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Archive for the ‘Quick and Easy’ Category

I’m not one to buy ready made sausage – I just don’t trust the grocery store to use decent ingredients and tend to concoct my own recipes anyway.  I came up with this one last summer to accompany some grilled fresh veggies from my garden, but I use it for everything, from spaghetti sauce to Sausage Vegetable Noodle Soup and everywhere else sausage comes in handy.

I use grass fed beef for this recipe since I’ve never thought much of pork, nutritionally speaking, but it’s really the seasonings that make it what it is.  Feel free to use it with any kind of meat; even ground venison or turkey would probably make good sausage.

Ingredients:

2 pounds ground beef

3 teaspoons sea salt

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 tablespoon garlic, minced or finely grated

2 tablespoons lightly packed, finely chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

1.  Over medium low heat, lightly toast the fennel seeds in a small skillet.  Then grind them in a spice mill.

2.  Mix the ground beef with all the seasonings in a medium bowl.

3.  It’s best to cover at this point and place the bowl in the fridge so the flavors have a chance to blend, but you can use it right away.  Form it into meatballs, brown it in a skillet, or freeze it to use later 🙂

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I think we ate this muesli for breakfast every day my mom was visiting last summer, and for about four weeks after she left!   It’s full of goodies like toasted coconut, pumpkin seeds, dates and raisins, and delicious served with strained yogurt.

The way I make this recipe, it’s not soaked or sprouted, but you could sprout the oats and soak the seeds, then dry in a dehydrator and roll through a grain flaker if you had the inclination.  We used to do it that way when we had access to a friend’s grain flaker, and it wasn’t too time consuming – mostly just waiting.  I’d say that the lengthy process of making our food more nutritious brought a real sense of satisfaction to the eating!

Ingredients:

4 cups rolled oats, barley, or wheat, or a combination

3 cups flaked coconut

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup flax seed, freshly ground

2 cups chopped dates

1 cup raisins

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a 9 x 13 pan, combine the oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.  Toast in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.  Remove from heat once the coconut is lightly golden.

Add the ground flax seeds, dates and raisins.  Serve with strained yogurt.

Serves 4 -6

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Last spring, I followed a 14-week low carb anti-inflammatory diet, during which time I needed some kind of snack that came close to satisfying my cravings for chocolate and sugar.  I got the idea for this simple frozen patty from the Carob Chips recipe in Nourishing Traditions, however this version uses stevia, which does not affect blood sugar, and the strongly flavored peppermint oil covers the unfamiliar taste of the stevia.  Freezing them just adds to the refreshing minty blast.

On a side note, the 14 week low carb anti inflammatory diet must have made some serious changes in my body. I have always had sugar cravings. Always. And I eat a lot. I mean, generally more than my husband. No, I’m not fat. I just have a really big appetite and a hearty metabolism to go with it. But I’m getting off track… This 14 week diet I did allowed no sweeteners (except stevia), no fruits except lemons, grapefruits and berries, no grains, no beans, and no starchy vegetables, at least not for the first 6 weeks. It was really tough at first, especially as the main chef of our house, but now that it is over, I have lost all cravings for sugar.

Update: It’s been a year and a half since my 14 week diet, and I still don’t crave sugar that much. If I do get a bit of a sweet tooth, it’s easily satisfied by a piece of fruit. Has anyone else had this experience? I’d love to hear your comments.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup melted virgin coconut oil

3/8 cup carob powder (sift it if it’s lumpy)

2 – 6 drops pure peppermint essential oil

1 – 3 drops liquid stevia or 1 – 3 tiny dashes powdered stevia

Directions: Mix all the ingredients together very well.  (You don’t want to bite into uncombined peppermint oil or stevia!) Spread 1 1/2 inch circles thinly onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and freeze for 15 to 30 minutes. Remove from the baking sheet and store the patties in a container in the freezer.

Makes 10 – 12, depending on how thick you make them.

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Tender, flavorful, and so versatile.  Serve it in tacos, on a green salad, or eat it with chips and guacamole.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 onions, diced

1 1/2 pounds stew meat, cut into 1 inch chunks

2 – 3 large cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup beef stock

1 – 2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, minced (I buy these in a can, and freeze the leftover chilies in a small container to use later.)

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 cup Cultured Tomatillo-Cabbage Salsa, or other green salsa

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Directions:

In a large saucepan over medium high heat cook onions, beef and garlic for 5 – 7 minutes, until beef is nicely browned.  Stir in beef stock and scrape up browned bits on bottom of the pan.  Reduce heat to medium and add remaining ingredients.

Simmer covered for 1 hour until beef is tender and sauce is thickened.

Serves about 6.

Slow cooker variation: Instead of simmering for an hour on the stove, add an extra half cup of beef stock and cook everything in the slow cooker on low for 6 – 8 hours.

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I like to have the ingredients for this simple recipe on hand for days that I don’t really feel like cooking.  Since all the ingredients can be kept in the freezer or pantry, it’s also good for extending time between grocery trips.  It can be prepared in a matter of minutes, it’s a real kid pleaser, and gets five stars for compliance to all the Nourishing Traditions principles.

4 cups shredded, roasted chicken

6 tablespoons coconut oil or butter, divided

1 medium onion, diced

1  7 oz. can chopped green chiles or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh green chiles

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 cup chicken stock

4 cups grated Monterrey Jack cheese

12 sprouted wheat tortillas (burrito size) – such as Alvarado Street Bakery

Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the diced onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until soft.  Add the chicken, green chilies, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and chicken stock.   Cover and simmer on low for about 10 minutes.  Uncover and continue to simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.

In another large skillet, melt about 1/2 tablespoon butter or coconut oil over medium heat, and distribute it evenly throughout the pan. Place 1 tortilla in the pan,  spread a scant half cup of cheese over half the tortilla and a scant half cup of the chicken mixture over the cheese.  Cook until the cheese is melted, 1 – 2 minutes.  Fold the tortilla in half over the filling, remove it from the pan, and cut into wedges.  Repeat with each tortilla.

Serve with guacamole, sour cream and salsa.

Serves about 6 people.

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