Two Summer Slaws

IMG_5858Asian Summer Slaw

You’ve basically already got the recipe for this one if you read my Garlic-Ginger Kale-Sweet Potato Salad post of a few days ago. It’s the same dressing, so hopefully you have some of that still in your fridge. Only difference is you use chopped (or shredded) cabbage (asian, red, green, combination of colors) and red bell peppers instead of kale and sweet potatoes (I’m telling you, this dressing will keep your kids eating raw cruciferous veggies all summer–or year, for that matter–long!). That’s it–those are your ingredients. Add chopped up almonds (we like the sprouted ones) or peanuts. You can add cilantro or basil too (did you know that cilantro is a great sugar-and-insulin-regulator? Not to mention, rich in phytonutrients, flavonoids, and phenolic acid compounds, all of which contribute to fighting inflammation and free radicals? Basil is also a great antimicrobial/antibacterial herb). Garnish with extra cilantro leaves (or mint!).

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IMG_5777

Quick Lacto-Fermented Cole Slaw

Ingredients:

1 large head of Cabbage (red, green, combination), well chopped, or grated
approximately 1 cup of whole fat plain (preferably raw) kefir or yoghurt

1 medium to large red onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, diced
1 large cucumber, diced
1 large red, yellow or orange bell pepper, finely diced
lots of fresh dill (or dried if you can’t get it), to taste

approximately 1 cup of whole fat (preferably raw) sour cream (or creme fraiche)
a few T of fresh squeezed lemon juice and/or raw apple cider vinegar (to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
a tiny amount of stevia, to taste (optional)
Combine cabbage and yoghurt in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Mix well until cabbage is thoroughly coated. Let sit at room temperature for about an hour, then cover and place in fridge. Leave overnight, then stir until re-coated. Cover again and leave in fridge for another 24 hours or so. Then add all other ingredients, mix well and enjoy.

Bacon-Wrapped Scallops

IMG_5901This is such an old recipe, and I’ve seen many versions of it. It’s quick and simple, and can be part of a nutrient-dense meal, or served as appetizers. Make sure you get good organic pastured bacon if you can (local farms, farmers’ markets, good butchers, etc).

Ingredients:

6 slices of bacon, cut in half
12 medium-sized scallops (or 6 large, cut in half)
approx. 5 T butter, melted
as much garlic as you want (a few cloves), minced or pressed
salt and pepper
12 toothpicks

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lay the bacon out on a flat baking pan and bake it for about 10 minutes each side. You want it to really start cooking, but still be pliable. Remove from oven and lay on a plate to cool to the point that you can touch it without burning your fingers.
Pour most of the leftover bacon fat out of the baking pan (strain and save it–it’s great for cooking everything, or making mayo out of (recipe soon).
Add the garlic, salt and pepper to your melted butter. (You can keep some of this aside to pour over at the end.)
Dip each scallop piece into the garlic butter. Thoroughly coat each one.
Then wrap each scallop with a piece of the bacon and secure it with a toothpick (make sure toothpick goes all the way through the whole scallop and bacon on each side, so it doesn’t fall apart in the baking).
Place each scallop onto the greased baking pan.
Bake until scallops are done and bacon is starting to crisp a little (approximately 20 minutes).
Remove from oven, arrange on plates and pour remaining garlic butter over all.
These are also delicious with a chipotle mayo, for which I will try to get a recipe up soon.

 

Spaghetti Squash with Pesto

Sorry, not the best photo, but this got eaten so fast I couldn’t get a better one.

Another simple recipe that’s good for the holidays. I froze a lot of pesto this summer, and everyone in the family loves it, so I’m always coming up with ways to use it. This has been a favorite of mine for decades.

First, my Pesto recipe:
3 well-packed cups of fresh basil leaves (no stems)
3 large garlic cloves
1/2 cup walnuts or combination of walnuts and pine nuts
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
Approximately 3/4 cup fresh-grated parmesan (or equivalent aged cheese, preferably raw)
Approximately 3/4 cup extra virgin organic olive oil
salt to taste

Combine everything in a blender or food processor and blend until you get the consistency you desire (I like it very smooth, but some people like it a little chunky).

The squash:
Preheat oven to 375.
Cut a medium to large spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Grease a large baking dish (I prefer glass or ceramic), and place the two squash halves face down in the dish. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the skin can be easily pierced with a fork, at which point, remove from oven and let cool until you can easily handle it. Scoop out the insides and place in a bowl.

The two together:
Put as much pesto as you want in with the squash and toss until thoroughly combined. You can serve as is, or alternatively, sprinkle with more parmesan (or mozzarella) and bake until cheese melts, browns and bubbles. Pesto is also great cold on just about anything. Makes yummy omelettes too.

 

 

A couple of breakfast recipes

Recipes Included on this page:
1. Hot Nutty Cereal
2. End-of-summer Veggie Scrambled Eggs

Some moms of diabetic kids have been asking me to get more breakfast ideas up on here, as breakfast really is the most difficult meal for people who are used to a standard american diet (aka SAD) to figure out recipes for. The one piece of advice I keep giving is:think outside the box. Americans are so used to eating these ridiculously high-carb/sugar breakfasts that have everyone, diabetic or not, falling asleep (after bouncing off the walls, in the case of some sugar-laden kids!) by mid-morning, as they have a sugar-spike and then crash. So many of these breakfast “foods” people are used to are highly processed stuff that comes in a box. Think cereals, muffins, toast, pop-tarts. Grains, grains, grains. I don’t care if they are organic, whole-grain, even sprouted grain, whatever:it’s ALL SUGAR when it hits your blood;all has the same effect. If you want your kids (or yourself, for that matter) to sustain level blood sugar, especially after breakfast, you want to feed them good fats and proteins. Fat is slow-burning energy that sustains, unlike carbohydrates that is fast-burning energy that spikes sugar (and insulin). Combining some good carbs (such as veggies and/or low-glycemic fruits) with good fats and protein will sustain energy for long periods. If a kid eats a good healthy breakfast, he or she should not need a snack until lunch (I notice it’s become standard practice for schools to give kids a snack around 9 or 10 in the morning, 2 or 3 hours after breakfast. These kids are eating sugary, high-carb breakfasts, then “starving” and eating more sugary high-carb snacks mid-morning. It’s crazy, but has become common practice in this country, unlike in many other places.

Anyway, here are a couple more breakfast ideas that have been big hits in our house:

I’ve seen many versions of this oatmeal (or cream-of-wheat) substitute. This is one I’ve put together after trial-and-error with many of them:

Hot Nutty Cereal

2 cups raw walnuts (soaked and dehydrated) (you could also use 1 cup almonds/1 cup walnuts)
1 small to medium apple, diced
2 T ghee and/or coconut oil
1 T cinnamon
1 to 2 tsp cardamom (optional)
3 cups home-made almond milk and/or whole-fat coconut milk (we use Thai brand organic, which you can now find in most supermarkets, definitely in co-ops)
1 T vanilla extract
stevia to taste

Process nuts in a food processor until pretty finely ground. Stir in the cinnamon, cardamom and stevia.
Meanwhile, saute the apple in the coconut butter/ghee, until soft.
Add the nut/spice/stevia mixture into the apples in the pan, and stir for a minute or so until coated with the  oil.
Reduce the heat and add almond/coconut milk and vanilla extract. Stir well, then reduce heat even more, to low.
Cook, uncovered, stirring as needed, until mixture thickens to your liking (usually about 15 minutes).
Serve warm. Sometimes we pour raw cream over it, just like we used to with oatmeal. Or add berries. It’s a very filling breakfast, with all the good nut fats and proteins. It’s good cold later, too (this recipe will serve 2, but you may have some leftover).
Keeps in the fridge for about 5 or 6 days.

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My daughter is not crazy about plain old scrambled eggs, but when we add things in, she loves them. This is just one of many ways we prepare them that makes her gobble them up, no problem:

End-of-summer Veggie Scrambled Eggs

For one serving:

2 eggs, beaten well
2 to 4 T of full-fat cream cheese (raw, cultured, if you can find it locally)
2 T red onion, diced
2 T fresh basil, minced
1 T fresh parsley, minced
2 T fresh kale or other garden greens), diced
5 or 6 ripe sungold tomatoes (or other cherry tomato), halved
ghee for sauteeing/frying
Half an avocado for “garnish”

Add cream cheese by the tsp to beaten eggs (so you have 6 or 7 dollops of the cheese in the eggs). Saute onions in the ghee, over medium-low heat, until softened, then add other veggies and herbs. Cook for another 5 minutes or so, stirring frequently, then pour in egg/cheese mixture. Make sure to stir constantly so they don’t burn or stick (we have a great black-steel pan that is dedicated to cooking eggs, nothing else, and we keep it well-seasoned so we don’t get sticking problems. I do NOT recommend using any of those awful “non-stick” pans that seem to still be on the market). Cook to your liking.
Serve warm with avocado slices on the side (and a dollop of cultured sour cream on top if you like).