Sesame-Garlic Kale-Sweet Potato Salad

IMG_5691The key to the delicious taste of this one is the dressing, which is actually very simple, and we use it on lots of other veggies (sauteed broccoli is a favorite). It’s a great way to get kids to eat lots of garlic and ginger when they’re sick, too.
You can also have the dressing with just kale, to keep it really low carb. For the most part, we avoid sweet potatoes, but I’ve found that the small amount of sweet potato per serving in this doesn’t spike my daughter’s sugar.

Dressing ingredients:

1 cup toasted sesame oil
1/4–1/3  cup olive oil (make sure it’s extra virgin, organic)
tons of garlic, minced
approximately a 2″ X 2″ piece of fresh ginger (or more to taste), grated
1/8 cup rice vinegar
2 or 3 T tamari (make sure it’s organic–you don’t want to get any GMO soy)
1 scoop KAL organic stevia (or 1 tsp raw honey if you’re not doing really low sugar/carb)

Shake all ingredients together well in a jar. This makes quite a bit of dressing, not just enough for this salad. It’s always good to have around, and keeps really well for a long time in the fridge (though ours usually gets used up within a few days).

Other ingredients:

1 medium-sized bunch of kale, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 medium to large sweet potato, also chopped into small bite-sized pieces
Coconut oil or Olive oil

Preheat oven to just below 325 F if using olive oil;just below 350 F if using coconut oil.

Toss the sweet potato with olive oil, then roast in oven until pieces just start to brown. Remove pieces onto a plate and let cool. They will become a little chewy. Once cool, combine sweet potatoes and kale together in a large bowl. Add as much of the dressing as you want and toss until veggies are all coated. Julienned red bell peppers are also good in this salad, and add some great color.



Curried Lamb Stew

Coconut oil or ghee for cooking
2 lbs lamb, either shoulder or stew meat or shank or butt roast, trimmed of visible fat
3 medium-sized onions, sliced into wedges
One 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 T ground cumin
1 T ground coriander
2 t turmeric
3 to 4 T curry powder
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp ground cloves
2 14-oz. cans unsweetened organic coconut milk
2 large tart apples, cored and coarsely chopped
3 medium rutabagas, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 cup stock or broth
salt and pepper
cilantro, finely chopped (as much as you want, depending on how much you like it)

If cooking in the oven:
Preheat oven to 300 F.
Sprinkle the lamb all over with salt and pepper. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large flame-proof/oven-proof pot (cast-iron works well). Brown the lamb on as many sides as is possible. Remove and set aside. Saute the onion wedges until slightly browned, then sprinkle on the spices and saute for another minute or so. Turn the flame down to medium-low. Add the rutabagas, and stir in the ginger, apples, garlic, coconut milk, bay leaf and stock. Set the lamb back in the pan, on top of all of this, cover and roast in the oven for 3 to 4 hours, until the meat is very tender. At the very end, stir in cilantro.

If cooking in the slow-cooker:
Follow instructions above, but once meat and onions have been browned, throw all ingredients into the slow-cooker, cover and cook on high for 1 hour, then turn down to low for 6 to 8 hours, until meat is very tender. Again, stir in cilantro at the end.

I once had a lamb curry served with yoghurt and a fruit chutney spooned into it. It was great. I’m still trying to create a sugar-free chutney, so stay posted. In the meantime, experiment, and if anyone comes up with one let me know! Hope you enjoy this warming winter stew.


Two Really Easy Gourd Recipes

Roasted Delicata Circles

Delicata is delicious, sort of sweet, but not as starchy as Butternut, so doesn’t spike sugar/insulin as badly. My daughter loves these cold the next day for lunch.

A couple of small to medium delicata squash
Extra Virgin, cold-pressed organic coconut or olive oil
sea salt to taste
ground pepper to taste (optional)

Slice the squash in thin rounds (about 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch thick). Clean out the seeds. Spread in a single layer on a baking dish that’s been sprinkled with the oil (I use a pyrex dish–you’ll need more than one, or the other option is to pile the squash up in a thicker layer, but then make sure to stir frequently so it all gets cooked). If using coconut oil, bake at 350 F for about 15 minutes, then turn circles over and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until just slightly browning. If using olive oil, bake at a lower temperature, around 300 F, for about 20 minutes each side. Remove from oven. Sprinkle salt and pepper over all and enjoy warm or cold.


Creamy Coconut Pumpkin Soup

I have been craving everything pumpkin lately (have I mentioned this already?). It must be the power of suggestion, some subliminal thing. Ya think? They’re everywhere, here in New England, right now:every roadside, every porch, every schoolyard. People keep bringing them over (we happen to not have grown any this year–not sure why–just forgot). We have a bunch of various-sized ones in our front hallway that my daughter has great plans for:she’s presently obsessed with Harry Potter,  being 1/2-way through the fourth book, so the pumpkins will soon be carved into a plethora of fantastical characters from the books (for some reason, none of her favorites, none of the main characters, rather some of the secondary more obscure ones). I’ll put up some pics in here when they actually get carved, see if anyone can guess who they are…
Meanwhile…. this oh-so-simple and satisfying soup:

To make pumpkin puree:
Cut a baking pumpkin in half and scoop out seeds, etc. Prick each half in a few places with a fork. Place face-side down on an oiled baking dish. Roast in oven  at 350F to 375F for approximately 1/2 an hour (depending on size of pumpkin), or until soft when pricked with a fork. Remove from oven. Cool enough that you can handle it with bare hands. Scrape pumpkin meat off of skin with a large spoon and place in food processor or blender and puree, adding small amounts of  broth or water if necessary to make smooth. Add fresh raw pastured butter and/or cream, salt and pepper, and you have a delicious veggie, or make the soup:

4 cups pumpkin puree (either canned or home-made)
1 and 1/2 cups coconut cream
1/2 to 1 cup home-made bone-broth
salt and pepper to taste
Cilantro (finely chopped) is also good in this (optional)

Stir everything together in a pot, and bring almost to boiling point. Serve warm with an extra dollop of coconut cream (or sour cream) and sprinkling of cilantro or rosemary.

Remember, pumpkin is not a very low-carb food, though nowhere near as high on the glycemic index as sweet potatoes. If you eat it with lots of good fat (coconut, raw cream, etc) and in a meal with some protein too, you should be OK.