Sourdough Garlic-Herb Melba Rounds

There are certain things my husband loves to eat with crackers… and I wanted to get him some the other day. I carefully read label after label, trying to find something that didn’t have any scary ingredients like soy oil and other things that he doesn’t eat anymore. There was NOTHING except some little round “melba toast” garlic-herb thingies and they were made with white flour. I did get those for him. And I got to thinking I might be able to come up with my own version. Here it is and we like it. They are very crunchy, but nicely tasty with some liver pate or broken into soup.

Combine the sourdough starter, water, garlic, herbs and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Begin adding whole wheat flour, a little at a time and stir in thoroughly.
Add and stir in flour until the dough is stiff enough to knead.
Using a little more flour to prevent sticking, knead vigorously for 10 minutes.
Wash and dry bowl.
Put a little olive oil in the bowl and rub it around.
Put the dough in and turn it over to oil the top.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap.
Let rise for 12 hours.
Moisten your work surface with water and place the dough on it.
Divide it into two, and form into two long skinny loaves that will fit in your French bread pans that have been buttered well.
Alternately, you can put them on a buttered baking pan, but they will be less “round.”
Allow to rise in pans until when you touch it lightly with your finger, the dough springs back slowly.
Bake in pre-heated oven at 400 degrees F. for 30 min.
Cool completely on wire rack.
Slice into 1/4 inch slices.
Place slices on baking sheets and into a 200 degree F. oven.
After 2 hours, turn slices over and put the baking sheets back into the oven for 1 more hour.
Remove from oven and check to make sure they are dry and crisp.
Do not let them cool before putting into containers if you live in a humid climate.
Store in air-tight containers at room temperature.

No-Fail Five Minute Hollandaise Sauce

As a busy mom, who runs a home business, homeschools her kids, and cooks real food, I can’t usually spare the time for “fancy” foods. Hollandaise sauce was one of those fancy foods I never thought to try because it seemed like it was too much fuss for a sauce. Who needs a sauce over eggs anyway? Who has time for sauces?
But after hearing so much about hollandaise–how nourishing it was and how delectable, and my mom telling me how easy it really was to make, plus I was trying to get my kids to eat more butter, I decided to see if I couldn’t make a busy mom version of the fancy stuff. Turns out, it’s no big deal to make and the taste is super worth it! Hollandaise is for more than just Eggs Benedict. Serve it over just about any lightly steamed veggie or over fish. My kids were excited to try as a dipping sauce for steamed veggies. Total win!
The extra sauce is easily reheated in a double-boiler…if there is any extra. đŸ˜‰

Preheat your blender by filling with very warm tap water and allowing to sit. You may also make this recipe with an immersion (stick) blender.
Melt the butter gently over low heat until very hot, but do not allow to brown. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, pour the water out of your blender, blend the egg yolks with the lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and salt (if using). This step can be done in a canning jar with an immersion blender, if preferred.
With the blender running, slowly drizzle in the hot melted butter. Mixture will thicken considerably into a velvety, smooth sauce. Once it’s thickened, it’s done! Enjoy!

Garlic Parmesan Crusted Asparagus Breakfast Skillet

Skillets meals are some of my favorite ways to enjoy breakfast or lunch. Often I am preparing my own lunch since the kids make their own lunches. This is a perfect time for me to experiment with veggies and eggs, which are my favorite way to break a fast. The garlic and parmesan crust is simply savory and delicious over perfectly cooked soft eggs and lightly steamed asparagus. A good dose of coconut oil helps to kick-start the metabolism.

Heat a small 6 -inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add coconut oil. Add chopped onions and saute until soft, about 2 minutes.
Add asparagus and saute for one minute.
Crack open pastured eggs over asparagus. Sprinkle all with REAL salt, minced garlic, and grated parmesan.
Place a lid or plate over the skillet. Reduce heat to low and cook for 4-8 minutes, or until eggs reach desired doneness.
This recipe serves one, but can easily be made for a crowd by using a larger skillet.

Buttery Coconut Flour Cinnamon Date Nut Scones

I am always searching for breakfast recipes that are quick to make, portable, and freezes well. These scones do just that! Even though these buttery scones are made with nutritious coconut flour, they do not require any eggs. The flax mixture helps hold them together and provides Omegas.
Easily freeze these in an air tight container and defrost in a toaster oven for an instant snack or meal. I especially enjoy these with a cup of herbal tea.

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, stir together the ground flax, milk kefir*, honey, and vanilla extract. Let sit for about ten minutes.
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or fork until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
Stir in the flax mixture until completely mixed. The mixture should be somewhat dry, but will come together when you squeeze it in your hand, similar to pie crust. If it is too dry, add in cold water a tsp at a time until mixture comes together.
Add in chopped crispy nuts and chopped dates.
Scoop the large ball of dough out and place on an ungreased, parchment lined baking sheet.
Flatten into a disk about 1/2 inch thick. Slice into 8 wedges with a sharp knife.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until edges are slightly golden.

*For dairy free: Use 6 Tbsp coconut milk + 1 Tbsp Apple cider Vinegar in place of milk, and use Organic Palm Shortening  for the butter

Easy Leftover Sourdough Starter Crock Pot Rye Bread

I have two different sourdough starters that live in my fridge. There is Carl, and the new one, which is named Caleb. They are both very nice, the first being more sour in taste than the second.

I had to be away from home for nearly a week and so my sourdoughs languished in the fridge. Normally, I feed them twice a week, and so they are very happy and Not Too Sour. But, after a week’s neglect, I needed to refresh them. I poured out all but 1/2 cup of each, added 1/2 cup of filtered water and 1/2 cup of freshly ground whole wheat flour to each jar. But then I had about 2 cups of extra starter. I didn’t want to throw it away!

In a medium – sized bowl, pour in the sourdough starter, add the salt and the caraway seed.
A little at a time, stir in rye flour until the dough is stiff enough to knead by hand (it will be sticky, and you will not be kneading it.)
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to ferment for 24 hours on the kitchen counter.
Butter a crock-pot. Any size will do, but I suggest one not larger than 3.5 quarts.
Pour in the dough, and smooth the top of the dough.
Put on the lid.
Plug it in and set on “high” and cook for 2 hours.
Take out the loaf of bread and allow it to cool on a wire rack.
When you are done eating as much as you wish, slice the rest of it and keep it in the fridge.
If you would like to freeze the bread, place pieces of wax paper or parchment paper between the slices, wrap it tightly and freeze. (It is very moist and would otherwise stick together.)
Then, you can remove one slice at a time from the freezer to reheat or toast.
Eat with plenty of grass-fed butter!

Sprouted Beet Muffins

These beet muffins are a lightly sweet way to eat your beets without losing the beet flavor. The best thing about this recipe is that my kids love it!

Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake papers or oil the pan.
Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, and all spice. Make a well.
Add eggs, oil, honey, and vanilla. Mix together. The batter won’t be as moist as most muffin recipes.
Fold in the beets. I found that almost kneading the beets in was the best way to completely combine.
Fill each hole to 1/2 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
Enjoy.

Beet Ricotta Gnocchi

I am not a fan of beets! My family will attest to that. However, when they come in my CSA box, I have to eat them. In order to do that I find or create recipes that allow me to incorporate them into my diet. I adapted this recipe from a recent Food and Wine recipe, and it was heavenly! I love to top this with Brown Butter and Sage leaves, but any pasta sauce will do.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a baking dish with a lid, place beets and drizzle olive oil to coat.
Salt and pepper the beats.
Add 1/4 C filtered water to the baking dish, cover and bake for 1 hour, until the beets are tender.
Uncover dish and let beets cool completely.
Peel skin of beets and cut into 1-inch pieces, transfer to a food processor or blender to puree.
In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, combine 1 1/2 C of beet puree (reserve any remaining for another recipe), ricotta, egg, nutmeg, 3/4 C Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, and 1 T of salt.
Mix until ingredients are combined, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Sprinkle flour at low speed until dough comes together. You may not need all of the flour.
Scrape dough onto floured work surface, knead the dough until smooth and slightly sticky.
Place into a bowl and cover with a damp towel.
Let stand at room temperature for 4-6 hours.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper and dust with flour.
Cut gnocchi dough into 10 pieces and roll each piece into 1/2 in. thick rope.
Cut ropes into 1/2 in thick pieces and transfer to prepared baking sheets.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Add 1/4 of the Gnocchi to the water and cook them until they rise to the surface.
Repeat this process until all the dough is finished.
Drain them and place them on a baking sheet that has been coated in olive oil.
To serve: Melt butter in a large skillet until the milk solids start to brown.
Toss in sage leaves and simmer until fragrant (med. low temperature).
Add Gnocchi to coat and serve with extra Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Perfect Coconut Macaroon Cookies – Wahls Paleo

The ideal macaroon is a light ball of toasted coconut goodness with a slightly chewy center. It took seven tries but I finally got a recipe and technique for the perfect macaroon.

Macaroons are a great option for gifts because they fit into most diets. This macaroon recipe is gluten free, grain free, vegetarian, naturally sweetened, and paleo! If you are following along on my Wahls Diet journey these macaroons also follow her diet. But are they delicious? Yes, I wouldn’t put them in my Christmas cookie tins if they weren’t.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Use a food processor, mixer or, if you want an arm work out, a whisk to combine the coconut butter, honey, egg whites, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth. The mixture will be the texture of warm peanut butter.
Next fold in the sweetened and unsweetened coconut so it is evenly moist. The goal is to mix everything together without compressing to keep the batter light.
Using a scale measure out half ounce increments of dough and use wet fingertips to shape into loose balls. If you don’t have a scale you are aiming for about a tablespoon.
Place each ball onto the parchment paper. Macaroons don’t rise, so you can place them close together. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown, rotating the cookie sheet at 8 minutes.
Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet a couple minutes so they set before moving them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

An Ancient Beverage (Wine mixed with Honey, Water and Lemon)

The ancient cultures, Hebrews, Greeks, Romans and the like, used to mix wine into their tepid water to try to kill any bacteria or other living organisms in the water. Reports from Ancient texts show that this could be anywhere from 20 parts water to one part wine to as little as 3 parts to one.

Because the quality was poor and because in the Greco-Roman period people began enjoying sickeningly sweet wines, honey was often added. Illustrates Augustine regarding the Holy Trinity, “…one drink is made from wine and water and honey, and each single part extends through the whole, and yet they are three things…there is no part of the drink that does not contain these three things…”

In later periods, lemon and spices began to be introduced as the culinary arts developed, turning this old world survival mechanism into a new world treat. Please enjoy my contemporary version and adapt any way you like.

Heat a small amount of water to just warm enough to mix in the honey. Add it to a jar with the rest of the water. Let cool to room temperature.
Squeeze the lemon into the mixture.
Fill to a total of 1500 ml with the dry white wine–I used Sauvignon Blanc.
Get it good and cold in the fridge. Serve with a wedge of sweet lemon and, if you like, a sprig of mint.

Thai Red Curry Pumpkin Soup

Not the typical curried pumpkin soup. This smooth pumpkin soup uses Thai red curry paste (I use Mae Ploy) to give it a bit of a kick. You can choose to use more or less red curry paste as your taste prefers. This recipe calls for a modest amount of curry that should suit most pallets.
The pumpkins are roasted in the oven to give them a more robust sweetness that blends perfectly with the spicy curry. Great for cold winter evening family meals.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Cut each pumpkin in halves or quarters and rub butter all over them. Sprinkle generously with salt. Place on a baking sheet skin sides down and put in the oven. Bake for for about an hour or until the pumpkins are tender.
Allow pumpkins to cool enough to handle and then scoop out the seeds and pulp. Then scoop the flesh into a blender. Add coconut milk and curry paste. Blend until you have a thick base.
Pour pumpkin base into a heavy bottomed soup pot and add chicken stock until the soup is the consistency you prefer. Bring to a simmer and add salt and additional curry paste to your taste. Simmer for about 7-10 minutes.

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.

Quick Summer Pickles

These pickles are basically instant – just boil the vinegar mixture, douse the cucumbers, and cool it off in the fridge. Super easy and super delicious.

Add the vinegar, honey, water, sea salt and mustard to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil.
While waiting for the pot to boil, slice the cucumbers and pack tightly into two quart jars (if using dill or garlic, put in jar prior to packing in the cucumbers).
When the honey has dissolved in the boiling mixture, pour over the cucumbers until the jars are full.
Refrigerate until cool.