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Salted Almond Bites

Salted almond bites

This recipe has been long in coming, and I am finally sharing it. I used to make these for Cultured Caveman here in Portland and they would then sell them at their food cart. I started making them a couple months after they opened their first food cart back in 2012. I always usually had two flavors — this one and a rotating one. The salted almond was always a big hit and also my favorite, which is why it always remained a staple flavor. As Cultured Caveman grew and opened more carts (and now a restaurant!), they took over making these for me instead. My schedule got a bit more hectic and it became easier on both sides for them to take over, so I handed over the reigns this past November. It is still my original recipe though and you can still find them at the carts. Bill and Hayley of Primal Palate even tried them during their visit to Portland and liked them (and posted about it on Facebook!). That made me happy and was so cool to see!

Meanwhile, these are super easy to make, as long as you have a good food processor (I use this one). They’re great for traveling, kiddos or as a little sweet treat for yourself. They are not a staple by any means, but something to be enjoyed on occasion or shared with others.

Feel free to make the bites whatever size you desire. If you’re pressed for time or just prefer it, you can pat the mixture down into a small pan and then cut into squares. Either way, make sure to store these puppies in the refrigerator.

Bite of salted almond

Ingredients:

  • 12-14 large medjool dates (get the ones with pits)
  • 1 cup sliced raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond butter (this brand is my favorite)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Directions:

  1. Remove pits from dates and place dates in the food processor. Process/blend about 30 seconds or until dates are chopped up and starting to clump together.
  2. Then, add the remaining ingredients. Process again until everything is mixed through. You may need to scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl and then blend again.
  3. Chill processed mixture in the fridge for 5-10 minutes. Then remove and roll into desired sized bites. I made mine a generous 1/2 Tbsp size. Again, you can pat into a pan and slice into squares too. Quantity will vary deepening on size and shape. Store in the refrigerator.

 

Summer Broccoli Slaw Salad

Summer Broccoli Slaw Salad

Well, summer is officially here! Jesse and I enjoyed the summer solstice by taking a nice stroll up to the Mississippi area and finding an outdoor patio to enjoy a couple happy hour cocktails. Once we walked back home, it was time to start dinner. I didn’t want to fuss with much and already decided prior we would have chicken breast and garlic scapes, but wanted a refreshing side salad to go with it. Luckily, I almost always have a bag of broccoli slaw in my fridge. Seriously, I love this stuff and its versatility. It works well for hot dishes or cold, and is one of my favorites in a veggie and meat sauté.

Normally, I think salads like this taste better the next day, but Jesse and I both liked it better the day I made it, after letting it marinate for about 20 minutes. It still tasted good the next day, but was a bit more mustardy tasting from the Dijon. It was more subtle on the day I made it and I guess we both liked it better that way.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of granulated garlic
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 oz bag broccoli slaw
  • 1/2 large or 1 small avocado, sliced
  • 2-3 chopped green onions, optional

Summer Broccoli Slaw Salad close-up

Directions:

  1. Pour the broccoli slaw in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate small mixing bowl or dressing shaker, combine all the remaining ingredients, except the avocado and green onion. Mix well with a whisk or shake well if using a dressing shaker. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  3. Pour dressing over the broccoli slaw and stir well. Add the avocado slices and chopped green onions, if using. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator 15-20 minutes. Serve with something grilled!

Yields: 4-5 side dish servings

Simple Supper Friday: Ginger Beef and Greens

Ginger Beef and Greens

I’ve made this recipe three times in the past week because it’s so good (and also because I had a huge piece of ginger root). I first made it last Saturday, after getting home from a seven hour workshop with Steve Maxwell. I was pooped out, but still mustered to throw together this delicious, quick and nutrient-dense meal. The fresh ginger is what really makes this dish pop, but if you’re in a pinch, you can use ground ginger too.

Meanwhile, I wish you all a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! I hope you’re able to get outside, play, relax, socialize, grill and enjoy. Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • ~2 cups broccoli (peel and chop the stems too)
  • 2 cups torn kale leaves
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • Splash of bone broth (2-4 Tbsp)
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Ginger Beef and Greens

Directions:

  1. Melt coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger. Stir and sauté 2-3 minutes. Then, add the ground beef and break up with a spatula. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
  2. Continue to brown the meat, stirring occasionally. After about 5-7 minutes, add the broccoli, coconut aminos, dried basil, cayenne or pepper flakes and bone broth. Stir well and continue to cook for several minutes, or until broccoli is softened slightly.
  3. Add the kale and stir. Season to taste with a bit more sea salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes more or until kale is softened. Then, remove from heat and serve.

Yields: ~3 servings

 

 

Grandma’s Italian Goulash

Grandma's Italian Goulash

Well, I’m back from my trip as of Monday night. It was awesome, wonderful, fun and relaxing, but it’s hard to believe it’s already over. Now, I’m trying to get back into the swing of things, but am still feeling pretty exhausted from the travel and 3-hour time change. Hopefully, I’ll be good to go by the weekend.

Meanwhile, this is a recipe I made prior to my trip, but never got a chance to share. It came together somewhat unplanned, but after tasting it, I knew I had to share. The flavor reminded me of an Italian goulash recipe that my mom used to make when I was a kid, which was actually my grandma’s recipe. I always loved it growing up and the flavor of this kinda brought me back. Grandma’s recipe included elbow macaroni, ground beef, celery, oregano and tomatoes, so obviously mine is quite a bit different, but still reflects a similar flavor. And the best part…it’s both delicious and easy!

Grandma's Italian Goulash

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Tbsp grass-fed ghee
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/2 large head of green cabbage, chopped
  • 1 14 oz can no salt added fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp dried oregano, plus more to taste if desired
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. Melt ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and fennel and sauté a few minutes, until softened slightly. Then, add the ground beef and break up with a spatula. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Continue to cook until meat is browned, stirring occasionally.
  2. Once meat is done cooking, add the fire roasted tomatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes; stir. Then, add the cabbage and season to taste with a bit more sea salt and pepper.
  3. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. If need be, cover with a lid to cook the cabbage toward the top (this is particularly helpful if skillet is really full).
  4. Once cabbage is softened, taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  5. Serve with grated raw Parmesan or cheddar (preferably grass-fed), if tolerated and desired.

Yields: 3 servings

 

 

 

Classic Beef Meatloaf

Classic Beef Meatloaf

I don’t make meatloaf very often, but whenever I do, this is my classic go-to recipe. I think it’s the veggie pieces in the meatloaf and homemade ketchup that really do it for me. It all adds color, and the veggies add some nice texture and flavor too. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do! Also, you can definitely make this with ground turkey if you prefer or want to change it up.

P.S. Cirque du Soleil was amazing last night! We had a fantastic time.

For the meatloaf:

  • 2 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced large
  • 1 large carrot, diced large
  • 2 small celery stalks, diced large
  • 2 large cloves garlic, sliced in half
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed ghee or butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
  • 1 egg, preferably pasture-raised
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 batch homemade ketchup (see below)

Meatloaf directions:

  1. Place diced carrots, onion, celery and garlic in the food processor. Pulse until everything is finely chopped. You can also use a blender such as this one to prep the veggies.
  2. Melt the ghee in a large pan over medium heat. Then, add the veggie mixture from the food processor. Saute 3-4 minutes or until softened slightly. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Once veggie mixture is cool, add to a large mixing bowl with the ground beef, egg, sea salt and pepper, tomato sauce, coconut flour and fresh parsley or cilantro. Get in there with your hands and mix well. Once everything is fully incorporated, place in a large loaf pan. Alternatively, you can form it into a freestanding loaf on top of a foil-covered baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. Remove from oven and top with about 1/2 cup of homemade ketchup. Place back in oven to bake 30 minutes longer.
  5. Allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes before slicing. Serve meatloaf with extra ketchup, if desired.

Classic Beef Meatloaf

For the ketchup:

  • 1 tube or can of tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/3 cup water, preferably filtered
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Pinch ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Squirt of raw honey, optional

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and whisk well to combine. Store in the refrigerator.

 

Simple Supper Friday: Southwest Beef & Broccoli Slaw

Southwest Beef and Broccoli Slaw

For a while now, ground meat cooked with broccoli slaw has been one of my favorite, easy, go-to meals. I can easily change the flavor by using different spices and Tessemae’s All Natural dressings, and adding any extra veggies I have on hand. It always satisfies and I don’t get sick of it, nor does Jesse. My schedule varies and some nights I don’t get home until late in the evening, so having this easy and quick option to throw together works great. Plus, I always look forward to eating it. Even though I didn’t do it here, I usually always toss some avocado slices on top too because avocado makes everything better.

On another note, you have probably noticed that I’ve cut back on blogging quite a bit. This is just where my life is right now and what I need to do. To be honest, it feels kinda good and it’s nice not to stress over posts (after all, this was always meant to be fun). Even though I don’t post as much, I am still active on Facebook, so make sure to follow me there if you don’t already. I still aim to get at least one quality post up each week, so you can always look forward to that. Anyway, thanks so much for your support and understanding. Meanwhile, always know that I am here if you have questions, comments, feedback, etc.

Cheers and happy Friday!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 tsp grass-fed butter*
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced into thin half moons
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb 20% fat grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 large carrots, sliced into thin coins (rounds)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1.5 tsp chili powder
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 12 oz bag broccoli slaw
  • Tessemae’s Southwest Ranch, for drizzling on top, once served

*Note: you may need more butter if you choose to use leaner ground beef

Southwest Beef and Broccoli Slaw

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the onion and garlic, and saute about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Then, add the ground beef and break up with a spatula. After a minute or so, add the sliced carrots and season to taste with a little sea salt and black pepper. Stir well, and then add the cumin and chili powder.
  3. After 5-7 minutes, once meat is browned, add the broccoli slaw. Stir and season to taste with a bit more sea salt and pepper, if desired.
  4. Continue to cook over medium-low heat for a few minutes or until slaw has softened a bit.
  5. Once done, serve into bowls and drizzle Tessemae’s Southwest Ranch dressing on top. You can also drizzle this over the whole pan after removing it from the heat, but it’s a little spicy and best served individually. If desired, throw some avocado slices on top too.

Yields: 3 servings

Simple Supper Friday: Roasted Cauliflower Curry Soup

Roasted Cauliflower Curry Soup

Happy Friday, everyone! I have a tasty soup recipe to share today that was inspired by my recent stay at the Bonneville Hot Springs Resort & Spa. Jesse and I ate my birthday dinner in the restaurant at the resort, and started off our meal with a cup of their soup special that evening, which was a curried cauliflower soup. The waitress sold us pretty quickly on it, especially once she told us it was both gluten and dairy-free (it was also vegan, but that was not a concern). The soup was even better than we expected and we both found ourselves scraping the bottom of our cup to get every last bit of puree.

Since we enjoyed the soup so much and it seemed pretty easy to make, I decided to create my own version. Mine is definitely different and even a different color, but it’s just as delicious, if not more (roasting the cauliflower adds a lot more flavor). I don’t think the restaurant version actually contained any curry powder or paste because the soup was completely white and very coconutty. I think it was called a curried soup just because of the coconut. If there were any curry spices added, it was definitely minimal, which the lack of color made obvious. As you know, curry powder adds an orange-ish color and the pastes are either yellow, red or green, so a white curry soup is nearly impossible.

Keep in mind, there is no protein added to the soup, so you’ll want to have something on the side for a complete meal. Otherwise, this isn’t going to fill you up very much. We ate ours with some local curry lamb sausage and dunked bites into the soup. It was awesome! A hearty salad with roasted chicken, beef or lamb mixed in would pair nicely as well.

Roasted Cauliflower Curry Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 small heads of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1.5 tsp curry powder, plus more to taste, if desired
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1.5 cup full-fat coconut milk, plus more if needed
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • 1 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • Dash of paprika
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed ghee or butter
  • Toasted unsweetened coconut chips for garnish, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place cauliflower on a large pan and drizzle with coconut oil. Then sprinkle on the curry powder and sea salt to taste. Roast in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  2. Meanwhile, slowly heat coconut milk and broth in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the Thai red curry paste. Once dissolved, remove from heat and pour into a blender container.
  3. Once cauliflower is done, add half of it to the blender with the milk mixture. Puree until nearly smooth and then add the remaining cauliflower, along with the ghee or butter and paprika. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper, and puree again.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed (I added a dash more curry powder here) and add a bit more coconut milk if soup is thicker than you like. Once done, serve immediately or pour into a pot to keep warm on the stove or reheat slightly if it cooled off too much.
  5. Serve hot with toasted coconut chips and a side protein of choice. It’s also delicious with sliced toasted almonds on top.

Cacao Surprise Truffles

IMG_4085

I made these kinda last minute for Jesse and me to enjoy on Valentine’s Day and we ended up eating the whole batch that night. I figure, it’s a half an avocado each, so why not? Plus, these are perishable and best not to store in the fridge for too long. And, there’s also the part about these being incredibly delicious and decadent.

Anyway, since I wasn’t able to get any snapshots the day I made these, I had to make them again in order to do so (bummer, I know). Jesse and I weren’t too disappointed about it, to say the least.

Make sure you use a ripe avocado, otherwise they’ll taste kinda green. It doesn’t have to be overly ripe, but ripe enough and ready for eating.

Also, as some of you know, Jesse and I floated in a sensory deprivation tank yesterday evening. I will be recapping about this experience. Cheers!

Adapted from this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
  • 1.5 Tbsp raw honey
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ripe medium avocado
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut and cacao powder for rolling, optional

(Note: cacao nibs, crushed nuts, goji berries, etc. would all be great options for rolling the truffles as well).

photo(3)

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the raw honey, cacao powder, cinnamon and cayenne. Once honey is dissolved and mixture is combined, remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  2. Peel and pit the avocado, and add to a food processor or blender. Process until nearly smooth. Then, add the chocolate mixture and process again, until smooth. Scrape down the sides and re-blend as needed. Alternatively, you can mash the avocado by hand with a fork (get all the lumps out) and then stir in the chocolate.
  3. Scrape chocolate avocado mixture out and into a bowl (unless you made it by hand, then you can keep it in the same bowl) and place in the refrigerator to chill for about 25-30 minutes.
  4. Once chilled, scoop out tablespoon-sized balls and roll between your hands to form a truffle (note: this part is messy and sticky!). Place each truffle on a foil or parchment paper lined plate. Chill in the refrigerator about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Remove from fridge and smooth out any rough/fuzzy looking spots on the truffles with your fingers. Then, roll half in cacao powder and half in unsweetened coconut shreds, or other toppings of choice.
  6. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Yields: about 13 truffles

Simple Supper Friday: Italian Sausage “Fettuccine”

IMG_4083

Snow is coming down in Portland, or at least it was at the time I wrote this post on Thursday. I actually haven’t seen this much snow in the city since my first winter here, back in 2008. It’s beautiful, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn’t impact my early morning flight to Kentucky today. I have some buffer room to get there, as my seminar doesn’t start until Saturday morning, but the less hiccups, the better. Really though, I kinda wish the snow would have held off until next week, but it is what it is. The same can be said about this head cold that I got too. Quite the combo to get right before a weekend of travel, but I guess it makes it that much more of an adventure (well, minus the being sick part).

Meanwhile, enjoy this simple, satisfying meal, which was inspired by the cauliflower recipe I shared last week. Cheers and happy weekend!

Ingredients:

  • ~1 lb bulk Italian chicken sausage
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter, separated
  • 1 large or 2 small/medium zucchini, noodled with a spiralizer (straight blade attachment)
  • 3 Tbsp blanched almond flour
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dessicated garlic
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling, optional

Directions:

  1. Melt 1/2 tbsp of grass-fed butter in a large pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the chicken sausage. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up large chunks with a spatula.
  2. Once sausage is browned, after 5-7 minutes or so, transfer to a large serving bowl and set aside.
  3. To the same pan, add the noodled zucchini and heat briefly over medium-low heat. After a couple minutes, transfer to the bowl with the sausage.
  4. Combine the almond flour, oregano, dessicated garlic, sea salt and pepper in a small bowl. Melt the remaining butter in the same pan over medium-low heat and then add the almond flour mixture.
  5. Stir mixture, allowing it to soak up the butter and continue to cook a few minutes, until golden brown.
  6. Sprinkle on top of the sausage and zucchini. Serve warm and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, if desired. Add more sea salt and pepper to taste, if needed. If you tolerate some dairy, you could also sprinkle on a bit of raw Parmesan cheese.

Yields: 2-3 servings

Baked Italian Cauliflower

IMG_4075

Whether you’re looking for a new vegetable side dish recipe or not, you’ve got to try this cauliflower! It is so flavorful and tastes absolutely wonderful with baked chicken. The almond flour and seasoning mixture acts as Italian “breadcrumbs,” and turns brown and slightly crispy in the oven, with the help of some glorious melted gold (aka grass-fed butter). It makes the house smell like an Italian feast and will literally make your mouth water. I think it would also taste delightful dipped in some Marinara sauce with Italian meatballs. Really, there are many possibilities.

Enjoy!

Inspired by this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • ~1/4 cup chicken or beef bone broth, preferably homemade
  • 4-5 Tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1.5 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 Tbsp granulated garlic

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place cauliflower florets in a 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan. Pour the broth on top.
  2. Melt the butter in a small bowl and add the sea salt and black pepper. In a separate bowl, mix together the almond flour, oregano, parsley and granulated garlic (or garlic powder).
  3. Sprinkle the almond flour mixture evenly over the cauliflower florets. Then, evenly drizzle the melted butter on top.
  4. Cover with a lid (if your pan has an oven-proof one that fits) or aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes and then remove cover/foil and bake for another 25-30 minutes more.

Yields: ~5 side servings

IMG_4076

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