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Category: Paleo

Vanilla Cherry Compote

Vanilla Cherry Compote

Some of my favorite recipes come from necessity. Those zucchini in the fridge that are looking a tad dull in the vegetable crisper (an ironic name in the zucchini’s late-stages of life)? Quick! Shredded and into zucchini bread they go–none the wiser and nutrients saved, poured into something tasty and given new life. These cherries were facing a similar fate–slightly dull in color, getting overly soft, likely on the verge of white moldiness (eek!) if forgotten about for another half week. So! What to do? Cook them down into a bright and floral compote. Give cherries new life and they’ll give you another two weeks in the fridge. Plus, sneaking in the Vital Proteins Grass-Fed Collagen Peptides is a silly-easy way to increase the gut-healing properties of this fruit dish, as well as a quick way to increase its protein content. If that isn’t fun in the kitchen, well, I don’t know what is! Fun for a geek. A kitchen geek. Carry on!

Vanilla Cherry Compote

  • 2 cups cherries, pitted and halved
  • 2 tablespoons local, raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons collagen peptides (optional)
  • 1/4 cup water (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Feel free to bump up or reduce the amounts in this recipe depending on how many cherries you have–it’s a template and you have that freedom! Combine the cherry halves, honey and collagen peptides in a small sauce pan, adding the optional water if your cherries are less ripe. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, bring the temperature down to medium-high and cover with a lid. Allow to cook covered for 10 minutes, or until the cherries soften and begin to break apart. Take the lid off, bring the heat down to low and allow to cook for an additional 5 minutes until thick and the cherries are covered in a beautiful syrupy sauce. Take off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract to perfume. Allow to cool, then serve with coconut milk, cream, ice cream, stirred into your favorite warm breakfast or piled atop some hefty spoonfuls. You know what to do. Serves 4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bacon Braised Kale

Bacon Braised Kale

Bacon Braised Kale

Ah, bacon braised kale. There’s nothing I would rather be eating to start my February off the right way. Someday maybe kale will lose its moniker of the “healthy green”. Maybe it won’t create a multitude of eyerolls when it’s referenced. Maybe not. I’m just glad it’s here currently in abundance and that I have the joy of finding a bunch or two whenever I so please. One of the best parts about kale is how hearty it is, and how long it can sit tight in your fridge without going bad or looking sad. Compared to other greens, such as arugula, those tiny mixed baby greens, or spinach, all of which show their age through wilting, weeping and other less-than-crunchy life stages, it soon becomes apparent that kale can even be considered a more efficient use of your grocery store trip. There is something else in my fridge that is similar in this manner to kale; and lo, what could it be? This glory that is… bacon. Bacon, just like its friend kale, can camp out in the fridge and wait for the night you want to encounter it. So thankfully when your night is late, your brain offline, and you don’t want to think about one more thing, then this rustic combination will perhaps speak to you tonight. Or tomorrow night. Or one night, two weeks from now. There is no time rush. Kale and bacon work for you, however, you see fit. Now that’s a power green.

Bacon Braised Kale

  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped into 1/2 inch
  • 1/2 cup bone broth, veggie broth or water
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • sea salt and black pepper (optional)

In a large sauce pan, render your bacon over medium heat until the fat is released and the bacon becomes crispy, about 5 minutes. Take the bacon pieces out, leaving the fat in the pan. Set the bacon pieces aside to use soon! Keep the pan over medium heat and add the chopped kale, gently tossing it around to wilt the leaves and allow all the kale to fit inside the pan. Once all the kale has been added, add the chicken broth, cover with a lid, turn the heat up to medium-high and allow to braise for an additional 5 minutes. Once the kale leaves are tender, remove the lid and add the lemon juice, tossing the kale so the extra liquid cooks off, about 1 minute. Taste, and adjust the seasoning if needed (bacon is naturally salty and the salt content will vary depending on the brand, so tasting here is most helpful!). Serves 4 as a side.

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Maple Roasted Carrots

Maple Roasted Carrots

maple roasted carrots

A sweet, comforting side dish, its glory being the subtle sweetness imparted not only by the maple syrup, but also those lovely carrots. I worked on a farm once for a summer (ah, now I’m far enough away in years that I think any memory would be pure nostalgia from that time!) and I loved working in the carrots fields. We had a big crew and it was hard work, and long days, but there were different jobs required by the literal field. There was the person pitch-forking the ground, loosening the soil surrounding the carrots. The people following along behind,  crouching as they pulled the carrots to the earth and creating bundles of them. Everyone taking a second to look up when someone thrust a certain carrot into the air, remarking on its hilarious shape and thinking of the customers who would inevitably buy them. Finally, there were those who would pile up the carrots, grabbing the bundles laying on the dirt and stacking, stacking stacking. When they weren’t, maybe they were distributing handfuls of rubber bands. Farm work is an underappreciated art, and so tough on the physical body, and it was a privilege having that experience for those quick 6 months, when it stayed easy on my body and the commodity of my peers made any (ok, most) weather tolerable. Join this wanna-be hippie in honoring those carrots with this simple side dish, hmm?

Maple Roasted Carrots

  • 4 large carrots, or 6 smaller, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (use honey if following SCD)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (use coconut oil if vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
  • sprinkle of sea salt
  • grind of black pepper

Preheat the oven the 400. Slice your carrots a 1/2 inch wide, at an angle if you’d like to be fancy. Place your baking dish in the oven with the butter in it, just briefly, so the butter melts but the dish doesn’t heat too much. Take out, add the maple syrup and carrots, and toss to coat. Sprinkle the thyme, sea salt and black pepper over, then pop in the oven for 20 minutes, or until cooked to your liking. Serves 4.

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Beef Bone Broth

Beef Bone Broth

beef stock

If there’s one thing to switch from store-bought to homemade that will yield both endless flavor and provide deep nutrition–it’s bone broths and stocks. Learning how to make these (which in essence typically means just learning to save up the bones from meals you have throughout the month!) is a simple process, with high return on investment. Bone broth provides our bodies with an easily digestible source of gelatin, collagen, minerals and more–nutrients our bodies need and often do not encounter as regularly as we all might hope! From a nutritional standpoint, this is why we add the apple cider vinegar into the cooking liquid; it helps the initial breakdown of the bones and joints, so we can have as efficient of a cooking time as we can while the pot bubbles away.

Beef Bone Broth

PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOKING TIME: Crockpot: 12-24 hours | Instant Pot: 90-120 minutes
SERVINGS: 3 quarts

  • 2-3 pounds of beef bones, trying to get a variety such as beef marrow, knuckle, rib or neck bones
  • 3 quarts water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • up to 1 onion, either whole or saved up scraps from other meals
  • up to 2 carrots, same as the onion
  • up to 2 stalks of celery, same as the onion

Combine all ingredients in either a crockpot or an Instant Pot. If in the crockpot, fill to cover with water (can add more or less to accomplish this), turn to low and allow to cook for 12-24 hours. If in the Instant Pot, make sure you haven’t filled past your max fill line (noted along the inside wall of the cooking vessel), set the pot to manual and allow to cook for 90-120 minutes. Once done cooking, you can quick release (might spew some liquid along with the steam) or simply let the Instant Pot naturally release. Transfer to glass mason jars to store both in the fridge or freezer. You can also pour into ice cube trays and freeze, so you’ll always have 1 ounce frozen cubes of the broth to quickly add and melt into any dish (my personal favorite!) Use in soups, braises and stews, or heat up and drink by the mugful with a pinch of sea salt.

 

 

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Smashed Potatoes with Smoked Paprika

Smashed Potatoes with Smoked Paprika

smashed potatoesMmm, good old potatoes. Always there when you need them. A bag of these spuds, regardless of color, size or shape, can seemingly rest for great stretches of time in a cool, dark pantry. And in the off-chance their dear eyes sprout? Pluck them off and you’re good to go. This recipe is based on one my mom has in her arsenal, and it’s a great trick of hers. I’m lucky to have her as the inspiration. So, if warm and cozy is still your game, as we tip-toe into February, then let these smashed potatoes fill your kitchen in the most comforting of ways.

 

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Smashed Potatoes with Smoked Paprika


Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes (or your favorite variety)
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp granulated onion
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, lard, butter, etc.

Instructions

  1. Bring the potatoes up to a boil, covered in water in a deep cooking pot. Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes, until not completely soft but mostly cooking through (pierce them with a fork and notice how easy it dives into the potato flesh)--cooking time will also depend on the size of the potatoes you're using. Once cooked, allow to cool completely (these are nice to cook ahead of time and have on hand throughout the week for all sorts of culinary projects). 

  2. When ready to serve, heat the oil in a pan oven medium-heat heat. While the oil is heating, combine the spices in a small bowl and mix.

  3. Place the potatoes in the oil and gently press them down until they've flattered and the skins have broken; you can use the bottom of a glass cup, a measuring or other prop to accomplish this smash!

  4. Once smashed, sprinkle half the seasoning mix on top, and continue to allow them potatoes to cook until their bottoms are deeply golden, about 4-5 minutes. Then, flip the potatoes, and sprinkle the remaining half of the seasoning on the potatoes as the other sides reaches peak goldeness, another 4-5 minutes.

  5. Remove from oil and serve immediately.

Raspberry Mustard

Raspberry Mustard

insta raspberry mustard

Lactofermented, at that!

What does lactofermented mean, really? That this mustard has been cultured with beneficial bacteria, and it’s good for your stomach! That just a bit of this condiment on the daily or weekly can actually boost your stomach function–not too shabby, and way cheaper than a daily probiotic capsule, right? Let’s get right to it, shall we?

Lactofermented Raspberry Mustard

1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds
1/4 cup brown mustard seeds
1/4 cup fresh raspberries
1/4 cup kombucha vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup filtered water
1 tablespoon raw honey (can also use maple syrup or other natural sweetener)
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 tablespoons whey* (optional)

In a clean, pint size glass mason jar, add both types of mustard seeds (you can play around with the quantities for these. Yellow mustard seeds are more mild in flavor, which brown are sharper and spicier). Combine all remaining ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour liquid mixture into the mason jar with the mustard seeds and stir to combine. Tightly fasten the lid on the jar and allow to sit for 1 day. After 1 day (or so, you can be flexible), pour the contents of the jar into a blender or food processor and blend to your desired mustard consistency–more for a smoother mustard, or less blending for a more whole grain batch. Transfer the blended mustard back into a clean mason jar, screw the lid back on, and allow to sit for another 2 to 3 days. Transfer mustard to the fridge for storage. Mustard will keep for 6+ months in the fridge. Makes about 2 cups.

**want to use whey, but don’t know where to get it? Yeah, you can’t buy it, but you can make it! Take 2 cups of whole milk yogurt, and place in a colander or strainer lined with a clean dishtowel. Put the colander over a bowl big enough to catch the liquid that drips from the straining yogurt. Put the whole thing in the fridge, and allow to strain for at least 2 to 4 hours, or overnight. Save the liquid that drains away from the yogurt, because this is the whey! You can put it in a mason jar with a lid and it should keep in the fridge for up to 6 months. The strained yogurt is now what you would consider Greek yogurt–extra thick and creamy! Eat it as you would any normal yogurt.

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Crunchy Fermented Green Beans

Crunchy Fermented Green Beans

IMG_7671

Oh, lactofermentation. How simple you are, how amazing your benefits! Really, any vegetable can be fermented. This natural fermentation process provides a batch of green beans that snap and crunch with every bite–a perfectly refreshing and snarf-worthy way to get in all the good bacteria and live enzymes fermenting promotes.

Lactofermented Green Beans
roughly 1 cup of green beans, ends trimmed and longer beans cut in half
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon mustard seeds

2 cups filtered water
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon whey (optional)*
1 pint size glass mason jar

Sterilize the mason jar and its lid by running through a hot cycle in the dishwasher, boiling in water (if your lid is plastic, do not put in boiling water), or cleaning with dish soap and hot water. Use clean utensils during this process and clean hands, too!

In a separate container, mix the water, sea salt and optional whey together until all are dissolved. Put aside. In a small bowl, add the garlic, coriander, red pepper flakes and mustard seeds. Use the back of a wooden spoon to gently crush the seeds and smash the garlic a bit. Then add the spices and garlic to the bottom of the sterilized jar. Begin to stand the green beans upright and pack them into the jar until you have just enough so that they’re all standing up against one another. You want them to be no higher than 1 inch below the top of the glass jar. This is so you may leave 1 inch of airspace at the top of the jar during the fermenting process, and also because you want the beans to be fully submerged under the fermenting liquid (brine). Once all your beans are packed, begin to pour in the brine until it just covers the beans. Push any down that try to float up when you add the liquid. Pour the liquid in until 1 inch of airspace is left at the top. If you need more liquid to do this, add some extra filtered water. Screw the lid on, place in a cupboard, and allow to ferment for 3 to 5 days. After this, store the beans in the fridge. They last for at least 6 months refrigerated.

*want to use whey, but don’t know where to get it? Yeah, you can’t buy it, but you can make it! Take 2 cups of whole milk yogurt, and place in a colander or strainer lined with a clean dishtowel. Put the colander over a bowl big enough to catch the liquid that drips from the straining yogurt. Put the whole thing in the fridge, and allow to strain for at least 2 to 4 hours, or overnight. Save the liquid that drains away from the yogurt, because this is the whey! You can put it in a mason jar with a lid and it should keep in the fridge for up to 6 months. The strained yogurt is now what you would consider Greek yogurt–extra thick and creamy! Eat it as you would any normal yogurt.

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Chocolate Spiced Walnut Butter

Chocolate Spiced Walnut Butter

chocolatespicedwalnutbutter

Ah, fall. Finding its way down the block, leaves fluttering by with big gusts of strangely warm wind. Hey, I’ll take it. Now that we’re in November, even as it isn’t icy cold yet (thank you, Minnesota), I’m still drawn more and more to warming, cozy foods. Quarts of chicken stock? Check. A large sheet tray of roasted sweet potatoes? Oh, behave. Naturally, a freshly ground walnut butter is next in line, right? Sure.

Today’s flavors are inspired by “Mexican” hot chocolate, or at least, the general idea as found in the United States today. Chocolate, chiles, cinnamon and a healthy pinch of sea salt for good measure, all throw in the food processor with toasted and still warm walnuts. It really isn’t too bad, if I do say so myself.

Chocolate Spiced Walnut Butter
1.5 cups walnuts
1/4 cup coconut oil (if you have a high powered blender, you may omit or use less coconut oil)
up to 1/4 cup sweetener of your choice (raw honey, maple syrup or even a few dates thrown in would do the trick)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more or less depending on how spicy you’d like this to be!)

In a medium saute pan over medium heat, gently toast the walnuts, stirring frequently so they don’t burn, about 5 minutes. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly. In a food processor or blender (or, high powered blender, you lucky creature), combine all ingredients (omitting or using less coconut oil if you have that high powered blender). Allow to process until your desired consistency, scraping the edges of the processor or blender as needed–roughly 3 minutes or so. Take a spoonful now and revel in your creation. Makes about 1 cup of walnut butter.

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Braised Kale with Lemon and Anchovies

Braised Kale with Lemon and Anchovies

kaleanchovey600
I’m an anchovy FREAK. I really noticed it when I was about 13 years old and went gaga for a certain restaurant’s Caesar salad. When I was 17 and saw Jamie Oliver throw anchovy fillets into some hot olive oil and watched them dissolve and flavor that oil, the freak got geek. When I ordered pizza with extra cheese and saw I could get anchovy fillets for a few cents more, I solidified the fact: anchovies. are. the. bomb. So when I put anchovies in butter, when I sneak them into persillade, when I feel happiness knowing there’s a tube of them in the fridge (perfection), and a tin of them in the cupboard (amaze), I revel in letting my freak flag fly. And then I remember–it’s really not that freaky at all. It’s incredibly wholesome, eating a tiny fish. It gives me all those tasty nutrients just like the big catches. I think that’s what keeps me coming back, what I realize–you crave what they can give you. There’s nothing fancy about this dish. There can’t be. It is what it is. Thank goodness.

Braised Kale with Lemon and Anchovies
1 head kale, any variety, stems removed and leaves roughly torn
2 tablespoons fat of choice (I used duck fat–butter, lard or coconut would be great, too)
1 tablespoon anchovy paste (or 4 anchovy fillets from a tin)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped and smashed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon

In a large skillet, heat your fat of choice over medium high. Add in the anchovies, stirring around the hot fat until the anchovies have melted and incorporated themselves. Add in the torn kale leaves, gently tossing as they wilt from the heat. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add the garlic, sea salt and black pepper. Turn the heat up to high and cook for another minute or two, until some of the kale leaves get crispy. Take the skillet off the heat, then add the lemon juice and zest. Toss to evenly coat. Serves 4. It might not hurt to sprinkle some toasted and finely chopped nuts over this, but I’m not in charge here.

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Curried Cauliflower Rice

Curried Cauliflower Rice

curriedcauliflowernormal

Oh, good grief! A recipe. And a very simple one at that. Somehow, the monthly post I had intended to create for December slipped past me. Ah, such is life! I hadn’t felt that certain intrigue from a recipe until this one and I just happened to find each other one cozy night a few weeks ago. I threw some spices together, a makeshift curry powder… I was hungry and not in the right mind. Hah! The lighting was glowing and soft–not so great for the harried attempt at a photo (it’s over on Instagram) As soon as I was done rushing together such a silly dish, it happened. The curried rice soothed whatever frenetic energy was buzzing through me. I slowed down. I appreciated the flavors. I felt like I was back, back to me. Funny how a food can do that, huh? I vowed I would recreate it, and so I have. Thankfully, let me tell you, it’s just as spicy and cozy as ever. Whew!

Curried Cauliflower Rice
1/4 cup coconut oil (or butter, or ghee, or fat of your choice)
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
2 tablespoons curry powder, of your own choosing (I like this iteration)
1 small head cauliflower, grated or pulverized (“riced”) in a food processor

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add in the mustard seeds and allow to roast for about a minute, or until they gently begin to sizzle and pop. Stir in the curry powder, then add the riced cauliflower. Stir to incorporate all of the spiced oil and the cauliflower, turn the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid and allow to steam for about five minutes, maybe stirring once or twice during the process. Up to you! Serves 4 as a side.

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