Monthly Archives: November 2012

Black and Bleu Broccoli

The husband loves bleu cheese. I’m talking borderline fanatical… I could probably add bleu cheese to liver and onions and he wouldn’t care – he’d probably love it!

We’ve been attempting to eat more vegetables. Some of our favorite easy ones are grilled zucchini, sauteed asparagus, mashed cauliflower and broccoli. Recently, we tried beets… they still need work.

broccoli_ingredients

Our favorite way to eat broccoli is steamed – a little melted cheese and butter never hurt either. My mom makes a casserole using crushed Ritz crackers in the topping. Almond flour isn’t quite the same, but it works.

I’m sure this is a recipe many people could throw together on their own. It is very simple, but worthy of documenting here. You never know when you may need something…

broccoli_cooked

BLACK AND BLEU BROCCOLI
serves 3-4

1 large bunch broccoli
1/4-1/2C bleu cheese (depending on desired level of intensity!)
1/4C almond flour
2TBSP butter – cut into small pieces
1/2tsp sea salt
1/2tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 350degrees. Cut broccoli into manageable pieces (florets and stems if desired). Steam for 8-9 minutes until knife easily pierces stem. Place broccoli into 8×8 baking dish. Sprinkle with salt/pepper and then spread bleu cheese and butter pieces over top and then almond flour last. Bake for 8-10mins until cheese and butter are melted. Serve hot.

This one can be changed up for almost any cheese you want. Sometimes we use 1 to 1 1/2C shredded cheddar. I bet havarti would be good too!
Enjoy!

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Thanksgiving Leftovers (can be even better than the main event!)

Sorry, this was supposed to be posted the other day. WordPress and I had a fight. I lost… lost most of my post that is. I tried to click ‘save draft’ and it sent me to a screen that said, “Are you sure you want to do this?” Well, I thought I did, but now I’m not so sure… and gone.

Well, we had expected to have more leftovers. After all, 4 people, 2 turkeys (24lbs total), 4 big sides… that’s a lot of food person. Overall, we did pretty good. My parents took home half of the leftovers.

turkey carving my dad and the husband carving the turkeys

In our family, Turkey Tomato Soup is a newer tradition almost as big as the Thanksgiving dinner itself. My mom has been making it for several years now. It’s a great way to use up that last bit of turkey.

turkeytomatosoup

Thursday night, I threw the carcass in pot and made some nourishing bone broth to use in my soup. Once it cooled, I removed a bit of the fat layer. You can tell if you have good broth if it gels when its cold (gelatin is released from the bones). Homemade broth is really good for your digestive system.

turkeytomatosoup1

If you have the time and patience, you can gather quite a bit more meat by picking the bones of the carcass. Sometimes I feel like it, sometimes I don’t…

I suggest if you still have some leftover turkey, throw it in some soup. If not, you can always use chicken from next week!!

turkeytomatosoup2

TURKEY TOMATO SOUP

3C turkey chopped (or more if you have it!)
2cans (14oz) tomatoes (dices, stewed or combo – SCD legal if necessary)
1can tomato paste
2-4C chicken/turkey stock
1can Cannelloni beans (white kidney)
4-5 cloves garlic chopped
1lb baby carrots
1 large onion diced (2C)
1C chopped celery
4TBSP butter
1TBSP basil
1tsp parsley
sea salt/pepper to taste
splash red wine
cheddar cheese (optional)

In a heavy bottomed pan, melt butter over medium high heat. Add onions and celery and salt/pepper to taste. Cook until softened and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add garlic and tomato paste, stir well and heat through. Next, add stock, 2cans tomatoes, basil, parsley and splash of red wine. Bring to simmer and add carrots and meat. Cook for 45mins. Add beans, check salt/pepper flavoring and cook for another 15 mins. Serve topped with cheese if desired, crackers if you can!

turkeytomatosoup4

This is a great meal to make for leftovers/lunches throughout the week, as it reheats really well. Also, it can be done in the slow cooker. If you use frozen sliced carrots, you can reduce your cooking time by almost half (cook 20-25mins, add beans and cook 10-15). I used whole baby carrots because that’s what I had and was too lazy to chop them smaller.

turkeytomatosoup3

My mom and I have a conversation about tomato paste every year about this time. It usually goes something like – Why does the recipe only call for 2oz of tomato paste, when the cans only come in 6oz size? Do they expect me to freeze the left over paste and actually remember to get it out later? Fat chance… What a waste! – So, needless to say, we’ve started using the entire can. Feel free to use 2oz and save the rest for another recipe. The extra paste deepens the tomato flavor and we really like it.

Also, red wine… I know they say you should use a wine you would drink. I haven’t been drinking much lately, let alone red wine. I’ve found that Pompeian Burgandy cooking wine works great for our tastes. Go ahead, roll your eyes, shake your head… I don’t care. Use what works for you!

Enjoy!

Crustless Sausage Egg and Cheese Quiche

I hope everyone has a wonderful time with family and friends and safe holiday weekend; we sure did! On Thursday morning, I made a quiche for breakfast. My mom and I always experiment with new recipes on company – this holiday was no different.

I needed something for breakfast and was looking for something quick and easy. However, I didn’t want to make everyone feel like they had to eat something SCD made with tons of almond flour. Google searches turned up a couple interesting options for ‘crustless‘ quiche… I thought it might have some potential.

So, I gave it a whirl…!

crustless quiche cooked

The overall result was quite delicious! Most important, it was amazingly easy! You can even cook the sausage and grate the cheese the night before to cut down on prep time…

I tried to season my own breakfast sausage. That recipe still needs a little work. Hopefully, I’ll get to post that sometime soon.

For now, here is a great breakfast recipe for a crowd or just yourself! (It even reheats well).

crustless quiche

SAUSAGE, EGG AND CHEESE QUICHE
(inspired by yummly.com)

10 Large eggs
1/3C almond milk
1/2tsp onion powder
1tsp sea salt
1/2tsp pepper
1 1/2TBSP dijon mustard
1 1/2C cheddar cheese
1lb sausage – cooked
1C cherry tomatoes – quartered
1/2C scallions/green onions – sliced

(OPTIONAL: I think that some sauteed vegetables would have been a great addition. Next time I make it I will also include 1/2C diced onions, 1/4C diced mushrooms, 1/2C diced green or red bell pepper. Saute in 2TBSP butter until soft and most of the water has evaporated.)

Preheat oven to 350degrees. Butter 9.5inch pie plate.
In a large bowl, mix eggs, milk, onion powder and mustard – whisk to combine. Add cheese and stir gently. Evenly spread cooked sausage (and optional sauteed vegetables) in bottom of prepared pan. Pour egg mixture in pan over sausage/veggies.

Bake 45-50mins. Serve warm and top with cherry tomatoes and scallions for a fresh taste with a little crunch!

Enjoy!

Our Semi-SCD Thanksgiving Menu

Well, it looks like its going to be a small Thanksgiving for us this year. The husband and my dad both have to work Friday and my sister and her husband will be staying with his family this year…

My mom and I hashed out the menu this week. So, we both have our shopping lists and assumed responsibilities. The husband naturally had his requirements for fried turkey… Since I can’t eat fried foods, we will also be roasting a turkey!

Two turkeys for four people should provided for sufficient amounts of leftovers. My mom and I love making turkey soup/stews and casseroles (those recipes will follow soon).

cranberry sauce chicken

We decided to go with regular mashed potatoes (instead of Garlic Mashed Cauliflower) so that everyone else has a couple reasons to use gravy. My mom will make her famous dressing (for some reason, I’m not a fan – never have been). Now i have an excuse as it’s made with a lot of bread.

Curried Carrot Souffle
image courtesy of Family Circle magazine

As a substitute for sweet potatoes, there will be a new recipe for carrot souffle. I found it this week in a magazine and will have to modify it slightly for SCD legalities (and to drop the curry). Also, we will be modifying green bean casserole on the fly Thursday to be SCD legal. I will post the modified recipes!

pecan pie plated

So here it is, our Thanksgiving menu!

Fried Turkey
Roasted Turkey (see also Roasted Chicken)
-with Brown butter and fried sage Au Jus
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Carrot Souffle (original recipe Family Circle magazine)
Fresh Green Bean Casserole
Cranberry-Orange Sauce with honey (see my recipe here)
Pecan Pie (SCD legal of course – see my recipe here)
Pumpkin Pie

I hope you have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!!
I will post some really good leftover recipes after turkey day. Stay tuned…

“Mock”sgiving – Cranberry-Orange Sauce

We never, ever, had homemade cranberry sauce at our table growing up. I think I remember the can-shaped jelly slices alternated with pineapple slices… I can only remember eating the pineapple.

cranberry ingredients

When we were planning our first Thanksgiving, the husband insisted on cranberry sauce. Once we understood each other, I realized he wanted a dish made-from-scratch. So, off I went to Google Search.

All the recipes required a lot of sugar. But, since I didn’t know any better at the time, I followed the instructions. Not bad tasting, but that amount of sugar these days would probably kill me.

cranberry cooking

I can definitely tell my tastes are changing. I find now that honey adds more to the depth of flavor than just sugary sweetness and am really enjoying using honey instead of refined sugar.

If you haven’t splurged on some ‘varietal honeys’, you should really consider it. When bees produce honey from one certain flower, the flavor becomes very distinctive. We highly recommend Sourwood honey. According to the folks at Savannah Bee Company, Sourwood has the lowest glucose content of all the mono-flower honeys. It is the only honey that can actually age and improve in flavor. Also, due to the low sugar content, it does not crystallize (well, at least not for 40-50 years).

If you’re ever in Savannah, stop and see them. They offer free tastings, body care products and are full of information. You can purchase all their products online and I’ve seen some honey in Fresh Market stores.

cranberry sauce chicken

CRANBERRY-ORANGE SAUCE
makes about 2 cups

12oz package cranberries
1C orange juice
1/2C water
1/2C – 2/3C Honey (amount depends on preference of tartness)
1/4tsp sea salt

Rinse and sort cranberries – pull out bad ones. Combine all ingredients in sauce pan. Cover and cook on medium-high for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the cover once the “popping” stops and reduce to desired thickness. Serve warm or cold.

cranberry chicken plated

This is an easy recipe to make the day before and allow you to reduce the ‘day of’ cooking. I served this over chicken and it was delicious – hopefully the turkey will be as good!

Enjoy!

On top of old Smokey…

I’ve had spaghetti squash once before. I liked it, but wasn’t overly impressed at the time. Mostly, I think, because I was still eating actual spaghetti noodles…

meatballs ingredients

Nearly everyone I know has a special red sauce recipe. I developed mine a couple years ago for the husband. Apparently, with a strong Italian heritage, you aren’t allowed to eat sauce from a jar. I’m sure its written somewhere. I mean, there must be an Italian rule book they follow.

meatballs mixed

This weekend I made a legal version of my sauce, meatballs and gave spaghetti squash another go. It was really good – but, I should have made more meatballs! I’m still underestimating exactly how much meat and vegetables I need to cook since we aren’t eating bread/carbs!

meatballs baked

Spaghetti Squash is easy. Preheat oven to 350degrees. Carefully cut it in half, remove seeds and rinse. Place halves, cut side down, on a sheet pan with 1/2 C water. Bake 35-45mins.

spaghetti squash

Carefully pick up halved squash (hot pads may be necessary) and using a fork, scrape the squash from the rind. It will get stringy! Drain if needed.

spaghetti squash finished

MEATBALLS
makes 15-16, 1 1/2″ diameter

1lb ground beef
1/4C almond flour
1 egg
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, rough chopped
1/8C grated Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
1/4tsp parsley (double if fresh)
1/2tsp Sea salt
1/4tsp pepper

Mix all ingredients in bowl to combine. Roll into balls and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 for 15-20mins. Add to your finished sauce and simmer for another 10mins. Serve over spaghetti squash and cover with cheese.

spaghetti meatballs
I should have drained my squash a bit better, but the water did not adversely affect the taste – at all!

The Essense of Fall: Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

pumpkin cinnamon roll
My sister was married this weekend and life was sorta turned upside down for a few days.

It seems I also managed to setback my progress a few steps. I was so careful to watch the food I ate all weekend. I do not drink often or much – but it seems I was a bit too liberal with my wine… While I had a blast at the time, I’ve sure been paying for it since Sunday! Chalk it up to another lesson learned: no more wine.

pumpkin dough

My husband calls it the silly season, but I see it as the approaching season of temptation and longing. Especially for those of use that can’t eat…well, most anything (grains, refined sugars, lactose…). There have been several sites featuring some pretty amazing baked goods lately and it got me thinking.

pumpkin dough rolled

I’ve been tossing around a couple ideas over the last few weeks for apples, pumpkin and cookies. I had started this recipe the weekend before but couldn’t quite get it to completion. There are a few things I might still change; but, definitely worthy of a posting!

pumpkin dough filling

Here is my first fall recipe featuring pumpkin! The pumpkin flavor is subtle and it does a good job of keeping the breading moist. The sweet cheese layer melds a little with the pumpkin breading – so the spiral isn’t as distinctive as ‘normal’ cinnamon rolls.

pumpkin dough stuffed

These rolls were inspired by the talented Deb at Smitten Kitchen.

PUMPKIN CINNAMON ROLLS
dough:
3/4C pumpkin puree
2C almond flour
1/3C coconut flour
3 eggs
4TBSP butter, room temperature
1tsp salt
1tsp cinnamon
1/8tsp ginger
1/2tsp nutmeg
3TBSP honey
1/2tsp baking soda

filling:
7oz farmer cheese (I used Friendship brand – only 0.5% lactose)
1TBSP cinnamon
1/3C honey

Combine all dough ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30mins to 1hour.

While the dough chills, set out the farmers cheese to come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 325degrees.

Roll out dough into large rectangle between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. (NOTE: I’ve tried to roll dough between parchment paper, not good. Plastic wrap peels off much easier!) I rolled mine on the bottom of an upside down sheet pan to make it easier to move. Once rolled out, refrigerate the dough for another 30minutes.

Remove the top layer of plastic wrap. Spread the cheese/honey mixture over the pumpkin dough – carefully, it is a soft dough. Using the bottom layer of plastic wrap, start to roll the dough into a tight log, peeling off the plastic as you go.

Refrigerate again if needed. Cut log into 2inch slices and carefully place cut-side up. Space them equally in 8inch round pan. Should hold roughly 7 rolls per pan.

pumpkin dough baking

Bake at 325degrees for 40-50minutes. Remove from oven and set aside for at least 10-15minutes to cool. Serve warm – top with butter and a drizzle of honey!

pumpkin cinnamon roll

These certainly are not be the prettiest cinnamon rolls I’ve ever seen, but they are the essence of fall and quite delicious. They set well when given proper time to cool – and even reheat well the next day! You may experiment with increasing the almond flour if you desire a stiffer dough.