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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.

Smashed Potatoes with Smoked Paprika

PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOKING TIME: 10 minutes
SERVINGS: 4-6

  • Yukon gold potatoes, 2 pounds (or your favorite variety)
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup or more of a fat to cook in, such as coconut oil, ghee/butter, lard, etc.

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). 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. 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! 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. Remove from oil and serve immediately.

Roasted Chickpeas with Curry Powder

Roasted Chickpeas with Curry Powder

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Ah, the roasty toasty chickpea. A certain darling of the blogging and whole foods circuit right now, and I couldn’t be more pleased! I’ve been making these for a few years, ever since my sister brought over a batch and I wasn’t able to stop grabbing and crunching on this crispy little things! They’re a wonderful base for almost any seasoning, savory or sweet. I’m a fan of curry powder for these, but try any combination of herbs and spices you prefer… cumin and cinnamon? Sure. Just salt and black pepper? Why not! Rosemary and red pepper flakes? Oh, behave! Also, let’s remember that any variation on these works wonderfully as grain-free croutons for salads. Yep.

Roasted Chickpeas with Curry Powder
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed with water
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fragrant curry powder
1 teaspoon sea salt

There are many ways to prepare these chickpeas, from just tossing them on the pan to taking the time to take the papery skin off of each chickpea. Either and all methods work! My method here yields a fairly crispy chickpeas, with a bit of give still in the heart of the chickpea–they won’t be totally crispy all the way through. If you are looking for a crispier chickpea, I urge you to peel the chickpeas! Otherwise, if you like the mix of textures, just follow along below. Plus, if you don’t peel the chickpea, the little skins that do happen to fall off and cook alongside the whole beans become super crunchy while the whole tray cooks. The choice is yours!

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. After you’ve rinsed and drained the chickpeas, pour them onto a clean dish towel and gently roll them around until the towel has dried them off. Spread out your chickpeas on a baking tray and toss the chickpeas with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake the chickpeas for 40 minutes, gently shaking the tray every 10 minutes so they brown and crisp evenly during their baking. At this point, if you prefer a crispier chickpea and you won’t be eating them right away, you can turn the oven off and leave the oven door open a crack. Allow the chickpeas to dry in the cooling oven for an hour before tossing with the spices of your choice. Otherwise, take the tray and toss the chickpeas with your curry powder. Snack wildly.

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Crunchy Fermented Green Beans

Crunchy Fermented Green Beans

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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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Banana Ice Cream with Salted Bacon Fudge Sauce

Banana Ice Cream with Salted Bacon Fudge Sauce

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Because. Because because. Because it is summer, because it is hot and humid, because you’ve been freezing those too-brown bananas and saving the fat after cooking bacon, right? Phew!

Banana Ice Cream
3 bananas, frozen, peeled and chopped into chunks
2 tablespoons coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Pulse a few times then allow to blend until smooth. You may need to stop the processor and push down the ice cream around the edges a few times as well.

Salted Bacon Fudge Sauce
1/4 cup 70% (or higher) dark chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut milk
2 tablespoons bacon fat
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

In a double-boiler (a small bowl set over a small pot with few inches of water boiling but not touching the bottom of the bowl), melt the chocolate while stirring gently. Once melted, add the rest of the ingredients and continue stirring until all ingredients are well incorporated. Allow to cool for a minute or so while plating (or… or bowling, really) your ice cream. Generously pour the salted fudge sauce over each bowlful. And of course, crumbled crispy bacon bits and banana chips are utterly implied as toppings for this dessert. Who do you think I am? Serves 2. Make it romantic.

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Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

bananachocolatechipmuffin

Here’s the kicker about labeling the way you eat to align with a certain dietary prescription… at some point it could very likely stop making sense. All of a sudden, your label needs these little asides and qualifiers. And when you don’t eat something that fits neatly into the equation, then there’s the whole mental piece. And there’s a social piece. And of course, the physical piece. My context is this: I am currently egg-free, nut-free and (for the most part. Ah, there go the qualifiers again!) dairy-free. For a few weeks I was coffee-free and chocolate-free. What a blissful period! And then came my life, in full swing. I think I’m currently grooving on dietary individuality and the liberation from claiming… anything. And this isn’t to kick any method of eating to the ground, oh no. I think growth and knowledge both stem from identifying the foods you eat, negative, neutral and positive. I could go down the rabbit hole of thoughts and feelings on exclusion and inclusion, long-term and short-term regarding food choices. I’ll save that for anyone willing to listen.

Anyway! For all ye looking for a baking project that is dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free (though not technically grain-free), soy-free and nut-free, this is for you. It can be vegan, and definitely vegetarian. It’s not really paleo (hello, oats). It’s almost primal (hello, oats?). It’s really quite tasty.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

1/2 cup potato starch (not potato flour)
1 cup ground oats (certified gluten-free if you need)
1 tablespoon psyllium seed husks (find in the spice and bulk at your local co-op)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup bananas, mashed
1/2 cup honey (or maple syrup. Feel free to lower the amount of sweetener if you prefer)
1/4 cup coconut oil (or fat of your choice; butter also works!)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup chocolate chips (of any sort; if you’re truly dairy-free, then a brand that respects that. Also, these are optional. Also, you could put in a 1/2 cup of whatever floats your boat! Chopped nuts, seeds, berries…)

Preheat oven to 375. Grease your muffin tray (or line with muffin cups). Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix all wet ingredients. Pour wet into the dry and gently stir until just combined. Add chocolate chips if using. Allow to sit for a few minutes to let the psyllium seed husk do it’s thang (read: it’s like, pure fiber, so it’s sucking up all the wet ingredients! Also, keep this in mind when you decide to eat more than just a few!) Dollop muffin batter into your prepared muffin tin, then bake for 18 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

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Breadless Bread

Breadless Bread

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Bread: \ˈbred\ a baked food made from a mixture of flour and water.

So, if this loaf doesn’t contain any flour, of any sort, shall it still be deemed “bread”? I think so. If only I had thought up this recipe… good thing the delightful blog My New Roots got that covered and Sarah B. thought up this fun take on the same ol’, same ol’. It is her creation, so go admire her recipes and the real food she pays homage to in every recipe. If, or when, you do choose to bake this bread, I have three suggestions:

1. Line the bottom of your loaf pan with a little oiled parchment paper… it makes the recipe a breeze.

2. Use 1/2 teaspoon finely ground salt and mix it in with the liquid ingredients so every bite of the finished bread is perfectly seasoned.

3. Change things up with the nuts and seeds and get back to me–I want variations on a theme (always a fan favorite here at Essential Omnivore). Or maybe you find yourself with a bit of orange zest… in it goes. Or you want something savory and a few slices of onions are stirred within. Or you have caraway in the cupboard and are feeling especially Norske in these dark, cold days. You know what I mean.

It was kind of a big deal for a split second to post this recipe. I’ve been adamant about posting only grain-free recipes for a long time. Don’t worry–this recipe is still gluten-free, and I don’t see anything changing on that front (5.5 years and going strong!)… but I’m loosening up around here. This blog was getting STUFFY and to be frank, I love good food that makes me feel good. And this bread (bread!!) does that.

Life-Changing Loaf of Bread
Why, recipe is to be found at My New Roots!

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Sweet Potato Crackers

Sweet Potato Crackers

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A sturdy little recipe, yes indeed. May your holiday season be flavorful, friends. And if not, well… let’s make it so!

Sweet Potato Crackers
1 cup sweet potato, cooked
2 eggs
1/3 cup melted butter (or fat/oil of your choice)
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smoothly blended. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon liners. Divide the dough equally as one blob per baking sheet. Take a large piece of parchment paper and lay it over one tray and its blob–using a rolling pin, cup or wine bottle, gently roll out the dough until it is a quarter inch thick. Slowly peel off the parchment paper and repeat this process with the other tray (using a new sheet of parchment). Sprinkle with additional sea salt and herbs if you desire. Place sheets in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Take out and score the dough into whatever cracker shapes you desire. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes. If the crackers are not crispy enough by this point, turn the oven off and leave them in there as it cools. Serves 4-6 as a dipping tool of sorts.

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Curried Tuna Cakes

Curried Tuna Cakes

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I have a feeling that title may turn off more than a few people–some dislike curry, some tuna, and perhaps a few more are queasing at the ideation of hot tuna. Never mind those fools. Let the delicately spiced and simply prepared dish be with you for lunch, over a nice bed of greens. See? It’s not so bad.

Curried Tuna Cakes
1 can tuna packed in water, drained
1/2 small onion, minced
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 egg
1 and 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and let sit briefly. Meanwhile, melt enough coconut oil (or red palm oil for delightfully ocher cakes) to generously coat the bottom of a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Take small amounts of the tuna mixture and form into petite little pucks, maybe about three tablespoons worth. Fill the pan and let cook for about 4 minutes per side, turning down the heat if necessary. Drain on a paper towel. Sprinkle with additional salt and serve with cilantro leaves, a fruity chutney or some fermented hot sauce, you know, whatever your little tuna cakes desire that day. Serves 2 as a main course.

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Bananas Foster Bread

Bananas Foster Bread

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Until this loaf, I considered banana bread without chocolate chips or chocolate of some kind complete blasphemy. And really, they do go so well together. And really, I will always enjoys a little choco-banana blend. And really, why change something that’s so right? Making a dire situation a wee bit sweeter, the lack of chocolate in my house fostered some non-theobromined creativity… so never fear… browned butter sauce is here! And quite frankly, it’s alluding to some darn fine Bananas Foster, if I do say so myself. Now your dear banana bread is dunkable. In the kind, kind words of some well known life philosophers… how do you treat yo self?

Bananas Foster Bread
3 large and very ripe bananas
1/3 cup butter (or coconut oil), melted
4 eggs
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 350. Line the bottom of a medium=sized load pan with parchment paper. Combine bananas, melted butter and eggs in a food processor (or by hand for delicious texture) for a smooth batter. Once combined, add remaining ingredients and blend until combined. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 40 minutes, covering with foil for the last 10 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan, then remove, slice and prepare to pour generously:

Browned Butter Run Sauce
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup)
2 tablespoons rum (or whiskey. I used whiskey, but rum is classic for those Fosters)

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Allow to melt, while stirring gently, until the butter smells nutty and has browned slightly. Add in the honey and rum while continuing to stir and cook for another minute until sticky and saucy. You may light this sauce on fire.

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Lemon Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Grapes

Lemon Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Grapes

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Perhaps a new Thanksgiving tradition, perhaps a sweet little side dish any other day would enjoy. These little cabbages are tossed with grapes and quickly shown to the hot oven. Crispy, soft, sweet, lemony–come here, you.

Lemon Roasted Brussels Sprouts
2 pounds Brussels sprouts
2 cups grapes
olive oil (or fat of your choice)
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 lemon
zest of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 400. Meanwhile, chop the ends off the Brussels sprouts and slice large ones in quarters, small ones in half. With the grapes, slice large ones in half and leave smaller ones whole with just a prick in the middle. Mix together and divide evenly over two baking trays. Drizzle with olive oil and toss with your hands to evenly coat. Sprinkle with the sea salt, black pepper and lemon juice. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, tossing the veg halfway. Remove from oven and sprinkle with the lemon zest. Serves 4-6 as a side.

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