Monday, March 31, 2014

“No One Will Know It’s Vegan” Potato Salad

Spring will eventually get here. It certainly doesn't feel that way when it's sleeting out in New England, but I strongly believe that if I make enough spring/summer foods (like this potato salad recipe), then I'll usher in warmer weather and the BBQs and picnics can come partying in.

Even if it's cold outside where you are, you should give this vegan potato salad a try. It's a yummy side for any meal and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser (even for non-vegans!) Enjoy.

“No One Will Know It’s Vegan” Potato Salad
Excerpted from Going Vegan by Joni Marie Newman and Gerrie L. Adams

We love, love, love potato salad, but obviously we don’t eat mayonnaise. So Gerrie headed into the kitchen and came up with this delicious and filling recipe. If you don’t tell your family, they won’t even know it’s vegan!

* Gluten free
* No added oil
* No added salt
* No added sugar

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

3 (2 ½ pounds, or 1.14 kg) red potatoes with the skin on, cut into ¼-inch (6 mm) cubes
3 (2 ½ pounds, or 1.14 kg) Yukon gold potatoes with the skin on, cut into ¼-inch (6 mm) cubes
3 (2 ½ pounds, or 1.14 kg) russet potatoes with the skin on, cut into ¼-inch (6 mm) cubes
1⁄3 cup (43 g) capers
1 can (4 ounces, or 112 g) low sodium black olives, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup (160 g) diced onion, white or yellow
1 cup (101 g) diced celery
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon (9 g) minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
2 tablespoons (6 g) dried dill
16 ounces (284 g) frozen peas, thawed
1 tablespoon (2 g) ground black pepper
4 containers (24 ounces, or 681 g) unsweetened plain soy or almond yogurt
3 tablespoons (45 g) Dijon mustard

Boil or steam potatoes until firmly cooked, but not mushy. Drain and place cooked potatoes in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients except yogurt and mustard.

Next add half of the yogurt and mix. Continue to add yogurt and mix until it reaches your desired creaminess. (Some people like it more moist than others.) Add the mustard, mix, and taste. You may add more mustard
depending on your taste for mustard.

Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Veggie Bite
You can add more dill or pepper or a tiny bit of salt, to your taste. To help the flavors meld, make this salad the day before and let it chill overnight. This salad is so delicious, it won’t be around long. But it will keep for
4 days in the fridge. Enjoy this colorful, low-calorie, delicious dish!


Going Vegan The Complete Guide to Making a Healthy Transition to a Plant-Based Lifestyle

The fear of change, the fear of the unknown, the fear of never being able to eat bacon again! These are just a few of the reasons people are afraid to go vegan. Going Vegan seeks to change that, and provide a practical and easy-to-understand guidebook to fearlessly (and deliciously) transition to a plant-based way of life.

Authors Joni Marie Newman and Gerrie L. Adams will effortlessly guide you through your transformation while providing support and explaining all of the advantages of a vegan diet. Revealed are truths about the health, environmental, financial, and ethical benefits in this comprehensive manual to living well. You'll also find amazing recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Meals so delicious and satisfying, you won’t even miss the bacon.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Hazelnut, Black Tea, and Pear Muffins

It's Friday! There's no better way to start the day then with a cup of tea and some delicious muffins. Heck, I think muffins are appropriate for any day of the week.

If you're more of a beer on the weekend kind of person than tea, I suggest you pop on over to Beer Book Month today. They're hosting a huge giveaway where you can choose your own prize.

Happy weekend everyone. Take a load off. You deserve it.

Hazelnut, Black Tea, and Pear Muffins
Excerpted from Cheers to Vegan Sweets by Kelly Peloza

Not nearly as strange as they sound, sweet pears and hazelnuts complement the earthy flavor of black tea in these muffins.

1 cup (135 g) hazelnuts, chopped
1 cup (235 ml) hazelnut or other non-dairy milk
2 black tea bags (1 for steeping, 1 for incorporating into the dry ingredients)
3 cups (375 g) flour
½ cup (100 g) sugar
1 tablespoon (14 g) baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (180 ml) non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons (45 ml) maple syrup
2/3 cup (160 ml) canola oil
½ teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
1 pear, chopped

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C, or gas mark 5).

Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, rub the skins off with a hand towel or paper towel. Chop the hazelnuts finely, leaving a few chunky pieces. Reserve ¼ cup (29 g) chopped hazelnuts for garnish.

Heat 1 cup (235 ml) milk and steep the black tea bag for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, contents of the unused black tea bag, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Combine the apple cider vinegar with ¾ cup (180 ml) nondairy milk and let sit for a couple of minutes until it begins to curdle.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the apple cider-milk mixture in the well. Add the steeped milk (discarding the tea bag), maple syrup, canola oil, lemon zest, and vanilla. Stir everything together until just combined. Add the chopped pear and ¾ cup (87 g) toasted, chopped hazelnuts. Fill each muffin cup to the top, then sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup hazelnuts evenly over the muffins. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Cheers to Vegan Sweets!

This innovative vegan baking book features 125 deliciously fun drink-inspired dessert recipes. It’s a cookbook that takes readers on a delicious tour of cafés, cocktail bars, and lemonade stands, where all the drinks come in dessert form. Imagine your morning vanilla hazelnut mocha re-imagined as a muffin, or relax on the beach with a margarita biscotti, or stop by the bar and order your brew in Guinness cake form. Instead of sipping your drink, now you can indulge in it!

Author and vegan baker extraordinaire Kelly Peloza has carefully formulated each recipe to deliciously highlight the flavors of its drink counterpart. From Apple Cider Doughnuts to Chai Spice Baklava to Gingerbread Stout Cake, you’ll be amazed at how deliciously well your sips transform into sweet, satisfied—and vegan!—bites. And with alcoholic- and non-alcoholic recipes, you’re sure to find something perfect for every party and special occasion.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Salt Beef & Red Onion Marmalade Sandwich

It's amazing how different a sandwich is from a GREAT sandwich. A great sandwich can turn your day around and have you smiling from ear to ear. And what makes a great sandwich? Great ingredients. This salt beef and red onion marmalade sandwich is sure to make your day extra special. And you deserve an extra special day :)

Salt Beef & Red Onion Marmalade Sandwich
Excerpted from Great Meat by David Kelly, John Hogan, and Glenn Keefer

Salting turns a really tough cut into something super tender—just clear some room in your fridge so the brisket can sit and soften for a couple of weeks.

Serves 4

For the salt beef

2 cups (475 ml) water
3 cloves garlic, plus 1 whole head garlic
3/4 cup (110 g) sea salt
1 teaspoon (5 g) peppercorns
6 sprigs thyme
1 1/4 pounds (500 g) boneless beef brisket, trimmed
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 leek, peeled and chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
toasted bread and arugula (rocket), to serve

For the marmalade

1 1/2 pounds (680 g) red onions, peeled and sliced
1/4 stick (30 g) butter
1/2 cup packed (120 g) dark brown sugar
1 stick cinnamon
1 star anise
juice and zest of 1 orange
salt and black pepper
1∕3 cup (80 ml) balsamic vinegar


For the salt beef, pour the water into a pan. Bash three garlic cloves to split open, and add to the water with the salt, peppercorns, and thyme. Bring to a boil. Cool liquid, then pour over the beef, adding extra water to cover. Set a plate and a weight over the beef to keep it submerged. Refrigerate for 2 weeks, turning the meat every other day.

After 2 weeks, remove the beef and wash in fresh water. Put into a stainless steel pan and cover with cold water. Cut the garlic head in half horizontally, and add to the pan with the carrot, leek, and onion. Simmer for 2–3 hours, skimming the scum from the surface as it rises. The beef is cooked when it is soft and falling apart. Allow to cool, then remove the beef and refrigerate.

For the marmalade, sweat the onions in the butter for 15 minutes, or until soft. Add the remaining ingredients. Cover the mixture with a circle of parchment paper, then simmer for 2 hours, or until thick. Cool, then spread on toast and serve with sliced beef. Garnish with arugula (rocket).


Great Meat Classic Techniques and Award-Winning Recipes for Selecting, Cutting, and Cooking Beef, Lamb, Pork, Poultry, and Game

Recipes are only as good as their ingredients, especially when it comes to meat. That’s why having a good understanding of how to select, cut, and cook meat makes all of the difference in the final taste. Written by Ruby & White, one of Britain's leading butcher shops, Great Meat debunks myths and misinformation around selecting and cooking meat and offers up valuable information to meat lovers and serious home cooks who want to learn new and different preparation techniques.

This go-to guide to meat takes you through the technical aspects of meat, while providing recipes along the way that will help you try out your newfound techniques. Learn how to identify and use different cuts, why and when free-range and grass-fed is better, the basics of home butchery, and much more.Great Meat is filled with photos and diagrams showing where different cuts of meat come from, their corresponding preparation techniques, and recipes from the leading chefs and restaurants in Britain.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Parmesan-Thyme Popovers

You know how sometimes you just flip through a cookbook and immediately know you just NEED to make one of the recipes? Yeah, that's how I felt when I got the chance to take a sneak peek look at The Healthy Coconut Flour Cookbook. I've always wanted to make popovers, but have never really found a recipe that popped (haha) out at me... that is until now. The best thing about this recipe is that it really is easy to make and takes only a few ingredients. It's a great way to get into coconut flour and see all of its wonder.

Parmesan-Thyme Popovers
Excerpted from The Healthy Coconut Flour Cookbook by Erica Kerwien

Gluten-Free - Grain-Free - Low-Sugar - Nut-Free

A combination of herbs and aged cheese makes for a light, savory roll that is the perfect accompaniment to any meal, soup, or stew. You can replace the Parmesan with another hard or soft cheese such as Pecorino or cheddar, or try adding pesto, garlic, chives, and other herbs to create your favorite mix.

4 large eggs
1⁄2 cup (120 ml) coconut milk or other milk
2 tablespoons (13 g) coconut flour
Pinch salt (less than 1⁄8 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon (5 g) grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon (2.4 g) chopped fresh thyme

1. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C, or gas mark 7).

2. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and whisk until fully blended and a bit bubbly. The batter will have a liquid consistency.

3. Fill muffin liners or nonstick popover sleeves one-half to two-thirds of the way with batter.

4. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until they begin to brown on top, keeping the oven door closed to prevent them from collapsing.

5. Cool for a moment and serve. These are best served soon after they come out of the oven but can be kept covered and warm for a while as well.

Yield: 6 popovers


The Healthy Coconut Flour Cookbook

Coconut flour is quickly becoming one of the most popular flours on the market today. It contains no gluten and no grain, and is also low in digestive carbs, making it a favorite among paleo, primal, gluten-free, and low-glycemic dieters. In addition to what coconut flour doesn't contain, what it does contain is just as impressive. Not only is it packed with protein, but it also contains four times more fiber than oat bran; just a few tablespoons provides you with between 28% to 50% of your daily required intake!

Unlike gluten-free flour mixes, coconut flour may be used on its own and contains only one, all-natural ingredient: coconut! Its pure, slightly sweet taste is subtle enough that even coconut haters won’t be able to detect it, and it lends itself perfectly to baked goods, creating results far superior to other gluten-free treats. One bite of light and moist coconut flour bread will have you addicted!

With The Healthy Coconut Flour Cookbook, you’ll learn how to bake wonderful breads, muffins, cakes, and more with this amazing flour, which is now easy to find in most grocery stores and online.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Deep-Dish Artichoke, Brie, and Ham Quiche

Easter is around the corner. I don't know about you, but I really love the tradition of having an Easter brunch each year. This year, I'm planning on incorporating some recipes from Olivia Dupin's new book, Gluten-Free Entertaining. She has an entire Easter brunch menu that is just downright delicious. This recipe is from that menu. You can't go wrong with brie.

Deep-Dish Artichoke, Brie, and Ham Quiche
Excerpted from Gluten-Free Entertaining by Olivia Dupin

Tender artichokes, salty ham, and pungent brie are enveloped by a creamy, savory custard in this beautiful quiche. A perfect tender crust makes it even more memorable.

For Crust:
1 cup (128 g) cornstarch plus ½ cup (60 g) almond flour plus ½ cup (60 g) oat flour
½ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon baking powder
9 tablespoons (126 g) cold unsalted butter, diced
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vodka
4 to 5 tablespoons (60 to 75 ml) ice water

For Filling:
7 large eggs
1 cup (235 ml) milk
1 cup (235 ml) cream
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
¼ cup (25 g) grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, finely minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
⅔ cup (100 g) diced ham
1 ½ cups (450 g) cooked, diced artichoke hearts or 1 can (14 ounces, or 392 g) artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and diced
4 ounces (112 g) brie, diced

Preheat the oven to 375˚F (190˚C, or gas mark 5).

To make the crust: Combine the flour blend, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the cold butter and pulse until the butter is the size of small peas. Add the vodka and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the water and pulse 1 or 2 more times. Continue adding 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water and pulsing until the dough just begins to hold together but is still slightly crumbly.

Turn out onto a sheet of parchment paper dusted with cornstarch and knead 2 or 3 times to bring the dough together into a ball. Roll the dough into a 12-inch (30 cm) circle, about ⅛ inch (3 mm) thick. Use a pastry brush to dust off any excess cornstarch from the crust, then use the parchment to transfer the dough into a deep-dish pie plate. Trim the edges of the crust to overhang by only ¼ inch (6 mm), then fold the edge under and press with your fingers to make a decorative edge. Pierce the bottom of the crust all over with a fork to prevent bubbles. Parbake the crust for 12 minutes, then set aside.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, nutmeg, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the ham, artichokes, and Brie and stir to combine. Pour into the prebaked pie crust and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the center of the quiche is set. Let cool and serve at room temperature.

Yield: 8 servings

Chef’s Tip
The crust could be made ahead of time, patted into a disk, and stored in the refrigerator for 3 days or in the freezer for 1 month. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before rolling it out.


Gluten-Free Entertaining More than 100 Naturally Wheat-Free Recipes for Parties and Special Occasions

If you’re gluten-free, you know that parties and other gatherings can be a food conundrum. What can you prepare for your guests that everyone can enjoy, gluten-free or not? And what can you bring to parties that will please a crowd, and bring praise instead of pause?

Take the fear away and fill your plate with sensational (and safe!) eats with Gluten-Free Entertaining. Author Olivia Dupin will teach you how to entertain with ease, whether you're hosting a brunch, going to a holiday bash, or just having a casual couple's dinner at home. And with fourteen separate menus and more than 100 party-pleasing dishes, you'll find something for every taste and occasion.

From Deep-Dish Ham, Artichoke and Brie Quiche to Sesame Chicken Bites and Chocolate Chip Almond Torte, all of these recipes are delicious, first and foremost, and coincidentally gluten-free, so you can make them for your own get-together, or bring them along to any gathering.

Entertain with ease with Gluten-Free Entertaining!

Monday, March 24, 2014

The New Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

I don't know about you, but I always seem to have a hard time knowing what to prepare for Monday night dinner. Typically I make something huge and amazing on Sunday and then we have leftovers on Monday, which is fine and well, but not really that exciting. Enter The New Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole. This delicious, hearty casserole is perfect for Monday dinner. Serve with a side salad and you've got a happy family. You can even prepare it over the weekend and heat it up Monday to make it easier on you. That's the joy of casseroles, after all.

If you love this recipe and live in the Asheville, North Carolina area, then be sure to pick up your tickets for the Mother Earth News Fair. We'll be there serving up some great food samples and selling books. Come pick up your copy of Back to Butter (and many other great titles). See you there!

The New Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole
Excerpted from Back to Butter by Molly Chester and Sandy Schrecengost

There’s a good chance you remember this comfort food dish of the 1980s. My mom would make several batches at a time, in order to feed my hungry, basketball-playing brother and his teammates. Filled with processed foods at that time, we’ve since reinvented it with sprouted flour and a simple homemade gravy. Just like before, only better.

For casserole base:
5 cups (700 g) packed medium-diced precooked chicken
4 tablespoons (56 g) butter
½ cup (80 g) finely diced yellow onion
6 tablespoons (45 g) fresh-milled, sprouted, whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups (470 ml) homemade chicken stock
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
¾ teaspoon poultry seasoning
½ cup (112 g) sour cream

For topping:
3 tablespoons (42 g) butter
1½ cups (75 g) Sourdough Bread Crumbs
½ cup (50 g) finely grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon (11 g) poppy seeds

To make the casserole base: Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC, or gas mark 4). Spread the chicken in an ungreased 8 x 8-inch (20 x 20 cm) glass baking dish. In a large-size sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter until foaming. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Sprinkle the flour over the onion. Whisk for 2 minutes, then slowly add the chicken stock, whisking to incorporate. Whisk in the sea salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to medium-high and cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

To make the topping: In a small-size saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Set aside. In a medium-size bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and poppy seeds. Toss well to combine. Drizzle the butter over the top of the bread crumb mixture. Toss well to combine. Now that the gravy has cooled slightly, whisk in the sour cream. Pour over the chicken in the baking dish and gently fold to coat. Crumble the bread crumb topping evenly over top.

Bake for 30 minutes. It’s ready when the topping is light brown and the gravy is bubbling. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.


Back to Butter

It’s time to get back to your roots (literally) with Back to Butter. It’s time to get away from processed and industrialized foods and enjoy an energizing, nutrient-rich, and satisfying lifestyle. It’s time to feel great!

The traditional food movement focuses on real, whole foods—foods that our ancestors ate—and is quickly becoming the diet and lifestyle of choice for those looking to nourish themselves in the most sound and natural way possible.

Traditional foods are unprocessed, naturally raised, traditionally prepared, deeply nourishing, and decidedly unrefined. Authors Molly Chester and Sandy Schrecengost take you through the basics of a traditional diet with ease and understanding, offering a list to get your pantry started and why some of the natural foods that you may have though you should avoid (like butter, eggs, full-fat dairy, and meat) are actually healthy and essential.

And eating a traditional diet doesn’t mean you can’t have your favorites!
White Bean Chicken Chili
Caesar Salad with Sourdough Herbed Croutons
Baked Potatoes with the Works
Buttermilk Pan-Fried Chicken
Wonderful Winter Pot Roast
Hummus, Guacamole, and Onion dips!
Peach Caramel Pie
Rich Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Sauce

Rediscover how great whole foods can be with this guide to natural, healthy meals that make you want to thank your grandmother’s grandmother’s grandmother.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Cheesemaking Step by Step

Last night I had the absolute pleasure of attending a cheesemaking and wine evening at Wolf Meadow Farm in Amesbury, MA. It was some of the best cheese I had ever had and the experience renewed my excitement for getting back into the swing of making cheese myself. So I thought I would share some cheesemaking tips today to get you excited about the process. If you've never tried making your own cheese, it's easier than you think and the reward is outstanding.

Have a great weekend!

Cheesemaking Step by Step
Excerpted from Homemade Cheese by Janet Hurst

These images illustrate the creation of a molded goat cheese, using basket style molds. Crottin or pyramid molds may be used in place of the baskets.

1. Pour the milk gently into your large cooking pot, and heat the milk slowly to 86ºF (30ºC) over medium heat.

2. Add the culture, and stir in the culture thoroughly using a top to bottom motion. Let sit for the time specified in the recipe.

3. Add the rennet. Some recipes will require you add the rennet drop by drop; others have you dilute the rennet in water and add the solution.

4. After adding the rennet to the milk, stir, top to bottom, for one minute.

5. Cover and allow the renneted milk to rest, undisturbed, for thirty minutes

6. After slicing through the curd, go back with the knife and pick up the curd to see if there is a clean separation.

7. The curd after cutting. Note the curds are all about the same size. Let the curds rest for 15 minutes after the cut is complete. This resting period allows the curds time to heal and toughen up.

8. While the cut curds are resting, prepare the cheese baskets by lining them with disposable cheesecloth. Place the baskets on a rack above a bowl or bucket that will catch the whey.

9. Gently ladle the curd into the lined baskets. The curds will compress as the whey is expelled, so expect the cheese to be about half the size of the original mold.

10. Fill the baskets to the top. Let the curds settle for two hours and then top off again. Allow the curds to drain for twelve hours. These curds will shrink to about half their original size.

11. For a more even appearance, after six hours remove the cheese from the mold and flip it, the top becoming the bottom. Put the cheese back in the mold.

12. After twelve hours of draining, carefully take the cheese from the basket and place on the drying rack.

13. Salt the cheese to taste.


Homemade Cheese Recipes for 50 Cheeses from Artisan Cheesemakers

Making cheese at home is one of the joys of a self-sufficient lifestyle, along with gardening, canning, and raising chickens. Author Janet Hurst is a twenty-year-veteran home cheesemaker, who shows you how to easily craft your own cheddar, feta, chèvre, mozzarella, and 50 more cheeses. Included are profiles of 20 artisan cheesemakers—from Cypress Grove, Vermont Butter and Cheese, Shelburne Farms, Does Leap, Pure Luck, and more—and their favorite recipes.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Ultimate Paleo Burger

Happy first day of Spring everyone! Are your flowers popping up through the ground? Is the sun shining? Sadly, it is rainy and cold here in New England, but I could actually see my barbecue this morning as I walked my dogs, so obviously I'm feeling in the mood for burgers. This Paleo burger from the upcoming cookbook, Paleo Grilling, gives you a unique take on a timeless American classic. Perfect for those who follow the Paleo diet and even for those of us who just want to try something new.

The Ultimate Paleo Burger
Excerpted from Paleo Grilling by Tony Federico and James William Phelan

Bite off a piece of awesome with these burgers packed with killer toppings . The custom blend of ground chuck and sirloin will keep this burger moist thanks to the fat in the chuck and flavorful due to the rich beefiness of the sirloin . Wrapping this baby in lettuce kicks wheat buns to the curb while keeping all the fillings in control.

For burgers:
1/2 pound (226 g) ground sirloin
1/2 pound (226 g) ground chuck
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 medium white onion, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt

To make the burgers: In a large bowl, combine the ground sirloin, ground chuck, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and minced onion. Crack in a generous amount of fresh black pepper and season with a good pinch of sea salt. Combine the mixture well and form into 2 patties.

For burger “bun” and toppings:
8 slices bacon
1/2 medium white onion, thinly sliced
2 eggs
1 head iceberg lettuce
2 tablespoons (32 g) Paleo Mayo (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon (15 g) Kicked-up Ketchup (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon (11 g) yellow mustard
1/2 cup (118 g) bread and butter pickles

To prepare the toppings: Get your grill nice and hot and, using a cast-iron skillet, fry up the strips of bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon and use the bacon fat to fry the sliced onion. The onions should take about 20 minutes to get really caramelized, so you can cook your burgers during this time.

Cook the burgers on direct high heat. Whatever you do, don’t press on them with your spatula. Pressing on burgers only squeezes out the juice, which is a stupid thing to do if you want a juicy burger. Flip the burgers
after 4 or 5 minutes and cook for an additional 4 or 5 minutes or less if you want them on the rare side.

When the burgers are done cooking, put them on a plate to rest. The reason for this is the same as for resting a steak: it lets all the juices redistribute into the meat, keeping them from immediately running out when you take your first bite. Remove the caramelized onions from the skillet and use the remaining fat in the pan to fry up the eggs.

Prepare the “buns” by cutting the head of lettuce in half, removing several layers of the largest leaves. A single layer of lettuce will wilt and won’t hold up to the heat and heft of the burger, so use several more layers than you think you need. Place a piece of parchment paper down and put a stack of iceberg lettuce leaves on top of it. Put down the burger patty and dress with the Paleo Mayo, Kicked-up Ketchup, and mustard. Add the pickles and bacon on top of the condiments, saving the fried egg for the very top.

Cap the burger with another stack of iceberg lettuce leaves. Use the parchment paper to wrap the burger up, folding the paper first from the bottom and then from the sides. Repeat this process for the second burger and high five your dining partner. Start eating and don’t look back until you’ve destroyed all the evidence.

Yield: 2 Servings

Burgers Looking More Like Meatballs?
Pressing a small divot into the center of your burger patties before putting them on the grill will help keep them flat as they cook.

Paleo Mayo

Making mayonnaise at home with the best ingredients is easy—or, in this case, an aioli, a traditional French sauce made from garlic, olive oil, and fresh egg yolks . Add the oil very slowly to allow the sauce to emulsify (combine). You can also substitute avocado oil for a portion of the olive oil, as they are both fruit oils and are high in healthy monounsaturated fats.

1 clove garlic
2 chicken egg yolks or 1 duck egg yolk
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup (120 ml) avocado or extra virgin olive oil
1 cup (235 ml) light olive oil
2 dashes of hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Pulverize the garlic with a mortar and pestle. Add the garlic, egg yolks, and lemon juice to a food processor
and blend at medium speed (you could also use a blender for this, or even a bowl and whisk—just keep
stirring!). Slowly drizzle a thin stream of the avocado or extra virgin olive oil into the mix, being careful
not to add too much. At this point, the sauce should be coming together nicely, so you can now add the light olive oil a little more quickly. Finish by seasoning with hot sauce and white pepper. Seal the mayo in a clean container and refrigerate until ready to use. It will remain fresh for about a week.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups (375 g)

Kicked-up Ketchup

This homemade ketchup adds cinnamon and mustard, which include antioxidants and anti-inflammatory
compounds for health benefits.

16 ounces (454 g) tomato paste
1 tablespoon (7 g) onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon brown coconut sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/3 teaspoon ground allspice
1/3 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup (235 ml) apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) Worcestershire sauce
Finely ground sea salt (to taste)

Combine all the ingredients except the salt together in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add salt a little bit at a
time, mixing between, to ensure the right amount. Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Yield: 2 cups (454 g)


Paleo Grilling A Modern Caveman's Guide to Cooking with Fire

Embracing the Paleo movement is about getting back to basics­—eating food in its most simple, unprocessed form, just like our ancestors.

And what is more basic than cooking meat over a fire? This book features more than 100 grilling recipes using a variety of methods for cooking natural, locally farmed meat over fire: primitive campfire, wood and charcoal, gas grilling, and smoking. Paleo Grilling will help you to choose the best meats for any meal, and offers international recipes, including side dishes and desserts suitable for the modern caveman.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Shaved Asparagus Salad

I have always loved asparagus. There's something about the flavor and color of this amazing vegetable that makes me want to put it into (literally) everything I make. So when I bought my first house and was planning out what to plant in my new garden, asparagus was at the top of the list. I have to admit that growing asparagus takes a lot of patience. You don't see any yield for the first couple of years. But once those little green stalks start to poke through the earth, it is one of the most exciting things ever. Then comes the debate of what to put them in.

Since spring is around the corner (or we can hope, anyhow), I thought I'd share some information on one of my favorite things to eat along with a recipe on how you can prepare it. Bring on the warm weather and the gardens!

Excerpted from The Minnesota Farmer's Market Cookbook by Tricia Cornell

Asparagus spears are among the first things to peek out of the ground in the spring, and after that they grow so fast that old-time farmers joke they are likely to poke you as you bend over the plant to pick them. That makes them the perfect harbinger of all the great flavors to come as summer arrives. They’re gone in a flash, however, so spring is the time to glut yourself with asparagus cooked every way you can imagine.

Fat spears or skinny spears: That’s the big debate among asparagus lovers. The truth is that both sides can claim to be right. Fat spears are not necessarily older or any tougher or stringier than skinny spears. (They can be, but it is not a function of their width. Asparagus emerges from the ground at whatever width it’s going to be and then grows taller but not wider.)

Fat spears (anything thicker than, say, your pinky finger) are juicy and meaty, but they need to be peeled; otherwise, it can take so long to cook the outer skin that the inside turns to overcooked mush. Skinny spears don’t need to be peeled and they cook almost instantly, but they don’t have much of that creamy interior that fat spear–enthusiasts love. Skinny spears also have a brighter, greener flavor, thanks to the higher peel ratio.

At the market, buy the ones that look freshest to you and are most uniform in size. (You don’t want to be peeling some spears and not others, as they cook differently.) Look for tight, smooth, moist petals at the tip. Tips that have started drying out and opening up are a sign that the asparagus is not fresh. Also, look for a fresh cut at the base of the stalk. Before cooking, slice off the toughest inch or two at the base. The common advice is to hold each end of a spear between two fingers and bend until it naturally snaps, then discard the end. But sometimes you end up discarding more of the vegetable than you really need to this way. The truly frugal asparagus-lover can also make a nice stock out of the asparagus ends.

Shaved Asparagus Salad
Excerpted from The Minnesota Farmer's Market Cookbook by Tricia Cornell

Fresh asparagus is just as delicious raw as it is cooked and is a surprising base for a salad. If you can only find very skinny asparagus, instead of shaving it, slice the spears into 1" to 2" lengths.

1 pound asparagus, the fattest you can find
Zest and juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and
cooled, but still liquid
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 hardboiled eggs, quartered
Small bundle of chives, cut into 1" lengths

Trim tough ends off asparagus. Slice off asparagus tops and chop them roughly. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the asparagus into long, thin curls. Whisk together lemon juice, butter, salt, and pepper. Toss all ingredients together and serve immediately.

Serves four.


The Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook

The Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook is organized alphabetically by vegetables, fruits, and other foods sold at markets across the state. Each entry includes tips for choosing, storing, preserving, and preparing fresh, ripe, top-quality produce—including heirloom and other exotic varieties. Author and local food writer Tricia Cornell provides time-tested kitchen shortcuts, tips on choosing each food in season, and plenty of advice on how to turn the fresh bounty of the farmers market into easy, delicious meals. The centerpiece of the cookbook is a collection of 80 recipes contributed by local chefs and farmers. For those who want to become more familiar with Minnesota markets, there are also hand-drawn maps of market locations in the state and the metro area, a short history of Minnesota markets, and plenty of mouth-watering photographs of the produce and the prepared dishes. The Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook not only lets you enjoy Minnesota’s unique, renowned farmers market culture, but helps you make the most of it in your home kitchen.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Coconut Banana Four-Ingredient Bars

I've always adored coconut, so finding out that it was also a superfood was just icing on the cake. Incorporating superfoods into your diet has never been easier (and more delicious) than in these really easy four-ingredient bars from Megan's new book, Superfoods for Life, Coconut. Whether you're on the go or looking for a healthier snack for your kids, this recipe is ideal.

Megan Roosevelt is on a blog tour right now. Find out if she's appearing on one of your favorite blogs below. Or follow the entire tour to pick up lots of great recipes and perhaps even win a copy of her cookbook.

Coconut Banana Four-Ingredient Bars
Excerpted from Superfoods for Life, Coconut by Megan Roosevelt

Bars are an excellent way to take nutrition on the go, and homemade bars are delicious and affordable. Try out this recipe, and then experiment with your own healthy ingredients to put a personal twist on your bars! Just remember to keep things balanced, like this bar, with carbs (banana and dates), protein (walnuts), and a healthy fat (coconut butter). Dates, the all-star of this bar, not only help hold the bar together but also are a very alkaline food, which helps balance the acidity in our bodies. They also contain a special fiber called beta-D-glucan, which helps keep our blood sugar levels even and decreases our body’s absorption of cholesterol.

1 cup (80 g) dried banana chips
1 cup (178 g) chopped pitted dates
2 tablespoons (28 g) raw coconut butter
1 cup (100 g) raw walnuts

In a food processor, blend the banana chips, chopped dates, and coconut butter and pulse for 1 to 2 minutes, until blended. Transfer the “batter” to a bowl.

Add the walnuts to the food processor, and pulse until chopped. Add the walnuts to the bowl with the dates and bananas, and fold all of the ingredients together evenly.

Place the batter on a piece of plastic wrap laid over a cutting board and cover with another piece of plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin to flatten the batter into a ⅓-inch (1-cm) thick square.

Chill the batter in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Unwrap the chilled bars and cut into 8 large bars or 16 small squares. To store the bars, wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper and keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

Yield: 8 large bars or 16 small squares


Superfoods for Life, Coconut

Coconuts have been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine for their healing and beautifying properties, as well as being used in anti-viral and anti-bacterial products. Coconuts also show promise in stabilizing blood sugar and as a natural weight loss aid. This unique superfood can even be made into flour and used in gluten-free cooking and baking.

Superfoods for Life, Coconut shows you how to integrate coconut meat, milk, oil, butter, and flour into your diet with 75 delicious recipes for incredible health. This handy guide provides an overview of coconuts, fun history and facts and its reputed nutritional benefits, along with a focus on key nutritional properties and “cures” associated with coconuts (detoxification, weight loss, super immunity, disease fighting, and beauty to name a few). Each chapter references studies and research. There are so many ways to use coconutthe possibilities for cooking and healing are endless!

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Day: Southern Fried Cabbage

Southern Cooking: Ms. Thelma's Southern Fried Cabbage
Post written by Reggie Macon

Raised in rural Alabama on the family farm, my mom, or Ms. Thelma as the kids in my Connecticut neighborhood would call her, had an affinity for cooking liver and onions and Southern-fried cabbage.

When cooked, both dishes are very pungent and would send me running for the hills when I was a boy. These days, when I cook either of them, I savor the poignant smell because it sparks a wonderful memory of my mom quietly sitting at the kitchen table, enjoying every morsel of her liver and onions and fried cabbage meal. It's such a sweet memory that I recently decided to make the fried cabbage for dinner.

So, as a special St. Patrick's Day gift to you all, I'd like to share Ms. Thelma's Southern Fried Cabbage recipe. A great side with chicken, pork, corned beef, or as a main course by itself, my mom's Southern-Fried Cabbage is so delicious, you'll want to make it at least once a week for your family.

Contrary to the Irish proverb that says, "He who can't get bacon, must be content with cabbage," this recipe has a nice smoky bacon flavor and is super tender because the cabbage is sautéed in chicken broth.

So, before your Saint Paddy's Day celebrations begin, get in the kitchen and make Thelma's Southern Fried Cabbage, and I guarantee you will be shouting sláinte right after you taste it!

Serves: 6

Ms. Thelma's Southern Fried Cabbage

3 tablespoons (45 ml) rendered bacon fat
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil or butter
1 large head green cabbage, shredded
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 cups (475 ml) chicken broth
1 cup (150 g) of chopped onions (optional)
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cast iron Dutch oven or skillet


1. Cut cabbage in half lengthwise, then slice each half in half, so cabbage is in quarters.

2. Cut the core from the center wedge of each quarter and discard.

3. To shred cabbage, cut each quarter into thin, 1-inch (2.5 cm) wide strips.

4. Place shredded cabbage into a colander and rinse with cool water. Shake excess moisture from the cabbage and place aside.

5. Heat the bacon fat and olive oil or butter in the cast iron skillet on high heat.

6. Add the shredded cabbage (and onions) to the pot and let cook for 4 to 5 minutes, tossing occasionally.

7. Add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to the pot, then continue cooking, tossing cabbage until it glistens.

8. Add chicken broth and toss.

9. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat.

10. Cover and reduce heat to medium.

11. Simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring until cabbage becomes tender and most of the broth has evaporated.

12. Frequently check so as to not overcook.


Want more great southern recipes? Pick up your copy of The New Southern Table by Brys Stephens today. Brys will be signing books at the Asheville Mother Earth News Fair on April 12th and 13th in Asheville, North Carolina. Be sure to pop by our booth to say hi, if you'll be at the fair.

The New Southern Table

Immerse yourself in The New Southern Table, a celebration of food, culture, and quintessential Southern ingredients. Food writer, photographer, and fifth-generation Southerner, Brys Stephens, shares his love of travel and food and reinterprets classic Southern ingredients with recipes from diverse world traditions.

Often oversimplified as “y’all” cuisine, Southern food, at its heart and soul, has always been fueled by local ingredients and flavors. Okra, peaches, pecans, and collard greens are just a few of the beloved Southern ingredients found on farms—and dinner tables—all across the American South. However, many world cuisines have developed age-old flavor combinations, techniques, and dishes based on these very same ingredients—from lima beans and sweet potatoes in South America to corn and watermelon in Asia. With 100 recipes, each showcasing home-grown ingredients, The New Southern Table tours through French, Mediterranean, Asian, and Latin cuisines.

Try Greek-inspired Okra with Tomato, Feta, and Marjoram or Caribbean-infused Coconut Hoppin’ John. Savor flavor-infused main dishes such asHerb Grilled Bison with Fig Chutney and sides such as Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Tahini Yogurt—a unique spin on meat and potatoes. Sicilian Watermelon Pudding elegantly balances sweet, sour, and bitter flavors.

With simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, the recipes in this book will quickly become down-home favorites at American tables, new and old.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pi Day 2014: S'more Pie for the Marshmallows and a Veronica Mars Giveaway

Marshmallows! The Veronica Mars Movie comes out today. Did you see it yet? Are you staying up until midnight like us? Are you Team Logan or Team Piz? Perhaps Team Dick? Maybe even just Team Veronica?


Pi Day has become P.I. Day this year and we couldn't be more excited to celebrate the reincarnation of our all-time favorite detective, Veronica. In fact, we're so excited that we also needed a slice of pie. S'more Pie to be sure, since it's packed with marshmallows.

And since we just love to give things away, we're giving away an insane prize pack this weekend that includes:

- An advanced copy of the new pie cookbook, Ms. American Pie by Beth Howard (think of all the pie!)
- A copy of the Veronica Mars movie (ahhhhhh....)
- Your own bag of marshmallows to a) bake into s'more pie, b) eat while watching your new bluray movie, or c) throw at people who say anything bad about Veronica Mars.

It's easy to enter. Use the widget below and let us know the answer to this all important question in the comment section below: Team Logan or Team Piz?

Photo courtesy of:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And without further ado, the BEST s'more pie recipe a marshmallow could ask for. Easy, delicious, and marshmallow-y. So good, you'll want to win the cookbook to try ALL of Beth's recipes.

S'more Pie
Excerpted from Ms. American Pie by Beth Howard

I don’t know about you, but I have very fond memories of going to summer camp as a kid. So when I’m desperately in need of time-travel to sunnier, warmer, happy—and humidity-filled—days, this is the pie to make. It’s as delicious and messy as when you’re making s’mores around a campfire, but without the biting mosquitos and poison ivy!

Graham Cracker Crust (recipe follows)

3 ounces (3 squares) unsweetened
baking chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

4 to 6 cups mini marshmallows or a 10-ounce bag of large marshmallows if you prefer a thick topping (I do)

Prepare the Graham Cracker Crust (see below).

Prepare the Filling: In a saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate together with the cream and sugar, stirring until smooth. Whisk in eggs and vanilla.

Pour into Graham Cracker Crust and bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes (or one Veronica Mars episode), until filling is set. (If crust starts to get too brown, turn oven down to 350 degrees.)

Prepare the Topping: Distribute the marshmallows over the top of the chocolate filling.

Place pie under the oven broiler until toasted. This is quick, so keep a close eye on it to keep it from burning!

Graham Cracker Crust

I love how a graham cracker crust with its buttery, crumbly texture melts in your mouth. For added flavor, you can throw some cinnamon and sugar into the mix. (I don’t use sugar because graham crackers are already sweet.) If using a large, deep-dish pie plate, be sure to increase the amount of crackers in your recipe.

1½ cups crushed graham crackers (about 9 to 12 crackers, at least one sleeve)
5 to 6 tbsp butter, melted

Optional Ingredients
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup sugar

1. To crush crackers, place in a ziplock plastic bag, push out all the air, and roll over them with a rolling pin.

2. In a bowl—or directly in the pie dish to avoid washing more dishes—mix melted butter into cracker crumbs. If you like, mix in cinnamon and/or sugar.

3. Press crust mixture into pie plate with your fingers or the bottom of a glass.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.


Ms. American Pie

Beth M. Howard knows about pie. She made pies at California’s Malibu Kitchen for celebrities including Barbra Streisand (lemon meringue), Dick Van Dyke (strawberry rhubarb), and Steven Spielberg (coconut cream) before moving back home to rural Iowa. She now lives in the famous American Gothic House (the backdrop for Grant Wood’s famous painting) and runs the hugely popular Pitchfork Pie Stand.

With full-color photos throughout, Ms. American Pie features 80 of Beth’s coveted pie recipes and some of her own true tales to accompany them. With chapters like Pies to Heal, Pies to Seduce, and Pies to Win the Iowa State Fair, Beth will divulge her secret for making a killer crust without refrigerating the dough and will show you how to break every rule you’ve ever learned about making delicious, homemade pie.