Meatloaf- It’s What’s For Dinner!

Meatloaf is hearty fare and it’s a classic from my childhood that I have been enjoying lately with a local twist.  Using humanely raised, organic beef, lamb and bacon from farms in Dalton and Cummington, MA, eggs from Hinsdale and cream from High Lawn Farm this is as local as meatloaf gets!  I replaced the traditional bread crumbs with ground flax so this recipe is gluten and carbohydrate free.  Served with a side of greens, like slow cooked collards and perhaps a bowl of broth, this meal will be sure to warm you up and keep you going.  When I made this recipe we were having friends over for dinner and I wanted to be sure to have enough for left over meatloaf sandwiches.   I added an extra pound of ground beef to my basic meatloaf recipe and it just barely fit in my glass baking dish.  This will serve 6-8 people or 4 people for dinner, twice.  And if you have time, this recipe is great for meatballs too!

Ingredients:

2 pounds ground beef

1 pound ground lamb (or pork)

1/2 pound bacon, half of it minced and half reserved in strips.

1/2 cup cream or milk

3 Tablespoons ground flax

1 extra-large farm egg

1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

1/2 small white onion, minced

1 tsp salt

1 tsp chili powder or hot pepper flakes

1 tsp paprika, smokey, mild or hot, whatever you’ve got!

1/4 cup fresh minced parsley

Ready to bake in about 15 minutes.

Ready to bake after just 15 minutes of prep time!

Method:

Pre heat oven to 350

Beat the egg into the milk and flax, add all of the other ingredients and mix well in a large bowl.

Shape into a loaf in a glass baking dish, make sure there is some room on all four sides.

Lay the remaining strips of bacon on top.

Bake at 350 for about 1 hour to 1.5 hours, until it’s firm and reads 160 degrees in the center!

Take it out, let it rest for about 15 minutes, transfer to a plate and serve.

Dinner four times two in about fifteen minutes plus baking time!

Dinner x 2 in about fifteen minutes plus baking time!

Salsa Verde, Italian Style

This recipe for Italian salsa verde — not to be confused with the spicy Mexican sauce of the same name — comes from the Food section of the Miami Herald.  Salsa Verde is bright with herbs and deeply flavored with olive oil, garlic, capers, lemon, and sometimes anchovies.  It’s full of flavor and packs a ton of nutrition from pathogen fighting herbs.

There’s no long simmering or blending required. You simply whisk the ingredients together until you reach the consistency of a loose pesto.  This sauce is versatile: add it to a salad, use as a dip, top fish or meat after cooking or grilling.

Here are some tips:

• When zesting a lemon, avoid the bitter white pith beneath. The zest brightens the flavor of the sauce. A Microplane zester is an excellent tool for the job.

• Feel free to vary proportions. I tend to use less oil for a thicker consistency when I serve salsa verde alongside roasted meats and grilled vegetables, and more oil with fish or chicken.  Here’s the recipe along with a serving suggestion: wild caught salmon!

Fancy restaurant food is even better when it's easy to make at home!

Fancy restaurant food is even better when it’s easy to make at home!

Crispy Salmon with Salsa Verde

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 3 tablespoons drained capers, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Grated zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 salmon fillets (about 2 pounds total), skin removed
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 6 lemon wedges, for garnish

Procedure:

Mix the herbs with the capers, garlic, lemon zest and 6 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over high heat in a large nonstick pan. Cook salmon in a single layer until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes. Turn, season with salt and pepper, and cook other side until golden and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir lemon juice into herb mixture. To serve, place a salmon fillet on each plate and top with the sauce. Serve garnished with lemon wedges. Makes 6 servings.

Source: Adapted from “Wine Country Cooking” by Joanne Weir (Time-Life $27.50).

Per serving: 341 calories (68 percent from fat), 25.6 g fat (5 g saturated, 11.2 g monounsaturated), 67 mg cholesterol, 25.4 g protein, 1.4 g carbohydrates, 0.4 g fiber, 203 mg sodium.

Carole Kotkin is manager of the Ocean Reef Club cooking school and co-author of “Mmmmiami: Tempting Tropical Tastes for Home Cooks Everywhere.”

Spring Salad! Celery and Radishs With Gorgonzola

Here’s a Candida diet friendly recipe I found in the New York Times and it’s prefect for Spring!  Martha Rose Shulman is the author of The Very Best of Recipes for Healthso check her book out if you like her style:

For this salad, use the delicate hearts, or inner stalks, of celery.  Slice both the celery and radishes very thin; it goes faster than you’d think but you can use a food processor to speed up the process.

Watermelon radishes are pretty enough to eat.

Watermelon radishes are pretty enough to eat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 pounds celery hearts (about 2), stalks separated, rinsed, dried and sliced very thin (about 4 1/2 cups)
  • 1 bunch radishes, sliced very thin (if they are very round and fat, cut them in half lengthwise and slice half-moons)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts (about 1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 ounce gorgonzola, crumbled (about 1/4 cup) (you can substitute other blue cheeses like Roquefort)
  • 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar (original recipe calls for sherry vinegar or champagne vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon walnut oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine the celery, radishes, parsley, chives, walnuts and gorgonzola in a salad bowl. Toss with the vinegar, olive oil and walnut oil. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, and serve.

Advance preparation: The salad will hold for a couple of hours in the refrigerator. Toss again before serving. It is a good salad for a buffet as it will remain crunchy.

Nutritional information per serving: 136 calories; 13 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 4 grams polyunsaturated fat; 6 grams monounsaturated fat; 3 milligrams cholesterol; 4 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams dietary fiber; 117 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 2 grams protein

Original recipe HERE!

Cabbage Carrot Salad with Sassy Peanut Dressing

Just picked red cabbage, carrots, lettuce and parsley make for a healthy, quick lunch.

Dana made this for us for lunch yesterday, I helped by printing out brochures for the Pittsfield Coop Market Initiative! This is a quick and easy meal- it can be made in advance and keeps well in the fridge.  I think I will be making this for my next pot luck!

For the veggies:

Shred 1/2 a head of purple cabbage, grate a carrot or two plus about 1/3 of  a medium white onion, thinly sliced

Make the dressing by whisking together approximately:

1/2 cup peanut butter

a shy Tablespoon of sesame oil

1 teaspoon tamari plus salt to taste

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or 1 teaspoon each: mirin and brown rice vinegar

4 drops of liquid stevia

pinch of five spice powder

1 teaspoon of powdered or juiced ginger

srirracha and/or ground hot pepper to taste

juice of one lime

Add water to desired consistency at the end, taste and adjust flavors.

Add the dressing to the shredded veggies and toss to coat evenly.

Serve on a bed of lettuce and garnish with chopped parsley and salted, toasted sunflower seeds.

To make this into a more filling meal add cooked chicken, tempeh or tofu!

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara was a staple meal when I first moved to New York City and was living on 13th street.  Back then I made this dish with pasta, less than farm fresh eggs and tempeh bacon.  My diet has certainly changed a lot since then!  Spaghetti squash is a really versatile winter vegetable that I now use in place of noodles in soups and in place of wheat pasta.  Wheat, according to the new book Wheat Belly by William Davis, is an ingredient most Americans would be better off with out.  According to his book, wheat, even the organic kind, as grown in the US since the 1980’s is has been so genetically modified from it’s original form that it can not grow in the wild on it’s own and contains a protein entirely unfamiliar to our digestive systems. This so called ‘wheat’ that is used in almost every imaginable food product is nothing like it’s healthy, civilization sustaining ancestor. No wonder so many Americans are being diagnosed with gluten intolerance and Celiac disease!  Wheat also acts as an opiate, the more you eat the more of a high you experience and so, the more wheat you crave, creating a viscous cycle of addictive over eating.  Try skipping all wheat for a week or two and see if you notice a difference in how much you eat and how you feel energy and mood wise.  Here’s a great recipe to get you started: Spaghetti Squash Carbonara!

Ingredients:

One medium spaghetti squash, baked at 350 til it’s done.  Here is a post I wrote with further instructions on baking this type of squash.

2-4 slices of happy bacon

small bunch of Parsley, chopped

1-2 large farm eggs, whipped with an equal amount of….

grated Romano or Parmesean cheese

The number of eggs and the amount of cheese you use should be determined by the amount of cooked squash you have.

Warming the cooked squash in the bacon fat with cooked bacon pieces.

For the squash: I like to chop it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and fibers, oil the inside and bake the halves skin side up at 350 for about 30-45 minutes.  I know they are done when given a push, the skin gives a little.  Also, when I try to fork out the spaghetti like strands, they should come out without much effort. Be careful not to over cook this squash, the strands will lose their slightly crunchy, mildly sweet individuality and turn into a mushy mass.

Once your squash is baked and cooled enough for you to remove the strands you can start cooking the bacon.  You will be using one pan for this meal so once the bacon is cooked, remove it from the pan and add your squash to re-heat it.

Add your greated cheese to the whipped eggs and then add this mixture to the pan, stirring quickly off the heat.  If there isn’t enough heat in the squash to cook the sauce you can put it back on a low flame and keep stirring til the sauce thickens.

Add lots of chopped parsley, the bacon pieces and eat immediately!

Souper Immunity!

If you really want an immune boost come visit our booth at Alchemy’s Handmade Holiday Festival, this Friday evening and Saturday from 10-5 pm.  We will be handing out Fire Cider samples and selling our holiday edition wax sealed bottles as well as herbal bath soaks, unique tee shirts from A Fine Example and other great handmade gifties!

Dana just made turkey stock from the Thanksgiving carcass (thank you Meat Market!) and it came out really well.  Soup stock made from simmering an organic, healthy animal has tons of nutrition in it.  If you don’t have a day to simmer, here’s an easier immune boosting soup recipe from my doctor in NYC.

'Tis the season for soup!

Superimmunity Soup from Dr. Vincent Pedre

When you need an immune pick-me-up, try this superimmunity soup to charge up your immune system and ward off that cold.  It contains many common vegetables that we all enjoy, but feel free to vary the recipe by adding your own winter vegetables.  You may vary the mushroom used from shiitake to reishi or maitake, all are highly medicinal.  It is ideal to always add the astragalus, but it may be harder to find at your local grocery store.  Astragalus may actually require a trip to Chinatown or to Mountain Rose Herbs on-line.

Also, remove any ingredients you don’t enjoy.  For example, I am an avid cilantro lover, so I always add cilantro to my soups, but there are those among that may not share my enthusiasm.  Feel free to quietly omit the cilantro and use parsley instead.  You can also use the soup recipe to make a vegetable stock to use in other recipes.

Here’s my recipe:

Ingredients

1 yellow onion

2 large organic carrots

2 stalks of organic celery

1 head of kale

30g dried or fresh shiitake mushrooms

30g dried astragalus root

1-2 tbsp finely chopped ginger

10 garlic cloves (chopped or whole)

1 bunch of cilantro

¼ cup olive oil

Sea salt

Ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Wash and cut the vegetables
  2. For extra browning and flavor, you can sauté the vegetables with olive oil or sesame oil
  3. Wash the mushrooms and astragalus root and place into pot
  4. Pour cold water into a large soup pot up to 3/4 full, add all vegetables, and bring to a boil
  5. Lower the heat, and cook uncovered for 40 minutes
  6. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste
  7. Cool down and enjoy!
If you have an autoimmune condition or other chronic disease, you should consult with your doctor before taking medicinal herbs or mushrooms.  Read Dr. Pedre’s whole post about immune boosting for the winter….and don’t forget to take your daily dose of Fire Cider!!!

Zucchini and Spinach Gratin

It’s been cool out recently, and this combination of garden fresh veggies in a hot cheesy one-dish meal seems perfectly suited for our current Berkshire weather.

My sister and I made this without a recipe, if you've got the basic ingredients: greens, cheese and eggs, you can make a hot, healthy meal!

The recipe I found on Simply Recipes is pretty similar to what Elise and I came up with.  It calls for bacon and I think it adds a lot of flavor. For those of you who don’t eat pork, or meat, you can substitute butter and or olive oil (a couple tablespoons) to sauté the onions.  Tempeh bacon could also work nicely.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lbs zucchini, grated
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 packed cups of fresh chopped spinach leaves, blanched and drained or 1 lb frozen spinach
  • 3 slices of thick cut bacon (about 3 ounces), cut crosswise 1/4-inch pieces.  Did you know you can get local bacon from your local Meat Market in Great Barrington?!
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 handful of parsley (about 1/2 cup of leaves, lightly packed)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (we used half goat chevre and half sheep feta)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 eggs, whipped
  • Olive oil


METHOD

1 Grate the zucchini. Toss the grated zucchini with about a teaspoon of Kosher salt. Place the grated zucchini in a large sieve (or colander) placed over a bowl to catch the water as the salt helps the zucchini release its moisture. Let sit for 30 minutes or so, then squeeze out the remaining excess moisture with your hands or a clean tea towel.

2 Blanch the spinach, drain it in a colander and squeeze out the excess moisture with you hands.  Or, if using frozen spinach: thaw the spinach, let drain while the zucchini is draining. Then squeeze out the excess moisture with your hands or a tea towel.

3 Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add the bacon and gently cook until lightly browned and most of the fat rendered out, about 10 minutes.

4 While the bacon is cooking, peel and finely chop the onion. Add the onions to the bacon and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until the onions have softened.

5 While the bacon and onions are cooking, prepare the parsley and garlic. Chop the parsley and garlic (I used a garlic press) and put it into a large bowl.

6 Preheat the oven to 350°F.

7 Place the zucchini and spinach into the large bowl with the parsley and garlic. With a wooden spoon, mix in the cooked onions and bacon. Mix in half of the Parmesan. Taste, and add black pepper and more salt to taste. Mix in the whipped eggs.

8 Coat the bottom and sides of a 2 quart casserole or gratin dish with a tablespoon of olive oil. Put the zucchini spinach mixture into the dish and pack it down. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese over the top and drizzle with a little olive oil.

9 Bake in a 350°F oven for 40-45 minutes, until the top is nicely browned. Serve immediately. Reheats well.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6.

Previous Older Entries