Friday, February 3, 2012

Garlic Cauliflower

This is a simple but really good side dish.  If you are on the fence about cauliflower but love garlic, this might turn you into a cauliflower lover.

If you can't find Boursin cheese in your area, any soft cheese with garlic and herbs will do.

serves 1-2

1/4 large head or 1/2 small head cauliflower
1T Boursin garlic and herb cheese

  1. Cut flowers off head of cauliflower.  Discard core.
  2. Cut into bite sized pieces and put in pan.
  3. Add about 1" of water to pan.
  4. Cover and bring water to boil.  Shut off.  Do NOT remove cover.
  5. Let sit for 10 mins until steam is no longer escaping from pan.
  6. Florets should be easy to pierce with a knife.
  7. Drain off water.
  8. Stir in cheese until melted.
  9. Serve.

Rosemary Butter

Last summer, after a 30+ year hiatus, I started eating cows again.  As much as I had missed eating steak, I'm glad I missed 30 years of feedlot meat.  Growing up, beef was one of my favorite foods.  Of course, in England, cows are all free range and grass fed.  That is how cows are supposed to be raised.  Feedlots became the norm in the US in the 1970s although they had been around before that.  Feedlot beef tastes different than grass fed and is much less healthy for human consumption.  Being brought up on grass fed beef, that is what I prefer.  To read more about the health benefits of grass fed beef go here.

One of the first dinners I learned to cook as a teenager was broiled steak.  I would marinade it in pickle juice and stick it under the broiler for about 5mins a side which would yield a tender juicy medium well steak.  Of course not cooking beef for 30 years I've had to learn all over again.  There are tons of videos on YouTube, the most amusing being Jamie Oliver's version where he gently strokes the steaks with fronds of fresh rosemary.

Being more practical, I decided to make a rub for my steaks instead.  This incorporates everything into one topping that can be made days ahead of time and then rubbed onto the steak before cooking.

You will need a mortar and pestle for this.

makes 2 tablespoons (which is enough for an 11oz steak)

2t of dried rosemary
pinch coarse Celtic sea salt
pinch fresh ground pepper or two peppercorns
2T organic pastured butter (cultured if you can find it)

  1. Place rosemary, salt and pepper into the mortar.
  2. Cover mortar with free hand while slowly grinding the spices with the pestle.
  3. Grind into a find powder.
  4. Soften butter with a fork or spoon in a separate dish.
  5. Stir spices into butter and mix until fully incorporated.
  6. Massage into dry room temperature meat before cooking.  
  7. Make in larger batches and wrap tightly in plastic wrap or wax paper to save for later.  Will keep indefinitely if kept away from air and refrigerated.  Allow to soften before use.
Optional add in: 
Add a small clove of garlic to the mortar once the spices are ground fine.  Mash with pestle.  This will make an herb paste that you can incorporate into the butter.  This will introduce a very strong garlic flavor to the butter and may be too much unless you adore garlic like I do.

Yogurt Whip

I've been eating sliced fruit topped with yogurt for years.  My favorites being sliced bananas, strawberries and/or kiwis topped with vanilla or strawberry yogurt.  Now that I'm on a full fat sugarless kick it is next to impossible to find off the shelf whole milk yogurt that doesn't have some form of sugar added to it.  Bums me out.

During the fall I did dabble in making my own yogurt with great success using Viili room temperature culture from Cultures for Health and mixing in mango puree.  However, due to a sudden illness in December that has lingered and a bad med reaction this past week I haven't had the energy to get back to making yogurt from scratch.

Not wanting to forgo one of my favorite healthy snacks I did manage to find full fat plain organic yogurt in large tubs.  So I got that and some bananas and strawberries.  And today I made this which turned out absolutely delightful.  Making it in the food processor adds air into the yogurt making it light and fluffy and a wonderful treat.  Of course, with the banana it doesn't need any sweetener at all so this has no added sugar.  Woohoo!  Success!!

Of course, I've listed a ton of substitutions so feel free to get creative.  I'm seeing all sorts of odd combinations in the supermarket.  I can hardly wait until the local farmer's market opens again so I can experiment with different kinds of in season fruits.

This can be made in slightly larger batches and kept in mason jars in the fridge for later use.  I would only make enough for a day or two since berries tend to not last very long once they are chopped up.  Of course this doesn't last long in my house anyway so I haven't tested the upper limit on storage yet.

On another good note, having the fat combined with the fruit slows the absorption of the fruit sugars into the blood stream.  Way less of a blood sugar spike after eating it and the sensation of fullness lasts longer.  According to WAPF the fat also aids in the digestion of the vitamins in the fruit.  For more about fats in the diet see: Weston A Price Foundation website.

serves 1-2

1 banana
generous handful of strawberries
1-2c organic, plain, whole milk yogurt

  1. Wash and hull strawberries.
  2. Peel banana.
  3. Puree fruit in blender or food processor.
  4. While processor is running, add enough yogurt to fully incorporate fruit.
  5. Don't worry about it being lumpy.  So you actually have a chew an odd piece of fruit here or there.  Eat up or store in mason jars in fridge for later.

Substitutions for the fruit:
  • Fresh pineapple or canned in its own juice
  • Organic, no sugar added, applesauce
  • Other berries such as blackberries or raspberries
  • Kiwi and banana
  • Mango or papaya with shredded coconut
  • Orange or clementine segments (but the covering has to be removed from the segments)
  • Peaches, plums and/or nectarines (pits removed of course)
  • Figs, persimmons or pomegranate seeds for something exotic
  • Shredded organic coconut
  • Lemon curd (except this has sugar in it unless homemade)
Substitutions for the dairy:
  • Full fat organic coconut milk (comes in cans or frozen: if buying cans looks for BPA free)
Add ins:
  • Extracts such as vanilla, orange or lemon
  • Powders such as vanilla or cocoa
  • Local organic honey
  • Expeller pressed organic coconut oil or coconut cream
  • Nut butters such as almond or cashew