Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kale Chips, part 2

It took about 45 minutes all told. I used too much salt, I think, (I adjusted it for the recipe below) but it's still delicious, even salty. You may prefer to use less oil than I did.

Kale Chips


1 head of kale, de-ribbed, well washed and dried
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon unrefined sea salt

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Salt and thoroughly oil the kale leaves. Spread on a big cookie sheet or pan with enough of a rim that the oil won't drip off. Bake until done, or about 45 minutes, stirring and turning after each 10 or so.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kale Chips!

I don't know why it never occurred to me - Little Moo loves those little snack packs of nori, which are my only concession to packaged snacks. I love the idea that she's eating seaweed, getting all those trace minerals and a good dose of iodine to combat the radiation from Japan that our government has refused to admit has been hitting our shores.

On her second day of camp, Little Moo's camp teacher made kale chips, then told me how. I was surprised at how amazingly easy it sounds. It's not seaweed, but good detox all the same, and has that same salty tastiness. She used a 325 degree oven for 5 minutes, but with olive oil, I'm going down to 250. It will take more time, but I think it will retain more nutrients that way. Evidently, Little Moo just kept munching the kale all afternoon. The teacher was very impressed. That's our Little Moo. She's a good eater. She's got a mother on GAPS and she's had nutritionally dense food since she started on solids. What can I say? The kid knows what's good. Here's what it looked like when it started. More pics to come...

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Yes. It's called "cardoon." It looks like a giant piece of celery, or a stalk of rhubarb that has just seen a ghost. It tastes a bit like a cross between celery and artichoke and I found one single piece of it at one of my favorite vendors at the Fort Mason Farmers' Market today.

Little Moo was fascinated. She thought it was called "cartoon," which was fine by her.

I cooked it up tonight just to see what it did.

Peel the top, not the bottom. 

It seemed very hard, so I pulled out the leeks that we got today, as well and sauteed them in ghee for 12 minutes. I threw the slices in, and discovered that they required about 25 minutes plus a dousing with hot broth to get them to soften up decently. Not the prettiest vegetable I've seen, but nice-smelling. Little Moo wasn't having any of it, but Snackboy and I decided that it was very nice paired with leeks. I think next time I'll use it in a slow cooker recipe. Interesting taste.

Was jam, now...?

So, the jam had too much gelatin in it, so it's pretty solid. If you'd like to make this jam, I'd cut the gelatin amount at least in half.

Meanwhile, it's still tasty, so here's what was for dessert tonight.

Burger with ketchup

Here it is...the final result! So far, so good. No rashes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Blueberry Jam...?

I had no intention of actually making real jam, but we did, and in almost no time, too. It's technically GAPS-legal, since it has honey in it instead of sugar, and I'm not sure about pectin, so I used gelatin. I say "technically" since it's so sweet that, at least for this GAPS person, it should be saved for a tiny treat and not eaten all the time. On the other hand, Little Moo has been clamoring for jelly for ages because her best friend lives on PB&J and she wanted her own. I just couldn't stomach getting jars of whatever for her, especially the jams, since they're such mystery foods, and so full of sugar. Organic mindfully sourced almond butter is evidently something like $20 a jar, so I got good organic almonds, soaked, roasted and blended it into butter.

This jam has about 1/2 cup of honey in it to 4 cups of blueberries (about 3 cups from the farmers' market, 1 from our freezer), 1/2 a lemon's worth of juice and 1/4 cup of Bernard Jensen's gelatin. That's it. I simmered it down until it went all thick, then added the gelatin melted in a bit of boiling water at the end. 4 cups of berries plus other ingredients fit nicely into a pint jar in the end, that had been sterilized by boiling 10 minutes.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tomato velvet, day 3!

Who knew that it would take quite this long. I think it's nearly there...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tomato Velvet/Paste, chapter 2

Today the tomatoes got simmered for about 4 more hours, all told. I think there's still too much liquid in it to really make paste, but our strainers are too fine to get anything really thick through, so I decided to strain it as is, then maybe I'll simmer it some more tomorrow. 

The plan is to have it ready for when Little Moo is done camp tomorrow and then we can make ketchup together...

Secret Ingredient Guacamole

I wanted to call this Methuselah Guacamole because it has a secret ingredient that gives it extra long life, but that doesn't sound too appetizing, which this definitely is. It tends toward the salty, but deliciously savory. I often have to restrain myself with the salt.

There are no raw tomatoes because we can't have them yet, but you could chop some up and throw them in. Here's a picture of the latest batch. It's pureed smooth because that is how Little Moo likes it, although it's just as good blended with a ricer and nice, chunky bits of onion and cilantro.

Secret Ingredient Guacamole

3 large ripe avocados
1/3 or so cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 white onion, chopped
1/8 tsp ground cumin or seed, toasted and cracked
3/4-1 tsp sea salt
juice of 1 lime

and...wait for it!

1 clove of fermented garlic, chopped fine (tasty and keeps it tasty for a while - none of this three-days-and-it's-compost guac.)

(Also, if you substitute a teaspoon or so of sauerkraut brine for the salt, not only will you have yummy results, but the guacamole will last for a really long time!)

Chunky version

Blend the avocados with a fork or ricer, add cilantro, onion, cumin, sea salt and lime. Finish with adding the garlic. Yum.

Smooth version (You don't even have to chop anything!)

In a blender, add all the ingredients, with the cilantro, garlic and onion on the bottom. Blend well.

Guacamole salad

Chop some celery and/or cucumbers and/or watercress, blend into the guacamole and serve on the side

Guacamole salad dressing

Drop a dollop of guacamole on top of green salad with vinaigrette. Blend well.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Starting tomato velvet.

The first of three steps to a modified ketchup. First come the tomato paste. The canned stuff doesn't agree with me - probably because of whatever trace amounts of corn, soy or preservative find their way into them - then it gets mixed with herbs, garlic and other good stuff. Then comes the fermenting medium and three days later it's ketchup!

Wow. It's moving fast. Better turn down the burner.

I haven't made this in a long while, so no recipe yet. Hopefully I'll get it right then it will get posted.

For now I send you the aroma of simmering tomatoes. :-)

Another way to eat it...

"Cherry Smash Sandwich" (Named by Little Moo)

As promised...

Coconut bread with coconut cream cheese. (This is the blueberry version of the bread.)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cultured Coconut Cream Cheese! Seriously.

NO dairy-free person can be without this stuff. If you like to ferment things, then you must try it!

I discovered "cream cheese" accidentally when I ran out of coconut milk for kefir. I had some coconut cream and just used that. Initially it made a lovely, crisp, tangy kefir the texture of clotted cream. Then, a few days later, I noticed that it had separated somewhat. The liquid at the bottom was about the consistency of coconut milk, while the cream lined the sides of the jar. On a whim, I stuck a knife in and spread some of the cream on my strawberry coconut bread. It's just like cream cheese - rich, tangy, creamy and just slightly sweet. It was like strawberry shortcake.

One quick disclaimer is that I have been using the coconut milk and cream in the little boxes from Wilderness Family Naturals. The taste is much better than the cans you get in the store, the products are organic and BPA-free. I also used Yogourmet's kefir starter.

Lest you say that my tastebuds are skewed from more than a decade without gluten and about 2 years without cow's milk, I gave my kid and my husband slices of strawberry-studded coconut bread slathered with this stuff and they ate it so quickly I thought I'd forgotten to give it to them.

Sorry. I'll have to shoot a picture next time. I ate it already. :-)

Coconut Cream Cheese

6 boxes WFN coconut cream
1 packet Yogourmet kefir starter

Warm the cream in a pot until it's between 150 and 180 degrees F for 3 minutes. Allow to cool to 110 degrees or below. Dissolve the starter in a small amount of the cream, then add the cream/starter mixture back into the cooled cream. Blend well. Pour into a large mason jar. Screw on top lightly without a seal. Allow to sit out for about 24 hours, then refrigerate.

Enjoy small amounts of the coconut cream for a while, until the cream separates and the cream cheese starts to congregate on the sides of the jar. Get a nice long butter knife and your favorite spreadables vehicle: coconut or nut bread, celery sticks, bowl of fruit, etc. Try to save some for the rest of your family. :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Hard to see, but it's another curried soup.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

On the menu this week...

I'm planning Little Moo's first meal schedule for camp. It's a bit daunting. I usually don't plan a full 5 days ahead, so I did as much actual cooking tonight as I could. There are a few more things for tomorrow, but the big work is done.

Finished - roasted chicken, veg. timbales (slightly fallen, but still tasty,) vegetable stew, pasta and tomato sauce (which she says she doesn't like. Oh well, more for us...) Still to make: beef burgers with onions and zucchini. Leaving the coconut bread for tomorrow! I'll slice up carrot sticks, chop up fruit for her yogurt the night before...

Anyone else out there making good stuff tonight?

If I can get these timbales right so that they don't collapse I'll post them here...they're super-yummy, even if they're not aesthetically gorgeous.

Finally, a freezer!

After much convincing by my the point of obsession in the case of my father, we finally got ourselves a 5 cubic foot freezer. Even Little Moo is excited, mainly, I think, because I'll have more big blocks of time to play with her.

Notice how it's already being used for the alphabet magnets. It's destined to be an art gallery, as well.
Now for that meat share that will make our lives so much easier...