Category Archives: Veggies / Sides

Carrot Pineapple Salad from Purely Primal

Purely Primal is one of the food blogs I read regularly.  It is extra good because it is co-hosted by Coach Karen from Crossfit Fort Vancouver, and  also because it has an excellent layout, is very searchable, and has a handy shopping list and printable recipes.

So, when I saw this post, I immediately decided to make this recipe.  I had forgotten that Ellen had posted a carrot salad recipe already on this site!  But I still decided to post this recipe review, because this carrot salad was really, really yummy.  I made it for company and had to give the recipe out on the spot.

This recipe makes a lot of salad, but the leftovers were great.  Here is the recipe from Purely Primal.  Enjoy!

  • 1 lb carrots, shredded
  • 1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple, strained (separated)
  • 1/2 cup homemade mayo
  • 1-1/2 cups raisins
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped nuts
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut

Peel and shred the carrots (a food processor with shredding disk is very helpful for this) and place in a large mixing bowl.  Chop the nuts and toss them in as well. Add in the raisins, mayo, pineapple, and coconut.  Stir everything very well to fully combine and coat, then add in pineapple juice a little at a time to adjust the sweetness and the creaminess of the dressing.  You can store this sealed in the fridge up to about a week.

Notes:  I used hazelnuts and almonds for the nuts, shredded the carrots in the food processor, and used the mayo recipe from The Clothes Make the Girl.  I served it with the garlic lime chicken which Susan posted a few weeks ago.

Carrot Salad Carrot Salad 2

 

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Chorizo Stuffed Peppers with Spanish “Frice”

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I’m back!  The Holidays are over, the kids are back in school, I am back in the kitchen, and back on Whole 30!  Here is what we had for dinner last night – very easy, very good, and the leftovers will freeze for another day!

I got this recipe from a neat website – a ‘whole’ family does Whole 30-http://wholefamilystrong.com/2012/01/22/whole-mexican-family-stuffed-poblano-peppers/

 

Ingredients for the Chorizo Stuffed Peppers

 

–         5 poblano peppers ( I could not find these, so I used some random kind of pepper I found at the store. I think just regular bell peppers would be great too.)

–         ½ pound chorizo sausage

–         1 large onion, thinly sliced

–         1 large tomato, diced

 

Instructions for Stuffed Peppers:

 

–         Preheat oven to 425 degrees

–         Brown the chorizo, onion and tomato in a skillet until meat is cooked through.

–         Wash and open peppers – remove ribs and seeds

–         Fill the peppers with the chorizo mixture

–         Place peppers on a lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until peppers are soft and tender.

Ingredients for the Spanish ‘Frice’

–         1 head of cauliflower

–         1 Tbsp olive oil

–         Half can of small tomato sauce

–         ½ Tbsp onion powder

–         ½ Tbsp garlic powder

–         1 Tbsp minced garlic

–         ½ tsp Cayenne pepper

Instructions for ’Frice’:

–         Chop cauliflower into florets and then pulse in a food processor until it looks like rice or couscous consistency

–         Sauté cauliflower in skillet with hot olive oil

–         Add tomato sauce and spices (Really, I think any Spanish or Mexican spices you have on hand would work for this recipe.)

–         Serve and enjoy!


Brussels Sprouts in Cherry Sauce from Purely Primal

You know, people freaking HATE Brussels Sprouts.  Really, really hate them.

Except me.  I like them all ways, and I like them all the more because I can only get them in the autumn.

So if you, like me, actually enjoy Brussels Sprouts, fly your freak-flag high, and make this dish from Purely Primal.

Here’s the recipe as written from the website:

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 lbs fresh Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and cut into halves
  • 1 cup dried sour cherries, divided
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place ½ cup cherries into a small food processor or blender with the butter.
  3. Process until to form a smooth paste.
  4. Toss the trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts into a medium mixing bowl with the remaining cherries.
  5. Spoon half of the butter mixture into the bowl and turn everything to evenly coat the cherries and sprouts with the mixture.
  6. Transfer to a sheet or bar pan in a single layer and place in the oven. Set a timer for 15 minutes. Check after 15 minutes, and cook longer if not browned and starting to crisp.
  7. Meanwhile, roll the remaining butter mixture up inside of a piece of wax paper to about the diameter of a nickel and place it into the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes. When chilled and firm, remove and slice into ⅛” thick pats.
  8. Once the Brussels sprouts have roasted for about 20 minutes (they should be starting to brown heavily on the exposed sides, and some will be getting rather crispy), pull them out and transfer everything to a serving bowl.
  9. Serve warm, with a pat or two of the cherry butter on top.

Their website (which is awesome – check out this cool shopping list!) has better instructions, with photos.

Naturally, I didn’t follow the recipe.  I didn’t have any dried sour cherries, but I did have dried bing cherries, so I used those.  Also, I thought some roasted hazelnuts would be good in this – and I was right!  It made a gorgeous side dish, and I had leftovers (because people freaking HATE Brussels Sprouts), but these froze well.  Here it is mid-prep, and just before serving:

brussel sprouts    brussels2

 

 

 


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!


Stuffed Eggplant (Part Two of my Dracula Dinner)

More Halloween goodness!

If you believe Halloween is all about peanut butter taffy and weird chocolate candy which I *swear* is not the same as the regular recipe (damn you, fun size Snickers!) – well, take heart (lol!). Because there is so much more Halloween food to be had.

Back to the “Food of Dracula.”

I loved Paprika Hendl, and that was a simple if not easy dish, but I was more challenged by the description of “Egg-Plant Impletata.” Google was of little help. It turns out that “impletata” just means “stuffed” in Romanian (well, according to the internet, anyway – any Romanian readers care to correct me?).

So, there are approximately *no* Romanian eggplant recipes out there, but there are lots of Turkish and Italian stuffed eggplant recipes. Dracula describes the eggplant thusly:

“Egg-Plant stuffed with forcemeat, a very excellent dish, which they call ‘impletata.'”

I weeded through several recipes and kind of decided “forcemeat” meant “sausage.” I hobbled together some recipes, and this is what I prepared:

Impletata

Ingredients
2 Medium Eggplants
1 pound of Italian Sausage
4 garlic cloves, minced
Some basil
1 cup of chopped tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

First, I sliced the eggplant, scooped out the middle, then salted the pieces and the shells for 30 minutes.

Second, I rinsed the eggplant, mixed it with the sausage, garlic, basil, tomatoes, and salt and pepper, then stuffed the shells and baked them in a pan greased with olive oil at about 350 for about 30 minutes.

Here’s what they looked like when they came out of the oven:

It was FABULOUS – but I don’t know how it would freeze, as we had no leftovers.

We also enjoyed the plum brandy of Hungary – suggested by Count Dracula himself!