Monday, April 24, 2023

RECIPE: Keto Moroccan Nachos

My husband asked me what was for dinner.  When I said, "Moroccan Nachos,"  he said, "What?  Is that a joke?"  No, it wasn't a joke, and they were delicious!  They were so good we had them three days in a row!  

The original recipe is labor intensive, so I simplified it.  I used prepared salsa and stirred the honey and harissa into it, and rather than guacamole I served sliced avocado.  It might be better if you follow the original recipe, but I loved the fact that I didn't have to do all that extra work.

These do not keep - the chips get soggy - so make only enough to eat right away.  I make a full recipe of kefta but only use half the first day, and use the rest the second day.. 

Original recipe: Moroccan Nachos

Keto Moroccan Nachos

Serves 3-4

For the Salsa

  • 1 cup of your favorite salsa, purchased or homemade (I use Kitchen Garden Farm
  • 1 T. honey
  • 2 t. ground cumin
  • 2-4 t. harissa, depending on how much heat you can tolerate

For the Kefta

  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb (I use lamb)
  • 1 small onion, minced or grated with juices reserved
  • 1/2 packed cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 packed cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 packed cup mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 heaping t. sweet pakrika
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • 1 t. himalayan pink salt
  • 1 t. cayenne or to taste
  • 2 T. ghee or olive oil
For the Nachos

For Serving

  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1 avocado
  • sliced grape tomatoes
  • chopped cilantro leaves

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Prepare the kefta: Heat the fat in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Add the remaining ingredients and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until it is no longer pink, about 7 minutes.  Make sure the meat is dry - if it's wet, it will make the chips soggy!   (This will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 days)

Assemble the nachos: spread the chips on a baking dish in a single layer.  Top with the kefta, sprinkle with the onion, and add a layer of cheddar.  Bake until the cheese has melted, about 10 minutes.

Moroccan Nachos before baking

Moroccan Nachos after baking

While the nachos are baking, stir the salsa ingredients together.  Slice the avocado.

Remove the nachos from the oven and serve immediately with sour cream, salsa, sliced avocado, sliced tomatoes and chopped cilantro. (The original recipe instructs you to top the nachos with these extras, but we prefer to add them to our plate, to taste.)

Moroccan Nachos

Thursday, April 6, 2023

RECIPE:Seed-oil-FREE Mayonnaise made with Butter or Ghee

When we gave up seed oils last year, one of the first things I did was change the way I made mayonnaise.  Mayonnaise is where most seed oils entered our diet.  (OUR diet, not necessarily your diet.  You may be getting them from other sources.)  Having used this method for a year now, I've tweaked it a little so I'm creating a new post.  

The biggest change is that I now use duck egg yolks because they have more nutrition than chicken egg yolks.  Duck eggs seem to be more readily available here, but if they aren't available where you live then chicken yolks are perfectly fine.  NOTE: if you're sensitive to chicken eggs, it might be the white that's the problem.  My husband can have duck yolks, but he can't have duck whites.  If you can't tolerate either, you can use aquafaba.  I'll post a recipe using aquafaba the next time I make it.

The other change I made is to use a 3-cup wide mouth Ball jar instead of a pint jar.  Ball calls these 1.5 pint or 24 ounce jars.  I prefer them for this recipe because they're the same width as the pint jars, but they're taller so I can add seasonings without risking an overflow.  They're just tall enough that I can use 3 sticks of butter instead of 2 (12 ounces of ghee instead of 8oz) if I'm making a flavor we use a lot of, like the two shown below. 

I will usually make two of these jars - one plain and one seasoned.  

Here's my original recipe: spreadable hollandaise to use as mayonnaise

SEED-OIL-FREE MAYONNAISE Made with Butter or Ghee

Makes 3 cups


  • 1 24oz wide mouth ball jar
  • Immersion blender
  • Small sauce pan
  • Small heat-proof pitcher, at least 12oz


  • 3 duck egg YOLKS or 4 chicken egg YOLKS from WASHED eggs.
  • 3/4 t. himalayan pink salt
  • 5 T. water
  • 3 T. lemon juice
  • 12 ounces butter or ghee (3 sticks of butter)  
    • 1/4 cup roasted red bell peppers plus 1.5 t. berbere spice
    • 4 T. curry powder sauteed in 2 T. ghee or butter
    • 1 minced garlic clove, 1 T. each chopped dill, parsley, and chives
    • 2 T. Dijon mustard (or 2 T mustard powder mixed with 1 t. vinegar)
    • 1/4 cup grated horseradish
    • 1/4 cup harissa or to taste


WASH THE EGG SHELLS with soap and hot water and dry them BEFORE REMOVING THE YOLKS!!  You must do this even if the shells look clean.

Separate the yolks into your jar, discarding the whites and the shells*.

Add the water, salt and optional seasonings.

Heat the butter or ghee in a small sauce pan until it's totally melted and small bubbles appear.

Pour the butter/ghee into the small pitcher.

Add the lemon juice to the yolks (they will start to cook the yolks so I add them at the last minute), DON'T add it to the hot fat, as it will foam up out of your pitcher!  Insert the immersion blender into the jar and turn it on.

With the immersion blender running, S_L_O_W_L_Y pour the melted fat into jar.  Raise the blender to the top of the liquid occasionally and then push it back to the bottom.  

When all the fat has been added, the mixture will still be very runny.  This is how it should be!  When it cools, it will be the consistency of mayonnaise.

Put the lid on the jar and transfer it to the fridge for 1-2 hours until cold.  

If it's still too thick, you can stir in warm water, 1 T. at a time, until it's the consistency you prefer.


*I throw out the whites, because my husband can't eat them, but I keep the shells because they're a good soil amendment for tomato plants. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

RECIPE: Chicken Breast with Cheese and Poblano in Manchego Crema

This recipe was developed by Cacique, a company that sells some of the ingredients.  Cacique isn't sold where we live so I made substitutions.  I also decided not to roll the breasts - I layered them in the baking dish with the cheese and chiles in between.  It worked, but it was hard to serve, so next time I may slice the breasts into small pieces.  

The flavor was phenomenal - we both loved it!

Original recipe: Chicken Roulade in Mexican Crema

Chicken Breasts with Cheese and Poblano in Manchego Crema

Serves 4-5


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts 
  • 2 T. EVOO
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 4 T. fresh cilantro chopped, divided
  • 2 T. ground cumin
  • 2 t. cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2 t. himalayan pink salt
  • 10 oz melting cheese (I used mozarella) cut into 1/4" slices
  • 3 large poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded* and cut into 1/4" strips
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 t. Dijon mustard (original recipe called for 1T, but I thought it overwhelmed the sauce)
  • 1 c. shredded Manchego cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste 


Preheat oven to 400F.

Pound the chicken breasts to 1/2" thick.  I had to cut the large pieces in half horizontally to do this.

Mix the chicken breasts with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, 2 T. cilantro, cumin, cayenne and garlic.  Let the chicken marinate for 30 minutes.  Doesn't that look delicious?  The chicken is good even without the cheese, chiles and sauce!

Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes.

In a small shallow baking dish, lay half the chicken on the bottom, cover with the melting cheese and half of the poblanos, then layer the remaining breasts on top. My baking dish was 6" x 9"

Chicken, then cheese, then poblanos.

Chicken on the bottom, then cheese, then poblano, then chicken on the top.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking, puree the remaining poblanos and cilantro in a blender or food processor with the chicken broth and the Dijon mustard.  Bring to a simmer over low heat and stir in the sour cream.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the shredded Manchego.  Stir until melted.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cover to keep warm until the chicken is ready.  Serve immediately over the chicken.

I served this with Blackened Cauliflower and it was a marriage made in heaven!

Blackened Cauliflower on the left, crema in the center, chicken breasts on the right.


* I process these in the fall and then freezer them, which greatly simplifies preparation time when I use them!

RECIPE: Blackened Cauliflower

Oh, my, is this delicious!  I'm sure the recipe will also work with root veggies.  (I tried it with broccoli and did NOT like it!)

The original recipe is from The New York Times.  I made it as written and I thought the smoke in the paprika overwhelmed the other spices, so I made some adjustments and we both liked my second effort better.  Less smoke and more spice!  Reduce the pepper flakes if you can't handle hot. 

We eat a LOT of vegetables, and one pound of cauliflower is barely one meal for us, so I tripled the recipe, which saves a huge amount on power consumption, especially since the recipe calls for such a hot oven.  It reheats beautifully - 10 minutes in a 350F toaster oven.

Original recipe: Blackened Cauliflower

Blackened Cauliflower

serves 6


  • 3 pounds frozen cauliflower, defrosted (or 3 large heads, cored and separated into florets, about 3 pounds)
  • 4 T. EVOO
  • 1 T. himalayan pink salt
  • 1 T. onion powder
  • 1 T. garlic powder
  • 1.5 t. dried thyme leaves 
  • 1.5 t. sumac powder (preferably cured with salt)
  • 1.5 t. smoked paprika
  • 1.5 t. hot pepper flakes, or to taste (I used cobanero chili flakes)
  • freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 450F.  Place rack in center of oven.

Mix the seasonings, excluding the black pepper, in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the olive oil.  Add the seasonings and mix to coat the florets evenly.

Transfer to a jelly roll pan (13" x 18"), using a rubber spatula to scrape every last bit of the seasoning onto the cauliflower, and spread the florets out evenly.

Grind the black pepper to taste over the cauliflower. 

Cauliflower ready for the oven.

Roast until nicely browned but not black.  In our oven, it takes 30 minutes, using frozen cauliflower.  When I left it in for 35 minutes, some of the edges were burnt.  My husband liked them but I don't like to eat burnt food!  

The original recipe recommends 35-40 minutes, using fresh cauliflower, and stirring halfway through.  

I served this with Chicken in Poblano Crema and it was a perfect combination!

Cauliflower on the left, poblano crema in center, chicken breast on right.



Monday, March 27, 2023

RECIPE: Creamy Spicy Pork Stew Soup with Coconut Milk, Poblano, Tomatillo

Last month, I ordered some Ham Cubes from North Star Bison.  They inadvertently sent me "Pork Cubes" instead of ham.  I didn't have a clue how to cook them, so I asked for advice and they told me to cook them like stew.

An internet search turned up only 'Mexican' style recipes for pork "stew" so I went with that flavor profile and pulled together something CREAMY and SPICY I thought my husband would enjoy.  I think you could also make this using red tomatoes instead of tomatillos, red peppers instead of poblanos, and cayenne instead of jalapeno powder.

Stew meat is generally tough so I cooked it in my pressure cooker and it was (1) ready in 45 minutes and (2) tender and delicious!

Creamy Spicy Pork Stew (or Soup) with Coconut Milk, Poblano, Tomatillo

Serves 6-8


  • 2 pounds pork cubes
  • 2 cups 1/4" sliced onions (I used frozen)
  • 8 poblano peppers, seeded and sliced 1/4" thick (I used frozen)
  • 6 cups canned tomatillos with their juice
  • 4 t. ground cumin
  • 4 t. garlic powder
  • 2 t. ground coriander
  • 2 t. Mexican oregano
  • 3-4 t. ground jalapeno powder, or to taste.  This much will be HOT!
  • 3 t. salt
  • 1 can coconut milk, solids only


Note: I used the liquid from the tomatillos to prevent the stew from burning in the pressure cooker, and then I strained most of it out before serving.  The liquid is flavorful (I drank it later as "broth"), so if you prefer a more soupy consistency, leave it in and eat this from a bowl with tortilla chips crumbled over the top.  

In the photo below, you can see the frozen poblano peppers (upper left corner) and frozen onions (lower right corner) along with the pork (upper right corner), tomatillos and spices:

Frozen ingredients into the pressure cooker!

Combine everything except the coconut milk in a 6-quart pressure cooker.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, put the lid on, and bring to 10# pressure.  Reduce heat to maintain pressure and cook for 30 minutes.  

Creamy pork stew ingredients before cooking.

Release the pressure (I let the pressure drop naturally), remove the lid, and remove the pork and vegetables to another saucepan using a strainer, leaving behind most of the cooking liquid.  Over medium heat, stir in the solids from a can of coconut milk, bring to a simmer and serve.  (If you use the liquid from the coconut milk it will be too soupy - you just want to make this creamy.)

We ate this rolled into tortillas with guacamole, and sour cream.

The next day, we reheated it with some of the reserved liquid and ate it like stew with chips crumbled on top.  A sprinkle of chopped cilantro would be a nice addition.

Bowl of pork stew with cassava chips.


Saturday, March 18, 2023

RECIPE: Beef or Lamb Curry with Cauliflower, Peas, Kashmiri Spices, and Coconut Milk

Our CSA's founding farmer's wife recommended Burlap and Barrel as a good place to get spices, so I bought a few things to try.  One of those things was their Kashmiri Masala, developed by Floyd Cardoz.  I also bought their Kashmiri Chili Powder, because I've never seen it for sale elsewhere, and I have other recipes that call for it.

Last night, I needed a quick meal, and pulled this together using the above mentioned spices.  I have no idea whether any of these ingredients are used in traditional Kashmiri cooking but we enjoyed the meal. 

Regarding the meat: at the end of the summer, when our CSA cows have been on grass for several months, if one is sent to the butcher I will buy 12-14 pounds of stew meat and pressure can it in 7 quart jars.  I get approximately 1.75 pounds in each jar, and it makes its own broth.  Once the meat is canned, it will keep at room temperature for several years.  When I use it, it's already tender and just needs to be seasoned and heated.  Using this meat, I can make this dish start to finish in under one hour!  

I used beef, but you could also use lamb or bison.

Like most curries, this is better the next day, so I make a large amount and we reheat it.   

Beef Curry with Cauliflower, Peas, Kashmiri Spices and Coconut Milk

Serves 6-8



  • 1/3 cup ghee
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup minced ginger
  • 1/3 c minced garlic
  • 2 T. Kashmiri Masala
  • 2 T. Kashmiri Chili Powder (this will be HOT!  Use less if you can't eat HOT food!)
  • 3.5 pounds beef stew, preferably home canned (for me, that's 2 quart jars)*
  • 1 13.5oz can coconut milk
  • 1 pound cauliflower florets parboiled (I used frozen)
  • 1 pound petite peas** parboiled (I used frozen)
  • Optional: chopped cilantro garnish (I used frozen)


In a large saute pan, melt half the ghee on medium high and brown the onions.  Push the onions to the side of the pan.

Melt the rest of the ghee in the center of the pan and add the spices.  Stir for 1-2 minutes, then stir into the onions.

Sauteed onions with spices

Add the ginger and stir for 1-2 minutes. 

Add the ginger

Add the beef and any juices in the jars.  Add the garlic.  Stir to combine and simmer uncovered until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.  (If you're using raw beef, add it to the pan and let it brown.  Once it's browned, add 2 cups of beef broth or water and the garlic, lower the heat to medium, cover the pan and simmer until the beef is tender, 1-2 hours.  Remove the cover and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.)

Add the meat, broth and the garlic.

Add the coconut milk and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half and the sauce is thick and creamy.

Add the cauliflower and simmer 5 minutes.  We like our cauliflower al-dente.  If you like yours softer, cook it a little longer.

When the sauce is thick, add the cauliflower.


Add the peas and simmer 1-2 minutes.  If you're using fresh farm peas**, they will take longer to cook, so add them with the cauliflower.   

Add the peas.

Sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream. 

* If you don't have canned beef stew meat, you can use raw but it will take much longer to cook.  In that case, you will need 2 cups of liquid, either broth or water, in addition to the meat.

** I LOVE tiny peas!  When I shuck our farm peas, I separate out the small ones and freeze them separately.  When I run out, I buy Whole Foods brand organic petite peas. 


Curry with yogurt



Monday, March 6, 2023

We hosted a Star Trek party last weekend!

When we lived in Illinois, we would host a HUGE Star Trek costume party, but we archived it when we moved to New England.  Until last week!  This party wasn't the big event we used to host, but it was still a lot of fun.  Here are some photos and links to the HEALTHY food's we served.  Yes, you can host a Sci-Fi party and serve healthy food!

The Kitchen:


The Dining Room:


The Wine and Spirits:

The Cocktails and Glasses:

We served three cocktails created to highlight the Romulan Rye and Romulan Vodka, 
and one low-alcohol cocktail, a Ferengi Starduster, using Kombucha, Tranya and Langour.

The Food:

Suliban Swamp Slug with entrails, Lorvan Chips, Moba Fruit Slices, and Quadrotriticale Crackers (Garlic and herb quark cheese log with pimiento pepper center, plantain chips, watermelon radish, and flax seed crackers)

Bajoran Hasparat with Rekja Sauce (Rolled tortilla filled w hummus, watercress, olives, sun dried tomatoes, and optional SPICY Moroccan dipping sauce)

Ferengi Tube Grub Salad (Charred octopus in lemon olive oil – will be good on the salad below)

Leola Root Salad with Humat Pod Dressing (Arugula salad with roasted fennel, caper and lemon dressing)

Bajoran Albino Ratamba Casserole with Pandoran Puffer Fungus (Veal meatballs and roasted mushrooms in asparagus cream sauce (remember, Bajoran food is spicy))

Wentlian Condor Snake (Haricots verts w onions, garlic, tomato, espelette and EVOO)

Mashed Coltayin Root (Mashed Roasted Celeriac with roasted garlic and thyme)




RECIPE: Bajoran Hasparat with Spicy Dipping Sauce

This was the appetizer we served for those people who avoid dairy, garlic, and peppers.  We made half of them with almond tortillas for the gluten-free folks, and they were VERY hard to roll.  We made the other half with wheat tortillas (for the people who avoid nuts).  At the end of the party, most of the wheat ones were gone and most of the almond ones were still there!  I developed the recipe for the party.

Hasparat are supposed to be eye-wateringly spicy, but some of our guests can't handle spicy, so we made the sauce spicy for those people who can.

Bajoran Hasparat with SPICY dipping sauce



Warm the tortillas to soften them or they won't roll.  We put them in a 350F oven for a few minutes.

Spread each tortilla with 2 T. hummus.

Top with a thin layer of greens, then sprinkle on olives and dried tomatoes.

Roll up the tortilla and cut into 3 or 4 bite-size pieces.

Serve with the sauce on the side.  You could also serve these with your favorite hot sauce or sriracha.

*If you know your guests like garlic, feel free to add it! 



RECIPE: Bajorn Ratamba Casserole with Pandoran Puffer Fungus (veal meatballs and mushroom in asparagus cream)

This recipe is the star of our Star Trek parties!  Bajoran food is spicy, so both the meatballs and the sauce have added cayenne.  I created the recipe for the party.  

We invited 14 people so I made 360 meatballs.  Yes, that was waaaay too many!  I figured 1/2 pound of meat per person with a little extra for leftovers.  We had a massive amount of leftovers, so we've been eating them every day, and every day we both RAVE about how good they are!

Bajorn Ratamba Casserole with Pandoran Puffer Fungus 

(veal meatballs and mushroom in asparagus cream sauce)

Serves 6-8?

For the party, I used 8 pounds of veal - 6 pounds of ground and 2 pounds of raw - and it made 360 one-inch meatballs or 45 meatballs per pound.  The dish is rich, so we eat only 6-10 meatballs per serving.  In other words, one pound of meat will serve about 4 people!  Use that to calculate how much to make.  

As you can see, there is no asparagus visible in the photo.  The asparagus is creamed and added to the sauce.  It's the secret ingredient that makes it so delicious!  It will turn the sauce slightly green, which is how Ratamba Casserole is supposed to look.

Ingredients for meatballs:

  • 2 pounds of ground veal, either raw or a combination of raw and canned
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup ground chia seeds
  • 2 medium onions, minced
  • 4 T. ghee
  • Seasoning mix for meatballs:
    • 1 T. salt
    • 2 t. garlic (or 3 t. fresh)
    • 2 t. paprika
    • 2 t. basil (or 3 t. fresh)
    • 2 t. cayenne

Ingredients for sauce:

  • 2 12-ounce packages frozen asparagus, defrosted*
  • 2 pounds of mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 large onions, sliced 1/4" thick
  • 1/4 c. ghee
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Seasoning mix for sauce, identical to meatballs:
    • 2 t. salt
    • 2 t. garlic (or 3 t. fresh)
    • 2 t. paprika
    • 2 t. basil (or 3 t. fresh)
    • 2 t. cayenne (or to taste)

Make the meatballs according to the directions here, but using the ingredients listed above.  When the meatballs come out of the oven, remove them to a bowl and scrape all the liquid that exuded into a large saute pan.  Add 1/4c. ghee and heat on medium-high.

Add the onions and saute until lightly browned.  Push them to the side of the pan.
Add the mushrooms and saute until lightly browned.  Push them to the side of the pan.
Add the seasoning mix and saute lightly. 
Add the cream, mix everything together and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and keep warm.

Remove any yellow ends from the asparagus and discard them.  In a food processor, puree the asparagus until smooth.  Stir the puree into the sauce, and continue stirring until heated through.
Taste and adjust seasoning. 

Add the meatballs, heat and serve.   

We served these with mashed roasted celeriac, and long-cooked green beans, but they were delicious when we reheated them with just roasted broccoli!  

This did NOT FREEZE WELL!  When I reheated it on the cooktop, all the meatballs fell apart!  it might have been OK reheated in the oven, and not stirred at all, but I wouldn't risk it!

*This would be about 2 pounds fresh, cleaned and blanched,but frozen is so much easier for this recipe!

RECIPE: Mashed ROASTED Celeriac with Roasted Garlic and Thyme

As good as mashed celeriac is, mashed ROASTED celeriac is even better!  

When our farm harvests garlic for the season, I roast as much as I can to tide me over the winter until the next harvest.  It adds umami to this recipe.

Sorry, I don't have a better photo - I served these in a cast iron pot so they would stay warm longer and the photo is very dark!  Because the celeriac is roasted before pureeing, it will be darker than the regular Mashed Celeriac but not quite as dark as the photo!

Original recipe: Mashed Celeriac with Garlic and Thyme

Mashed Roasted Celeriac with Roasted Garlic and Thyme

Serves 8-10


  • 4 large celeriac (about 4 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup ghee, melted
  • 2 c. milk, broth or water
  • 4-8 roasted garlic gloves depending on how much you like garlic
  • 1 t. dried thyme leaves
  • 2 t. himalayan pink salt


Preheat the oven to 375F.

Clean the celeriac, tossing them into a bowl of cold water to keep them from turning brown.

Cut them into 1/2 - 3/4" pieces.  Toss them with the melted ghee and arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet.

Roast until the edges are browned.

Transfer to a sauce pan and add the liquid.  Bring to a simmer, cover the pot and simmer until the celeriac is very soft, 30 minutes to 1 hour.  Stir occasionally to insure that every piece is occasionally submerged.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the celeriac to the bowl of a food processor.  Add the garlic and process, adding the liquid from the pan a small amount at a time until it's smooth and creamy like mashed potatoes.  You may not need all the liquid in the pan, or you may need to add liquid (either broth, water, or milk), depending on your texture preference.  Add the thyme and season with salt.  Pulse to combine.

Serve immediately drizzled with butter.

If there are leftovers, they can be reheated in a 350F oven.  You can also reheat them on the cooktop if you add some liquid to the pan first and then heat them on med-low.