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Posts Tagged ‘Entree’

The juice from the salsa adds so much flavor to the salad!

I broke up my earlier post and this post because I wanted it to be easier to look at this for the recipe and not have to scroll down. I LOVE THIS SALAD. I have fresh lettuce in my garden and it is growing faster than I can use it so I have to keep making new salads. This is so easy (if you have the ingredients – you may see now why my previous posts have been building blocks to some yummy easy to assemble recipes). You will need:

  • Romaine or Butter Lettuce
  • Cold, cooked quinoa
  • Cold, sprouted lentils
  • For the dressing:
  • Homemade mayo (you can of course use regular but it is very thick so perhaps dilute with some red wine vinegar to make it more of a dressing consistency).
  • Homemade salsa (the specific taste of the Lacto-Fermented Salsa found in Nourishing Traditions is what I love but any salsa fresca will do.
Build and enjoy! This is so filling (with the Quinoa and the Lentils) but I have made without the Quinoa and it is still super great. The combination of these flavors is my current go to favorite for my lunches and side dinner salads!
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Simple Tomato Sauce

Photo courtesy of whatscookinginamerica.net

I believe every cook in the kitchen needs to have a go-to pasta/pizza sauce. In our house we do “Pizza Friday.” One of the things that makes pizza Friday so much fun for me is that I do most of the work ahead of time and then freeze it! Thursday evening or Friday morning I just pull the items out of the fridge and I am ready to go!

The main staple for our pizza Friday is tomato sauce. There are a million ways to do it and a million ways to modify this recipe. I have found this one to be just the perfect amount of sweet, salty and fresh tomato-y (that is a word!). Modify it how you will and please share with me so I can try it out!

Extra Virgin Olive Oil(several turns of the pan, enough for sauteing the onions)

1 onion, diced

1 Tablespoon dried basil

Pinch of Nutmeg

Pinch of cayenne

2 cloves of garlic, mashed

Add olive oil to pan and allow to get hot over medium-low. Add onion and saute for a minute or two. Add basil, nutmeg, cayenne and garlic. Stir and continue cooking until translucent.

2 – 26 ounce box strained tomatoes (I use Pomi and believe it tastes the best and I like that it is not in a can).

Pinch of sweetener to taste (I use Stevia, but honey and maple syrup work as well) – cuts some of the bitter/acidity of the tomatoes.

Salt and Pepper to taste

Add tomatoes and stir until mixed together well. I would add a very small amount of sweetener and S&P. Let it simmer for a bit (turn heat to low). Taste after the flavors have a chance to meld together. Adjust as desired.

Use amount needed for dinner and freeze the rest in 2 cup portions in quart sized freezer bags. Make a great quick meal by adding the freezer bag to a bowl of warm water when you need a quick sauce. Could not be easier to bypass buying the pre-made tomato sauce!

Meal ideas? We had this sauce last night with spaghetti squash and meat balls and a simple salad with this dressing. Yummy!

What is your favorite tomato sauce?

Enjoy!

Nikki

I love following other blogs…this recipe is happily shared at Monday Mania Real Food Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter and Fight Back Friday and Homemaking Link up

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My family absolutely loves this dish. Serve with some yummy homemade sourdough bread or whole grain toast with some butter on it. Spring, winter, summer, or fall, it doesn’t make a difference at all…it is always good! Make it once, eat on it all week long!

1 cup quinoa (soaked overnight in water, drained and rinsed. If you don’t soak still rinse to remove a bitter substance).

2 cups chicken broth

3/4 cup white wine (dry makes all the difference)

2 cups of water

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon of sea salt

4 carrots, cubed (peeled if you do not buy organic)

3 celery, sliced

1 onion, diced

2 chicken (uncooked) breasts or thighs (I recommend bone in for a juicier chicken, but boneless makes for easier shredding later)

3 tablespoons of butter

Throw everything in the crock pot. Cook on low for 7-8 hours (high for 4). Remove chicken, shred and mix back into stew. Surprisingly light, even for the summer! 

This recipe was discovered at The Nourishing Gourmet

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Let’s kill two birds with one stone! I mean, cook two birds in one pot! You may only be able to cook one at a time, depending on your crock pot. I have a gigantic slow cooker, 7 quart, and can hold two nicely. This is the easiest thing you have ever done. Before the process let me tell you why!  First of all, I needed a way to cook chicken during the hot summer months without having my oven on for hours! Yes, I love a freshly roasted chicken as much as the next gal, but really? Not in the summer time…if ever! Second of all, store-bought rotisserie chickens have a ton of sodium.  This method allows me to control exactly what is or is not in my chicken. Third of all, I am able to cook a ton of chicken, freeze it, and defrost it on the day I need it for a ton of different recipes! Ok, here is the big bangin’ “fourth of all”, it allows me to conveniently make my “bone broth” (or chicken broth if you prefer) right there in the same pot. Only one dish to clean, only one full day of your house smelling like chicken!

COOKING THE CHICKEN:

That was the why, this is the how. 3 very easy steps:

  • First, you will need 2 Free Range Organic Roasting Chickens (Trader Joe’s has them for $2.49 a pound!). Please note, if you choose to not eat/buy organic food, you really should consider buying free range chickens. Too many reasons not to eat regular chickens to list. Remove the inner parts (set aside for bone broth or give to your dog!).
  • Second, pat dry and fit into crock pot.
  • Third, rub with salt, pepper, paprika, or any other seasonings you prefer. I usually do just s&p. Cover and turn on low. Cook for 8 hours. (Note: My crock pot seems to cook nicely at 7 hours, so check on yours between 6-8 hours depending on its power).

That’s it! No liquid needed as it will cook in its own liquid. Juicy and tender! Please note that one Chicken only takes about 5 hours in my crock pot. Times may vary depending on your cooker. If you look really closely in the next picture you can see that it made so much liquid while cooking. This is near the end of the process:

Take the lid off and let it cool for a bit (until you can touch it). Slip on some kitchen gloves and start taking that chicken off the bone! I end up with about 12 cups of cooked chicken. I put them in quart size freezer bag (4 cups at a time) and freeze until I need them (to keep them fresh but they do go fast!). As you are pulling the chicken off the bone, put the chicken in a separate dish and put the bones, skin, and anything else that falls off back in the crock pot (with the existing broth).

COOKING THE BONE BROTH:
Now you have a crock pot full of bones, broth, and skin. You can add the inner parts (optional) at this point. I also add the following:
  • a few carrots (I use organic so I just wash and toss. If you do not use organic than you may want to peel)
  • a whole onion (peel only the outer layer and cut into quarters)
  • two bay leaves
  • 2 celery stalks, washed and tossed in.
  • a few sprigs of thyme (or any other herbs your heart desires)
  • water to cover the mixture plus about 2 inches or more (I end up adding water to about the top)
  • Some Apple cider vinegar to help draw minerals out of bones (a few tablespoons, this is optional).
  • Cook on low for 12 hours (or overnight)! Please note this is a “taste thing”. You may like it cooked more or less. (The picture below is the stock before I cooked it and before I added the water. It looked so pretty I just had to take a pic).
Check that it is “done” but “mashing a bone”. Just pinch it with your finger. I do this to make sure I have ALL of the calcium and nutrients out of the bone! Run ingredients through a mesh strainer. Put in fridge to let fat separate (I use the pitchers seen below so I am not individually skimming). I store mostly in a quart jar (the same size container you would buy in the store). I also store 1 quart as ice cubes so I can pick small amounts as needed without wasting the rest! Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag to keep from burning. This makes about 4 1/2 quarts of stock!
There you have it! For about $22.00 (cost of chickens – I am assuming you have everything else on hand) you have 3+ bags of chicken for meals plus 4+ quarts of stock. What a huge value for natural, organic, free range chicken and stock! However, you cannot put a price on homemade chicken stock…nothing beats it!
Notes:
  • If you don’t want to make bone broth now, take the bones and throw them in a freezer bag in the freezer. When it comes time to make them just add water (or you can freeze the broth as well).
  • I was using the fridge in the garage so I got to “utilize” my husbands workbench outside! If you know him you know how “special” that was 🙂

REVISION: Let the fat rise to the top and then freeze. Do not skim the fat. Once frozen, scrape the fat off the top and store in the refrigerator for use (or keep frozen in the refrigerator for future use).  This is a VERY good fat for you (like bacon grease) and used in cooking vegetables will help your body absorb minerals. You need a diet high in fat, believe it or not! For more on this click here.

Recipe from Nikki
This recipe is linked to Real Food Wednesday and Pennywise Platter and Monday Mania

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Anita’s Baby Back Ribs

These ribs are very easy and soooo delicious! Great for guests or for your family (they taste great all week long!).
Sauce:  
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp Vietnamese chili sauce (aka Sambala)
dash of Worcestershire sauce (I use Lea & Perrins)
dash of red wine vinegar
dash of plain old yellow mustard

Stir all ingredients together until sugar is dissolved.  The “heat” from the chili sauce will intensify as the mixture sits.  You can adjust the ingredients to suit your own personal taste. While it sits, start on the ribs.

You will need approximately 4 pounds pork baby back ribs and cut them into serving-size pieces, usually 4 ribs each.  Place them in a large roasting pan, fat side up, and season them with salt, pepper and minced garlic.  Pour about 1 cup of diluted sauce (50/50 sauce to water) into the bottom of the pan.  Cover with either parchment paper or wax paper and then aluminum foil over that.  (The reason for the wax paper is to keep the sauce from “reacting” to the foil).  Bake at 325 degrees for an hour and a half.  Remove from oven and either pour off or siphon off the liquid and rendered fat.  Brush the non-diluted sauce over the ribs, return the cover and return the pan to the oven for another hour. Remove the cover for the last 20 minutes of cooking in order to caramelize the sauce! (I then brush more sauce on them as I put them on a platter).

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