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Tag Archives: GAPS approved

Dehydrating Cheese

This is an idea that I read about and decided to try.  Dried Cheese.  I love my dehydrators and use them for all kinds of things.

I had so much fun doing this that I just wanted to share this with everyone.  Granted it was a bit messy and some people might wonder why bother but I liked the final product so well that I plan to utilize this concept more in the future.  It is a way to buy cheese on sale and then store it up for later.  It also makes a great on the go snack!  The cheese can also be grated and added into just about anything like  GAPS/SCD breads, pancakes, etc. with the moisture already reduced

The first thing  you do is start out with a GAPS/SCD approved cheese.  That would be any of these cheeses: Cheddar, Asiago, Blue, Brie, Camembert, Colby, Edam, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Havarti, Jack, Muenster, Parmesan, Roquefort, Stilton, Swiss, Romano and uncreamed cottage cheese.

I slice the cheese about a 1/4 inch thick or a little thinner.  And place it on my trays that I lined with parchment paper.  (Parchment works much better than wax!)

I have done this a couple of different ways and have decided that the one I am giving here is the best. After turning the dehydrator on, I let it run for about 15 minutes or until the cheese begins to get soft.

The oil will begin to come out of it and this is where it can get tricky.

I tilt the tray and allow the oil to run off.  (I slanted the tray and let the oil run into the sink.)

Then as the cheese cools a bit I lift if off the tray and wipe the oil off with a paper towel.  Wiping both the cheese and the tray.  At this time I turn the cheese over.

I repeat this process until there is little excess oil and then I just allow it to dry, turning it every so often until it is hardened.  I then store it in a airtight jar.  I now have cheese and dried fruit to keep in the car for ready to eat snacks.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2012 in Cheese, Dehydrating Foods, Snacks

 

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Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard

It has been awhile since I last posted, believe me it is not because I have not eaten!  Life has had other demands than time spent blogging.  Yet I still think about the things I make and “plan to” blog on them. Today’s topic is one of those.

Swiss chard is another perfect GAPS/SCD food.  It is highly nutritious, colorful, and tasty.  Yet I must confess I have not always been a fan of chard.  I just had to learn to fix it in a way that tasted good to me.  I work a Farmer’s Market during the summer months and always ask people how they prepare the things they buy from me.  One woman told me she steamed it with her squash. Another said that she boiled them like greens. Well I don’t do either, although I tried adding them to my squash and found that to be very acceptable. And boiled is okay.  My dad likes chard boiled and he does not want them cut up but left whole with stem and leaf together.

I saute Swiss Chard with onions and mushrooms, cooked in good butter or sesame oil.  The mushrooms seem to make the difference in the taste. These three flavors go well together.  I chop the stems finely and then chop the greens finely, this causes it all to cook quickly and it seems to blend the flavor of the stems with the greens (there is a slight difference).  And for appearance, I also finely chop the onions and mushrooms.  I cook it all until it is tender, add salt and pepper.  If I am not in a hurry, which most of the time I am, I will add a little lemon juice.

Some people like the stems in particular and one customer told me that his wife cut them off and drizzled them with olive oil and garlic and baked them in the oven.

Some people at the market ask me what Swiss Chard tastes like…it is very hard to describe food flavors to a person that has never had something.  I try to be as honest as possible and I tell them that Swiss Chard is actually in the beet family and is a mild flavored beet green.  Automatically that turns some people off.   But I go on to tell them that it also has a slight “spinach” flavor without the stems.  And I have found that Swiss Chard does very well in quiche as a spinach replacement.  While some shoppers are adventurous others say no thanks and walk away quickly.  But then that is the life as a market vendor…

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2012 in Greens, Swiss Chard

 

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Canning Squash

 

Yesterday I put up 14 quarts of zucchini squash.  Since squash is one of those perfect GAPS/SCD foods and they are abundant this time of year.  If you do not grow your own, see if you can find a friend that has extras, or go visit a Farmer’s Market, by the end of the season they can be almost hard to give them away.   But I have a mindset to never let food go to waste if I can help it.  So I put up as much food as I can and often accept peoples leftovers for the purpose of keeping my pantries stocked and my freezers full.

Up front I have to say that the powers that dictate what we are and are not supposed to do tell us that Squash is something that we are not supposed to can.  I am a rebellious maverick in the kitchen…refusing for modernity to tell me that I cannot do something that my grandmother could have done.  I have to wonder some times how our grandmothers managed to raise all of those kids.

Over the years I have done squash in several ways. I did consider just doing them plain so they could be made into soups…but in the past I have found that doing them in tomatoes seems to produce the best long term taste.

The process is simple.  You wash your squash, cut them into chunks, and pack them into jars.  I add a little less than a tsp of salt to each jar and a good sprig of fresh basil.  (if you do not have fresh herbs, you can add your favorite Italian dry herbs..or skip this all together.)   Some years I add garlic but simply did not feel like messing with the garlic yesterday and decided it could be added later on when I reheat the squash for consumption.

In a large pan, I added some tomato sauce, three small cans of paste and some water.  (I have done this many ways…and if the tomatoes in the garden would have been a week further along I would have just used fresh tomatoes.   I got the tomatoes boiling and added a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar for every jar that I planned to process.

You must keep the tomato juice boiling, ladle this hot fluid over the squash, run a knife down the sides of the jar releasing air…wipe the jar tops and put on the lids. If you are inexperienced  at canning…please do more research on the canning process to better understand how it all works.

Use a pressure canner and process at 10 lbs of pressure for 40 minutes.

Later on when I reheat these I will add them to a sauted onion and some garlic.  Or I will add them to some soup.

Here is a link to another sites that gives you a different idea for putting up squash.  This one has you hot pack the squash.

http://pennypantry.com/canning/canning-squash-zucchini-and-tomatoes/

and here is another that gives a bit more precision to the process for those of you that like “exacts”.

http://www.food.com/recipe/Zucchini-in-Tomato-Sauce-Canning-134151

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2012 in Cooking Helps, Squash

 

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Beans Fresh Out of the Garden

Fresh green beans out of the garden often mean something boiled.  While I like green beans cooked with onion and lard, during the summer when the beans are coming in fresh off of the plants I often make them stir-fried. 

If I am in a hurry I just clean the beans and toss them in the skillet without any extra steps.  But today I had the time so I split the beans in half, this allows the beans to cook a bit faster and I think gives a nicer looking presentation. 

I started with a bowl of beans.  Today I mixed Blue Lake green beans with Dragon Tongue heirloom beans.  The Dragon Tongue are yellow with purple stripes so I had a good color variation.

Blue Lakes and Dragon Tongues!

Then I thinly sliced an onion and a couple of hot peppers. Red chilies are good for this recipe but mine are not ready yet so I used jalapeno. 

In a medium hot iron skillet I drizzled in a little toasted sesame oil, coconut oil and some olive oil, then tossed in the onions and peppers, allowing them to cook down a bit before tossing in the beans. 

The beans need to cook until they change color.  If you desire more tenderness, cook them longer.  If they seem to be browning, add in a drizzle of water or stock, or juice.  Once the beans are done sprinkle a good dusting of powdered ginger over them, salt, pepper, and crush 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic into them. Stir together and serve hot.    

The basics for this can be altered.  I have one daughter that does not like toasted sesame oil so some times, I leave it out and just add it on at the table…and if you do not like hot food, it is easy to eliminate the hot peppers.  Fresh sliced ginger can be used in place of the powered, but it should be added in at the beginning.   Juice will sweeten the beans.  I have even made these and thrown in other things like greens or carrots.

Other than cleaning the beans, this is a fast and fun side dish that goes well with most any meal.  It is full of flavor and texture.  I served mine with a liquid amino acid to replace the traditional soy sauce.

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2012 in Green Beans

 

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Curried Onions with Baked Liver

Curried Onions with Oven Fried Chicken Livers

Yes, I am aware that some folks really can’t stand liver while others enjoy it.  Either way liver is one of those foods highly recommended on GAPS/SCD.   I usually fry liver but recently I have learned how to oven fry it.  Today we got a recipe from the Pecan Bread site that worked quickly and easily for us. If you are interested go here:  http://www.pecanbread.com/recipes/ovenfriedchickenlivers.html

As a review, I thought the liver came out a bit drier than I like but because of the ease of the recipe we will use it again in the future.   ( This recipe would make an outstanding pate or chopped liver. )   As an aside, one can bake liver in the same manner without dusting it with the almond flour. 

But because I know that a lot of people do not care for liver the focus of this particular blog is going to be on the curried onions.  Onions as a side dish can often be over looked.  I cook with a lot of onions, I put them in everything, they are a great way to stretch a lot of recipes.   Yet, they can be almost a meal in themselves if prepared properly.  

    

As we have said before GAPS/SCD can take extra time and some times we just don’t have the extra time or we make a meal and look down at it and say to ourselves, “No way is that going to be enough to fill everyone up…”  Well, maybe that never happens to you but it does to me.  

If you have some onions you have the ability to stretch a meal in a yummy way.  I figure 1/2 to 1 whole med onion per person.  Slice them very thin, fry them in butter (or any GAPS/SCD approved oil or combination of oils-today I used coconut and butter).  Cook the onions down until they begin to brown add salt, pepper, paparika.  Toss in a splash of white wine (if you have it).  Stir well.  Splash in milk, cream, kefir (whatever kind of dairy stuff you use in your house), and then dump in curry powder until it reaches the color and flavor you like.   For some variations one can add a tablespoon of honey; or garlic; or extra/different spices and herb; or peppers; or carrots for color and texture; or green peas; or tomatoes…. You see the possiblities are endless.   

And for those looking for even easier ways to make curried onions quicker, use frozen onions.  Grab a bag out of the freezer and within minutes you will have that extra something to make your lunch or dinner a little better.   (BTW curried onions go very well with scrambled eggs.)

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Lowly Lentils

Lentil Stew

Today is going to be one of those days when I know that I am going to be busy.  I also know that I do not have a meal planned for lunch and I am getting a late start.  Often on days like this I fix a pan of lentils.  I find that a lot of Americans do not know what lentils are and fewer eat them.  One friend says she dislikes the texture, while another only eats beans that are sweet, and others simply just do not like the color. 

Lentils come in various colors; red, yellow, brown, and green.  While there may be a variance in flavor, for me it is not significant enough for me to pay the higher price for the fancy colors.  Lentils are a legume so thus have all the nutrients of such.  Unlike other legumes, they do not require a long soaking period to break out the phytic acid.

I usually soak my lentils for about 45 minutes before I cook them. This is more to speed up the cooking process than anything. Like all beans they need to be washed and rinsed well before being put on to soak.  But soaking is not necessary so if you do not want to take the time just rinse and put them in your pan.

Most people who eat lentils usual follow some kind of Middle Eastern recipe, partly because this is where the recipes come from.  Many people believe that the Red Stew that Esau served Jacob was a pot of red lentils, and it could very well have been. 

While I usually vary the stuff I put into lentils there are some basic ingredients that I almost always use.  Lentils (1lb), celery (1 stalk), carrots (2), onion (1 med), garlic (2-3 cloves) salt, paprika, and white pepper (to taste).  Some times like today I will add tomatoes (1-2 cups)  because I have some that need to be used up.  And because it is chilly outside I will probably add in some fresh jalapeno and cummin (to taste) for a Mexican flavor.  (Any time you use cumin, lime enhances the flavor.)  Oh yes, because I have extra chicken stock I will cook them in stock but even that is not necessary yet it does seem to enhances the texture a bit so I highly recommend it.  And because I am making this as a soup/one pot meal, I will add in some meat.  This can be leftover beef or pork or ground beef or pork.  Before I serve it I will toss in some scallions and parsley (only because I have some they add color and texture). 

I would be remiss if I did not mention that my children love to top their lentils with sour cream…but we don’t have any today so that is just going to be too bad, so sad for them.   That is kind of the way with lentils, you can add and subtract from the recipe and still come out with an inexpensive, relatively easy yet nourishing meal.

Before we started on GAPS we would often use lentils as burrito stuffing and found it quite agreeable.  So they can be smashed up and made up like refried beans and are very good with salsa and sour cream on top. 

If hummus is your thing, try making it out of lentils.  You could take the above recipe and subtract the meat, grind it all up in a food processor toss in, extra garlic, and a little olive oil.   But that should be a topic for another day….

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2011 in Lentils

 

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