Egg and Vegetable Scramble with Homemade Chicken Sausage

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.

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Enjoy!

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)
  1. Saute onion and garlic over medium heat until onions are translucent and starting to caramelize. 
  2. Blanch the broccoli and drain. Dice and set aside. Add diced chives and spinach. Cover until spinach is wilted.
  3. 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. 

Chicken Sausage

  • 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
  1. Mix all of the ingredients until just blended, being careful to not over stir. (The meat will become tough.)
  2. 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.

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Tomato-Free “Tomato” Marinara

I told my fiance that I was making tomato marinara for dinner. His first reaction was that I wasn’t allowed to have tomatoes (they’re a nightshade and are off the list) and then he began reminding me that I was trying to get better (he’s been very very supportive during all of this – I’m one lucky lady).

I told him that it wasn’t tomatoes… it was beets and pumpkin puree.

I think I heard a pin drop.

He might have thought he’d seen a pig fly outside.

And then he shrugged his shoulders and said, “You’re a good cook, I trust you.” Did I mention that I was a lucky lady? He’s willing to take culinary leaps of faith right alongside me.

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Much to my surprise… and I think even more his, it tasted like marinara sauce.

Just LIKE marinara sauce.

And it looked like marinara sauce that had been slow-cooked for hours on end.

I was so excited! Combine this with my gluten-free dairy-free spaetzl (recipe for that coming soon) and my life just might be complete. Or pretty close to being complete. A sprinkling of nutritional yeast would, in fact, make it complete.

Just one note, the onion, which reads finely chopped, needs to be finely chopped. Otherwise you’ll get fuchsia onions like I did during my first attempt. Also, I added a splash of plum balsamic vinegar (you can find it at your local vinegar and oil specialty store – I highly suggest picking up some vinegars you like as store-bought salad dressings are off the foods list) and a splash or two of white wine vinegar to brighten things up a bit. It’s a marinara – play around with it!

Enjoy!

“Nomato” Tomato Marinara

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 (8-ounce) can beets, drained, juices reserved (oven-roasted, pureed beets are fine, too)
  • 1 (14-15 ounce) can pure pumpkin puree (make sure it’s not pumpkin pie mix)
  • ½-¼ cup gluten-free chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 24 grinds fresh black pepper
  • ¼-⅓ cup chopped fresh basil, or ¼ cup dried basil
  • a good “palmful” of dried thyme and oregano
  • 1 tbsp honey (maybe a little more, maybe a little less)
  1. Saute onions and garlic over medium heat in a dutch oven until onions are translucent in a medium dutch oven or large skillet.
  2. Add balsamic vinegar and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
  3. In a food processor, puree the beets. Add beets and pumpkin to the dutch oven and stir until there isn’t a kaleidoscope of color. (You’ll see what I mean when you make it.)
  4. Add the stock and stir. Add the spices and stir. Let simmer for about 30 minutes. Check the balance of the spices and adjust as necessary.

I dare your family, friends, and picky eaters to tell the difference!

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Nutty Onion Soup

This was the first soup I had ever eaten where the main ingredient was nuts – cashews to be exact. It’s a recipe from The Anti-Inflammation Diet and Recipe Book by Jessica K. Black, N.D. If you’re on this diet or are wanting to cleanse yourself (I’d get in contact with a naturopath doctor to find out if this diet is right for you first), then this book is a must have on your shelf.

I’d like to think I’m clever and came up with the recipe. Unfortunately, lying has never been my strong suit. This soup was surprisingly delicious. I didn’t really know what to expect. Dr. Black wrote that her daughter liked it and I usually figure if a picky child likes it, it’s at least palatable. However, this was fabulous. And filling. And low-ish in calories. (500 calories per serving but I would have been happy with just this soup and some broccoli, forget the side salad I also served.) And high in protein and potassium. And Joe asked if I could make it again. And it’s good on its own but it would also be a good base – adding broccoli would be wonderful!

I ended up buying a coffee grinder that is dedicated specifically to seeds and nuts. No coffee will be used in it. Ever. Period. No further discussion on that topic. They’re only $20 and if you’re doing this diet, I highly recommend dishing out a few bucks for one. And an immersion blender. It will save your life. And be the most wonderful kitchen gadget you could possibly buy. I use mine almost daily. 

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Enjoy!

Nutty Onion Soup

  • 1 quart (4 cups) organic chicken broth or vegetable broth (check for nightshades!)
  • 1 ½ cups filtered water
  • 2 cups cashews or blanched and hulled almonds (I used a blend)
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp marjoram
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chives for a garnish
  1. Grind the nuts in a coffee grinder until very fine. (This can be done ahead of time and stored in a container in the fridge.)
  2. In a soup pot, saute the onions in the olive oil on medium-high heat until translucent. Let the onions cool a bit if you’re using a standing blender.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot. Use your immersion blender (or put everything in a standing blender) and blend until the soup is creamy. (If using a standing mixer, transfer back to the soup pot.
  4. Simmer on medium heat for 20-30 minutes. Season to taste. Serve warm, garnish with minced chives.

Making Easter Eggs and Split Pea, Lentil and Leek Stew

Today was a sister day with the baby sister. She’s 9 and is the pride and joy of our family. If you don’t believe me, just ask her – she’ll tell you she is! The older siblings have never really meant to spoil her… it just happens. We decorated eggs today. Lots and lots of eggs. In all different colors.

And of course, being her big sister, I never read the ratio of vinegar on the box and the dye on the eggs didn’t hold. They looked cool but it wasn’t my shining moment. (I felt I needed to make that confession.)

But once we figured out we could make cool stripes, it was all over anyway. Our eggs started receiving the stripe treatment.

                                 

Today’s stew didn’t turn out as pretty as the eggs but boy oh boy, did it sure taste good! (The leftovers might be even better as the spices have had some time to sit and well.. stew.) Cumin in just about anything makes my world go round. So do leeks. And lentil have been my main go-to for protein recently. They’re easier to digest than chicken or turkey and are the perfect legume on the anti-inflammation diet.

Enjoy!

Split Pea, Lentil and Leek Stew

  • ½ cup lentils, rinsed
  • ½ cup split peas, rinsed
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 ½ tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large leek, sliced thin into rings
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 4 cups homemade chicken broth
  • ¼ cup wild rice, rinsed
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, separated
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • kosher salt to taste
  1. In a medium-sized dutch oven, saute the onion, ginger, garlic, carrot and leek in 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Saute until ingredients soften and everything is coated.
  2. Add spices and stir.
  3. Add split peas and lentils, stir until coated.
  4. Add chicken broth and wild rice.
  5. Increase to med-high heat and bring everything to a boil, stirring often to prevent burning.
  6. Turn down heat to med-low and simmer for 40 minutes covered, continuing to stir often.
  7. Salt to taste, serve warm with the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil drizzled on top.

Coconut Vanilla “Ice Cream”

This is just so good. I mean. Just so good. Being lactose-free, soy-free, sugar-free and processed foods-free, I’m limited as to what I can and can’t eat. And I can eat this. All day long. And it’s just so good. If you

Only downfall, it doesn’t firm up that well in the ice cream maker and it gets too hard in the freezer. So it’s an “eat as soon as it’s done” kind of ice cream. But that’s okay – if you’ll excuse me, I have a hot date with a random chick flick (suggestions welcome) and my “healthy” coconut ice cream.

I hope your tummy and taste buds enjoy this as much as mine do. 🙂

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Coconut Vanilla “Ice Cream”

  • 1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Toasted coconut or fresh fruit

Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mix well until honey is dissolved.

Turn ice cream maker on and pour mixture in. When ice cream starts to firm a bit, toss in toasted coconut. If using fresh fruit, add right before the mixture is done. (Freezing the fresh fruit works best.)

Let ice cream maker operate for 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Makes a quart.

Enjoy!

Roasted Tomato Salsa

Going to a Mexican restaurant can only mean one thing: munching down on the roasted tomato salsa. You know it – the stuff that they bring to you in refillable quantities? The stuff that, by the time your chimichanga, topped off with pico de gallo and sour cream arrives, you couldn’t possibly take another bite? Yea. That stuff. The addicting salsa that Mexican restaurants know hooks you in.

Well, making that salsa is super fast (minus baking time) and super easy (as long as your blender doesn’t explode or something).

Enjoy!

Roasted Tomato Salsa

  • 2 pounds Roma tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tsp kosher salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine above ingredients in a 13×9" baking dish coasted with nonstick cooking spray, roast for 45 minutes.

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(Before roasting)

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(After roasting)

Coarsely mash roasted veggies using a potato masher. (Or carefully run them through your blender – but be careful! Hot things in a blender cause the lid to pop off and the contents to be all over the place!)

  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup jalapenos, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Add cilantro, jalapenos and lime juice – season with salt and pepper. Cool to room temperature and enjoy!

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Recipe from Cuisine at Home

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