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.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Homemade Granola

Every time I go to the grocery store I look at the ingredients in already made granola.  Each time I read the list of ingredients I am disappointed that each one has sugar, rice syrup or some other type of sugar.  I guess I am expecting a company to use natural ingredients like honey or maple syrup.  A friend of mine gave me a recipe after we had a long discussion about what is in pre-made granola.  I tailored this recipe to what I wanted in it as well as what spices I could actually eat due to allergies.

Homemade Granola
8 cups organic gluten free old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup sliced organic almonds
1 cup raw pecans
1 cup walnuts
1 cup pumpkin seeds

1 cup sunflower oil
3/4 cup honey
1/3 cup maple syrup
1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (like Bob's Red Mill)

1 cup dried blueberries
1 cup dried strawberries (chopped slightly)
1 cup dried cherries (chopped slightly)
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup mulberries

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Toss together oats and nuts (EXCEPT FOR SLICED ALMONDS) in a bowl.

Toss together, flax seeds, sliced almonds and coconut in a bowl, set aside.

Toss together, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, raisins and mulberries in a bowl, set aside.

Whisk together, oil, honey, maple syrup, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger; mix well.  Pour over oat and nut mixture.  Toss oats and nuts until everything is coated.  Divide by pouring into two large baking sheets (this will allow room to stir).  Place in oven and bake, stirring every 15 minutes (if you are using two pans on two different shelves, swap pans on shelves every 15 minutes).

At the halfway mark (after baked for 30 minutes) add, sliced almonds, flax seeds and coconut, dividing between the two pans, stir to incorporate.

Bake until the mixture is a golden brown, about 60 minutes.  Do not it over brown.  Remove from oven.

Add dried fruit to pans and toss to coat.

Lay wax paper onto counter, enough to cover and allow for room.  Pour granola on wax paper and let cool, stirring occasionally.  Once cool, place in Ziploc bags (do not fully seal bags).  Later that day or next day, place granola into freezer bags.  Place about 2 cups per bag and freeze.  Freezing will keep the granola crunchy.

I found that this recipe made about 14 cups of granola.

 Granola cooling 
Granola ready for the freezer
A bowl of granola with coconut milk

Some notes 
Other spices you can add:
Reduce about of cinnamon to 1/2 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
1/8 teaspoon ground mace (optional)
You can also add other dried fruits:
3/4 cup cranberries