I have a confession to make.
I ate too much for dinner. It was delicious. Beyond delicious.
Why didn’t I ever think to use leeks for a chicken before?! (Okay, my mom did this and I stole it and now I’m marketing it as mine.) Regardless, I’m looking forward to leftovers. Moreover, I’m looking forward to the pan drippings for future gravy, rendered fat, and soup stock that this chicken will give me. I also froze the liver for future use. I’ll save all of the bones and skin as I eat the chicken and use them for soup stock – the meat will be picked off first and frozen separately. I’ll have a how-to for chicken stock in a few weeks – I just need to collect some more bones.
So, here’s what I did. And I apologize if you’re loosening a belt buckle or two at the end of your meal. I know I sure feel like I need to. 🙂
Leek and Lemon Roasted Chicken
- 1 whole 4-lb chicken, pasture-raised, organic, soy and corn-free
- 1 organic lemon, cut into ¼-inch thick slices
- 1 organic leek, thinly sliced – both the white and the green parts
- ½ stick organic grass-fed butter, cut into tbsp increments or rendered chicken fat
- kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the thinly sliced leek at the bottom of an 8-inch or 10-inch cast iron skillet, top with 1 tbsp butter (I cut it into smaller pieces on top of the leeks).
- Remove any remaining feathers from the chicken and remove any innards in the chicken. Put the liver in a storage container and throw it in the freezer. 🙂 It’s super healthy.
- Throw the neck in the freezer for broth later on. Might as well kill two birds with one stone. Pun intended.
- Separate the skin covering the breast from the meat and rub the remaining butter in between.
- Tuck the chicken legs and wings in so they’re not hanging out of the pan.
- Place chicken in the oven and cook at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for three hours.
- Increase the heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for an additional 45 minutes, or the juices run clear and the internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from oven and let it sit for 5-10 minutes (until the juices are set) and then carve.
- Serve with the drippings poured over the chicken for extra deliciousness and enjoy!
This winter seems to be taking FOR.EV.ER. Maybe it’s because I spent a few weeks sicker than a dog. And wasn’t running. Or eating. Or doing much other than sleeping and drinking my mom’s chicken broth. (Best broth in the whole, wide world – I’ll have to do a post on that someday soon.) Or maybe it’s because we’re in the middle of a cold snap in the Portland area and when I woke up at 8am, it was still 24 degrees out. No outdoor run for me – time to get myself to the gym.
Regardless of the reasons why this winter is dragging on, there is one thing that makes it completely bearable: Soup. Especially soup with lots of healing properties and natural anti-inflammatory and anti-viral ingredients. The fresh ginger soothes an upset stomach and the garlic works as a powerful anti-viral – it’s one of the most powerful natural anti-virals around! (Just when your doctor told you there was nothing to do for a cold!)
Around our house, organic carrots are a staple. We eat them like Bugs Bunny (exhibit A above with my sister chowing down on her carrot) and use the peels for our chicken stock. A great source of carotenoids, it forms Vitamin A once inside the body, which acts as an anti-viral and helps to support the liver, pancreas, and kidney… a good thing when the weather has you down.
Also, save your carrot peels, onion skins, and onion top! We keep our vegetable “garbage” in a gallon-sized ziploc bag in the veggie tray in the fridge. You can use them for making your own chicken broth – the peels of the carrots contain lots and lots of vitamins and minerals. Just make sure to throw away the carrot caps, they’re bitter and don’t add anything to the soup. Also, don’t both with saving the garlic pieces – garlic and chicken stock don’t mix. Ever.
If you’re sick or looking for a good soup that will warm throughout during the long winter months, this just might be your soup.
Carrot Ginger Soup
- 2 lbs organic carrots, scrubbed and peeled, or just scrubbed
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 medium yellow onions
- 4 tbsp organic grass-fed butter (such as Kerrygold)
- 2 cups organic homemade chicken broth
- 1 13.5oz can whole-fat coconut milk (no fillers)
- 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
- ½ – ¾ tsp sea salt
- ½ – ¾ tsp fresh-cracked pepper
- 2 tbsp dried or fresh parsley, chopped (as garnish)
- Steam the carrots with two tablespoons butter until soft.
- While the carrots are steaming, saute the onion in the remaining two tbsp butter over medium heat, add garlic after onions after a few minutes, and continue to saute until onions are slightly caramelized.
- Combine steamed carrots, garlic and onions, and the rest of the ingredients in a stock pot and blend with an immersion blender until the soup is completely creamed. Or, combine in a large bowl and, using small quantities and multiple batches, blend with a standing blender. NOTE: Be especially careful if using a standing blender as hot items can rapidly expand with the increase in velocity and the blender contents could explode if too full or if there is no firm pressure on the lid.
- Heat the blended soup until warmed throughout and serve garnished with dried parsley.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some soup to eat.
It’s game day. Which means that yummy and healthy snacks are a necessity. And, in case what team I hold allegiance to, well… let’s just say, I love my Ducks!
(Obligatory Duck fan Youtube video below.)
I’m donning my “I love my Ducks” t-shirt and Duck earrings. Bring it. They’re playing Cal and there’s only one state I dislike more than Washington when it comes to football – California. (Sorry to all of my Cali readers – I like you guys otherwise and am completely jealous of your year-round exposure to Vitamin D.)
Since my whole family went gluten-free earlier this year, we’ve been struggling to find gluten-free snack foods for game day that were still junky enough to qualify as game day food but that were also healthy. It’s a delicate balance. And I think these almonds hit the mark. Especially when it’s cool, crisp, and overcast outside. (Seriously. It’s only supposed to get up to 45 here today.)
The recipe was adapted from a Halloween baking exchange I went to. The original called for raw almonds, I used roasted and cut down the oven-time by 10 minutes. Also, the original called for pre-made pumpkin spice mix. Due to diet restrictions, I have to make my own spice blend (and I do love my pumpkin spice blend). I loved these almonds so much – I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
Pumpkin Spice Almonds
- 2 cups raw almonds
- ¼ cup raw, local honey
- 1 ½ tbsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp organic vanilla exract
- sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix spice blend, except the salt, in a separate bowl.
- Add the almonds and mix until coated.
- Spread out on a jelly roll pan, lined with parchment paper or a silpat.
- Sprinkle the almonds with sea salt.
- Bake in then oven for 18-20 minutes, checking often to make sure they don’t burn.
- Remove from oven and let cool. Store is a sealed container.
It’s finally the rainy season here in the Pacific Northwest. After almost three months of sun, the skies are cloudy and as I type there is a steady, cold rain falling gently outside and snow is falling up in the mountains.
It’s a Miles Davis or John Coltrane, good book, comfy-oversized sweater, wool socks and Pumpkin Spice Rooibos tea kind of morning.
And one that calls for super-gingery and chewy gingersnaps. They’re made with almond flour so they’re heart-healthy and egg-free so they could be classified as vegan if I wasn’t using honey. But I am.
When I went back for my fifth cookie, I didn’t feel a bit bad about it. In fact, it might be the only cookie you can go back for more and not worry that this phrase might come true, “Once on the lips, forever on the hips.”
Note: I made them with Bob’s Red Mill almond flour/meal. I wouldn’t recommend using theirs as it’s too coarse but I was cooking for a bake exchange and I needed more than what I had. I’d recommend using Honeyville. They have coupons and specials if you sign up for their email list – I highly suggest signing up!
- 2 cups blanched almond flour
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1/3 cup honey
- 4 cups salted butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp cloves
- ¼ tsp cardamom
- salt shaker filled with Himalayan salt
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix all almond flour, sea salt, and baking soda together.
- Add butter – cut in with fork and with clean hands, mix until dough is crumbly and butter is mixed throughout.
- Add honey and stir with fork until combined.
- Add spices and mix until combined.
- With wet hands, form into balls and place on a Silpat lined baking sheet about two inches apart.
- With a wet fork, press down like you would for peanut butter cookies. Cookies will not spread and should be rather close to each other at this point.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and flip the cookie over. Turn down the oven to 175 degrees Fahrenheit and put the cookies back in for another 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack.
This recipe was modified from Comfy Belly.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of eating a Hail Merry macaroon, you’ll know what heaven has to taste like. I don’t care what St. Brigid said when she thought that all of heaven had to be a great lake of beer – she had never tasted these macaroons. So it was only fitting that spending a ton of money for four macaroons wasn’t going to float my boat for a long period of time. I had to figure out how to make them. After a lot of reading and recipe comparing, I finally decided to venture off on my own. The first batch tasted like you were licking a salt lick. No bueno. The second batch was sweet, sweet heaven. And they were gone within 24 hours. All 24 of them. Whoops. My hips hate me.
They’re not officially “raw” since I used maple syrup – which isn’t raw in case you were ever wondering. It has to be cooked down. However, it’s as close as you’ll come to raw. And they’re still alive and not cooked so you get all of the health benefits of raw honey.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy them as much as my friends and family have!
- 1 cup blanched almond flour
- 1 cup organic shredded coconut, non-sweetened
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 4 tsp raw local honey
- 2 tsp organic Grade A maple syrup
- 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
- 1 tsp organic almond extract
- ¼ cup organic coconut oil, room temperature
- Mix the dry ingredients together until salt is evenly mixed throughout.
- Add the wet ingredients and blend until moistened.
- Shape about a heaping teaspoon into the desired shape and place on a pan lined with parchment paper. Place in the fridge for a few hours until firm.
- Yields about 2 dozen, give or take.
I’m pretty sure that zucchini could cure world hunger. I mean, it grows extremely well, yielding multiple fruit (it’s a squash and squash is technically a fruit – mind blown yet?). It’s hardy. Low maintenance. And it’s packed with nutrients. It’s also extremely versatile and can be used in bread, grilled, as noodles, in salad, cooked into eggs – I could go on and on and on. But I won’t.
Thankfully, zucchini bread yields itself quite willingly to a paleo/SCD/anti-inflammation diet. And it tastes better and is full of protein due to the almond flour. There’s also no oil in it and it’s relatively low in honey. Feel free to reach for multiple slices or for multiple muffins. I made them for my drama students and they LOVED them. And were asking me to make them more. If high schoolers like them, they must be good.
Zucchini Bread Muffins
- 1 ½ almond flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp cloves
- dash allspice
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 large organic eggs, beaten
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cup shredded, unpeeled organic zucchini
- Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit and prepare a muffin tin with liners (unless using a silicone muffin pan – I use silicone pans for all of my grain-free baking).
- Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl, set aside.
- Place the wet ingredients in a bowl and beat with a hand mixer for 1-2 minutes at medium speed until frothy fully combined. Add the zucchini and fold in with a spoon or spatula.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients with the mixer running and mix until fully incorporated.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin or the silicone muffin pan and bake in the center rack for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Batter can also be baked in a oiled and almond floured bread pan.
- Let cool and remove.
I was craving salmon the other day and since I’ve gone on this diet, my cravings have shifted – where I once craved chocolate, I still crave chocolate. Okay. Bad example. Where I once craved salt and vinegar potato chips for my salt intake, I now crave pistachios. The other thing I’ve started doing – listening to my cravings. It’s my body’s way of telling me I need more of a mineral or vitamin. But, back to the salmon.
It’s possible that salmon just might be the best fish ever. And I’m not talking farmed salmon, I’m talking about wild-caught Pacific Northwest salmon. And if you’re looking for a quick and easy dinner on a hot night, this is perfect. (Such as tonight if you’re in NW Oregon.)
I used canned salmon. It’s quick, it’s cheap, and it’s there. A little note about the salmon, it’s canned in its skin and with bones. Simply remove the skin as you remove the salmon from the can. As for the bones, squish them and add them to the mix. They’ll fall apart quickly and are a great source of calcium. That and it’s kind of fun to feel the spine pop. Yes, I’m aware that’s gross. But it’s what you do.
The patties go together well enough. And toss in a few key ingredients and you’re there. Served on a bed of fresh greens and it’s a perfect hot night dinner item.
- 1 15-oz can canned Pacific Northwest or Alaskan Wild Caught Salmon, drained
- 2 Tbsp (to 1/4 cup) coconut flour
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- ½ red onion, diced
- 1 Tbsp dill seed
- ¾ tsp dried lemon peel (it was all I had around)
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Coconut Oil (for the skillet)
- Tartar Sauce (see below)
- Butter lettuce or your favorite salad greens
- In a bowl, mix the salmon and the celery and onion.
- Add the spices and mix.
- Add the eggs and mix until blended.
- Add the coconut flour a little bit at a time, stirring until the mixture isn’t too moist or too dry. You should be able to form a ball and flatten it without it falling apart.
- Shape the mixture into patties – patties should be between 2 and 3″ wide and place in a skillet with 2 tbsp coconut oil over medium heat.
- Cook both sides until golden brown, roughly 3-5 minutes each. Put in an oven-safe container and keep in the oven to stay warm.
- Serve with tartar sauce or lemon juice and on a bed of butter lettuce (or greens of choice).
- 1 cup Homemade Mayo
- 1-2 Tbsp honey
- 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 3 raw and probiotic dill pickles, minced
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- few cranks of the black pepper
Mix all ingredients and enjoy! You may have to play around a bit with the recipe to get your desired taste but, that’s the joy of homemade condiments! Serve atop your favorite fish.
I love rhubarb. And I love strawberries. And I love the two of them together. Especially in a wonderful galette. Especially one that’s my diet friendly and, moreover, fits my sister’s Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). Especially when rhubarb is one of the vegetables (yes, it’s a vegetable) that I can eat a lot of. It’s in the 3% carb group which means the more, the merrier!
I read up on a few gluten-free recipes that were floating around on the internet. But they used sugar, oat flour, potato starch – items she just can’t eat. (I’m off sugar and potato starch, too but could have used stevia or coconut sugar in place of cane sugar easily enough and tapioca starch in lieu of potato starch.) The strawberries have enough natural pectin to make the “gel” that the starch would have created anyway when it’s finally cooled.
This recipe was born because I didn’t want to leave her out of Sunday brunch. We Portlanders love our Sunday brunch. It’s a way of life. Go to church, go to brunch, work in your garden or go for a hike or go fishing. They made a whole entire Portlandia episode entitled “Brunch Village” and it’s so true. All of Portlandia is so true – it’s a little creepy
sometimes all of the time. But, I digress.
For those of you who are on the SCD, this is for you.
Rhubarb Strawberry Almond Galette
For the dough:
- 1 ½ cups almond flour
- 1 large organic egg, beaten
- ¼ cup coconut oil, chilled until hard
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 ½ tbsp raw honey
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- pinch of salt
For the fruit filling:
- 3 rhubarb stalks, cut into ½" sections, about 2 ½ cups
- 2 cups strawberries, sliced (add more if you want to, it doesn’t matter)
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 1 ½ tsp lemon zest
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
- Mix all of the dry ingredients together for the crust. With a pastry cutter, cut in the hardened coconut oil or put in a food processor and pulse until the coconut oil is broken up and evenly incorporated throughout the mixture – about 15-20 seconds in a food processor.
- Add the egg and blend just until just incorporated. Dough should be able to be made into a ball.
- Take some parchment paper or a Silpat and line your pan. (A flat cookie sheet works best or a jellyroll pan.)
- Cut the rhubarb and the strawberries and mix together with the remaining filling ingredients in a separate mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Form dough into a ball on the parchment paper or Silpat and with a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is a ¼"-1/8" thick circle. Note – this dough will be very sticky and using the rolling pin for the whole thing might not work. I had to eventually use water-dampened fingers to pat out the dough to finish getting it to my desired thickness.
- Dump the fruit filling into the middle and spread around, leaving a 2" uncovered ring all the way around the crust.
- In 4-5 incremented sections, fold the galette up. It will crumble, it’s the nature of the dough. Simply pinch the dough back to where you want it to be.
- Bake for 30 minutes on the center rack, or until the crust is lightly browned, the edges should be a dark golden brown. (See photo below.) Remove from oven and let cool. Transferring the galette will be a two-person job – find a plate big enough and a friend to help you transfer it. Also, there will be some juice that oozes out. Just break off the blackened part and no one will know the difference!
- Let fully cool before you serve it. Use a sharp knife to cut and a thin spatula to serve. Store remaining galette in the fridge. But, I very much doubt there will be any left!
Thanks, Edible Perspective for the recipe idea!
So the scramble itself wasn’t anything to write home about. The fresh veggies were delicious but some of my younger siblings thought I was trying to poison them. (Broccoli and spinach and onion in eggs? Who would do that?!)
But the sausage…
The sausage was fabulous. And a definite “make again” recipe. If you’re on this diet, processed foods are a major No-No. Which means prepared sausages, even if they’re minimally processed, are off limits. Combine that with the fact that this diet requires you to know ever. single. ingredient. So anything with the abstract “natural flavors” or “spices” really doesn’t help too much. And sausages like to throw in soy, gluten, bell pepper, and some sort of dairy product into the mix. If you’re crunched for time, choosing a freshly made sausage – like the ones you get at Whole Paycheck (aka Whole Foods) or some gourmet grocery store where the butchers made them that morning and they can tell you every ingredient, is your best alternative. Otherwise, stock up on hormone-free organic ground chicken and get ready for a sausage making marathon.
Another little tidbit: I like to buy my chicken in “bulk”. I’ll buy a few pounds and mix up the sausage at once. I’ll put it in a glass casserole dish with a bit up olive oil rubbed around it and bake it at 350 Fahrenheit until a meat thermometer reaches 160 Fahrenheit. After it’s cooled, I’ll break it up and put it into freezer bags and freeze it. Totally a major time-saver.
Egg and Vegetable Scramble
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 chives, diced
- 1/3 cup organic broccoli, blanched and diced
- 3 big handfuls of organic baby spinach, rinsed
- 4 organic eggs, beaten
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 chives, diced (optional)
- ¼ pound chicken sausage (recipe below)
- Saute onion and garlic over medium heat until onions are translucent and starting to caramelize.
- Blanch the broccoli and drain. Dice and set aside. Add diced chives and spinach. Cover until spinach is wilted.
- Add broccoli and chicken sausage and stir. Add beaten eggs. Cover the pan for a few minutes to let the eggs steam set. (About 2-3 minutes.) Remove the lid and stir the eggs until done.
- 1 pound organic ground chicken
- 1 tsp ground sage
- 1 tsp fennel seed
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp ground white pepper
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp allspice
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1/3 tsp nutmeg
- Mix all of the ingredients until just blended, being careful to not over stir. (The meat will become tough.)
- Cook until no pink is shown in a skillet. Or bake in a glass dish, rubbed down with olive oil, at 350 Fahrenheit until a meat thermometer reads 160 Fahrenheit.