Monday, February 27, 2017

Sloppy Joe Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Sloppy Joe Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Servings: 2 (with leftover filling)



Ingredients:
2 medium sweet potatoes, washed and dried
1 lb. ground turkey
1 tsp. seasoned salt
3 medium carrots, chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
8oz. button mushrooms, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. coconut aminos
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
8 oz.can tomato sauce
2 tsp. tomato paste
1/2 c. water
1 bunch green onions, sliced thinly

Instructions:
Cook the sweet potatoes by poking holes all over it with a fork, then cook in the microwave for 7 to 10 minutes, until tender.

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meat and seasoned salt, and cook, breaking the turkey up into small pieces. Add the veggies. Reduce heat to medium and add the red wine vinegar, coconut aminos, and fish sauce. Cook for 4 or 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, and water to the skillet and stir to combine. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

To serve, cut sweet potatoes, sprinkle with  pinch of salt, and top with sloppy joe mix and green onions.

Notes: This was hearty and delicious. The flavors went well together, and it really does taste like sloppy joes!

Golden Beets with Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Golden Beets with Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
Servings: 2 or 3

Ingredients:
2 or 3 golden beets
1/4 c. olive oil (plus more for drizzling on the beets)
2 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
1/3 c. fresh blueberries

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Clean the beets and remove the leaves. Rub them with olive oil and wrap in an aluminum foil pouch. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 45 to 60 minutes, or until a knife poked into the center of a beet goes in easily.

Remove the beets from the oven and allow to cool a bit.

In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon, and some salt and pepper to taste. Add the blueberries and muddle/crush them a bit so they are broken, but not too mushy.

Peel the beets, and dice them into 1/2-inch pieces. Toss with the blueberry vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper.

Notes: Beets are earthy and rustic, and the fresh brightness of the blueberries goes really, really well with them. We loved this dish.

Zoodle Pad Thai

Zoodle Pad Thai
Servings: 4



Ingredients:
For the chicken:
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked (we sous vide them), and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 Tbsp. coconut aminos
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. almond butter

For the sauce:
2 Tbsp. coconut aminos
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
2 Tbsp. almond butter
Juice from one lime
2 tsp. fish sauce
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

2 large zucchini, spiralized
2 carrots, spiralized and cut into smaller pieces
1/3 c. slivered almonds
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
Lime wedges

Instructions:

Put your chicken in a bag with the rest of the chicken ingredients and marinate for about 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the meal.

In a large bowl, mix the sauce ingredients: coconut aminos, garlic, ginger, almond butter, lime juice, fish sauce, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.

Divide your zucchini among serving dishes. Top with the chicken (shake off extra marinade), carrots, almonds, and cilantro , and drizzle on 1 to 2 Tbsp. sauce before serving with a wedge of lime.

Notes: This is one of those dishes that we thought would be weird, but it was delicious. We served it room temperature and that was perfect. Really excellent.

Halibut Ceviche

Halibut Ceviche
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
1 lb. halibut, diced
Juice of 2 large lemons
Juice of 4 limes
1/2 red onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced small
1 Jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
1 green onion, minced
Salt and pepper

Instructions:
In a large, non-reactive bowl, cover the fish with the lemon and lime juice. Stir, then add half the onion. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, until the fish is completely opaque. Stir halfway through marinating to make sure everything gets covered with juice.

Remove the fish from the fridge and drain the marinade away. In a clean bowl, combine the fish with the rest of the onion, garlic, jalapeno, bell pepper, and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve topped with the minced green onions, and some plantain chips.

Notes: We haven't tried this yet.

Stuffed Pork Chops

Stuffed Pork Chops
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 onion, diced
1/4 c. golden raisins
1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
4 thick-cut boneless pork chops
salt and pepper

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees:

In a large, ovenproof skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the apple, onion, and raisins, followed by the cinnamon and nutmeg. Saute until the onions are just tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl to cool.

Slice a pocket in each pork chop, then stuff in the cooled apple mixture. Seal with a toothpick if you want. Season the chops with salt and pepper.

Add the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil to the skillet, and brown the pork chops for 4 or 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and continue to bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the thickest part of the chop registers 155 with a meat thermometer.

Notes: We haven't tried this yet.

Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata
Servings: 2

Ingredients:
1 lb. thinly sliced chicken breast or tenders
1 Tbsp. ghee
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Juice from one lemon, divided
1/4 c. chicken broth, divided
1 Tbsp. capers, drained and rinsed, divided
10 oz mushrooms, white button or baby bellas

Instructions:
Lay chicken on a plastic cutting board, and cover with plastic wrap. Pound the pieces out to get them as thin as possible. Season the pieces with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and heat it with the olive oil. When it's hot, saute half the chicken in a single layer until it begins to brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Add half the lemon juice, half the broth, and half the capers. Cover the pan and cook for 2 more minutes. Transfer the chicken to a serving plate. Repeat for the rest of the chicken.

Saute the mushrooms in the same pan for about 5 minutes. Serve the chicken topped with the mushrooms and sauce.

Notes: We haven't tried this yet. I think we'll have it over zoodles.

Grilled Watermelon and Feta Salad

Grilled Watermelon and Feta Salad

Ingredients:
1 watermelon
2 limes
1 c. feta
balsamic glaze
arugula
salt

Instructions:
Cut watermelon into 1-inch thick slices. Squeeze lime juice all over the watermelon.

Heat a grill to medium heat. Place watermelon on grill for 5 minutes per side.

Cut the feta into 1-inch think slices. Assemble on a plate, alternating with watermelon and feta. top with arugula. Drizzle with balsamic glaze, and sprinkle with salt.

Notes: We haven't tried this yet.

Grilled Eggplant with Feta, Romesco, and Mint

Grilled Eggplant with Feta, Romesco, and Mint

Ingredients: 
For the Romesco sauce:
2 medium red bell peppers, halved and seeded
1 yellow onion, sliced
6 garlic cloves, peeled
4 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 c. raw almonds
1 tsp. sherry vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. salt

For the eggplant:
2 eggplants, sliced lengthwise, 1/4-inch thick
Olive oil
Feta cheese
1/2 c. basil, sliced thinly

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the peppers, onion, and garlic on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, removing garlic after 30 minutes.

When veggies are done, put them in a food processor with the rest of the Romesco ingredients. Pulse until well-combined, leaving some texture to the sauce. Set aside.

Coat the eggplant with olive oil. Heat a grill to medium-high heat. Place the eggplant on the grill and cook for 5 minutes on each side. When the eggplant is done, assemble each slice with a smear of Romesco, some crumbled feta, and a sprinkle of basil.

Notes, we haven't tried this yet.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Yankee Pot Roast

Yankee Pot Roast
Servings: 6
From Nom Nom Paleo

Ingredients:
1 (3 1/2 lb) boneless beef chuck-eye roast
Salt and Pepper
1 Tbsp. ghee, divided
3 leeks (white parts), cleaned, trimmed, and thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, drained and chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 1/2 cups beef stock
1/4 c. chopped parsley

Instructions:
Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

Pat the roast dry and season it with salt and pepper. Melt 1 Tbsp. of ghee in a large dutch oven over high heat. Sear the roast until evenly browned on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Set on a platter.

Lower the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 Tbsp. ghee and the leeks, celery, and carrots. Season with salt, and saute until the veggies are soft - about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds. Pour in the vinegar to deglaze, and add the roast back to the pot on top of the veggie bed. Toss in the mushrooms, and add the stock and thyme. The liquid should reach at least halfway up the sides of the roast. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat.

Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the stew and push down until the touches the surface of the roast. Cover the pot and put it in the oven.

Roast for 3 to 4 hours, or until the meat easily comes apart with a fork. Remove the roast and the veggies from the pot, and tent with foil to keep warm. Boil the remaining liquid over high heat until it's reduced by half. Taste, and adjust seasoning.

Slice beef against the grain, and serve with veggies, sauce, and parsley.

Notes: We haven't tried this yet.

Spicy Tuna Cakes

Spicy Tuna Cakes
Makes 12 cakes
From Nom Nom Paleo

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. melted ghee, divided
10 oz. canned albacore tuna, packed in water, drained
3 green onions (tops and bottoms), minced
2 Tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped
1 1/3 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp. minced jalepeno pepper
Zest from 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. with rack in middle position. Use a paper towel to grease a 12-cup muffin tin with 1 Tbsp. melted ghee.

In a large bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients, including the remaining ghee. Try to keep the chunks of fish intact as much as possible. Season with salt and pepper.

Scoop 1/4 cup of mixture into each muffin cup, and flatten with a spoon. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool.

If you want to crisp them up, pan-fry them in melted ghee over medium heat until the edges are crispy.

Serve with remoulade.

Notes: We haven't tried this yet.

Fried Salmon Patties

Fried Salmon Patties
Servings: 4
From Nom Nom Paleo

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs. canned, boneless, skinless wild sockeye salmon, packed in water, drained and broken up into chunks
1/4 c. paleo mayonnaise
2 green onions (tops and bottoms), minced
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
1/4 medium yellow onion, minced
1/4 c. coconut flour, divided
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. dried dill
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried mustard
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. ghee
2 lemons, cut into wedges

Instructions:
In a large bowl, mix together the salmon, mayo, green onions, eggs, parsley, onion, 1 Tbsp. coconut flour, paprika, dill, salt, dried mustard, garlic powder, and pepper.

Divide the salmon mixture into 8 equal portions, and form a patty that's roughly 3 inches in diameter and 3/4 inches in thickness. Place the cakes on a parchment-lined plate, cover, and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up the cakes.

When ready to cook, put the remaining coconut flour in a shallow dish, and lightly coat the cakes, shaking off any excess. Heat the ghee over medium heat in a large skillet, and fry the cakes for 2 minutes or until golden brown, flipping once. Drain on a wire rack before serving with remoulade and lemon wedges.

Notes: My favorite salmon patty recipe is this one, but since we're off dairy and peas for now, we needed to find a suitable substitute. This version is pretty good, but I think it would have been better if we chilled the salmon patties even more. The flavor was very good, but the texture was a little soft. We will likely make it again, though, and will tweak the chilling and fry time.

Watermelon Gazpacho

Watermelon Gazpacho
Makes 8 cups
From Nom Nom Paleo

Ingredients:
2 lbs. ripe heirloom tomatoes
1 cucumber, peeled
2 small shallots, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded, cored, and diced
4 fresh cilantro stalks with leaves
3 cups cubed and seeded watermelon (about 1 lb)
2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
1/3 c. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
Pinch of red pepper flakes

Instructions:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and put some ice and water in a large bowl. Cut a small X in the bottom of each tomato and blanch in the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove to the ice bath, and let chill for a minute or two, then peel the tomatoes. Core and rough-chop them, reserving all the juice and seeds.

Finely dice 1/3 of the cucumber and set aside. Rough chop the rest of the cucumber, and toss the rough-tossed cucumber, tomatoes, shallots, bell pepper, and cilantro into a blender. Puree until the veggies are liquefied. Add the watermelon, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper flakes to the pureed veggies and blend until smooth. Taste, and season as necessary.

Refrigerate the soup in the blender cup for at least 4 hours. Just prior to serving, blitz the mix in the blender once more to combine again.

Serve soup in bowls, and top with a drizzle of olive oil, reserved diced cucumber, and fresh cracked black pepper.

Notes: We haven't tried this yet.

Prosciutto Chips

Prosciutto Chips
Servings: 2
From Nom Nom Paleo

Ingredients:
3 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with the oven rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the prosciutto in a single layer on the baking sheet. Don't overcrowd the pan, or the pieces won't get crispy.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until crunchy. Make sure they don't burn. They will crisp up as they cool, so it's better to under-bake than over-bake.

Transfer the chips to a wire rack to cool.

Notes: We haven't tried this yet.

Paleo Remoulade

Paleo Remoulade
Makes 1 cup
From Nom Nom Paleo

Ingredients:
1 cup paleo mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. capers, minced
1 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp ancho chile powder

Instructions:
Stir all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge - it will keep for up to a week.

Notes: This was just okay - not nearly as much flavor as we expected, given the ingredients. 

Macadamia Nut "Ricotta"

Macadamia Nut "Ricotta"
Makes 1 1/2 cups
From Nom Nom Paleo

Ingredients:
1 c. raw macadamia nuts
1 tsp. salt
Juice from 1 medium lemon
1/2 c. water

Instructions:
Puree all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge - will keep for up to a week.

Notes: We haven't tried this yet.

Porcini Mushroom Powder Seasoning

Porcini Mushroom Powder Seasoning
Makes about 1 1/4 cups
From Nom Nom Paleo

Ingredients:
1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
2/3 c. salt
1 Tbsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. black pepper

Instructions:
Pulse the mushrooms in a spice grinder until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl, and add in the other ingredients. Stir to combine. Store in an airtight container - this will keep for several months.

Notes: We haven't tried this yet.

Mustard Roasted Asparagus

Mustard Roasted Asparagus
Servings: 2

Ingredients:
1 lb asparagus
Olive oil
1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 Tbsp. whole-grain mustard
1/2 Tbsp. prepared horseradish

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Chop off the woody bottom parts of the asparagus and get rid of them. Lay the asparagus on a baking sheet and coat with olive oil.

Whisk together the mustards and horseradish. Pour the mixture over the asparagus and rub it in with your hands.

Roast the asparagus for 15 to 18 minutes, until soft but not mushy. Toss halfway into cooking.

Notes: We haven't tried this yet.

Chimichurri Smashed Plantains

Chimichurri Smashed Plantains
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
For the plantains:
3 green plantains
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 c. chicken stock

For the chimichurri:
1 green onion
1 handful fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. coconut aminos
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Instructions:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Meanwhile, peel the plantains (you might have to cut score the peels to get them off, and roughly chop them. Put the plantains and garlic cloves in the boiling water and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.

As the plantains boil, make the chimichurri by combining all the ingredients in a food processor and blending until pretty smooth.

Drain the water from the plantains and add in the chicken stock. Use a potato masher to mash the plantains, garlic, and chicken stock until smooth. Swirl in the chimichurri, and serve immediately.

If you need to reheat, add a bit of chicken stock to thin it out a bit - it will thicken as it cools.

Notes: We haven't tried this yet.

Curry Turkey Burgers with Mango Slaw

Curry Turkey Burgers with Mango Slaw
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
For the burgers:
1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 Tbsp. red curry paste
2 green onions (tops and bottoms), minced

For the slaw:
2 ripe mangoes, peeled and pitted
2 red bell peppers
1 cucumber
3 green onions, minced
Zest and juice from 1 lime
1 Tbsp. coconut aminos
2 Tbsp. fresh mint leaves, minced
1/2 tsp. red curry paste

Instructions:
For the burgers:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and top with a rack from a roasting pan.

Combine all burger ingredients in a bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Shape meat into four patties and place on roasting rack. Bake the patties until the burgers are cooked through - about 20 minutes.

Make the slaw while the burgers are cooking.

For the slaw:
Cut the mangoes, peppers, and cucumbers into thin strips and place in a large bowl. Add the onion, lime zest and juice, coconut aminos, mint, curry paste, and season with salt. Let marinate for about 15 minutes.

Serve the burgers with the slaw on top.

Notes: We haven't tried this recipe yet.


Crawfish Etouffee

Crawfish Etouffee
Servings: 5 or 6

Ingredients:
6 oz. bacon, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. mashed potato flakes (or 1 Tbsp. potato flour)
2 c. chicken stock
8 oz. crushed tomatoes
1 lb. crawfish tail meat
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. hot sauce
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, minced (or 1 tsp. dried thyme)

Instructions:
In a high-sided saute pan, brown the bacon over medium heat. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add in the celery, bell pepper, and onion and cook until soft - about 5 minutes. Whisk in the potato flakes and saute for 1 minute. Whisk in the stock, tomatoes, crawfish, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, bay leaves, lemon juice, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until bubbly and thickened.

Stir in the bacon, and remove bay leaves. Serve over Celery Root Risotto.

Notes: We haven't tried this recipe yet.

Celery Root Risotto

Celery Root Risotto
Servings: 2

Ingredients:
Ghee for cooking
1 large celery root
1-2 cups chicken stock

Instructions: 
Peel and quarter the celery root. Use the grater attachment of a food processor to grate the sections.

Heat some ghee in a large saute pan. Add the grated celery root and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.

Continue stirring and add in about 1/3 c. chicken stock. When the stock is mostly absorbed, stir in another 1/3 cup. Continue to add in 1/3 cup increments until the root risotto has reached a creamy consistency and is soft when tasted, about 10 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

You may or may not need all of the stock - just taste as you go and stop adding it when the texture is right for you.

Notes: We haven't tried this yet.

Smoked Salmon Hash with Tangy Dill Vinaigrette

Smoked Salmon Hash with Tangy Dill Vinaigrette
Servings: 4 or so

Ingredients:
For the hash:
Ghee for the pan
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 lb red or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
8 oz. smoked salmon (hot or cold)
1 c. asparagus, roughly chopped

For the vinaigrette:
1 Tbsp. fresh dill
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. prepared horseradish

Instructions:
For the vinaigrette:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk. Set aside.

For the hash:
In a large saute pan with a lid, melt a few tablespoons of ghee over medium heat. Add the onions and potatoes, and cover with the lid. Stir occasionally, and cook until the onions and potatoes are cooked and you can pierce the potatoes through with a fork.

Add the smoked salmon and asparagus, and a bit more ghee, and simmer uncovered. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is a bit crispy with crust and everything is warm and cooked through.

Add the vinaigrette to the pan, stir, and serve.

Notes: We haven't tried this one yet.

Sous Vide Pork Ribs

Sous Vide BBQ Pork Ribs
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
1 whole rack bone-in pork ribs
1 to 2 Tbsp. no-sugar spice blend of your choice (we last used 33rd and Galena blend from Penzey's)
No-sugar BBQ sauce - we use Tessamae's

Instructions:
Rub the spice blend all over the ribs. Vacuum-seal the ribs, and let sit in the fridge overnight (at least 12 hours).

Preheat your sous vide cooker to 145 degrees. Add the ribs to the water bath, and cover with Press-and-Seal or aluminum foil. Cook for 36 hours at 145 degrees.

Remove the ribs from the bath.

Heat a grill until it's blazing hot. Slather BBQ sauce all over the ribs. Grill for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, until the sauce is cooked onto the ribs.

Eat, fool!

Notes: Amazing texture and flavor here, and incredibly simple. Heats well the next day, too. If you don't want to BBQ your ribs right away, put them in an ice bath right out of the sous vide, and leave them in the bag in the fridge until you are ready to serve. You'll want to heat them on the grill for a few more minutes.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Sauteed Apples with Pecans

Sauteed Apples with Pecans
Servings: 2

Ingredients:
2 apples
2 Tbsp. ghee
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Instructions: 
Melt the ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and pecans, and cook until the apples are tender. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg, and season with salt to taste.

Notes: We haven't tried this yet.

Seared Scallops with Tropical Salsa

Seared Scallops with Mango Salsa
Servings: 2

Ingredients:

For the scallops:
4 to 6 large scallops per person (depending on how many each person wants)
1 1/2 Tbsp. ghee
Salt and pepper

For the salsa:
1 c. fresh mango, small dice
1 jalepeno, seeded and cored, minced
1/2 c. tomato (I usually use 5 or 6 cherry tomatoes), chopped small
1/3 c. red onion, small dice
3 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
Juice from 2 limes

Instructions:
Make the salsa by combining all the ingredients together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside so all those flavors can get friendly with each other.

THOROUGHLY DRY THE SCALLOPS. I mean it. They must be d-r-y or they won't turn out well. Use paper towels, then some more paper towels.Season the dry scallops with salt and pepper.

Heat the ghee in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallops to the pan, but make sure they have plenty of room and aren't touching. Do it in batches if you have to.

Cook on one side for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, depending on how thick your scallops are. Don't move them. Don't even peek. When they are a bit opaque (not shiny) up the side about a third of the way up, use tongs to flip them over. Cook on the other side for another 1 1/2 minutes or so, and remove from the pan immediately. Let the scallops rest for 1 minute.

Serve with the tropical salsa.

Notes: The salsa is fresh and cool against the buttery, warm scallops. Terrific. The salsa works on all sorts of other protein, too - salmon and chicken in particular.

Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Mexican Cauliflower Rice
Servings: About 4

Ingredients:
4 c. cauliflower crumbles (or one head, pulsed in a food processor)
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
2 medium plum tomatoes, finely diced
1 jalepeno, seeded, cored, and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt
Black pepper to taste
1/2 c. chopped cilantro

Instructions:
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion, tomato, and jalepeno and saute until the onion starts to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cauliflower, and saute about 2 or 3 minutes more, until the cauliflower is just tender.

Add the tomato paste, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Stir to evenly coat the veggies, and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes, until heated through. Add the cilantro and serve.

Notes: This was really, REALLY good. Actually tastes like Mexican rice. The heat from the jalepeno is perfect, and the tomato paste gives it a savory, sweet roundness. This is a home run.

Baked Salmon with Almond Parsley Salad

Baked Salmon with Almond Parsley Salad
Servings: 2, with leftover salad (or extra :) )



Ingredients:
2 salmon fillets (we use the frozen fillets from Costco)

For the salad:
1 large shallot (or two smaller ones), minced
1 1/2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. capers, rinsed
1 c. flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1/2 c. roasted, salted almonds
2 to 3 Tbsp. olive oil

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Pat the salmon dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper. Brush a bit of oil on both sides, and place in a cast-iron skillet. Bake until salmon is cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes.

While the salmon is baking, prepare the salad: combine the shallot and red wine vinegar in small bowl, and let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Roughly chop the capers and parsley.

Put the almonds in a zip-lock bag and use a heavy object (like a chicken pounder, or a can) to break the almonds into chunky pieces.

Add the capers, parsley, and almonds to the shallots, and drizzle in some olive oil. Taste, and add olive oil until the salad is just coated and it all tastes good.

Serve the salad on top of the salmon.

Notes: This was outstanding. So complex and flavorful. We served it with some zucchini noodles tossed with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and red pepper flakes. Everything went perfectly together. Big winner!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Butternut Bisque

Butternut Bisque
Serves 4 or 5

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. ghee
1 1/2 lbs (about 1 medium) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 medium head of cauliflower, cored, stems removed, and cut into florets
1 yellow onion, sliced
1/4 c. white wine or apple juice
4 c. beef stock
2 c. water
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. pepper
8 bacon strips

Instructions:
In a stockpot, melt the ghee over medium heat.

Add the squash, cauliflower, and onion and cook until slightly softened, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add the wine to deglaze the pan. Simmer for 3 minutes. Add the stock and water and bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer for 60 minutes or until all the veggies are really soft.

Use an immersion blender, or a blender (in batches) to puree the soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, and continuing simmering the pureed soup as you prepare the bacon.

Fry the bacon until crispy, and drain on paper towels. Serve the soup with the crumbled bacon on top.

Notes: We haven't tried this yet.


Sweet Potato Apple Hash

Sweet Potato Apple Hash
Servings: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced small
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 medium green apples, peeled, cored, and diced
1 Tbsp. coconut aminos
1/8 tsp. dried thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:
In a large cast iron skillet, melt the coconut oil over medium heat.

Saute the sweet potatoes and onion, stirring frequently, until the sweet potatoes just begin to soften and the onion is translucent, but not browned. Cover the pan for 2 or 3 minutes to steam the potatoes - this will help them cook faster. Remove the cover and cook until the potatoes start to brown a bit.

Add the apples, coconut aminos, and thyme, and continue to stir and cook until the  apples are tender.

Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Notes: Savory, just a little sweet, and really filling. Great with pork or eggs.  

Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise Sauce
Makes about 1/2 cup

Ingredients:
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 c. melted ghee
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Instructions:
Using a double-boiler or heatproof bowl over a saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil (in the bottom pan). In the top pan or bowl, whisk the egg yolks together with the lemon juice until blended.

Place the pan or bowl over the simmering water and gently whist while the egg yolks warm. Make sure the water in the bottom pan never touches the vessel with the yolks, or the eggs will scramble.

When the yolks are warm (about 3 minutes), slowly pour the melted ghee into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Continue whisking until ghee is fully incorporated, and the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Immediately remove from heat and whisk in the salt, pepper, and cayenne. Serve immediately.

Notes: We haven't tried this yet.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Whipped Sweet Potatoes
Serves 4 or so

Ingredients:
2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
3 Tbsp. ghee, divided
3 Tbsp. full-fat coconut milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Instructions:
Boil the sweet potatoes for 10 minutes until cooked through.

Place the cooked potatoes, 2 Tbsp. ghee, coconut milk, salt, pepper, and garlic powder into a food processor and process until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides of the bowl, if necessary.

Garnish with remaining 1 Tbsp. ghee, and additional coarse salt, cracked black pepper, and cinnamon. if desired.

Notes: We haven't tried this yet.

Grapefruit and Ginger Tuna Tataki

Grapefruit and Ginger Tuna Tataki
Serves 2 for dinner, or 4 as an appetizer


We served this with cucumber red onion salad, and leeks sauteed in ghee. I had some raw cashews on the side, too.

Ingredients:
2 sushi-grade tuna steaks (we bought some at Trader Joe's)
1 pink grapefruit
1 tsp. coconut oil

Marinade:
Juice from 1 grapefruit (the one used above)
2 Tbsp. minced ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
2 green onions, minced
2 Tbsp. coconut aminos
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. salt

Instructions:
Cut the grapefruit into supremes (see http://thehealthyfoodie.com/grapefruit-and-ginger-tuna-tataki/ for detailed instructions). Place the fruit into one bowl, and squeeze the juice from the remaining grapefruit part into another bowl. Put the supremes in the fridge until ready to use.

Add all the marinade ingredients to the bowl with the grapefruit juice and set aside.

Dry off the tuna steaks with paper towels and season them with some salt. Melt the coconut oil in a non-stick skillet over high heat. When it's super hot, put the tuna in the skillet and sear for about 1 minute per side - until a crust forms and the meat turns opaque about 1/4-inch up the side of the steak.

Remove the steaks to a dish that's just big enough that they steaks can lay flat, and pour over the marinade. Cover the dish and refrigerate overnight, turning once or twice the next day.

When you're ready to eat, slice the tuna steaks into 1/4-inch thick slices. Serve with the grapefruit supremes and marinade as a dipping sauce.

Notes: Wow. This was outstanding. The tuna gets such a good flavor from the marinade, and it's really easy to make. I loved it with sauteed leeks, because the rich warmth of the leeks and ghee went perfectly with the cool cleanness of the tuna and salad.

Thai Coconut Curry Meatballs

Thai Coconut Curry Meatballs
Serves 4, with extra meatballs for freezing



Ingredients:
1 lb ground turkey
1 lb ground pork
1 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. ground basil
¼ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. garlic powder
¾ cup almond flour
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh ginger
3 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste
1 and 1/2 14 oz cans full fat coconut milk
2 tsp. fish sauce
⅓ cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375.

Mix the ground turkey and pork in a bowl. In another small bowl, mix the curry powder, ground basil, ground ginger, garlic powder, and almond flour. Add this mix to the meat and mix well. Add the egg and mix well. Form meatballs into 1 to 1.5 inch diameter balls, and place on a large baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the meatballs are baking, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the coconut oil, then the chopped veggies, garlic, and ginger. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until soft. Add the curry paste, then all of the coconut milk. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with fish sauce and salt.

When the meatballs are done, add them to the sauce and cook for another 5 minutes or so. You will probably have more meatballs than you need, so freeze some for a quick meal down the road. Add the cilantro, and finish off with a squeeze of fresh lime just before serving.

Serve over zoodles, cauliflower rice, spaghetti squash, or just eat some meatballs and sauce by themselves.

Notes: Delicious and filling. Lots of great flavors. Love it over zoodles. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Plantain Cakes

Plantain Cakes
About 5 cakes

Ingredients:
1 yellow/black plantain (super ripe is best)
1 Tbsp. tapioca flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Cooking fat (ghee, coconut oil)

Instructions:
Peel the plantain and mash it with a potato masher in a bowl. Add the tapioca flour and cinnamon, and mix well. You want to make sure there are no large chunks of plaintain, but smaller chunks are fine.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add a couple of tablespoons of cooking fat and wait for it to get hot. Using 2-3 tablespoons for each patty, drop the plantain mixture into the skillet and fry for about 2 minutes on each side, or until lightly brown.

Remove to a paper towel to get rid of extra oil, and eat up.

Notes: The non-stick skillet is necessary - otherwise these things stick like you wouldn't believe, and you'll just end up with a pile of sticky, hot mush. But when they are cooked right, they are really delicious - sticky and sweet. Some heat would help tame the sweetness, so we may add a jalapeno to the mix next time.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Baked Curly Fries

Baked Curly Fries
Makes 2 good-sized servings

You need a spiralizer for this recipe.

Ingredients:
2 russet potatoes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Peel the potatoes, and cut the ends off so they will fit on a spiralizer Using the largest spiral blade (not the slicing blade - the middle one), spiralize your potatoes.

Put the potato noodles on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Rub the noodles around with your hands to distribute the seasonings and oil evenly.

Put potatoes in oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. At 25 minutes, remove any potatoes that are turning brown to a paper-towel lined plate. Keep checking the noodles every minute or so, and take out the done ones. They should all be done within 30 minutes. Let sit on paper towels for 5 minutes - this will help them get even crispier.

Notes: We haven't tried this yet.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Chicken Zoodle Soup

Chicken Zoodle Soup
Makes about 4 servings



Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 large carrots, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 springs fresh thyme, or 1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
4 quarts chicken stock (we use Costco's organic chicken stock or make your own)
2 large chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 small zucchini per serving

Instructions:
Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf and cook, stirring frequently, until the veggies are getting tender and everything smells really good - about 6 minutes or so.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the chicken. Simmer for about 20 minutes or as long as you can wait. Sometimes, we let it simmer and go for a walk for an hour. Whatever you can do.

While it's simmering, prepare your zoodles using this recipe.

Add the rinsed zoodles to individual bowls, and ladle a couple-few ladle-fulls of chicken soup over the zoodles.

Eat and enjoy.

Notes: You can just as easily sub egg noodles for the zoodles. Just add them to the soup after it's simmered for 20 minutes, and let them cook through before adding the chicken. This is the best chicken soup recipe ever. Perfect for cold days, or hot days, or whenever you need soup. You can keep it going for a few meals by adding more stock, more veggies, more chicken. We usually get two meals plus a lunch out of a pot.

Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles)

Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles)
Makes as much as you want



You need a vegetable spiralizer, like this one from Paderno: http://www.padernousa.com/tri-blade-plastic-spiral-vegetable-slicer/. You can order it on Amazon for about $25 bucks. It's worth every single penny.

Use the smallest blade, and follow the product directions to spiralize as many zucchini as you need for a dish.

Spread zucchini noodles in a single layer on some paper towels. Sprinkle generously with salt, and top with more paper towels. Leave alone for about 20 minutes, pressing lightly on the towels every few minutes to soak out released water. Rinse the zoodles under cold water to get extra salt out of them, then dry with more paper towels.

You can use these in soups, salads, as spaghetti, in casseroles - you get the idea.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Zucchini Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Zucchini Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Serves 2 (with sauce to freeze and use later)



Ingredients:
3 zucchini
Salt
1 32 oz. jar Rao's Marinara (available just about everywhere)
2 lbs. ground turkey
8 oz button mushrooms, quartered

Instructions:
Using a spiralizer (like this one from Amazon), make thin noodles out of your unpeeled zucchini.

Spread zucchini noodles in a single layer on some paper towels. Sprinkle generously with salt, and top with more paper towels. Leave alone for about 20 minutes, pressing lightly on the towels every few minutes to soak out released water.

Meanwhile, brown the ground turkey in a large stock pot, and season lightly with salt and pepper. When the turkey is done, add in the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are a little tender, but not mushy. Stir in the sauce and bring to a boil, then simmer as you finish the zucchini noodles.

Heat a little olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Rinse the zucchini noodles thoroughly with water, and pat dry to remove remaining moisture. Add the rinsed and dried noodles to the saute pan and gently saute for 1 to 2 minutes, until the noodles are heated, but not limp. You don't want to cook them, just heat them.

Divide zucchini noodles between two plates and top with a generous scoop of sauce.

Notes: This tastes just like the best spaghetti you've ever had. Make sure the sauce is nice and thick - watery sauces don't work here. Freeze the rest of the sauce for an easy dinner some other time.

Seared Scallops with Cauliflower Puree, Pine Nuts, and Raisins

Seared Scallops with Kabocha Puree, Pine Nuts, and Raisins
Servings: 4 or so
Inspired by: http://artdefete.com/seared-scallops-with-cauliflower-puree-pine-nuts-raisins/



Ingredients:
For the scallops:
16 sea scallops
2 Tbsp ghee
A little olive oil
Salt and pepper

For the puree:
2 c. cubed kabocha squash (like the kind they sell frozen at Trader Joe's)
2 c. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 c. vegetable broth
1 Tbsp ghee
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

For the garnish:
1/4 c. pine nuts, toasted over medium-low heat for about 4 minutes
1/8 c. golden raisins, soaked
3 Tbsp. capers, fried in olive oil for about 5 minutes until crispy
Parsley, for sprinkling around the plate

Instructions:
Sear the scallops:
Heat the ghee in a large frying pan over medium high-heat; add a splash of olive oil to prevent the ghee from burning. Season scallops with salt and pepper add them to the pan, without overcrowding.

Cook scallops in two batches; if they touch they will steam rather than caramelize. Cook, without moving the scallops, until the bottoms are a rich golden brown, 2 minutes on each side. Turn the scallops and cook on the second side for another 1-2 minutes.

Make the puree:
Pour broth into a medium-size pan, add squash and potatoes, and make sure that the liquid covers the vegetables. Season with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover with the lid and simmer until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat. Transfer squash and potatoes into a blender. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, ghee, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Keep warm.

To serve:
Scoop some puree on a plate and top with 4 scallops. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Sprinkle the pine nuts, raisins, capers and parsley on the puree.

Notes: Easy and elegant. So many textures. Very rich-tasting. Loved it.

Homemade Mayonnaise

Homemade Mayonnaise
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
From: http://whole30.com/2014/05/mayo/

Ingredients:
1-1/4 cup of light olive oil, divided (not extra-virgin - that's too strong of a taste)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 lemon, juiced

Instructions:
Make sure all of your ingredients, including the egg, are at room temperature. You can put the egg in a cup of warm water for about 20 minutes, or set it out in advance.

Put the egg, 1/4 cup of olive oil, mustard powder and salt in a blender. Mix thoroughly.

While the blender is running, slowly drizzle in the remaining cup of olive oil. Like drop-by-drop at first. The slower you poor, the thicker the mayo.

After all the oil is in and the mixture is emulsified, add lemon juice to taste.

If you have a mayo-fail, like it;s too thin, just use that for salad dressings. It tastes the same, but it's not thick enough for spreads or dips.

Notes: Making mayo in a Vitamix is unbelievably easy. I don't think we will ever go back to store-bought. If you want your eggs pasteurized, you can do so via the sous vide method - put them in a water bath held at 135 degrees for 2 hours. Voila - pasteurized eggs.

Homemade Sriracha

Homemade Sriracha
Makes 2 1/4 cups
Keeps in fridge for about a week.
From: http://nomnompaleo.com

Ingredients:
1½ pounds fresh red jalapeƱo peppers, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 large dried Medjool date, pitted
2 tablespoons Paleo-friendly fish sauce (Red Boat!)
1½ teaspoons kosher salt

Instructions:
Put all ingredients into a high-speed blender, like a Vitamix. Puree until smooth.

Pour the puree into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. When it boils, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer sauce to jars/containers and cool. Store in fridge for up to a week.

Notes: We haven't tried this yet.


Homemade Ketchup

Homemade Ketchup
Makes about 3 cups
Lasts for 2 weeks in the fridge
From:  http://www.jaysbakingmecrazy.com

½ cup chopped, pitted dates
1 6oz can tomato paste, organic if possible
1 14oz can diced tomatoes ( I use fire roasted for added flavor)
2 tablespoons coconut vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. coconut aminos
½ water
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions:

Put all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and puree in a blender (remember to vent the steam or you'll have a huge mess).  Store in fridge in jars for up to 2 weeks.

Notes: This is one of those recipes that changed the way I think about processed foods. It only takes about 20 minutes to make ketchup that is leaps and bounds better than any I've ever had in a store.