Thanksgiving recipes

Roasted Green Beans with Tomatoes and Balsamic Vinegar

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo ~~       

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Another recipe straight from my expedition to the farmer’s market .  The green beans just looked too perfect to pass up and the grape tomatoes were sweet as candy.  These are great served warm or cold and are another of those recipes perfect to bring to a picnic or pot luck.

I’m feeling kind of stuck here for a longer narrative to share with you about this recipe or these ingredients, but this is just a straight forward recipe I created because I had great ingredients on hand.

It may not be an especially beautiful dish but it’s taste makes up for its looks.  You’ll love it – really!

Enjoy!
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Acar Kuning (Indonesian Vegetables)

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo~~~

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Many, many years ago I vacationed in Sint Maarten (the Dutch name) aka Saint-Martin (the French name), an island in the Caribbean that is half French and half Dutch.  While visiting the Dutch side, my friend and I discovered how delicious Indonesian food was, and we ate at several restaurants that served riistafel (Indonesian banquets).  I came home craving more of that delicious food, but alas could not find any Indonesian restaurants in the NYC area (don’t forget, this was eons ago – now there are a few to be found).  If this had been in the memorable past, I would then have gone online and looked up Indonesian recipes, but since this predated the internet I was pretty much out of luck as I don’t think there were even any Indonesian cookbooks on the market.  That’s when I came across a class being offered in Indonesian cooking and I signed up immediately.

The good news was that the instructor (sorry I don’t remember his name) was excellent and I learned a good deal about Indonesian cooking, as well as where to buy Indonesian ingredients (there are 2 stores in Chinatown).  This was one of the recipes I learned in that class, I was a little leery when I first read the recipe as it had never occurred to me to cook cucumbers but after we made it I was completely sold.  The recipe was titled Acar Campur – however after checking out other recipes online, it looks like Acar Campur is actually pickled vegetables and this recipe is more like a stir-fry with some elements of pickling (ie sugar and vinegar).  Whatever you call it, this is a delicious and unusual way to serve vegetables. (more…)

Paleo Hummus (Hummos)

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo *

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Sometimes I just want a snack or light lunch.  Hummos was a great go-to but now that I don’t eat beans, it’s out or should I say “was out”.  In my quest for a replacement I’ve developed a paleo version of hummos made with potatoes and cauliflower that is just as good as the one made with beans (if you eat beans I have a recipe for Lemony White Bean Hummos here).  To be honest with you, traditional hummos is easier to make – especially if you start with canned beans – because you do have to prep and cook the cauliflower and potatoes for this version.  But if you are longing for a satisfying dip or snack, this hummos will fill the bill.  If you want a paleo dip but don’t want to bother with cooking the cauliflower and potatoes – don’t forget the Tahini I posted last June. (more…)

Manhattan-style Clam Chowder

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free *  Paleo ~~~

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Every now and then I get a craving for clam chowder. In my dreams it’s that velvety, unctuous, creamy New England Clam Chowder with just a hint of bacon…

Oh well, that was before the “dairy and wheat problem” and now I can dream of it, but sipping it is out of the question. But that doesn’t mean I have to forgo Clam Chowder – there is always Manhattan-style that has its own special appeal. Personally, I like it with a bit of a bite from plenty of black pepper, but you can tone it down to your own tastes. Also, after lots of fooling around with the recipe, I find that chopping all the vegetables fairly finely helps the flavors meld so much better than larger pieces. Of course having a food processor makes this a snap.

I make this on a kind of regular basis. It’s only fair to tell you that this is more of a vegetable soup with clams than a clam soup with vegetables.   It makes a large batch, but it freezes nicely so you don’t have to worry about what to do with leftovers.

About the ingredients:

The Clams – So I confess that I am a horrible person because all the recipes I saw online from “big name” cooks start out with fresh clams and honestly – that is not something I routinely keep in my pantry or even refrigerator. So, I use canned minced clams and if I want to boost the clamminess, I substitute clam broth instead of some of the vegetable or chicken broth.

I use waxy (boiling) potatoes because I think they hold together better than baking potatoes.

I use 2 kinds of canned tomatoes – crushed and stewed.  The crushed gives a more intense tomato flavor and the stewed (or you can use diced) gives you the tomato pieces.

I love this soup because I always have the ingredients on hand so when the weather is particularly nasty and I want soup, I don’t have to go out of the house to buy any ingredients. (more…)

Palak Shorba (Punjabi/Mughlai Spinach Soup)

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo ~~~~

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There’s a pretty good Indian restaurant just a few blocks from my apartment called Swagat.  They make a spinach soup with chicken that I always order and it occurred to me that I could probably make it at home without too much difficulty.  As I often do, I googled Palak Shorba and checked out a few of the recipes.  The one that sounded best to me was by master chef Sanjeev Kapoor.  His recipe is vegetarian, instead of the chicken soup I get at Swagat, and used lots of whole spices.  I simplified the recipe but used a similar flavor profile.  Traditionally Palak Shorba is finished with a bit of cream; but, since I’m dairy free, I use coconut cream instead.   I make this recipe often.  Frequently, I revert to the Swagat version by adding shredded cooked chicken and eating the soup as a main course.

Today I had lunch with my friend Larry at Swagat.  I ordered the Chicken Palak Shorba and brought my own version of Palak Shorba to do a taste comparison.  NO CONTEST…mine was much better.  I was shocked and pleased…Larry agreed with me.

Enjoy!
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Paleo Breakfast

I gave up making New Year’s resolutions many years ago because, let’s be honest, by mid January I would have already abandoned all my resolutions and would be left with severe disappointment in myself.  So why talk about them now?  Well many of my friends, who have not yet figured out the futility of resolutions, are considering trying the Paleo lifestyle and have come to me to talk about it.  The first question is always “what can you eat?”   The second or third question is usually “But what can I eat for breakfast?”  It seems everyone I know eats either oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast and my response “bacon and eggs” is a little horrifying to them.

The standard line about breakfast from many of the Paleo gurus is:  breakfast is just another meal, you can have the same thing as you have at any other meal.  They go on to suggest just having leftovers from the previous night’s dinner.  But I get that breakfast is a special meal and you want “breakfast” food.  For me that translates into “eggs any style” frequently with a side of bacon, sausage, or ham and sometimes home fried potatoes or grilled tomatoes.  What has changed about breakfast is I usually include a salad, it adds a certain healthy (or maybe just less unhealthy) feeling to the meal.  Of course there is always coffee – though learning to drink coffee black with no sweetener was probably the hardest part of going Paleo.

So here’s my New Year’s resolution:  I will create more Paleo breakfast dishes this year so when someone asks me what they can eat I will have an acceptable answer – right on the tip of my tongue.  Here are some of the recipes I’ve already posted that are excellent choices for Paleo breakfast.  Enjoy!

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