Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Rutabaga hasbrowns

I found this over at  Julie's for a completely different recipe, but I had to use this part again so that I could make paleo Eggs Benedict

1 large rutabaga, peeled
½ yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
3-4 tablespoons bacon fat (or other kind of fat)
2 eggs (or more)
salt and pepper, to taste
parsley (to garnish-optional)

Peel your rutabaga. Roughly chop then send the rutabaga through a food processor with the shredding attachment. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a cheese grater.Place a medium skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of bacon fat and minced garlic.In a bowl, mix together rutabaga and sliced onion. Place in skillet, spread out in pan and press down. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes, then use a spatula to flip the rutabaga. Cook another few minutes and turn out onto a plate.

Three Cheese Hashbrown Casserole

I'm flat-out stealing this recipe from Lisa Marshall, but any real chef knows goodness when she sees it. And this paleo, gluten-free recipe will blow your mind. What an amazing way to start the day! I plan on making a huge batch on Sunday morning and saving leftovers for the crew on the way out the door. There isn't much that could be better than this breakfast in hand to help you face the day.

Three Cheese Hashbrown Casserole
6 slices bacon
1/4 lb bulk pork sausage
2 cups shredded rutabaga
4 eggs
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3/4 cup ricotta cheese

Bake or pan fry bacon. Drain and crumble. Brown the sausage in a small skillet. While those are cooking, place shredded rutabaga in a microwavable bowl with 2 tbsp water. Cook on high power in the microwave for 2 minutes. Drain and cool.

In a large bowl, beat eggs. Stir in the crumbled bacon, browned sausage, all the cheeses and the shredded rutabaga.

Coat an 8 inch square casserole dish with bacon grease. Pour in the casserole mixture and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool 10 minutes before cutting into 6 servings.

Recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Serves 6   472 calories   6 net carbs

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Greek Beef Orzo

I love this dish. Simple and easy to prepare, it scales nicely to serve a crowd or a couple.
Serve it with a fresh tossed salad and enjoy the simplicity of a one skillet meal.

Half teaspoon salt
1 pound ground beef
One medium onion, diced
A half dozen ripe tomatoes, diced with their juice
1 tsp dried oregano, or a handful chopped fresh
1 tsp black pepper
4 cloves minced fresh garlic
1.5 cups beef broth
1 cup Orzo pasta (or any pasta -- use rice pasta for a gluten-free variety)
1 cup chopped spinach

Sprinkle salt into a large skillet. Add ground beef and brown on medium high for 3-5 minutes.
Add onion and cook until soft, removing excess grease.
Add tomatoes, garlic, pepper, oregano and broth and bring to a boil.
Add Orzo and cook at a simmer until done, about 12 minutes.
Fold in chopped spinach until warmed and serve.

Breakfast Oatmeal

Heartwarming and heart healthy, oatmeal is a great way to start your day. A staple in any pantry, we use the microwave to keep the prep time simple and the portions perfect for each of us, from Goldilocks to Baby Bear. We like old fashioned rolled oats for their hearty taste and texture. Also, using the microwave for these gives us a no-excuses approach to making certain we don't skip the most important meal of the day.

I've written the recipe for apples and spice, a staple around our house since we have fresh apples available for the better part of the year, and spicy apple goodness is the epitome of back-to-school. But feel free to get creative. Add pretty much anything you have on hand to make it a truly remarkable morning. Blueberries, bananas, almonds, a dollop of yogurt, raspberries, hazelnuts, peaches; whatever is in season is exactly what you want.

From athletes to academics, this is the most efficient and economical way I can think of to ensure your success. This along with sunscreen and regular exercise could probably save the world. Or at least make us happier in the process.

Ingredients (per person)
1/2 cup of Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (certified gluten-free variety is made by Bob's Red Mill and are quite tasty indeed)
1 cup water

A solid dash of apple pie spice, diced apples goes right into the dried oats nicely.

Place the oats and in a microwave safe dish, at least 16 ounces in capacity to prevent it from boiling over.

Microwave for 4 minutes (more or less, depending on preference and microwave power. We like our oats middling-to-firm, and have a reasonably powerful microwave, but not the super-duper mega-powered one).

Stir and add sugar, milk, honey or anything else that waits to the end.

Easiest Butternut Squash Ever

There is something so comforting about butternut squash's creamy, sunshiny flavor that it seems to reassure us that, no matter how topsy-turvy the world might be at the moment, all will be well enough. Squash is just too darned good for you and inexpensive to pass up, and this method can be used with any variety, though delicata and butternut are my personal favorite.

Eat it as often as you can get your hands on it: super nutritious, inexpensive, and easy to store, this is a dream come true for everyone from the happy hermit homesteader to the bustling family breakfast brigade. Add to that list that it is low in calories, gluten-free and even paleo, and you have a winner across the board. Feeling industrious? Plant a few squash seeds in your garden; a single plant can produce a wealth of golden globes on their sprawling vines.

This squash recipe is so simple, it's not a recipe so much as it is a method:

Take your squash, wash it and pierce it a couple times with a fork. Wrap it, whole, in foil. Place it in a slow cooker for 8 hours on low. No liquid or water needed.

No, really, that's all there is to it. When it's done, unwrap it (carefully!! This will be hot.) Place it on a cutting board and cut in half lengthwise to reveal two long boats of golden flesh. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Add a dash of salt and a pat of butter, and you have some of the best food nature knows how to grow.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Black Rice Tabouli

Draft: waiting for a picture.
Summertime means heat, humidity and being outdoors anyway, hanging out with friends and family. It's a time of sunshine and activity, picnics and parades, cookouts and community. I love this variation on traditional tabouli. It substitutes a lovely black rice for the bulger wheat, making the result much lighter overall,  and gluten-free to boot.
2 - 4 cups black rice.  I like Lotus Foods' Organic Forbidden Rice, cooked in a chicken broth.
Red and yellow tomatoes, diced
1 - 2 lemons
A sprig or three of fresh mint
2 Chopped cucumbers
Put all the ingredients in a glass bowl or pan. Squeeze lemon juice onto the mix. Stir gently to combine and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour or more.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Steamed Beets

It's spring, and that means a whole host of fresh vegetables are coming into our world that have been lacking for overlong. No matter where you live, you can start harvesting beets in early May, and because they are so packed with nutrition, your body will feel ever so glad that you did. These red and gold beauties have trace elements and nutrition in abundance, but very little in the way of calories, so feel free to eat as many as you like. I especially like their earthy goodness paired with some crisp grilled asparagus -- it's a bowl of springtime.


4-6 fresh beets, scrubbed well and diced
One medium-sized yellow onion, diced
Two - Four cloves minced garlic
Fresh ground white pepper
Two lemons


Squeeze lemon juice into a large, heavy pot. I like to use my 6 quart stock pot for this recipe, but you can use nearly anything as long as it transmits heat well and has a tight-fitting lid. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Bring juice to a boil and then reduce heat and cover the pot. Simmer until the beets are tender, stirring occasionally and adding water as needed to prevent sticking.

Friday, February 14, 2014

World's Easiest, Totally Yummy Basic Bread

There is something ultimately comforting about fresh baked bread. This has been my Ultimate Standby recipe for 25 years, and as much as I love finding new, exotic variations, I always return to this. Always.

Serve it with anything and everything, but it is especially perfect with red wine and sharp white cheddar.

In a smallish bowl, combine one cup warm (but not hot) water with one Tablespoon yeast and one Tablespoon sugar (I use turbinado). Whisk together until blended and set aside. The yeast should bloom for a few minutes.

In a large bowl, fork-sift two cups flour (I use unbleached all purpose) with 3/4 teaspoon sea salt. Make a well in the center and add the yeast water. Blend with a fork or wooden spoon until everything is incorporated. Turn out onto a floured board and knead well, adding more flour as you go. All told, I usually end up incorporating another cup of flour this way. Knead until elastic and smooth. (If you are new to breadmaking, this is when there are no sticky spots or dry spots, but there is a uniform smooth give to the dough.)

Slather (yes, slather) the inside of your baking pan with butter. My favorite is clay, hands-down, but you can use glass or metal just as well. Set the dough ball in the baking dish and cut a large X in the top with a serrated knife, adding a dab of butter in the arms of the cuts. Cover the whole thing with a tea towel and set in a warmish spot for 45 minutes. (Just perfect for watching the latest episode of Downton Abbey.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Slather the top with more butter before turning out from the pan.

Storing Vegetables without Plastic