Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble (paleo, dairy-free)

Spring is my favorite season! I love the lift in energy and mood that comes after a dark, brooding winter and the blush of cherry blossoms, birdsong and peppering of flowers throughout the city never fails to make me smile. This spring I noticed rhubarb at the local market. Rhubarb has such a short season but is a quintessential flavor of spring sweets. I pulled this strawberry rhubarb crumble together off a mash-up of various internet recipes coupled with what I had in my kitchen. The result is sweet, tart, and delightfully crunchy. Enjoy!

For the filling:

  • 2 cups diced rhubarb
  • 2 cups diced strawberries
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp wildflower honey (this has a floral note that pairs very well with fruit)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1.5 tbsp arrowroot powder

For the crumble:

  • 1/2 cup chopped raw hazelnuts
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp. wildflower honey
  • 4 tbsp. coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

Grease a 9″ by 9″ square casserole dish or pie plate.

Mix all filling ingredients together and pour into the casserole dish. Mix all crumble ingredients together (ideally with your fingers) until all is well incorporated and has a crumbly texture to it. Sprinkle the crumble on top of the fruit and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 25 minutes or until filling is bubbly and crust is browning nicely.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or keep it paleo with a whipped coconut cream (by chilling a can of coconut cream overnight and whipping it in a blender with 1/2 tsp vanilla before serving) or cashew cream.

Cashew Nut Cream (recipe from Cynthia Lair’s book, Feeding the Whole Family)

½ cup raw, unsalted cashews
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla
Water

Grind nuts to a fine meal in a small coffee grinder or food processor (no lumps or there will be lumps in your nut cream). Put ground cashews, maple syrup, and vanilla in the blender.  With blender running, add water a little at a time until you have a thick creamy consistency.

Zoodles with Peanut Lime Vinaigrette (Vegan and Paleo Options)

This peanut lime vinaigrette is an adaptation from a recipe recommended to me by a member of the VIBRANCE Village of Health on Facebook. The lime lightens up the sauce a lot and, unlike a traditional peanut sauce, this one does not feel heavy and comforting for winter, but rather light and refreshing and best enjoyed on hot summer evenings or days when you are pining for hot summer evenings. Having discovered it in dreary, grey January, it’s been a culinary reminder of days to come.

If you’ve not spiralized I highly recommend it! It’s a fun way to get extra veggies in (think carrots, zucchinis, yams, and more) and kids enjoy being part of the spiralizing process, which then has them more invested in eating the outcome. I have a Paderno I picked up 5 years ago that is still going strong but would now totally choose this Spiralizer on Amazon because it comes with extra blades and recipe ebooks.

If you’re like 87% of Americans and struggling to get enough veggies in, our totally free challenge, 30 Days of Glorious Greens is the perfect challenge for you. Offered only once year in March, this program dives into best practices to get greens in, delicious recipes, and fascinating science behind the glory that that is the humble green. You can sign up below the recipe!

Zoodles with Peanut Lime Vinaigrette

 

Makes 1 cup of sauce and 4-6 servings of zoodles.

Ingredients:

3 zucchini

1/2 cup shredded carrot

1/4 cup chopped scallions

For Sauce:

3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. tightly packed cilantro
2 tbsp. peanut butter (use sunbutter or almond butter for paleo adaptation)
3 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp coconut aminos

1/4 tsp. fish sauce (omit for vegans)
1 tbsp.rice vinegar
1 tbsp. ginger, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sriracha, or more to taste
1/4 cup avocado or mild olive oil

Options:

  • Add chopped nuts, sprouts and extra cilantro on top before digging in.
  • Add 1.5 cups diced chicken, shrimp or tofu to make it a meal

 

  1. Spiralize zucchini (I use the leftover ‘core’ as a dip for hummus)
  2. In a blender, puree all sauce ingredients except the oil.
    While the blender is running, add oil in a thin stream until dressing is emulsified.
  3. Mix zucchini with carrots and scallions. Add the dressing and toss well to mix thoroughly. Best enjoyed within 24 hours, but will last 2-3 days (note that over time the zucchini will lose moisture and become more dense, but still delicious).

 

Recipes like this, and much more, are part of the 30 Days of Glorious Greens Challenge. Sign up now to reserve your seat and receive my best, most delicious tips and practices to keep vegetable intake high. Registration is open now and we begin March 4th!

Lacto-Fermented Limey Onions

If you’ve ever had legit Mexican food these will taste familiar. It’s common to soak onions in lime and water to reduce the pungency of them before adding them to tostadas, tacos, and other South of the Border street food. I took the traditional method a step further by adding salt and letting the onions ferment on the countertop for 5 days. The result is nothing short of marvelous, and adds a bright dash of flavor to chicken soup, pozole, tacos, guacamole, sandwiches, and anything else you enjoy onions on while delivering billions of happy probiotic bacteria. 

 

2 red onions, peeled and thinly sliced into half moons

Juice and zest of 1 lime

1/2 lime, thinly sliced into rounds

4 cups water

2 tbsp. salt

 

Dissolve salt into water. Layer the bottom of a quart canning jar with lime rounds. Mix lemon juice and zest with onions. Add onions to the quart jar, making sure all juices are included. Top with salt water. Layer an additional layer of lime slices on top of the jar, so they stick out just above the lip of the jar.
Seal the jar. It’s okay (and good) if the water sills out over; this ensures there is less oxygen in the jar.

Let sit in a warm dark place for 3-5 days, breaking the seal every 48 hours to release pressure.
Once the onions are to your liking, refrigerate them to prevent further fermentation.

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!

 

Instant Pot Persian Rose Lamb

Now that I am sitting on a modest amount of rose infused honey I’m feeling the urge to2016-07-10 10.36.04 incorporate this unique item into meals and snacks. I’ve mixed it into plain yogurt with raspberries (Food of the Goddess, I tell you!) and tonight I made a Persian style spice rub, mixed it with the honey and rubbed it onto a leg of lamb. The result is quite a lovely break from my standard dinners and this will be one I return to again!

Persian food is one cuisine where rosewater and the flavor of rose is incorporated into food. You can also find it in desserts from Afghanistan and, to a lesser degree in India and the Mediterranean cuisine. I did a little research and found an Iranian beef stew that incorporated several spices and used this as a flavor base for the lamb, adding the honey in to sweeten and caramelize the meat. According to my partner this is “the best roast you’ve made”. Give it a whirl and see for yourself!

 

2016-07-17 17.37.13
       Persian Rose Lamb with Veggies

 

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg 
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. rose honey (recipe here)
  • 4 pound boneless leg of lamb
  • salt, to taste
  • 4 yukon gold potatoes
  • 4 large carrots, cut into large pieces
  • Other roasting veggies, if desired
  • 1/2 cup broth

 

Preheat broiler. Mix spices together and set aside. Remove lamb from netting and open to expose as much flesh as possible. Salt the lamb on all sides. Mix 1 tbsp. of the spice blend into 2 tbsp. of honey and massage the honey into the lamb.

Broil the lamb for 5-10 minutes on each side to caramelize the exterior and seal in the juices.

While the lamb is broiling prepare the potatoes, carrots and any other veggies you would like to cook. Because this is being cooked under high pressure you’ll want to leave veggies in large chunks or uncut if possible to prevent them from getting too soft. Layer them into the bottom of your Instant Pot as follows: potatoes first, then carrots, then other veggies which presumably cook faster than carrots. Pour the broth over veggies. Once the lamb leg is caramelized remove it from the oven and place it atop the veggies in your Instant Pot or pressure cooker.

Pressure cook on high for 35 minutes (or simply use the Meat/stew setting on an Instant pot) and walk away. Once the lamb is done, remove it from the Instant Pot to cool slightly before carving. Serve with vegetables, drizzling a little bit of the rose honey onto the sliced meat before serving.

What I love most of all about this is that in less than an hour I had a leg of lamb on the table! This normally takes at least an hour and a half in the oven. While the Instant Pot was doing its work I was able to food prep some veggies for the coming week, accomplishing as much in an hour as often takes me all evening.

 

Elderberry Noms and Other Immune Boosters

September is back to school and the transition into autumn, which means a rash of sniffles shall soon be descending upon your home and workplace.

Elderberry is a daily tonic we use in our home to keep the little munchkin sniffle free. It’s also a great daily tonic for adults, and being of age we can entertain all sorts of fun uses for it (elderberry mimosa, anyone?).

Below is a recipe for an elderberry syrup I adapted from HerbMentor.com, a most excellent website if you wish to learn all things herbal in nature. I’ve used this syrup as a base in gummies, beverages, and even drizzled on pork and chicken.

  • 1/2 cup dried elderberries (Sambucus nigra)
  • 1 stick of Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum)
  • 1 Tablespoon grated ginger
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup honey

First put 1/2 cup of dried elderberries into the small saucepan. Add the 5 cloves, cinnamon stick, 1 Tablespoon grated ginger, and 2 cups of water.
Cover and bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan.
Turn down the heat, leave saucepan covered, and simmer until the liquid is reduced by 1/2. This usually takes 20-30 minutes.
Strain into a bowl using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Squeeze the remaining juice out of the berries. Add 1 cup of honey to the strained juice and stir until dissolved.

Store the syrup in a closed jar in the refrigerator and use within 4-6 weeks.

Elderberry Soda2015-09-01 08.00.11

  • 2 tbsp. elderberry syrup
  • 6-8 oz. club soda

Pour syrup into a small glass and top with club soda. This is my go-to for stomach bugs!

 

 

Astragalus

Astragalus is one of my favorite adaptogens. I put it in all my winter stews and it is a ever-present ingredient in my bone broth. As with all adaptogens, it helps the body more effectively deal with existing stressors, be they mental or physical, thus protecting the immune system from being worn down by changes in schedules, sleep patterns, seasons, and responsibilities. Rich in antioxidants. it also protects cells from damage. It is mild in flavor and contributes no notable taste difference in broths and soups. I use slices of dried root in cooking, which is easy to remove before consumption. This bone broth recipe is the standard in our home.

Dragons’ Breath

Sometimes try as one might one cannot stave off a cold or flu. My go to when I feel it settling in is a spicy hot lemonade a client affectionately (or not) dubbed ‘Dragon’s Breath’. Dragon’s breath is potent stuff and is best shared, particularly if you share a bed with someone! This formula has antiviral and antibacterial properties from the ample ginger, garlic, and lemon used. Cayenne and hot water provide heat to the body, facilitating eradication of illness. Get the recipe and protocol here: Dragon’s Breath

Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower with Herbed Lemon and Parmesan

This recipe was adapted off of one I found on Cooking Light to utilize leftover tarragon and thyme from my Dairy-free Chicken in Mushroom Cream Sauce recipe. The bright flavors work very well for spring, or any meal that needs a lively boost. I found the Parmesan (if used) creates a pesto-like experience – a great option when you want to pesto pasta but are avoiding wheat or high carbohydrate meals!

If you do not have tarragon, use a pinch of aniseed or fennel seed, crushed. Alternatively, rosemary pairs well with both thyme and lemon and will bring a different, yet equally enjoyable flavor to the dish!

  • 2 heads cauliflower – de-stemmed and cut into florets
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grapeseed or extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 450°.

Place cauliflower in a large roasting pan. Drizzle with oil; toss well to coat. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes or until tender and browned, stirring every 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley, thyme, tarragon, and garlic. Bake 5 minutes. Combine cauliflower mixture, cheese, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss well to combine.

 

Tarragon is one of those herbs I rarely use but have always enjoyed when it presents itself in a recipe. Are you familiar with tarragon as an herb? How do you like to use it?

Recipe of the Moment: Orange Matcha Ginger Salad

This recipe was initially inspired by a Matcha salad dressing I saw on a smoked salmon salad at Whole Foods, and further inspired by DoMatcha, a matcha tea company whose recipe, along with Whole Foods, served as the template for this creation. The earthiness of the matcha is well paired with the acidity in the vinegar and the sweeteness in the orange slices. Walnuts may be added for crunch, and the goat cheese can easily be omitted without sacrificing flavor if you are dairy intolerant. Be sure to include a fat source so that the antioxidants present in this salad are readily absorbed.

Matcha is something I am going to be playing with in the kitchen this month. Matcha has been cultivated in such a way to provide deeper flavor and richer color than other green teas. It was its intense color that first drew me in. Matcha is made by grinding the whole, dried leaf into a powder. The process itself can take an hour to powder an ounce by hand, and this laborious procedure is reflected in price. However, the sweetness of the tea and the complex flavor profile add quite a bit of character and, in my opinion, makes the extravagant price tag worthwhile. There is also the significant health properties of matcha above and beyond other green teas. All green teas contain the coveted compound, EGEC (epigallocatechin 3-gallate), renowned for its anti-cancer properties, cardio-protective nature, and metabolic boosting ability. The EGEC present in matcha is significantly higher than traditional green teas because matcha involves drinking the leaf in its entirety, not an infusion of the leaf.

This recipe pairs well with any white fish or Asian meal. I would recommend a grilled halibut or grilled shrimp as an accompaniment. Both these protein sources have a subtle sweetness that marries well with the citrus in the dressing and the earthiness of the matcha.

Salad:

  • 1 bag triple washed greens of your choice
  • 3 baby sweet bell peppers, sliced thin
  • 1/2 navel orange, sliced thinkly, sectioned and rind removed.
  • 1-2 oz. goat cheese OR 1/3 cup walnuts OR 1/2 an avocado, cubed

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp matcha green tea powder
  • 1 tsp. tamari or coconut aminos
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tbsp. orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp. pureed or freshly grated ginger

 

Place matcha powder in a small cup. Add just enough vinegar to make a paste and mix until smooth. Add remaining vinegar, lime and orange juices, and ginger.

Toss peppers, orange segments in the greens. Add goat cheese, avocado or walnuts and toss gentle to mix. Add dressing to taste and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Recipe of the Moment: Gingered Spring Greens

It’s still a little chilly, but signs of spring are coming. This recipe is a wonderful choice for spring or winter – dandelion greens are a great spring green, rich in highly absorbable calcium as well as iron. To make this recipe in fall or winter, substitute a heavier green like collards or kale!

 

  • 1 bunch (about 1 pound) of dandelion greens
  • 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp. tamari or soy-free coconut aminos
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)

1) Wash greens and remove the tough, fibrous stem bottoms. Coarsely chop. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and blanch greens for about 1 min. Drain in a colander and run cold water over them to cease cooking.

2) Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and saute shallot until soft, then add garlic and mushrooms, cooking about 4 min. more.

3) Stir in greens, ginger, and tamari. Cook 3 additional minutes, then remove from heat.

4) Toss with optional lemon juice before serving.

 

Recipe: Meyer Lemon Lavender Cupcakes

I’m on a roll tonight.  These cupcakes have been on my To Do list for about a month, and I’m nestling into Autumn with a desire to spend time in my kitchen exploring Delicious.

  • 1 cup dehydrated cane juice (sucanat)
  • 2 teaspoons dried lavender flowers
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cup Gluten-Free flour mix (I successfully used Pamela’s in this recipe)
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons hemp, coconut, or rice milk
  • 2 teaspoon freshly grated Meyer lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake pan with 12 liners.
In a Vitamix or food processor, grind the lavender and sugar together for about 1 minute. The sugar will appear finer, and the flowers will be small/tiny pieces.  The aroma may make you compulsively use the sugar as a body scrub. That’s fine too, but you’ll have to repeat this step if you do that.

In mixer bowl, combine lavender sugar and softened coconut oil until well mixed. Gradually add in eggs- one at a time, mixing completely between each, then non-dairy milk, vanilla, zest, and mix all thoroughly. While this is mixing, sift together salt, baking powder and flour. Gradually add, a little at a time, to wet ingredients. Mix just until combined. Spoon into cupcake liners.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15- 20 minutes or until cake tester or toothpick inserted in center of one comes out clean.  Cool completely before frosting.

Meyer Lemon Frosting

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup sucanat
  • 3 tbsp. meyer lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Blend sucanat in blender or Vitamix until powdery.  Cream Sucanat with coconut oil in a small bowl. Once blended, add lemon juice and vanilla. Chill until desired thickness is achieved before frosting.