Category Archives: Recipe-Snack

Lacto-fermented Chard Stems

I really must thank my friend and colleague, Abra Pappa of Abra’s Kitchen for the idea of pickling chard stems. This recipe is inspired by her, and modified by my desire for fun flavors in my pickled veg.

Save your chard stems and give this a try – given that 2 large bunches of collards cooks down to about 6 cups of greens, this can be a great use for leftover stems after Sunday batch cooking.

  • 16 oz. canning jar, leftover pickle jar or fermentation vessel
  • Stems from 2 bunches of Chard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp peppercorns
  • 1-2 shakes of red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 grape leaf (optional – the tannins in the grape leaf keep the stems crunchy)
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 tbsp. sea salt
  1. Trim off the tips of the stems and cut stems 3-5 inches long, so that they can be stacked in the jar yet are short enough to be covered with the brine.
  2. Crush the garlic to allow the juices to ooze out. Place peppercorns, bay leaf, and red pepper in the jar. Stack chard stems upright into the jar and then wedge the garlic in between the stems. If using a grape leaf, lay it atop the chard.
    Fill the jar with brine until the chard and grape leaf are fully submerged.
  3. Leftover brine can be stored in the fridge for 7-10 days – if you are unable to use it to pickle another vegetable (radish, cabbage, carrots, green beans) incorporate it into a brine for chicken or pork.
  4. Close the jar tightly, and set aside on a plate in a cool, dark place to ferment for 5-9 days. If you are using a canning or pickle jar, you’ll need to check on it daily to release mounting pressure as it ferments. Top off the jar with brine, if needed.
  5. When ready, these can be stored in the fridge for up to a year. Top them off with brine before storing to ensure freshness.

Want More?

Paleo Buffalo Cauliflower (Gluten-free, Dairy-free)

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower, torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup cassava flour
~ 1 cup water
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup hot sauce

Preheat oven to 450F.

In a medium-sized bowl, gently whisk together cassava flour, water, garlic powder and salt. You may need to add more water to get a dippable consistency; aim for something resembling thick pancake batter.

Roll cauliflower into the batter a few pieces at a time, making sure to coat each piece completely. I use my hands for this to ensure a nice, even coat is applied to each piece. Place the battered cauliflower on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, or use a silicon mat for a non-stick surface. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, tossing halfway through.

In the meantime, add the hot sauce in a large bowl. When cauliflower is done, remove it from the oven and gently toss it in the hot sauce mixture until all pieces are well coated. Return the cauliflower to the baking sheet and bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until slightly crispy.
Resist temptation and let the cauliflower cool for 15 minutes before serving, lest you burn your tongue and expose your raw tongue flesh to scalding capsaicin. Serve with your favorite dairy-free creamy dip or dressing (Tessame’s Creamy Ranch is delightful!)

Fun Ways to Enjoy Leftover Easter Eggs

Delicious, Tummy-Rubbing Recipes for Leftover Easter Eggs

Dying Easter eggs is practically a must-do for any home with children. Once the fun is over, parents left with a dozen eggs or more that need to be painstakingly plowed through. Most people I know will make deviled eggs or egg salad, and honestly the same old recipe gets weary after awhile. I mean, how many egg salad sandwiches can you handle in a week?

I took it upon myself to scour the Internet for some exciting alternatives to the classics, and a couple of international dishes (Hello, Scotch eggs and Egg Curry!) to take your Easter leftovers to the next level. If you are from a child-free home I encourage you to try one of the deviled egg recipes at your next spring potluck or event – they are certain to please! Do you hate mayo? Try making your own (seriously; it’s easy and makes you realize everything you’ve eaten that was called mayo was a hideous lie). Is there no way on this green Earth you’ll even go there? No problemo – substitute greek yogurt or even avocado in any deviled egg recipe. Here are some choice recipes to try:

KimChi Bacon Deviled Eggs

Truffled Deviled Eggs

Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs

Not into Deviled Eggs? Try these recipes on for size!

Paleo Scotch Eggs 

 

Spicy Egg Curry (use coconut oil instead of ‘refined oil’)

Egg Salad with Capers, Red Onions, Lemon and Dill (nix the bread and spread inside celery sticks or add a dollop onto lox laid atop a romaine lettuce leaf for a healthier choice)

 

Give one of these recipes a whirl this Easter and let me know what you think! If you have any fun ideas for leftover Easter Eggs do share! I’ll happily add them to this post and credit you your brilliance!

 

Game Day Instant Pot Hot Wings

buffalo_wings-01
Since football season is here it means that HOT WING SEASON is here! The great thing about hot wings are that they are an easy crowd pleaser that can be made to be fairly healthy. Here’s a Instant Pot Hot Wing recipe you can take with you to the next game – you’ll look like a culinary bad ass, but Instant Pot does most of the work!

This recipe is gluten-free and paleo-friendly and is adapted from The Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook which has recipes for all kinds of eaters. I’ve cleaned it up by following instructions to broil instead of fry the wings and by making my own hot wing sauce, which is easy and keeps the dairy and gluten-free folks happy!

Bomb-Diggity Game Day Hot Wings

  • 3 pounds chicken wings
  • 1 cup water
  • kosher salt
  • 2 cups wing sauce (see recipe below)

Add chicken wings and water to Instant pot. Season with salt to desired taste. Selected ‘Manual’ and ‘high’ pressure on Instant pot and set time to 10 minutes.

While Instant Pot is cooking the chicken wings assemble the hot wing sauce:

Hot Wing Sauce

  • 1/2 cup avocado oil*
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 1/3 cup sriracha
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp. coconut aminos
  • 2 limes, juiced

Combine all ingredients in a blender or vitamix until garlic is well blended and set aside.

When the wings are finished, use the natural pressure release for ten minutes and then manually release any additional pressure. Removing wings and place upon a cooling rack to drain or press them dry between paper towels. Preheat oven to broil.

Dump wings and sauce into a large bowl. (you may want to reserve a little bit of sauce for dipping; its totally up to you!) Mix until sauce coats those wings well! Line a baking sheet with foil (for easy clean up) and lay wings on the baking sheet. Broil for 5 minutes, or until crispy. Flip wings and broil for 3-5 more minutes, then remove.

Serve with celery sticks and your favorite hot wing dip.

 

*I use avocado oil instead of olive oil because it is a mild flavored oil that has a high smoking point. Olive oil should not be used for broiling, frying, or sautéing due to its low smoke point. If you have an olive oil that is reportedly acceptable for such purposes its quality is highly questionable.

Kelly’s Favorite Snack: Raw Energy Balls

“Here is one my favorite, easy to prepare, grab-and-go snacks that my entire family enjoys.  My six year old Carmen, the best sous chef I could ever ask for, sits on the counter and helps put the ingredients into the food processor and then helps roll these out into balls.  These Raw Energy Balls created by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre make for a great snack that can go with you to work, on a hike, bike ride, or in your child’s lunchbox.”        – Kelly

  • 1 cup raw almonds or walnutsRaw Energy Balls
  • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ cup raw almond butter
  • Shredded coconut

1. In a food processor fitted with the “s” blade grind the almonds until finely ground. Add the dates, raisins, and spices. Grind to a fine meal.
2. Add the almond butter, process again until thoroughly mixed.
3. Form into balls and roll in shredded coconut.
4. Store in a sealed container on the counter for up to 3 days, or refrigerate for up to a week.

Recipe from: Alissa Segersten & Tom Malterre. The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook, 2nd ed. Whole Life Press. 2007

This Cookbook is a must-have in any healthy, gluten-free kitchen!

Breaded Zucchini (or Paleo Friez!)

 

My memories of breaded zucchini date back to the late 80s and early 90’s, when I would enjoy the fried version with a batch of marinara sauce at Denny’s or some other large chain restaurant.
I’m a big fan of zucchini – roasted, sauteed, in soups and stews, but I haven’t thought about breaded zucchini in well over a decade. Once I snubbed my nose at fried foods it disappeared from my memory banks.

I’m excited to have the crunchy and the zucchini goodness back on my menu again with this recipe. Now that my tastes have expanded, I also see this pairing well with BBQ sauce, Honey mustard, as a french fry substitute sprinkled with quality vinegar. I love healthy versions of winter comfort food!
Breaded Zucchini or Paleo Zuke Fries

(recipe adapted from NourishingFlourishing.com)

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium-sized zucchini
  • 1/2-3/4 C almond flour
  • 1/4 C water
  • 2 Tb ground flax seed (or 1 egg, beaten)
  • salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • (Optional: 2 tbsp.freshly grated Parmesan cheese)

Recipe:
1) Mix water with flax seed and set aside for about 5 minutes to gel. Alternatively, beat egg until thoroughly mixed.

2) For fries, slice zucchini into ~3″ long fry spears (i.e., about the length of normal fries, but about double the thickness). For breaded zucchini, just slice into long, flat strips. Follow directions the same unless noted.

3) In a deep plate, add about 1/4 C almond flour, and generously mix in salt.

4) Once flax has gelled some, dip or roll zucchini in the flax “egg”.

5) Roll each individual fry in almond flour breading mixture to coat. Set aside.

6) Add more flour/salt mix to plate and make more flax egg as needed until all zucchini is used.

7) Place on greased, flat baking sheet, and cook in oven at 400 degrees F, flipping carefully after the first side browns. (Keep a close eye on these — they can burn fairly quickly.) For breaded zucchini, simply fry them in some coconut oil on the stove, flipping once browned on one side.

Recipe of the Moment: Nourishment from the Sea – Seaweed Sesame Crackers

I’m excited to try this recipe to satisfy my desire for **crunch**. Making your own gluten-free cracks is far cheaper and just as tasty as store bought! The addition of seaweed in this gem of a recipe gives really potent nourishment to an otherwise run-o-the-mill recipe.

© Anja Schwerin 2009-2012

The question is…can it replace my potent, yet expensive adoration of Skinny Crisps?!?

Sea vegetables (the Hippie, politically-correct term for what we all grew up calling ‘seaweed’) offer the broadest range of minerals of any food and are an excellent source of the B-vitamins folate,  riboflavin and pantothenic acid  as well as a great source of iron,

calcium, and magnesium. Since much of our topsoil is sitting at the bottom of the ocean from generations of erosion, sea veggies reap the extra minerals and nutrients that have been whittled away from its land-loving cousins. This cracker is an excellent way to introduce such foods to young children, without having them balk at the creepy stands of weirdness served at a Japanese restaurant. ENJOY!

Yields apx. 25 crackers

Preheat oven to 180C/375F.

 Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup light buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup dried wakame seaweed, cut with scissors into manageable chunks for blending
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground sea salt (Himalayan is my fave!)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/2-2/3 cup water

Directions:

 Combine flour, almond meal salt and dried seaweed in a food processor. Pulse until seaweed is finely chopped. Transfer to bowl. Stir in sesame seeds. Add water and knead until well combined. Cover the bowl and let sit for 10 minutes or so.
Between two sheets of parchment paper, roll out the dough as thin and even as possible. Remove top baking sheet. If the dough appears to tear apart, put the dough with both parchment papers in the freezer for a few minutes. Afterwards, it will be easier to tear of the top sheet.

With a knife or cookie cutter, cut the dough into desired shapes. Poke each cracker with a fork to prevent puffing. Transfer onto baking sheet (with bottom parchment paper). Alternatively, use the fork to thoroughly pierce edges in the dough so that your crackers will break apart easily once baked.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until edges turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool. Break crackers at pre-cut edges, if needed. Serve immediately or store for future use.
Thanks to fellow Health Coach Anja at Anja’s Food for Thought for this recipe!

Gluten-Free Granola

I use this recipe on hikes, as sustaining fuel before long runs, or as a portable snack when traveling. The cherries help sore muscles heal and provide a nice tart bite to counter some of the sweetness. Enjoy!

Tropical Cherry Buckwheat Granola

â…“ cup maple syrup
¼ cup agave nectar
2½ cups toasted buckwheat groats (kasha)
½ cup finely shredded coconut
½ cup slivered almonds
â…“ cup raw pumpkin seeds
â…“ cup raisins or date pieces
â…“ cup dried tart cherries
¼ cup dried mango, diced

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Whisk together maple syrup and agave. Add kasha, finely shredded coconut, and almonds. Toss to coat. Spread in a thin layer on a baking sheet. Toast mixture for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through. Remove from oven and cool. Toss with remaining ingredients. Store in an airtight container.

Fueling Life's Grand Adventures


Every once in awhile, you need to do something that makes you feel fully alive. Every Memorial Day weekend, I take an annual trek from Money Creek near Gold Bar through the Alpine Lakes and ending somewhere near Northbend in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River area. Near as we have been able to guess, this trek is 14.5-16 miles long, depending on how lost we get. At higher altitudes, the trail is usually still under snow this time of year.

There is a craziness about this Adventure Run/Trek that seems like challenging death. Bears, hypothermia, broken bones, and dehydration are all very real possibilities out there. In the woods with a small group, we operate on a very basic human level. Survival is paramount, and as a pack we need to ensure we are all safe and strong. It’s fun and surprisingly restorative to break life down to it’s simplest – eat, drink, stay injury-free, get out alive. You unite and support your pack, use the experience of Alpha members to stay safe and on trail, and work consciously on our most fundamental goal in life – surviving. It is a time when cell phones, computers, work hassles and traffic fall away. The basics are the most important – fuel, community, safety, water. Rather than challenging death, it’s embracing life as a human in it’s most pure form.

I like using events like these to see what fuel my body responds well to. The more I experiment, the more tools I have in my athletic arsenal. I’ve done the Gu thing, the Clif and Lara and Odwalla bar thing and am now looking into fresher, homemade options for my long runs.

This weekend I decided to test out a recipe a colleague found as an alternative to refined, sugary sweets. I altered it by adding protein and changing the ingredients a bit to suit my own tastes – creating an incredible fuel for the trail. This was popular in taste, highly satisfying, did not fall apart in my pack and kept me well-fueled without stomach cramps or a cloying flavor common in some processed energy bars.

Behold – my Almond Oat Energy Bites! Present them at your next family function, bring them with you on a hike, or make a batch to have on hand instead of costly energy bars!

Aimee’s Almond Oat Energy Bites

2 1/2 cups Rolled Oats
1/2 cup Pumpkin Seeds
1/2 cup Organic Raisins (very important – grapes are a highly sprayed crop)
1/2 cup Organic Dark Chocolate Chips
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 oz. Vanilla flavored Whey, Soy or Rice protein
1/2 cup Almond Butter
1/3 cup Agave Nectar (honey can be substituted)

1. Grind 1/2 cup oats and 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds in food processor until powdery.

2. Combine remaining 2 cups oats, remaining 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, raisins, chocolate chips and cinnamon in large bowl. Add oat/seed powder and mix well.

3. Stir in almond butter and agave nectar in a small bowl until smooth. Transfer to dry bowl and mix until soft dough forms.

4. Moisten hands, and roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place in freezer 20 minutes to set, then serve or store in the fridge.


Making the Most of Summer:

Top Produce Ideas

  1. Fresh Berries in Yogurt
  2. Frozen Berries as Ice Cubes!
  3. Grilled Asparagus Spears
  4. Fresh Watermelon Juice!
  5. Serve mango sorbet in half a cantaloupe

Ricotta Fruit Dip!
Ricotta cheese pairs well with the sweetness of fruit and offers a decent dose of protein to slow blood sugar response. This makes a great easy snack for work or after school! Provides 8 grams of protein per serving!

  • 1/3 cup low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 tablespoon sucanat or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. finely grated orange peel
  • 1 tbsp. orange juice
  • 1/2 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt (Cascade Fresh or Nancy’s)
  • Assorted fruit of choice

In a food processor or Vitamix, mix ricotta, sweetener and orange juice and peel. Mix until smooth. Stir cheese mixture into the yogurt. Cover and chill up to 24 hours. Serves two (accompanied with assorted fresh fruit).