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dairy free

Braised Greens with Tomatoes & Leeks

TIME: 1 HOUR; SERVES: 6 - 8
Adapted from Bon Appetit

This dish is the perfect companion to crispy chicken on a frigid Fall evening (ideally after a light frost when the greens get shocked into sweetness). In late September, when I’m sick of canning tomatoes, I’ll toss the last couple harvests into my chest freezer. This has become my preferred preserving method, because when I take them out to thaw, the skins easily slip off, releasing their liquid and further concentrating their flavor. I used a variety called Jaune Flamme in this recipe— a small, bright orange heirloom that is exceptionally sweet, but still packs a tangy punch. Smoky paprika and melting leeks make this a substantial dish on its own, particularly if sprinkled with pine nuts and crumbled goat cheese.

INGREDIENTS

2 tbls. high-heat oil or bacon grease
2 bunches hardy greens (kale, dandelion, collards, etc.), stems removed or finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 large leek, cut in half lengthwise and rinsed clean, chopped into half moons
3 cloves garlic, peeled & slivered
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
2+ tsp. red wine or sherry vinegar
1 1/2 cups bone broth (chicken, pork, or veggie)
1/2 cup stewed or roasted tomatoes, cooked down
Salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste
Pine nuts & goat cheese, to serve (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Heat oil or bacon grease in a large, heavy bottom pan over medium heat.

  2. when the pan is hot enough to sizzle water, add the onions, leek, and garlic. Cook until softened, about 7 - 10 minutes.

  3. Add the tomatoes & paprika, and cook for another 5 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Add the broth & vinegar, and bring to a boil.

  5. Add the greens in batches. Stir to incorporate, and simmer until tender, 20 - 30 minutes, partially uncovered. Season again to taste, and garnish.

Topped with pine nuts and Turmeric-Ginger Sauerkraut

Topped with pine nuts and Turmeric-Ginger Sauerkraut

Coconut-Cauliflower Soup with Ginger-Scallion Relish

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 6
Adapted from NYT Cooking

The ginger-scallion relish is the shining star in this recipe. This dairy-free, creamy cauliflower soup is a staple in my kitchen, and can be dressed up or down in a variety of ways. The combination of coconut, lime, cilantro, scallion & ginger can’t be beat, and the cauliflower provides a lighter, dairy-free base for the flavors to meld.

INGREDIENTS

3 tbls. unrefined coconut oil
1 lemongrass stalk, tough outer peel removed, inner portion slit to release flavor
2-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely minced or gated, about 3 tbls.
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 medium head cauliflower, chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 can full-fat coconut milk, or 1 small can coconut cream
A few dashes fish sauce (opt.)
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
4 - 6 scallions, trimmed, green & white parts thinly sliced
3 tbls. cilantro, chopped
2 tbls. sherry vinegar
2 limes, zest & juice
1/3 - 1/2 cup oil (neutral or olive)

METHOD

  1. In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion, lemongrass, half the ginger, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. 

  2. Stir in the cauliflower and garlic, then add the stock. Bring to a boil over high, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the cauliflower is very tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining ginger with the scallions, cilantro, vinegar, lime zest and juice, and oil. Whisk together and season with optional fish sauce and salt. Adjust seasonings and set aside.

  4. Remove the lemongrass stalk from the soup. Working in batches in a high-powered blender, purée the soup until very smooth. Add the coconut milk/cream & additional stock or water to thin if necessary. Season to taste with salt, pepper and optional fish sauce.

  5. Serve the soup topped with the ginger-scallion relish.

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Gluten-Free Crusts: Savory & Sweet

TIME: ~30 MINUTES + chilling; SERVES: 1 CRUST
Adapted from NYT Cooking & ‘Dishing up the Dirt’

If you’re looking for a crust that will replace a classic apple or cherry pie dough, these are not them. Ground nuts add a layer of richness, flavor and texture, but they are far from flakey. These are hardier crusts that are pressed into pans with either a sweet curd, like the Cranberry Curd tart from NYT Cooking, or a filling quiche.

ALMOND-THYME CRUST

INGREDIENTS

2 cups almond meal or flour
2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 tbls. minced fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/3 cup olive oil
~1 1/2 tbls. water

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 10-inch tart pan, cast iron skillet or 9-inch pie pan with oil or butter. In a mixing bowl, stir together the almond meal/flour, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour in the olive oil and stir until thoroughly combined. Add the water, a little at a time until the dough holds together.

  2. Press the dough into your prepared pan until it is evenly dispersed across the bottom and at least 1 inch up the sides. Bake until the crust is lightly golden and firm to the touch, about 15 minutes.


HAZELNUT CRUST

You can substitute almonds or pecans for this recipe. I prefer to buy raw nuts and roast them, because many of the roasted & blanched nuts I’ve purchased are rancid.

1 1/4 cup raw hazelnuts
1 cup rice flour (brown or white)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 - 1/2 cup sugar
6 tbls. softened, unsalted butter; more as necessary

METHOD

  1. Heat oven to 325°F.

  2. Spread hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast for 12 - 15 minutes, until skins darken and crack. If you want a very uniform crust, place roasted nuts in a clean towel and rub off skins. Discard skins and let nuts cool.

  3. In a food processor, grind nuts with half the rice flour until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add remaining rice flour and salt, and pulse briefly.

  4. Cream sugar and butter in a mixing bowl for a minute or two until pale and thick. Add nut mixture and combine until dough comes together. If it seems crumbly, add 1 - 2 tbls. softened butter or a little cold water.

  5. Press dough evenly into a 10-inch tart pan; use 1/4 of the dough for the sides and 3/4 for the bottom. Prick bottom with a fork and freeze for 30 minutes (or up to several days). Don’t feel obligated to use all the dough if the crust seems very thick—about 1/4-inch is thick enough.

  6. Heat oven to 350°F. Bake the chilled tart shell about 15 minutes until lightly brown before filling.

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Ghee & Clarified Butter

TIME: 15 - 20 MINUTES; MAKES 1 PINT
Adapted from The ‘Pioneer Woman’

I see jars of ghee at the store ranging from $15-$25, and it baffles me because it’s so dang easy to make!

You may be wondering, what is ghee, anyway?

Ghee is the next step in the process of making “clarified butter”, or butter that has had the milk solids removed through cooking. Clarified butter can often be consumed by those who have slight sensitivities to lactose, or who are following a restrictive diet. I’ll choose ghee when I want a nutty, caramelized flavor, or need to cook something at high heat. It is shelf stable, and has a higher smoke point because there are no milk solids to burn (ghee’s smoke point is 485 degrees, compared to butter’s 350 degrees.) Making your own also means you can choose the quality of butter, rather than paying for an inferior product at a higher price.

INGREDIENTS

1 pound (4 sticks) high-quality butter, preferably organic, grass-fed (either unsalted or salted works), cut into chunks

METHOD

  1. Place the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.

  2. After the butter melts, it will start to bubble and separate. This is the whey separating and floating to the surface.

  3. Skim the whey off. You can either compost it, feed it to your pet, or (if you aren’t sensitive to dairy) save it and put it in smoothies, soak beans or grains in it, or marinate meat. Whey is very versatile and high in protein.

  4. Continue to cook the butter until it turns clear and the milk solids sink to the bottom. You can either turn the heat off at this point (you’ve made clarified butter), or you can continue to cook for a caramelized, nutty flavor. You want to brown—not burn—the milk solids on the bottom of the pan. This takes about 10 minutes longer depending on your stove and pan, so keep a close eye on it.

  5. That’s it! Let the ghee cool a bit and if you want to make sure the very last bits of milk proteins are removed, strain through cheesecloth, a paper towel, or a coffee filter. Store covered at room temperature.

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