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paleo

Scrambled Eggs & Nettles

TIME: 15 MINUTES; SERVES: 2

Stinging Nettles have to be my favorite Spring green.You most likely have seen them if you’ve walked through a wet or wooded area in April—maybe you’ve even had the pleasure of brushing up against one unknowingly!

Nettles are considered a “nutritive” herb—meaning they are incredibly nourishing and chock full of necessary vitamins & minerals. They are especially high in iron, magnesium and calcium, which are deficient in most American diets. They contain anti-inflammatory properties, and aid in both male and female reproductive, hormonal & urinary function. They are common in herbal tea blends & tinctures, however, they are also delicious substituted for spinach or delicate cooking greens in a variety of dishes—such as this simple breakfast!

If you know of a healthy nettle patch, handle with gloves and harvest the crowns with snips. Make sure to harvest before they go to seed, because they become difficult to digest. If you are unable to find them in the wild or at the market, substitute spinach or arugula. The stinging hairs dissolve when cooked, dried, or blended.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 pound Stinging Nettles (or substitute spinach, arugula, or other delicate cooking green)
1 bulb green garlic, 1 clove garlic, or 1 tbls. shallot, minced
4 eggs
A splash of heavy cream, or water
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 - 2 tbls. butter or ghee

METHOD

1. Remove the stinging nettle leaves from the stems with gloves.

2. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk. Add the salt, pepper, and splash of cream or water.

3. Heat 1 tbls. butter or ghee in a non-stick skillet.

3. When melted, add the green garlic (or garlic clove/shallot) and cook until fragrant.

4. Add the greens with a pinch of salt, and cook until wilted.

5. Move the greens and garlic to the side of the pan, and add another tbls. of butter to the empty side. Swirl to coat.

6. Pour the scrambled eggs into the empty portion of the pan—do not mix with the greens. Gently stir the eggs constantly with a wooden or rubber spatula to form fine curds. When the eggs are almost cooked through but still slightly wet, stir in the greens and remove from the heat. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

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Scrambled Eggs & Nettles with avocado, 2 salsas, and sauerkraut—a nourishing and filling breakfast!

Scrambled Eggs & Nettles with avocado, 2 salsas, and sauerkraut—a nourishing and filling breakfast!

Smashed Persian Cucumbers with Sesame & Ginger

TIME: 20 MINUTES, SERVES: 4
Adapted from Bon Appetit

Persian cucumbers have become very popular among our customers and chefs. Their small size and thin skins make them perfect for easy snacking or quick prep. They are surprisingly sweet and crunchy, while still retaining a refreshing, cucumber flavor.

Smashing cucumbers (my new alt. rock band name) is fun! It is also a great way to involve kids in the kitchen. But it’s not just about fun and games—the craggy edges have more surface area for seasonings, packing every mouthful full of flavor.

INGREDIENTS

5 - 6 small, Persian cucumbers
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 scallions, trimmed, white and green parts sliced
2 tbls. rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. grated ginger
2 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted (a mix of white and black are nice)
Chili oil, to taste (look for a brand without additives or MSG—just chilies and oil preferably—or make your own!)

METHOD

  1. Tear cucumbers into bite size pieces.

  2. Place the cucumbers plus 1 tsp. kosher salt in a colander, and let drain for 10 minutes.

  3. Place sesame seeds in a small pan and toast until they start to pop, about 3 - 5 minutes. Stir to avoid burning, and remove from heat.

  4. Transfer the cucumbers to a medium bowl and add rice wine vinegar and grated ginger. Toss to coat and adjust seasoning.

  5. Transfer cucumbers to a serving dish, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and drizzle with chili oil.

Cauliflower Steaks & Purée with Pistachio-Caper Relish

TIME: 45; MINUTES SERVES: 2 - 4
Adapted from Ottolenghi & Bon Appetit

This dish is surprisingly simple, and incredibly impressive as a vegetarian entrée or side dish—a wonderful option if you are wanting to whip up a fancy, plant-based dinner. The caramelized cauliflower steaks are beautiful plated over the purée, and the relish is the perfect mix of salt, fat, acid & crunch.

Yotam Ottolenghi knows how to transform the humble cauliflower into a centerpiece. His original recipe calls for anchovies and egg yolk in the purée, and walnuts in place of pistachios. As always, feel free to adjust to your liking.

INGREDIENTS

Relish
1/3 cup raw pistachios, shelled
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbls. capers, drained
1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes or 1/2 hot pepper, seeded and minced
3 tbls. parsley, chopped
1 tbls. sherry vinegar
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 small shallot, minced
1 small clove garlic, grated
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

1 medium head cauliflower
1 clove garlic, grated
1 - 2 tbls. lemon juice
2 tbls. olive oil or butter/ghee, plus 1 tbls. for frying
2+ tbls. water or cream
1 salt-packed anchovy filet, rinsed & cleaned (opt.)
3 - 4 strips lemon zest
1/2 tsp. each za’atar and nigella seeds (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Spread pistachios on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant & golden brown, 5 - 7 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop & set aside. Increase oven temperature to 425°F.

  3. Heat olive oil and capers in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until capers are golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Pour oil and capers into a small bowl to cool.

  4. When the caper-oil mixture is slightly cooled, mix in pistachios, chili (flakes or fresh), parsley, vinegar, shallot, garlic, and lemon zest. Season with salt and black pepper. Set relish aside. *This can be made a few hours, or up to a day in advance.

  5. For the cauliflower: Remove the tough outer leaves from cauliflower, leaving any tender inner leaves. Trim stem to create a flat base (careful not to over-trim—you’ll need a base to hold the steaks together), and rinse if dirty. Cut cauliflower in half from top to bottom, creating two lobes. From the cut-edge of each lobe, slice a 1-inch “steak” (the stem should hold the florets together), resulting in 2 similar-sized steaks. Very coarsely chop remaining florets & leaves.

  6. Boil enough salted water to cover the florets in a large saucepan, and cook until very tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and purée in a food processor with garlic, lemon juice, 2 tbls. olive oil or butter/ghee, water or cream (to thin), and optional anchovy until very smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides a couple times. Season with salt and more lemon if necessary, and set aside.

  7. Heat 1 tbls. butter/ghee in a large, cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower steaks and lemon zest (tucking the strips into the lobes to avoid burning). Cook until steaks are deep golden brown. Flip over and season with salt.

  8. Transfer skillet to the oven and roast until cauliflower stems are fork-tender, about 15 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove cauliflower and sprinkle with optional nigella seed & za’atar. If the steaks are not softened at this point, add a couple tbls. water and return pan to oven for another 5 - 7 minutes.

  9. To serve, spoon cauliflower purée onto a platter and arrange steaks on top. Spoon relish over and sprinkle with salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with extra lemon wedges.

Roasted Salmon & Romanesco with Cilantro-Lime Dressing

TIME: 40 MINUTES, SERVES: 6

This simple sheet-pan dinner is especially delicious in the Fall when Romanesco is at its best (and before the cilantro freezes). Feel free to substitute cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, or even sweet potatoes (adjusting the oven time accordingly).

I’ve only recently introduced seafood to my kitchen. For a long time, I’ve been ignorant to best fishing practices and so opted out of being a consumer since the industry felt so overwhelming. Sustainably harvested Sockeye salmon has become one of my favorite options. Its oily, deep red flesh is high in essential omega-3s and has a strong flavor that holds up well to roasting or grilling.

* If you eat a lot of seafood, I recommend checking out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch for information on sustainable options. It’s important, like with any food or farming industry, to know your sources and be willing to financially support businesses that maintain our planet’s health.

INGREDIENTS
2 pounds skin-on salmon filets, cut into 6 equal servings
~6 cups romanesco, chopped into florets (1 - 2 large heads)
6 garlic cloves, peeled & smashed
2 tbls. refined avocado oil, or high-heat oil
1 tsp. cumin seed
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes or 1/2 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp. lime zest
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 avocado (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

  2. Set aside the salmon filets on a plate and season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

  3. On a large baking sheet, toss the romanesco with the garlic cloves, oil, cumin seed, salt & pepper to thoroughly coat. Spread in a single layer (use 2 sheets if necessary) and roast for 20 minutes, until slightly browned. Remove from oven and stir.

  4. Nestle the salmon filets into the veggies. Roast for another 10 minutes, until the salmon is cooked through and easily flakes, but is still slightly pink (120 degrees).

  5. While the salmon is roasting, whisk together the crushed red pepper or jalapeno slices, lime juice & zest, cilantro, olive oil, and salt to taste. If adding avocado, blend everything in either a food processor, immersion, or standing blender. If it is too thick, thin with a little water, and adjust to taste. If too sour, add some honey.

  6. To plate, place veggies and one filet on each dish and drizzle with dressing.

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Ginger-Cinnamon Hazelnut Butter

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 3/4 CUP
Adapted from the ‘Minimalist Baker’

If you have a high-quality food processor or blender, you can make your own nut butters in a matter of minutes. Another bonus is that you can add or subtract any spices or flavorings you wish, and use any kind of nut or seed.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup raw hazelnuts
1/2 tsp. Ceylon cinnamon
1/2 tsp. powdered ginger
A dash of salt
A sprinkle of chili powder (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast for about 12 minutes, until dark brown—but not burnt—and fragrant.

  2. Remove from oven and let cool slightly—the skins slip off more easily if cool. Transfer to a large kitchen towel, fold over the nuts, and roll them around to remove most of the skins. Fewer skins will produce a creamier nut butter.

  3. Place skinned hazelnuts in a food processor. Purée until a butter begins to form, scraping down the sides as needed.

  4. Once it is creamy and smooth, add the ground cinnamon, ginger, chili powder, and salt. Purée again until mixed. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

  5. Transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator.

Roasted Nut or Seed Milk

TIME: 20 - 30 MINUTES (not including soaking time); SERVES: 3 1/2 CUPS
Adapted from Julia Turshen’s, ‘Small Victories‘

Even if you don’t have a lactose allergy, this “milk” is delicious in both hot or iced drinks. You can use any nut or seed you prefer, but like Julia Turshen, I’m a big fan of hazelnuts. Feel free to add different flavorings as well: a bit of cinnamon, a splash of vanilla, and some of your favorite sweetener makes a yummy Horchata-esque beverage, or a delicious base for chai and coffee drinks. Roasted and pressed nut milks are traditional in many cultures; I encourage you to experiment with nuts/seeds that can be grown locally & organically in your region.

*Rather than purchasing roasted nuts, look for raw nuts that have been kept in cool temperatures—a rancid, roasted nut is one of the worst kitchen surprises.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup raw nuts or seeds of choice (hazelnut, almond, pumpkin, etc.)

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Spread the nuts/seeds on a baking sheet and roast until browned—but not burnt—and fragrant, about 12 minutes (8 minutes for seeds). If you hear them popping, give them a quick stir.

  3. Transfer toasted nuts/seeds to a quart jar and add enough water to cover by at least 1” (the nuts will soak up the liquid). Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

  4. Drain the nuts/seeds and discard the liquid. Place in a blender with 4 cups fresh, cold water and process on high until smooth, about 30 seconds.

  5. Drain the nuts/seeds in a “nut milk bag” or cheese bag over a bowl. (Pro-tip: tie and let hang from your kitchen faucet—it can take a while to strain). Squeeze out the remaining liquid by twisting the bag from the top down. Compost the leftover nutmeat or spread outside for the squirrels.

  6. Add optional seasonings at this point. Keep in a quart jar in the fridge, and drink either warmed or iced. Shake well before use.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pressed Hazelnut Milk

Pressed Hazelnut Milk

Roasted Hazelnuts

Roasted Hazelnuts

Cinnamon-Hazelnut Latte

Cinnamon-Hazelnut Latte

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

Spicy Pork Meatballs & Zucchini Ribbons in Broth

TIME: 20 MINUTES; SERVES: 4 - 6

During the summer months, we barter vegetables for pastured pork from our neighbors. All their offerings are phenomenal, but one of my favorites is their “Country Sausage”, which consists of 3 simple ingredients: pork, salt & pepper. Ground pork works wonderfully in these tender, poached meatballs, however, feel free to substitute ground dark meat turkey or chicken.

This soup comes together in less than 30 minutes, for when you’re needing a a nourishing, hot meal ASAP.

INGREDIENTS

1 zucchini
6 cups broth of choice (chicken, pork, veggie…)
Meatballs
1 lb. ground pork (or ground dark meat turkey/chicken)
1/2 tsp. hot chili paste or spicy harissa (or crushed red chili flakes)
2 tbls. shallots or scallions, minced
1 tsp. black garlic paste or 1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
2 tbls. cilantro
2 tbls. parsley
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric (opt.)
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste (check to see if meat is seasoned first)

Cilantro, scallion and chili oil, to serve (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Slice the zucchini into long ribbons with a vegetable peeler or mandolin. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.

  2. Mix the meatball ingredients together and form into 12 meatballs.

  3. Bring broth to a boil. If you need to add salt or acid (lemon, sherry vinegar), do so at this point.

  4. Add the meatballs so they are submerged in the liquid. Let simmer for about 7 minutes, until cooked through. Turn the heat off and add the zucchini ribbons. Let sit for a couple minutes before serving.

  5. Ladle into bowls. Top with additional cilantro, scallion, and a drizzle of chili oil.

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Zucchini Noodles with Walnut Pesto

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 2

Zucchini noodles, or ‘Zoodles’, have become somewhat of a mascot within the low-carb food community. I have a tendency to approach most food trends with a level of skepticism. Food marketing generally operates from a profit-forward standard, rather than nutritional or ecological. So when a fancy new super food promising “antioxidant-rich!” “sugar-free!” or “healthy!” pops up, I have three main standards on whether it’s worth investigating: 1. Can I grow this? 2. If not, can it be purchased locally? 3. If so, is it grown or raised organically/responsibly?

“Zoodles” pass through all these hoops for me. Even though I wouldn’t label summer squash a nutrition powerhouse, it is yummy and we do grow it. Zoodles have become a gluten-free answer to that slurpy, noodly craving that can hit without warning.

Granted, I’ll eat grilled or roasted zucchini any day alongside a rich pesto dip, but this is a fun way to mix it up. Zoodles can also shine in a light, savory broth, or with a cream-based sauce. I purchased a 5-Blade Vegetable Slicer, and even though it takes up a fair amount of kitchen space and is a little bulky, it’s so easy to use and clean, I have no hesitation busting it out.

I use the word “pesto” very loosely in this recipe. Feel free to make it dairy-free by cutting out the optional Parmesan, or substitute different nuts, seeds, or herbs.

INGREDIENTS

Zoodles
1 large zucchini or 2 medium (Even though the smaller squash generally taste better, I’ve found the larger ones easier to “spiralize")
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. high heat oil, bacon grease, or butter/ghee
(Dairy-free) Walnut “Pesto”
2 cups packed Italian basil (I use the whole plant: leaves, tender stems, flowers, etc.). You can substitute parsley or arugula for some or all of the basil.
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1/2 cup walnuts or favorite nut (pine nuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
Juice from 1 lemon, to taste
1 - 2 tbls. water to thin, if necessary
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (opt.)

METHOD

  1. For the pesto, put all ingredients except water into a food processor and process until very smooth. If not using Parmesan, it is important to use a generous amount of salt—start with less and add to taste after blending. If it’s too thick, add a tbls. at a time of water. You will need to use enough oil to coat the noodles in a smooth sauce.

  2. If you don’t have a spiralizer, use a mandolin with a julienne blade or a vegetable peeler to make long ribbons. You can even julienne by hand if you’re confident in your knife skills.

  3. Sprinkle the zoodles with salt and let sit for a few minutes in a colander.

  4. Heat cooking fat in a large skillet. Sear the zoodles in a single layer. Do not stir, rather let them slightly brown on one side and then flip over. It is very important they don’t crowd the pan so that they sear quickly. Crowding results in soggy, overcooked zoodles. Transfer to a wide serving dish.

  5. Top with the pesto and mix very gently to incorporate. Serve topped with roasted cherry tomatoes and chicken, or alongside a few slices of bacon and crumbled goat cheese

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