Important note: I’ve been working for a few months on setting up a teleconference support group for those interested. I’ve finally been able to negotiate and it’s ready to go! The idea is to have it weekly for 45 minutes to one hour. I could speak on a topic and then there would be time for questions and answers. If any interest, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and write support group in the description.
I’m posting recipes I receive and ones my wife uses to show that it is possible to eat a very healthy diet and still have it taste even better than the commercial foods out their that are slowing poisoning us. My wife is an excellent cook and collects recipes!
BUTTERNUT SQUASH & SAGE RISOTTO: (No Gluten)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup leek, white part and 1 inch of green, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
1½ cups Arborio rice
2 cups butternut squash flesh, diced (¼ to ½ inch cubes)
4–5 cups low sodium vegetable broth, heated until hot
2 cups butternut squash flesh, finely diced
½ cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons salt and pepper sunflower seeds
4 tablespoons almond milk
Pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese* or rosemary orange pecans
- In a food processor, combine the nuts, seeds, milk and nutmeg until smooth. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and sauté the leek, garlic and sage for about 5 minutes until golden.
- Add the rice and squash and sauté for 2 minutes until all of the rice grains are well coated in oil.
- Add 1 cup of stock and simmer, stirring until absorbed. Continue to add stock, ½ cup at a time, stirring frequently for about 20-25 minutes, until the rice is creamy.
- When there is only a small amount of liquid left in the risotto, stir in the nut mixture, salt and pepper. Continue to simmer until all the liquid is absorbed.
- Cover saucepan and let rest 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese or nuts and serve immediately.
Broccoli-Basil Mac and Cheese
1 small butternut, acorn, or other winter squash, peeled, seeded and cut into tiny chunks
1 bunch of basil, stems removed
2 slices good brown bread, stale or dried out in the oven
1/2 a small head of broccoli (100 g / 3.5 oz), roughly chopped
4 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
~ 1 3/4 cups / 3.5 oz / 100 g grated white cheddar cheese
~ 1 3/4 cups / 3.5 oz / 100 g grated gruyere cheese
a large handful of (yellow) cherry tomatoes
3 cups / 300 g dried (whole wheat) macaroni elbows
Preheat your oven to 400F / 200C with a rack in the middle. Put a large pot of water on to boil.
Place the squash on a large baking sheet, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden.
In the meantime, pulse half the basil, all of the bread, the broccoli and a lug of olive oil in a food processor until you’ve got a fine crumb. It’ll be a bit damp – that’s o.k. Transfer to a small bowl and give the processor a rinse.
In a separate bowl, combine the creme fraiche and grated cheeses.
Place the cherry tomatoes in the food processor with the remaining basil. Pulse a couple times to break things up, then add to the creme fraiche mixture and stir well.
Boil the pasta in well-salted water for a bit less time than the package suggests – you want it ever so slightly undercooked. Drain, reserving a big cup of the hot pasta water for later use. Return the hot pasta to the pan and add the cheese mixture to it. Add the squash and give it a good stir. Add pasta water to thin the sauce to the consistency of cream. It can be a bit runny as the pasta will soak it up in the oven.
Transfer everything to a large baking dish or casserole. Sprinkle the green breadcrumbs evenly across the top and bake for 20 -25 minutes or until the topping is crunchy. Remove from the oven, and wait 10 minutes before serving.
Serves 8 – 10.
Baked Quinoa Patties
2 1/2 cups / 12 oz /340 g cooked quinoa, at room temperature*
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/3 cup/ .5 oz /15 g finely chopped fresh chives
1/3 cup /.5 oz /15 g finely chopped fresh dill
1 cup / 1.5 oz /45 g finely chopped kale
1 yellow or white onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon (toasted) cumin
1 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup / 3.5 oz /100 g whole grain bread crumbs, plus more if needed
water or a bit of flour, if needed
1/3 cup / .5 oz / 15 g crumbled feta
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or clarified butter
Preheat oven to 400F / 200C.
Combine the quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the chives, dill, kale, onion, garlic, and cumin. Stir well.
Add the baking powder and bread crumbs, stir, and let sit for a few minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture.
Gently stir in the feta.
At this point, you should have a mixture you can easily form into twelve 1-inch / 2.5cm thick patties. I err on the very moist side because it makes for a not-overly-dry patty, but you can add more bread crumbs, a bit at a time, to firm up the mixture, if need be. Conversely, a bit more beaten egg or water can be used to moisten the mixture. If you’re still having trouble getting the mixture to hold – mix in flour, a couple tablespoons at a time.
Oil a baking sheet, and arrange the patties with a bit of space between each. Bake for ~20 minutes, or until the bottoms are brown. Flip and bake for another 5 minutes.
Enjoy hot, or allow to cool to room temperature on a cooling rack.
Makes about a dozen patties.
*To cook quinoa: Combine 2 cups/ 12 oz/340 g of well-rinsed uncooked quinoa with 3 cups / 700 ml water and 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, decrease the heat, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the quinoa is tender and you can see the little quinoa curlicues.
**Alternately, you can cook the patties in a skillet. Here’s how – Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat, add 6 patties, if they’ll fit with some room between each, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms are deeply browned. Turn up the heat if there is no browning after 10 minutes and continue to cook until the patties are browned. Carefully flip the patties with a spatula and cook the second sides for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties. Alternatively, the quinoa mixture keeps nicely in the refrigerator for a few days; you can cook patties to order, if you prefer.
Prep time: 10 min – Cook time: 25 min
Spiced Cauliflower with Sesame Seeds
Feel free to adjust the spiciness to your liking. And a suggestion for those of you averse to cilantro – try slivered basil instead.
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or clarified butter
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 medium yellow onions, finely sliced
a pinch of turmeric
fine grain sea salt
1 medium / 12 oz cauliflower, thinly sliced
4 dried red chiles, stemmed and halved
1-2 teaspoon sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1 garlic clove, grated
4 cm / 1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1-2 green jalapeno chiles, seeds removed, finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro / coriander
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the cumin seeds and cook until they begin to crackle, just 30 seconds or so. Stir in the onions, along with the turmeric and a few pinches of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onions caramelize a bit and turn lightly golden, roughly 7 – 10 minutes. Add the red chiles, sesame seeds, garlic, and half of the ginger. Continue to cook for another minute. Add the cauliflower and stir well. Cover the pan and cook the cauliflower over low-medium heat for 3 – 5 minutes, until just tender.
When the cauliflower is nearly cooked, remove the lid, increase the heat, and stir in the green chiles and remaining ginger. Salt to taste, sprinkle with cilantro and enjoy.
Shredded Brussels Sprouts & Apples
Feel free to leave out the tofu if you like – I add it to make this a one skillet meal.
I used the Wildwood Organics baked savory tofu here, it browns up nicely and holds its shape – though any extra-firm tofu will work. If you don’t feel like shredding the brussels sprouts, you could do a version of this recipes cutting them into quarters instead – a bit quicker as far as prepping the ingredients goes.
1 large, crisp apple, cut into bite-sized wedges
1 lemon, juice only
4 ounces extra-firm tofu cut into tiny-inch cubes (see photo)
a couple pinches of fine-grain sea salt
a couple splashes of olive oil
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
a scant tablespoon of maple syrup
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted and chopped
12 ounces (3/4 pound). brussels sprouts, washed and cut into 1/8-inch wide ribbons
Soak the apples in a bowl filled with water and the juice of one lemon.
Cook the tofu in large hot skillet with a bit of salt and a splash of oil. Saute until golden, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic, wait a few seconds, now stir in the maple syrup, and cook another 30 seconds or so. Drain the apples, and add them to the skillet, cooking for another minute. Scrape the apple and tofu mixture out onto a plate and set aside while you cook the brussels sprouts.
In the same pan (no need to wash), add a touch more oil, another pinch of salt, and dial the heat up to medium-high. When the pan is nice and hot stir in the shredded brussels sprouts. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring a couple times (but not too often) until you get some golden bits, and the rest of the sprouts are bright and delicious.
Stir the apple mixture back into the skillet alongside the brussels sprouts 1/2 of the pine nuts – gently stir to combine. Remove from heat and enjoy immediately sprinkled with the remaining pine nuts. This isn’t a dish you want sitting around, the flavors change dramatically after ten minutes or so, and I think that is part of the reason brussels sprouts get a bad rap. Even I don’t like them after they’ve been sitting around.
Serves 2 – 3 as a main, 4 as a side.
Carrot Oatmeal Cookie Recipe
After your initial batch experiment with the type of nuts/seeds you use. Lemon zest, clarified butter, and olive oil might be ingredients to play around with as well
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup real maple syrup, room temperature
1/2 cup unrefined (fragrant) coconut oil, warmed until just melted
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
Preheat oven to 375F degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and oats. Add the nuts and carrots. In a separate smaller bowl use a whisk to combine the maple syrup, coconut oil, and ginger. Add this to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Drop onto prepared baking sheets, one level tablespoonful at a time, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake in the top 1/3 of the oven for 10 – 12 minutes or until the cookies are golden on top and bottom.
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.
Chocolate Puddle Cookies
I’ve used both 365 organic powdered sugar from Whole Foods, and Hain organic powdered sugar with success. I prefer to use non-alkalized cocoa powder (Scharrfen Berger or Dagoba) but also tested with Droste, which is a Dutch-process cocoa powder. All with success. On the nut front, be mindful of how you toast your walnuts – it’s the single factor that impacts the personality of these cookies most. Using deeply toasted walnuts makes for a much more intense, nutty cookie. Lightly toasted walnuts can sometimes be mistaken for chocolate chips, and make for a much more mild cookie. Both good! Also, cooking time – you don’t want to over or under bake here – over bake, and your cookies will cool too a crisp, under bake, and they are too floppy and crumbly. Also, underbaking makes it more difficult to remove the cookies from the parchment paper after baking – you get the swing of it after a batch or two. Use large eggs, I suspect if you use extra-large, the batter will run, and you’ll have to compensate with more powdered sugar.
3 cups / 11 oz / 310 g walnut halves, toasted & cooled
4 cups / 1 lb / 453 g confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons / 2 oz / 60 g unsweetened cocoa powder
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 tablespoon real, good-quality vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 320F / 160C degrees and position racks in the top and bottom third. Line three (preferably rimmed) baking sheets with parchment paper. Or you can bake in batches with fewer pans.
Make sure your walnuts have cooled a bit, then chop coarsely and set aside. Sift together the confectioner’s sugar, cocoa powder, and sea salt. Stir in the walnuts, then add the egg whites and vanilla. Stir until well combined.
Spoon the batter onto the prepared sheets in mounds of about 2 tablespoons each, allowing for PLENTY of room between cookies. These cookies are like reverse Shrinky Dinks – they really expand. Don’t try to get more than 6 cookies on each sheet, and try to avoid placing the batter too close to the edge of the pan.
Bake until they puff up. The tops should get glossy, and then crack a bit – about 12 -15 minutes. Have faith, they look sad at first, then really blossom. You may want to rotate the pans top/bottom/back/front.
Slide the cookies still on parchment onto a cooling rack, and let them cool completely. They will keep in an airtight for a couple days.
Makes 18 large cookies.
Prep time: 20 min – Cook time: 15 min