Recipes

New greens for a new you!

cauliflower-with-greens

or at least a new green to try.:)

Just the other day, I was experimenting in the kitchen trying to find the best way to make cauliflower tortillas without eggs or dairy. My experiment was a bust…ish because while I was busy failing with my tortillas I also “discovered” roasted cauliflower greens. Which means I chopped off all the greens to get to the cauliflower and realized that feeding it to my compost was going to be wasteful but storing it for a vegetable broth was going to take up wayyyy too much space.

So I did what I so often do with my vegetables; I covered them in coconut oil, sprinkled them with sea salt, and roasted them at 350 degrees. The result was AMAZING! I’m not going to lie, several of the lovely leaves did not make it to the table that night. But that’s just part of a test kitchen, right?

Roasted cauliflower greens

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  1. Cauliflower greens
  2. 2TBS coconut oil or olive oil
  3. Sea salt to taste

Method

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cut leaves from the base and rinse.
  • Message greens with the olive oil and salt in either a large bowl ocauliflower-greensr in a big freezer bag.
  • Lay each piece without overlapping too much on a pan that’s good for roasting. I like my TeamFar Stainless Steel Baking Sheet. Pictured here and available at the link above.
  • Roast for 20 to 40 minutes depending on how your oven works and how crunchy you want the leaves. I opted for 30 minutes and loved the little bit of crunch in the leaves and the flavorful stems.
  • Enjoy!

 

Here is what the greens looked like on my plate next to my quilupa. It was delicious!

quilupa-and-cauliflower-greens

 

Here is my recipe for cauliflower rice that has successfully graduated from the test kitchen. Coming soon, a dairy-free, egg-free cauliflower tortilla (darn it!).

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

 

Recipes

Low sugar pear and blueberry crumble

pear-and-blueberry-crumble

 

Sugar is just no good for the human body. It makes us store fat, it encourages bad gut microbes, and it causes inflammation. Because of all that, I limit my intake pretty radically compared to the average American. I do have my times of the year when I let myself indulge a bit, and that usually works like a charm. However, the Thanksgiving to New Year period is a little hard on my sugar rule. I do well, but having the random fancy chocolate, piece of pie, or fabulous mimosa makes it hard to go back to my less sweet ways. The cravings are strong, my friend.

So I have two choices: give up the cause or find a way back. I always want to find my way back because giving up the cause is giving into feeling like crap. Enter my bridge dessert, a dessert I make to help me bridge the cravings while getting back on the wagon. And this year’s dessert is perfect; it’s full of healthy fats and has only the natural sugars of the fruit. The key is to sauté the fruit to bring out the sugars and make them all pie-like.

Give it a try and let me know how you like it!

Low-Sugar Fruit Crumble

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Crumble Ingredients 

  • 1  1/2 cups walnuts
  • 1/2 cups rolled oats (optional: leave out to make it grain free)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 TBS coconut oil

Filling Ingredients 

  • 4-6 Bosc Pears cored and chopped
  • 1/2 cups of blueberries
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 TBS coconut oil

Tools

  • Food processor
  • Cast iron skillet (You can use a pie plate if you haven’t gotten your cast iron yet.)

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350.
  2. Place all crumble ingredients into food processor and process until well incorporated. I like mine to be almost dough-like with some texture.
  3. Heat 1TBS of coconut oil in cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add pears and cinnamon stick. Sauté until the pears start to release their juices.
  4. Add blueberries. Continue to sautéing for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove cinnamon stick.
  6. Cover fruit mixture with crumble mixture.
  7. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or golden brown.
  8. Enjoy!

 

Recipes

Gut friendly chickpea “tuna” salad

chickpea

It has been a while since I’ve posted a recipe, but I thought this one might be a nice addition to my gut health series. This is one of those dishes that I make a lot of on Sunday night and eat throughout the week for lunch. It’s also a big hit served with tortilla chips at potlucks.

Now, I know that not everyone can eat beans. I couldn’t until I healed my gut sufficiently, and even now I have to be careful — like preparing beans using the method listed at the end of this post. Also, the addition of gut-healthy bacteria from the probiotic pickles and Greek yogurt enhances the digestibility of the dish, which is why I recommend waiting several hours before eating it.

The recipe below was inspired by several recipes I found around the web, most notably from Oh She Glows and the Minimalist Baker. H/T to these great resources that constantly keep me inspired.

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy... like really really easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas*
  • 1/4 sunflower seeds
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 big probiotic pickles, finely diced (like these  or these)
  • 4 TBS probiotic pickle juice
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt or vegan mayo
  • 1 to 1.5 TBS chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Method

  1. Mash chickpeas with a potato masher. The goal isn’t to mash them all, just to get some squished down.
  2. Toast sunflower seeds in a skillet until lightly toasted. Just a few minutes over medium heat will do it.
  3. Mix all ingredients (told you it was easy!)
  4. Place in the refrigerator overnight. You don’t have to do this last bit, but I find it incorporates the flavors better and makes the beans easier to digest.

Serve

  • On toast, if toast works for you.
  • On crackers, GF or regular
  • Atop greens with avocado (pictured above).
  • With tortilla chips
  • As a side with anything else you might be eating.

*The best bet for making chickpeas (or any beans) is to soak them overnight and then cook with a piece of Kombu. Kombu helps to break down those sugars in beans that lead to gas.  You remove the kombu before using, but I find that a few piece get left behind, which is totally fine.

 

Enjoy!

Recipes

Easy, quick, and yummy salmon salad

salmon

As I’ve stated before, I like to eat and I like to eat well. Somedays it’s easier than others to make that happen. If I’m on my game, I have lovely leftovers waiting in the fridge. But occasionally I don’t, and last week I had one of those days. Instead of opting for eating out, I decided to see what I could concoct in a matter of a few minutes using what I had on hand. As we know, necessity is the mother of all invention, and this time was no different. Enter the salmon salad. This delicious meal is chock-full of omega 3 and probiotics while being rich in flavor.

Salmon salad with dill and capers

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 can or 6 oz of wild Alaskan salmon*
  • 1/4 cup of full-fat greek yogurt
  • 2 tbs + chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tbs + capers
  • 1 tbs + lemon juice
  • pinch of salt

Directions

mix all ingredients, tasting and adding as you go to get the exact flavor you desire. Once the salad is to your liking you can serve it on anything that fits your individual dietary needs. I served mine on top of  zucchini noodles I had left over, but you could also serve it with leftover pasta or quinoa. If you don’t have leftovers, throw it on a green salad or pull out some hearty crackers. Just use what you have on hand, and I’m sure it will be perfect.

I hope this recipe inspires you to get in the kitchen and create some lovely and nutritious meals for you and your loved ones. Let me know how it goes!

Recipes

Cauliflower Rice

mixmix

I have been having a hankering for Bibimbap, a Korean rice-based dish with vegetables and protein. Unfortunately, I don’t have stone bowls needed to make authentic bibimbap, but I’ve created something that is close enough to satisfy my cravings.  It’s a great meal for my family because it allows for so much flexibility. I prepare the vegetables and protein I want to get out of the fridge, and everyone tops their rice with their choices. Last night I sauteed shiitake mushrooms, bok choi, homemade kimchi (look for a post on fermented food soon); cut up some carrots; and washed a handful of mixed lettuce. The only  problem is that I wasn’t feeling like rice. In fact, over the last few weeks, I’ve been feeling that I’ve been eating a few too many grains. I do not think there is anything wrong with grains, I just know that from time to time I need a grain break. Enter cauliflower rice.

Cauliflower rice is exactly what it sounds like: cauliflower cut up into rice size pieces. Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable* which means it supports our body’s detox process, provides antioxidants, and fights inflammation. It is also loaded with fiber that feeds all the healthy microbes in our guts, which is so important for our overall health.

To make your own cauliflower rice:

  • cauliflowerFirst, Cut the desired amount of cauliflower into smaller pieces. On this night, I used about a fourth of a large head of cauliflower, which produced roughly 1 1/2 cups worth of rice. That was enough for my meal and one serving for the next day.

 

 

 

 

  • Next, place florcauliflower riceets in a food processor and pulse until you get a rice-like consistency. At this point, your rice is done or you can add a little heat.  Those of us with thyroid disease or that just prefer warm rice proceed to the last step.

 

  • Finally, mix the cauliflower with about 1/2 to 1 TBS fat of your choice (ghee or coconut oil are my go-tos) and toss it in a pot with a little less than 1 TBS water. Lightly steam the rice for 5 to 10 minutes. Season and serve in place of  rice  in any dish your heart desires.

I really enjoyed my cauliflower rice. I won’t be having it all the time because I try to limit the number of cruciferous vegetables I eat in a week, but it’s a nice alternative when I’m feeling the need to de-grain.  I would love to hear this recipe worked out for you in the comments below.

*For those of us with thyroid disease, whether or not you should eat cruciferous vegetables can be a difficult choice. Some argue that, as a goitrogenic food, it should be completely removed from the diet as it inhibits iodine from being properly utilized by the thyroid. Others argue that consuming a normal amount of cooked cruciferous vegetables will not have a negative impact. Do your own research, speak to a trusted professional, and, as always, listen to your body and do what feels right for you.

Recipes

Vegetable of the week: Sweet Potato

Nice_sweet_potatoI love sweet potatoes! Never was there a more delicious and versatile vegetable. It is also one one of the few vegetables frequently requested by my picky-eating daughter.  These lovely tubers are in season right now, and throughout the fall and winter you can find good deals at both farmers’ markets and grocery stores.

As one of nature’s superfoods,  sweet potatoes are chock-full of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps protect the health of our skin and eyes.  They are also low on the glycemic index and may even improve blood sugar! In addition, sweet potatoes have anti-inflammatory properties. They are bundles of unending goodness.  Here are some ideas to inspire you and help you easily incorporate sweet potatoes into your diet.

The roasting twofer: roasted sweet potato side dish and sweet potato soup. 

Peel and dice two medium sweet potatoes into roughly 1 inch by 1 inch chunks and place in a roasting dish. Chop and place 1/4 red onion and 3 to 4 peeled whole garlic pieces in one half of the dish. This is the soup side. Next toss in  1.5 TBS of fat (butter or coconut oil work great), and shake in a little salt and pepper, making sure to keep the soup side separate from the roasting side. Roast atroasting sp 350 for about 30 minutes (turning half way through).

Once sp souproasted, half the potatoes can be used for that night’s dinner. This night, we had black eyed pea tempeh, greens, and roasted sweet potatoes. The soup half of the dish goes into a blender with 1 cup of vegetable broth, 1 tsp of curry, and 1/4 tsp of cinnamon. (I like thick soup, but you can adjust the amount of broth to get your preferred consistency.) Total prep, cooking, and soup-mixing time was about 45 minutes (mostly down time), and I ended up with five servings of roasted potatoes and two lunches worth of sweet potato soup!

 

Spanish Tortilla

Spanish tortillas are delicious, and if you ever have a chance to eat one at a tapas bar, I highly encourage you to try them. Traditionally, this lovely Spanish dish is made with white potatoes and onion, but I have sweet potatoes so that how we are going to roll! Check out my recipe here.

Make Your Own Sweet Potato

On MYO sweet potato night, I bake one sweet potato for each member of the family, usually sized relative to their size (Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour). Once cooked through and soft, the family pulls out all the leftover vegetables and beans we have from the week, along with other traditional toppings like butter and cheese. Everyone stuffs their potato with the fillings they like best. Like magic I have a clean fridge and a happy and full family.

 

Other honorable sweet potato mentions are sweet potato fries that my daughter adores and these sweet potato falafel that hit the spot every time.

As always, I hope these ideas inspire you to get in your kitchen and create something with one of this season’s lovely treasures.

Recipes

Easy dinner for your manic (any) day

Tempeh with brown rice and seaweed noodles with a miso sauce.
Tempeh with brown rice and seaweed noodles with a miso sauce.

I want so badly to have the Sundays I was promised as a kid, “My I don’t have to run day.” But I do have to run…a lot.  To deal with my manic Sundays that often bleed into my Mondays, I like to get in an easy, yummy meal that will satisfy the whole family. Enter the tempeh bowl.

Ingredients

1 package of tempeh (Feel free to use your protein of choice but you will need to change the name of the dish.)

1 bunch of kale (Chard works too if you are trying to reduce cruciferous vegetables.)

6oz of mushrooms

1 box rice noodles (We prefer brown rice and seaweed noodles – spaghetti squash or spiraled cut veggies would make the meal grain-free.)

2 to 3 TBS Tamari, soy sauce, or coconut aminos

3 TBS coconut oil or ghee

Sauce (Optional but delicious.)

2 to 3 TBS tahini

1 TBS miso paste (Any color will work. I used red for this one.)

1/4 cup + apple cider vinegar (I add ACV until I get the consistency I like, which is a bit runny.)

Directions

  1. Prepare noodles according to instructions on box.
  2. Prep the tempeh by steaming it for 10 minutes. This helps absorb the flavor. (Optional)
  3. Once steamed, cut the tempeh in to 2 by 1 inch rectangles and place in a bowl  with the Tamari/soy/coconut aminos. Set aside.
  4. Wash and chop the kale and mushrooms.
  5. Using 1 TBS  of oil, pan fry the tempeh until you get some nice brown edges. About 5 minutes.
  6. Using 1to 2 TBS of  oil, sauté mushrooms for 1 or 2 minutes.
  7. Add kale to pan and saute mushrooms and kale until the kale is soft.
  8. Salt kale and mushrooms to taste.
  9. Assemble all the amazing things you have made and top with your favorite seeds and condiments. Tonight we used the tahini miso sauce, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and ground flaxseeds.

Sauce

  1. Mix the tahini with the miso well.
  2. Add the apple cider vinegar to the tahini miso mixture until you reach the desired consistency and taste.

I like to create and share recipes that can be easily adapted for a variety of diet. I could easily see this same concept becoming a grain-free paleo meal as easily as it was a vegan meal. I hope you feel inspired to create something easy that you and your family can enjoy. Cheers!