Hey! Before we talk butternut squash things I wanted to share our Paleo experiment with you. Scroll down to the recipe if you came for the food. 🙂Remember back in September, I mentioned giving the Paleo diet a try? We did. Not die-hard though, more Paleo-ish, since I still used non-dairy cheese and cane sugar a few times a month to satisfy cravings and to keep pissed-off feelings to a minimum. Kidding aside, special needs inspires a very, very special love. I’m blessed to have two older sons’ who fully support our journey towards better health AND who are truly the best siblings and sons’ a Mom could ask for. This journey isn’t easy and their support for Mom’s trials and errors means the world to me.
It’s been about four years since removing tomato, after discovering three out of four of my sons’ no longer can tolerate it. The high level of phenols affects my twin boys’ and my teenager gets sneezing episodes and eczema symptoms the next day. Plus, with arthritis prominent on both sides of my family and having recovered from fibromyalgia, we are all better off without it. But that doesn’t mean we need to give up one of our favorite sauces. Tomato shmotato! The marinara sauce for this sweet and sour meatballs kicks tomato in the butt. It took a dozen attempts to get it just right, but finally, finally think this is it. It’s freaky how similar this tastes to the real thing.
When I think of short ribs, I think luxurious winter comfort food — slow cooking, holiday meal, celebratory meal, sultry date-night-in kind of food all apply. Take it a step further using the braised liquid, pulled apart meat (actually not much pulling, it’s so tender), and you have yourself a rich, deeply flavored ragu that is impressive, yet minimal effort. I made it with wide fresh lasagna sheets sliced into thick noodles this time but have also served it over polenta, penne, even cauliflower mash for a low-carb alternative. All pair wonderfully with short rib ragu.
Gosh, it’s been a while, eh? But I’m back and delighted to finally hit the ‘publish post’ button. I’ll be honest, as passionate as I am about what I do here, I needed a break. I’ve currently been craving cozy comfort food with all the cold rainy weather we’ve been having (not sure if cozy comfort food is even a thing but all I want to do is get all cozy and comfortable with my food. OK!). Think we can all use a little cozy comfort food to warm up the body and soul. If you love Indian food as much as I do, this butternut squash, kabocha, chickpea green curry is a lighter low-carb one (over cauliflower rice) that I think you will love. Maybe not an authentic curry, since there wasn’t much grinding, any yogurt, or toasting of spices, but rest assured it’s one heck of a delicious meal that reminds me of the one from my favorite vegan restaurant.
Dropping in briefly today to share a quick hot dish that makes a lovely dinner or side during this holiday week. It’s one of those throw-together meals that’s versatile (try mushrooms, swiss chard, parsnips, what have you), reheats like a dream, easily doubles or triples the recipe, and comes to the rescue when you need to feed your more-than-usual crowd pre-Thanksgiving. It’s a hot-dish hero I tell ya!
With the cooler weather we were having a couple of weeks ago, and all sorts of squashes making their way onto the stands, I thought a braised chicken dish would seem fitting since fall has arrived. I served it over cauliflower rice, with a side of roasted carrots tossed in rosemary, and a new bread recipe (good enough for sauce-dipping) that was a hit (will share soon). It was a delicious Friday night dinner for the suddenly chilly weather we were having and one I will be making again soon. And the spiced applesauce bundt cake, that I am still thinking about. Surprisingly, dinner wasn’t as heavy as I thought it would be, with an inch of room for dessert (there’s always room for dessert).
And just like that, summer came and went, and we jumped into back-to-school mode. Michael and Ely were excited to go to their ‘big’ middle school. My teenage sophomore was somewhat excited but now especially thrilled joining the yearbook committee and being elected president of the tech club (he’s a pretty tech savvy dude and definitely didn’t get that from his mother). We eased into the routine nicely until Michael’s school nurse called to tell me he has rashes all over his body… exactly at the point I was about to add the flour blend to my pumpkin spice muffin batter (so good and coming to the blog SOON) as one does when one is itching for pumpkin spice. Panic!
Growing up, my mother would often serve big bowls of porridge with plenty of sugar on top. Even during the summer in the Catskills, but with heaping spoons of freshly picked blueberries – my favorite way. In Russian, we call it mannaya kasha, which is basically wheat semolina based Cream of Wheat, made with milk. Not exactly a breakfast of champions. What did I know, I thought it was normal to get bloated and feel the need to pass out soon after. Needless to say, this is a better porridge option without the belly-aching, sugar-crashing side effects … what I like to call the ‘new and improved’ version of breakfast porridge. A whole lot healthier and I must say, a whole lotta DELICIOUS.
My dear poke bowl aficionados are likely wondering how watermelon has anything to do with this traditional Hawaiian staple, where the heck I am hiding the ahi tuna, and hello, no bowl.
I realize you need bowls for poke bowls. But my bowls were still in the dishwasher from our oh so very delicious ice cream sundaes the night before (have you tried the cashew flavors yet? Chocolate Cookies N Cream is my favorite!!) and it was NOT going to stop me from making this the next day.
My first complaint once ridding my kitchen of all gluten and dairy was all about the bread (it was wreaking havoc on my twins’ guts, along with soy, and other foods leaving us no choice). Back in 2007, gluten free/dairy free bread was more of a vehicle to hold some sort of substance into a sandwich. Consumed out of necessity and done so sparingly … and forget about having a good bagel with lox on a Sunday morning; that was pushing it.