Pho with spaghetti squash noodles

Ingredients:

2-3 quarts beef or chicken bone broth, either homemade or store bought (no bouillon!)

chicken thighs or steak, sliced

1-2 star anise pods (optional)

1 medium spaghetti squash

1 C sliced shiitakes

1 C sliced button or cremini mushrooms

other mushrooms as desired

1 head bok choi, chopped

1 red onion, quartered

1 inch ginger, sliced

1-2 Tbs fish sauce

fresh basil

thinly sliced jalapeno

sliced lime

mung bean sprouts

Directions:

Pre heat oven to 400. Place ginger, red onion, and star anise in cheese cloth and tie it in a bundle. Place them in a pot along with the broth, along with some salt, and bring it to a boil. Let this simmer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Cut the spaghetti squash in half and place it cut-side down in a baking pan. Add 1/2 inch of water to the pan, and place in the oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the squash has some give when poked.

Meanwhile, prepare the meat and veggies and add them to the broth. Cook until meat is cooked through and the mushrooms are tender. Remove from heat, pull out the cheese cloth bundle and discard, and add the fish sauce. Salt to taste.

When the squash is done baking, carefully remove it from the pan onto a plate, face up. Use a fork to gently pull the “spaghetti” strands out.

Add the spaghetti squash to each bowl as you serve it. Top with the soup, and add basil, lime, jalapeno, and mung beans as desired.

Bibimbap

Bibimbap is a dish that is easy to make without the rice, which makes it ideal for folks who are dealing with a variety of issues that make grains a trigger food.

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

Meat of choice, cut into small chunks

1-2 bunches spinach, arugula, swiss chard, or kale

1.5 C sliced mushrooms

2-3 bunches thinly sliced green onion

5-6 thinly sliced carrots

kimchi

salt

sriracha

tamari

egg

sesame oil

Directions:

Sautee carrots, green onion, and mushrooms, mixed with a pinch of salt, in sesame oil over high heat. If using chicken, add this in at the same time as the veggies. If using red meat, add this, along with some more oil, when the veggies are soft and somewhat browned. Once the meat has cooked, add the greens and a splash of water, stir until the greens are wilted. Kale and Chard will take longer than spinach or arugula.

Remove from heat and set aside. Fry one egg per person eating the meal. Put the veggies and meat in a bowl, top generously with kimchi, and top with a fried egg. Add tamari and sriracha to taste.

Kale chip nachos

Ingredients:

1 bunch kale

spicy sauerkraut or fermented carrots

cilantro

chopped green onion

canned black olives

meat of choice

chili powder

salt 

avocado

salsa — leave off if you react to nightshades

optional: cheese

chop kale and massage with olive oil and salt. bake at 350, checking often and stirring 2-3 times during cooking. Bake until crisp.

sautee green onions and the meat of your choice together with salt and chili powder.

top kale with the meat/onions, black olives, lots of fermented veggies, cilantro, and mashed avocado.

Hemp heart and chia porridge

This porridge is so tasty and full of awesome omegas. I love it.

Ingredients:

1/3 C hemp hearts
1/4 C chia seeds
Coconut milk to cover*
Water
Pure maple syrup or honey
salt
olive oil or butter

Directions:

The night before, place the hemp hearts and chia seeds in a jar or tupperware and add coconut milk to about 1/2 inch above. Put a lid on the jar and place in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, empty the mixture into a pot, add water as needed to thin to you desired consistency, and gently heat, stirring often and keeping it below a boil. Add salt, maple syrup or honey, and olive oil or butter to taste and enjoy!

Figgy pudding

Five years ago, I was living in New Orleans and got to attend the most incredible holiday event of my life (check it out). There was caroling, during which I got to thinking about what the heck figgy pudding even was. I went home determined to find out, and to make it. 

Turns out, figgy pudding is less figgy than chocolatey, is less pudding than cake (if you're from the U.S.), and is tasty enough that I now understand why carolers of olde decided to demand it in song form.    

And so, in all its grain free/fruit sweetened glory, here is my figgy pudding recipe, which is demanded by those with whom I celebrate Yule/the solstice/Saturnalia/whatever you call it, which is my December holiday of choice.     

Ingredients:

1 1/2 C dried pitted dates, chopped
1/2 C dried figs, chopped
3 1/2 C water
1 t baking soda
1 T baking powder
1/3 C plus 2 T coconut oil, softened
1/4 C honey
2 eggs
1 1/2 C coconut flour
1 C almond flour
3/4 of a 4oz unsweetened baking chocolate bar, grated, or chopped into slivers with a large knife

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. In a small pot, combine the figs, dates, and water, bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Add the baking soda, and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Puree in a blender or food processor.

Meanwhile, whisk eggs, coconut oil, and honey together in a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl, mix the coconut flour and baking powder until well incorporated. Add the pureed figs/dates and the chocolate to the eggs and honey and mix, then add the flour in small batches, incorporating as you go.

 Add the batter into a well oiled, nonstick bundt pan and smooth it so that the top is even (so your pud will be the same height all the way around), and bake for 45 minutes. Let it cool for half an hour. Place a plate on top of the pan and flip quickly (you don't want it to separate on one side before the other). If you don't immediately feel the pudding fall to the plate, thwack the bundt pan with the blunt end of your butter knife until it does. Remove the pan. 

Serve with a satsuma or tangerine in the center hole, along with a sprig of holly. (I use fake beglittered holly from a craft store, personally.) 

 

Beef stew with dumplings

Yup. Beef stew with no flour, no blood sugar spiking potatoes, and all of the flavor and heartiness you want. I almost can't believe it myself. 

The dumpling recipe comes from ahealthylifeforme.com, but I replaced the coconut oil with a savory fat because those paleo folks don't seem to understand that coconut oil doesn't belong in anything but desserts and curries. 

Ingredients:

3T olive oil
1.5 lbs stew beef cut to bite-sized chunks
1 large onion, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
8-10 large carrots, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
2-3 kohlrabi, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
3 bay leaves
2t salt
1 1/2t black pepper
1t dried thyme
1t garlic powder
2T arrowroot powder
3 quarts bone broth or water

For the dumplings:

2/3 cup almond flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water with a 1/4 t of apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp butter, lard, bacon grease, or other savory fat that is solid at room temp, softened
5 egg whites

Directions:

Make your spice mix. In a large, heavy bottomed pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat and add onions and some salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to turn transparent. If the onions start sticking, add in about a tablespoon of water and stir rapidly to deglaze the pot. While you are doing this, coat the stew beef with the spice mix. When the onions are ready, add in the bay leaves and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Make sure the mixture is very hot, then add the beef and stir to mix with the onions. Brown all sides of the beef--to do this, allow it to sit for 20-30 seconds, then stir and repeat. Once it's mostly all brown, add the bone broth or water, and the carrots and kholrabi. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and allow to simmer with a lid on for at least 1 1/2 hours but ideally longer--around 3 hours is ideal. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking. While it is cooking, prepare the dumplings. About 20 minutes before stirring, mix the arrowroot powder with cold water to dissolve, then mix it thoroughly into the stew, let boil for about 5 minutes, then remove from heat and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Serve over the dumplings. 

For the dumplings:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Oil a baking sheet well. In a large bowl mix together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the water/vinegar mix and fat. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, use electric mixer (you can do this by hand with a whisk if you need to, it just takes a long time). Gently fold into the flour mixture until combined. Scoop into 6 large biscuits about 1/4 cup of dough each onto the baking sheet Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. 

Veggie pad thai with spaghetti squash

A grain, sugar, and peanut free twist on classic pad thai--all of the flavor, none of the drawbacks. 

Ingredients:

1 large spaghetti squash
1/2 C sesame oil plus some for cooking the eggs
4 large shallots, sliced thin
1 bunch green onions, white and green parts, chopped
~1 lb shiitakes, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bag bean sprouts
4-6 eggs
2 C chopped soaked cashews
1/2 C cilantro, chopped

Sauce:
1/2 C soy sauce, Braggs, or coconut aminos
2 T sriracha
2 t tamarind paste
2 T honey

Directions:

The morning before you plan to make this, place cashews in water with a bit of salt and let them soak until dinner time. Drain, rinse, and use. 

Preheat oven to 400. Cut spaghetti squash in half, place cut-side down in a deep baking dish, fill with 1 inch of water, and bake for half an hour to 45 minutes, or until the skin has some give to it when you poke it. 

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a bowl, then scramble in sesame oil and set aside.

Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk to incorporate. Set aside.

Remove the spaghetti squash from the oven and use a fork to gently scrape it from the sides so that it turns into long "noodles". Set aside still in the shell.

Heat sesame oil in a wok or deep cast iron (at least 6 inches deep). When the oil is hot but not smoking (it should sizzle if you flick water into it), add the shallots and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the shiitakes, green onions, bean sprouts, and garlic, and cook, stirring, until soft and fragrant, about a minute. Add the spaghetti squash and the sauce and stir to incorporate. Remove from heat, add eggs, cilantro, and cashews, stir, and serve.  
 

Cranberry sauce

Here are two recipes for cranberry sauce. The first is your standard simple recipe, the second is a fancier version. Both are delish!

Simple ingredients:

1 bag or 3 Cfresh cranberries
1 C cold water
1/2-3/4 C honey (depending on desired sweetness)

Directions:

Mix ingredients and boil until the berries pop. Let cool for at least 1 hour, or if making ahead of time, keep in the refrigerator and allow it to come up to room temperature before serving. 

Fancy ingredients: (adapted from this recipe)

1 bag or 3 C fresh cranberries
1/2 orange
1 tart apple
2 C water
3/4 C honey

Directions:

Juice the orange and set the juice aside. Scrape the insides from the orange rind and discard them, then cut the rind into small dice. Boil the rind and the water for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. 

Peel, core and quarter the apple, then cut into 1/2-inch dice.  Combine apples, orange rind, orange juice, and cranberries in a pot, bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and cover the pan partially. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, the apple is tender and the cranberries pop--10 to 15 minutes. 

Let cool for at least 1 hour, or if making ahead of time, keep in the refrigerator and allow it to come up to room temperature before serving. 

Soaking guide

Your guide to soaking nuts, grains, and legumes.

Nuts/seeds:

Soak raw nuts or seeds for at least 4 hours but up to overnight. Drain and rinse. You can either eat them right away or make a lot at one time and dehydrate them in a dehydrator or the oven at 300. In the oven, place them on parchment paper and stir occasionally until they are dry--this takes several hours. Things like flax, chia, and hemp hearts should not be dehydrated in the oven, as they contain volatile oils and need to be dehydrated at a very low temparature. 

Grains:

Soak whole grains overnight or up to 24 hours with a water change at 12 hours. Drain, rinse, and cook. They typically need 3/4 the amount of water that unsoaked grains would require to cook. 

Lentils/split peas:

Lentils absorb a lot of water very quickly, so make sure you give them several inches of extra water. Soak them for 12-24 hours, with a water change at 12 hours. Rinse, drain, and cook until soft. 

Beans:

Soak for at least 36 hours or up to 4 days, with water changes every 8-12 hours, increasing in frequency as time goes on. If you start seeing little sprout tails they are done, no matter how long they've been soaking. This will happen faster in warm weather.