Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Colorado potato green chile

I am a 4th generation Colorado native, proud to say. And when the snow starts to dust our peaks and the aspen are beginning to say goodbye for the season, the soup pot comes out. Today is the day for potato green chile and tortillas adapted from Colorado Country Life magazine.
What you need and what to do:

3 good sized Colorado russet potatoes, peeled and cubed,
1/4 cup butter
1 4 ounce can diced mild green chiles
2 TBLS minced fresh garlic
1/2 diced yellow or white onion
1 14.5 ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes (I used Muir Glen)
1/4 cup unbleached flour
3 cups organic vegetable or chicken broth
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 TBLS Worcestershire sauce

Put cubed potatoes in cold water and cook over medium heat until crisp tender.

In a heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium high heat. Add green chiles and garlic and onion. Sauté until onion is translucent; drain.

Drain tomatoes preserving juice. Add drained tomatoes and cook 2 minutes. Stir flour into tomato mixture then add broth, reserved tomato juice, lime juice, salt & pepper and Worcestershire sauce.

Cook and stir until thickened and bubbling. Drain your potatoes and add to soup. Simmer 5-10 minutes and serve with warmed tortillas.

Optional toppings: Fresh avocado slices, a sprinkle of colby jack cheese and/or a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream, and of course, you can add bacon. :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Carrot ginger soup

I ain't gunna lie, I get recipes from ALL over, because back in the day women shared in their villages and although we still have some of that, food is something that connects us all. Some recipes are my own, some I have had for so long, I have no idea where they come from and some I get off the magic box. I always try to credit where I get them so that if you want to go to that place you can.

I picked this up out of my Cooks Illustrated magazine. It called for an additional 1 tsp sugar which I eliminated because organic carrots tend to be sweet enough. It is BY FAR one of the best soups I have ever had. No lie. They got it so right by mixing fresh and crystallized ginger, and carrot juice with fresh carrots. Seriously, a lovely fall soup with just the perfect amount of ginger.

Add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt to the top, crumbled bacon (there I go again with the bacon), chives or croutons. Since Tom has been working hard in his shop, I made him a BLT to go with. But to be honest . . . it is perfect in a mug all by itself. Happy FALL!

What you need and what to do:

Saute in a soup pot with 2 TBLS butter (make this vegan by switching this out for olive oil):
2 yellow or white onions chopped fine
1/4 cup minced crystallized ginger
1 TBLS grated fresh ginger
garlic cloves, peeled and smashed and chopped
Cook over medium heat until onions are soft but not browned.

Increase heat and add:
2 lbs peeled and cut carrots in 1/4" slices
4 cups water
3/4 cup carrot juice (NO sugar added please) you will need another 3/4 cup later, see below*
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 TBLS dried thyme leaves (fresh is always better but if you can't get fresh organic, go with dried organic)
1/2 tsp baking soda
Bring to a simmer, cover and cook til carrots are soft (about 20-25 minutes)

Pull out thyme sprigs if that's what you used and discard. Work in batches and blend til smooth. Return to soup pot and stir in 1 TBLS cider vinegar and another *3/4 cup carrot juice, heat til simmer then season with sea salt and pepper. Be still my beating heart.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

No dairy, flourless cookies

I got a bone to pick, not sure who I pick it with though. I saw a recipe on Spacebook (yes this is what I call Facebook, and I won't change) about a flourless, no sugar, no dairy, no oil cookie. I was intrigued. The picture looked JUST like the perfect chocolate chip cookie (the picture on the left). I didn't think this would be right, but I jumped in anyway. The recipe came from, so when clicking on the link I get to the page with the recipe and a picture of what the cookies REALLY look like. I made them changing a couple of things (picture on the right), they are good, not too sweet but don't believe they are NO SUGAR. There is sugar in bananas (more as the bananas ripen), chocolate chips, and raisins, and possibly your alternative milk. And of course if you want gluten free, use gluten free oats. advice is to be careful what you read and see and make your food decisions wisely. These are good, I will make with raisins next time I think, although my husband likes the chocolate chips.
NOTE: My pictures aren't the greatest BUT I will NOT post ANYTHING here that I have not made myself.

What you need and what to do:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
In a bowl mash and then mix in:
3 ripe bananas
1/3 cup no sugar applesauce
1/4 cup alternative milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
2 cups oats

1/4 cups raisins or nuts (I used walnuts)
1 cup mini dairy free chocolate chips (optional)
2 tsps vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon

Spoon onto a cookie sheet lightly oiled or with parchment paper and bake 15 minutes. Cool on a rack and store in airtight container. Makes 24

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Yam and eggs

Yep, not HAM and eggs but yam, or sweet potato. I am currently doing Garden of Life's Wild Rose Detox from our store and while perusing the www for new recipes, I ran across this. It was interesting and surprisingly good for a Sunday morning breakfast. I added fresh avocado to the plate and you could include a dab of salsa although I just kept it simple. This recipe with it's spices and ingredient amounts should be to your liking but this is a start. And then there is always bacon.....

What you need and what to do:

2 yams (size of your choice), I picked 2 fairly small ones because we didn't have big ones.
Cook your yams in the oven at 350 til done, my little ones took about 1/2 hour.
Scrap out the innards into a bowl, reserving the skins for your presentation and/or eating. As you can see from the picture the skins didn't hold up well for pretty.

In the bowl that has your hot yam innards, add to taste:
sea salt
a pinch of paprika
a sprinkle of onion salt

Mash it all up with a fork and spoon back into the skins making a well  along the center, like a little boat.
Crack and egg in to the well, 2 eggs if you have a big yam and a hungry tummy.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place back into the over until your eggs are set. This took much longer than I thought, about 20 minutes for my little ones. Serve hot.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bacon and artichoke frittata

I have been making this recipe for 35 years, which doesn't seem possible, good for dinner or lunch. Reheats well and I usually serve it with broccoli and biscuits. It's plain and simple and I love it still after all these years.

What you need and what to do:

Preheat oven to 350
Fry up 1 pound of bacon, reserving 2 TBLS of bacon grease in a cast iron pan. *See NOTE below
While you are cooking your bacon, toast 2 slices of whole grain bread and set aside to crumble up.

Chop 1/2 onion and 2-3 cloves garlic
Place in bacon grease and sauté until the onion is translucent.
Remove from heat.

In a separate bowl:
Whisk 4 large eggs
1 can drained and cut up artichoke hearts in water
1 small jar drained and cut up artichoke hearts in oil (this may seem strange but the artichoke hearts in oil have a very slight flavor that add to this recipe)
1/2 lb shredded swiss cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
4-5 good shakes of Tabasco sauce (more or less to your liking)
then stir in your onion/garlic, crumbled up bread crumbs and crumbled up bacon

Place in lightly oiled 9" pie plate and cook about 30 minutes until set. Cool slightly before cutting.

*NOTE: Bacon here is totally optional and sometimes I don't use it. It is equally good. If that's the case just use 2 TBLS of olive oil to sauté your onion.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Vegan coconut biscuits

I run across recipes with self-rising flour in them. Bad, bad, bad. Too much junk in there, so here is what to do when that comes along and you want to try the recipe but don't want to buy self-rising flour because it is bad, bad, bad.

To make your own self-rising flour:
I cup unbleached flour + 1-1/2 tsp baking powder + 1/2 tsp salt = 1 cup self rising flour. Done.

What you need and what to do:

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Whisk together in a bowl:
2 cups unbleached organic flour
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder (aluminum free of course)

Use a pastry blender or two forks to combine the flour mix with 1/4 cup coconut oil in solid form until you have a crumb mixture.

Add 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (COLD). Stir a bit until you can form them into biscuits with your hands. Place on a baking sheet, cook for approximately 10 minutes until golden brown.

These are good, they do taste coconutty so might be preferred as a sweet biscuit over a savory one.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sweet-n-sour tofu on quinoa

I use to LOVE Chinese take-out but I have never been able to get the sauce just right for tofu, until now. This recipe came from with a couple of changes. It was so good especially with the quinoa, too bad I can't eat it every night.

What you need and what to do:

Rinse 1 cup quinoa and with 2 cups water in a saucepan, bring to a bowl, reduce to simmer covered and cook for about 15-20 minutes until water is absorbed.

1 brick extra firm tofu (I use Organic Wildwood Sprouted), drained and pressed between tea towels for about 20 minutes to remove the liquid.
4 TBLS cornstarch
1-2 TBLS canola or vegetable oil, it should be a high heat oil (I will try coconut oil next time)
Heat a skillet on medium with oil inside. While heating, cut your tofu into approximately 1-inch squares. Coat each cube lightly with cornstarch and then place into heated oil until browned and crispy. You may have to turn up the heat under the pan a bit. Remove from pan and set aside on paper towels.

Mix the items below together and set aside:
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 TBLS hoisin sauce
3 TBLS rice vinegar
2 TBLS ketchup (I personally think this is what makes it)
2 TBLS tamari sauce
1/2 cup water
1 tsp red pepper flakes (totally optional and the amount would be to your heat level)

Wipe your pan clean with paper towel, and add the items below on medium heat. I added some partially steamed broccoli to this. You could also add partially steamed carrots and/or red peppers for a more full meal.
1 TBLS sesame oil
4 green onions, chopped (you can add here or sprinkle on top at the end, I added here)
3 TBS fresh ginger, finely chopped

Cook about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add sauce mixture to pan, bring to a boil, and simmer about 2 minutes, this helps to make it thicker. Add tofu back to mixture, toss to coat. Sprinkle about 1 TBLS of sesame seeds to the top before serving.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Zucchini bread without sugar? And some homemade applesauce...

Zucchini is coming on now at a rapid pace and I ALWAYS make zucchini bread at least once in the fall. Well, an interesting thing happened when I made it this year. I had planned to cut the sugar in half because well, we are trying to cut down, but I actually forgot it completely! And guess what, don't miss it at all and I won't make it again with the sugar in it. The cranberries and the applesauce  (to replace the oil) sweetened it enough to have toasted for breakfast with cream cheese and it was PERFECT. 

What you need and what to do:

Grease and flour 2 loaf pans and preheat your oven to 350

In one bowl:
whisk 3 eggs then add
1 hefty cup of applesauce (mine was homemade and very chunky, no sugar added, just sweet apples)*See below
2 cups grated zucchini not drained
1 TBLS vanilla

In another bowl whisk together:
3 cups flour
4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt

Toss gently into the above mix:
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped walnuts

Combine your wet and dry ingredients stirring until mixed together. Split into the two loaf pans and cook for 50-60 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Let sit 5 minutes and turn out unto racks to cool.

NOTE: Good with cream cheese, good with butter, peanut butter, almond butter, or just some jam if you want it sweeter. 

*If you have never made homemade applesauce do, it's easy! Skin, core and chop apples placing into a pan with a squirt of lemon juice and a LITTLE bit of water on the stovetop. As they cook they will make some of their own moisture but you may need to add more water to get it the consistency you want by mashing with a potato masher. Spice with cinnamon and nutmeg if you want (I do). When it's where you want it, place in glass jars leaving 2 inches at the top, cool completely in the frig overnight and then place in freezer.....fresh applesauce ALL WINTER LONG.