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.

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

Super Fantastic, GAPS "Black and White" Cookies

Makes about 32 cookies.

I really really think that it's important not to justify eating frequent desserts just because they're "gluten free" or "allowed on GAPS." And yet sometimes, I let myself have fun thinking about, making, and eating dessert.

Peach-Blueberry Clafouti

For my son's sixth birthday, he had lots of requirements for a cake. I did a google search for "peach blueberry cake" (plus additional search terms "GAPS sugar-free grain-free easy"), adapted two recipes, and discovered clafouti: a delicious cross between a custard and a cake, sweetened with fruit, and best enjoyed cold. SO buttery and good! It's really a lot better served cold, preferably chilled overnight.

Makes one 9x13" pan

8 medium peaches, or 16 small ones, pits removed
1 cup blueberries (or blackberries)

1 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup coconut butter, melted

One of the best (Red Lentil) Soups Ever

Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6
(Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home.)

"A golden soup with flecks of red and orange. Variations of this soup are found in cuisines from Egypt to India. It's even better as a leftover, when the flavors have fully mingled. This soup is good served with toasted pita wedges and topped with yogurt, minced onion, or sprigs of fresh mint, parsley, or cilantro. For a simple meal, accompany with a tossed green salad and bread."

1 1/2 cups red lentils
6 cups water
3 bay leaves
4 garlic cloves, chopped

Black Bean Soup

Makes about 9 cups

Another total favorite from "Laurel's Kitchen," by Laurel Robertson et al.

1 1/2 cup black beans
6 cups water

1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp. oil
2 cloves garlic
2 celery stalks
1 potato
1 carrot
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. savory
2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

1 lemon, juiced

Wash the beans and put them in a saucepan along with the water. Cover loosely, bring to a boil, and simmer for 2 1/2 hours or so, until the beans are quite tender.

Ruthe's Pesto

servings: 6-8

source: Mama Dearest

4 medium garlic cloves
1 tsp. salt
4 lightly packed cups fresh basil (2-4 oz.)
6 oz (1 heaping cup) raw walnuts or pine nuts (optional; when I do use these, I soak (and sometimes dehydrate) first)
4 tbsp. Parmesan (optional)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Blend all ingredients except for olive oil in the food processor in the order listed, until they form a smooth paste. Add olive oil in a slow stream and process till blended.

How To Keep Your Water Kefir Grains Alive

After killing several batches of water kefir grains, I finally settled on the following technique for feeding my water kefir grains. (We don't drink the liquid, but I use extra grains for culturing watery beverages like coconut water. Meanwhile, the grains stay alive in their primary medium of sugar water.)

1/4 cup water kefir grains
1/4 cup sucanat
5 raisins
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1 slice unjuiced lemon
filtered water to cover, and mostly fill a 1-quart jar, with at least an inch of headroom

How I Roast A Duck

Duck is so fantastic, especially when the fat renders, and the skin is crackly and incredible, and the meat is moist and super delicious. This technique tends to make that happen...

1 duck (2-5 pounds or so), and salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 450f.

Sprinkle the duck with salt and pepper, and place breast-side up in a Dutch Oven; cover tightly.

Place the Dutch Oven into the preheated (regular) oven on a middle rack; roast for half an hour.

How to Make Sauerkraut

As you know (since you know me!), fermented vegetables are essential for good health, and should be eaten morning, noon, and night.

After Dinner Mints

These are still a work in progress, while I try to understand the physics of chocolate and how to make it come out Perfect...but we're enjoying all the experiments (and I'll keep updating this recipe once I figure out the Perfect Version). They're truly yummy and decadent, after nearly three years of cooking without any sugar at all.

Fermented Spiced Apples

I got this lovely and simple recipe from someone on the Microbial Nutrition yahoo list; it's tasty, like crunchy apple pie filling. :)

7-8 lg. tart apples, cored/peeled/sliced into 1/4"x1" pieces
1/2 cup whey
2 T. pumpkin pie spice (about 4 tsp. cinnamon, 1.5 tsp. ginger, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg and 1/4 tsp. cloves)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 T. salt dissolved in 2 cups hot water, then cooled; more water to cover, as needed

Toss apples and spices together until thoroughly mixed; add whey and mix again.

Remarkably Tasty Rosemary Scones-ish

Most coconut- and almond-flour baked goods are pretty unpleasant, dense, mealy, or otherwise unappetizing. These...were actually delicious. Sort of like a cross between a biscuit and a scone. I think it was the moistness contributed by the carrots, as well as the fat contributed by the Fat, that allowed them to avoid the being dumped into the chicken bucket.

Information about Making Broth

When I am making broth, I put a bunch of bones and water in an 8- to 16-qt pot with a few tbsp. of apple cider vinegar, and simmer it overnight. I skim the scum off the top, and try to use as many cartiligenous ingredients as possible (duck or chicken feet, knuckle bones, etc.). Good broth gells when it cools, but it's still nutritious if it doesn't gell.

A GAPS-Legal Frittata Formula

Once upon a time, I loved frittatas, which are impressive-looking yet really simple (and pretty foolproof) egg-based casseroles that are often full of cheese. You can make dairy-free frittatas, like this one: http://www.lifeisapalindrome.com/recipes/really-tasty-rutabaga-and-zucch... . But here is a pretty simple formula for making a tasty, cheesy version, which I don't serve very often but really like a lot. :)

--1/4 cup fat of your choice (refined coconut oil, lard, butter, etc.)
--1 medium onion, or 1 large shallot, minced

Really Tasty Rutabaga and Zucchini Frittata

Okay, so the title isn't very snappy. But this was really good! Frittatas are always tasty, and you can vary the ingredients however you like. This was made with stuff we had in the fridge tonight. (If we were eating dairy, I'd use only maybe 1/3 the fat, and put perhaps 8 oz. hard cheese over the filling before pouring the eggs over top. Also, I'd use maybe 1/3-1/2 less salt in that case.)

1 large shallot, minced
1 scallion, minced
About 3/4 c. fat (I used half ghee and half lard)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 medium-large zucchini, grated

How To Make Fermented Coconut Cream

Just in case you're interested, here's my small amount of accumulated wisdom on the topic of Coconut Milk:

Ingredient: 4 mature (brown) coconuts.
Time: I have not been able to complete this process in under two hours...yet.

Equipment: Hammer, awl/butter knife, potato peeler, nut milk bag, Vitamix or similar blender.

This makes about three quarts of milk, or two quarts of cream plus one quart of fermented coconut water.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza (It Really Is Delicious

This recipe is based on Starlene's: http://gapsdietjourney.com/2012/04/recipe-review-cauliflower-pizza-crust... . It's amazingly tasty! It's a bit of work, but every so often, for a treat, we have pizza for dinner (one of these pizzas serve two generously, so I double the recipe and rotate the pans in the oven during baking.

1 good-sized cauliflower, flowerettes pulsed--using S-blade in food processor--to make rice-sized grains.
1 tsp. oregano
1 whole egg
pinch of salt
about 1 cup highly-seasoned, homemade tomato sauce (it should be thick and not too runny)

Warm Chicken Salad

This is adapted from "Cooking Provence," by Antoine Bouterin, and is super delicious and fairly simple.

For the dressing (makes a little extra):

2 tbsp. Dijon mustard (prepared, without sugar)
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

For the chicken:

3 tbsp. or so, refined coconut oil
6-8 chicken thighs, no bones or skin for this dish
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the rest of the salad:

1 large carrot, julienned
1 large zucchini, julienned

Crazy Good and Simple Roasted Lamb Ribs

This is my favorite way to make lamb ribs; it works with Denver ribs, short ribs, riblets, or any other. I use another sheet pan to cover the meat during cooking, but you could use aluminum foil.

3-4 lbs. of ribs, depending on how many people you're feeding (I find that each of us can devour one rack of Denver ribs)
Salt and pepper

Lay the meat on a sheet pan, fat side up, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover the pan, and roast at 300f for about two hours, until everything is looking delicious and tender.

Coconut Butter Cake

With MANY thanks to Patty for providing the basis for this recipe! http://www.lovingourguts.com/coconut-butter-cake-with-coconut-frosting-2/

This is very versatile, almost like a pound cake (and it does not taste coconutty at all) and you could probably omit the baking soda to make it truly GAPS-legal (but would need to whip the egg whites, I think). To make fantastic berry muffins, add 1 tsp. lemon zest and 1 c. blueberries to the final batter, and bake in muffin tins for slightly less time.

1/2 c. pitted dates

Lucia's Raw Butter

Lucia says, "I usually order 5 gallons of cream. It takes a few days to turn this much into butter, but if you don't have time, just freeze it for later. Cream separates when you freeze it, so it's fine for making butter (but not anything else).

"I culture the cream before I churn it, by letting it sit at room temperature for 3-5 days. You can put some yogurt in it if you want, but that's not necessary.

"We have done the churning several ways. I prefer the food processor, filled about half full, churned with a metal blade.

Natto, Untraditional

Natto is traditionally an Acquired Taste--a stringy, stinky, almost moldy-looking ferment cultured with soybeans. I've heard that in Japan, it's eaten for breakfast with some raw egg yolks over rice.

Since soy is not something I'm super keen on eating much of, these days, I've tried natto-ifying various other beans, including black turtle and lentils. These produce natto that is milder than the soy version, but I'm hoping that the spores still manage to produce lots of Vit. K, etc.

How to Make Young Coconut Water Kefir (YCK)

Here is a good website with information about water kefir grains (YCK is essentially water kefir): http://www.wholetraditions.com/articles/3-water-kefir-instructions .

This is how I keep mine alive in between culturing coconut water: http://www.lifeisapalindrome.com/recipes/how-keep-your-water-kefir-grain...

Also, Rebecca recommends:

--Dom’s kefir making: http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirpage.html#alternativekefir
--A very detailed list of frequently asked questions: http://www.yemoos.com/faqwamain.html

How I Make Raw Milk Yogurt

I'm not sure if this is the best way to do it, but I've been making yogurt for a while now and haven't gotten sick yet. :) It has a great taste, the long fermentation gets rid of all the lactose, and while it's not as thick as yogurt made from pasteurized milk, I think it's more nutritious. (If you want virtually foolproof, thick and creamy yogurt, heat the milk to 180f and let it cool to 110f before stirring in the starter and beginning the fermentation.)

1/2 gallon fresh whole raw milk, preferably from grassfed Jersey cows

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