Saturday, November 22, 2014

Kombucha



What you need:
 Gallon glass jars (each gallon jar can hold enough to make 5 ½ 16 oz. bottles every 14 days): Crate and Barrel, Target, Walmart
 Large stock pot (to brew tea)
 Thin dish towels to cover each gallon jar
 Quart sized Mason jars with lids (I use plastic lids): Target, Walmart
 Organic black tea: iHerb
 Organic sugar: Trader Joe’s
 SCOBY: a dear friend  ;-)
 Organic frozen fruit: Trader Joe’s
 Bottles for the final Kombucha (I have saved the 16 oz. store bought Kombucha bottles)

What you do:
 Bring 3 quarts of filtered water to a boil
 Dissolve ¾ cup sugar in water
 Add 6 tea bags
 Let sweet tea come to room temperature
 Remove tea bags and pour tea into gallon glass jar
 Add SCOBY and about 1/2 to 1 cup previously made Kombucha
 Cover with dish towel and secure with rubber band
 Place jar in dark place (Mine goes in my pantry)
 Test for desired sweetness/vinegary-ness after 5 days (Mine is usually ready in 5 to 9 days in warm months and 11 days during cooler weather)
 With very clean hands, remove baby SCOBY and mother SCOBY, and place in small glass jar with 1/2 to 1 cup just-brewed Kombucha, then put lid on (One SCOBY and half the liquid will be used in next batch, one SCOBY and other half of liquid can be given away)
 Pour Kombucha in 3 quart sized Mason jars (for secondary fermentation)
 Add a layer of frozen raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, pineapple, fresh passion fruit, watermelon, a chunk of banana (experiment to see what you like), and screw on lid
 Let sit for another 3 days
 Use strainer and funnel to pour the finished Kombucha into jars
 Store in refrigerator (or Kombucha will continue to ferment)
 Enjoy!


Informative Blog Post on Kombucha:

Disclaimer:
 As there is controversy as to the safety and health benefits of consuming Kombucha, please do your own research before brewing and drinking.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Salad Dressing

For years I always bought salad dressing. But, now that I have learned about the dangers of many modern oils (canola, corn, etc.) and other unhealthy additives used in store bought dressings, I make my own! Easy, healthy, delicious! Our dear cooking instructor, Monica Corrado from Simply Being Well, taught us this recipe. By the way, Monica has an amazing little cookbook that I think everyone should own!

What you need:
 A mason jar
 Mustard
 Vinegar or lemon juice
 Extra virgin, cold-pressed olive oil
 Sea salt
 Pepper
 Honey (if desired)

What you do:
 Put a small forkful of mustard in mason jar
 Add the vinegar or lemon juice and olive oil (and honey if desired)
 Shake until well blended
 Add salt and pepper to taste
 Enjoy on your favorite salad!

Chili

We served this chili at Ali and David's wedding party dinner. I tried a variation with red, yellow and orange peppers. We liked it, but thought anyone who does not like peppers would not. So, then I tried it with lots of diced zucchini. The zucchini got a bit too mushy. So, my third attempt was this recipe. My family liked it, and I hope everyone else did!


What you need:
 1/2 lb. bacon, cut into small pieces
 2 lbs. ground beef
 1 lb. spicy sausage, chopping into small pieces
 1 large onion, diced
 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
 6-8 large carrots, diced
 1 lb. mushrooms, chopped
 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
 1 28 oz. can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
 1 7 oz. jar tomato paste
 2 Tb. basil
 2 Tb. chili powder
 1 Tb. thyme
 2 tsp. cumin
 2 tsp. smoked paprika
 1/8 cup raw cacao powder
 1 Tb. salt
 1 cup bone broth
 Crushed red pepper flakes if desired

What you do:
 Heat large, deep pan
 Add bacon and onion
 Cook until onion is soft
 Add ground beef and sausage
 Cook until almost browned
 Add garlic and finish cooking
 Transfer to crock pot
 Add all other ingredients
 Cook on low for 6 hours.
 Serve with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream and avocado chunks.
 Enjoy!


Slow Cooked Pulled Pork

This recipe is from Nom Nom Paleo. Very few ingredients, easy to prepare and delicious! We serve this tasty meat over sauteed cabbage noodles and then use the left overs for tacos or quesadillas! 


What you need:
 5 pound pork butt roast (If my store doesn't have that, I just ask the butcher what cut of meat would work  for pulled pork.)
 4-5 sliced bacon
 3 1/2 to 4 teaspoons Real Salt or Celtic Sea Salt (3/4 tsp. per pound of meat)
 Garlic powder


What you do:
 Place the bacon strips on the bottom of your slow cooker
 Salt the pork on all sides
 Sprinkle garlic powder on all sides and place on top of bacon
 Cook in slow cooker on low for up to 16 hours
 Remove meat from slow cooker, pull apart with two forks and add liquid from slow cooker to desired  consistency
 Serve over cabbage noodles with a BIG dollop of sour cream
 Enjoy!


Cabbage noodles:
 Cut large head of cabbage into quarters
 Cut out core
 Slice each quarter into thin, noodle-like pieces
 Saute in LOTS of butter
 Add salt, pepper, garlic powder
 Enjoy alone or in place of grain-based noodles!

Parmesan Crisps

These tasty crisps are a great alternative to chips for those of us who do not eat grains!


What you need:
 Grated Parmesan cheese

What you do:
 Preheat oven to 350ยบ
 Line cookie sheet with parchment paper
 Drop small mounds of Parmesan cheese on cookie sheet
 Cook for about seven minutes
 Let cool
 Dip into guacamole or salsa!

Simple Guacamole

Over the years, I've tried many guacamole recipes. Ali shared this simple, delicious recipe with me. Love it!


What you need:
 2 to 4 ripe avocados, pit removed and peeled
 Juice of one lemon or lime
 Garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste

What you do:
 Put all ingredients in a bowl
 Mash together and adjust salt and pepper
 Enjoy!