Monday, September 26, 2011
There was a time when I didn't really like eggplant. Then I found out that you have to use salt first to get the slightly bitter taste out, and that changed my mind about this vegetable. This recipe takes a little time to make, because the eggplants have to soak in salt water first. Then you fry them, which also takes some time. The good news is, that you can easily prepare the eggplants ahead, and then finish the dish quick and easy when you want it for dinner on a busy workday.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Fries. Who doesn't love them? But if you're lowcarb, you probably won't eat them anymore. Or maybe you do, as your occasional cheat meal. Some people swap them for the healthier sweet potato fries, but those are still heavy on carbs. Pumpkins are much lower in carbs and, as I found out today, a lovely substitute.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
The best thing about vegetable soups is, that they're such an easy way of getting loads of vegetables in, without having to feel like a ruminant. I love making these soups for an easy and quick lunch, or as a starter to a lovely steak and salad.
Friday, September 23, 2011
For some people, the lack of starchy foods on their plates seems a little boring. I can't say I mind having just a big piece of fish or meat, with a big salad, but sometimes it's nice to spice up the ordinary daily plate. This is such a recipe. Ordinary meat transferred into spicy meat with a surprise inside.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Coffee. I love the stuff. I don't have to drink it all day and every day, but when I do drink it, it has to be good. Not the average cup of weak watery stuff, but good quality coffee. Strong and sweet. This is my favorite coffee after a meal. I'm not much of a dessert eater, I don't really care for it. But every now and then we do have something sweet and when we do it's usually this coffee. It's very easy to make and very delicious. So, if you're a coffee, chocolate and cream lover, keep on reading!
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
What's not to like about good old chicken? I have to say, I don't really care for the breast meat, but drummettes and thighs...any time!
They're best if marinated for quite some time, but this recipe works even if you don't have that much time. It's all in the spice mix!
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Every meat eater loves a good steak. But I bet most people find it hard to cook steaks to perfection. I know I did. If you're not a skilled chef, how do you know whether your steak is rare, medium rare or medium without cutting into the meat? There are probably not a lot of people who want their steaks well done. Overcooked steaks, to me, are a waste. If I want meat to be well done, I'll buy a cheap stewing cut. But how do you make sure you don't overcook your expensive grass fed steak?
One method of determining this, is using your hand, like described over here. That's great, but the problem with it, is that by the time I figured out if the firmness of the steak is indeed the same as the firmness of the muscle at the base of my thumb, the steak is usually overcooked. Maybe I'm an idiot, but this method never worked for me.
Monday, September 19, 2011
I used to do a vegan version of a roasted tomato soup. But since I'm eating meat again, I updated my old recipe. And for the better, I have to say! This soup is amazing. The base is a bone stock, made from beef shank. Then flavored with roasted tomatoes and herbs and finished with super tender shank meat and a good dollop of heavy cream. Roasting the tomatoes gives them loads of extra flavor.
If you make this soup using the home made shank stock, it takes quite some time to make, but it's really cheap (because shank, at least in my country, costs next to nothing compared to other stewing cuts), easy and very, very (did I say very yet?) tasty! Of course, you can take a short cut with a beef stock cube, and some sausage. But try roasting tomatoes for soup, that's really worth the effort!
Sunday, September 18, 2011
This cake is great for breakfast, snack or dessert. It's good at any time of the day, easy to make, it freezes very well and thaws quickly. So, what's not to love about that? If you double, or triple the batch (which I do quite often), you can portion it, stuff it in the freezer and always have some ready when you want it.
Almost every day, the boyfriend has a big square of this coconut cake in his lunchbox, as a snack. Personally, I'm not very hungry between meals, so I usually eat it for breakfast when I want a break from the eggs. A square of cake, a little whipped cream and a few berries....so good! You can whip this cake up in under 15 minutes and enjoy it for a long time!
Edit july 2016:
I found something out about this recipe. Some people who commented here found the cake too dry. I gave this recipe to a friend of mine and she had the same problem. She tried to make it three times, but every time it failed: way too dry. Finally we figured out what the problem was. It was the brand of dessicated coconut she used. I always use big bags of full fat dessicated coconut made by Renuka (like these http://www.renukagroup.com/agri_business_cocnut_products/renuka_description.php?p_id=RDC001). Because of the high fat content, it releases some fat when ground up. My cake is really never dry. So you might want to try one or two brands of dessicated coconut with this recipe.
(Check out the comment section for more advise on how to make this cake without it being too dry)
Saturday, September 17, 2011
A few years ago, while on holiday in Italy, I ate fresh sardines for the first time. Before that I only had these little fish out of a can. Such a waste, because they're very tasty and versatile when fresh. And very hard to get. Sardines are not very popular in Holland. We eat the look-alikes (herring, raw and fermented) a lot, but not sardines, so the fishmongers hardly ever sell them. Last week I told my boyfriend how I would love to have some sardines again and the next day, while shopping at our local market, I saw them. A big pile of fresh sardines! How's that for coincidence (or was it fate...hmm...)?
I don't eat fruits every day, because of their high sugar content. But when I do, I like to make something nice and pretty with it, instead of just eating an apple. This easy recipe combines a few of my favorites. I just love fresh figs. And according to this post on Mark's daily apple, they're not even very sugary. Raspberries are probably my favorite in the "berry categorie" and as luck would have it, I found some nice fresh and juicy figs and raspberries on yesterday's market.
Friday, September 16, 2011
A few months ago I subscribed to an initiative of a few organic farmers in my area. All kinds of farmers, produce, cattle and dairy, joined forces and created a website where customers (in a certain area) can order their foods. They deliver it at your house every friday for a measly three euros (about four dollars). So, every week I look what they have to offer and order what I want: all organic/grass fed and local. Brilliant!
This week they had these rainbow carrots on sale and I thought they were too pretty not to buy. So I ordered them and then had to figure out what to do with them. Because they are so pretty, I thought it would be a waste to chop them up and dump them in a dish where you could hardly recognise them.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Yesterday, I did a post on making your own (cheap) coconut flour. That's nice and all, but once you've done that, you want to use it, right? The quick and easy way to use this flour, is to make pancakes. Crispy on the outside, nice and fluffy on the inside. This paleo version has been done before, so this is hardly an original, but it's my favorite recipe for a basic pancake.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Using coconut flour for baked goods is great, but I don't use it a lot because I think it's quite expensive. Dessicated coconut is a lot cheaper, but the problem with it, is that it can be too course for some recipes.
A reasonable solution to that problem is to just take some dessicated coconut and put it in a food processor. Or you can use a stick blender to grind it into a finer consistancy. If you have an old coffee grinder you don't use for coffee anymore, that will probably work fine as well. It won't be as fine as the flour, but it's good enough to use for most cakes or pancakes.
A few years ago, I thought pork chops were a boring cut of meat. That was a time when the only pork chops I knew, were the tiny, ready marinated chunks of meat our supermarkets sell. They were too salty and whatever I tried, however I baked or fried them, the always seem to be tough, salty and just plain nasty.
A few months ago my butcher had some huge organic chops on sale and they looked quite different from what I was used to, so I gave it a try and it completely changed my mind about pork chops! This recipe is a surprise version of the plain chop. It's easy to make and uses only a few ingredients.
They are stuffed with mustard, herbs and brie. You can't really see that they're stuffed, but once you cut them open, there's that lovely melted brie, which tastes so good with the mustard.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
This recipe is great for lunch on the go. Because it has no leaves in it, it won't go limp if you don't eat it right away. And best of all: it's really easy to make!
You can use any kind of smoked fish you want. I chose smoked trout for this recipe, but I'm sure some smoked mackerel will be just as good. Or even smoked chicken. It's just that the smokiness is so good with the freshness of the rest of the ingrediënts.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
"Soto ajam" means chicken soup in Indonesian. This is going to be a lengthy recipe, but if you're short on time, there is room for a few short cuts. Like using stock cubes, and chicken breast meat. But, as with almost everything else, it's way better if you make it from scratch. This is my favorite way of making chicken soup. Typical Asian ingredients, like lime leaves, lemongrass and ginger, make this soup incredibly flavorful. The stock is rich and fatty and...oh, please, try this recipe. It is SO worth it!
picture courtesy of thekitchn.com
Usually, I grocery shop once a week. I think it's cheaper this way. I plan the menu ahead and don't buy more foods than I need. Okay, hardly any more... Most foods are kept fresh easily in the pantry, fridge or freezer, but I always had a problem with lettuce. I eat lots of salads and usually buy two or three heads of different kinds of lettuce at once. But even when I kept them in the crisper drawer in the fridge, they would still go limp after two or three days. A friend of mine, who's a restaurant chef, knew a solution.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Tallow is one of the best fats to cook with. In the olden days, it was easily available, but thanks to the low fat maffia, I can't find it in supermarkets anymore. Big bummer, but I know my way around a kitchen, so I decided to make the stuff myself.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
When thinking about comfort foods, one of the first things that come to my mind, is cottage or shepherd's pie. I used to love a soft creamy layer of mashed potatoes and the savory filling of meat and vegetables. I personally can't do potato anymore, because I found out that it produces a serious spike in my blood sugar, so I replaced it with cauliflower. But not just cauliflower...creamy cauliflower! This veg really replaces potatoes very well, as is well known in the paleo/primal world.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
The leaves in my garden are turning bright red and are telling me that autumn has really arrived. Not that I needed red leaves to tell me this, because the horrible rainstorms were a great clue. I love summer, but we didn't have quite the summer I hoped we would have. I don't really know about the rest of the world, but in Holland, I think we just had the crappiest summer of my adult life. I honestly can't recall that we ever had that much rain before.
But now autumn is here, and as much as I love summer, I think autumn definitely has it's charm. The wind howling around the house, rain against the windows, and me snuggled up in a big chair with some hot tea or a bowl of hot food. Speaking of food...it's the ultimate season for comfort food: stews, meat pies, soups...to name a few. I will be posting some of that lovely comfort food this season. As much as I will miss summer, I will be looking forward to make, eat and share my collection of autumn recipes!
Sunday, September 4, 2011
The boyfriend and I used to love spaghetti and meatballs. A nice full flavored tomato sauce, gorgeous herbed meatballs, a litlle crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, on top of a pile of al dente spaghetti. Lovely! But, of course these days there's no more spaghetti for us. I can't really say that I miss it, but just some sauce coverd meatballs seems a little, oh I don't know, unsatisfying I guess. Of course the best part of the spaghetti and meatballs, really where the meatballs. And the sauce. So we needed a pile of something different underneath it.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
With trying to eat more natural foods, comes groing your own. I know, it's not very "Hunter-gatherer", but it beats gathering your pesticide-laden greens at the supermarket. Besides, I got tired of paying way too much money for a few lettuce leaves, if I could get a packet of organic seeds for the same price and grow hundreds more.