Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pumpkin Soup

Rachel and I both remember the Thanksgiving our mom made this soup; I was 12, she was 7. It was delicious, but my mom insisted she didn't have the recipe anymore. After digging through her recipe folder (a treasure!), I found this along with menus of elegant parties and lunches she had given in the late 1970's and early 1980's.

Pumpkin Soup
Mary Clyde

1/2 c butter
1 large onion sliced
3/4 c green onion
1 16 oz can pumpkin
4 c chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 t sugar
1/4-1/2 t curry
1/8-1/4 t nutmeg
2 c milk
half and half or cream
salt and pepper

Melt butter in 6 quart sauce pan over medium high heat. Saute onions until soft and golden. Stir in pumpkin, stock, bay, sugar, spices. Bring to simmer. Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 15 minutes. Stirr occasionally. Take out bay leaf. Transfer soup in batches and puree. Return to sauce pan. Add milk, cream (to equal 2 cups) and salt and pepper. Simmer 5-10 minutes, but don't boil.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Nut Butter Cookies

I was inspired by these cookies and decided that I had to modify it and make my own. They looked so simple and delicious. Only five ingredients! Four if you just use one kind of nut/seed butter.

Nut Butter Cookies
2 cups nut butter (roasted and salted)
1 cup rapadura (or maple sugar or palm sugar)
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
6 T. cacao nibs (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until dough comes together.
2. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop into balls, then roll into balls and place on cookie sheet. Flatten each cookie with the back of a fork.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or so.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Roasted Eggplant Spread

I've been looking for an alternative dairy-free dip to our family's favorite hummus, and I think I've found one. Sweet and buttery with a dash of pepper.

Roasted Eggplant Spread
Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

1 medium eggplant, peeled
2 red bell peppers, seeded
1 red onion, peeled
2 garlic cloves, minced I used 3
3 T good olive oil
1 1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1 T tomato paste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the eggplant, bell pepper, and onion into 1-inch cubes. Toss them in a large bowl with garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, until vegetables are lightly browned and soft, tossing once during cooking. Cool slightly.

Place vegetables in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the tomato paste, and pulse 3 or 4 times to blend. Taste for salt and pepper.

I've been enjoying this on pita bread chips, but I think this would be excellent over pasta with a bit of crumbled goat cheese.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Buttermilk Waffles

I can usually take or leave waffles. They're ok, but usually, the recipes I've tried taste too much like baking powder. I made a batch of these for Asher's preschool class last week with egg replacer ("W" is for "waffle"--my kind of preschool thinking, matching letters with foods!), and wasn't sure how they'd turn out. These are delicious, though. Really, my new THE waffle recipe.

Buttermilk Waffles
Gourmet Cookbook

3 c all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
1 t salt
3 1/4 c well-shaken buttermilk
1 1/2 sticks (12 T) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat waffle iron. Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add buttermilk, butter, and eggs. Stir until smooth (batter will be thick).

Brush waffle iron lightly with vegetable oil, if necessary, and spoon batter into waffle iron, using 1/2 c batter for each 4-inch Belgian waffle or 1/4 c batter for each 4-inch standard waffle iron and spreading batter evenly (I used about 1/2 c for my waffle iron). Cook according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer waffle to a baking sheet and keep warm, uncovered, in oven. Make more waffles with remaining batter in same manner.

Serve with butter and maple syrup. Actually, I think these would be fabulous with some savory waffle toppings, like ricotta cheese and spinach.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Vanilla-Maple Ice Cream

I have a really basic ice cream recipe that I use: 1 cup milk, 1 cup cream, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla. I like it because you can just change the vanilla for whatever flavor you like and it works. If I am being fancy I love to do mint leaves, crush them into the sweetener to infuse, add the milk and cream and let sit in the fridge for a few hours. Then strain and freeze in an ice cream maker. Plus, this recipe is easy to remember and makes the ratio clear for basic ice cream.

But now that I am taking refined sugar out of the family diet and using organic raw dairy, I need to tweak it a little. As far as natural sweeteners go, I think sorghum, molasses and maple syrup will work well since they are already liquid and will blend easily. I may try rapadura and letting it dissolve into the cream and milk before freezing. I cannot think of which sweetener to try with my mint ice cream though. I will experiment and let you know what works best. A list of nourishing sweeteners is here.

I ordered some raw cream along with my raw milk this week, both are full of vitamin k2. And I have a lovely grade B maple syrup I buy from Amazon in my fridge for pancakes. The combination of maple and vanilla seemed like a good place to start for my first nourishing ice cream venture. Let me tell you, this vanilla-maple ice cream is soooo good!

Oh, and I found that both of my ice cream makers (yes, I got two for Christmas one year: this one and this one) can hold a larger size than this recipe, so a recipe and a half is the perfect size. Enjoy!

Vanilla-Maple Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups raw cream
1 1/2 cups raw whole milk
3/4 cup organic maple syrup (grade A will be lighter, grade B more robust/vitamin-rich)
1-2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Mix ingredients together well and pour into an ice cream maker to freeze. It should take about 20 minutes if your bowl is properly frozen. It will look like soft serve ice cream. Immediately transfer to a container and place in freezer to ripen for the next day or so. Serve with a piece of vitamin k2-rich shortbread cookie!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Healthy Shortbread (not kidding!)

I found two shortbread recipes over the holidays that I wanted to try, but since they used alternative sweeteners and sprouted wheat flour I chickened out when baking for family and friends. Now that I am making it for me and the boyz (R, M, and E) at home, I feel more confident to try it out. Plus, that jumbleberry pie from a few days ago turned out wonderfully.

First I tried The Nourishing Gourmet's Scottish Shortbread Cookies recipe. Then I tried Cheeseslave's Sprouted Flour Shortbread Cookies with Grass-fed Butter recipe. Below are my versions of each.

Scottish Shortbread Cookies
    1 cup plus two tablespoons of sprouted wheat flour
    2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
    1/4 cup of maple sugar
    1/2 cup of cold butter
    1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Set out an 8 by 8 pan.

In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, arrowroot powder, sugar, and salt. Whisk a little to remove any lumps. Cut the butter into small pieces and then “cut” into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter. Do this until the dough resembles small crumbs.

Using your hands gently start forming this mixture into a ball. At first it will be really crumbly, but keep gathering it together and gently kneading it together. It should form a ball within a minute or two. If it absolutely will not stick together, you can sprinkle a little water over it.

Press evenly into the ungreased pan.

Then cut the shortbread into desired amount of squares.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the dough is set and the sides browning just very slightly. Remove from the oven. Recut lines in warm pan. Let cool completely in the pan, then remove.

Classic Round Shortbread

1 3/4 cups sprouted wheat flour
1/4 cup rice flour
2/3 cup palm sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
8 ounces unsalted grass-fed butter, unsalted, cold

1. Set oven rack to middle. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Add flour and arrowroot powder, all but 1 tablespoon sugar (reserve for sprinkling), and salt to mixing bowl. Mix at low speed until combined.
3. Cut very cold butter into 1/2-inch cubes.
4. Add butter cubes to flour mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough looks like wet crumbs. All the butter should be mixed in thoroughly.
5. Press crumbly dough into glass pie pan. Use your fingers, and then the bottom of a glass to press down on the surface and make it smooth and level.
6. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees and place shortbread in oven.
7. Bake 20 minutes.
8. Remove pan from oven. Let cool for 5 minutes.
9. Set a 2-inch biscuit cutter in the center of the shortbread. Press down hard. Pull up, leaving the center circular piece intact.
10. Using a sharp knife, cut the outer ring into 16 equally sized wedges.
11. Using a skewer or other pointy-tipped implement, poke holes in the top in a decorative pattern.
12. Return shortbread to oven and continue to bake until golden, about 40 minutes longer. You may want to put an extra cookie sheet underneath to catch the butter dripping.
13. Remove from oven and sprinkle shortbread evenly with reserved 1 tablespoon sugar. Let cool for at least 15 minutes.
14. Cut at scored marks into wedges. Let cool for at least an hour.

Store shortbread cookies in an airtight container for up to 7 days.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Homemade Jumbleberry Pie

I finally bit the bullet and committed to make a completely nourishing pie. In honor of R's birthday yesterday, complete with rapadura for sugar and sprouted wheat flour for white flour, the pie was a hit among the entire family, even those not avoiding sugar or white flour. I also used grass-fed butter and organic frozen berries from Trader Joe's.

I say this is a nourishing pie because if you buy grass-fed butter it is full of vitamin K2. You can google vitamin K2 and get a lot of information about it, but I like these two links here (basic K2 info) and here (list of vitamin K2-rich foods).

The rapadura is full of nutrients because it is the only form of sugar processed without ever being separated from the molasses. It is considered a whole food.

Sprouted flour is neutralized of it's phytic acid, so you can absorb all the good trace elements in the grain like calcium, magnesium, etc. You can buy sprouted flour, make your own, or ask me to show you and we will have a sprouting party. You do need a dehydrator and a grain mill if you want to make your own. (Basically you soak wheat berries overnight in mason jars with sprouting lids or screens, then drain and rinse a few times a day until the sprouts are showing in the wheat berries. Then you dehydrate at a low setting (95 degrees or so) for 8-12 hours. Then grind in a wheat grinder.)

Berries, being full of antioxidants and also pesticide-free and GMO-free if bought organic, are just plain delicious.

Double Pie Crust
adapted from Cheeseslave's recipe
3 cups sprouted wheat flour
3 and 1/4 sticks (26 Tablespoons) of grass-fed butter, cut into small pieces, very cold, preferably straight from the fridge
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 Tablespoons rapadura (or Sucanat, maple sugar, palm sugar)
3/4 cup ice water

1. Make pie dough: Mix flour, salt and sugar with a whisk in a bowl to sift.
2. Take butter out of the fridge and sprinkle small pieces over flour mixture. Using a combination of a pastry cutter and your hands (or just your hands), cut in the butter until the crumbs are between the size of peas and olives. Add ice water a little at a time, blending with your hands, until the dough comes together.
3. Lay out two pieces of plastic wrap and put half of your pie dough on each. Using your hands under the plastic wrap, form each pile into a ball, then flatten and wrap up in the plastic wrap. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes. You can also make this ahead of time and store in the freezer for a few days, moving it into the fridge for a few hours when you are ready to use it.
4. Make pie filling:
Jumbleberry Pie Filling

Mix together:
5 cups of berries--I eyeballed equal amounts of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries
3/4 cup rapadura (or Sucanat, maple sugar, palm sugar)
1/3 cup sprouted wheat flour
2 tsp. lemon zest (optional) (I forgot this)

Continue with pie assembly:
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. When ready to roll out, pull ONE flattened ball out of fridge and roll on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin. Have your pie dish ready so you can properly estimate how large to roll your dough. When dough round is the right size, use your rolling pin to move it by rolling your dough around the rolling pin like a scroll and gently transferring it to unroll over the dish. Ease it into the dish and press down flush.
6. Pour filling into pie. Set aside.
7. Take out remaining ball of pie dough from fridge. Roll out on a floured surface, not as big as the last round since it only needs to be on top of the pie. Transfer over to filled pie. Press edges together with fingers. Cut excess off of edges of pie with a sharp knife. Press edges again with a fork, dipped in a little flour if sticking to pie dough edge. Poke decorative holes into top of pie with sharp knife. Brush entire top of pie with whole milk. Sprinkle with coarse sugar (I used a little turbinado sugar I am trying to get rid of; you could use rapadura, but it would look darker). Cover edges with foil to prevent over-browning.
8. Bake for 25-50 minutes, longer for frozen berries. Then remove foil and let bake completely uncovered for another 20-30 minutes or so until the pie looks perfectly brown. Cool on a wire rack.
(Serve with real whipped cream sweetened with rapadura, or homemade vanilla ice cream made with raw milk and raw cream. Yum!!!)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pan-Fried Onion Dip

I love store-bought onion dip, but it's one of those dishes that I've always wondered if I could make at home. When I saw the Barefoot Contessa's version, I knew it would be delicious. I think this is THE onion dip for me.

Pan-Fried Onion Dip
Barefoot Contessa
makes about 2 cups I had about 1 cup and 1/2

2 large yellow onions
4 T unsalted butter
1/4 c vegetable oil
1/4 t ground cayenne pepper
1 t kosher salt
1/2 t freshly ground pepper
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 c sour cream
1/2 c good mayonnaise

Cut the onions in half, and then slice them into 1/8-inch-thick half-rounds. (You will have about 3 cups of onions.)

Heat the butter and oil in a large saute pan on medium heat. ADd the onions, cayenne, salt, and pepper and saute for 10 minutes. REduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 more minutes, until onions are browned and caramelized. I did this for 30+ minutes more on the "medium" end than the "low" setting, which was enough to soften and caramelize, but next time, I'll wait a little longer. The onions weren't brown enough, so people didn't know that it was an onion dip. Allow the onions to cool.

Place the cream cheese, sour cream, and mayo in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat until smooth. Add the onions and mix well. Taste for seasonings. The onions didn't break down quite as much as I hoped, so I did a couple quick pulses in my food processor.

Serve at room temperature.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Spinach Blueberry Salad

Lukey and I love to go to Trader Joe's and try their samples. Yesterday, they had this blueberry salad. It's just so pretty with the blueberries and the gorgonzola. Really, there's not enough blue food in the world. We had it for dinner tonight, and even Asher tried the spinach once I told him about the blueberry dressing.

Spinach Blueberry Salad
1 bag of baby spinach
1 cup fresh blueberries I was too cheap to buy these
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 c crumbled Gorgonzola
1/2 c candied walnuts we did candied almonds

1 cup red wine olive oil dressing I was at TJ's, but I think any red wine dressing would do
1/2 c blueberry preserves again, you could get these anywhere, but I like that TJ's had all the blueberries well-blended, so I didn't have a chunky salad dressing.

Whisk together preserves and dressing and toss over salad.

Clay Pot Pork

So, a little disclaimer here...Asher and I loved this dish. Nate did not. Nate who NEVER says he doesn't like a dish I make, even when they're disasters took one bite and said, "Ohh, this is not good."

Asher and I were like, "Are you crazy?!" I think the problem is that this dish uses a lot of fish sauce. If you don't like seafood (like Nate), you probably won't like this.

Oh, and fish sauce? It's hard to find a good kind. So, I've put a picture here of the bottle my Aunt Katie showed me is good and is pretty common in most Asian supermarkets.

Oh, and the thing about fish sauce? It STINKS! I love it mixed with other things, but every time I use it, I think, "Oh heavens, how can something that smells this bad taste good in the end?!" But, it does.

Clay Pot Pork** (but you don't actually need to have a clay pot)
Gourmet Cookbook

1/3 c sugar
1/4 c chicken stock
1/3 c Asian fish sauce, preferably Vietnamese
3 shallots, thinly sliced I did 1/2 a red onion instead
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced I minced them
3 scallions, thinly sliced diagonally, white and green parts kept separate
1 pound trimmed boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes this is a very cheap, but very fatty cut of meat. It took me a solid half hour to trim off enough fat for my liking.
1 t freshly ground black pepper I found this a little too spicy; next time, I'll do 1/2 t

Cook sugar in a dry 3 quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, without stirring, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork (a fork, really? I just used a spatula, so I didn't scrape the heck out of the bottom of my pan), until sugar has melted into a deep golden caramel. Carefully add stock and fish sauce (caramel will harden and steam vigorously) and cook, stirring, until caramel is dissolved. Add shallots, garlic, and white part of scallions and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes.

Toss pork with pepper in a bowl and stir into sauce. Bring to a simmer, then cover pan, reduce heat to low, and braise pork, stirring once or twice, until very tender, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.

Stir in scallion greens and serve with rice. I thought the sauce was a little runny, so I made a slurry with 1 T cornstarch and 4 T water, added it to the sauce and pork, simmering it all for about 10 extra minutes. Then, I poured it over rice noodles.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Eli's Birthday Cake

Nourishing Cake (adapted from this recipe)

1 cup butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled I used half butter, half coconut oil
3/4 cup buttermilk I didn't have any so I did half whole milk and half whole milk yogurt, then added a splash of raw apple cider vinegar
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups whole rolled oats
¾ cup honey I did half honey, half rapadura*
2 eggs
1 t. sea salt
1 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla
1 cup raisins, chocolate chips or other dried fruit I doubled the recipe and made three small cakes: 1. Eli's Cake: candy-coated chocolate pieces and finely chopped almonds, 2. cinnamon raisin, and 3. chopped dates and chopped almonds)

*(but 1 c. rapadura equals 3/4 c. honey, so I did 1/2 c. rapadura and then eyeballed the honey somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 c.)

Stir together butter/coconut oil, buttermilk, flour and oats in a glass bowl. Cover with a cloth and allow the grains to soak on your counter overnight or for at least 8 hours.

Stir in honey, eggs, salt, baking soda and vanilla. Fold in raisins, chocolate chips or dried fruit. Pour into a buttered 9×9 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Chicken Chile

3 tsp cumin
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can white corn
1 can green chiles
1 can great northern beans
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
2-3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 1/2 C water
chile powder to taste

Saute chicken, onion, and garlic. Add all other ingredients (just dump it all into the pot, no draining needed!). Garnish with cilantro, sour cream, cheese, and/or diced tomatoes.
A Clyde family favorite!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Split Pea and Brown Rice Soup

I was supposed to soak lentils and rice, but did not realize my mistake until the next day when I had already soaked all my peas and rice together. So I made split pea soup with rice. Yum!

Accidental Split Pea and Brown Rice Soup

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 cup dried split green peas, picked over and soaked overnight
1 cup brown rice, soaked overnight
3 cups water
3 cups chicken stock
juice of 1/2 lemon (reserve the zest)
a few pinches of smoked paprika
olive oil to drizzle

Soak peas and rice together in a bowl with plenty of clean water, covered, overnight, or at least 8 hours.

When ready to cook: Add butter to a big pot over med-high heat. Stir in onions and salt and cook until the onions soften, just a minute or two. Add the split peas, brown rice, water and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, dial down the heat, and simmer for 30-60 minutes, or until the peas are cooked through (but still a touch al dente). Using a large cup or mug ladle half of the soup into a bowl and set aside. Using a hand blender (or regular blender) puree the soup that is still remaining in the pot. Stir the reserved (still chunky) soup back into the puree - you should have a soup that is nicely textured. If you need to thin the soup out with more water (or stock) do so a bit at a time. Stir in the lemon juice and taste. If the soup needs more salt, add more a bit at a time until the flavor of the soup really pops. Serve garnished with paprika and olive oil. I like to eat it with whole grain crackers scattered across the top.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Whole Grain Crackers (soaked)

I have made these crackers twice in the last week, since the first batch got chomped in one day! These crackers taste like Cheez-its to me, but in a good healthy way. ;)

Plus if you soak the dough overnight you get not only a tasty whole grain cracker but the added bonus of being able to properly digest the grains as explained here in depth, and here in short.

Rich, Whole Grain Crackers (made with Yogurt Dough)

The night before cream in a large bowl:

1 cup of plain whole milk yogurt (I used Trader Joe's organic)
1 cup of grass-fed butter, softened (I used Organic Valley's cultured butter, on sale from Sprouts for $4.99/lb.)

Mix in:

3 1/2 cups of freshly ground wheat flour (I want to try other whole grain flours and see how they do--I will let you know)
2 teaspoons of salt (I used pink Himalayan)

Cover and leave in a warm place for 12 to 24 hours (this is the “soaking” part).

The next day, when ready to bake:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using white flour to dust your surface and dough, roll your dough out thin. Cut into strips and then cut into squares.

Place your squares on an ungreased cookie sheet and prick with a fork. Bake for about 8 minutes and check, keep checking every two minutes until done. They should be browning slightly on the edges, when done. Take off of sheet and place on a cooling rack. Serve plain, with cheese, or with a hearty soup. Yum!!!