Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sheperd's Pie

I love shepherd's pie, and it's probably my husband's favorite meal, so that's a plus! Tonight, I had plenty of time to make dinner, so I started at about five, peeled and cubed potatoes for mashed potatoes, and prepped the makings for Shepherd's Pie. I've adapted this from several different recipes and attempts and trials, and I think this is the best version yet.

Shepherd's Pie(serves 6-8?) Time to make:1 hour, 20 minutes

1 1/2-2 cups chopped assorted veggies(tonight I used green cabbage, celery, zucchini, carrots, onions and corn) The addition of cabbage really adds a lot of flavor
1 lb ground beef or lamb(preferably grass-fed beef)
1 tbsp gluten free flour
1 cup organic milk
1 cup beef broth(I used homemade beef bone broth)
6 small potatoes, peeled and cubed( I used 3 baby reds from the farm and 3 organic russets)
1/4 cup organic sour cream
2 tbsp grass-fed butter
1 tbsp lard (for cooking the beef in, grass-fed is very lean)
1/2 can organic tomato paste
salt and pepper
garlic powder
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350, Put potatoes on to boil. Brown ground beef in lard in a skillet(I used a cast iron skillet so I could just pop it in the oven. Add all veggies and cook until tender. Add broth, 1/2 cup milk, salt, pepper, worcestershire and tomato paste and then sprinkle in the flour, mix well. Let simmer for a few minutes. Meanwhile, make mashed potatoes. You can just take the pot off of the stove, add butter, 1/2 cup milk, sour cream and salt and pepper and mash right in the pot, or you can transfer potatoes to an electric mixer. After all is done, if using a cast iron skillet, just plop the mashed potatoes on top of the meat mixture and spread evenly. You can also use an 8x11 glass dish and put meat mixture in first, then top with potatoes. Sprinkle mashed potatoes with shredded cheese and cook for 30 minutes in the oven! Let cool for a few minutes before eating. It gets VERY hot!

Thanksgiving recipes

I have decided this year I'm going to help out my mother-in-law with Thanksgiving dinner, even though she usually say's that I don't need to bring anything when I ask. Here's the recipe that I found I'm going to use.
Cream of Mushroom Soup:
olive oil
1 lb. button mushrooms (or any other kind you prefer)
6 Tablespoons butter
2 cups chicken/vegetable broth
2 cups whole milk
6 Tablespoons flour (sweet rice flour preferably, but brown rice flour works ok too)
1 teaspoon Coleman’s dry mustard less than 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper for a little kick (optional)
salt to taste (maybe 1 1/2 teaspoons)
French Fried Onions
1 3/4 – 2lbs fresh Green beans, cleaned and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 Tablespoon Tamari J’s Wheat Free Soy Sauce

Directions: To start this recipe, I would prepare the french fried onions. It would be smart to prepare these in advance and store them in an air-tight container, so you are not stuck in the kitchen for longer than you have to be. First, saute your mushrooms in olive oil and set aside. Next, prepare your cream of mushroom soup. Start by melting your butter in a large saucepan and once the butter starts to bubble, add your flour. Then add your spices- I chose dry mustard, shake of garlic powder, salt, pepper, and the tiniest amount of cayenne pepper. Once the roux has cooked/bubbled for a few minutes, add your milk and chicken/vegetable broth. Whisk until the sauce thickens. Once the sauce has thickened, add back in your mushrooms. At this point, cook your green beans for 4-5 minutes until bright green. Strain the water from the green beans. Once they are done, put the green beans in a large casserole dish. Mix in the soup and soy sauce. Top with the French Fried Onions. Bake for about 35 minutes on 350 degrees or until bubbly. This will make a huge casserole!

French Fried Onions
1. Gather your ingredients.
2 or 3 big sweet onions (shallots are a good variation)
enough milk for soaking onions
1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons salt (try the first batch and adjust the salt to taste)
pepper (you can also add a little cayenne pepper if you wish)
gluten free flour
oil for frying
2. Measure gluten free flours, salt, and pepper and put into a zip lock bag.
3. Slice the onions and separate into rings.
4. Heat oil in a large frying pan. Oil should be about an inch deep. When the oil is hot enough, a flick of water will make the oil sizzle.
5. Soak the onions in milk for a few minutes. Don’t try to do all the onions at one. Just one batch at a time.
6. Dredge the onions in the gluten free flour. Give them a good coating of flour.
7. Place the onions in the frying pan with the heated oil.
8. When the onions start to float to the top turn them over and cook until just golden brown
9. When the onion rings have finished cooking, lay them on a paper bag or paper towels to cool/drain some oil.
10. Store in air-tight container, top your casserole, or eat them!

Recipes taken from I think I'll also make a gluten free cornbread dressing as well. Anyone got any good recipes?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Steak Fried Rice

I'm down to the dredges of the cow share that I took part in last october. Why I saved the filet mignon for last, I dont know. Well anyway, it was sort of freezer burned. So, instead of throwing it out, I decided to cut it up in pieces and make filet mignon fried rice. Turned out pretty good except I wouldnt cook the filet all the way through next time. Medium rare would have been perfect. Another good reason not to use such a fine cut of meat for fried rice!!

2 filets, or cheaper cut of meat, cut into 1 inch cubes.
2 cups cooked brown rice(day old is best for fried rice)
2 free range eggs
any combination of vegetables that you like. I used zucchini, white onion, carrot and white cabbage, about 1 1/2 cups.
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tbsp organic wheat free soy sauce.
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 garlic cloves, sliced
sautee veggies until tender. In a separate pan, cook meat until medium rare or medium if you are using filet, otherwise, you can cook the meat in the same pan with the veggies. Combine veggies and cooked rice. Season with fish sauce and soy sauce and ginger.Add steak right before serving. Enjoy!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Acorn Squash stuffed with Apples, Sauteed Swiss Chard with Bacon & Raisins and Roasted Lemon Chicken

This is a three course meal that I made last week. I usually have to prep food ahead of time, because I get home around 6:30 or 6:45 most nights, but I will not sacrifice homemade food just because I don't have enough time when I get home to make meals from start to finish. I cooked this chicken ahead of time and reheated later. I used the microwave to cook the squash because I was running short on time, but I normally would use an oven. It would taste better but take longer to cook..probably like an hour or so. So, if you have time, go for the oven! The swiss chard took like 6 minutes to cook. I cooked the bacon ahead of time and chopped all the veggies, so all I had to do was combine ingredients in a pan and cook.

Roasted chicken with lemon:

1 whole (preferably organic)chicken-I used a 2.5 lb chicken from a local farm
1 lemon, cut in quarters
2 cloves garlic, chopped
sea salt & pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil for basting

Rinse chicken & pat dry. stuff cavity with garlic and squeeze lemon juice over it. rub salt and pepper into the chicken skin and then stuff the lemon in the cavity as well. Baste with coconut oil. Cook in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until juices run clear.

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Apples

1 acorn squash, cut in half
1 granny smith apple, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 tbsp grass fed butter
agave nectar or maple syrup

Place squash in a microwave safe dish, fill cavity with apple chunks. Microwave on high for 15 minutes, or until done. Top with pats of butter, agave nectar and cinnamon. Cook in microwave for another minute or so.

Swiss Chard w/ Bacon & Raisins (adapted from recipe on

1 bunch swiss chard, leaves removed from ribs, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp smoked sea salt
1/4 cup raisins
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 onion, chopped

Sautee onion in coconut oil until tender and transulcent. Add smoked sea salt and swiss chard. Cook down until wilted, add water and raisins and cook for a few more minutes. Add in bacon right before serving. Very kid friendly with the raisins and bacon..oh and afraid of vegetables that are too green husband friendly too. He liked it! yay!

Crock Pot Steak Chili

So, I had a sirloin tip roast in the freezer that needed to be cooked and instead of making the typical roast with potatoes, onions and carrots(which I do all the time) I wanted to give it a twist. It happened to turn out like chili when I was done though. And it was darn good!

1 2-3 lb sirloin tip roast, browned to seal in the juices
1/2 yellow and 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced or chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 cup dry black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup salsa(I use jack's, cause it tastes so fresh with the cilantro)
1 can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
2 jalapenos, chopped
2 tbsp chili powder
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Place roast in the bottom of crock pot. If there is any visible fat, trim before browning and remove bones if need be. Combine all the rest of ingredients in crock pot and stir. Cook for up to 11 hours on low. Use a fork to break up the meat into pieces after it's done. I like to stir in some ketchup afterward and top with cheese and sour cream. It really did end up tasting like a steak chili!

Gluten Free Banana/Pumpkin Muffins

I made these last night and they turned out amazingly well! If you don't use Pamela's mix, make sure you add baking soda. Pamela's mix already contains baking soda. It also has a trace amount of milk, but you could make it dairy free by combining your own gluten free flour blend.

1 cup pamela's mix (or other gluten free flour blend)
1/4 cup amaranth flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup raw honey
2 free range eggs
1/2 tsp gluten free vanilla
1/2 tsp celtic sea salt
4 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup canned pumpkin pie filling(I used an organic brand)
1/2 cup mashed banana(about 1 banana)
chopped pecans or walnuts on top

Preheat oven to 350. Mix eggs, oil, vanilla and honey together until well blended. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into muffin tin or loaf pan. Top with nuts. If making muffins, cook for 23-28 minutes, if using loaf pan, cook for 1 hour. Yeilds 12 muffins. I think next time I'll add dark chocolate chips too!

Mark's Tuna Salad

My husband can make a good meal, even though I rarely see it! Last night he made tuna salad for us for dinner. This recipe could easily fit into a traditional foods lifestyle if you alter the ingredients some. I used mayonnaise purchased from The brand is Wilderness Family Naturals. It contains no soybean oil, and is all natural. I would omit the relish and replace it with finely chopped naturally fermented pickles and add a little honey for sweetness. You would probably want to leave out the lawry's salt as well. I would have used celtic sea salt, but the hubby was making it, so..

Here's his recipe:

2 7 oz cans tuna, drained(We like albacore)
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
lawry's salt(to taste)
2 free range hardboiled eggs, chopped
1/4 cup sweet relish(we like Wickles)
sweet mesquite seasoning(to taste)
1 tbsp grainy mustard
mayonnaise, to the consistency that you like

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, serve with crackers, as a sandwich or in a salad. Mark had a sandwich with raw pepperjack cheese, and I had it served over a salad with raw pepperjack, fresh avocado and homemade dressing.