Posts Tagged ‘favorite’

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salt-free seasoning blend

January 9, 2019

My first salt-free seasoning blend was improvised without a recipe. I made a ton, and it was perfect. No clue what I put in it, but my goal is to craft a recipe. Here’s round 2:

1 T coarsely ground black pepper 1/2 T coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 T whole white pepper, coarsely ground
1 T whole mustard seed, coarsely ground
1 T garlic powder or roasted garlic powder
1 T dried minced onion
1 T paprika
3/4 T ground chilli or cayenne
1/2 T dried chives
1/2 T dried basil
1/2 T dried thyme
1/2 T whole coriander seed, toasted and ground
1/2 T whole black or white sesame seeds, coarsely ground
1/4 t powdered ginger
3/4 t dried powdered orange zest
1/4 t smoke powder

There is no particular logic to how this ended up this way besides reading recipes by linda larsen at the spruce eats, bake at midnite, and christina at allrecipes, and whatever I read the first time I made this.

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Needs WAY less black pepper, WAY more sour (lemon zest?), and way more diversity of seasoning. Next time, I will add more smoke powder, more seeds or nuts, lemon zest, and way less pepper!

My salt-free seasoning blends are an essential part of my pantry, so I’m tagging this “favorite”. This will be a living document, edited constantly over time, so check back in to see its evolution!

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I’ll also be doing some different salt-free blends this spring – looking forward to trying a ranch seasoning with no dairy, and a mess of new smokey meat salt-free blends with the smoke powder Mark got me for the holidays. But for now, check out some of my favorite salt-free seasoning blends – like ras-el-hanout, bokharat / baharat, and numbing xi’an spice.

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hot and numbing xi’an style spice

September 17, 2018

This is by far my favorite new condiment. I made a batch for numbing Xi-an style oven-fried chicken, and ate the entire container of the spice blend within a week. Since then, I’ve made two or three more batches, because it’s amazing on eggs, in salad dressing, on pork, on popcorn… everywhere!

This is now a blend I keep in the house at all times, along with my salt-free seasoning blend, bokharat / baharat, ras-el-hanout, and a simple curry powder.

The heat comes from the chili. The “numbing” comes from the Sichuan peppercorns. It’s sweet, savory, hot – a really magical flavor when it comes together. It’s impossible to describe the flavor. Just try this:

It couldn’t be easier. Just toast 1 tablespoon whole cumin seed, 1 teaspoon whole fennel seed, 1 tablespoon dried red pepper flakes (preferably Thai,) and 1 tablespoon whole Sichuan peppercorns, seeds removed. When toasty, grind in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Add a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of brown sugar.

Recipe from kenji at serious eats

I can’t recommend this highly enough! If you like spicy, you’ll love this! Tagged favorite because it’s just that incredible.

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curried red lentil, squash, and coconut soup

March 17, 2016

i think this is one of the best pureed soups i’ve tried – but maybe that’s because i haven’t eaten solid food in a week. if you are on a soft foods diet on order of dentist or doctor, make sure to add this one. it’s full of medicinal spices like turmeric and garlic. get well soon!

[edit 2018: still one of my favorite soups. and yes, i got my tooth filled since this post, haha.]

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roast a big (or 2 little) butternut squash (or acorn, or whatever you like)

saute onions and carrots in a dutch oven over medium heat

when soft, add a clove or two of garlic, and stir 2 mins

add:
– chicken stock, vegetable stock, or even lightly salted water
– a tablespoon or 2 of “curry powder” (or make your own with a lot of coriander, some turmeric and cayenne, and a little fenugreek, mustard powder, cumin, black pepper [to help your body absorb the turmeric,] and curry leaf – or whatever you have around)
– the flesh of the roasted squash
– between a half-cup and a cup of red split lentils (masoor dal)
– a good amount of ginger paste or ginger juice

bring to a boil and simmer about 20 minutes

throw everything into a blender or food processor, or mash well.

return to pot and add coconut milk. use a whole can, unless you don’t like the taste of coconut – then just add a half-can.

reheat, adjust spices if necessary

turn off heat, and add fresh lemon juice to taste, about 1/2 to one whole lemon.

recipe sloppily adapted by friedsig from a few different recipes, mostly this epicurious version

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quick balsamic vinaigrette

September 29, 2015

I know the world of salad dressing is a lot bigger than classic honey mustard (I do equal parts honey, mustard, oil, and lemon juice) but I always have diy honey mustard ready to use in the fridge, so I never branch out. This week is all about new dressing!

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Essential Balsamic

1/4 c balsamic vinegar
2 t mustard
1 t brown sugar (opt.)
1/2 t kosher or sea salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 clove to 1 clove crushed garlic
1/2c – 3/4c olive oil, depending on how vinegary you like it

put all ingredients in a small jar and shake the daylights out of it

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Creamy Balsamic  (really awesome)
make recipe as above, but add 2 T mayonnaise. doesn’t taste mayonnaisey at all – just creamy, sweet, and sour.

Blueberry Balsamic (also really awesome)
make recipe as above, but add a few dried blueberries, crushed fresh blueberries, or a teaspoon of blueberry jam

Strawberry Balsamic
you get the idea, right?

Blackberry Balsamic
mmm

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This is my new favorite dressing. I had it on a salad of spicy greens from the farmers market with sweet grapes, dried blueberries, and cashews. Amazing!

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from inspired taste

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best-ever 15-minute baked beans (vegan and non-vegan versions)

May 20, 2015

really easy, fast, delicious way to switch up your bean game. you can take the finished beans and bake them in a low oven for an hour, but i think they’re just fine like this for a quick lunch. don’t let society pressure you into adding bacon and sugar. caramelized onions add plenty of sweetness.

TIPS FOR THE PERFECT BAKED BEANS:
– a long, slow cook, if you have the time. i make these for a quick 15-minute dinner and leave them simmering for an extra hour afterwards so they’ll be perfect the next day for lunch. they’re great when they have been cooking for ten minutes, but nothing can compare to how they taste a half-hour later.
– go a little heavier with the molasses than you think you should. it’s a big part of the flavor you associate with baked beans.
– don’t be scared to experiment. leftovers, like roasted bell peppers, chicken, sausages, and even bits of stale bread, can work in baked beans just like in chili.
– even if you don’t like it hot, don’t leave out the smoked paprika or cayenne – even just 2 pinches can help balance out the flavors.
– don’t forget to undersalt if you use processed meats like sausage or bacon, and oversalt if you’re leaving them out. beans like salt.

VEGAN
– saute onion in coconut oil (or oil of your choice)
– when caramelized, add cooked (or canned) pinto beans, tomato sauce, molasses, vegetable stock, apple cider vinegar, and minced roasted garlic cloves.
– season with mustard, garlic and onion powder, clove, thyme, and smoked paprika or smoked salt if you have it. add veg worcestershire sauce if you like it.
– simmer on low for 15 minutes.
– add brown sugar, maple syrup, or hickory syrup if you like it sweet, or just serve as is.

NON-VEGAN
– if you like your beans bacony, start by frying a few strips of bacon, then remove the bacon, crumble it onto a plate, and set it aside. fry onions in the bacon grease.
– otherwise (this is my favorite,) just start by sauteeing onion in chicken schmaltz (or oil of your choice)
– when caramelized, add cooked (or canned) pinto beans, tomato sauce, molasses, a little vegetable or chicken stock, apple cider vinegar, and minced roasted garlic cloves.
– season with mustard, garlic and onion powder, clove, a pinch of thyme, and smoked paprika or smoked salt if you have it. add worcestershire sauce if you like it. don’t forget salt and black pepper.
– simmer on low for 15 minutes.
– add brown sugar or maple syrup if you like it sweet, or just serve as is.

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edited 2016 & added to “favorites” since i make these all the time

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vegan spinach or collard callaloo

January 17, 2015

Callaloo is a soup. Or is it a sauce? Thin, or thick? It’s as thick as you want it to be! Play with the amount of water you add for your favorite consistency. Okra has a bad reputation because of its texture, but here it holds together the greens.

Callaloo is made in Jamaica, Trinidad, and all over the Caribbean! It is traditionally made with dasheen (taro) leaves. Go with any leafy green that’s fresh!

Easiest method ever. Boil everything for a while. Then eat it. That’s it!

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about 2 lbs of chopped collard, torn spinach, lamb’s quarter, kale, or whatever dark leafy greens you have (remove the toughest ribs if you’re using thick greens like collard)
1/4 cup pumpkin or other winter squash, peeled and chopped
8 okra, trimmed (fresh if you can)
1 – 2 cans of coconut milk, then fill the cans with water and add those
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 scallion, chopped
1 scotch bonnet pepper (optional – just a deseeded piece if you like it mild, or whole if you like it extra hot)
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
2 sprigs thyme
1 tsp. parsley, finely chopped
stock, broth, or water and bouillon (as needed)
Salt to taste

Add everything to a soup pot and simmer for 30-40 minutes (with baby spinach or other young greens) or an hour (for collards or tough older greens), or until the greens are tender. Leave the heat fairly low and stir often – coconut milk will burn. You will have to add extra liquid if it gets thick, so keep an eye on it. You can add stock or broth if you have it, or even just water.

When it’s done, add a teaspoon or two of butter or margarine.

Simply Trini shows it over rice with avocado slices and chunks of meat. It’s just as good with rice and beans!

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adapted from simply trini cooking and caribbean pot

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edit 1/14/2016

It’s delicious! I made it with a pound of baby spinach, green chard, red chard, and kale, and a small golden nugget squash. I left out the parsley and okra and it was still great. If you like your greens sweet, you’ll love this!

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golden milk

October 22, 2014

one of my favorite drinks of all-time.

i make this recipe regularly, or whenever i can remember to. curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been clinically shown to reduce inflammation, and therefore ease symptoms of everything from arthritis to allergies. other studies tentatively show it may shrink cancers, reduce the plaque in the brain associated with alzheimer’s, and calm anxiety. in traditional ayurvedic medicine, it clears skin and regulates blood sugar, as well as reducing inflammation and “assisting the whole female system,” which sounds pretty good to me.

i wouldn’t be so inclined to believe them if i didn’t crave golden milk so much, particularly during the changing seasons. it turns my bad knee into my “not quite as good” knee.

(warning: turmeric permanently stains absolutely everything, including things you didn’t even know could stain, like your grater, your hands, your stove, and your sink. it’s completely worth it.)

+ set a saucepan on low.
+ add two cloves and a quarter to a half inch of cinnamon bark. toast for a few minutes.
+ add 1 cup milk (any milk or milk substitute! some people even use water – but add a drop of ghee, coconut oil, or almond oil to aid absorption. i recommend cow, goat, coconut, or almond milk.)
+ grate 1 inch raw turmeric and 1/4 inch raw ginger into the milk. if you can’t find them raw, feel free to use turmeric or ginger paste, juice, or even powdered.
+ make sure to stir regularly
+ add a saffron thread, if you have it
+ add a pinch of black pepper. this is the only ingredient, besides the turmeric and milk, that isn’t optional! pepper helps you absorb the turmeric.

you will notice a sharp change in flavor when it is done – between five and eight minutes, usually, is all it takes to release the active chemicals.

made with thick, unhomogenized local milk and finished with a spoonful of raw honey, it’s a rich dessert. taken just as is, it’s perfect medicine for the winter blahs, for seasonal allergies, for healing injuries, and as a general tonic to stay well.

probably one of my top ten most highly recommended recipes.

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cortido (latin american sauerkraut)

May 18, 2014

i know the basics on kefir, yogurt, and fermenting veggies, so i don’t tend to read beginner’s guides. i should, though – they are full of fun recipes i’ve never tried….
like this one!

it’s become one of my favorite ferments!

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cortido

1 large cabbage, cored and shredded
1 cup grated carrots
2 medium onions, quartered lengthwise and very finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons sea salt
1 tablespoon whey (optional, to kick-start fermentation)

pound (optional) and combine ingredients.

from cultures for health

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ferment in a fido jar, a mason jar with weights, a crock, a pickler, or anything non-reactive. you can even use a casserole dish with a plate on top!

for more information about how to ferment, check out:

– sandor katz’s Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods

– sandor katz’s The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from around the World,

cultures for health’s lacto-fermentation e-book

– or my quick run-down

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HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! amazing! delicious! sweet, savory, full of flavor – BETTER THAN SAUERKRAUT! try this today!

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mango salsa

May 4, 2014

put part of a jalapeno, part of an onion (scallions, green onions, wild leeks, red onions – can’t go wrong here,) and some roasted garlic (raw if you prefer) into the food processor (to taste)

add lime juice and a lot of cilantro

add two mangoes and a sweet red or orange bell pepper

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serve with absolutely everything on earth

especially

fish
chicken
tofu
pork
veggies
salads
chips
and literally everything else

today’s teriyaki chicken wings go well with it. so does tomorrow’s fish cake. even burgers can be made magical by this sweet and sour hot sauce.

blend it completely as a marinade, or leave it chunky as a salsa for dipping.

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chipotle-chocolate chili

January 25, 2014

Do you like smokey, dark, thick, savory, rich chili?

You just found your new favorite recipe.

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(optional) Cook four slices of bacon in large stockpot. (just add coconut oil or butter if you don’t eat bacon. I usually make this without meat.)

While it cooks, slice a huge sweet onion or two-three small onions.

Put a head of garlic and a sweet bell pepper in your toaster oven and roast it until they’re caramelized.

Remove bacon when done. Add onion to hot grease (or oil or butter of your choice).

Cook onions over a low heat until caramelized.

When done, add stock (any kind) or water, a large can of fire-roasted tomatoes, a bay leaf or two, and your choice of cooked beans. (I like some combination of red kidney beans, butter beans, and pinto beans, but you can’t go wrong with any beans in chili. Black lentils or even cannelini beans are great. Use canned beans to save time, or, if you cooked dry beans, add a small piece of cinnamon stick and a bay leaf while they cook.)

Add bouillon or any kind of fat. Coconut oil is great. So is schmaltz from leftover chicken (I save mine for this purpose!) or even grease from last night’s hamburgers.

Season with tons of paprika, oregano, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, onion powder, allspice, a little pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon and nutmeg, and a lot of unsweetened cocoa powder.

Seed & peel the black skin off the pepper. Add the pepper and roasted garlic and some tinned chipotle peppers in adobo. (How many you add depends on how brave you are!) You can also use chipotle salsa if you can’t find chipotles in adobo sauce.

Simmer >1hr, or until it tastes amazing.

Salt and pepper to taste. Top with sour cream or plain yogurt.