Monday, October 29, 2012

Gluten-Free Dutch Babies

This is truly the craziest dish I've made in years!
My kids love to watch in amazement as the Dutch Baby rises right out of its pan as it's baking! Don't peek into your oven as it's baking, or it may fall dramatically.

This recipe is easier to make than a batch of pancakes, and my kids even prefer it to waffles or flap jacks. It's loaded with protein from its 4 eggs, so a topping of cut fruit or stewed apples will make a complete breakfast. Its rich, custardy flavor will taste like a treat, and a quick cleanup of only two dishes will leave you pampered as well!

Enjoy -- this is a fun one!

Gluten-Free Dutch Babies
4 eggs
1/2 c. gluten-free flour mix (Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour Blend works well)
1/2 c. milk, rice milk, almond milk, or coconut milk
1/2 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt
2 T. butter, coconut oil or grapeseed oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place an oven-proof frying pan or cast-iron skillet in the oven to preheat as well.

Mix all ingredients together except butter. I like to blend for 30 seconds in my Vitamix blender and simply pour from the blender container.

Carefully remove the pan from the oven. It will be HOT!! Melt the butter or oil in the pan, coating the sides a bit. Pour the batter from the blender container into the hot pan, and return to oven.

Cook for ~24 minutes, until it's toasty brown and puffed up to crazy proportions.

Cut into 6 or 8 wedges and serve with fruit or butter and maple syrup.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Elegant Steamed Mussels

Oh, my.
This mussel recipe is the most succulent recipe I've created!

This recipe is a rich, elegant, dairy-free variation of a classic French preparation of mussels, which uses wine, broth, butter, butter and more butter. Recently, I was craving a rich, aromatic mussel recipe for dinner. . . no butter for me, thanks. I went to work to develop a recipe that had equal richness, but none of the dairy. This culmination has amazing balance and flavor, and it comes together in a snap.

We have a lovely little fish house in Durango, Flying Fish II. Nancy supplies our little town with fresh fish on Fridays, making elegant seafood dinners or fun sushi a Friday night staple in our house. I used a 2 pound, frozen package of Price Edward bearded, rope-cultured mussels for this recipe. Use fresh if you have access to an ocean!

Have a package of mussels waiting in your freezer when you really, really want to impress some guests.

Elegant Steamed Mussels
1 T. olive oil
1/4 c. onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, sliced very thinly
1 cup Homemade Turkey Stock (or canned checken broth)
1/2 cup white wine
2 T. Sherry (cooking wine)
1/4 c. coconut milk
2 T. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 t. green curry paste
1/4 t. salt
pepper to taste
2 pounds mussels (you can purchase them frozen)
2 T. fresh basil, sliced thinly

In a large Dutch oven or pot large enough to hold your mussels (it must have a tight fitting lid for later), heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute thin slices of onion until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute for a minute more.

Add the turkey stock, wine, sherry, coconut milk, lime juice, curry paste, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer.

Add the frozen mussels to the broth, stir to coat, and cover.
Steam the mussels or 5 minutes.

Ladle into large bowls, and enjoy as an appetizer or as a main course when served with sauteed greens and rice noodles or Shirataki noodles. Be sure to have plenty of good gluten-free bread toasted to sop up the amazing broth.


GF Baguette Tip: The most superior baguette available in most natural food stores' freezers are Against the Grain Baguettes. Their light, airy, totally french Baguette look, feel and taste could be life changing for you. These do contain dairy, so not everyone can enjoy these treats.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pinto Beans with Ham

Frugality can be delicious!

Growing up in Ohio, most home-spun bean recipes that I ate were derived from a can, like My Aunt Pauline's Bean Salad. Although nothing says "church potluck hospitality" like a traditional bean salad (Oh, how I loved church potlucks while growing up!), it can't hold a candle to a steaming bowl of pinto beans with ham. When I moved West, I discovered the comfort that a combination of beans, broth, spices, and a cheap cut of ham can provide. Autumn is an ideal time of year to simmer a pot of this goodness all day long, and for about $5, you can create a southwestern feast!

This recipe is especially good with a dollop of my red chile. If you've purchased your roasted green chile for the year, stir in a couple of tablespoons as a treat. My kids like this recipe as-is, and ask for seconds every time.

Pinto Beans with Ham
1 lb dry pinto beans, rinsed and soaked in warm water overnight.
4 cups of Homemade Turkey Stock or store-bought broth
~1 lb smoked/cured ham hock (cut into 2" chunks if possible – ask your local butcher)
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
2 T. olive oil
1 t. chile powder
1/2 t. cumin seeds
1/2 t. coriander
1 t. oregano
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

Optional: 1/2 t. fennel seeds or 3" piece of kombu seaweed (it creates less gas).

Rinse the dry pinto beans, remove any debris or stones, and soak in warm water overnight, until the bean has almost doubled in size and is wrinkle-free.

In the morning, rinse pinto beans again and drain.

Place the broth, beans, and ham hock in a crock pot set on high.

Heat a frying pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Saute the onion in olive oil until translucent and slightly browned. Add garlic, spices and herbs and saute one minute more. Add onion mixture to Crock Pot.

Check the water level occasionally as the beans cook. Add more broth or water if you feel the need.

Remove the ham hocks from Crock Pot. Discard all bones, fat and unwanted parts of the ham. Shred or chop remaining meat and add back to the pot.

Serve in small bowls next to a grilled sandwich and a side of greens.


Flatulence Tip: Concerned about becoming too musical after eating beans? Adding items like cumin seed or fennel seed, a 2-3" piece of kombu seaweed, a slice of ginger, or bay leaves can help make beans a more socially acceptable food. Give it a try.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Homemade Applesauce

Still have apples?
Run to your neighbor's tree this evening and gather a few pounds before they're gone.

This applesauce recipe is almost like dessert. The flavor is simple, yet complex. Sweet, tart, and savory, it's an applesauce for grown-ups (but your kids will like it, too!). My husband says it's just like eating the inside of an apple pie, but better!

Do yourself a favor and purchase an apple corer and peeler for $15-20. It makes apple pie and applesauce preparation a piece of cake (or pie!), and your kids will clamor to help out -- just to take part in the fun of using this gadget.

Homemade Savory Applesauce
8 pounds apples (will be about 4 pounds once peeled, cored and sliced)
1 c. apple juice
1 c. water
2 t. vanilla
1/4 c. honey (if using sweet apples, omit or use 1-3 T.)
1 t. cinnamon

Using an apple peeler and corer, peel, core and slice apples and place into a large stock pot or Dutch oven. Add water, juice, vanilla, honey and cinnamon.

Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, for 20-30 minutes, until apples are tender.

Let cool a bit, and puree in a food processor or blender in small batches, transferring to a bowl after each batch. If you like chunky applesauce, puree half the apples and mash the other half with a potato masher.

This freezes well in 2-cup quantities in quart freezer bags. Fill the bags, remove air bubbles, and lay flat on a cookie sheet to freeze. Search "canning applesauce" if you prefer shelf-stable jars of applesauce.

Makes about 8 cups of applesauce.

Enjoy apple season!

So. . .you're a purist, you say? You think there shouldn't be honey or vanilla in applesauce? If your apples are sweet and perfect just the way they are, use this basic recipe and enjoy some unadulterated appley goodness:

Homemade Plain-and-Simple Applesauce
8 pounds apples (will be about 4 pounds once peeled, cored and sliced)
2 c. water

Using an apple peeler and corer, peel, core and slice apples and place into a large stock pot or Dutch oven. Add water, juice, vanilla, honey and cinnamon.

Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, for 20-30 minutes, until apples are tender.

Let cool a bit, and puree in a food processor or blender in small batches, transferring to a bowl after each batch.

Makes about 8 cups of applesauce.


Have a huge batch of small apples? I just made a batch of applesauce without peeling the apples, and it was really wonderful. I added hard cider and ginger ale in addition to water for the liquids (I didn't have apple juice, but had hard cider -- go figure!). The result was lovely. Try making a batch of this with your neighbor's apples this autumn.

BIG BATCH of Homemade Savory Applesauce
12 lbs apples, unpeeled, cored and chopped
4 c. water
2 c. hard apple cider
12 oz (one bottle) ginger beer
2 T vanilla
3/4 c. honey
1 T cinnamon

Core and slice apples and place into a large stock pot or Dutch oven. Add water, cider, ginger ale, vanilla, honey and cinnamon.

Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, for ~60 minutes, until apples are tender.

Let cool a bit, and puree until smooth in a food processor or blender in small batches, transferring to a bowl after each batch.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Essential Beef Stock

I can't possibly cook another day without touting the importance of using homemade beef stock in your upcoming autumn and winter soup recipes! The nutrition and flavor of homemade stock is far superior to any canned, boxed or [gasp!] cubed broth. Besides, simmering a pot of beef stock will make your house smell like a home, and could even inspire some new culinary creations of your own.

Besides having Homemade Turkey Stock in my freezer, Beef stock is my next favorite staple. This is a perfect base for all your beef soups, stews, and pho noodle dishes. Sipping a cup of homemade broth in the afternoon is a cozy, nurturing snack.

The benefits of broth have been utilized throughout history in many cultures. The healing properties of homemade stock are many – its mineral-rich content of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other trace minerals is nutritious; its gelatin, glucosamine, and chondroitin content help arthritis and joint pain; and its anti-inflammatory properties help heal the intestinal lining and soothe inflammation.

The next time you have a quiet day planned to be around your home, nurture yourself and put a pot of stock on the stove.

Essential Beef Stock
4 pounds beef bones, cut ~2" thick pieces
8 carrots
10 ribs celery (use the leaves if you have them)
3 whole yellow onions
2 garlic cloves, crushed
10 whole peppercorns
8 whole cloves
1 small bunch parsley (or any other herb you prefer)
2 bay leaves
1 t. salt
4 quarts cold water

Oxtails, marrow bones or bare rendering bones will all work well. Meaty bones will lend a different flavor than bare bones, but all will make a lovely stock.

Grill the bones until well browned, but not burned.
You may also roast the bones in the oven at 375" for 1-1/2 hours, turning the bones occasionally and making sure they don't burn.

Add water, browned bones, vegetables and spices to a large stock pot. Slowly bring the cold water to a gentle simmer and cook for 12 hours or so.

Strain the stock through a colander lined with cheesecloth into another pot. Let cool a bit, and package 4-cups of stock into gallon zippered freezer bags, or 2-cups of stock into quart-sized zipper bags. Stack the bags flat onto a cookie sheet, cool in the refrigerator and then freeze flat in the freezer.

Some stock "purists" claim that you should only use bones, carrots, celery and onion in stock. If you know you'll enjoy the aroma of a little garlic, a particular herb or salt in all the recipes you'll cook with the stock, use flavors your palette prefers. I like the added flavors in this recipe, it makes a flavorful, versatile soup base.

Nurture yourself and enjoy!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Asian Short Ribs

A cool breeze whispered through my home office this morning.
The crisp, nearly-autumn smell of the Durango air made me pine for something. . .for anything braised.

Luckily, a few frozen short ribs awaited instruction. I took a short break from work, and within an hour, the aroma of asian short ribs filled my home. This recipe developed out of items I had on-hand in my pantry and fridge. It sure was a nice way to start a Monday.

Asian Short Ribs
1 oz. shitake mushrooms
6 cups beef broth
6 pounds beef short ribs
1-1/2" ginger root, sliced into 7 rounds
2 t. coconut aminos or gluten-free soy sauce
2 T. brown sugar
1/2 c. white wine

2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced

2 t. arrowroot powder
2 green onions for garnish, sliced thinly

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Soak the dried shitake mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes (these can soak while you're preparing the rest of the recipe).

Generously salt and pepper the short ribs. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 T. grapeseed oil and brown each rib on all four sides (you can place several ribs in the pan at once to save time). Set the ribs into a Dutch oven once they become browned (or any large, oven-safe pan with a tight-fitting lid).

Add broth, ginger, coconut aminos, brown sugar, and wine to Dutch oven and browned ribs.

Saute onions over medium heat in the frying pan until browned and translucent. Add minced garlic and saute for one minute. Transfer the onions and garlic to Dutch oven. Deglaze the pan with 1/4 c. water to transfer any flavorful, browned bits to the Ditch oven.

Slice the soaked, softened mushrooms thinly and add to the dutch oven. Add their soaking water, too! There may be some gritty solids at the bottom of the mushroom soaking bowl. . .don't add these.

Cover tightly with lid and bake for about 4 hours at 300 degrees. There is no need to turn the meat during cooking.

For a flavorful sauce, remove cooked ribs and place in separate bowl. Separate the onions and mushrooms from the gravy with a strainer (don't throw these solids away!). De-fat the gravy with a gravy/fat separator. Return the onions, mushrooms, and de-fatted gravy to the Dutch oven. In a small bowl, mix the arrowroot powder with a tablespoon of cold water. Mix until smooth, then add to the gravy. Heat gravy until slightly thickened. Add ribs back into the pan and stir to coat with the gravy.

Serve over mashed potatoes, aside rice, or with sauteed greens.
My kids like to have some good bbq sauce on hand, and adore the option of not using utensils!

Have lots of napkins on hand and dig in.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Turkey Cutlet Picatta

Sometimes the simplest of recipes can bring the greatest joy.
This is one of them.

Olive oil, lemon, garlic and capers combine into a melodious sauce that enlightens a bland turkey cutlet into a savory Italian feast! Best of all, it comes together in about half an hour.

Most picatta recipes call for dredging the cutlets in flour, but I found that simply browning the meat yielded a flavorful recipe without the use of grains.

Gather some pantry staples tonight and make this fabulous dish.

Turkey Cutlet Picatta
1.5 lbs turkey cutlets (or turkey sliced ~1/4" thick)
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 cup white wine
1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 T. capers
1/4 c. parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Pound the turkey cutlets until half their thickness. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Saute garlic over medium-low heat for one minute. Set aside.

Combine white wine, lemon juice, and capers. Set aside.

Heat a large frying pan to medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Saute turkey cutlets on both sides until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.

Add garlic, wine, lemon and caper mixture and heat until bubbly.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately over gluten-free rice pasta and broccoli.

For those eating grain-free, omit the rice pasta, and you won't be missing a thing!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sushi Night!

Want to have a little fun?
Have your own sushi night! Creating your own colorful sushi rolls at home is a delicious, healthy, and fun way to indulge in your own Japanese favorites.

It's easier to make than you'd imagine, and with this varied menu, it's easy to please everyone everyone at your table, whether they like raw seafood, cooked, or both. This menu takes about an hour to prep, and even less time if friends help. Modify each dish to your liking -- sushi making is an art, after all!

Grab a few friends, a couple bottles of white wine, put on some good music and have fun rolling!

Sushi Night Supplies:
1 package ~ 8" x 8" nori wraps (at least 20 sheets)
gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos
Bamboo sushi roller
Plastic wrap (optional)
small bowl of water for dipping fingers
platters and bowls for the items below

Sushi Rice: sprinkle cooked rice with vinegar and fluff with fork until cool
1-1/2 cups sushi rice, cooked according to package directions
2 T. seasoned rice vinegar

Asian Sesame Dipping Sauce: Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl
2 T. olive oil
1 T. toasted sesame oil
1 t. toasted sesame seeds
1 T. gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos
2 t. fresh ginger, peeled and minced (or 3/4 t. powdered ginger)
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Veggie Sides: Arrange veggies on a platter like an artist's palette
2 carrots, julienned
1 cucumber, julienned
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
2 c. sprouts of your choice
2 scallions, thinly sliced

Crab Salad: Mix all ingredients together in a stylish serving bowl
two 8 oz. cans of lump crab meat
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 t. gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos
salt and pepper to taste

Salmon Salad: Mix all ingredients together in a colorful container
2 grilled portions of salmon, cooled and flaked into small pieces
2 scallions, sliced thinly
1 t. toasted sesame oil
1 t. gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos
salt and pepper to taste

Spicy Tuna Salad: Mix all ingredients together in an artful bowl
4 oz. sushi-grade tuna, diced
2 scallions, sliced thinly
1 t. gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos
1 t. toasted sesame oil
1 t. grated ginger (fresh or jarred)
2 T. mayonnaise

Sashimi: Arrange artfully on a plate.
8 oz. sushi grade tuna, salmon, and/or scallops, sliced 1/8" thick

Arrange your luscious bowls of asian goodness on a roomy counter. Leave enough workspace to roll your creations.

Many websites offer thorough instructions on how to roll sushi and make hand rolls. Here are a few:

Rock and roll!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Ice Cream Sandwiches – Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free

Although summer is definitely waning, it’s never too late to savor my favorite dessert in the whole wide world – ICE CREAM SANDWICHES!

A girlfriend emailed me the link to this cookie recipe last year, and I’ve made these FOUR times to date. They’re that good! These cookies have a succulent, toffee-like flavor. With a dollop of ice cream in between two cookies, it’s the best summertime treat around.

Use your favorite store-bought coconut ice cream (So Delicious and Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss are excellent) or make your own Raw Ice CreamVanilla Coconut Milk Ice Cream or Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream.

Don't bother with napkins -- just be sure to wear your bathing suit and wash your hands in the back yard sprinkler! Enjoy the last days of summer.

Almond Butter Cookies

All I can really say about these cookies is that they are addictive. It's impossible to eat just one (well, you can try). If you prefer peanut butter, feel free to swap in the equivalent amount and instead of slivered almonds try 1/2 cup of roasted peanuts or a nut of your choice.

1 cup almond butter
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup slivered almonds (or simply chop raw almonds for an extra crunch!)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I like mini chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a baking sheet with butter and set aside.
In a large bowl, stir almond butter and sugars together until well combined.
Add egg, baking soda, maple syrup, vanilla and salt and mix well. Stir in the almonds and chocolate chips.

Using a teaspoon, scoop out small, walnut-sized amounts of dough and roll them in your hands to form a ball. Place on cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake 9-10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool for 5 minutes.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Monday, August 27, 2012

Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Almonds

Bacon lovers, unite!
Anything tastes better when wrapped in bacon, and dates are no exception. This is a quick and delicious appetizer that will make your guests swoon!

This treat is a simple combination of three ingredients that can be created in a snap.

Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Almonds
12 whole, moist dates (Medjool work well)
6 slices thin-cut bacon
24 whole almonds (raw or roasted)

Pit dates. (I like to use my needle-nosed pliers I reserve for kitchen duty.)
Stuff each date carefully with two almonds.
Cut bacon slices in half and wrap one piece around each stuffed date.
Place wrapped dates onto foil-lined cookie sheet, about an inch apart.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until bacon is crisp. Turn once or twice during cooking for even crispiness. You can also grill these over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until bacon is crisp.

Serve to adoring guests and enjoy!

Option: If you can enjoy dairy, try stuffing these with blue cheese instead of almonds.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Grilled Proscuitto-Wrapped Figs

Have you ever had a fig?
No, not a Newton or a candy-like dried fig, but a real, fresh fig?
Neither had I, until a box of five fresh figs called my name from the organic produce shelf last month. I searched the deli for a complimentary ingredient, and a few slices of prosciutto seemed to be a good fit. 

These three simple ingredients create an appetizer of stunning elegance.
When the figs are grilled, they take on a luscious, buttery texture that is a perfect compliment to the thin, salty, crisp, grilled prosciutto. A drizzle of balsamic puts this dish over the top.

Find a few figs near you, and prepare to be amazed!

Grilled Proscuitto-Wrapped Figs
5 fresh figs
5-7 thin slices prosciutto
1 T. balsamic vinegar

Wash, dry and quarter figs. Wrap each fig quarter in a piece of prosciutto so the fruit is wrapped once or twice. Don't be exact. Do wrap artfully.

Grill figs over medium-high heat for about five minutes, until the prosciutto is crisp, but the figs aren't overlooked.

Serve immediately with a glass of wine and friends.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Homemade Sausage

I have been feeling immensely grateful lately.

This is the time of year that our peach tree is effortlessly pouring out dozens of fruits every day for the taking. I can barely keep up with my garden's production of kale, chard and beets, we recently received our 1/2 hog order from a local natural pork producer, Cole Ranch (find them at the Durango Farmer's Market) and our annual grain-fed beef order is being processed by James Ranch. Our freezer is anxiously anticipating a full house once all the local fruit, veggies, and meats of the season are carefully sealed and wrapped for the upcoming year. I feel blessed.

Eating healthy, organic fruits, vegetables and meats is immensely important. It's essential for our health and for the strength of your community to support local farmers and producers. Please support your local farmers market and your local natural meat and vegetable producers to encourage healthy economic growth and optimal personal health.

This simple sausage recipe is the ultimate breakfast treat. You'll find that it's truly superior to any store-bought sausage you've tried. Find some local ground pork and create some soon.

Homemade Sausage
1 pound ground pork
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 T. finely chopped sage (or 1 t. dried)
1 t. dried, minced onion
2 T. real maple syrup

Combine all ingredients and shape into patties. If you have the time, letting the sausage meat and its ingredients marainate overnight creates a more flavorful patty.

I think a 2-tablespoon measure creates the perfect sized patty for breakfast sausage. Fry the sausage patties in a large fry pan until browned on each side and no longer pink in the middle. Drain on a paper-towel covered plate and enjoy immediately with eggs and gluten-free toast or sauteed kale.

Count your blessings today.

Monday, August 6, 2012

German Sweet Potato Salad

Craving something sweet? Salty? Tangy? Satisfying?
Try this tasty twist on a traditional picnic favorite.

Lately, I have been avoiding flours and white potatoes. Although this dietary change makes me feel vibrant and healthy, I sometimes find my self longing for a traditional side dish. This substantial, flaorful recipe won't leave you feeling a bit deprived.

Enjoy with a hamburger, salad and a tall, icy glass of lemonade on a sunny summer afternoon!

German Sweet Potato Salad
2 sweet potatoes or yams (about 1-1/2 - 2 pounds)
5 slices of bacon, cut into thin strips
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
3 T. olive oil
1 T. cider vinegar
1 t. agave nectar
1 t. dijon mustard
1 t. lemon juice
1/4 c. chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Peel yams and cut in quarters lengthwise. Slice into 1/8" to 1/4" quarter-moons. Boil in salted water for 10 - 15 minutes, or until desired tenderness is reached. Drain and set aside.

Cook bacon slices until crisp. Drain and let cool on a paper-towel lined plate.

Saute onions over medium heat in a tablespoon of olive oil until translucent.

Combine the remaining ingredients and toss with yams, bacon and onions. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate for a couple hours to let marinate a bit until serving. If not serving immediately, add the bacon just before serving so it stays crisp. Makes about 4 cups.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Paleo Beef Meatballs

Want an idea for a quick summer meal?
Reheat a few of these meatballs for a great casual meal on a warm summer night. Have lots of toothpicks on hand for dipping in your favorite marinara sauce. A veggie platter and crackers are all you need for an easy dinner on the back patio.

This is a perfect basic meatball recipe. Most meatballs recipes contain bread crumbs as a binder, so I've come up with a combination of "flours" that hold together the meatballs and have a delicious flavor as well. Although I love the versatility of coconut flour, sometimes the flavor of coconut isn't welcome! You can't taste the coconut flavor in these meatballs, but it still serves wonderfully as a binder. I like to make a triple batch and freeze two servings for later.

For an extra-decadent meal, try creating some Swedish Paleo Meatballs to serve over pasta or Green Spaghetti (Zucchini!).

Paleo Beef Meatballs
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup soft gluten-free bread crumbs (if eating grain free, see the substitution below)
1 egg
2 T. finely minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

1/2 c bread crumb substitution for grain-free diets:
   2T. ground flax seed
   2T. coconut flour
   2T. almond flour
   1/4 c. shredded zucchini (squeeze out water before measuring)
      OR 1/4 c. finely chopped mushrooms

Preheat oven to 385 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together.
Create ~1-1/2" meatballs and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, flipping each ball once half way through cooking.
Drain meatballs on paper towels or newspaper.

Simmer several meatballs in your favorite tomato sauce for 15 minutes for a quick spaghetti night (simmer for an hour to create a richer sauce).

Swedish Paleo Meatballs
1 recipe prepared Paleo Beef meatballs (above)
2/3 cup Cindy's Cashew Cheese
1-1/3 cup beef broth

1/8 t. allspice
1/8 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2 T. finely chopped parsley for garnish

Combine cashew cheese, beef broth and spices in a large frying pan.
Bring to a simmer and cook over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
Add meatballs and warm them in the "cream" sauce.
Sprinkle with parsley and serve over gluten-free pasta or Green Spaghetti (Zucchini) with a big salad on the side.


Tip: I freeze gluten-free bread heels in a freezer bag, and pulse them in a food processor when I'm in need of bread crumbs.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sour Cherry Sauce

Some things just can't wait.
I'm posting two recipes today, because I just created the most FABULOUS sour cherry sauce from a friend's cherry tree bounty this afternoon. These fruits are so fleeting, that I encourage you to visit your nearest neighbor's sour cherry tree as soon as they are ripe -- possibly now. Pick a few cups of these tart treats to make yourself this easy syrup to serve over ice cream or cake this season.

Make sure you freeze a serving or two for a taste of summer this winter.
Savor summer.

Sour Cherry Sauce
2 cups pitted cherries
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar (or 1/3 c. agave and reduce water to 1/3 c.)
1/2 t. vanilla
1 t. arrow root powder

Pit cherries with a cherry pitter and halve them (this takes about 20 minutes -- put on some favorite summertime music). Discard pits and imperfect cherries. Add water, sugar, vanilla and cherries to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer 15 minutes.

Mix arrowroot powder with 1 t. water. Stir to dissolve. Add mixture to saucepan and stir over low heat until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. This amount of arrowroot powder will not make a thick syrup -- it will make a sauce just thick enough to coat a spoon. Add 2 t. arrowroot if you'd like a thicker syrup.

Also, you may use more or less sugar to taste. You can still taste the tartness of the cherries with this recipe, but it's not overly sweet. You can use less sugar for an equally delicious, but more tart sauce.

You can try a variety of flavorings that will compliment the cherries and your palette -- some prefer the taste of almond extract with their cherry syrup, others like brandy or kirsch. Experiment and enjoy!

Raw Ice Cream Cones (Dairy-Free!)

There are angels living among us.
And many of them grow, harvest and prepare local, wild and living food for us at Turtle Lake Refuge in Durango. Their mission is to celebrate the connection between personal health and wild lands. . .and they do it deliciously.

On a recent sunny Saturday morning, I visited their booth at the Durango Farmer's Market, and enjoyed the best "ice cream cone" of my life. It was an impossibly delicious raw, dairy-free, gluten-free treat. I'm so glad that Turtle Lake Goddess Katrina Blair gave me permission to rave about their ice cream online! Purchase a copy of their cookbook, Local Wild Life, for more local, wild and living food recipes. Most recipes are gluten-free and dairy-free, and all are raw and super healthy.

Turtle Lake Refuge serves lunch to the community every Tuesday and Friday from 11:11am-2:22pm at 848 E. 3rd Avenue in Durango. Suggested donation of $10-15: includes drink, soup & salad, main entree, and dessert. Visit them soon!

Andy's Raw Vanilla Ice Cream Base
1 Cup cashews (no need to soak)
1.5 Cup water
1/3 Cup honey or raw agave*
1/4 tsp salt (+/-)
1/3 Cup raisins
     Soak raisins for half hour or longer so they blend better. 
     This is the secret ingredient that imparts the rich/buttery flavor, 
     if you want a vanilla color then use golden raisins instead of standard raisins.
1 vanilla bean (or 3 tsp of vanilla extract)
1-2 Tbsp coconut oil

Take all the above ingredients and blend in Vitamix or Blendtec for a couple of minutes...or at least until all the solids have blended away.

Pour the mixture through a sprout bag (or cheesecloth). This will catch all of the tiny cashew/vanilla bean particles, and make the final product much more silky smooth.

At this point, it is best to 'pre-chill' the mixture. If you simply dump the mixture into the ice cream maker now, it won't set up properly, and it will be less firm than even soft serve. Place it in the fridge for a few hours, or if you've gotta gave that ice cream ASAP, put the mixture in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes. You want it to be cool, but not to the point where ice crystals are starting to form. (SPECIAL NOTE: do not use the ice cream maker 'bowl' to do the pre-cooling. The base will freeze to the bowl, and the batch will be ruined.)

When the mixture is sufficiently cool, pour it into the ice cream maker, and let it go! After about 20 minutes or so, it should be ready! It makes about a pint.


Ice Cream Cones
3 bananas
1 cup soaked figs and 3 cups fig soak water
1 t. cinnamon

After de-stemming the soaked figs, place them in the blender with the bananas and cinnamon. Ass the fig soak water and blend until smooth

Form circles on the dehydrator teflex sheets and dry overnight, or until they are dry but still flexible. Toll the circular fruit leather into a cone and fill with your favorite flavor of Turtle Ice Dreams.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Flax Crackers

Okay, I'll admit. . .I've been intimated by my dehydrator.
I rarely embrace learning new gadgetry or technology, so my enormous new dehydrator loomed in the corner of my pantry for far too long before I tried creating a basic flax cracker.

Recently, I took a deep breath and dove into a few recipes. After some modifications, I've created my ideal, flavorful flax cracker recipe. These simple, nutritious crackers are a delight -- and they were so easy to make!

You can easily dry these crackers in the oven if you don't own a dehydrator. These instructions follow the recipe.

I had a perfect lunch yesterday of a juicy summer peach, and several of these crackers spread with Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter. Lovely. They're delicious with zucchini hummus, cheese, or any favorite dip.

Flax seeds naturally contain high levels of lignans and Omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, soluble fiber, vitamins B-1, B-2, C, E, and many minerals. Enjoy these with gusto!

Snacking on this sage, hummus, olive and flax cracker combination was delicious!

Curry Flax Crackers
1/2 c. whole flax seeds
1-1/2 c. water
2 t. coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari sauce
2 t. agave syrup
1/4 t. curry powder
1/4 t. turmeric
1/8 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. minced, dried onion
1/4 t. paprika
1/4 t. freshly ground pepper
1/2 t. salt

Soak flax seeds overnight in water.
Place soaked flax and its water (now a gelatinous goo) into a blender or food processor with the remaining ingredients.
Blend for 1-1/2 - 2 minutes to coarsely chop the flax seeds and incorporate all ingredients.
Spoon tablespoonful amounts of batter onto a dehydrator tray lined with a non-stick liner (about 9 crackers per tray). Spread the batter so each cracker is about 1/8" thick and about 3" or 4" wide.

Dehydrate at 110 degrees for 5 hours, then remove crackers from non-stick liner and flip over onto the tray's screen. Dehydrate for about 4 hours more until crisp and delicious. Store in a sealed container. Makes about 18 3" crackers.

If you don't own a dehydrator, simply spread the mixture thinly onto two foil-lined cookie sheets that have been oiled with olive oil (or use a Silpat baking mat if you have one). Bake in an oven for about 2-3 hours at 170 degrees. flip the cracker and the foil liner onto the cookie sheet (leave the foil behind if it's sticking too much) and bake for about 2-3 more hours and let cool in the oven. For a crispier oven cracker, leave the oven door slightly ajar while cooking.

Also, try this recipe variation, prepared like the crackers above, or use your own favorite spice combination:
Italian Flax Crackers
1/2 c. whole flax seeds
1-1/4 c. water
1 t. Italian seasoning
1/2 t. salt

Monday, July 9, 2012

Serviceberry Sauce

Ever heard of Serviceberries?
Neither had I, until a friend recommended that we plant a couple serviceberry bushes in our back yard. They're gorgeous bushes with bouquets of white flowers in the spring and berries in June (They're also known as June Berries, Privets, and Saskatoon Berries).

The species we plant in our yard must be both beautiful and edible (by either animals or us). We assumed the prolific deep violet berries on this plant were simply bird food. Finally, in the third year after planting, my husband decided to try them, and WOW! Why hadn't we snacked on these blueberry-like fruit before?? They were delicious straight off the bush or in sauces or pies.

Try finding some of these berries on your next hike or pick some from a friend's yard to make this delicious sauce. If you can't find any in your neighborhood, blueberries will substitute nicely.

Serviceberry Dessert Sauce:
4 cups serviceberries (or blueberries)
1/2 cup sugar (or 1/3 c agave syrup)
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Bring serviceberries, sugar (or agave) and water to a boil in saucepan. Simmer about 10-15 minutes, until reduced a bit. Add lemon juice. Dissolve 1 teaspoon arrow root powder in 1 Tablespoon water and add to berry sauce. Simmer until thickened, about a minute.

This is delicious served over ice cream, pancakes, waffles, cake, or even atop grilled salmon.
Enjoy the fruits of your yard!

Monday, July 2, 2012

On the Divinity of Greens

I've fallen in love.
This year, our garden has a gorgeous bounty of kale, chard, beets and spinach. I have loved experimenting with different ways to integrate them into our meals.

Greens are a nutritional powerhouse. Dark green leafy vegetables are, calorie for calorie, probably the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. They also provide a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems, among many other effects. Dark green leaves even contain small amounts of Omega-3 fats.

Perhaps the star of these nutrients is Vitamin K. A cup of most cooked greens provides at least nine times the minimum recommended intake of Vitamin K, and even a couple of cups of dark salad greens usually provide the minimum all on their own. Recent research has provided evidence that this vitamin may be even more important than we once thought (the current minimum may not be optimal), and many people do not get enough of it. (nutritional information source:

It seems the more leafy greens I eat, the less I crave carbohydrates and other food that are less than optimal in nutrition. Truly! I feel vibrant and satisfied after I eat a salad of greens topped with quality grilled meat and homemade dressing.

In a nutshell, greens are simply divine.

Here are just a few ways I've enjoyed greens lately:

Greens, Red Chile and Eggs
~10 big leaves of kale, chard, spinach or beet greens
1/2 c. Max's Red Chile
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Chop greens to desired size. Quickly saute greens over medium-high heat in olive oil. Place in bowl. Baste two eggs and place atop greens. Warm the red chile in the same pan and pour atop greens. The bitter greens and savory flavor of the red chile are a mouth-watering combination.

Note: Basting is my favorite egg preparation. You simply crack two eggs into a frying pan heated over medium-high heat with a drizzle of your favorite oil, then add about a tablespoon of water. Place a glass lid over the eggs until the whites are set and the yolks still jiggle when the pan is shaken. It makes a pretty cooked egg that isn't as runny as a sunny side up preparation.

Rice, Eggs and Greens
~10 big leaves of kale, chard, spinach or beet greens
3/4 c. leftover sticky rice
2 eggs
1 t. gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos
salt and pepper to taste

Heat some leftover rice until steamy. Place in a shallow bowl. Chop greens to desired size. Quickly saute greens over medium-high heat in olive oil. Add soy or coconut aminos as they cook. Place greens atop rice. Baste two eggs and place atop greens. Enjoy!

Greens and Salmon
~10 big leaves of kale, chard, spinach or beet greens
2 radishes
1/4 berries
2 T. Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 piece of Salmon 
2 t. lemon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Salt, pepper, and oil the salmon. Grill until flaky. Chop greens to desired size. Place salmon on top of the greens. Top salad with radishes, berries, and balsamic vinaigrette and enjoy on a sunny patio.

Kid's Green Salad
~10 big leaves of lettuce, kale, chard, spinach hand picked by your kids.
Any other veggie they can pick out of a garden or the fridge and chop themselves.
2 T. of your kiddo's favorite salad dressing

Let your kids play with a dangerous object (a kitchen knife!), and have them chop the greens to their desired size (with supervision). Top with other veggies and salad dressing. Because your kids prepared the salad all by themselves, they will magically savor this dish they might have snubbed the night before!

This nutty, crunchy snack is a favorite of kids and adults alike:

This is a beautiful salad to take to a summer potluck because of its cheery color, quick preparation, and its ability to look crisp and delicious on a buffet during a long outdoor get together:

A quick breakfast shake will start your day energetically!
This shake contains enough fruits, veggies, proteins and high-quality fats to make you feel fulfilled and energized:

This soup is surprisingly bright, yet filling. . .warm and complex with a hint of a sunny tartness:

If you ever crave the sweet-tart flavor of a traditional salad, try this healthier version with some garden kale, navy beans and green beans:

Monday, June 25, 2012

Crawfish Etouffee

This is the real deal – this southern treat was made for me by Pat F., a master gardener, cook, seamstress, and decorator. She and her husband were wonderful neighbors. Just a taste of this recipe brings back dear memories of their hospitality, warmth, and generosity. Isn't it amazing how good comfort food can do that?

Crawfish Etouffee

1 lb. crayfish tails
1/2 c. butter, DF margarine or olive oil
1 T. GF flour
     (flours with bean content brown well for roux-based sauces)
2 medium onions, chopped fine
1 bell pepper, chopped fine
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 can Rotel Chile
2 stocks celery, chopped fine
3 green onion tops
2 T. chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter or oil in skillet.

Add flour and stir until blended.

Add onion, pepper, celery, garlic, and Rotel.

Cook until tender over low heat.

Add crayfish and cook 20 minutes.

Add seasonings to taste, simmer until seasonings blend. Serve with rice.

Note: You can find crayfish tails in some supermarket frozen food sections.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sesame Carrot Salad

This is a simple, delicious salad to add to your last-minute meal idea list.
I always seem to have a bag of carrots in the refrigerator, and my kids love them. With this recipe, you can make a delicious, savory salad quicker than you can say "what's for dinner?"

Sesame Carrot Salad
3 large carrots
1 T. seasoned rice vinegar (or white wine vinegar if you prefer a grain-free dish)
1 T. sesame oil
1 t. sesame seeds
2 scallions, sliced thinly
salt and pepper to taste

Julienne carrots with a mandoline, a chef's knife, or my favorite new gadget, a julienne peeler (I have a Titan Julienne Peeler and love it). Add remaining ingredients and toss together in a serving bowl.
Wasn't that quick?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Green Spaghetti (Zucchini!)

Zucchini season will be in full swing before we know it. It'll be good to have this easy, delicious, versatile recipe ready to serve up this abundant veggie. Try it topped with a pasta sauce or as a side for grilled meat. It's simply delicious.

Green Spaghetti (Zucchini!)
Two medium zucchini
1/2 clove garlic
olive oil
salt and pepper

Julienne zucchini with a mandoline, a chef's knife, or my favorite new gadget, a julienne peeler (I have a Titan Julienne Peeler and love it).

Heat a saute pan over medium-hight heat. Add olive oil and cook garlic for 30 seconds. Add julienned zucchini and toss continually until warmed through, yet still al dente (about 3 minutes). Salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Rainbow Slaw

Like the title suggests, this is a beautiful salad to take to a summer potluck because of its cheery color, quick preparation, and its ability to look crisp and delicious on a buffet during a long outdoor get together. It's been rumored that kids even enjoy it!

Experiment with whatever veggies you have on hand.

Rainbow Slaw
1/2 head red cabbage, sliced thinly
2 carrots, peeled and grated
2 c. kale, sliced thinly
2c. spinach, sliced thinly
1/4 c. thinly sliced or diced red onion
1/2 c. Rosaleen's Dijon Vinaigrette

Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and toss.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sweet Potato Beef Hash

Got Leftovers?
This dish is contains a cacophony of flavors and colors that tastes much more complex than its simple preparation would imply. Enjoy on a sunny springtime patio for breakfast, brunch or dinner.

Sweet Potato Beef Hash
2 T. olive oil
1/4 c. onion, sliced thinly
1 sweet potato, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and sliced into thin 1/4 moon slices
1 cup of leftover grilled beef, diced
a big handful of baby spinach (about 3 cups)
Old Bay Seasoning to taste
2 organic, free-range eggs

Saute sweet potato slices and onions in olive oil until browned. Set aside.
Saute cubed beef until warmed through. Toss in spinach, potatoes and onions and cook until spinach is wilted to your liking.

Pile into two bowls.
Fry two eggs sunny-side up.
Place one egg atop each colorful hash mound.
Salt, pepper and savor.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Chip's Chili

This is chili, not chile (if you're from the Southwest, you know what I mean). It’s a perfect, easy family meal.

The smoked paprika creates an extra level of complexity. But don't fret if you don't have any in your pantry -- it's still delicious without it.

This doubles well for casual gatherings. In fact, a triple batch fed all the University of Cincinnati design interns in NYC for a group dinner one night.

Chip's Chili
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 clove garlic
1 - 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 - 15 oz. can kidney beans
2 T. chile powder
1/2 t. smoked paprika (optional)
1/2 bottle gluten-free beer or hard cider (optional)

Brown ground beef. Drain and set aside.
Brown onions and garlic.
Add everything to large pot and simmer, covered, for one hour.
Serve with gluten-free cornbread (Bob's Red Mill makes a delicious mix) and sides of onion, tomatoes, olives, cheese and sour cream.

Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds and Tofutti Sour Cream are good dairy-free substitutes.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Creamy Coconut Lime Cilantro Sauce

Oh. My. Goodness.
This is a dreamy sauce that is delicious over salmon. I imagine it would compliment pork or fish tacos as well. Enjoy!

Creamy Coconut Lime Cilantro Sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 tsp coconut oil
2 large shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
zest of one lime
juice of one limes
1 c. coconut milk
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, chopped

Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat.
Saute´ garlic and shallots in coconut oil until soft, about 4 minutes.
Add the lime zest, lime juice, and coconut milk, and simmer abut 5 minutes, until slightly thickened.
Add cilantro moments before serving.

Fabulous Serving Suggestion:
Try rubbing a large salmon filet with Old Bay Seasoning, salt and olive oil. Cut into ~6 serving-sized pieces. Grill until fish flakes with fork. To serve, de-skin the salmon and top generously with Creamy Coconut Lime Cilantro Sauce.

Serve with rice, veggies, and enjoy with friends on a garden patio.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Fresh Cole Slaw

Sometimes the simplest foods are the most satisfying.
This cole slaw is fabulous with fish tacos, grilled salmon or barbecue.
Spoon the slaw overtop spinach and some leftover sliced meat for a delicious, fast lunch salad.

Fresh Cole Slaw
1/2 head green cabbage
1/4 c. Olive Oil mayonnaise (or mayo of your choice)
4 t. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 t. agave syrup
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

Slice cabbage thinly.
Wisk together remaining ingredients, and adjust seasonings to taste (add a little more lime for fish tacos, perhaps a little more salt for barbecue).
Combine everything and serve chilled.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Olive Oil Mayonnaise

Some people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity are also sensitive to canola and soy oils, which makes it difficult to eat mayonnaise without digestive difficulty. This is a delicious mayonnaise that's quick to make. Enjoy!

Olive Oil Mayonnaise
1 egg
6 t. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 t. ground mustard
1 c. "Extra Light in Flavor' olive oil
3/4 t. Herbamare (use regular salt if you can't find this herbal seasoning salt)
1/4 t. pepper

Blend together egg, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper in blender or food processor.
Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while blending to emulsify.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Nuts and Berries Smoothie

A quick breakfast shake will start your day energetically!
This shake contains enough fruits, veggies, proteins and high-quality fats to make you feel fulfilled and energized.

Nuts and Berries Smoothie
1 apple, cored and cubed
1 pear, cored and cubed
1 c. frozen berries of your choice
4 large leaves kale, spinach or cabbage
1/2 c. coconut milk
2 T. almond butter
1-1/2 cups cold water
1 T. black cherry juice

optional: 2 T. flax seed

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
Makes two pint-sized servings.
Share with someone you love or save half for lunch.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Nutty Paleo Pancakes or Flatbread

I've been enjoying experimenting with grain-free flours lately, and have devised a recipe for a delicious flatbread or pancakes.

Nutty Paleo Pancakes or Flatbread
3/4 cup almond meal
3/4 cup hazelnut meal
3 eggs
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 t vanilla extract
1 T maple syrup
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt

Optional: Add a teaspoon of your favorite spices: use cinnamon or nutmeg for a sweet treat, or thyme or rosemary for a savory flatbread.

Mix together all ingredients.

Find your largest non-stick fry-pan. Heat over a medium-low flame, oil the pan, and pour 1-1/2 or 2 T of batter for each pancake. Cook for about 3 minutes, then flip and cook another 2. Cool on a cooking rack if you'd like to save these for breads.

Bon appetit!

Monday, March 26, 2012


Spring is here!
Thank goodness most rum is gluten free! Check to be sure the rum you choose doesn't contain glutenous flavoring, then enjoy this summery drink on your back patio while enjoying the first flowers of Spring.

1 t. sugar (either powdered or granulated)
Juice from 1 lime (~2 ounces)
4 mint leaves
White Rum (2 ounces)
2 ounces club soda

Place the mint leaves into a long, tall glass, and squeeze the juice from a lime over it. Add the sugar, then gently smash the mint into the lime juice and sugar with a muddler (or the back of a fork or spoon). Add crushed ice, then add the rum and stir, and top off with the club soda.

Garnish with a mint sprig, and sip the flavor of summer.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Carrot Cumin Soup

This simple soup is delicious in winter or spring.

Carrot Cumin Soup
1 med. onion, chopped
2 T. olive oil or coconut butter
2 to 3 large carrots, sliced thin
1/4 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. salt
2 c. water
1/4 c pecans

Saute onion in the saucepan with butter, olive oil or coconut butter until translucent. Add carrots, cumin, salt, and combine. Add water and simmer (covered) for 30 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.

While the soup is cooking, heat a frying pan over medium-high heat, then toss pecan pieces until fragrant and toasted (don't over-brown).

Purée soup in food processor or blender until smooth.
Serve piping hot in bowls, topped with toasted pecans.

Serves two happy people.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Paleo Lasagna

This recipe has all the flavor of the previous classic lasagna recipe, but no grains or dairy.

2 lbs. ground beef, cooked and drained
2 cloves garlic
2 T. parsley flakes
2 T. basil
1 t. salt
4 cups diced tomatoes (2 cans)
4 - 6 oz. cans tomato paste
1 c. sliced mushrooms
4 c. chopped kale

4 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/8" thick slices
6 carrots, shredded
1 t. Italian seasoning
olive oil

Brown meat. Drain.

Add next 6 ingredients. Simmer uncovered 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Sauté zuccini strips in olive oil over medium-high heat until golden and tender. Set aside.

Saute' shredded carrots and Italian seasoning in olive oil over medium-high heat until tender. 

Layer two oiled 9x13 pans with 1/2 the zucchini, 1/2 carrot mixture, 1/2 the cashew cheese, 1/2 the meat mixture. Repeat.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.

I make mine in four 8x8 aluminum pans and freeze three of them for later.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Mom’s Lasagna

Every big family gathering of my childhood included at least one lasagna meal. This recipe is the ultimate family comfort meal to me.

Mom’s Lasagna

2 lbs. ground beef, cooked and drained
2 cloves garlic
2 T. parsley flakes
2 T. basil
1 t. salt
4 cups diced tomatoes (2 cans)
4 - 6 oz. cans tomato paste
1 c. sliced mushrooms (optional)
4 c. chopped kale (optional)

6 cups cottage cheese (cream style)
4 beaten eggs
1T. salt
1 t. pepper
1 c. grated parmesan
1/4 c. parsley flakes

20 oz. Tinkyada Brown Rice lasagne noodles
2 lbs. mozzarella cheese

Brown meat. Drain.

Add next 6 ingredients. Simmer uncovered 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Cook noodles until al dente. Rinse and keep in cold water. Combine cottage cheese mixture.

Layer two oiled 9x13 pans with 1/2 the noodles, 1/2 cheese mixture, 1/2 the mozzarella cheese, 1/2 the meat mixture. Repeat.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.

I make mine in four 8x8 aluminum pans and freeze three of them for later.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Artichoke Salsa

Spring must be coming. I'm craving salsas and salads, but my back yard garden is still under a pile of snow.  What's a gardener to do?

Pantry items to the rescue!
I created this recipe from items in my pantry and veggie drawer.
Not bad for a February impromptu dinner. . .

Enjoy this spooned liberally over a grilled tuna steak or chicken breast.

Artichoke Salsa
6 oz. jar of marinated artichokes, drained and chopped
1/2 cucumber, finely diced
2 T. red onion, minced
1/4 c. cilantro, minced
1 T. lemon olive oil
1 T. olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
zest of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Monday, February 20, 2012

Zucchini Relish

This tangy relish is a delicious, fresh taste of summer (in February!).

Zucinni Relish
2 small zucchini, very finely chopped
1/2 c. cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 c. red onion, finely chopped
1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped
juice of one lime
2 T. mayo
1 t. agave syrup (or to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

Mix together all ingredients and enjoy slathered on a hamburger or atop a spinach salad.

Monday, February 13, 2012


I was surprised to realize recently that sometimes practical gifts bring the most joy. My 9-year-old boys gave me a Waffle Iron for my birthday this year. As I opened their gift, their giddy looks of anticipation and glee made me smile. Their joy reinforced the importance of home-cooked comfort food, especially for kids who are gluten-free.

This waffle recipe is the best I've made. Find it at Try it with a pile of fresh berries, a drizzle of maple syrup, and a lot of love.

P.S. You'll be a goddess for a day if you have some whipped cream to dollop on top!

Kitchenfrau's Gluten Free Waffles

1 ½ cups rice flour (brown or white or combination)
½ cup tapioca flour
½ cup potato starch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs, separated
½ cup oil
1 ½ cups milk (or almond milk, coconut milk or rice milk)

Mix all dry ingredients together with wire whip. Set aside.
Mix vanilla, egg yolks, oil and milk. Add to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly with wire whip.
In a separate bowl, whip egg whites with beaters until peaks form. Gently fold into batter.
Cook in waffle iron as directed, spraying iron with cooking oil spray as needed.
Makes about 7 waffles.

Our waffle iron is a Chef's Choice Waffle Pro 830B -- a perfect nonstick waffle iron.

Monday, February 6, 2012

"Daddy Chicken Fingers"

I have a friend who is a Wonder Woman. Not only is she an incredibly successful realtor when the real estate market is challenging, but she and her hubby are raising four remarkable kids while they're both working (and occasionally taking time to rip up the ski slopes as their schedule allows). One of her kiddos is gluten- and dairy-free, but she loves it when the whole family can enjoy sitting down to a gluten-free meal together.

Her husband usually cooks this favorite gluten-free recipe on his dinner nights -- it's quick, easy, kid-friendly, and a snap to whip out on a busy evening. Bring out the dips, cut up veggies and enjoy!

"Daddy Chicken Fingers"
1 pound chicken breast
2 eggs
2 cups Gluten-Free Rice Krispies, crushed (makes about 1 cup)
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 t. Old Bay Seasoning seasoning (or your seasoning to taste)

dipping sauces (ranch, bbq, or your favorite gluten-free dressing or sauce)

Cut each chicken breast into four pieces, and pound each thinly with a flat meat mallet in between two pieces of plastic wrap.

Create two wide bowls: one with beaten egg, and one with crushed Rice Crispies and seasoning.

For each batch, heat ~2 T. oil over medium-high heat in a large pan. Dredge each chicken piece through the egg, letting the excess egg drip off, then dredge in the crushed GF Rice Krispies and place in pan. Cook each side until golden brown and the meat is cooked through.

Cut into strips and enjoy with your favorite dip!

Grain-Free Version: substitute 1 cup almond flour for the Rice Krispies

Did you know: Canola oil can be hard to digest for many gluten sensitive or gluten intolerant people. Your best bet for cooking oils is olive, grape seed or coconut. Any non-GMO oil of your choice would be a good second choice.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Almond Curry Sauce

This is a deliciously versatile Thai-inspired sauce that's delicious drizzled over red cabbage, over turkey for a flavorful salad, or simmered with beef for a delicious treat.

Almond Curry Sauce
2 tablespoons Almond Butter (or Peanut Butter)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon chili-garlic paste
1 teaspoon organic, wheat-free, reduced sodium tamari sauce (or coconut aminos)
2 tablespoons coconut milk
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sunny Sweet Potato, Kale and Sausage Soup

Inspiration comes in many forms.

This week, I was privileged to attend one of Steve Ottersberg's cooking classes at Namaste Health Center in Durango, Colorado. His love of chemistry, food, humor and teaching mingled together to make a perfectly entertaining evening.

I was so inspired by his knowledge of food interactions and benefits that I created this recipe from tidbits I learned in class. This soup is surprisingly bright, yet filling. . .warm and complex with a hint of a sunny tartness. Enjoy!

Sunny Sweet Potato, Kale and Sausage Soup
12 oz. ground Italian sausage
2 c. sweet potato puree (from about 2 pounds sweet potatoes)
4 c. homemade smoked turkey stock (regular chicken broth will do)
2/3 c. coconut milk
1/2 lemon
2 T. olive or coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. turmeric
1 t. black mustard seed
4 c. chopped kale
1/2 t. salt, or to taste
1/2 t. pepper, or to taste

Cook sausage in pan until crumbly and browned. Set aside onto towels to absorb excess oils.

Peel and cut sweet potatoes into large chunks. Boil for about 20 minutes, or until tender. (or roast unpeeled potatoes in oven for 45-60 minutes at 400 degrees and scrape pulp from skins.). Puree in food processor once cooled a bit. Add sweet potato puree to large soup pot with stock, coconut milk, sausage and juice of half a lemon.

In pan, saute onion, turmeric and black mustard seed in oil until onion is translucent. Saute garlic the last 30 seconds. Stir pan contents into soup pot. Add chopped kale, salt and pepper, and simmer for 15 more minutes.

Enjoy in front of a warm fire.

Did you know: It's best to eat kale with acidic foods (lemons or tomatoes) in order to help break down its oxalic acid and make it more digestable? Cooking can also break down this acid.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing

Since eating a dairy-free diet four years ago, I've never found a commercial dairy-free ranch dressing I have cared for. This recipe brought back Ranch Dressing into my life, and I'm grateful for CrossFit Santa Clara Nutrition's web page for providing this recipe.

Now, go make yourself a big bowl of greens and enjoy.

Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing
1 cup “Omega-3 Mayonnaise” from recipe below
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together. It is better if refrigerated for one hour before serving but this step is not necessary. It should be noted that this dressing tastes just like regular dressing, with no coconut taste at all. It is also great as a dip for raw veggies.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Gluten-Free Letter to the Editor

The Durango Herald published my letter to the editor in yesterday's Sunday paper. Hurrah! Let's use our voices to share the benefits of healthy eating!

Avoid glutens for a healthy, satisfying life

Thank you for publishing many 2011 articles that support gluten-free living. As a person with celiac disease and a mother of two young celiac boys, I feel fortunate that Durango has many wise and passionate naturopaths, doctors, support groups, bakeries and health food stores that make healthy, gluten-free living easier.

It is unfortunate, though, that the Herald has published many articles that inaccurately describe gluten-free diets and effects of gluten: On March 9, “Gluten-free has gone big time,” said “gluten is not inherently bad to eat ... it can be a challenge to eat a nutritionally sound diet without gluten.” On Oct. 11, a story mentions gluten-free eating is a “faddish thing ... gluten has been associated with a host of diseases over the last few decades, but it may be tied to only one – celiac disease.” a Dec. 27 article says “only a tiny fraction of Americans suffer sensitivities to this wheat protein.”

There are many studies linking gluten with related digestive, immunological and neurological health issues. Some reputable sites that clearly contain this information are:, and

In those one in 133 with celiac disease, gluten causes an autoimmune reaction and an increase in autoimmune disease. Only half of gluten-sensitive or intolerant people display the traditional symptoms of a “bad gut.” In the others, gluten intolerance and sensitivity can manifest as chronic illnesses.

For the 12 percent of us who are gluten-sensitive, gluten is an inflammatory food. Inflammation (and subsequent malabsorption) has been linked to most chronic illnesses: heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, MS, epilepsy, asthma, ADD/ADHD, lupus, arthritis, depression and others.

Gluten-free eating is not just a fad. It’s here to stay for many of us.

As you ponder New Year’s resolutions, consider eating gluten-free for a while. You may be surprised how your digestion, energy, allergies, arthritis, and/or moods improve in only a few days.

Eat more local, organic and whole foods. Eat intelligently to reduce inflammation by reducing flours and sugars. Recognize what foods cause your body harm, and do your best to avoid them for a healthy, satisfying life.

Cindy Atchison