Roasted Pumpkin Miso Pasta

This lower-than-it-could be in carbs dish started life as the baby of a Japanese curry recipe and a ramen recipe and snowballed into a straight-up yummy pasta dish. I’m super bummed I only made enough to serve two; this was fantastic.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Roasted Pumpkin Miso Pasta

About a cup chopped pumpkin or butternut squash

2 tsp. white miso paste

Veggie or chicken stock

1/2 tsp. red chili flakes

Olive oil

1 Tbsp. + sesame oil

Curry powder

1 inch peeled fresh ginger, minced

2 scallions, minced

Sesame seeds

Soft egg (optional)

Togarishi (optional)

Kontjac noodles or sushi rice or ramen or udon or zoodles – all would be awesome, though I’ve only tried wide kontjac and rice

Preheat your oven to 200C/375F. Peel and chop the pumpkin into smallish pieces. Add to a prepared baking sheet, lash with oil, and sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper and curry powder. Toss. Bake about 40 minutes or until browned in spots and soft.

Let cool for a beat, and then add to a blender with the miso, red chili flakes, 2 tsp. oil, 1 Tbsp. curry powder, 1 Tbsp. sesame oil, and 1/2 a cup of stock. Blitz, adding more stock if needed to get smooth. I used about a cup in this stage.

In a saucepan or tall-ish sided skillet, add the minced ginger and the white + light green parts of the scallions with 2 tsp. garlic oil. Sauté until the onion is beginning to soften.

Add the blitzed pumpkin and another half cup or so of stock. Let simmer down to the consistency of a thick soup.

Add your drained and rinsed kontjac or whatever curry vehicle you’re feeling, toss, and let simmer a few minutes to combine.

Serve with an optional soft egg, the green parts of the scallions, a little drizzle of sesame oil, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, and some togarishi if you want another hit of spice.

Serves 2 but can easily be scaled up

Thai-Style Red Curry

Finally! I’ve been trying to make a silky, luxurious feeling Thai-style red curry for a minute and keep screwing something up. Either I don’t let it reduce long enough, or I drown the flavors some how – or I forget a key component like curry paste or coconut milk.

This go round, I forgot to pick up coconut milk. I swear my kitchen eats the stuff. I’ve lost like 3 cans of it in the last few months. But, with a last-minute grocery trip I was all ready to go. Whoo. I’m glad I was, too – this is a good one.

gluten-free, paleo, pescatarian

Thai-Style Red Curry

1 can coconut milk

Veggie, fish or chicken stock (1 of the empty coconut milk cans’ worth)

2 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste

2 tsp. sugar

2 Tbsp. fish sauce

2 Tbsp. soy sauce/coconut aminos

Zest and juice of 1 lime

2 stalks fresh lemongrass, peeled to reveal the soft center – mince 1 and whack the other with the back of your knife to release its flavors while cooking

1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 scallion, thinly sliced

2 Thai red chilis (optional), minced

1.5 cups pumpkin or butternut squash, chopped

3/4 cup chopped okra

2 Tbsp. minced basil

Minced smoked salmon (optional)

Rice to serve

This is a simple slow-cooker dump meal. Prep all ingredients and dump into your cooker (minus the salmon, basil and green parts of the scallions). Cook however you would make a stew.

When complete, add to a saucepan and simmer until reduced a bit and silky. Serve over rice, topped with the green parts of the scallion and chopped basil.

Serves 4

Fall Harvest Soup

This soup feels like a hearty, warm hug but gives a nice light dinner that doesn’t weigh one down.

Gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, halal, Whole30

Fall Harvest Soup

1 medium carrot, chopped
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cups kale, chopped
2 Tbsp. stock powder (I used a vegan chicken stock)
48 ounces water
1/2 can coconut milk
Generous sprinkle oregano
Generous sprinkle cumin
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Liberal sprinkle black pepper
Liberal salt
1.5 Tbsp. butter or vegan equivalent
Big hand full pepitas toasted in 1/2 tsp. coconut aminos
Optional: 4 ounces turkey bresaola, crisped until browned in a dry pan

Prep all veggies and add to a slow or multi cooker with spices and liquids (everything but the butter, pepitas and bresaola).

Press the stew/soup setting.

When complete, open the lid and add the butter/butter substitute. Let cool a bit and blend all but 1/4 until smooth. Add the reserved 1/4 back in for texture.

Serve topped with the pepitas and bresaola if desired.

Serves 6

Keto Ramen

If you hadn’t noticed, I’ve been on a Japanese kick again lately, and I’m determined to lick this delicate-yet-complex flavor profile and bend it to my low carb ways (muahaha).

Gluten-free, keto

Keto Ramen

2 c. water
1 pkg. shiritaki noodles
2 Tbsp. dashi broth starter
1 tsp. white miso
2 Tbsp. wakame
6 ounces white fish
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 c. bok choy
1 Tbsp. soy sauce, ponzu, tamari or coconut aminos
1 tsp. rice vinegar
Sriracha
Furikake (I love the varieties with bonito)
Salt
White pepper

Season the fish with salt & white pepper and sautee in 1 Tbsp. sesame oil until cooked through. Flake into a large bowl. Add 1 Tbsp. sesame oil to the bottom of the bowl, along with a squirt of sriracha.

In a saucepan, stir the dashi stock into the water and being to a boil. Add the miso and stir. Add the wakame and bok choy.

Drain and rinse the shiritaki noodles. Add to the pan.

Boil 3 – 5 minutes to cook the noodles and veggies. Add the soy and vinegar.

Pour the soup into the bowl and top with furikake to serve.

Makes 1 big serving

Chipotle Pumpkin Soup

Faced with an unexpected CSA prize – an adorable pumpkin – I set out to find something fitting to do to this noble squash, aside from sitting it on the edge of my counter so I could ogle it daily, luxuriating in the little bit of Fall brought into my daily line of sight.

I researched pumpkin recipes high and low, got frustrated because it seems everything calls for canned pumpkin or butternut squash (because let’s face it: pumpkins are fickle, unpredictable bastards and a crap item to use in baking), or is a soup. I *always* make pumpkin soup.

That’s because pumpkin soup is delicious.

I settled on the flavors from one soup married to the flavors from another, with the cooking method of a third – and lo and behold, this soup was born. It’s hands-off lazy girl cooking at its finest, utilizing the crock pot and nothing else. And it smells divine while burbling away on the countertop all afternoon.

Note: As written, this soup is on the liquidy side. If you like super thick soups, you could probably get away with halving the stock or maybe omitting altogether.

Gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian and vegan if you use vegetable stock, Whole 30

 

Chipotle Pumpkin Soup

1 2 – 3 lb. pumpkin
1 small onion
2 chipotles in adobo
13.5 ounce can full-fat coconut milk
1 c. broth (I used some leftover bone broth stashed in the freezer for just such an occasion)
2 – 3 cloves garlic
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. dried oregano
Kosher salt
White pepper
The juice of 1 – 2 limes

Peel and chop your pumpkin into chunks. Add to a crock pot. Peel and chop the onion and garlic. Add. Chop the chipotle and add. Add the coconut milk, broth (mine was still frozen), cumin and oregano. Hit with 2 big pinches salt.

Cook 4 hours on high.

When cooked and cooled a bit, blend (be careful – need I remind you that piping hot liquid + a blender is a recipe for disaster if one is not really really careful?). Taste. Add the juice of 1 lime and a couple pinches salt. Taste. Add more lime and/or salt as necessary. I used 2 limes + 6 big pinches salt and a smattering of white pepper.

Serves 2 – 4, depending upon how large your servings are.

Double Beef Winter Chili

There’s nothing better than coming home to a big bowl of beefy chili come winter. This slow cooker version uses root vegetables for bulk and some added umami-rich boosters for extra flavor. Whole30 compliant and delicious.

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Double Beef Winter Chili

1 pound grass fed stew beef
1 pound grass fed ground beef
4 parsnips (about 1 pound)
2 carrots (about 2 cups)
4 stalks celery
1 small onion
4 cloves garlic
2 (15 ounce) cans diced fire roasted tomatoes – with or without chiles (I used Muir Glen)
2 Tbsp. Red Boat fish sauce
2 Tbsp. coconut aminos
4 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 Tbsp. chipotle powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 big pinches Kosher salt
2 tsp. black pepper

Brown your beef(s) and add to a 6 quart crockpot when done. Chop the parsnips, carrots, onion and celery into roughly half-inch pieces and add to the pot when done. Chop the garlic and add. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine, adding a can of water if your mixture looks dry.

Set on low for 8 hours and go to work. Come home and enjoy!

Lemon & Chive Flecked Broccoli Soup

This is a great little soup – chock full of vegetables with enough backbone to be satisfying on its own as a dinner bowl.

Vegetarian, gluten-free and paleo-ish. While Parmesan cheese is not paleo, if you buy good quality from grass-fed milk, a hand full + a rind in a big pot of soup is not going to kill you.

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Lemon & Chive Flecked Broccoli Soup

Adapted from Broccoli Soup with Lemon Chive Cream from Orangette

Soup:

1 big bunch broccoli
1 yellow onion
2 leeks
3 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. olive or coconut oil
5 c. Turkey stock (or chicken or vegetable – whatever light stock you have on hand)
1 Parmesan rind (about 2 inches square – omit if strict paleo or vegan)
Kosher salt to taste

Make the soup. Slice your leeks (white and green parts only) into thin discs and rinse to clean, making sure to separate the rings to get into all the places grit likes to hide. Halve and slice your onion thin.

In a heavy-bottomed stock pot or dutch oven, heat the butter and oil over medium heat. When the fat is warm, add the leeks and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent (about 10 minutes).

While that is working, dice the garlic and chop the broccoli (stems included).

When the onion is translucent and the leeks are nice and soft, add the garlic and cook a minute or two more (until you start to smell the garlic). Add the broccoli, stock, Parmesan rind and a big pinch of salt and stir. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook partially covered about 20 minutes or until the broccoli is tender.

While your soup is working, get your lemon and chive cream ready to go.

Cream:

The top layer of thick cream from 1 can of full-fat coconut milk that has been chilled + a little extra coconut milk for added body
2 scallions (white and pale green parts only)
Chives
1/2 a lemon
Grated Parmesan
Big pinch salt

Slice the scallions into thin rounds. Snip or mince chives until you have a big hand full. Zest and juice the lemon.

In a medium bowl, combine the coconut cream with the scallions, chives, lemon zest, lemon juice, and a big hand full of grated parmesan cheese. Add a big pinch of salt and taste. If it needs more, zap it again. You’re going for light, bright and acidic but not overly bracing. If you need a little more body or things are looking not creamy enough, add coconut milk a little at a time (tasting as you go) until it looks just right.

Back to the soup.

When your soup is done, remove the Parmesan rind and either whiz with an immersion blender or buzz in a regular blender until mostly smooth. I left a few chunks here and there for added interest but a velvety smooth soup would be just as nice. Don’t forget to remove the Parmesan rind, especially if you’re going the immersion blender route. I forgot, and while my Vitamix disappeared it just fine, Parmesan rind is still not good eats.

Top with the lemon & chive cream and serve. Serves 2 for dinner with 1-2 lunches.

Paleo Chili with Root Vegetables

Mmmmm…. chili. Is there another food that is as synonymous with colder months (perhaps pot roast)? Chili is one of those ridiculously easy to make dishes that is a great thing to always have in your back pocket in case life throws you a cold, rainy day. This version foregoes the beans in favor of more paleo-friendly parsnip and carrot chunks. Hearty, filling, and warming to the core; this dinner serves as a long-form weeknight dinner and perfect back of the fridge/freezer lurker.

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Paleo Chili with Root Vegetables

Adapted from Bison Chili from The Paleo Plan

1 1/4 lb. ground grass fed beef (or bison if you can find it)
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 parsnips, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 palms full ground cumin
4 palms full chili powder
1/2 palm dried oregano
2 palms full granulated garlic
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes – fire roasted or regular
1 (7 ounce) can green chiles
Sea salt to taste

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the coconut oil.

Add the onions and celery and sautee until the onions are translucent, about 4 minutes.

Add the beef and spices and sautee until browned.

Add the parsnips, carrots, tomatoes, chiles, 2 big pinches salt and 3/4 of a can of water and stir.

Bring up to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and let simmer an hour.

Taste and re-salt if needed.

Serves 2 for dinner + 2 for lunch

Ginger Curry Carrot Soup

This simple carrot soup comes together in no time at all and makes for a hearty, healthy weeknight meal. Paleo friendly, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free.

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Ginger Curry Carrot Soup

Based on Simple Ginger Carrot Soup by Paleomg

1 1/2 lb. bag carrots, chopped
4 c. vegetable broth
1/4 c. coconut milk
1 yellow onion
3 inches ginger
3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 palm full curry
2 tsp. garam masala
Salt & white pepper to taste
Drizzle grapeseed or walnut oil (optional)
Toasted pecans for garnish (optional)

Halve and slice the onion thin, mince the garlic and peel & mince the ginger. Heat a large pot over medium and add the coconut oil. Add the onion, garlic & ginger and cook until the onions are translucent. You don’t want to burn them, so stir frequently as you are chopping the carrots into large-ish chunks and gathering your other ingredients. I let my onions go until they were just beginning to brown at the edges, and they were terrific.

When your aromatics are where you want them and the carrots are ready, add carrots along with stock and coconut milk. Stir and add the curry and garam masala with some salt and white pepper. Simmer 20 minutes or until the carrots are soft.

Once the carrots are soft, blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Alternately, you can use a food processor or blender.

Return to the pot and taste for seasoning. Add more if needed. Simmer an additional 10 minutes or until your desired thickness is reached.

Drizzle with a little oil and top with toasted pecans if desired.

Serves 2 for dinner + 1 for lunch.

Faux Pho

This pho, while not strictly traditional, has a nice taste and satisfies those mid-week noodle in broth cravings nicely.

Faux Pho

Broth

8 c. beef broth
2 stalks celery
2 small carrots
2 cloves garlic, well and truly smashed
1 shallot, chopped
2 star anise podsa
12 peppercorns
1 Tbsp. grated ginger
Pho

1c. when chopped red yard long beans (or any other bean, really)
1/2 lb. baby pac choi
1 package per person instant noodle soup Udon noodles (I used the brand from the picture, which I picked up at Super Target)
Fixins

Ground ginger
Fish sauce
Soy sauce
Cilantro
Sriracha
Lime juice

First, make the stock. The goal here is for a flavorful stock in its own right. You want something that tastes good before you add all the fixins.

Add the stock to a medium pot over high heat. While your stock is coming up to the boil, slice your celery into thin moons, your carrots into thin rounds, and smash the garlic. Add to the pot as you go.

Once the broth and its additions come up to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer 30 minutes. You can go longer if you would like, just don’t loose too much volume. You want the flavors to marry and the stock to pick up some great fresh taste from the veggies and spices.

While your broth is working, prepare your vegetables. I went with red yard long beans and pac choi, since that’s what came in my CSA share this week. My rule of thumb for any asian soup is this: a green + a color. Any green + something from any other color. Slice the beans thin (about 1/4 inch long) and chop the pac choi into bite-sized pieces.

At the 30 minute mark, strain your broth to take out the solids. They’ve given their all at this point and you have fresh things to add to the pot.

Add the beans and simmer 5 mins.

Add the pac choi, simmer an additional 2 minutes. Kick the heat up to a boil

Add the udon and boil 3 mins or until done.

Split into 2 bowls and season with fixins to your particular taste. I used 1 tsp. ground ginger, 1 Tbsp. fish sauce, 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. cilantro, 1 tsp. sriracha and 1 tsp. lime juice.

Serves 2, with enough broth left over for a third serving.