Sara's Favorite Recipes

This is an ever-growing collection. I used to be vegetarian, and some of these older recipes are for large crowds or food service use. (I was obsessed with whole-grains, gluten-free baked goods, and sourdough bread.) Now I'm learning how to be an omnivore, and am slowly collecting recipes featuring meat. E-mail me if you are trying to cook something, and if I have a recipe that measures up, I'll post it.

Susan's Fabulous Picadillo Cubano

Thanks to Sue for this awesomely spicy, savory, and sweet recipe! I only changed a couple of things, based on what was in my fridge at the time, but we all loved it. Such a great new way to enjoy a less-expensive cut of meat! :)

1/4 C olive oil (optional if using very fatty meat)
2 lbs ground beef
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp oregano
1 bay leaf
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 sweet pepper, finely chopped
2 cups grated or minced green cabbage
5 garlic cloves, crushed
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 jar crushed or diced tomatoes, approximately 18 oz.
1 C white wine

Gluten-Free Potato Latkes, Totally Delicious

I was surprisingly unsatisfied with the latke recipes I turned up by google-searching this year...so I adapted this one from the Food Network. They turned out deliciously, tiny and lacy and crisp and just-right salted. Perfect with apple sauce...

This makes a large number of latkes, almost enough for two hungry adults and three hungry children.

(2016 Latke Party Notes: 21 lbs. of potatoes (7x recipe) generously fed 17 eaters; we also ate a 2/3 full 8-quart pot of applesauce (about 7 jars worth), and had a pot of chicken soup on the side.)

Delicious, No-Churn Ice Cream!

In the process of developing a delicious GAPS cheesecake, I discovered that with a few minor adjustments to the filling, one can have fantastic GAPS ice cream! Even if you don't have an ice cream maker. The texture is a little hard, but not icy, and super creamy and delicious. Add 3/4 c. good-quality organic cocoa to the honey/date mixture before blending with the cream, if you want chocolate.

1-1 1/2 c. pitted dates, OR 1/2 c. raw honey
4 tsp. unflavored gelatin
3 T. hot water
4 cups sour cream (24-hour-yogurt made with 2 pints of heavy cream)
2 Tbsp. vanilla

Maya's Tree Cake (Chestnut Applesauce Cake)

Maya gave me her recipe for "tree cake 2.0", which involved two unusual ingredients: chestnut flour, and acorn flour, and was a big hit. :) I decided I liked it even better with more fat, and I experimented with using dates to sweeten it, and I discovered that a banana version is quite delightful. Great flavor, with none of the Strange Gluten-Free Taste that sometimes haunts GF baked goods...

The basic idea is: you want about twice as much liquid as dry ingredients, by volume. (I also tried substituting 1 lb.

Perfect Pear Pancakes (Gluten-Free)

Make enough for 4-5 hungry people

This is the easiest way to use up leftover gluten-free sourdough starter! Just feed the starter (and measure, to make sure you'll have the right amount in the morning) so that it's very thick (and for even better texture, make the last feeding tapioca flour, white rice flour, sweet rice flour, and/or other gluten-free flours - the starter doesn't like this for regular use, but if it's the final feeding-before-it-gets-eaten, it works just fine).

Shannon Hayes' Shepherd's Pie

This is adapted from Shannon Haye's exceptional recipe for meaty deliciousness! I post it here so that I can reference the ingredients even when I'm away from her awesome cookbook.

4# potatoes
4-8oz Parmesan, shredded
4-8 T. butter
1/2 cup yogurt
~2 tsp. salt, to taste
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
pepper

2# ground beef
2 T. fat of your choice
2 medium onions, diced small
1.5 tsp. salt, to taste
4 medium carrots, diced
2 c. green beans, chopped
1/3 c. white rice flour
2-4 c. meat broth
2 c. peas

Shiitake Mushroom Meatloaf, with Delicious Mushroom Gravy

Growing up vegetarian, we often ate "lentil loaf" for dinner; it had a good flavor, as lentil loaves go, but a crumbly texture. When I started eating meat six years ago, I wondered about meatloaf - but my attempts up until now yielded dense, greasy loaves, swimming in their own juices. I recently adapted a recipe from "Cook's Country" magazine, and turned out this amazingly delicious, perfect-textured loaf, with a lovely deep brown Crust, no greasiness to speak of, and fantastic flavor. Plus, the pan drippings turn into a delicious mushroom gravy! And the leftovers make awesome sandwiches.

Our Favorite Squash Pie, for Ben

This recipe is by Elena (creator of the beautiful blog http://elanaspantry.com/ ), written down by me so that Ben could attempt to make it by himself.

Squash Pie

Ingredients

2 medium butternut squash, cut in half [ask Mama or Papa to help with this!], seeds removed
3 tablespoons butter
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt

Instructions:

1) Preheat oven to 350f (“convection bake”).

Cod with Olives

This was SO so good, even though I adapted the recipe (to eliminate the flour used in the original recipe, for dredging the fish, and then to eliminate the dredging/frying step entirely). I think the breading could be improved, actually (the spectacular part of this recipe is the sauce, which tastes great over plain old unseasoned, non-breaded cod filets); my friend had an idea to use partially-ground sesame seeds mixed with coconut flakes, which might be less-dense than the macadamias I used.

Perfect Applesauce "Snack Cake"

With gratitude to healthyseasonalrecipes.com, from whose recipe this is adapted. I was so thrilled to find something so perfect to fill a craving for a warm, spicy apple cake! (If you leave some of the applesauce chunky, so much the better.)

1 large bundt pan or a 9x13” sheet pan

Ingredients:

2 eggs
Zest from 1 lemon
2 c. unsweetened applesauce, preferably home-made
½ cup maple syrup (or ¼ c. syrup + ¼ additional c. applesauce)
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 cups rice flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt

Instructions:

Sourdough Cassava Flatbread

I have recently discovered Otto's Naturals Cassava Flour http://www.ottosnaturals.com/ , a dangerous addition to a reformed special-diet baker's pantry... :)

These flatbreads are super yummy, satisfying a craving for both sourdough-bread-uneaten-over-the-past-six-years, and an infinitely versatile starch source that tastes good with most everything. You can split the breads open when they're still warm, if you want to try for a stuffed sandwich. I love that these aren't trying to be anything else - no binders, strange ingredients or flavors...just delicious.

Millie's Easy Kimchee

Millie says: "According to the Korea Food Research Institute, correctly fermented kimchi contains higher amounts of lactic acid and lactic acid bacteria than dairy fermented products such as yogurt. Kimchi contains protein, calcium, phosphorous, vitamins C, B1, B2, and niacin. The following recipe uses common ingredients usually kept on hand or easily found. The ingredients are cut into small pieces for easy eating and quicker fermentation."

1 head Chinese or Napa cabbage, 2 ½ - 3lbs.
1 medium Asian radish (daikon or similar)
¼ cup coarse sea salt
4 scallions (cut into 1" pieces)

Roasted Eggplant Spread

From Barefoot Contessa, I think.

1 medium eggplant, peeled
2 red bell peppers, seeded
1 red onion, peeled
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp good olive oil
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp tomato paste

Preheat the oven to 400f degrees.

Cut the eggplant, bell pepper, and onion into 1-inch cubes. Toss them in a large bowl with the garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Scrape the mixture out and spread onto a baking sheet. Roast for 40 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft, tossing once during cooking. Cool slightly.

Fantastic GAPS Cheesecake

I tried to prepare this recipe http://heal-balance-live.blogspot.com/2009/09/scd-cheesecake.html , but made some adaptations to make it fruit-sweetened (and my cream would NOT whip!). It was really fantastic anyway. Then, I made some more adaptations and came up with a much easier and super-tasty version; here it is.

This recipe makes 1 10-inch springform pan.

Crust:
2 c. raw macadamia nuts, or soaked/dehydrated raw pecans
1/4-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
6 T. butter
4 pitted dates

Preheat oven to 300f. Line the pan with a circle of parchment.

Herbed/Marinated Chicken Legs

These are really delicious, and are good left over, too. The sauce becomes a thick, sweet-sour glaze as it cools, so I like to toss the fully-cooked chicken around a bit once it comes out of the oven. This way, the glaze attaches to the meat instead of the pan.

15 drumsticks
Loose cup of fresh herbs - a mixture of thyme, sage, oregano, and savory is nice
Salt and pepper to taste (1-1.5 tsp. salt)
3/4 c. cider vinegar (balsamic is awesome, too)

Rub herbs and salt and lots of pepper on chicken, and allow to sit overnight in the fridge if you have time (but it's fine if you don't).

The Most Awesome Crispy Roasted Potatoes

When I saw Cooks Illustrated's latest issue, with a description of the Best Crispy Roasted Potatoes Ever...I was intrigued. And after we polished off the whole batch, I knew I'd have to scale up my recipe and technique to meet the demand. :) These are amazing! I discovered that the salt and baking soda does not need to be doubled, even with more than twice as many potatoes as the original recipe. This makes enough for our family, with some left over. And don't be tempted to substitute for the animal fat - I think it really makes them super good.

Keema (Really Tasty Curried Ground Meat)

Many thanks to Sue for both a delicious dinner after Ivy was born, and this recipe, which is infinitely variable and a great way to make ground meat taste really special. Lamb or goat would be awesome, but ground beef is good, too. It's delicious served with basmati rice, peas, and raita (yogurt with grated cucumber, dill, coriender, and salt).

2 lbs. ground meat
1 T. ghee or other fat
2-3 tsp. each: cumin, coriander, and turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
hot chile to taste (or omit for a mild curry)
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into eighths
2 large cloves garlic, peeled

Really Delicious, No-Pound, "Traditional" Raisin-Cinnamon Mochi

I have actually never eaten "traditional" mochi - but traditionally, when I was growing up, we bought flat cakes of Grainnaissance raisin-cinnamon mochi and baked it till it puffed up in the toaster. Such a delicious tradition!

Now we're eating rice again, but only if it's white or fermented (if it's brown). The folks at Grainnaissance confirmed that they don't ferment their rice, so I was determined to make my own mochi.

Chicken Cacciatore

My mom found this simple recipe, and it is really, really delicious. The sauce uses wine, tomatoes, and mushrooms - need I say more?

Makes enough for about 7 people, if served over rice or similar starch.

4 lbs. bone-in chicken parts (legs and thighs are good)
2 T. fat
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
24 oz. jar "strained" tomatoes (Bionaturae packages theirs in glass)
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 cup white wine OR 3/4 cup vermouth
2 c. fresh mushrooms, quartered (8 oz)
Salt and pepper, to taste (definitely make sure to add enough salt!)

Shittake Mushroom and Red Lentil Soup with Red Wine

Right around when my second son was born, the Sierra Club magazine ran a recipe that sounded delicious: red lentils cooked with "fire-roasted" tomatoes, wild rice, a bunch of shittake mushrooms, and red wine, cooked until creamy and full of flavor: http://www.food.com/recipe/shiitake-lentil-pressure-cooker-soup-276160 .

The problems with the original recipe were small but numerous, including how it made way more than indicated, and overflowed my cooker!

But the taste was fantastic, so I just re-jiggered things and generally don't use a pressure cooker when I make it.

Wonderful Thai Chicken Curry

Cooks Illustrated has more and more recipes that can be adapted to fit "special diets." This one, for simplified Massaman Curry, was absolutely superb. The curry paste was a huge pain in the rear, but I made 4x the recipe and froze leftovers for later. That turned subsequent dinners into (nearly) Fast Food.

Curry Paste:
6 dried New Mexico chiles
4 shallots, unpeeled
7 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 c. chopped fresh ginger
1/4 c. water
4.5 tsp. lime juice
4.5 tsp. coconut oil
1 T. fish sauce (no sugar added)
1 tsp. five-spice powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. pepper

Curry:

Fantastic, Delicious, Gluten-Free Sourdough Pizza!

In May/June 2014, Cooks Illustrated presented an in-depth article on "Gluten Free Pizza Worth Eating." I was very intrigued...but didn't want to use commercial baking yeast, and wanted to eliminate a couple of other questionable ingredients. Therefore, I created a prototype for a 24-hour-fermented, kefir-risen pizza crust. It was nearly unbelievable - you wouldn't even know it was gluten free unless someone told you, the texture was crispy-on-the-bottom and chewy, you could eat a slice with one hand (just like real pizza!) and I'm gonna keep experimenting...

Let me know what you think!

Vanilla Coconut Chia Pudding

I can't decide what I think about chia. On the one hand: seems pretty indigestible. On the other hand: is a traditional food. On the other hand: did people just eat it as is?? Did they grind it, or ferment it?? I don't know. But this tastes pretty delicious. :)

3.5 c. coconut milk
2 T. vanilla
1 vanilla bean's insides, scraped
1.5 tsp. cinnamon
2 T. honey
pinch salt
1/2 c. chia seeds

Blend all ingredients except for chia. Add chia, whisking constantly until everything is combined, being careful not to allow the chia to clump (it may never unclump!).

Saag Paneer

I love love love saag paneer. And when our friend brought over two pounds of fresh paneer, I just had to find a good recipe. Here it is:

2 T. butter or ghee
1 T. minced fresh ginger
1 T. minced fresh garlic
3 small dried chiles
2 T. curry powder
Salt, to taste
1.5 lbs. spinach, washed well, cut into 1-inch pieces, water still clinging to the leaves
3/4 lb. fresh paneer cheese cubes
1/2 c. yogurt
1.5 c. light or heavy cream, preferably cultured (yogurt cream)
squeeze of lemon

Raw Vegan GAPS Brownies

There are a ton of similar recipes that proliferate around the Internet. This one is a pretty tasty one - heavy on the Sweet, but hey - decadence every so often is supposed to be a good thing, right?

2 c. raw walnuts (soaked and dehydrated)
2.5 c. medjool dates, pitted
1 c. cocoa powder (raw doesn't taste as good as Regular)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. raw almonds (soaked and dehydrated), chopped coarsely

Process walnuts till finely ground. Add the dates one at a time, and process until fine cake-like crumbs emerge, that can hold together when pressed.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Turmeric

I love what cauliflower does to a soup - it's much more than you might think, if you imagine cauliflower as a Limp Steamed Vegetable! And turmeric supposedly does all sorts of good things for conditions like Dementia, etc...except I can't remember what it does, exactly...

At least this is delicious. :)

3 T. ghee
1 lg. onion
2 lg. heads cauliflower (~8 cups florets)
3 lg. cloves garlic, sliced
1 T. tomato paste
1 T. plus 2 tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. mustard powder
1 bay leaf
6 c. chicken stock
1/2 c. heavy cream
3 T. fresh dill
salt and pepper, to taste

Hoppers

These are interesting Sri Lankan/India crepes, inspired by Sandor Katz' description in "The Art of Fermentation." Ideally, the edges are thin and beautifully crispy, while the centers are chewy and moist. My recipe is still in process; I'll post updates when I improve things. For now, the most important thing I've learned is that you absolutely must not use sticky rice - starchy white basmati is the best I've tried.

1 lb. white basmati rice, soaked overnight
2-4 c. coconut water
about 2 Tbsp. coconut water kefir, or some similar ferment, as starter

Delicious Dosas

I have been trying to add nutritious and delicious sources of high-quality starch to our diet. Dosas fit the bill, and they are also fermented. Plus, they are really delicious, especially when fried in lots of ghee!

3 c. white rice
1 c. red lentils
1/4 c. fenugreek seeds

Soak this overnight in water to cover; drain and rinse, and add just enough water to be able to blend till smooth (immersion blender works fine).

Eileen's Tasty Meatballs

This is a tasty way to mix meat and veggies in a form that isn't soup. :) I like to bake these, to make it super easy to prepare a lot (4 lbs of beef makes enough for two large sheet pans' worth). They're also very yummy with tomato sauce.

1 lb. ground beef
1 cup lightly sauteed/steamed cooked veggies (onion, celery, carrots, cauliflower, and/or broccoli, etc.)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dry thyme or 1 tsp. fresh
1/2 tsp. dry oregano or 1 tsp. fresh
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 egg

Preheat oven to 425f.

Really Delicious Liver Pate (Really! And I didn't think it was possible)

Okay, so Maya and Kristen got me to try eating liver. Again. And finally, I can honestly say: I Like Liver. I LOVE liver! At least when it's prepared like this (based on [this recipe](http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2012/02/chopped-liver-pate/)).

1 lb. lamb liver, in 1/4" slices, soaked in milk for an hour and then rinsed with cool water and drained
1/2 cup refined coconut oil
2 large onions, peeled and diced
1/2 cup good butter
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 hardboiled eggs, peeled
salt and pepper to taste

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