Category Archives: Appetizers

Kale and Sweet Potato Soup with Tiny Turkey Meatballs

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free *  Paleo ~~

IMG_9018

As I’ve mentioned recently (or maybe not so recently) I’m enamoured with soup meals -that is soups with enough protein, vegetables, and starch to constitute a complete meal in one bowl.  This one came about in what is not uncommon in my kitchen – leftover stuff.

I had lots of chopped kale left from the Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad I posted last week and, due to a miscalculation on my part, way too many sliced sweet potatoes from the soup kitchen.  Further, I had purchased a pound of ground turkey at the farmer’s market (I love their turkey products) and so…Ta Ta  Sweet Potato and Kale Soup with Tiny Turkey Meatballs.

I love saying that:  Tiny Turkey Meatballs….Tiny Turkey Meatballs…. I love saying that because whenever I make meatballs of something other than beef I usually name them Turkey Balls or Lamb Balls or Pork Balls – all of which are terrible names.  However, browsing someone’s blog (can’t remember whose or I would give you a link to them) I noticed s/he made a dish with turkey balls and called it turkey meatballs…Why Didn’t I Think of That????  If only I could go back to any of my cookbooks that have recipes for some form of meatball and rename them properly…alas it’s too late for past balls – but you know all future balls will be meatballs!
Hope you love this soup – Enjoy! Continue reading Kale and Sweet Potato Soup with Tiny Turkey Meatballs

Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo ~~

IMG_8882

I belonged to a book club many years ago.  There were about 7 of us and each month one of us would pick the book and host the dinner/discussion.  The club dissolved with my friend Helen’s quick and very unexpected passing.   Without Helen (whose book choices the rest of us always questioned) it was just too hard to regain momentum.  Skip forward several years and one of the original book club members decided to revive it but with a slightly different cast of characters.  After much debate a book (My Brilliant Friend) and a date for the meeting was chosen.

I confess that, as is/was usually the case, I put off reading the book until the last minute.  Three days before the meeting I started reading – and I’m happy to report I finished it with 2 hours to spare.  The dinner was to be at the organizer’s home and then, of the seven reading the book, only 3 of us (host + me + 1 other) made it to the discussion/dinner.

All this is just leading up to the fact that our host had prepared a wonderful dinner including my new favorite-salad-ever.  She found the recipe on a blog

kale and brussel sprout salad from www.onceuponachef.com
I went to the blog only to find that the blogger, Jen Segall, took and altered the recipe from Bon Appetit  http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/kale-and-brussels-sprout-salad
The recipes at both sites use Parmesan style cheese which, being paleo, I omitted.   They both make really big batches (Bon Appetit serves 8 to 10 and Once Upon a Chef serves 6 to 8) and I wanted a more normal sized yield (mine serves 4 to 6).  Proportionally, they both used more dressing, but I honestly feel the amount here is PLENTY!  And, I went with the Bon Appetit choice of almonds rather than walnuts.
Here are some of the things that make this my new favorite salad
It’s DELICIOUS!
It’s easy to prepare – I found already shaves Brussels Spouts and washed and chopped kale at Trader Joe’s, making this salad a snap to make.
 IMG_8855  IMG_8854
It’s versatile –  add cooked chicken for a whole meal salad; add chopped apples and raisins/craisons/currents for a sweeter version; add beans for a heartier vegetarian/vegan salad
It can be prepared in advance – unlike many salads that just get soggy/slimy when dressed too soon, this one gets even better when allowed to stand
Hope this becomes your most favorite new salad too!   Enjoy!

Continue reading Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

Beef Heaven – Paleo Nua Sewan – Thai Beef Jerky

IMG_8377

Beef Heaven – Nua Sewan – Thai Beef Jerky

I gotta confess I’m not a beef jerky kinda girl.  In fact, besides Nua Sewan that I tasted in a Thai cooking class eons ago, I never even tasted beef jerky until last month when I bought a package from Trader Joe’s.  To be honest, I thought it was yucky.  So why make it?

To begin with, I had a huge sirloin and I’m only one person, so after cooking a piece of it for dinner I was still left with a lot and I recalled how much I liked the recipe I learned in my cooking class.  Of course that recipe used all sorts of ingredients that are definitely not Paleo – so here’s my version.  I think it’s pretty terrific…I hope you do too! Continue reading Beef Heaven – Paleo Nua Sewan – Thai Beef Jerky

Noodles with Sunflower Seed Sauce

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo

CIMG4546

My goodness but I miss Noodles in Peanut Sauce – so I did what any food blogger would do…I made a recipe using different ingredients but yielding a sauce just as delicious as the original (maybe even better).

I have a long history with Noodles in Peanut sauce.  I first published a recipe for it in 1992 for my book “Wholesome Harvest” – in it I used a combination of peanut butter and tahini along with soy sauce, vinegar and a few other ingredients.  Next was in “1,000 Vegetarian Recipes” (1996) where I have a recipe for Peanut Noodles as well as one for Sesame Noodles.  Next came “Something for Everyone” (1997) that had Peanut Noodles in it.  But my big breakthrough came when I entered a cooking contest with my friend Valentine.  The contest was for Lawry’s Marinades.  I created, and Valentine filmed preparation of the recipes for several of the products. My favorite was a very simple recipe for Peanut Noodles:   equal parts Lawry’s Sesame Ginger marinade and smooth peanut butter.  Amazing.  I used that recipe from then on and always got high praise from guests.

Now that I’m Paleo, Peanut Noodles are problematic on so many levels:  I don’t eat peanuts, I don’t use soy sauce (or tamari), no sugar (though I am a little loosey goosey on that one), and of course no “normal” noodles.  But the mad scientist in me was determined to make this work.

Let’s start with the noodles.  I’ve made this with noodles made from sweet potato starch, but I’ve also made this using blanched shredded cabbage.

CIMG4704  CIMG4710

CIMG4706   CIMG4705

 

If you are not Paleo, you could use gluten-free spaghetti or mung bean vermicelli or thin rice noodles.  If you have no dietary restrictions – and you’re only reading this blog because we are friends : ) feel free to use regular thin spaghetti or lo mein noodles.

The other substitutions I have made are coconut aminos instead of the usual soy sauce.  Coconut aminos are similar in flavor to teriyaki sauce and you could use that if you do not have coconut aminos.

CIMG4502

I love Trader Joe’s Sunflower Seed butter it’s not as thick as peanut butter but not as thin as tahini.  It has cane sugar in it (as I said earlier I am not too rigid about having some sugar in my diet) so you can use another brand that doesn’t contain sugar but you may want a little extra maple syrup.  You could also use cashew butter instead of the sunflower if that is what you have on hand, but cashew butter tends to be thicker than my sunflower seed butter so you may have to thin the sauce down.

So, enough about the technical stuff; here’s the recipe…it’s really DELICIOUS! Continue reading Noodles with Sunflower Seed Sauce

Portuguese Sausage and Vegetable Soup

IMG_7760

I have always loved “soup meals” during the colder months (although this year you could hardly have called October or now November cold months).  This morning I went out to walk the dog,

CIMG3307

felt the nip in the air, came in and immediately went to the kitchen to make soup.

A soup meal is more than just a bowl of soup.  It’s soup laced with enough protein, starch, and vegetables that you don’t need anything more to make a complete meal…well, in the BP (before Paleo) days I would have added some crispy bread to the menu.  The reasons that I love soup meals are many:

It can be made in large batches and freezes well so you can alway have an easy/quick meal on hand

Easy clean-up:  In addition to being a one spoon, one bowl meal, it’s usually also a one pot meal.

If you have a crock pot/slow cooker (and know how to use it) it can be prepared in the morning and then is ready by dinner

I started cooking soup meals when my dad was on Chemo.  His taste buds and appetite had changed; food no longer interested him and he was just getting thinner and thinner.  He was, however, willing to eat soup – so I would “hide” lots of small pieces of meat or chicken and some kind of starch (rice or barley or potatoes) in my soups and he would eat the whole thing.  If you have a friend or loved one who is having a hard time eating, try a soup meal and see if it does the trick.

I adapted this soup from a recipe I wrote for “1,000 Vegetarian Recipes” – obviously there was no sausage or ham in that recipe, but I remember loving the combination of cabbage, greens, and potatoes.  I used hot Italian sausages but I will warn you that the soup is pretty spicy – you may want to use sweet Italian sausages or some combination of the two (I’ve made this sometimes using turkey sausage and sometimes pork), but you can also use cooked sausages like Kielbassa or maybe even frankfurters or cured meats like corned beef or tongue (though I honestly haven’t tried any of those yet).

In any case…look for more soup meals in the near future.

Enjoy!
Continue reading Portuguese Sausage and Vegetable Soup

Warm Thai Beef and Radish Salad

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Paleo~~

IMG_7562

I’m back!   The restorations to my apartment are done…don’t the floors look great?

IMG_7474

and….I got a new stove!

IMG_7468  IMG_7471

And…not least of all…A new look for the blog.  I think it’s a cleaner format and I hope you like it as much as I do.

Now about this recipe.  I’ve taken a booth at an end-of-season party at my CSA pick up location.  I hope to sell a few of the zillions of copies of my books that are taking up space in my apartment.  I was kind of sad to note that most of the recipes in my first two books are made with foods I no longer eat (grains & beans).

One of my favorite recipes in “The Complete Whole Grain Cookbook” is/was WarmThai Beef Salad – but it was made with beef and cooked rice.  I started wondering if there’s something I could use instead of the rice?  The inspiration of using radishes came because I happen to have three types of radishes in my fridge this week (I got black and watermelon radishes from my CSA and I had bought red radishes in the market because they were too beautiful to pass up).  I don’t remember seeing any recipes that call for cooking radishes, but I figured if worse came to worst I could always just throw out the dish and start again.

You must have guessed by now that it worked splendidly or it wouldn’t be the main feature today!  In fact cooking tames the radish flavor considerably.  Look for more cooked radish recipes in the future.

ENJOY!
Continue reading Warm Thai Beef and Radish Salad

Cauliflower, Carrot and Turnip Soup

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo

CIMG4851

I’m already into the third week of my CSA (community supported agriculture) so I am knee deep in organic vegetables.  I got lovely little white turnips, and divine basil and very fresh parsley.  I combined that with carrots and cauliflower I had on hand and made this delicious soup.  Besides being delicious an added plus is although it’s a thick, rich soup, there are no starches in it.

Just to let you know, I’m giving my apartment a facelift (restoring my floors and painting) and I’ve been just a crazy woman putting away the tons (and I mean TONS!!!) of junk that I have acquired over the years.  Of course this would have been a great time to purge and, in fact I have given away a fair amount of books, etc. but my theory is “if you have the room to store it, and you might need it in the future, keep it.”  I formed this policy when I first moved into this apartment and did a major clean out/give away only to find I had given away stuff that I needed only a month later  : (

So, I hope you enjoy this soup and that your summer is delightful.
Continue reading Cauliflower, Carrot and Turnip Soup

Paleo Kalbi (Korean Short Ribs)

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free *  Paleo~~~

CIMG4566

I was introduced to Korean food by my friend Jessica Lee Binder.  She took me to a restaurant in the Korean area (the West 30’s in NYC where there are 44 Korean restaurants and some Korean grocery stores) that was up a flight of stairs and in my whole life I would never have thought of going.  It was/is called Seoul Garden and is a lovely, peaceful atmosphere (but that might have been because we were there on an off hour) with incredibly delicious food.  Going out with Jess is always an adventure because in addition to being incredibly knowledgeable about food of all types, she also has a hollow leg and orders for us way more food than any four people could possibly eat in one sitting.  That way we taste many different items and she gets to eat her fill – and remain thin…while I remain not thin…I don’t know how she does it.

About the food.  First the restaurant puts about 5 small dishes of various items on the table for you to begin with.  Of course one or two of them are some form of kimchi (very hot pickled cabbage), there was some kind of fried vegetable fritter/pancake as well other things I was not familiar with.  Then came this stone bowl with stewy tofu and veges and a raw egg that you crack into the stew – it was amazing.  There was a noodle dish that was a little bland but perked up with some kimchi and then there was the kalbi that I just fell in love with.  I have returned to the restaurant quite a few times but since going first gluten free, then paleo, Korean (and most Asian) food is out because of all the soy sauce.  So it is my intention to recreate many of my favorite dishes using paleo (and therefore gluten free) ingredients – this Kalbi just being the first.   ENJOY!!! Continue reading Paleo Kalbi (Korean Short Ribs)

Chicken and Meatball Fricassee and Chicken Paprikash

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Paleo~~~

CIMG4201

I really don’t know what the real difference is between chicken fricassee and chicken paprikash as mom made them both the same way – except she used wings and added meatballs when she made the chicken fricassee.    Chicken paprikash she would use bigger pieces of chicken and serve with nokerle (very heavy dumplings) or she would add rice to the pot and make chicken and rice.  No matter which variation she made, they were all delicious!  Enjoy! Continue reading Chicken and Meatball Fricassee and Chicken Paprikash

Paleo Hummus (Hummos)

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo *

CIMG0770

Sometimes I just want a snack or light lunch.  Hummos was a great go-to but now that I don’t eat beans, it’s out or should I say “was out”.  In my quest for a replacement I’ve developed a paleo version of hummos made with potatoes and cauliflower that is just as good as the one made with beans (if you eat beans I have a recipe for Lemony White Bean Hummos here).  To be honest with you, traditional hummos is easier to make – especially if you start with canned beans – because you do have to prep and cook the cauliflower and potatoes for this version.  But if you are longing for a satisfying dip or snack, this hummos will fill the bill.  If you want a paleo dip but don’t want to bother with cooking the cauliflower and potatoes – don’t forget the Tahini I posted last June. Continue reading Paleo Hummus (Hummos)