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 up...so 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...


Dressing:

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!
Dinner!

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...so 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


Ingredients:

    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
   
Instructions:

    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.

Delicious!

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.



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Chicken Piccata

Again with the chicken!

I blatantly stole this recipe from our friend Greg Haught's blog, The Confounded Cook. I made a few minor changes (like the mushrooms in bacon grease with garlic) to suit us, but it's still Greg's recipe, shown here served with Parmesan roasted cauliflower & onions.

Ingredients
•    2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, rinsed, patted dry
•    Pepperman* & garlic
•    4 T unsalted butter
•    ¼ c lemon juice
•    ½ c chicken broth
•    ¼ c dry white wine
•    8 oz baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
•    2 T bacon grease

Preparation

Place chicken in a gallon Ziploc plastic freezer bag and pound until thin. Sprinkle with Pepperman.

Heat 2 T butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until butter foams. Add one of the chicken breast halves and cook without moving until browned, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook until firm and browned on both sides, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

Add 2 T butter to skillet; cook remaining chicken breast half. Transfer to plate and cover to keep warm.

Add lemon juice, broth and wine to skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. Boil, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half. 

Meanwhile, add bacon grease to a separate pan over high heat. When it melts, add mushrooms and season with Pepperman & garlic. Cook until mushrooms are browned. Add sauce to the pan with the mushrooms and bring back to a boil, again scraping the pan with a wooden spoon to get up all the browned goodies.

Pour sauce & mushrooms over chicken and serve immediately.

*Pepperman is a blend of sea salt and different organic peppers from Frontier Foods, available at most natural food stores. Great stuff!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Paleo/Primal Baked Curried Chicken

I thought I had a recipe for this, but if I did, I didn't save it. So I started searching around the Internet and found several, and as is my wont, combined them to come up with this one. The one I mostly based this on called for full fat coconut milk, which would make this recipe Paleo/Primal, and which I thought I had in the pantry. Unfortunately, I didn't, so I substituted Greek yogurt and it worked very well, but it isn't pure Paleo/Primal.

Ingredients:

4 chicken thighs - I prefer whole with skin on but boneless & skinless are fine too. As are breasts. Or 12 small drumsticks, which is what the original recipe called for.

2 T coconut oil, ghee, or butter

1/2 onion, chopped

4 T curry powder

4 TBS homemade bone broth, chicken broth or water

1 medium tomato, quartered

4 T full fat coconut milk or Greek yogurt

4 cloves fresh garlic

2 inch piece of fresh ginger

1 t sea salt

1 c chopped dried fruit - I prefer prunes, apricots and raisins.

Directions:

    Melt fat of choice in a skillet and saute onions for 5 minutes. Add curry powder to onions and saute for 2-3 minutes to bring out the flavor of the spices. If spices begin to stick, turn down heat and add a bit more fat. Remove from heat.

    Place tomato, yogurt/coconut milk, garlic, ginger, and salt into a blender. Pour broth or water into skillet with onions and carefully scrape all of the onions and spices into blender as well. Puree until smooth.

    In a large bowl, pour curry sauce over chicken and mix to thoroughly coat. Marinate in fridge - overnight if possible, but at least a couple of hours.

    Preheat oven to 350F - I use a convection toaster oven, so preheating really isn’t necessary.

    Place marinated chicken in a baking pan or casserole dish that is just big enough to hold them - if using whole thighs, put them in skin side up.

    Bake COVERED  for 45 minutes.

    Remove cover/foil, baste chicken with juices in pan. Add dried fruit, and bake another 20-30 minutes until chicken is cooked all the way through.

Here it is, served with Kate's Moroccan Sweet Potato Salad as seen elsewhere in this blog.



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