Archive for ‘Food’

June 16, 2015

Loaded Borscht

I’ve really been slacking on this blog lately. But tonight’s dinner drove me to my computer when I realized I’d never shared it ūüôā It’s a favorite recipe around here. And it’s soup. So that’s saying something. This soup is incredible left to simmer away on the stove on a rainy afternoon. The house smells delicious!

I love borscht. Before I go any further, though, let me first say–I am not Russian… or Ukrainian… or any kind of Eastern European at all. This is not an authentic borscht recipe. I’d call it more a “borscht-inspired” recipe. It has all the basics–beets, cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, dill–but done with my own spin. This recipe helps me get tons of veggies into my kids’ tummies with no complaints! So here you go.

Loaded Borscht
Makes about 4 quarts

1 lb ground pork, beef, or sausage crumbles

1/4 c butter or pastured bacon fat
2 diced onions
4 stalks of celery, diced
4 carrots, diced
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 c red wine

4 c good beef stock
8 c water
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2-3 beets, peeled, and grated or cut into thin matchsticks
beet greens/stems from the beets, finely shredded (if you have them)
2 potatoes, diced (you can substitute turnips, diced small, for lower carbs)
2 zucchini, diced
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
1 bay leaf
salt, pepper, thyme, and paprika (season generously!)

sour cream or plain yogurt (you can omit if dairy-free)
fresh dill, chopped

1. Brown meat in a large stockpot (at least 6 qt) over medium-high heat.
2. When meat is almost done, add butter, onions, celery, carrots, and garlic. Saute until veggies are tender.
3. Deglaze pot with wine.
4. Add next set of ingredients, bring to boil then reduce heat, and simmer until veggies are tender.
5. Serve with sour cream/yogurt and fresh dill.

Enjoy! ūüôā

October 13, 2014

Working with what’s in my pantry!

It’s been awhile since I posted. ¬†Time to rectify that with a new recipe that is going in my “make again” list!

We’ve been eating our way through a big half-ham for the past week or so, and it was time to use it up. ¬†I trimmed off the rest of the meat, and threw the bone in my slow cooker with an onion, a sad carrot, some celery leaves, a pretty beat-up apple, some black pepper, and a bay leaf. ¬†Filled up the crockpot with water, and it’s been working hard on some awesome-smelling ham stock all day. ¬†Now what to do with the ham… some I set aside for my weekly quiche, the rest was a bit of a challenge. ¬†See, we’ve already had ham sandwiches, lentil soup, ham and root veggie hash with peppers (and plenty of ketchup!), sliced ham with lots of veggies on the side. ¬†This will be our second big batch of ham/broccoli/cheddar quiche. ¬†No one in my house likes pea soup. ¬†Hubby’s low-carb/primal diet means the kids and I eat pasta/potatoes/rice for lunch when we want it–dinner has to accommodate him! ¬†Ham’s nice and all, but by the end of 10+ lbs, we’re all getting kind of tired of it…

So I checked my pantry, and found the usual fall staples–things like sweet potatoes, onions, apples… hmm, that sounds kinda good… and this was what resulted. ¬†Totally primal (skip the cheese if you don’t do dairy), and totally hard-to-stop-eating.

Ham hash

Sweet Potato, Ham, and Apple Hash with Eggs
Serves 4-6

3 tbsp butter
2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 large apples, peeled and diced
1/2 an onion, diced
a pile of leftover diced ham (I’d guess about a pound?)
chopped fresh rosemary
eggs (we used 7, but use however few or many you like–extra eggs is an easy way to stretch this)
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Heat the oven to 425. ¬†Melt the butter in a big roasting pan while you’re prepping the sweet potatoes. ¬†Toss them in the melted butter and pop the pan back in the oven to start roasting while you prep the remaining ingredients.

Once the apples, onion, and ham are ready, mix them in with the sweet potatoes. ¬†Sprinkle with chopped rosemary. ¬†Roast everything til it’s tender¬†(about 45 minutes),¬†then turn the oven down to 375. ¬†Carefully crack your eggs over the hash mixture and cook about 15 minutes more, until the whites are set. ¬†Sprinkle with cheese, and you’re done!

This was an awesome primal “breakfast for dinner”, but you could easily turn it in to a make-ahead breakfast as well! Make a big batch of the hash ahead of time, then in the morning, just add the eggs/cheese and pop in the oven while you get ready for your day. (Our microwave was a casualty of kitchen renovations; if any of you readers want to try that for reheating and cooking your eggs, let me know how it goes!)

November 21, 2013

Primal Thanksgiving stuffing casserole (gluten-free)

I usually make vegetable soup once a week. But luckily for the hubby, I (mistakenly) thought I was out of chicken stock, so I had to come up with something else to do with the head of cauliflower sitting in my fridge. Since it’s getting close to Thanksgiving, and I conveniently–and entirely accidentally–had an appropriate selection of ingredients, I decided to try out something Thanksgiving-themed. I pulled this together on the fly, and I wasn’t sure how it was going to taste, but it came out awesome! The four food critics gobbled it down and went back for seconds, and there were tears from the 3-year-old when it was gone. So I guess it’s family-friendly, at least in this family! If you’re curious, here’s the recipe:

Primal Thanksgiving Stuffing Casserole

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
Drizzle of olive oil

1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 apple, diced (peeled or not)
Mushrooms, chopped or sliced (however many you like)

1/4 c melted butter
1/4 c GF flour (you could omit this, but the sauce won’t thicken without it)
1 1/2 c milk

1-2 lbs pork sausage (or use ground pork and add sausage seasonings–sage is especially nice)

1/4 c almond flour
1/2 c cheddar cheese

Combine first three ingredients in a large (9×13) casserole dish and start roasting in a 350 degree oven.

While those are roasting, cook onions, garlic, and celery in a skillet in a little of whatever oil you like best (we use bacon grease around here!) Add apple and mushrooms as the onions are getting soft, and saute a minute or two longer. Set aside.

While those are cooking, mix together butter and flour. You could add some salt and pepper, too, if your sausage is really mild. Add milk, and cook til thickened (which you can do in the microwave–stir every minute til it starts to thicken up). Set aside.

Brown sausage in the same skillet you used for veggies.

Layer sausage, sauteed veggies, and finally cream sauce over the cauliflower and sweet potato in the oven. Sprinkle with almond flour. Bake til cauliflower is fork-tender, about 45-60 minutes from when you first put it in the oven. Sprinkle some cheddar over the whole thing near the end if you like.

Serve with pomegranate seeds for a nice cranberry-sauce-like touch ūüôā

While not insanely low-carb, most of the carbs come from the veggies, and it is FAR lower in carbs than stuffing or a traditional noodle- or rice-based casserole!

August 31, 2012

Gluten-Free Cornmeal Pancakes

So I haven‚Äôt had cluster headaches in quite awhile. ¬†Not since Christmastime, really. ¬†But the other night after a total pasta-binge at dinner time (complete with tons of gluten, wheat, and taboo dairy products) I was up in the middle of the night with a mild one. ¬†It wasn‚Äôt¬†bad enough to wake me up; ¬†I was already awake because Baby #4 seems to think I should always be exhausted all day and awake all night. ¬†So nothing horrible, mind you‚Ķ ¬†I just sat there in bed with my eyes closed and waited it out. ¬†But enough of one to say ‚ÄúHEY quit eating that stuff!‚ÄĚ ¬†Seems I can handle SOME gluten and bread and pasteurized-A1-dairy products, but too much sends me for a loop.

So today, to use up the room-temperature eggs and milk in the brand-new broken fridge, I made gluten-free cornmeal pancakes. ¬†I adapted them from a ‚Äúregular‚ÄĚ recipe I found online, and it was pretty exciting to sub in my flour mix and have it come out AWESOME on the first try! ¬†=) ¬†At least, the kids and I approved‚Ķ

Gluten-Free Cornmeal Pancakes

Serves 4

1 1/3 cups  my GF flour mix

2/3 cup cornmeal

2 tbsp sugar

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

4 eggs

1 1/3 cups milk or buttermilk

1/4 cup melted butter

Mix up the dry ingredients in a bowl. ¬†Add the wet ingredients and stir well. ¬†(The beauty of gluten-free is you can’t really overmix–no gluten to break down!) ¬†Let batter stand a few minutes. ¬†Drop about 1/4 cup per pancake onto a hot griddle greased with plenty of butter. ¬†When bubbles form on the surface of pancakes, flip them and cook briefly on the other side. ¬†Enjoy with whatever toppings you like ¬†=)

December 24, 2011

Christmas

Christmas came a day early for this family ¬†=) ¬†Since we are headed out of town to the relatives’ this afternoon, we opened our gifts today.

Judah has not stopped playing with his new toy since he figured it out. ¬†He loves music, and he loves pushing things around the house. ¬†So something that plays chimes WHILE he is pushing it around the house… and lets him practice his new-found walking skills… well that is just perfect. ¬†I love that little guy!

Well, after gifts, it was time for breakfast… and every year since I’ve been the married, I’ve made waffles on Christmas morning. ¬†I haven’t tried making gluten-free waffles yet, so I wimped out this year. ¬†But I still wanted something special; it wouldn’t be Christmas without it! ¬†So this year, we had crepes. ¬†My first attempt at making them gluten-free, and they are just as good as the originals! ¬†I filled them with blueberries, maple-brown sugar whipped cream (made from cream I skimmed from my raw milk), and a little lemon zest… totally AWESOME. ¬†This recipe is very low-sugar, too, but it still tastes decadent and wonderful. ¬†I am not missing gluten today.

Gluten-Free Crepes

5 eggs
1 1/3 cups milk
120 g. gluten-free all-purpose flour (recipe follows)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tbsp. butter, melted

Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl. I add the butter last, while stirring, so that it distributes more evenly. Let stand several minutes.

Melt about 1 tsp. butter in a skillet over medium heat–until water droplets jump and sizzle in the pan. Add about 1/3 c. batter (I just scoop it with a measuring cup) ¬†and tilt pan quickly to spread batter. Turn once when edges begin to brown. Repeat til batter is used up.

Serve with whatever filling you prefer! For the whipped cream in my filling, I whipped 1 c. raw cream with about 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 2 tsp. brown sugar, and 1 tbsp. maple syrup.

Makes about 12-16 crepes.

Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour

I’m still working on perfecting this blend; so far, it has worked really well as a substitute for regular all-purpose flour in recipes; substitute 120 g. for 1 cup of flour. ¬†Add 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1 large egg per cup of flour, if your recipe calls for leavening. ¬†There are a lot of flours here–complicated in an effort to minimize the grains but keep the feel of traditional flour–but you can mix a big batch ahead. ¬†

120 g. white rice flour
120 g. potato starch
60 g. tapioca starch
60 g. coconut flour
60 g. sorghum flour (can substitute quinoa flour)
30 g. blanched almond flour
30 g. ground flaxseed
Makes 480 g., enough to substitute for 4 cups of regular flour.

Enjoy!  =)

December 22, 2011

Eating for adrenal fatigue

It’s always interesting explaining to someone that I am on a strict diet. ¬†I’m 15 lbs underweight right now, and people usually wonder WHY I would need to be on a diet. ¬†When I don’t feel like getting into all the details, I leave it with something like “oh, I have some kind of fatigue thing going and I’m trying to gain weight”. ¬†Sometimes I get just “oh, I see”, or a laugh and “you can have some of mine”, but once in awhile I get “I wish I had your problem”. ¬†No. ¬†No, you don’t. ¬†But on to happier things.

I don’t eat gluten, pasteurized dairy, legumes, and I try to limit whole grains, sugar, and raw dairy. ¬†If someone asks me what I’m SUPPOSED to eat, it’s always fun to answer “oh, lots of butter, salt, and fatty meat”. ¬†Because really, that IS what I’m supposed to eat. ¬†Thankfully, hubby follows a low-carb diet as well, so the near-complete absence of bread or pasta in our house isn’t a huge burden. ¬†Dinners really aren’t that difficult–you can do a lot with meat, vegetables, and a little fruit or cheese or white rice. ¬†The challenge is lunch and snacks–when I’m home alone with the kids and I just don’t feel like cooking yet again (isn’t breakfast and dinner enough?) ¬†With adrenal fatigue, you’re never supposed to let yourself get too hungry–it stresses the adrenals further–so you need to have food available the moment you get hungry. ¬†Diet restrictions are tough when you can’t eat ready-made snack foods. ¬†So I’m learning to make huge batches of things for dinner, so I have plenty of leftovers for whenever I suddenly realize I’m STARVING. ¬†Ideally, I want something I can pull out of the fridge with a fork, drop on a plate, and nuke for a minute. ¬†Who can think about dishing up complicated leftovers when your blood sugar is crashing?! ¬†So here is my latest go-to for snacks or meals; be warned, this is a BIG batch. ¬†It’ll give you lots of leftovers!

Zucchini Meatballs

3 lbs ground beef (I use 80% or 85% lean)

1 lb ground turkey

4 eggs

2 cups cooked white rice (optional)

1/4 cup gluten-free flour (optional)

2 tsp worcestershire sauce

2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

4 zucchini (about 1-1/2 lbs)

4 carrots

1 onion

4 cloves garlic

Place meat, eggs, rice, flour, and seasonings in a large bowl. ¬†Grate zucchini and add to bowl. ¬†Pulse carrots (roughly chopped), onions (cut into rings), and garlic in a food processor until minced; add to bowl. ¬†Mix everything up with a spoon or your (clean!) hands. ¬†Make meatballs (or hamburger patties, if you prefer) and fry over medium heat. ¬†Alternately, you can steam them (brown in a frying pan, then add a little water and cover til done). ¬†You could also bake in the oven at 375; depending on how big you make them, they’ll take anywhere from 25-45 minutes.

Gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb (without the rice), full of veggies… simple, kid-friendly, versatile… these can be served like hamburgers (you could add a bun if your own diet allows), made into spaghetti and meatballs, or–my favorite–plated up with sliced avocado and pomegranate seeds. Oh, and ketchup. ¬†Yes, I know that ruins the whole gourmet image you had going in your head. ¬†But I do need my salt. ¬†=P

December 17, 2011

Gluten-Free Mexican Wedding Cakes

I’ve been dreading a cookie-free Christmas.¬† Going gluten-free–and cutting way back on grains and sugar–has been good for my cluster headaches, but not for my sanity at your average Christmas party!¬† There are lots of gluten-free cookie recipes on the web.¬† But not for one of my all-time Christmas favorites, Mexican wedding cakes.¬† Or Russian tea cakes, if you prefer.¬† Shortbread-y, crumbly, nutty, goodness rolled in powdered sugar.¬† So I decided to experiment.¬† Now I should warn you, I have a tendency to overcomplicate things.¬† At least the first time around.¬† Then when I see¬†what works, I start cutting things to see what isn’t really needed.¬† Backwards, I know.¬† The kitchen looked like a floury mad scientist’s lab as I surrounded myself with¬†a dizzying array of gluten-free flours and debated the merits and contributions of each.

And I am happy to announce, everything is going to be alright.

I’ll probably mix it up a little next time (try eliminating the xanthan gum in favor of more flaxseed, and make it less complicated), but for now, these taste exactly like the real thing.¬† Even hubby who just a few days ago announced that “there’s just something about gluten…” went back for more¬† =)

Gluten Free Wedding Cakes

100 g. white rice flour

60 g. potato starch

30 g. tapioca starch

30 g. coconut flour

30 g. cornstarch

2 tsp. ground flaxseed

1/2 tsp. xanthan gum

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup butter

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

1-1/4 cups chopped pecans

Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325.  Measure first eight ingredients into a bowl, mix, and set aside.

Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy.  Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Fold in pecans until blended.

Refrigerate dough for 15 minutes or so to firm it up.¬† Then form 1″ balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 20 minutes, until lightly brown.  Remove to wire rack to cool, and roll in powdered sugar.

Makes about 3 dozen.

December 16, 2011

Cliff notes for life

This isn’t going to be poetry.

I’m just taking notes.

Seriously, I’m tired of missing milestones and losing memories because I never write anything down!! ¬†So I figured I could just start dumping everything here. ¬†Big steps, little moments, candid photos, recipes, garden notes, health notes, any and everything I want to remember forever. ¬†Maybe it’ll keep the family updated on our life, as well. ¬†Maybe it’ll help someone else who is on the same crazy trip I am, trying to fix adrenal fatigue and multiple food allergies–and renovate the house–with three small (loud, energetic) personal food critics underfoot. ¬†I’ve been told I’m like a walking encyclopedia in every subject that interests me, so maybe I can help someone out.

And if you’re wondering about the name, well, I’m always tired and I’m always in the kitchen ¬†=P ¬†What mom isn’t?