December 9, 2012 § Leave a Comment
These past few months I’ve been away from home nearly as much as I’ve been at home. My stove could’ve been featured in a magazine — unsmudged, only used to boil water for endless cups of coffee. But in the last few weeks, my work pace has slowed down a little and I’ve re-donned my canvas cooking apron. I’d like to share my favorite experiment of late — a grain-free “fried rice” recipe inspired by my kitchen partner-n-crime, Gina. (You can check out her beautiful photographs and inspiring grain-free recipes over at her blog.)
I’ve made this recipe for all kinds of eaters — for folks with food allergies and those without. It’s enjoyed by all, but definitely worth noting that this meal is an exciting addition for those on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, Candida diet, Paleo diet, among others. It is also nut-free, gluten-free and can be easily veganized if you omit the eggs.
In this dish, rice is replaced by blended cauliflower florets. Cauliflower, on its own, has such a mild flavor that in this dish, it takes on the taste of whatever you put into it. I’ve trial-ed this recipe many times: Sometimes I’ll flavor it with Middle Eastern spices (turmeric, garam masala, curries); other times I’ll veer toward a south-of-the-Border taste (adobo and ancho chile powder). Every version has been delicious.
Below, you’ll find the Starting Point. This is the bare bones ingredient list for any fried rice recipe that you like. It’s perfectly good as is, but you can also spice it to your liking, depending on what you’re serving alongside this “rice” dish.
1 head cauliflower
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup carrot, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
1 tablespoon garlic, roughly chopped
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup scallions, chopped on diagonal
1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
additional spices (optional)
1. Chop, mince and grate all vegetables and set aside. In a food processor, blend cauliflower in one or two batches until florets break down into granule-size bits.*
*Be mindful not to overstuff the food processor or the bottom will puree and the top will remain un-chopped.
2. In a large skillet, begin by sauteing the onion for several minutes until wilted and translucent. Add carrots and peppers and saute an additional few minutes until slightly tender. Add cauliflower, garlic and ginger and cook and additional few minutes. Add additional spices if you’d like to; adjust salt and pepper seasoning.
3. Just before adding the egg to the fry pan, stir in scallions and cilantro. Saute until heated through; add eggs. Stir constantly until set. Remove from heat and taste for seasoning.
Serve as a side dish to any meal where you’d normally serve rice. My favorite lunch of late has featured this rice stuffed inside of romaine lettuce wraps, garnished with a little tahini dressing and toasted sunflower seeds. The “rice” keeps in the refrigerator for several days in an airtight container.
September 1, 2012 § 4 Comments
Last week I ate a gallon ziploc big of kale chips that packed a balsamic vinegar punch. K-chips with chile/adobo powder are an extremely good idea. A couple days ago I read an article about chocolate kale chips (I’m not holding my breath on that one). This three-ingredient version is my favorite.
This recipe has undergone seven trials in the past two weeks; each time, I’ve whittled away at a list of ingredients that was, at one time, double in length. But as I reduced and tasted, I felt that this simple-dimple blend was just as good as the previous versions touting extra spices and peppery add-ins. (Okay, with a caveat: If you’re a garlic lover, go ahead and add a few minced cloves to this recipe — it’s terrific.) But rest assured, this combination below is simple and good, no garlic or spicy-heat necessary.
There are only three things to keep in mind when setting out to bake a batch of crispy kale chips: (1) Make sure the kale leaves are completely dry. If they’re at all wet, they’ll steam instead of crisp. (2) Don’t be tempted to pile kale onto the sheet pan. Spread the kale in a single layer and when making a large batch, use two or three sheet pans. (3) Keep a close eye on the chips during the remaining 3-5 minutes of baking. They crisp-up quickly and can burn easily.
1 bunch kale, stemmed and ripped into large pieces
3-4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
sea salt, to taste
few teaspoons olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stem kale leaves and rip into large pieces. Wash and spin until dry; pile in a large bowl. Toss with a few teaspoons of olive oil to coat, nutritional yeast and sea salt to taste (be generous).
2. Spread kale leaves in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 15-22 minutes, tossing half way through, until crunchy and slightly golden-brown around the edges.
Diet Notes: SCD-safe, gluten-free, nut-free, vegan
July 19, 2012 § 1 Comment
Many store-bought, pre-toasted and -salted nuts and seeds are processed and coated with starches to help salt/spices adhere to the nuts/seeds. If you are steering away from added starches in your diet, or if you simply would like to have more control over the ingredients in the food that you eat, try buying the raw materials and then dressing them up yourself — it’s a resourceful, creative alternative to what’s commonly available in a standard supermarket.
I like to roast/salt/season big batches of nuts and seeds at a time. They’re wonderfully shelf-stable and then I have them at-the-ready. Included below is the simplest recipe for roasting pepitas (pumpkin seeds), but feel free to dabble. You can try roasting them with a little tamari (or soy sauce) or toss them with dill and nutritional yeast. I enjoy pepitas out-of-hand, a-top mammoth leafy salads, soups and pasta or brown rice dishes.
sea salt, to taste
a few teaspoons olive oil
spices, to taste (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a sheet pan, toss pepitas with a little olive oil – just enough to cover all the surfaces. Sprinkle with salt (and spices) to taste.
2. Bake for 15 minutes; stop and stir half-way. Cool completely before packaging.
Diet Notes: Gluten-free, SCD-safe, nut-free, vegan
February 26, 2012 § 3 Comments
A third of this batch has disappeared in the last 48 minutes. There are only two of us in the house. In my dad’s words, “These are the best [crunch] spiced [crunch] nut-things [crunch] I’ve ever had [crunch, crunch]!”
If you have a hankering for spicy food, up the amount of red pepper flakes and pepper. Just don’t skimp on the fresh thyme.
3 cups almonds, raw
1.5 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup thyme, fresh
2 tablespoons Mexican oregano, dried
1 teaspoon dried garlic flakes
1/2+ teaspoon sea salt
10 cracks pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees on convection. In a large bowl, toss almonds with honey and olive oil. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and toss until thoroughly coated. Line a sheet pan with a Silpat mat or grease thoroughly. Bake for 18 minutes, stirring half way through. Cool completely before packaging.
Diet Notes: Gluten-free, SCD-safe
February 11, 2012 § 2 Comments
While farms (and farm stands) bring us crunchy winter delights like cabbage and sweet apples, I wanted to share my early February lunchbox favorite. This recipe unites an odd assembly of players — dried cherries and purple cabbage, balsamic vinegar and ginger — but they bring more than the sum of their parts to the table. This salad is both sweet and savory and it’s hardy enough to stand alone. While it’s very good at any temperature (I’ve tried ‘em all), it’s unequivocally tastiest warm or at room temperature.
1/2 red onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon ginger, minced (or more, to taste)
3 cloves garlic, minced
sea salt, pepper
4 cups red cabbage, shredded
3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup dried cherries (no sugar added)
4 small sweet apples, thinly sliced
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1. Shred cabbage and set aside. In a large, high-rimmed pan, saute onion and olive oil on medium-high heat until wilted (about five minutes). Add garlic and ginger and season with sea salt and pepper. Stir until fragrant (an additional minute or two).
2. Add cabbage and gently toss. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and cook for 6 minutes, until cabbage has heated through and is al dente. Meanwhile, slice apples.
3. Add apples and dried cherries and saute until heated through (but not cooked). The apples should still have “crunch” and maintain their shape. Remove pan from heat and fold in feta cheese. Serve warm.
Diet Notes: Gluten-free, nut-free
February 5, 2012 § 1 Comment
I tend to be overzealous about a number of things (ie. an empty email inbox, books (of non-electronic varieties), election cycles, coffee, citrus and cocoa powder, to name a few). Last week, after gabbing with farmer friends and ogling over the bounty of winter grub, I came home with four, enormous cloth bags of spicy winter greens. I can’t help myself.
With only two, lonely cubes of garden, basil pesto in the freezer (and wanting to save those for a rainy day), I decided to do a riff off of traditional pesto and use spicy greens for the leafy base instead. After a few trails, this recipe is my favorite. (A close second had a few squeezes of meyer lemon blended in at the end.)
4 cups arugula (packed)
1 clove garlic, large
3 tablespoons olive oil (plus additional, if desired)
1/2 cup asagio cheese, grated
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
Pulse arugula, garlic, walnuts and cheese in a food processor. Slowly add olive oil and blend to desired consistency. Freezes and thaws well.
Diet Notes: SCD-safe, gluten-free
January 21, 2012 § Leave a Comment
When I set forth to make this wrap, I combined a hodgepodge of recipes and aimed to make a falafel-like ball with crunch and Mediterranean flavor. Instead of relying on dried coriander and cumin to amp up the taste, I wanted to use garden-fresh cilantro and scallion. I wanted to see what would happen when I incorporated a whole grain into the mix (quinoa) and fresh vegetables (spinach) for nutrients and eye-popping color.
Before supper one night, I happened upon Green Kitchen Stories saffron-falafel recipe. I liked their idea of using flappy cabbage leaves as a wrap (a pita would be good, too) and tahini as the base for a bright dressing. I experimented with a few simple four-ingredient tahini dressings. The one below was my favorite.
Ingredients for the Chickpea-Quinoa Balls:
1 cup quinoa, cooked
2 cups garbanzo beans, cooked
2 cups spinach, fresh
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup scallion
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon flax meal
4 tablespoons brown rice flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1-2 tablespoons water (if necessary to thin)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees on convection (or 400, standard). In a food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse until pureed. The mixture should be sticky, but not so sticky that it doesn’t hold a form or stay together. (In the event that there is too much liquid, add extra brown rice flour, a little bit at a time. If too dry, add water a tablespoon at a time.) Scoop into balls, uniform in size, and bake for 20 minutes. Flip over and bake an additional 15 minutes.
1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons grapefruit juice
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
generous pinch sea salt, pepper
2 tablespoons water, to thin
Whisk together and drizzle on top of wrap.
Diet Notes: gluten-free, vegan, nut-free
January 5, 2012 § 2 Comments
It’s 70 degrees in Tucson and all the windows are open. Today, the whole fam (plus a cousin!) is at home and we’re noshing on bowls of roasted vegetables, cooked quinoa and drizzles of lemony dressing. I don’t know how we’re going to make room for the chili and cheesecake dinner finale this evening, but we always manage.
This recipe (inspired by Angela) offers a trifecta of addictive ingredients: winter citrus tang (think: meyer lemon and ruby grapefruit glory), a punch of garlic and thick tahini, which makes for great texture. It’s ready in about four minutes and is wonderfully versatile: Drizzle it on roasted vegetables, pasta, cooked grains, in a wrap or use as a dip for crudités.
1/4 cup tahini
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup meyer lemon juice
1/4 cup grapefruit juice
1/4 cup nutritional yeast*
1 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt, pepper
*If following a strict gluten-free diet, seek out nutritional yeast that contains no gluten.
Method: Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Refrigerate leftovers; to reconstitute, add water a tablespoon at a time.
Diet Notes: Nut-free, vegan, gluten-free (see asterisk)
October 31, 2011 § 1 Comment
I’ve had a couple days to rewind my September and October in Maine. My two month stay at Super Chilly Farm — a homestead and genetic bank for apple diversity — served as an indoctrination into the technique, science and delectability of food preservation. (I’m hooked.) I saved tomato seed and studied biennials. I pressed grapes and drank cider; I canned tomatoes and made apple pectin. I also read great big books about apple identification; I’m now somewhat versed in biological lingo like “mucronate” and “emarginate.” I even helped resurrect an outhouse wall; I used my first power tools! (Vrroom! Vrroom!) Puttering around my cozy, Tucson home, I tend to perseverate on my unfettered access to electricity, running water and plumbing. These conveniences seem somewhat extraordinary to me, and I’m a little embarrassed about my feeble comprehension of their mechanics.
I left Super Chilly Farm with a 50-pound (on the nose!) suitcase, bursting at the zippers with canned salsa, jam, apple molasses and a small bag of heirloom apples–Blue Pearmain, Sweet Sixteen, Black Gillyflower, Grimes Golden and Wagner among them. Upon arriving at my southwestern doorstep, with no water to pump or chicken eggs to scrub, I felt a little bit stalled, unsure of how to spend my time. I jump-started this slightly static homecoming by donning my cowboy hat, grabbing a pair of scissors and heading out to the garden. I clipped basil (for drying) and dehydrated tomatoes, lemon rind, banana, grapes and fruit puree (for fruit leather). That evening I made this salad; I shredded cabbage and chopped up the Sweet Sixteen and Black Gillyflower into thin matchsticks, giving my family a little taste of Super Chilly, here at home.
When Priya of “muffins on sunday” invited me to post one of my favorite fall recipes on her blog, this one surfaced to the tippy top of my arsenal of tested apple dishes. If you’re in the mood for a seasonal, sweet and savory salad, please head over to her site for the recipe. Be sure to scroll down and read her witty and laugh-inducing posts about killer pasta salads, soups, cookies and lip-smacking jams. Priya recently posted a muffin recipe on my blog and in the last week and a half, I’ve made five batches. She’s good, you guys… real good.
One final note: If you try out this slaw recipe, I’d love to hear how you liked it and if you have any recommended tweaks. I’ll share your suggestions with my Super Chilly gang back in Maine; I know they’d love to hear from you.
Diet Notes: SCD-safe, gluten-free
October 21, 2011 § 1 Comment
For the last two months I’ve been collecting eggs from (very vocal) chickens roosting up the road, and harvesting baskets of veggies from the gardens surrounding my house. With these ingredients at my disposal, frittatas are a farmhouse standby.
Frittatas are exceptionally versatile (ie. chuck in whatever you have in the garden and it’ll taste terrific) and they’re minimal-fuss. At the farm, we start our frittatas on the stove, sauteing whatever veggies we have handy, and once we add the eggs and cheese, we pop our cast iron into a preheated oven and let it do the rest of the work.
Frittatas are hearty, delicious hot, room temperature and cold, and are out-of-this-world-good when drizzled with a little salsa. Below I’ve shared my favorite recipe, but I’ve left some wiggle room for you to add whatever vegetables are in season in your neck-of-the-woods. (If Delacata or Butternut squash are popping up in your gardens or hitting the farm stand, give those a try!)
1 small onion, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 cup roasted vegetables (eggplant, bell pepper, red onion, zucchini, winter squash, etc.)
1/4 cup pesto
1/3 cup farmer cheese
1/4 cup sharp cheddar/parmesan reggiano, shredded
pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a cast iron pan (or alternative cooking/baking, oven-safe receptacle) heat olive oil or butter on medium-heat. Add onions and cook for 5-7 minutes, until wilted and beginning to carmaelize. Add roasted vegetables and cook until heated through, another minute or two.
2. Meanwhile, whisk eggs, pepper and pesto. Remove cast iron from heat, add egg mixture and dollop with farmer cheese. Sprinkle with cheddar or Parmesan and finish cooking in the oven. Bake until set, between 15 and 20 minutes. In the last minute of cooking, place under the broiler for 30-45 seconds to lightly brown the top of the cheese.
3. Let sit for at least five minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm or cold. Top with salsa or avocados and fresh tomato wedges.
Diet Notes: SCD-safe and gluten free.