Recipes

Easy Curry Aioli

Ingredients

1 cup garlic infused olive oil

1 free range egg yolk

1 tsp spicy brown mustard

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 to 1 1/2 tsp all-seasons salt (Simply Organic can be found at Publix and Amazon)

*seasonings are personal. Start with 1 and add after you blend if you so desire. Adding is easier than taking away*

1 to 1 1/2 tsp curry powder (Primal Palate)

Directions

In a blender add 1/4 of the oil, egg yolk, mustard, lemon juice, and seasonings. Keep blender on low. If it’s too fast, the whole thing will break once you start to add the rest of the oil. Blend until it begins to thicken. Don’t shut off the blender. Open the circular part of the lid at the top of the blender and slowly pour in the rest of the oil.

Once blended in shut off the blender and stir. This is the time to add more seasonings. Keep in mind the taste will increase over a resting period in the refrigerator. I usually wait 12 to 24 hours before use.

It works perfectly with salmon, jicama, and potato fries.

Sweet. Spice. Salt.


Products used in this recipe:






Ew, People Winetini

Because of the holidays.

Because of family.

Because of people.

Enough said.

Ew.

Ingredients

Ice cubes

3oz cranberry juice

2oz Peppermint Vodka

2oz dry white wine (I prefer Sauvignon Blanc or Dry Riesling)

Sugar for glass

Cranberries for garnish

Directions

Fill shaker with ice about three-fourths. Add cranberry juice, vodka, and wine. Shake.

On a two plates, pour a bit of cranberry juice on it, sugar on the other. Rim the martini glass with sugar.

Pour into the glass. Garnish with fresh cranberries.

Tart but sweet. Refreshing.

And after a couple, you won’t be bothered by 2nd cousin Joe and his excessive need to share in great detail his colonoscopy at the dinner table.

Happy Ew Holidays from The Rustic Woman!







Butternut Squash Rice

Throughout my journey of food allergies and IBS finding ways to adjust my eating lifestyle were not always easy.

Rice and I have a complicated relationship. Many have suggested cauliflower "rice" and as much as I'd love for that to work for me, it won't.

One size doesn't fit all.

We all process foods differently.

What I have found works for me in butternut squash. It's versatile. Perfect texture for different recipes. Full of magnesium. Spiraled butternut squash can be found at the local supermarket but spiraling or shreading your own is much more cost effective.

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash (You won’t use the entire squash. When I shred mine I get about 11-12 cups)

1/2 red pepper chopped

Olive oil light tasting (garlic infused oil)

Seasonings of your choice. I used Primal Palate Garlic and Herb and an organic all-season salt.

Directions:

Here is a tutorial on how to cut butternut squash. The only difference is I don’t use a peeler, I cut the skin with a knife, and for the squash to fit in the shredder I cut it in fourths the long way.

Spiral or shed the squash. I use the Presto 02970 Professional SaladShooter Electric Slicer/Shredder.

In a pan or cast iron skillet add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. I prefer garlic infused oil. Add about two cups of the squash and the diced red pepper. Add seasonings. On high heat stir everything together. Cover with a lid, not entirely. Allow some of the steam out. Stir every minute or so, about 3-4 minutes in drop the heat to medium-low. Sometimes I add a bit more oil and seasonings.

Taste as you go.

You will notice the squash start to break down and soften. This will only take 5-7 minutes. Don’t let it burn. It will happen quickly if not watched.

For a snack or light dinner, I will add a splash of coconut whole fat milk and curry powder for creamy, spicy rice.

But my husband is a fan of the coconut curry chicken with the butternut squash rice.

When foods are eliminated for medical purposes, it’s a frustrating process to go through. And there are days I get angry because I can’t eat certain fruits or vegetables. I can’t grab a Peppermint Patty or a slice of pizza. Or go out to eat any restaurant I want.

I try to create solutions. Not just for me but for others.

Products used in this recipe:




Cilantro Lime Fish Tacos

When I first met my husband, he wooed me with tacos. He knew the path to my heart.

Fish tacos have become my top choice. White flaky fish such as wild caught cod. I have used halibut in the past. A bit spendy but worth it.

We love spicy, and I don’t hold back when I make fish tacos. If you favor a milder taco, you can eliminate the jalapeño. I can’t tolerate corn, and most flour tortillas contain soybean oil; therefore, we use fresh romaine. Works just as well, even the crunch is there. Healthy fats from the fish and avocado are great for the body.

This recipe is easy and quick. Let’s get to it!

Ingredients


1 lb wild caught cod fillet

1 tsp light tasting olive oil or garlic infused olive oil

3 cloves of garlic

1/2 - 1 jalapeno pepper, slice, remove seeds for less heat

1 chopped poblano

1 chopped red pepper

1/2 cup of fresh cilantro

2 limes

Salt and pepper or CampMIX to taste

1-2 avocados, sliced

Directions

In a food processor add garlic, jalapeño, red pepper, poblano, cilantro, salt and pepper, and squeeze of lime. Your chops and slices don’t need to be perfect because they are all going in the food processor, they just need to fit. Once chopped put them to the side.

In a skillet, I use cast iron, heat olive oil. Add fish. Sprinkle on salt and pepper. Squeeze half a lime on the fillet. Cook fish on near high heat.

Cook the fish until it’s flaking and falling apart. I add the pepper/cilantro mixture and another squeeze of lime. Sauté over medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Mix everything well. Taste. Season or add more lime.

The aroma of garlic and spices is intoxicating. Add avocado slices and/or Jalapeño or a green chili sauce/salsa. Avocado smash would also work. I posted the quick recipe on my Instagram and Facebook page.

Messy and delicious! Enjoy!

Products used in this recipe



Easy Homemade Teenager Approved Marinara Sauce

My son LOVES homemade basketti sauce.

He's 18 and doesn't say it like that anymore, but his love of marinara remains. Logan could probably eat it daily. It's an easy, quick recipe and perfect for noodles, zoodles, or pizza.

I started my own herb garden three months ago -- grew from seed babies -- and was eager to use fresh basil, sage, and oregano in the marinara sauce. Something is rewarding about using your own homegrown herbs.

I'm shocked I haven't killed them yet.    

Knock on wood. 

The seasonings I use are from great businesses. If you know my recipes you know I use CampMix with everything. Adds flavor and kick to all dishes. 

Primal Palate seasonings are soy and gluten-free and kosher. 

Let's get to the recipe. You don't need an overdrawn story about marinara sauce. And I have some in my refrigerator begging to be used.

Ingredients

28oz. can crushed tomatoes

2 tablespoons of light tasting olive oil or garlic infused olive oil

4 tablespoon of minced garlic

Chopped fresh basil and oregano (handful)

*CampMix (a blend of garlic, onion, black pepper, salt, celery salt, and white pepper) 

*Primal Palate Garlic & Herb 

*season to taste*

Instructions

Place oil and garlic in a medium saucepan. Saute over medium heat until the garlic starts to sizzle, roughly a 1 minute.

Pour the tomatoes into the saucepan, basil and oregano, and seasonings, stir to combine.

TASTE AS YOU GO. 

I add quite a bit of the CampMix. We favor garlic and pepper, but some don't. It's all about your palate.  

Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for about 20 - 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. If the sauce is bubbling too much -- Jackson Pollock your floor and stove --, reduce the heat.

It saves beautifully in a mason jar.

My homemade bread recipe would work perfectly with this delicious sauce. *wink*

Products used in this recipe

 

 

 

 

 

Soy Free Simple Bread

Somedays I want bread.

*gasp*

Somedays I want avocado toast not avocado smash on sweet potatoes or squash or bark.

Bread. White bread because my IBS isn’t all that fond of wheat anything. It’s a complicated relationship.

Toasted ever so lightly with delicious avocado smash with a runny yolk egg. Mmmmmmm, I know what I’m making for lunch.

Most bread out there in the United States are made with soybean oil. Great. I’ll die. The only bread at Publix I can consume is sourdough, but the ingredient list is extensive. No thank you.

My magnificent husband was on a bread mission. One he could make bread at home, and it is soy and dairy-free.

He succeeded.

Ingredients


1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
2-1/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons light tasting olive oil (you could also use garlic infused olive oil)
6-1/4 to 6-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

Directions


In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar, salt, oil and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth (arm workout). Stir in enough remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled which takes about 1-1/2 hours.
Punch dough down (think about that annoying co-worker or your sister-in-law). Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough in half. Shape each into a loaf. Place in two greased 9x5-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, 30-45 minutes.
Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Behold the glory!

Perfect for avocado toast. The bread soaked up the yolk.

Nirvana!

Products used in this recipe

Swedish Meatballs - 2018 UPDATE

Christmas.
1988.
A savory but sweet aroma filled my grandparent's house. The cozy kitchen packed with family. My grandpa cranked the window to let out the heat from the overworked oven; my grandma fanned herself with an oven mitt. I’d watch the bustle about as food shuttled into the dining room. 
Mashed potatoes. 
Rolls.
But what everyone wanted was the Swedish meatballs.     
Growing up, I loved watching my grandparent’s cook and bake. Even a simple grilled cheese was special to me. 
It was made with love. 
My Swedish meatball recipe differs from the one I grew up eating, but it’s still made with love. It is soy allergy friendly, but that doesn’t mean it lacks taste. It is also lactose-free. With all my recipes, I urge people to use them as a foundation but make them their own.  Adjust ingredients. I want to give you that bridge and show you great food can be created with alternatives. 
Many memories have been made in the kitchen while cooking. Stories shared. Laughter. That is what makes food great.

Over the years, I've been asked by many for this recipe.

Here it is.

For the most part measured out. I'm a trial and error cook. I taste everything.  

Gather your breadcrumb goodness.

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Panera's Country Loaf is soy free but if that isn't an issue for you, please use whatever bread you like. Rosemary, Thyme, and garlic are also on the list.

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Many people know I'm a huge fan of CampMix and use it often in my recipes. Black Truffle Sea Salt is optional, but I add it for a little extra flavor.

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Cube your bread. I do the entire loaf because leftovers make excellent salad croutons. 

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Combine the seasonings, herbs, and garlic into the chopper. 

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Pour olive oil over the bread until every piece is coated. Combine the mixture and bread crumbs. Preheat oven to 390. Spread them out on a cooking sheet. Bake until golden brown. Leave your oven on 390 for the meatballs.

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Allow those to cool. 

Depending on how much you want in the meatball mixture, I pour all of my bread into a food processor. It will grind up in different sizes, which I like. 

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Put the breadcrumbs aside.

Time for the meatballs.

When available I use bison, but typically I use beef and pork.

Typically, I use 2lbs of meat. When cooking for just my family, I use a little over a 1lb.

In a bowl, combine beef, pork, breadcrumbs (go light and add as you go) and sprinkle on a bit more CampMix. When you make a meatball, make sure each one has some breadcrumbs. If they don't, add more to the mixture.

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I do use non-stick foil but also dab on a bit of olive oil.

Cook until brown. Usually between 20-25 minutes. I always cut one in half to check the middle. If it's a bit pink, that's okay because the meatballs will be cooking in the crockpot for a couple of hours. 

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As the meatballs do their thing in the oven, it's time to work on the gravy. 

In a pan, on medium heat, melt the butter. Add flour. Whisk. Add beef broth. Bring to a simmer. Add in the white part (at the top) into the gravy. This works as an excellent dairy substitute. Most Swedish meatball recipes use heavy cream or sour cream. It adds a bit of sweetness to the gravy. The gravy will thicken more in the crockpot. Whisk and carefully pour into the crockpot. 

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The crockpot should be on a low setting. About an hour in, I'll bump up the heat.  

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Add the meatballs. Slowly. Even all the goodness on the foil. Stir in and add more meatballs. Depending on the number of batches. It's 1lb per cooking sheet. 

Stir occasionally. 

The house will smell delicious. 

2 - 3 hours later...

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During holidays I will add lingonberry jam to the dish. The taste is similar to a cranberry sauce. The combination of lingonberry, mashed potatoes, and meatballs is a trifecta of euphoric bliss. Food coma will happen.

After you dish out some meatballs, turn the crockpot to keep warm. They are even better 3 hours later when the post-dessert grazing starts.  

Ingredients

For the breadcrumbs:

1 loaf of bread

Fresh rosemary, thyme, and sage

2 cloves of garlic

CampMix (salt, pepper, white pepper, garlic salt, and celery salt)

For the meatballs:

Breadcrumbs

1lb of 92/8 beef

1/2lb 80/20 beef

1/2lb of bison (if available) or 1/2lb of pork 

For the gravy sauce (optional):

1/3 cup butter

1/4 cup of all-purpose flour

1 cup beef broth

2 tablespoons of the beef/pork fat from the pan

3 tablespoons of coconut milk (white at the top)

CampMix 

 

CampMix purchased here.

Products used in this recipe: 

 

 

 

Pesto Spaghetti Squash with a Poached Egg

Pesto spaghetti squash with a poached egg is our newest obsession. I make it once a week at least. The runny yolk adds creaminess to the dish, and we're quite sad when it's over. 

Most pestos at the grocery store either have 100 ingredients or contain soybean oil. I make my own with a fun added herb. Mint.

This is one dish I don't use my air fryer or instant pot. Yes, I kick it old school with the oven. Roasted spaghetti squash with garlic, olive oil, and CampMix makes me a happy woman. And my house smells delicious. I cook the squash the night before, The Foolproof, Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Spaghetti Squash, I add a few cloves of garlic and fresh basil for aromatics. I also make the pesto the night before and pour a little over the spaghetti squash in the Tupperware bowl; it soaks in all the awesomeness. 

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My grandma made fried macaroni and cheese when I was younger. Best thing in the world. I used the concept for the spaghetti squash. I added Earth Balance Soy Free buttery spread in the cast iron and fried up the squash a bit. As it cooked, I added the pesto (save some for the top of the poached egg). Once it's nice and hot, drop to simmer and work on the poached egg.  

I know many who are intimidated of the poached egg. Don't be. The options to cook it in your instant pot are fantastic, but it didn't work for me. I use a saucepan of water, olive oil, salt, boil, stir and 2 minutes later have a beautifully poached egg. A slotted spoon is also needed.     

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I look forward to making this dish for my friends. 

Ingredients for Pesto

Basil

About 1/4 cup minced garlic

1 cup extra light olive oil 

A few mint leaves

Squirt of lemon

Dash of crushed red pepper

Dash CampMix 

In the food chopper, I have the KitchenAid 3.5-Cup Food Chopper, fill to top with basil leaves and a few mint leaves. Add garlic and seasonings. Blend. After I dry mix, I use a spoon and scrape the mixture back into the middle. I found this method blends better especially if some of the basil and mint leaves don't thoroughly chop up. 

Add the olive oil and lemon (watch out for the seeds). Chop again.

Please taste. I can't emphasize enough to taste as you cook. Everyone's palates differ. Some prefer garlic. Others salt. 

I tend to go lighter with the seasonings because you can always add but you can't take away.

How to Poach an Egg

Fill a saucepan with water

Add a tablespoon of olive oil and Himalayan Pink Sea Salt

Bring to a boil

Crack an egg into a bowl

Use slotted spoon to stir the boiling water into a vortex

Carefully pour the egg into the water

Timer: 2 minutes (I use my phone)

I've noticed with an electric stove I've had to slide the pan halfway off the heat or lower the amount of water I put in. I've had boil overflow issues before. I miss my gas stove.     

Lift the egg out with the slotted spoon.

Did you make this dish? Added anything to it? Am I fabulous? What are your opinions about poached eggs? Should I do a video?   

 

 

 

Crab Pizza

I looked at my husband the other night and expressed my craving for pizza and crab cakes, but I didn't want to make both. 
How about crab pizza?
He raised his brow. I sensed his skepticism which made me want to make it all that much more. He suggested we make our pesto pizza for back up. 
Just in case.
I agreed but was confident the crab would taste delicious. 
In the end, I was right.
Duh.

My husband uses Bobby Flay's Pizza Dough Recipe. I am looking into a coconut flour recipe for my gluten-free people. Cauliflower crusts are quite popular, but I am unable to eat those. I did find a few gluten-free premade crusts at our local Publix in the frozen section. 

The crab mixture is easy with minimal ingredients. I did have a bit of pesto leftover and added a spoonful. Chopped red and yellow peppers add color and flavor to the mixture.

Ready for the oven.

The result?

It tasted exactly like a crab cake. The crispness of the crust and saltiness of the crab was the perfect combination. The added peppers give another depth of flavor. And let me tell you, the leftovers were an amazing breakfast.  

There is a sprinkle of Cabot Farmhouse Reserve Cheddar Cheese. Don't be afraid of the cheese/seafood horror show. It's allowed with specific recipes. This particular cheese is a chameleon. It blends with whatever you add it to. I've mentioned it in previous recipes. I didn't use much, and I'd deem it optional. 

The pesto pizza was just as delicious. Not everyone loves seafood. 

Either pizza works for any gathering or football party. 

I live the most healthy lifestyle I can but you know what somedays I want carbs and cheese. I'm not going to shame myself for it. 

My body is an evolving creature and what works on Monday doesn't work on Thursday. I keep the medical profession on their toes. But that is for another day. Let's get to the important stuff.

Ingredients for Crab Mix

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

8oz crab lump meat (Pay the extra money for excellent crab meat. Publix and Whole Foods are my choices if you don't have a fresh seafood place near you)

1 red pepper (chopped)

1 yellow pepper (chopped)

1/2 lemon

A spoonful of fresh pesto (optional) 

Garlic infused olive oil (you can use light tasting olive oil) 

CampMix

Simply Organic all-seasons salt

Directions

In a bowl at crab meat, chopped peppers, squeeze of the lemon, and seasonings. Mix. Taste. If you want more seasonings or lemon add it in. Everyone's palette is different. 

With a brush or spoon spread the olive oil over the dough on a pizza pan (we use the Cuisinart Chef's Classic Nonstick Bakeware 14-Inch Pizza Pan) covering every inch. 

Spread the crab mixture. Allow room for a crust. 

Bake for *20 -25 minutes*. 

*We use an electric oven. Gas ovens may be different.* 

This is why I love cooking. 

Experiment with different ingredients. Laugh and share stories with my boys. All of our conversations gravitate to the kitchen. Logan is hopping up in the counter. Plotting world domination. Phil is discussing his day. 

It's our happy place.

Products used in this recipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not Your Grandma's Tuna Fish Sandwich

As a child, I ate my fair share of tuna fish sandwiches. Mayo heavy. White Wonder Bread buttered. It always tasted better when my grandma made my sandwich. 
As an adult, I was sad to learn soy is in most tuna fish pouches/cans. 

Time to elevate the tuna fish sandwich with real ingredients.   

I was standing in my kitchen with leftover wild-caught sockeye salmon from dinner prior & hummus. Just as I'd combine the tuna and mayo together in a bowl, I did the same for the salmon and hummus. I went a step further and added a bit of homemade pesto.

My husband is always my guinea pig.

I toasted two pieces fo sourdough. Drizzled garlic infused oil of the bread, sprinkled a bit of CampMix. I took a bite. The texture was divine and perfect with the warm toasted bread. I could taste the lemon from the salmon, the freshness of the basil, and the spice from the hummus. I served the sandwich to my husband.

He took a bite, groaned, and smiled.

Approval.

I also added it to a spinach salad. Drizzled garlic infused oil over it.

Delish!  

I enjoyed the salmon mixture with a spinach salad with creamy brown rice. 

I don't think this needs a detailed instructional. Above I mentioned my spicy hummus and garlic infused oil, which is what I used in this recipe. The leftover salmon was poached in olive oil and lemon pepper seasoning the night before. Here is the pesto recipe as I don't have it as an individual post. 

Ingredients for Pesto

Basil

About 1/4 cup minced garlic

1 cup extra light olive oil (infused oil works too)

A few mint leaves

A squirt of Meyer Lemon

Dash of crushed red pepper (optional)

Dash CampMix 

In the food chopper, I have the KitchenAid 3.5-Cup Food Chopper, fill to top with basil leaves and a few mint leaves. Add garlic and seasonings. Blend. After I dry mix, I use a spoon and scrape the mixture back into the middle. I found this method blends better especially if some of the basil and mint leaves don't thoroughly chop up. 

Add the olive oil and lemon (watch out for the seeds). Chop again.

Please taste. I can't emphasize enough to taste as you cook. Everyone's palates differ. Some prefer garlic. Others salt. 

I tend to go lighter with the seasonings because you can always add but you can't take away.

This is a great alternative if you aren't a fan of mayonnaise and looking to try something new with fish.

Products used in this recipe

 

 

   

 

Spicy Hummus - Cannellini Beans

Most associate hummus with garbanzo beans, I use cannellini. For whatever reason, my digestive system favors them over any other white bean. And avocado. I know. Travesty. But who am I to argue? 

Hummus is the universal food.
Dips. Wraps. Burgers.
Perfect substitute for mayo which I discovered while making a salmon salad  --  think tuna fish sandwich. 
That's for my next recipe.

My spicy hummus recipe is quick and easy. Four ingredients. Less than ten minutes. Cost is low. Why buy premade? You know who made it and when. You know the ingredients.

You don't have to use garlic infused olive oil but it does amplify the flavors. And really why not?

Drain the beans. 

I use my little food chopper.  

Puree setting. 

Always. Always. Always taste. 

Everyone's palette is different. We love spicy but others may not. We love garlic but others may want to ease back on it. My goal is to set a foundation and people make the recipe their own.

My husband loves broccoli and red pepper slices or with pita bread. I eat it alongside my salmon filet with a spinach salad. The options are endless.

Ingredients

1 can of cannellini beans

2 tablespoons of garlic infused olive oil

1 tablespoon of Mrs. Renfro's Green Salsa

1/2 - 1 tablespoon of CampMix (garlic, onion, black pepper, salt, celery salt, and white pepper)

Instructions

In the food processor add the beans, oil, salsa, and seasonings. Puree setting until all is blended. Taste. Add more salsa or seasonings if so desired. 

Use immediately or refrigerate.  

Boom!

Done!

It's not zero carbs but it's also not horrid carbs. I could think of worse carbs to consume. 

This recipe is soy-free. Vegetarian-friendly. Low-cholesterol food. High in protein, magnesium, and fiber.  

Products used in this recipe

CampMIX

 

 
 

Garlic Infused Olive Oil - Low FODMAP

About three years my doctor suggested Low FODMAP for my IBS. I never heard of the food plan but immediately went home to do some research. 

What are FODMAP's?

*per Healthline.com* FODMAP stands for fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols (1).

These are the scientific terms used to classify groups of carbs that are notorious for triggering digestive symptoms like bloating, gas and stomach pain.

FODMAPs are found in a wide range of foods in varying amounts. Some foods contain just one type, while others contain several.

The main dietary sources of the four groups of FODMAPs include:

Oligosaccharides: Wheat, rye, legumes and various fruits and vegetables, such as garlic and onions.
Disaccharides: Milk, yogurt, and soft cheese. Lactose is the main carb.
Monosaccharides: Various fruit including figs and mangoes, and sweeteners such as honey and agave nectar. Fructose is the main carb.
Polyols: Certain fruits and vegetables including blackberries and lychee, as well as some low-calorie sweeteners like those in sugar-free gum.

I purchased three books on the subject, pinned every recipe possible, and was excited to start the elimination process until I read garlic was a no-no. 
Wait? What?
I use garlic in almost all my dishes. I love garlic. Now I can't have it? 
Not cool. 
I use olive oil for almost everything. Or avocado oil, which is also approved for Low FODMAP. 
There's the solution. 
Garlic infused olive oil. I add a small leaf of basil -- just because I want to -- and giving up garlic wasn't as detrimental. This olive oil goes with everything. Pork Chops. Jicama Fries. Salmon.
I had veered off the Low FODMAP path for a while, oh how I've noticed, but I'm back on track. For years I viewed food as my enemy. Between IBS and food allergies my rebellious nature always did me in. I am learning to understand my relationship with food and my body. Food isn't the enemy, my way of thinking was. Health is about respect. I can't heal if I don't respect my insides and my soul.

I am in the process of growing fresh herbs and look forward to infusing olive oil with rosemary or thyme or peppers with rosemary. The possibilities are endless. It's easy to feel the weight of digestive syndromes and diseases but together we will reduce inflammation, pain, and improve our way of thinking. 

Ingredients

1 cup of extra light tasting olive oil 

4-6 peeled and smashed garlic cloves. 

Basil leaf (optional)

Instructions

In a saucepan add the above-mentioned ingredients.  

Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes. Until the garlic browns just a bit. Remove from the heat and let stand until it is room temperature. At first, I used a mason jar but I found a great olive oil dispenser and funnel from Target

You can refrigerate the oil for up to a month but mine is usually gone within the week. 

Perfect to drizzle over salmon and quinoa.

Add the oil to any of my favorites recipes, Cucumber Dill Ranch Dressing or Jicama Fries. 

Low FODMAP books I purchased

 

 

 

 

 

  

Air Fryer Hard Boiled Eggs

Eggs.
Poached. Basted. Hard boiled. 
I'm all in. 
I was aware of the hard boiled egg in the Instant Pot but I use my air fryer daily and I don't my IP. Why not use it for eggs? Though I have a few easy egg recipes for the air fryer I will start with hard boiled. It's a diverse use of eggs. They can be eaten alone with a sprinkle of salt and pepper or in a salad. Great source of protein. 

I bought the Air Fryer Accessories 7pcs for Gowise Phillips and Cozyna or More Brand, fit all 3.7QT 5.3QT 5.8QT with 7 Inch Diameter. It comes with 1 Cake Barrel, 1 Pizza Pan (I use for fried eggs), 1 Metal Holder, 1 Multi-Purpose Rack with Skewers,1 Silicone Mat, 1 tong and 1 Pan gripper. 

Because of my food allergies, I must be careful what kind of eggs I use. I've NEVER had issues with Vital Farms.

The air fryer I own is GoWISE USA 5.8-Quarts 8-in-1 Electric Air Fryer XL. Times may vary depending on size and amount of heat it pumps out. I typically make two eggs, it's enough for me but others like to make half a dozen.

I was pleasantly surprised how easy the shells came off. It's one of the things I used to hate about hard boiled eggs. 

What equipment you will need: 

Air Fryer

Wire Rack

Ingredients

2 cold eggs but more than welcome to use more.

Instructions

Insert wire rack in the basket. Place eggs on top of the wire rack. Carefully close the air fryer. Set the temp of the air fryer to 250 for 17 minutes. The time may need to lengthen if you have a small air fryer. And you don't need to preheat. 

Prepare the ice water bath.

When done take them out with tongs and into the ice water. I leave mine in for about fifteen minutes.

Peel and enjoy!

I recommend testing with one egg. Get a feel for the process and the air fryer.  

They also go great with garlic and basil infused olive oil (Low FODMAP friendly). Next recipe... 

Products used with the recipe:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paleo Cucumber Dill Ranch Dressing - Tzatziki Inspired

I stand with the refrigerator door open. What to make? Not in the mood for chicken or fish. I want something light. Salad? Yes but I don't want a vinegarette. I made mayo the following day, my eyes move to the fresh dill, lemon, and cucumber. 
Tzatziki inspired. 
In my pantry, I have organic lite coconut milk. A staple for our family. 
I've made this ranch before but not with cucumbers.  

Oh. My. Goodness. 

I could live off this dressing. Dip jicama fries in it. Or turmeric chicken nuggets in the air fryer.

The added cucumber reminded me of my favorite gyro place in North Carolina. Perhaps, my next recipe. Hmmmmmm.

Let's get to the deliciousness.  

Ingredients

For the mayo

1 cup of light tasting olive oil

One free range egg

1/2 teaspoon of dijon mustard

1/2 of a lemon

CampMIX or Simply Organic All-Seasons Salt (I use both) or any seasonings of your choice. 

For the dressing

1/3 cup of the paleo mayo

1/4 cup full-fat canned coconut milk (I use Thai Kitchen)

1/2 lemon

2 tablespoons of fresh dill

1 clove of garlic

1/2 medium peeled cucumber

Instructions

Make the mayo: In a blender add 1/4 of the olive oil, egg, mustard, squeeze in lemon (watch out for those seeds), and seasonings. Blend on low. Once blended open the central part of the blender and slowly pour in remaining olive oil. It will start to thicken. Stop the blender. Give it a little stir. Taste and decide if you want to add more lemon or seasonings. Put the mayo in a container, cover and put in the refrigerator.  

Make the dressing: In a food processor, I use the KitchenAid Mini Food Processor, add mayo, coconut milk, lemon, dill, garlic, cucumber, and seasonings. Pulse a few times until the cucumber is chopped into tiny bits. Taste. Add any additional seasonings. If you want a thicker dressing, add a bit more mayo.

I like mine thinner. Reminds me of the homemade ranch I had as a child. 

My husband added a homemade pita triangle and turmeric chicken to his salad. Can't forget the sliced black olives. Another family staple.

This dressing is soy, gluten, and dairy-free. Vegetarian-friendly. Versatile. Simple and delicious.

Products used in this recipe. 

  

Hello? Is It Cheese You're Looking For?

March 7, 2017, USA Today published an article titled Cheese is so addictive, one doctor calls it 'dairy crack'. I 100% believe it. There is something about cheese when it's listed on a menu. A gleam in one's eye. The giddiness inside.

My relationship with cheese is complicated. When I was young whether my grandma was visiting our home or my family was visiting hers, she'd cook delicious food for us. Every single meal. Most contained cheese. One of the favorites was her fried macaroni and cheese. Nothing fancy but she made it with love. The crispy noodles mixed with creamy cheese was on another level for a nine-year-olds palette. I've mimicked the recipe, but it's not the same. It's not my grandma's.

I decided to create my own.

Soy-free. Lactose-free. Vegetarian-friendly. No noodles.  

What the heck is it?

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Bake.

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Activate watering of the mouth. 

Spaghetti Squash. Cheese. Basil.

The trifecta of awesomeness. 

As I've stated in a previous recipe I cook the squash the night before, The Foolproof, Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Spaghetti Squash, I add a few cloves of garlic and fresh basil for aromatics.

The end result is cheesy goodness.

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Ingredients

1 large spaghetti squash

3 tbsp of Earth Balance Soy-free butter

3 tbsp of ap flour or your flour of choice

2 cups of coconut milk (I use VitaCoco Original)

1 tablespoon of Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Cream

A handful of fresh basil leaves

3/4 tbsp CampMIX or create your mixture of garlic salt, salt, garlic powder, celery salt, black pepper. I recommend tasting as you go. 

1 block of Cabot Farmhouse Reserve Cheddar (Shred the entire block) 

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Instructions

Preheat oven to 390.

Mince basil leaves. 

In a medium saucepan or cast iron pot on low-medium heat melt the butter. Whisk in flour until small lumps form. Add coconut milk and continue to whisk until smooth. Add seasonings salt, basil, whisk and simmer for about 2 minutes or until sauce has slightly thickened. Add the cheese and whisk until smooth. 

Add spaghetti squash. Stir and blend carefully.

In an 8x8 Pyrex dish pour in the cheesy awesomeness. A 10" cast iron pan is also an option.

I have an electric oven--miss our gas oven--I cook the squash for 5-7 minutes. Then I switch to broil on high. Check every couple of minutes until golden brown.

This entire dish is 5-6 servings depending on the portion size your spouse or children dish out. My husband dishes heavy.

The leftovers are perfect to fry up the next day. Too bad I never have any leftovers which I guess is a compliment.

Now go make this dish and make it your own.         

 

 

 

Fresh Basil Pesto Grilled Cheese - The Ultimate Comfort Food

Pesto. 

It's a favorite in our household. I recently posted my Pesto Spaghetti Squash recipe and though I did post my pesto recipe I have a different I use for pesto grilled cheese. Who doesn't love gooey grilled cheese? I have fond memories of my dad making me a grilled cheese with Velvetta when I was young. I'd dip mine in Ketchup just as he did. My son did the same. 

There is something about the buttery toasted bread and melty cheese which brings warmth and happiness to my soul. My husband loves grilled cheese with soup. Especially when he is feeling under the weather--mancold--he requests my grilled cheese for every meal. 

My pesto is different because I don't use pine nuts, parmesan cheese, or any other oils besides light tasting olive oil. Most pestos at local supermarkets contain ingredients myself or my husband cannot have. The mint and Meyer lemon add a twist to the original. Sweet and citrus.     

My pan of choice is the Lodge Cast Iron Skillet, but I did recently purchase the Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler and will have to test out the panini action on it. An air fryer is also a great way to make grilled cheese. I set my air fryer at 360. Cook until golden brown.   

My husbands favorite part of the grilled cheese is that I sprinkle CampMIX on the outside of the sourdough bread. Adds a little something. Cabot Farmhouse Reserve Cheddar is OUR cheese. It blends perfectly with whatever you are cooking, lasagna, tacos, or pesto grilled cheese. It's creamy but has a bit of a bite like parmesan but without the stink--my dad's observation.

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First bite?

Euphoric. 

The mix of fresh basil, butter, seasonings and the blend of delicate but robust cheese, oh my goodness. I could eat this every day.

The perfect comfort food.  

Next up on my recipe list is Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Bake. Yeah, it's kind of amazing. Especially for those who crave mac and cheese but the ingredients from back in the day don't work anymore. I have you covered. Also, an excellent comfort food dish.

I don't feel I have to go into great detail on how to make a grilled cheese. I tend to keep my electric stove about six because the cast iron heats up quickly. 

Ingredients for Pesto

Basil

About 1/4 cup minced garlic

1 cup extra light olive oil 

A few mint leaves

Squirt of Meyer Lemon

Dash of crushed red pepper

Dash CampMix 

In the food chopper, I have the KitchenAid 3.5-Cup Food Chopper, fill to top with basil leaves and a few mint leaves. Add garlic and seasonings. Blend. After I dry mix, I use a spoon and scrape the mixture back into the middle. I found this method blends better especially if some of the basil and mint leaves don't thoroughly chop up. 

Add the olive oil and lemon (watch out for the seeds). Chop again.

Please taste. I can't emphasize enough to taste as you cook. Everyone's palates differ. Some prefer garlic. Others salt. 

I tend to go lighter with the seasonings because you can always add but you can't take away.

* I stick with sourdough bread because Publix makes it without soybean oil. But you can use whatever bread you want. *

Happy rustic cooking! 

 

 

    

 

  

Jicama What?

Jicama.
What the heck is jicama?

ji·ca·ma
ˈhikəmə,ˈhē-/Submit
noun
noun: jicama
the crisp, white-fleshed, edible tuber of a Central American climbing plant of the pea family ( Pachyrhizus erosus, family Leguminosae ), cultivated since pre-Columbian times and used especially in Mexican cooking. *thank you, Google dictionary*

The benefits of jicama are amazing. 

Boosts the immune system.
Helps digestion. 
Low in calories.
Favored if potatoes aren't your thing. 
Improves blood flow, brain function, and makes you a unicorn.
It doesn't make you a unicorn, but one can dream. 

Unfamiliar with the vegetable I was excited to experiment. From my previous post, I Speak French Fries making jicama fries in the air fryer mimics the potato fries process. The only difference is you must peel the jicama skin. Don't use a peeler. I used my Global G-2 Chef's Knife and cut a thin slice to create a flat surface. I found it peeled more comfortable after a bit of refrigeration. It also worked better with my french fry cutter. 

Again you can slice them without the fry cutter, but it's an excellent kitchen contraption to have, New Star Foodservice 43204 Commercial Grade French Fry Cutter.

Preheat the air fryer to 385

In the bowl drizzle light tasting olive oil over the jicama. Shake. Add your favorite seasoning. I prefer CampMix (my go to), but you can use season salt or just salt and pepper. It depends on the level you enjoy your fries. Some like salty and crispy others like less salt and not full-on crispy. 

Pour into the air fryer basket. Cook for about 30 minutes. Depending on desired crispiness. The jicama takes a bit longer. Every 7-10 minutes shake the jicama in the basket or use a spatula to move them about for an even cook.

The jicama has more crunch to it. When we asked our teenager which he preferred the potato or jicama fries he chose the jicama. We were pleasantly surprised. Logan is sensitive to textures, and we were thrilled he tried and loved them.

Win for us. 

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

Air Fryer - preheat 380

A way to slice the jicama into even cuts

One jicama fed two people

Light tasting olive oil

Seasonings of your choice (Uber fan of CampMIX) 

Products used in this recipe.

 

    

 

 

Pesto Spaghetti Squash with a Poached Egg

Pesto spaghetti squash with a poached egg is our newest obsession. I make it once a week at least. The runny yolk adds creaminess to the dish, and we're quite sad when it's over. 

Most pestos at the grocery store either have 100 ingredients or contain soybean oil. I make my own with a fun added herb. Mint.

This is one dish I don't use my air fryer or instant pot. Yes, I kick it old school with the oven. Roasted spaghetti squash with garlic, olive oil, and CampMix makes me a happy woman. And my house smells delicious. I cook the squash the night before, The Foolproof, Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Spaghetti Squash, I add a few cloves of garlic and fresh basil for aromatics. I also make the pesto the night before and pour a little over the spaghetti squash in the Tupperware bowl; it soaks in all the awesomeness. 

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My grandma made fried macaroni and cheese when I was younger. Best thing in the world. I used the concept for the spaghetti squash. I added Earth Balance Soy Free buttery spread in the cast iron and fried up the squash a bit. As it cooked, I added the pesto (save some for the top of the poached egg). Once it's nice and hot, drop to simmer and work on the poached egg.  

I know many who are intimidated of the poached egg. Don't be. The options to cook it in your instant pot are fantastic, but it didn't work for me. I use a saucepan of water, olive oil, salt, boil, stir and 2 minutes later have a beautifully poached egg. A slotted spoon is also needed.     

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I look forward to making this dish for my friends. 

Ingredients for Pesto

Basil

About 1/4 cup minced garlic

1 cup extra light olive oil 

A few mint leaves

Squirt of lemon

Dash of crushed red pepper

Dash CampMix 

In the food chopper, I have the KitchenAid 3.5-Cup Food Chopper, fill to top with basil leaves and a few mint leaves. Add garlic and seasonings. Blend. After I dry mix, I use a spoon and scrape the mixture back into the middle. I found this method blends better especially if some of the basil and mint leaves don't thoroughly chop up. 

Add the olive oil and lemon (watch out for the seeds). Chop again.

Please taste. I can't emphasize enough to taste as you cook. Everyone's palates differ. Some prefer garlic. Others salt. 

I tend to go lighter with the seasonings because you can always add but you can't take away.

How to Poach an Egg

Fill a saucepan with water

Add a tablespoon of olive oil and Himalayan Pink Sea Salt

Bring to a boil

Crack an egg into a bowl

Use slotted spoon to stir the boiling water into a vortex

Carefully pour the egg into the water

Timer: 2 minutes (I use my phone)

I've noticed with an electric stove I've had to slide the pan halfway off the heat or lower the amount of water I put in. I've had boil overflow issues before. I miss my gas stove.     

Lift the egg out with the slotted spoon.

Did you make this dish? Added anything to it? Am I fabulous? What are your opinions about poached eggs? Should I do a video?   

 

 

 

I Speak French Fries

My son is a die-hard french fry fanatic. Since he was little, it was all about the french fries and ketchup. Ore Ida was our go-to brand until I started to read the ingredients. In 2015 I was diagnosed with a soy allergy, on top of already having a sensitivity to lactose. Did I mention I have IBS? Good times. My initial thought was, what the hell am I going to eat? Soy is in almost EVERYTHING. Even vitamins and seasonings. The IBS peppermint oil capsules I was taking had soy in them. Really? 

Since then I've educated myself about food, as has our son. When he read soybean oil on the ingredient list for Ore Ida french fries, Logan no longer wanted to eat them, and we didn't blame him. 

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                                                                Ew

Our solution was simple. Make homemade fries in our air fryer

We searched on Amazon for a fry cutter and found this beauty.

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New Star Foodservice 43204 Commercial Grade French Fry Cutter for $89.95. We could hand cut the potatoes, but we decided to go this route. Easy to cut and easy cleanup. Worth the investment. 

Let's get to the good stuff. How to make delicious homemade french fries with a bit of olive oil and seasonings.

I use russet potatoes. Skin and everything. Put your potatoes in the refrigerator. They will cut easier.

For two people I use three potatoes really, it depends on the size of the potatoes. When our son has his friends over the teenagers can quickly go through 5lbs of potatoes. The homemade fries are a huge deal for them.

You'll get an arm workout. But the suction cups help a great deal. I tip the bowl into the fry cutter; the potatoes fall right in. 

Preheat the air fryer to 380

In the bowl drizzle light tasting olive oil over the potatoes. Shake. Add your favorite seasoning. I prefer CampMix (my go to), but you can use season salt or just salt and pepper. It depends on the level you enjoy your fries. Some like salty and crispy others like less salt and not full-on crispy. 

Pour into the air fryer basket. Cook for about 25-30 minutes. Depending on desired crispiness. Every 7-10 minutes shake the potatoes in the basket or use a spatula to move them about for an even cook. 

I add a dash of salt and boom! Delicious homemade fries without all the ick ingrediants.

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Is it more work than popping fries in the microwave or oven? Yes. But I feel there is value to homemade meals. You know what you are eating. You're feeding your body a better way. It's also fun when the family gets involved. For us, cooking together is our time to talk about our day, discuss life, or sing weird songs. We have food fights. We get messy. We have fun and enjoy one another. Cooking for my boys brings me happiness, it's also an excellent stress reliever. My recipes may not look fancy. I don't do the videos. My camera is six years old. But I cook from the heart, and I want to share my joy with you. 

If you make one of my recipes, please let me know how it turns out. What personal touch did you add? I'd love to see your photos. 

Now get yourself an air fryer. Trust me; you'll thank me later. 

What You'll Need:

Air Fryer - preheat 380

A way to slice the potatoes into even cuts

1 bag of russet potatoes - use as many as you want

Light tasting olive oil

Seasonings of your choice (Uber fan of CampMIX)

Products used in this recipe.

 

 

 

 

 

Oh-Dear-It's-The-Holiday-Season Winetini

'Tis the season of chaos and merriment. 

Family and friends.

Gatherings. 

People-ing.

Never fear, I am here to aid you in your holiday quest for a drink to silence the bickering between your mother and Great-aunt Nettie on the proper way to set a table.

Hush the teenage drama due to your daughter's boyfriend who gifted her a lovely "ruby" ring that turned her finger green. Obviously, their love is tainted.

Quiet the political debate between grandpa and your uncle's third wife. Not current politics but sometime between Roosevelt (does it matter which one) and Nixon. Or maybe they were talking about soap?

Oh well, you're sipping your winetini and munching on more holiday Chex-Mix. 

That stuff is crack. 

Of course, there are plus sides to the holiday season, it's called limited edition booze.

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Candy Cane Winietini  

2 oz Smirnoff Peppermint Twist *scratch and sniff bottle* 

2 oz Kungfu Girl Riesling

2 oz Pure Cranberry Juice - I use Lakewood 100% Juice

                                             For those who appreciate visuals like myself. 

                                            For those who appreciate visuals like myself. 

Rim the glass with sugar but you could also use crushed candy canes.

On one plate I poured a bit of the cranberry juice and another the sugar. The red from the juice adds a hint of color to the sugar when you rim it. 

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, Smirnoff, wine, and juice. Shake well. Pour into martini glass.

Also, you could garnish with fresh cranberries. 

I'm not a huge fan of garnishes. More stuff to drink around or pick out of my glass. 

The combination of peppermint and cranberry blend well with the medium sweet Riesling. Not overly tart. Not overly sweet. Warms and refreshes as it goes down. I usually stick with equal parts. I want to enjoy my winetini's and not have my husband have to hold my hair back in the bathroom 5 hours later.

I hope you enjoy this delicious winetini and please tell me if you make it and what your thoughts are.

Skol and Happy Holidays!