Monday, January 18, 2016

Cincinnati Chili, Starving Artists in the Kitchen Style


Traditionally,  Cincinnati Chili is served over spaghetti, but since we're wheat-free we act like barbarians and skip that layer.  There are any number of recipes and approaches, some juicier, some thicker, some using different ingredients, but cinnamon and chocolate are constants.

My friend Ann Emmert Abbott says in Cincinnati you pick which restaurant to go to depending on which variant you're hungry for!

So here's my version, put together to taste and from several different recipes...let me know if there's anything YOU consider absolutely essential.


            3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or high quality light)
            2 finely chopped onions
            4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
            3 pounds ground beef (or lamb, bison, or venison–we had grass fed beef)
            1 T. Sea salt, more or less, to taste
            2 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder
            2 tablespoons chili powder (Joseph makes his own, the recipe is in this post.)
            1 ½ teaspoons cumin (more or less to taste.  I probably put 1 ½ tablespoons instead)
            1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice
            1 ½  teaspoons ground cinnamon
            1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (more or less, to taste)
            1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (couldn’t find mine so J. ground fresh...)
            2 tablespoons cocoa powder or finely chopped, unsweetened baker's chocolate
            1 teaspoon paprika  (I used smoked...)
            1 tablespoon dried oregano (we had organic Mexican)
            1 tablespoon organic sugar (or brown sugar)    (optional)   
            1 can organic cup tomato sauce
            1 can organic diced tomatoes (or your own, if you have them)   
            2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
            1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce       

Top with grated cheese of your choice–cheddar, Parmesan, 4-cheese, goat cheese, whatever...and raw chopped onions if you like.
Many recipes call for beans, but I skip them because of the lectins.  I gave up wheat 4 years ago and never looked back–just felt so much better!–but lots of people DO consider it blasphemy if you don't serve this over spaghetti.


I decided to finish this in the crock pot, but if you prefer it can be a one-pot dinner.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and the garlic and cook until soft, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add the beef and cook the mixture, stirring, until the beef is no longer pink, breaking up the large chunks.

I moved the cooked onions to the crock pot...

Break up the ground beef and cook till it's all brown...
We go for organic if we buy in the store...IF it's available!  Sometimes we have our own garden-grown stuff...

Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, cayenne and cloves. Cook, stirring, until fragrant. about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt.

Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, bay leaf and 1 1/2 cups water–you can rinse out the tomato can and use that. simmer the mixture, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thicker. Add the chocolate, vinegar and Worcestershire and cook until the mixture is thickened but still soupy, about 15 more minutes.

Hershey's was fine, but I would use the fancier organic stuff if I had it...

At this point I transferred everything to the crock pot, covered it and put it on low heat for a few hours.

To serve, discard the bay leaf and season the chili with the freshly ground pepper. Top with cheese and chopped onion.

We don't eat wheat, so J. made zucchini noodles to put under the chili.  Darn good, and no, it is NOT blasphemy!  Besides we keep trying to eat more vegetables...

Topped with a 4-cheese blend and plain yogurt instead of sour cream...absolutely delicious.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Cultured Cranberry-Orange Relish

This is even better than my usual cranberry relish, plus it has probiotics...LOVE.

2 bags of fresh cranberries (organic if you can find them--we did!)
2-3 fresh oranges, ditto
1/4 C. organic sugar (or less--I didn't actually measure.) (You can use a bit of honey if you prefer)
fresh ginger, grated, if you have it...less than 1 tsp. unless you REALLY like ginger...

1/4 cup Basic Whey

(...which you make by putting whole organic yogurt in a strainer lined with clean cloth, over a big bowl.  Let it drain overnight, now you have whey in the bowl and Greek-style yogurt in the strainer--voila!)

Grate the cranberries coarsely in your blender or food processer.
Peel oranges, separate into sections and cut in small chunks. 
Mix everything well and pack into clean glass jars.
Put a lid on it!

Let it rest on the countertop 2-3 days or so (culturing takes longer when it's cold out) will develop a lovely flavor.  Taste it and if suits you, refrigerate!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Traditional Spring Treat--Wilted Lettuce Salad

Wilted Lettuce Salad

We always looked forward to the first wilted lettuce salad in the spring, when I was growing who could resist, with that lovely planter full of baby lettuce, chard, spinach, beet greens and more?
I picked judiciously to thin the planter and make some room for the tomato plants, then added a few wild greens as I walked back to the house: tender young dandelion greens, lambsquarter, wood sorrel...

See?  They NEEDED thinning!
I washed and trimmed everything and left it to drain while I fried up 3 slices of bacon, cut into chunks then reserved the grease.

A few onions chopped fine added to the dish...


Apple cider vinegar (a few tablespoons)

OR home made dandelion vinegar which is what I used.  (Pick dandelion flowers and tender leaves, put in a jar with apple cider vinegar for a week or so, shaking every day; strain and refrigerate for extra taste and nutrition!)

1 T. raw local honey
Sprinkle of sea salt and pepper, or Pepperman
Sprinkle of Italian herbs or Herbes de Provence, if you like

Stir well and set aside.

When you're ready to serve, reheat the bacon grease and pour over the lettuce, stirring to wilt and coat, add the dressing and toss.  Top with a bit of extra bacon, and if you want, a bit of grated Parmesan cheese...we were having Italian chicken/herb meatballs in red sauce, so it seemed to work!

Dig in! 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

It's that time of year again--GARDENING!

First salad from the garden...

It's that time of year again, when the garden calls, the earth is rich and moist, the seeds are burning a hole in my pocket and the garden tools are standing at the ready. And so, last month, we got started--between rains!

We're still using the big planters we got at the discount store years ago...but each year we've added a bit more.  They're a good place to begin, anyway.

April spinach...

April lettuce, radish, mesclun...

May and ready to thin the spinach a bit.  I just stand there and eat it out of hand, fresh...

and a week later...

I say we expanded the garden this year...Joseph says it's an attempt to CONTAIN it, since the squash tried to take over Francis Street!  But whatever the case, we need to get it weeded, planted, and mulched!

And definitely a nice fresh salad...LOOK at that stuff.  You can't even see the planter!  The radishes didn't make as radishes, as crowded as they were, but the greens are fresh and spicy...

The first year, these planters were ALL we had, and it was lovely.  Now?  It's lovelier!

Volunteer squash family...NO idea what but I plan to find out.  We also planted cucumbers, zucchini, and summer squash...still need tomatoes, winter squash, and herbs...I plant between the planters!

This year we planted the Three Sisters in this corner, for history and for respect for those who came before.  I've been reading Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, and listening to our good friend Robert Francis tell us much the same things in our Indian Fellowship meeting, so today I planted a hill of corn, beans, and squash.

Dear old friend Robert Reves sent us Hidatsa Squash, two kinds of Hidatsa beans (red and shield figure), and a packet of Pawnee blue flour corn.   Joseph blessed the earth and thanked it with an offering of tobacco, and I blew prayers onto the seeds...

That is a HANDY little tool...supposed to be for weeds, but it seems willing to till our small garden just fine.  Now to get the tomatoes in...and flowers...and...

I love being able to provide some of the food for our table, right here at home...fresh and organic as it gets!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

(Sort of) Lola's Broccoli Salad...

A friend has brought this to our gatherings a couple of times, and it's delicious!  So of course I begged the recipe and then proceeded to change it's now organic, pretty Paleo, and even more delightful:

SORT of Lola’s Broccoli Salad

It uses quite a bit of bacon, so we actually planned it for the main dish, but remembered we had a piece of Joseph's leftover mustard-glazed salmon.  It goes well with pickled eggs, too, these from Amish Wedding Pickled Beet Eggs.  (We often make our own, but these are really almost as good, and so easy!)

So let's get at it--it's easy!

1 head of organic broccoli chopped bite size
1/2 to 1 onion
1 C. raisins more or less
1/2 C. dried cranberries (optional)
1 C. organic raw sunflower seeds more or less (other nuts or seeds would be fine, too)
1 pkg. of nitrite and nitrate-free bacon (that's 12 oz., these days)
2 T. organic sugar
1 T. honey (optional)
3/4 cup mayonnaise (I used Mark Sisson's new Primal Kitchen mayo, but sometimes we make our own.)
1 T apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste, or try Pepperman, a mix of various peppers

Cook the bacon so it's crisp, let cool and crumble.  Try not to eat too much of it before you make the salad.  Yum.

Mix the chopped broccoli florets, onions, raisins, cranberries, sunflower seed and bacon together.

Mix the sugar, honey, vinegar and mayonnaise, blend well and pour over the mixture.  Stir till coated.

A lovely picnic on the back deck kind of meal...

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Best Paleo Chicken Satay EVER--with Moroccan vegetables of course!

Mmmmm...Chicken Satay on the grill, spicy sunflower seed sauce (rather than peanut sauce), and Moroccan vegetables.  If you're feeling at all adventurous, you will LOVE this.  (Joseph did the hard part, I did the side dish...)

Best Paleo Chicken Satay EVER


    3/4 c unsweetened coconut milk
    1 T fish sauce
    1 T tamari
    1 T raw honey
    1 T curry powder
    2 t Sriracha   
    1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Also needed:
    4 long wooden skewers soaked in water for at least an hour
    Satay Dipping Sauce - recipe below

    Place all ingredients except the chicken in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

    Cut the chicken thighs in half lengthwise and add to the marinade. Stir to coat the chicken, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to 24 hours.

Thread two chicken thighs lengthwise onto each skewer. Place the skewers on the grill, close the cover, and cook about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the chicken, and close the grill. Cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes more. (Note: I hate to waste any of the marinade, so I tend to baste the chicken with any that’s leftover while it’s cooking.)

Transfer the skewers to a clean serving platter and serve with dipping sauce.

Satay Dipping Sauce

    3/4 c unsweetened coconut milk
    1/4 c sunflower seed butter*
    1 T fish sauce
    1 T organic raw honey
    1 T curry powder
    1 T tamari
    1 t Sriracha
    1 T freshly squeezed lime juice

    Place everything but the lime juice in a small saucepan and whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the ingredients are evenly combined, about 3 minutes total. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the lime juice, and transfer the sauce to a small bowl to cool. (Note: I just mixed it all together without cooking. It was fine.)   

*Peanut butter is traditional, but sunflower seed butter is every bit as good and more in keeping with Paleo/Primal.

Kate’s Part...Moroccan Vegetables

Cut up half an onion
2-3 radishes if you have them
2 large carrots
2 stalks celery
1 C. Cabbage, cut thin (not quite as thin as for slaw)
½ C. Mushrooms, if you have them.  (Or however many you want.)
2-3 cloves of garlic
handful of raisins
handful of dried apricots, cut up

1/4 C. Olive oil or toasted sesame oil.

Cut into bite sizes as shown.  And of course you can use whatever you have, add or omit whatever.  This is a delicious way to use of vegetables...I just used what I had, though squash would have been nice, too!

Saute everything in oil till tender...I start with the carrots because they take longer.

Just this sauteed is about perfect..slightly browned...

Then add either commercial Moroccan or Turkish seasoning, or add turmeric, ginger, cumin, a bit of cayenne, salt, and pepper–try a half teaspoon of everything but the cayenne and ginger, I go lighter with those because I am a wussy-girl.  If that’s not flavorful enough, add more!  More cumin, for sure...

Put a lid on it, turn down and let simmer 10 minutes or so.


And especially wonderful if it's warm enough to eat outdoors...

Monday, April 27, 2015

Lovely Leftovers--wild salad!

 Joseph fixed Paleo-style Chicken Piccata and fresh asparagus for dinner last night, as mentioned in our last post here, and we had about half the chicken left, so I made a huge hunter/gatherer salad and topped it with the rest.

Romaine, cabbage, celery, carrot, radish, parsley, some of the leftover cooked broccoli and asparagus...and added violet leaves and flowers, garlic mustard (why NOT use those pests, they're GOOD), dandelion leaves and wild garlic. (And a few blackberries, too.)

This was from a week ago, with added carrot, radish, and a bit of cabbage.

I used olive oil and dandelion vinegar to dress my salad...SO good. And so easy.

Pick dandelion flowers, enough to fill a pint jar.
Cover with apple cider vinegar.
Put a lid on it, shake at least once a day, strain and use after two weeks.

Dandelions are incredibly good for us, full of nutrients and supporting liver health, so I'm delighted to use them any way I can. 

Dinner was delicious, both nights!

And it doesn't get much more Paleo than that.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...