If you've been hanging out around the Paleo-sphere for a while you most likely have seen Paleo Parent's famous P.F. Chang's Recipe Recreation Roundup. If not, check it out as it is a classic post that features a bunch of dishes that bloggers have created to resemble P.F. Chang's meals without all the garbage.
Well, Stacy and Matt of Paleo Parents are now tackling the Cheesecake Factory! And I'm proud to be a part of the group of bloggers that are recreating a recipe. Check out the rest of the recipes on the Paleo Parents.
The recipe I chose to tackle was their Small Plate called Portabella Mushroom, Avocado, and Zucchini Fries. The menu describes these as: “A Unique Combination of Portabella Mushrooms, Avocado Slices and Fresh Zucchini, Breaded and Fried. Served with Dipping Sauces.” All in all, not too bad of a dish, except for the whole breaded and fried part. Breaded in a gluten-filled breading and fried in some sort of most-likely rancid vegetable oil (that also probably is contaminated with gluten from frying other items with gluten in them). And I suspect the sauces probably have a lot of sugar and possibly even some wheat and preservatives.
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So.. instead I made a dish that has a ton of flavor and crunch but doesn't have any of the nasty stuff (or nasty side effects). The coating for the fries was actually inspired by the Thanksgiving Dressing recipe in Kelly Bejelly's book Paleo Eats. I thought her to be a genius when she made a “bread” first, then made the stuffing from the “bread”, but it wasn't all fussy like a lot of bread recipes are. So I adapted her “bread” base as my coating and then pulverized it to make breadcrumbs that are the coating for these fries. And you know what? It's amazing if I do say so myself! AND you don't have to go through the hassle of frying these suckers, just bake them in the oven for 10 minutes.
I made the fries themselves egg-free because honestly don't think they need them at all! The mustard/water combo works perfectly to adhere the coating to the fries. You'll see that 3 of the sauces below are made with mayo, so those are out if you are also egg-free, but the Honey Mustard one is fair game for you! If you do use the mayo-based sauces, learn how to make a simple 2 minute mayonnaise via my quick, no-speaking video tutorial.
Paleo Portabella Mushroom, Avocado, and Zucchini Fries
For the fries:
- 1 Avocado
- 1-2 Portabello Mushrooms
- 1 Zucchini
- 1/2 cup Stoneground Mustard
For the Coating:
- 1 tbs Coconut Oil melted
- 1.75 cups Almond Flour
- 1/4 cup Arrowroot Powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 cup Chicken Stock
For the Cilantro Lime Sauce:
- 1/4 cup Mayo
- 1 tbs Lime Juice
- 1 tbs fresh chopped Cilantro
- pinch sea salt
For the Honey Mustard Sauce:
- 3 tbs Honey
- 3 tbs Dijon Mustard
For the Lemon Ginger Sauce:
- 1/4 cup Mayo
- 1/2 tsp ground Ginger
For the Curry Sauce:
- 1/4 cup Mayo
- 1 tsp Curry Powder
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9 x 11 pan.
- In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients for the coating and then spread evenly into the pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the fries. Slice the mushrooms. If desired, peel the zucchini (I didn't bother, but the coating doesn't stick to the skin very well) and then slice into fry shapes, Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, and then make 3 slices on each half. Carefully remove the avocado slices with a spoon.
- When the coating mixture is done, let it cool until you can handle it, then break it apart into pieces and put into a food processor with the blade attachment. Adjust oven temperature to 375 F.
- Process/pulse until the mixture has broken down into crumbs.
- In a small flat bowl or plate, mix a few tablespoons of mustard with a bit of water. It should be a pretty liquidy mixture.
- Transfer the coating mixture to another flat bowl or plate.
- Dip a "fry" into the mustard mixture, then into the coating mixture. Then place the "fry" onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Repeat until all the fries are coated.
- Bake the fries for 10 minutes.
For the sauces:
- Simply mix according to the ingredients above in small containers.
I consider something to be a success when the little guys like it too (and get it all in their hair in the process, RIGHT after a bath)!
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