One of my favorite things about radishes are the greens. I wish I could buy the greens by the bagful as I actually like them better than the radishes themselves. And I LOVE radishes!
While looking for a low carb bread I first came across a low carb raw onion bread at Mother’s Market in Huntington Beach, California. It was delicious and EXPENSIVE. So the quest began to find a way to make it.
Below is an excerpt from my book, 14 Days ~ 14 Pounds: Low Carb Daily Plan with 140 Quick & Easy Recipes (Low Carb Daily Plan – High Protein: Menus with Recipes). You’ll notice that some items don’t conform to traditional low-carb choices, in the book I share the low-carb hacks for those.
I’ll add a pic of the finished dish a bit later but after I posted this teaser on Instagram so many of you have been asking for the recipe that I wanted to get it up here for you all.
Heat 1 tablespoon cooking oil over medium heat. When oil is hot, place vegetables in pan and lightly salt them. If you use sea salt you can thank me later. Saute for three to five minutes until the veggies just start to get tender. Stir them occasionally. In a small dish mix a scant one tablespoon coconut sugar or honey, two tablespoons water, or juice, or broth, one teaspoon seasoning from the list below. Cook and stir until veggies are glazed and just barely tender.
Not all UnDieters are following Paleo or Low Carb so I wanted to give you all one of my favorite burrito recipes. Vegans can forgo the cheese and this will still be a delicious recipe. As with most of my recipes there are many variations which I’ll share with you at the end after the basic recipe.
1 cup quinoa
2 cups chopped vegetables such as zucchini, onions, or bell peppers, or a mix
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
one 15 ounce can black, pinto, or kidney beans
2 cups tomato salsa or salsa verde
8 whole wheat tortillas
1t o 2 cups shredded cheddar, pepper Jack, or Mexican cheese blend
Rinse quinoa well. Drain and place in a saucepan with 2 cups of water, paprika, vegetables and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Stir in beans and 1 cup salsa. Place one tortilla in an oiled baking dish. Fill with 1 cup of the quinoa mixture. Fold over. Continue filling and folding tortillas until all 8 tortillas are filled. Top with 1 cup of salsa and the cheese. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until hot and bubbling.
Use soy cheese in place of the cheese or just eliminate the cheese altogether.
Spice Change Up
Change up the paprika with taco seasoning or fajita seasoning.
Add 1 tablespoon minced garlic to the quinoa while boiling it.
For really cheesy burritos add 1 cup cheese to the quinoa mixture before rolling it up in the tortillas. You’ll have extra filling left over which you can set aside for another meal or just use a couple extra tortillas.
Top It Off
After removing from the oven garnish with chopped avocado, sour cream, sliced green onion, chopped roasted green chilies, sliced olives, chopped red onion …
It’s a hot day here in Southern California, although that’s probably the equivalent of saying “pizza pie”, isn’t it? Anway, I was itching to get into the kitchen but the heat was zapping my energy so I settled for something quick and easy and for me that means – no measuring. Hopefully you all will be able to appreciate how easy it is to cook to your own taste without measuring exact amounts or ingredients.
I’d roasted a Delicata squash the other night and had saved the seeds. I’d given them a rinse and rubbed them to remove the squash goo, but had put them wet into a little container and refrigerated them. So the first step was to dry toast them.
I placed the seeds in a cast iron pan on the burner and heated it to medium. I stirred them occasionally and when they were no longer wet I added some nuts that I had soaked and dried last week. So in went pecans, almonds, and cashews. I continued toasting everything, stirring occasionally until the Delicata seeds started to pop.
I swirled in a little coconut oil, then stirred in a small handful of pumpkin pie spice, a pinch of sea salt and a couple pinches of monk fruit (sweetener). You could really use any sweetener that you have on hand, stevia, honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, rapadura, sucanat … and continued stirring occasionally for five minutes. I removed a couple of nuts. Let them cool, then tasted them and adjusted the seasoning. When I liked the seasoning I removed the pan from the heat and allowed the nuts to cool before packing them in a glass jar and storing in the fridge.
Then I read that a Penn State study had determined that eating 35 almonds a day resulted in a 1/4 cup loss of fat around the belly. One more reason to enjoy these almonds 🙂
You can find various recipes for eggplant jerky all over the Internet. I don’t claim to have invented this one, but I do believe that I’ve worked to make it as simple and tasty as possible while giving you easy ways to alter it according to your own diet or taste preferences. There are so many ways you can change up this recipe within a certain framework that will still end up with the chewiness of jerky and tasting like bacon.
Start with an eggplant that has a smooth and shiny skin. While I don’t like to remove the peel, its so full of nutrition and honestly, its one more step to get to the end result, but I do prefer this without the skin. My compromise is to slice it so that not every piece has skin attached to it. In the end the few pieces which were mostly all skin were the crispiest.
I tried to use a mandoline, as well as a food processor to slice it but that was a complete fail – a combination of the tough skin and the sponginess of the flesh. I tried peeling it and running it across the mandoline but the spongy flesh still fouled up the process, so out came my favorite chef’s knife and my bamboo cutting board and three minutes later I had a pile of bacon shaped pieces of eggplant. Well really you wouldn’t have thought they looked like bacon at this point, but since I knew where I was going with this, it was already starting to look like bacon to me. Do you think that positive thinking helps in the kitchen? I do. I’ve noticed that when I’m feeling less than confident or unexcited about a new recipe it often turns out badly.
In the interest of making the recipe as simple as possible I used a Tandori spice mixture which has paprika, garlic, and salt. You can use any spice mixture which has a paprika base. I used garlic flavored olive oil, but you can of course use plain olive oil, just be sure it’s extra-virgin. Your taste buds will thank you. And I used balsamic vinegar because I love the rich flavor, but you can use apple cider vinegar if you prefer. I didn’t use black pepper but if you want to add some be sure it’s freshly ground.
I like my version of the marinade because you don’t get a lot of runoff like many of the recipes I found on the Internet. You don’t get oil dripping off into your dehydrator and you don’t have to use towels to sop up the oil after dehydrating them. Still I think my recipe would be better with a little more oil. Flavor-wise, it won’t matter much, but it will help the jerky to be a little less dry.
All of the recipes tell you to mix up the marinade, pour it over the eggplant, and stir to coat. That really doesn’t work very well when you’re working with what is basically a vegetable sponge. The first few slices soak up all the marinade and then you have to press on them to release enough marinade to coat the other slices which still don’t get evenly coated with the marinadde. So I covered the bottom of my bowl with a thin layer of marinade. Placed half the eggplant slices in the bowl, drizzled with half the marinade, added the rest of the eggplant, the rest of the marinade and tossed to coat.
I dehydrated my first batch for 12 hours and while I liked the end result, there were a few pieces which weren’t as dry which I liked even more. So my next batch will go for maybe 8 hours.
2 large eggplant
1/2 cup coconut aminoes, or low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Tandori or Cajun spice mixture
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, optional
Trim the bottom and top from the eggplant. Discard.
Slice the eggplant into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Stack 4 or 5 rounds and slice into strips.
Place all marinade ingredients in a small jar. Cover and shake well. Coat the bottom of a large bowl with marinade. Working quickly, place half the eggplant in the bowl, drizzle with half the marinade, the remaining eggplant and then the remaining marinade. Toss to combine. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours but you can leave it there all day or overnight.
Place strips on dehydrator trays being careful not to overlap the slices. Depending on your dehydrator you should have 5 to 6 trays. Dehydrate at 115 degrees for 8 to 12 hours. Take a few pieces out after 6 hours. Let them cool down and see if you like the consistency. If you do then stop the process. If you don’t then let them go for another hour or two and check them again.
And there you have it – your basic recipe for eggplant jerky. The next time I make it I’m going to make the following tweaks to see if I get an even better result:
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut aminoes, or low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Tandori or Cajun spice mixture
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
I’m sort of resisting adding the maple syrup because I don’t like to add sugar when it isn’t really needed, but I want to see what happens to this jerky with the addition of the rich amber flavor. I’m also going to use 1 eggplant and 2 medium zucchini. I don’t see why zucchini wouldn’t work and then the tough skin wouldn’t be an issue and it can be easily sliced on the mandoline.
I’ll update this post after trying out the new version. Happy eating!
If you’re doing Paleo or completely off dairy, you may be missing creamy salad dressings. I was experimenting with coconut cream (I bought a TON of it when there was a sale at Whole Foods) and decided to try it in place of buttermilk in a salad dressing – and it worked!
You can substitute toasted sesame seed oil for the olive oil for an Asian flair.
This dressing is good over greens, or roasted vegetables.
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
zest from 2 limes
1/4 cup coconut cream (stir the contents of the jar first)
1 tablespoon honey, agave syrup or equivilent Stevia or monkfruit
1 tablespoon hot sauce, or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Place all ingredients except oil in a blender and buzz until smooth. Keeping the motor running slowly pour in the oil until it’s emulsified into the dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
I tried this cashew milk by Silk and loved it. Did you see on the package that it’s only 25 calories per cup! And it tastes way better than skim milk (which has more calories anyway). Only problem – it’s not organic. So I found some organic cashew milk and bought it. Not a sustainable plan though since this cashew milk, while DELICIOUS, cost $9 for a two cup bottle. Waa-waaaa!
Plan B – make my own cashew milk. However raw organic cashews cost $9 per bag, if I’m lucky and find them on sale. So homemade cashew milk was still going to be expensive, or so I thought. Take a look at the cost breakdown at the end of this post. Long story, shortened, I went ahead and made it anyway. The long story was basically me stalking a bag of cashews at Mothers Market until one day it went on sale and I bought it. After the disaster with the rice milk (which tasted like watered down water) I felt like I owed myself an indulgence – in the nondairy milk area of my life.
The whole process was pretty simple. I soaked the cashews in warm filtered water overnight. I didn’t add salt to it which all soaking recipes tell you to do, mostly, well completely, because I didn’t read any directions before soaking them. I just did it and then the next morning Googled “how to soak cashews” so that I would know if I needed to soak them longer. That’s when I saw that I was supposed to have added a tablespoon of sea salt to the soaking water. Oh well. So I drained off the water and rinsed the nuts until the water was clear. Soaking part done.
One of the other things that had put me off from making cashew milk is that I didn’t want to have to deal with the whole straining the ground nuts out of the milk issue. Besides having to buy a nut bag and adding more work to the process, me being me, I would then have to figure out a way to use those soaked, ground nuts in another recipe. Cashew Nut Brownies anyone? I decided that I just wouldn’t strain the nuts out. If you can make cashew butter from cashews then I figured that they would probably just blend into the milk as if I’d stirred cashew butter into water.
So I got out my Oster blender. Love that blender. I dumped 3 cups of cashews and 2 cups filtered water into the blender and buzzed them until the cashews were completely pureed into the water. Then I added a large pinch of sea salt, 2 tablespoons vanilla extract, 2 packets of Truvia*, and 4 more cups water, buzzing until blended. I poured 2 cups of this very rich cashew milk into a water bottle to use for coffee. I added 2 more cups of water to the blender, buzzing until blended. This produced a more milk-like consistency.
Okay, so the cashew milk was just as delicious as the store-bought versions, but how did it come out expense-wise? The bag of raw organic cashews cost $9 on sale. That bag gave me 2 cups of cream and 9 cups of milk at a cost of .82 per cup. Comparing that to the cost of store-bought soy, almond, rice, or coconut milk at .63 to $1.13 per cup, homemade cashew milk is actually quite affordable. And if I hadn’t poured off the cashew cream then my cost would have gone down to .60 per cup. (12 cups of water to 3 cups of cashews, made in 2 batches.)
* You don’t need to add sweetener, but if you do you can use stevia, maple syrup, honey, Truvia, monk fruit, Splenda, basically any sweetener that isn’t as bad for you as white cane sugar, because what would be the point of making homemade organic cashew milk and then dumping white sugar into it?