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Category: Sauces & Condiments

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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Stone Fruit Compotes

Stone Fruit Compotes

compotetrio1000from left to right: nectarine & chile, pear & thyme, peach & ginger

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…oh, and pear, too! According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, eating stewed stone fruit is a very good healthy (and delicious) endeavor this fall. Amy K Acupuncture discusses the details in her newest blog post, Acupuncture Tips for Staying Healthy this Fall. Amy and I created three recipes for you to try out this fall; pear and thyme, nectarine and chile, and peach and ginger. All of these are warming to your body in their own way. And aside from the fruit, it’s likely you have the majority of the ingredients in your cupboards! Perhaps now is the time to go out, grab a stone fruit or two and get compote-y!

Pear Thyme Compote
3 pears, seeds removed
juice from ½ a lemon
1 teaspoon dried thyme (1 tablespoon if using fresh herb)
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon water
zest from ½ a lemon (add after cooking)

Peach Ginger Compote
3 large peaches, pitted
1 inch piece ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons water

Nectarine Chile Compote
3 nectarines, pitted
1 teaspoon fresh red chili, seeds removed and diced
pinch of clove powder
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder (add after cooking)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (add after cooking)

Choose the recipe you wish to use, then chop your fruit into one inch cubes and combine all following ingredients (except those stating they should be added after cooking). Cook in a medium pot with the lid on over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. After, remove the lid and continue to cook the fruit as it softens for about another 10 minutes; use a masher to work the compote into the texture you desire. Depending on the ripeness of your fruit, the total cooking time can be between 20 to 30 minutes. Take the pot off the heat and add in any final ingredients, per the recipe. Allow to cool slightly, then serve however you see fit. These compotes work in both savory and sweet dishes, such as dolloped onto bowlfuls of yogurt, served alongside grilled or roasted meats, stirred into porridge, or simply a few big spoonfuls straight. Each recipe serves 6-8.

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Tahini Dressing

Tahini Dressing

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This summer as I was prepping what felt like boatloads of meals for myself to get through each week, I realized I needed something other than my Dijon, garlic and olive oil vinaigrette. And something other than my other olive oil and balsamic combo. Something just a little bit more… enticing. Don’t get me wrong! The classics are just that, classic. But don’t they need a break, too? I’ve added this dressing into my rotation and I’m so glad I did. Hey, you, c’mere (I say this in my head to the dressing. We’re kind of a thing these days)!

Tahini Dressing
1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons warm water
1 garlic clove, grated
1 piece ginger root (comparable to the garlic clove in size), grated
1 teaspoon fermented chile paste (or other heat source of your liking)
1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (optional)
pinch of sea salt (add only if you’re dressing a salad that doesn’t already contain salt, see recipe below)

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Add more water if necessary to create a pourable dressing. The pictured salad is massaged kale, quick-pickled onion and cucumber.

Massaged Kale
1 bunch kale, stems removed
1 teaspoon sea salt

Gather a few leaves of kale, roll together as best you can, and finely chop. Repeat until all kale has been shredded. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with the sea salt. Now use your hands and massage the kale for about a minute, until slightly wilted and delicate.

Quick Onion Pickle
1 small onion
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
few slices of a beet root (optional, not pictured)

Cut the onion in half from tip to root. Remove the papery skin. Finely slice both onions halves and place in a small bowl. Cover with the apple cider vinegar (use more if necessary). Gently massage (oh, yes, again) the onions in the vinegar. Allow to sit for at least five minutes. Squeeze excess liquid from the onions before plating. As another option, place the sliced fresh onions in a small glass jar, cover with apple cider vinegar and place the beet root in as well. Cover and allow to sit in the fridge for up to two months; your quick pickled onions will become pink, and you can continue to top off the vinegar as needed and add fresh onion slices as you see fit.

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Sunflower Seed Spread with Parsley

Sunflower Seed Spread with Parsley

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Ah, Mother’s Day! I welcome the impending afternoon rain today and saw tulips and a few worms on the sidewalk as I walked the pooch. Unopened dandelions in the early morning, tucked fiercely between the cement path and side of the house looked like they were snoozing hard. Every day for the past week, the color scheme of the treetops parallel to the second-floor windows of my apartment shifts. First greys, greys and browns, then out peeked shades of yellow, and today most definitely welcomed chartreuse. Brightness and openness, everywhere. I feel like I can breathe again.

Sunflower Seed Spread with Parsley
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 and 1/2 cups boiling water
3/4 cup parsley, stems removed
1/4 to 1/2 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
zest of 1/2 a lemon
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt

Pour boiling water over the sunflower seeds–allow to sit for a half hour (or simply soak the seeds in room temperature water overnight). Drain water away, then combine the sunflower seeds and the rest of the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth; taste and adjust seasonings if need be (especially the jalapeno, you want this spread to have a nick kick to it). Spread upon what you desire, a wrap, a piece of meat, maybe dilute with more lemon juice for a vinaigrette to toss with salads, or dip some vegetables straight in. Whatever vessel pleases you. Serves 4-6.

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Fresh Ginger Applesauce

Fresh Ginger Applesauce

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Mealy, spotty and beat up apples. I won’t tell you how much money I shelled out for a bag of organic apples only to be disappointed by the poor taste and texture. Bummer yuck! Anyway, little brother (well, little is ironic seeing as how he’s 6’5″) suggested applesauce and this Sunday I did just that. Oh, how it had much too long since I’d made applesauce! Can I call up all the local co-ops and ask for their worst apples? Could I get them free if they have a worm or two in ’em? Because bad apples make the best applesauce.

Fresh Ginger Applesauce
3 pounds apples, peeled cored and chopped into big hunks
1 cup water
3 inches fresh ginger, finely grated
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

In a large stock pot over medium heat, add the apples and water. Cover and allow to simmer and soften for about 30 minutes. Mash in the pot with a potato masher or immersion blender, or allow to cool a bit and blend to a smooth puree in a food processor or blender. Allow to cool completely. Meanwhile, squeeze the grated ginger into a bowl. Combine the ginger juice and vanilla extract into the room temperature applesauce. Now, for the spoon. Serves 6-8.

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Roasted Asparagus with Hollandaise

Roasted Asparagus with Hollandaise

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The polar vortex asked me to turn the oven on today and I respect polar vortexes. They make my rear-view mirror fall off my windshield, they make my dog disdain the outdoors and they make me tuckered out from talking about them–a hard feat for a Minnesotan. So let’s not chat about outside… I’d rather you appear at my doorstep right about now and chow down on a few smoky stalks of asparagus with me. After we dip them in hollandaise, of course.

Roasted Asparagus
1 bunch asparagus stalks
2 tablespoons olive oil
large pinch sea salt
black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Meanwhile on a baking sheet, toss asparagus with the olive oil. Arrange stalks evenly on the pan, then sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through for even delicious browning.

Hollandaise for Two
2 eggs yolks
1.5 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup butter, melted
pinch sea salt
pinch black cracked pepper

There are lots of methods to use when making hollandaise. While I want to be a purist and use a double-boiler, I must say… I have an immersion blender and it is pretty fool proof. These recipes easily double, triple, quadruple. Make hollandaise for a crowd, by golly. Whichever method you use, here are your options:

Immersion Blender: Place egg yolks and lemon juice in a tall-sided container that isn’t too wide (think a quart-sized soup container). With the immersion blender, combine the egg yolk and lemon juice briefly. Continue to run the immersion blender and dribble in the melted butter. Add a little sea salt and black pepper. You’re done!

Blender: Place egg yolks and lemon juice in the blender. Pulse briefly to combine. Turn the blender on a low setting, take either the whole lid or just that little plastic part in the top off and slow drizzle in the melted butter. Add a little sea salt and black pepper. You’re done!

Double-boiler: Fill a medium pot with a few inches of water. Set on medium-high heat. Place a bowl over the top of the pot, making sure its large enough that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the boiling water underneath. Place egg yolks and lemon juice in the bowl. Begin whisking until combined. Slowly dribble melted butter in, whisking continuously. Add a little sea salt and black pepper. You’re done!

Stove-top: NOTE: don’t pre-melt your butter! Simply cut the butter into little pads. Set a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. Moving quickly, whisk the eggs and lemon juice together in the pan. Slowly add a pad or two of butter at a time, whisking continuously and removing the pan from the heat if you feel a curdle coming on. Add a little sea salt and black pepper. You’re done!

If you’re NOT done, and your hollandaise broke and isn’t one gloriously smooth sauce, beat an additional egg yolk in a separate bowl and slowly whisk in the broken sauce, bit by bit. That should do the trick.

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Bacon Caramelized Onions

Bacon Caramelized Onions

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I mean, they could just be caramelized onions. They could. Or. You could dutifully save your bacon fat like the good blog reader you are. Because let’s be honest… caramelized onions and bacon have some things in common, like your mouth. And since I cried a lot for this recipe, I swear it’s worth it.

Bacon Caramelized Onions
4-5 medium onions, peeled
1.5 teaspoons sea salt
2 tablespoons bacon fat (or butter, or olive oil)
cracked black pepper

Thinly slice each onion into rounds. Place slices in a large skillet set over medium heat. Cook for about 15 minutes with a lid on, stirring once in a while. Take lid off, add in the salt and bacon fat, turn heat to low and cook for another 20-40 minutes, depending on how sweet and caramelized you like your onions. Crack fresh black pepper before serving. Serve in a multitude of culinary arenas–arugula salads, on top of slow-cooked meats (blitz and thin with a little stock and you have an awesome gravy), the base for soups, tossed with cooked spaghetti squash, the finishing dollop on a great burger… anything you like.

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Medicinal Vinegar

Medicinal Vinegar

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Back to school, back to cooler weather, back to… colds. Luckily, I haven’t had to deal with the onslaught of nose-turned-faucet for months–which is why I am such a baby about this most recent cold. But really, who needs to be reminded of what it’s like to have aching teeth, simultaneous hot face and cold extremities all the while pathetically kicking it, quarantined in a sea of tissues? Yeah, no thanks–I’d rather be bounding around in the crisp fall air, chomping on apples and teaching the pooch how to not run into people (to the lady in the dog park–I hope your kneecap is… not black and blue). I continue to try to ward off and exterminate whatever bug I have, which I assume is the same one that’s going around all of the metro area. So it’s kombucha, chomping down pickled carrots and doing shots of its liquid (believe me, it’s quite enjoyable), spoonfuls of the master tonic, and now thyme vinegar, promoted for its antiviral and antimicrobial properties. Join me, won’t you? We can round out the day by chewing raw garlic until we’re cross-eyed.

Medicinal Vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 heaping tablespoon fresh thyme or dried thyme, chopped or whole

Combine vinegar and thyme and store in a cupboard for two to three weeks, shaking every few days. It is best to use a glass jar with a plastic lid (or use plastic wrap between the vinegar and a metal lid) because when you shake the vinegar it will splash onto the metal and create a reaction you just don’t want. Store in the fridge for up to six months.

Take a few teaspoons at a time–either plain, mixed in water, or mixed in water with equal or lesser amounts of raw honey. Take up to three times per day. Do not let vinegar sit around in your mouth–it is acid, and will erode your tooth enamel after time. Just drink water after your dose, and your chompers will be fine.

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Tomato Chutney

Tomato Chutney

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While I’m sure we have more than a few weeks left of delightful, end of summer weather, the overcast sky and sudden lack of humidity in the air–in my opinion–begets the desire for warming, spicy foods. They’re dishes that straddle the divide between warm and cold weather fare. No more of that raw salad business, no, not on a day like today. For little more than a few chops, your trend towards fall has begun… and it’s sweet, literally.

Tomato Chutney
1 tablespoon butter (or oil of your choice such as olive or lard)
1 pint tomatoes of your choosing (I used multicolored cherry tomatoes)
1 medium onion, sliced
2-4 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
1.5 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Melt butter in a medium-size skillet over medium heat. Add onions, stir and allow to cook for a few minutes. While onions are softening, chop tomatoes (if cherry-size) in halves, quarters, thirds, whatever you see fit (I like the texture of cooked tomato skin, if you don’t, I suggest you chop tomatoes into quarters). Add tomatoes and remaining ingredients to the skillet. Cook over medium/medium-low heat for 35-45 minutes, stirring once in a while. Chutney is done when most of the tomato juices have cooked off and you are left with a sticky and intense reduction. Garnish with wild garlic flowers for fun if available. Serves 6-8 as a condiment. Accompaniment to anything you wish, though a few ideas are: soft cheeses, roasted chicken thighs, slices of brisket or tossed with roasted carrots.

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