Zucchini Taco Shells

Zucchini Taco Shells

Zutacos may just be the next zoodles. Just maybe. Zucchini Taco Shells are delightful and such a tasty way to enjoy summers abundance of zucchini. I cannot take the credit for this marvellous invention at all. Those gardening and food photography geniuses consisting of Todd and Diane invented them, I just made them gluten free.

You can pile whatever your favourite taco adornments are, I made some spicy smoked paprika ground pork topped with kimchi and fresh veggies, YUM.

This is my first post in a long while. It’s not that I haven’t been cooking up a storm and enjoying the hell out of summers abundance. It’s just a matter of taking an extended break to focus on other projects and make sense of life, all that jazz. Not that I’ve made sense of anything at all, aside from loving food, and the inevitable company it brings.

 

 

Zucchini Taco Shells

My sister got me hooked on this useless facts website. A dragon fly has a lifespan of 24 hours. I’m really not sure they are all accurate. There’s an entire section devoted to Chuck Norris, I mean reeeeeeeally. 7 Up pop used to contain lithium, too bad it still doesn’t, we could call it crazy pop. They say nutritious food costs 10 times as much as junk food. I don’t think this is true either. But it’s definitely double the cost, even though you’d think less chemicals would equal less expensive. This website makes bold statements, like if you eat lemons you’ll live longer and the older the father of your child is the uglier the child will be. I’d really like to see some evidence beyond the anecdotal here.

A few wise words of warning… don’t put grapes in the microwave, don’t intravenously inject nutmeg, don’t put your pearls in vinegar and when eating peanuts be sure not to combine them with other components of dynamite.

Well I feel good that I learned something today, know any weird ass random facts?

 

Zucchini Taco Shells

 

 

Zucchini Taco Shells

Ingredients

  • 3 small zucchini or 4 C worth, grated
  • 3/4 C almond flour
  • 1/2 C parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • fresh pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Strain any excess juice from the zucchini as best you can.
  3. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, drop zucchini mix by the spoonful, 4 tacos per sheet, and press down evenly.
  5. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes and let cool slightly before peeling off the parchment.
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Zucchini Taco Shells

Bacon and Scallion Paleo Pancakes

Bacon and Scallion Paleo Pancakes

bacon and scallion paleo pancakes

Okay I’ll just let the cat right out of the bag…these pancakes were supposed to be waffles. Never buy a waffle iron at a second hand store, there is a reason its there. After one very sticky pile of nothing I thought it would be best to turn them into pancakes which luckily was a massive success.

bacon and scallion paleo pancakes

I’ve never been a huge fan of sweet breakfasts, so savoury pancakes are right up my alley. If you’re into cheese, you can throw some aged raw cheddar in these for an extra special treat. I like to smother them in butter with a bit of maple syrup.

Bacon and Scallion Paleo Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 C almond flour
  • 1/4 C coconut flour
  • 1/4 C tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 C almond milk (unsweetened) or coconut milk
  • 1/4 C ghee or butter (melted)
  • 2 Tbs bacon fat (melted)
  • 6 pieces of crispy bacon, chopped
  • 6 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 raw cheddar cheese (shredded) (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients until smooth
  2. Heat a cast iron skillet and melt fat or oil of choice
  3. Drop 1/4 C of batter at a time and let cook until bubbles start to show around the edges, about 2 minutes per side.
  4. Makes about 12 pancakes
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bacon and scallion paleo pancakes

Mast-O-Khiar Persian Beet Salad

Mast-O-Khiar Persian Beet Salad

Mast-O-Khiar Persian Beet Salad

I’m a lover of freshly ground unique spices, the type that transport you to faraway lands. The ancient combinations of herbs, roots and seeds that grow together and have been used together for thousands of years. Raw Spice Bar specializes in these special blends that pair ancestral combinations with the modern twist of being delivered to your door step every month.

Delivery subscriptions are all the rage, from a new pair of panties every month to craft charcuterie, the options are endless. For foodies and anyone looking to try new recipes, raw spice bar provides 3 different spice blends freshly ground, high quality and 3 different recipes. This month the theme was Persian New Year, though I made this recipe up with their Mast-0-Khiar spice blend, I tried the one for braised lamb shanks with advieh, a spice blend of green cardamom, angelica and a few others. They were to die for and so easy to throw together.

Mast-O-Khiar is a spice blend made from dried mint, dill, rose petals and black peppercorns. Paired with tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt, it makes a unique Iranian inspired salad dressing that goes really well with earthy beets.

 

Mast-O-Khiar Persian Beet Salad

I recently got a spiralizer and have officially fallen in love. Almost every vegetable is spiralizable (new word) and beets are no exception. This time I roasted them (after spiralling) to bring out their natural sweetness. You could also eat them raw for a fresher, juicier variation. If you don’t have a spiralizer, fear not, you can cut the beets into chunks, roast them until tender and slice them thinly before dressing. Served alongside fresh greens, with a bit of plain yogurt or goat cheese this is a truly uniquely delightful flavour combo. I hope you love it as much as I do.

Mast-O-Khiar Persian Beet Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 Beets, peeled and spiralized Or cut into chunks and roasted
  • 4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs raw tahini
  • 1 Tbs mast-o-khiar spice blend (dry mint, dill, rose petals and black peppercorn)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • fresh greens (optional)
  • plain yogurt or goat cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. To roast the spiralled beets, set oven to 400 and spread on baking sheet, roast for 15-20 minutes until soft. For chunks of beets roasting time will be a bit longer, just until tender and then thinly slice.
  2. Let the beets cool.
  3. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, spices and salt until smooth and pour over the cooled beets, toss and serve alongside fresh greens with a drizzle of plain yogurt or a few chunks of goat cheese.
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Mast-O-Khiar Persian Beet Salad

Spicy Chicken Poutine with Homemade Shoestring Fries

Spicy Chicken Poutine with Homemade Shoestring Fries

Spicy Chicken Poutine with Homemade Shoestring Fries

You guys know I’m Canadian eh? My momma grew up in Quebec and instilled a love for poutine into us from day 1. Okay, maybe not day 1 but you get my drift. That cheesy gooey goodness is infused into my childhood and every now and then I get a mad hankering.

Never had poutine? Well you’ve been missing something special but it’s never too late.

As far as Canadian cuisine goes, it’s literally all over the map, but Quebec wins every time. The twists on traditional French cuisine are endless, and there is also a smorgasbord of other cultures and their traditions thrown in. Quebec is home to most of Canada’s immigrants after all. Montreal is by far the most exciting and vibrant Canadian city.

Spicy Chicken Poutine with Homemade Shoestring Fries

So to honour my French Canadian roots I like to make homestyle real food delectable poutine once in awhile. Nope none of that weird packaged gravy or GMO fryer oil, just good old fashioned shoestring potatoes fried in chicken fat and smothered with the most delectable spicy roasted chicken gravy, mixed with melty raw cheddar, which isn’t traditional but sure is good.

To make the gravy and get the chicken fat, you really need to roast a whole chicken and save the drippings. I wrote a post on how to make the perfect roast chicken with a spicy smoky blend of flavours which lends itself to your eventual poutine. This is worth the effort, not only are there ample benefits from roasting a whole chicken, but the leftovers are superb.

This is a loose recipe so I am going to treat it as such. You could also make the gravy out of drippings from a roast beef if that’s more convenient, the procedure is the same. Enjoy this stringy, cheesy, comfort food, homemade poutine blows fast food chains out of the water. To make it paleo just ditch the cheese, it won’t be missed, unless you’re French 😉

If you use yummly, I’m now going to be using their recipe cards so that my recipes will show up in their database.  It’s a pretty awesome way to keep track of all the delicious creations in your roster!

Spicy Chicken Poutine with Homemade Shoestring Fries

Yield: 2

Ingredients

  • 4 medium sized russet potatoes
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 C pan drippings from roast chicken, left in the refrigerator until the fat solidifies on the surface
  • 2 Tbs tapioca starch
  • 2 C leftover spicy roast chicken (link in article)
  • 1 C shredded raw cheddar
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. To make the shoestring fries, use a spiralizer on the smallest setting, par boil the spiralized potato for about 5 minutes and drain well.
  3. Remove the fat from the chicken drippings and place it on a baking sheet (about 2 Tbs worth), pop this in the hot oven until melted.
  4. Spread drained potatoes on to the pan and toss around until well coated in chicken fat, sprinkle with salt and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. You may want to turn the halfway.
  5. To make the gravy simply heat up the remaining pan drippings (about 1 C) combine the tapioca starch with an equal amount of cold water and slowly add to the simmering drippings until desired thickness is achieved.
  6. Prepare the poutine in layers, potatoes, cheese,chicken, gravy, repeat and finish with chopped green onions. Enjoy!
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Spicy Chicken Poutine with Homemade Shoestring Fries

Clean Out the Fridge Fried Rice

Clean Out the Fridge Fried Rice

Cleaning out the fridge to make space for fresh stuff is a dreaded task in my books. I avoid it at all costs, but then again, if there’s fried rice at the end of the rainbow its not so bad.

Clean out the fridge fried rice

This post is a loose recipe as what you have in your fridge is likely different from what I have in mine.

But I wanted to outline some essential basics when it comes to making the perfect friend rice every time.

Clean out the fridge fried rice

1. Heat

The common assumption with fried rice is that you want to use really high heat. This isn’t the case. If we do this, everything turns into a sticky sad mess. Cleaning burnt rice from our pans is something to avoid at all costs. Instead, starting with a generous amount of oil or fat and going slow and steady will win the race.

2. Flavour

Rice is a sponge so we want to make sure there’s plenty of tasty yummies for it to soak up before adding it to the mix. The basic flavour base that I like to use is a hearty amount of flavourful fat, some chopped bacon and sausage or coconut oil, an onion finely chopped, 3-4 garlic cloves finely chopped, an inch piece of ginger, finely chopped,carrots,celery and some sort of hot pepper. For this version I had a chipotle, very non traditional but still utterly delicious. You could try adding other things too, green onions, cumin seeds, masala, lemongrass…To deglaze the pan I like to use rice wine vinegar, infused vinegar or tamari but water works in a pinch. Just a few Tbs and then we can add the rice.

3. Rice to Vegetable ratio

Make a big pot of jasmine rice. For the best rice, cook it in chicken or vegetable stock with plenty of sea salt, this small step makes for big flavour. The amount of rice will be at your discretion, don’t put too much or it’ll be bland. Next is the addition of leafy fast cooking vegetables like swiss chard and kale, added last minute they cook a bit but still maintain their vibrance.

4. Egg

There are two types of people- those who mix the egg into the rice and those who like a fried egg on top of their rice. I happen to be of the latter category, but J is a mixer. For mixing the egg with the rice I crack however many (usually one per person) into a bowl and whip it with a bit of oil. On medium-low heat pour the egg over the rice, tilt the pan around and cover for a few minutes. This just give the egg a chance to get nice and golden crispy on the bottom of the pan without sticking. After a few minutes, mix it all around, sometimes I like to add some raw cheddar (I know, I’m such a traditionalist) cover again and let it get even more crispy.

5. Extras 

The fun part of fried rice are the extra goodies, we love to eat it with some fermented homemade sauerkraut or kimchi. Toasting some seeds or nuts for a topping is a great textural addition. Sesame seeds, a drizzle of hoisin, sunshine sauce , miso, toasted seaweed, fresh mango…endless possibilities.

 

Clean out the fridge fried rice

There you have it, the perfect clean out the fridge fried rice, different every single time but always delicious. Take your time, I know it’s supposed to be a fast meal but slowing down just a bit makes it extra good and filled with crispy crackly bits of egg, rice, flavour and good  veggies!

 

Clean out the fridge fried rice

Roasted Balsamic Sage Root Vegetable Stuffing

Roasted Balsamic Sage Root Vegetable Stuffing

Roasted Balsamic Sage Root Vegetable Stuffing

Vegetables rock. They never get boring, truly there must be millions of variations to get your veg in. While I’m starting to feel the itch for fresh spring veg, I’m also still ever so enamoured with hardy winter varieties. These roasted root veggies have all the flavour of stuffing without the bread. Perfect with roast chicken or turkey, you could even mix them up and throw them in the roasting pan with your bird.

There’s a little sage bush right outside my house, its starting to spring back to life and I’m enjoying the bounty of fresh sage. Crispy friend sage is sinfully delicious, but it also adds a certain aromatic lingering presence to all things hearty and roasted.

Roasted Balsamic Sage Root Vegetable Stuffing

I hope you all had a great weekend, mine was jam packed with birthday cake and love as my little baby Mav turned 1. Such a big day, hard to believe it was just one year ago he came into our lives and made life so much more joyous. Being a mom has been such a trip. Did you fall into the parent role naturally? Or does it take time for everyone? It took awhile before I even thought of myself as a mother, there’s so much to learn and I’m sure it’s endless. Now I’m starting embrace this fairly new role, I am now the one who makes birthday cakes (delicious paleo ones) and kisses sore knees. About that cake, I really wanted to share it with you. Admittedly I am a terrible party planner but I ace the catering side of things. Perhaps I’ll make the cake again just so that we can photograph it and share the recipe, it was sooooooo perfect!

All cake aside, we’re talking root veg. This Roasted Balsamic Sage Root Vegetable Stuffing is about to become your new best friend.

Big love.

 

Roasted Balsamic Sage Root Vegetable Stuffing
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 winter squash, I used carnival but delicata or butternut would work, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbs melted fat (bacon, lard or tallow) or coconut oil
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs fresh sage,finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • green onions for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. In a large bowl combine oil, vinegar,sage, salt and garlic
  3. Add all vegetables and mix well until coated.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment and spread the vegetables out evenly.
  5. Roast for 40 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Top with fresh green onions for garnish and enjoy!

I spy with my little eye, a hand that loves his momma’s vegetables!

Roasted Balsamic Sage Root Vegetable Stuffing