Sauteed Radish Greens

Did you know you can eat Radish leaves? Well, I didn’t know that either. When I brought in the first radishes of the season, I thought, “What a shame that I have to throw away all of those greens!” So, I looked on the internet. (How did we survive before the World Wide Web came along?? 😉 Radish leaves are a little bitter in taste, but bitter is good when combined with other flavors. I like these very much with only salt and pepper, but I served them recently with the fabulous No-Fail Five Minute Hollandaise Sauce (link in instructions). Elegant and delicious! Radish leaves may also be used in salads, soups and stir-fries.

Remove tender parts of leaves from radishes. Do not use the stems.
Wash thoroughly and remove water, either with a towel or a salad spinner.
Melt bacon grease in a medium-sized skillet on medium-low heat.
Add greens.
Stir and cook until they are well wilted, about 3-4 minutes.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Try them served with 5 Minute No-Fail Hollandaise Sauce.

Himmel und Erde

This is a very old recipe. My sister shared it with me. The combination of the apples and vegetables and addition of the sour in the vinegar is delicious. It is easy and quick to make, and it’s particularly nice in the wintertime. If you store fresh foods, apples, onions and cabbage will be available, even in the dead of winter. Himmel und Erde means “Heaven and Earth.”

Wash, core and cut apples into chunks.
Peel and coarsely chop onions.
Cut cabbage into small chunks.
Melt the butter on medium-low heat in a cast iron skillet.
Add the prepared apples, onions and cabbage.
Saute, stirring often, until everything is almost tender.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Add the vinegar and oil and stir together gently.

This may be served as a side dish, but is also very nice over cooked brown rice with some Tamari.

Apple Sauerkraut au Gratin

It’s not often that I find a new dish I want to include in our Thanksgiving and Christmas menus. This Apple Sauerkraut au Gratin makes the cut. The layers of sweet apples with crunchy tart sauerkraut and smoked cheddar baked with bread crumbs equals one amazing sweet and salty vegetarian side dish.

Preheat your oven to 375F. Butter a 9×13 casserole pan.
In a skillet saute the onions in the butter. When the onions are glassy add the sauerkraut and mustard. Heat through.
In a large bowl toss the apples in the flour and allspice. Set a side.
Layer like this: 1/2 apples, 1/2 sauerkraut, 1/2 cheddar, 1/2 apples, 1/2 sauerkraut, 1/2 cheddar and top with walnuts and bread crumbs.
Bake for 30 minutes covered and then 15 minutes uncovered to brown the top. Serve warm.

Dehydrated Swiss Chard (in the oven)

Swiss Chard, and other leafy greens, have high levels of oxalates which can cause problems by forming stones in our body, especially in our kidneys. Since oxalates are water soluble, the blanching of leafy greens like swiss chard, spinach and beet greens is recommended before eating. I’ve tried to research whether dehydrating removes oxalates and have not found any evidence that it does. I would suspect that since only H2O is evaporated from the vegetable, the oxalates would be even more concentrated in the dried greens. Can a healthy person consume small amounts of high oxalic foods without problems? Probably.

Wash, drain and dry the swiss chard. Remove the center rib of the chard and cut the leaves into approximately 4″ pieces. Blanch in boiling water for a minute. Drain the chard and discard the water. Lay the leaves in a single layer on a parchment covered cookie sheet and place in oven which has been heated to 150 degrees. Check the progress every hour until the leaves are dry and crumble easily. When they are completely cool, store in an airtight container for use in soups and stews throughout the winter.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

A quick how-to for making spaghetti squash. Check out the blog for a great meatball recipe to go along with the “spaghetti.”

Slice the squash in half the long way.
Spoon out the seeds and innards. Discard the innards, but save the seeds.
Season the seeds with a little sea salt and spice of your choice.
Place the squash halves face-down on a greased pan (coconut oil or bacon grease work well for this).
Sprinkle the seeds around the squash.
Bake @ 400 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes until tender.
While you wait for the squash to cool, munch on the seeds 🙂
Take the squash half and draw a fork through it to loosen up the “noodles” of squash. Use the fork to scrape all the squash out of the skin.
Serve up the squash with some spaghetti sauce and meatballs!

Simple Soaked Rice

Whether you do it for the nutritional reasons of reducing phytic acid — or because you’re excited to finally make rice that DOESN’T stick to the bottom of your pot! — this basic method for preparing rice is a staple for any kitchen.

In a glass or stainless steel bowl, combine rice and water.
Set aside for 12-24 hours (longer is better).
Remove rice and rinse in a small-holed colander. Notice that the rice has grown in size.
Cook rice (with fresh water) as you would normally.
NOTE: if using a rice cooker, don’t go by the new “soaked” volume of rice. Base your water on the pre-soaked volume (ie – 4 cups). The rice has retained water and does not need as much this time.
NOTE: If not using a rice cooker, watch your rice carefully. Usually soaked grains will cook faster than their non-soaked counterparts.
Optional: Reserve your soaking water for the next time you soak rice. Some believe it will aid in soaking your rice more effectively. Store in a jar in the fridge. Don’t forget to label it! Simply add this soak-water to your fresh soak water for your next batch.

Herb Roasted Potatoes

I made herb roasted potatoes with my share from the CSA this week. It’s a filling side dish with tons of flavor. Talk about comfort food. I love sautéed onions and garlic then add some rosemary with a base of roasted potatoes and I don’t even need a protein. I suspect this potato recipe would go well with just about anything any time of the year.

Clean and cut the potatoes into one inch cubes. Slice the onion into half inch thick strips. Take the rosemary leaves off the branch. You should have about 2-4 tablespoons worth. Cut the garlic cloves in half or quarters depending on size.
In a large heavy bottomed skillet, cast iron would be ideal, add the butter over medium heat. Add in the potatoes, garlic and onion and toss to coat. Then arrange the potatoes in a single level. The onion and garlic can be on top or to the side or where ever in the skillet. Let the potatoes cook until brown. Add the rosemary. Then turn the potatoes and continue until brown on all sides. The onion and garlic should brown and caramelize at the same time.
Add salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.

Easy Frozen Corn-on-the-Cob

The traditional way of freezing corn-on-the-cob is to take off the shucks, silks and stalks, blanch the cobs in boiling water, cool them in ice water and then pack them into freezer bags. That works. It is OK only. I have a better way… 🙂

Take off just a few of the husks.
Carefully peel back the remaining husks and remove the silks.
Replace the husks and pack your cobs in freezer bags.
Freeze. That’s it!
When you get these out of the freezer to serve for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, just take off the husks, boil them for a few minutes and enjoy! You will find that these taste better and are less watery.

Honey Caramelized Baby Carrots

Use whatever carrots you like for this recipe, you don’t have to have baby carrots. If you use all grown up carrots, cut them into carrot sticks so they will cook evenly. Otherwise you might have crunchy centers. I suggest leaving a little of the green tops if you have the option because their bitterness adds a nice contrast to the sweet honey.

In a large heavy bottomed pan (a cast iron skillet or dutch oven would be ideal) melt the butter over high heat. Add the carrots and rosemary leaves along with salt and pepper to taste. You want to cook the carrots a little more than half way to the final done. I like my carrots al dente so about 5-10 minutes.
Then add the honey and keep cooking, stir the carrots regularly, scraping the honey off the bottom as it gets bubbly. Continue cooking until the carrots are as done as you like. I like them just cooked enough to put a fork through, about another 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Pickled Red Onions – Easy Quick Recipe

If you’ve ever had pickled red onions than you understand. There is something about the crisp, sweet and sulfery taste that perfectly compliments a sandwich. If you love caramelized onions than these are their uncooked, summer time, brethren.

Sterilize your jar(s) by running through the dish washer, pouring boiling water over them, or submerging in boiling water for 10 minutes.
Blanch the onion slices by submerging them in boiling water for three minutes. Then shock them in a cold water bath for 3 minutes so they don’t over cook. Then stuff them into your prepared jar.
Meanwhile, heat the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, black pepper and bay leaf in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved and everything is just starting to simmer. Do not cook too long or evaporation will ruin your ratios.
Pour the vinegar mixture over the onions in a jar. If there is too much discard the extra, but pack the loose spices into the jar. Let cool to room temperature on the counter.
Put in the refrigerator over night and they are ready to eat.
Store in the fridge.

Crispy Zucchini Fritters

A great and delicious way to enjoy your zucchini. Finger foods always seem to be a hit with the kids. My kids especially enjoy eating these dipped in in their favorite dipping sauces. Plus, they don’t complain because they can’t tell so much that they are zucchini.

Mix the ingredients, except the fat, in a bowl.
Warm the fat of your choice in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
Spoon fritter batter into pan with a large spoon. Gently flatten a little, if necessary.
Cook the fritters on each side until they are golden. About 4-5 minutes on each side.
Serve with homemade probiotic ranch dressing to dip in.

Freeze formed, uncooked fritters in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Once hardened, transfer to an airtight container. Cook the same, only it may take and extra minute or so.

GAPS Celery Root Bacon Hashbrowns

Ease your potato craving with this GAPS friendly breakfast favorite! It is smoky and savory all in one delicious bite! GAPS diet restrictions don’t allow you to have potatoes, though celery root (used in this recipe) is an amazing alternative. You might find that you like this better then original hash browns!
Since potatoes are usually a breakfast thing at my house, I wanted to create something unique with breakfast flavors. That is when I thought of celery root bacon hash browns! Celery root makes a good stable alternative to potatoes. When you are shredding the celery root, the smell will be strong, but don’t let that stop you from making these. When celery root is cooked, the texture, taste and smell resemble potatoes. The bacon really adds a nice flavor that helps cover up the “vegetable” taste of the celery root.
I designed the recipe so the celery root hash browns can be kept in the freezer for an easy breakfast. I pre-cooked them and then froze them into squares. So, when breakfast or lunch comes around, all you have to do is pop one out and put it on the stove or a baking sheet until golden brown!

Dice your bacon and add to the skillet.
Dice your onion and add to the same skillet.
Add the 4 TBS of fat to the skillet and brown everything together.
Wash the outside of your celery root.
Cut the skin off of the celery root. Save the skin for your chicken or vegetable stock!
Quarter the celery root to fit into your Cuisinart.
Use your Cuisinart (thick shredder side) to shred the celery root. You can also use a normal grater.
Add the celery root to the skillet and cook down for a few minutes.
Scoop the mixture out of the skillet and press down onto a baking sheet (I only used 1/2 of baking sheet. The flat sheet makes it easier to cut on than a baking pan).
Freeze for about 1 hour until hardened and cut it into squares.
Separate the squares with a knife or spatula.
Store in a container or plastic bag layered with parchment paper.
To Prepare:
Heat up a skillet. No extra fat needed!
Add your frozen hash brown and cook until golden brown.
or
Heat your oven to 400 degrees.
Place your hash browns on the baking sheet and cook for 15-20 minutes.
Eat!