Saturday, March 26, 2011

Basic Broccoli Quiche

Just a simple, delicious, easy meal. 

1 large head broccolli
1 lb cheese - I used a mix of romano, parmesan, and provel.
9 eggs
1/2 tsp salt

lard to grease pan.

So easy!
Steam broccoli (I find it easiest to leave the crown whole, and steam, stem down, then chop afterwards.) Broccoli should have just changed colors, don't overcook.
Use some lard and grease a 9" pan with your fingers.
Chop broccoli and cover bottom of pan.
Beat eggs and pour on top.
layer cheese on top.
Bake at 400ยบ for 40 minutes, or until you can't stand the aroma anymore and take it out.
Cool for 10 minutes.
Cut into squares.
Dish up and enjoy!

Raw Chocolate Cheesecake

To my SAD-eating friend who begged for the recipe. :)

  4-6 oz unsweetened chocolate - melted
    1/4 c cocoa powder
    1/16 stevia & 1/2 c honey (OR 1 full cup honey) Taste if needed more sweetening
    1/2 c fat (Butter, coconut oil or palm shortening)
    1/2 tsp salt (if not using butter)
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    2 c yogurt cheese
(After making yogurt, drain about 4 cups through a fine cheesecloth overnight to get about 2 cups yogurt cheese.)

Melt chocolate and fat in a double boiler, add cocoa and sweeteners when chocolate is just beginning to melt. Remove from heat, allow to cool for a few minutes while you make crust.

    1/2 c fat (such as coconut oil or palm shortening, you want it very solid when cold.)
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 c almond flour
    1/8 c cocoa powder
    pinch stevia OR dash honey

Mix all ingredients over double boiler until thoroughly mixed. Should be clumpy, but all the fat should be melted and mixed into flours. Press into the bottom of 8 in. pan. It will be a very thin crust, you can double this for a thicker crust, I just wanted a delivery device.

After crust is finished, fold yogurt into chocolate mixture. There is no need to have it mixed perfectly. Pour and spread into prepared pan and put in the fridge to cool for several hours.

A drizzle of chocolate sauce and whip cream would be divine on this... but we ate it too fast to find out.

It's Not Soup Navy Bean Casserole

The end of the month sometimes brings on re-newed creativity. Especially on months when a grocery expense was somehow missed, and I can't go to Trader Joe's until April. And I've not been thinking about food much anyway because I'm designing a new house. And the weather was warm (for a few days, before snowing.) According to my monthly planner, it was time to have beans. But not naked bean burritos because who puts green beans in tacos?

1 lb fresh green beans, broken into bite-sized pieces.
the little bit of leftover ground beef out of the fridge (or other meat)
1 lb navy beans, soaked in baking soda and water
2 tsp salt
2-3 cups beef or chicken stock
onions and garlic, if you have any.
Lard, tallow, whatever fat is available. About 1/2 c or more. 

After soaking beans overnight, (or as long as you have time for) drain off water and put in a large stock pot along with stock and enough water to more than cover. Bring to a simmer, skim off foam, don't let it boil over, and simmer hard for an hour, stirring often so you aren't screaming when you try to clean the pot later. The beans will become even more mushy as they cool. Add salt, seasoning as desired, lots of fat, and mix in anything else that looks appetizing from the fridge.

While the beans are cooking, trim and wash green beans (or as some call them, string beans.) and steam gently until they have just changed color. Salt, add fat.

Re-warm other meat and veggies in toaster over/oven and mix all these items together. Plop on plates and pull out every condiment in the house.

My hubby had his with yogurt and salsa, I just added extra cumin and green onions. You could add any number of things. Hurray for lack of supplies!

Fish Stock isn't so fishy...

I've put off making fish stock for a long long time. Fish doesn't top the charts of my favorite flavors in the least. Usually only the mildest flavored fish can be found in my dishes. So making something really fishy? That looks at me? And not knowing a good source for fish heads... Well, it was a challenge I could happily ignore. I dutifully saved the recipe in my file (which is oh so basic!) and thought nothing more, until I met someone who works for a fish shop - and can get me free fish heads.
Then the fish heads sat in my freezer. They would look at me as I dug for my beef bones and ground pork, but it wasn't until I learned that even beef stock isn't allowed on lenten fast days, that I finally took the plunge. And guess what, fish stock isn't so bad. It tastes quite good - the flavor is different, but I enjoyed it. Only downside is that the house does smell like fish for the 18hours that you are simmering it. Not a bad smell, if you like fish, but not quite what I hope to walk into when I come home. Chicken stock or beef stock simmering is such an inviting smell... but fish? Well, it was worth it anyway. Once done, I drained the stock, picked out mushy stuff and threw it into my soup.  The heads disintegrate while they cook, so I only recognized little white balls as they eyes, hurray!

As for the recipe, I refer you to The Healthy Home Economist. The text of her recipe is below:


3 quarts of filtered water
2 lbs of fish heads and bones (fish heads alone will suffice)*
1/4 cup raw, organic apple cider vinegar
Himalayan or Celtic sea salt to taste

*Do not use oily fish such as salmon for fish stock or you will stink up the whole house!   Only use non-oily fish such as sole, turbot, rockfish or, my favorite, snapper.   I've also used grouper in a pinch, but the stock does not taste nearly as good.


Place water and fish heads/bones in a 4 quart stockpot.   Stir in vinegar while bringing the water to a gentle boil.   As the water first begins to boil, skim off any foam that rises to the surface.   It is important to remove this foam as this is impurities and off flavors.   Reduce heat to a simmer for at least 4 hours and no more than 24 hours.    Cool and then strain into containers for refrigeration.   Freeze what you will not use in one week.

**and just a PS - I'm not 100% for sure that the heads I got from my fish monger were non-oily - which may account for the entire house smelling of fish. Either that, or it is because I have a very small house. Either way, the stock turned out wonderful.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Pastelli Candy

Candy on GAPS???? Yes!

This is a recipe from Nourished Kitchen. For the recipe go here.

I ended up adding a full tsp of salt, and used coconut ghee instead of olive oil. Chewy and sweet and so good!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Perfecting the Perfect Fried Egg

Eggs are a nutritional powerhouse. I completely pity those who are intolerant of eggs, as they are so incredibly versatile, delicious, convenient, and easy. Frying the perfect egg is not so easy. Sure, anyone can make scrambled eggs, even the perfect omelet isn't too hard, but frying without totally cooking the yolks and without flipping? Without burning? Without sticking to the pan and ruining your presentation? I assure you, it can be done!

Here are some tips to pull of a fried egg like a pro:

  • Lard. Lots of it! For the 8 in. skillet I picture, I use a full teaspoon. (And please, get it from a good source, and don't get hydrogenated. I care too much about your health!)

  • Good quality eggs. Better ingredients make for a better dish, or so we hear right? Eggs from chickens that are pastured, fed non-gmo feed, allowed to eat bugs and scrape the dirt, and allowed to run around will have richer, more nutrient dense yolks, better flavor, stronger whites, and harder shells. Organic does not equal quality product. Vegetarian does not include chickens - they are natural omnivores. "Cage-free" does not mean they get to run outside. Confusing? Yes. Buy the best eggs you can, you'll get your money's worth. 
  • Cast iron. Yes, those black pans your grandmother used. Believe me when I say they are the best! A well seasoned pan is naturally non-stick, easy to clean, and produces much better results than your non-stick aluminum skillet.  And with health benefits too. 

  • Fire! Some people are very attached to their electric stoves. I understand. I wouldn't mind a smooth surface to clean either. But for some things, fire allows a much higher degree of control and the quick change of temperature which spells the difference between an amazing dish and a flop. For frying eggs, a constant, low low temperature is what is necessary, so electric may work just fine, but I highly recommend gas. 
Now here's what to do. 
  • Put a low fire under your skillet. After a few times you'll know exactly how big the fire should be. My stove can go even lower than what I need for this (good for making stock!) but a very low fire is needed to cook these evenly. 
  • While pan is heating, add lard, swish it around until it is all melted and pan is coated. Be sure to go up the sides just a little. 
  • Crack eggs into pan before it has fully heated. The eggs should not sizzle when they hit the pan. If they do, that is ok, they will be a little crispy on the bottom.
  • I usually cook three small eggs at a time, but 2 large eggs will be about the same. 
  • As soon as eggs are in the pan, try to make the yolks more toward the center, if they don't go there with your finger, that is ok. 
  • Put lid on immediately. If you don't have a tempered glass lid, you'll just have to check on them more often. 
  • Let eggs sit. 
  • Once the white over the egg yolks is just starting to turn opaque, turn the pan off. Your eggs are done! 
  • Quickly, slide them out of the pan, onto a waiting plate. Assuming you used enough fat, you should be able to just slip them out by tipping the pan. 
  • Top with butter and salt and enjoy!
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