Cam’s Vegan Quinoa Salad (DF, GF)

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Cameron is brilliant with a grain salad. He makes one almost every week for a quick plant based lunch. I’ve been craving quinoa and this salad is crazy good - so different than anything I’d make or think of. It’s gluten free, too. 

It’s good served warm or cold.  

Serves 4.  

Cam’s Quinoa Salad 

1 cup uncooked quinoa (red or white)  

juice of one lemon  

1 apple, cored, diced (try Fuji or Gala)

1 shallot, minced

1 tablespoon maple syrup  

3/4 cup pecans, raw and toasted or roasted 

1 14oz tin black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons olive oil  

1/2 teaspoon sesame seed oil

s + p, to taste  

In a medium sauce pan, bring quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil. Cover, reduce to low and cook about 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed. Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, toss apples and shallot in lemon juice and pinch of salt. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add maple syrup. Add cooked quinoa, pecans, black beans and parsley. Drizzle with olive oil, sesame oil and toss. Season with salt and pepper. 

Corn, Squash + Broccoli Quesadillas (Vegetarian)

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These vegetable filled quesadillas happened because I have a summer squash left over from another recipe. I just couldn't figure out what to make. Of course, my mind when to dessert and I started interesting ideas for a molasses summer squash quickbread but then forgot about it. It's probably for the best because these quesadillas were great! 

The veggie mix it delicious on it's own. It would be great for a pot luck or picnic served as a salad. Or for lunch as a taco or burrito filling. Even over greens for a veg filled salad. 

This dish is vegetarian friendly but can be easily modified to be grain and gluten free depending on what kind go tortilla you use. Homemade plantain, cassava or corn are great options for those with special diets. If you have a non dairy cheese, you could make this vegan friendly too. 

I used a grill pan but feel free to use a griddle or sauce pan instead. 

Serves 4. 

Corn, Squash + Broccoli Quesadillas

1.5 cups  thinly sliced yellow summer squash (about 1)

1.5 cups thinly sliced broccoli florets (about 1 small stalk)

1/2 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

s+p

1/4 teaspoon chile powder

juice of 1/2 lime

8 eight inch tortillas (wheat, corn, cassava, plantain)

2 cups shredded cheese (I used a mexican blend from Trader Joe's)

Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Lightly oil. Grill squash and broccoli slices, cooking about 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side. You want to see grill marks here. Transfer to bowl. Toss corn kernels in pan for about 3 minutes to cook down some of their starch. Add to bowl with squash and broccoli. Season with salt, pepper, chile powder and lime juice. 

Place a tortilla flat on lightly oiled grill pan over medium heat. Spread with 1/4 cup shredded cheese, then 1/4 of the veggies, top with 1/4 cup of cheese and a tortilla flat. Cook until cheese is melted, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip. Cook until tortilla is crisped and there are grill marks, about 2 minutes. Transfer to board and cut into wedges. Repeat with remaining ingredients for a total of 4 quesadillas. 

 

Breakfast Potato Mushroom Kale Hash (GF, DF, Vegan)

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Here's another gluten free, grain free breakfast for you! I made this vegetarian hash for brunch as an addition to scrambled eggs, toast and turkey bacon. And made a little scramble with eggs to take to work. It would also be good wrapped in a tortilla with hot sauce and melted cheese as a breakfast burrito to go. 

Serves 6. 

Breakfast Hash with Potato Mushroom + Kale

2 tablespoons olive oil 

3 russet potatoes, peeled, 1/2 inch dice

1 large or 2 small leeks, halved, thinly sliced

10 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced

2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried sage

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

2 big handfuls of chopped kale

In a 12 inch skillet, set over medium heat, warm oil. Add potatoes, leeks, mushrooms. Season with salt, thyme, sage, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. Cook until potatoes are tender, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. Stir in kale and cook about 5 minutes more. 

Baked Chicken + Cauliflower Parmesan

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Cameron is vegetarian and I'm a full on carnivore so making dinner can sometimes be tricky. I was dead set on a chicken parm and figured cauliflower would be a good meat stand it. (I was right!) Depending on your preference, you can make a pan with the chicken and a pan with the cauliflower to keep things separate. 

To keep things healthier, I decided not to fry the chicken and cauliflower. Everything was breaded as usual but instead for frying on the stove in oil, a simple baking rack over a pan in a hot oven did the trick in getting things nice and crispy. If you don't have a baking rack, just place chicken and cauliflower on a baking sheet. 

This recipe can easily be modified to be fully vegetarian by omitting the chicken and using less (about 1 cup) bread crumbs. It will them only serve 2. It can also be made gluten free by using gluten free breadcrumbs. 

Serves 4. 

 Baked Chicken + Cauliflower Parmesan

 3 eggs, beaten

1 1/4 cups bread crumbs

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 head cauliflower, sliced into larger, flatter pieces of several florets

1 lb thin sliced chicken breast cutlets, seasoned with s + p 

14 oz marinara sauce - jarred or homemade

8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

Heat oven to 475 degrees, use the convection or fan setting if you have it. Grease a baking rack. Arrange over a rimmed baking tray. Set aside. 

In a shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, basil and oregano.

Set up your breading station assembly line style with your chicken and cauliflower on one end, then the beaten eggs in a shallow bowl, next the shallow bowl of now seasoned bread crumbs and finally the prepared rack. Start with the cauliflower. Dip a piece in the eggs, coating completely, dip into breadcrumbs - coating completely and place on rack. Repeat with all the cauliflower and then chicken. Bake 20 minutes, flip and bake about 10 minutes more. Check on things here and there to make sure nothing is burning. Things should be a crispy golden brown and the chicken should have an internal temperature of 160 degrees. 

Remove from oven. Carefully separate rack from tray. Arrange chicken and cauliflower on rimmed tray and top with marinara sauce and cheese. Return to oven and bake until sauce is hot and cheese is melted, about 8 minutes. 

Lazy Vietnamese Cold Noodle Salad (GF, DF)

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Hello there! Wow. I can't believe it's been over a month since my last post! We're almost in a new season. It's mostly just been a combination of laziness and writer's block but it's all over - I'm full of ideas again. 

In other news, I am not vegan. Blood tests and a general feeling of 'meh' showed that it was not the right diet for me. I loved it at first but after a three months I just started to feel terrible. Meat and veggies are the way to go for me, That said, the husband is still enjoying a vegetarian lifestyle so there will still be many recipes on here for you lovely, brave vegan people. (Just not today.)

This cold noodle salad is refreshing. I usually like a big bowl of hot, soupy something in the colder months but this just sounded right. I call it lazy because I looked at many a Vietnamese noodle salad recipe online with long lists of ingredients or instructions. (No thank you - I just want a salad.) This is bare minimum effort but still has a sweet, sour, umami sauce and soft chewy noodle, crunchy fresh vegetable contrast of texture.  

Vegetarians, if you are okay with fish sauce, then sub out the chicken with a brown tofu. If making with chicken, use any type of cooked chicken - grilled leftovers, rotisserie, whatever you may have. Follow the directions on your noodle package. It will probably say to cover dry noodles with boiling water, let sit for 3 minutes, drain and rinse. 

*Note: my lettuce was not photo ready so it's not featured in the above image. 

Serves 4.

Cold Vietnamese Noodle Salad

for the sauce

1/3 c fish sauce

2/3 cup fresh lime juice

3 tablespoons raw or brown sugar

2 cloves garlic, microplaned or finely grated

1/8 teaspoon red chile flakes

for the salad

about 200 grams (4 servings) vermicelli rice noodles, cooked to package directions

4 cups chopped lettuce

2 carrots, peeled, cut into matchsticks

1 bell pepper, stemmed, cut into matchsticks

1 seedless cucumber, peeled, cut into matchsticks

2 cups cooked chicken, in bitesized pieces (12oz brown tofu) 

1/2 cup crushed peanuts

In a small bowl, whisk together fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, garlic and chile flakes until sugar is dissolved. Set aside. 

Build individual bowls by tossing noodles, lettuce, carrots, pepper, cucumber, chicken and cooked peanuts with a bit of sauce.

Sushi Bowls (Vegan, GF, DF)

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Let's think of this more as a serving suggestion than as a recipe. I made these after my week of tempura. I kept these really simple but they would be great served with fish or tofu. Something about the cucumber, avocado, carrot and rice is just like a vegan deconstructed seaweed free california roll. Seaweed and I are not friends so this is perfect. 

You can make everything and then portion it into single serving containers for an easy lunch. Just wait on the avocado and tamari. For those it's best to wait until serving. I used 1/2 an avocado for each serving. 

The lettuce is optional. I just like to make sure I'm getting enough green veggies. You can chop it and treat this like a salad or use the leaves as wraps. 

The best part of this is the sushi rice. Sushi rice is much more than just a type of short grain white rice, it also requires its own method of preparation. Don't worry, its easy. And super delicious, I could eat sushi rice by the sticky handful except I don't because #willpower. 

4-5 servings. 

Vegan Sushi Bowls

1.5 cups sushi rice

rice vinegar, to taste

salt, to taste

2 carrots, cut into matchsticks

2 english cucumber, cut into matchsticks

2 avocados, peeled, pitted, sliced

1 head romaine lettuce, leaves only

pickled ginger

sesame seeds

tamari soy sauce, for serving

In a covered medium sauce pan, bring rice and 3 cups water to a boil. Reduce to low and let cook until water is evaporated, about 20 minutes. Transfer rice to a large shallow bowl, stir with rice paddle and fan to cool. Season with small splashes of rice vinegar and tiny sprinkling or salt. Keep stirring, seasoning and tasting until smooth rice flavor is subtle balanced with the salt and vinegar. Portion rice into bowls. Top with carrots, cucumber, avocado slices, lettuce, pickled ginger. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve with soy sauce. 

Detox Vegetable Soup (Vegan, GF, DF, Paleo)

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So, summer is juuuuuuuust about over, isn't it? Instead of quietly crying into my pillow, I though I'd make a bright tomato based, vegetable heavy soup. I wanted something that was healthy but filling which this soup is thanks to all of the veggies. Vibrant, fresh produce always reminds me of warm summer farmer's markets, long sunny days and great meals. 

Serves 8. 

Vegetable Soup

splash olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

4 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 ribs celery, chopped

1 small fennel bulb, cored and sliced

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 14oz tin diced tomatoes

2 quarts vegetable stock

4 cups shredded green cabbage

1.5 cup chopped green beans

2 cups chopped broccoli

2 cups chopped zucchini

s + p 

squeeze of lemon juice

In a large pot over medium heat, warm olive oil. Add onion and garlic, cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add carrots, celery, fennel, thyme, basil tomatoes and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Simmer 20 minutes. Add cabbage, green beans, broccoli and zucchini. Simmer 5 minutes more. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. 

Ramen Soup Jars (Vegan, GF, DF)

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Aka your new favorite lunch. Who doesn't love a cute little jar lunch. It's so portable and easy to eat anywhere. All you need is hot water. You can definitely change customize these to your liking. Want spice? Add a bit of chile paste or hot chile oil. Want carbs? Add a ton of noodles. 

I'm calling these ramen jars but you can definitely make them with out noodles for a lighter, grain free meal. You can't see them in the photos, but we used these aip friendly Shirataki noodles. They are a dried noodle, made from tapioca starch, konica powder, calcium and citric acid. They taste just like a glass noodle. I found these at whole foods but they are also available online.  Feel free to use any noodle you like but precook them if they will need more than a few minutes in hot water to cook. 

Just remember when you're prepping the vegetables that everything in the jar is cooked by pouring boiling water into the jar, sealing and letting it sit for a few minutes. This means that everything should be sliced small and thin. 

Here's grocery list what you will need to make 8 jars:

4 carrots, cut into thin matchsticks

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

2" knob fresh ginger, grated

4 cups thinly sliced green beans (about 1#)

4 cups chopped broccoli, in bite sized pieces

1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen

1/2 cup shelled edamame, fresh or frozen

1/2 cup miso paste

1/2 cup tamari soy sauce

1/3 cup sesame oil

2 teaspoons garlic powder

noodles, amount is up to you, I used 8 shirataki dried noodle nests.

Here's the recipe for ONE jar:

Vegan Ramen + Vegetable Jar

1 tablespoon miso paste

1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1 scant tablespoon thinly sliced scallions

1/2 cup carrots, cut into thin matchsticks

1/2 cup thinly sliced green beans

1/2 cup finely chopped broccoli

1 tablespoon corn kernels, fresh or frozen

1 tablespoon shelled edamame, fresh or frozen

1 serving of noodles (cooked or uncooked - see note above)

Line up 8 clean glass jars with lids. Fill each jar with the above ingredients. Seal and store in fridge. When ready to serve, fill jar with hot water. Stir, to loosen miso paste. Replace lid and shake lightly to mix ingredients. Let sit for about 5 minutes. Carefully remove lid and enjoy. 

Kimchi Soup (vegan, paleo, GF, DF)

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I think I have a soup addiction. I made this earlier in the week after returning to Brooklyn from a weekend in Ithaca to a house with almost no food. I keep meaning to freeze a pint or two of each soup I make so that I'm not caught with nothing to eat but I never remember. 

Luckily, my mom sent us back here with a bunch of veggies from her garden and the local farmer's market. The haul also included a new jar of kimchi. Cameron had mentioned an idea for a kimchi soup earlier in the week and after a quick fridge inventory, I realized we had everything we needed for a healthy, late summer vegetable kimchi soup. (Thanks, mom!)

This is a great fridge clean out recipe since it will work with most stocks and vegetables. I happened to have corn, carrots, zucchini, kale and green beans but most other vegetable would work too.

Kimchi Soup

small splash oil

1/2 red onion, chopped

small 1" knob ginger, peeled and grated

2 garlic clove, grated

1 quart vegetable stock

1 1/2 cup kimchi with liquid (I chopped mine first) 

2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce

1 cup chopped zucchini

1 cup chopped green beans

1 cup chopped carrots

3/4 cup corn kernels 

1 cup chopped kale

s + p, to taste

Warm oil in a pot, over medium heat. Add onion, ginger and garlic. Cook until soft, stirring frequently. Add stock, kimchi, tamari zucchini, green beans, carrots and corn. Simmer until vegetables are tender. Time will depend on how thin vegetables are, these took about 8 minutes. Stir in kale. Season to taste. 

Black Bean + Kale Tacos with Pepita Cilantro Salsa (Vegan, GF)

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Here's a healthy option to get your taco fix. Garlicky kale and cumin scented black beans in a soft corn tortilla. Cameron and I had these for lunch a few times last week and they were so good. I love it when I eat lunch and get a nice kick of energy. These will give you that. 

The salsa almost didn't make it to the tacos because I ended up eating about half of it with some tortillas that I had over crisped to the point of making chips. If you eat it all or skip it altogether, feel free to substitute any jarred salsa. I'd recommend a bright tomatillo one.

Serves 8.

Black Bean + Kale Tacos

olive oil, as needed

2 14oz tins black beans, rinsed

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon chile powder

s + p, to taste

10 cups of chopped kale, about 2 bunches

6-8 cloves garlic, minced

juice of one lemon

corn tortillas, about 16

Pepita Cilantro Salsa

1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) 

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup olive oil

juice of one lime, about 3 tablespoons

pinch ground cumin

pinch salt

In a medium sauce pan, warm oil over medium heat. Stir in cumin, oregano and chile powder. Add black beans and two tablespoons of water. Cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 15 minutes. 

In a 12" saute pan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add kale, cover and cook 2 minutes. Strain. Return to stove over medium heat. Push steamed kale to on side of the pan. On the empty side, heat a splash of olive oil. Cook garlic in oil, stirring frequently. Do not brown, just cook to soften, about 1-2 minutes should do. Stir in the kale. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper

To make the salsa: combine pepitas, cilantro, water, oil, lime juice, cumin and salt. Blend until smooth. 

To assemble: spoon beans, kale and salsa onto toasted tortillas. 

To store: keep beans, kale and tortillas separate, building as needed. When packing lunch, I scoop 1/3 cup beans and 1/2 cup kale into a container and top with salsa and pack 3 tortillas separately. At lunch time, I assemble the tacos just before eating so they don't get soggy. 

 

Plant Based Life and Diet

I'm vegan now? I am and so is Cameron. Chibi is staying an omnivore. 

I know there's been a bit of radio silence around here for the past two weeks. Let me fill you in on this new change. I was vegetarian for years - mostly because I didn't like the taste or texture of most meats. My only previous experience eating vegan was for about a week in eighth grade. I was hoping to lose weight that I definitely did not have nor need to lose. This pretty much had the opposite effect as I just ate bread for the entire week. Thirteen year old me was not my most logical self. 

As an avid Paleo/AIP person and lover of meat, a vegan diet never even on the table. It never crossed my mind and I did not consider it something I would ever elect to do. 

But then I watched What the Health, a food documentary about the impact animal based diets have on our health. The film points to research stating that eating meat, dairy and eggs directly contribute to obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. I've seen food documentaries and read books on the related subjects but this one was riveting. I'm not going to go into but just watch it. No matter what your eating habits are, it will get youl thinking seriously about what your own diet is doing for you.  

There have been many changes since I started living the plant based life. First, I've lost weight. Not a lot, more of a de-puffing, especially in my legs, stomach and hips. My skin is looking better. Both my energy and mood are great. I feel good. 

Still following my own version of AIP: no gluten, eggs, refined sugar, processed food, very little nightshades, only the occasional grain and now no meat and fish. For me, it wasn't too difficult or a switch since I usually only eat meat once a day, don't like eggs and already avoid dairy. I think the best way to start eating a plant based diet is to just do it. You can always try it for a month and see how you feel. We are trying it for the next indefinite long while and will see how it goes. Even though this is what feels right for me now, it may not be next year. Trying new things - even what makes us uncomfortable - and being open to new ideas is what helps us grow.

Strangely, it has not been difficult. I've learned I really like vegetables. A plate of crudités and guacamole or a big salad are my new favorite lunches. When I'm hungry and imagine a meal it's a big pile of veggies cooked however sounds good. Maybe a stir fry or grilled veg tacos.

After I eat, I feel energized and ready for whatever is next. This is the way I want food to make me feel. Fueled. You can roll your eyes at this one but my healthy plates of food are beautiful with their bright, vivid colors. I love opening up my lunch container and seeing these crazy pinks, oranges, greens and so on. Simple joys, you know? 

If you asked me a month ago about how switching to a vegan diet would go for me I would have told you I'd really miss meat. The strange this is that I don't. Sometimes I get a feeling for a slice of pizza or nachos (because don't we all) but I want a vegan version. Isn't pizza with only crust, tomato sauce and a pile of veggie toppings just as satisfying and delicious as one that has cheese? Cameron is silent when I asked him this question but I think I'm right. It's mentioned in What The Health that meat and dairy are addictive substances. Once you eat it, you just want more. I feel this is true. Since stopping, I don't want it which is truly, surprising as I'm very food minded.

We're still prepping our meals and batch cooking. Eat week, we shop for and prep:

Breakfast: Something like a fruit bowl, smoothie, gf avocado toast. I've also been on a homemade unsweetened coconut yogurt making kick and have been eating that with pomegranate seeds for breakfast all week.

Lunch: It's usually a salad for me and a grain bowl for Cameron. This week we made black bean and kale tacos with a cilantro pepita salsa. Recipe coming soon!

Dinner: Probably a soup. Sometimes a stir fry, curry or something fun like steamed artichokes and veggie fritters.

Yum! Who's getting hungry? 

Thinking about trying out a plant based diet? To get started do a kitchen clean out, start a vegan recipes Pinterest board, pick up a new cookbook or two and make yourself a long list of vegan things you might want to cook for yourself. This is what I did and it was very helpful. 

What does this mean for Meats and Sweets? Well, I'm keeping the name. And as far as recipes go, I'm looking forward to sharing new, healthy, gluten free, plant based recipes that are still Paleo and AIP friendly. 

In the meantime, here are some favorite vegan recipes: 

Mac + 'Cheese' 

Mac + 'Cheese' 

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

Brownies

Brownies

Veggie Soup

Veggie Soup

Golden Cauliflower

Golden Cauliflower

Pesto Portobello Salad

Pesto Portobello Salad

Summer Cabbage + Vegetable Soup (Paleo, Vegan, GF, DF)

Generally, I don't eat nightshades because I have a sensitivity to them. I have, however, reintroduced potatoes and haven't had any issues with a bite of tomato something here and there. Also, it's summer and I'm dying for a beautiful summer vegetable soup with a tomato base.

If I'm being truly honest on why I made this soup (and the healthy meatballs posted previously) it's because I've been eating very poorly and not exercising. Which if you know me, is crazy because I love healthy a healthy meal and a good workout. I know exactly where things went wrong. I took a little trip to Raleigh, NC at the end of May and ate everything I could get my biscuit hoarding hands on. (Seriously, so many biscuits!) 

While it was a great trip, I returned to Brooklyn puffy as I like to call it. Somewhere around that time I lost the will to get myself to the gym. Honestly, I think I was bored with going to the same place every weekday. So I continued on with this lazy girl routine and things got a bit wider and squishier

This week is totally different. Poof! I'm excited to establish a new routine of running outside every morning, saying 'no thank you' to unhealthy foods and cooking delicious, nutritious food for Cameron and myself. It's a good feeling. 

Does this happen to anyone else? What do yo do to shake things up when your off your healthy game? 

Serves 8. 

Cabbage + Vegetable Soup

splash olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 carrots, peeled, chopped

3 celery ribs, chopped

1 14oz tin diced tomatoes

2 quarts vegetable stock

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

4 cups shredded cabbage

2 cups chopped green beans

1 summer squash, chopped

juice of one lemon

s + p, to taste

In a large pot, over medium heat, sauté onion and garlic in a splash of olive oil until soft and glossy, about 8 minutes. Add carrots, celery, tomatoes, stock, oregano and basil. Bring to a boil, add cabbage. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer until carrots are tender, about 10 - 15 minutes. Stir in green beans and squash, cook 5 minutes more. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. 

Khao Soi (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

I really like this soup. Something about thai flavors lately. Every week my grocery bag comes home with lemongrass, ginger, garlic and coconut milk. It feels like I'm eating takeout but it's all home cooked. The beauty of batch cooking, right? 

Recipe adapted from Lazy Cat Kitchen. I love that name. 

Makes about 6 servings. 

Khao Soi Soup

6 garlic cloves, peeled

2" ginger, peeled, roughly chopped

1/4 cup chopped cilantro (stems or leaves)

2 lemongrass stalks, tough leaves removed, chopped

2 shallots, chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon madras curry powder

3 tablespoons water

1 butternut squash, peeled, diced

2 stalks broccoli, peeled, in bite sized pieces

1 1/2 cup chopped green beans

4 carrots, peeled, sliced

1 quart vegetable stock

1 14 oz tin full fat coconut milk

28 oz water

1 teaspoon szechuan peppercorns

1 tablespoon fish sauce

2 tablespoons tamari or coconut aminos

juice of 1 lime

2 teaspoons maple syrup

salt

cilantro, for garnish

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line two sheet trays with parchment paper. Toss squash with a splash of oil, arrange on one tray. Toss broccoli with splash of oil, arrange on the other tray. Sprinkle each with salt and pepper. Roast until softened and beginning to blacken, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. 

Combine garlic, ginger, cilantro, lemongrass, shallots, coriander, turmeric, curry powder and water in the bowl of a food processor. Puree to a paste. 

In a pot, heat a tablespoon of oil over a high flame. Add paste and cook until slightly browned, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add vegetable stock, coconut milk, water, peppercorn sachet and carrots. Boil, reduce to a simmer. Add green beans. Skim off any foam from surface. Simmer until greenbeans and carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat. Add roasted broccoli and squash. Stir in fish sauce, tamari, lime juice and maple syrup. Salt to taste. Serve with noodles, zoodles, rice or enjoy on it's own. Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro leaves. 

Lentil Soup (Vegan, GF, DF)

This is a very loving soup. It's comforting, healthy and very adaptable. I make it all the time and I think it's about the third time I've posted a lentil soup on here but it's been awhile. Each time I make lentil soup, I like to tweak it a little bit. Sometimes it's full of cumin, marmite, tamari & sesame or garam masala - like this one. 

It's hard to resist the warm spiced notes of garam masala - an Indian spice blend. I took things a bit further with a dash of sesame oil,squeeze of lemon and splash of apple cider vinegar, You'll know when the seasoning is right because all the flavors will pop and brighten. 

I strongly prefer chicken stock for my lentil soup but vegetable stock is great too if you're looking to keep things vegetarian. If you're in comfort food mode and you eat nightshades, a potato does something wonderful in here. Chop it up and add it with the lentils. 

Makes about 8 servings. 

Simple Lentil Soup

splash olive oil

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 carrots, peeled, chopped

4 stalks celery, chopped

10 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon garam masala

2 quarts stock (chicken or vegetable)

1 1/2 cup french green lentils, rinsed

1 bunch collard greens, stems removed, chopped

s + p

lemon juice, to taste (about 1 lemon)

sesame oil, to taste (about 1.5 teaspoons)

apple cider vinegar, to taste (about 1 tablespoon)

In a pot, over medium low heat, warm olive oil. Add onion and cook until soft and glossy, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, carrots, celery, mushrooms, bay, thyme, garam masala, stock and lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cook until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes. Add collard greens. Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, sesame oil and apple cider vinegar. 

Cameron's Daikon + Mushroom Soup (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF, Vegan)

I love when Cameron gets a cooking idea like a soup or a salad  - whatever it is will always be delicious, healthy and well made. This soup is no different. Savory, brothy and full of daikon. I secretly think he was trying to make a fish free, Mea-friendly version of this Oden he used to get in the winter at a place near his old work but he might not agree. (We'll see.) 

Daikon + Mushroom Soup

to make the stock:

2 leeks, halved

fennel tops

2 inches ginger root, peeled, sliced

4 garlic cloves, smashed

4 dried shitakes

1 bay leaf

1 kafir lime leaf

1 teaspoon peppercorns (black and pink)

Place everything in a large pot. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Strain and discard solids. 

for the soup

splash olive oil

1 celeriac, peeled and diced

1 fennel bulb, cored and sliced

2 daikon, peeled and chopped

6 oz chopped mini portobello mushrooms

2 cups baby bok choy, sliced in half

juice of 1 lime

Saute celeriac and fennel until, softened and glossy, about 5 minutes. Add stock and daikon. Bring to a boil, add mushrooms and simmer. Cook about 40 minutes until all vegetables are soft. Add bokchoy. Season with lime juice and salt. 

Curry + Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower (Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

I make this every Sunday.  It's so good.  Sometimes I like to chop up the florets really small and eat it like popcorn.  It usually doesn't last but if it does I'll add to salads during the week.  

For reference - the photo is one normal sized head of cauliflower.  It doesn't make enough!  It really shrinks during cooking.  I'd say it serves 2.  

Turmeric Curry Cauliflower

1/4 cup grape seed oil

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

a few turns or a pinch of black pepper

1 head cauliflower, chopped

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking tray with parchment paper or lightly oil it.  Set aside. 

Combine oil, curry powder, turmeric powder, salt and black pepper in a large bowl.  Toss chopped cauliflower in oil mixture until evenly coated.  The better and more evenly you coat it the better it will be.  I like to get my hands in here - tossing and rubbing the pieces in the oil. It's messy but makes it so much better.  Transfer cauliflower to baking tray and place in oven.  Roast until edges are browned and pieces are soft, about 40 minutes. 

Zucchini Salsa (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

No tomatoes?  No problem!  How much have you missed salsa?  I can't even tell you how much better life is now that this salsa is here.  I'm going to put it on everything!  (Especially an AIP taco bowl that I'll post later this week.)  After looking everywhere for a nightshade free salsa and not finding one - I knew i was going to have to make my own.  If you're skeptical, don't be.  I'm not the biggest fan of zucchini but this salsa is great. 

Makes 1 pint.

Zucchini Salsa

splash cooking oil

2 zucchini, peeled, sliced

1 clove garlic, peeled

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

juice of one lime

1/2 cup diced red onion

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup water

In a medium saute pan, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add zucchini slices and garlic.  Cook until browned and very soft, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to blender and blend with cilantro, lime juice, onion, salt and water.  

Cauliflower Fried Rice (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

As a former lover of all things rice, I' m going to be very honest with you and let you know that cauliflower, no matter how dolled up it is, is not rice.  It just isn't.  I think if you can wrap your head around that then you will be fine with cauliflower standing in for your exiled rice.  You're on the AIP diet right now and that means no grains.  Very sadly rice is a grain.  So repeat after me:  I love stir fried riced cauliflower, I love stir fried riced cauliflower...

Rice and chickpeas (ok and popcorn) have been the hardest things for me to give up on AIP.  I didn't realize how much of these things I ate.  Gluten?  No problem because I had rice!  But not right now.  This cauliflower rice is really good - I just can't call it rice. 

Stir fried Riced Cauliflower

for the sauce

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

2 tablespoons, coconut aminos (or tamari soy cause for non aip)

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (or rice vinegar for non aip)

1 teaspoon sesame oil (for non aip)

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

for the stir fry

1 head cauliflower, in large pieces

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 small yellow onion, finely diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 inch ginger, peeled, minced

1 carrot, peeled, finely diced

1 zucchini, finely diced

1 cup chopped mushrooms

In a small bowl, whisk turmeric, aminos, vinegar, sesame oil (if using) and black pepper.  Set aside.

Pulse the cauliflower is a food processor until it is the size of rice.  This happens very fast so watch out or you'll end up with cauliflower couscous.  Set aside. 

Heat coconut oil in a wok over medium high heat.  Once hot,  add onion, garlic and ginger, cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add carrots, zucchini and mushrooms, cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add more oil if needed.  Add cauliflower rice and prepared sauce.  Cook until heated through.  

 

 

 

Kimchi Fried Rice

Soooo, I made all that stinky and delicious kimchi and didn't know what to do with all of it.  So kimchi fried rice it is!  No matter what, you probably always have enough ingredients to make some type of fried rice of dinner.  

Store bought kimchi may be substituted.

Kimchi Fried Rice

2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce

2 teaspoons sesame oil

3 teaspoons grape seed oil, divided

1 egg, beaten

3 cups chopped broccoli

2 leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

1 inch ginger, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups cooked rice, preferably cooled

2 cups kimchi

s + p, to taste

Stir together soy sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl.  Set aside.

In a skillet or wok, set over high heat, add 1 teaspoon grape seed oil.  Once hot, add broccoli, and cook, stirring constantly until charred and crisp tender, about 4 minutes.  Set aside.

Add a teaspoon of oil to the skillet, add egg.  Scramble until just done, set aside.  Wipe out pan, if needed. 

Add another teaspoon, once hot, add leeks, ginger and garlic, saute until soft and glossy, about 4 minutes. Add rice, kimchi, cooked broccoli, scrambled egg and prepared sauce.  Stir fry until everything is warm.  Serve hot. 

Easy Kimchi

Kimchi is a popular Korean side made from fermented vegetables and spices.  It's flavorful, spicy and crunchy.  It can be eaten on its own or incorporated into other dishes.  (Kimchi fried rice coming soon!) 

I realize this may not be an authentic kimchi so let's just call it my version.  It's easy to make and vegetarian.  Recently, I picked up Sandor Katz's book The Art of Fermentation and highly recommend it if you're looking for another cookbook to add to your collection.  

Fermenting foods doesn't just help preserve them but adds health benefits, too.  They are full of healthy bacteria and probiotics.  Specifically, they're really great for you digestive or 'gut' health. If you want to know more about this, with specific citations to medical studies, check out chapter 2 of Katz's book.  

Some more fermented foods you probably eat on a regular basis: kefir, cheese, sauerkraut, pickles, beer, wine., miso, soy sauce, vinegar, coffee, yogurt, kombucha...

Easy Kimchi

1 head cabbage, chopped (nappa, savoy or green)

1/4 cup course kosher salt 

2 tablespoons grated ginger

3 tablespoons grated garlic

3 tablespoons ground cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce

2 carrots, cut into matchsticks

8 scallions, cut into 1 inch pieces

Toss chopped cabbage with salt.  Punch and squeeze it until it releases water.  Set it aside for 1 hour.  

(I reccomend wearing gloves for these next steps.)  Use a mortar and pestle to grind ginger, garlic, cayenne powder and soy sauce into a paste.  Toss with cabbage, cabbage liquid, carrots and scallions.  Make sure everything is covered with the paste.  Use your hands to massage paste into the veggies.  

Now, let's pack it into it's fermentation vessel.  This could be a crock, a deep bowl or a jar with a wide opening.  I used a clean, wide mouthed jar because that's what I had.  You just have to be able to fit your hand in, to the bottom with a fistful of kimchi vegetables.  

Take a handful of the vegetables.  Squeeze out what liquids you can, place it in the bottom of the jar, pushing it down as much as you can.  Continue until all the vegetables are in the vessel. Punch and push down as you go.  You need to remove all the air pockets that maybe lurking in there. Place a small plate over the vegetables and weigh it down.  This weight is going to keep the vegetables submerged under the liquid you're about the pour in.  

Pour the kimchi liquid into the jar, over the weighed down vegetables.  Cover the whole thing and place somewhere at room temperature.  Leave it to ferment for 3-5 days.  Taste it everyday to judge when you feel it's done.  It will be crunchy, spicy and acidic. 

After it's fermented it can go into the fridge.