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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

Our Favorite Fall Breakfast (for this week)

Slow-Cooker Paleo Chili

2 lbs 100% organic grass-fed ground beef
2 14.5-oz cans organic petite diced tomatoes (we like ones with chipotle or adobo) (or 1 and 1/2 cups diced fresh tomatoes, in season)
1 large onion, diced
1 or 2 large carrots, diced
1 or 2 stalks celery diced
1 medium bell pepper, diced (optional)
4 or 5 cloves garlic, minced
2 T ground cumin
2 to 3 T chili powder (preferably chipotle again, if you can find it)
2 T ghee or organic lard from pastured pigs
salt and pepper to taste

Heat ghee in a skillet, and cook the meat in it for a few minutes. It doesn’t have to be thoroughly cooked. Transfer it to the slow-cooker. Saute onions, carrots, celery, peppers in the pan for a few minutes (adding more oil if you need to), then add the cumin and saute for a couple more minutes. Add these to the slow-cooker too. Throw in the garlic, tomatoes, and spices. Stir until mixed well. Set slow-cooker to low for about 7 hours. This is a great meal to come home to on a blustery fall day, and warmed up for breakfast and/or lunch, with a green salad is terrific.

If you’re in a rush in the morning, you can forego sauteeing the veggies–just throw them all in slow-cooker raw, with the meat, and they’ll still be well-cooked when you open it up 7 or 8 hours later!

Variation:If you are not eating a paleo diet, and want to use beans in your chili, we always used to use black beans, as they are a little lower in carbohydrate than some other beans. Just remember to prepare them in a traditional way, otherwise you won’t be absorbing any of the nutrients, and will give yourself stomach problems! Also remember that contrary to mainstream advice, beans are very high in carbohydrates, and will spike sugar and/or insulin, so use wisely and sparingly.

 

 

Simple Green Salad to go with Chili

Lots of fresh organic lettuce (which there is tons of this time of year)
Avocado, sliced or diced
Red onions, diced (optional)
Grated carrot
Any other veggies you like ( we often use dried powdered seaweed of some sort. Cilantro and/or parsley are great. Sauerkraut is another one;this is a good way to get your daily intake)
Toss all ingredients together. Serve with the chili.

If you want a good dressing, here’s a simple vinaigrette:

1/4 cup fresh lime or lemon juice
1/4 cup organic, extra-virgin cold-pressed olive oil
1/4 of a small red onion, minced
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1/4 to 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup organic sour cream, preferably raw (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a jar and shake well until thoroughly combined.