Sourdough Bread Loaf

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I love the slight tang of sourdough bread. I used to be intimidated by it, maintaining a starter. But as it turns out, the starter was really easy to make and maintain and the bread is way easier to make than that using store bought commercial yeast. Its also very customizable. You like it only slightly sour? Then only let it rise for part of the day. You long a really sour sourdough? Then let it rise overnight and all day before you bake it. It is also pretty forgiving. There are days where I prepare it in the morning and am not home all day to do the punch down and reshape step, and it still turns out just fine.

Sourdough bread is way better for you and just more satisfying than using conventional yeast. We try not to eat wheat unless its sprouted, soured, or soaked. It makes it more digestible and the nutrients more available to your body. We eat to nourish our bodies so we want to get as much out of our food as we can. We also only eat organic wheat because of all the round up that is sprayed on conventional wheat right before harvest.

Depending on the hydration level of your starter, the type of flour you use, how old your flour is, etc, you may need to add a little more flour or water to make it the proper consistency. That’s the deal with bread making, its hard to quantify the exact amount of flour and water. You kind of have to just get a feel/look for it.

You can add a 1/4 tsp each of garlic powder and rosemary or thyme for a variation. Serve with a little grass fed butter. There’s nothing better or more comforting, and nourishing too!

Sourdough bread

3 cups whole wheat flour (pastry, bread, white whole wheat, or a combination)

1 1/2 cups starter

1 1/4 cup water

1 tsp sea salt

Place flour, starter, water, and salt into a stand mixer with the dough hook and mix until combined. Add more flour 1 Tbs at a time or more water one Tbs to reach desired consistency. You want it to be pretty wet but still hold its shape. Knead for 5 minutes.

Place on floured surface and cover with an upside down bowl. When you place the dough on the counter it should stay in a ball somewhat but it will spread out some. If it just completely flattens to the countertop, more flour needs to be added. If it’s a ball that you can just hold in your hand without it losing shape, more water needs to be added.

Let it rise for 8 hours up to 24. Half way through the rise, punch it down and reform it into a ball.

Heat up a dutch oven in a 425 F oven. Take it out, sprinkle in a little sprouted flour on the bottom, place your ball of dough in, put on the lid, and place it back in the oven. Let it cook for 20 minutes. Take off lid and cook another 10-15 depending on how browned you like the outside.

Take it out and let it cool on the countertop for 30 minutes before slicing. If you slice it right away, you will squash all those nice air bubbles inside.

Italian Sausage

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It can be hard to find good Italian sausage. Usually the mild will have added sweetener and no kick whatsoever and the spicy is so hot the kids cant eat it. I love being able to make my own and use it in Italian dishes or crumbled on top of homemade sourdough pizza. Its also great crumbled in omelets or on top of salads. You can control the fat content, because sausage is usually a very high percentage fat. You can also control the source of meat. Its easier to find pasture raised ground pork or grass fed ground beef than the equivalent in sausage form. And its way cheaper to make and only takes a few minutes.

Italian Sausage

1 lb ground meat (usually its pork, but ive used beef , chicken, and turkey before too)

1 Tbs red wine vinegar

1 1/2 tsp parsley

1 tsp each salt, garlic powder, onion, basil

3/4 tsp each pepper, paprika

1/4 tsp fennel

1/8 tsp each oregano, thyme

1/4-1 tsp red pepper flakes, depending on desired spice level.

Place all spices in a spice grinder (small food processer like a magic bullet or a coffee grinder). Add ground meat and vinegar to a bowl with the spice and combine well with your hands. Let it sit, covered, in the refrigerator overnight before using in your favorite recipe.

Home Brined Corned Beef

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One of my all time favorite meals is corned beef and cabbage. I love it for dinner and I love it on sandwiches with mustard the next day. But over the past few years Ive had a hard time sourcing a good grass fed organic corned beef brisket without nitrates. Whole foods had ones that were hormone and antibiotic free without nitrates but it wasn’t grass fed or organic. They also had a ton of celery seed added which is just a natural source of nitrates. I wanted to try it without any added at all and see if it still worked well. We just recently bought part of a cow and I was so excited to try making my own corned beef. Well it worked wonderfully and probably some of the best corned beef I’ve ever had. It wasn’t that typical bright pink color though because there weren’t any nitrates added. I wish I had more briskets because I am now rationing out the few I have! I may have to try it with a different cut of meat and see if it works.

Corned Beef Brisket:

4-5 lb beef brisket

6 cups water

1/2 cup salt

1/3 cup brown sugar or coconut palm sugar

5 garlic cloves, crushed or diced small

3 crushed bay leaves

1 Tbs pepper

2 tsp ground mustard

1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp dried ginger

1/2 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cloves

Heat water and all spices in pot until combined. Cool brine completely. Submerge brisket into brine completely, cover, and store in the refrigerator for 3-10 days.

When ready to cook, take out of brine. Skim out maybe 2 tsp of the seasoning from the brine (try to avoid any clumps of salt if there is any) and add to a crockpot along with the brisket and enough water to cover it. Cook for a few hours on low. Add carrots and potatoes. Cook for a few more hours. Add cut up cabbage and cook for another hour or two.

Moroccan Quinoa

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When we went to Disney World last year we ate at a different “country” every night. We love ethnic cuisine and wanted to try out as many as possible. Moroccan was one of our favorites and I’ve been recreating some of the dishes since we’ve gotten home. This Moroccan quinoa is a favorite in our house. They used cous cous but that it often made with plain white flour and even if it is whole wheat, its not sprouted. We soak, sprout, or sour all of our grains and quinoa is very easy to sprout. If you arent into sprouting your grains, just simply soak it for 15 minutes then rinse and drain since quinoa can have a bitter taste if you don’t. Quinoa is a great substitute for cous cous since it’s a similar size.

I served this with a Moroccan fish and vegetable dish. It was also great the next day cold, straight out of the fridge as leftovers for lunch.

Moroccan Quinoa

serves 6

1 Tbs olive oil

1/2 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, diced

1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed

2.5 cups bone broth or water

1/2 tsp each tumeric, cumin, and coriander

1/4 tsp salt

1 lime, zest and juice of

1/2 cup almonds, chopped

1/2 cup raisins

Place oil, onion, and garlic into a saucepan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in quinoa and 2.5 cups of water or bone broth. Cook for 15 minutes until water is absorbed and quinoa is cooked. Add spices, lime juice and zest, almonds, and raisins.

 

Nutritional Information

calories: 254

fat: 9 g

sodium: 101 mg (4 %DV)

carbohydrates: 38 g

dietary fiber: 5 g

sugars: 8 g

protein: 8 g

Thai Coconut Chicken Curry and Potatoes

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I am always looking for new and different recipes. Since we never go out to eat I like to vary the type of cuisine we eat. Thai is something I am experimenting more and more with and really like. I combined a few different recipes since I like meals to have protein, healthy fats, healthy carbohydrates, and vegetables to make for a well rounded meal with staying power. One dish meals are the best to prepare sometime during the day when I have the time between homeschooling, nursing, cleaning, etc. Then I can just let them simmer until we are ready to eat. This Thai curry met all the requirements the kids loved it too. I served it over zucchini noodles because the kids think they are fun. You could also use a sprouted wheat noodle, rice, or quinoa.

Thai Coconut Chicken Curry and Potatoes

serves 6

1 Tbs coconut oil

2 cloves garlic

3 Tbs red curry paste

1 lb chicken breasts, cut up into 1 inch chunks

1 cup coconut milk (homemade or canned), light or full fat

1-2 cups homemade bone broth (or reduced sodium broth)

1/2 onion, diced

2 lbs potatoes, cubed into 3/4 inch squares

3 carrots, peeled and cut up

1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated or finely chopped

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Place oil, garlic, onion, and curry paste in a dutch oven. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add chicken, stir to coat the chicken, and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients (1 cup of the broth) and simmer for 25 minutes with the lid on, or until potatoes are cooked through. The longer you cook it, the more the sauce will thicken from the potatoes breaking down and releasing their starch. Add more broth as needed to get the potatoes cook and leave a little sauce, the best part!

Serve over zucchini noodles,sprouted noodles, rice, or quinoa.

 

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 338

fat: 12 g

sodium: 689 mg (29% DV)

carbohydrates: 31 g

dietary fiber: 5 g

Sugars: 4 g

Protein: 25 g

Fermented Ketchup

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Ketchup seems to be a food kids eat way too much of these days, well I’m sure most adults do too. It usually has high fructose corn syrup and even the organic store bought varieties are made with regular white sugar or agave (which is highly processed). I found one decent brand of ketchup at our organic market but it still had sugar so we used it sparingly. So sparingly it expired before we used it all. I heard of fermented ketchup and it sounded right up my alley. Homemade, no added sugar, and since its fermented it has a dose of probiotics. I like to get probitoics in our foods whenever we can through homemade kefir, homemade sourkraut, homemade fermented lemonade, and now ketchup. It tastes very similar to the store bought stuff, but even better! And since ketchup has vinegar in it normally, it works well and tastes “normal” as a fermented food.

Fermented Ketchup

8 oz tomato paste

2 Tbs apple cider vinegar

2 Tbs whey

2 Tbs honey

1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cloves

1-2 Tbs filtered water, as needed

Mix all together except 1 Tbs of the whey and water. Add to a ball jar. Pour the extra whey on top. Cover with the lid and let sit on countertop for 3-5 days. Mix it all together, add filtered water as needed to make it desired consistency, and refrigerate.

*You can get whey from strained yogurt. It’s the liquid that often is sitting on top of the container of yogurt when you open it. You can strain some plain whole milk yogurt in cheesecloth to get more. The clear liquid that comes off is the whey, Then you’ll be left with a thicker, greek style yogurt.

Copycat Oreos

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Oreos are a cookie my husband and I use to do some serious damage on. Dave would easily eat an entire row. I wasn’t far behind him. Since not eating any processed foods for a few years now, most of them no longer even appeal to me. Even cereal doesn’t tempt me anymore. But oreos and milk is just so good. These cookies are a great oreo substitute, they don’t have any refined sugar, and go great with a glass of milk or crushed on top of ice cream.

Copycat Oreos

makes 15 sandwich cookies

3/4 cup flour (I use whole wheat pastry)

1/4 cup + 2 Tbs cocoa powder

1/4 cup coconut sugar (or organic cane sugar)

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/16 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 Tbs honey

1 Tbs milk (if needed)

Melt butter. Add vanilla, honey, and sugar. Mix together flour, baking powder, salt. Combine wet and dry. Add milk little at a time if needed to bring dough together. It will depend on which flour you use (older flour is dryer, as is whole wheat flour).

Roll dough into a 1.5 inch long and wrap in cling wrap. Place in freezer for one hour or days until you are ready to bake.

When ready to bake, take off wrap and slice into thin slices with a sharp knife. Bake on a silpat baking sheet for 15-20 minutes (depending on thickness you sliced them) at 325F. Do not let them burn. They will not be hard when you take them out of the oven. They will continue to harden as they cool. You won’t be able to see when they start to burn because the dough is so dark, so don’t just keep cooking them trying to get them to crisp up.

For the cream mix 3 Tbs coconut butter and 1 tsp honey. Or use your favorite buttercream and just make it stiff.

Add cream between 2 sandwich cookies once cookies are completely cooled.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 99

fat: 5.5 g

Sodium: 35 mg (1%)

Carbohydrates: 13 g

dietary fiber: 1.3 g

sugars: 6 g

Protein: 1.3 g