been a part of Sacramentan’s lives. From beautiful local produce to a huge selection of gluten-free ingredients to truly unique specialty products, Nugget Markets really has everything I need for my holiday cooking and baking. I love that they carry the full line from my favorite chocolate company, Guittard- which I use for virtually every recipe that requires chocolate. And let’s be honest, I’m using a LOT of chocolate this time of year. When my friends at Nugget Markets and I started brainstorming holiday recipes, we all got excited at the idea of a dark chocolate and rosemary cake paired with a pear and rosemary Bellini.

This fancy-sounding (and tasting) cake is deceptively easy- it’s also great to prepare ahead and works as the showpiece dessert at the end of a holiday meal or for casual open houses, potlucks, and holiday cocktail parties. It really does stay fresh and moist for about a week!

The pear and rosemary Bellini is also super simple to make with just a few ingredients. You can make the rosemary syrup up to two weeks ahead of time and store it in the fridge. If you don’t drink, no problem, this works great with sparkling water in place of the sparkling rosé- just add a bit more lemon juice.

I hope you have the happiest of holidays- may they be filled with love and deliciousness.

This post has been sponsored by the amazing folks at Nugget Markets. Though I have been paid for this post, my opinions, as always, are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make The Tomato Tart possible.

Gluten Free Chocolate Bundt Cake with Rosemary

Prep time:  20 mins

Cook time:  50 mins

Total time:  1 hour 10 mins

Serves: 8-12 slices

  • 1 ½ cups (12 oz) butter
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • ½ cup (1 ½ oz) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 ¼ cups (15.75 oz) granulated sugar
  • 3 cups (12.5 oz) gluten free flour (+2 teaspoons xanthan gum if your blend doesn’t contain it optional)
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cups sour cream
  • 6 oz rough chopped chocolate
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 oz finely chopped dark chocolate
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º and butter and flour a 12-15 oz bundt cake pan.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter with rosemary. Remove from heat and steep for at least 10 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, water, salt, and vanilla. Strain rosemary butter into the bowl and mix.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, and baking soda. Add cocoa mixture in two additions, stirring to completely combine each time. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring until each one is fully incorporated. Stir in sour cream and chopped chocolate. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes (or until a knife inserted into the middle of the cake comes back clean).
  5. Cool for 20 minutes before inverting onto a rack- then cool completely before glazing and serving.
Make the glaze:
  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan on medium heat. Add vanilla and salt- whisking to combine. Remove from heat and stir in chopped chocolate—stirring constantly until the chocolate is fully melted.
  2. Drizzle glaze over the cake and top with rosemary sprigs.

Pear and Rosemary Bellini

Prep time:  5 mins

Cook time:  5 mins

Total time:  10 mins

Serves: 4 cocktails

This gorgeous holiday cocktail (or mocktail) is simple yet totally festive.
Rosemary Syrup
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • juice from ½ lemon
  • 2 oz chilled rosemary syrup
  • 6 oz chilled pear juice
  • 16 oz chilled sparkling rosé (or 16 oz sparkling water and extra lemon juice)
  • Rosemary sprigs for garnish
  1. In a small saucepan, bring sugar, water and rosemary to a boil- stirring to combine. Cool to room temperature or colder.
  2. Mix together, chilled rosemary syrup with lemon juice, pear juice, and sparkling rosé (or water). Garnish with rosemary sprigs

The post Gluten Free Chocolate Bundt Cake with Rosemary appeared first on The Tomato Tart.

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Thai Butternut Squash Soup

Yesterday, we sat by the window and watched with delight.  Cars stopped, people stared, and when neighbors wandered over, we went outside to greet them. With less than a week until Halloween, we placed the decorations outside.  The seven-foot tall wraith, the gravestones, the ghostly heads, and our scary clown are the culmination of a month’s worth of work.

Planning, carving, painting, gluing, starching, and building have been fun but time-consuming tasks.  When I say it was worth it, I am not kidding. A little girl called Tiana came over on her bicycle. She is four and when I asked her if my clown was scary, she told me he was silly and asked what his arms were made of. She also suggested we name our seven-foot tall reaper, Joey. So yeah, meet Joey.

With all of our spare time going to the preparations for Halloween in our new home, I’ve leaned on simple-to-prepare meals. The weather has finally started turning towards fall and this soup was my first soup of the season on our first chilly day.

Thai spices shine in this butternut squash soup, which gets richness from a bit of coconut oil and nice balance from a tart apple.  It is full of flavor from all of the fall produce, but low in fat, vegan, gluten free, and Paleo.  It is a soul-satisfying soup with a bit of spice from the ginger and chili.  In other words, this tastes like a fall classic with a Thai bent.

I wish you a Happy Halloween! Be safe, have fun, and when you come home, enjoy a bowl of steaming hot soup to warm you up.

Need help? Learn how to prep a butternut squash in six simple steps.

  • One medium butternut squash (2.5-3lbs), peeled and cubed.
  • 1 tart apple, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 medium onion peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 hot red chili (optional)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass outer leaves removed and finely minced (optional)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  1. Melt coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add butternut squash, apple, onion, ginger, chili, and lemongrass. Sautée for 10 minutes.
  2. Fill pot with enough water to cover veggies by about an inch. Then add garlic and salt. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until all vegetables are very soft.
  3. Blend soup with a high speed blender or an immersion blender. Strain through a mesh strainer and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh herbs.

Follow The Tomato Tart’s board Butternut Squash on Pinterest.

The post Thai Butternut Squash Soup a Vegan Paleo Recipe appeared first on The Tomato Tart.

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Meet your new best friend. This gluten free chocolate cake is enrobed in rich dairy free ganache which is also tucked between the deep dark chocolate layers of the cake. Cinnamon and chilli make this like a Mexican hot chocolate fell into a cup of coffee and married a gluten free dairy free chocolate cake. Jump straight to the recipe.

It’s right there. It’s in the jumbled front pocket of your handbag. On your nightstand when you sleep. It’s in the kitchen while you’re making dinner for your your family. It’s poolside during vacation, and at the top of the mountain you’ve worked so hard to climb. It’s right there. The whole world is literally at your fingertips.

This massive shift in our culture is changing the way we interact and even the way we think. Yet with all of the access to our people all over the world, many of us report feeling more isolated, less connected, and longing for community.

I’m of two minds. Social media can have a terrible effect on a person’s self esteem. The self-judging, the comparison, the feelings of inadequacy, the jealousy are rough on anyone. On the other hand, Social Media can be a powerful gathering place for friendship, advocacy, support, and community.

I’ve been so fortunate to find such a community in food blogging. Over the past five years, I’ve made friends I can turn to for advice on everything from gluten free baking, to finding a pet sitter, to how to use the latest apps and gadgets, to how to cope with personal losses.

Our community was recently struck with a devastating loss when Joan Hayes of Chocolate Chocolate and More suddenly passed away from a heart attack in her sleep. Joan was vivacious, funny, generous, and whip smart. Though I only met Joan once in person, I feel so grateful that I had a chance to sit down and share a meal with her. We interacted often online and I considered her a friend and a colleague. I was looking forward to seeing Joan in Chicago at Blogher Food and at a little dinner party I was hosting with my friends from Gourmet Garden.

When Joan didn’t RSVP on time, I thought it was unlike her. I was just about to send her a Facebook message when I heard the news that she had died. Just like that. I knew I wanted to make a proverbial place at the table for her at dinner, and it was my husband who suggested that I make one of her recipes and say a few words about her at the party.

So this gorgeous gluten free chocolate cake is adapted from Joan’s Chocolate Mocha Cake. In the spirit of Joan’s warmth I added cinnamon and chilies. With a nod to Joan’s generosity, I made a super-sized triple layer cake. In honor of her welcoming qualities, I chose to make it dairy free as well as gluten free so that everyone in attendance could enjoy it. And of course, it wouldn’t be a tribute to Joan if it was not chocolate, chocolate, and more so there is a veritable boat load of dairy free chocolate ganache coating this beautiful cake.

If you have a chance to visit, Joan’s blog, please do. Consider sharing her lovely recipes on Facebook and Pinterest. Joan may be gone, but as was her wish, her blog will carry on thanks to good planning on her part. Joan was a single mom and the blog, her sole source of income, will continue to support her three teenaged kids. Every time you visit, you’re helping to support her three kids!

I hope you’ll enjoy a big slice of this gluten free chocolate cake with its velvety dairy free gananche and Mexican hot chocolate flavors. I hope you’ll share it with friends and make sure to hug them extra tight the next time you have a chance. Thank you for reading food blogs, for making this beautiful community possible. I am grateful for each of you, every day.


This dairy free and gluten free chocolate cake tastes like a Mexican hot chocolate in cake form. That’s a good thing. The chocolate cake is fluffy and gorgeous and the ganache is rich and velvety. You couldn’t ask for a better combination. For the chocolate, I used a mixture of 62% and 74% chocolate. To get coconut cream, refrigerate a can of full fat coconut milk overnight then scoop out all of the hard white cream leaving the coconut water for smoothies or other recipes. My favorite is Native Forest as I always seem to get the most cream from this brand.

This post is sponsored by Gourmet Garden. I have received both product and monetary compensation for this post. My opinions are 100% my own and I only work with brands I love and that I feel will be useful for my readers. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make The Tomato Tart possible.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon & Chilli

Rating  5.0 from 3 reviews

Prep time:  30 mins

Cook time:  30 mins

Total time:  1 hour

Serves: 8 servings

This gluten free and dairy free chocolate cake tastes like a Mexican hot chocolate in cake form. That’s a good thing. The chocolate cake is fluffy and gorgeous and the ganache is rich and velvety. You couldn’t ask for a better combination
For Cake
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate* (¼ cup), melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose gluten free flour, no xanthan gum needed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped gourmet garden lightly dried chili
  • ½ cup coconut cream•
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup strongly brewed hot coffee or espresso
For Ganache
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon gourmet garden lightly dried chili
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 10 oz dark chocolate (I used a mix of 64% and 72%)
Optional garnishes:
  • more finely ground Gourmet Garden lightly dried chili, smoked sea salt, powdered sugar, cinnamon sticks.
Make the cakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350º and grease and flour three 5 inch cake rounds. http://amzn.to/1RUXbts
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together coconut oil and brown sugar . Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing each egg until it it fully incorporated. Scrape down the bowl with each addition- to make sure every little bit of goodness is incorporated into the cake batter. Add in vanilla extract and melted chocolate. Mix again.
  3. In a smaller bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a third bowl, vigorously mix coconut cream with vinegar. Next, we’ll add these ingredients to the creamed butter mix. Alternating, add in the dry ingredients in three additions and the coconut cream in two additions. Start and end with the flour. Finally, stir prepared coffee into cake batter.
  4. Pour batter into three greased and floured 5 inch round cake pan minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (about 30 minutes). Remove from oven and let cool on cooling rack for 30 minutes before turning cakes out onto plates or boards. Let cake cool all the way before frosting with ganache.
Make Ganache
  1. In a small saucepan, heat coconut milk, cinnamon sticks, and dried chili. Slowly bring to a fast simmer, then lower heat to the lowest setting and steep cinnamon and chili for at least 10 minutes. Keep warm, but don’t let it boil.
  2. Melt coconut oil in a medium saucepan over low to medium low heat. Add chocolate and stir often. Go slow, erring on the side of a too cold pan rather than a too hot pan. Once chocolate is all melted, strain warm coconut milk through a fine sieve and slowly pour the liquid into the chocolate, stirring to incorporate. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before frosting the cake.
Assemble The Cake
  1. If cakes are domed in the middle, use a good serrated knife to slice across the top of the cake removing the domes so you have a nice flat surface to work with.
  2. Place the bottom cake layer on the plate you plan to serve it on. Spread a layer of ganache about ¼ inch thick over the surface of the cake. Repeat with the next two layers. Once you have the thin layer of ganache spread across the top layer, start pouring the rest of the ganache all over the top of the cake. Use an offset spatula or the back of a large spoon to encourage the warm ganache to spill over the edges of the cake. This creates the dripping waterfall look you see on the finished cake.
  3. To garnish, sprinkle powdered sugar and cinnamon through a sifter or fine mesh sieve. Then top with finely minced Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Chilli and top with two cinnamon sticks.
  4. This cake will keep well in the refrigerator for a couple of days. If you’re storing a frosted cake, don’t let the plastic wrap


Please visit some of the other bloggers who have done tributes to Joan Hayes
A roundup of posts dedicated to Joan #chocolateforjoan

Dine & Dish’s Boozy Milkshake for Joan

Texanerin’s Ultimate Hot Chocolate

Fried Dough with Chocolate Sauce from Cravings of a Lunatic

The post Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon & Chilli appeared first on The Tomato Tart.

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These gluten free miniature tomato tarts capture, perfectly, the taste of late summer. Bright cherry tomatoes, sweet corn and pepper jack are all baked to perfection in a savory, flaky gluten free pie crust. Make them the star of your next picnic or outdoor party! Jump Straight to The Recipe

Gluten Free Tomato Tarts with Sweet Corn and Pepper Jack

Two weeks after moving to Sacramento, my friend Hank invited us over for a little birthday shindig. Hank is a food superstar and all of Sacramento’s food glitterati would be there to celebrate.

I knew I had to make a gluten free tomato tart to bring to the party—I mean, what else would I bring? On a whim, I decided to add some fresh summer corn to my tart. The fresh corn added sweetness and crunch to the tart and added a whole new dimension to my favorite dish. The tart was a huge hit and I had so many “This pie crust is amazing, is it really gluten free?” comments, it was almost embarrassing. Notice, I said almost?

Fast forward a couple of years, and I am surprised by a gorgeous gluten free gift basket from Nicole, a woman I’d met at that very party. Turns out, Nicole is now working for Nugget Markets, a family-owned chain of grocery stores based right here in Sacramento.

Gluten Free Tomato Tarts - YouTube

If you’re from this region, you probably know and love Nugget. I am totally smitten with their incredible produce- it’s the first thing you see and smell when you walk in the door. Some of their relationships with local farmers date back to 1926 when Mack and Wiliam Stille opened their first store.

Today, fourth and fifth generation Stilles are running Nugget Markets. They still embrace the ethos of treating their customers, employees, and producers like family. At the same time, they’ve got a totally modern approach to speciality diet customers (like me!!). There are sweet little icons all over the store pointing towards a dizzying array of gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, and sugar free products. It makes shopping super-convenient and it makes me feel so welcomed! So, when Nicole asked if I’d be interested in doing some work with Nugget, I didn’t hesitate for a second.

When it was time to decide what recipe I wanted to make for our little partnership, I knew it had to be that sweet corn and tomato tart I’d served on that August day at Hank’s house.

I’m a little bit obsessed with flaky pastry, and when I had to say adios to gluten, pie crust was one of the first recipes I set to work on. I’ve tinkered and toyed with my all butter gluten free pie crust for five years, and it’s pretty stinkin’ amazing (check out the tutorial here, and a sweet pastry crust recipe here) But recently, I stumbled upon a much-loved recipe by the incomparable Rose Levy Beranbaum that had been updated by Amanda Hesser, and I wanted to work on a gluten free version.

Oh. My. Goodness—this recipe, you guys! I was skeptical, at first because the dough kind of looks a mess. No, offense dough, but you do.

This cream cheese pie dough is so flaky, you might not even want to be friends with it. And that play on words was so bad, you might not even want to be friends with me. But, you’ll still want to eat these little tarts. I mean, look at those gorgeous flaky layers in the next photo!

Inside that flaky, flavorful, dough is cheesy, corny, tomatoey, goodness. I like to top the tarts off with cilantro, chopped jalapeno, and nice sea salt. Hot from the oven, the tarts make a lovely appetizer for a summer soirée. The tarts are also great at room temperature and will keep for a couple of days—if you don’t eat them all first.

This post is sponsored by Nugget Market. Though I have received monetary compensation for this post, I was a customer of Nugget long before I started working with them. My views and opinions are my own and are not for sale. I only work with brands I believe in and those I feel will be useful for my readers. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that keep this site free. 

Gluten Free Tomato Tarts with Sweet Corn

Prep time:  2 hours

Cook time:  25 mins

Total time:  2 hours 25 mins

Serves: 6 tarts

These gorgeous little tomato tarts are bursting with summer flavor and a hint of heat from pepper jack. Enjoy them at your next barbecue, picnic, or cocktail party. This recipe works best with very cold or frozen ingredients. I like to put my flour, butter, and cream cheese in the freezer so that it is very cold when I start. Also, this dough may look totally unusable when you pour it out of the food processor, but it will come together. I promise this is the most forgiving pie crust ever.
  • Make The Crust
  • 6 oz (170 g) Cup4Cup gluten free flour, cold
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • ½ cup (110 g) butter, cut into cubes and chilled or frozen
  • 3 oz (85 g) cream cheese, cut into cubes and chilled or frozen
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 tablespoon cold balsamic vinegar

  • Filling
  • 6 oz shredded pepper jack
  • 2 ears fresh corn, cut from the cob
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 6 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped jalapeño (optional)
  • Sea salt for sprinkling
  1. Make the dough
    In a food processor, combine flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, paprika, pepper, and cayenne- pulse a few times to combine, well. Add the cream cheese to the flour mixture. Pulse for 20 seconds or so- until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the frozen butter and pulse until none of the butter is larger than the size of a hazelnut.
  2. Add the water and balsamic. Pulse until most of the butter is reduced to the size of small peas, and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it in the palm of your hand. Pour onto a work surface, knead with (preferably cold) hands—pressing the dough into a chubby disk. It may look like the the dough has no chance of turning into something you can roll out, but I promise, it will!
  3. Wrap the dough tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably overnight.
  4. Roll out your dough, cut it to size, and transfer it to the tart tins. Reroll your scraps until you fill all six tart tins. Use a fork to dock the bottom of the tart tins. Freeze the dough, uncovered in the tins for at least 30 minutes. Overnight is even better!

  5. Fill & Bake
  6. Preheat the oven to 425º while the tart dough is chilling. Fill the tarts with cheese, corn, and tomatoes. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes until tomatoes have some roasted brown bits, the cheese is melty, and the crust is a gorgeous golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before garnishing and serving. Enjoy!

The post Gluten Free Tomato Tart with Sweet Corn appeared first on The Tomato Tart.

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The Tomato Tart by Sabrina Modelle - 5M ago

Paleo Slow Cooker Chili

This chili is made right in the crock pot. Full of healthy grass fed meats, lots of chilies, and garden fresh tomatoes, this paleo slow cooker chili can’t be beat! Jump Straight to the Recipe

In my Californian naïveté, I assumed that the great chili debate was simply a question of “to bean, or not to bean”. Apparently, I was wrong. Feelings run deep and they run hot over the “right” kind of chili powder, whether or not tomatoes can be added, to use ground meat or stew cuts, and don’t even get folks started on where chili actually originated.

Growing up, chili was one of the few things that came out of a can. My mother, being from France, wasn’t what you’d call skilled in the art of southwestern cooking. My dad, well he just wasn’t real skilled at cooking at all (except for the world’s best scrambled eggs, burgers, steaks, and potatoes). I can’t say where or when I first ate chili, but I know I’ve loved it since I was a small girl. The other kids ordered French toast or Belgian Waffles at our local breakfast spot (hey hey, Millbrae Pancake House). Me, I never strayed from my favorite breakfast, Chili Corn Pancakes.

I first started making chili when I became a vegetarian at 16. Spicy black bean chili was a major staple of my diet. It usually consisted of canned black beans, fresh tomatoes, chiles, onions, and spices. I still love black bean chili, though my recipe has evolved over the years to be a tad more complex.


My first taste of Texas  chili was in 2002 during a road trip to eastern Colorado. The savory spicy meat bomb was a revelation, and (I thought) a lark. It took me years to realize that Texas-style chili existed outside of that awesome diner in Colorado (I know, I know). Last March, for the very first time, I made Texas chili. It knocked my socks and the socks of my friends- off.


I promised in this post that I would make the chili again and share the recipe. I didn’t expect that I’d take nearly a year and a half to do it. I was inspired to make this chili by an amazing haul from my friend Annie’s garden. I stopped by for a visit and left with bags upon bags of the most succulent tomatoes, bright shiny chilies and freshly picked onions and garlic. I’m lucky to have a friend like Annie, and not just for her generous gifts of produce.

While chili in summer would have once a daunting thought, my slow cooker has made things much easier. I stood over a hot stove for all of 20 minutes- just long enough to brown my gorgeous grass-fed meats. If you don’t have a slow-cooker, you can do this on the stove top too. I love it served over a bed of mashed sweet potatoes which is decidedly un-Texan, but what can I say… I’m a California girl at heart.


Paleo Texas Chili Recipe in the Slow Cooker

Rating  5.0 from 1 reviews

Prep time:  20 mins

Cook time:  10 hours

Total time:  10 hours 20 mins

Serves: 12-16 servings

This slow cooker chili is our go-to recipe. The beef and pork stew meats are cooked until they're soft and melty and the tomatoes, chilies, and spices form a deep rich chile broth, No beans in this bad boy- so it's paleo, gluten free, and grain free.
  • 4lbs grass fed stew meat cut into 1.5 in cubes
  • 2lbs pastured pork shoulder cut into 1.5 in cubes
  • 2.5lbs tomatoes (I used a wide variety of organic heirlooms) coarsely chopped, juices reserved.
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1lb various fresh chilies (I used anaheims, poblanos, gypsy peppers, curly banana peppers, and a couple of very hot purple Chinese chilies), coarsely chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 dried chipotles finely chopped (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika (your choice of hot or mild)
  • 3 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • (plus more salt and pepper for seasoning meat and seasoning at the end )
  1. Season meat with salt and pepper then rest on the counter for about one hour so it comes to room temperature.
  2. Working in batches or in multiple pans, sear meat over medium-high heat. Turning each piece every 3-5 minutes until all sides are browned.  Be sure not to crowd the pan.
  3. In a large bowl, toss tomatoes and their juices with the garlic, chipotles, paprika, cocoa powder, cumin, salt and pepper.
  4. Place chopped onions at the bottom of the slow cooker, in another layer, add chilies, top with the browned meat, then finally top with the tomato and spice mixture.
  5. Turn your slow cooker on low and cook for 10 hours. During the last hour, remove the lid to thicken the sauce. Give it one more taste and season as needed.
  6. Serve with traditional chili toppings. We used raw milk cheddar,  red onion, and cilantro.

Want some ideas for Paleo & Primal Recipes, check out my board on Pinterest
Follow The Tomato Tart’s board Paleo & Primal on Pinterest.

The post Paleo Slow Cooker Chili appeared first on The Tomato Tart.

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Inspired by salade Lyonnaise, this French potato salad has little red potatoes, crisp bacon, hard boiled eggs, frisee lettuce and a warm bacon vinaigrette. I hope your potato salad is ready for an upgrade! Jump to the recipe >

French Potato Salad with Bacon, Egg, and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette.

I love potato salad in all of its forms. The German potato salad made with bacon fat, the American potato salad with mayonnaise, and the Jewish deli potato salad with sour cream— these all have a place at my table. But the potato salad I grew up with and the one I love the most is French potato salad. It is made with skin-on little red potatoes and a bright and garlicky vinaigrette.

When my friends at Side Delights Steamables asked me to give potato salad a fresh makeover- a #PotatoSaladRedux- if you will, I knew I had to go back to my French roots.

The salad I love the most- like in the whole world- is the salade Lyonnaise. It features frisée lettuce, bacon, soft cooked eggs, and a simple vinaigrette. This potato salad is like a mashup of my grandmother’s French potato salad and the salade lyonaisse. It has little red potatoes, crisp bacon, hard boiled eggs, and a warm bacon vinaigrette. It is, in a word, transcendent.

Besides being totally magnificent, this potato salad is easy to pull together, and can be enjoyed either warm or cold. Prep is made even simpler with the Side Delights Steamables. One of the kitchen tasks I really hate scrubbing potatoes, but these little red beauties come all clean and ready to use.

Though you can steam the potatoes right in the bag in the microwave, I prefer to cut these first and then steam them. It helps the skins to stay a little more in tact- and I loooove the tender skin on these potatoes. It would be a shame to lose any of it.

If you’re serving this one cold, you can prepare all your ingredients the day before and dress the salad with the warm bacon vinaigrette just as you’re about to serve it. No one needs to know your new potato salad masterpiece is inspired by a famous salad from Lyon, France. All they need to know is whether there’s enough for seconds.

This post is sponsored by Side Delights Steamables.  Though I have received monetary compensation and products from the company, my opinions are entirely my own. I only work with brands I love and I feel will be useful for my readers. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Tomato Tart possible.

French Potato Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Rating  4.7 from 3 reviews

Prep time:  10 mins

Cook time:  30 mins

Total time:  40 mins

Inspired by salade lyonnaise, this French potato salad has little red potatoes, crisp bacon, hard boiled eggs, frisée lettuce and a warm bacon vinaigrette.
  • 2 packages Side Delights Steamables Reds or 3lbs small red potatoes
  • ¾ lb thick cut bacon
  • 1 head frisee lettuce, well washed and torn into bite sides pieces
  • 4 large boiled eggs, peeled and quatered
  • ¼ cup bacon fat
  • 1.5 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cut potatoes into 1.5 inch wedges. Set a steamer basket in a large pot- filled with water to just below the bottom of the steamer. Steam for 20-25 minutes on high then check for doneness. If they are still a bit hard, steam until they are fork tender, but not mushy.
  2. Cook bacon in a large skillet over low heat- pouring off and reserving a bit of rendered fat each time you turn the bacon. When bacon is ready, cut into small pieces and set aside.
  3. Make Dressing:
 Just before assembling, warm bacon fat until it is completely liquid. Whisk in vinegar and garlic. Since some bacon is quite seasoned, I recommend holding off on adding salt and pepper until you’ve tasted your vinaigrette.
  4. Assemble the Salad: Toss potatoes and bacon with vinaigrette, letttuce, and chopped parsley. Top with quartered boiled eggs and a dusting of coarse ground black pepper.



The post French Potato Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette appeared first on The Tomato Tart.

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Whatever your name for it, be it a Dutch Baby, a German Baby, a German Pancake, or a puffy pancake, these things are delicious. My gluten free Dutch Baby is made with lots of eggs, crème fraîche, and topped with roasted strawberries. Serve this at your next brunch or have a fancy pants breakfast for dinner, tonight! Jump straight to the recipe.

This post is sponsored by Pamela’s. Though I received monetary compensation, my opinions are entirely my own. I only work with brands I love and I feel will be useful to my readers. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep The Tomato Tart up and running!
gluten free dutch baby with roasted strawberries

I wake up and make my way out to the garden before the sleep has even worked its way out of my eyeballs. Sitting amidst the rows of herbs and fruits and vegetables pushing up through dirt, I slowly come fully awake. Pulling stray blades of grass from the beds doesn’t require much brain power and so I that’s what I do as I gently and quietly meet the day.

As I awaken just a bit more, I walk the rows and check under leaves for pests or diseases. I give a quick watering and head inside while wondering to myself when the first summer harvest will come.

It’s early yet, and today will be hot, so I get straight to work. I turn the oven on, rinse the strawberries, remove the greens, squeeze a lemon, coax a bit of peel, drizzle some honey and set the timer for two hours. The movements are natural and familiar enough to execute before I even pour my morning coffee.

With coffee in hand, I lean against the stove and check my notes. I pour the milk and set out eight eggs to come to room temperature. And then I wait. At first, the waiting is easy. I’ve got dishes to do and a counter to clean. I set up a board near my only north-facing window and choose my plates and linens for today’s work. I sit with my coffee and my book. Feed the dogs; feed the cat. Wait some more.

The strawberries have been slow roasting for an hour. Now, the waiting becomes… not so easy. I am fully awake and fully ready for a beautiful breakfast. Still, there is waiting.

I’m excited to have this Dutch Baby with Roasted Strawberries. This is a dish that reminds me of my dad. On Saturdays, my mom worked and I had my dad all to myself. Our favorite breakfast joint served these amazing German Pancakes. They weren’t like regular pancakes at all. They were custardy and more like my grandmother’s Yorkshire Pudding or her clafoutis than like a hotcake. When it was my dad’s turn to choose, we always had cinnamon apple while I usually ordered the lemon with powdered sugar. Eventually that little cafe was sold and we started hitting Moe Greenburg’s deli for lox and kasha knishes on Saturday mornings. Time passed and eventually I forgot all about the puffy pancakes.

Fast forward nearly 30 years and I’m chatting with a friend about pancakes. She says “I only like Dutch Babies” and it all comes flooding back. I go on a serious Dutch Baby bender making all kinds of Dutch Babies from simple and sweet to extravagant and savory. A couple of months later, I sit across from a doctor as she explains that I need to live my life without gluten. Again, the Dutch Baby vanishes from my life.

That was about three years ago, and though the Dutch Baby hasn’t been on the menu, it wasn’t far from my thoughts. When Pamela’s Gluten Free wrote and asked if I would be open to creating a California-inspired pancake for them, I immediately asked if they would be okay with a baked pancake. Thus, the Dutch Baby was reborn in my kitchen. What could be more California than fresh strawberries and toasted almonds with local eggs and grass fed dairy? So there you have it, some of my very favorite California-y things all rolled up into one spectacular dish which is made with flour from Pamela’s- a California-based company.

As I sit down to this gorgeous meal, I am grateful for the memories it inspired. Mostly, I am grateful for delicious pancakes.


This gluten free Dutch baby is accented with almond extract and vanilla bean then topped with slow-roasted strawberries. It should be baked in a large (10-12 inch) cast iron skillet. If you’d like, you can halve the recipe and cook in an 8 or 9 inch skillet, but you may have to adjust the cooking time accordingly. The strawberries can be made up to a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Just reheat them slowly while the Dutch baby is cooking.

Cooking time 2hrs 30 minutes
Prep time 15 minutes
Total time 2 hrs 45 minutes

  • For the strawberries
  • 2 lbs fresh strawberries, stems removed
  • ½ lemon both juice and zest
  • ¼ cup honey
  • pinch of salt
  1. Remove stems from the strawberries and cut any particularly large ones into halves or quarters. Place in an oven safe dish and drizzle with honey and lemon juice. Sprinkle lemon zest and salt on top and gently stir to coat. Bake at 250º for 2 hours.
  • For the Dutch Baby
    adapted from this recipe from Dash and Bella
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) butter (divided)
  • 2 cups whole milk at room temperature
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar +2 tablespoons for finishing (optional)
  • 8 eggs at room temperature
  • ½ cup creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 1½ cups Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
  1. Turn oven to 425º and place a large cast iron skillet inside to heat. In the meantime, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Once melted, add the milk and sugar and whisk to combine.
  2. Crack the eggs and add them to the bowl of a food processor, add creme fraiche, warm milk mixture, pancake mix, vanilla and almond extract and process until everything is well-combined and the mixture appears frothy.
  3. Remove cast iron pan from oven and quickly close the oven door. Careful, the pan is very hot. Add the remaining butter and swirl it around the pan. Pour the mixture from the food processor into the hot pan and return it to the oven.
  4. Bake for about 25 minutes. The sides will puff up over the top of the skillet’s edges, but the middle will still be a bit squidgy. Sprinkle the remaining two tablespoons of sugar over the center of the Dutch Baby and cook for a couple more minutes.

Serve immediately with the roasted strawberries and toasted almonds.

The post Gluten Free Dutch Baby with Roasted Strawberries appeared first on The Tomato Tart.

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Gluten Free Boxty Recipe for St. Patrick’s Day

Boxty is a staple in Irish cuisine, but gluten free boxty was not the first thing that came to mind when I was working on a new St. Patrick’s Day recipe. When brainstorming ideas for St. Patrick’s Day, I thought of my friend Siobhan. Siobhan is from Dublin, and I have had the extreme pleasure of eating her tasty food for many years. We’ve lived together a couple of times in the past, and one of my favorite things about it was coming to the smell of her killer potatoes on the stove. On weekends, I often arose to a hot cuppa, the New York Times, and the sizzle of spuds in a cast iron pan. Jump straight to the recipe.

I knew I wanted to make a potato dish as a nod to my good friend. Colcannon and champ crossed my mind, but as I dug deeper, I thought of the potato cakes that my mom had made when I was growing up. Leftover mash always became potato pancakes. Siobhan did the same exact thing. In Ireland, it’s called boxty, and boxty is such a fixture of life in some parts of Ireland, there is even a nursery rhyme:

Boxty on the griddle,
boxty on the pan,
If you can’t bake boxty
sure you’ll never get a man

I can’t say that I nabbed my man by making these gluten free Irish potato pancakes, but I can tell you that everyone who’s tried them has proposed marriage. Okay, fine, no one proposed marriage, but our Irish friend Mike liked them a bunch and complimented me profusely. Close enough?

I looked at a ton of recipes on the web and I think there are as many recipes for boxty as there are Irish grandmothers. What I didn’t find were a ton of gluten free boxty recipes, but lucky for me, it is a very simple task to convert the basic formula. I started with the recipe from a fantastic cookbook by Clodagh McKenna , Clodagh’s Kitchen Diaries: Delicious Recipes Throughout the Year.

I decided I wanted to stray a bit from Clodagh’s recipe in that I wanted to spare you rolling the dough. I also knew I wanted to spice things up a little, so I added some Gourmet Garden lightly dried parsley and some of their lightly dried chili. The result is a brightly flavored potato pancake with just a hint of heat. The herbs add a pretty bit of color to the potatoes, too!

If you’re not familiar with Gourmet Garden’s lightly dried herbs, I can’t recommend them highly enough. They’re nothing like the freeze dried, dusty-flavored herbs you might remember lingering at the back of your mom’s spice cabinet. They’re pretty amazing and keep for a month in the refrigerator once opened. Though I love growing my own herbs, my parsley and cilantro (my favorites) never last through the winter. I hate it when I buy a bunch of herbs only to have them turn into a slimy mess within a couple of days. When I first had the opportunity to try these, I was blown away by the way they completely rehydrate as soon as they’re in the proximity of moisture. Even a little steam does the trick.

This post is sponsored by Gourmet Garden herbs. Though I received monetary compensation for this post, my opinions are entirely my own. I only work with brands I love and that I feel will be useful for my readers. In addition, some links to books or products I mention may be affiliate links.

These gluten free boxty come together really quickly especially if you have leftover potatoes. They make a great light meal for Meatless Monday when served aside some cabbage or kale. Of course, if you ask my husband and our friend Mike these gluten free potato cakes are a pretty killer snack. Though I haven’t tried to serve these to my friend Siobhan, I’ll venture a guess that she’d approve.

Gluten Free Boxty Recipe

These gluten free Irish potato pancakes (boxty) are very simple to make. Choose a potato that is not too crumbly or starchy. I like red potatoes here. Be sure to choose potatoes that are all roughly the same size to ensure even cooking. This recipe adapts very well. Try adding crumbly bacon to the mix, or a bit of finely grated Irish cheddar. Green onions are amazing in these too! Have fun and happy St. Patrick’s Day.

  • Makes 8 potato pancake patties (boxty)
  • 3 lbs red potatoes
  • ½ cup sour cream, greek yogurt, or creme fraiche
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup gluten free flour mix (I used 3 tablespoons extra fine brown rice flour and 1 tablespoon tapioca starch)
  • 2 tablespoons Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Chilies (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 oz Irish cheddar, finely shaved or grated (optional)
  • Extra lightly dried parsley for garnish
  1. Fill a pot with cold water high enough to cover the potatoes by an inch. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until you can easily pierce the largest potato with a fork. Immediately plunge the hot potatoes into a bowl of ice water. Use your finger to gently push the skin aside and remove all the skins.
  2. Mash potatoes with a fork or potato masher add sour cream and eggs and stir to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, parsley, and chilies with salt and pepper and add to the potato mixture.Stir very well to combine. Using your hands, form the potato mix into 8 equal patties.
  4. Heat a large cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Add a bit of butter, and as it melts, swirl the pan to spread the butter.
    Cook patties on medium high for 4-6 minutes on each side, they should be crusty and golden. Serve with Irish cheddar and herbs.

The post Gluten Free Boxty AKA Irish Potato Pancakes appeared first on The Tomato Tart.

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Gluten Free Beet and Goat Cheese Appetizer with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
Heart Shaped Beet and Goat Cheese Valentine’s Day Appetizer with Meyer Lemon Dressing

A couple of years ago, I made a heart-themed dinner for Valentine’s Day. We sat at our little kitchen table, and indulged in a meal of cocoa- dusted beef hearts and heart-shaped beet salad finishing with a hazelnut crusted chocolate tart.

This year, we’re continuing our tradition of having a home-cooked dinner on Valentine’s Day. While I don’t know if there will be beef heart, we have continued incorporating heart beets into our Valentine’s Day with this gorgeous beet and goat cheese napoleon Valentie’s Day appetizer

This little appetizer is made from fresh goat cheese sandwiched in between layers of heart shaped beets. The dressing is a meyer lemon vinaigrette because I believe beets and citrus are a serious love match. Now, this particular love match is a love triangle because there is nothing beets and meyer lemon love more than goat cheese. There is something utterly magical about a mouthful of earthy sweet beets, creamy goat cheese, and the bright pop of lemon.

It’s hard to talk about this beet and goat cheese appetizer without talking about how lovely it looks. Whether you go for heart-shaped for Valentine’s Day, leave the beets in natural rounds, or cut them into squares for an elegant and modern look, these beet and goat cheese napoleons are striking. The rich magenta hue from the beets, sunny yellow zest, and green of fresh chives, will leave you thinking it’s almost too pretty to eat. Notice, I said almost.

Heart Shaped Beet and Goat Cheese Appetizer with Meyer Lemon Dressing

This beet and goat cheese appetizer is pretty with or without a heart-shaped cookie cutter. I find that it’s easier to spread the goat cheese with a Small offset spatula but a regular knife or even the back of a spoon will work.

If you don’t have a meyer lemon, you can use a regular lemon and just add a bit more honey. A deeply flavored raw unfiltered honey works beautifully here.

If you’re cutting the beets into hearts, choose a cookie cutter that is close to the same size as your beets to avoid waste. I usually eat the scraps, but you could dice them and use them in a salad. In short, this pretty appetizer is simple and no need to fuss about it. As good as it looks, it tastes even better.

Makes two beet and goat cheese napoleons

INGREDIENTS:Heart Shaped Beet and Goat Cheese Appetizer

  • 2 medium sized cooked beets (I like boiled beets for this)
  • 1 tablespoons fresh goat cheese
  • zest of one meyer lemon
  • finely chopped fresh chives (optional)

Slice cooked beets into ¼ inch slices. Use a heart cookie cutter to make the heart beets (optional). Place one slice of beet on a plate, spread goat cheese to the very edges of the beet. Press another slice of beet to flatten the layer. Top with another layer of goat cheese and finish with a slice of beet. Use a knife to clean up the edges of the goat cheese and top with meyer lemon vinaigrette, chives, and lemon zest.

INGREDIENTS: Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons meyer lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey (slightly warmed if it is crystallized or very hard)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • heavy pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of black pepper

Whisk together meyer lemon juice and honey then drizzle in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Add salt and pepper and taste before serving- adjusting seasoning as needed.

The post Beet and Goat Cheese Napoleon for Valentine’s Day appeared first on The Tomato Tart.

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