Tomato-Vegetable Stock

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I am on a quest for homemade vegetable stock. When I was paleo, it was fine to just make bone broth all the time, chicken broth sometimes, and not worry about the fact that I was essentially pouring meat into everything I was cooking, otherwise vegetarian or not. Meat on paleo equals protein, bone broth equals gelatin, and all of that was fine with me.

But as I attempt to make this a food blog more about eating healthy, no matter what your diet might be, it occurred to me that some of you would prefer to not ingest cow every time you make soup. You also might prefer to not have to handle oxtails and hacked-off parts of an animal skeleton.

I know this. I get you. We have an understanding.

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Pomegranate Roast Lamb (paleo, gluten-free)

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Roasting a leg of lamb can be pretty intimidating. First, lamb is expensive if you get the right kind. Second, it’s this huge chunk of meat that still isn’t common on American dinner tables — lamb trails well behind beef, pork, chicken, turkey and fish in per capita consumption, beating out veal by only two-tenths of a percentage point. Third, there is nothing worse than overcooked lamb.

But set aside your fear just this once, and I’ll point you to a recipe from Food52 that is well worth the effort. Yes, it’s going to cost you a significant amount of money, but it will probably also feed you for several days, and you can be vegetarian for the rest of the week if you need to cut back. You can also stretch this by serving leftovers on a Greek salad, in a gyro, or maybe on some kind of Greek pizza.

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Braised Short Ribs

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Short ribs were one of those cuts I was never sure how to deal with. As a former vegetarian, sometimes I have difficulty imagining how to prepare anything that comes from a cow and isn’t steak. It’s a weird gap in my knowledge; give me a whole chicken, and I’ll whack the backbone out of it in no time flat. Give me a boneless leg of lamb and I’ll have it smothered in mint persillade and roasting within the hour.

Now that I have this recipe, though, I am no longer confused. Clearly, the destiny of all short ribs is to be braised in a mixture of cider, stock and balsamic vinegar and served with horseradish-laced parsnips. Braising makes the meat so tender, it falls off the bone if you even breathe on it wrong. The horseradish keeps the creamy parsnips and deep, dark braising liquid from becoming too heavy, while complementing the flavors of the cider perfectly.

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Chicken and Onion Curry

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Sometimes, the only thing that can warm you on a freezing winter night is curry. Full of warm, deep spices, a big bowl of curry has a way of comforting me on the dreariest, darkest, dampest nights.

More often than not, I end up ordering my curry out. It’s always Thai curry, in that case, yellow curry with chicken and vegetables and peanut sauce. But I wanted a good Indian curry recipe in my repertoire, and this is the best one I have found so far.

I love the combination of curry, garam masala, paprika, and garlic. The technique used here, making a sauce of pureed onions, adds an incredible flavor to the dish that would be impossible otherwise. With the creaminess added with coconut milk and heft added by the chicken and sliced peppers, this recipe was exactly what I craved this week.

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Sweet Potatoes with Onion and Apple

See that orange blot? Sweet potatoes. I know. Awful picture.

See that orange blot? Sweet potatoes. I know. Awful picture.

Welcome to ABB Thanksgiving! Here, you’ll find Thanksgiving recipes designed to help you enjoy the holiday without sacrificing some of your favorite traditional items. 

Let’s face it: mashed potatoes are kind of boring. Any flavor is infused through of extraneous additions such as garlic, butter, chives, sometimes olive oil or even — dare I say it? — ranch dressing. Regular potatoes, while delicious with these additions, are not going to be the star of any table.

Why not go out on a limb and try these sweet potatoes? Laced with onion, apples, cumin and cinnamon, they absolutely burst with flavor.

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