06/20/14

Fennel, Kale, and Rice Gratin

I came across this recipe from the New York Times and it was like it was made for that week’s CSA box. So I just had to try it, even though it seemed like a rather unique combination of flavors. I loved it. Gratin is usually heavy, but the dill and fennel bring an herby brightness to the cream and the cheese. I’ve adapted the original recipe slightly due to preference and what I had on hand. This does include white rice, but you can always use cauliflower rice if you’d rather. I used a cast iron skillet, but would actually advise using a greased casserole dish as it stuck to the pan like a champ.

Fennel, Kale, Rice Gratin

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch dino kale, stemmed and washed
  • 4 large scallions, chopped
  • 1 medium fennel bulb – trimmed, quartered, cored, and chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup cooked white rice (or cauliflower rice)
  • 1 cup gouda cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs (optional)
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp oil of your choice

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and blanch kale for about 2 minutes. Remove the kale and drain. Rinse under cold water and squeeze out excess liquid. Roughly chop the kale.

Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet and add fennel, stirring often. Continue cooking until fennel has softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and scallions, and cook for two minutes or so. Add kale and stir for another minute, and then add dill, stirring to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and cream. Stir in kale mixture, rice, and all but 3 tbsp of the cheese. Adjust seasoning as needed. Pour into greased casserole/gratin dish and top with breadcrumbs, if using. Top that with the remaining cheese. Bake about 40 minutes, until golden brown and set. Let rest 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

 

06/19/14

Zucchini Fritters with Dill Sauce

If you happen to garden – and you happen to grow more than one zucchini plant – you know that most of your summer is spent searching for ways to use up your bounty of squash. This recipe doesn’t disappoint. It highlights the zucchini but has a subtle crunch. The fritters freeze well, so feel free to make extra while the oil is hot. They are great served with this quick dill sauce though a nice marinara or maybe even a thin pesto would be a lovely dairy-free option.

Paleo Zucchini Fritters

Ingredients:

  • 4 small zucchini, ends removed and shredded
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 large scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • oil of your choice (I used coconut.)

After you shred your zucchini – a box grater works fine, but food processor is super speedy – lay them in a tea towel or cheesecloth, sprinkle with salt, and set aside while you prep your other ingredients. Beat eggs in a medium bowl. Add coconut flour and baking powder and mix well. Twist the towel/cheesecloth holding the zucchini and squeeze all of the excess moisture out as best you can. Add zucchini and scallions to the bowl and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Paleo Zucchini Fritters
Heat oil in a frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. You want about 1/8″ of oil in the bottom of the pan. Form the batter into small patties and fry 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown. (Stay patient. Don’t crowd the pan!) Let rest on paper towel while you finish cooking the others.

For the sauce:

Combine 1 cup yogurt or sour cream with the juice from half a lemon and 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill. Chill for at least a half an hour in the fridge to let flavors meld.

 

06/18/14

Asian Turkey Burgers

Turkey burgers get kind of a bad rap. I get it; they can be dry and boring and kind of chewy. But they don’t have to be. Ground turkey can take on other flavors in a way that beef can’t. Maybe that’s because the turkey takes a bit of a back seat to the rest of the flavors, but sometimes that’s kind of nice. Like here, with these Asian Turkey Burgers. They’re chock-full of good veggies and flavor and beef would totally overpower the rest of the ingredients. We ate them on a bed of shredded napa cabbage and carrots and scallions, but these would be lovely in a lettuce wrap as well. And serve with some sriracha mayo! Just whip up some mayo (see how here) and mix in your desired amount of sriracha. Now you have a fancy sauce.

Asian Turkey Burgers

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 bunch tatsoi, green leafy bits removed and chopped. Reserve stems for other use.
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tsp sesame oil
  • 4 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos or tamari
  • red chile flake, to taste
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, if desired

Mix ingredients together and divide into four equal patties. Grill over high heat until golden brown and cooked through, about five minutes per side. If using a cast iron skillet on the stove, heat over high heat and drizzle some oil into the pan before cooking – they stick. Again, cook about five minutes per side.

06/16/14

CSA Share – 6/16/14

No pic this week! In this week’s box:

  • Radishes
  • Yukina Savoy – Note from farm: “This is the last of our run of Asian greens for the spring. It’s very similar to Tatsoi, but with crinkly “savoyed” leaves. Cook like bok choy – Saute very lightly.”
  • Basil
  • Garlic
  • Scallions
  • Red Russian Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots – a mix of orange and purple
  • Zucchini
  • Lettuce

Fruit share was apricots, peaches, nectarines and cherries. There are SO many apricots. I might be doing a lot of jam making this summer. 

06/12/14

Quick & Easy Mayo

I feel like it’s kind of a secret that mayonnaise is really very simple to make at home. As with most things, the homemade version tastes so much better and it’s a great base for so many other sauces and it’s not full of canola oil. This version uses an immersion blender and takes two minutes of your time. It’s stupid easy. Try it!

Easy Paleo Mayo - homegrownhalfpint.com

Ingredients:

  • one egg yolk
  • a spoonful of dijon mustard
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of neutral oil (avocado oil works great here!)

The video below from The Food Lab is incredibly helpful (and their mayo post has much more info), but here are the simple steps:

Combine ingredients in the cup that came with your hand blender, or one that is slightly larger than the head of the blender. Let sit on the counter for about a half an hour, until ingredients all come to room temperature. Stick the immersion blender in and blend. The mixture will quickly emulsify. Tilt the blender to the side or slowly move up and down to incorporate the rest of the oil. That’s it!

 

06/10/14

CSA Share – 6/10/14

Really full CSA share this week. The fruit share started this week, so we also have pounds of apricots and peaches and the most delicious Rainier cherries I’ve ever had. This week’s bounty:

csa share

06/10/14

Broccoli Salad

I have kind of an obsession with broccoli salad. Everytime I see it at a picnic or potluck, I get a little giddy, which is understandably weird. But there are so many good things about it! Bacon, a hint of sweetness, a little crunch, Vitamin C. I’m not a fan of raw broccoli, so I blanch mine quickly first, but you can always just use raw florets if you like them that way. This is my paleo take on the picnic classic. It is less sweet than the original version and I use seeds and dried cranberries instead of almonds and raisins. I love it.

Paleo Broccoli Salad - homegrownhalfpint.com

Ingredients:

  • 3 heads broccoli, cut into florets and blanched for 2 minutes, if desired
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled into pieces
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/8 cup pepitas
  • 1/8 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt and fresh ground pepper

Note on mayo: making your own is really simple and quick, and the results are outstanding. See how to do it here!

In a small bowl, whisk together the last four ingredients and set aside. (Season to taste with the salt and pepper.) In a medium bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients and mix. Pour the dressing over and toss to coat. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for about two hours. Toss again before serving.

 

06/3/14

CSA Share – 6/2/14

Second summer share! The box included:

CSA Share - 6/2/14

I already used the broccoli in a broccoli salad, which I’ll post soon. I’m particularly excited about the dill, which I think I’ll use for ranch dressing. I’m kind of obsessed with really dilly ranch. Carrots are starting to pile up, so I need to think of something to do with them. Or I can just cut them up and serve them with “dippy” for The Quarterpint.

05/30/14

Back with Coconut Macaroons and Summer CSA

There was a brief break between the end of the winter CSA and the start of the summer one, so I took the opportunity for a brief hiatus. In that span of time we took a weekend trip to visit some friends in Petaluma and I brought these macaroons along. They are moist and chewy and my third attempt, which seems silly for such a simple thing, but I think I finally got them right. I have cooked a lot of other things in the past two weeks but have strangely been burning most of them on the bbq so not that much of it was blog-worthy. I also did things like eat poutine and pork belly mac and cheese and possibly derail all of my weight loss efforts.

In other news, I turned the big 3-0. The Quarterpint started to say ‘fork’ but it actually sounds exactly like another four letter word that starts with an ‘f.’ She has also learned to jump, which means that she yells “DUMP!” and then succeeds in getting one foot about a centimeter off the ground. It’s about as impressive as my vertical. She is also obsessed with the ceiling fan over our kitchen table and while she’s eating she’ll stretch her arms up and shout ‘reach,’ which sounds like ‘retch’ and grunt and strain as if there is somehow a remote possibility she might reach the ceiling. She also occasionally will stop what she’s doing and stroke her chin and say “Hmmmm.” Hilarious.

Anyway, macaroons! Super simple, super delicious.

Paleo Coconut Macaroons

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • pinch of salt

Whisk the honey and eggs together in a medium mixing bowl; beat until thoroughly combined. Add the coconut and salt and mix everything together. (You might want to do this with your hands to make sure all the coconut gets covered.) Cover the bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F.

Using a cookie or ice cream scoop (ideally about 2 tbsp), drop mounds of the coconut mixture onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the outside is beginning to become golden brown. Let rest for at least 20 minutes before enjoying.

05/16/14

CSA Share – 5/14/14

This week is the last winter share. I’d say this has been our most successful CSA yet! Doing this silly little blog has helped me so much to use up all of our produce, and to use it in more creative ways. We have been eating so much better around here since the beginning of this year. I’ve discovered that I love fennel, that you can make pretty much any kind of green into a pesto, and that I kind of even like kale. It’s been really fun. And delicious.

We have a one week break and then the summer CSA starts up. I also signed up for the fruit share, which doesn’t start for a few more weeks. This week I also picked up our first poultry order – 4 chickens and a dozen eggs. We will also be getting an 1/8th of a cow at some point this month. So much good food!

In this week’s box:

CSA Share

  • 1 bu Red Spring Onions
  • 1 lb Baby Lettuce
  • 1 bu Dragon Tongue Radish or Scarlet Queen Turnip
  • 1 hd Batavia Lettuce
  • ½ lb Red Beets
  • 2 hds Fennel (Grilled up with some chicken.)
  • 1 ¼ lbs Orange Carrots
  • ½ lb Broccoli
  • 1 bu Curly Kale

In other healthy news, I received a Fitbit Flex as an early birthday present and I think I have already gone a little insane with it. (It’s a pedometer type thing that also tracks your sleep patterns and some other fun stuff.) I find myself jogging in place while cooking – or dancing like a crazy person while folding laundry and The Quarterpint is watching Yo Gabba Gabba – all to reach my daily step goal. I haven’t done a Primal Progress update in a while, so here that is: I’m down 12 pounds now and still feeling really great. It is such a relief to have finally found the right way of eating for my body and to not feel awful so much of the time! I’d like the pace of the weight loss to pick up a bit, and I think all that entails is not indulging so much on weekends and picking up the physical activity, which the Fitbit should help with.