Actually-Good Cooked Broccoli

I mean I think the title says it all.

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Actually-Good Cooked Broccoli

Prep time: 5 minutes   Cook time: 5 minutes   Total time: 10 minutes

Yield: 1-2 servings

Ingredients

1 head of broccoli, florets removes & cut into small pieces

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp clarified butter

1 tsp Italian herbs of choice (I use a basil/oregano/rosemary mix)

Sea salt & black pepper, to taste

 

Directions

  1. Prep broccoli as indicated above and melt clarified butter on a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add minced garlic to melted butter and sear for about 30 seconds, until it just starts to brown and become aromatic.
  3. Throw in the broccoli florets and sprinkle with herbs, salt and pepper.
  4. Mix around the contents of the skillet so they are well-combined, and allow to cook for a few minutes before mixing again.  Cook until broccoli just starts to become brown and crispy on one or two of its sides, and then turn off the stove and serve broccoli, leaving in the chunks of garlic for extra flavor if desired.
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Cinnamon Baked Pineapple

This recipe is special.  I’m in a bible study that two of my kinesiology professors run and announce invitations to every class they teach each semester.  I joined it after they told my introductory-level class of theirs my freshman year.  To give you an idea of how many people they invite to it, they each teach two lectures of around 200 students and then several upper-division classes every semester.  Anyone interested in joining can simply email or talk to them and they will give their home address to that person.  I think that is so kind and brave of them.

Anyway, even with the number of people invited, only a handful of us join and stick it out each semester.  This past year so far has had several of our members diagnosed with food allergies.  One person has recently been told to follow the low-FODMAP diet, and another girl is so sensitive to gluten that she cannot even be around it.  The female professor who runs the bible study is gluten and dairy-free, and the friend I began bringing this semester is as well.  Needless to say, I am not alone in this group of people in when it comes to avoiding certain things in my diet.

As the semester ended, the bible study leaders invited all of us to join together one last time for dinner at their house.  Everything they cooked would be gluten and dairy free, with as much consideration for everyone’s dietary needs as possible.  I was asked to bring something sweet since Anne Marie and I have recently released Paleo Cookie Exchange.  I knew that all of the recipes in there were paleo, but not all things paleo are compliant with low-FODMAP and the other diets being followed in our group.  So, I needed something else to make because I wanted everyone to get to enjoy dessert.  That is where this recipe comes in!

It is very simple, but so delicious.  This dessert doesn’t have any added sugar and can just as easily be enjoyed as a snack or side dish.  It is compliant with: Dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, AIP, paleo, primal, low-FODMAP, low-oxalate, whole 30, and vegan diets.  Without the baking, it would taste just as good and would also be raw-vegan compliant.  Needless to say, I tried to make it so that anyone can have some.  I hope you do, too!

Cinnamon Baked Pineapple

Prep time: 10 minutes   Cook time: 15 minutes   Total time: 25 minutes

Yield: One 9×9 pan

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Ingredients

1 large or 2 small pineapples, cored & diced

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp ground cinnamon

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients until pineapple looks like all of the pieces have an even amount of cinnamon covering them.
  3. Add mixture to a 9×9 baking dish and cook in oven on center rack for 15 minutes.  If you want some juice retained, the dish is done at this point.  If you would like it drier, mix it around and leave it in for another 10 minutes.   If you wish to make this raw-vegan compliant, simply skip the baking and let your mixture chill in the fridge for 30 minutes so that the flavors marry before serving.
  4. Serve immediately for a pie-filling-like dessert, or serve cool for a sweet-and-tangy refreshment.

Cheesy Garlic Rolls

_MG_5529Italian food is one of my all-time favorite things to eat, which is very hard to deal with in a paleo lifestyle as most of the staple foods are very-NOT-paleo breads and pastas.  Luckily, alternative flours exist and it is becoming more apparent to those of us experimenting with them how to make them work in our favor and bring back those awesome tastes and textures!

Upon receiving my Fair Trade box for Fair Trade Month, I knew I wanted to experiment with the coconut flour it included in some bread recipes.  I also conveniently have some leftover “No-tellini” Basil Pesto Chicken and Veggies left over from my mom’s birthday dinner a few days ago… so of course, this is the perfect time to make some dipping bread!  I am very satisfied with how this recipe turned out.  The rolls aren’t very puffy, but the texture is great and the flavor just how I wanted it.  Plus, I think making your own bread is one of the most satisfying things you can cook.  Give them a try with your next Italian dinner!

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Cheesy Garlic Bread Rolls

Prep time: 25 minutes   Cook time: 8 minutes   Total time: 33 minutes

Yield: 9 rolls

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups arrowroot starch

1/4 cup Arrowhead Mills Organic Coconut Flour

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1/3 cup clarified butter, melted

4 eggs, separated into whites and yolks

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ground Frontier Co-Op Black Peppercorns

1/2 tsp sea salt

Garlic Butter topping

3 tbsp melted clarified butter

1 tsp dry basil leaf flakes

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp ground Frontier Co-Op Black Peppercorns

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease a baking sheet with extra clarified butter or other oil of choice.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together all dry ingredients and spices until well-combined.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks, butter and apple cider vinegar together until the yolks are broken into an even liquid.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks begin to form.  I’d HIGHLY recommend an electric mixer for this!
  5. Once egg whites are well-beaten, add them to the dry ingredients, stirring together as much as possible.
  6. Quickly incorporate the egg yolk mixture last.  The consistency of the mixture will be somewhat of a a stiff batter or loose dough.  Don’t worry – that’s how it should be!
  7. Scoop batter onto greased baking sheet in 3-inch rounds.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until the dough is risen and the top is golden.  While baking, mix together all ingredients for garlic butter topping.
  8. Remove from the oven and drizzle garlic butter on top.  Scoop rolls off of the baking sheet immediately following and place on a cooling rack.
  9. Enjoy right away with some garlic butter as a side to my Chicken Piccata or “No-Tellini” Basil Pesto Chicken and Veggies.  If you are not serving immediately, store in a sealed container in the fridge for a few days.

Roasted Carrots and Fennel

I’ve helped several people take on the Whole30 this past year, and with a relatively high success rate.  The Whole30 is what got me interested in nutrient-dense food and the way it impacts every other part of our lives, and I love when people ask me to help them complete their first round of such a positive program.

One of the pieces of advice that the authors, Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, mention is to make sure you don’t get into a “healthy food rut.”  Specifically, they discuss how the two easiest ways to fall off track with any eating regimen are to fail to prepare and to become bored with what you do eat.  We start viewing certain foods or ingredients as “off-limits,” but we forget to remember all of the amazing things we can include on our plate.  The number one point I remember from this part of their book, It Starts With Food, is their suggestion to try to buy a vegetable each week that you have rarely or never had before.  This seems so simple, but it brings back the fun of learning something new and gets your body a new nutrient complex  that breaks the norm.

That is one piece of advice that I make sure to pass on to those I’ve helped through a Whole30, and I’ve been terrible about following it myself lately.  I can blame it on a multitude of things, as anyone could, but instead I made sure that this week I would change.  So as I browsed the veggies at the grocery store, I finally settled on trying fennel.  I really had no idea how it tasted or what a “normal” use of it looked like, but I didn’t let that stop me.  And dang, I’m so happy with that decision!  This recipe is the result of my fennel experiments through the past week, AND it just got my non-paleo family’s approval.  I’d call that a weird-veggie success!

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Roasted Carrots and Fennel

Prep time: 10 minutes   Cook time: 20 minutes   Total time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

 

Ingredients

4-6 large carrots (about 3 cups), sliced

1 fennel bulb, layers peeled apart and sliced

2 tbsp coconut oil or clarified butter*

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tbsp + 1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary, divided

1 tbsp + 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, divided

1 tbsp fennel leaves, chopped

 

Directions

1.  Preheat the oven to 400ºF and prepare ingredients as listed.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, toss together the carrots, melted coconut oil/clarified butter, 1 tbsp of rosemary, 1 tbsp of thyme, and fennel leaves.

3.  Spread the seasoned carrots along a greased baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes.

4.  After the 8 minutes, remove the carrots from the oven and mix the fennel, 1 tsp of rosemary, and 1 tsp of thyme in with them.  Crush garlic cloves evenly over the top, and bake for another 12 minutes.

5.  Remove from the oven once carrots have reached desired softness and serve.

*If you want a slightly sweeter outcome, use coconut oil.  I personally preferred how it brought out the sweetness of the fennel and carrots.  However, I have also made this with clarified butter and the yield is just a bit more savory.  All up to personal preference!

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Summer Baked Veggies

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What do you do when you have way more produce in your fridge than you’d originally planned?  I went out to eat far more in the past week than normal, which resulted in a whole lot of veggies that needed to be made into something ASAP so they wouldn’t get unjustly tossed out.  Problem was, I had a bunch of random things around the kitchen… or so I thought.

Trying to figure out what to do with my random assortment as I walked home from campus, I passed by a rosemary bush.  And yes, it’s super cool that rosemary turns into literal bushes in Austin.  They’re EVERYWHERE, and a lot of people don’t even realize that it’s the actual herb rosemary so they just let it run rampant and don’t bother using it on their food ever.  But not me!  I grabbed a stalk and started thinking of what was in my fridge and fruit bowl… by the time I got home, I had a crazy idea for this dish and it turned out to be a success!  It’s easy to throw together, delicious, and gets you a ton of veggies in one sitting.  Enjoy!

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Summer Baked Veggies

Prep time: 10 minutes   Cook time: 15 minutes   Total time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

 

Ingredients

8oz bag of mixed-variety small potatoes, (or other type of choice), quartered

3 zucchini squash (I used yellow squash, but zucchini are actually in season during summer), sliced

3 large carrots, sliced

1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch long pieces

2 clementine oranges, peeled

1 tbsp fresh rosemary

2 tbsp clarified butter

Black pepper, to taste

 

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Prep veggies as indicated above.  Once they’re all cut up, place them all in a large mixing bowl.

2.  Blend the two clementines and rosemary together until a purée is formed.*  Mix the clementine purée into the bowl with the veggies until they are evenly coated.

3.  Spread veggies out evenly on a greased baking sheet.  Divide the butter into small chunks and place them in various spots on top of the veggies.  Sprinkle evenly with black pepper, if you’re using it.

4.  Bake for 15 minutes, stirring them around halfway through.  Remove from the oven once the potatoes are soft and serve.

*If you do not wish to blend the clementines, I have also made this by simply smashing them up in a bowl and then mixing it and the rosemary in with the veggies.  There will be some larger fruit pieces in the final product, but it is delicious either way.

Parsnip Fries

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I haven’t experimented with parsnips until this week… WHAT was I waiting for?!  If you want a slightly lower-carb starch with a unique flavor, definitely give these babies a shot.  They look like giant white carrots and will probably near them in the grocery store.  These fries are super easy are, if not better, equally delicious as traditional potato fries!

Parsnip Fries

Prep time: 5 minutes   Cook time: 25-30 minutes   Total time: 35 minutes

Yield: 1-2 servings

 

Ingredients

1 large parsnip

2 tbsp coconut oil

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

 

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 425ºF.  Slice parsnip into French fry-shaped pieces while oven is heating.

2.  Mix together parsnip slices and coconut oil in a large bowl until well-coated.

3.  Spread fries out in a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired.  Bake for 15 minutes, stir fries around, and cook for another 10-15 minutes, depending on how crunchy you’d like them to be.  Serve and enjoy!

Guac of Shame

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Story behind the name of this:  It’s really just guacamole.  But my friend Adrienne, who happens to be vegan, suggested the name after she and I had spent about 3 hours working n replacing buttons in the UT costume shop one afternoon.  We couldn’t stop laughing!  Yes, we were loopy.  And yes, most of our conversations were food-related because, well, why wouldn’t they be?  I always like talking with her because we respect each other’s chosen lifestyles and understand the other’s reasons for why they eat what they do.  And isn’t that what it’s all about, in the end?

Anyway, this recipe is the bomb and necessary for almost any Tex-Mex occasion.  Or football games.  Or just an excuse to eat more avocados, because they aren’t a “shameful” food to eat at all.  To top it off, this recipe is also vegan.

Guac of Shame

Prep time: 5 minutes   Cook time: None   Total time: 5 minutes

Yield:  Varies depending on avocado size, though usually about 2 cups

 

Ingredients

2 ripe avocados

1/3 cup diced tomato

1/3 cup diced sweet onion

2 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves

Juice of 1/2 lime

Sea salt, to taste

 

Directions

1.  Prepare tomatoes, cilantro, and onions as indicated.  Remove skins and pits of avocado, and mash in a mixing bowl.

2.  Mix in the prepared veggies with the avocado.

3.  Squeeze the lime juice into the mix and sprinkle in any sea salt, if you’re using it.  Mix thoroughly once again, then serve.

PRO TIP:  If you are not serving right away, save the pits of the avocados and store them with the guacamole in the fridge until you do serve it, because they will help prevent the avocado from turning brown.  Nothing bad will happen if you eat brown avocado/guacamole, but some people find it less palatable when it changes color like that.