Saturday, September 29, 2012

Noodles with Tahini Sauce

The other day, I noticed that the big jar of tahini in our fridge expires soon.  I’m sort of a stickler for expiration dates.  In high school, I made pasta for my sister and I but didn’t realize the sauce was expired.  Well, we both got pretty sick.  And she never let me forget about it!  Ever since then I have been hyper aware of expiration dates on jars or cans of food. 

We use tahini to make hummus, but that’s about it!  I wanted to find a recipe to use more of the tahini before it expired, and I stumbled upon a delicious recipe for noodles with tahini sauce.  It would be a great cold side to take to a potluck.  It’s very good eaten with hardboiled eggs too.  You could use regular spaghetti or soba noodles in place of the brown rice noodles, and could certainly use traditional soy sauce as well.  The noodles soak up a lot of the sauce, so the dish isn't as creamy as you might expect, but has a ton of flavor.  If you want it to be creamier, double the sauce recipe! 

Noodles with Tahini Sauce

adapted from Vegan Yum Yum

8 oz. Tinkyada spaghetti style brown rice noodles
8 oz. coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
6 green onions, diced
¼ c tahini
2 T tamari gluten free low sodium soy sauce
3 T water
1 T honey
1 tsp sriracha
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 pinch salt
Lots of pepper

Cook noodles according to package directions.  While cooking, chop up green onions.  Mix up sauce.  Drain noodles, and while they’re still hot, mix together vegetables, noodles, and sauce.  Refrigerate.  Serve cold.  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers

1 lb. ground bison
1 onion, chopped
½ bag frozen peppers
2 lb. fresh mushrooms, chopped
Salt, pepper, garlic powder
1-30 oz. can organic diced tomatoes, with juice
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 c Minute brown rice
3 green peppers

Brown the bison in a very large stainless-steel (and oven-proof) sauté pan over medium high heat.  Keep an eye on the bison as it cooks, chopping and stirring occasionally.  Meanwhile, chop the onion.  When only a little pink is left on the bison, add the onion and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring as necessary to prevent sticking.  As the onion cooks, clean and chop the mushrooms.  Add the mushroom and frozen peppers, then season the mixture with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, stirring as necessary to prevent sticking.  After the mushrooms have cooked down, add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano and rice. Stir the mixture well.  Turn heat down to medium and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Now heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Clean the peppers then cut the tops off.  Chop the tops to use for something else later.  Cut each pepper in half.  After the bison, veggie, and rice mixture has simmered, nestle each of the 6 pepper halves into the mixture and fill each pepper half with the mixture, leaving some around the edges (as pictured).  Bake the peppers, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes.

If you don’t have an oven-proof sauté pan, cook the meat, veggie, and rice mixture in a regular sauté pan.  Before baking, place the pepper halves in a 13x9 glass baking dish and spoon the mixture into the peppers.  Then bake the whole thing in the 13x9 dish. 

I have made and eaten countless versions of stuffed peppers, but this is the most recent version I’ve made and it was very delicious.  Feel free to change it up however you like!

Some variations include:
-Instead of bison, use ground turkey or lean ground beef.
-Instead of mushrooms, use black beans.
-Instead of green peppers, use red, yellow, or orange peppers for a sweeter flavor
-Top the peppers with feta, cheddar, or any or type of cheese you like during the last 15 minutes of baking.
-Add any other veggies you like to the onions, peppers and mushrooms.  Celery or carrots would be good!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Pork and Sauerkraut with Sweet Potatoes

I have another very tasty fall recipe for you today.  I used to make pork and sauerkraut with white potatoes, but I have since found out that my body does not digest them very well.  I have discovered that sweet potatoes are a great alternative to white potatoes in many recipes (and have more vitamins and fiber!), but had never tried them with pork and sauerkraut.  They added sweetness and richness to this recipe and became extremely tender and delicious.  In fact, this is my new favorite way to make pork and sauerkraut.  I think I could literally eat it every day… 

Pork and Sauerkraut with Sweet Potatoes

3-4 lb. pork loin, trimmed of fat and cut into 2 or more large pieces
3 large sweet potatoes
1 large onion
1 jar (2 lb.) sauerkraut
½ c unsweetened applesauce
Freshly ground black pepper
Celery seed

Wash and cut sweet potatoes into large chunks (1 cut them into 1 inch thick rounds, then in quarters).  Place in a layer on the bottom of a large crockpot.  Dice onion and put on top of sweet potatoes.  Put the pork in next and season with lots of pepper and celery seed.  Pour sauerkraut on top and tuck into open spaces on the sides of the pork.  Pour applesauce on top.  Turn crockpot on HIGH and cook for 6 hours.  

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pot Roast

We actually made this pot roast earlier in the summer.  Yes, it was probably around 90 degrees the day we made it, but that didn’t stop our taste buds from wanting to eat pot roast.   However, now seemed like a more appropriate time to post the recipe since it is getting a little cooler out.  I am excited that it is starting to feel like Fall!  Fall is definitely my favorite season.  I love being able to walk my dog without worrying about him overheating, wearing sweaters, making soups, stews, and roasts, going apple picking, smelling the fall air…  I’m happy just thinking about all of the things fall brings! 

Before making this roast I had never cooked with parsnips, but I’m glad I finally did!  Parsnips are root vegetables that are related to carrots.  They look like carrots but are a bit more waxy, like potatoes.  They become very tender when cooked in a crock pot and have an earthier, sweeter taste than carrots. 

There are so many variations on the traditional pot roast, but this is our favorite.  It will fill you up and keep you warm this fall and winter.  We hope you like it as much as we do!

Pot Roast

2-3 lb beef chuck shoulder
1 c red wine
1 c beef broth or stock (I use Trader Joe’s beef broth)
1 diced onion
1 T dried thyme
1 T minced garlic
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into large chunks

Rub the roast with salt and pepper.  Place in a crockpot along with the red wine, beef broth, onion, thyme, garlic, and a little more salt and pepper.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours.  *2-3 hours before you plan to eat, add the carrots and parsnips.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Chocolate Paleo Snack Cake

Sorry I’ve gotten behind on my blog posts!  I got a new job and have been extremely busy over the past few weeks.  But I finally had some time this weekend to bake and to post!

When I started baking gluten-free, refined sugar-free recipes, I was eager to find “decadent” dessert recipes that were full of healthy ingredients.  This cake is that dessert.  I like to make it when I’m craving dessert.  I’ve made it many, many times but kept forgetting to take a picture.  I can’t believe it has taken me so long to post it!  

While I would certainly advise against sitting down and eating the whole cake in one sitting, eating a small piece as a snack fits perfectly into a healthy diet!  My favorite way to eat it is with a little bit of plain Greek yogurt.  It stays good in the fridge for up to 4 days.  I usually store most of the cake in the freezer, so I just microwave it and dollop some yogurt on top. 

The sweetness in this cake comes from a combination of unsweetened applesauce and dates, and the tender crumb comes from coconut flour.  The raspberries are a yummy, tart addition.  I hope you like it! 

Chocolate Paleo Snack Cake (gluten free, dairy free, paleo)

Adapted from

10 dates
1 c unsweetened applesauce
3 eggs
½ c coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla
½ c coconut flour
½ c cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ c strong brewed coffee (I heated ½ c of water in the microwave and poured in 1 packet of instant coffee)
½ c frozen raspberries

Make coffee and let cool.  Microwave a cup of water on the “beverage” setting.  Drop dates into the hot water for about 30 seconds and then drain the water (the dates should be soft).  Combine dates and applesauce in food processor (I use the magic bullet for this!) and pulse until pureed.  Put fruit puree in a bowl and add eggs and vanilla.  Mix on low-medium speed (with an electric mixer) until well combined.  Then add coconut oil and coffee and mix again on low speed.  Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then slowly add to the wet ingredients while mixing on low speed.  Scrape down the sides of bowl if necessary and keep mixing until batter is smooth.  Fold in raspberries.  Grease 8x8 pan w/ oil (or use parchment paper) then pour in batter, smoothing the top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry.  (I’ve underbaked this a few times, and it tastes amazing that way, so if you want to err on the side of underbaked, I say go for it!)  Wait until the cake cools completely to cut it.  Cut into 9 or 16 pieces.  It is very delicate, so don't worry if it breaks apart a little as you cut it.