Thursday, October 9, 2014

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Cashew Cheese

I found this recipe on a blog called Plaid & Paleo.  It is amazing!  We literally felt like we were eating something that we weren't supposed to, yes it really is that amazing.  I have to thank Plaid & Paleo for the recipe.

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Cashew Cheese

(This recipe is Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo)

For the Italian Seasoning:
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

For the Sauce:
1 - 15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 - 6 ounce can tomato paste
1/2 cup roasted red peppers
1/2 tablespoon italian seasoning (from above)
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


For the Meat Portion:
1 pound grass fed beef
1 tablespoon italian seasoning (from above)
1 teaspoon ghee or olive oil
1 red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 butternut squash
Cashew Cheese (recipe below)

Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Blend all italian spice seasoning with a mortar and pestle.  For the sauce, mix all ingredients together in a sauce pan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add in 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Using a immersion blender, puree sauce until smooth.
Mix remaining seasoning with the ground beef.  Heat ghee in skillet over medium-high heat.  Toss in onions and garlic.  Cook until garlic is fragrant.  Add meat and brown, breaking the meat into small pieces as it cooks.
Cut the bottom of the squash off to sturdy it and peel. To peel use a knife down the sides.  Cut the squash where the round part and neck meet.  Now cut each of those pieces lengthwise.  Remove seeds and stringy bits.  Cut squash into 1/2 inch planks.

To assemble: Using a 9x9 inch baking dish, spread a small layer of sauce evenly on the bottom.  Lay an even layer of squash planks, doing your best not to overlap.  Scoop on a layer of meat.  Repeat process until you run out of ingredients, but make sure you save enough sauce to be the final layer.  Bake for 40 minutes, remove from oven and add some of the cheese, cook for another 5 minutes.

My Notes on this recipe:  Using the full amount of red pepper will make it a spicy sauce, if you don't like it spicy just reduce the amount used.  I think this recipe would be great with a ground italian sausage.   Also, I think the next time I make this I will add a layer of cashew cheese on each layer.




Cashew Cheese
I have made cashew cheese once before and the last time it was okay, but this recipe is great.  I also used a food processor the last time and my vitamix this time.  The blender makes a world of difference.   You don't need to let this cheese sit for using it for the recipe, it can be used immediately.

1-1/2 cups plain cashew nuts (not roasted or salted)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 teaspoons raw apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
Place nuts into a bowl, cover with water and let sit overnight.  Drain the nuts and place them into a blender along with the other ingredients.  Mix thoroughly until pureed, stopping and scrapping down the sides.  Add a little more water as necessary.  I added just enough to make it the consistency of a thick sour cream.
Transfer to a bowl, cover and let stand somewhere cool for 24 hours before placing it in the refrigerator.  The cheese will keep for another 5 days.





Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Baked Beans

I had a picnic to go to for work where we each had to bring something to share (a pot luck).  I really wanted to make baked beans but every recipe I came across has sugar in it.  I do not consume sugar (except the natural variety like fruit, honey, and maple syrup).  So I found a recipe and adapted it to what I needed.

This recipe is Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free, Nut Free and Paleo (only if you eat legumes)

Baked Beans
This makes a double batch that will feed about 12 people
2 pounds dried navy beans
2 pounds bacon, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
1/2 tomato paste
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup honey plus 2 tablespoons (I used a mixture of a darker honey and then the tablespoons of a lighter honey like clover)
Vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons fresh black pepper
4 teaspoons kosher salt

Soak beans in a plastic container overnight in just enough cold water to submerge them completely.
Heat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a cast iron dutch oven over medium heat, stir in the bacon, onion, and jalapenos until enough fat has rendered from the bacon to soften the onions, about 5 minutes.  Stir in tomato paste, honey, and molasses.   Drain the beans and reserve the soaking liquid.  Add the drained beans to the pan.  Place the soaking liquid in a measuring cup and add enough vegetable broth to equal 8 cups of liquid.  Add the liquid to the pan and bring to a boil over high heat.  Add in cayenne, black pepper and salt.  Give them a stir and cover with lid. Place pan in the oven for 6 to 8 hours, or until beans are tender.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Overnight Coconut Oats

I came across this recipe yesterday and thought what the heck I might as well try it.  It was super easy to make, only took about 5 minutes.  The recipe came from the blog My Whole Food Life.  I tweaked it a little bit to accommodate what I had available.

Overnight Coconut Oats
Makes 1 serving
1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats
1/3 to 1/2 cup half almond or coconut milk **
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
2 teaspoons chia seeds
2 teaspoons maple syrup
fruit - strawberries or blueberries
Put everything in a jar and mix.  Cover and place in refrigerator overnight.  Top with your favorite fruit.
**I made two servings of this, one was with 1/3 cup of milk and the other with 1/2 cup.  They were both really good and the 1/2 cup one was not watery.  Experiment with this to get it to your taste.  The author of the blog where this recipe came from makes several jars for the week, so she can grab it and go.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Crock Pot Pork Barbecue

If you are a regular follower of my blog you have probably noticed that I have been absent for a while.  I have been really busy.  I am currently a student pilot.  I am working on getting my private pilots license and so a lot of my free time I am trying to study (it has been awhile since I was in school and trying to get back into a study habit is hard).  I will try to put my recipes out here for everyone to enjoy.

Crock Pot Pork Barbecue
1 large onion, peeled and sliced thin
1 large pork butt, with some of the excess fat removed
1 tablespoon onion powder
In a crock pot add the onion, place pork, fat side up, on top and sprinkle with onion powder (if you are wondering why onion powder and onions - I add it because it adds another dimension of flavor).  Turn crock pot to high and let cook all day (about 6 hours).  The pork should be able to be pulled apart with a fork when it is done.  Just before serving, keeping the pork in the crock pot, using forks, shred the meat and remove bone if there is one.  The pork and the onions will come together.  Serve on your favorite bun or by itself.  I added a little cooked bacon and some homemade sauce (see recipes below).

North Carolina Vinegar Sauce
1 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (if you wanted it hotter you could also add some cayenne pepper or your favorite Tabasco sauce)
Mix all ingredients.  I mixed it into a mason jar so that you could just shake the ingredients to mix them.

Tomato Vinegar Sauce
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
1-1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (if you wanted it hotter you could also add some cayenne pepper or your favorite Tabasco sauce)
Mix all ingredients.  I mixed it into a mason jar so that you could just shake the ingredients to mix them.

Mustard Sauce
1/2 cup white vinegar
6 ounces yellow mustard
1/4 of a onion, minced
8 tablespoons of water
8 tablespoons of tomato puree
1/2 tablespoon paprika
3 cloves of garlic, minced (I use a garlic press)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for about 20-25 minutes.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Grilled Brussell Sprouts

We love love love brussell sprouts in this house.  We had decided to grill some chicken and have a little salad for dinner.  Instead of cooking the sprouts in the house we decided to cook them on the grill.  They came out fantastic, super easy and easy to clean up afterward.

Grilled Brussell Sprouts
Cut bottoms off sprouts, cut in half. Place on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Fold foil in half and pinch all the sides to make a sealed packet. Place on a 500 degree grill, direct heat and cook for 5 minutes, flip packet and cook for 5 minutes more, remove to indirect heat and cook for 10 minutes. Cut packet open and serve.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Black Cod with a Saffron Creme Sauce

I always come across recipes, I guess you could say I like to read them.  I adapt most recipes to make them my own (due to allergies, etc).

This recipe is (Dairy Free, Gluten Free, and Paleo)


Black Cod with Saffron Creme Sauce
2 black cod filets (this came from SeaBear)
olive oil
1 cup white wine (I used a Chardonnay from Veramar Vineyards)
2 tablespooon ghee
2 tablespoons full fat coconut milk (from a can)
pinch of salt
pinch of saffron
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place cod on a cookie sheet and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil.  Place fish into oven and bake for about 15 minutes (don't overcook this fish).

In a saucepan, add wine.  Bring to a boil and reduce to about half.  Whisk in ghee and coconut milk, whisk thoroughly.  Add saffron, continue to whisk and cook over high heat; continue to whisk.  Taste  and adjust with a pinch of salt if needed.

Served with a baked sweet potato and sauteed kale

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Paleo Steak Marinade

This recipe came from a friend many years ago.  It was my go to marinate for steaks.  I adapted this recipe for a paleo type diet.

Steak Marinade
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup coconut aminos
1 teaspoon ground ginger
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly.   Place marinade over steaks and marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight.



We grilled steaks, had a side of grilled Japanese sweet potatoes, and a side salad.