Monthly Archives: November 2012

“Thai Crunch Salad” -or – “Oh my God, where did you get that dressing?”

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I had this for lunch today and I am having it again for dinner tonight.  It is crazy good!  Even if you do not make the whole recipe, do yourself a favor and make the dressing for veggie dip.  Honestly, this one is a keeper.

I got the recipe from a neat website called Against All Grain.

http://www.againstallgrain.com/2012/02/06/thai-crunch-salad/

I modified the recipe a bit – my grocery store was out of jicama  and Napa cabbage so I bought an Asian cabbage mix.  I made the dressing in my food processor because my blender just was not up to mixing almond butter into anything.

Ingredients for Dressing

(Go ahead and double this – trust me….)

 

–         2 teaspoons minced garlic

–         1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro

–         1 Tablespoon creamy almond butter

–         1 ½ Tablespoons lime juice

–         ½ Tablespoon Coconut Aminos

–         ½ Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

–         ½ Tablespoon fresh chopped ginger

–         1 Tablespoon coconut milk

–         1 teaspoon honey

–         ½ teaspoon sesame oil

–         ¼ teaspoon chili sauce (optional)

–         ¼ cup oil.  The original recipe called for safflower oil, but I only had light olive oil.  It worked fine.

Ingredients for the Salad

 

–         1 cup cooked chicken – shredded

–         – a big handful of cabbage mix – or chop up some Napa cabbage, carrots, and jicama

–         1 cup sugar snap peas

–         1 mango, peeled and sliced

–         ½ cucumber, sliced thinly

–         2 Tablespoons chopped almonds and hazelnuts (optional)

–         Fresh cilantro for garnish.

Instructions:

–         Mix all dressing ingredients, except for the final ¼ cup oil,  in a food processor or powerful  blender.  Once ingredients are mixed well, slowly add the oil and blend till smooth.

–         Plate up your cabbage mix, mango, snap peas, cucumber, and chicken.

–         Drizzle about ¼ a cup of dressing over the salad.   Garnish with nuts and/or cilantro if you want!

–         Enjoy!

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Grilled Sweet Potato Salad

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I know it is right after Thanksgiving here in the States, and you probably are sick of sweet potatoes.   You think you could go the rest of the season without eating another one – but, oh boy, you are wrong.   Just wait until you try this recipe.

Thanks to my husband, Michael, for finding this gem at:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/grilled-sweet-potato-salad-recipe/index.html

 

Ingredients

 

–         2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾ inch pieces

–         2 sweet onions, peeled, trimmed, and cut into ½ inch wedges

–         2 mangos, peeled, seeded, and cut into ¾ inch pieces

–         1 red bell pepper, stem, rib, and seeds removed, cut into ¾ inch pieces

–         ¼ cup olive oil

–         2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

–         ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

–         ½ teaspoon ground cumin

–         ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

–         ¼ teaspoon salt

–         Pinch cayenne

–         ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

–         1/3 cup chopped toasted peanuts (we left these off)

 Instructions:

–         Either preheat a grill, OR preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

–         In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, onions, mangos, and bell peppers.  Add the oil, lime juice, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, salt, and cayenne.  Toss well to coat evenly.

–         Lay 2 large pieces of heavy aluminum foil in a stack on a work surface.  Mound the sweet potato mixture into the middle and wrap in the foil, turning up the edges to make a tight, well-sealed package.  Place directly on the grill and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes – OR plate the package in the middle of the oven and roast until the potatoes begin to soften, about 45 to 50 minutes.  Uncover and roast until tender and starting to caramelize, 15 to 20 minutes.

–         Remove from grill or oven and let cool slightly.  Transfer mixture to a large bowl, sprinkle with cilantro, and serve~

–         Enjoy!


Butternut Squash Souffle from PaleOMG

PaleOMG is my favorite website, of this week, anyway.  She is really on with the Thanksgiving ideas.

This recipe came out really well, considering that I didn’t follow the recipe.  I intended to – I tried to – but I never get recipes exactly right.

Most of the time, I don’t care.  Ball park is good enough for most paleo cooking.  But the idea of souffle intimidated me, given my track record with traditional souffles.

But, no worries, it came out great!  This was a trial run for Thanksgiving, and this is definitely going onto the menu!

PaleOMG Thanksgiving Savory Butternut Squash Souffle

Ingredients
  • 1 small butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise (about 2 cups pureed)
  • 4 eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • 1 heaping tablespoon coconut flour
  • 4 slices of bacon, diced
  • ~1/4 cup rendered bacon fat (from the bacon you just cooked)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place butternut squash* cut side down on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 30-35 minutes until soft. Then scoop out the excess seeds (I scoop out the seeds after it bakes. It’s way easier that way). Then turn down oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Scoop out the insides of your butternut squash and place in the food processor.
  5. Puree until smooth.
  6. Now place your diced bacon in a pan over medium heat and cook until crispy. Remove cooked bacon with a slotted spoon and place on a plate with a paper towel.
  7. Now pour out the excess bacon fat into your food processor, leaving behind a tablespoon in the pan.
  8. With your butternut squash and bacon fat in the food processor, add your egg yolks as well. Puree until smooth, then add to a large bowl.
  9. In the pan with the leftover bacon fat over medium heat, add your minced garlic and sliced shallots.
  10. Cook until shallots are tender and translucent.
  11. Add shallots, bacon, coconut flour**, herbs, salt and pepper to your bowl and mix well.
  12. Now in a separate large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form***. With a spatula, fold in egg whites into your squash bowl until no white streaks remain.
  13. Grease your ramekins with coconut oil and pour in mixture to each ramekin. My mixture made 5 soufflés.
  14. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  15. Serve and love life.

*  I failed to roast my squash.  I cooked it in a water bath, which is my usual way.  I was afraid it would be too moist and ruin the recipe, and I will roast it next time.

**  I hate coconut flour, but I did try to buy some so I could follow this recipe.  But the store didn’t have it, so I subbed almond flour.

***  I did get a nice upper body workout trying to make peaks form on my eggs, but it never quite got there.  I do have a KitchenAid, but in the world’s smallest kitchen, it is an undertaking to pull it out.  I’ll get it out for the actual Thanksgiving prep.

Here’s how mine turned  out:

    


Bacon Wrapped Green Bean Bundles (with garlic butter sauce!)

 

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Yes, yes.  I know that I have been wrapping things in bacon a bit lately, but who can blame me?  If you liked the bacon wrapped sweet potato fries from a few days ago, you are going to totally love these.

This recipe is a bit fiddly because you do have to snap the ends off the beans and then blanch them, but trust me when I say that all the work is worth it.

I got the original recipe from http://www.ourbestbites.com/2009/08/bacon-wrapped-green-bean-bundles/

I modified it a bit – with all the goodness of bacon, butter and garlic, who needs any added sugar?

Ingredients

 

–         1 lb green beans with the ends snapped off

–         8 slices lean, regularly sliced bacon (don’t get the thick stuff for this recipe)

–         3 Tablespoons butter – if you don’t use dairy, I think olive oil would be wonderful instead

–         1 Tablespoon minced red onion

–         1 Clove minced garlic (I added a pinch of granulated garlic too)

–         ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions:

–         Blanch the beans by boiling them in salted water until they turn bright green – about 2 to 3 minutes.  Immediately rinse them with cold water until they cool off.

–         Put the beans in 8 piles on your baking sheet.  Firmly wrap one piece of bacon around each pile.

–         Bake at 450 degrees until the bacon is done – about 15 to 20 minutes.

–         While the beans are in the oven, melt your butter in a saucepan.  Add the red onion and garlic, sauté until the onion softens and becomes translucent.  Add your salt (and any additional garlic powder you want).

–         After the bacon wrapped bundles have cooked, plate them up and drizzle your garlic butter sauce over them.

–         Enjoy!


Pumpkin Cream Chicken Casserole from PaleOMG

Dear Internet:

I broke my camera.  So now I can only take photos with my stupid Blackberry.  One day, I will buy a new camera.  But until then, I’m stuck with even-worse-than-usual photos.

So, for this post, the photos are bad, but the food was good.  In celebration of autumn, and already enjoying pumpkin chili and pumpkin spiced coffee, I tried Pumpkin Cream Chicken Casserole from PaleOMG.  She actually did a post with 19 pumpkin recipes – you should check it out!

Here is the Pumpkin Cream Chicken Casserole recipe, directly from PaleOMG:

Ingredients
  • 1-1.5 lbs chicken breasts, chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 medium sized spaghetti squash (I don’t weigh that sh*t), cooked and shredded
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • ½ can canned coconut milk
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Time to roast our veggggggies! Chop your cauliflower and put it in a baking dish topped with a little bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. Then cut your spaghetti squash in half, use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and extra threads, place face down on a baking pan. Add the cauliflower and spaghetti squash to the oven, side by side if possible, to roast for around 25 minutes. (Depending how big your spaghetti squash is, the cauliflower made roast a little quicker, but mine cooked at the same time) You will know your spaghetti squash is cooked when you can poke the outside skin and it gives a bit.
  3. While the squash and cauliflower are cooking, it’s time to cook up your chicken. Pull out either a LARGE saucepan or a large pot and put under medium-high heat.
  4. Add olive oil to it along with your minced garlic. Once the garlic begins to smell, add your chopped onions and cook until translucent.
  5. Add your chopped chicken to the cooking onions, cover and let steam for around 5 minutes.
  6. Once the chicken is about ⅔ cooked through, add your can of pumpkin, half can of coconut milk, and spices directly to the pan. Mix thoroughly. Taste to see if you need any more spices or salt.
  7. Once your squash and cauliflower is done cooking, and chicken saucey mixture is heated up, de-thread spaghetti squash with a fork, running the fork the opposite way of the threads.
  8. Add your spaghetti squash threads, roasted cauliflower, and chicken saucey mixture to a 9×11 glass baking dish and add dish to the oven under the broiler. Cook for about 5 minutes, getting a little dark on the top.
  9. Remove from oven and let sit for around 10 minutes to help the sauce thicken up. Then eat the crap of that deliciousness.

OK, Rachel’s back now.

What I liked:   Although I love roasted cauliflower, spaghetti squash, and pumpkin, I never would have thought to try to combine them.  But the texture was very nice and toothy.  This dish freezes well, and it is one of those recipes that tastes better the next day.  Plus, it is an easy, straightforward recipe.

What I’d do differently next time:  Mine came out warm and satisfying, but not very spicy.  I’d add more onion and garlic next time.  (The recipe calls for added garlic and onion powder, but I didn’t have these.)

Here is how it looked out of the oven (excuse the messy kitchen – I had just made red curry) and when I ate a bowl immediately because it looked too good to wait:

  


Garlic Lime Chicken – or – “Don’t you wish you were coming to my house for dinner?” Chicken

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This was very easy and crazy good.  I think the addition of the lime juice in the middle of the cooking really helped make this some of the most moistest (say that five times fast) chicken I have ever cooked.  I am going to totally cook this one again – and you should too!

I found it at : http://randomanderson.wordpress.com/2009/07/01/garlic-lime-chicken/

 

Ingredients

 

–         ¾ teaspoon salt

–         ¼ teaspoon black pepper

–         ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

–         1/8 teaspoon paprika

–         ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

–         1/8 teaspoon onion powder

–         ¼ teaspoon dried thyme

–         ¼ teaspoon dried parsley

–         4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

–         2 Tablespoons butter

–         1 Tablespoon olive oil

–         2 teaspoons garlic powder

–         3 Tablespoons lime juice

 

Instructions:

–         In a small bowl, mix together salt, black pepper, cayenne, paprika, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, onion powder, thyme and parsley.  Sprinkle spice mixture generously on both sides of the chicken breasts.

–         Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Sauté chicken until golden brown.  Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons garlic powder and 3 Tablespoons of lime juice.  Cook about 5 minutes more, stirring frequently to coat evenly with sauce, until chicken is cooked all the way through.


It Is Chili In Hawaii!

 

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It has been heating up here in Tennessee this week, but I am not going to let anything stop me from celebrating autumn – even if I have to do it in shorts and a t-shirt.  Are you looking for a mix of cool and hot?  Try this Hawaiian Chili.  It is different, but it is pretty darn good!   This makes a big pot of chili – perfect for freezing some leftovers to enjoy when it finally does get cold again.

 

Ingredients

 

–         2 pounds ground meat – we used turkey

–         2 onions, chopped

–         2 red peppers, seeded and chopped (I only had one red and one green, so we used that)

–         2 (16 oz) cans of stewed tomatoes with juice

–         2 (15.5 oz) cans of kidney beans, with liquid.  * If you don’t eat beans, just leave them out – you won’t miss them.  I’ve been experimenting with adding them back to my diet in limited amounts, but you do whatever your heart desires!

–         1 (16 oz) can tomato sauce

–         1 (16 oz) can pineapple chunks, drained

–         2 tablespoons chili powders

–         2 teaspoons of salt – if needed – I recommend you taste it first.

 Instructions

–         Heat a large Dutch oven over high heat, add ground meat (use oil if needed) and cook until barely pink, stirring to break into small pieces.

–         Stir in onions and bell pepper, cook until the meat has brownd and the onions have softened and turned translucent.

–         Add spices.

–         Add stewed tomatoes, beans, tomato sauce and pineapple chunks.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for at least ten minutes.

–         Enjoy!