May 30, 2013

Favorite Recipes from Real Food in Little Rock

I'm excited to present to you a list of some of my favorite recipes on this blog.  Are you stuck in a rut?  Want to try something new?  Peruse this list.

Think of this list sort of like a virtual church cookbook.  You know the plastic spiral bound cookbook that grandma or mom used to cook from.  It has splatters and stains with pencil marks throughout, pointing to the best tasting and most loved recipes.  Well, secrets like those are exposed on the blog.  All of these recipes have been tested and enjoyed very much.  Be sure to read the comments, too - some great tips are hidden within.

When you want to access this list after today I've made a tab at the top of the blog marked "favorite recipes" for you to find later.

Breakfast Cookies
(Christmas) Brunch Casserole
Granola Bar Cookies
Oatmeal Bake
Whole Wheat Muffins (soaked)

Chicken Salad
kid lunch ideas

Dressing and Sauces
BBQ Sauce
Creole Seasoning
Mayonnaise making for dummies (complete with video)
Meat Marinade
Ranch and Honey Mustard

Brown Rice Salad
Butternut Squash on the stovetop
Caponata (like bruschetta but with eggplant)
Green Tomato Salsa
Kale Krisps
Okra and more Okra
Pineapple Cheeseball
Quinoa, Swiss Chard and Feta
Roasted Bok Choy
Soaked bread for the bread maker
Warm winter salad with arugula, beets and sweet potatoes
Zippy Potato Salad

applesauce and fruit leather
chocolate syrup
coconut macaroons
easy ice cream (with frozen bananas)
energy bars
Fruit snacks from zucchini
kale krisps
quick party snacks
real cheese dip
roasted black mission figs
snacks for babies
no bake coconut cookies

banana peppers
cranberry chutney
jalapeno peppers
kimchi (Korean sauerkraut)
radish relish with turnips
dilly carrots

Main Dish

I've marked the inexpensive recipes with $.
The fast recipes are marked *
Recipes suitable for freezing are denoted #

Black Bean "burgers" $
Beef Tips and Rice #
Burritos (and how to package for the freezer) #
Cream of Mushroom Soup #
Crepes *#
Carnitas (pork in slow cooker) #
Chicken a la King #
Chicken Curry #
Chicken livers (pan fried)
Chicken and Rice Soup (video) $#
Chicken Pot Pie #
Chicken Salad
Chicken Spinach Stew #
Enchiladas - Beef or Chicken #
Falafel #$
Gazpacho (chilled summer soup)
Ginger Peach Gumbo
Liver - hidden in hamburgers
Mulligatawny Soup #
Oven Risotto
Poached Egg in Marinara $*
Red Beans and Rice for Slow Cooker $#
Stewed Chicken for burritos
Stir Fry - using cabbage with coconut and sesame oil $*

How to cook a whole chicken
How to cut a melon for a party
How to debone a chicken in less than 4 minutes (video)
How to make butter
How to make coconut milk
How to make vanilla
How to make kombucha
How to make natural household cleaners
How to preserve green beans
How to render lard

Tips for eating less meat (plus a recipe)
Tips for making a green salad FAST
Tips for Tasty Greens
Tips for getting your man on the real food wagon

Batch Cooking

share facebook tweet

May 29, 2013

Strawberry Mint Water

Recently I told you about serving this "Strawberry Mint Water" at a party - and how popular it was, especially for those who are watching their waistline.

The frozen strawberries and fresh mint flavor the water ever so slightly.  I like to use a sun-tea jar with a spigot at the bottom so that the strawberries stay in the jar as guests fill their glasses.  Then I add more cold water and ice as needed.

 A friend has also recommended the combination of cucumber and mint.  She calls it "spa water."


share facebook tweet

May 27, 2013

Lacto-Fermented Dilly Carrots

Lacto-fermenting sounds like a stinky, maybe scary endeavor.  Let me assure you that it is easy and very yummy.  It's a time-honored way to preserve food (think: sauerkraut the way your great-grandma used to make it.)  More than food preservation, it is a way to introduce billions of friendly bacteria to your gut.  In our sterilized, hand-sanitized world, believe me when I say you need more bacteria in your belly. 

This recipe is a sneaky way to get it in the tummies of your most picky eaters.

It doesn't look weird.  It's just carrots.  They taste a bit pickled.  And another beauty of lacto-fermented foods is that you don't have to eat a whole jar to get the benefits.  Just a couple tablespoons will do a lot of good.
Because I knew we would eat them at a rapid rate, I made a giant batch.  However, if you're not certain that your crew will devour them, you can do a small jar.  Just adjust the ratios.  You can hardly mess it up.  I promise.

I bought a 5 pound bag of organic carrots and shredded them in my food processor.  However, if you wanted to shred enough for a pint jar, you could do the shredding by hand.

Because I like garlic, I added a few cloves (and shredded radishes from my FarmShare) but you could omit either or both.  Then I sprinkled enough dried dill into the carrots so that I could see it.  I wanted to be able to taste the dill.  Next you want to sprinkle sea salt into the mixture - about 1 tablespoon per quart.
The salt will pull out some moisture but you will probably need to add more water. (Be sure it is de-chlorinated water, so that the chlorine doesn't kill our friendly bacteria.)

The last step was adding 1 T whey per quart.  Whey seems to trip up people who haven't stepped into lacto-fermenting.  "Where do I get it?" they ask.  Well, since you asked...  you know that liquid that seems to sit in a pool once you've scooped out some yogurt?  That's whey.  You could drain more whey from yogurt using a coffee filter or cheese cloth.  For the visual learners, watch this one minute youtube video.  Let me recommend using non-flavored yogurt. :)  Since I have a bunch of jars of lacto-fermented things in my fridge, I usually just mooch a little starter liquid from something else.

Once everything is in your air-tight jar, let it sit on your counter for 3-5 days depending on the temperature of your kitchen.  The warmer it is the faster the magic happens.  You can taste after 3 days to see if you like it.  Then refrigerate.

What do to with these lacto-fermented carrots?

-Sprinkle on a green salad.
-Use in brown rice salad or a pasta salad.
-Hide them in chicken salad.
-Eat them as is.  Delish.

The sky is the limit, really.

PS - because carrots have a higher sugar content, they will turn to alcohol after a few months.  They do not keep in the fridge as long as sauerkraut (about a year!).  But these carrots will keep for a couple months at least.

share facebook tweet

May 24, 2013

Reminder for Real Foodies

This vinyl wall art was a Mother's Day gift (that I requested.)  I need a visual reminder that yes, my kitchen will be messy and for good reason.  People I love are being fed nutritious food that takes time to create.  If I didn't have people to feed real food, my kitchen would be spotless all the time.  I'll take the mess.


share facebook tweet

May 22, 2013

Baked Beans:: Without Corn Syrup

A friend of mine is very sensitive to corn syrup.  So sensitive in fact that he throws up if he eats it.  (Making someone sick is not something I want to be accused of at a picnic!)

The ideal thing to do would be to make the beans totally from scratch.  Well...keepin' in real here - I don't make everything from scratch.  *shock, I know*

I had been slated to bring baked beans to a picnic and was given strict instructions to double check the ingredients so that this friend would not throw up.  A specific brand of pork and beans was even suggested.

Doing my duty, checking the back of said brand, low and behold, high fructose corn syrup was an ingredient!  I called my friend and said, "The brand you suggested has corn syrup."

What?  They didn't the last time I bought them.

So I started reading the backs of all the cans.  Showboat brand was the only one I found that day that didn't have corn syrup in them.

It was the brand I bought that day and continue to buy (at Kroger).  When I make baked beans now, I use this easy homemade BBQ sauce, some bacon and sauteed onions and green peppers.  Almost always every last bean is eaten when I take them somewhere.  Probably the only person that knows corn syrup is NOT in them is my friend who doesn't throw up.


share facebook tweet

May 21, 2013

Lara, Power, Energy Bars of Goodness

My husband really likes to exercise (freak).  The last nine months or so he's been cycling and finding that he needs a source of nutrition on the longer rides.  Last week he asked if I could make some energy bars.

Big mistake.

These things are so yummy in my tummy.  I could eat the whole pan.  It is taking every ounce of self control that I can muster not to polish them off before he gets home from work.

There are a bajillion recipes out there.  I started by looking at a few then scoured my pantry for goods on hand and this is the recipe for today.

In a food processor, put everything in at once:

1 cup dates 
1/2 cup craisins
3/4 cup almonds
1/4-1/2 cup walnuts
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
3/4 t  sea salt (really, to taste - my man wanted them saltier because he needs the electrolytes on the longer rides)

Give it all a whirl until it looks like it will stick together.  Line 8x8 pan with parchment or wax paper then press mixture into the pan and refrigerate. 

At room temperature it is a bit crumbly.  I'm wondering how this snack will transport.  Rolling the goodness into a ball might be a better option.

You have been warned, though.  These are serious good.


share facebook tweet

May 19, 2013

Homemade BBQ Sauce & Other Summer Party Foods

This weekend I threw a graduation party -complete with real food- for a friend.  Late the night before the party I realized I needed barbecue sauce for the baked beans.  Not wanting to rush to the store, I searched ye-ole-internet and found this recipe.

This was my first time making BBQ sauce and I definitely will make it again.  I hate that most store bought sauces are too sweet and usually sweetened with corn syrup.  I tweaked the recipe I found so that it went a little something like this:

1 cup vinegar*
6 oz can tomato paste
1/2 cup molasses (a bit of maple syrup or honey would be good, too)
2 teaspoons each cumin, garlic powder, and black pepper
1 teaspoon ground mustard
sprinkle of paprika or cayenne for a kick
salt to taste

Mix together, taste, adjust seasonings then let sit at room temperature at least one hour before refrigerating.

*I used 1/2 c white, 1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar (ACV).  The next time I make this I will use all ACV.  White vinegar is cheap and I wasn't sure how this BBQ sauce would taste.  I didn't want to use all ACV for the first trial.

What else did I serve at the party?

Chicken Salad Wraps (lettuce wraps)
Brown Rice Salad
Zippy Potato Salad
Pioneer Woman's Sheet Cake

To drink, I served two kinds of tea and strawberry mint water.  The strawberry mint water was a crowd favorite.  (I wish I'd taken a picture of the pitcher - it is also very pretty.)  To make it, fill a pitcher 3/4 with water, then add frozen strawberries - either whole or halved, then add a generous handful of fresh mint from your yard.  Add ice to top off the pitcher.  The strawberries and mint add a hint of flavor but not over whelming.  When the pitcher gets low, just add more water and ice - no need to add more berries or mint.  I've also done this with slices of cucumber and mint.


share facebook tweet


Related Posts with Thumbnails