Thursday, December 19, 2013

Asian Fusion Brussel Sprouts

My favorite way to prepare brussel sprouts.

ingredients:
1.5 lbs brussel sprouts, ends cut off and sliced in half
1 T coconut oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
juice from half of one fresh lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1 T fish oil
1 T Coconut Aminos or Soy Sauce

directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Toss together brussel sprouts, coconut oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 30-40 minutes, depending on how tender you want the brussel sprouts. 
3. Then sprinkle with fish oil and Coconut Aminos.

options: add fresh spinach or slightly wilted kale to make a salad, add cashews or peanuts, mix in shredded carrots and cabbage to make a simple slaw

Monday, September 23, 2013

Spiced Butternut, Apple Soup

2 white or yellow onions, chopped
1 T coconut oil
1 T cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cardamon
1 butternut squash, seeded, peeled and cubed
3 apples, cored and cubed
1 cup chick peas, cooked
2 t salt
4 cups chicken stock, veggie stock or water (more or less depending on thickness preference)

1.  Heat oil. Saute onions on low till translucent.
2.  Add spices and cook for 2 minutes.
3.  Add squash, apples, and chick peas. Cook together in the spices for 10-15 minutes over medium heat till squash and apples begin to soften.
4.  Add stock/water and salt. Bring to a boil, simmer for 20 minutes. Then puree in batches in a blender or use an immersion blender.

Soup is always best when it has longer to simmer. Or make it a day ahead, stick it in the fridge and warm it up. Yum! Serve with a garnish or fresh spinach or arugula.



Sunday, September 8, 2013

Chicken & Pesto Rice

Chicken & Pesto Rice - 6 - 8 servings
Ingredients:
5 or 6 chicken thighs and/or drumsticks
salt and pepper
coconut oil (or olive oil)
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp ground oregano
5 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 1/4 c. chicken or vegetable stock or water
3-4 fresh tomatoes, diced
1 cup pesto 
3 cups rice
fresh Italian parsley, minced  and Kalmata olives for garish

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2.  Make your own pesto: I do not use exact measurements, but just dump and pour till the texture is right. Start with: (food process together: 3-4 cups fresh basil, 2 T olive oil, juice of one lemon, 1/4 cup tahini, 1/2 t salt) Add more olive oil or tahini if it is not runny enough, taste if you need more salt)
3.  Season chicken with salt and pepper. Use Dutch oven, warm 1 Tb coconut oil. Brown chicken (7-8 minutes). Transfer chicken to a plate and wipe the pan.
4.  In the same Dutch oven or pot on medium heat, warm 1 Tb coconut oil. Cook onion, red bell pepper, oregano  red pepper flakes for about 10 minutes. Add garlic, cooking wine and cook together for 1 minute. Add browned chicken, stock/water, tomatoes and pesto. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, covered.
5.  Add rice, salt and pepper then bring to a simmer. Cover. Bake 30 minutes. Stirring halfway. (If you use brown rice it may take 40-50 minutes.) Let stand 10 minutes.
6.  Serve with parsley sprinkled on top. Garnish with Kalmata olives if desired. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Kefta


(pre-cooked...a mini muffin pan makes meatballs easy)
ingredients:
1 lb ground beef/lamb
1 medium red onion - chopped very fine
1 medium sized carrot, beet or zucchini, grated  (or any combination)
2 t paprika
1 t cumin
1 t turmeric
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/8 t cayenne
1 t ground coriander
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t dried mint leaves* or 1/4 cup fresh, chopped
1 t dried parsley * or 1/4 cup fresh, chopped
(if making meatballs add 1 T ground flaxseed to the meat mixture. this helps hold them together.)
directions:
Mix everything together.
Make into patties and grill or bake as meatballs (bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes)

Delicious with Tahini Sauce 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Black Bean and Avocado Salsa

Ingredients 
(These are approximate amounts...the recipe is still good if you have more/less of an ingredient)

1-2 Avocados, chopped
1 can shoepeg or sweet corn, drained (16 or 14 oz)
1 (16 oz) can or 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
1 bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/2 bell pepper (red and/or green) chopped
3 green onions, chopped (optional)
2-3 Tb olive oil
1 Tb red wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar (optional)
1/2 tsp salt

Whisk together: oil, red wine vinegar, sugar and salt. Mix all other ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour dressing over and stir together. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sweet Chili Hummus


Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup cooked chick peas (from dry beans or from a can)
1/4 to 1/2 cup tahini 
1/4 cup lemon juice (juice of one lemon or from concentrate)
1/4 cup water
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3/4 tsp. cumin
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1 to 2 T sweet garlic chili sauce plus 1 tsp for drizzle (use something like: Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce)

Directions:
Blend all ingredients together in a high powered blender or food processor till smooth.Then drizzle with an additional tsp of chili sauce

Monday, July 1, 2013

Tex Mex Meatballs

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef *grass fed if possible
2 T ground flax seed, ground *a coffee grinder works great to grind flax seeds
1 carrot or beet, grated
1 recipe of chorizo seasoning 


Directions:
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
Put into the refrigerator for 4-24 hours (Don't exceed 24 hours). The more time the meat sits in the seasoning refrigerated before cooking the more flavorful the meat will be!
Roll into balls and place a baking sheet with sides. Or use my favorite method...a mini muffin pan. Just plop the meat mixture into the muffin tin.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes....whenever they are done.
*Sometime I put a dab of ketchup on top of each meatball before baking for a "mini meatloaf" effect.

Green Rice

Inspired by: Mexico the Beautiful Cookbook - Recipe from the Mexican Region: Morelos

Ingredients:
2 cups long grain white rice (or brown rice)
5 oz fresh spinach (It will work with less if you don't have this much! This is a great way to use spinach that is close to going bad.)
1 cup cilantro leaves
1 T chopped onion
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup water
2 T oil
3 cups hot water
salt

Directions:
1.  Soak the rice for 5 minutes in warm water, rinse well and drain.
2.  Rinse the spinach well, place in a saucepan with no added water, cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Transfer to blender, add cilantro, onion, garlic and 1/2 cup water and puree. Set aside.
3.  Heat the oil in a skillet, add rice and saute for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. When the grains begin to separate, remove from heat and drain off excess oil. Add the spinach-cilantro puree to the skillet and saute for 2 minutes. Add the hot water and salt to taste. When the mixture comes to a boil, lower the heat and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes or till rice is tender. (It will take longer if you use brown rice.)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Baked Kale Chips

Tried this for the first time today. Everyone loved them...even the 2 year old!

Ingredients:
1 bunch of kale, cleaned and roughly chopped *also works well with kohlrabi or broccoli greens
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
about 1/4 tsp salt
about 1 tsp olive oil

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.  Place kale on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper if you want). Drizzle oil over kale, sprinkle with garlic and salt. Mix together and bake for 10-15 minutes till crispy. 


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chilled Asparagus Soup

Inspired by: The Cook's Encyclopedia of Soup

Ingredients:
2 pounds fresh asparagus
4 T olive oil or coconut oil
1 1/2 cups sliced leeks or scallions
3 T rice flour
6 cups water or vegetable stock
1 (16 oz) can of coconut milk
2 or 3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp basil
salt and pepper to taste

Optional: 1/4 cup fresh herbs, chopped (any combination of: cilantro, mint, basil, oregano, chives....)
Fresh tomatoes and or cucumber chopped for garnish

Directions:
1.  Cut the top 2 inches off of each asparagus spear and blanch the tips in boiling water for 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and cut into small pieces. Set aside.
2.  Trim the stalks, remove brown or woody parts. Chop remaining stalks in to 1/2 inch pieces.
3.  Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the slices leeks or scallions and cook over low heat till soft, but not brown. (5 or 6 minutes.) Add garlic and spices and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in chopped asparagus stalks, cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes longer till stalks are tender.
4.  Add flour and stir well. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes uncovered and stir occasionally.
5.  Add water or stock. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add coconut milk, lower the heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
6.  Puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Stir in asparagus tips and fresh herbs. Chill well. Check seasoning before serving. Add fresh, chopped tomatoes and cucumber if desired.




Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lemon Garlic Dressing

Inspired by Real Simple, June 2012.

Whisk together:
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice of one lemon
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp kosher or celtic sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Red Wine Mustard Vinaigrette

One of our favorite dressing recipes. 
Inspiration from Real Simple Magazine, June 2012.

Whisk together:
1/3 cup olive oil
3 T red wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard or 1 T whole grain mustard
1 tsp honey or maple syrup
Juice from half of one lemon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Roasted Summer Salad

Ingredients:
(For Roasted Veggies)
5-6 sweet potatoes, cleaned and chopped into 1 inch cubes
4-5 beets, peeled, chopped into 1 inch cubes
1 onion, peeled and chopped into chunky pieces
1 zucchini, cleaned and sliced, half inch wide slices
1/2 or 1 whole bell pepper (green, red or yellow), cleaned and chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Italian Seasoning Mix (1/4 tsp of each: dried basil, dried oregano, dried thyme, dried rosemary)
salt and pepper to taste

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
3 T red wine vinegar
2 T whole grain mustard *Use more or less mustard depending on your preference. Start with 1 T if you think 2 might be too much.
Juice fron half of one lemon
1 tsp honey or maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup fresh chopped herbs (combine whatever you have, I had a little: basil, mint, oregano, and chives)

Garnish:
1/2 to 1 cup red cabbage, chopped
1/2 cup apple, grated (I did not do this, but I think it would be good)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Spread veggies to be roasted over two cookie sheets or roasting pans. Drizzle with olive oil, garlic, Italian Seasoning, salt and pepper. Roast at 400 for 30-45 minutes. Roast till veggies are soft, but still firm enough to hold their shape.
3. Mix together dressing while veggies are roasting. Once veggies are done to your liking put them into a large bowl or dutch oven. Pour dressing over the veggies and add garnish of cabbage and/or apple.
4.  Enjoy warm or as a cold salad.

If you want to serve as a cold salad, make it the night before. The flavors intensify in the refrigerator overnight.

optional additions: pistachios, feta or goat cheese, fresh arugula...use your imagination!

Serving Suggestions: Serve cold over a bed of spinach and arugula.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tex Mex Meatloaf

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef *local, grass-fed if possible 
2 T ground flax seed *grind it in a coffee or spice grinder
1 carrot, shredded or grated * or throw in the food processor
1/2 zucchini, shredded or grated  * or throw in the food processor
1/2 yellow onion, finley chopped  * or throw in the food processor
1 garlic clove, crushed or mince
1/4 - 1 jalapeno or Serrano pepper, chopped *depending on your spice preference/ use glove to chop if you are not use to working with spicy peppers
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped  * or throw in the food processor
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
Place meat combination in preferred baking dish.
Bake for 30-40 minutes till beef is cooked to your liking.

Options: Make into meatballs or burgers instead.

Serve with salsa and guacamole in a large leaf of lettuce or cabbage. Yum!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Coconut Creamed Potato Soup

2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
olive oil to saute
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
4 or 5 sweet potatoes, cleaned, chopped
2 or 3 regular potatoes, cleaned and chopped
2 cans of coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onions in olive oil till they begin to soften. Add garlic and seasonings and cook for 2 minutes to increase flavor of spices.
Add potatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
Add coconut milk and about 3 cups of water.
Bring to boil then simmer till potatoes are soft. Puree in batches in the blender. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Friday, May 17, 2013

Mom's Black Bean Burgers

ingredients:
1 -15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained (or 2 cups dry Black Bean mix + 1 1/2 cups water)
1 egg (2 eggs if using egg replacer)
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt and pepper to taste

hot sauce to taste
1 T oil for cooking

directions:

Mash beans in a bowl. Add egg, onion, rolled oats, and seasoning. Mix well to combine and then shape into 6 patties. 
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Arrange patties in a single layer and cook, flipping once until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 10 minutes total. 

Serve on a bun or in a lettuce or cabbage leaf. Top with your favorite fresh veggies, guacamole or even fermented and fresh salsa

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Fermented and Fresh Salsa

Ingredients:
1 jar of fermented tomatillos
1/2 medium red onion
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 - 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper

Directions:
Chop fresh ingredients or through them together in your food processor.
Mix together fresh and fermented ingredients.

*This last time, I strained the juice off of the fermented tomatillos, then I pureed two or three fresh tomatillos and mixed that into the salsa. Still experimenting with texture and flavor!

Enjoy this salsa as you would any other salsa.

Fermented Tomatillos































Ingredients:
6-8 tomatillos (enough to fill a mason jar 3/4 full when chopped)
1 cup filtered water
1 T salt


Directions:
Mash one tomatillo with a vegetable stomper/pounder or potato masher.
Dice the remaining tomatillos and put in a clean mason jar. Dissolve salt into water and stir together with mashed tomatillo. Pour the liquid over the diced tomatillos. Add more filtered water if needed to cover vegetables. Allow to ferment in a sealed jar for 3 to 5 days. I started with 4 days and liked the results.

*Length of fermenting depends on the temperature of the room. You may need longer in a cool room. If your jar is not bubbly or your veggies still taste salty then you need more time.

Use your tomatillos to make Fresh and Fermented Salsa or just eat them plain. They are delicious and an excellent probiotic!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Cortido - Latin American Kraut


Latin American Sauerkraut (Cortido) – adapted slightly from Nourishing Traditions
Makes 2 quarts
1 large cabbage, cored and shredded (keep some chunkier if you like a bigger texture)
1 cup carrots, grated or thinly sliced
2 medium onions, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh oregano
½ t red pepper flakes
2 T salt
1 cup water

Directions:
Mix grated veggies together in a large metal bowl or even a large pot would work. Don't use glass or ceramic or you may crack your bowl. Add red pepper flakes and Oregano

In a blender, combine water, salt and about 1 cup of the veggie mixture. Puree till smooth.

Mix liquid and veggies together. Stomp with a vegetable stomper for about 5 minutes. (use a potato masher, meat pounder or other kitchen gadget if you do not have a stomper) Divide mixture between 2 - quart mason jars or use a larger half gallon jar. Press veggies down with veggie stomper and make sure the veggies are covered with liquid. I often put a small (4oz) mason jar inside a wide-mouth mason jar to weigh the veggies down so that they are always covered with liquid. (glass baby food jars are the perfect size too)

Put the lids on your jars. Allow jars to sit in room temperature for 3-5 days. Bubbles should be forming and the mixture should not taste salty when it is fermented. Once fermented to your liking, move to cold storage (basement cellar) or refrigerator.
*The length of fermenting will vary depending on the temperature of your room. Experiment and figure out what you like. The kraut should not really taste salty, but more sour "like vinegar." Also you should see bubbles in the jar and when you open the jar there will be a release of pressure like when you open a carbonated drink.

*If you are getting into vegetable fermenting/culturing this is a nice quality "pounder."

Friday, April 19, 2013

Strawberry Berry Pie Filling


1 cooked 9-inch pie shell 
2 cups crushed mixed berries *blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, ect. 
1/2 c. cane juice crystals or sucanut or honey
2 T arrowroot powder
1 pt. fresh strawberries, tops removed


Fill pie shell with fresh whole strawberries. Boil crushed berries, sweetener and arrowroot together, stirring often, until transparent. Pour this syrup over all the berries in pie shell. Chill. OPTIONAL: Top with whipped coconut cream when serving.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Toothpaste


Mix together:
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup baking soda
5-8 drops of peppermint essential oil 
OPTIONAL: xylitol or stevia to sweeten

SUGGESTION: Store in a separate 4 oz. container for each member of your family. It is a mostly dry mix, so you wet your toothpaste and dip it in each time. 

Liquid Laundry Soap


LAUNDRY SOAP:  Easy to Make, Inexpensive, Non-Caustic  

1/3 bar Fells Naptha *or Ivory bar or Zote bar or Castile or any homemade bar soap you like
1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda *powdered sodium bicarbonate –to remove dirt & odors
1/2 cup Borax powder (a natural mineral sodium borate – a whitener & deodorizer)
2 gallon container to store it in and a ½ cup scoop for measuring
Optional:  If you want your soap to have a scent, you can add ½ to 1 oz. essential oil fragrance of your choice. Some people really like “orange” or "lavender" essential oil fragrance. Others like no scent.
Low Suds: It is an hE (high efficiency soap) and works in hE required washing machines, septics, etc. The”special” HE detergent is just another advertising mechanism to push consumers to buy “special soap” for unnecessarily high prices.
Another Alternative to purchased laundry soap:   http://www.laundrytree.com/about-soapnuts.html

Directions:
1.  Grate/chop finely the 1/3 bar soap and put in a large sauce pan.      
2.  Add 6 cups water and heat until the soap melts.
3.  Add 1/2 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup Borax. STIR til dissolved.                   
4.  Remove from the heat.
5.  Pour 4 cups HOT water into your storage container.
6.  Now add your liquid soap mixture and stir.
7.  Add 1 GALLON plus 6 cups of water and stir.
8.  Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will form a watery gel. . . similar to raw egg whites or slippery Jello.
9.  You use 1/2 cup per load.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Carrot, Apple, Lentil Curry Soup

Ingredients:
1 onion, chopped

2 or 3 stalks of celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1 T (korma) curry powder
6 to 8 medium carrots, chopped
3 apples (something tart and crisp), cored and chopped
2 cups red lentils
4 cups veggie or chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
OPTIONAL: Greek yogurt for garnish, fresh lemon to squeeze into soup

OPTIONAL: crushed red pepper for more spice

Directions:

Pour lentils into a pot. Add water to cover plus one inch. Bring to boil. Then turn heat down to simmer. As lentils simmer spoon off the white foam at the the top of the water. Continue till white foam is gone. Simmer about 15 minutes till lentils are soft and falling apart.
While lentils are cooking: Heat 1 T oil in a stock pot. Add onions, celery and saute together till onions are translucent. Add garlic and curry. Saute for 2-3 more minutes.

Add carrots, apples and cook together for 5 minutes. Add lentils, stock and bring to a boil, then simmer till veggies are soft. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Puree soup with an immersion blender or in batches with a regular blender. Return soup to pot and simmer till ready to serve.

Garnish with a swirl of Greek yogurt and a squeeze of fresh lemon. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Butternut Squash Red Curry

Ingredients:
1 pound beef stew meat *I use local grass fed beef that we buy from our farmer friend.
1 onion, chopped
1 T red curry paste *More or less depending on spice tolerance. Start with 1 tsp if you like mild.
1 tsp yellow curry *paste or powder
2 (16 oz) cans coconut milk
1 inch of ginger root, grated
1 or 2 star anise pods
salt and pepper to taste
1 T honey
1 butternut squash or baking pumpkin, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1 inch cubes

Directions:


Cook together for 3-4 minutes: olive oil, 1 chopped onion, and cubed beef/ stew meat

Add: coconut milk, red curry paste (more or less depending on your preference), 1 tsp yellow curry powder or paste, ginger, star anise, salt and freshly ground black pepper, 1 T honey .
*I like to then throw this i
n the crock pot for the day so the meat gets very tender. Then I continue with the recipe about 20-30 minutes before dinner time.

Add: 1 peeled, cleaned and cubed butternut squash or baking pumpkin. (You may also add other veggies ie. potatoes, bean sprouts, broccoli, whatever you like. Don't add the veggies too soon or they will get mushy.)

Bring to boil, the turn down to simmer till meat is cooked and squash is tender. (About 20 minutes). Simmering for longer will develop richer flavors. 

Serve with lime, cilantro and green onion over rice, greens or eat as a soup.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Chorizo Seasoning

I used this chorizo seasoning to flavor one pound of local, grass-fed ground beef for tacos. It was delicious and better for us than any chorizo sausage I can find in the store.
Ingredients:
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 T red wine vinegar
2 T paprika
1/4 to 1 tsp crushed red pepper *depending on spice preference
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper


Directions:
Use the above amounts based on one pound of ground meat (beef, lamb, turkey...ect). Simply multiply the above amounts per pound of meat.

Mix all ingredients together then mix into raw ground meat. Allow meat to sit in spice blend for 12 to 24 hours to soak up flavor. 


Cook and enjoy as you would use chorizo in any recipe.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Kimchi - Korean Sauerkraut

Adapted From: Nourishing Traditions


Makes 2 quarts

Ingredients:1 head Napa cabbage, cored and shredded (must use Napa for best results)
1 bunch green onions, chopped
(sometimes I used red onion instead)
1 cup carrots, grated
½ cup daikon radish, grated (optional)
1 handful of kale, chopped (optional)
1 T freshly grated ginger
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 t dried red pepper flakes (more or less depending on spice preference)
2 T salt
1 cup filtered water
Directions:
Mix veggies together in a large metal bowl or even a large pot would work. Don't use glass or ceramic or you may crack your bowl. Add ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes. 

In a blender, combine water, salt and about 1 cup of the veggie mixture. Puree till smooth.

Mix liquid and veggies together. Stomp with a vegetable stomper for about 5 minutes. (use a potato masher, meat pounder or other kitchen gadget if you do not have a stomper) Divide mixture between 2 - quart mason jars or use a larger half gallon jar. Press veggies down with veggie stomper and make sure the veggies are covered with liquid. I often put a small (4oz) mason jar inside a wide-mouth mason jar to weigh the veggies down so that they are always covered with liquid. (glass baby food jars are the perfect size too)

Put the lids on your jars. Allow jars to sit in room temperature for 3-5 days. Bubbles should be forming and the mixture should not taste salty when it is fermented. Once fermented to your liking, move to cold storage (basement cellar) or refrigerator.



Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cacik (Turkish Yogurt Sauce)


The "c" is pronounced like a "j" in Turkish. I will be serving this sauce for our Easter Celebration along with Lamb Burgers and Chicken Kebabs. Holidays are delicious!

Ingredients:
2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped or grated
2 cups (about 16 oz.) cold, Greek Yogurt
2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
2 T fresh mint, chopped
salt to taste
olive oil to drizzle
*Optional: 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Directions:
Combine cucumbers, yogurt, garlic, mint and walnuts. Add desired salt. Drizzle with about 1 T olive oil. 




Friday, March 22, 2013

Turkish Meatballs



Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef or lamb *local grass fed if possible
2 T ground flax seed, ground *a coffee grinder works great to grind flax seeds
1 carrot, grated
1 small onion, chopped 
1 celery stalk, chopped celery
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried mint
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


Directions:
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
Roll into bite size balls and place a baking sheet with sides. Or use my favorite method...a mini muffin pan and just plop the meat mixture into the muffin tin.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes....whenever they are done.

Serve with traditional Turkish Cacik  



Beef Veggie Meatballs


Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef *grass fed if possible
2 T ground flax seed, ground *a coffee grinder works great to grind flax seeds
1 carrot or beet, grated
1 onion, chopped 
1 celery stalk, chopped celery
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground oregano
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


Directions:
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
Roll into balls and place a baking sheet with sides. Or use my favorite method...a mini muffin pan. Just plop the meat mixture into the muffin tin.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes....whenever they are done.
*Sometime I put a dab of ketchup on top of each meatball before baking for a "mini meatloaf" effect. 



Italian Beef

Ingredients:
1 beef roast (2 lbs to 10 lbs...whatever you want)
1 - 12 oz jar mild or hot Giardiniera *Try making your own
1 - 12 oz jar Pepperoncini peppers 
1 - carton of veggie or beef stock or 2 cans

*If you are using a large roast you may want to use larger jars of Giardiniera and Pepperoncini. You will want enough stock to cover your roast as well.

Directions:
Put all of the ingredients together in a crock pot on low for 18 hours (Including juices from the Giardiniera and Pepperoncini.)

Perfect for a party or potluck.
Serve with a piece of crisp romaine or a handful of spinach on your favorite hard rolls or crusty bread. 



Zesty Italian Spice Blend

Ingredients:
1 T garlic salt or (3 cloves garlic, crushed + 1 T sea salt)
1 T onion powder
1 T cane juice crystals or honey
2 T dried oregano
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp celery salt
2 T cajun seasoning

Directions:
Blend together. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Guacamole Dip

A little lighter than guacamole and an excellent dipping pair for sweet potato or butternut squash fries.

Ingredients:

1 avocado
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
2 T unsweetened coconut milk
juice of 1 lime
Optional: 1 garlic clove, crushed
Optional: 1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
Optional: 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. Chipotle or your favorite Chili powder
salt to taste

Directions:
Throw all ingredients into a blender or food processor and run until whipped smooth.
Serve your favorite homemade fries. 

Easy Middle Eastern Chicken Thighs

Ingredients:
4-6 Chicken Thighs
1/2 red or yellow onion, thinly sliced

Middle Eastern Spice Blend
1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil

juice of 1 lime

Directions:

Pour spice blend into a bowl. Place chicken thighs in the bowl and mix till thighs are covered.
Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into a skillet/sauce pan with a lid. Warm oil place onions and chicken thighs in to the pan. Top with lime juice. 
Allow chicken to cook on medium heat till completely cooked. 

*Or grill if the outdoor conditions allow. Or bake if you prefer it!

Serving Suggestions:

Over a bed of spinach with a fresh slaw salad.
Over a scoop of brown rice with steamed veggies or a fresh salad.

In a warm pita with Cacik (yogurt sauce) and sweet potato fries. 

Middle Eastern Spice Blend

1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Mint
1 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Cardamom
1/2 teaspoon Allspice
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
Optional: 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne


Delicious on baked chicken, mixed into lamb or beef burger, or even over roasted veggies. Or make into a marinade by adding 1/3 cup olive oil.



Raw Chipotle Brownies or Bites


Ingredients:
2 cups walnuts or pecans
1 - 2 T cocoa powder
1/4 tsp to 1 tsp ground Chipotle powder (depending on spice preference)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of celtic sea salt (or regular salt, celtic sea salt is just loaded with minerals!)
2 cups dates, pitted *Medjool are best!
1/2 cup dried figs or dried apricots (use dates or other dried fruit if you don't have figs or apricots)
 *Choose dried fruits without sulfur or other preservatives, organic when possible.
Optional: 1 teaspoon vanilla 


Directions:
Process the nuts in a food processor or blend in a high powered blender till finely ground.
Add other ingredients and process/blend till mixture is combined.
Roll mixture into bite size balls or pat into an 8 X 8 square pan.

For added decadence also make the Chipotle Ganache

Ingredients:
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup raw honey
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 teaspoon Chipotle powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
Mix ingredients together well and pour over brownies.
Chill until brownies are set.*30 minutes to an hour


Brownie Mug

Ingredients: 
1/3 cup non-dairy milk *coconut, almond or rice milk
1 tablespoon coconut oil or Spectrum Palm Shortening + some for greasing your mug
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 T sucanut or cane juice crystals *depending on your sweet tooth
2 tablespoons sweet rice flour *brown rice flour also works
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch SALT

Optional 1-2 teaspoons chopped nuts
Optional 1-2 teaspoons Enjoy Life™ chocolate chips 


Directions:
Melt and warm milk together in the microwave for about 45 seconds till oil is liquid. 

Combine dry ingredients in a greased mug. Add liquids and whisk together till blended. 

Optional: Add 1 tablespoon chocolate chips, a sprinkle of chopped nuts or even a small spoonful of almond butter.

Cook brownie mug in the microwave for 2 minutes and 15 seconds. Let cool. Enjoy!

*Make each mug separately. If you are making multiple mugs simply measure out the ingredients in each separate mug for the best results!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pad Thai


8 oz rice noodles
4 T unsalted tomato paste
4 T apple cider vinegar
3 T honey
2 T Thai fish sauce
1 T fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
olive oil
1 egg whisked
2 cups chopped green cabbage
1 cup bean sprouts
2 green onions, juilienned
1 or 2 cooked chicken breasts
¼ cup minced cilantro
2 T crushed unsalted peanuts
Lime wedges and cilantro for serving

Cook noodles according to package instructions and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together tomato paste, vinegar, honey, fish sauce, lime juice and cayenne. Set aside.
Heat a large cast-iron or nonstick pan or wok over medium –high heat for one minute. Mist with cooking spray.  Add egg and sauté until cooked, about two minutes. Remove egg and dice into small pieces.

In the same pan, mist with cooking spray, sauté cabbage, bean sprouts, onions and carrots over medium-high heat for two minutes. Add tofu and cool for another two minutes, Add cooked egg and cilantro sautéing for another two minutes. Then stir in tomato paste mixture, add cooked noodles. Stir to completely combined and heated through, three or four minutes more.

Remove from heat and toss with peanuts before serving. Garnish with lime and additional cilantro. 

No Bake Nut Butter Balls



1 cup nut butter
6 Tbs honey 
1/2 cup 
coconut flour 
dash salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup chocolate chips
In a bowl, combine the peanut butter, honey, coconut flour, salt, vanilla extract. Stir until uniformly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Roll into balls using your hands.
Refrigerate or freeze to harden.

Roasted Garbanzo Beans


Ingredients
2 cans garbanzo beans or about 4 cups cooked chickpeas from dried beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare the beans for roasting by draining and rinsing them, then letting them dry on a towel until most of the excess moisture is absorbed.

Mix together: oil, beans, 1-2 cloves of garlic crushed, salt and pepper to taste.
Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (optional). Roast the garbanzo beans in the oven for 45-60 minutes or until the beans are crunchy throughout (just test one- if they are still mostly soft on the inside and there’s no crunch, keep baking).

Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix

from: Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook

4 cups superfine brown rice flour (Authentic Foods superfine brown rice flour is suggested)
1 1/3 cups potato starch (not potato flour)
2/3 cup tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch)

1.  To measure flour, use a large spoon to scoop the flour into the measuring cup, then level it off with the back of a knife or straight edge. Do not use the measuring cup itself to scoop your flour when measuring! It will compact the flour and you will wind up with too much for the recipe.

2.  Combine all ingredients in a gallon-size zipper-top bag. Shake until well blended. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Three Sisters Chicken Sausage Chili


Three Sisters Soup is a traditional Native American soup consisting of Beans, Squash and Corn. Here is my interpretation. Enjoy!

Ingredients
olive oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
½ pound pork, turkey or chicken sausage (look for something w/o MSG, corn syrup and nitrates if possible)
1 onion, chopped
 tsp of each of the following spices: cumin, ground coriander, paprika, basil, oregano
1 tsp to 1 T chili powder/ chipotle chili powder is delicious in this recipe (depending on your spice preference)
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
½ of a butternut squash , seeded, peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
1 cup corn (use fresh or frozen, non-GMO if possible)
2 cups stewed  tomatoes or (16 oz can)
3 cups veggie or chicken stock
water
1 ½ cup cooked black beans
1 ½ cup cooked pinto beans (or 1 can)
*you can use any kind of beans
(other optional veggies: chopped carrots, chopped zucchini, chopped potato or sweet potato…or whatever you have)

In a large pot, drizzle about 1 T olive oil. Add chicken, onion , sausage, spices and garlic. Cook on medium heat till meat is thoroughly cooked.  (about 10 minutes) After chicken is cooked break apart into smaller pieces or leave large (depending on your preference) Set aside meat.
2.     To thesame pan, Add : squash, corn, stewed tomatoes and any other veggies you are adding to the soup. Cook together on medium for (5-10 minutes)
3.       Add 3 cups (or more) veggie/chicken stock. Add beans. Add water if you want your soup more liquid otherwise just leave it. Bring it to a boil, then simmer.
4.       The longer you let the soup simmer, the more delicious it will be. You could make step one on the stove and then throw it all into a crock pot and just let it cook on low for the day.
5.       Just before eating adjust the seasoning, add more chili power if needed, salt or pepper.
6.       This soup would also be delicious with some fresh kale or spinach thrown in right before you are ready to eat.
Enjoy!