Buttermilk Biscuits

Comfort foods can be healthy foods: These grain free buttermilk biscuits will leave you feeling full without the sugar crash or carbohydrate cravings from traditional wheat biscuits.   Wheat is a common allergen, we all know that but did you know that  some people report dramatically lowered seasonal allergy symptoms from eliminating wheat?  Tell your friends!

High quality eggs, buttermilk and butter or coconut oil make these a great source of brain food and lasting energy-perfect for an afternoon snack!  The flours, flax and buttermilk are available locally at Berkshire Organics, Guido’s and the Berkshire Coop Market.  These are perfect for brunch: as a base for eggs benedict.  Or  a dessert topped with creme fraiche and a few blueberries or how about biscuits and gravy?  Yum! Set your oven to 425 and get baking!

First, mix together your dry ingredients, making sure to break up any lumps.

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain salt
  • 2 Tablespoons almond flour- Bob’s Red Mill makes a superior almond flour.
  • 2 Tablespoons finely ground flax
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour

Once your dry mix is thoroughly combined:

  • add 6 Tablespoons (a heaping 1/3 cup) of cold coconut oil or cold, unsalted pasture butter, broken up into small chunks.

Cut the fat into the dry mix using a pastry cutter until you get a pea sized meal.  Stop combining before it starts to clump together into a ball.

Crumbly flour and butter mixture.

Crumbly flour and butter mixture.

Combine in a separate bowl:

Whip the egg into the buttermilk.

Evan's Cultured Buttermilk is great to bake with.

Evan’s Cultured Buttermilk is great to bake with.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry and fold to combine.

Finished batter resting for a few minutes. The batter will be very wet, but as it sits for a few minutes the coconut flour will fully absorb the excess liquid. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop out biscuits, I have used 1/4 cup measure as well as an ice cream scoop.  Make them as big – 8 biscuits- or as small – 16 biscuits- as you like.  Use your hands to flatten them a bit into shape. Bake for 18-20 minutes- til browned and set. Eat immediately or let cool completely and keep in an air tight container in the fridge.

Snack time: creme fraiche and warm biscuits!

Snack time: creme fraiche and warm biscuits!

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Pork (or Tempeh) and Peppers with Fire Cider

Our friend Tom learned to cook this flavorful and simple Italian dish from his grandmother.  He served this along with some other amazing food- he made a tomato sauce from scratch, a huge colorful salad and  individual apple tarts for dessert- the last time Dana and I went to dinner at his place.  Here’s a version of Tom’s recipe, he used our Fire Cider in place of the vinegar from the original recipe.

Ingredients:

4  pork chops, bone in.  You can also use sliced pork or sliced tempeh.  If using tempeh I would marinate it first in some Fire Cider for about 20 minutes.

about 16 pepperoncini, sliced.  You can buy these or easily make your own!

sliced onion and sliced red, green or yellow peppers, about a handful per pork chop/serving

salt and pepper to taste

3-4  Tablespoons olive oil

3-4 Tablespoons of Fire Cider

Pork chops with colorful peppers and a side of sautéed greens.  This image is from the food network, Tom’s pork n peppers got all eaten up before I thought to take a picture. A testament to the deliciousness of his recipe!

Season your pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides.   In a large cast iron skillet, heat olive oil and add your chops (or tempeh).  Saute until browned on both sides then move to a covered plate to keep warm.  Add both kinds of peppers, onion and Fire Cider to the pan and continue to cook on medium heat, until peppers and onions are lightly browned. Serve over pork chops (or tempeh). This dish goes nicely with a big side of greens sautéed in garlic and olive oil.

Camp Food and Travel Pictures: Cape Hatteras N.C.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, only 4 more hours to go!

Last week Dana drove us over 600 miles from the Berkshires to Frisco, NC on Cape Hatteras and back again, whew!   Our little ’84 Jetta was packed with camping equipment and of course, lots of food!  The state forest camp grounds were beautiful and totally worth the long drive to get there.  We camped for the first part of our trip and then moved a few miles down the road to a house on the beach that we shared with friends, what an awesome vacation!

The view of the Atlantic from our camp site in Frisco, NC

First I want to share my favorite way to enjoy avocados, with some tamari, wasabi and a spoon….

Chipolte, salt and lime on the left and my tamari and wasabi half on the right.

All you need is a spoon, and maybe someone to share the other half with : – )

Dana’s camp stove, which he took bike touring with him over a decade ago, decided it was time to retire when we tried to use it our first morning.  So we had to rely on the charcoal grill at our site.  Good thing we brought our cast iron pan!

Chopped cabbage, sauerkraut, bacon and eggs; everything you need for a hearty seaside breakfast.

I cooked the bacon first, then sauteed the cabbage, pushed everything to the side and fried the eggs in the rest of the bacon fat. Flax crackers and sun tea on the side. Eating directly out of the skillet means no dishes to do, we are on vacation after all!

One night for dinner we grilled asparagus and then cooked sausages and kale with mushrooms and onions in the skillet. Dinner is served.

Best beach house dinner: fresh fried mahi mahi fish tacos (‘slaw and corn tortillas not pictured) and sashimi tuna with bacon tacos. Gotta give Bill credit for the bacon and sashimi combo and the picture too!  I used romaine lettuce leaves to make my tacos, wicked good guys, you gotta try it!

Sunday Breakfast

On Saturday night I made dinner for Dana and I: roasted cauliflower dressed in ghee, cumin, turmeric and two of our homemade curry spice mixes with mustard seeds.   Then kale with goat cheese, hot pepper and a dusting of cumin and curry.  For dessert I made biscuits which I planned to use again in the morning for breakfast.

For the meal pictured I started with a bed of arugula, drizzled olive oil, sprinkled salt, black pepper and hot pepper and then grated some amazing raw cheddar cheese from Vermont.  I fried up some eggs and toasted the biscuits.  The eggs go on top of the greens and then I grated more cheese on top of everything.  A quick meal with plenty of protein and even a serving of greens!

Coming soon: my cookbook based on the recipes in this blog and a new class series, “Healthy Living in the Berkshires” which will be hosted by Bisque, Beads and Beyond on North Street starting with two information and sign up sessions May 23rd and 24th.  Mark your calendars and stay tuned!

Veggies and Egg Pancake with Peanut Curry Sauce

Steamed Broccoli, Carrots and Onions, Egg Pancake and Peanut Curry Sauce

Egg Pancake, sliced and topped with scallions.

Not bad for a quick Monday night Fire Cider dinner meeting!

Dana made the peanut curry sauce while I chopped and steamed the veggies.  We made a quick egg pancake; an omlet with no filling, just flip it to cook the other side.  Then top everything with your favorite peanut sauce!  We make ours with chunky peanut butter, sesame oil, tamari, apple cider vinegar, coconut milk, hot pepper and curry powder.

Japanese Burrito

Tuna prepared with mayo, salad mix, sheets of nori and hot sauce: combine and eat!

I love nori, it’s a really versatile sea vegetable that makes a great wrap for sandwich fillings.  You can use any of your favorite cold sandwich fillings rolled up in a sheet of crunchy, mild tasting nori.  Today I grabbed a bag of baby salad greens, my favorite hot sauce and a couple of cans of tuna.  I prepared the tuna with mayo and onion, some spicy Dijon mustard, a splash of balsamic, salt and pepper and the juice of 1/2 a lemon.

Layer mixed salad greens, prepared tuna and some hot sauce, then roll it up!

A healthy wrap is a green wrap!

Nori is considered to be a “super food” because it is packed full of vitamins, nutrients and even some rare trace elements. Nori is very high in protein, iron and vitamin C. It is also a great source of vitamin A, vitamin B2, iodine, potassium and magnesium. Nori seaweed has been shown to moisturize dry skin, improve circulation and detoxify the skin.  SeaSnax is a company that makes roasted, lightly oiled and flavored nori sheets.  Their snacks are crunchy and salty and satisfy like potato chips with the added benefit of  being highly nutritious!

Pack A Power Lunch

Lacinato kale from the garden

Need a make ahead, balanced meal to take to work?  This one dish salad has lots of protein with hearty greens and some carrots and onions for good measure.  This recipe makes a large amount so there is plenty to share or save the leftovers for the next day!  It’s important to really work the olive oil into the kale.  The oil helps to break down the cell walls of the plant making it possible for your body to get the vital nutrition inside.  It also makes it much easier to digest.  Not all canned tuna is created equal, wild caught tuna from Crown Prince is a sustainable company with a high quality product.  I always get the no salt added so I can give the water from the can to my kitties!

Yoshi and Ms. Kitty Rickets

This raw salad is easy to assemble once you’ve prepped all the veggies.  I like to stack the kale up once I’ve removed the stems and slice the all the leaves together into thin ribbons.

Ingredients:

2 large bunches of kale, center stalk removed, sliced into ribbons

1/3 of a medium onion, sliced in very thin half moons

1 large carrot, grated

enough olive oil to coat the kale, about 1-2 Tablespoons

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

4 Tablespoons mayo

3 tablespoons mustard, I like Trader Joe’s Spicy Dijon

salt and pepper to taste

2 cans of tuna, drained

Combine the veggies in a large bowl with a few dashes of salt, the balsamic and olive oil to coat.  Massage the oil in with your hands or using a broad flat wooden spoon.

In a separate bowl, combine the tuna with the mayo and mustard, add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the tuna to the kale and mix well to combine.  This makes about 4 generous servings and is a well-balanced, make ahead, take along meal.  The leftovers will still be good the following day.  And, if you have nori sheets, this salad makes an excellent filling.

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