Brussels Sprout Chips (paleo, vegan, gluten-free)

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I hate throwing away perfectly good food. Usually, my vegetable ends get saved for stock or I feed them to the dog (who prefers sweet potatoes and carrots to parsnips and spinach). But there are only so many Brussels sprout trimmings I feel good about feeding her…and I eat a lot of Brussels Sprouts.

Again, Michelle Tam at Nom Nom Paleo comes to the rescue with a recipe for Brussels sprout chips. You know how if you grill or roast Brussels sprouts, the inside gets all tender while the outside gets caramelized and crispy? Imagine a plate full of just the crispy bits, and you’re heading in the right direction. Continue reading

Bone Broth (paleo, gluten-free)

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(Edited for photos Feb. 2, 2014. You’ll note I made the broth a little differently this time — I used 1 pound of oxtails, 1 pound of beef bones and leftover red onion and white onion I had in the fridge. I also simmered it for a total of 18 hours. By the time I was done, there wasn’t much left of the bones.)

Bone broth is like the Zen koan of food. Clear, but full of flavor; goes down like water, but is incredibly nourishing; takes a long time, but is incredibly easy.

I use this in every recipe that calls for stock, now that I have found the recipe in the Nom Nom Paleo Cookbook. I was looking for an easy weekend cooking project, and after an awful experience with store-bought broth that ruined an entire gumbo, I knew I needed to begin making my own stock.

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Salad Lyonnaise

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Sometimes, when I eat alone, I use it as an excuse to put little to no effort into what I’m putting in my mouth. Almond butter and a firm, juicy apple. A date stuffed with an almond and popped like a movie theater snack.

Other times, cooking for a single person is freeing. It’s just me in the kitchen making this salad Lyonnaise, carefully slipping a raw egg into a pot of almost-boiling water and praying it poaches properly. The egg didn’t turn out — the water needed to be energetically boiling — but it’s okay. I can try again.

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Holiday Truffles

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Merry Christmas, everyone! Whichever holiday you celebrate, I hope you’re filled with comfort and joy and the love of family this week.

Speaking of feeling warm inside, I wanted to make a holiday treat this year that was pretty much accessible to everyone, no matter what their dietary needs. Paleo brownies are great, but usually require a palate that isn’t used to a lot of refined sugar; my grain-free ginger cookies tasted too much like almond flour to truly be delicious; my all-time favorite Austrian Nut Butter Sandwich Cookies, as made by my mother, are full of everything that is both delicious and tummyache-inducing.

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Beet Greens with Raisins and Pine Nuts (paleo, gluten-free)

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You know how I promised to give you a recipe for beet greens? Consider that promise fulfilled.

I have a lot of trouble experimenting with greens of any sort. I tend to find something I like and stick with it, which means a lot of salad. Kale salad. Spring mix with craisins and almonds. Baby spinach with lemon juice, garlic and (in more dairy-friendly times) a ton of Parmesan cheese. Sometimes kale sauteed with bacon, mushrooms, onions and balsamic vinegar — which is another recipe for another time.

But I found myself staring at a bunch of beet greens the other day, unable to bring myself to throw them away. They were so pretty, with the pink stems and bright green leaves, and they looked so healthy and vibrant that I had to come up with something.

Michelle Tam has an excellent recipe for Swiss Chard with Pine Nuts that I’d tried before with a pretty high degree of success, and that I thought I could adapt to work with the greens. Beet greens don’t seem to have a lot of flavor — maybe a little savory bitterness, but otherwise, I figured they would be the perfect foil for the raisins, pine nuts and salty prosciutto in this dish.

I had to resurrect some of the slightly-wilted greens, but it was well worth it for how well this dish turned out. The garlic and lemon added sharp, clear notes and dimension to this dish, while the raisins added a touch of sweetness. The bitterness of the kale I’d added to fill out the greens became a complement, not a detriment.

And the crispy prosciutto was just beyond ridiculous. You might want to make extra just to snack on…or to share with the dog, who will be staring at you with big eyes the second you pull those luscious slices of pork (sorry, pigs) out of the oven.

Beet Greens with Kale, Raisins and Pine Nuts
Ingredients
  • 3 slices prosciutto
  • Greens from 2 bunches of beets
  • 1/2 cup kale, de-stemmed
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. First things first: make the crispy prosciutto. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake prosciutto on a foil-lined cookie sheet for about ten minutes. Remove from oven and place prosciutto slices on a wire rack to cool and crisp up.
  2. Remove stems from beet greens. Chop stems, and slice the greens themselves into ribbons by stacking them, rolling them, and slicing perpendicularly along the roll. Cut kale to ribbons in the same way, but discard the stems.
  3. Put raisins in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Allow to soak while everything else is going on.
  4. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Toss in pine nuts and let toast until browning, two to three minutes. Remove to a plate to cool.
  5. Add oil to the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add beet green stems and cook until tender. Add garlic and saute until fragrant.
  6. Add greens and kale to the pan with a sprinkle of salt. Cover, and allow to steam until greens are wilted but still bright green.
  7. Remove from heat. Toss in pine nuts, raisins and lemon juice and combine. Serve with crispy prosciutto crumbled on top.
Adapted from Nom Nom Paleo

Flank Steak Roulade

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One of the things I love about the paleo lifestyle is its full-fledged embracing of grass-fed red meat. While I still have enough vegetarian in me to avoid pork (pigs are smart, guys), I have enjoyed eating much more beef than I previously had.

When I have time to cook something elaborate, I like to cook a recipe that makes a lot and will reheat well. That means something my boyfriend will like enough to eat for a few meals, and something that I can also eat cold for lunch.

Enter Dave Wendel‘s Flank Steak Roulade. Man, did I feel healthy and full of iron after eating this. Yes, it takes some time to prepare, but it is awesome and well worth it. Dave seems to have developed this recipe for Nom Nom Paleo, one of my favorite blogs. If you click “Flank Steak Roulade” above, you can find the original post.

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