Cook. Nourish. Heal. Celebrate.

Posts tagged as minnesota monthly

Roasted Cauliflower “Couscous” (AIP, Paleo)

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jul 15, 2014 at 4:03pm

Roasted Cauliflower "Couscous" | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)This side dish is a twist on the couscous salad that changed my life. For years, my go-to potluck contribution was a couscous salad, loaded with roasted vegetables, dried fruit, cheese, and nuts. It doesn’t wilt on a buffet and pairs well with barbecued meats and other salads. I made it for my own parties, brought it everywhere, and gave out the recipe (it’s more of a technique than a recipe, really, because you can add whatever you like to it) to many friends. I made it for our neighborhood block party one fateful night in August of 2010, in fact, and ate plenty of it, along with a hot dog on a bun washed down with beer.

I’d been having progressively debilitating health problems before that August night. For a couple of years, I had been battling joint pain, digestive distress, weight gain, water retention, low energy, and depression with physical therapy, exercise, medication, chiropractic care, acupuncture, and diet. To say that I was distressed to find no relief from my symptoms is an understatement. Luckily, I started to keep a careful food journal and noticed that when I ate bread or pasta, my joint pain and low energy would peak. As a cook and recipe writer, I was afraid to give up eating wheat, but after the couscous/hot dog/beer night in 2010, I was in absolute misery.Roasted Cauliflower "Couscous" | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)That’s when I stopped eating gluten.

My symptoms improved so quickly, I’ve never looked back. In fact, I progressed to eating no grains and adopting a paleo (whole foods) diet and continued to improve, especially after a diagnosis of hypothyroid confirmed that gluten-free was indeed my path to better health. The last few months (since February) spent following the Autoimmune Protocol/AIP have meant further improvement (especially after an unfortunate experiment with eating non-gluten grains combined with high stress caused a relapse in my hypothyroid symptoms).Roasted Cauliflower "Couscous" | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)And so I present this grain-free version of my old potluck stand-by. It doesn’t taste exactly like couscous, but roasting the cauliflower first does give it a wonderful texture and flavor (better than steaming or sauteeing the cauliflower, in my opinion). This version has been every bit as popular with friends and family as the original. See what you think!

Recipe for Roasted Cauliflower “Couscous” (AIP, Paleo) at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Cauliflower-Leek Soup with Crispy Shrimp (AIP, Paleo)

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jul 1, 2014 at 1:57pm

Cauliflower-Leek Soup with Crispy Shrimp(AIP, Paleo)For those of you who plan ahead, this is a soup for after the celebrating, when the July 4th ribs and potato salad and pie have been gleefully devoured and left you ready for something lighter. Encourage the pendulum swing back to fresh with restorative rich broth and garden-fresh vegetables, whirred in a blender to something creamy and bright. Make it a meal with crispy shrimp (to me, there is nothing better than crispy shrimp in creamy soup). Or, depending on your mood, garnish with crackling shallots, beefy meatballs, crumbled bacon, sauteed mushrooms, or dried fruit.Cauliflower-Leek Soup with Crispy Shrimp | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)If you’re finding yourself with unmanageable amounts of kohlrabi and various greens in your CSA box, this soup is for you. Roasted kohlrabi is wonderful and purees beautifully. I used mizuna (a bitterish, leafy green) in the soup pictured but I make this soup all the time with spinach, arugula, or cress, whichever I have on hand. Once you nail down the basics, you’ll see that this same technique can be applied to any combination of farmers market and/or garden goodies. Garlic scapes for garlic. Spring onions for leeks. Whatever fresh herbs you desire. On and on.Cauliflower-Leek Soup with Crispy Shrimp | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)Have a safe and festive holiday weekend! You’re making a weekend of it, right? I certainly am. A potluck barbecue on Friday, perhaps a bike ride or a trip to the lake on Saturday. I got a new car last week and I opted for a small SUV (I named her Sally) so I can haul my bike around and you know, not get stuck in the winter. Yes, I’m thinking about winter. Not too much, only in the way one must think about death (heh) – as something inevitable, best used to motivate filling one’s days with sunshine, love, purposeful work, art, music, family, friends, and good food, including canning jam and pickles for the dark days of February.

Happy 4th!

Recipe for Cauliflower-Leek Soup with Crispy Shrimp at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Coleslaw with Caper-Anchovy Dressing (AIP, Paleo)

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jun 24, 2014 at 1:21pm

Coleslaw with Caper-Anchovy Dressing | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)Are you dreaming of a July 4th barbecue feast? If you are, I have a few ideas for you. Creamy coleslaw is some of the best picnic fare around, but a vinegary slaw can be a tart change of pace, improve while sitting on a buffet, and even add a bit of polish to a plate full of picnic food. (Aside: Is there anything better than a plate full of picnic food? Gah!) Before I sing the salty praises of capers and anchovies, I want to point out my friend Shaina Olmanson’s sweet-and-sour Carolina-style vinegar coleslaw recipe on her delicious blog Food for my Family. Her husband Ole is a grill master – truly – so when she suggests the perfect slaw for July 4th barbecued pork, we all should listen. I make her coleslaw all the time and keep a jar of the dressing in my fridge – it’s fantastic on every salad.Coleslaw with Caper-Anchovy Dressing | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)So OK, back to capers and anchovies. I made this coleslaw for a lamb chop feast a few weeks back and it was a hit with everyone at the table. Capers with lamb is totally my jam, as are kalamata olives, oregano, and spring onions. If you want to sear a few chops on the stovetop for a quick weeknight meal, check out this delectable recipe and step-by-step video I shot with chef Peter Ireland. He has great tips for achieving the perfect crusty-pink chop.

Or if you’re thinking of grilling a succulent leg of lamb for your barbecue, well I wouldn’t blame you one bit and in fact, I’d happily show up with this salad!Coleslaw with Caper-Anchovy Dressing | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)So why am I picturing it with salmon? Because all the same zingy-briny flavors are fantastic with salmon too – spoon some of the dressing over the fish while it’s sizzling from the pan. The tang of the capers and lemon juice balance the creamy fattiness of wild-caught salmon for a memorable – and beautiful – entree that takes about 15 minutes to pull together.

Recipe for Coleslaw with Caper-Anchovy Dressing at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

And while I’m talking salmon, I’m never super thrilled with what I buy here in town. I order salmon online from Vital Choice and it’s sometimes excellent, sometimes just OK. If you have a salmon purveyor you’re passionate about, leave a comment, we’d all love to know!

And oh! While we’re talking about barbecues and picnics and summer entertaining, I want to introduce you to my insanely talented food writer friend Joy Summers’ new blog, Joy on the Rocks. On it she’ll be talking cocktails, both the craft-cocktail-scene variety and the make-at-home variety, including a gorgeous sangria just perfect for the 4th. Given my autoimmune protocol cocktail-less status these days, I’ve been remiss in sharing cocktail recipes and in pointing out what’s great to drink around town. I do plan to share raves about where to get a good mocktail. (Recommendations so far: La Belle Vie, which prints a whole menu of them, and Borough/Parlour where you can describe what you like and they’ll whip up something yummy. I’m overdue on trips to The Strip Club and Saffron, but I am certain that they make delightfully fresh, not-too-sweet concoctions, because all of their drinks are divine.) Fresh TartI don’t miss drinking alcohol, but I miss drinking tasty things. You know? My current fave quicky mocktail is 1/2 strawberry kombucha + 1/2 sparkling water. Dabomb.com, so good, I sip it while I’m making dinner. I’m posting a faux sangria recipe later this week, and I have big plans for not-too-sweet syrups to mix with sparkling water. I’m thinking melon/mint/honey and a Heidi Skoog/Serious Jam-inspired strawberry/balsamic/black pepper beauty. Heidi Skoog of Serious Jam | Fresh TartPhoto by TJ Turner

(Speaking of Ms. Skoog and her jam – see her fab recipe and learn how to easily make and can Raspberry Summer Jam, seasoned with ginger liqueur, scorched lemon, and orange blossom water! Berry season is upon us and it’s time to make gifts for your future, winter-weary self and family.)

Roasted Grapes with Pork Tenderloin Cutlets (AIP, Paleo)

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jun 18, 2014 at 4:06pm

Roasted Grapes with Pork Tenderloin | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)Jams, sorbets, crisps, and cobblers are all delectable tricks for managing the bounty of the season and we should all continue to employ (and devour) them as often as possible. But in case you’re as smitten with the savory side of fruit as I am, roasting fruit with fresh herbs and olive oil is a useful (and delicious) trick too.

This dish was borne of an excess of juicy red grapes that I knew weren’t going to be enjoyed before they passed their prime. Waste not, want not (I hate wasting food). I’d never roasted grapes before so it was a bit of an experiment, but given their sweet juiciness, I figured they’d emerge pretty tasty. Indeed they did. I added rosemary because I was in the mood for rosemary, and I had pork tenderloin planned for dinner, and pork and rosemary together are one of my favorite combinations. Sage would be delicious too, or really any of of your favorite herbs: fresh oregano or thyme in particular are nice with sweet things (and classic with pork). Salt and olive oil get the caramelization process started and dissolve into a dreamy salty-sweet sauce.Roasted Grapes with Pork Tenderloin Cutlets | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)I served the sauce over pan-fried pork tenderloin cutlets but if you prefer to grill pork tenderloin (or chops), do that. For a more barbecue sauce effect, you could roast onions alongside the grapes and finish the sauce with a splash of vinegar. I left the onions and vinegar out of the master recipe because I could imagine the grapes spooned over coconut yogurt for a breakfast treat. I’ve eaten them warm on top of the strawberry-rhubarb sorbet I posted last week. And I incorporated the leftover pork and grapes into an absolutely killer warm/cold summer salad (warm pork and grapes atop a bed of cool, crispy greens, spring onions, radishes, and avocado; if you find yourself with leftovers, I highly recommend it). Roasted Grapes with Pork Tenderloin Cutlets | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)Employ this same trick with berries, peaches, plums, cherries, rhubarb, or apples! Use a more neutral oil (or coconut oil) and skip the salt (or use just a pinch), drizzle with honey at the finish, and enjoy as a full-on dessert alone or as a sauce. Endless options, all summery and in my opinion, better than chocolate (and definitely better than carob; little AIP joke there).

Recipe for Roasted Grapes with Pork Tenderloin Cutlets at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

PS If you’re looking to boost the nutrient-density of this dish, both the pork and roasted grapes are fantastic alongside a pan of greens sauteed in good fat. Try this: saute the pork and while it rests for a few minutes, throw several handfuls of torn spinach, swiss chard, kale, or turnip greens (my new fave) into the hot pan drippings and saute until wilted. Season with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or a splash of apple cider vinegar and salt to taste (don’t skimp on the salt). Lemon juice or other acid tempers the bitterness of greens, as does salt, as do the sweet grapes for that matter. A good combo all-round.Roasted Grapes with Pork Tenderloin Cutlets | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)I mention nutrient-density because in my ongoing experiments on myself, I continue to be impressed by the results of upping the nutrient density of my meals as high as I can push them, namely: appetite evenness. I’ll tell you, when I eat a breakfast of a big bowl of greens and/or cabbage sauteed with protein and fat alongside fresh berries, and especially if I include a rich cup of chicken or beef bone broth, my appetite is gone until 2p. Poof. Energy is stable, mood is good. It rocks. As I noted in an earlier post, I’ve been shooting for 9 cups of mostly vegetables/some fruits per day, combined with bone broths, grass-fed/pastured meats, and wild fish. I’m working on organ meats, which are the most nutrient-dense of all foods, but which I’m less used to eating. I loooooove pates, but those I adore are made with butter and/or cream. I read a tip to cut grass-fed beef liver into pill-sized pieces and freeze them, then pop them like pills. I’m intrigued. I’m also working up to including high vitamin butter oil (if I can tolerate it) and fermented cod liver oil into my daily routine, I’ll keep you posted (or, you’ll smell it through my blog). My stepmom Susanna gave me the book Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health by Jo Robinson for a gift. It’s absolutely fascinating. Stay tuned for a review (and fun tips for maximizing nutrition through easy food prep tips) aka More Fascinating Adventures in Autoimmune Protocol and Now Nutrient Density Too! (Heh. But seriously, playing with food is awfully fun, and feeling great is well, great.)

Roasted Strawberry-Rhubarb Sorbet (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jun 10, 2014 at 3:17pm

Roasted Strawberry-Rhubarb Sorbet | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)I’m a little ahead of the game with a strawberry treat, so tuck this away for a couple of weeks if you’re waiting for the local crop. Or just make the sorbet now because rhubarb is up like crazy, the sun is shining, and any time is the right time for sorbet.

I made this particular batch as a light, spring-y dessert after a family dinner featuring rich, crusty lamb chops. I think it’s nice to end a substantial meal with something refreshing, although I confess I added a scoop of chocolate ice cream to my dad’s bowl because 1) he loves ice cream, and 2) chocolate + strawberries = NICE.Strawberries | Fresh TartRoasting the strawberries and rhubarb concentrates their flavor, while a pinch of cardamom adds a hint of spicy warmth (although if you don’t like cardamom – it tends to fall into the love/hate camp – just skip it or substitute cinnamon). If you’re feeling adventurous, play around with fresh herbs (basil could be delicious), balsamic vinegar, a splash of booze, or even black pepper. Sorbet is pretty forgiving so make it your own!

Along those lines, I intend to make a variety of fruit sorbets all summer long. It’s taken me awhile, but these days I like to think of dessert as yet another delicious opportunity to eat whole, nourishing food. Healing and feeling great is more of a treat than eating something that tastes good but makes me feel guilty or even worse, lousy. The great thing about not consuming grains, baked treats, candy, or alcohol is that fruit tastes like a gift from the gods. Seriously. You should see me eat a date – NC17, rarrr. I sort of liked fruit before, but only in the summer; in fact, I didn’t even really like dessert that much. Now I see and taste fruit for what it is – complex, juicy, sweet-tart, and very special. I don’t want to lose that appreciation which is why I don’t make a lot of paleofied baked treats – I know they’ll alter my palate in a way I no longer want.Roasted Strawberry/Rhubarb Sorbet | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)Which reminds me – I’ve had several people ask me if I think the autoimmune protocol (AIP) would be helpful for them. Good, real food is always good, but my gut tells me – gut pun, ha! – that if you’re not experiencing autoimmune disease symptoms (hypothyroid, joint pain, skin rashes, allergies, intestinal pain, headaches) but are experiencing health warning signs like weight gain, fatigue, sugar cravings, yeast infections, and suspected food sensitivities, I would not start with something as restrictive as the AIP and would absolutely recommend the Whole30 program, which is a one-month whole food (paleo) challenge. It does not restrict eggs, nuts, or nightshades but is a great way to see if gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol, and/or legumes are causing health issues. I’ve had several friends not just drop pounds but reclaim their vibrancy, energy, clear skin, good sleep, and love for fresh, whole food in just a few weeks. The website is great and the book It Starts With Food is fantastic too (highly recommend). I tag my recipes Whole30 as well as AIP where appropriate so whether you’re looking for the occasional healthy meal or have immersed yourself for 30 days, 60 days, or more (like me), I’ll have lots of ideas and tips for you. Here’s to a summer of real food and good health!Roasted Strawberry-Rhubarb Sorbet | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)And oh, sorbet. Recipe for Roasted Strawberry-Rhubarb Sorbet (AIP, Paleo) at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine!

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potatoes, Kale & Herbs (AIP, Paleo)

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jun 3, 2014 at 1:26pm

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potatoes, Kale & Herbs | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)I’ll assume that by now you’ve already been convinced of the glory of chicken thighs over chicken breasts (cheaper AND 10 times more tender and flavorful) and so I’ll spend this space instead advocating for the merits of working ahead. You know those friends who seem to have it all? Fulfilling jobs, active families, a wide circle of friends, good health, lovely homes? I’ll bet my chicken thighs that they work ahead: they exercise before the day gets crazy, they complete projects ahead of deadlines, they clean up as they go. I of course rarely pull off any of these things, however – I try to. And when I do, I am so grateful for the little gift I gave my future self. I promise myself to do it more often, and sometimes I actually achieve it.

And so I share with you this easy little dish, which can absolutely be assembled up to 24 hours before you cook it. Roasting the chicken thighs atop sweet potatoes (or potatoes, if you prefer) yields crispy, tender chicken atop rich, crusty potatoes, scented with your favorite summer herbs and aromatics (very flexible, mix it up as you see fit). The leftovers are fantastic reheated – try reheating a chicken breast, ba! – which means a delectable lunch at your desk the next day.Roasted Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potatoes, Kale & Herbs | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)I choose actual sweet potatoes – which have a rather white skin – instead of yams, which are deep orange, and often called sweet potatoes even though they aren’t. Sweet potatoes are starchier and less sweet – more similar to a standard potato. I’m sure you could make the dish with yams, you’ll just have a sweeter, softer result.graduation diplomaI put the make-aheadness of this dish to good use this past weekend as I was busy with my son’s high school graduation festivities. What a bittersweet occasion, full of pride and joy to see him so excited to be off on new adventures; and also full of the deep sadness of closing the “mommy” chapter of my life.

Of course I will always be his mother, and I haven’t been his mommy for several years already, but the graduation ceremony really ends the era, there’s no denying it. No more volunteering at school, or driving him around, or watching him play baseball, or helping with homework or projects – I loved all of those things and I have missed them (and him) as they’ve fallen away. I’ve filled the spaces with challenging work, wonderful friends, enjoying the peace and beauty of my home, focusing on my health, and as much time outside as I can muster. I’ve very specifically fought the pull of nostalgia, which isn’t easy for me. I’m a nostalgic person but as I’ve gotten older, I find spending too much time in the past just steals me away from all the good things in my present. celebrate endingsAnd so I’m working to strike the balance between celebrating the end of one era while also celebrating the beginning of the next. It’s an adventure for Nathan, and for me too. I’m so grateful that I started the autoimmune protocol in February, giving myself at least a few months of healing and feeling good before this important event. That’s not why I did it, but I sure am glad that I accidentally worked ahead.

Congratulations and best wishes to all of you excited graduates and tear-wiping parents!

Recipe for Roasted Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potatoes, Kale & Herbs at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Bacon-Wrapped Dried Plums with Rosemary Honey (AIP, Paleo) and Slim Palate Cookbook Giveaway WINNER!

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on May 27, 2014 at 4:30pm

Bacon-Wrapped Dried Plums with Rosemary Honey | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)First up: congratulations to Elaine Harbaugh Heffner for winning last week’s The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook’s giveaway! Happy cooking to you, Elaine, I know that you’ll love it.

You’ll of course recognize these little tasties as a twist on Devil’s on Horseback (dates stuffed with blue cheese, wrapped in bacon; they’re marvelous). I started playing around with them because I wanted to avoid dairy AND I wanted to bring them as dessert to a party. Bacon for dessert – why not? The honey – in my mind, at least – is what transforms the dish from appetizer to dessert, although these would be perfect as an appetizer as well, or for dinner for that matter (seriously, serve with a salad alongside). I chose dried plums instead of dates to take the sweetness down a notch, and added rosemary to the honey to you know, class up the joint a bit. Nothing elevates a humble prune like the fragrance of fresh rosemary. And a few grinds of black pepper, that’s nice too. All together, I like these better than the cheese stuffed version, and I think you might too.Bacon-Wrapped Dried Plums with Rosemary Honey | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)I ate them – and attended the party I brought them to – in celebration of completing the manuscript for Twin Cities Chef’s Table. Hooray! I was way over deadline, I hit about 20 walls while writing it, but it is done. What an incredible, life-altering experience. I had a blast photographing almost 60 chefs and their beautiful food! I credit sorting out my health via the autoimmune protocol (AIP) diet I’ve been following for the last three months and my friend Joy Summers (do not miss her delicious, hilarious dining and cocktail raves at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly, The Heavy Table, Thrillist, or her blog, Eating the Minneapple) for getting me past the writing wall I hit a few months ago. As much as I loved the work, I was sick, exhausted, and struggling mightily. I leaned on Joy for her in-depth knowledge, exactly the shot of perspective and creativity I needed to finish many of the restaurant introductions. What a gift it is to have such a talented, generous friend!Bacon-Wrapped Dried Plums with Rosemary Honey | Fresh Tart (AIP, Paleo)And now? Full steam ahead on Fresh Tart. Look for more and more fresh, seasonal AIP and paleo recipes. Good health is the name of the game, but deprivation is not. It’s summer! Beautiful food abounds and I’m so excited to share some of the dishes I’ve been making and enjoying with you all. My son graduates from high school on Friday, the book is done, my health is back on track…I’m officially declaring a new chapter in my life and I’m so grateful to be sharing this journey with you.

Also: bacon.

Recipe for Bacon-Wrapped Plums with Rosemary Honey (AIP, Paleo) at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Scallops with Morels, Ramps & Saffron-Coconut Milk Pan Sauce (AIP, Paleo) plus The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook Giveaway!

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on May 20, 2014 at 1:06pm

Scallops with Morels, Ramps & Saffron-Coconut Milk Sauce (AIP, Paleo) | Fresh TartHelloooooo again and Happy Spring! I’ve been away for so long, finishing a cookbook I’ve been working on called Twin Cities Chef’s Table, highlighting Twin Cities chefs, eateries, and our overall food scene, to be published in Fall 2014. It’s been an incredible project to photograph and write, but I’m excited to be back to sharing recipes with you all.

I couldn’t return in May without writing about ramps and morels, two of my favorite foods on the planet, perhaps this year more than any other given the CRAP winter we just had. I mean, wow, that was tough, in the end mentally more than physically, but I can say that because I didn’t have to shovel snow. For you snow shovelers, you are superheroes, and you have definitely earned a feast of morels. A photo of your plate would be a mountain of morels burying those seared scallops…

AIP Barbecue Chicken Wings with Sauteed Broccoli, Green Goddess DressingPhoto I shared on Instagram of AIP barbecue chicken wings with sauteed broccoli, green goddess dressing

I’m in my third month of the autoimmune protocol allergy elimination diet – see Adventures in Autoimmune Protocol posts for the specifics – and I can report continued improved health and abatement of hypothyroid symptoms and food reactions. In fact…I feel pretty damn amazing. I seem to have crossed some sort of threshold, into a phase of renewal, which I attribute to a rather kablam confluence of events – intense nutrition/healing, spring, wrapping the book, therapeutic reading/reflection/journaling, the support of amazing friends, plenty of rest (and a magical vacation, next post), as much time outdoors as I can swing, and having my life pointed in the right direction. The best way I can describe it is that I have returned myself to myself. Tralalaaah! It’s a wonderful, long overdue, hard-earned feeling.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I thought the restrictions would be unbearable (no dairy, grains, nuts/seeds, eggs, nightshades, industrial oils, legumes/coffee/chocolate with the goal of reintroducing/testing those foods over the summer to see which specifically were causing my hypothyroid symptoms to roar back), but it hasn’t been unbearable at all and in fact it’s been, um, FUN. It rocks to feel so good, I’ve had a blast cooking, and I am immersed in reading about nutrition, which is exactly how I love to spend my time (recent reads which I highly recommend: The Wahl’s Protocol by Terry Wahl’s, MD; of course The Paleo Approach by Sarah Ballantyne, PhD, which is the protocol I’m following, I refer back to it constantly; Your Personal Paleo Code by Chris Kesser; Deep Nutrition by Catherine Shanahan, MD; The Perfect Health Diet by Paul Jaminet, PhD; It Starts with Food by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig). More on all of those later.
Stephanie Meyer | Fresh TartI don’t usually post pics of myself, but I like what this one says: my hair health is returning and my face is no longer puffy (hair loss/damage and water retention are both hypothyroid symptoms I am glad to have back under control).

One unexpected bonus has been the fantastic interactions I’ve had online around the autoimmune protocol, on Instagram and Facebook in particular. What a marvelous group of people, facing down serious food-related health problems and finding their way back to real, whole food…which means a heck of a lot of cooking. While it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed, it helps me to think about it all as a gift to myself and my loved ones, especially when I’m tired and feeling sorry for myself – my AIP mantra is it is a privilege to cook and eat beautiful food. I understand how woowoo that sounds <insert audible eyeroll>. It’s taken me a long time to feel that way about food and cooking. This blog’s first name was Moderate Epicurean – a reflection of my then thoughts around eating whatever I wanted, in moderation.

But my thoughts have evolved and that’s no longer my goal. It turns out that for me at least, healing occurs and moderation takes care of itself when I skip grains, sugar, alcohol, and vegetable oils (and perhaps eggs and/or dairy and/or nuts, I’ll know more when I reintroduce them), and eat a bounty of whole, unprocessed, nutrient-dense food – high-quality meat, loads of vegetables and (smaller amounts of) fruit, and generous amounts of good fat. Putting an autoimmune (or other chronic health) condition in remission is the best outcome of all, of course, but being free from cravings, guilt, weight gain, mood swings, and low energy is a close second – in fact, without those side-effects, actively striving for moderation is unnecessary. Perhaps that’s a source of my unburdened tralalaaah feeling as well, I hadn’t thought of it until right now. I am free from worrying about my weight, eating every few hours, or whether I’ve had one too many cocktails. It would have been nice to figure that out before I was in my 40s (I began my gluten-free, and then grain-free/Paleo journey almost 4 years ago), but hey. There’s hope for the next generation…The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook by Joshua Weissman…as exemplified by 18-year old Joshua Weissman, who through giving up processed/packaged non-food and learning to cook real, fresh, nutrient-dense food, lost 100 pounds and reclaimed his health and vibrancy. On his journey, Josh has become a crazy-talented food photographer and recipe writer at his beautiful blog, Slim Palate. In addition – this is one very accomplished young man! – he recently published the smash hit The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook, a book rich with delectable, approachable recipes for everyday and special-occasion cooking. Josh has accomplished all of this while finishing his senior year in high school. In honor of all of his accomplishments – and in honor of spring, and fresh food, and good health – I can’t imagine a better way to return to blogging than to give away a copy of his book! Leave a note in comments if you’re interested, I’ll announce a winner here on Fresh Tart in one week, next Tuesday, May 27.Scallops with Morels, Ramps & Saffron-Coconut Milk Sauce (AIP, Paleo) | Fresh TartThe recipe is adapted from Josh’s book. I gave an option for using fresh morels and ramps – ’tis the season, of course – but the dish is gorgeous with dried morels too, which makes it an all-season recipe. As a one-pan dish, it’s a weeknight recipe as well. And as scallops with morels and ramps, it’s a party recipe too!

Recipe for Scallops with Morels, Ramps & Saffron-Coconut Milk Pan Sauce (AIP, Paleo) is at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

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.