Tag Archives: dairy-free

Eating Paleo/Whole30 at The Monarch (Wichita KS)

eating paleo/whole30 at The Monarch in Wichita KS
eating paleo/whole30 at The Monarch in Wichita KS
Eating Paleo/Whole30 when eating out can be a challenge; here’s help when eating at The Monarch in Wichita KS.
The Monarch is a favorite local Wichita KS restaurant and bar. It features cool decor, with lighting fixtures made from salvaged wood and upcycled bicycle parts, and the walls boast a mix of flea-market finds and unique art from local artists. It’s a convenient location if you’re downtown, in the Delano area, or trying to bring east-siders and west-siders together in a central location. I’ve ordered salads a couple times and been underwhelmed, but other than that, everything I’ve ordered there has tasted great. I believe they smoke their own meats, or buy from local suppliers, so these menu items may be less processed than something you’d get at a chain like Chili’s, for example.Based on just looking over the menu and making some guesses (with the exception of salad dressing, explained below), here are some dishes you could order at The Monarch and be mostly Whole30 compliant. I haven’t verified what oils things are cooked in, and as I’ve noted below, there may be hidden sugars.
Mushroom caps without the cheese.*
Potato skins with smoked chicken, without the cheese.
Any of their meat soups,* probably, except for ones with noodles, pasta, corn chips, cream or cheese.
These sandwiches without the cheese and the roll, eaten knife-and-fork: Cuban, Chicken Caprese, Brisket Royale,* Monarch,* Reuben, Italian Sausage*, and Grilled Hot Link*. (Is it still worth eating? That’s your call!)
Sadly, there are no sides that are okay. Cole slaw would certainly have sugar. A side salad would only work without dressing. Read on…
I called to make sure, and all of the salad dressings have either sugar or dairy in them. (Ranch and blue cheese being the sugar-free ones.) If you’re bold enough to bring and discreetly use your own salad dressing, you could order the Smoked Chef without croutons, or the Greek salad — both without dressing.
*There’s probably some sugar in all of the red meats: Brisket, corned beef, ham, hot links, and sausage — in the brine, the seasonings, or both. It’s less likely in the chicken, but still very possible. You’ll need to make the choice whether you think the amount is neglible, as far as eating out goes.
Update: I visited The Monarch a couple days ago and had their sandwich called “The Monarch” without bread and cheese. It was quite tasty! I had the sweet potato tater tots for the side, and while they were very yummy and a perfect complement to the main dish, I’m pretty sure they had sugar in them. Also, I asked about what oil they were fried in: soybean.  🙁  This could be a totally Whole30 dish if they’d just make sweet potato fries or hash browns, fried in coconut oil. So close! And probably okay for a general Paleo mini-splurge.
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Easy, make-it-your-own fish taco bar

fish tacos - how to set up a fish taco bar

I was recently asked for my recipe for fish tacos. “It’s not so much a recipe,” I said, “as it is a collection of ingredients.” Which makes it great for feeding a group with diverse tastes or dietary needs: just set up your fish taco bar and let guests create their own.

And much of it can be done ahead of time: everything except for the avocado can be sliced, chopped, or mixed ahead of time. The fish can be seasoned ahead of time, but will taste best if it’s made just before serving.

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Cornmeal-flaxseed pancakes with maple berry sauce

gluten-free-flaxseed-pancakes-w-berry-sauce-600x346

Quick to whip up, wheat-free, gluten-free, sugar-free — and still delicious! I’ve been making these for months, but just now got around to posting them. I’m trying life wheat-free for a while, and these are a great substitute for traditional wheat flour pancakes.

This recipe came about when I tried this recipe for Blueberry Flax Microwave Muffines via Spark People, I loved the ease, nutrition, and flavor of the original recipe, but the grainy texture just didn’t seem right for a muffin.

So that actually became my inspiration. It reminded me of the texture of cornbread, and I LOVE cornbread! It’s one of the things I missed the most when I went low-carb. When my kids were little (before I went low-carb), we would sometimes have cornmeal pancakes for dinner. Just swap out cornmeal for half the flour, and you’ve got a pancake with a texture somewhere between pancakes and cornbread. Soaked in melted butter and maple syrup; mmm…! Replacing some of the maple syrup with berries adds vitamins and fiber; a small nudge toward healthier fare.

But back to these wheat-free pancakes… Another drawback was that putting frozen blueberries in the muffins made them pretty ugly. Trust me: they looked NOTHING like the picture! Also, egg in the microwave has a super-fine line between undercooked and rubbery.

So to solve all these shortcomings but keep them quick and easy, I…

  • Replaced half the flaxmeal with corn meal
  • Turned them into pancakes, made stove-top
  • Took the blueberries out of the mix and served them on top as a sauce/syrup (I use whatever berries I have on hand: raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, or a mix.)

Result? Quick, easy, tasty breakfast!

IMPORTANT NOTE: The dry ingredient amounts below make a batch of dry mix, which you then use a little at a time to make 1 or 2 servings. The mix is enough to make four single batches.

Cornmeal-flax pancakes with maple berry sauce

Dry mix:
1/2 c. flaxseed, freshly ground
1/4 c. + 2 T. cornmeal (gluten-free, if necessary)
2 tsp. baking soda
4 pinches salt
Combine and store in airtight container, at room temp or in fridge. Makes four single batches.

Single batch:
1 egg
1 T. coconut milk (or other milk of your choice)
3.5 T.  dry mix (recipe above)
1-2 T. butter

Whisk the egg and the coconut milk, then whisk in the dry mixture. Stir till well combined.

Cook as you would pancakes. Heat a non-stick frying pan. (You know it’s the right temp when splattered droplets of water immediately skittle across the surface.) Melt the butter in the pan; pour the excess into a small bowl and set aside for later.

Pour batter into the pan to make one large, two medium, or three small pancakes. It starts out pretty runny; you may need to nudge the edges in a little with your spatula, especially on the smaller cakes.

When the edges look puffy and dry-ish, and bubbles coming to the surface slow down in frequency, flip them over and cook a little less time on the second side. They should be just slightly golden-brown on both sides.

Use the leftover melted butter and brush or spread it on both sides of the finished pancakes, then plate them and pour on the berry syrup. Syrup recipe below.

Makes three mini pancakes, two medium, or one large.

Maple-berry syrup 

4 single-batch servings

1-1/3  c. fresh or frozen berries
2-1/2  to  3 T. real maple syrup

Combine and heat briefly in microwave or on stovetop.
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Nutrition info, via myfitnesspal. Serving equals one whole single batch:

Nutrition Facts
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 397
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 28 g 43 %
Saturated Fat 15 g 73 %
Monounsaturated Fat 6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 240 mg 80 %
Sodium 730 mg 30 %
Potassium 221 mg 6 %
Total Carbohydrate 31 g 10 %
Dietary Fiber 8 g 31 %
Sugars 10 g
Protein 8 g 16 %
Vitamin A 13 %
Vitamin C 18 %
Calcium 9 %
Iron 17 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.