Indian Spiced Burgers

Our little Monday night burger night needed a little kick in the pants. We’ve been doing whatever fake meats our local market has on hand (our favorites so far have been the Beyond Burgers and the Quorn Southern Fried “chicken” patties)j, and it’s been going really well. This week they happened to be out of good (non-lentil, non-bean) options, so I went for something a little different.

It was a big hit with me; with DH, not so much. He’s much more of a traditionalist when it comes to “staple” kid-friendly foods and has to be in the right mood for anything too far off the beaten path.

gluten-free, paleo

Indian Spiced Burgers

500g ground beef

1 Tbsp. ginger garlic paste (I used prepared)

3/4 small bunch cilantro

2 small green chilis

2 tsp. ground coriander

1 Tbsp. ground cumin

1 Tbsp. curry powder (your favorite mix)

Juice & zest of 1 lime

1 tsp. red chili powder (I used cayenne)

Mince your cilantro and chili. Add with the rest of the ingredients into a large bowl with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Mix until combined well, but not gluey.

Divvy into 4 burger patties and fry until your desired done ness has been reached.

I served mine with Kewpie mayonnaise and a generous dollop of Bombay Sandwich Chutney on a soft bun. DH added cheese to his.

Serves 4

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Dilled Curry Potatoes

This sounds like a weird combination, but it works really well. Bonus: this side dish makes a great little flavor punch for pretty much any main component. I served mine with next week’s Indian Spiced Burgers the first night and leftovers with plain chicken in the next day’s lunch and both were flavorful and delicious.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Dilled Curry Potatoes

500g baby potatoes

Neutral oil

1 Tbsp. curry powder (your favorite mix will do, and some fresh curry leaves would also be great here)

1 small green chili pepper

1 Tbsp. ground turmeric

1 tsp. red chili powder (I used cayenne)

4 – 5 cloves fresh garlic (3 Tbsp. when minced)

2 Tbsp. fresh dill (or more if you have more – I would have actually liked a little extra)

Salt & pepper

Fill your largest high-sided sauté pan with water to 3/4 of the way up the sides, nestle the potatoes in, add a bunch of salt and bring to a shallow boil for 10 minutes or until soft. Drain carefully and cut into halves.

While the potatoes are cooking: mince the garlic, chop the chili pepper, assemble the dried spices, and chop the dill. Set the dill aside.

Add enough oil to your pan to cover the bottom, and heat over high/medium-high until the oil starts to shimmer. Add the potatoes, liberally salt and pepper, and give a good stir for a couple minutes until they start to color.

Add the spices and garlic and stir-fry until the potatoes are as browned as you want them to be and the garlic goes nice and crispy.

Transfer to a large bowl and toss with the dill to complete.

Serves 3 – 4

Za’atar Eggplant

This is a dead simple way to explore a sometimes under-utilized and misunderstood vegetable: the simple Italian style eggplant.

I can’t take credit for this recipe – I was treated to it at a good friend’s house after she raved about it. She wasn’t wrong.

Gluten-free, paleo, Whole30, low carb, vegetarian, vegan

Za’atar Eggplant

1 purple eggplant
Za’atar
Your favorite cooking oil
Salt & pepper

Line a baking sheet with paper or silicone. Preheat your oven to 200C/375F.

Slice your eggplant into thick “steaks” however you like – width or lengthwise.

Lightly score each slice with a knife in a crosshatch pattern, taking care not to slice through the pieces.

Sprinkle lightly with salt & pepper.

Top very generously with za’atar (enough time form a crust).

Sprinkle lightly with your oil of choice to kind of stick the spice down. Alternately, you can mix the spice and oil together in a bowl, then smooth over the eggplant slices – depends on how much oil you want to use.

Bake 25 – 35 mins or until softened and browned – a bit crisp if they’re thin slices.

Serves 2

Harvest Cauliflower Pilaf

Ok, so I’m on a harvest-theme here lately, and all the dishes that have been making me happy speak of (North American) Fall.

This dish is lighter-than-expected, makes a lovely salad for surprise company, and can be bulked up easily to feed a crowd.

It’s also fantastic topped with leftover turkey pancetta and pepitas from last week’s Fall Harvest Soup recipe.

Quick note: if your coconut flakes look like mine (shreds) and you toast your cauliflower as deeply as me (I like some burnt pieces), this dish may look like it has croutons in it. Which was giving my brain a weird disconnect that was less than pleasant. The coconut in here is actually really pleasant and gives a nice little subtly sweet nuttiness with a bit of texture.

Gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, Whole30

Harvest Cauliflower Pilaf

1 smallish head cauliflower, cut into small bits or riced (I did small bits because with my current kitchen setup I just can’t be bothered to fully rice cauliflower)

1 apple (Granny Smith or Fuji – you want something with a bit of tartness or crispness)

2 cloves garlic, minced

Double hand full flat leaf parsley, chopped

Pomegranate seeds (I’m lazy and buy mine prepared – I used a good amount and keep adding more fresh every time I go for leftovers because they’re delightful and so very pretty. Use however much your eye wants to bring nice color to this otherwise very green dish)

3 Tbsp. coconut milk (optional)

Juice of 1 lemon

2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses

Few generous sprays oil (I love a grape seed oil pump I’ve been using lately – it’s really cutting down on the amount of oil I feel I have to use)

Generous sprinkle black pepper

Liberal amount of salt

Generous sprinkle cayenne pepper

Generous sprinkle curry powder

Generous sprinkle cumin powder

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/4 cup unsweet shredded or flaked coconut

Preheat your oven to 200C (400F). Prep a baking sheet with a liner, process your cauliflower into tiny bits, and spread in a single layer.

Hit with the oil, salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin, and curry). Toss and roast for 35-40 minutes or until your desired toastiness is achieved.

In the last 5 minutes (or if you forget, stir the cauliflower, flip the pan around and put back in the oven), chuck the almonds & coconut on the pan. Roast to toast 3-5 minutes, being careful to watch and make sure these delicate additions don’t burn.

When done, add to a large bowl.

Chop and toss in the apple, garlic and parsley. Add the coconut milk, lemon juice and pomegranate molasses. Toss to combine. Add enough pomegranate arils to make yourself happy.

Serve room temp or cold – either way is fantastic.

Serves 4 as a meal or a party as part of a larger spread

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

Shredded Salad with Sunflower Spinach Dressing

I know, I know – another weird-sounding recipe that turns out surprisingly good despite sounding wrong.

This is a great way to sneak in a liiiiiiiitle extra nutrition (not that this already packed salad needed more greens) on weeks when you feel like you haven’t seen a real vegetable (helloooo, adulting).

This salad also keeps well even dressed and, if you’re like me and enjoy confusing your friends, is easy enough to bulk up enough to serve a crowd.

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

Shredded Salad with Sunflower Spinach Dressing

For the salad, add the following to a large bowl:

1 cup ribboned collards or kale

1.5 cups ribboned red cabbage

1.5 cups ribboned Napa cabbage

1 medium carrot, shredded

1 large red pepper, julienned

1 hand full mint, chopped

2 Tablespoons pickled jalapeños, chopped

1 big hand raw pumpkin seeds

For the dressing, add the following to a blender:

1 big hand hulled sunflower seeds

1/4 cups frozen spinach

Juice of 1 lemon

1 Tablespoon your favorite grainy mustard (y’all know my affinity for Maille)

1 Tablespoon Apple cider vinegar (I accidentally added 1.5 and it would have been too pungent on day 1 – I didn’t get around to eating a big bowl of this until day 2, so the flavor had mellowed)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

10 grinds salt

Generous sprinkle black pepper

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

50 pumps sprayable oil (or a few glugs)

A little water if needed to get things moving in the blender

Combine the dressing with the salad and either toss well or massage in.

Serves 3-4 as written; easily scaled up for more

Grapefruit Salsa Salmon

This is a quick, light meal perfect for the heat of Summer or when you’ve had enough of feeling locked in a dark Winter and need a little sunshine on your plate.

Gluten-free, Paleo, pescatarian, Whole30

Grapefruit Salsa Salmon

4 salmon filets
1/4 c. coconut aminos or soy sauce
2 Tbsp. sriracha (check your labels)
1 inch ginger, grated
4 squirts garlic oil
2 Tbsp. pineapple juice

First, prep the ingredients above to form a marinade. Marinate the fish for 3 – 6 hours.

When it’s time to cook, pull the fish, pat dry and sautée over medium-high with a little oil until your desired doneness is reached.

To make the salsa, combine:

1 grapefruit, supremed
1 orange, supremed
1.5 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
Juice of 2 small limes
1 inch ginger, grated
Generous sprinkle cumin
Salt & pepper

Serve with slices of avocado, roasted mixed potatoes and a squeeze of lime.

Serves 4

Spicy Lime Vinaigrette Meal Base Two Ways

This past week, all I could fathom making were things involving lime juice and chili flakes. A weird craving, I know, but my brain was in search of something simple I could use to dress up a couple different meal variations while requiring the least effort possible. I think this was a success – I felt like my diet was fairly varied, I got the lime punch and heat I was missing, and because I batch cooked, meal time while hangry didn’t beckon me to easily overeat.

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

Spicy Lime Vinaigrette

1/2 cup fresh lime + orange juice
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp. red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 Tbsp. soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos depending on your diet

Mix all ingredients together and give a good whisk or shake. Dole out through the week like liquid gold.

Now, what to pair with this bounty? I went two routes: a simple cold salad and a warm veggie bowl.

Summer Salad with Spicy Lime Vinaigrette

1.5 cups chopped cucumber
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1.5 Tbsp. minced or grated ginger
4 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
About 1/4 cup of the Spicy Lime Vinaigrette above

Optional toppers: shredded rotisserie chicken, rice/quinoa blend. This is also great as a stand-alone salad.

Mix all ingredients and let marinate a few hours or overnight. When serving, make sure to salt & pepper to taste and add more red pepper if you want more heat.

Spicy Lime Vinaigrette Summer Veggie Bowls

3 cups chopped zucchini and carrots in whatever mix makes you happy
Garlic oil
1/4 – 1/2 cup FODMAP-friendly stock
Salt, pepper and ground cumin to taste

Heat a large sautee pan over medium-high heat. Spray with a little garlic oil (or drizzle). Add the veggies, salt, pepper and cumin. Sautee, stirring occasionally, until they are on their way to browning nicely. Add 1/4 cup of the stock, cook until the liquid is evaporated. Repeat for another round if your carrots still aren’t soft. Taste for seasoning this second time and adjust if necessary.

Makes 3 – 4 servings as part of a larger bowl. I served mine most days with a blend of long grain rice + quinoa, a couple Tablespoons of the vinaigrette, and a hand full of rotisserie chicken. One day, I switched it up and went with chili tuna + brown rice pasta.

Cucumber Carrot Greens

This recipe came about because after ODing on pork, potatoes and Diet Coke (to the point I didn’t want to see another potato or fizzy drink which is suuuuuuper weird since that was 90% of younger-me’s diet) during my recent German vacation, I needed a reset. And what says “reset” more than Japanese food and bok choy?

Gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, Paleo, Whole30, FODMAP

Cucumber Carrot Greens

1 – 2 c. chopped cucumbers
Few grinds salt
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. soy sauce or coconut aminos if Paleo
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 – 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1.5 c. carrots, in thin coins
3/4 – 1 c. chopped bok choy
1 inch ginger, peeled and chopped
Few sprays garlic oil

In a large pan, heat the garlic oil over medium-high. Add the ginger and stir-fry until fragrant.

Add the carrots and 2 Tablespoons water. Stir-fry until just beginning to soften.

Add the bok choy and 2 Tablespoons water. Stir-fry until softened.

Turn the heat off and set aside while you whisk the rest of the ingredients together.

Add the cooked veggies to the cucumber and dressing and toss again.

Serves 4

Chicken Shawarma Pan

This one-pan meal makes a fantastic batch cook dish and can be dressed a million different ways. I went vaguely Middle-Eastern (hence the shawarma) because what I really wanted was a huge sad bread chicken sandwich that day – but I wanted spicy, and I needed to use up some of the ubiquitous cucumber & tomato I swear just comes with the shopping basket where I live.

Gluten-free, paleo, Whole30

Chicken Shawarma Pan

Preheat your oven to roughly 425F. Prepare a baking sheet with lining.

Toss together:

1 package boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 Tbsp. your favorite oil
4 grated cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. paprika
2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. zaatar
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt & pepper

Scootch to one side of the pan. Add:

1 sweet potato, cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds

Brush with:

1-2 Tbsp. your favorite oil

Sprinkle:

2 tsp. sesame seeds
2 tsp. cumin
Salt & pepper

Add the lemon halves to the pan

Bake 40-45 mins or until the chicken is cooked and the sweet potato is soft and browned.

There are a number of ways to serve – my favorite combo was with a swirl of hummus on the bottom of a bowl, a side of roasted tomatoes, a whole wheat pita or tortilla, and the salad below.

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl:

2 small cucumbers, chopped
1/2 small red onion, diced
2 small tomatoes, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Squeeze of the roasted lemon from the chicken
1 tsp. cumin
Salt & pepper
2 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

Makes about 4 servings