Blueberry and Red Wine Sauce (over chicken)

Normally, I try to eat as seasonally as possible, but I was craving the delicious, juicy summer fruit of blueberries.  A friend of mine who raises her own chickens recently gave me a whole chicken, so I decided to try a new sauce to pair with it.  It captures the essences of both the warm seasons from the fresh blueberries and the colder seasons from tastes that hint at a mulled wine flavor.  I hope you enjoy!

Blueberry and Red Wine Sauce

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups red wine (I used Merlot)
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tbs potato starch (you can use corn just as well)
6 tbs cold water
1 1/2 to 2 cups blueberries
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves


Method:

Pour red wine and lemon juice into a saucepan over med high heat and bring to just boiling and then turn down to a simmer.  Add in all your spices and simmer for approx. 3 minutes.  In a small bowl, combine cold water and your potato starch and stir.  Turn the heat up on your red wine mixture and pour in your thickener.  Stir gently but quickly.  If the sauce becomes too gummy, you can try to use a spoon to mash out some of the gumminess and also add some wine/lemon juice to read a more desired consistency.  Add blueberries, stir, and heat through.  Serve over baked chicken breasts, duck, or lamb.  Would also be good as a dessert topping!

This sauce is gluten free, grain free, egg free, soy free, dairy free, vegetarian, and vegan.

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recipe: savory cornbread

I came up with this cornbread recipe on a whim.  I wanted something that was delicious and able to cater to a variety of dietary needs with just a few mild tweaks.  Most of my recipes take a few times to get down, but this one came out perfect on the first try! 

Savory Cornbread

Ingredients:

1 cup ground cornmeal
1/2 cup quinoa flour*
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 tbs baking powder
1 tbs Herbs de Provence**
2 tbs ground flax meal
6 tbs water
1 cup milk
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup agave nectar

Method:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients and mix together.  In a small dish, mix your flaxmeal and water together and allow to sit for about two minutes.  In a small bowl, combine the rest of your wet ingredients and then your flax/water mixture and beat together.  Pour into dry mixture bowl and beat until your cornbread batter is combined.  Allow to sit for about 5 minutes.  Pour into a greased baking pan and bake for approx. 30-35 minutes.  Serve while hot!

*Don’t waste your time trying to hunt down and then pay for quinoa flour.  You can easily take raw quinoa grains and dry toast them on the stove for a few minutes and then grind them up into a flower in your blender or food processor!

**Don’t have herbs de provence?  That’s ok!  It’s a blend of savory, fennel, basil, thyme, and organic lavender flowers.  You can easily create your own blend or almost-blend at home!

This recipe is gluten free, soy free, egg free, vegetarian, and if you use a rice or almond milk, can easily be both dairy free and vegan.

recipe: parsnip and toasted walnut soup

Parsnips are an absolutely wonderful root vegetable and one of the least appreciated!  It is packed with health benefits just waiting to be taken advantage of.  Parsnips are lower in calories than carrots and potatoes.  They’re naturally sweet and their calories come more from natural sugars vs starch like in a potato.  High in folic acid and vitamin B6, they’re an excellent food choice for women who are trying to conceive or pregnant.  Other vitamins and minerals that parsnips provide are vitamins C and E, copper, maganese, lots of potassium, fiber, and niacin.  Parsnips have been known to be used as a diuretic, antioxidant, aid in reducing obesity, a treatment for kidney disease, and is beneficial for those dealing with asthma

What is not to love about this superfood?  For all its benefits, it’s worth incorporating into the diet.  Last night, we made soup from parsnips that is easily vegan/vegetarian friendly. 

 

Parsnip and Toasted Walnut Soup

Ingredients:

2 med sized or 1 giant carrot, chopped into small pieces
3 large parsnips, chopping into small pieces
(the two should equal roughly 4 cups when chopped up)
1 med onion, chopped and diced
1/2 cup olive oil
3 generous handfuls of walnuts (maybe 1 1/2 cups?)
4 cups broth (vegetable or bone)
2 1/2 tbs potato starch (or other thickener of your choice)
3 1/2 tbs thyme
2 tbs nutmeg
1/2 tbs corriander
salt
pepper

Method:

Chop up your carrots and parsnips and set aside.  Heat 1/4 cup of your olive oil in a large skillet/sauce pan and sautee diced onion till soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add in walnuts, stir, and toast/sautee another 5 minutes.  Add in your chopped carrots and parsnips and remaining olive oil and sautee for approx 10-15 minutes.  Add potato starch and stir well into the mixture and allow to soak in for about 3 minutes.  Pour in your broth, stir, and simmer.  Cover and simmer, stirring every few minutes, for another 10 minutes.  Make sure the carrots and parsnips are soft and well cooked.  Set aside and allow the mixture to cool down enough to pour into a blender or large food processor.  Pour entire mixture into your blender/food procesor and pulse till liquified.  Return the liquid soup back to the pot/skillet and add in all your spices, stir and blend.  Heat through for about 5 minutes to allow the flavors to absorb.  Serve.

This recipe is gluten free, grain free, dairy free, egg free, soy free, and can be vegetarian and vegan if you choose vegetable broth.

recipe: sweet potato brinner

Brinner.  Breakfast for dinner.  I can’t think of anything more delightful.  It’s become a Sunday tradition in our house — something you just expect to happen!  I decided to switch up the normal menu though by adding in Emily Levenson’s breakfast hash.  Well, more like improvise upon it.  Her recipe calls for black beans.  Which I have.  Except they’re dried.  I forgot to soak them.  Oops.  So, I just left them out, but everything else turned out awesometastic. On our food menu this week we have two of Emily’s recipes, actually.  This one and another that you may see later on.  What can I say?  The woman knows food!  I’ll post her original recipe here below:

Breakfast Hash

Ingredients:

1 sweet potato peeled and cubed
1 sweet onion, diced
2-3 cloves fresh garlic
1 tbs dried oregano
3/4 cup broth (Emily’s calls for vegetable, I used bone broth)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
2 tbs fresh chopped parsley
salt and pepper
olive oil

Method:

Heat olive oil in a large skillet — add in onions and saute for about 5 minutes.  Add sweet potatoes and saute another 5-7 minutes until they brown.  Add garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper and saute till fragrant (1-2 minutes).  Add broth and cook till all liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.  Add black beans and corn and cook till heated through.  Toss in and stir fresh parsley.  Serve.

I served this with bacon and scrambled eggs prepared with galic, oregano, and topped with fresh goat cheese.  It all made a delicious breakfast trio!

The breakfast hash can be both vegetarian and vegan if made with vegetable broth.  It is gluten free, wheat free, egg free, and soy free.

Recipe: lentils with brown and wild rice

 

While I’m not a vegan, one of my staple cookbooks is Veganomicon.  No matter what your food preferences, this cookbook will spice up your food life!  I’ve discovered so many great recipes from here to either use as main dishes, side dishes, or if I just HAVE to have meat in my meal, it’s an easy addition. 

My favorite recipe is their Lentils and Brown Rice with Caramelized Onions.  I have taken the basics of this recipe and switched it up into all different adaptations.  Here is just one of those tweaked recipes I enjoy:

Curried Lentils with Wild and Brown Rice (adapted from a Veganomicon original)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup wild rice
1/2 cup brown rice
1 cup lentils (I used green)
1/2 cup pure olive oil
1/4 cup natural dark brown sugar

Spices to taste:
–Curry
–Cumin
–Cinnamon
–Cardamom
–Clove
–Garlic
–All spice
–Sea Salt
–Ground black pepper

Method:  Boil 5 cups water and add the wild and brown rice; cover.  After 15 minutes, add the lentils, olive oil, sugar, and spices.  Cook till done, about 35-40 more minutes. 

The reason I say spices to taste is because I am terrible at measuring spices.  I just pour in what looks good, taste it, and modify based on how it tastes to me.  In this recipe, the prominent spices should be the curry, cumin, and cinnamon.  The remaining spices should be secondary accents.

This recipe is gluten free, egg free, soy free, dairy free, vegetarian, and vegan.