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.

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

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

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