Tag Archives: recipe

Pizza Anyone?

One thing I miss about eating gluten free and rice free is pizza.  On occasion I will eat a gluten free pizza however, due to the rice flour I usually pay for it.  One of my friends suggested a crust made out of zucchini.  Since I have an abundance, I gave it a try.

The crust was yummy and the pizza definitely hit the spot.  I have to yet figure out how to be able to hold it, although using a fork was just fine.

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Zucchini Pizza Crust

Shred zucchini and sprinkle with salt in a bowl.  Let sit for about 30 minute until the zucchini has lost much of its liquid.   I used about 2 cups which made a huge pizza.

Cut up some garden fresh basil, pineapple, prosciutto, onion, mushroom, olives, spinach, goats cheese, and another cheese of choice.

When the liquid is drained out of the zucchini, add in two eggs, 1 – 1 1/2 cups of Almond Flour, and a dash of salt.  Mix well.  Spread out on a heated pizza stone that has been sprinkled with GMO free organic corn meal and bake for 10 minutes until lightly browned.  Once the crust is browned, add your tomato sauce and toppings and bake another 15 minutes at 400 degrees or until cheese is bubbly and vegetables and prosciutto are cooked to desired tenderness.

Cut, plate, serve and enjoy!  🙂

 

 

Sherry’s Quick Mayonnaise

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Many times I am quite surprised at the lack of information people have regarding the food they eat.  For example, many do not realize the hazards of GMO’s,  high fructose syrup, MSG, soybean oil, margarines, preservatives, dyes, flouride, farm raised fish, conventional beef, chicken, fat free ingredients,  etc.   The list goes on and on.  In the age of technology all it takes is the push of a button and one can experience information overload.  Is all of the information you read accurate?  No.  Is all of the information you read possibly out to sell you a product?  Yes.  Can you be easily misled by information?  Yes.   That being said,  my philosophy is to look at the sites that hold credibility by posting their resources from where they themselves found their information.  It is also possible to pull up research done at Universities or through research firms that have published their findings.

That being said, our family only buys organic products and when possible we make everything from scratch.  I’ve taught my children how to cook and how to creatively make lunches out of leftovers and healthy breakfasts that consist of non sugar non cereal ingredients.  Rarely do they eat cereal or sandwiches.  On occasion they do like a gluten free organic shaved turkey sandwich or even an albacore tuna sandwich (bpa free can wild caught tuna).  Mustard is okay as a condiment option, however, their favorite is mayonnaise.  Have you seen the ingredient list on a jar of mayonnaise?  I used to buy an organic brand that was made with coconut oil, however at $15 a jar, I just couldn’t stomach paying the price any longer.  About 2 years ago a friend found a recipe made with the coconut oil and I began making it myself.  The family however, after a time, just plain old got sick of the coconut flavor so I began learning more about oil choices and changed the recipe to the families liking.

By making our own, we are also able to make other wonderful dressings that satisfy the need for something more creamy.  With this recipe we dress cole slaw, potato salad, salads and more with just a change in the seasonings.  Flavored mayonnaise is also great depending upon the sandwich.

Hope you’ll give it a try.

Sherry’s Quick Mayonnaise  (makes a little over a pint)

1 whole farm fresh egg

2 farm fresh egg yolks

Sea Salt to taste

1 TBS Organic Dijon Mustard

1 tsp Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

(Optional additions depending upon what you are making it for:  Wasabi powder, variety of herbs, anchovies, dash of cayenne pepper, dried mustard, turmeric…)

Place all ingredients above in a food processor and process until completely mixed.

Make sure when you begin pouring the oil in, that the processor is on. Do not stop the processor while adding the oils.  There should be a cup with a hole in it in the top of the food processor. This is where you will slowly pour in the oils.

Please note: the slower you pour in the oil, the better your mayonnaise will be. The oils will separate from the other ingredients faster if you pour the oils in too quickly. This is the secret.   Slow…

1 – 8 oz.  bottle of Almond Oil, Olive Oil,  Avacado Oil,  Grapeseed Oil  (These are the ones I use and I like the flavor.)

1 – 8 oz. bottle of another oil  (use a second oil from the list above)

I usually store the mayonnaise in a jar with a lid, not plastic, in the fridge.   Enjoy!

Little Tidbits:

Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil – manmade fat; known to cause cellular disruption in the body; obesity; reproductive problems; heart disease; US grown soybeans are 90% genetically engineered;  soybeans contains Omega-6’s and can lead to inflammation; soybeans contain phytates which block the absorption of minerals; affects negatively on the thyroid;

(References: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/01/27/soybean-oil.aspx https://www.lewrockwell.com/2013/01/joseph-mercola/soybean-oil-one-of-the-most-harmful-ingredients-in-processed-foods/)

Avacado Oil – reduces inflammation and oxidation; helps to fight against free radicals; studies show it kills cancer cells; contains more vitamin D than Olive Oil; contains carotenoids that help fight cancers;

(References:  http://healinggourmet.com/article/avocado-oil-the-healthiest-cooking-oil-youre-not-using-yet-853;   http://www.naturalnews.com/027509_avocado_skin_health.html )

Olive Oil – rich in monounsaturated fatty acids; reduces inflammation; reduces chances of heart disease and hypertension; lowers risk of depression; may reduce breast cancer risk; may reduce risk of stroke in elderly; helps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels; helps to protect liver and pancreas; 

(References:  http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266258.php;  The research is numerous… take a look.)

Almond Oil – High in Vitamins E & D & K; helps with digestion; protects and maintains healthy brain tissue; reduces LDL and aids in raising HDL; helps in protecting the skin; reduces blood pressure; aids in protecting from heart disease; rich in folic acid; high in minerals; contains anti-oxidents; 

(References: http://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/health-benefits-of-almond-oil.htm;  http://www.livestrong.com/article/119876-health-benefits-sweet-almond-oil/;  http://www.seedguides.info/almonds/)

Grape Seed Oil – full of anti-oxidents; lowers LDL; may help to inhibit cancer cell growth; helps with acne; may help in PMS symptoms; may help with cavities; can be cooked at higher heat without releasing free radicals unlike Olive Oil; 

(References:  http://www.livestrong.com/article/406768-the-health-benefits-of-grape-seed-cooking-oil/;  http://www.homecookingadventure.com/articles/grape-seed-oil-benefits)

Keep in mind that you need to do your research.  Not all oils are alike and you need to understand each one and how to keep them from spoiling.  Note also that there is a great amount of information available.  Choose wisely what works best for you.  

Know what it is that you are putting in your mouth.  

 

 

Another Fall Favorite Recipe

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A few years ago a friend of mine introduced me to a tomatillo. For those of you who do not know what a tomatillo is, it is a small green, tomato like vegetable that originally came from Mexico. The tomatillo grows inside a husk and when it is ripe, the tomato looking green vegetable fills out the husk and the husk splits open. Many times I find the tomatillo literally falling off of the vine when they are done.
The tomatillo has many vitamins making it a wonderful healthy treat on salads, in soups, or with a little bit of cottage cheese. The tomatillo has a sweet yet lemony taste to it. If picked too early, it can be quite tart.

This year, was my first attempt at growing them at my home as well as at my friends garden where we had an entire row of them. Just like the soup, the recipe I’m about to share is another one that I crave when thinking about fall and winter. It makes a yummy meal enjoyed throughout the colder months, and reserving any jars of it until the next harvest is nearly impossible. There are many uses for the Salsa Verde, however, my favorite is with chicken. This is such a simple recipe, whether you can the Salsa Verde yourself (my preference) or whether you buy it in a store. In fact, I shared it this weekend at our church’s fellowship potluck meal. Easy and quick to make.

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Salsa Verde Chicken

1 pint Salsa Verde (recipe below)

4-6 Organic Chicken Breasts

4-6 slices, or 1 cup shredded Raw Cheddar Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9×13 glass baking dish. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towel. Place chicken in bottom of baking dish and pour the entire pint of Salsa Verde over the chicken. Make sure to cover every piece.

Bake covered with foil or glass cover in oven for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour until chicken is cooked through. Remove foil or cover and place cheese on top of each chicken breast. Close oven and cook another 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve hot.

For our fellowship meal, I boiled up some chicken breasts, cut them into round slices and poured the salsa verde in layers over the chicken in the crock pot. I then turned on the crock pot to low and cooked until ready to serve. (unfortunately, I forgot the cheese in this picture. )

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Salsa Verde

Approximately 8 cups tomatillos, husk removed and washed

1 1/2 -2 cups chopped onions

2-4 hot peppers of choice, seeded and chopped

Approximately 1 cup chopped cilantro

Garlic cloves, I use about 6-8

1 Tbs. sugar, (optional)

1/2 cup lemon juice, (or use 1 cup and omit the lime juice)

1/2 cup lime juice, (or use 1 cup and omit the lemon juice)

2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 cup red peppers, mainly for color especially if you use a green hot pepper

I place all ingredients in the blender and blend until chunky smooth. Then you have the option of cooking it down on the stove for a few hours until much of the liquid evaporates, or go ahead and place into clean, sterilized hot jars for canning. The result of not cooking down is that the salsa verde will have a bit more liquid to it. If you do cook it down, it will also have a bit more of a potency to it as there is less liquid and the flavors will be more pronounced. Especially the peppers. I prefer to cook it down, however, if time does not allow, you will not have wasted your time in the above prep and can still can it. I did it without cooking it down two years in a row and it was just fine, just had a bit more liquid from the juicy tomatillos.

Be sure to leave a 1/2 inch at the top of the sterilized hot jar when filling. (I always add an additional 1/2 tsp. per pint of salt after filling the jars.) Wipe clean the rim and place the heated tops on the jars and the ring. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for approximately 20 minutes.

Keep in mind that if you buy the salsa verde in a store, my experience is that they usually are much spicier than the home made.

If you have leftovers, get some tortilla shells, roll up the salsa verde chicken in them and place them in a baking dish smothered with the leftover sauce (omitting some of the liquid) and bake until heated through. Top with cheese, a little shredded lettuce, sour cream and serve. Makes a nice lunch the next day.

The Wonderful Taste of Fall… Oh My!

I remember in my earlier years that fall was one of my most disliked season. As a child it meant the end of long summer days outside, days at the beach, endless board games and homemade dill pickles stolen from the fridge and the end of sleeping in until noon. As an adult, it meant the end of warm days, open windows, green grass, gardens and fresh produce from my own garden. It wasn’t my favorite season until a neighbor who lived across the street from our second home brought me a jar of soup. This soup was absolutely the most amazing soup I’d ever had. I asked her for the recipe and she gladly shared.

Fourteen years later, I am still making that soup, only now it’s my soup. I’ve altered it from it’s original recipe with ingredient changes as well as preparation alterations. This soup gets me giddy every time I think about fall. In fact, when someone mentions fall, it’s not the cold weather or brown trees and grass that come to my mind any longer, it’s that soup that I think of first. You know it’s good when you can taste it just thinking about it!

I suppose the protocol I’m on for my lymes disease must be working, since I can actually stay awake all day and actually get something done around the house while also making two soups. While my favorite soup is exactly that, “my favorite”, one of my families favorites’ is a Potato Leak Soup. Another favorite, and also very yummy, it’s one that I tend to forget about until my son looks at “my favorite” in the pot and salivates at the thought of the Potato Leak Soup. How can I resist making that too when I have all of the ingredients in my refrigerator just waiting for a purpose to be used. For now however, I am only going to share my favorite….. May your taste buds be stimulated….

Make a cup of tea, put on your apron, set aside an hour, grab your stock pot and enjoy the process as your work up to a moment of bliss… at least I hope!

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Butternut Squash, Apple and Nut Puree

    Approximately 1/4-1/2 C. Real butter
    1 medium yellow onion, outer brown layer only peeled away, then chopped
    3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

    Melt the butter in the large stock pot. Lightly saute the onion and garlic. Be careful not to brown them. Add:

    1 Medium to large Butternut Squash, peeled, seeds removed, and chopped in food processor
    4 Large or 5 Medium Honey Crisp Apples, chopped in food processor
    1 Cup of either pecans or walnuts, chopped in food processor
    3-4 Cups of apple cider, unfiltered and un-pasturized is best, alternately you could use apple juice
    1 quart of chicken broth, homemade is best and has less salt making it a healthier choice ** See below for chicken stock recipe
    3/4 tsp. Allspice
    1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. ground cloves, if you don’t have ground then use a pinch of whole, just make sure you take them out before blending

    Let all ingredients cook together until the squash is tender. Do not boil. When all ingredients are tender, use a strainer and strain out chunky ingredients and blend smooth. Pour back into pot.

    Right before serving, add:

    1-2 Cups of whole milk or cream, or 1/2 C. coconut milk (remember that if you use coconut milk it will have a stronger coconut taste.)

    Let heat throughout and serve in bowls topped with shredded cheddar cheese, and a dash of cinnamon.

    Additional items that may be added and are complimentary: Shredded chicken, 2 TBS. brown sugar if not sweet enough, or diced roasted red peppers added just before serving.

    **To make your own chicken stock:

    Take an organic, free-range, whole, clean chicken and place it in a pot with peeled and sliced potatoes, carrots, parsley, onions, celery, garlic and 1 TBS. apple cider vinegar. From my experience and from other helpful experienced “mom chefs”, the apple cider vinegar will not change the taste of the stock, yet it draws out the nutritional enzymes from the bones. Cover the chicken and vegetables with purified water. Put the lid on the stock pot and place in the oven at 300 degrees for several hours so that the chicken is cooked thoroughly and the nutritional enzymes are drawn out of the bones into the stock. Strain out the vegetables and the chicken, reserving the meat for either soup or for chicken salad or even a chicken pot pie. Yum! This stock when chilled should be the consistency of a thick jelly. I like to put the stock into freezer bags or BPA free freezer containers and freeze until needed. Make sure to leave a one inch space between the stock and the lid.

    I have quite often used glass jars to avoid plastic products, however, with that may come the occasional broken jar that sticks itself to the freezer door and makes a mess. For some reason I find that some of my stock just doesn’t expand up, it expands out. Not to mention, bags leave more space in the freezer than the jars.