Monday, December 19, 2011

Warm Winter Salad

Although this has a long ingredient list and three steps to it, it is actually fairly simple to make.  It is a variation on Chicken and Wild Rice Salad from The Earth-Bound Cook by Myra Goodman (a great book on sustainable real food cooking).  I looked at the ingredient list and decided that this would be great as a warm salad particularly since clementines are now in season.  I've also included variations on the theme which I haven't tried out myself yet but I know would be quite tasty.  To make this dish pop there are a few ingredients you can't skimp on.  Buy the best olive oil and balsamic vinegar you can afford.  Use fresh parsley.

serves 3-4

1 1/2c Lundburg Wild Blend rice mix
3c filtered water

1T olive oil
1T balsamic vinegar
1/2t dried thyme
pinch sea salt
pinch pepper
small clove garlic

poached chicken:
2/3-1lb pastured organic chicken breast
2-3 sage leaves
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
1t peppercorns
1t sea salt
1T dried onion
1t dried celery flake or a stalk of celery cut to fit in pan

add ins and toppers:
4 clementines
1c pecans
2 stalks celery with leaves
handful of fresh parsley
1 or 2 shallots

  1. First thing to do is get the rice cooking as this step will take the longest.  Add rice and water to rice cooker and let rip.
  2. Next make the dressing so that the flavors can have time to blend.  It is easiest to mix this up in a small jar that has a lid.  Just add the olive oil, vinegar, dried thyme, pinch salt, pinch pepper to the jar.  Peel and press the garlic right into the jar.  If you don't own a garlic press then smear the garlic over a cutting board with a knife until it is a paste and then add.  Put the lid on the jar and shake.
  3. Set the chicken to poach.  Put chicken in pan and cover with filtered water.  Add sage, bay, sprig thyme, salt, peppercorns and celery to water.  Bring to boil then reduce to simmer.  Cover and cook for ten minutes.
  4. While everything is cooking peel and segment the clementines.  Break up the pecans into smaller pieces.  The easiest method is to place them in a ziplock baggie and mash them with a meat tenderizing hammer.  Mince fresh celery stalks and shallot and set aside.  Mince celery leaves and parsley leaves.
  5. When chicken is cooked remove from poaching water and shred chicken into bite sized pieces.  Discard poaching water.   Cover and keep warm until rice is cooked.
  6. Once the rice is done, mix with chicken in a big bowl.  Stir in celery and shallot.  Gently fold in clementine segments.
  7. Plate up the warm salad and top with dressing, celery leaves and parsley.
Nut substitutions: almond, cashew, walnut, pistachio
Clementine substitutions: pineapple, apricot, Crasins, Mandarin oranges, figs
Rice substitutions: regular wild rice mix
Shallot substitution: scallions, red onion, vidalia onion

Creamy DF Butternut Squash Soup

I got sick again so suddenly I can't eat dairy.  It seems that I can only eat fruits,  Chicken Stock and Chicken Vegetable soup but I can only tolerate this for a few days straight.  I've now been sick for over a week.  Since I love squash and it is GAPS approved, I knew that it wouldn't bother my delicate tummy.

One of the things that comes up over and over again on WAP blogs is to eat lots of good fats.  I get most of my fats from dairy which is why I tend to add cheese or cream or sour cream to my soups.  Since this is suddenly no longer an option, I started wondering how I could add good fats back into my diet without using butter or milk products.  Hence, I tinkered with my favorite squash soup recipe (which I just discovered I never put up here on my site).  The result is a  dairy free high fat squash soup that is really tasty.

makes one large bowl or two small

1c Basic Chicken Stock
1-2c diced squash
1 leek leaf coarsely chopped
1T coconut oil
1T or more almond butter

  1. Using a small 1 quart saucepan add enough squash to stock so that it is barely covered with liquid.  Depending how small you diced the squash this will vary.  I tend to cut mine up on the small 1/2" cube size.
  2. Add the leek and bring the soup to a simmer.
  3. Cover and cook about ten minutes until the squash is fork tender.
  4. Use an immersion blender to puree vegetables.
  5. Stir in coconut oil and almond butter until well blended.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add more almond butter if you like.
  • use other types of winter squash
  • use cashew butter or sesame butter instead of almond