Saturday, April 30, 2011

Yoğurtlu Pancar Salatası—Beet Salad

Oh, not only is this pretty, but it is amazinly tasty!  I have made it with skim yogurt and whole fat.  Let me just tell you, it tastes fine with skim yogurt, but decadent with whole milk 0r cream yogurt! This salad is served cool or cold and is considered a side dish or a meze.
Yoğurtlu Pancar Salatası—Beet Yogurt Salad
3 to 4 large beets boiled and cooled
1 cup of yogurt
1/4 of water
2-4 cloves of mashed garlic
1-3 teaspoons of dill
salt to taste
First shred the beets.  I used a food processor because I did not want to stain my hands.  Then whisk the yogurt, mashed/pressed garlic, water and dill together.  Finally, fold everthing together and salt to taste, about a 1/2- 1 teaspoon.  Serve cool or cold as a side salad.  Yum!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dallas Morning News

I've got some great news to share! I've been featured in the Dallas Morning News with my girls. Nancy Churnin a reporter for the DMN interviewed me last week on Real Food and eliminating processed foods, especially artificial dyes from our diets. I had a great time talking with her, and chatting about how much Real Food means to me. I told her how I found the Real Food movement with Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and that the Weston A. Price Foundation is a great resource for learning about our food supply and how to make the right choices. Nancy was interested in tips on how to eliminate harmful dyes from kids (and grown ups!) foods.

Studies show that these dyes are causing hyperactivity in kids among other very startling side effects. Scroll through a website like the IATP Food Coloring Database and you'll be SHOCKED at how many foods use dyes in them, when it is completely unnecessary for the flavor of the food. As I talked about in the article, Real Food doesn't need any help, it tastes good and looks great. It's only by conditioning that we expect foods to look "unnaturally" colored.

Please take a moment to read Nancy's article (and see photos of the girls and I cooking, taken by Stewart House, Dallas Morning News photographer) The link is right HERE. (You do need a subscription to read the entire article.)

Here is a link to the Real Cheese Crackers I shared in the article.

Yeast Free Pizza Dough

Today at the grocery store, I splurged and bought a ball of REAL mozzarella. Then I bought some roma tomatoes and had an idea in the back of my mind to make a homemade pizza for dinner. I love homemade pizza because the possibilities are endless. I went in the kitchen to make the dough while my twins were taking a nap, knowing the dough needed to rise for at least an hour. I was so frustrated when I opened the pantry and didn't have any yeast. It's one of those staples I always keep, and I guess I didn't realize I had used up the last of it. So, now, having my taste buds set on pizza, I decided to take a risk and make a yeast-less pizza dough. Crossing my fingers I wouldn't hit disaster, I was actually pleasantly surprised. My husband actually liked it better than some of my yeast dough recipes!

Yeast Free Pizza Dough

2 cups of flour (I use wheat in most of my recipes)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano (or Italian herb mix)
1/8 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 egg
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp olive oil (reserved)
cornmeal (optional)

In a food processor (I'm sure a stand mixer would work just as well) mix all ingredients except olive oil. Process for 2-3 minutes until dough forms a tight ball. Place dough in a clean bowl and cover. Let stand for an hour. The dough will not rise much, but giving it time to rest will make stretching it out to make a pizza easier.

Preheat oven to 425º. While oven is preheating, stretch pizza on a stone. I put down cornmeal so pizza doesn't stick. It adds a crispy texture, also. Top with your favorite toppings, tonight I chose: pizza sauce, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, thinly sliced garlic and fresh basil. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust is toasted. Let stand for 10 minutes (if you can) before cutting.

I'm bumping this recipe since it's a fan favorite!  Originally posted 5/26/09.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Low Carb Avocado Ham Cheese Sandwich

I was surfing the web and came across a blog about grilled cheese sandwiches. Which of course got me in the mood for a grilled cheese sandwich. While this open-faced sandwich is good, and definitely post worthy, it is not what I had in mind. The bread I used is a low-carb coconut flour savory waffle bread. And it is okay. But it tastes too eggy to me and too spongy. Considering the recipe is mostly eggs, that makes sense but this sandwich needs a crusty bread, which I'm just thinking can't be achieved with coconut flour. (If anyone knows of a recipe, please do share!) But basically I took the waffle bread, buttered one side and put it on my griddle. I sprinkled a bit of balsamic vinegar, layered on a piece of fresh, whole milk mozzarella, a piece of msg/nitrate free deli ham. When I took it off the heat, I added the avocado and a sprinkle of sea salt. Below is the recipe for the coconut flour savory waffle bread that I got from Living Gracefully.

Coconut Flour Savory Waffle Bread

4 tablespoons melted butter
6 eggs
2 tablespoons yogurt
2 T Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoons honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup coconut flour

1. Melt the butter.
2. Add all the ingredients minus the coconut flour into the melted butter.
3. Using a sifter (or a sieve like I do!) measure out and add the coconut flour to the butter mixture
4. Using your hand mixer, mix on high for one minute, scraping down the sides
5. While you are letting your mixture rest, heat up the waffle iron.

Their recipe says it makes 16 waffles. I've made it twice and both times I've only gotten 8, even trying to stretch the batter.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ham Zucchini Rolls

I really get a lot of my inspiration from Food Network. Ever since my teen years, I have been a Food Network junkie. At one time, I used to know the names of every single show on the network. I could name celebrity chefs like most people could name the top bands on the radio. These days, I don't keep up as much as I used to but I still watch a show at least every few days! One of my recent favorites is $10 Dinners by Melissa D'Arabia. One thing that I like about her is the fact that she has twins, just like me! While I don't agree with some of the cheap shortcuts she makes, for the most part I really get inspired by her dishes. For the most part she uses Real Food ingredients. If she'd get rid of the boxed stocks full of MSG that would go a long way!

The other day she made a stuffed endive dish that looked really enticing. I didn't have endive, which I think she mentioned is a winter vegetable, so I decided to try the dish with zucchini instead of endive. I know that zucchini tastes nothing like endive, but sometimes it's all about the cooking method and not the ingredients. This came out pretty good! I wish I had a bit more patience so that the cheese would have browned more on top, but it still was really tasty.

Ham Zucchini Rolls

Bechamel Sauce
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1/4 cup cream
1 tsp dijon mustard
sea salt
1/4 freshly grated cheddar cheese

4 zucchinis
sliced cheddar for stuffing
4 pieces of shaved ham off the bone from the deli counter
1/2 cup grated cheddar for melting on top

Cut the ends off the zucchini and cut a slice lengthwise down each vegetable. Carefully squeeze slices of cheddar cheese in each zucchini. Wrap with a piece of ham and place in a baking dish.

Melt butter in a skillet. Add flour and whisk well. Cook the flour for a minute. Add milk and cream. Whisk in dijon mustard, salt and grated cheddar cheese. Boil to thicken. Pour over wrapped zuchini. Add remaining cheddar cheese. Bake at 375 covered for 15 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for 15-20 minutes more.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Balsamic Chicken Drumettes

The other day, I was literally flipping channels and I heard a commercial for Giada of the food network say, "Balsamic Chicken Drumettes" the title of that dish stuck with me enough that when I was at the store the other day I picked up a package of chicken wings. I prefer to buy my meat at a local farm these days, but I still buy some at the health food store. This package was of whole wings which is a better deal than buying just the drumettes. You do have to cut each wing into three pieces. The tip usually doesn't have enough meat on it to serve, but save them in your freezer and add the wing tips to your next batch of homemade chicken stock. So I used the drumette and the "middle" piece of the wing (not sure if it has a name?)

Also the original recipe called for 1/2 cup of honey and 1/2 cup of brown sugar for 10-12 drummettes. I had about 26 drummettes, I did NOT double the marinade and I cut out all of the brown sugar and only used 1/4 cup of the honey. These wings were a huge hit with my three year olds. They were precious trying to get all the meat off the wings and they kept asking for more.

Here is the original recipe, with notations of what I changed:
Original Link

Balsamic Chicken Drumettes
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey (I only used 1/4 cup of honey)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (I did not use any brown sugar)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 5 sprigs of rosemary
  • 5 garlic cloves, halved
  • 10 to 12 chicken drumettes (I used about 26 chicken pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I did not have parsley)
  • (I added 3 tbsp of butter to the sauce when it was reducing)
Combine the balsamic, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, rosemary sprigs, and garlic cloves, in a large, re-sealable plastic bag. Shake and squeeze the contents of the bag to dissolve the honey and the brown sugar. Add the chicken drumsticks to the bag and seal with as little air as possible in the bag. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Place the chicken drumsticks on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until the skin is caramelized and very dark in spots, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the marinade in a small saucepan. Bring the marinade to a boil (in order to kill bacteria). Reduce the heat to simmer and cook over low heat until thick, about 15 minutes. Reserve.

Use a pastry brush to brush some of the cooked marinade on the cooked chicken. Place the chicken on a serving platter. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and the chopped parsley.

Cook's note: I like the rosemary and garlic flavors in the background. Brushing the cooked drumettes with the reduced marinade helps the flavors along. Also, re-moistening helps the parsley and the seeds to adhere.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fish with Fermented Strawberry Mango Salsa

Do you remember the Fermented Strawberry Mango Salsa that I made almost two weeks ago? I finally got around to serving it. The strawberries really made the entire salsa a bright red color. It's nice to see the vibrant colors. I think it's a sign of spring. I think this past winter, a lot of my foods were brownish with nice deep roasted colors but it was fitting for the season. A lot of times we get out of touch with what foods are grown in what season. You expect to find strawberries in the grocery store year round, but at least here in Texas they should just be making fruit right about this time. The strawberry plants in my front flowerbed are starting to put out little baby strawberries. Eating foods that are season is a goal I strive for, I'm not there all the way yet though. For instance, the broccoli on my plate isn't in season I don't think. I'm pretty sure broccoli is harvested in the fall. But like I said, it's all part of the journey to eating real, local foods!

Dinner tonight was flounder that was gently poached in a butter/olive oil combo. I served it with the salsa on top and steamed broccoli with butter. My husband I really liked the fish and the fruit salsa, but it was a bit too spice for the girls. They ate fresh strawberries with plain fish and the broccoli which they helped me cook.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What's For Dinner at My House: BBQ Chicken Pizza

For dinner tonight I used Almond Flour Crust Pizza and the BBQChicken Pizza I had made before and combined to make one dish. I did make my own  honey bar-b-q sauce this go around from some homemade fermented ketchup. Of course the probiotic aspects of the fermented ketchup get nixed when you heat it over 110 degrees, which I did while making the BBQ sauce, but still knowing it is a BBQ sauce without high fructose corn syrup, msg or other weird chemicals made me feel good about the dish.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lacto-Fermented Strawberry Mango Salsa

I'm not an expert at fermentation yet, but so far, I really love almost everything that I've fermented. It's also amazing to be able to preserve fresh food so easily and know that you are adding in probiotics while doing it. My plans for this salsa are to put on top of a pan seared tilapia or other such fish. I just mixed it together tonight so I need to let it sit for 3-4 days to ferment. By the way, I got the idea for this salsa at a blog called How Sweet it Is.

Lacto-Fermented Strawberry Mango Salsa

  • 2 ripe mangos
  • 1 pint of strawberries
  • 6-8 basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup of finely diced red onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of whey*
  • 1-2 tbsp of chopped fermented jalapeno or 1 jalapeno finely chopped

Dice up the mangos and strawberries and place them in a medium size bowl. Finely chop the red onion and add it in. Add the jalapenos, salt and pepper. With your hands, gently mash the fruit to bring out some of the juices (this helps with the fermentation.) Add 1/4 cup of whey and the basil leaves. Stir until everything is well mixed. Place inside a quart mason jar. If there doesn't seem to be enough liquid to cover the salsa, add just enough filtered water to cover. Cover the jar and let sit until you start to see small bubbles form (3-4 days usually.)

*One easy way to get whey is by draining plain whole milk yogurt. I put a coffee filter in a fine mesh strainer and put the yogurt in the strainer. I then let it sit over a bowl until the whey collects in the bottom of the bowl. Return yogurt to the container and you have extra thick yogurt to use in another dish. If you collect more than 1/4 cup of whey, save the extra whey in your refridgerator. It'll keep for months.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

What's For Dinner at My House: Toddler Hors d'œuvres

We had a fairly big lunch today, followed by a late snack. I wasn't anywhere near hungry so I made up a quick plate of toddler hors d'œuvres. A few grapes, cubes of cheese, black berries, nuts (already eaten before I photographed it) and deviled eggs made a quick dinner. Presented on a fun tray in the toy room while they are allowed to play while eating(!?!) made it a special treat instead of a boring and sparse looking dinner. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Green Chicken Coconut Curry

This dish was actually more green in person. I told my girls it was a late St. Patty's day dish and they ate it all up. Never mind that it isn't Irish by any means. It was green and that was cool. They are three. Sorry the measurements aren't very precise tonight.

Green Chicken Coconut Curry

2 chicken breasts
2-3 cloves of garlic
handful of sugar snap peas
2 handfuls of broccoli
1 green bell pepper
4-6 button mushrooms
couple tablespoons of curry powder
1 can of organic coconut milk
couple of tablespoons of coconut oil

Melt some coconut oil in a large skillet and saute chopped mushrooms, garlic, bell pepper and chopped broccoli. When the mushrooms start to brown and the bell pepper gets tender add curry powder. Stir, cooking the curry powder a bit to develop flavor. Add chicken and cook haflway. Add coconut milk and simmer on low until chicken is all the way cooked. Add sugar snap peas and cook a bit longer until they are tender. Remove from heat and stir in chopped parsley. Either eat brothy as an almost soup/stew or serve over rice.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin