recipes

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: 

 

 

 

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

 

 
 

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:

 

 

 

 

 

 

But It's Fishhhhhhhhhh

Lately fish has made an appearance at our dinner table almost every day. Once a week I will make tacos or burgers mainly for the boys. I've noticed my food sensitivities and digestive issues amplifying with each passing year. Chicken on occasion but red meat and pork shred my insides. I feel less swollen and uncomfortable when I eat fish. 

Bread, rice, corn, and beans are also my enemies. Options are limited therefore I need to be creative. Though I lean towards the Paleo lifestyle, I'm not strict on a singular food plan. One size doesn't fit all.

While at Publix the other day I discovered spiraled butternut squash. I love butternut squash but for me to attempt to spiral it with my little device -- nope. It was worth the $3.15. 
Halibut and grouper are my favorite white fishes. Both are spendy, but you get what you pay for. Halibut doesn't smell or taste fishy. The buttery texture is euphoric. The filets are thick and after I eat one I'm full for hours. 

I decided to try something new with the butternut squash spirals and halibut.

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Preheat oven to 380. Line a 9x9 pan with non-stick foil. Easy to fold and throw away when done.

Add spiraled butternut squash on the bottom, halibut in the center, pour over lighttasting olive oil until all are covered. Squeeze one lemon on the halibut. Season with lemon pepper. Add butter to the top. 20-25 minutes later...

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I spooned out a bit of the oil/butter/lemon awesomeness in the pan and drizzled over the fish. Oh. My. Word. 

Obsessed. 

The combination of sweet from the butternut squash and savory from the fish is divine. This meal is simple, quick, and clean up is nothing. And butternut squash is great for magnesium which is a nutrient my digestive system needs more of.   

Ingredients

1 wild-caught halibut filet

Spiral butternut squash (I'm confident one could do this at home but I like the Publix method better)

1 lemon

Soy-free butter

1/2 cup of light tasting olive oil

CampMIX Lemon Pepper
     

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.         

 

 

 

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.

 

    

 

 

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!

  

    

 

Feed Me Pizza And Tell Me I'm Pretty

Pizza.

Oh, how we love thee.

But most pizza joints use soybean oil in their dough.

My husband can't have tomatoes. I can't have lactose. Yes. We are walking food messes.

Publix does have pre-made dough but, you guessed it, soybean oil. Sigh.

That's it.

I had decided to make my own pizza. I'm not a measurement rule follower but with pizza dough, I had to be. Bobby Flay's recipe was the perfect find.

We don't have a stand mixer but our hand mixer worked great. 

While the dough was doing its thing, I shred the cheese and made the pesto. 

Since my husband can't have tomatoes, I  made a pesto with black truffle sea salt. For the cheese, I used free of lactose Cabot Farmhouse Reserve Cheddar Cheese. It has a parmesan taste to it. A bit sharp but not overwhelming. Another lactose-free favorite is Applegate Provolone.  

In the food chopper, I have the KitchenAid 3.5-Cup Food Chopper, fill to top basil leaves. Add garlic and seasonings. Black truffle sea salt is strong. You won't need much. Blend. After I dry blend, I use a spoon and scrape the mixture back into the middle. I have found that this method blends better. Especially if some of the basil leaves don't fully chop up. 

Add the olive oil. 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.

The pesto can sit while your pizza dough is completing its awesomeness.

When the dough is ready per the Bobby Flay recipe, preheat your open to 400 degrees.  

With the pizza ball of dough, I used a flour covered wooden roller and sprinkled a bit extra on the counter. When it's rolled out, put it on your pizza pan.  

Spoon and spread the pesto over the dough. My dough was not a perfect circle on my pizza pan. Oh well. Imperfect works better for me. Sprinkle on cheese. We went heavy in that department because it's too good not to. 

Cook until the cheese is brown and bubbly, which is 20-25 minutes.  

The end result was beyond delicious. 

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The earthiness of the basil but the subtle bursts of garlic and the black truffle sea salt blend awesomely with the cheese. 

The crust was crispy but not break-a-tooth crispy.

No chewiness. 

A welcomed add to the football season food rotation. 

Ingredients

Basil

About 1/4 cup minced garlic

1 cup extra light olive oil 

Dash of crushed red pepper

Dash of malabar black pepper 

Dash of San Francisco Salt Co. Black Truffle Sea Salt

Dash CampMix (optional)