Where a recovering vegetarian finds a happy medium between traditional foods & paleo eating!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Vegetable Soup with Whey

I made a farmer's cheese today & have no fridge space to store the nutritious byproduct, whey! We'll get to cheesemaking later, but if you already do, here's a great way to use up some of the whey you've got.

The slightly sour, cheesy taste of the whey is a good contrast for the mild sweet of the veggies.

1/4 cup grassfed butter
2 organic onions
8 stalks organic celery
1 large leek
4-5 carrots
2 organic, msg-free chicken bouillon cubes (these are a good quick flavor shortcut, never a substitute for bone broth!)
2 liters whey

Wash & rough chop the vegetables, sauté in butter until soft. Add bouillon cubes & whey, cover & simmer until carrots are tender. Purée & adjust seasoning before serving.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Chicken Stock

Bone stocks were a staple of traditional diets. Boiling the bones for days in water released the minerals needed to thrive. Your stocks can be frozen or stored in the fridge & used over the few days after you've made them. I make stock once a week or so. It's used in soups, stews, chili & sauces to add flavour & nutrients to our meals.

Chicken Stock

-4-5lbs of chicken carcass (I buy these from local farmers)
-vegetables: onion, celery & carrot
-aromatics: herbs like rosemary & thyme, garlic, ginger & peppercorns
-2 tbsp vinegar

Place ingredients in a large stock pot & cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer on a back burner, cover & let simmer on low as long as you'd like; 12 hours at a minimum. The acid helps leach minerals from the bones. When it's finished, strain the stock through a cheesecloth & refrigerate. I get about 6 liters from this quantity of bones. If you want to minimise the volume of what you have to store, simply return the strained stock to the pot & simmer uncovered to reduce.

Making stock is less a recipe & more a method. I use organic ingredients & lots of aromatics to create a rich stock.
I keep the stock pot on my stove for a day or so before beginning the stock, so I can throw the ginger & onion skins, rosemary stems & other scraps into the pot. Experiment with flavours until you find a balance you love!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Green Curry Beef Stew with Green & Orange Veggies

Using high quality steak lets this stew come together in under 30 minutes. Primal families can eat it as is, WP families can serve over fragrant white rice or soaked brown basmati. We paired it with a Chardonnay ('06 JP Chenet).

1lb organic beef sirloin steak
3 tbsp green curry paste
2 tbsp minced fresh organic ginger
4 cloves minced fresh organic garlic

Slice steaks thinly into strips, toss with curry paste, ginger & garlic. Let the meat marinate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

2 tbsp bacon fat
1 large organic onion, diced
1 lb organic sweet potatoes, scrubbed & sliced
1 lb organic carrots, scrubbed & sliced
1 cup organic chicken stock
1 can organic coconut milk

Heat bacon fat in a large Dutch oven. Sauté onion until translucent. Add beef mixture & stir fry until brown. Stir in veggies, stock & coconut milk & bring to a simmer. Cover & cook for 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, wash & rough chop

1 bunch organic spinach
1 bunch organic cilantro

Add greens to Dutch oven & simmer for 1 minute...then it's ready to serve!

Colcannon & Bacon

Simple meals are the backbone of a traditional diet. Your family will need a repertoire of favourites to rotate through as staples.

Colcannon is my family's favourite winter vegetable dish. Colcannon is traditional Irish peasant food, made with inexpensive & readily available ingredients. It's easy to add bacon or sausage to complete the meal & it can be served for breakfast, lunch or supper.

Colcannon with Bacon

1 lb organic bacon
2 lbs organic potatoes
1 large bunch organic kale
1/2 cup grass fed butter
1/2 cup raw milk

Heat the oven to 400. Place bacon on a cookie sheet & bake until done to your preference (30 mins to crispy for me!).

Wash potatoes & cut into chunks. Place in cold salted water, bring to a boil & simmer until fork tender.

Wash kale & slice leafy portions from the stems. Tear into bite sized pieces.

When potatoes are ready, toss kale into the pot, replace the lid & turn off the heat. Let it steam for 2 minutes, then drain vegetables.

Put butter & milk in the pot on low heat until butter is melted. Return potatoes & kale to the pot & mash. Season with fresh ground pepper & sea salt.

Serve colcannon with bacon & a pool of butter melted in the middle!