Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cucumber Salsa

Mmmmmm cucumber salsa! We made this with fresh organic produce, and served it over Scarlet Snapper filets with avocado on the side... it was delicious! So refreshing for a summer day. This makes quite a LOT of salsa, so you can half it if you like. But it's also good with chips...

Cucumber Salsa

1/2 medium sized onion, diced
2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped
3 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
1/2 medium sized bell pepper, chopped
1 - 2 small jalapeno pepper(s), chopped (and seeded, if desired)
2 limes, juiced
2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh or dried dill
salt & pepper

Place chopped tomatoes and cucumbers in a strainer while chopping the other veggies to drain excess juice. Mix all ingredients and marinate in the refrigerator for an hour or so.

I poured the excess tomato/cucumber juice over my fish fillets, sprinkled some s&p and baked it at 350 degrees until it was fork flakey (new word!). It was amazing.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sweet Southern Green Beans, sugar-free & gluten-free

These green beans are so easy to make. With so much produce from my local CSA, I have been spending a lot of time in my kitchen! I know I should just get a 1/2 share of veggies since we are only two people. But I am freezing half of what I've got so that in the winter, I can still enjoy local organic vegetables. It saves me money and dramatically reduces my carbon footprint.
These only take time to bake and are very easy. They are sweet from the onions, which will caramelize in the oven, no sugar required. I use bacon grease, an old southern staple. The bacon grease I use I save from my organically fed, pasture raised pork from a great farm in PA. The difference in the bacon lard compared to what I used to collect from regular bacon, and even "naturally raised" bacon is unbelievable. It even looks so much purer, is almost white in color instead of dark grey. I'm not sure what that means but I am sure it means something! These pigs aren't stressed or fed garbage. They are treated well, live happily, and fed organic and healthy-for-pigs food only. If you don't eat pork, use organic butter. If you are freaked out by using lard, read one of the books I recommend on the bottom right of this blog... or one of these articles (I'm talking to you, Mom! xoxo) here, here, here, or here.

Sweet Southern Green Beans

a few Tablespoons of bacon grease
2 cups of fresh organic green beans, ends trimmed, rinsed, and dried
one medium yellow or sweet onion
2 med cloves of garlic
a few shakes of Tamari wheat-free soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil (opt)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
cayenne pepper
Chili pepper flakes

Slice the onion in 1/2" - 1" rings. Slice the garlic vertically in medium-thin slices. Place in the bottom of a casserole dish with garlic and bacon grease. Add green beans, Tamari, sesame oil, and spices. Bake in oven at 425 degrees for 40 - 60 minutes, shaking the pan a few times in between to stir beans around in the oils and soy sauce.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fried Squash Blossoms, gluten free as always

Hi everyone! Mmmmm squash blossoms! I was so excited to get some from my local farmer... so I made these! This is a really simple recipe. I just used what I had on hand, and mostly everything "to taste". You can too... don't be afraid, go ahead and experiment! If you are headed to the store, go ahead and buy marscarpone instead of the goat and cream cheese if you want... use any kind of soft creamy cheese you like. They were really fun to make and so delicious!!!
I guess I was so excited about eating these I don't have a picture of them already made. Instead, enjoy this lovely picture of some zucchini, squash, and the squash blossoms before I stuffed, fried, and thoroughly enjoyed them!! By the way, these are actually zucchini blossoms...

Fried Squash Blossoms

4 squash or zucchini blossoms, stamen removed
2.5 - 3 ounces herbed goat cheese, softened
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
red pepper flakes
dried oregano
salt & pepper
your choice of gluten free flour, nut flour will be best for low carb
1 egg
splash of whole milk
organic coconut or palm oil for frying

Gently wash the squash blossoms in cold water to clean. Turn them upside down remove most of the water, then set aside to drain on paper towels. Mix together cheese and spices to taste. Stuff blossoms with cheese stuffing and twist the tops closed. It should stay that way because it will stick to the cheese mixture.

Set up two bowls side by side. In one bowl, scramble the egg with the splash of milk. In the other, place the flour. Dredge the stuffed blossoms carefully in the egg/milk and then in the flour and set on a plate.

Heat up your oil in a pan and fry the blossoms on each side, place on a plate with a paper towel to soak up excess grease and serve immediately.