Crunchy Baked Zucchini

This recipe makes a fun side dish that has wide appeal. I avoid using the store bought cooking sprays in the cans as they use cheap oils and added junk that I don’t want. Nor Pro makes a “Mr. Mister” that I use for my oil spraying needs. The oil aids in browning in this recipe, which gives a better appearance, texture and flavor. I make my own bread crumbs from bread failures (bricks) and keep them in the freezer so they are ready to use.

Combine sprouted flour (see my recipe for home sprouted flour), cheese, bread crumbs and seasonings. Coat each zucchini round in beaten egg, then in flour mixture, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprayed with oil. Once laid out, spray the tops of each round with oil and bake for 18 minutes at 375 degrees. Serve with ranch dressing.

Kohlrabi Fries

Kohlrabi (or German turnip) is actually of the cabbage family and is a good source of fiber, Vitamins C and B6, Copper, Manganese, Magnesium, and Phosphorus. It’s also gluten-free and GAPS and Paleo legal. We call these Baby Fries because they’re only a couple inches long.

Preheat oven to 450º. Peal & chop kohlrabi bulbs. Be sure to really peel them well or you will end up with tough fries.
If your oil is solid, melt it, then pour over fries and toss to coat. Lay the fries in a single layer on a baking sheet. Generously sprinkle seasoning over fries.
Bake for 20 minutes or until browned. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Mock Mac ‘n Cheese

A grain-free version of a classic favorite! This is a really tasty dish that satisfies the craving for something hot and cheesy…cauliflower makes a great stand-in for pasta!

Steam cauliflower for 10-15 minutes until crisp-tender, and then drain well.
Melt butter in a saucepan, and then add arrowroot, salt, dry mustard, tarragon, and nutmeg, stirring until bubbly. Slowly whisk in milk, and let the mixture thicken.
Stir in cream cheese and cheese, then turn off heat and add sour cream. Mix with cauliflower, and then pour into a buttered 9×13 baking dish. Mix together almond meal with garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika, then sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, until browned and bubbly. Serve in bowls or with a slotted spoon, as there is lots of yummy cheese sauce in the bottom of the pan!

Home-Canned Chili Beans Recipe

For quite some time I’ve been trying to come up with a recipe for my own “chili beans.” We like them best when I make chili, but until now, I’ve always had to purchase the beans in cans. Because of the dangers of BPA that is in the metal can linings, and the fact that I can use organic beans and soak them properly, I am very happy to report that no longer will I need to buy my chili beans at the supermarket! I had looked, many times, in cook books and on the internet trying to find a recipe, to no avail. Here is how I do it now. They are really delicious!

How to prepare the beans
For 8 pints of home-canned chili beans, you will need 2 pounds of dry kidney beans.
Sort and wash them well. Drain. Place in a large glass or stainless container and cover with water, at least half again as deep as the level of the beans. Add 2 Tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.
Allow to soak for 24 hours. Drain. Rinse. Cover again, as before. Allow to soak for another 24 hours.
Drain and rinse. Cover well with clean water and bring to a boil. Boil gently for 30 minutes, skimming off the foam that rises to the surface.
When you fill your pint jars for canning, fill them only about 3/4 full of beans and top off with the cooking liquid or boiling water. Leave 1 inch head space at the top.
To make seasoning:
Combine all the seasonings and mix thoroughly. Store in an airtight glass jar.
Add 3 teaspoons of the seasoning mix to each jar and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Process in a pressure canner for 75 minutes at 11 pounds pressure.
If you are not familiar with canning, please don’t be afraid, but do consult an authoritative source on canning. I recommend this book: Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving

Refried Beans (Frijoles Refritos)

A versatile and perennial favorite! Wonderful in burritos, tacos, tostadas and as a dip for fresh vegetables or home-made chips. We make ours from home-canned pinto beans so that it is quick and convenient, eliminating the time-consuming careful soaking and cooking each time. Never again need you purchase refries in a can, running the risks associated with BPA metal can lining.

In a cast iron skillet, melt the lard on medium heat.
Pour in the jar of pinto beans, including the liquid. Add the salt and spices.
Using a metal potato masher, thoroughly mash, and continuously stir the beans.
When they are mashed to your liking, continue to stir and scrape the pan with a spatula, and cook the beans until they are as thick as you like, keeping in mind that as they cool, they will thicken.
Serve warm. May be refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for later use.
Another advantage to this method is that you can buy your beans in bulk, thus saving money, and won’t have to worry that they will get too dried out during long storage.
A note about the home canned pinto beans ~ if you’ve never done this, it is very easy. You do need to have a pressure canner to process them. I soak my pinto beans for 2 days, changing water 3 times during that process. Then I simmer them for 30 minutes, skimming off the foam, fill the quart jars leaving 1 inch head space, cover with boiling water, and process for 90 minutes at 11 pounds pressure. Please do not attempt this without consulting a reliable book of instructions on home canning. I recommend the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving.

Cream Cheese Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not-Pumpkin Pie

Looking for a way to sneak fresh squash into your family? This dish can be served as either as a dessert OR a dinner entree. Yup, it tastes that good.

Puree all the ingredients together using a food processor, immersion blender, or hand masher.
Fill 2 8×8 pans with the mixture.
Bake 350* for 45-60 min.
Serve warm or chilled.
FREEZER OPTION: This dish freezes great. Store uncooked in ziplock bags or pie-pans. Thaw and cook as directed.
AVOIDING DAIRY? DON’T HAVE CREAM CHEESE? This dish still tastes good without it. Just omit and enjoy.

Hash Brown Potato

Crispy, satisfying, homemade hash browns ~ a perennial breakfast favorite!

Carefully scrub your potatoes.
Grate them, and as you do so, put them into a bowl of cold filtered water, enough to cover the potatoes.
Begin heating a heavy skillet on medium/low heat.
Pour the grated potatoes into a colander, and then rinse them thoroughly under cold running water, stirring them around with your hand.
Allow to drain and press as much water as you can out of the grated potatoes.
Pour them onto a clean dish towel and press more water out using the towel.
Add the butter to your heated skillet. Allow it to melt.
Dump the grated potatoes into the heated skillet that contains the melted butter. Spread them out.
Now you can season them. I use salt and pepper to taste, a tiny amount of ground cayenne and a nice sprinkling of paprika.
Let the potatoes cook for about 4 minutes and then start stirring them around every minute or two.
Continue to cook, moving them around frequently until they are nice and soft.
Turn up the heat a little and press them down into the skillet. Cook until the underside is as brown as you like, and flip them over (it is not necessary to keep them all in one piece) and cook until the underside is brown also.

Classic Mashed Potatoes

A staple dish in many homes. Filling, delicious, and easy!

Scrub potatoes with a vegetable brush under running water until they are very clean.
Now you must decide whether to peel them or not. I grow my own, so I know they are organically grown, but if yours are not, you might decide to peel. I usually don’t, but when the potatoes have ugly skin or are getting shriveled late in the storage season, then I do peel them first.
Cut potatoes into small chunks and place in a saucepan with 2 inches of filtered water.Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and let simmer until all the potato pieces are tender when you test with a sharp knife.
Drain the water out of the saucepan and add a modest amount of raw milk to the pan ~ just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Let it sit for a minute so the milk warms up.
Add some butter - as much or as little as you prefer.
Mash your potatoes, either with a manual potato masher, or an electric mixer.
Add salt to taste. A small amount of garlic powder will give you “garlic potatoes.” Alternately, you can finely mince some fresh garlic and add that instead, if you prefer.

Spinach Cheese Casserole

This is a simple, yet delicious casserole that goes great with a protein-based main dish, such as beef, chicken or salmon. Our 8-year-old thinks it is the greatest!

Use the butter to generously grease a 9×13 glass pan, then melt the remaining butter and let cool slightly. Whisk together eggs, cheeses, spices and spinach, then add in the melted butter. Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle with extra paprika. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, until set. Don’t let it go too long, though, or it can start tasting dry. Enjoy!

Homemade Tater Tots

Not something for everyday, but fun for a kid birthday party, or when you just have an old craving. These tater tots are made a healthier version by using sprouted flour to bind them and friend in good ol’ coconut oil (of course you could use a rendered animal fat to fry in if you have it on hand). Enjoy these served with lacto-fermented ketchup for a probiotic treat!

Preheat an over to 350 degrees. Place potatoes in the oven and bake for about an hour, or until a knife can easily be inserted. Allow potatoes to cool.
Peel the potatoes and discard the peel. Push potatoes through a ricer (if you have one), otherwise, just mash as best you can with a fork, taking care to remove lumps.
Add arrowroot, flour, cheese, egg and salt. Stir to combine.
Knead the mixture with your hands until it forms a soft dough. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
Divide the dough into 4 sections and roll each section into a rope about 1 inch thick. Cut the ropes into 1 1/2 inch long pieces.
Heat about 2 inches of coconut oil in a heavy bottomed pot to about 350 degrees. Carefully add about 1/3 of the tots at a time to the hot oil and fry until golden brown. Carefully stir gently to turn the tots. Remove from oil and allow to drain. Repeat with remaining tots.
Sprinkle with additional salt and serve warm.
To freeze, place fried tots on a cookie sheet and freeze until solid. Place in storage container. Reheat by baking at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

Grain-Free Carrot Apple Kugel

If you’re craving a delicious (and nutritious!) bread pudding, this is a great way to sneak in extra veggies to your family … while doing it grain-free!

Pre-heat oven to 325*F.
Toss carrot, apple, eggs, honey, and lemon juice in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, mix almond flour, baking soda, and salt together.
Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients. It will resemble “slop.”
Pour into a greased 8×8 dish.
Bake at 325*F for 40 minutes.
Delicious served warm or cold.
NOTE: You can also make this in a loaf pan.
NOTE: This is delicious served for breakfast the next day!