Friday Night, Summer Night

I am not sure where March, or April, or even May went, but June seems to have arrived full force with hot days and thunder storms. This Portland girl is not complaining. Along with it, farmers markets, local, plentiful food, and cool, fresh summer recipes have arrived. We are in heaven.

To celebrate Jordan and I whipped up something cool, fresh, and packed with lovely summer foods.

Jordan is good with fancy things like parchment paper so he nailed (totally consensually) this recipe. The fish and the sauce that it produced was light and tasted unbelievable.

Tarragon, Garlic Scape and Lime Cod in Parchment Paper (4 People)

2 Pounds Cod (cut into ½ pound filets)
4 sprigs of fresh Tarragon
2 limes sliced thin
3-4 stalks Garlic Scapes sliced thin (green or regular garlic also works fine in same proportions)
Dry white wine
4 pieces of parchment paper cut approx. 2ft by 1ft
Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper

Pre-heat over to 350 degrees

Fold your pieces of parchment paper in half and cut into large half heart shaped pieces.

Season the Cod with salt and pepper on both sides

To put the parchment packages together, unfold a piece of parchment paper and set 2 slices of lime in the center. Sprinkle with garlic scape, lay half a sprig of tarragon and then top with a Cod Filet. Sprinkle more garlic scape on top, another half sprig of tarragon and 2 more slices of lime. Drizzle with a Tbsp of olive Oil and a Tbsp of white wine.

To seal, fold the other half back over so it covers the fish. Start with the pointed end and fold it up working your way around the edge until you come to the end and squeeze the last fold extra tight.

Bake in the oven for 17-20 minutes until fish is just cooked through. You can serve the package right on the plate.

Since I tend to be stronger with throwing things in a blender/a large bowl and mixing, I put together some pretty delicious sides and dessert.

Fennel, Grapefruit, and Avocado Salad

2 bulbs Fennel
2 medium-sized Grapefruit
1 Avocado
1 Small Lime
Small bunch parsley
Olive Oil to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste

Thinly slice or use a mandolin to cut the fennel bulb, reserve a few of the green sprigs for garnish.

Peel the grapefruit, including the pith. Using a sharp knife, cut out the sections of fruit between the membrane. (I cut the grapefruit over my serving bowl so that all the extra juice will drip in, adding to the dressing.)

Slice the avocado thinly into the bowl.

Roughly chop the parsley and add to the mixture.

Add the lime juice, Olive Oil, and salt and pepper and toss.

Delicious.

Parchment is a magical thing.

Ready to mix.

Cilantro Pesto

1 bunch Cilantro
1 handful Italian Parsley
1 sprig Rosemary
2 Cloves Garlic
Juice of one Lemon
1/2cup of Olive Oil
Salt to taste

Add all the ingredients to a blender with a splash of water to get the blender to turnover. Blend to desired consistency. You can add more water depending on thickness. Serve over roasted or blanched asparagus.

Berry Soup with Coconut Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups Frozen Raspberries
1 1/2 cups Frozen Cherries
1 or 2 cups water
A dropper or two of Liquid Stevia or 2 tablespoons Agave Nectar
1 tablespoon Arrowroot Powder

Blend until totally smooth.

Divide up between four bowls and place a ball of ice cream in the center.
Dust with cocoa powder if desired.

Delicious Dessert

Perfect Plate

One of the benefits of a meal like this is that it feels really good to eat. Good protein, good fats, and fresh veggies and fruit. Nutrient dense! There was no food coma, nobody felt like they were about to explode after this one. Good food and good nutrients is a win/win in my book.

Happy start to the Summer! –Jordan and Clare

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Posted in Desserts, Family Dinner, Fish, Gluten-Free | 1 Comment

Rhubarb Tart

This is one of my favorite times of year, not only is it getting warmer and there are for more outdoor activities, but it is also Rhubarb season. There is really no “fruit” Dessert I love more than Rhubarb tart or pie. It is a shame that it is such a short season because I could eat it year round. I was planning on making two tarts, but to my dismay there was only enough Rhubarb at the Co-op for one. I guess everyone else had the same idea as me. I only hope that I can get some more before the season ends!

Rhubarb Tart
4-5 stalks of Rhubarb – cut into 1/2 inch pieces (toss out the green leaves)
1 Orange
2 TBSP Candied Ginger chopped
1 TBSP Lavender Buds
1 Cup of Sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 egg
1 Pillsbury frozen Pie Crust

Before I explain how to build the tart I have to explain my reasons for using the Pillsbury Pie Crust. Now I have made my own pie crusts before and there is no comparison to a homemade pie crust however, the Pillsbury is a very close second. If you are not in the mood to make a pie crust, I say there is not shame in using the Pillsbury brand…and Martha Stewart agrees! (just had to throw that in there to back up my claim)

Now for the tart…Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees

In a large Bowl mix the cut up Rhubarb stalks, sugar, lavender, ginger and flour. Zest the orange into the bowl and then cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice of half the orange into the bowl. Mix all the ingredients together so they are nice and combined. Lay out the pie crust on a sheet pan lined in parchment paper or with a silicone liner. Pour the rhubarb mixture into the center or the dough with a 2 inches around the edge. Fold in the crust so that it encloses the rhubarb mixture. Beat the egg and brush the top of the tart to help it brown nicely in the oven. You can also sprinkle a little bit of sugar over the egg wash to add some shine and sweetness.

Bake the tart for 40-50 minutes until the crust in nice and brown and the center is a bit bubbly.

Cut into quarters and enjoy with a little Vanilla ice cream

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Summer Shell Fish and Salad

After a long day at work there is nothing better than to eat a light and fresh summer meal that is washed down with a crisp and refreshing bottle of white wine. That is exactly what Nick and I did this evening, except the twist is, Nick did the majority of the cooking! I might be the one who writes a food blog and makes his own sausage but Nick really is a good cook…we might disagree on techniques, flavors and ideas, but I’ll be honest…he knows what he is doing in the kitchen! I will say, though, that I am incredibly lucky to have gotten any pictures of him cooking…in fact I am incredibly lucky to even have been allowed in the kitchen. He does not like to be watched in the kitchen for fear that I might judge him or give him advice…and justifiably so, because that is exactly what I would do. So this is a real treat to have Nicks Mussel recipe on this blog and especially to have pictures of him making it.

Nick slicing shallots and smashing garlic

I love being the main cook in the house, but it is such a treat to have someone cook for you…AND…have to have someone do it well, it’s even better. Tonight Nick wanted to make Mussels, and those who know me, know that I would never…ever…turn down Mussels. They are super affordable and absolutely delicious. Give me a pot full of mussels and some crusty bread and I am the happiest man alive…which is a pretty accurate description of my mood this evening. So without further ado…here is the recipe for Nicks Mussels!

Nick Mussels
2 Lbs Mussels
4 Tbsp Butter
2 Large Shallots sliced
3 Cloves Garlic finely chopped
3/4 Cup Chicken Broth
1/2 Cup White wine (Nick used Sauvignon Blanc)
7 Sprigs of Thyme
Salt and Pepper

Melt 1 Tbsp of butter in a large pot of Medium heat. Add the Shallots, Garlic and Thyme and cook for 5 minutes until just tender. Add the Chicken Broth and Wine and bring to a simmer. Add the Mussels and add another TBSP of butter. Stir and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Uncover and stir. Recover and cook another 3 minutes until all the mussels open up. Stir in the last 2 Tbsp of butter at the end and serve directly out of the pot with some crusty bread to soak up the cooking liquid.

Nick asked that I make a salad to go with the Mussels so I thought a really simple summer salad would be perfect.

avocado and Fennel Salad
1 Head of Romaine Lettuce
2 Avocados cut into cubes
1 Fennel Bulb finely sliced
4 Scallions chopped diagonally
1-2 Limes
Olive Oil
Agave Nectar
Salt and Pepper

Cut up the Romain, Slice the Fennel and Cube the Avocado and chop the scallions and place into a large salad bowl. Season with Salt and Pepper. Squeeze the juice of 1-2 limes (about 4 Tbsp), drizzle about 2 tsp of agave nectar and the drizzle with olive oil. Toss it all together and taste. Once it tastes good, it is ready.

It is a super simple salad that is so delicious. We drank the wine from the mussels with the meal and it was a light, refreshing and summery meal.

Special thanks to Nick…whom I love dearly!!!

Posted in Entrees, Family Dinner, Fish, Salad | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Homemade Bratwurst

As a Wisconsinite, born and raised, there is nothing like a good Brat! It seemed only fitting that my first attempt at making sausage, with my new meat grinder and sausage stuffer attachment, would be the famous German sausage…the Brat! There is truly nothing like it. The light flavor of Nutmeg mixed with the dried mustard plays perfectly off the ground pork butt. Then there is the topping options…ketchup, yellow mustard, horseradish mustard, diced onions relish, and of course sauerkraut. I personally am not a kraut fan, (shhhh…don’t tell my parents) but from what I’m told, it makes the worlds best brat. I personally just prefer some ketchup, yellow mustard and some diced onions. My parents got me the meat grinder attachment for my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer for my birthday and I figured it was about time that I used it.

It took me a few days to locate a butcher who sold sausage casings. The butcher I found was incredible (Clancey’s in Linden Hills). They were so incredibly helpful when I explained to them that This was my first time making sausage. The women behind the counter gave me a great tip for making the brats…mix beer into the meat. I have always boiled my brats in beer and onions, but beer in the meat blew my mind. Not only does it add incredible flavor, but it also keeps the meat moist as well as helping distribute the seasoning evenly.

Grinding meat for the first time was so incredibly fun. It must sound so mundane to people but for me it was so exciting and also eye opening. It made me realize that I knew everything that was in my ground meat. I knew that all the meat was from one animal. I controlled the fat content, the quality and type of meat. I can’t say that from this day forward I will always grind my own meat because it is a little time consuming, but I will try to do it as often as I can. Not only are you in control of what goes in the meat, but it truly (I am not lying here) tastes so much better. I don’t really know how to describe it, but when you grind it yourself and immediately cook it, it’s fresher, meatier and more flavorful. I know that is a vague description, but try it and you will see for yourself.

For these bratwurst I used pork butt and seasoned it with Salt, Black Pepper, White Pepper, Dried Mustard, Nutmeg, Onion Powder, coriander and Sage. Then I mixed in some Scottish ale. I then stuffed them in the casing, which I must say is quite underwhelming. I have seen videos of sausage being stuffed at high speeds, but in this case, my machine moved much much slower. No matter, it still turned out better than I could have expected. From there I boiled them in beer and onions and once they are cooked either grill them or pan saute them to crisp up the casings (this step is so important). From there I served them and honestly it was the best brat I have ever eaten. It was tender and flavorful. it tasted like a brat only better. This machine has opened my eyes to the world of ground meat and homemade sausage and I plan to explore more and experiment and perfect this art!

Posted in Entrees, Meat, Sandwiches | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Sausage and Collard Stuffed Chicken

It has definitely been way to long! Not to make excuses but it was an amazing and then terrible week. I started a new job the day before my birthday (the amazing part) and then I got sick (the terrible part). Let me just say that trying to learn a new job while loopy from cold medicine and unable to breathe through my nose was not fun. I am incredibly lucky that I was able to retain the majority of what I learned and that I didn’t get fired in my first week. Note to self…do not get sick on the first week of a job ever again!

So now that I am 89% healthy I felt that it was time to get back in the kitchen and cook. the past week my boyfriend has been taking care of me…he made me a wonderful and spicy Thai curry chicken soup and really helped clear out my sinuses, it was delicious. So for my first night back I decided to…okay lets be honest, I decided to use what I already had in the house to make something. Because I just started the new job, my pay schedule is a bit off so I’m trying to be frugal until it catches up…which will be soon! Luckily I had enough good stuff in the house to make this truly awesome dish.

Sausage and Collard Stuffed Chicken
2 Chicken Breasts (boneless & skinless)
4-6 Collard Green Leaves
1 red jalapeno
2 scallions
2 Mild Italian Sausage Links
Cooking Twine

Pre-heat your oven to 350 and heat a small saute pan over med-high heat with 1 Tbsp of olive oil in it.

Remove the sausage from the casing by slicing down the length of it and pulling it off. Then break the sausage into small pieces and put into hot saute pan. It is important that you leave it alone for about 2 minutes so that it has a chance to brown. While the sausage is browning, remove the stalk from the Collard green leaves. Cut the leaves into about 1 inch pieces. Then finely dice the Jalapeno. Add the collard greens and the jalapeno to the sausage and cook until the greens are just tender. Remove from the heat and put into a small bowl. Chop the scallions and place those in the bowl with the rest of the stuffing.

Now butterfly your chicken breasts. To do so, you need a very sharp knife. I prefer a long, thin boning knife for this task. Lay the breast flat on your cutting board and place pressure on the breast with your palm. With long strokes from the knife cut through the middle of the breast. once the first cut is made pull back the top flap and glide your knife across the inner crease until you can open the breast and it lays flat. One this is complete, fill the center will your stuffing. Now you can tie the chicken up one of two ways. If you know how to truss, go ahead and do it…it works very well but it is not completely necessary. You can always just tie 3-4 individual pieces of twine on each breast. Once it is tied shut…and yes you will probably lose some stuffing in the tying process which is fine…make sure you season the outside with salt and pepper. In the same pan that you cooked the stuffing in, add another two Tbsp of olive oil and cook the chicken at med-high on each side just to get that nice crust on the outside. From there, move it into your pre-heated oven for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked completely through.

Pull it out of the oven, remove the twine and serve!

Posted in Entrees, Meat | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Zucchini and Carrot Latkes

Almond Flour…my new obsession! It has made the lack of gluten in this cleanse amazingly bearable. I have been experimenting with different ways to use it so that I can eat the foods I love, while still abiding by the parameters of this diet. Last night I made almond flour tortillas/crepes so I could eat tacos and today it was Latkes (or veggie, usually potato, Pancakes, for those who are not a part of the jewish faith). Almond flour has opened up so many doors and allowed me to think outside the proverbial box in order to create the dishes I love in new and inventive ways. It seems so strange that finely ground almonds could be the answer to so many questions. There is also coconut flour and garbanzo bean flour, neither of which I have experimented with but rest assured that before this cleanse is through, I will.

I really have lost all rights and privileges to complain about this cleanse. Not that I did all that much, but I’m sure I was cranky and short-tempered to begin with. Now that I have made it to the half way point, I can honestly say that I am enjoying it. It has forced me to take notice of exactly what I am eating, it has allowed me to acknowledge my mild lactose intolerance, and most importantly it has broadened my culinary horizons. Through this cleanse I have experimented with new techniques and ingredients. I have juiced fruits and vegetables, made cheese with cashews (It didn’t turn out the best so I’m going to play more before I blog about it) and most importantly I discovered Almond Flour.

Zucchini and Carrot Latkes Grated CarrotsGrated Zucchini
1 Large Egg
1 Egg yolk
1/2 cup Almond Flour
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
3-4 Medium sized Carrots peeled
2 Medium Zucchinis
2 Green Onions
Salt and Pepper

With a cheese greater or in a food processor with the grating wheel, grate the carrots and zucchinis and place into a bowl. Cut the green onions in half length wise and then thinly cut across into strips. Add the onions to the bowl. Then add the Egg, Egg Yolk, Almond Flour, Baking Powder and Salt and Pepper. Mix until combined.

Latke Mixture

Heat a large skillet to medium/medium high with any kind of fat you want (Coconut oil, Olive oil, butter, etc…). I used vegan butter and olive oil. Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop the mixture into the and press to about 1/4 inch-1/2 inch thick with a spatula.

Latkes in pan

Cook about 3-4 minutes per side. They should be dark brown. When they are done…ENJOY. I served them with a chicken breast and a simple homemade tomato sauce over the top. I wish it could have been gravy, but you know the rules…NO DAIRY.

FInished Latkes

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Meat and Heat

On nights when Nick has class following 8 hours plus of work (I know…he is a crazy person), I try to have dinner for him when he gets home. I know its late but the last thing he wants to do when he gets home is put food together. I know what your thinking…”He is damn lucky!”…you would be right, he is!

On my way home from work today I stopped at the co-op to get stuff for tonights meal. I have been craving meat. A nice, juicy, tender piece of meat and my preference was steak. I wanted a huge hunk of beef. Now personally I am partial to a beautifully marbled ribeye steak, but one (meaning me) cannot afford that on a regular basis, so I went for the flat iron steak. To me, this cut of beef gets a bad wrap. It has a decent fat content making it more flavorful than a tenderloin and it is far more inexpensive than a ribeye. I decided that some simple mushrooms and Kale would go nicely with this meal until Nick said that he wanted something super spicy, so we decided upon a spicy asian Brussel sprout. By the way, This conversation happened via text while I aimlessly sauntered around the wedge waiting for his responses. Yeah, I’m that person. It really wasn’t a big deal to me because a grocery store is my solace. I could spend hours upon hours meandering around, looking at all the delicious items and brainstorming inventive ways to cook them and exciting ingredients to pair them with. People really do not enjoy grocery shopping with me because I like to take my time and the majority of people (those that I shop with) like to get in and out and that is just not a possibility with me. I need to make sure that I am making the right decision, that I have selected the exact bunch of kale that I want or maybe there is a better more exotic vegetable I would rather by. What can I say…this really gets my juices flowing! So from there I head home, change clothes and after watching what some might call an obscenely extensive amount of Project Runway All Stars, I begin cooking.

Spicy Sesame Brussel Sprouts
1 pound Brussel Sprouts
3-5 Tbsp Sriracha (depending on how spicy you like it)
1/4 Cup low sodium Tamari Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
2 Tbsp Ginger finely chopped
1 Tbsp Garlic finely chopped
1 Tbsp Sugar (I used truvia…no refined sugar for me)
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Brussel Sprout glaze cooking together

In a small dry pan toast the sesame seeds until they are just golden brown and set them aside. Be careful, they burn very fast so keep an eye on them (yeah I burned the 1st batch and I’m not ashamed).

In a small saucepan mix the ginger, garlic, sriracha, soy sauce, lime juice and sugar/truvia and heat on low to just bring all the flavors together.

brussels

Brussel Sprouts before the sauce is added

In a large skillet heat olive oil and sesame oil over medium high. Add Brussel Sprouts and cook until they are nice and brown, this should take about 5-10 minutes. Add the Sauce to the pan with the Brussel Sprouts and toss making sure they are nicely coated. Then add the sesame seeds and give it one more quick toss and then your ready to serve.
brussels 2

Brussel Sprouts after the sauce is added

Don't Crowd the Mushrooms


I also made some simple mushrooms to by sauteing them in a large skillet, and to quote the film Julie and Julia “Don’t crowd the mushrooms.” It really is true, they will not brown if you have too many crowded into the pan. You want them to get that nice caramely orange color. Then i drizzle in just a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce to bring out that meaty flavor of the mushrooms and then I serve them. They are a truly delectable and easy side dish.

Even though Nick likes his steak medium-well (tsk tsk) I’m pretty sure he enjoyed it and those Brussel Sprouts were incredibly spicy so I’m pretty sure he enjoyed them as well. Again if you are not a person who handles spice well, (which, I have noticed, is a majority of Minnesotan’s…no offense) cut back on the Sriracha and maybe even replace it with Hoisin sauce or a sweet chili sauce, no harm done. These recipes are just jumping off points. It is not a science where everything must be measured precisely. My theory is if you like something add more and if you don’t like something add less or remove it completely…I promise I wont be offended if you tweak any of the recipes in this blog (I’m sure I speak for Clare as well)! I firmly believe that cooking is about knowing what flavors you like and finding unique and enticing ways to combine those flavors to excite the palate.

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Raw Food, Soul Food

I used to be a raw foodist. I filled up my kitchen with all the stuff: juicer, dehydrator, nut milk bags, all the books, and a high speed blender. My credit card statement was hurting because of vegetables, not shoes. I was the queen of wrapping just about anything in a collard leaf and made the most beautiful green smoothies ever. (I still make a bad-ass green smoothie–recipes to come later.) Raw foods made me feel really good at first; my energy levels were insane and I felt light and calm. In the long term though, just raw foods didn’t flow for me and after awhile I gravitated back to cooked foods and slowly began to introduce meat and fish into my diet again. I gotta say, I feel good. This isn’t to say that raw foodism doesn’t work for lots of folks and I still think that with all the water-rich fruits and vegetables and easy to digest nuts and seeds, raw food is an amazing way to cleanse your body. Maybe if we are ever feeling more intense or inspired (or, for some of us, masochistic), we might try it here on the blog.

Although I don’t ascribe to raw foodism anymore, I still love a big glass of green juice, a terribly gross but terribly amazing wheatgrass shot, or a good raw meal. So this weekend, Nick and I (we used to love to have classy raw dinners out) took Jordan for his very first raw restaurant experience. Ecopolitian is the only raw food restaurant in the Twin Cities and also happens to be three blocks from our building, which with all the glorious weather we have been having, made for a delicious and convenient choice.

Cheesy Starters

We started off with a couple of appetizers, both different takes on nut cheeses. Jordan has been lamenting the loss of dairy, so I thought those would be a good start. We munched on a savory cashew log and spicy nacho cheese dip until our main meal showed up. I had my old stand by–the chili cheese burrito, which is basically just a bunch of crunchy, creamy, spicy delicious wrapped in a gigantic collard leaf. Jordan had the ginger noodles and Nick, the chef’s choice, which ended up being an amazing slice of raw pizza and creamy salad. We were doped out on raw nutritious goodness.

Check out those collards.

And then came dessert….

Coconut Cream Pie

Cheese Cake

So for people who haven’t been eating refined sugar (and in my case I have been trying to keep my fructose consumption pretty low too) desserts made moderately close to pie or cake or ice cream that we used to eat, is like a gift from god. A totally tolerant, gay-loving god who believes in the power of dates and coconuts. We ordered three desserts: coconut cream pie, the banana ice cream parfait, and the cheese cake. We were that table. The table that is loudly moaning and groaning about how good everything is, the table that is nearly shrieking in delight. We shared our climatic, cleanse-induced, euphoric food experience with the whole place. I am hoping they loved it.


The three dessert choices ended up blowing our minds so completely that we ordered two slices to-go and ate them later that night with another round of climatic euphoria, moaning and groaning. What can I say, cleansing is awesome.

Posted in Desserts, Gluten-Free, Jordan and Clare, Minneapolis Eats, Vegan, Wellness | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Sunday Brunch

As you know, we are on a sort of cleanse…no gluten, no dairy and no refined sugar. To be honest it is not as difficult as I had originally thought when we had started. After the 2 day hump it has been fairly easy and helped to eliminate the late night emotional eating. This diet change has forced me to look at food differently and think outside of the box to create the recipes that I like. I do miss cheese, ice cream and the “sandwich” in general (You could put anything between two pieces of bread and I am a happy person), but I’ll live. There is no way I could cut gluten and dairy out of my diet forever, but I have realized over this week that I eat too much of it. I am far more aware of the food I am eating and what is in it.

Today is the one week marker of the cleanse and we wanted to celebrate with a hearty family brunch, and really what could be better than brunch. I truly believe that this meal was invented as an excuse to eat anything. Seriously, you can make any dish work for brunch…like if I served a rack of lamb next to a frittata for brunch nobody would question or complain. I am also a morning person, so I love to get up early and make brunch for anybody and everybody who will eat it. Its kinda special to me to be cooking and enjoying a cup of coffee while everyone else is sleeping. It’s a great way to start the day. Today, however, started with Clare and I going to the co-op and getting everything we needed for brunch. One thing I really wanted was a scone and I wanted it bad…but a normal scone has gluten so I grabbed so almond flour and decided to experiment. What Clare and I came up with was pretty amazing and you wont even miss the gluten.

Paleo Blueberry Scones

Paleo Blueberry Scones
2 cups almond flour*
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp of salt
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 carton of Blueberries

Pre-heat to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, beat the egg with the maple syrup. In a large bowl mix Almond Flour, Baking Soda, Salt and Blueberries. Add the wet ingredients and mix until it combines into a homogenous mixture. Add a little extra almond flour it is too wet to handle. Form them into 2 inch rounds that are about half an inch thick. Place rounds on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

*Quick note about almond flour. You can either buy it pre made which can be a little expensive or you can grind up blanched almonds in a food processor and it works the exact same!

There was also another recipe that I really wanted to try out…Baked eggs in an avocado. Let me just say that this cleanse has re-affirmed my love for the Avocado and this recipe takes the fruit to a whole new level.

Baked Eggs in Avocado
1 avocado halved and pit removed
2 eggs
cracked pepper
Salt

Avocados with the uncooked eggs in them

Pre-heat your broiler to its lowest setting and set your baking rack to about the middle of oven so it is not too close to the broiler. Scoop out a little extra of the avocado where the pit was so there is more rooms for the egg. We found that setting the avocados in a muffin pan helped with balance. Crack 1 egg into each of the avocados. Some of the white will not fit so let it run over the edge into the muffin pan. sprinkle a little salt and crack a little pepper on top of the uncooked eggs and place it in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on it and cook the yolk to your liking.

The Brunch Table

We served this avocado dish with a homemade tomato salsa, which truly made the dish. Brunch also consisted of Peppered Bacon, Kale, a fresh Fruit Salad of Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries and Pineapple and a fresh pot of coffee.

Before today it was really tough to imagine brunch without dairy and gluten, but I didn’t even miss it. I still got my scone and it was surprisingly incredible.

Happy Brunch!

A little bit of everything and still room for seconds!

Posted in Breakfast, Family Dinner, Gluten-Free, Vegetables, Wellness | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Honey…I’m Home!

Nick and mine kitchen is currently in a state of duress. There is a leak in our wall somewhere and we have been in the process of trying to locate where the source of it is without ripping up the drywall (I believe it has been located and the plumber will be coming this afternoon to fix an re-pipe. The people who re-modeled the condo before Nick moved in, took some plumbing shortcuts and now it must be fixed). So now your asking yourself how this has anything to do with food. Well our kitchen is basically out of commission and Clare and Abby were at our condo surveying the damage when we decided that I would make dinner for the group over at Clare and Abby’s the following night. Clare, Abby and Nick all had to work late and I didn’t so I made the dinner. I planned it so that by the time all of them came home, dinner would be ready. Clare was especially excited about this, because she rarely gets the experience of having dinner ready for her when she gets home (this is not a dig at Abby, I promise).

I made Roasted Chicken over Carrots, Onions and Fennel and Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Mild Italian Sausage. It was a nice big meal for us!

Roasted Chicken over Carrots, Onions and Fennel
3 pound chicken
1 large Fennel Bulb
4-5 Large carrots
1 1/2 large yellow onion
1/2 lemon
4 sprigs of Rosemary (2 whole and 2 with leaves removed and finely chopped)
4-6 cloves of Garlic
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Chop onion, Fennel bulb, and Carrots into same size pieces between 1-2 inch slices. Place them in the bottom of a roasting pan. Liberally season the chicken cavity with salt and pepper and then stuff it with the half onion, half lemon, garlic, and 2 sprigs of rosemary. With kitchen twine, tie the two legs together to sort of close off the cavity. Now rub the skin with olive oil so it is completely coated (this will help with crispy skin). Then liberally season with salt, pepper and finely chopped rosemary. Place the chicken directly on top of the vegetables in the pan and bake in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. The temperature from the breast should read 180 degrees on a meat thermometer when it is done. Cover with foil and let it rest for 20 minutes after you pull it out of the oven which gives you plenty of time to get your side dishes ready.

I’m not going to sit here and try to tell you how to carve the chicken because I don’t think I am that great at it myself. Carve it however you want and enjoy…if you want to pick it right off the carcass and eat it with your fingers, I am completely fine with that.

Brussel Sprouts with Italian Sausage
2 pounds Brussel Sprouts
4 Italian Sausages
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Halve the Brussel sprouts and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper on a sheet pan. Place in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes until bright green and lightly golden brown on one side.

While Sprouts are cooking slice the sausage into discs and sear in a pan until browned and then toss them with the Brussel Sprouts. Yeah…its that easy!

I do want to take this moment to apologize for not having any pictures in this post. Usually I remember, but between running back and forth between 2 condos and dirty, slimy hands I just forgot to take pictures. I promise to make sure from now on there will be beautiful pictures for you all to ogle at and wish you were at our family dinner! So since there are no pictures of the food I made, I’ll give a shout out to the Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co. with a picture of their famous pizza pot pie. If you are ever in Chicago…YOU MUST TRY THIS!!!

Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co's famous Pizza Pot Pie

Posted in Entrees, Family Dinner, Gluten-Free, Meat, Vegetables | Tagged , | Leave a comment