Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sweet & Sour Slaw

I never really used to like coleslaw.  Maybe it was that I never really had good coleslaw.  I have memories of limp, wilted cabbage soaked in icky jarred mayo.  I don't know what possed me to give this one a try...maybe it was that I had a wonderful looking mango, two heads of cabbage (one red and one green), and some carrot in my 'fridge.  This turned out great, if I do say so myself:)  Sweet from the mango, sour from the coconut vinegar.  Hope you enjoy as well!

  • 1/4 head red cabbage
  • 1/4 head green cabbage
  • 1/2 large carrot
  • 1 fresh mango
  • 1/16 cup pecans
  • 1/8 cup coconut vinegar (other vinegars would work - but if you are gluten intollerant, make sure it is a gluten-free variety)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (other oils would work here - I think coconut oil would be really good!)

  1. Thinly slice cabbage.  Grate carrot (be careful not to grate your finger!).
  2. Peel and dice mango.
  3. Break pecans into small pieces.
  4. Combine cabbage, carrot, mango, and pecans in a bowl.
  5. In a separate bowl, blend together coconut vinegar and olive oil (I used my small food processor, but I think a brisk whisking would work as well.)
  6. Combine dressing with salad.  Stir well to combine.
  7. Chill at least an hour (really, this is much better chilled).  Serve and enjoy.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lebanese-Spiced Spaghetti & Meatballs

I LOVE Lebanese food.  It's flavorful without being spicy (although I like spice as well, don't get me wrong:)).  A friend in grad school, who had lived in Jordan for 20 years, introduced me to this awesomeness.  My mom gave this two-thumbs up and said I could make this anytime.

  • Spaghetti squash
  • Onion
  • Ghee or other appropriate oil
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 2 Tbs Spice mix*, divided
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 2 cans no-salt added tomato sauce
  1. Preheat oven and begin cooking spaghetti squash (I admit that I often cook it in the microwave...).
  2. Peel and chop onion. 
  3. Add ghee to a large sauce pan (big enough for sauce and meatballs) and when melted, add onion.  Cook until onion is caramelized.
  4. Once the onions are caramelized, add tomato sauce and 1 Tbs spice mixture.  Stir, and reduce heat to simmer.
  5. Meanwhile, chop parsley.
  6. Mix together beef, parsley, and 2 Tbs of spice mix.  
  7. Make meatballs. 
  8. Heat another pan and brown meatballs on all sides.  You don't want to cook the meatballs all the way through, just get a nice brown on the outsides.  [You could also broil in the oven or you can skip the step entirely - I just happen to like my meatballs a little browned:)]
  9. Once meatballs are browned, add to the tomato sauce mixture and let simmer until meatballs are cooked.
  10. Serve over spaghetti squash.
*  Spice blend
Combine together equal parts (probably about 1 tsp each) of the following:
  • Ground Nutmeg
  • Ground Ginger
  • Ground Allspice
  • Ground Fenugreek (methi)
  • Ground Cloves
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Ground Pepper
  • Sea Salt

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Eggplant Crisps

I intended to make eggplant Parmesan, without the Parmesan (I'm dairy intolerant) (but don't ask me what I was going to call said dinner...).  

Obviously, from the title of my post, eggplant Parmesan without the Parmesan didn't happen because (mainly) we were eating these little babies right off the pan and it seemed like too much work to cook them again with the sauce.  

Seriously, these are GOOOD, like Lays potato you can't just eat one!  Served here with an Italian meat and veggie sauce.

  • 2 eggplants
  • 2 eggs + 2 Tbs water
  • 1 cup pork rinds, ground (the 1 cup is measured once the rinds are ground)
  1. Peel and slice eggplant.  Then, in a pan with a lip (to catch the dripping water), liberally salt both sides of the eggplant.  Let sit at least 15 minutes, but closer to an hour is better.  (I don't actually know if the liquid that comes out is "bitter" and needs to be released, but the end result is pretty tasty, so I went with the common thought process regarding eggplant.  Anyway, I digress.)
  2. Rinse salt from eggplant and pat dry.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Beat together eggs and water.
  5. Pulverize pork rinds.
  6. Take a piece of eggplant, dip into egg mixture, shake off, dip into pork rind mixture.  Place on a baking sheet (I'd suggest some parchment paper here...otherwise, a few of them stick awful bad to the baking sheet.)
  7. When they are all breaded, place into the oven and cook between 30 and 40 minutes.  You want the outside to be crispy, but not burnt.
  8. Eat and enjoy.  Tender on the inside, crispy on the outside.  Yum! 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Beef in a Spicy Curry Sauce

I started out trying to make a vindaloo, which is one of my favorite Indian dishes when we go out.  It's a safe food - I know I can or will eat everything that's in there (sometimes I'm even good and skip the potatoes...). 

But, much as I like it, we only eat out once a month or so, and I decided to see if I could recreate my favorite.  Of course, we don't eat a lot of chicken since it's pretty difficult to find pastured chicken here, so I adapted the recipe to be made with beef. This didn't turn out to be what I envisioned, but it tastes great at any rate!  (I adapted from this recipe.)  Hope you enjoy as well.  [It does taste spite of the fact that I'm not a very good photographer:)]

  • 2 lb stew meat
  • Ghee or other appropriate oil
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and sliced
  • 3" piece of peeled ginger
  • 2 oz peeled garlic
  • 1 tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 4 tsp hot chili powder (to taste!) or fresh hot peppers
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3-4 tsp coconut vinegar
  1. Cook beef in the pressure cooker to tenderize.  [You could use another method, but this is both quick and yield really tender beef.]
  2. Meanwhile, heat ghee in a pan.  Once ghee has melted, add onions.  Cook onions until they are very caramelized (a dark brown color -- just before they burn pull 'em off the heat). 
  3. In a small fry pan, add a little ghee.  Once hot, add fenugreek seeds.  Cook until dark brown.  Then, add cumin seeds.  Cook until fenugreek seeds begin to turn black.  Finally, add mustard seeks and cook until funegreek seeds are a dark black.  Remove from heat.
  4. In a food processor (or blender, etc.), combine caramelized onions, ginger, garlic, blackened spice mixture, ground coriander, chili powder, salt, and vinegar.  Blend until a nice paste is formed.
  5. Mix together meat and spices, then cool to marinade, at least half an hour.
  6. When ready to serve, gently heat on the stove.
  7. Serve warm over cauliflower rice (or, for us today, spaghetti squash) and enjoy.