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

Vinegar Poached Chicken Bowl

I first came across a version of this chicken on Instagram in relation to a sandwich, and it got the wheels turning.

What you end up with is a pile of tender, shreddable-if-you-look-at-it-crosswise chicken that pairs beautifully with roasted, nutty veggies and a rich sauce.

I can imagine this would also be fantastic as part of a chicken salad with grapes, pecans and extra rosemary. Or dill. Dill might be great here.

I served mine as part of a quinoa/rice bowl with some leftover cauliflower I’d batch roasted a few days before.

Gluten-free, paleo & Whole30 with a different bowl base

Vinegar Poached Chicken Bowl

4 chicken breasts
1c. red wine vinegar
1c. olive oil
Peel of half a lemon
2 sprigs rosemary
1 jalapeño
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. coriander seeds
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 onion, peeled and quartered
Salt & pepper

For the bowl:

Quinoa & rice, cooked (optional)
1 Tbsp. mayo mixed with 1 tsp. rice vinegar and 2 tsp. minced rosemary
Roasted cauliflower or other veggies

Combine all the non-bowl ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring up to a boil, cover, lower the heat & simmer 1 hour or until the chicken is falling apart.

Cool chicken, pull out of the oil & vinegar, and shred. Place in the bowl with the other ingredients.

Serves 4

Combine all

Chicken with Raisin Oil

This recipe is based on a show-stopper in a cookbook from one of my absolute favorite chefs in Miami.

This version incorporates chicken thighs and stovetop cooking – I don’t currently own a pan that can go in the oven; and the whole chickens looked kinda sketch at the store the day I shopped for this meal, so modifications it was!

If you can, check out Michael’s Genuine Food: Down-To-Earth Cooking for People Who Love To Eat by Chef Michael Schwartz. Where he excels, and what makes his Miami restaurant(s) so successful, is taking a few good ingredients, treating them with love and not much else, and turning them into something that sounds dead-easy but tastes special.

Michael’s Genuine (and later the pizza restaurant Harry’s) were two of our favorite go-tos while living in Miami and places we could visit often, get something we would never order (like chicken that sounds kinda boring on paper), and have it be an experience we talked about for weeks after.

This recipe takes the spirit and the general flavors of one of our ‘company is coming’ go-tos from that cookbook, and makes the technique more approachable for where we are currently and the tools we have to work with.

Note: What’s up with raisin oil? It’s delicious! This dish was the first we’d encountered it, and while it is definitely a delicate taste – it adds a little somethin’ to this dish that helps it stand out. Want more? This recipe from the NYT also helped when coming up with this (super-simplified) dish.

Gluten-free, paleo

Chicken with Raisin Oil

8 chicken thighs
1/3 cup raisins (mixed golden and black is my fav)
1/2 cup + 3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 rosemary sprig
4 sprigs lemon thyme (or regular)
Wine
Salt & pepper

First, make the raisin oil by simmering the raisins and rosemary with a Tablespoon of water in the 1/2 cup olive oil about :30 or until the raisins have plumped.

I left my heat up long enough to fry the rosemary leaves a bit for an added garnish.

Set aside.

For the chicken, heat your largest skillet over medium-high. Add 3 Tbsp. oil. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and arrange in a single layer in the pan skin side down. Salt & pepper liberally and sear until golden.

Flip, salt & pepper, and brown the other side.

Add the thyme sprigs and a few good glugs wine (dry white would be best but I only had some aging White Zinfandel). Cover, knock the heat back to low, and cook 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.

Make sure to check your chicken at the halfway point, baste, and make sure anything isn’t drying out. If it is, add a little extra wine or water.

If you’re inclined, this would be a great time to make a pan sauce with the raisin oil and/or a thickener. Despite the instructions being really clear on how to accomplish this feat in the cookbook, at this point in the evening while already branching out on my own with the cooking method (and having a glass or two of adult beverage under my belt), I didn’t want to mess with it.

So I served mine with a little raisin oil drizzled over top and it was delicious. I’ve made the pan sauce in the past and it was also delicious.

I have also found over the years that I like a hand full of fresh parsley over top (not pictured), and some times I hit the dish with a little lemon juice at the end of cooking for a bright little punch if I’m feeling saucy.

A Standard Southern Slaw

This year for his birthday, DH requested a Southern-style feast to go with games and an ice cream cake.

Southern, I can do – no problem. The ice cream cake was a stretch (shudder remembering all the terrible ice cream cakes I had growing up and the disappointment that they still had icing), but it went over well – as did my backup lactose-free salted caramel ice cream stuffed red velvet cupcakes.

This simple slaw I made so we’d have a (non-fried) veggie (the fried okra I made was a big hit as well), and something with a little crunch. Lactose-free mac-n-cheese that certainly didn’t taste it and pulled pork with ENC style sauce rounded out the day.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

A Standard Southern Slaw

About 2 cups shredded red cabbage
About 2 cups shredded green cabbage
1 Granny Smith Apple, chopped
1/4 white onion, minced
1/2 cup your favorite mayo or mayo substitute
1 Tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. your favorite mustard
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Liberal salt & black pepper

In a large bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients (mayo and below).

Add the fruit & veggies and mix with your hands, massaging the dressing into the cabbage. Liberally salt & pepper.

Let sit in the fridge a couple hours to marinate and serve.

Serves enough for a party

Roasted Carrot & Onion Salad

It was a roasted veggie kind of holiday around here. This one I initially served lukewarm with a rib roast and killer lactose-free potatoes au gratin, but I’m happy to report that it makes a killer hot hash the next day with eggs and chunks of beef. 🤤

Next time I may either not share with friends, or make more: this dish turned out really well.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, Whole30

Roasted Carrot & Onion Salad

2 lbs. carrots
1 – 2 fennel bulbs
2 large red onions
Neutral oil for roasting
4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. pepitas
2 tsp. sweet paprika
2 tsp. smoky chili powder
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Small hand full fresh mint, chopped
Salt & pepper

In a 200-ish C (around 425F) oven, bake your fennel & onion which you’ve sliced into thin wedges, arranged with plenty of space on a baking sheet, drizzled with oil and sprinkled with salt & pepper. Bake 25 minutes.

On a separate baking sheet, add the carrots which you’ve cut into 3-ish inch chunks, oiled & seasoned. Bake 25 minutes or until everything is well browned and almost burnt in spots.

Actually, if the onion is a bit crispy, it’s even better.

Toss the rest of the ingredients together in a large bowl to form a vinaigrette.

Add the veggies & toss again.

Serves a bunch

Orange Beet Salad

This dish made a nice light little punch of vegetable brightness for a holiday potluck.

Hence the fake picture.

I’ll insert the real and terrible pic I took after the recipe – suffice it to say, wine + taking pictures basically in the dark is not a great combo.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, Whole30

Orange Beet Salad

5 roasted and de-skinned beets
1 small head roasted cauliflower (toast until deeply browned)
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. hazelnuts
4 small oranges (not naval – something tastier)
1 shallot (about 3 T when minced)
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. pomegranate molasses
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley
4 – 5 Tbsp. fresh tarragon
Salt & pepper

Add your cauliflower to a large bowl. Chop the beets and add. Peel, segment, de-seed and halve the oranges minus one half.

Squeeze that last half orange into a small bowl (about 2 Tbsp. juice). Add the lemon juice, olive oil, molasses, vinegar and spices. Chop and add the parsley. Mince and add the shallot. Add salt & pepper.

Pour over the salad and toss.

In a dry pan, toast the hazelnuts. Chop and toss on the top of the salad with the chopped tarragon.

Serves a party

Coconut Chicken Chili

This dish is a light but comforting bowl of goodness.

Gluten-free, paleo, keto

Coconut Chicken Chili

1 lb. ground chicken

2 small bell peppers, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 jalapeños, chopped and separated

1/2 large onion, chopped

1/2 small bag frozen spinach

1/2 small bag frozen broccoli

1 chicken bouillon cube

1 can coconut milk

2 bay leaves

2 Tbsp. chili powder

2 tsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. dried oregano

2 tsp. ghee

Salt & pepper

Toppers:

Hand full chopped cilantro

The second jalapeño

Juice of 2 limes

2 chopped green onions

First, prep your onions & garlic and sautée in the ghee until beginning to brown.

While that’s working, prep the rest of your ingredients.

When done, add to the bowl of an electric pressure cooker with the chicken. When the garlic & onions are done, add. Add all the other ingredients but the toppers + 1-2 cans water.

Set the cooker to “stew” and let go.

When time is done, open and taste for seasoning. Add more salt & pepper if needed. Add the toppers and stir.

Serves 4

Smothered Butternut Squash

The sauce on this recipe is addicting. So much so, I’ve managed to eat half a squash today and want more sauce.

What is it with me and raw garlic? I can’t get enough.

Gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Smothered Butternut Squash

1 smallish butternut squash
8-10 cloves garlic
1/2 – 2/3 c. olive oil
2 Tbsp. grainy mustard
4 tsp. sweet paprika
Generous salt
Generous pepper

First, preheat your oven to 200C and prep a baking tray with tinfoil.

Cut the stem ends off your squash, and halve down the middle lengthwise. Scoop the seeds and discard.

Now make your dressing by whizzing all the remaining ingredients.

Spoon a generous amount over each cut half of squash and arrange face up on the sheet.

Bake 25 – 35 minutes or until the thickest part is soft.

To serve, you can either scoop out of the skin in the kitchen, table side, or eat the skins. Whatever your fancy.

Serve with the rest of the sauce drizzled over top (or in my case, slathered).

Should serve 4 with a small squash

Pear + Radish Salad

It’s the season of potlucks – or one of them, at least, and as such I’ve been in my typical ‘vegan veggie things in a bowl with zero gluten – but nuts, so no suitable for almost but not quite everyone’ mode.

This salad as written makes a ton. Like 2 trays full, which is overkill for a 10-person potluck. Hopefully, more will turn up – or everyone comes hungry. I’ve got too many party leftovers at my house.

Gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Pear + Radish Salad

A crapton shredded kale (I used something like 6 – 8 cups because that was the size of my package – this dictated the size of my salad because I didn’t want leftovers)
2-3 cups chopped red cabbage
6 smallish pears, chopped
20 radishes (I used English Breakfast, but watermelon or another peppery variety would be even better)
2 hand fulls slivered almonds
1 hand full raw pepitas
2 hands full pine nuts
1 bunch snipped chives

For the dressing

Note: I doubled this recipe to get the amount of dressing I wanted

1/4 c. lemon juice
4 cloves garlic
1.5 Tbsp. date molasses
4-5 glugs or turns around the mixer olive oil
Hand full parsley
4 sprigs thyme
1/4 c. tahini
1/4 c. water
1 Tbsp. grainy mustard (if you’ve been reading awhile, you’ll know by this I always mean Maille Wholegrain because it’s my 😍)
1 green onion
Generous salt & pepper

Prep all salad ingredients and add to a vessel of some sort. Whiz the dressing together in your food processor and pour over the salad. Massage with your hands to combine and work into the kale.

Serves a party