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Posts tagged as grain-free

Plantain Tortillas (AIP, Grain-free, Gluten-free, Paleo, Vegan, Delicious)

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Feb 18, 2014 at 12:10pm

Plantain Tortillas | Fresh TartHi! I’m still here! I’m still working on Twin Cities Chef’s Table, which has meant no blogging for me. Because I didn’t have enough going on – writing a book, getting a divorce, dealing with this seriously fucked up winter – I also decided to spend the next 60 days on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) which is in effect an elimination diet to weed out food sensitivities. Long story short: It’s not just gluten, baby. With the stress of above, other food sensitivities that I’ve suspected all along but kind of gotten away with are no longer cooperating with me. Also, I took the opportunity of seclusion and cooking only for myself to undertake an experiment, adding a few things back into my diet that I had avoided when I gave up gluten almost 4 years ago – time flies! – namely corn, rice, potatoes, dairy, some starches like tapioca and arrowroot starch. My body said: HELL NO, STEPHANIE. Bloating, abdominal pain, joint pain, puffy eyes, fatigue, hair loss, low body temperature, basically all the inflammation/hypothyroid symptoms I had before I gave up gluten.

Scary and disappointing.Plantain Tortillas | Fresh TartAnd so, back to the drawing board. I’d been meaning to do it eventually anyhow. I really, really want to know the foods that cause damage to my gut and my immune system to attack my thyroid. Rebirth is the order of the day. Spring will be upon us soon enough and I’m ready to be my rock-n-roll self again, even if it means eliminating for the next several weeks:

All grains & grain-like substances (including chia, hemp, millet, oats, etc.)
All nuts, seeds, and their oils
Nightshade plants (potatoes, tomatoes, chiles/peppers, eggplants)
Legumes
Eggs
Dairy
Yeast
Alcohol
Coffee
Sugar

Yup. I made the commitment to myself last week, cried for about 20 minutes, made a grocery list, and hit the store. I can totally do this. It’s not even that far off from how I already eat. And in fact, it’s totally spurred my creativity – helped by the fact that I feel so much better already, now that I’ve gotten past two days of coffee fog. Also: immediately glowing skin. It really is so powerful what eating a nutrient-dense (and inflammation-free, because I’ve eaten a nutrient-dense diet for years) diet does for skin. I also credit adding bone broths to my routine a few months ago – eat collagen to make collagen. I definitely see the difference.

I’m not going to over-exaggerate, eating this way is not simple. First of all, it requires a lot of prep and cooking, which I enjoy thoroughly, but I know many don’t. Also, I’m feeding one or two people, none of whom are picky and small. The biggest loss for me, given my lifestyle and career, is eating out. All restaurants cook with canola oil, which I wish they didn’t because it’s terrible for everyone, but it’s cheap and vegetarian, so there it is. Also, if you think about it for a minute, almost all seasoning involves nightshades or seeds: chiles, cumin, caraway, coriander, on and on.

Please follow me on Instagram or follow Fresh Tart’s Facebook page (links on the right) for the daily meals I’ve been rather merrily preparing for myself. At the end of the 60 days, I’ll reintroduce the eliminated foods one by one, one week at a time, and gauge my reaction to them. And then I’ll know. Once and for all. I might be sad to know, but it’s better than suffering ill health.

If you’re interested in the protocol yourself, please read everything on The Paleo Mom’s amazing website and buy her new book, The Paleo Approach, which will explain the scientific, food-related causes of autoimmune disease and how to address it. Plantain Tortillas | Fresh TartAnd in the interim, Paleo Tortillas! I first made The Paleo Mom’s plantain crackers, because having something salty/crunchy to snack on was the first loss I really felt. They are fantastic. Then I started poking around for plantain “bread” of some sort and came upon a modified version of the crackers, turned into a pizza crust. I thought, I’d bet this process would make killer tortilla/wraps so I played around with the recipe I found on the blog Simple & Merry and tada! Absolutely delicious. Soft, chewy, mildly sweet, wonderful stuffed with beef, avocado, and a zippy garnish of lime and cabbage. I’m totally making fish tacos with these – plantains and fish are marvelous together. And as I mention below, I can imagine leaving out the garlic and serving these filled with berries and a drizzle of coconut cream, mmm. Plantains…who knew? (I know, millions of people, just not native Midwesterners, ha.) See what you think.

Plantain Tortillas (AIP, Grain-free, Gluten-free, Paleo, Vegan)
Adapted from a pizza crust recipe on Simple & Merry
Makes 12 tortillas

1 pound peeled, cubed large green plantains (I’ve found they can be at various stages of ripeness, anywhere from bright green to yellow-ish; I suspect super-ripe/blackened plantains would be delicious if you left out the garlic and ate them with warm fruit for breakfast or dessert)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup avocado oil (or extra-virgin olive oil; avocado oil is more neutral tasting and takes high heat better)
water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange racks in the middle of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Add ingredients to the bowl of a blender (a Vitamix is wonderful for making these). Add 1/3 cup of water to the blender, cover, and puree on lowest setting for a minute or two. Gradually turn speed up, adding a bit more water if needed, to form a thick, smooth puree, similar to smooth hummus.

With a spoon, smooth batter into 12 equal tortillas onto the two baking sheets, approximately 1/4-inch thick and 6 inches across. Bake for 10 minutes, switch racks, and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until puffed and browning in spots.

Cool for 5 minutes before serving. Or, cool to room temperature and store in airtight container for up to 3 days. Can be gently reheated before serving.

Winter Squash Gnocchi with Brown Butter & Sage (gluten-free, grain-free)

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Dec 11, 2013 at 9:20pm

Winter Squash Gnocchi (gluten-free, grain-free) | Fresh Tart‘Tis the season for comfort food, I say, what with frozen pipes, spin outs, wipe outs, and frost bite. When it’s this cold outside, baby, head thee to the kitchen and boil a pot of  water to warm your frozen soul. And to cook these chewy, tender pillows of cheer, bathed in brown butter, topped with crispy sage, and gluten-free to boot.Winter Squash Gnocchi with Browned Butter & Sage (gluten-free, grain-free) | Fresh TartInstead of wheat flour, the binder here is potato starch. It works beautifully! The recipe includes all sorts of instructions for working ahead, but I cooked the gnocchi pictured right after cutting them and they were fantastic. Then again, making a batch on the weekend is a sweet way to come home to a quick dinner of gnocchi on a week night.

Recipe for Winter Squash Gnocchi with Brown Butter & Sage at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Fudgiest Brownies (Gluten-Free)

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Dec 3, 2013 at 11:47am

Fudgy Browndies (Gluten-Free) | Fresh TartThe beauty of Alice Medrich’s fabulously decadent cocoa brownie recipe is that flour plays such a minor role in flavor and texture, that it matters not a whit what type you use. Use wheat flour, as the recipe was originally written, and you’ll be thrilled. Or, substitute gluten-free AP flour and be equally thrilled, because by my memory, they taste exactly the same. That’s because these brownies are about good cocoa, butter, and eggs, melted and stirred and whisked in just such a way (in one bowl, no less!) to deliver a shiny, crusty top with a fudgy (not cakey) interior.Fudgiest Brownies (Gluten-Free) | Fresh TartI’ll even go so far as to say that I think you could make these grain-free, by using tapioca starch or potato starch as the flour. I haven’t done it yet, but I will, and I’ll let you know how they turn out. I suspect: mighty damn fine.

No matter how you bind them, these are brownies that beg for a glass of milk, particularly restorative after holiday shopping, gift-wrapping, or tree-trimming. Not that those things aren’t fun, it’s just that…chocolate makes them more fun.

Heh.

Recipe for Fudgiest Brownies (Gluten-Free) at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Nathan and I spent the Thanksgiving holiday weekend at my dad and stepmom Susanna’s home south of Bozeman, Montana. My sister Stacey and her son Cooper were there too, as well as my brother David and sister Etta, both in from NYC. We had a long, restorative weekend catching up, cooking, hiking, and relaxing. Just what the doctor ordered for all of us!Jake | Fresh TartDad picked us all up at the airport, with Jake in tow. He makes an adorable front-seat companion.Sun West Ranch | Fresh TartSo good to pull up to this view. I hadn’t been in a year and a half, too long.Against All Grain Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies | Fresh TartWe were very, very happily greeted by Against All Grain paleo chocolate chip cookies, made by Susanna and Etta. These are winners of the highest order. Make them. Gah so good.Sun West Ranch | Fresh TartI’ve never been to the house in the winter…so lovely to see the setting sun against the snow-capped Madison range. Hi Etta!Gluten-Free Waffles with Chokecherry Syrup | Fresh TartMy dad made gluten-free waffles with Pamela’s mix/recipe. Perfection. That’s chokecherry syrup, made by Susanna from chokecherries she picked this summer at the ranch. Absolutely delicious. DuJour Magazine | Fresh TartI was delighted to page through the latest issue of DuJour Magazine while I ate breakfast, sipped coffee. My sister Etta is the photo editor. Seriously, how stunning is that cover?!Sun West Ranch | Fresh TartThere was pre-feast hiking and sledding. Lovely in every way.Sun West Ranch Sledding | Fresh TartGo Susanna! Sun West Ranch Sledding | Fresh TartGo Nathan and Coop!Thanksgiving Table | Fresh TartMy sister Stacey set a gorgeous table.Turkey! | Fresh TartSusanna’s sister Margie made a perfect, deconstructed turkey, all juicy, all crispy.Thanksgiving Sides | Fresh TartThe rest of the meal: roasted squash, gluten-free and gluten-full gravies, gluten-free sausage chestnut dressing, green beans with lemon-garlic butter & walnuts, buttermilk mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. Colorful, flavorful, not over-the-top rich. In my book: perfection. Charlie (the pup) agreed.Pumpkin Cheesecake | Fresh TartMargie also made my aunt Marge’s pumpkin cheesecake with caramel sauce. There was oohing, aahing, sighing, groaning, and the licking of forks and perhaps even plates.Leftovers | Fresh TartLeftovers Part I was breakfast the next day: fried stuffing topped with green beans and…a poached egg, of course. Killah.Sun West Ranch | Fresh TartSun West Ranch | Fresh TartWe attempted to offset gluttony with another good, long hike, which even included crossing a creek on a fallen log. I wish it were as hard as it looked…but it was actually pretty easy. My brother David makes it look badass, however.

The rest of the meals? I stopped taking pictures, which means I relaxed into my vacation, and that was…so unbelievably nice. Home now, which feels lovely too, jamming on Twin Cites Chef’s Table. I spent the day writing and cooking, filling my fridge with roasted beets and squash, kale chips, hard-cooked eggs, grassfed beef bone broth, jasmine rice cooked in coconut milk, and braised beef short ribs. I’m stocking up for the cold, snowy, insanely busy days ahead, days when I want to eat fresh, nutritious, delicious meals on the fly.

The view out the window at home today:Snow | Fresh TartHey winter. Hey.

Spiced Fresh Cranberry Relish Mold

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Nov 26, 2013 at 1:12pm

Spiced Fresh Cranberry MoldPoor cranberries. No one really ever eats them, despite tradition, even when made from scratch. I think it’s because Americans are unaccustomed to the delights of chutney-eque condiments. Which is a shame, given the palate-cleansing powers of a tangy, acidic punch on a plate of buttery, rich foods.Spiced Fresh Cranberry Mold | Fresh TartThis recipe is as old school as I possess. My mom’s been surprising guests with her famous cranberry relish mold forever. Why surprising? Well, much like my mom, it’s got a spicy kick that sneaks up on you, in this case a surprising zing of horseradish that eliminates all worries of cloying sweetness. Think mostarda and you’ll have exactly the right idea.Spiced Fresh Cranberry Mold | Fresh TartAs a bonus, the mold is stunning on a holiday buffet table. My mom’s original recipe calls for raspberry Jello and canned cranberries, so I reworked it a bit to include fresh cranberries and fruit juice. The end result has more texture, and a fresher taste, without losing the surprising spicy kick. Pretty perfect, I think.

I hope you have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Recipe for Spiced Fresh Cranberry Relish Mold at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Crispy Crushed Potatoes with Preserved Lemon

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Nov 5, 2013 at 11:29am

Crispy Crushed Potatoes with Preserved Lemon | Fresh TartApparently potatoes are the most-consumed vegetable in the US, thanks to fast food French fries. I’d put fries in my top five most favorite foods, but that statistic still depresses the starch out of me. As someone who spent my teen years eating more than my fair share of McDonald’s fries, I’m glad to say I’ve spent my adult years eating enough good potatoes to conclude that….fast food fries kind of suck. It’s pretty hard to beat a fresh, potato-y potato, roasted crunchy on a crispy fall evening, perfumed with garlic and preserved lemons. You could have just these potatoes for dinner, topped with dollops of Greek yogurt, with olives and good pickled things and a cool salad alongside.

I lucked into this particular batch of freshly dug taters courtesy of the Bossy Acres ladies. I drove out to their farm, near Northfield, Minnesota, to photograph them for the book I’m writing. Because they are as generous and gracious in person as they are on Facebook and Twitter, they sent me off with a CSA box of gorgeous bounty: kale, radishes, candy-sweet carrots, leeks, peppers, and microgreens. What a gift! And oh my gosh the potatoes, fresh and sweet and just perfect for crushing. (If you’d like your own Bossy CSA box come spring, sign up!)Crispy Crushed Potatoes with Preserved Lemon | Fresh Tart PDespite the chill and what sounds like our first kiss of snow later this very day, I know there are still freshly dug potatoes at the big farmers markets. Grab as many as you can and get roasting (boiling, mashing, crisping, etc.).

Recipe for Crispy Crushed Potatoes with Preserved Lemon at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Ham, Bean & Sauerkraut Soup

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Oct 29, 2013 at 3:31pm

Ham, Bean & Sauerkraut Soup | Fresh TartIt’s hard to beat the rib-stickin’ comfort of a bowl of ham & bean soup. I prefer it brothier than the version I grew up eating, and like many soups, it’s made even better with the tang of sauerkraut.Beef Tostada with Sauerkraut | Fresh TartIn fact, sauerkraut’s salty acidity elevates many savory dishes, far beyond the typical brats-n-beer pairing (which is, of course, delicious). Go for traditional lacto-fermented kraut, for best flavor and nutrition, then start adding it where pickled things taste best: tostadas (that’s my din last night pictured above, beyond good), burgers, salads, soups, egg salad, stir-fries, stroganoff (one of my faves), alongside cheese, and on anything pork. Anything. Pork.

(Recommendation: Bubbies Lacto-fermented Sauerkraut, widely available at grocery stores and co-ops. Or…make your own! This recipe via The Kitchn is a terrific read. Also, for a scrumptious sauerkraut dish, you must see this recipe for Rustic Potato, Sauerkraut, & Beef Galette over at Relishing It. Holy yum.)Ham, Bean & Sauerkraut Soup | Fresh TartI employed a couple of other tricks to boost the taste and nutrition of this soup: 1) I sprouted the beans before cooking them (which makes them easier to digest, which makes you more popular at work and at home), and 2) I included not just ham, but ham bones, for the broth. That ham bone you froze after Easter dinner? Now’s the time to pull it out and get simmering.Ham, Bean & Sauerkraut Soup | Fresh TartRecipe for Ham, Bean & Sauerkraut Soup at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.Birchwood Cafe Kickstarter FundAnd for you fans of Good Real Food, and neighborhood cafes that elevate their neighbors as well as the entire community, and causes with clear and excellent goals, I gently encourage you to support the Birchwood Cafe’s Kickstarter Fund, launched on their 18th (!) anniversary. It takes just a second, and as little as a dollar, but feels like a million bucks. #GoBirchwoodGo!

Smoky Sausage Soup with Kale and Chickpeas

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Oct 1, 2013 at 1:57pm

Smoky Sausage Soup with Kale & Chickpeas | Fresh TartI realize, typing this, that I’m hitting you with two soup/stew recipes in a row. Oops! Well, ’tis the season, right? The combination of cool nights and piles of gorgeous harvest apparently makes me want to stew everything in sight. (In fact, I sort of do that, in batches as I go, a way of giving my future, hungry self precious little gifts to heat up on the craziest of days.)

This soup is a terrific weeknight soup, with not too many ingredients, because smoky, garlicky kielbasa sausage imparts a ton of flavor fast, without a lot of chopping and messing around. The soup is traditionally made with just kale and potatoes, but I add chickpeas because seriously, sausage and chickpeas are one of the world’s best flavor/texture combinations. If for some reason you dislike chickpeas but are a fan of white beans – great! Sausage and white beans are another of the world’s best flavor/texture combinations. You could even skip the beans. Or add other vegetables to the mix. That’s why soup is magical: It’s all good.Smoky Sausage Soup with Kale & Chickpeas | Fresh TartI hope you’re finding time to spend outside while Minnesota shines its sparkly, shiny best. When you come in, I have a soup recipe that will hit the spot…

Recipe for Smoky Sausage Soup with Kale and Chickpeas at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Coconut Milk Panna Cotta With Maple Syrup

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Sep 3, 2013 at 12:18pm

Coconut Milk Panna Cotta with Maple SyrupSo long Minnesota State Fair! It was a wild ride this year, loads of food fun despite soul-sucking heat followed by mercifully cool breezes…which in turn drew the largest crowds I’ve ever experienced.

Yikes!

I tend to indulge in savory foods when I’m out there, mostly in the form of pork (this year I enjoyed pig wings, porketta sausage, pork chop on a stick, and bacon) and of course, my fair favorite french fries. After the salt and sweat, dragging a cooler full of cooking demo ingredients back to my car, and sitting in a sea of traffic, I would put my feet up and cackle with delight to indulge in the cool, creamy panna cottas I alluded to in my last post. I made a big batch a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed them all fair long, threatening to end up photo-less because I seemed to find plenty of time to eat the panna cottas and no time to photograph them.Coconut Milk Panna Cotta with Maple SyrupSometimes I ate them with fresh blueberries, which have been spectacular this season, and are a match made in heaven with a hint of cardamom warming the creaminess. Mostly I ate them plain because I wanted to marvel at the complexity of tropical coconut milk sweetened with cold-climate maple syrup. Was I over-tired with a blown out palate? Utterly. And yet even on a normal eating day, coconut milk and maple syrup are two of my favorite ingredients, each with so many layers of essence, delicious in both savory and sweet dishes. On paper they don’t belong together but trust me, it’s a beautiful pairing.Coconut Milk Panna Cotta with Maple SyrupI should add that panna cottas are the perfect party dessert. They are as easy as a sneeze to prepare yet somehow feel fancy enough for guests, especially if you serve them from pretty demitasse cups (my favorite way; less fussy than inverting them). Keep the garnish simple for a light and refreshing effect; in this case, a scattering of fresh berries and a drizzle of maple syrup. Done.

If you missed last Friday’s Foodie Roundtable on Minnesota Public Radio’s Daily Circuit show, have a listen here as Andrew Zimmern, James Norton, and I were put on the spot answering host Kerri Miller’s (and the live audience’s) fair food trivia questions. Hot seats! Tough questions! But so much fun. I’ll take this opportunity to say that I would love to see more gluten-free treats at the fair. Foxy Falafel’s cheese curds with honey dipping sauce? Fair-goers would go crazy for them!Amanda Paa, Stephanie Meyer, Minnesota Wine Country

Amanda Paa, Stephanie Meyer, Minnesota Wine CountryThat said, there are plenty of naturally gluten-free goodies to be had. Bookmark for next year the fantastic write-up Amanda Paa of Healthy Life, Happy Cook blog did of our presentation pairing gluten-free fair foods to Minnesota wines at the Minnesota Wine Country exhibit. We had a blast! As did chef Scott Pampuch and I pairing and sharing grilled sausages and pickled cabbage with the crowd.

If you’re a panna cotta fiend like I am, see also:
Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with Honey & Berries and Sweet Corn Panna Cotta with Bacon & Blue Cheese
Sweet Corn Panna Cotta with Fried Sage

Recipe for Coconut Milk Panna Cotta with Maple Syrup at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Chiles Rellenos (grain-free, glutenfree): Tomato Party, Part III

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Aug 20, 2013 at 5:04pm

Chiles Rellenos (grain-free, gluten-free)It sounds unlikely, but I swear it’s true: the residents of Grand Forks, North Dakota, are obsessed with Tex-Mex food. I know this because I came of age there, and I and my fellow starving high school friends spent the bulk of our disposable income on tacos, smothered burritos, chips and “sauce,” grinders (a future post, by the way, stay tuned), and chimichangas. They were all probably a little bit not good, but we didn’t know that and in fact, we never will, or at I least I never will, because my taste buds are so wrapped up in nostalgia that it all just tastes like deliciously spicy teenage freedom.
Chilles Rellenos with Ranchero Sauce | Fresh TartWhich as far as flavor profiles go, is pretty hard to beat.

Given that none of the joints I hung out it in exist in the Twin Cities, I spend a fair amount of time recreating the dishes I crave the most. And while I’m at it, I freshen them up a bit, with whole ingredients I feel good about eating.
Chiles Rellenos | Fresh TartTherefore this version of chiles rellenos! Don’t just walk by those mountains of dark, glossy chiles now showing at farmers markets, wondering what to do with them. Stuff them! Poblanos are mild enough for Midwestern palates yet loaded with fresh chile flavor. I stuffed my latest batch with ground beef and cheese, but feel free to go the more traditional route and skip the beef. Whole chiles are glorious when oozing salty cheese with plenty of fresh oregano, mmm. They’re usually dipped in batter and fried – which makes them amazing – but I love them this way too, which puts the focus on the smoky peppers. I get my nostalgia fix and a colorful, healthy meal to boot.

Ranchero sauce, other than being a terrific way to use up garden tomatoes, is the sauce of choice for huevos rancheros. Make a double batch to eat with fresh corn tortillas and fried eggs.

Recipe for Chilles Rellenos with Ranchero Sauce at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

For Tomato Party: Part I, see recipe for Green Gazpacho with Fried Shrimp.
For Tomato Party: Part II, see recipe for Tomato Gratin Stew.

Korean Bulgogi (Grilled Steak)

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Aug 6, 2013 at 11:53am

Korean Bulgogi (Grilled Steak)Behold one of my first successful big dinner party entrees. How the heck I stumbled upon a recipe for Korean Bulgogi at that stage of my life, decidedly pre-Internet, is beyond me but hey! My boyfriend and I were house-sitting for my parents, playing grown-ups in my family’s familiar kitchen, made new because it was ours for a few days. I was itching to host a proper dinner party.

We invited several other young couples out to the suburbs for an oh, let’s call it eclectic menu of cocktails on the deck, hot crab dip with crackers, Korean bulgogi with rice, and peach crisp with ice cream for dessert. We set the dining room table with my stepmom’s lovely crystal and silver, drank my dad’s wine, cranked the (heavenly) central air conditioning, and had a complete blast. It was exactly the party I’d hoped to throw.
Korean Bulgogi

Back then I served the bulgogi with rice and that’s still a perfect accompaniment. Roll the two into lettuce leaves, if you like, or go bigger and serve as part of a bowl of bibibambap, with raw and sauteed vegetables, a soft-cooked egg, sesame oil, and chile paste. Or, go non-traditional and build your dream sandwich, piling warm slices of bulgogi high on a crusty French roll, crowning the whole with spicy, sloppy kimchi. Or pickles! Or both!

Recipe for Korean Bulgogi at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.