Monthly Archives: July 2016

Radishes with Pastured Butter

radishThis is a nice little snack, especially good in the summer when there is access to spicy radishes from a Farmer’s Market or garden.

3-5 radishes, ends cut off, then cut in half

1 T. pastured, grass-fed butter

sea salt or fleur de sel

Place radishes on a plate, end side down, so that there is a larger surface area on the top where you will place the butter.  Place a small slice of butter (maybe about 1/2 tsp) on top of each radish and sprinkle with sea salt.  Eat each radish in one bite.

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Roasted Eggplant, Tomato, and Basil Salad

1 eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 c. grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 sprigs, about 10 large leaves of basil, chiffonade
1 T. lard or ghee
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, grated
1 small shallot, minced
sea salt
dash of black pepper

Place eggplant in colander and sprinkle with salt.  Let sit for at least 20 minutes.  Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Coat a large baking sheet with lard or ghee and toss eggplant onto it.  Pat eggplant with a dry paper towel to remove some moisture.  Bake for 25 minutes.  While the eggplant is baking, combine everything else in a bowl.  Once eggplant is browned on one side, place it into bowl with all other ingredients and toss to coat.  Taste, adjust sea salt and balsamic vinegar to taste.

Plum and Pear Crisp

1 pear, cored and sliced thin
2 plums, cored and sliced thin
1/2 c. mixed nuts, some of the nuts coarsely chopped and some finely chopped 
(this nut blend includes walnuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, and pistachios)
1/4 c. dark brown cane sugar
1/4 c. arrowroot powder
2 T. coconut oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a casserole dish or pie plate place pear and plum.  Toss lightly with your fingers to combine them.  In a separate, small bowl combine all other ingredients.  Stir until the coconut oil is dispersed and the mixture is crumbly.  It should hold together pretty easily when pressed into your palm.  Sprinkle mixture over pears and plums pressing the mixture into palms and crumbling as you go to make some larger clumps and some smaller crumbly clumps.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Let cool slightly before serving.  Yield 4 people.

Basil-Pear Smoothie

smoothie1/2 of a pear

2 celery stalks

1/2 of a cucumber, seeded and most of the tough skin removed

1 c. coconut water

basil, about 10 leaves

2 T. flax seed

Cut fruit and vegetables into big chunks so that the blender or Vitamix has an easier time.  Put everything into Vitamix, start on low and gradually increase speed to high, then turn to max speed and let ingredients pulverize until smooth.  Serves 1.

Christmas in July Chicken Coconut Curry

aka Red Curry and Green Vegetables with Chicken and Coconut Milk

1 large zucchini, cut into 2 inch chunks
1 large onion, sliced into 1 inch chunks
4 stalks celery, sliced into 1 inch chunks
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 can coconut milk
1 T. coconut oil
1/4 c. or 2 oz of red curry paste
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 inch ginger root, grated
sea salt

Heat a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Add coconut oil and onion with a pinch of sea salt.  Cook until the onion begins to turn translucent.  Add celery and a sprinkling of sea salt.  The idea is to add a touch of salt to each ingredient that is added to the hot pan, this is a chef technique that brings out the flavor in each food.  Add red curry paste and stir to coat vegetables.  Add a splash of water if the pan is too dry.  Add chicken, ginger, garlic, and a pinch of sea salt.  Stir to coat everything.  Let cook, stirring occasionally until chicken is about half way done, about 5 minutes.  Add zucchini and a touch of salt, stir gently and put lid on to cook for another 10 minutes.  Water should release from the zucchini as it cooks, so adding water is probably not necessary, but add a splash if pan is too dry.  Turn heat to low, add a can of coconut milk, stir it in and warm through, about 1 minute.

Stacey’s Salad Dressing

Over thesalad dressing years, I have acquired certain tips from good cooks to hone my own skills in the kitchen.  From my dad, I learned that the best salad dressings, are the ones you make yourself.  He always makes his own salad dressing, one reason is: he can control the ingredients that go into it.  His salad dressing contains extra virgin olive oil and no added sugar.  Extra virgin olive oil is cold pressed, first pressed oil that comes from olives.  Mediterranean cultures have been using this oil for centuries, meaning it is a traditional food that humans have thrived on for longer than time since the industrial revolution.  Extra virgin olive oil is a healthy fat, it is full of monounsaturated oils and vitamin E.  It is best used as a finishing oil or salad dressing because it is sensitive to heat.

In following suit of my dad, who is health conscious, I started making my own salad dressing about ten years ago.  My versions have evolved over the years, but has always been delicious (at least that is what my husband says.  He drinks the dressing that collects at the bottom of his bowl after he has finished his salad).  Here is my latest version.

1/4 c. dijon mustard
1/4 c. raw apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1 and 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. Salt, Pepper, Garlic

Reuse an old oil or vinegar bottle and add the ingredients to it using a funnel.  Shake vigorously until the dressing is smooth and emulsified.

Cucumber, Watermelon, and Mint Salad

1 mini cucumber, cut into half moons
1/2 c. of watermelon, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 spring fresh mint, leaves removed, minced
1/8 tsp. jalapeno, minced (less or more depending on your heat tolerance)
1/2 tsp. sherry vinegar
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
sea salt to taste

Combine everything and stir gently to coat.  Taste.  Add a touch more sea salt to bring out flavors if needed.  Made for one, but easy to quadruple.  Goes well with anything grilled.