Monthly Archives: June 2015

Pork sausage pizza with roasted veggies

As I mentioned in my Spelt Pizza Crust recipe post: Friday night is pizza night at my house.  The problem I have is: my husband is not a veggie lover.  Me? It comes without saying but I LOVE VEGGIES!!!  I am not about to make two separate pizza’s so I came up with this great veggie on the side idea.  Now I can pile as many veggies as I want on my slice! Oh ya baby!

Ingredients

1 12-14 inch pizza crust

2 Pork Italian polish sausages (nitrate free, locally raised if possible)

16 oz Pizza Sauce (I like Glen Muir Pizza Sauce)

1/3-1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese (I like Trader Joe’s Shredded Mozzarella)

Optional:

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

Sea Salt to taste

1 bunch broccoli (chopped into bite size pieces-use the stalks too!)

1/4 head red cabbage (chopped into bite size pieces)

1 cup halved mushrooms

Or any veggie you want!

Everything you need for a great Friday night pizza!

Everything you need for a great Friday night pizza!

Method:

If using homemade pizza crust bake that first.  Toss all veggies into a glass dish and drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with sea salt.  Roast the veggies at 425 degrees for approximately 30 minutes (once they look brownish and caramelized they are done).  An alternative would be to saute’ the veggies on the stove top.

While the veggies are roasting you can put the pizza together.  Spread the entire can of sauce over crust and top with cheese.  We use 1/3 to 1/2 cup of cheese for the entire pizza, obviously you can add as much as you like.  Next, cut a small hole in the casing of the pork polish and squeeze small chunks on to pizza.  It’s ready for the oven!  If you have a pizza oven, turn it on high and cook for 10-15 minutes.  If you need to cook the pizza in the oven you may want to wait until you pull the veggies out to put the pizza in.  The veggies give out moisture while roasting and it seems to reduce the crunchiness of the crust.  When your ready, keep the oven on 425 degrees and bake for approximately 15 minutes (or until the cheese starts to brown).  Let the pizza rest 5 minutes before cutting into your favorite shape.

Now the good part: the non-veggie lovers can take their slices and the veggie lovers can dish a heaping load of veggies on to their slices. Brilliant!

Locally Raised pork sausage pizza with a side of roasted veggies!

Locally Raised pork sausage pizza with a side of roasted veggies!

We buy our great pasture raised pork from Snake River Farm in Becker, MN.  I feel good about eating this meat since I know it lived a great life on the farm and was killed humanly. We try to get as much of our meat as possible from local farms, it’s a great way to ensure the animal was treated well while also supporting the local economy (actually there are many more reasons…).  If you don’t have access to locally raised pork, you could try the organic pork at the grocery store.

Another side note: we try to use nitrate free processed meat (lunch meat and sausage) to the extent possible.  From what I have read, sodium nitrate is what gives processed meat it’s red color and also helps to preserve it.  There is evidence that it contributes to several different types of cancer and also increases risk of heart disease.  Interestingly, it seems to USDA tried to ban the use of sodium nitrate in the 1970’s but the manufacturer was able to veto the decision.  Since there are nitrate free choices available and they taste exactly the same- why not use them?

 

 

Refreshing summer slaw

This is a very simple summer slaw, it’s minimal prep time and ingredient list make it a top choice for summer potlucks!  Actually, I have to admit, I bring this to potlucks year round- it’s a stress free salad!

The original recipe is from the Clean Eating July 2012 magazine.  Since purchasing my first Clean Eating magazine over 5 years ago, my eating habits have changed drastically.  This magazine is where I first learned about the Clean Eating Principles.  If you haven’t read these principles before, they are worth checking out, and following.  If it seems too difficult, start slowly and you will find yourself feeling quite delightful.

The magazine is chock-full of recipes, while I don’t always make the exact recipes, they do give me brilliant ideas for creations of my own.

This recipe will serve 2-4 peeps

Salad:

1 head nappa cabbage- chopped into bite size pieces

1 carrot cut into ribbons with a veggie peeler

Dressing

1 lime- zested and juiced

1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tbsp Honey

pinch of salt

1/4 Tbsp chopped nuts to top when serving: you can use mixed nuts in the can- while it might not be the healthiest option (they are most often cooked with hydrogenated oils), this recipe is all about simple!

Chop salad components, mix dressing components, toss. Top with nuts just before serving.  This salad can be eaten the day after it’s made.

Clean Eating Principles:

WHAT TO DO

Eat more- eat six small meals each day.

Eat breakfast every day, within an hour of rising.

Eat a combination of lean protein and complex carbohydrates at each meal.

Eat sufficient (two or three servings) healthy fats every day.

Drink two to three liters of water each day.

Carry a cooler packed with clean foods each day.

Depend on fresh fruits and vegetables for fiber, vitamins, nutrients and enzymes.

Adhere to proper portion sizes (tiff’s note: unless it’s vegetables, then eat your heart out).

WHAT TO AVOID

Avoid all over-processed foods, particularly white flour and sugar.

Avoid chemically charged foods.

Avoid foods containing preservatives.

Avoid artificial sugars.

Avoid artificial foods (such as processed cheese slices).

Avoid saturated and trans fats.

Avoid sugar-loaded beverages, including colas and juices.

Avoid (or do your best to limit) alcohol intake.

Avoid all calorie-dense foods containing little or no nutritional value. I call these anti-foods.

Avoid super-sizing your meals.

Creamy Vegan Coleslaw

I have been searching and searching for a creamy coleslaw recipe for an upcoming picnic at work.  I wanted it to be reminiscent of one of those creamy slaw’s that you could put on top of a burger or a BBQ pork sandwich.  The catch was, it had to be healthy and preferable dairy free; this was a problem.  After hours of staring at my computer I finally found a recipe that made me excited on a  blog called Detoxinista . I immediately made a test batch and fell in love. I just had to share it with you all!  FYI- there are many tasty looking recipes on  Detoxinista!

Creamy Coleslaw Dressing: by Detoxinista

Makes about 1 cup-enough to cover veggie mix I recommend below and serves anywhere from 5-10 and maybe more if they don’t load it on their plate like I do:)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup raw cashews (I used cashew flour)

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup diced onion (I have used both red and yellow, both are good but I prefer yellow)

2 Tbsp honey

4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until completely smooth. That’s it!!

Tiff’s Recommended Slaw Veggies:

1 head greed cabbage-

4 medium carrots

1 bunch asparagus-diced

veggie slaw

All those tasty veggies!

Run all veggies through a food processor fitted with a shredding blade. This is SO easy!

I top shredded veggies just prior to eating them although this recipe will stay crunchy and tasty if dressing sits on slaw veggies over night.

The featured picture includes grilled eggplant and maple mustard glazed sweet potatoes.  Oh so good! My mom made the glazed sweet potatoes on one of our first horse camping trips, I defiantly have to share that recipe…

 

 

 

Minnesota Summer Succotash

Annie: I picked up this recipe when I was shopping at Whole Foods for an upcoming Goldies Labor Day Weekend back in 2010. It is a perfect recipe for late summer veggies and easy to prepare! Needless to say, it was a huge hit! In fact, we ate the leftovers for breakfast the next day! For a smoky taste, grill the corn instead of boiling it.

Ingredients:

4 ears of sweet corn, shucked

1 medium zucchini, chopped

1 bunch lacinato (dinosaur) kale, washed and finely chopped

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

10 basil leaves, chopped right before eating

2 garlic cloves, chopped

4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled (optional)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Bring large pot of water to boil. Add corn and boil until tender, about 5 minutes. Immediately rinse with cold water or place in bowl of cold water.
  2. When the ears of corn are cool enough to handle, cut off kernels. Combine with zucchini, kale, tomatoes, and blue cheese.
  3. In a small bowl combine chopped garlic, olive oil, mustard and vinegar. Stir or shake to combine. Pour on top of succotash.
  4. Chop basil and add to the bowl. Toss all ingredients together and season with salt and pepper.

Serves 2 as a meal, 4 as a side dish

 

Immune Boosting Garlic Vinegrette

It’s summer and salad season!  so -it’s time you ditch the store bought concoctions that clothe your salads in many unknowns and unpronouncables (ok – I know that isn’t a word but after reading the ingredient list for some of the bottles on the shelf – it should be!)

Making your own vinegrette is simple, quick and much healthier. Once you find the right ratio of ingredients to suite your tastes – it becomes another blip routine in your weekly food preparations.

The recipe I am sharing today has evolved to be a pungent combination of assertive flavors that go really well with dark greens like spinach and kale.

The standout ingredient, of course, is garlic.  Enjoyed raw it provides excellent immune benefits and unparalleled flavor – not the best breath – but that’s what toothpaste is for(:

Super immune boosting garlic is the star ingredient of this tasty vinaigrette.

Super immune boosting garlic is the star ingredient of this tasty vinaigrette.

One of my most used kitchen tools is a high quality garlic press.  I press garlic several times a week – this is down from daily (I add it to so many things that I cook) only because I now press batches and store them in the fridge for a few days so I don’t have to clean the press so often.  I went to a high end press after breaking a few cheaper models and it was definitely worth the investment – it is all high quality stainless steel – no plastic parts.

I prefer to press garlic over mincing for the speed, but also because it is a much more effective way to release the flavorful oils and the texture is less offensive in things like vinaigrette.

Pressing garlic is the best way to extract the flavorful oils so they emulsify into the other ingredients.

Pressing garlic is the best way to extract the flavorful oils so they emulsify into the other ingredients.

Here is what you will need for your basic garlic vinaigrette:

1 clean glass bottle with screw cap lid – save a bottle from maple syrup or salad dressing – don’t use a plastic one – you are able to get the glass containers much cleaner and there is no risk of those nasty BPA’s.

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar

2 Tblspns Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tblspn Coarse Stone Ground Mustard

1 Tblspn Fresh Pressed Garlic

Combine ingredients in your bottle and shake vigorously – now taste it.  If it is too pungent for you – add additional olive oil – 1 Tblspn at a time until it suites your taste buds.  This will keep well in the fridge for at least 1 week.  I try not to save it longer than that – you’ll find the amount that works well for you and a week’s worth of salad.

The high quality EVOO solidifies in the fridge – I keep my bottle in my lunch cooler at work and by lunch time it is usually liquid again.  If not – I just run it under warm water or let it sit in another container of warm water to get it liquefied.

Enjoy this on a variety of summer salads and feel better about not feeding your body unpronouncables!

 

Raw Mission Fig, Pecan and Oat Bars

So maybe you’ve pinned me as the sweet tooth! I love sweet treats so I have done a lot of experimenting with dried fruit, nuts and grains to make nutrient dense and satisfyingly sweet morsels to snack on. It just makes me feel happier during a work day!  Of my tests and trials these are my brothers very favorite – this one’s for you Charlie!  I owe it to the delicate crunch of the seeds that pack the earthy sweet figs.

Black Mission Figs

Black Mission Figs – packed with delightfully crunchy seeds

Figs grow on the Ficus tree (Ficus carica), which is a member of the Mulberry family – this is another reason I love them.  Being a forestry professional I love bringing up the fact that trees do so much for us environmentally but they also nourish us!  Figs are an excellent source of fiber, potassium and vitamin B6.

Pecans have always seemed to me to be the naughty nut (is there such a thing!?)  I suppose it is partly because it is such a popular dessert nut – often combined with copious amounts of refined sugar and starch.

Raw Pecans

Pecan nuts are rich source of energy, contain health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for wellness

When eaten on their own in their natural raw state or combined with other wholesome ingredients they are actually a wonderful source of nutritious energy – providing phyto-chemical substances (chemicals produced by plants) including polyphenolic antioxidant ellagic acid, vitamin E, beta-carotene and lutein.  In addition, pecans boast a variety of other nutrients like B-complex groups of vitamins, and minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.  So, I guess these power packed nuts are only guilty by association!  Enjoy them – guilt free!

So – for the bars – you have now heard about the two main ingredients – the few remaining ingredients round out the snack with flavor complexity, long lasting carbohydrates and fiber.  Also these beautiful little treats are gluten free, dairy free and free of refined sugar.

Simple blend of Ingredients for Raw Fig, Pecan and Oat Bars

Simple blend of Ingredients for Raw Fig, Pecan and Oat Bars

You will need a food processor for this recipe and it goes similar to the Coconut, Date, Cashew Bars.

For 8 large snack bars of 16 small after lunch treats you will need:

2 cups rolled oats (certified gluten free if you are super sensitive)

1/2 cup raw pecans

6 oz dried black mission figs (24 small or 18 large)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

1-2 Tblspn water as needed

If your figs are not super moist you will want to soak them in hot water for about 10 minutes.  Bring about 1/2 cup water to a boil, place figs in deep glass bowl and have tinfoil ready to cover.

rehydrating figs

You may need to rehydrate your figs with some boiling water.

Steaming Figs

Allow figs to sit in hot water and steam for about 10 minutes.

Once you cover with the tinfoil allow them to sit for about 10 minutes.  In the mean time you can prep the rest of your ingredients.

Rub a square 8″ x 8″ pan with  a tiny bit of coconut oil (just enough so the parchment sticks and stays put) then line with parchment paper.

Place pecans in the work bowl of your food processor and pulse into a coarse chop.  Remove pecans from food processor and set aside.

Lift figs from their steam bath and reserve the water.  You may need to add a little of it to your mixture in a minute.  Better to use the flavored water  then to dump it!  I have taken the extra step of reducing this liquid in a small sauce pan.  Although I think it is worth the extra step and dirty pan – you can completely get away without doing this.

Place hydrated figs in the work bowl of your food processor, add vanilla and pulse a few time to do the initial break up – then proceed to process until you have a nice fig paste.

Fig paste

Process figs and vanilla into a paste.

At this point you can add the oats and cinnamon – pulse until combined.  If it seems terribly stiff start adding some of your soaking liquid (reduced or not) 1 tablespoon at a time – pulsing after each addition.  You many only need 1 – I have never used more than 2.

Combine fig bar ingredients

Final mixture should look like this and stick together when you pinch it between your fingers.

Now, add back your chopped pecans and pulse a few times – to incorporate them.

Press mixture into your prepared pan and chill for a couple of hours before cutting into bars and wrapping individually.  These freeze great and are a handy treat to have on the ready!

Raw fig, Pecan and Oat Bars

Bars cut and ready to wrap and store in the freezer.

Enjoy the flavorful fuel!