“Rodnoi otets nadoyest, a shchi—nikogda! One may become fed up with one’s own father, but never with shchi!” Traditional Russian saying
I don’t know if you have been watching the Winter Olympics but the hubby and I sure have. Watching them has been a tradition long upheld in my family. Not only am I constantly astonished by the talent and tenacity of all the athletes but also fascinated by the country that hosts it. This year the host country Russia, is particularly interesting.
I grew up in the “Cold War” era and Russia has always been this mysterious and dangerous country steeped in tradition and pride. Everything about the place is dramatic and edgy; their weather, politics, history, music and even their alphabet seems a bit menacing somehow. As I ponder all these things, the inevitable question comes up for me, what do these people eat?
If you think about it, there is not a lot of Russian food to be had in our neck of the woods. In fact I think the only thing close I have had was the very interesting and delicious food at the Bosnian restaurant “Drina Daisy” in Astoria. (A must try if you haven’t eaten there yet) My curiosity aroused, I dove down the rabbit hole of Russian cuisine.
Russia is the largest country in the world and its cuisine reflects its diverse and vast cultural span but there are definitely some foods that they all seem to love and eat often. The Russian menu, not surprisingly, is made up of hearty simple foods that sticks to your ribs and keeps you warm. Foods like stewed and smoked meats, potatoes, cabbage, mushrooms, onions, fish, honey and whole grain breads to name a few. They also really love pickled foods.
In a land of harsh winters, it’s no surprise that soul-warming soups are a mainstay. They have over 7 different categories of soups but the oldest and most venerable is the Shchi, (pronounced “sch-ee”) a cabbage based peasant soup. This soup is recorded in the written word as far back as the 9th century when cabbage was introduced to Eastern Europe. Shchi is considered the national Russian dish and it is generously woven in their history.
Generally speaking, shchi is a cabbage soup with meat broth base. The peasants had to stretch every morsel of meat they had and this soup was the way to do it. There are many recipes for it as there are soup pots in Russia but the two common variations use either raw or sauerkraut. Undoubtedly the most recognizable shchi to Westerners is borscht, a hearty, colorful, beet soup. It actually came from the Ukraine but was quickly adopted throughout all of Russia and Eastern Europe.
The base of borscht is either beef or pork broth then it is filled with beets and other hearty root veggies that can last through the long white winters of Russia. After a lot of research I liked this recipe the best. The traditional recipes do not call for the beet greens but I could not help myself, I had to put them in. You know how I feel about those nutritious greens! Enjoy this earthy soup with a fat dollop of another Russian fav, sour cream. Naslazhdat’sya! (Enjoy!)
I made my pork stock from a juicy ham bone left over from Christmas. Turnips were the traditional root used along side beets as potatoes took a long time to catch on in Russia. I do not peel my beets or turnips and they are wonderful that way (and saves time!) You can omit the sour cream if you are a strict paleo or on whole 30. Serves a Russian army or 8 people.
3-4 quarts of beef or pork stock
Meat picked off the bones from making the beef or pork stock
4 medium turnips, cubed into large pieces
8 medium beets diced
1 15 oz can of low salt diced tomatoes
OR 2 large tomatoes, diced
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 tablespoons of olive or coconut oil
1 large onion, diced
2 fat carrots, grated
1 green pepper, cored and seeded then diced
1/2 head of a big green cabbage, thinly sliced
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of honey (Omit if whole 30)
1 tablespoon of dried dill
OR 2 tablespoons of fresh dill
Salt and pepper to taste
Beet greens from beets, chopped into bite size chunks
Sour cream to serve with it (Try cultured organic sour cream)
Make your stock the night before by plopping a ham or beef bone with meat on it in a gallon of water and simmering for hours. Chill in the fridge overnight and the next morning skim the fat off the broth, bring to slightly warm on the stove and then pick the meat off the bones. (By bringing the broth up to warm it saves your hands!) Put the meat back in the soup and discard the bones. (You can skip this step and use store bought beef broth with water and add some chopped beef of some sort and simmer till tender but I’m warning ya, it won’t be as good.)
Bring the broth up to a simmer on medium heat then add the turnips, beets, canned tomatoes and tomato paste. While that is simmering, heat up the oil in a large skillet over med-high heat, then sauté the onions and carrots till fragrant (about 4-5 minutes) Add the cabbage and sauté till the leaves begin to wilt then add the bell pepper, cooking for another minute or so. Turn off the stove and let that sit till the beets are tender in the soup stock, then add the veggies to that and simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
Time to season this jewel bright soup with the lemon juice, honey, dill and salt and pepper till it tastes just right. Add the beet greens and cook about another 5-10 minutes till they are wilted then serve in big bowls with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of dill alongside a salad. Priyatnogo appetite!
On Thursday it began to snow. It snowed and it snowed and it snowed. Now I know the rest of the country is caught in a snowstorm that the abominable snowman is dancing in, but here on the temperate North Oregon coast this is unusual!
It snowed all day and most of the night till we were covered in 10 inches of snow. 10 inches of powdery wonderful crazy fun snow. Needless to say, it shut down the town. We were literally snowed in. How wonderful! Caveman hubby kept the woodstove going and cavewoman kept the kitchen going. I mean what else are you supposed to do on a cold snowy day when nothing else seems important but warmth and nourishment?
Since I am cutting way back on my sweets I decided to bake paleo biscuits. I’ve wanted to bake some for a while now but frankly was afraid. What if I like them too much? What if I hate them? I was a bread-o-holic for 30 years and still in recovery, I honestly didn’t want to open a door that took so much effort to close. But with the snow dancing outside the window, it felt like it was time to give it a go.
I choose “Rosemary garlic biscuits” recipe from the cookbook “The Spunky Coconut’s grain free baked goods.” (Yes, I am still a recovering cookbook hoarder too. I haven’t ordered any new cookbooks in months and am actually using the ones I have. Aren’t you proud of me??) I have had this book for a while but finally decided to get to know it.
The reason it has taken me a while to get around to this cookbook is due to the fact that there are a lot of interesting ingredients in Kelly Brozyna’s recipes. Now for the most part, I like simple unprocessed ingredients, so her recipes seem a bit overwhelming. But I liked her concept and web site and the recipes look amazing!
I baked these biscuits up. Then I baked another batch. Then another. Caveman hubby and I ate one batch, then another, then another. We were rather amazed. Could these little nuggets really be that good? So I baked another batch just to make sure.
I don’t know about you but grain free baked goods have an “empty” mouth-feel for me. They taste rather good but there is something missing for me. (Would that be grains perhaps??) Anyways these biscuits defy that “missing” category. The texture is very wheat like and has a great mouth-feel and the flavors are fantastic. I’m sold. (And caveman hubby is positively giddy and full.) Needless to say, I will only be baking these for special occasions cause we couldn’t stop eating them!
Here is the recipe. Tried and true for you. Use your imagination and try different spices to complement whatever you are eating but let me tell you, they go pretty well with everything, even jelly. (Gasp! We ate jelly on them!) I cooked up a batch of elk bourguignon and we had a batch of biscuts with it. Heaven I tell you. Hope you don’t need to get snowed in to try them.
The Spunky Coconut’s Rosemary Garlic Biscuits
4 eggs at room temp
1/4 cup of a milk like liquid, like almond milk
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of honey
1-2 cloves of garlic pressed
2 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons of grass fed butter or ghee, melted
1/2 cup of coconut flour
1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1/2 cup of almond flour
1/2 teaspoon each of baking , soda and salt
3/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum*
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped rosemary
OR 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
Turn on the cave oven to 350 degrees and warm your tush. Beat the wet ingredients the eggs through the honey, up in a mixer or with a blender. Slowly add the coconut oil and butter till well blended. In a separate bowl, add all the dry ingredients and whisk till well mixed. With the mixer going, add one cup of dry into the wet till all incorporated. Let set for 10 minutes while you get the baking sheets ready. This allows the coconut flour to hydrate and firm up the batter. If the batter is still kinda loose, sprinkle 1 more tablespoon of coconut flour on the batter and mix in well. (You might need to do this in moist climates)
Lightly oil a baking sheet and then scoop out the batter with an ice cream scoop or something like that, and plop on the cookie sheet then flatten with a slightly moist hand. Pop in the oven for 10-20 minutes, depending on the size of your biscuits. They will look done when they are golden brown and firm to the touch. Here’s to biscuits back on the menu!
*Be careful with that xanthan gum! If you get in on your hands or counter it takes FOREVER to clean it up. It is slimy and is about as hard to get off as slug slime. Strange and expensive stuff but works pretty good to make great grain-free baked goods. Available at health food stores. I used Bob’s Red Mill brand for all the floury like substances.
The Chinese New Year was on Friday the 31st and is celebrated for the following 15 days. As you probably know, this is a big deal in China and all China Towns across the world. If you have ever attended a Chinese New Year celebration, they are joyful, beautiful, noisy and with lots of great food!
The Chinese New Year is celebrated every year on the second new moon after winter solstice, which puts it somewhere around the end of January to the middle of February. According to Chinese legend, the ancient people of china were once terrorized by a horrible man-eating beast called “Nian”, which came out of the ocean once a year on the new year, to have dinner……on them.
One year, an old man (who turned out to be a God taking pity on them) scared the tarnations out of Nian with loud firecrackers and racket and he ran away, back to the ocean, without having a bite of anyone. Consequently, every year on the New Year, it is of vital importance to make lots of noise and light off fireworks to keep the beast at bay, or should we say “at ocean”. So now you know why it is such a noisy event!
This is an example of how everything has a significant reason or symbolism to the Chinese. I mean, think about it, they have been a civilization for over 5,000 years! That’s a long time to create myths and symbolism for everything. The food of their New Year’s is no different; it is carefully chosen and presented to bring good luck and fortune in the new year. Each food is like a new year’s resolution wrapped up in a nummy packet. Brilliant.
For example let’s take the tangerine. These with oranges are on every Chinese New Year’s table. Their vibrant orange color is a happy color and they represent good luck and abundance. This came about supposedly because the word for tangerine in Chinese sounds a lot like gold and the name for oranges sound a lot like good luck. In fact in Chinese, it is common for words that sound the same but have very different meanings to become associated with each other.
Noodles are also on the menu for new year’s resolutions. They are an ancient food that represents long life. It is important not to cut them as that is the same as cutting your life short! No no no, slurp them down whole to send a message to the new year you want a nice long healthy life. Serving whole chicken and fish is a similar message but it is more about the unity of the family, keeping it whole and together. (Don’t ask me how they eat that without taking it apart!)
The list goes on and it is most fascinating but today I decided to focus on that cheerful tangerine dancing the happy dance in our produce department right now. I can’t get enough of these little sweet nuggets and they loaded with good nutrition. This pot roast recipe has an Asian influence in its flavors and the use of tangerine in it makes a delightful element to the sauce. Serve with cauliflower rice, salad and fresh tangerine slices to ensure good luck and abundance on your table for the next year.
Good luck tangerine pot roast
1 3-4 pound boneless beef or venison chuck roast
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of ground cracked pepper
1 teaspoon of dry mustard powder
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
3 cups of water
1/2 cup of coconut aminos
The juice and zest of two tangerines
1/4 cup of honey (Optional if on whole 30)
1 tablespoon of fresh ground ginger
3-4 garlic cloves, pressed
1 teaspoon of sriracha
1 large onion, cut up into mediumish pieces
2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder
1/4 cup of cold water
Get ready to bake a pan of good luck by preheating the oven to 325 degrees. Wash and pat dry the roast. Mix together the spices in the pre-roast mix and then rub all over the beast till completely covered. Let rest for a few minutes as you heat up the oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. (You might clang together some pots and pans while you are at it to keep the Nian away) When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the roast to the pan and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes on each side.
While this racket is going on, mix together the roasting broth. When the roast is done browning, pour the broth over the roast and tuck in the oven to bake for 3-4 hours (depending on the roast size) till the roast is tender and the house is fragrant with good luck. Take it out of the oven and sit the pan on a burner. Carefully remove the roast from the pot and place on a serving platter. Tent it with foil to keep it warm then bring the pan juices up to a boil over medium high heat.
Whisk the arrowroot powder into the ¼ cup of cold water. When the pan juices they are gently boiling, whisk the liquefied cornstarch or arrowroot powder into the broth and stir like crazy till it thickens, about one minute. Remove from the stove, slice the roast and serve with the gravy. Add some fresh tangerine slices for more good luck, cause one can never have enough of that!
I just spent 10 days in my beloved Hawaii nei. Other than swimming with sea turtles and visiting my daughters who are living there, I ate. Oh yes, I love the island foods and this was a particularly interesting foodie holiday as both my daughters are working in restaurants over there and know the industry intimately. So I had not one but two informers on the inside. Yes, I ate.
Now, back home again, I am reflecting on all those delicious island flavors and feeling rather round. I cannot deny that my one of my favorite foodie experiences was the simple green smoothie that I sipped while sitting in a light filled, back ally juice bar. (Called Bamboo fresh)
My daughter guided me there since I was whining (yes, whining) about all the rich foods and she knew just the tonic for me. As I was marveling over the green smoothie, its flavor, color and nourishing life force, I was astonished how I had forgotten about this amazing food. I used to make them almost daily for detoxification, nutrition and satisfaction. Time to bring them back.
Green smoothies are blended drinks that combine leafy greens with fruits, veggies and healthy fats such as almonds, chia and flax seeds and coconut milk. Since they have whole foods and healthy fats in them they are chocked full of nutrition and fiber and are low in the glycemic index unlike “juiced” veggies, which can be high in sugars.
These nutritional powerhouses are an easy way to deliver our recommended 5-9 servings of vegetables and fruit a day. They are quick, convenient and portable. Plus green smoothies are filled with raw foods which are the absolute best way to consume veggies and fruit as they retain all their micronutrients and antioxidants that are lost upon cooking.
If you are one of the millions of people with digestion issues, you will be happy to know that green smoothies are a very beneficial aid for you. Blending fruits and vegetables together breaks down the cells of plants and improves digestibility. Your blender unlocks the nutrients and maximizes their delivery to your body more than chewing any salad could.
When I am drinking green smoothies in the morning for breakfast I experience a loss in cravings of naughty foods, mental clarity (yup, a high commodity) boosted immunity, increased energy, weight loss, glowing happy skin and excellent “regularity” if ya know what I mean. Now you know why I am amazed that I ever stopped consuming green smoothies. (Slap forehead)
There is no way to go wrong with making them but there are a few tips to making them delightfully delicious. Leafy greens to start with are spinach, romaine, and rainbow or Swiss chard since they are more neutral tasting. I love kale, mint and parsley too but they have a bit of a stronger flavor. Some folks prefer to use all fresh, raw ingredients, but I like using some frozen fruit since it lends a thicker, ice cream-like texture.
I suggest you blend your greens or veggies first with your liquid, whatever it might be, then add your other goodies and save the frozen fruit for last. If you like to creamify your smoothies, add a half an avocado, a tablespoon of nut butter, coconut water or milk or a frozen banana. Don’t be shy to add supplements like chia, flax or sunflower seeds. Adding a supergreen power that has spirulina, wheat grass and other vibrant greens is also dynamite.
Be experimental with making these smoothies. Try adding fresh ginger, different veggies like cucumber and zucchini to mix it up. That will keep things interesting. This is not an exact science, you cannot mess up, making a terrible smoothie is the worst you can do. There are lots of recipes on the net too to inspire you. If you really get into these green wonders, investing in a VitaMix is a purchase you will never regret. I’ve had mine for 15 years and still going strong. I took the 30 day green smoothie challenge and I keep you posted on it. Here’s to a rocking green new year!
Basic recipe for a Green Smoothie
This is enough for two people or one huge serving
2 cups of chopped deep leafy greens or veggies
2 cups of liquid
3 cups of fruit
Add leafy greens to the blender and then pour in the liquid, blend till green and bright. Add the fruit one cup at a time if frozen, dump it all in if not; blend till green and frothy. Drink. Simple. Perfect.
Leafy greens to choose from; Kale, chard, romaine, spinach, collards, dandelion, mint, parsley, and green salad mix. (remove stems from chard, kale and collards)
Veggies to choose from; chopped up cucumber, zucchini, celery, sprouts, carrots and whatever else you feel like experimenting with.
Liquids to choose from; Coconut water or milk, almond milk, diluted juice (I only use 1/2 cup of coconut milk or juice and the rest water)
Fruits to choose from;
Low glycemic to be used liberally; Berries, apples, pears, grapefruit, peaches, apricots, kiwi, lemon, lime, cranberries, plums or figs (not dried)
Medium glycemic fruits; Banana, oranges, grapes and papaya
High glycemic to be used sparingly; pineapple, mango , melons, honey and dried dates
Add ins; A slice of ginger root, chia, avocado, hemp or flax seeds, supergreen powder, nut butter, unsweetened coconut meat, cinnamon, pure vanilla extract, protein powder, acai powder, salt, lime or lemon juice, cocoa powder and coconut oil.
I have a solemn promise to keep with you, my dear readers, before the year has drained out. The time has come to share with you some of my magical gluten free baking knowledge to bake delights that will make Santa Claus rub his tummy with glee. (Particularly if he is gluten intolerant)
It is estimated that one in seven people are now gluten sensitive on some level and 1 in a 100 are downright gluten intolerant. I gave up gluten and all grains about 3 years ago because I wanted to reduce my inflammation that I was constantly battling. I will confess, I went kicking and screaming but I was simply amazed at what happened; I lost weight, feel great, and all my allergies went away! (When I am staying true to the path) I’m a believer.
There are two primary types of gluten free, grain free flour; nut flour (almond being the most popular) and coconut flour. Almond flour is “nutrient dense” aka lots of calories and expensive but delicious, fiber rich and low carb. The best almond flour for cooking is finely ground and blanched. (Do not get almond “meal” as it is not a baking flour) Bob’s Red Mill, finely ground, is my personal favorite and it is made by a semi-local company. Everyone raves about “Honeyville” almond flour but I have never tried it. Honeyville is a bit cheaper than other brands too if you buy in bulk online.
An important tip to remember when baking with nut flours is that they burn VERY easily. It is super imperative to take your baked goods out of the oven earlier that later or you will have burnt buns. Almond flour can be subbed for wheat flour but it is such a different absorption rate that the recipes usually don’t turn out so I suggest baking with proven recipes unless you are adventurous and don’t mind baking failures.
Coconut flour is a whole nuther beast. It is a thirsty flour and you need a fraction of the amount as you expect and needs a lot of eggs to make it work. Coconut flour is high in fiber, low in carbs and calories. It is also inexpensive. It doesn’t burn as easy as almond flour but is more tricky to work with so use already tested recipes when you first start out.
There are many recipes out there these days that are combining both of the almond and coconut flours to make very delectable baked goods. Make sure and store all nut and coconut flours in the freezer since they are perishable, unlike wheat flours that are coated in anti-fungals and who knows what. I recommend taking the flour out of the freezer an hour before using it as it freezes in clumps.
This recipe I am sharing with you today is a great recipe that highlights almond flour. It also uses coconut palm sugar which is much lower in the glycemic index than most sugars. These bars are seriously addicting! I made them for Thanksgiving and they were GONE before dinner. They can be made with any raw nuts that you have on hand and are completely transportable. (Which is great for Santa) Have a very wonderful holiday season.
Perfect Pecan Bars (Gluten and grain free)
The coconut palm sugar and arrowroot powder are available at health food stores. I like to buy the arrowroot powder in bulk. Adapted from Frisky Lemon’s recipe. (thank you!)
1 3/4 cups of almond flour
1/4 cup of arrowroot powder
1 tablespoon of coconut palm sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon of salt
2 Tablespoons of melted coconut oil or butter
Heat up your oven to 350 degrees. Blend all your dry ingredients together with a mixer (or with a whisk) and then slowly add the melted oil/butter and the egg as the mixer is going. Press the crust into a well-greased 9×11 or 9×13 baking dish (it will be spread thin. If you want the bars thicker, use an 8X8 baking dish) and then pop in the oven to bake for 10 minutes. Prepare your filling to pour into this.
1/2 cup of butter
1 cup of coconut palm sugar
1/3 cup of maple syrup
2 Tablespoon of coconut milk or heavy cream
1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2.5 cups of pecans
While the crust is baking, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add all the ingredients but the pecans and stir until well mixed. Let this lovely mess come to a simmer while stirring occasionally then simmer for 1-2 minutes stirring all the while to keep it from burning. Pour the pecans into the sauce pan and stir them in then remove from heat.
When you remove your crust from the oven, pour all this yumminess onto the crust. Spread the filling evenly over the crust with a rubber spatula, then return to the oven to bake for 20-25 more minutes. The bars should be bubbly and the crust getting brownish when done. Let the bars cool for a while before cutting as this recipe needs to cool before they sit up. Then cut into small pieces and remove from the pan with a flexible rubber spatula. Should serve 16, but could serve just one, particularly if it is Santa. They are addicting!
Thanksgiving is a foodie holiday. Let’s face it, it is our high holy day. All of the foodie magazines start to arrive in late October with the covers blazoned with lacquered turkeys and mile high pumpkin pies. My heart skips a beat, I start to drool and my mind begins to turn over and over the limitless possibilities of how to turn classic thanksgiving recipes into paleo.
Somehow during this time pumpkin pie spice makes it into everything. Yup, everything. I spend long hours in the kitchen experimenting with dishes and giving them away. Yes folks, thanksgiving is a revel and romp in the kitchen with unbridled joy over the sheer joy of cooking and eating. Then when all the almond flour settles afterwards, it’s kinda of a letdown.
I mean, Thanksgiving is only ONE MEAL, over in an hour… maybe… if you eat slow. All that excitement, enthusiasm and work over one.meal. Then there is the fact that I invite way too many people every year, I just can’t stand the thought of anyone eating alone. So here is a full house, too many guests and too much food. Sensory overload! (not to speak of waistline overload!)
I found a solution. I’m having a thanksgiving dinner every Sunday until thanksgiving. (Then I might have a few after that) Why not? It makes perfect sense, if we string it out along a few weekends and gather only a few friends or family at a time and then cook a fraction of the food at the meal, voila! Great enjoyment. And that is the reason for thanksgiving, to enjoy life and be grateful for it.
We started with our first one last Sunday and it was fantastic. It was super mellow, great company, light cooking and time to play a game after diner, and I wasn’t exhausted and let down afterwards. I’m sold. So I decided to gather all my lovely thanksgiving-ish recipes today for you to enjoy and maybe have two or three thanksgivings to be grateful for this year. Happy Thanksgivings, I am so grateful to you dear readers. Thanks for being here with me.
I’m thinking about thanksgiving, oh yes I am! My mind is flipping through my recipes that I love this time of year like a rolodex on high speed. Sweet potatoes are always one of those wonderful foods that is highlighted at thanksgiving that is usually mashed filled with butter and brown sugar with little marshmallows floating on top. Thankfully it has evolved over the years but I suggest taking it one step further, make a salad with it.
Here is an historical twist; there were no sweet potatoes at the first Thanksgiving in 1621. Nope, none at all. There isn’t any evidence of this South American native being cultivated in North America till 1648. Another interesting tidbit is the sweet potato and the yam are not the same thing. In fact, they are not even in the same family. The true yam is a GIANT tuber that looks like an elephant’s trunk, grown mostly in Africa. It is still a curiosity in our culinary culture that very few North Americans have ever seen here. So, any sweet potato thingy you see or eat here, is just that, a sweet potato.
Sweet potatoes are one of those veggies are nutritional powerhouses. They are chocked full of antioxidants, beta carotene, Vit. C and fiber, along with being a good source of copper, vitamin B6, potassium and iron. The darker the flesh of the potato the more antioxidants are present. They go well in most any dish, so sweet potato away this thanksgiving!
This recipe has been an added Thanksgiving tradition in our family for the last 6-8 years after being introduced to us by Julie Barker, owner and culinary luminary of “Bread and Ocean” and formally of the “Blue Sky Café.” I have tweaked it a bit, but it is pretty close to the original. I highly suggest using arugula only, but mixed greens are also good. It perfectly complements all the flavors of the Thanksgiving meal.
You may prepare the sweet potatoes, mapled pecans, and maple dressing a few days in advance for ease. Keep the sweet potatoes and maple dressing in the fridge till you use and hide the pecans from yourself. Omit the feta if you want a pure paleo side dish.
Sweet Potato Salad with Maple Dressing
10 cups, give or take, of arugula or mixed baby greens
2 cups of roasted sweet potato cubes
¼ to ½ cup of red onion slices
½ cup of mapled pecans, chopped
½ cup of feta cheese, preferably sheep or goat (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut the peeled sweet potato into about ½ inch cubes and put in a pan with sides. Spray the top of the sweet potatoes with a olive oil cooking spray then sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Toss well and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, stirring a few times till pierced easily with a fork. Set aside these little jewels to cool.
Place your greens in your most special salad bowl and toss in the sweet potatoes, and the onion. If you wish to dress the salad before serving, now is the time. Sprinkle the pecans and feta cheese over the salad. Save a few whole pecans halves for the top of the salad for that extra eye candy. Sometimes I place the dressing, mapled pecans and feta cheese in their own bowls next to the salad so folks can add these to their own taste. This recipe makes 6 servings.
Here is the salad dressing we live on all winter. It is so good on every salad but particularly shines in this one.
¼ cup of home made mayo
¼ cup of pure maple syrup
¼ cup of apple cider vinegar
¼ cup of oil, preferably a nut oil, like walnut
1 large shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme
Put all the ingredients into the blender and let her rip! Process for about 1 minute till well blended.
These mapled pecans are so delicious you will want to make extra or you will eat all of them before you get them to the salad.
1 cup of pecan halves
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place the pecans in a small bowl and drizzle the maple syrup over them and mix well till the syrup is hugging all the pecans in a sweet embrace. Put the pecans in a jelly roll pan that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray and bake about 10 minutes, stirring once, till the maple syrup begins to bubble. Remove from the oven and stir once before they are cool, or they will stick to the pan like you can’t believe.
Happy Thanksgiving! I am so grateful for you, dear readers, and I hope you have a luscious and appreciative holiday.