Summer “Grain” Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

summer grain saladI’m back from NYC as of last Friday night and apparently, brought the warm weather back with me. I was gone for 10 days and the whole time I was away, the weather was cold, rainy, and crummy here in Portland. It was the exact opposite in NYC, so thankfully, I missed out! Now, our nice summer weather has returned, so more salads are called upon.

This salad makes for an awesome summertime dinner. I like making it ahead of time, so we can eat it cold after it’s chilled in the fridge, but it can be eaten warm as well. It is so delicious and the simple lemon tahini dressing is perfect. I think I could eat this salad, or a variation of it, everyday!

Meanwhile, you can catch me making this recipe next Wednesday, June 28 on KATU Afternoon Live. I’ll be sure to share the replay link once it’s available.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups golden beets, diced into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 cups asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 Tbsp coconut or avocado oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 5 oz clamshell baby kale
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 Tbsp filtered water
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large lemon, juiced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place beets and asparagus on a large baking sheet, and drizzle with coconut or avocado oil. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Roast in oven for 30-40 minutes, stirring halfway through. Once done, set aside.
  2. *Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add the ground chicken and season with sea salt and black pepper, to taste. Continue to cook chicken, but don’t break up the chunks of meat as you normally would. Cook until chicken is browned and no longer pink, about 6-7 minutes, but do not overcook. *Note, if your ground chicken is really lean, you may need to add a little oil to the pan. Set aside once done.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, water, and garlic. Add sea salt and black pepper, to taste. Set aside.
  4. Next, add the cooked ground chicken to the food processor bowl with the pan drippings. Pulse about 4-5 times until chicken forms smaller crumbles and resembles grains. Be careful not to over-process.
  5. Pour the chicken into a large mixing bowl. Add the parsley, roasted vegetables, green onions, and baby kale (you may have to work the baby kale in bit-by-bit). Pour dressing over top and stir well. Continue to add the baby kale (if you didn’t add it all at once), until it’s all worked in. Taste, and add more sea salt and/or black pepper, if desired.
  6. Serve right away or let chill in the fridge and serve cold.
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Lamb and Tomatoes with Greek Pesto

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I am so proud of myself — I am finally coming around with lamb! I never grew up eating it and did not like it the few times I’ve tasted it (the first time being last year), but haven’t given up. I realized earlier this year that lamb sausage is doable for me since it’s well spiced, but that’s been about the extent of my lamb intake.

Anyway, last weekend, Jesse and I went out to dinner and I decided to take the plunge and order a bunless lamb burger. It came with a minty olive oil spread on top and oh my gosh, it tasted out of this world with the lamb. I raved and raved about it! Now, I understand why lamb is often paired with mint. My goodness, the flavor is magical! Who knew that all I needed to do was taste lamb with mint to truly appreciate it?

Since that weekend, I took it upon myself to buy some grass-fed ground lamb (it is so easy to find grass-fed lamb too) with the purpose of pairing it with something minty. This recipe is what I came up with and truthfully, I have to pat myself on the back because it is so darn good! I couldn’t stop saying, “mmm…” with each and every bite. Cheers to a successful lamb recipe! Hope you enjoy it too.

For the Greek pesto:

  • 3/4 cup loosely packed Italian parsley leaves
  • 3/4 cup loosely packed mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large lemon, juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Himalayan sea salt and black pepper to taste

Add all the ingredients to the food processor and blend for 20-30 seconds. Scrape down sides and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Blend again until everything is mixed well. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.

Yields: ~2/3 cup

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For the lamb:

  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter, ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced into thin half moons
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground lamb
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano
  • Himalayan sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large heirloom tomato, chopped
  • Greek pesto (recipe above)

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute 2-3 minutes, until softened.
  2. Next, add the ground lamb and break up with a spatula. Mix in the salt, pepper and oregano.
  3. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until lamb is browned and cooked through (about 5-7 minutes).
  4. Once lamb is done, remove pan from heat and stir in the tomatoes. Then, stir in the Greek pesto. I mixed in all of the pesto, but you can use less, if desired. Serve warm with vegetable of choice. I recommend zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice or a romaine & cucumber salad.

Yields: 3-4 servings

Simple Supper Friday: No-Noodle Sausage Goulash

 

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Wow, it has been such a fun and productive morning, and it’s not even 11 a.m. here in Portland yet. I got up at 6 a.m. with Jesse and headed to Recreate with him. He had to teach class this morning and I decided to take the 6:30 class since I was meeting a client at 7:30 anyway (my internship project client — gets to work with me on form/mechanics/mobility free-of-charge!). It was a great workout and a deadlift day, which I was excited about. Afterward, I had a short 30-minute session with my client in which we did some mobility, foam rolling and myofascial release with a lacrosse ball. When I was done, Jesse asked if I wanted to hang out for the next class to finish and go out to breakfast with him. Um, yes! There was no hesitation on my end. I love, LOVE going out for breakfast and we went to our favorite place too since it’s right nearby – Besaw’s. So, I did my own foam rolling and soft tissue work with the lacrosse ball while I waited.

Then, there was breakfast. Over easy eggs, seasonal vegetables, bacon and avocado.

My favorite breakfast at Besaw's. (Taken on iPhone).

I dropped Jesse back off at the gym to teach the 10 a.m. class and then drove to Whole Foods to get some food for our day tomorrow and for dinner tonight (fresh wild Coho salmon is on sale for $9.99/pound today! Guess what we’re having?). Tomorrow, we’re headed up to the Seattle area (Redmond) for an all day Gold Medal Bodies seminar. It’ll be a quick trip and full day because we’re not spending the night, so need to leave by 6:30 a.m. to get there just before 10 a.m. The seminar goes until 5 p.m. or so and afterward, we plan to head back home and grab a bite to eat somewhere along the way. We’ll probably just eat somewhere in Seattle because there will be more options. Plus, we haven’t been to Seattle in well over a year, so it’ll be fun to hang out, even if it’s only for dinner.

The workshop should be fun and useful, but also a bit tiring. We’ll be doing parallette work, gymnastics skills (rings, tumbling, handstands, etc.), hand balancing and more. Good stuff and I’m looking forward to the opportunity. It’s really cool to do this kind of stuff with Jesse too.

Anyway, now I’m home drinking some cold-brew with coconut milk and relaxing. I have some other work to do at home before going back to the gym to teach the 5:30 p.m. class.

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Meanwhile, go make this no-noodle sausage goulash — it is super. I actually feel kinda funny sharing an Italian-style recipe because of Sarah Fragoso’s new Italian cookbook, but the recipe is too good not to share. Speaking of Sarah’s new cookbook, if you haven’t purchased it yet, I HIGHLY recommend it. I still have yet to make anything from it because of my schedule and maybe a little poor planning, but the recipes look phenomenal and the pictures will seriously make you salivate. There’s tons of other useful information in the book too, such as tips for traveling to Italy (where to stay, visit, etc.) and there’s also a background story with each recipe, which is enjoyable to read. This book is SO beautiful altogether and not only that, but Sarah is just such a downright cool and inspiring woman.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp grass-fed tallow or other fat of choice
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced in thin half moons
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 fresh Italian pork sausages, sliced OR removed from casing (buy these from Food Front if you live in PDX…so good!)
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 pint sliced tomatoes (I used my mom’s fresh canned, but a 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes works too)
  • 3-4 Tbsp full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp dried oregano, rubbed between hands
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped

Directions:

  1. Heat tallow in a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the onion and garlic. Stir and saute for a couple minutes. Then, add the pork sausage and ground beef. Break up the ground beef with a spatula (and the pork sausage if you choose to remove it from the casing) and continue to cook for several minutes, until meat is browned.
  2. Once the meat is nearly cooked through, add the tomatoes, coconut milk, oregano, sea salt and pepper, and cayenne. Stir well and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Continue to simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once mixture has thickened up a bit, remove from heat and stir in the fresh parsley and basil.
  4. Serve atop vegetable of choice. I recommend roasted green beans, steamed kale or zucchini noodles.

Yields: 4-5 servings

Turkey Sausage Veggie Hash

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Before I rant about this recipe, I want to announce an exciting event coming up in Portland this Saturday. Some of you may have seen it on my Facebook page, but I want to share it again! Anyway, Jason Seib, author of The Paleo Coach, is giving a FREE talk at the Pearl District Whole Foods from 12-1 p.m, this Saturday, May 4th. There will be copies of Jason’s book available for purchase and he will also be available for signing. In addition, there will be some delicious paleo recipes to try made by the lovely, Ashley Kipp, the pearl store’s Healthy Foods Specialist and blogger behind Craving4more. Space is limited and an RSVP is required, so if you want to sign up, please email Ashley at ashley.kipp@wholefoods.com. It’s only two days away, so make sure you reserve your spot now! The presentation will be held upstairs in Salud, the demo kitchen next to The Mezz.

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Meanwhile, this simple and tasty dish is versatile and pretty much foolproof — at least in my opinion. Honestly, I don’t have too much to say about it, other than the fact that it’s just plain good. Eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’d also be great mixed with some scrambled eggs, but a runny egg on top is lovely too. Can you believe that I used to detest runny yolks? Up until a couple years ago, I only ate my yolks cooked through. That’s just blasphemy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey thighs
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed beef tallow
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch radishes, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, torn into pieces
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 3 Tbsp bone broth or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • Sunny side-up pastured eggs for serving, optional

Directions:

  1. Melt tallow in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground turkey and break up with a spatula. Then, add the chopped garlic. Season with a little sea salt and pepper, and continue to cook.
  2. Next, add the radishes, carrots, spices, bone broth, and a bit more sea salt and pepper; stir. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until meat is cooked through and vegetables are crisp-tender. Then, add the torn spinach leaves and butter. Cook another couple minutes, until spinach softens a bit. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  3. Optional to serve with a sunny-side up egg on top.

Yields: 3 servings

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Simple Supper Friday: Salmon with Parsley Pesto Cream Sauce

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I’ve been making an effort to try and eat more fish lately because it normally doesn’t happen very often. I’m aiming for 1-2 times per week and so far, so good. Otherwise, aside from my daily 2 oz of Green Pasture’s fermented cod liver oil, my wild fatty fish consumption is few and far between. Reason being, it’s pretty expensive and I’m kinda hit or miss with it. It doesn’t always taste good to me and I really have to be in the mood for it, unless it’s Loki Fish Co. smoked salmon. I love that stuff and can eat it much more often. Again though, it’s still expensive.

I think fish is much more enjoyable when it has a sauce, nut crust or glaze (remember my honey-lime glazed salmon?), so naturally, I whipped up a sauce. There will be leftover sauce, so feel free to mix some into warm zucchini noodles. It’s delicious and creamy.

Anyway, have a great weekend! I know I will…ring shopping tomorrow!

For the salmon:

  • 2 wild coho salmon fillets
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter, divided
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice, divided
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 9×9 pan with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Place fish fillets skin side down in the pan. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Then, dot half the butter on one fillet and half on the other. Then, squeeze 1 tsp lemon juice over each.
  3. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until fish is cooked through. Serve with parsley pesto cream sauce on top.

For the parsley pesto cream sauce:

  • 1/2 cup curly parsley
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Dash of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews, preferably soaked
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  1. Combine all ingredients in the food processor or a high-powered blender (I actually used my new Ninja Master Prep Pro System for this one!) and blend until smooth.
  2. Taste and adjust seasonings and olive oil quantity, if need be. Cream should be somewhere in the middle between thick and runny.

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Simple Supper Friday: Mustard Apple Pulled Pork

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I’ve really had a thing for mustard lately, specifically Dijon. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve been using Dijon nearly every chance I get. I think it’s safe to say I’m definitely in a mustard phase. It adds such a nice flavor and when something seems like it’s missing from a recipe, Dijon seems to take care of that. It’s easy to find good quality Dijon mustard that doesn’t have any sugar or junk ingredients in it either. Sorry, Grey Poupon won’t cut it.

On another note, I’m going to a healthy fats demo at Whole Foods this weekend. Remember my friend, Ashley at Craving4more? Well, you may recall that she hosted the sauerkraut tasting I went to last weekend, and invited me to the fats presentation this weekend. I believe the healthy fats she’s including are coconut oil, ghee, avocado and grass-fed tallow (house-made from the Whole Foods meat dept). I imagine it’ll be pretty great.

I’m not really sure what else I’ll be doing this weekend, other than grocery shopping and working Sunday morning, but I like not having much of an agenda. What I really need to be doing is reading/studying for my exercise science class, but I’m still waiting for my book to arrive in the mail. Hopefully, it’ll get here soon because that class moves fast and the material is complex, so I don’t want to get too behind!

What are your plans for the weekend? Anything fun?

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Ingredients:

  • 2 lb pork shoulder roast
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed ghee
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pink lady apple, chopped
  • 1.5 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Firefly Kitchens Caraway Kraut for serving, optional

Directions:

  1. Melt ghee in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and celery and stir. Allow to cook a few minutes, until slightly softened. Then, add to the slow cooker.
  2. Season the roast with sea salt and pepper. Then, in the same pan, add the pork shoulder roast. Add a little more ghee if necessary. Brown the roast about 2-3 minutes each side and then place inside the slow cooker. Add the chopped apple as well.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, mustard, parsley, marjoram and thyme. Add a dash of sea salt and pepper, if desired. Pour on top of the roast and place the lid on the slow cooker.
  4. Let cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5. Once done, cut string off of pork roast, if need be, and shred with two forks.
  5. Serve with caraway sauerkraut on top, if desired.

Easter Eats 2013

It’s hard to believe I go back to school already today, but then again, I did only have one week off. Anyway, I feel settled in again after my trip home to Michigan, and had a lovely weekend. It felt so good to not have any schoolwork and besides that, the weather was in the 70s! It felt incredible and I did my best to soak up the vitamin-D!

Look at all those daffodils in our back yard!
Look at all those daffodils in our back yard! Sun and green grass too! Hooray for spring!

Because this is already going to be a lengthier post, I’m going to recap about our Easter dinner and then talk about my Saturday in Tuesday’s post. Here’s a little precursor about Saturday though: sauerkraut tasting!

I mentioned on Friday that I was thinking of making deviled eggs, and so I did. I didn’t want to make a big batch, so I made just enough for Jesse and me to eat. I had never made deviled eggs before, but have looked at many recipes and eaten them before, so I knew the basic idea. These turned out great, and Jesse and I sat out on the patio in shorts and t-shirts while eating them. We also enjoyed some chardonnay in our new wine glasses that my aunt and cousin sent as a shower gift, and had some pleasant conversation.

For dinner, we had a petite ham from US Wellness Meats with a homemade glaze, pineapple chutney, a spinach salad and cooked asparagus. We had a cake for dessert, which you’ll see my note about at the bottom of the post. Recipes are listed below.

For the small-batch deviled eggs:

  • 4 hard-cooked pastured eggs, peeled
  • 1.5 Tbsp macadamia nut oil mayo
  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp dried dill
  • Paprika for garnish, optional
  1. Slice eggs in half, lengthwise and carefully scoop the yolks out into a bowl. Mash the yolks with a fork and then add the remaining ingredients, except the paprika. Mix well and spoon into a small zip-lock baggie.
  2. Snip one of the corners from the baggie and pipe yolk mixture back into the egg cavity.
  3. Before serving, garnish with paprika, if using.
Small-batch deviled eggs.
Small-batch deviled eggs.

For the ham and glaze:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place ham in a foil-lined roasting pan and bake for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the glaze ingredients. After 30 minutes, brush half the glaze on the ham. Roast for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and brush on the remaining glaze. Bake for another 10 minutes.

The chutney was inspired by a Whole Foods recipe, but modified to my liking. It was a wonderful accompaniment to the ham and together, it was out of this world (and the glaze was not overpowering or super sweet). I hadn’t tasted ham probably since early high school and boy, was it good! I’d buy this US Wellness Meats ham again in a heartbeat! Compassionate-raised pasture ham is hard to come by, especially one that is both sugar-free and nitrate-free. This is a major win.

For the chutney:

  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  1. Place all the ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to simmer for 10-20 minutes, until mixture has thickened.
  2. Remove cinnamon stick and serve warm atop of ham.
Glazed ham with chutney, spinach salad and caramelized asparagus.
Glazed ham with chutney, spinach salad and browned asparagus.

The salad idea came together while grocery shopping for Easter dinner…on Easter Sunday. Ha, we never made it to the store on Saturday, like we usually do, so we had to go on actual Easter day. I expanded upon my salad idea as I assembled it at home, and the result was refreshing and summer-like.

For the spinach salad:

  • 2 cups raw spinach
  • 1/2 cup curley parsley, chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
  • 2 Tbsp chopped raw cashews
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Tessemae’s lemon garlic dressing (Whole Foods carries this line now! So excited!)

In a large bowl, mix together everything, but the dressing. Just before serving, mix in the dressing.

Easter dinner.
Easter dinner.

If you really want to know what I did for the asparagus, I melted 2 Tbsp of grass-fed butter over medium heat. Then, I added a bundle of asparagus (woody ends removed) and seasoned with sea salt and pepper. I tossed the asparagus occasionally and allowed it to brown and caramelize a bit. Once tender, after 5-7 minutes, I removed from heat.

We had a delicious chocolate cake for dessert that I will post about later in the week. I think there’s enough recipes here for one day!

I’d love to hear about your Easter, and what you cooked and ate! Feel free to share!