Wednesday, April 29, 2020

RECIPE: Roasted Salted Nuts - Almonds, Pistachios, Peanuts, or Walnuts

Peanuts are cancer preventative for blood type A, and my husband LOVES them, but organic roasted AND SALTED peanuts are impossible to find, so I've been making them at home.

For myself, while I prefer to soak and then dehydrate the walnuts, almonds and pistachios that I eat, I have used this recipe for them, too, when I can't wait the 3+ days it takes to make them.

The recipe is for 4 cups but it can be scaled up or down.
I usually make 8 cups and season each batch differently.

Roasted Salted Nuts - Peanuts, Almonds, Pistachios, or Walnuts
Thai Chili Peanuts, Rosemary Almonds, Salted Pistachios, Harissa Peanuts
Makes 4 cups

6 T. water
1 T. himalayan pink salt
4 c. raw nuts
2 t. ghee neutral oil (I use safflower for peanuts and pistachios, and almond for almonds)
OPTIONAL: 2 T. seasoning (I've used rosemary, cayenne, harissa and Thai chili paste)

Preheat oven to 375*.  I use our small toaster oven for this and make 2 cups at a time, which is exactly what the tray will hold.

* Almonds should not be heated above 266F or you will create acrylamide, a carcinogen!  They will take longer at this temperature, but will be healthier.

In a small bowl, heat the water with the salt, and stir until the salt is melted.

Combine the salt water with the nuts and stir to insure they're all coated.

Transfer to a shallow baking dish and spread in a single layer.

Roast for 15-20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.  The nuts are done when the inside is slightly brown.  If  you taste one, it will still be a little on the soft side but, don't worry, it will firm up as it cools.

After 15 minutes, start checking them every minute as they go from underdone to burnt very quickly.

Transfer the warm nuts to a bowl and stir in the oil.  Add additional salt and/or any DRY seasoning like rosemary, cayenne, or a dry spice blend.

Rosemary is very good with almonds and walnuts, cayenne and other hot peppers are good with any nut. 

Cool to room temperature and serve, or store in a clamp-top jar to preserve freshness.

Roasted and Salted Peanuts.

IF YOU WANT TO ADD A WET SEASONING like harissa or Thai curry paste:

If you add the wet seasoning before you roast the nuts, the seasoning will burn before the nuts are done.

If you add the wet seasoning with the oil, after the nuts are cooked, they will get soggy.

What I've been doing is roasting the nuts 3/4 of the way, about 12 minutes, transferring them to a bowl and adding the wet seasoning, and then roasting them for an additional 6-8 minutes.  You will need to experiment with your particular seasoning to see how it fares.

Roasted peanuts with Thai chili paste before the final roasting.

After roasting with the Thai chili paste, the raw green color disappears and the nuts are crunchy.  I store them in clamp-top jars to keep them fresh.

Thai chili peanuts


RECIPE: Pork Tenderloin with GF Rosemary Garlic Cream Sauce

We haven't had pork tenderloin in a long time, so I made this to illustrate the technique I use for making a gluten free cream sauce.

Pork Tenderloin with GF Rosemary Garlic Cream Sauce
Serves 3-4

  • 1 small pork tenderloin, about 1 pound, silver skin removed
  • 1 t. EVOO
  • 2 t. ground rosemary
  • 2 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. cayenne or to taste
  • 1.5 cups heavy cream
  • salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400F.  (I make this in our convection toaster oven.)

Combine the rosemary, garlic and cayenne in a small bowl.

In a shallow roasting pan, rub the EVOO over the pork, then salt the tenderloin on all sides.  Sprinkle it with half the seasoning mix.

Roast for 16-18 minutes.  Pastured pork tenderloins are generally small, and we like our pork medium-well so I cook them for 16 minutes.  If  you prefer well done, leave it in for 18 minutes.

Remove from the oven, tent with parchment paper, and let rest for 5 minutes.

While the pork is cooking, make the sauce:

In a medium sauce pan - yes, you need such a big pan because THE CREAM WILL BUBBLE UP TO THREE TIMES ITS ORIGINAL VOLUME - combine the cream with the remaining seasoning mix. 

On medium heat, bring the cream to a boil.  THE CREAM WILL BUBBLE UP TO THREE TIMES ITS ORIGINAL VOLUME!  Stir occasionally and adjust the heat so it doesn't boil over.  In the photos below you can see it's nearly boiling over!!

Let the cream boil like this until it's reduce to 3/4 cup, about 15-20 minutes.  It should coat a spoon.

Add salt to taste, and keep warm on low heat until the pork is ready to serve.  Stir occasionally to prevent a film from forming on the top.

Slice the pork into 3/4" pieces and serve, draped with the sauce. In the photo below, I filled the small pitcher with sauce, and poured what didn't fit in the pitcher over the meat.  I served it with roasted broccoli, but the sauce would be just as good with asparagus or green beans.  

This is HALF the tenderloin! 

My husband likes to use the leftover pork in a sandwich so I only served half of it for dinner and there was one small bit left!

Sunday, April 19, 2020

RECIPE: Basmati with Cumin, Fennel ,Mustard and Turmeric

I had a craving last week for caramelized onions.  I also had a craving for basmati rice.  So...I created this recipe to satisfy both those cravings, using the spice mixture I love from this cauliflower recipe.   

Basmati with Caramelized Onions, Cumin, Fennel, Mustard Seeds and Turmeric
Makes 4-6 servings

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 T. ghee, divided
  • 1 T. himalayan pink salt
  • 4 large onions, chopped
  • 1/8 t. asafoetida (also called hing powder)
  • 12 fenugreek seeds
  • 1 t. cumin seeds
  • 1 t. fennel seeds
  • 1 t. brown mustard seeds
  • 1 t. ground turmeric (please buy one that's low in lead)

In a medium saucepan over med-high heat melt 1 T. ghee and saute the rice until it's opaque.  Add the water and salt and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat, put a dishtowel between the pot and the lid to absorb steam, and let sit for 10 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, in a large saute pan over med-high heat, melt 2 T. ghee and saute the onions, stirring occasionally, until medium to dark brown.  It should take about 30 minutes.

In a small fry pan over medium heat, melt the remaining 1 T. ghee.  Add the asafoetida, followed quickly by the whole spices.  Cover and shake the pan until the mustard seeds stop popping.  Reduce heat to low and add the ground turmeric.  Stir for a minute or two, then remove from heat.

Add the spice mixture to the rice.  Toss to combine, top with the onions and serve.

RECIPE: COVID Chicken Broth with Leeks, Carrots, Onions, Garlic

I'm calling this "COVID-19 Broth" because I developed it to help us resist the disease.

Several of the practitioners I follow recommended collagen-rich broth, as well as alliums (onions, leeks, scallions), carrots and garlic, to boost your immune defenses.  I needed to make more broth anyway, but I was all out of chicken feet, which are rich in collagen, so I adjusted my recipe slightly:  I increased the amounts of the above mentioned vegetables, and added collagen powder.  If you have trouble sourcing feet, this is one way to overcome that.

I made a large batch, so we could have some every day.  You can scale down if necessary.

Please read the detailed directions in this post first, before proceeding with this recipe.

COVID-19 Chicken Broth with Extra Collagen

Makes 12 quarts

3 whole chickens, with feet if possible
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 T. himalayan pink salt
4 leeks, cleaned and chopped into 1" pieces
10 carrots, scrubbed and chopped into 1" pieces
4 heads of garlic, halved
2 cups chopped onions and/or onion skins (I used the skins, I keep a bag in the freezer)
1 bulb of celeriac, scrubbed, or 4 stalks of celery, cut into 1" pieces
1 small bunch parsley
4-5 bay leaves
1 t. allspice or juniper berries
12 scoops collagen powder from pasture raised animals

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Place the chickens in a deep roasting pan and roast until they're nicely browned, 30-45 minutes.

Fill a large stockpot with 12 quarts water (my pot holds 16 quarts) and add the vinegar and salt.

Transfer the chickens and any juices into the stock pot filled with water (BE CAREFUL - I didn't realize their cavities were full of fat, and I made a HUGE mess on my cooktop!!).

Fat everywhere!!

Turn heat on low, and bring slowly to a gentle simmer.  Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer - small bubbles rising up through the water - DO NOT LET IT BOIL!!  If it boils, your stock will be cloudy.  Cook, with the cover on, for 24 hours.

Chicken in 12 qts water before and after 24 hours.

Add the vegetables, herbs and spices and cook for 12-24 hours.

Veggies in broth before and after 24 hours.

Strain the broth and discard the meat and veggies.  I used a large cheesemaking bag set over a colander, set over an 8-quart bowl.  I removed the solids first, using a skimmer, and discarded them.

Even without the solids, the pot was too heavy for me to tip the broth into the strainer so I used a 1-quart saucepan as a ladle! 

Removing the solids, then straining the broth.

Isn't this the most beautiful chicken broth you've ever seen?!  I couldn't believe how rich it looked and tasted!

Can you believe this is CHICKEN broth?!

My pressure canner will only hold 7 quart jars so I transferred 7 quarts of broth into an 8-quart stock pot to reduce its volume.  I set this stock pot over medium heat, to maintain a gentle boil, and let it cook with the lid off until reduced by half, about 2 hours. 

Here comes the hard part...adding the collagen powder.  

I used this recipe by Fearless Eating as a guide:  Adding collagen powder to broth

If you add the collagen powder to hot liquid it will clump.  DON'T DO IT!  When I tried it (yes, I had to see for myself) it seized up immediately and I was unable to break up the big clumps!

Fearless Eating recommends adding it to cold water, but I didn't want to dilute my beautiful broth so I transferred 6 cups of broth to a baking dish to cool.  You can see it in the 'beautiful' photo further up.

When the broth reached room temperature, I added one scoop at a time using a fine mesh strainer and whisking in-between.  It still clumped a bit towards the end, but those small clumps dissolved when I added it to the warm stock.  I used half the amount called for in the Fearless Eating recipe because I didn't want it aspic hard, just pleasantly viscous.  After adding 12 scoops I knew I couldn't add any more so I set it aside to gel.

Adding collagen to cool broth, starting to gel, solid after a few minutes!

By the time I had managed to get all the collagen into the cooled broth, the remaining broth wasn't warm enough to melt the now-solid collagen-broth so I turned my attention to the stock reducing on the cooktop.

When it had reduced by half, I stirred in half the collagen-broth.  After it melted, I transferred 3 quarts into quart jars, and put the remaining quart into two pint jars for immediate use.

I then transferred the remaining 4 quarts of stock into the same pot, heated it to just under boiling, and stirred in the remaining collagen-broth.  I transferred this into 5 quart jars which gave me 4 quarts for my pressure canner, and 1 quart for immediate use.

In the photo below are the 4 quarts of full strength stock on the left, and 1 quart of the double-strength stock on the right.  It's so rich it looks like beef stock, doesn't it!  I also couldn't tell the difference between the full strength and the double strength so I labelled them before I processed them.

Chicken broth ready for the pressure canner.

NOTE: I left 2" headspace because I didn't want to risk loosing any of this delicious nectar, which is why, if you were counting, I ended up with 4 quart jars of double strength stock and 5 quart jars of single strength which adds up to more than the original 12 quarts of liquid - each jar held less than a full quart.


On the left is a photo of the cooled double broth.  I add 2 T to a small mug, add a bit of Himalayan pink salt and fill it with hot water.  Imagine how stiff the broth would be if I had used double the amount of collagen!  (The cloudy stuff on the top is fat.  There would be more if I hadn't spilled it all over my cooktop!)

RECIPE: Pasta Arrabiata with Avocado

Well.  It's been so long since my last post, I need a refresher course on how to do it!   Like most people, I've been dealing with limited grocery shopping, and having to cook mostly from my pantry.  I created this recipe when I had a craving for a quick and simple pasta dish. Arrabiata means spicy, so this has a bit of a kick to it.  The fresh tomatoes, scallions, and parsley lighten the jarred sauce.

Pasta Arrabiata with Avocado
Serves: 4

  • 12 ounces pasta (I use Jovial GF cappelini, which is in-between angle hair and spaghetti, and cooks very quickly, but you can use any pasta shape you like)
  • 1 jar pasta sauce (I used Yellow Barn Arrabiata because it's BIODYNAMIC!)
  • 1/2 c. grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 green onions, sliced 1/8" thick 
  • 1 T. minced parsley
  • 1 t. cayenne or red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 t. garlic powder, or to taste
  • 2 T. EVOO, plus more for serving
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into 1/2" pieces

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to the directions on the box.

While the pasta is cooking chop the tomatoes, scallions, and parsley.   Stir the cayenne and garlic into the jar of pasta sauce.

When the pasta is ready (if you break one piece apart, the opaque center should have just disappeared), reserve 1 c. of the cooking water and then drain, returning the pasta to the pot it was cooked in.

Set the pot over low heat and add the tomatoes and green onions.  Stir to combine.

Add the jar of pasta sauce.  Stir gently to combine and heat the sauce.  If the pasta is too dry, add a little of the reserved pasta water.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

Sprinkle with parsley, drizzle with EVOO and serve, topped with the avocado.

NOTE:  If you don't use all the avocado, store it in the fridge in a small glass container with some onion.  The photo below was taken after 2 days in the fridge.  It looks pretty good for a 2-day old avocado!

RECIPE: Spicy Baked Chicken Tenders

Here's another recipe I concocted years ago for a fast meal.

My husband and I only like the chicken breast meat, so when I buy several chickens to make stock, I remove the breasts.  I separate the tenders, remove the tendons*, and then freeze the breasts and the tenders separately.  When I need a quick meal, the tenders defrost quickly.

Spicy Baked Chicken Tenders

Serves 2

  • 8 chicken tenders (from 4 chickens), tendons removed*
  • 1 T. EVOO or melted ghee
  • 2 T. seasoning (I use Old South BBQ, harissa, curry, zataar, whatever strikes your fancy!)
  • salt, if your seasoning mix doesn't contain it.

Preheat oven to 400F.  I use our toaster oven, which heats up quickly.

Line a small baking pan with parchment or a silicone mat.

Lay the tenders on the mat and drizzle with half the melted ghee or EVOO.  Rub it in.

Sprinkle them liberally with your seasoning mix and add salt if necessary.  Flip them over.

Drizzle with the remaining melted ghee or EVOO, rub it in, and season liberally.

In the photo above, I used Old South BBQ and, as you can see, I don't skimp! 
In the photo below, I used Zataar.

Bake for 7-8 minutes.  This is a hot oven - any longer and they'll be tough and dry.

Remove from the oven, cover with a sheet of parchment, and let them rest 2-3 minutes.

Serve.  We like them with mayonnaise.

They're also great sliced and added to salad, or in chickpea fatteh (recipe coming soon!)

* In the photo below you can see the chicken breasts on the left, and the tenders on the right.  In the center of each tender is a large white tendon that will be tough after it's cooked.  I remove them.  Grab the end of the tendon (yes, it's slippery!) and slide a sharp knife along each side. 

NOTE: You CAN make this with whole breasts, sliced 1/2" thick against the grain to resemble chicken tenders, but they won't be as tender.  If  you bake the breasts whole, it will take a LOT longer than 8 minutes to cook them through.

RECIPE: Matcha Latte

Green tea is supposed to offer protection against COVID-19 (among all the other great things it's supposed to do for you), but I really don't like it!  So, I came up with this recipe to mitigate its flavor, and I can tolerate it this way.

Matcha Latte
Serves 1

  • 1/2 teaspoon matcha
  • 2 T. water, heated to 180F
  • 1/2 t. honey
  • 1-1.5 c. almond mylk heated to 180F (cow, sheep, and goat milk alters the bioavailability of the polyphenols in the tea)

Green tea is best when it's 'brewed' at around 180F so heat your water to that temperature.

Pour the water over the tea and whisk to combine. 

Add milk and honey, stir to combine, and enjoy!

NOTE: I use raw honey and raw mylk, so I do not heat the mylk, I drink this cold, and I add the honey after the mylk so the warm tea doesn't kill the honey.