All posts by Samantha

Yorkshire Pudding (gluten-free)

I looked forward to dinners at my granny’s house.  She almost always made roast beef, mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, AND yorkshire pudding.  This last item was by far my favourite and still is a treat when we have it.  It’s a fairly easy batter to make, the trick is in the baking.

Ingredients (makes 12-18 muffin sized yorkshires):

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 c tapioca flour
  • 1/4 c potato flour
  • 1/4 c rice flour
  • 2 c milk (dairy or your favourite substitute)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 c pastured lard, beef fat (tallow) or coconut oil

Instructions:

In a blender or mixer, combine all the ingredients except the fat.  Blend well. Place the fridge for at least an hour.

In a metal standard muffin tin, place a 1-2 tsp of fat.  I just estimate the amount using small dessert spoon.  For the fat, I use pastured beef fat (tallow).  Place muffin tin and fat in the oven at 400F and leave it there until the fat is sizzling hot, about 3-5 minutes, then remove from the oven.

Pour the cold batter into the hot fat. Fill the muffin cups halfway.  Place in the oven and bake at 400F for 10 min then without opening the oven door, turn the oven down to 350 and bake for another 15 min.  This is important – DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN – until the end of the cooking time.  Use the oven window to check – they should be golden brown at the end of the cooking time.  If the muffin cups were filled more than halfway with batter, you may find the insides of the yorkshire a little soft but the outside will still be crispy and golden.

If you have leftover batter, repeat the entire process making sure that the batter has been returned to the fridge in between batches.

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Hanger Steak with Chipotle Pepper Chutney

I recently discovered hanger steak, courtesy of Taryn at George’s Meats in Port Moody’s Newport Village.  This less expensive cut of beef is flavourful and half the cost (per pound) as a rib eye steak.  I wasn’t sure what to do with it at first, but here’s what I came up with.

Ingredients: 

  • 1.5 lbs or approximately 4 pieces of hanger steak
  • 2 small onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 avocado, halved and sliced
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 yams or Udi’s gluten-free tortillas
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro for garnish
  • Muy Rico Chipotle Pepper Chutney

Directions:

If you are using yams, wrap in tinfoil and bake now at 400F for 30-45 minutes depending on the size.

Pre-heat a large cast iron skillet to medium-high .  Season the hanger steak with salt and pepper.  Add a little bit of your favourite cooking oil, like  lard from pastured pork or duck fat to the skillet.  Once the oil is hot, add the steaks.  Cook on four sides approximately 4 min per side for a total of 12-15 minutes.  The cooking time depends on the thickness of your steaks and your preference (well done, medium-well, medium, medium-rare etc).  Personally, I like these steaks cooked medium-rare.

Once your steaks are cooked according to your desire, set aside and cover with tinfoil.  Turn the skillet down to medium, add some more fat along with the onions and and garlic.  Deglaze the pan by adding a couple of tablespoons of water.  Then add the peppers. Cook until soft.  Thinly slice the steaks, being careful to cut across the grain.

To make burritos: Heat the burritos according to the package instructions.   To the burrito, add steak slices, onions and peppers, avocado slices, cherry tomatoes, cilantro and the chutney.  Wrap and enjoy!

With the yams:  Split the yam lengthwise, and cut crosshatches into the yam.  Then layer the onions and peppers, steak slices, avocado, cilantro, and tomatoes.  Garnish with cilantro and the pepper chutney.  Dig in!

 

Nida’s Green Chicken Marinade

My wonderful friend, Nida, made this chicken for a celebration.  I had to have this recipe and she graciously obliged.  I’ve modified it a tiny bit.  As written it serves about 3-4 people but don’t expect leftovers!

Ingredients

  • 0.5 kg (1 lb) boneless chicken pieces (thighs work well) or 1 kg (2 lb) bone-in chicken pieces
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds, dry roasted
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp fresh garlic
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp salt (to taste preferences)
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper (I only had black)
  • 1 tsp garam masala (indian spice mix easily available at most grocery stores)
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream* (just enough to make it a wet mix, but not soupy).
  • 1 – 2 chili peppers, seeds out (optional)

Roast the whole cumin seeds in a hot, dry skillet. You’ll know when they are done when you can smell them – don’t let them burn!  Remove from heat and set aside.  Peel the fresh garlic and ginger, slice into chunks if you don’t have a food processor to make it easier on your Magic Bullet or other blender type appliance.  Add cumin seeds, garam masala and salt and pulse until seeds are smashed up.  Add remaining ingredients and puree until smooth (less if you desire a chunky marinade).  Add more or less cream as needed. Add to chicken and refrigerate for up to 3 hours.

* You could substitute plain greek style yogurt for the cream or omit all together if you don’t do any dairy.  Instead use coconut cream (the stuff that rises to the top of the can) in place of the dairy.

Creamy Turkey Soup

We are two weeks  post-Canadian Thanksgiving, and turkey leftovers are a distant memory here.  But I can’t stop thinking about the soup I made with the leftover turkey meat and stock.  It was delicious and one of those meals that just come together out of necessity.  And very well received by my family.  Luckily, I wrote the recipe down so now I can share with you!

Ingredients:
  • 2 large sweet potatoes (the white fleshed variety), peeled and cubed into 1″ pieces
  • 4 c. turkey broth (homemade, see the Weston A. Price recipe if you don’t know how)
  • 4 large carrots, sliced
  • 4 celery sticks, sliced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 c. cooked turkey meat, chopped
  • 3 sliced pastured bacon, finely sliced
  • Italian parsley, to garnish
Directions:

In a large saucepan, cook the potatoes in the broth until tender.  While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the vegetables and pan fry the bacon.  Add the raw vegetables to the slow cooker. Set the bacon aside.

Once the potatoes are cooked, i.e. can be easily pierced with a fork, puree and add to the slow cooker.  You can either use a blender or immersion blender for the pureeing (I used my immersion/stick blender).  Add the turkey and set on low for 2 hours.

If the soup is too thick, thin it out with a bit more turkey broth or water.

Garnish with bacon, parsley and fresh pepper.

Note:  you don’t have to use a slow cooker, just finish blending and then add everything to your original pot, cooking over medium-low heat until the vegetables are cooked to your liking.

 

 

Chicken & Wild Rice Salad

I was inspired to make this salad at home after I found a Chicken-Wild Rice-Quinoa salad at my favourite local cafe – Caffe Divano (if you are in the area, go visit them – great coffee and food).  Here is my simple and tasty version I made at home.

Ingredients

Serves 2-3 as a main course.

  • 2 c. (approximately) left over chicken, chopped or shredded
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 apple, cubed
  • 3/4 c. red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c. dried cranberries, unsweetened
  • 1/2 c. pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 – 1 c. wild rice, cooked
  • 2 lemons, juice only
  • 2 – 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Combine all ingredients and toss.  Enjoy!

Notes

While this recipe calls for leftover chicken, we often don’t have any so instead I poach two chicken breasts in water (with salt and sometimes herbs) while I’m chopping up the other ingredients.  Poaching the chicken breast in a liquid helps them from drying out but you still have to watch that you don’t overcook them – no one like sawdust!

And if you precook the rice and then cool it, you’ll be getting some resistant starch to feed your gut bacteria.  Win-win for everyone!

Warm Yam Salad

I say warm yam salad but really this is just as good cold.  I first found a variation of this salad on PaleOMG’s website. But sometimes I don’t have all the ingredients.  However, I have found that roasted yams (or sweet potatoes) + balsamic vinegar + lime juice = very tasty.  In fact, it is a very forgiving salad that changes based on what you add in.  The recipe as written below is for what is in the picture.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large yams, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large bacon ends, chopped
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 1/4 of red onion
  • balsamic vinegar
  • lime juice
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

Roast yams and chopped bacon on a tinfoil covered baking sheet at 425F for 15 min then stir and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until soft.  While the yams and bacon are cooking, chop the onion and cilantro.

In a large bowl, combine 1/4 c of balsamic plus a couple of tablespoons of lime juice.  I don’t measure, I just go by taste.  Add the onion and cilantro, and mix.  When the yams are baked, add to the dressing and mix well to combine.  It is delicious.  You can add more balsamic vinegar or lime juice at this point, depending on your personal preference.

As I mentioned above, this is a very flexible salad – you can skip the bacon (but, really don’t), or substitute green onions for red, Italian parsley for cilantro.  I’m sure there are other things I haven’t though of too.

If you try another variation, leave a comment and let me know!

Meatballs and Caesar Salad

One main item I enjoy making for large groups is meatballs.  Ground grass-finished beef won’t break the bank and they are easy to make ahead in slow cooker.

For a side, caesar salad is also pretty easy, although some might find making the dressing for the first time a little daunting.  My favourite caesar salad dressing is from Make It Paleo, by Bill and Hayley of Primal Palate.  They have many great salad dressing recipes, not to mention great recipes in general.

Back to the meatballs.  The other benefit: they are 21 Day Sugar Detox and Whole30 compliant.  The recipe below is for 1 lb of ground meat but is easily scaled up.  The biggest batch I’ve made was 5 lbs for a Christmas party.  One jar of sauce is more than enough for 1 lb of meat; for 3 lbs, 2 jars, etc.

Ingredients:

  • 3 green onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 a bunch of cilantro
  • 1 handful of baby spinach
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • avocado oil (to help with the blending)
  • 1 lb ground beef, grass-finished
  • 1 jar (680 mL, 24 fl. oz.) tomato sauce*

* I use the brand La Molisana – which can be found at my local Italian bakery.  The Pomodoro & Basilico sauce does not contain any sugar.

Directions:

In a saucepan, heat the sauce over medium heat.

In a food processor or blender, combine green onions, garlic, cilantro, spinach, cumin and salt.  Run your food processor/blender until a puree forms. You may need to add a little bit of avocado oil to help with the process.

In a large bowl, combine the ground meat and green puree.  Mix well.  Then using a spoon or ice cream scoop, form the meatballs.  Gently drop the meatballs into the simmering sauce.  Cook for approximately 30 minutes on simmer.  Check that they are fully cooked before serving.

Serving ideas:  Often we eat these meatballs with a side of caesar but if you need more carbohydrates, the meatballs and sauce is also good over a baked yam or spaghetti squash. Sorry, no pictures – they were eaten rather quickly!

Make enough to enjoy them for lunch tomorrow.  For a family of four, I recommend at least 2 lbs of ground beef.