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whole30

Roasted Carrots with Fresh Herbs & Spices

TIME: 30 MINUTES, SERVES: 4
Adapted from NYT Cooking

Carrots are sweetest during Spring and Fall—look for them with tops still attached at your local farmers’ market. However, when storing them, remove the tops because they continue to draw moisture out of the root. Fresh, organic carrots are a completely different beast than the bland storage carrots you find bagged at grocery stores. The fresh herbs pair beautifully with the pungent spices, and the butter (or coconut oil) balances the earthy sweetness of the carrot. Feel free to roast other roots alongside, or even in place of carrots. I’ve made this recipe with a mix of radishes, salad turnips, and other Spring roots. In the Fall, try parsnips, turnips, & rutabagas—anything that takes on the glorious golden hue of turmeric.

INGREDIENTS

2 bunches carrots; halved if young, or chopped into similarly sized, 1” chunks
1 - 2 tbls. high-heat cooking oil (Avocado, sunflower, etc.)
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbls. butter, ghee or coconut oil
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. each cumin seed, fennel seed, nigella seed, black mustard seed
1/4 tsp. each ground coriander & red pepper flakes
1 tbls. fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 tbls. fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tbls. fresh mint, finely chopped (opt.)
Half of a lemon or lime (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  2. Toss carrots with the oil, salt, & pepper and spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes, stirring and rotating halfway through. They should be slightly browned and caramelized.

  3. While the carrots are roasting, melt the butter/ghee/coconut oil in a small pan. Add the dry spices and stir to combine. Remove from heat.

  4. When the carrots are tender, remove from the oven. Pour the spice mixture over and stir to coat. Add more salt if necessary and spritz with the lemon or lime, to taste.

  5. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the freshly chopped herbs over top. Alternately, mix everything together for easy serving.

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Roasted Zucchini with Whole Garlic, Lemon & Fried Sage Leaves

TIME: 45 MINUTES, SERVES: 4

The impetus for this recipe was having to thin our sage plants in the greenhouse. I’ve never been one to cook much with fresh sage, but when I had a handful of the most tender, baby leaves, I knew I had to figure something out! Now, I am so glad we decided to grow this herb because I immediately fell in love with the delicate, crispy addition of fried sage leaves to just about any dish.

When the season is in full swing, and the zucchini need harvesting every 2 days, this meal is perfect for a quick, no-fuss dinner. Especially if you have a couple pounds of bone-in chicken thighs to roast—nestle them together and bake all at once.

INGREDIENTS

4 medium-sized zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then quartered (or cut into thirds to make similar sized spears)
2 heads garlic, cut in half crosswise (to expose the center of each clove)
2 lemons, quartered
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbls. avocado oil or high-heat oil
Fried Sage Leaves
1 bunch fresh sage leaves
2 tbls. avocado oil or high-heat oil

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Toss the first 6 ingredients together on a large sheet pan to coat, being mindful as to not dislodge the garlic cloves from the heads. Before placing the sheet pan in the oven, arrange the garlic heads cut-side down on the pan.

  3. Roast for 30 minutes or so, until the garlic cloves have softened and the zucchini & lemons are tender and browned.

  4. While the veggies are roasting, heat the remaining 2 tbls. of high-heat oil in a wide saucepan or frying pan. When the oil is hot, drop the sage leaves in, careful not overcrowd them (you may have to do several batches). Fry for a few minutes until browned and crispy. Keep a close eye on them because this can happen quickly! Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon or spatula and place on a paper towel to cool.

  5. When the veggies are ready for serving, sprinkle the crispy sage over top.

    *If serving alongside roast chicken, scatter the veggies around 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and roast at 325°F for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken registers at 160-165°F.

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Gingery Kale & Mushrooms with Coconut-Fried Eggs

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 4

I made this recipe in the Spring from last season’s frozen and thawed tomatoes, but if you make it in the Fall, you have the possibility of sourcing fresh Kneehigh Farm ginger and turmeric as well! I particularly like curly green kale here, but Swiss chard or hardy spinach would be delicious as well. Substitute the coconut-fried eggs for a nice piece of fish and you’ve got a nourishing, simple dinner that’s on the table in 30 minutes.

INGREDIENTS

4 - 5 small heirloom or plum tomatoes, or 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbls. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, slivered
1-inch piece ginger, peeled & minced
1/4-inch piece turmeric, peeled & minced
2 dried hot chili peppers, minced (seeds included) or 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
2 tbls. coconut oil
1 bunch curly green kale (or other hardy green), chopped
2 cups crimini or shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 lime, juiced
1 tbls. Nama Shoyu or soy sauce
1 tsp. fish sauce (opt.)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste
Coconut-Fried Eggs
1 tbls. coconut oil
2 tbls. unsweetened, shredded coconut
4 eggs

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet, toss with 2 tbls. olive oil and salt. Roast for 15 minutes until slightly blistered.

  2. In a large, heavy-bottom pan, heat 2 tbls. coconut oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, red chili flakes, and a dash of salt. Cook for a few minutes until fragrant.

  3. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened.

  4. Add the kale, cover, and cook until softened. If it becomes dry or starts to burn, add a little water. Cook until the greens are almost tender, then add the lime juice, soy sauce, and fish sauce.

  5. Add the roasted tomatoes with their juices and gently stir. Remove from heat and sprinkle cilantro on top.

  6. Coconut-fried eggs: In a separate pan, heat 1 tbls. coconut oil over medium-low heat.

  7. When the oil is hot, sprinkle the shredded coconut into the pan and quickly crack the eggs over it.

  8. Cover with a lid and fry until the whites are cooked through, but the yolk is still slightly runny. The edges should be crisp.

  9. Top each serving of greens with a fried egg and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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!

Chicken Soup with Lemon & Spinach

TIME: 4 HOURS; SERVES: ~6

This whole-chicken method is super flavorful and relatively quick—perfect if you have an old stew bird lying around. I’ll put the soup on to simmer around lunch, and by dinner, all I need to do is add the greens and lemon!

INGREDIENTS

1, 3 - 4 lb. whole chicken, or chicken parts
1 large yellow onion, unpeeled & quartered
1 entire head of garlic, unpeeled & cut crosswise
3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 - 4 large carrots, roughly chopped
Handful parsley, leaves (finely chopped) and stems
1 tbls. peppercorns
Kosher salt
2 bay leaves
Splash of apple cider vinegar
Water, to cover
1 lemon, quartered
2 - 3 scallions, white and green parts trimmed & sliced
2 cups spinach
1 medium zucchini, sliced with a vegetable peeler into long, wide strips

METHOD

  1. Remove the chicken or chicken parts from the fridge an hour before cooking and sprinkle with kosher salt.

  2. In a large soup pot or dutch oven, place the onion, garlic, celery, carrots, parsley stems, peppercorns, bay leaf, apple cider vinegar, and 1 tbls. of kosher salt. If using a whole chicken, separate the breasts (this makes early removal from the soup much easier).

  3. Add the chicken or chicken parts and enough water to cover, about 3 quarts.

  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for about 25 minutes, until the breasts are cooked through.

  5. Remove the breasts and let cool. Remove the skin and shred the meat. Set aside.

  6. Continue cooking the soup over low for another 3 hours or so.

  7. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before straining through a colander over another pot or large bowl. Separate the dark meat from the carcass and add to the reserved breast meat.

  8. Bring the stock back to a boil, and add the zucchini, spinach, scallions, and parsley leaves. Cook for a couple minutes until the greens and zucchini are bright green. Turn off the heat and add the reserved chicken meat. Add the lemon wedges, squeezing the juice into the soup. Season to taste.

  9. Ladle into bowls. I like to top with a dollop of crème fraîche, but it is delicious on its own.

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Creamy Coconut-Broccolini Soup

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 4 - 6

This dairy-free soup is delicious in both the Spring or Fall—however, the natural sweetness of broccolini and spinach really shine after a touch of frost. In our Southeastern region of Pennsylvania, broccoli has a very short Spring growing window, since the weather quickly becomes too hot. This is one reason we choose to grow “flowering broccoli” or broccolini—the heads mature faster, and you harvest more than once off each plant.

The tender broccolini stems are especially delicious. If substituting large broccoli heads, make sure to peel the stalks before chopping, because they can be tough and fibrous. If you don’t have spinach, substitute arugula, mizuna, or other tender green—or forego the greens altogether and add more herbs!

*By swapping vegetable broth for chicken, this soup can easily be made vegan.

INGREDIENTS

4 tbls. unrefined coconut oil
1/2 tsp. each: fennel seed, black mustard seed, cumin seed, coriander seed
A dash cayenne or crushed red pepper flakes
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 shallot or small yellow/white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 - 8 scallions or 2 leeks, trimmed & chopped
2 pounds broccolini, or 2 large heads broccoli, chopped
4 cups baby spinach
1 cup parsley, chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1, 14-oz can full-fat coconut milk
1 quart chicken bone broth (or veggie broth, or water)
Juice from 1/2 lime, plus slices for serving
1 tbls. fish sauce (opt.)
Greek yogurt or crème fraîche, for serving (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Heat coconut oil in a heavy bottom soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat.

  2. Add the spices and let sizzle for a minute until fragrant.

  3. Add the alliums (onion, shallot, scallion, leek, garlic…) and broccolini. Cook, stirring often to avoid burning, until the broccolini is bright green and the alliums softened. If the seeds start to burn, add a little broth or water.

  4. Add the stock and bring to a boil.

  5. Turn the heat down to medium-low again, and add the herbs, greens, and coconut milk. Simmer until the broccolini is tender and the greens are wilted.

  6. Remove from the heat. Let cool slightly, then carefully transfer in batches to a high-powered blender, or use an immersion blender.

  7. Return to the pot and add the fish sauce and lime juice to taste. Adjust seasonings.

  8. Ladle into bowls and garnish with optional Greek yogurt or crème fraîche. Serve with extra lime slices.

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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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Sweet Corn, Sungold, & Cilantro Salad

TIME: 15 MINUTES; SERVES: 4

In the dog days of Summer, heat can make it difficult to grow tasty salad greens. This can be bothersome because we oftentimes crave a refreshing, crunchy, raw salad when it’s so dang hot out.

Cue the “Summer Salad!” This is one of my favorites because it epitomizes everything about the season, and takes just a few minutes to prep. For a more savory spin, substitute regular ol’ red cherry tomatoes or chopped plum tomatoes for the super sweet Sungolds. If you don’t like cilantro, use basil! Parsley! Dill! I love to add a little feta in there, but this can also be 100% vegan.

INGREDIENTS

3 ears very fresh sweet corn, kernels shaved off (save cobs for stock)
1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped, or herb(s) of choice
1 pint Sungold cherry tomatoes or red cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbls. red onion or shallot, minced
1 oz. feta cheese (opt.)
Vinaigrette
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, grated
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. Dijon mustard

METHOD

  1. Mix together the vinaigrette ingredients.

  2. Gently toss together the salad ingredients.

  3. Dress with half the vinaigrette. Taste, and add more if necessary.

  4. Serve alongside grilled fish, chicken, or a couple hard boiled eggs. Or try half an avocado spritzed with lime if it’s just too dang hot.

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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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Dandelion Salad with Bacon & Jammy Eggs

TIME: 20 MINUTES; SERVES: 4
Adapted from David Tanis’s Market Cooking

Once the daffodils and crocuses start pushing through in the early Spring, I immediately have what I can best describe as a “primordial craving” for fresh dandelion greens and nettles. These first Spring greens pack an alarming amount of vitamins, minerals, iron, and calcium. Dandelion greens are best known for their detoxifying properties, especially in relation to the liver and bile production.

The salt & fat from the bacon, umami-heat from raw garlic, and acid from fresh lemon makes this a salad that will most likely turn into one, very large serving (with zero regrets).

INGREDIENTS

1 large bunch dandelion greens; stems trimmed & leaves roughly chopped or torn (smaller, tender leaves preferred, although larger leaves pack a little more ‘liver-detoxing’ bitterness)
4 slices bacon
3, “9-minute” boiled eggs
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, grated
2 tbls. red wine or sherry vinegar
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tbls. Dijon mustard
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Parmesan, Gruyere, or other hard cheese, shaved (opt.)
1/2 large avocado, sliced or cubed (opt.)
Poppy seeds (I use an “everything” seasoning blend of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic, onion & salt; opt.)

METHOD

1. If you haven’t yet boiled the eggs, bring a small pot of water to boil. Once boiling, add the eggs and boil for exactly 9 minutes. Transfer to cold water.

2. While the egg water is boiling, make the vinaigrette: Mix the garlic, vinegar, lemon, olive oil, mustard, salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.

3. Fry the bacon in a large cast-iron pan until slightly crisp. Remove and let cool. Chop crosswise into 1/4 inch wide lardons.

4. Put the greens in a large salad bowl and lightly sprinkle with salt. Massage very gently for a few seconds. Dress with half the vinaigrette, tossing to coat.

5. Peel the eggs, and chop into quarters. Arrange the lardons, eggs, optional avocado slices/cubes, and shaved cheese on top. If you want a little crunch, add the poppy seeds or “everything” seasoning, or other favorite nut/seed.

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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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Creamy Winter Squash Soup with Coconut & Ginger

TIME: 30 - 45 MINUTES (not including roasting time); SERVES: 6+

This soup can be made with almost any type of winter squash. I prefer to use Kabocha because of its starchy, chestnut-like texture and flavor, but dense Butternut or Delicata does wonders as well. I would eat this soup all Winter if I could grow & store enough squash to satisfy my cravings.

*Go with a high-powered blender or food processor, rather than an immersion blender, for the silkiest texture.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium-large winter squash; roasted, flesh scooped out & reserved (about 2 cups)
2 tbls. unrefined coconut oil or ghee/butter
1 large yellow or white onion (or 1 - 2 leeks), chopped
1 - 2 fennel and/or celery stalks, or 1 fennel bulb (opt.), chopped
1 - 3 carrots (opt.), chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece ginger, peeled & grated
Water, vegetable broth, or chicken stock (amount depends on desired consistency)
1, 14-oz. can full-fat coconut milk
~1/4 tsp. each coriander, ground turmeric, & Ceylon cinnamon
A pinch of cayenne pepper
Juice from 1/2 - 1 lime (depending on size; to taste)
1 tsp. fish sauce (opt.)
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Cilantro, chopped
Greek yogurt or crème fraîche

METHOD

  1. Heat coconut oil or ghee/butter in a large dutch oven or soup pot. When hot enough to sizzle water, add the onions, optional fennel, celery & carrots, garlic, ginger, & spices. Cook until browned & fragrant.

  2. Add the coconut milk and roasted winter squash. Add enough water or stock to barely cover. (You can always add more liquid, but it’s hard to cook the soup down once it’s too thin without adding more squash.)

  3. Cover and simmer on low until soft and thoroughly cooked through, about 20 minutes. Stir often to avoid sticking.

  4. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Transfer carefully in batches to the blender or food processor and purée until creamy.

  5. Adjust seasonings: add the lime, optional fish sauce, and salt & pepper to taste.

  6. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro and yogurt or crème fraîche.

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