Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sweet Potato and Pear Soup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Sweet Potatoes, Olive Oil
Wash and cut in half lengthwise about 4 large sweet potatoes or 6 medium. Lightly season a baking sheet with extra virgin olive oil or oil of your preference. Lay potato halves cut size down onto seasoned baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree pre-heated oven until soft, about 20-30 depending on size of sweet potatoes.

Red Onion, Garlic
While potatoes bake, add about one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to a medium-sized stock pot and saute one small or one-half medium red onion, sliced. When tender, add about 4-6 medium/large garlic cloves, smashed, and saute a few minutes until cooked through. 

Vegetable and Chicken Stock, Pears, Soy Sauce, Red Pepper Flakes
After sweet potatoes are done and cooled down a little, scoop out meat and add to pot with onions and garlic. Add 1 quart homemade or low-sodium vegetable stock, 1 cup homemade (or other) low-sodium low-fat chicken stock, 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, two peeled then sliced and coarsely chopped soft ripe pears, a pinch of red pepper flakes (or more to taste), freshly ground sea salt and pepper to taste. 

Cook all ingredients on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, keeping your eye on it while you clean up the kitchen! Let cool to room temperature and puree with an emersion blender. 

Chives, or Parsley, Toast
Reheat soup when ready to eat and serve with chopped chives or parsley depending on what you have on hand or in your garden, toast rubbed with a garlic clove and seasoned with extra virgin olive oil and Italian seasoning. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Bison and Sweet Potato Meatloaf | Mashed Cauliflower Side

The quantity in this recipe makes enough for two meatloaves.

Bison and Sweet Potato Meatloaf, with plenty to freeze for another week, unless you have a large family:

4 pounds grass-fed bison
2 - 3 medium sized sweet potatoes, boiled until tender (peeled and cut into quarters to speed up cooking time) (I used 3 but they were various sizes so it's hard to say exactly)
2 celery stalks, with leaves is okay, finely chopped
1 medium to large shallot, minced or finely chopped
6 - 8 small garlic cloves, less if cloves are large, minced (I used the inside cloves of the bulb so they were small)
1 teaspoon cinnamon, approx. 
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning, approx.
1 cup gluten-free (or regular if you want) plain breadcrumbs to help hold it all together
2 eggs, but one egg would probably be fine
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Smash until sweet potatoes are well blended into the mix. Cover bowl and let sit in fridge at least 30 minutes to let ingredients meld. Separate into two loaves on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until done. Check after 30 minutes. Thermometer should reach a few degrees under 170. Remove from oven and let sit covered with aluminum foil for residual heat to finish cooking. 

They'll be practically no amount of fat drippings so no need to cook this meatloaf on a rack. I didn't oil the baking sheet in advance and there was no sticking but feel free to oil yours a little if you want.

This combination of sweet potatoes and cinnamon pairs well with the sweet flavor of grass-fed bison!


I served this moist low-fat tender bison and sweet potato meatloaf with a side of mashed cauliflower topped with chopped walnuts.

Mashed cauliflower side dish: 
Steam (or boil) a head of cauliflower, broken or chopped into chunks, until tender. Remove from pot and let drain in a colander for about 15 minutes. Then with a potato masher (or immersion blender)  smash with a little salt and pepper to taste, a little freshly grated nutmeg, a smidge of butter, or your favorite lactose-free buttery spread, or a tablespoon of vegetable broth if it's not too loose. Other mild herbs like parsley would be nice. Top with some chopped walnuts.


Grass-fed responsibility-raised bison provides a good protein meal that's healthful:  omega 3 and omega 6 low fat. 

Balance meat meals by alternating with other sources of healthful protein like fish, legumes, nuts or protein-rich vegetables.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Blueberry Vinaigrette ~ A Versatile Dressing

Try this over a spinach and strawberry salad. Delicious!

Blueberry Vinaigrette

Process 1 1/4 cup blueberries in a blender until pureed with:
3/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
salt and pepper to taste

That's it! Enjoy

This Easter salad topped with the blueberry vinaigrette contained baby spinach, red onions, radishes, strawberries, mushrooms, walnuts and beets that were boiled in water then mixed with apple cider vinegar, and a deviled egg.

Healthy heart salad - all those salad ingredients are great for a healthy heart diet, except go easy on the deviled eggs :)

The leftover dressing, if any, goes well with leftover ham or with a pork tenderloin. And there are probably more options to enjoy this dressing with.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Lactose Free Spinach Artichoke Dip / Spread

This spinach and artichoke dip or spread is light and flavorful. As a dip, enjoy with crackers like the whole wheat Yehuda Matzos in the photo or with cut up veggies.

In a food processor, process:
~Artichokes from a 9.9 oz jar until finely chopped. I used artichokes in water, drained
~2 cups packed fresh spinach until finely chopped
~About 2 tablespoons caramelized onions and 1 clove of garlic. I had leftover caramelized onions but a small shallot would be a good substitute 

Mix above ingredients with: 
~1/4 cup mayonnaise of your choice
~1 6 oz. container plain coconut yogurt. That's what I had on hand. Plain almond yogurt would probably be good. Use less or more mayo/yogurt depending on consistency you want 
~About 1/4 cup of chopped almonds. I happened to have these leftover from a meal and were a nice addition
~1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (taste with 1/2 teas then add more if needed)
~A generous pinch, about a 1/2 teaspoon, of nutritional yeast to give it a salty cheese flavor (more or less to taste - be careful not to use too much!)

Let the mixture sit about 15 to 30 minutes to blend the flavors before serving. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Easy Tasty Breakfast Sandwich | Healthful

I love breakfast sandwiches but they're usually greasy and fatty. Here's a great breakfast sandwich, or lunch, idea that's very tasty and healthful. No need for cheese because the avocado gives it a cheesy flavor and creaminess.

Cook one pound of low fat ground beef (I used local meat) in a skillet with a little vegetable broth or water for moisture, mix in about one teaspoon of Italian seasoning, a touch of salt and pepper.  Add more seasonings to taste. The Italian seasoning will make the ground beef taste like sausage without all the fat. Drain well in a colander.

While ground beef is draining, peel and chop one avocado, chop one plum tomato, stir in about 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, a pinch of salt and pepper. Note: they'll be more egg/ground beef mixture than the avocado topping so if you need more topping, make it with two avocados and two tomatoes, etc.

Return the drained ground beef to the skillet and stir in six eggs. Cook until the eggs are done. There was plenty leftover for the two of us to freeze or use another day, so depending on how many people you're feeding you may have leftovers for another meal also. 

Put it all together on a whole wheat wrap with some baby spinach and enjoy! 

Make it ahead and make mornings easy! The lemon juice will help keep the avocado topping from browning if stored in a tightly sealed container for a couple of days. Just assemble the sandwich and heat in a microwave for about 30 seconds.

Instead of making the avocado topping, this would be a good way to use up leftover guacamole. 

Also, it's a good way to use up any leftover scrambled eggs. Just add cooked ground beef separately and assemble the sandwich with the other ingredients and you're good to go.