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Fresh Cranberry Pecan Sauce

Posted by on Nov 28, 2013 in Condiments, etc..., Photo Slide Show, Recipes, Sauces, Gravys | Comments Off on Fresh Cranberry Pecan Sauce

Fresh Cranberry Pecan Sauce

cranberrysauce1

1/2 cup pecan halves (optional)
1/2 cup Madeira (or other sweet dessert wine such as Marsala)
3/4 cup maple syrup (or 1/2 cup if you prefer tart)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
12 oz (3 cups) cranberries, fresh or frozen
Pinch of pure salt

  • Preheat oven to 300.
  • Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 8 – 10 mins, or until fragrant.
  • Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes, and roughly chop by hand (see notes).
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the wine, maple syrup, cinnamon, cranberries, and salt.
  • Cover and bring to a boil, watching carefully to make sure it does not boil over.
  • Uncover and cook at a rapid simmer for 15-20 mins, stirring every so often, until the cranberries have burst and the liquid has reduced enough to become sauce.
  • Stir in the pecans, pour into a bowl, and refrigerate until cool.
  • Serve cold or at room temperature.

cranberrysauce2
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SIDE NOTES:

~  Love this cranberry sauce!  I made it for the first time last Thanksgiving, and planned to post the recipe this year, a week or so before Thanksgiving.  I completely forgot!  So, rather than waiting until next November, I thought I’d post it now  =)

~  Adapted from “The Voluptuous Vegan”

~  Fresh cranberries are only available from September through December, so by all means, pick up extra to freeze for future use.  Freeze them (without washing) in a freezer bag for up to a year.  DO NOT THAW before using.  Simply rinse them off in cold water and use as you would fresh cranberries.

~  If you happen to have some on hand, you can substitute mirin (sweet Japanese cooking wine) for the Madeira.

~  I use germinated pecans (soaked and dried) and do not toast them.  I recommend doing one or the other (toasting or germinating) rather than using raw pecans.  Of course, the pecans can be omitted, but they do add nice crunch and flavor.

~  Organic cranberries seem to come in 8 oz containers (and I typically use 2 for cranberry sauce).  Non organic versions often come in a 12 oz size.  So here’s the recipe scaled up:

For 16 oz cranberries:
2/3 cup pecan halves (optional)
2/3 cup Madeira (or other sweet dessert wine such as Marsala)
1 cup maple syrup (or 3/4 cup if you prefer tart)
1 rounded tsp ground cinnamon
16 oz (4 cups) cranberries, fresh or frozen
1/8 tsp pure salt

~ I love this little gadget for chopping nuts. I believe it’s called “kwik chop”. There’s more info on it in my “favorite-kitchen-tools-&-gadgets” post.

choppedpecans

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~  If you don’t want to bother picking up a sweet dessert wine to make this cranberry sauce, try the following version which uses orange juice:

VERSION 2
1 cup maple sugar (or regular brown sugar)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup water
12 ounces cranberries, fresh or frozen
pinch of cinnamon (optional)
2 TBSP cognac (optional)

  • In a small pot over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in orange juice and water.
  • Stir in the cranberries, and cook until they start to pop (about 10 – 15 mins).
  • At this point, you can also mash some of them against the side of the pot with the back of a wooden spoon if you’d like.
  • Remove from heat, stir in cinnamon and cognac (if using).
  • Transfer to a glass bowl, cover, and refrigerate for approximately 4 hours.

The cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools, so be sure to make this early enough in the day (or the day before) to give it enough time to set in the fridge.

Adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/cranberry-sauce-i/

I’ve made this version in the past, and it’s good, but we prefer the other recipe up top.

Butternut Squash Bacon Soup

Posted by on Nov 13, 2013 in Recipes, Soups, Vegetables, Winter Squash | Comments Off on Butternut Squash Bacon Soup

Butternut Squash Bacon Soup

butternutsquashbaconsoup

1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into large chunks
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 – 2 TBSPS coconut oil, melted
1/2 pounds (give or take) raw bacon, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 small apple, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp pure salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Add the coconut oil to your roasting pan and set it in the oven for a few minutes while it’s heating up (to melt the oil).
  • Add the squash and carrots to the roasting pan and toss to coat with oil.
  • Return to oven and roast uncovered for 35 minutes (or until veggies are tender).
  • In a large stock pot over medium heat, cook the diced bacon until crisp.
  • Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside for the soup garnish.
  • Add the onion and apple to the stock pot and sauté in bacon fat over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the roasted butternut squash, carrots, broth, and milk, and bring to a boil stirring often.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Process with an immersion blender until smooth (or working in several small batches, blend in blender).
  • Bring the soup back up to a simmer and season with salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • Serve garnished with bacon.

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SIDE NOTES

~  A nice soup for Thanksgiving!

~  For video instructions on how to peel a butternut squash, click HERE.  I used to think it was difficult.  It’s really not a big deal!  Of course, you can always resort to picking up the pre-peeled version if it’s a deal breaker  =)

~  No need to be afraid of bacon (or bacon fat for that matter), provided we’re talking about a pig who lived a normal pig life and was not feed an unnatural diet (and of course — no nitrates).  If you’d like, you can substitute a high quality turkey bacon, or if necessary, simply omit it altogether — sauteing the onion & apple in coconut oil or butter instead.

~  You can use coconut milk if avoiding dairy.

~  The original recipe called for tons more cinnamon and nutmeg (we actually found it inedible).  I cut it down by at least a third and it made all the difference in the world — Delicious soup.  The amount of seasoning really depends on the size of your squash.  If it’s giant you might want more.  If it’s very small, less.  Adapted from Caveman Feast.

~  Can be frozen for later use.

ENJOY!  =)

 

 

Halibut w/ Lemon Herb Butter

Posted by on Oct 27, 2013 in Entrees, Fish, Photo Slide Show, Recipes | 2 comments

Halibut w/ Lemon Herb Butter

halibutlemonherbbutter

2 halibut fillets, about 6 to 8 ounces each
4 TBSP butter
2 large garlic cloves, crushed or finely minced
2 TBSP lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil
1 tsp dried parsley (or 1/2 TBSP fresh)
pure salt and freshly ground pepper
lemon slices (optional)
fresh parsley leaves (optional)

  • Set broiler to high.
  • Place halibut fillets (skin side down if with skin) on buttered, broiler safe pan.
  • In a small saucepan, combine butter, garlic, lemon juice, and herbs.
  • Heat over low heat until butter is melted and garlic is softened, about 2 minutes.
  • Use roughly 1/2 of the butter mixture to spoon over each fillet and set the other half aside.
  • Sprinkle the fillets with salt and pepper.
  • Broil halibut for about 10 minutes (turning the fish once, halfway through), or until it flakes easily when tested with a fork (keep the remaining butter mixture over very low heat while fish is under the broiler to gently cook the garlic).
  • Drizzle the remaining butter sauce over the fish and garnish with parsley leaves and lemon slices, if desired.

Serves 2.

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SIDE NOTES:

~  A very easy and delicious way to prepare any type of fish.  Enjoy!  =)

Coconut Curry Lamb Stew

Posted by on Oct 14, 2013 in Entrees, Greens, Lamb, Photo Slide Show, Recipes, Root Vegetables, Stews, Chilis, Curries, Vegetables | Comments Off on Coconut Curry Lamb Stew

Coconut Curry Lamb Stew

lambstew

1 lamb shoulder roast, square-cut or rolled; or 1/2 leg of lamb roast, or 2 lbs lamb stew meat
pure salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 TBSP coconut oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 tsp turmeric
3 medium boiling potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
2 large carrots, cut into rounds
2 cans unsweetened coconut milk
1 & 1/2 cups water
4 TBSP red curry paste
4 TBSP tamari
5 TBSP natural sugar or 30 drops liquid stevia
4 oz kale, roughly chopped (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  • Bring the lamb to room temp (let sit out about an hour) and cut into stew chunks.
  • Heat the oil in a large (5 qt), ovenproof saute pan over medium heat, add the lamb and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Brown the meat on all sides, about 3 mins per side, remove, and set aside.
  • Toss the onions into the oil, and saute until translucent.
  • Sprinkle onions with turmeric and saute 1 min longer.
  • Turn the heat to low and add the potatoes, carrots, and lamb.
  • Combine the coconut milk, water, curry paste, tamari, and sugar in a large measuring cup and pour into the saute pan.
  • Cover tightly, and roast in the oven for 3 – 4 hours, or until the meat is fork-tender.
  • When the stew is close to being done, add the kale and return to the oven for the remaining cook time (about 15 minutes longer).

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SIDE NOTES:

~  This is outstanding!  I made some substantial changes to the original recipe which came from the Grassfed Gourmet.  Though the first time I made it, I shortened the cook time and the meat wasn’t tender enough (I think I cooked it 90 mins that time).  So it’s a good idea to plan to make this on a day you can do the prep work in the afternoon and just let it cook until dinner time (approx 3 hours).  It really needs to stew to reach its full potential!

~  Technically, you don’t have to combine the sauce ingredients (coconut milk, etc…) in a separate bowl — that’s just my personal preference.  You can put them directly into the saute pan one at a time if that works better for you.

Enjoy!

Grand Opening – New Location for Local Clients

Posted by on Sep 24, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Grand Opening – New Location for Local Clients

timeforme

Good morning!

I hope everyone had a great summer and that you’re all beginning to enjoy the steadier groove of autumn.

I have some news to share….

I’ve been invited to be house nutritionist at “Time For Me Wellness Center” in Clinton, NY.  I’m very excited to have this opportunity to connect with more people in the local community, and thrilled to be able to do it from such a beautiful and serene Center.

http://www.timeformedayspa.com/

For anyone in the local community interested in visiting my new location and learning more about how I may be of service, I’ll be offering a free introductory presentation at Time For Me Wellness Center on the evening of Wednesday, October 9th at 6:30.  If you’re nearby and have been contemplating seeking out the guidance of a nutritionist, I hope you’ll join us.

To register for this free event, click the following link and scroll down to the bottom of the page.  For the appointment type, select “Free Introductory Presentation”, and choose October 9th / 6:30PM on my calendar.  Feel free to forward this “sign up” link to any friends or family members you feel may be interested.

https://realfoodtastesgood.acuityscheduling.com/

Please keep in mind that space is limited (maximum of 20 guests), so sign up early to reserve your seat.

 As of October 10th, I will be keeping office hours at Time For Me Wellness Center for local clients who prefer in-person meetings.  Of course, for out of town clients and those who like the convenience of phone consultations, that service will still be available.

Special Offers:
All those who attend the October 9th gathering will be entitled to a $10 discount toward a new client consultation if scheduled within 30 days of the presentation. Please make note that you must be registered for the event to qualify, and only one discount may be applied per visit.  To be fair to those who live out of town, the same $10 discount may be applied toward a new client phone consultation booked within the month of October.

If at any time you’d like to schedule an appointment, please use the same link posted above, choose the type of appointment you’re interested in (new client or follow up / phone or in-person), and select a day and time from my availability calendar. 

For future reference, you can access my 24/7 online booking link directly from my website.

As a reminder… In my practice, this work does not solely revolve around changing what’s on the plate — but includes the other equally important and often neglected aspect of nutrition — addressing our relationship with food itself.  We are not merely eating machines, but human beings with mind, body, heart and soul, all interconnected and dynamic in nature.  There’s much more to nutrition than the *eat this, don’t eat that* type of approach we’ve come to expect.

For more information on my unique approach to nutrition and wellness:  http://realfoodtastesgood.com/services/mind-body-nutrition/

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if I can be of service!

My best,
Diane

Potatoes & Eggs

Posted by on Sep 17, 2013 in Breakfast, Egg based, Eggs, Entrees, Potatoes, Recipes, Vegetables | Comments Off on Potatoes & Eggs

Potatoes & Eggs

potatoes&eggs

2 lbs potatoes
butter, ghee, or coconut oil
pure salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 onion
4 – 6 pastured eggs

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Peel potatoes, chop into bite-size chunks, and transfer to a bowl.
  • Melt a generous amount of ghee (or butter / coconut oil) over low heat, pour over potato chunks, and toss well to coat.
  • Spread potatoes in a single layer on a parchment paper covered baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bake until done to your liking (45 mins to 1 hour).
  • When potatoes are almost done, begin to heat some coconut oil in a saute pan.
  • Chop the onion and saute in the oil until beginning to brown.
  • Add crispy potatoes to the pan and toss to combine.
  • Crack the eggs into a separate bowl, sprinkle with salt & pepper, and scramble (with or without a little milk).
  • Pour eggs into saute pan with potatoes and onions and toss until the eggs are cooked through.
  • Serve immediately.

Serves 2 – 3.

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SIDE NOTES:

~  Back in the day, my father used to make this all the time w/ his buddies at firehouse 253 in Brooklyn (and of course for us too!).  Fugetaboutit.  True comfort food….

~  You can really use as much potato and as many eggs as you’d like depending on the level of heartiness of your eaters.  If you think 2 eggs per person is enough – so be it.

~  Technically, you can fry the potatoes stove top instead of roasting in the oven.  I just find the potatoes stick to the pan this way which is a little annoying.  Much easier for me cooking them separately in the oven, and then transferring the crispy potatoes to the saute pan — use whatever method appeals to you most.

~  I usually make this for dinner, but of course, it can work for any meal of the day.  It’s simple and very satisfying.  Just get those potatoes in the oven about an hour before you want to eat & the rest is a piece of cake.  We usually eat this with a little puddle of high quality ketchup for dipping.  Enjoy  =)

 

Roasted Chicken Parts

Posted by on Aug 15, 2013 in Chicken, Entrees, Recipes | Comments Off on Roasted Chicken Parts

Roasted Chicken Parts

roasted-chicken-parts

chicken parts (legs, breasts, thighs, wings)
coconut oil, ghee, or butter
chicken-herb-rub

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Melt ghee in a large, oven-proof, saute pan over medium heat and coat the chicken parts.
  • Sprinkle generously with chicken herb rub on both sides.
  • Brown both sides of the chicken (about 5 minutes per side).
  • Then transfer to the oven and roast 30 mins* or until cooked through.

*If it takes you a little longer to brown the chicken stove top, reduce the roasting time by a few minutes to avoid overcooking.

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SIDE NOTES:

~  To coat the chicken with the melted ghee, you can simply rub all sides of the chicken into the oily pan, or use a basting brush.

~  If you’d rather not have to click the link, the chicken herb rub is simply:  2 TBSP dried oregano, 1 TBSP dried thyme, 1 TBSP black pepper, 1/2 TBSP pure  salt mixed together (if using coarse salt, use 1 full TBSP).

~  Aside from the very first time when it came out perfectly, I have had difficulty roasting whole chickens.  Even if my meat thermometer was at the correct temperature, the meat closest to the bone would still be under-cooked.  This has made dinner unpleasant on several occasions… having to put the chicken back and forth, in and out of the oven several times until it’s cooked all the way through.  Whether you buy a pre-cut chicken, or break up the bird yourself – the cooking is a lot more manageable this way.  Of course, buying a whole (uncut) chicken is less expensive and the advantage is that you have the back & neck to add to your stock pot (along with the rest of the left-over bones) for making a rich broth the following day.

~  Tim Hardiman — Owner & Chef at Utica, NY’s The Tailor & The Cook — had this to say when I asked him about my roasted chicken dilemma — “I believe a chicken should always be broken up and cooked separately…You wouldn’t cook a whole cow all at once!”

Here are the rest of the tips Tim generously shared with me back in May, and happily agreed to share with my readers as well…

  • When roasting a whole chicken, 90 min is more than enough, though I don’t usually roast the whole bird because the breast doesn’t take as long as the leg, and when the leg is done the breast is overcooked.
  • I like to break it down into 4 pieces — 2 leg and thigh, 2 breast and wing — though this requires a bit of knife work.  You can give the leg/thigh 90 min at 375, but the breast/wing should be finished in 45 to 60.
  • A really great trick is to remove the bird, put it on a white surface, poke it, and watch the juices flow out.  If they are perfectly clear, the bird is done (any hint of pink means more cooking is required).
  • Also, bring the bird (or any protein) up to room temperature before roasting.  It wont go bad sitting on the counter for 4 hrs prior to roasting.  Think about it… If it’s going stone cold into the oven, the first part of the cooking time is just bringing it up to room temp, then it begins cooking.  You’ll get more even roasting if it starts off from, lets say, 60 degrees.  This is also true with steaks.
  • Lastly, I like to give the skin some color before roasting, by searing (stove top) in a very hot pan before the roast.  Nothing worse than pallid skin.  This step also brings up the internal temperature prior to roasting.
  • Also, allowing the meat to rest for 10 min after removing from the oven is a great idea.  It will continue to cook (carry over) as well as seal in the juices so that none seep out while carving.
  • Use a good digital probe thermometer.  The temps listed in your recipe are good (breast = 160 and thighs = 165 – 170), but remember, it will continue to cook after being removed from the oven.

If you’re based in the Utica, NY area or passing through, I highly recommend treating yourself to a special meal at The Tailor & The Cook.  Not only is the food spectacular, Tim & Melissa take great pride in using the highest quality, local, organic ingredients.  Enjoy!

 

chickenparts

Ice Cream Milkshake

Posted by on Jul 27, 2013 in Breakfast, Photo Slide Show, Recipes, Smoothies & Shakes, Snacks and Light Meals, Sweets | Comments Off on Ice Cream Milkshake

Ice Cream Milkshake

1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup high quality ice cream

  • Fill blender up to the 1 cup line with milk.
  • Add 1/2 cup ice cream (scoop it in until the liquid rises to 1 & 1/2 cups).
  • Blend and enjoy!

Serves 1.

Optional add-ins:

  • 1 or 2 egg yolks or 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 of a banana (and/or other fruit of choice)
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil, melted
  • 1 or 2 TBSP high quality protein powder

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SIDE NOTES:

~  This is a nice cool treat for summer — especially the exceptionally hot summer we’ve been having here in Upstate NY!

~  Pictured above with strawberry ice cream and several add-ins.

~  If consuming eggs raw, you need to know your source.  In other words, they must be fresh and come from clean, healthy chickens.  Get to know the local farmers in your area!

 For those with various food restrictions, this recipe falls into the following categories:

Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Sugar Free, Vegan, Grain Free, Raw

Buttery Rice w/ Greens

Posted by on Jul 18, 2013 in Grains (non breakfast), Greens, Recipes, Rice, Vegetables | Comments Off on Buttery Rice w/ Greens

Buttery Rice w/ Greens

butteryrice&greens

For the Rice:
1 cup dry basmati rice (or your favorite / whatever you have on hand)
1 & 1/2 cups water (or appropriate amount depending on type of rice used)
1 TBSP butter, ghee, or coconut oil
1/2 tsp pure salt

  • Combine rice, water, ghee and salt in a small pot and bring to a boil.
  • Stir once to dislodge any rice stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  • Reduce heat to low and cook for the appropriate amount of time depending on the type of rice used.

For the Greens:
1 TBSP butter, ghee, or coconut oil
2 – 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
6 oz greens washed and roughly chopped
pure salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • While rice is cooking, prep greens (or grab a bag of your pre-washed & chopped greens).
  • Melt ghee in saute pan and cook garlic for 2 mins until just beginning to color.
  • Add greens, sprinkle in some salt and pepper, and cook until done to your liking.
  • When rice is cooked, add it to the pan with greens and toss to combine.

Serves 3 – 4 as a side dish.

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SIDE NOTES:

~  A side of rice on its own and a side of greens on its own is not nearly as exciting as mixing them together.

~  This time, I used beet greens (shown below).

butteryrice&-greens

Bison Burgers

Posted by on Jul 9, 2013 in Bison, Entrees, Recipes | Comments Off on Bison Burgers

Bison Burgers

bisonburger

1 small egg
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp pure salt
3 TBSP freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 lb pastured ground bison

  • Lightly beat the egg in a large bowl.
  • Add everything else and use your hands to combine well.
  • Form into four patties.
  • Pan grill several minutes on each side until done to your liking.

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SIDE NOTES:

~  I’ve tried a few variations of bison burgers.  This is the one we tend to gravitate toward & like the best.

~  Simply omit the cheese if you don’t do dairy.

~  Shown here smothered in grilled onions and with a side of spicy-sauteed-spaghetti-squash.

Enjoy!