Friday, November 30, 2012

Rosemary root vegetable hash browns


I had some leftover root veggies from making mega-veggie beef stew, so I created this recipe to use them up. What kind of jerk would I be if I gave you a recipe that calls for HALF a rutabaga without providing another recipe for the other half?? Plus I had to buy the carrots and parsnips in bunches.

I used a food processor for all my veggie prep. You can chop and grate everything by hand, but it will take a lot longer. I recommend using a food processor if you have one.

These came out a tad soft because I didn't want them to be completely drenched in oil. Feel free to add more fat if that tickles your fancy. I don't recommend using less than specified by the recipe, though, or it will just be a saute and won't get crispy at all.

ROSEMARY ROOT VEGETABLE HASH BROWNS
Serves about 4

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 Tbs fat of choice (I used coconut oil, bacon grease or duck fat would be awesome!), plus a bit extra for sauteeing the onion
  • Half a rutabaga, peeled
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 4 parsnips, peeeled
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 Tbs minced fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp each)
 DIRECTIONS
  1. Cut the onion into big chunks and pulse in a food processor until chopped. Set aside in a separate bowl.
  2. Heat a bit of oil over medium-high heat and add the onion. Saute until translucent but not brown. Add the garlic and saute another 30 seconds. Transfer the onion to a bowl off heat.
  3. While the onion is cooking, fit the food processor with a shredding disk (no need to wash it out) and shred the rutabaga, carrots, and parsnips.
  4. Heat the 2 Tbs oil over medium-high until shimmering and very hot. Add the shredded root veggies and cook until crisp. If you can leave them alone in the pan and only turn them once, that is ideal to get maximum crispiness. 
  5. Once the veggies are cook, mix in the cooked onion mixture, rosemary, and salt and pepper. Saute for a minute to heat through and serve immediately.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving burgers with cranberry sauce


Well, I was going to post this recipe earlier as a way to use up leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving. But I procrastinated; instead, let's say it's a way to take advantage of the fresh cranberries being sold on clearance post turkey day :) My favorite all-time sandwich is leftover turkey/stuffing/cranberry on rye. This has similar flavors, but in bunless burger form. There's no stuffing, but I combined ground turkey with sauteed veggies, fresh herbs, pecans, and spices that give it a stuffing-like flavor. I topped it with cranberry sauce and also added some spicy, grainy mustard at the table.

THANKSGIVING BURGERS WITH CRANBERRY SAUCE
Serves about 4

INGREDIENTS
  • About a pound of 93% lean ground turkey (I used 1.25 lbs)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced celery
  • Half a sweet onion, finely diced
  • 4 oz crimini or button mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 oz pecans, ground in a spice grinder or food processor (it's fine if it's still a bit chunky). OR substitute 2-4 Tbs almond meal.
  • Fat of choice for sauteeing (I used olive oil)
  • 1 package of fresh poultry herb blend (usually a mix of sage, rosemary, and thyme), leaves only, finely minced. If you can't find this just use about a tablespoon of fresh sage and a bit of dried rosemary and thyme. 
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 recipe tart cranberry sauce. I used this one because I liked the simplicity. Alternately you can make my cranberry chutney, or make the Whole30-compliant recipe from this page.
  • Grainy mustard, for serving
DIRECTIONS
  1. Saute the onion, celery, and mushrooms in a bit of oil over medium-high heat. Saute until quite soft but not brown. Add the garlic and saute an additional 30 seconds. Sprinkle the ground pecans over the mixture and combine well. If using almond meal instead of pecans, sprinkle 2 Tbs over the veggie mixture and add a bit more if necessary to soak up all the liquid. Transfer the veggie mixture to a bowl and let cool thoroughly (I put it in the freezer to speed it up).
  2. Combine the ground turkey with the herbs, fennel seeds, paprika, pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper. Add the cooled veggie mixture and combine thoroughly with your hands. Form into four big patties.
  3. Cook the patties in a pan on the stove top until firm to the touch. I sear them over medium-high until browned, then reduce heat to low and cover until cooked through.
  4. Top with cranberry sauce and pass mustard at the table.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Gingerbread latte coffee creamer


This is a coffee creamer recipe inspired by Starbucks gingerbread lattes. I prefer flavored creamer to a latte because the coffee:cream ratio is more favorable. I used Patti's infamous primal non-dairy creamer recipe as a base and added the relevant spices and seasonings. This recipe has a teaspoon of blackstrap molasses, which is really just for flavor rather than sweetness. However, if you are doing Whole30 or similar, you can use a soaked date instead for a brown sugar type flavor.

I prefer making this with coconut milk that does not contain guar gum. If it has guar gum it will get REALLY thick in the fridge. Unfortunately most brands without guar gum contain sulfites. If you are doing Whole30 or are sensitive to sulfites, you can try making your own coconut milk using a recipe such as this one. Or use a brand with guar gum, just be aware that the result will be quite thick like sour cream.

This is not sweet like a Starbucks gingerbread latte. If you want sugary sweetness you will have to add additional sweetener to your cup of coffee. Stevia or unrefined sugar would be good choices.

GINGERBREAD LATTE COFFEE CREAMER
Makes about a pint

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil, melted
  • 1 can coconut milk, stirred
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract OR seed scrapings from of 1" vanilla bean
  • 1 tsp blackstrap molasses OR 1 date, soaked in water for an hour
  • 1 Tbs powdered ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Dash allspice
  • Dash ground cloves
DIRECTIONS
  1. Put the egg yolk in a food processor with the molasses or soaked date and puree until smooth. 
  2. With the motor running, drizzle in the coconut oil.
  3. Dump in all the remaining ingredients and puree until smooth. Store refrigerated in a covered container. Spices will settle to the bottom, so be sure to shake or stir well before serving.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mega-veggie freezer beef stew

The finished product!
Photo via onceamonthmom.com; not my recipe.
I love make-ahead freezer recipes that require no pre-cooking and little prep. I was inspired by this recipe for freezer beef stew. I love that you can just toss all the ingredients in a gallon bag and then dump it in the crock pot the day you are ready to eat. I didn't snap my own picture with everything in the bag, but I snagged a shot of the inspiring recipe and included that. To make this a one-dish meal, I packed it with veggies: rutabaga, parsnips, carrot, mushrooms, and hearty winter greens. I think that cut string beans would have worked too, but I forgot to buy them, oops.

I added a tablespoon of arrowroot at the end for thickening. You won't get the rich gravy that you see with a flour-based roux, but this was a way to minimize the starch and keep it grain-free.

I never bother thawing anything before putting it in the crock pot, I just increase cooking time. You just have to make sure to stir it after a couple hours to break everything up. Everything was in a big frozen mass when I initially dumped it in the crock pot. I cut away the bag on the sides to get it out more easily. I cut everything into fairly large chunks to avoid overcooking.

All in all, a great emergency dinner to keep on hand, particularly now that the weather is cooler!

MEGA-VEGGIE FREEZER BEEF STEW
Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS
  • About 2.5 lbs beef stew meat, or a beef roast cut into chunks
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed 
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 4 oz baby portobello mushrooms, quartered OR 4 oz portobello mushroom caps, cut into chunks
  • Half a large rutabaga, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • Half a bag of frozen diced onion, unthawed, OR 1 large onion, diced,
  • 8 oz frozen chopped winter greens (I used collard greens), unthawed
  • 1 Tbs arrowroot or tapioca starch 
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
DIRECTIONS
  1. In a small bowl, thoroughly combine the soy sauce (or alternative), thyme, tomato paste, and garlic.
  2. Put the beef chunks in the bottom of a large zipper close bag and pour the soy sauce mixture over it. Toss to combine. Add all of the vegetables. Seal and freeze until ready to cook.
  3. The morning that you want to eat the stew, dump the contents of the freezer bag into your slow cooker. Pour the can of beef broth over it, season with salt and pepper, and cook on low for about 8-9 hours or until beef is tender. Stir once after a couple hours. Taste and add more salt and/or pepper, if desired. Stir in the tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.
  4. Put the arrowroot or tapioca in a small heatproof bowl. Gradually whisk in a ladle of hot broth from the stew (about 1/4 cup), ensuring that there are no lumps. Add the starch/broth mixture back to the slow cooker with the stew and stir to combine. Serve.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sour cream and onion spaghetti squash gratin (dairy free!)


 I wanted to post a new spaghetti squash recipe in time for Thanksgiving. Everyone expects some sort of orange vegetable; usually that means sweet potatoes, but spaghetti squash is a very low-carb alternative. Last time I posted a recipe for spaghetti squash with ricotta, sage, and pignoli as a creamy alternative to sweet potato casserole. However, I wanted to add a savory recipe that is dairy-free. Most squash recipes go either sweet or cheesy, and I didn't want to take either route. I was inspired by this recipe from Our Life In Food for a gratin incorporating sour cream. I recently made dairy-free coconut "sour cream" when I made fish taco bowls. After some experimentation, I devised a casserole with the aforementioned sour cream, onions, chives, and parsley. The result is definitely worthy of serving to company, and you won't miss marshmallow-encrusted sweet potatoes one bit ;)


SOUR CREAM AND ONION SPAGHETTI SQUASH
Serves 4-8

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • Half a large onion (or 1 small onion), sliced
  • 1 can coconut milk (I recommend Thai Kitchen brand), chilled in the refrigerator
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs fresh minced parsley
  • 2 Tbs fresh minced chives, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 tsp cold coconut oil or ghee, plus more for sauteeing
  • Dash of garlic powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Paprika for sprinkling
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Split the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Sometimes it's easier to cut if you microwave the spaghetti squash whole for 2-3 minutes first. Put the halves cut side down on an oiled baking sheet. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until tender. Do not turn off the oven. Let cool thoroughly, then separate the strands using the tines of a fork and scoop out the flesh into a casserole dish.
  2.  Meanwhile, saute the sliced onion in a skillet over medium-high heat in your fat of choice. Cook until translucent but not browned. Set aside.
  3. Combine the coconut milk solids, lemon juice, and salt as per this tutorial to make sour cream. Be sure to see the photo tutorial!
  4. Combine the squash with the sour cream, onion, parsley, chives, garlic powder, and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding salt if necessary. 
  5. Smooth the top, sprinkle with paprika, and dot with the cold oil or ghee. Return the dish to the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Let cool and sprinkle with extra chives just before serving.

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