Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Autumn Bacon Brussel Sprouts

It's amazing how some things can conjure up such a vehement response. Things like okra, lutefisk, and fruitcake. Just thinking about sends shivers down your spine. yuck.

Another food that strikes fear into the hearts of many is brussel sprouts.

Most people think brussel sprouts are stinky, strong tasting, and slimy.

Well, I think I got something that will change your mind. But first let me share with you why you should try this recipe.

The first written reference to brussel sprouts was in 1587. Around this time they became popular across the Baltic countries. They are part of the same family as cabbage and broccoli. Brussel sprouts are grown in the Netherlands and Germany. California is also a large producer of brussel sprouts.

One cup of brussel sprouts has 16% of your daily fiber. It also has 273% of your daily vitamin K which is an antioxidant, an anti inflammatory, and helps brain and nerve function. It also has 161% of your daily recommended vitamin C.

Boiling removes a good amount of the anti cancer properties. However the loss of vitamins with steaming, roasting, and sauteing is minimal.

All this tells you that you should eat brussel sprouts. Now I'll tell you why you are going to want to.

This dish provides a hearty side with any kind of roasted meat. And I am telling you, it will convert even the most die hard veggie hater. The bacon adds a smoky balance to the Brussels, and the nutmeg gives a warm undertone to the dish.

Autumn Bacon Brussel Sprouts
Bacon, nutmeg, and Parmesan cheese elevate this
simple vegetable to an amazing side dish.
Serves 5

2 lbs. Brussel Sprouts, cleaned and the small leaves around the base removed
6 slices Bacon, diced
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
Parmesan Cheese

1. In a large hot saute pan, cook your bacon until most of the fat has rendered out.

2. While the bacon is rendering, prepare your brussel sprouts. First, slice off the base. Second, with the base on the board run your knife through the sprout starting on the right and moving to the left. This will give you lovely little ribbons of sprouts.

3. Add the sprouts to the bacon and fat. Toss until all the brussels are coated, saute for about 5 minutes.

4. Add the nutmeg. Toss. Salt and Pepper to taste. Cook for 3 or 4 more minutes. Shut off stove.

5. When serving top with freshly grated Parmesan.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Gluten-free Brioche and my solution to your breakfast problem

I recently read Jenna's list over at Eat, Live, Run, and was inspired to create my own.
So here is 20 things about me that you probably don't know. At least, I hope you don't know. Wait, do you know? Are you stalking me?!

Never mind.

Jillian's Get to Know Me List:
  1. I love to read, and have since I was 4.
  2. My favorite subject in school was history.
  3. I considered becoming a history teacher for a time.
  4. I sleep in shorts even during the dead of winter.
  5. I love to watch cop shows like Law and Order, SVU, and Law and Order: Criminal Intent.
  6. I have a huge crush on the actor Jeff Bridges and have since the first time I saw a Mirror has Two Faces. Seeing Tron and Tron: Legacy only strengthened the crush.
  7. I don't drive because it scares the life out of me. Maybe if I had a smart car and lived in a tiny town.
  8. I don't watch any sport or sport function on T.V.
  9. I love to spend entire afternoons buried in Barnes and Noble.
  10. I know you can't see it in the picture but I am actually 5'9. The tallest in my family. Woop. Woop.
  11. My favorite flowers are Peonies.
  12. I wish I had a smoker. I really want to make my own smoked sausage.
  13. I love to laugh, and to make other people laugh.
  14. I rarely ever text anyone on my cell phone.
  15. I love Disneyland. I have year passes, and the magic is never lost on me.
  16. I hate heights.
  17. Due to number 16 I hate roller coasters. Specifically open air, plunging death roller coasters.
  18. When I first read Little Women when I was 13, I thought Jo was the stupidest person on the planet. Who leaves Laurie like that?
  19. My favorite season is summer. I am truly a California girl.
  20. I love strawberries more than anything else!
Okay, that's all you get to know about me for now.

Around this time of year many people are traveling to see their families, this usually brings up the question: what on earth am I going to feed them?
Well, I gotcha back for breakfast.

Most gluten-free breads dry out rather quickly. They lose their texture and bounce. They get crumbly and gross. Except for one. One, glorious shining slice of bread that is firm yet has spring when touched, can handle any topping you can through at it, and tastes slightly sweet on the tongue.

Gluten-free Brioche. That's right. Ya heard me. Gluten-free brioche. A simple mix and let rise batter that makes two loaves. Great for family time. After tasting this bread, you may suddenly hear a tiny voice from the back room of your house.

"...french toast...'

What was that?! Again it comes. Stronger then the first.

"...french toast..."

Again and again. Like a mantra.

"French Toast! French Toast!"

They are calling for it like the fall of the Berlin Wall.

What do they want?!

"French Toast!"

When do they want it?!


Well my friends, give the people what they want. This bread makes the most luxuriant, luscious, completely "french" French Toast. And hey, if it's a brunch why not try a Monte Cristo sandwich. You might like it. I don't, but you might.

Gluten-free Brioche
Makes 2 loaves.

5 3/8 ounces Brown Rice Flour
14 ounces Tapioca Starch
200 grams Potato Starch
2 Tablespoon Granulated Yeast
1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
2 1/2 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1 Tablespoon Psyllium Husk
2 1/2 Cups Reduced Fat Milk
1/2 Cup Honey
1/2 Cup Agave Nector
4 Large Eggs
1 Cup Canola Oil
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

1. Whisk together the flour, starches, yeast, salt, gum, and psyllium husk in a large bowl.

2. Combine the milk, honey, agave, eggs, and oil in a seperate smaller bowl.

3.  Add the wet to the dry, and whisk until all the dry is incorporated. It will still have sizeable lumps, that's okay.

4. Sit in a warm spot, cover with a damp towel, and let rise for 3 hours.

5. Pour into two lined 9 x 5 x 3 inch Loaf pans and bake at 350 F for 45 minutes.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Spanish Pork Rice

Hey everyone!

Guess what? I was contacted by Marx foods to compete in a recipe contest! It's just like Top Chef (sort of) and you all know how much i love Top Chef!

I received a box containing 6 different ingredients: Juniper Berries, Guajillo Chili Flakes, Dried Habanero Chili's, Lobster Mushrooms, and Mochi Rice.
I had to use two of these ingredients.

I decided to make a Spanish version of Okawa, a Japanese rice dish typically made with Mochi rice.

With lean Pork, Asparagus, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, and Green Beans, this dish is a perfectly balanced dinner for the whole family!

Gluten free, Soy free, Dairy free Spanish Pork Rice

1 lb. Pork Butt, fat trimmed and cubed
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 Tbs Brown Rice Flour
1 tsp Sugar
1 Tbs Guajillo Chili Flakes
1 Red Bell Pepper, largely diced
2 Green Bell pepper, largely diced
1 Tbs Olive Oil
2 c. Mochi Rice
2 1/2 c Rice
1 c. Asparagus tops
1 c. Green Beans
1 c. Zucchini
1 c. Yellow Squash

1. Place asparagus, green beans, zucchini, and squash in a microwave safe bowl, add some water, cover, and cook in the microwave on high for 10 minutes. When done, strain off the water and set aside.

2. Place Mochi rice and water in rice cooker, and cook according to it's directions.

3. Toss pork with the salt, flour, chili flakes, and sugar in a large Ziploc baggie.

4. Heat a large non-stick skillet on medium heat with the olive oil. Brown the pork in the pan until it starts to caramelize. This should take about 7 minutes.

5. Add the bell pepper, and cook until slightly tender, about 5 minutes.

6. Add all of the other veggies and saute until all the veggies are tender and heated through. Turn off the heat.

7. Combine the rice and the veggie mixture and serve!

Serves 4-6

Monday, October 10, 2011

Gluten free, Corn free, Soy free Quinoa Crac an' Cheese Cakes

I normally don't give book recommendation, but I am halfway through this and it is incredible. I can't wait to see the movie!

Does anybody else ever drool over those Apple Bees and T.G.I Fridays commercials? You know the ones where they show chicken tenders, french fries, fried macaroni and cheese, and all that?

No? Nobody? Yeah, me either! I mean, really! Who thinks of that?!

Well, today I was not thinking about that fried macaroni and cheese, when i made this. Mmmkay?

Quinoa is such a versatile food. It's also packed with protein. These little babies are full of protein, and complex carbs.

I'm a big believer in beans. I regularly eat black beans, kidney beans, white beans, and pinto beans. Beans are a great source of soluble and non soluble fiber, protein, and vitamins.

Quinoa Crac an' Cheese Cakes

2 1/2 c. Water
1 c. Qunioa
1 c. Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 15 oz can Kidney Beans, chopped slightly
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil

1. Bring the water to a boil. Add the quinoa and simmer covered until all the water is gone and the quinoa is mushy. Remove from heat.

2. Add the cheese and salt. Stir and let sit for 2 minutes. This will help the cheese melt into the quinoa. Stir until the cheese is completely melted into, and no longer visible in the quinoa.

3. Heat a large saute pan with 2 Tbs of Oil. When hot, spoon the "Crac" into the pan. This will make 4 or 6 cakes. Flip when brown and crunchy. Serve warm.

3. Add beans and salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Gluten-free, Corn-free, Soy-free Breaded Chicken Cutlets and "Ranch" dressing

I know I'm late to this party. I'm sure everybody already knows about the awesomeness of it. I'm sure you all have tasted and love it, but I haven't.

I'm talking about Almond Milk.

Oh, this stuff is like the sweet nectar of life. I am addicted to it. It is sooooo good. My favorite is Silks' Dark Chocolate Almond Milk, but Diamonds' Vanilla Almond Milk is just as amazing!

I created a Smoothie to commemorate this delicious beverage. Drum roll please!

The Chocolate Covered Banana
1 medium Banana
1 C. Dark Chocolate Almond Milk
1 Scoop Sun Warrior Protein Powder
1 C. Ice

1. Blend the Banana, Almond Milk, and protein powder.
2. Add ice and blend until smooth.
3. Enjoy the chocolate deliciousness!

This is great for breakfast because it feels so bad for you, but it tastes so good.

But this is not the only recipe you will get from me today. I got dinner in the bag for you too. You can thank me later. If you want.

Breaded Turkey Cutlets, Roasted Potatoes, and Salad with "Ranch" dressing
Serves 3

1 pack Turkey Breast Cutlets, boneless and skinless (I used Trader Joes)
2 c. Gluten Free Breadcrumbs (I make my own)
1/2 c. Parmesan, freshly grated
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
2 tsp Organic Herb Seasoning
2 Eggs
1/2 c. fine Sweet Rice flour
1 lb small Potatoes, red, fingerling, dutch, gold
2 Tbs Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
2 Tbs Mayo
4 Tbs Greek Yogurt
2 Tbs diced Chives
1/2 tsp Salt
Juice from 1 Lemon
1 head Butter lettuce
Cucumber, Tomato, Red Onion, Radish

1. If the potatoes are small toss them whole with the olive oil and salt, if not then cut into small pieces. Roast in the oven at 420 F for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.

2. Slip the cutlets into a large ziploc bag and pound until 1/4 inch thin. Coat the cutlets in flour, then egg, and then breadcrumbs. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, combine the mayo, yogurt, salt, chives, and lemon juice. Whisk, and set aside.

4. Take a large saute pan and fill the bottom with about an 1/8 inch of olive or canola oil. When the oil is hot, add the cutlets, two at a time. Flip when browned. About 4 -5 minutes, each side.

5. Serve the salad dressed, with the potatoes, and turkey cutlets.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Gluten-free, Corn-free, Soy-free White Lasagna

Hey everybody!

I know since it just turned September, many blogs have been featuring recipe's for pumpkin based food and different kind of pie's. I am not like those other bloggers. Here in Southern California it is still over 100 F. I can't even look at a sweater or pumpkin. Can't. Won't. I refuse.

Instead I am going to talk about Italian food. When you are allergic to tomatoes, a lot of Italian food is off limits. And this kind of sucks. You can't watch Giada De Laurentis without wanting to eat a big bowl of pasta and marinara. But every now and then you come across something that makes you forget about that red monkey on your back.

White Lasagna. That's right. WHITE lasagna. I used a delicious Elk sausage as the main protein. I know that's not to a lot of people's tastes, but when alternating meats it's important to utilize as many meats as possible. If you want you can just use an Italian Turkey sausage instead.

Gluten-free, Soy-free, Corn-free Elk Sausage White Lasagna
Makes 4 servings.

1 Box Tinkyada Brown Rice Lasagna Noodles
1 stick of Butter or 1/2 C. of butter
1/2 C. Sweet White Rice Flour
4 C. Low fat Milk, slightly warmed
1 lb. Elk sausage or Italian Turkey Sausage, browned
1  oz container of Skim Ricotta cheese
1 1/2 C. Pecorino Romano, grated
1 C. Mozzarella cheese, grated

1. Preheat oven to 400F degree's.

2. Melt butter in a sauce pan big enough to hold 4 C. of milk. When the butter is melted, add the flour and cook for a minute. Add the milk to the pan, and whisk until thickened, about 4 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Melt a cup of the Pecorino Romano to the sauce and whisk till smooth. Set aside.

3. Mix the ricotta, 1/2 C. of the Romano cheese, and salt to taste. Set aside.

4. Begin layering the Lasagna in a square 9x9 casserole pan.

5. Start with sauce. Then layer noodles, ricotta (in little blobs in even rows), and meat. Continue until you finish the ingredients. Sprinkle the top with the Mozzarella cheese.

6. Bake for 45 minutes or until the noodles are soft, covering the top with foil if the cheese gets to dark.

  Elk Sausage:

Use the recipe I have here for Venison Sausage. Simply replace the ground Venison with ground Elk.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Renovations and Gluten free Lemon Meringue Pie

This week has been insane. I feel like I need to sleep for a couple years or so.
As most of you know I live with my parents and two younger sisters. This is for a variety of reasons. One of them being that i would rather live with my family who i am very close to, rather then live on my own. Another is that I would hate having no one to talk to at home! I'd end up talking to myself like a loon!

So on Friday morning we had all the carpet in the bedrooms replaced, since we were ripping up the carpet we decided to paint, and redecorate.

Little tip: Painting walls is a lot easier when you don't have to worry about dripping paint on the carpet.

It was a marathon of shopping, working, and lifting. It's amazing when your looking for large pieces of furniture, how difficult it is to find good quality, reasonably priced items. On Saturday we scoured every furniture store in a 50 mile radius. It was exhausting. It was made even more exhausting by not finding anything. On Sunday morning we found our savior.

And it's name is Craigslist. I love Craigslist!

Let me show you some of the things we found:

A gorgeous solid oak desk and hutch in perfect condition: $120

A set of Mr. and Mrs. dressers. One for me and one or my sister. Solid wood, professionally refinished, bun feet: $200 for the pair.

Metal daybed. Purchased floor model and got 15% off.

Already owned antique nightstand, refinished.

Small dresser from a yard sale, refinished.

The knowledge that the only thing I payed full price for is my bedding: Priceless.

So now I am exhausted. And covered in paint.

But don't worry, I'm not going to let you down. How about a delicious Gluten free, soy free, corn free recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie?

I thought so.

Gluten free, Soy free, Corn free Lemon Meringue Pie
Makes 1 large pie or 6 individual pies

Pie Crust:
1/2 C. Sorghum flour
1/2 C. Brown Rice flour
1/2 C. Tapioca Starch
2 tsp Xanthan Gum
1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 C. Spectrum Organic Shortening
1 Eggs
3 Tbs Ice Cold Water
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

1. Mix all flours in your food processor. Add the shortening in large chunks to the processor. Pulse till thoroughly incorporated. The dough should look pretty craggy.

2. In a measuring cup combine the eggs, water, and vinegar. Pour over the dough. Pulse till the dough mostly comes together, and starts to partially cleans the bowl.

3. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

4. After refrigerating, divide into 6 pieces, roll out till about 1/4 inch thick, and place in a mini tart pan or roll out all the dough and place in a pie pan. Crimp the edges.

5. Poke the crusts with a fork, and par bake for about 10 minutes at 400 F.

6. Set aside.

Pie Filling:

1/2 C. Lemon Juice
2 tsp Lemon Zest
1 can Sweetened Condensed milk

1. Combine the juice, milk, and zest.

2. Fill the tarts evenly, and set aside.

6 egg whites
1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
1/2 C. Sugar

1. Whip the egg whites, and tartar till soft peaks form.

2. Add the sugar slowly, about a tablespoon at a time. Continue whipping till thoroughly blended.

3. Fill the tarts, making sure to seal the meringue to the edge of the crusts.

4. Take a spatula and make spikes in the meringue.

5. Bake at 325 F for 15- 25 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Gluten-free, Corn-free, Soy-free Pot Pie

Okay, I know I am a little late to the party. I know. I feel bad, I do. But better late than never.

Yesterday, Shauna over at Gluten-free Girl hosted a Pie Party. Something like a thousand people all made pies before July 5th. I meant to make a pie, but it just got to blasting hot to run the oven. So I made one today.

A savory pie.

A pot pie.

A homemade venison sausage, Lima bean, and Parmesan bechemel pot pie.

Gluten-free, Soy-free, Corn-free Pot Pie
Makes 6 pot pies

1 lb Sausage of your choosing
1 lb baby Lima beans, cooked

Bechemel Sauce:
4 Tbs butter
4 Tbs Sweet White Rice Flour
2 C. Low fat Milk, warmed
1/4 C. Parmesan Cheese, grated

1 C. Brown Rice Flour
1/2 C. Tapioca Flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 C. Spectrum Organic Shortening
1 egg
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
3 Tbs Ice Water

1. In a food processor, combine the flours, xanthan gum, and salt. Add the shortening and pulse until baked bean sized crumbles form.

2. In a bowl whisk to combine the egg, vinegar and water.

3. Add to the food processor and pulse until a dough forms.

4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

5. Cook sausage and Lima beans. Divide evenly between 6 ramekins or crocs whatever your using for your pot pies.

6. Melt butter in a pan. Add the flour, and cook until the roux starts to yellow. Add the milk, and whisk until thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

7. Melt the Parmesan into the bechemel. Divide the bechemel between the pot pies.

8. Roll the pie dough out and cover and crimp each pot pie.

9. Brush with egg yolk and bake for 25 minutes.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Quinoa Chocolate Chip Animal Cookies

Summer picnics.
Summer trips.
Summer Vacations.
Summer destinations.

Whats the common thread? Summer!

Now for those of us who have multiple food allergies, packing food for trips and vacations can be difficult. It doesn't have to be. Here are a few tips for packing lunches this summer!

1. Don't forget the classic sandwich! Sandwiches are easily made and transportable. The biggest thing for allergy sufferers is the bread. My favorite recipe is this one over The Whole Life Nutrition. I love this bread!!! I eat it basically everyday, and it is the only bread in my families house. It is soft and holds together great. Here are some sandwich option to think about:
  • Chicken Salad.
With the mayo or Greek yogurt of your choosing this is a delicious, filling sandwich. You can add grapes, apples, celery, or curry powder to make it different or fresh.
  • Deli sandwich with your favorite AF deli meats.
I'm a sucker for ham and turkey with Swiss cheese, but different strokes for different folks.
  • Hummus.
Hummus makes a great sandwich spread. Plus it's packed with protein.
  • Nut Butters
Almond, Sunflower, Cashew, Pumpkin Seed, Peanut, Walnut, Macadamia. Whatever floats your boat!
  • Cheese
Not one of those cheese sandwiches served on planes either. Think bigger than that. Jack or fresh mozzarella. Brie or Gouda. Swiss or a nice aged sharp cheddar. Think outside the box people.
  • Don't forget the veggies!
That sandwich will be twice as filling, and nutritious if you laden that thing down with fresh spinach, cucumber slices, avocado, bell pepper slices, romaine, watercress, tomatoes. Anything you want.

I think I am going to spread these packed lunch ideas out over a couple of posts. I will however throw you all a bone!


How about some cookies? Tiny, animal shaped cookies, with chocolate chips. That's what I thought.

Quinoa Chocolate Chip Animal Cookies

3/4 C. or 3.5 oz or 100g Quinoa Flour
1 C. or 5 oz or 145g Brown Rice Flour
1 tsp Xanthan Gum
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1 C. or 225 Spectrum Shortening
1 Egg
1 C. or 140g Light Brown Sugar
1/2 C. or 70g Chocolate Chips

1. Combine the flours, xanthan, and salt. I whisk these together.

2. Whip till creamy and light the shortening and sugar.

3. Add the egg to the shortening mixture.

4. Combine the flour mix to the shortening mix. Mix in the chocolate chips.

5. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour.

6. Preheat oven to 350 F.

7. Line two baking pans with parchment paper.

8. Roll out the dough on a piece of parchment paper. Cut cookies into shapes. I chose little animal shapes.

9. Bake for 12-15 minutes depending on size, until golden brown.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Sweet Berry Smoothie, Gluten free, soy free, corn free

I am exhausted.

Seriously, butt kicking, sleep on the couch, black circle under your eyes tired.

Why am I so tired you might ask? Well I will tell you.

Last Friday we decided to go clothes shopping. All of the summer sales where going on, so we couldn't resist. Many people underestimate the work that goes into shopping. The walking, searching, standing, sifting, sorting, trying on, climbing stairs, driving here, driving there. 8 hours and two shopping malls later, it's 11 o'clock and I am exhausted! On the upside, I did get a pair of shoes, a skirt, and some workout and regular shorts.

Saturday, I needed to go regular shopping. You know, toilet paper, shampoo, lunch meat, the basics. Then I hit the yarn store, the beauty store, and Trader Joe's. Late, tired, looking forward to the next day.

Sunday, I had a bit of a rest. Just stuff around the house. BBQ'd some steaks.

Monday. I spent half the day cooking while my family worked in the yard. They had to dig up a planter that had been taken over by some sort of ground cover. Things however took a turn for the worst in the afternoon. My dad had sprained his sciatica the day before, so it was up to my sister to dig up the plant alone. After having lunch and seeing her progress, I decided to go out and help her. This plant was like a mutant plant from the past! The root system had grown and piled on top of each other until it was a foot thick! We both could stand on it and not even budge it. We didn't finish digging it out until 9 o'clock.

Tuesday. We went to Disneyland! It was sooo much fun, but we didn't get home until 11:30 pm.

Know you see why I was so tired. Thankfully I think I know something that might help.

Chock full of protein, calcium, vitamins, and phyto nutrients. Strawberries help prevent your body from storing cholesterol and blueberries are full of antioxidants.

Sweet Berry Smoothie

Serves 3

1 C. Blueberries
1 C. Strawberries, cut into 1/4's
1 C. Nonfat Greek Yogurt, I use Fage
2 C. Ice
1 scoop Sun Warrior Protein powder
1/2 C. Rice milk or Coconut milk
Splenda or Stevia to taste

Add everything except ice to a blender. Blend till smooth.
Add ice. Blend again. Enjoy!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Gluten-free, Soy-free, Corn-free Pork Luganega Sausage

I am not a big griller. Usually my dad does the grilling, and my mom and I make the fixings. Normally, we stick with chicken, steak, or burgers. However, every now and then we like bbq'n hot dogs or sausage. Unfortunately when you have multiple allergies, most sausages are a no-no to you. If you find one that is free of gluten, corn, or soy, then you know it has pepper, tomatoes, or garlic. So instead of forgoing the weenie roast this year, I decided to try my hand at making my own.

I already had the grinder attachment for my Kitchenaid stand mixer so all i needed was the sausage stuffer attachment. It looks like this:

It took me about an hour to make 3 lbs of pork sausage. Pretty reasonable in my opinion.

Normally people use natural casing, which is essentially pig intestine. Yeah.
I'm not gutsy enough to dive into the deep end of the pool on my first try. So I started with a cellulose casing. It isn't edible, but it also doesn't smell like . . . never mind.
Moving on.

Making sausage is much easier then you think.
Prepare your ingredients.
Freeze your meat.
Grind your meat.
Stuff your sausage.

Simple as that. Okay, I know it doesn't look simple, but it is. Trust me.

This sausage is the perfect pairing for use in risottos. It also tastes great in tomato sauce.

Pork Luganega (Italian Spring Sausage)

4 feet Casing (your choice)
1 3/4 lbs Lean Pork Butt, stripped from the bone
1/2 lb Pork Fat
1 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1 tsp grated Lemon Zest
1 tsp grated Orange Zest
1/4 tsp freshly grated Nutmeg
1/4 C. White wine
1/2 C. freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
Optional, if not allergic:
1 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
1 clove Garlic

  1. Cube the meat and fat into 1-inch cubes. Put them in the freezer for about half and hour.
  2. Grind the meat and fat with the fine disk of whatever grinder your using.
  3. While the meat is freezing combine in a large bowl the salt, lemon zest, orange zest, nutmeg, wine, and if adding the pepper and garlic.
  4. Add the ground meat and Parmesan, mix well.
  5. Stuff the casing, twist off into 8 inch links. Separate the links with scissors.
  6. Put the links on a platter in the fridge, and let them dry uncovered for 2 to 3 hours.
  7. Use within 3 days, or freeze.
I usually freeze them after the drying phase, and then defrost them as I need them. Make sure to cook your meat  until it reaches and internal temperature of 160 F.

Friday, May 06, 2011

"Cheezy" Banana Squash Fries

The Tell-tale heart. JK.

Good morning cyber-land!

I know it has been forever since I've given you all a recipe, but don't worry I'll make up for it in the next coming weeks. I have been cooking up a storm. Just not posting up a storm.

I don't know about you, but I am always trying to put more vegetables in my diet. Especially bright, colorful super food vegetables.
Banana Squash

Have you ever eaten a banana squash? Yeah, neither had I till a couple of weeks ago. My local produce vendor was offering french fry cut banana squash. Instead of frying, I wanted to bake it to crispiness. I also wanted it to taste slightly cheesy without the added calories of cheese. Nutritional yeast worked perfectly!
This dish is a great source of vitamins and minerals. Banana squash is high in beta-carotene, Vitamin C, manganese, and potassium. The nutritional yeast is chockful of the B vitamins. Grape seed oil is a natural anti-inflammatory, is high in essential fatty acids, low in saturated fat, cholesterol free, and is high in phenols which protect our cells against free radicals. Muy Buono if you ask me!


"Cheezy" Banana Squash Fries

1 lb French Fry cut Banana Squash
2 Tbs Grape seed Oil
3 Tbs Nutritional Yeast
1 tsp Salt
Fresh ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Toss the fries with the oil, salt, and yeast. Spread out in an even layer and bake for 15 minutes.
4. Flip, bake for 15 more minutes.
5. Flip again, bake for 10 more minutes.
6. Remove from oven when golden brown and partially dried out.

Soooo good.  And good for you!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

3 Favorite Foods

Hey everyone!

Instead of sharing a recipe with you all, I thought I would share a few of my favorite products with everyone.

How does that sound? Good.

1. I love Tropical Gourmet Cassava Chips!!!!

These chips are crunchy and slightly salty. The ingredients are Cassava (which is a fancy word for tapioca), Canola and/or Palm Kernel Oil, and salt. They are also a great alternative to potato or tortilla chips.

2. Sensible Foods Organic Crunch Dried Snacks

These things taste like fruit chips!!!! They are bleeping awesome. My favorite is the 100% Organic Cherry Berry. It is gluten free, vegan, GMO free, and sugar free. I have tried other freeze dried fruits and these were by far the crunchiest I have ever had.

3. Trader Joe's Sunflower Seed Butter

This stuff is sooooo sweet it doesn't even need any honey or jam. Now I am not one of those people who makes there own nut butters. Some do. I don't. I have never found it as smooth. But if you can, then more power to ya!
Keep the Integrity of the Bean, 2009-present. Unauthorized use of this material without permission is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that credit is given to "Keep the Integrity of the Bean" with appropriate direction to the original content.