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applesauce cake

adapted from Gale Gand's Applesauce Cake 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature 2 cups brown sugar (dark or light), ...

Monday, May 27, 2013

zucchini-based "hummus"

this tastes so much like garbanzo bean-based hummus, but is free of lectins, lower in carbohydrate, mostly raw, and it's delicious, so why not try it? we make this for guests, afternoon snacks, potlucks -- all kinds of occasions, and it always receives compliments.

adapted from this Primal Kitchen Chaos recipe:

  • 1-3/4 cup peeled, cubed raw zucchini (about 2-3 medium zucchinis)
  • 1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews, sunflower seeds or macadamia nuts
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (roasted sesame butter)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
  • 1+ cloves of garlic, pressed (to your taste)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
puree it all in a food processor or blender until creamy. garnish with a sprinkle of paprika if desired. that's it! serve with raw veggies and/or paleo-compliant crackers to dip.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

how to roast all sorts of vegetables

properly roasted veggies should have both golden and dark brown crisp bits/edges, without being burned. they should be tender, but never mushy, and bright in color. roasting concentrates the deep greens and bright oranges, yellows and reds in a way that stovetop cooking can’t replicate. it sweetens bitterness, caramelizes natural sugars and intensifies the aromas and flavors.

here’s how to do them right:
  •  wash and dry in salad spinner or with clean towels
  • cut into serving pieces, snap off tough ends, remove inedible parts as desired
  •  toss with a bit of cooking fat (coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, melted butter, macadamia nut oil, etc.) and a good pinch of kosher salt
  • spread out on a baking sheet in a single layer, with a bit of room between pieces
  • move oven rack to about 6 inches below broiler element
  • turn on broiler
  • put sheet in oven, and set timer for approximately half the total cooking time. total cooking times for many veggies as follows: asparagus, whole cherry tomatoes, green beans, pea pods, sliced zucchini or summer squash: 7 minutes. broccoli or cauliflower florets, thickly sliced onion, sliced radicchio, whole green onions: 12 minutes. bell pepper strips, eggplant slices, cabbage wedges, halved (or small whole) zucchini or summer squash, quartered fresh mushrooms: 17 minutes.  whole fresh mushrooms, carrot, parsnip, sweet potato or beet chunks, quartered onions: 25-35 minutes.
  •  at half-time, take sheet out of oven, and flip, stir, or shake veggies as appropriate, to ensure even cooking
  • return to oven and set timer for remainder of cooking time
when done, remove to a bowl, and if desired, garnish with any of the following (combine toppings as desired): chopped fresh herbs (parsley, chives, basil), freshly ground black pepper, smoked or sweet paprika, a bit more melted butter or oil, a sprinkling of nuts (whole if small, chopped or sliced if larger), a small clove of pressed garlic, grated or crumbled cheese, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or a drizzle of good balsamic vinegar. roasted veggies are delicious just as they are, straight from the oven, or cold in a salad or dipped in something luscious.

Friday, May 10, 2013

homemade ranch dip, from scratch!

easy and delicious, with just the right balance of herbs and tangy-ness; this is the perfect consistency for dipping crackers, chips and/or veggies. to use it for salad dressing, either substitute buttermilk for the Greek yogurt, or thin out the dip with a bit of buttermilk or plain almond milk. kids and adults alike love it! don't buy the powdered junk in packets (filled w/preservatives, sweeteners and the like) -- whip it up at home in your blender or food processor.

  • 1/2 cup homemade mayo (preferably made with light olive oil, macadamia nut oil or another paleo-approved oil)
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt (or buttermilk, if making salad dressing)
  • 1  clove garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

snip the chives with kitchen scissors, or slice thinly with a knife into small rounds. roughly chop the parsley, then throw all the ingredients into the food processor or blender and process, scraping down the sides as needed.