Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Almond Crusted Halibut

I did a recipe a while back with a macadamia crusted halibut, this time I wanted to use almond flour.

Almond Crusted Halibut
2 pieces of Halibut
3/4 cup almond flour
Salt and pepper
1 egg, whipped
Olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Season fish with salt and pepper.  Brush top of fish with egg, dip (top only) into almond flour, pressing it onto fish.  Preheat olive oil in a large skillet (one that can go into the oven) over medium-high heat.  Add fish nut side down and sear for 3 to 4 minutes until golden brown (make sure pan isn't too hot like I did).  Flip the fish and cook 3 minutes more.  Place pan into oven and cook for 8 to 10 minutes until done.

I served this with a baked Japanese Sweet Potato

Monday, December 30, 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Smoked Salmon

I have made this soup before but this time I did things a little different and also served it topped with some smoked salmon.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
1 butternut squash
3 carrots (I used several since ours came from our garden and were a small variety)
4 cups homemade chicken broth
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Salt and Pepper to taste
Smoked Salmon, from SeaBear
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Peel squash, cut in half and scoop out seeds.  Cut squash into small chunks and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Cut carrots (I didn't peel my carrots since they came from the garden) into chunks and place on cookie sheet with squash.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Place in oven and bake for about 20 minutes or so, until they begin to get soft and slightly brown.  In a blender (you may have to split this into two different batches), add part of the roasted squash and carrots, add half of the chicken broth and coconut milk.  Blend until smooth.  Pour into a large pot.  Repeat with the rest of squash, carrot, chicken broth and coconut milk.  Pour into pot.   Whisk in cumin, cinnamon, ginger and salt.  Stir as you cook it over medium high heat.
 Serve with salmon on top.  Also my husband wanted a dollop of sour cream on his.

Christmas Cocktails 2013

Several years ago I did a post with some Christmas Cocktails.  They were a huge hit.  Thought I would give it a try again this year.

Here are the two that were made:

Jack Frost
Into a blender add:
4 cups of ice
1 cup all natural, no added sugar, pineapple juice
1 cup Blue Curacao
1/2 cup Light Rum
Blend until smooth.  Pour into martini glasses.  This will make about 4 drinks.

Eggnog Martini (dairy free)
In a shaker add:
1 part Vodka
1 park Amaretto
1 part Eggnog (homemade, recipe below)
Crushed Ice
Shake and pour into a martini glass.

Homemade Eggnog
In a blender add:
1 egg (make sure that it is a fresh pastured egg)
few grains of salt
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon almond flavoring
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

Pepperoni Snack Pizzas

I was looking for dairy free and gluten free things I could make over the holidays.  I came across this and thought holy cow this is perfect!  Not only is it super easy to make it, you can have it anytime you have a craving for pizza.  When you bake this it makes your whole house smell like pizza.  Not only can you make these but you can use any topping that you usually like to have on your pizza.

Pepperoni Snack Pizzas
1 package of uncured pepperoni slices (I used Applegate), if you can't find it head to your local deli and get them to slice it for you.  You want the large slices of pepperoni.
1 can tomato paste
Onion Powder
Pizza toppings (thin sliced green pepper, sliced black olives, marinated artichokes)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cover a baking sheet with foil.  Place pepperoni slices onto baking sheet.  In a small bowl, add tomato paste and a little bit of water (add just enough water to thin it out but you don't want a runny sauce).  Add onion powder, oregano and basil to taste.  Onto each slice of pepperoni spread on a little bit of sauce.  Add your toppings.  Place in oven and bake for about 10 minutes.  You want the pepperoni to be crispy on the edges.  Let cool slightly, eat and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Macadamia Crusted Halibut with Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Macadamia Crusted Halibut
2 pieces of Halibut
3/4 cup macadamia nuts, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 egg white
Olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Season fish with salt and pepper.  Brush top of fish with egg white, dip (top only) into macadamia nuts, pressing them onto fish.  Preheat olive oil in a large skillet (one that can go into the oven) over medium-high heat.  Add fish nut side down and sear for 3 to 4 minutes until golden brown (make sure pan isn't too hot like I did).  Flip the fish and cook 3 minutes more.  Place pan into oven and cook for 8 to 10 minutes until done.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 cup arrowroot powder
pinch of salt
1/2 egg (break egg into a bowl and whisk it.  Use only half of the egg)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place sweet potato into a pan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes until tender.  Drain.  Cool the sweet potatoes and then mash them.  Make sure that all the lumps are gone.  Add salt, egg and mix well.  Slowly add flour and mix the dough until manageable.  Roll them into thin logs with some arrowroot powder on your palms so that it doesn't stick.  Once you have rolled them into logs cut them into equal 1/2 inch bite sized pieces.  Here is a video on how to get the edges on them (I still could use a hands on lesson from a professional).  Line them up on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.  (DO NOT BOIL THESE, they will not stay together and all of the arrowroot powder that you used will thicken your water).  Bake for 10 minutes.  Serve with your favorite sauce.  (I made a simple sauce of canned diced tomatoes and some herbs, cooked it until warm and served over the gnocchi).


Found this recipe on Elana's Pantry.  I have been wanting to make them for a while.  The cookies are considered paleo as well as gluten free, egg free, dairy free (if you don't use a chocolate that contains dairy).  I decided to call them cookies instead of trying to put some kind of label on them. Elana's recipe is for chocolate chip, which these are not.  Also, I split the dough in half and made some with macadamia nuts and the other half with Sunspire Milk Chocolate Sun Drops, I made this half for my husband, I am allergic to chocolate :-(

The original recipe calls for almond flour, I substituted hazelnut flour in its place.

Cookies (Paleo, Gluten Free, Egg Free, Dairy Free)
2 cups hazelnut flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup vegan shortening (I use spectrum vegetable shortening)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup chocolate drops or 1/8 cup macadamia nuts (only if splitting the recipe, otherwise use 1/2 cup of chocolate chips or drops)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Combine flour, salt and baking soda into a food processor.  Pulse in shortening, honey and vanilla until a dough forms.  Remove from food processor, add chocolate.  (split the dough in half and add what you would like).  Scoop dough about 1 tablespoon onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Press down balls of dough lightly.  Bake for 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes.  Removing them sooner will make them fall apart.
Macadamia Nut Cookies

Chocolate Cookies

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

On a cold evening there is nothing better than a nice bowl of hearty soup.  Had a butternut squash sitting on the counter just begging to be cooked.  Finally had a plan and decided to make soup. Along with this soup I also did a baked chicken.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
1 butternut squash
3 carrots (I used several since ours came from our garden and were a small variety)
4 cups homemade chicken broth
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cooked bacon, cut into small pieces
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Peel squash, cut in half and scoop out seeds.  Cut squash into small chunks and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Cut carrots (I didn't peel my carrots since they came from the garden) into chunks and place on cookie sheet with squash.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Place in oven and bake for about 20 minutes or so, until they begin to get soft and slightly brown.  In a large pot, add chicken broth, coconut milk, and spices, heat over low heat.  Add cooked squash and carrots.  Use either an immersion blender or an actual blender to blend the soup until smooth.  Serve with bacon pieces on top.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Baked Spaghetti Squash Casserole (gluten free, dairy free)

Came across this recipe the other day and thought this would be a great thing to do with the squash I have sitting in my kitchen.  We also bought the squash to cook and feed to our turtle (don't know if he will eat any of it or not).

The recipe came from My Heart Beets.  Lots of great gluten free and dairy free as well as paleo.

Baked Spaghetti Squash Casserole
1 spaghetti squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground beef
5 large garlic cloves, minced
1 red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 egg, whisked
salt and pepper to taste

To cook the squash:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds.  Drizzle cut sides with olive oil and place cut side down onto a cookie sheet.  Bake for about 45 minutes or until tender.  Using a fork scrape the insides of the squash out (it will look like spaghetti).

To make the casserole:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add onions and a pinch of salt.  Cook until onions are tender and translucent.  Add garlic, stir.  Add ground beef and spices.  Once beef is about brown, add the tomatoes and spaghetti squash and mix all together.  Add egg to mixture then pour it all into a greased casserole dish.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden on top.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hot Ham Sandwiches

We have another pot luck dinner to go to tonight.  I thought about making the meatballs again from the other night but thought better of it.  I wanted something simple and easy.  I have made this recipe in the past and people love it.  The original recipe calls for the use of apple juice, since I am allergic I substituted pineapple juice.  The original recipe also actually calls for sugar, which we no longer use in this house.  I converted the recipe using honey and molasses. Serve this with or without buns, hawaiian sweet rolls are a favorite.

This recipe is close to being paleo but not quite.

Hot Ham Sandwiches
12 Servings
3 pounds thinly sliced uncured deli ham (about 40 slices)
2 cups pineapple juice
2/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
Separate ham slices and place in a 3 quart slow cooker.  In a bowl combine the pineapple juice, honey, molasses, relish, mustard and paprika; mix.  Pour over ham.  Cover and cook on low 4-5 hours or until heated through.  Place 4-5 slices of ham on each roll with a little bit of juice.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hawaiian Meatballs

I have a pot luck dinner to go to tomorrow night.  I went ahead and made my meal tonight which will save me time tomorrow and all I need to do is put it in the crock pot and warm it up.  You can also double this recipe which is what I did.

Simple and Easy!

Hawaiian Meatballs
1 pound ground beef
1 egg, beaten
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon coconut aminos (you can also use soy sauce or tamari)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place all ingredients into a large bowl.  Form meat into 1 inch balls.  Place meatballs into a baking dish that has been sprayed with olive oil.  Place into oven and cook for 15 minutes, remove from oven and turn meatballs over, return to oven and cook for about 5 minutes more.

In a small bowl combine:
2 tablespoons arrowroot
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons coconut aminos
Mix well with a whisk, set aside.

In a large saucepan add:
2 tablespoons ghee
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup diced green peppers
1 can pineapple chunks in natural juice, reserving juice
Over medium high heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the arrowroot mixture and the following ingredients to the pan.
1/2 cup vinegar
3/4 cup reserved pineapple juice
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ginger
Simmer, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.  Add cooked meatballs and serve.

If you are serving this the next day like I am, I placed the sauce and the meatballs into my crock pot, pot.  That way all I need to do tomorrow is place it in the electric part of the crock pot turn it on and serve.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Breakfast Bars (Grain Free and Dairy Free)

I have made these bars before and really enjoyed them.  This time I changed it slightly.

Breakfast Bars (Grain Free and Dairy Free)
1 cup almond flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
1/4 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a food processor add almond flour, salt and cinnamon, process to mix.  Add coconut oil, honey and water and process.  Add in coconut, pumpkin seeds, hemp hearts, almonds and raisins; process until thoroughly mixed.  Press mixture into a greased 8x8 inch baking pan (I used a rubber spatula to help me with this).  Bake for 20 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Cool completely before cutting.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

If you are a regular reader of my blog you have probably been wondering where I have been.  It has been a crazy fall.  Time is flying by and here we are at the end of November already with the end the of year creeping ever slightly closer. I wanted to share with you the dishes that I made for our Thanksgiving Feast.

Roasted Turkey
Fresh sage, thyme, and oregano
A couple of cloves of garlic, peeled
1 lemon, cut into quarters
8 tablespoons of Ghee (I used this in place of butter)
Salt and Pepper
Take the herbs, lemon and garlic and put them into the cavity of the bird.  Sprinkle in a little salt and pepper. Spread some ghee on and around the bird. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Put foil over turkey.  Place in oven for 1 hour (this is key, it's called blasting the bird) then after 1 hour turn the oven down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cook the turkey for about 15-20 minutes per pound until the thermometer reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit.  Add some homemade chicken broth to make enough gravy.  To thicken it I use Arrowroot.

Mashed Parsnips
8 parsnips, peeled and diced
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup coconut milk, warmed in a pan on the stove
Add diced parsnips to a large pan of water, bring to a boil and cook until tender.  Remove from stove and drain.  Place drained parsnips back into pan and place on burner (do not have burner on).  Use a potato masher to masher the parsnips, add garlic cloves.  Using a immersion blender, blender the mixture by slowly adding some coconut milk until you get the right consistency.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts
2 pounds brussel sprouts, washed and cut in half
1 pound of bacon, diced
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Add bacon to a pan over medium high heat and cook until crispy.  Remove bacon, reserving fat.  Place brussel sprouts into a small casserole dish.  Drizzle sprouts with bacon fat.  Place in oven and cook for about 30 minutes until tender.  Mix in cooked bacon to incorporate and add a little bit of salt to taste.  Serve.

Roasted Whole Sweet Potatoes
Wrap sweet potatoes in foil and place in oven, cook for about 1 hour or longer depending on size of sweet potato. 

Paleo Pumpkin Pie
I have to place all the credit for this recipe to Elana's Pantry
Pie Crust
2 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 egg
Place flour and salt into a food processor and pulse briefly.  Add coconut oil and egg, pulse until mixture forms a ball.  Press dough into a 9-inch pie dish.  
Pumpkin Pie Filling
1 - 15 ounce canned pumpkin puree
3 eggs
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
In a food processor combine pumpkin puree and eggs.  Pulse in coconut milk, honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Pour filling into a pie crust.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, allow to cool then refrigerate for 2 hours to set up.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Paleo Cinnamon Buns (dairy free, wheat free, sugar free)

I have to say this is the best thing I have eaten in a while.  I got the recipe from a blog I follow called The Urban Poser.  Eating these rolls made me feel like I was eating something I was not supposed to have but they were really good for you.  They were delicious!

The rolls are more like a roll that is made more like a biscuit consistency.

Paleo Cinnamon Buns (dairy free, wheat free, sugar free)
For the rolls:
3 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons honey
2 large eggs at room temperature

For the filling:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup raisins soaked in water to plump
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 340 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt and baking soda.  In a separate bowl, gently beat together coconut oil, honey and eggs.  Add the egg mixture to the almond flour mixture.  Mix until a smooth dough is formed.  It will be sticky at first, continue to mix until it firms up some.  Let rest in refrigerator for about 10 minutes.  Lightly grease the outside of the ball of dough.  Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper to keep it from sticking when you roll it up.  Roll to about a 9x13 size rectangle.  Drizzle the dough with honey, using your hand to carefully spread it around.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and pecans.  Drain and squeeze out the liquid from the raisins and spread over the dough.  From the small end of the dough, start to roll the edge up.  Try to start a tight roll from the beginning.  Continue rolling until you have a uniform log.  With a sharp knife, cut the roll into thick slices.  Place the rolls cut side down onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.  Let cool before removing them from cookie sheet.  Drizzle with icing just before serving.

1/4 cup softened coconut butter
2 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup coconut milk
Mix together coconut butter and honey to form a thick paste.  Add coconut milk a little at a time until you get the consistency you want.  Spread/drizzle over the cinnamon buns.

Ginger Dressing

I made this dressing the other night to go over a grilled salmon salad and it was fantastic.  I believe that I could eat this dressing on just about anything, of course though I love ginger.

Ginger Dressing
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Mix all ingredients into a jar and shake until well mixed.

The salmon was cooked on the grill using cedar (wood) wrappers.  The wrappers impart a nice flavor to the salmon.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Braised Lamb Shanks

I have to start this post as a confession, I have never made lamb shanks before in my life.  I decided to give it a try when I purchased them at the Farmer's Market yesterday.   Truth be told, I am not really afraid to make anything.  I love trying new things.  I decided a nice slow roasting of the shank was in order so that they would cook to fall right off the bone.  In case you don't know what a lamb shank is I put a couple of pictures prior to cooking.  Also, here is a definition.

I began to look at the fundamentals of this meal and realized that the majority of it either came from local farms or our own garden.  Mike planted a winter garden of several different things.  A winter garden is usually something that you have that comes up during the winter.  He planted kale and it was so happy it came right on up and we were lucky enough to be able to enjoy it now.

Braised Lamb Shanks
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 small onions, halved and thinly sliced
Kosher salt (add pepper if you want as well)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 - 28 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes and 1 - 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 lamb shanks
1/2 cup room temperature red wine (I used a Cabernet Franc)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a large oven proof dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add onions and season with salt.  Cook, stirring occasionally to help separate the onions and cook them until softened about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add tomatoes (using a spoon to break up the whole tomatoes) and cook until they break down.  Add lamb shanks and cover with the sauce.  Bring to a boil, cover and place pot into oven.  Cook for about 3 hours, or until lamb is fork tender.  With about the last 15 minutes of cook time, remove lid and add wine.  Cover again and let cook until done.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces
Up to a 1/4 cup of coconut milk
Place sweet potatoes into a large pan and cover with water.  Place pan over high heat and bring to a boil.  Continue to boil (don't let it boil over by adjusting the heat) and cook until fork tender.  Drain and then add sweet potatoes back into the pan and place on stove (no heat).  Using a potato masher, mash them while adding a little bit of coconut milk.  Continue to mash and add milk until you get the consistency you like.

Cooked Kale
1 large bunch of kale, washed and cut into small pieces
2 shallots, diced
extra virgin olive oil
1/4 white wine
In a large heavy bottom skillet heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add shallots and cook until tender.  Add kale and stir.  Let cook constantly stirring to incorporate the shallots.  Add wine, cover and let cook for about 10 minutes.  Remove lid and let continue to cook to let liquid evaporate.  Serve.

In the pan after coming out of the oven

The meat fell right off the bone

Raw Lamb Shank

Raw Lamb Shank

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Shrimp Scampi (Dairy Free, Paleo)

I love shrimp but Mike my husband is severely allergic, so I don't have shrimp in the house when he is here.  So since he is away for his annual fishing trip I am taking advantage of making shrimp.   I wanted to make it paleo and a healthy version.

Shrimp Scampi
1/2 pound shrimp
1 whole head of garlic, crushed  (I love garlic!)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 cup white wine (I used a pinot grigio)
1 spaghetti squash
1/2 tomato, seeded and chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cut the spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place on a cookie sheet and drizzle with a little but of olive oil and place in oven and cook for about 45 minutes until tender.  Remove from oven and flake with a fork to make it look like spaghetti.

Peel the shrimp and remove the vein that runs along the back part of the shrimp.  I use a knife and make a slit along the top and pull/wash it away.  It is like you are butterflying the shrimp.

In a skillet over medium high heat add coconut oil.  Once heated, add garlic and stir.  Add shrimp and toss around in the garlic.  Add wine, red pepper flakes and parsley.  Let cook until shrimp is cooked (shrimp will turn from an opaque color to white) and liquid has been cooked down.  Add some spaghetti squash to the pan and toss.   Add tomato and toss.  Serve.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Coconut Milk Blueberry Jam Ice Cream

After the last batch of coconut milk ice cream I made, I became a huge fan.  The texture of it is so creamy, very similar to gelato.  This summer we bought a bunch of organic blueberries that we froze. Well I just had to make ice cream with it.

Coconut Milk Blueberry Jam Ice Cream

For the Jam part:
2 cups frozen blueberries
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons almond extract
pinch of salt
Place all ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir to incorporate the honey.  As the blueberries heat up they will begin to break open.  Continue to stir so that it doesn't burn.  The mixture will thicken to the consistency of jam.  Remove from stove and place in a glass container.  Place in refrigerator to cool.

For the Ice Cream part:
2 cans - 14 ounces coconut milk
2/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons almond extract
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend.  Place mixture into refrigerator for about 1 hour to cool.

Place ice cream part into a ice cream maker.  Process until just about done and then add the blueberry jam.  Let it continue to process and then remove to a container and freeze.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Pulled Pork Waffle Sliders (Gluten Free/Paleo)

There are a lot of blogs that I enjoy following and every once in a while a recipe will really stand out and I just have to make it.  This recipe was no exception.  The recipe come from PaleOMG.  

Of course I had to adjust it slightly for my food allergies but I will give you the recipe as is.  It was an absolutely delicious meal and to think it was gluten free/paleo.  It was super easy and the great part is that we now have leftovers for lunch!   Now if you are one to watch how much fat you eat, we are not, then you might want to skip over this recipe (you use bacon and bacon fat in the waffles).  

Pulled Pork Waffle Sliders

for the pulled pork
2 pounds pork butt (I didn't have small enough one that would fit into the crock pot so I used a fresh ham)
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper, to taste

for the mayo
2/3 cup avocado oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon lemon juice (I used vinegar due to my allergies)
1 teaspoon dijon mustard (made the mustard myself)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon maple syrup

for the waffles
2 cups almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
3 eggs, whisked
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
2 tablespoons bacon fat
3 pieces of bacon, cooked and chopped
2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped (I used dried)

for the toppings
5-6 pieces of bacon, cooked
sliced pickles (I used our homemade pickles which added a really nice flavor)

Place pork in crockpot.  Add sliced onions around it and top with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.  Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours until it falls apart.  Once pork is done cooking, shred it in the crockpot.  To shred pork just use two forks and pull the meat apart, you can also pull any fat out that you don't want to eat.

I made the mayo a little different than the recipe.  Pour egg, lemon juice, mustard, garlic powder and salt and pepper into a blender.  Once it is blended, with the motor running, slowly add the oil, a little at first and then a constant stream of oil.  Once blended add in the maple syrup and blend.  Place in a container and refrigerate. 

For the waffles, mix together almond flour, baking soda, garlic powder, and a bit of salt and pepper.  Add eggs, coconut milk, bacon far, chopped bacon and chives; mix well.   Add about 2 tablespoons of the mixture to the center of a hot waffle iron. You want small buns so the batter won't take up the whole space.   Cook until crispy.  To keep my waffles warm and crispy, I placed them on a cooking rack in the oven that was about 170 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Once waffles are done, begin layering: waffle bun, mayo, pork, pickles, bacon, mayo, bun.  ENJOY!

Pulled Pork in the Crock Pot

Waffle Slider

Serve with a salad

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Chicken with Waffles and Gravy (Paleo/Gluten Free)

Okay I know what you are thinking...waffles with gravy?  I have actually heard people say "that is so weird" and "yuck" all my life.   If you are from Pennsylvania you will understand, at least I hope so, what this is about.  I have some Pennsylvania Dutch in my blood and that is where some of these recipes like this have come from.   It is the ultimate comfort food and a great way to use leftover gravy.

I found a recipe online for a paleo style waffle.  The waffles were very good but I found that they didn't get crispy like they did when I used regular old white flour.  So I have decided that I am going to take my old classic recipe and adapt it to a gluten free/paleo style waffle.

The chicken was actually leftover from last night.  We grilled chicken and put it on a salad.  The gravy is actually leftover from Thanksgiving.  I usually freeze my gravy in jars.

Waffles (Paleo/Gluten Free)
1 cup blanched almond flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 eggs
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
Preheat your waffle iron.  Place dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk together.  Add wet ingredients and whisk to incorporate.  Place about 2/3 cup of the waffle mixture onto the waffle iron (it will depend on your maker).  Cook until browned.  Remove and serve with cut up chicken and gravy.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Homemade Deodorant

I came across this recipe the other day, it is from one of the blogs I follow called Healthy Holistic Living.  I have found that most of the deodorants that are natural on the market I don't really care for.  I saw this and thought this might be nice to try.  I decided to share this since I made it in my kitchen and thought you might enjoy the recipe.

Homemade Deodorant
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
essential oils: I used 5 drops lavender and 5 drops tea tree oil
Mix baking soda and arrowroot in a small bowl.  Add coconut oil and blend with a fork.  Add essential oils.  Add more coconut oil or baking soda to achieve your desired consistency.  This is a deodorant not an antiperspirant, so you will sweat but you won't smell.

NOTE:  I found that mixing this with a fork was really hard so I decided to throw everything into my food processor which worked so much better.  Just be sure to properly wash your food processor bowl as the essential oils could leave a residue.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Coconut Crusted Chicken Breasts (Gluten Free)

I wanted to make a coated chicken that I could just bake.  I decided to try out a new flour that I picked up at the store.  It is garbanzo bean flour.

Coconut Crusted Chicken Breasts (gluten free)
1 cup garbanzo bean flour
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
2 eggs
4 chicken breasts, flattened to about 1/4 inch
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  In one dish put the flour, in another bowl put in the eggs and whip with a fork, in another bowl add coconut and cayenne pepper, mix well.  Take each chicken breast and coat with flour. then into the egg and then into the coconut making sure that each has a nice coating on it.  Place it on a oiled baking sheet and place in oven and cook for about 30 minutes.   Serve with a vegetable and salad.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

We have a monthly get together where we bring something for a pot luck dinner.  Sometimes it is hard to come up with something to make (really have to think about it) but this time I had it right off the bat.  I am making this ahead to sit overnight in the refrigerator, it will allow the flavors to meld.

I made the mayonnaise and mustard homemade so that I can control the ingredients.  With food allergies you really want to know what is in the product, instead of taking the word for what is in something.  The word spices in a product can mean a lot (I mean what does that mean?)

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad (paleo)
This is a recipe that came out of the Paleo Indulgences Cookbook
4-5 large sweet potatoes, peeled cut into cubes (mine were very large so I actually used only 3)
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
fresh ground black pepper (of course I am allergic so I couldn't use this)
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup diced carrots
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 - 5.75 ounce can of sliced black olives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup homemade mayonnaise - See below for recipe (most mayo contains lemon juice which I currently cannot have)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
sea salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place the sweet potatoes in a large bowl, add the coconut oil, and stir to coat.  Add salt and pepper.  Place sweet potatoes in an even layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until potatoes are soft and browned.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack.  Meanwhile, mix the remaining ingredients in a large bowl.  Add cooled sweet potatoes and stir to combine.  Adjust the seasonings to taste.  Chill salad for 1 hour before serving.  Store salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Homemade Mayonnaise
2 eggs
2 cups walnut oil or another light tasting oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard - recipe below
1 teaspoon sea salt
In a food processor add eggs, mustard, salt and vinegar and blend.  While the processor is running slowly add a few dribbles of oil at first and then slowly begin to add more.  You don't want to add too much at once.  You will begin to notice a the mixture getting thicker as you are adding the last of the oil.  Continue to blend until completely blended.  Transfer to a jar and add to the refrigerator.

Homemade Mustard
You can make as much as you want it just takes equal parts of each.
1 tablespoon dried mustard
1 tablespoon water
In a small bowl mix the ingredients.  Let sit for about 15 minutes.  It will be hot when you first taste it.  The longer it sits the flavor mellows out.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Baked Salmon, Sauteed Brussel Sprouts and Honey Carrots

The salmon we have came from SeaBear.  The salmon is part of their Wild Keta Salmon which alder smoke has been added.  It is actually a part of their barbecue sandwich that they do with the sauce.  We haven't made the sandwiches with the sauce, we have just had the salmon alone.

Baked Salmon
2 salmon filets
olive oil
greek seasoning (it contains: oregano, garlic, cinnamon, peppermint, dill, nutmeg, cayenne, chives)
Preheat oven to 275 degree Fahrenheit.  Place salmon on a cookie sheet (if the salmon has skin on it place it directly onto the cookie sheet, if it does not have skin you may want to place foil down or grease the pan).  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with seasoning and a little bit of salt (pepper as well, I just can't have it because of allergies).  Bake in oven for about 10-15 minutes depending on the size and thickness of the salmon.

Sauteed Brussel Sprouts
1 large bunch brussel sprouts, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup white wine
juice of 1 lime
Coconut oil
In a large skillet melt a little bit of coconut oil over medium high heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook until soft.  Add brussel sprouts stirring to mix.  Cook until slightly tender, add wine and cook until wine is reduced, add lime juice and continue to cook.  Add a little bit of salt to taste.  Serve.

Steamed Carrots
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons honey
Steam carrots in a steamer until tender.  Remove carrots from steamer and place in a bowl.  Add honey and mix thoroughly.  Serve.

Wilted Arugula
I served the salmon on a small bed of wilted arugula.
Coconut oil
2 large bunches of arugula
In a large skillet melt the coconut oil over medium high heat.  Add arugula and cook until slightly wilted.  Place on plate and serve salmon on top of this.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Mint Ice Cream (Paleo, Sugar Free, Dairy Free)

As many of you know I have several different food allergies so I try to find things that I can eat.  In the Paleo Indulgences cookbook there is a recipe for Mint Chip Ice Cream, of course since I can't eat chocolate (allergy) I figured I could leave the chocolate out. 

Don't be freaked out by the ingredients.  There is spinach in it.  Don't worry you won't taste it, it only adds the color to make your ice cream green.

I doubled the recipe.  I will also give you the recipe exactly as it is written.  I put my notes next to each since I changed it up a little bit.

Mint Chip Ice Cream
Makes 1 pint
1 - 14 ounce can coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I didn't use this, allergy)
1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract (I used 1 teaspoon)
1/2 cup raw spinach
1/3 cup maple syrup or honey (I used honey)
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup chocolate shavings (I didn't use this, allergy)
Place all ingredients, except chocolate shavings, in a blender and puree until smooth.  Chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.  Pour mixture into a prepared ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's instructions.  During the last 5 minutes of processing, add the chocolate shavings to the mixture.  Place into a container and place in freezer.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Breakfast Biscuit Bowls (Paleo)

I bought this cookbook a while ago called Paleo Indulgences.  It has a lot of wonderful stuff in it and finally decided to make these for dinner last night with having leftovers to eat for breakfast and freeze.

I tripled this recipe and used jumbo muffin tins.

Breakfast Biscuit Bowls (paleo)
Makes 4 bowls
3/4 cup almond flour
1/3 cup coconut flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 egg
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

4 eggs, whisked
1/4 cup finely chopped spinach
1/2 cup cooked ground beef or pork sausage (we used ground beef)
sea salt and black pepper to taste
pinch of minced onion

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place all biscuit ingredients, except coconut oil, in a medium bowl and use a hand mixer to combine.  Add the coconut oil and mix well.  Let sit 5 minutes to thicken, if necessary.  (Note: Mine didn't turn out like a dough but when I put it into the muffins tins it became dough like).  Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and place each in a greased muffin cup, pressing down on the bottom and up the sides to form a cup (I used the back of a wooden spoon).  Bake 10 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Place the filling ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.  Divide among the baked biscuit cups.  Bake 12-15 minutes, or until egg is set.  Let the cups cool for a few minutes, then gently remove and serve.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Chicken, Sweet Potato and Kale Soup

We have had a cool summer in comparison to previous summers.  The last week we had very cool days and nights.  It really started to feel like fall.  Fall is one of my favorite seasons, the air is clean, clear and crisp.  Of course along with fall comes my love of soups.  I was trying to figure out what to do with the chicken I had and kept thinking, soup would be really good.

I found this recipe on the Paleo Plan website.  Please note at the bottom of the recipe for my changes the next time I make this soup.  I also tweaked the recipe as I was making it due to my food allergies and one ingredient I did not have in stock.

Chicken, Sweet Potato and Kale Soup (Paleo)
2 tablespoon coconut oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced (I used 3 to add more flavor)
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano (I used 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon of sea salt and more to taste
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper (I cannot use this due to my food allergies)
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into pieces. (I used boneless chicken breasts)
4 cups chicken broth
6 cups water
1 bay leaf (I cannot use this due to my food allergies)
2 ounces jalapenos, canned and diced (I did not have these so I used 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper)
1 large sweet potato
1 bunch of kale, chopped
1 bunch green onions, sliced (whites and greens)
juice of 1 lemon (as much as I would like to add this, again I am allergic)
Heat large pot over medium-high heat.  When hot, add oil, onion, garlic, thyme, and oregano, and saute until onion is softened and slightly translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon of the sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper.  Add chicken to the pot and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to medium, add broth, water, bay leaf, jalapenos, sweet potato, kale and green onions and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Just before serving, season with salt and pepper and lemon juice.

***NOTE:  One thing I would change about this recipe to impart more flavor would be to switch around the amount of water and broth.  So next time I would add 6 cups broth and 4 cups water.

    Monday, August 12, 2013

    Roast Chicken with Sauteed Malabar Spinach and Sweet Potato

    Roast Chicken
    1 whole chicken, 4-1/2 pounds
    1 cup of chardonnay
    fresh herbs - sage, tarragon, parsley, oregano
    Olive oil
    salt (and pepper if you can have it)
    Dried tarragon, parsley, basil, oregano
    Rinse and pat dry chicken.  Take a butter knife (not sharp) and wedge it under the skin to pop the skin loose from the meat.  You will create a little pocket to put the herbs.  Take some of the fresh herbs and stuff them under the skin of the chicken.  Place some into the cavity.  Place chicken into a dutch oven with a lid.  Drizzle with olive oil and rub over all.  Sprinkle with salt and dried herbs.   Place lid on dutch oven.  Place into a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 1 hour.  Remove lid, check temperature, internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Add wine and place lid back on and put back in oven.  Cook for 30 minutes.  Remove lid and cook for 15 more minutes.  Remove chicken and let rest.  Place pan on the stove and reduce, you can use the sauce over the chicken. 

    Sauteed Malabar Spinach
    Malabar spinach is my new favorite spinach.  I love the texture and taste of it.  Here is a link that tells about the spinach.  Malabar Spinach.  We get our spinach from a local farm who sells it at the Farmer's Market. 
    2 bunches Malabar spinach, washed, stemmed removed and cut into pieces
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    coconut oil
    Heat coconut oil in a large skillet.  Add garlic and saute until fragrant.  Add spinach and cook until the leaves are tender.  Serve. 

    Serve this meal with a cooked sweet potatoes.  

    Wednesday, July 31, 2013

    Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Lime Marinade

    Flat Iron steak has become a new favorite of mine, provided that it is cooked on the more rare side otherwise it can be a tough cut of meat.

    Mike found this recipe and it sounded amazing, so we gave it a try.

    Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Lime Marinade
    1 large jalapeno
    1 flat iron steak
    1/2 cup tamari
    1/3 cup red wine
    1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    3 tablespoon olive oil
    1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
    2 limes, juiced
    2 tablespoons minced garlic
    1 teaspoon mustard powder
    Salt and Pepper to taste (of course I eliminated the pepper)
    Slice jalapeno in half, seed it, then rub the steak on both sides with the pepper.  Finely chop the pepper. Combine the jalapeno and remaining ingredients in a large Ziploc bag.  Add the steak, turn to coat. refrigerate for 1 hour to marinate.  (next time we make this we will marinate it longer than 1 hour to really incorporate the flavors).   Heat grill to high.  Remove steak from marinade and place on grill. Cook for about 4-6 minutes per side.   Remove from grill and let steak rest for about 5 minutes, slice and serve.

    Served this meal with grilled zucchini and yucca.

    Yucca with Garlic Sauce
    Currently I am avoiding lemon and lemon juice.  The first time I made this recipe I used lemon juice.  I substituted lime juice instead and feel that it was a nice substitute.
    1-1/2 pounds yucca, peeled and cut into chunks
    Juice from 1 lime
    6 cloves of garlic mashed into 1 teaspoon salt
    1/3 cup lime juice
    1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1 onion, finely chopped
    Place yucca in a saucepan; add water until yucca is just covered.  Add a little bit of salt to the water and the lime juice, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until tender about 30 minutes.  Drain. Remove the woody or fibrous core from the center of the yucca.  Mash garlic cloves into salt using a mortar and pestle (if you don't have one, use a knife and mash it on a cutting board).  Add garlic, lime juice, olive oil, and onions to a separate saucepan, heat until bubbling.  (I cooked this at the same time the yucca were cooking).  Add yucca to the pan of onion mixture, toss to incorporate and saute it over medium heat.  Serve.

    Grilled Zucchini 
    1 large or 2 small zucchini, sliced
    Olive oil
    Take 1 large piece of foil, add zucchini to one half of it, drizzle with olive oil and a little bit of salt,  fold foil over to make a pouch.  Place pouch on grill and cook for about 3 minutes per side.   Remove to indirect heat and continue to cook until steak is done.

    Tuesday, July 30, 2013

    Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken

    I found this recipe on one of those facebook posts, you know the ones that circulate through all of your friends, well this post actually caught my eye.  The picture of the chicken looked great.  The facebook page is Holly's Fitness & Healthy Living (I like to give credit where credit is due).  I made this recipe yesterday but due to a crazy schedule I couldn't post it last night, so here it is tonight, which really isn't so bad since we had leftovers.

    The recipe is super simple.  The only thing I did not add was black pepper which is due to my allergy.  I also used a whole chicken that I cut up into pieces (reserving the backbone and neck to make broth for soup).

    Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon dried basil
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    2 teaspoons dried minced onion
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (make sure that you have pure balsamic vinegar, a lot have other ingredients in them  - so check the label)
    8 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 24 ounces) or breasts (again I used the whole cut up chicken)

    Combine the first five dry spices in a small bowl and spread over chicken on both sides.  Set aside.  Pour olive oil and garlic on the bottom of the crock pot.  Place chicken on top.   Pour balsamic vinegar over the chicken.  Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.  Serve.

    To go along with the chicken I fixed steamed fresh green beans and heirloom potatoes.

    1 large bag of mixed heirloom potatoes, diced (these potatoes were of the purple, pink, gold variety.  All had a purple or pink/red skin)
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 cloves of garlic minced
    sea salt
    In a large cast iron skillet that has a lid.  Heat olive oil and garlic in pan over medium high heat.  Add cut potatoes.   Stir.  Continue to flip/stir potatoes so that they won't stick.  Add about 1/4 cup water and cover skillet with lid.  Cook for about 5 minutes and stir.  Check doneness of potatoes.  If still a little too crunchy add a little bit more water, cover and cook some more.  When they are almost done, remove lid, add a little salt to taste, stirring to continue to cook until all water is gone.  Serve.

    Sunday, July 28, 2013

    Blueberry Crumb Muffins (Paleo)

    I picked up this cookbook called Paleo Indulgences by Tammy Credicott.  It is full of recipes and there are several that I have wanted to make.  We have a guy near where we live that grows blueberries that he doesn't spray.  We order several quarts of them and then freeze them.  Since our weather has been so crazy it has taken a while for blueberries to get ripe.  I decided to make this recipe today.

    Blueberry Crumb Muffin
    I doubled this recipe.  The recipe yields makes 6 muffins.
    I also added the optional crumb topping.
    Dry Ingredients
    1/3 cup coconut flour, sifted
    1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

    Wet Ingredients
    4 eggs
    1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1/4 cup maple syrup
    1/4 cup coconut milk
    1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

    Add In
    1/2 cup fresh blueberries

    Optional Crumb Topping
    2 tablespoons almond meal
    1/4 cup coarsely chopped raw nuts and seeds (almond, pecan, sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds)
    1 tablespoon maple syrup
    1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
    pinch of sea salt

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.  Add the wet ingredients, except coconut oil, to the dry and blend well with a hand mixer (I actually used my stand mixture).  With mixer on low, slowly pour in the coconut oil.  Blend well.  Fold in blueberries.  If desired, make the crumb topping by placing all topping ingredients in a small bowl and stirring to combine.  It should be slightly crunchy.

    Fill 6 paper lined muffin cups two-thirds full with batter.  Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon crumb topping evenly on each muffin.  Bake for 30 minutes, or until center of each muffin springs back to the touch or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  The tops should be golden brown.

    Cool 5 to 10 minutes in the pan.  Serve.  Store any leftovers in an airtight container for 3 days, or freeze up to 3 months.

    Wednesday, July 24, 2013

    Coconut Crusted Black Cod

    I wanted fish tonight for dinner and my husband pulled from the freezer black cod.  I didn't want to just bake it, I wanted to do something different.  You know how it is you get into a food funk where you eat the same things, in pretty much the same ways, time after time.  Summer is the time where this usually happens to me.  The heat outside diminishes my appetite which doesn't help matters.

    I dug around on the internet for a while and found a paleo recipe.  We don't eat any wheat in this house anymore (I am allergic) and really wanted an alternative to a fish crusted with something and cooked.  I found this recipe from a blog called Melik's Paleo Sweets.  I figured minus the black pepper (I am allergic) I could easily do this recipe.

    Coconut Crusted Black Cod
    2 black cod filets (I cut them in half)  (as always this black cod came from SeaBear)
    1/4 cup coconut flour
    1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
    1 egg
    1/2 teaspoon paprika
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    2 tablespoons avocado oil (you can also use coconut oil)
    In one bowl add the coconut flour and half of the spices.  In another bowl add the egg; whip and in another bowl add the shredded coconut and the rest of the spices.  Mix the ingredients with the spices really well so that the spices incorporate really well.   Place the fish into the coconut flour mixture and coat on all sides, dip into the egg mixture and then into the coconut.   Add the oil to a heavy bottomed skillet (I find these cook foods that are fried easier).  Heat over medium high heat.  To test to see if the oil is ready take a piece of the egg mixture that fell off your fish (yes you will have some in the bowl) and add to the skillet, it should sizzle and begin to cook.  If it doesn't start to sizzle your pan isn't hot yet.  Add fish skin side up and cook for about 5 minutes or so.  Keep an eye on it, you don't want it to burn, flip and continue to cook.  Gently pick up each fish and lightly brown each side.  I had one piece that was really thick and was afraid that it wasn't going to cook all the way through so I placed a lid on the pan, leaving enough for any heat to escape (didn't want to steam it).

    The meal was served with cooked yellow squash (truly not my favorite) and a salad (all the ingredients in the salad were from our garden).

    Tuesday, July 23, 2013

    Homemade Breakfast Sausage

    We really wanted to try our hand at making our own sausage.  I have a Kitchen Aid mixture that I got a grinder attachment for (have been wanting one for years) and so we decided to make sausage.
    I don't have the part where you can make them into links (that will be next) so I decided to make patties.   I am dealing with several food intolerance's and allergies and one of the things that I am avoiding is black pepper.  So making my own sausage is a great alternative.

    We even did a taste test to see what they tasted like once cooked.

    Check out my notes at the bottom of the recipe.

    Homemade Breakfast Sausage
    2 pounds of pork (we used some pork stew beef that was cut into small chunks)
    2 tablespoons maple syrup
    2 teaspoons sage
    1/2 teaspoon marjoram
    1-1/2 teaspoons thyme
    2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
    1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    1 teaspoon sea salt
    Place pork in the freezer for about 30 minutes this will harden it slightly and allow for easier grinding.  I ground my pork just once on a fine grinder setting.  Once the pork is ground add all ingredients and mix thoroughly, using your hands to incorporate all the ingredients.  Shape the pork mixture into patties. I used a Pampered Chef large scoop which about equaled 1.4 ounces.  I didn't want the patties to be super big but a nice size.  I figure it is easy enough to eat more than one if you were hungry.

    I chose to freeze the patties.  I placed the patties onto wax paper and covered with another piece of wax paper and then put them inside of a seal a meal bag.  The patties can be kept separate that way and it is easy to get just one if you want.

    Cook the patties until browned on both sides and cooked all the way through.

    Note:  Since I used a pork that was considered stew it didn't have a ton of fat.  After the taste test we both agreed that it would be better with a small amount of fat added to it.  The next time we make it we will use a little fatback.  Also if you don't like it spicy you might want to reduce the amount of crushed red pepper.

    Sausage Patties Ready for Freezing

    In the package ready for freezing

    1 for a taste test

    Sunday, July 21, 2013

    Chilled Cucumber Soup

    We have a lot of cucumbers coming from the garden and there is nothing better than chilled cucumber soup.

    Here is what I did to make the soup.

    Chilled Cucumber Soup
    2 cucumbers, peeled and seeded
    1 small avocado
    1 handful spinach
    1 cup water
    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    1 small hungarian wax pepper, seeded (we have these growing in the garden as well)
    salt to taste
    a couple of sprigs of fresh dill
    a couple of basil leaves
    Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.  Add more salt or herbs as needed for taste.  Place in refrigerator to chill.  Serve in chilled bowls and top with fresh chopped herbs of your choice.

    Wednesday, July 17, 2013

    24 Hour Refrigerator Pickles

    We have a ton of cucumbers coming form the garden and my husband really wanted to make pickles but he wanted to make sure he could find a recipe that doesn't contain sugar (I don't eat sugar anymore).  He found one on about.com.     I have to give all the credit for these to my husband Mike.  He tends the garden, picks the vegetables and made these pickles.

    I can tell you this, they taste great even with them still being crunchy.  Can't wait until they sit in the refrigerator for a while.

    24 Hour Refrigerator Pickles
    1-1/4 cups water
    1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
    1-1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
    1 tablespoon honey
    2 cloves of garlic, peeled
    2 springs of fresh dill
    1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    2-1/2 pounds cucumbers, sliced or cut into spears (Mike made them both ways)
    Make a brine by combing water, vinegar, salt and honey; bring to a boil.  Pack two clean jars (pint mason jars) with the cucumbers.  Add one clove of garlic, one sprig of dill, and a pinch of red pepper flakes to each jar as you pack in the cucumbers.  Make sure the cucumbers are packed in there so they will not float when you add the brine.

    Pour the hot brine over the cucumbers in the jars.  The cucumbers should be completely immersed in brine.  Since these refrigerator pickles will not be canned, it is not necessary to leave head space between the surface of the food and the rims of the jars.  Fasten lids and store in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before eating.

    Also you can make bread and butter pickles by using 1/4 cup instead of the 2 tablespoons of honey.  Add 1/4 cup finely sliced white onions.  Sprinkle 1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds and 2 or 3 whole allspice into each jar as you load the vegetables.  (I am hoping that Mike will make these next).

    Tuesday, July 16, 2013

    Baked Black Cod with Dairy Free Basil Pesto

    Baked Black Cod with Dairy Free Basil Pesto
    2 black cod filets
    1/2 cup olive oil
    3 medium garlic cloves, peeled
    2 cups fresh basil leaves (fresh from our garden)
    3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
    a couple of walnuts
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place black cod on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil.  Bake for 15 minutes.
    In a blender combine all the ingredients (minus the fish) and blend until smooth.  Top each fish with some of the pesto.

    Sauteed Beet Greens
    1 bunch of beet greens, cut into large chunks (we saved these from the other night when we had beets)
    2 garlic cloves, peeled
    olive oil
    In a large skillet add some olive oil and garlic.  Heat garlic until fragrant over medium heat.   Add greens to skillet, toss and cook until wilted.  Serve

    Cooked Sweet Potato
    We cheated and cooked this in the microwave which we normally don't like to do.
    1 large sweet potato
    Place in microwave and cook until tender.  Cut in half and serve.

    Sunday, July 14, 2013

    Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Green Beans and Beets

    Our garden is really starting to produce some really great vegetables.  For this meal we had beets, green beans, lettuce and our first tomato all coming from our garden.

    My husband Mike wanted a rub for on the pork tenderloin, he is the grill master in this house so I let him decide (on some things) what he wants to do regarding cooking the meat.  The rub comes from the Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook.

    Mustard Sage Rub with Grilled Pork Tenderloin
    2 tablespoons nutmeg
    2 teaspoons dried thyme
    1 tablespoon powdered mustard
    1 tablespoon coarse salt (we used kosher salt, however 1 tablespoon of salt is really too much for us, so we reduced it)
    1-1/2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper (I am currently avoiding foods that I show an allergic reaction to so we did not add this to the rub - yes can you believe that I have an allergy to pepper?)

    Rub pork tenderloin thoroughly with the rub.  Place the tenderloin on a 450 degree Fahrenheit grill and cook for 3 minutes.  Turning every three minutes and continue to cook until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 135 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Cooked Green Beans
    I usually steam my green beans but Mike wanted them cooked like his grandmother cooked them.  Add your green beans to a pan of water (just enough to really cover them), add 1 tablespoon of olive oil (don't ask me why, I assume it imparts some flavor but who am I to argue with grandma).  Let the beans simmer on the stove until tender.

    Cooked Beets
    I love cooked beets and these were fresh out of our garden which make them super tender and don't have much of that earthy taste.
    Take a handful of beets, wash and cut the tops (including greens) off.  Save the greens (Put them in the refrigerator, I will use them later).  Place beets into a pot of water.  Boil the beets until fork tender (where you can stick a fork into the beet without adding a lot of force).  Remove the beets to a bowl. With a paper towel (caution the beets will be hot) rub off the skin of the beet.  The skin should just slide right off.  Slice the beets and serve.  Save the water that your beets were cooked in, let it cool and then add that water to your outdoor plants.  The nutrients from cooking the beets will be in the water which will help your plants.

    Serve with a small side salad of fresh lettuce, tomatoes and carrots.