Monday, August 29, 2011

Curried Drop Biscuits With Beef

Last night we thoroughly enjoyed our savory stew after all that birthday food. After days of making stuff for our daughter's big day, it was time to make stuff for me. I was in the mood for something like bread, so I made some therapeutic biscuits. These are based on one of Bruce Fife's recipes.

Curried Drop Biscuits With Beef

4 eggs
1/4 cup ghee, melted
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 2" turmeric root, peeled and grated (Or 1 teaspoon dried turmeric)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon coriander powder
3/8 teaspoon (1/4+1/8, that is) sea salt (if you don't like salty food, go down to 1/4 teaspoon)
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup precooked ground beef
1/3 cup sifted coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Melt ghee in small frying pan. Pour out all but enough to fry the spices. Under low to medium heat fry the mustard with the cumin seeds until they just start to pop. Add grated turmeric and garlic, turn down heat, blend well. Add coriander, pepper and salt. Blend and take off heat. 

Blend together the eggs and the unspiced ghee. Slowly add the spice mix, very slowly if it's hot, whisking as you go. Add the baking powder to the coconut flour and add together, mixing well. Fold in the beef. Drop by spoonfuls onto a pan covered with parchment paper. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. 

These turned out especially well because the beef had all kinds of lovely vegetables in it, as well...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Deviled eggs...

And here they are, the true edible stars of the afternoon. These were my first deviled eggs since I do not come from "the Mayonnaise People," or what my husband calls his tribe. To be honest, they're too mayonnaise-y for me, but the flavor is nice. We had two loaded plates and the kids made them disappear in about 5 minutes. They were made with homemade mayonnaise a la Sally Fallon, more or less. I added pickle brine to the final mixture with mustard powder, paprika, lemon juice, tarragon, salt and pepper.

I've rethought mayonnaise over the last few years. Of course in my old low-fat vegetarian days I'd have thought these scandalous, but really, it's just olive oil and whole eggs. I've never liked mayonnaise much, although I do like this better than storebought. Nourishing Traditions uses creme fraiche or something similar. Now that would be more to my liking, and with raw cream it would be truly spectacular, but until we can go back to cow's milk that's not a possibility. Some day!

Little Moo, of course, discarded all that lovely nutrient density in the center - she only eats yolks when they're scrambled with the whites or cooked slightly in poached or fried eggs. Oh well. At least the other kids enjoyed them.

Vanilla layer cake

Bleh. Babycakes NYC frosting, er, sauce.

It doesn't seem to matter how I make it, or what I substitute. It just NEVER turns out to be more than some kind of sauce. Which is what it is...and like many foods made for vegan eaters it's waaaaay too sweet, not to mention it has rice milk and rice milk powder (yuck and more yuck!) in it. So the cake was au naturel, double decker with banana slices between, but with the sauce on each piece and fancy birthday candles, it went fine. As usual, I don't get to taste it, but I had reports that it was good.

So, a good, nutrient-dense, not too sugary frosting anyone? I used to make an amazing frosting from blended dates and coconut oil, but this year Little Moo wanted pink. So pink, she got.

I have a feeling that I'll have to figure out a real buttercream thing for next year, assuming that she can eat it by then...I wonder if you can make buttercream icing out of ghee...?

Sorry - the party was completely crazy and I didn't get any pictures. :(

I'll post the images I took of them cooling last night...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

This year's birthday cake!

Wish me luck. I've been charged with the creation of pink icing.

Pictures to come.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Actual Pizza!

Okay, so the pictures aren't so perfect. They're a bit blurry, but I just had to post them to show how happy we all were with the pizza crust I baked tonight! In order to make it completely GAPS-friendly, just leave off the leavening, or try baking soda.

Here's a link to the recipe I tried.

One minor thing is that the batter needs to have a consistency like toothpaste and it took nearly 3/4 cup of coconut flour to make it so, instead of 1/2. I'd make it according to the recipe, though, then add until it's the right consistency. I used goat monterey jack cheese and fermented "ketchup" as sauce. It would be super-tasty with some sauteed onions, or greens, or mushrooms and olives. Tonight we trapped pieces of one of my veggie/beef burgers under the cheese.

In the oven, before flipping.

I tried to get a shot of the whole pie, and failed! 

Enjoying their pizza and cream of rutabaga soup.

We ate it all...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Turmeric and black pepper

I have been taking turmeric, in the form of curcumin, since my awful experience coming home from a long trip with a terrible allergic reaction. Initially, it didn't do all that much, although I do think it kept the worst reactions at bay. Then I came home and made Therapeutic Vegetable Curry Soup, and my symptoms improved in about 3 days. I mention in that post about how turmeric works hand in hand with cumin, coriander and other spices. I did not mention pepper. I also did not use pepper in the recipe on that page because a doctor had told me that it had inflammatory qualities.

Then the other day I was at Other Avenues, and noticed that Gaia includes black pepper with its curcumin supplements, so it got me thinking. I began to add small amounts of pepper to my breakfast after taking my curcumin, and lo and behold, it did seem to magnify the effect of the turmeric. I don't know anything, yet, about proportions or amounts, although it does seem like not much pepper is required to "turn on" the turmeric's anti-inflammatory properties.

Interesting, isn't it, that a food which, on its own, is inflammatory, has what appears to be the opposite effect in the right combination with other foods?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

It's like salad, only warm!

We got our first box of vegetables today from Guerrilla Organics today. It was just lovely, with a big bunch of chard, 4 large pat-a-pan squash, celery, grapes, onions, beets, rutabaga, pluots, radishes and a big, beautiful head of romaine lettuce.

I took one look at that lettuce and just sighed. I love salad, but ever since I had a hernia repaired about six weeks ago, I've taken a few steps back and seem to relapse each time I eat too many raw vegetables. I seem to be able to handle a few carrot sticks or slices of cucumber. Each time I eat a salad I get sick for about a week. No fun.

Then I remembered an amazing salad I had years ago which was made of warm, wilted greens, and decided to give it a try.

So I took apart the head of lettuce, popped it in a pot with ghee and a bit of broth where I cooked it gently until it was wilted, but the ribs in the middle were a bit crunchy. I topped it with our favorite dressing, which is a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, mustard powder and tarragon. It was really good and so far I'm doing fine.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back to basics: Fermented Cod Liver Oil/High Vitamin Butter Oil

All you smarties probably already know this, but it's been a while since I did any reading about why the heck we take this stuff.

I've been on plain high-vitamin CLO for about 3 years now. When we can afford it I splurge and get a bottle of HV Butter Oil, as well and we always seem to benefit from it. One of the first things I noticed was that my body becomes more elastic and less dry, both in the joints and the skin. Little Moo has been taking that stuff since she has taken food and she is a hardy, sturdy, slim but densely built kid.

After some recent experiences with family members who suffer from painful and debilitating arthritis, I've become very aware that it runs in our family, so I'm thinking deeply these days about how to prevent it. A few weeks ago I ordered the Blue Ice brand of fermented CLO, which has natural instead of synthesized vitamins added back into it. The dosage is somewhat different, as well. I can take one or two teaspoons instead of one or two tablespoons to get the same effect.

Here's a page from The Weston A Price Foundation's site on the manufacture and benefits of CLO. If you scroll down there's a letter from an osteopathic doctor named Rosann Volmert in Pasadena, which outlines the benefits of fermented cod liver oil. The first part is very interesting - David Wetzel has been researching the creation of his own brand of fermented CLO. I'd be interested to hear from folks out there if it's available now and if they've taken it, what they think.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Multiberry Custard Pie...a preview

It's summer and I was determined to put our farmers' market berries to some use. I came up with a GAPS-friendly pie, assuming that a person can eat fruit comfortably. There's no added sugar. There are eggs in the custard and the crust, but no dairy. It is not sugar-free, though, since the fruits, although low-sugar, are still sweet and I added dates to the berries to give it a more dessert-like quality.

I can outline the recipe here, but I'd like to do it again before I put it out there officially, since it didn't quite become what I intended.

As you can probably see, it didn't quite make it to the table long enough to get a photo of it whole. :)

Honestly, if you're a die-hard low sugar eater and you're looking for a dessert to really enjoy, this is the one. If you're used to high sugar desserts, then this is one to modify. It was very, very fruity, (Snackboy said that it smelled like a Pop Tart) and had a nice coconut flour crust. The custard was made extra special because Little Moo and I had a great time slicing and scraping out a vanilla bean into the heating coconut milk. I also added our last box of coconut cream to the mix. 

It was a three-stage pie. Little Moo was my very excited assistant. First we made a coconut flour crust, based on Bruce Fife's recipe. (See Cooking With Coconut Flour) We lined the crust with three sliced bananas because it tends to be a bit dry. Then we made a gently stewed mixture of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries with a spoonful of ghee and a goodly amount of gelatin mixed in. I added chopped dates to the mixture for some extra sweetness. That was allowed to cool for about 10 minutes or so and added to the cooled crust. We put two boxes of coconut milk and one of coconut cream into a pot, added the seeds of one vanilla bean (I wish I had some pictures of that! We had so much fun that we didn't bother to shoot any!) and a few drops of stevia to the coconut milk. It took about 5 egg yolks, more ghee and a tablespoon of gelatin to turn that into a lovely custard that was unlike anything I've ever made before. I think it was the vanilla bean, which had been sitting on a shelf for months awaiting the right day to be used. And so it was.

I let the custard cool for a few minutes, then added it to the top of the fruit. We decorated it with sliced strawberries. It was covered with waxed paper and put in the refrigerator to chill. 

My sense was that the fruit did need to be a bit gooier and the custard could have used a bit more gelatin or egg (although the bit that didn't fit in and wound up in a ramekin was perfect!). I suppose I could have given in and added some maple syrup or something. Maybe date sugar. On the other hand, I pride myself in fully sticking to the GAPs protocol, at least as my family eats it. (That's no sugars or syrups, although added fruit is okay. Stevia's bending the rules, actually. Honey is okay, but not for my allergies. Maybe someday.) 

This pie, though, could also be eaten with some egg-laden coconut bread or after an entree of scrambled eggs for breakfast, since it is a bit more like fruit and cream than a super-sweet dessert. It's all good, I guess.

I'll keep thinking and will try this again soon. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Chicken a la Bedelia

Sorry - no recipe today. I just wanted to share this funny picture.

I ran out of cheesecloth so the chicken is wearing a dress.