Asian Coleslaw

DSC_0073-001

My husband recently bought a new grill/smoker hybrid thing called the Pit Barrel Cooker. The good news is, it makes the best ribs and tri-tip I’ve ever had in my whole life. The bad news is, now I need to come up with enough sides that go with barbecue to keep us from getting bored.

I did make Deb Perelman’s latest pasta salad recipe, and it was incredible, pairing well with plain chicken. But what makes pork ribs so good — the rich, fat-covered meat — also makes them hard to pair with anything involving a starch. Or mayonnaise. Or pretty much any traditional barbecue sides.

So I went on the hunt, and accidentally came up with this amazing Asian slaw recipe that is light enough to go with anything. but soooo flavorful. And, since it actually doesn’t include soy sauce, it’s one of those rare Asian-inspired dishes suitable for people with soy and wheat issues.  Continue reading

Greek Summer Salad

DSC_0004
Vegetables can be a struggle for me. I know, I run a healthy food blog — coming up with creative ways to use veggies and seasonal produce should be second nature to me, right?

Wrong. The vegetables we actually eat in my house are pretty repetitive. Brussels sprouts, sometimes with bacon. Kale. A salad. Sometimes chard, if my garden is going gangbusters. Zucchini on the grill, if my husband feels like taking that on. Asparagus.

I got sick of salads the other day and needed to find something new. A quick flip through my Gourmet cookbook was disappointing. Really? No vegetables section? But a more detailed look revealed that a lot of the “Salad” recipes were not just lettuce at all, but a variety of vegetables thrown in a bowl with dressing, which was exactly what I was looking for.  Continue reading

Perfect Hardboiled Eggs

perfect hard-boiled eggs 2

It shouldn’t be so difficult to hard-boil eggs.

I have never been able to do it. The yolk always, always, gets hard and weird and chalky. And while that’s not awful if you’re just throwing a hardboiled egg into a potato salad or an egg salad, it’s not great for things like Cobb salad or simply snacking on, when the texture really shows.

Other people must have the same problem, judging by the number of people on Pintrest resorting to “boiling” their eggs in the oven. In case you, too, struggle with Overcooked Egg Syndrome, I have found a foolproof method for hardboiling that will give you exactly what you want every time.  Continue reading

Bison Bacon Burgers

paleo gluten-free bison bacon burger oh manBear with me. I promise, you want to make these, you just might not know it yet. Bison is maybe a little unusual for people who are not living in rural areas where people regularly shoot and kill and eat everything from snow geese to antelope.

That’s not to say that there are actually wandering bison where I am, but when you live in a place where people regularly throw game dinners and eat moose, elk, venison and doves, you get to be more open-minded. The standard beef, pork and chicken triumvirate is demolished. Continue reading

Asparagus with Butter, Lemon, and Chives

fresh grilled lemon asparagus 2

Nothing says spring like asparagus. Pasta primavera, tender spears wrapped in prosciutto and oven-roasted, asparagus served with eggs Benedict for a Mother’s Day brunch…yes. Asparagus is the first taste of spring.

I didn’t realize it until I worked with the Idaho Department of Agriculture on an ad last month, but asparagus grows like a weed here in Idaho. Old-timers can remember picking it from where it grew in irrigation ditches alongside the highway, cutting big bundles of the stuff and then eating their fill.

Today, it doesn’t grow wild so much, but it does grow well in southern Idaho. Continue reading

Best Recipes of 2014

You guys all have a sweet tooth, you know that? I went to look up my Top Ten Recipes of 2014 and was floored by the fact that of the 10 most-viewed recipes, seven were desserts.

Not that I am complaining, by any means. If you are like me, you’re always looking for sweets with less guilt. Without further ado, I bring you — the most-viewed recipes of 2014!

DSC_0006

Grasshopper Bars

These little Paleo beauties combined avocado, coconut and dark chocolate for a festive bar that tastes like spring. They also just so happen to be vegan (if you use maple syrup and not honey).

DSC_0023

Prune Spice Cake

This one stunned me. Prune cake, you guys? But I bet you loved the spicy, dense cake with the date caramel frosting. Paleo, gluten-free and grain-free.

DSC_0109

Greek Zoodle Salad

This one is also Paleo, vegan and gluten-free! Though, um, if you are not Paleo, I suggest putting a little feta on it. I replaced the pasta in Greek pasta salad with zucchini noodles, boosting your veggie quotient. You are welcome

Mulligatawny

Credit for this one goes to Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo. I think it’s delicious, and you guys must have agreed!

Secret Brownies

Gluten-free brownies that are almost Paleo — most of the sugar is replaced with prunes and apple juice. Shhhh.

DSC_0114

Homemade Fig Newtons

Dare I say it? These are almost better than those that come from the store. Paleo, vegan and gluten-free.

fig butter almond butter binge 3

Fig Butter

Inspired by a trip to Trader Joe’s, this fig butter is the reason I made the Fig Newtons in the first place. Yum yum yum.

DSC_0010

Bee Sting Bars

I love these so much, and I’m glad you liked them, too! Honey and almonds spread over a Paleo, gluten-free shortbread.

The Best Gluten-Free Brownies

Oh yeah. My favorite brownie recipe ever, made gluten-free. Enjoy!

DSC_0083

Kale with Balsamic and Bacon

Thank you all for overlooking that terrible, terrible photo and pressing on to enjoy the deliciousness that is kale sauteed with bacon, mushrooms and balsamic vinegar.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello, all —

Thanksgiving is the most food-centric holiday of the year. To that end, there’s a lot of stressing about food — what to make, how traditional should everything be, and what do you do about Great-Aunt Mabel who refuses to eat anything you have to chew, because her dentures don’t fit correctly?

I can’t promise to have all of the answers to these questions, but I do have a pretty large collection of Thanksgiving recipes that are gluten-free, mostly Paleo, and even a few that are vegan. I’m sure you’ll find something to suit everyone in the following list, including Great-Aunt Mabel.

(I do apologize for the quality of some of these pictures! They are pretty old, and I hadn’t yet grasped the importance of natural light and, you know, attractive food photos. I am in the process of trying to replace many of these.)

Appetizers:

Spicy Bar Nuts

Bacon-Wrapped Dates

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (with fresh veggies)

Roasted Chickpeas

Salad:

Kale and Wild Rice Salad

Butternut Squash, Kale and Quinoa Salad

Sides:

Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Sweet Potatoes with Onion and Apple

Cauliflower Apple Mash

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Thyme-Roasted Vegetables

Grain-free Stuffing

Turkey Gravy

Dessert:

Paleo Pumpkin Custard

Paleo Pecan Pie

 

Roasted Chicken

paleo gluten-free roasted chicken

Making the perfect roasted chicken is one of those things that makes me feel like a real cook. You know, the type of person who can whip together a beautifully composed meal while looking, well, beautifully composed. Like a 1950s housewife, but without the apron. Or, hell, maybe with the apron. 

The thing is, a good roasted chicken is something that people think must be hugely complicated, but it’s not. You can make the best roasted chicken ever over three days, but you can make a perfectly decent roasted chicken in just about two hours on any night you have time. Though this might be a better weekend dish, it’s certainly possible to make this on a weeknight if you don’t mind eating late. (For an even quicker roasted chicken dinner, check out this recipe from my archives.)

In essence, the key is making sure your chicken is very, very dry. You probably want to sacrifice a few cloth dishtowels to making sure the chicken is as dry as you can make it. See, if your chicken skin isn’t dry, the skin will steam, becoming rubbery and gross. But when dry and salted, the skin becomes crisp and brown and incredibly flavorful, everything you want chicken skin to be. 

Feel free to experiment with this. It’s pared-down for a reason, and that reason is that I was deliberately trying to make the simplest roasted chicken recipe possible. But if you’re feeling fancy, tuck herbs under the chicken’s skin on the breasts, stuff the cavity with more herbs and a lemon, or get fancy with other spices rubbed in. Just make sure that skin is as dry as can be, and you’ll be happy with the results.

Roasted Chicken
 
Author: Kate Wutz
The easiest roast chicken recipe in the world. That’s it. Paleo, gluten-free.
Ingredients
  • 1 whole chicken, between 3 and 5 pounds
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 cup white wine (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 470 degrees.
  2. Rinse your chicken, take out the giblets and the neck and whatever else is in there. (I know, ew.) Rinse both outside and inside thoroughly, then place in a pile of either paper or cloth towels and dry very thoroughly. VERY thoroughly. So thoroughly. Pluck out any stray feather stubs, remove the giant fat deposit neat the tail, and salt liberally.
  3. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet on the stove. Place chicken breast-side up in the skillet. It should sizzle just a little. Remove from heat, and insert in oven.
  4. After about 20 minutes, you should start to hear some crackling. If you don’t, turn up the heat. After 30 minutes, the top of the breast should be browning and starting to look awesome.
  5. Quickly flip the chicken, using either giant tongs or, as Michelle Tam does, the handle of a wooden spoon inserted in the cavity. Insert back in oven and cook for 25 minutes.
  6. Flip chicken again and roast for anywhere from 15 to 25 more minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the breast and thigh measures 170 degrees and the skin is a beautiful golden brown.
  7. Remove chicken from pan and allow to rest for about 15 minutes before serving. In the meantime, you can take your shallot and wine and place them in the cast-iron skillet with the chicken drippings and cook everything over medium-high heat until you have a nice pan sauce. Carve and serve.
 

 

Pumpkin Bison Chili

paleo gluten-free pumpkin bison chili 1

Forget Pumpkin Spice Lattes, okay? I mean, don’t completely forget about them, but when October hits, all I can think about is football food. And not that summery fresh corn soup I made a while ago — I mean rich, meaty Texas-style chili. 

Of course, this still is pumpkin week. So I guess you can think of this recipe as the Pumpkin Spice Latte of chili. There’s cinnamon and there’s pumpkin, but there’s also that incredible meatiness that only chili con carne has. Add spice from the peppers and a flavor bomb in the form of roasted pumpkin and pumpkin puree, and you have the quintessential fall meal that pairs perfectly with a side of college football. 

Oh yeah, and there’s bison meat. Don’t believe the naysayers — bison is amazing. It can be hard to cook with bison, as it really is leaner than beef and needs extra care. However, if you take the time to prepare it properly, it will reward you with incredible flavor — and, a friend of mine claims, the feeling of having been “punched by protein” (in a good way). 

As you can see, I topped this with cheese and sour cream. The dish itself is paleo, gluten-free, and dairy-free, but I would recommend adding a little sour cream or serving this with bread if that fits into your dietary restrictions. I actually heated up a few tortillas and used them as dippers, which was an excellent choice as well.

But serving suggestions aside, you need to make this chili or else your fall won’t be complete. Do it. 

Pumpkin Bison Chili
 
Author: Kate Wutz
Forget Pumpkin Spice Lattes — this Texas-style paleo and gluten-free pumpkin bison chili is the quintessence of fall. Go ahead, eat it. You know you want to.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups chopped, peeled pumpkin (deal with this like a butternut squash)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 pounds of ground bison
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, minced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, minced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 or 2 red jalapenos, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes with their liquid
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup bone broth or water
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss pumpkin with olive oil, then spread on a foil-lined baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Roast in oven for 40 to 45 minutes, then remove from oven and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large stock pot or Dutch oven, brown the bison over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper, if you like. Once bison is nicely browned and no pink remains, drain the meat (if necessary) and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, sauté the peppers, onion, jalapeno, and garlic until tender, about eight minutes. Add bison and roasted pumpkin, and stir to incorporate.
  4. Add tomatoes (and juice), spices, broth or water, and pumpkin puree. Stir until combined. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, simmering for at least one hour.
  5. Serve with the chili accoutrements of your choice. Enjoy the taste of autumn.
 

 

 

 

Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

vegan gluten-free pumpkin cheesecake 2

Guess what? It’s finally — finally — pumpkin season for real. The leaves are changing, the nights are freezing (in Idaho, anyway) and the grocery stores are full of giant winter squashes. I ordered a Pumpkin Spice Latte the other day. ‘Tis the season.

I know you guys are excited, too — and that’s why I’m posting two weeks of sweet and savory pumpkin recipes! Because when it’s pumpkin season, I fully believe you should take advantage of that. Throw that stuff in everything. I am.

vegan gluten-free pumpkin cheesecake 1

This vegan cheesecake recipe is not just another pumpkin post, though. This is the vegan cheesecake that made me realize that regular cheesecake is not my favorite. Why would anyone ever eat an overly rich and super-sweet slice of modified cream cheese when they could be eating this incredible goodness? 

I finally worked out the kinks in my vegan cheesecake recipe and technique, and the result is a beautifully light (but still substantial) whipped filling made mostly of coconut milk, cashews, and pumpkin with the perfect amount of honey and spices. I actually made an audible oh my god this is so good noise when I ate my first bite of this. And with the pecan-date crust giving that delicious nuttiness with a touch of caramel flavor? Forget about it. 

Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake
 
Author: Kate Wutz
The vegan cheesecake to end all cheesecakes — the one that makes you realize all other cheesecakes, non-vegan as they are, are kind of crap. Enjoy this taste of pure fall.
Ingredients
  • 25 pitted dates, soaked in hot water for 10 mins, then drained
  • 2 cups of pecans
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups cashews, soaked overnight, drained
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup (or honey, if you’re not vegan)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup of cream from the top of a can of coconut milk
  • pinch allspice
Instructions
  1. Make your crust: Process dates, pecans and vanilla in a food processor until it begins to come together. Press into a springform pan, and place in freezer.
  2. Make the filling: Process cashews, pumpkin, and sweetener in a food processor until about as smooth as you can get it, but before it turns into nut butter.
  3. Add vanilla and spices and pulse a few times to combine. Add in coconut cream and process until smooth, whipped, and the texture of, well, cheesecake. It will be a tiny bit grainy, but it’s not noticeable as you’re eating it.
  4. Pour filling over prepared crust. Freeze to solidify, then store covered in the fridge for up to a week. Yum.
 
Notes
* To get the cream from the top of a coconut milk can, first find a can of coconut milk that doesn’t make a noise when you shake it. Then, flip the can over and open from the bottom. Carefully drain off the thinner liquid, then scoop the white cream out. You should have about a half cup of cream. Use the extra in coffee 🙂