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!

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

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

Friday, March 22, 2013

Turkish Meatballs

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.


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

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

Easy Middle Eastern Chicken Thighs

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


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

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 

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

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

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

Brownie Mug

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 

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

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

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!

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
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.

Granola Bites

I make them different every time, but here is the general idea.

Stir together in a large bowl:
2 cups rolled oats, 1 cup rice puffs,  1 cup mini choc chips (optional: you could use dried fruit instead) , 1 ½ cup shredded coconut, 2/3 cup flax seed (grind the seeds), ½ cup of seeds (I use a variety of seeds (sesame, sunflower, chia, pumpkin seeds…does not really matter what type)
Stir together in a smaller bowl: 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup, 1 ripe banana (mashed) and 1 1/2  cups or more nut butter (peanut butter/tahini/sunflower butter), 2 tsp vanilla, 2 tsp cinnamon

Stir all together and shape into balls, place on cookie sheet, chill . . .or press onto cookie sheet to make bars, chill in the freezer or refrigerator
Might need to add more honey/syrup and/or nut butter if the balls won't hold shape
***optional additions:
·         food process ½ cup whole, pitted dates and ½ cup walnuts, pecans or almonds
·         2 T cocoa powder
·         Raisins, crasins or any chopped dried fruit
·         Other spices: cloves, nutmeg, allspice
·         ½ cup pumpkin puree
·         For lower sugar, just leave out sweetner…you might need more nut butter to hold it together
Always just add more nut butter is the mixture is not sticky enough to hold

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Asian Slaw


4 T rice vinegar
2 T soy sauce or coconut aminos
1 T fresh lime juice
2 t freshly grated ginger
2 t sesame oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 t raw honey
1 t fish sauce (optional)
2/3 cup olive oil
2 t flax oil (optional)
dash of salt

1/2 head of large head of green cabbage, shredded in food processor
2 carrots, shredded in food processor
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilanro, chopped
1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
1/3 cup cashews, halves or chopped

Mix dressing ingredients together.

Prepare slaw ingredients and mix together in a large bowl. Pour desired about of dressing over and mix together. (You may only use 1/2 of the dressing. If so, save it for salads during the week.)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Chili Lime Breakfast Hash

2 medium sweet potatoes, cleaned and cubed

2 medium/small red potatoes, cleaned and cubed
2 medium/small yellow potatoes, cleaned and cubed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh hot chili, like jalapeño (more or less depending on spice preference)
1 clove garlic, peeled
Juice of 2 limes
*Choose one or a combination of the following protein options
*1 1/2  cups cooked black beans, drained 
*8-12 scrambled eggs

*1/2 pound chorizo (or use ground beef with chorizo seasoning)
1/2  large red onion, chopped
1 red, green or yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely diced (or a combination of peppers)
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro. (plus some for garnish)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped

1-2 handfuls of spinach, roughly chopped
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put potatoes onto two baking sheets, drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoons oil, toss to coat and spread out. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast, turning occasionally, until potatoes begin to brown on corners and are just tender inside, 35- 40 minutes. Remove from oven; keep on pan until ready to mix with dressing. 
2. Put chilies in a blender or mini food processor along with garlic, lime juice, 1 cup cilantro, remaining olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Process until blended.
Put warm potatoes in a large bowl with protein choice (beans, scrambled eggs or chorizo), red onion, bell peppers, green onions, avocado, spinach and a handful of chopped cilantro; toss with dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature, or refrigerate for up to a day and serve as a cold salad (the cold salad option is good when you use the black beans!)
Optional: This is also great if you make it like a breakfast skillet. Complete the recipe and then fry and egg and serve on the top. I love it with the yolk just a little bit runny, but that is not for everyone.