Baked Falafel Salad + Tahini Cucumber Dressing (GF, DF)

After a week of pondering a new salad, I came up with this one.  I've probably mentioned this but every sunday Cameron and I do a big round of batch cooking, making everything we're going to eat for the week.  Always it's at least a big salad, homemade dressing, a soup, curried cauliflower and a breakfast option.

I have about 5 salads that I rotate through but really wanted to add a new one.  I'm pretty excited about this one.  It's a clean, healthy, vegetable filled salad with falafel.  The falafel are baked but still crispy outside with a creamy, flavorful middle.  The dressing is adapted from Detoxinista and I think I would eat pretty much anything with this dressing on it.  There's a lot of flavor in this salad bowl - I hope you enjoy!

About 6 servings. 

Baked Falafel Salad

for the falafel

2 tins chickpeas, rinsed, drained

1 1/4 cup diced red onion

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves

1 tablespoon olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

for the tahini dressing

1 cup chopped cucumber

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup water

1 clove garlic

juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coarse salt

for the salad

spinach leaves

shredded cabbage

shredded carrots

olives

chopped parsley and cilantro leaves

pickled red onion 

sliced cucumber

Falafels: Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Place a baking tray on the middle rack. 

Place chickpeas, onion, garlic, cilantro, parsley, oil, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, paprika, salt and baking soda in the bowl of a food processor fitted with an S blade.  Pulse until it smoother but still chunky.  It should look like minced onions and chickpeas held together with hummus.  

Remove hot tray from oven and brush liberally with a high heat oil.  Use a tablespoon to portion falafels.  Form thin, patties.  You want more surface area.  This results in a crispier falafel.

Bake 20 minutes.  Carefully flip patties.  They should be browned on the bottom before flipping.  If they come apart, press them back together.  Back another 20-30 minutes or until both sides are browned.  Remove from oven and cool.  

Tahini Dressing: Blend cucumber, tahini, water, garlic, lemon, cumin and salt in a blender until smooth.  

Assemble salads with spinach, shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, olives, pickled onions, chopped herbs, falafel patties and dressing.       

Beach Vacation Getaway

It's that time of year!  Every year, right after the holidays, Cam and I book a beach vacation.  This year we are heading to Mexico.  It's the best - it gives me something to look forward and obsess over though this chilly winter season.  I've been working out, eating well, doing everything not to catch the office cold like making sure to get enough sleep and researching all the fun things we're going to do.  I REALLY like planning.  For me, it's almost as good as the vacation itself.  Do you know what I mean?  It's nice to be really excited about something.  

In addition to planning, I've also been on the hunt for some new beach vacation clothing and accessories.  Here's a few that I think anyone else heading to warmer places might like too:

1.  Travel Journal.  Cam and I started bringing one on our trips and it's really fun to write and sketch about how we spend our beachy days.  I love this mermaid one.  So pretty.  

2. Turkish Towels because then you don't have to subtly kidnap your hotel bath towel on your adventures beyond the resort.  It's also nice to have a towel for your beach lounger and one for drying off.  A turkish towel rolls up super small so it's easy to pack and doubles as a wrap for the pool and a blanket for the plane. 

3. Caftans!  This blue one or this white lace number because they are the best.  So comfortable and everyone looks great in them.  A nice step up from my usual (and beloved!) black yoga pants.  I'd wear the hell out of that white one once the weather warms up back here in nyc, too. 

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4. Simple, comfortable sandals for daytime.  These are classic and go with everything. Easy to get on and off is key here.  

5. Something a little more striking for when you change for dinner. I'm always partial to anything with a stud or jewel, like these.

 

6. Instant gratification with this cute camera.  Capture all the beautiful and interesting situations you find yourself in - just remember to bring enough film. 

7. A big sun hat because when else do you get to wear one? This one sends the right message. 

8. Beach bag.  I'm that person at the airport, using my beach bag as a purse, wearing socks under my sandals.  This blue striped one is made with responsibly sourced materials.  This one has a great tassel.  And this one I would add my own tassel to. 

9. Very moisturizing hair mask because your hair is going to sizzle and the hotel shampoo/conditioner doesn't care. This one is made of natural ingredients and smells great. 

10. A new bathing suit.  Apparently, we're all wearing one pieces now.  I love the tiny straps on the back of this one and this one for running down the beach in slow motion.  Really though, my heart belongs to this scalloped bikini.  

Curry + Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower (Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

I make this every Sunday.  It's so good.  Sometimes I like to chop up the florets really small and eat it like popcorn.  It usually doesn't last but if it does I'll add to salads during the week.  

For reference - the photo is one normal sized head of cauliflower.  It doesn't make enough!  It really shrinks during cooking.  I'd say it serves 2.  

Turmeric Curry Cauliflower

1/4 cup grape seed oil

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

a few turns or a pinch of black pepper

1 head cauliflower, chopped

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking tray with parchment paper or lightly oil it.  Set aside. 

Combine oil, curry powder, turmeric powder, salt and black pepper in a large bowl.  Toss chopped cauliflower in oil mixture until evenly coated.  The better and more evenly you coat it the better it will be.  I like to get my hands in here - tossing and rubbing the pieces in the oil. It's messy but makes it so much better.  Transfer cauliflower to baking tray and place in oven.  Roast until edges are browned and pieces are soft, about 40 minutes. 

Mea's Green Soup (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

I made this a month ago and can't believe I didn't post it.  I think I was saving it for spring when all other the ingredients are more in season.  I made it today and decided I better share before I forget.  This is a great clean, bright healthy soup.  I love having a dinner of simple vibrant veggies and a little lean protein in a punchy broth like this with dill and lemon. 

Make this vegetarian by skipping the chicken and substituting vegetable stock.

If you like this one, you'll also like Cam's Green Soup

Makes 6 servings. 

Mea's Green Soup

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast

3 quarts water

splash cooking oil (I like olive oil for this one)

1 yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

2 carrots peeled, sliced

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 1/2 cup fresh (or frozen) green peas

1 bunch asparagus, chopped

2 cups chopped green beans

3 cups chopped kale

1 bunch fresh dill, chopped

lemon juice, to taste

s + p, to taste

Simmer chicken in water until cooked through, about 20 minutes.  Remove chicken and shred when cool.  Save the water to use as the stock.  Set both aside.  

In a pot, heat a splash of oil over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic, carrot, celery and bay leaf.  Saute until glossy and softened.  About 5 minutes.   Add stock.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer a few minutes until carrots are tender.  Add peas, asparagus, green beans and kale.  Cook a few minutes.  Stir in dill and lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper. 

Chocolate Cherry Protein Shake (Paleo, GF, DF)

I have two smoothies in rotation at the moment.  I'll be posting the other one soon but my favorite one is this chilly chocolate cherry goodness.  I recently started having a shake before I work out and I can't believe how much better I preform.  Seriously, in kickboxing class I have so much more energy and am able to finish all my reps.  So much better than before, when I exercised on an empty stomach.  I like that the smoothie is quick to make, quick to consume, tastes good and is full of protein.  

Makes one serving. 

Chocolate Cherry Protein Shake

1/2 cup frozen pitted cherries

handful baby spinach leaves

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

1 cup liquid (coconut milk, coconut water or tap water)

Blend all ingredients together until smooth.  

Coconut Yogurt (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

I've never made dairy yogurt before so I really didn't have anything to compare this too.  It's really easy to make your own coconut yogurt.  

I used one Now Probiotic -10 strain capsule.  Use a coconut milk that does not have stabilizers or preservatives - like trader joe's. The ingredients should just be coconut milk.  Use coconut milk from a tin - not the coconut beverage that comes in a carton.  The one in the carton has too much water and other things added to it.  

Makes 1 pint drinkable yogurt or 1 cup spoonable yogurt.

Coconut Yogurt

1 probiotic capsule

1 14oz can full fat coconut milk

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Empty capsule into a glass container.  Add coconut milk and maple syrup.  Whisk until smooth.  If the coconut milk it lumpy, just microwave it for a few seconds to warm it up slightly.

Loosely cover and wrap in a heating pad.  Wrap in a bath towel for extra insulation.  Don't let it get above 115 degrees.  It will feel warm but not hot to the touch.  Let this go for about 24 hours.  Conduct a simple taste test to see if it's ready.  It will be tangy and taste like yogurt.  

At this point, it's more of a coconut kefir yogurt drink than yogurt.  If you want a yogurt you can eat with a spoon, it's going to have to be strained.  To strain it, line a mesh strainer with a double layer of cheese cloth and set the whole thing over a bowl.  Pour the yogurt into the lined strainer and just let it be until it's thick enough for you.  Mine took about 2 hours.  It strains very slowly.  It's now ready to either be eaten or stored in the fridge.  Save the liquid that has dripped off for smoothies - it's delicious and good for you. 

Garlic + Rosemary Slow Cooker Pork (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

I like this pork.  It fills the house with a lovely smell while it's cooking and rosemary always reminds me of winter.  It's so piney.  Piney is a word, right?  

I'll whip this up just to have in the fridge for last minute dinners like pasta/zoodles, with veggies in a stir fry, make tacos, sandwiches, use it for salad... 

If you don't have fresh rosemary, use 1 tablespoon dried rosemary leaves tied in a piece of cheesecloth or in a tea infuser.  That way, you avoid all those hard little leaves in your dish but still enjoy the flavor. 

Garlic and Rosemary Slow Cooker Pork

2.5 lb boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2" pieces

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 sprig large sprig fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon fennel powder

This one is real easy: place everything into the bowl of your slow cooker.  Stir to to coat pork - use clean hands - it's easier.  Cover and cook until pork is tender enough to very easily shred with a fork, about 5 hours on high, 8 hours on low. Shred and enjoy.

Turkey Taco Bowls (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

Whew.  Just got done cooking all the things for this one but let me tell you it was worth the time!  I've missed taco bowls.  Mostly because I just didn't know what to put in them.  You know, because a big part of bowls is the grain part.  

I had some leftover shredded cabbage from last week's Crunchy Thai Salad that I chopped up, gave a quick saute, tossed with fresh lime juice, chopped fresh cilantro and salt.  This I used as the grain for the taco bowl.  I have to say I much prefer the taste of this cabbage rice to cauliflower rice.  I used two different colors but that's optional.  

This recipe has a lot of parts: the cabbage rice, zucchini salsa, turmeric carrots, roasted red onion, chopped romaine, sliced olives and the seasoned ground turkey.  Luckily, everything is easy.  I'm used to a few hours of batch cooking every Sunday, and if you're on AIP then you probably are too. 

Makes about 5 servings.  (For the work week lunch!)

Turkey Taco Bowls

for the cabbage rice

1 tablespoon  cooking oil 

small head of green or red cabbage, finely chopped

juice of 1 lime

1/3 cups chopped fresh cilantro leaves (less is ok.  we love cilantro.)

s + p

for the turmeric carrots

1 tablespoon cooking oil

1 teaspoon turmeric

4 carrots, peeled, round slices

for the roasted red onion

1-2 red onions, thinly sliced

splash olive oil

s + p

for the turkey

1 pound ground turkey 

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon fenugreek leaves

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

splash cooking oil

additional toppings

1 tin pitted black olives, sliced

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

avocado slices

one zucchini salsa recipe

Ready?

To make the Cabbage Rice: Heat a large saute pan or wok over medium high heat.  Add oil and once hot, saute cabbage until tender - about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and toss with lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper. 

To make the carrots and onion: Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix turmeric and oil together and toss with carrot slices.  Arrange on   one side of a half sheet tray.  Arrange onion slices on other end of sheet tray and drizzle with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to oven and roast 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and cover.  (A sheet of foil works well here.) 

To make the turkey: Combine salt, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, fenugreek, pepper and cinnamon.  Season turkey meat with spice mixture.  Heat a large oiled skillet over medium heat.  Cook turkey.  

Assemble the bowl:  Spoon cabbage rice into bowl as a base.  Add carrots, onions, turkey, olives, lettuce and avocado slices.  Serve with zucchini salsa.  

Zucchini Salsa (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

No tomatoes?  No problem!  How much have you missed salsa?  I can't even tell you how much better life is now that this salsa is here.  I'm going to put it on everything!  (Especially an AIP taco bowl that I'll post later this week.)  After looking everywhere for a nightshade free salsa and not finding one - I knew i was going to have to make my own.  If you're skeptical, don't be.  I'm not the biggest fan of zucchini but this salsa is great. 

Makes 1 pint.

Zucchini Salsa

splash cooking oil

2 zucchini, peeled, sliced

1 clove garlic, peeled

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

juice of one lime

1/2 cup diced red onion

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup water

In a medium saute pan, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add zucchini slices and garlic.  Cook until browned and very soft, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to blender and blend with cilantro, lime juice, onion, salt and water.  

Crunchy Thai Salad + Peanut Dressing (GF, DF)

It's that time of year!  Salad time!  How great was it to indulge during the holiday season?  I LOVED it but it's time to get back to healthier, more sustainable ways.  Like everyone else, I'm back to the gym and eating right.  I had a satisfyingly long day of batch cooking this past Sunday, making lots of yummy and healthy things.  Like vegetables!  You remember vegetables. 

I also made an especially good peanut dressing. 

There's going to be a lot of leftover cabbage.  I shredded one red and one green head of cabbage and stuffed half into a gallon sized freezer bag, pushed all the air out of it, sealed, labeled and threw it in the freezer for another time.  Cam and I like to make a quick stir fry midweek with ground turkey, shredded cabbage and a simple sauce.  

Serves 6. 

Crunchy Thai Salad + Peanut Dressing

for the dressing

1/3 cup tamari soy sauce

3/4 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)

3/4 cup water

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

juice of one lime

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

for the salad

1/2 head green cabbage, shredded

1/2 head red cabbage, shredded

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

4 carrots, peeled, shredded

5 scallions, green parts, thinly sliced

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

To make the dressing: heat tamari, peanut butter, water, brown sugar, fish sauce, sesame oil, lime juice and vinegar in a small pot and whisk until smooth and sugar has dissolved.  Cool.  

Compose salad and serve with dressing. 

Goals

2016

Happy 2017!  While I don't exactly make New Year's resolutions,  I do believe in living a conscious life with purpose.  At the beginning of every year, I make a list of goals, returning to this list throughout the year for motivation.

Here are my goals for 2017:

1. Challenge myself at work

2. Continue to grow Meats and Sweets

3. Stay healthy

4. Take more photos (and print them!)

5. Learn to play the ukulele 

6. Give more time and money to charity

7. Be kind

2016 was a great year full of fun times and major life changes.  I hope all of you feel like you are living a rich and beautiful life.  I'd love to hear what your goals are in the new year.  If you're up for sharing - leave a comment!

xo. Mea

Molasses Cookies (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

Who doesn't love a molasses cookie in December?  To me, they are the perfect christmas cookie.  I worked on a recipe over the weekend that whether you're aip, paleo or not you will enjoy.  These are very well balanced cookies - not too sweet, soft and chewy with a hint of spice.  Perfect for leaving out for santa or dipping in a cool glass of coconut milk.  

Makes 16 cookies. 

AIP Molasses Cookies

1.5 cups cassava flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup molasses

1/2 cup palm/coconut shortening

1/8 cup coconut sugar - optional

1 gelatin egg (1 tablespoon gelatin bloomed in 1 tablespoon water, whisked with 1 tablespoon boiling water)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking tray with parchment paper.  Set aside. 

In a mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt.  Add molasses, shortening and gelatin egg.  Use an electric hand or stand mixer until it looks like cookie dough - it takes a couple minutes.  Use a tablespoon to portion, form balls and roll lightly in coconut sugar if you like.  

Use either cookie shaping techniques:

1. For smooth, flat cookies - Place dough ball on prepared cookie sheet, press with bottom of mason jar to flatten.  Bake 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool.  These cookies will be smooth, flat discs.

2. Or for rustic, crinkled cookies - Place dough ball on prepared cookie sheet, bake 15 minutes, remove from oven and flatten cookies.  Let cool.  

Holiday House Candle Holder DIY

aka The Christmas Village!  I made several of these little candle luminaries last year out of clay and they were so loved I thought I'd share how you can make your own without stoneware clay and a pottery kiln.  These are made of Sculpy, a polymer clay that is easy to use and can be baked in a normal oven.  

Supplies:

white sculpy clay

a knife

a toothpick or pin tool

parchment paper or another smooth non stick work surface

a rolling pin

two rectangular or square dowels 1/8" thick, about 24 inches long 

template - use mine or make your own

Method:

1.  Print provided template or make your own.  Regular paper is great. Cut out template so you can just see the dotted lines.

2. Work on a clean non stick surface, like marble, a silpat or parchment paper.  Sculpy sticks to paper so don't knead or roll out onto a papered surface.  Knead clay until smooth.  Form into a flat disc.  Set up dowels on either side of your disc of clay.  These will help you maintain even thickness.  Use rolling pin and dowels to roll clay out to same thickness as dowels.  Pick clay up and rotate or flip over from time to time while rolling.   

3. Set aside dowels.  Place template over clay and cut out with a knife.

4.  Cut 4 walls and one base - you can use the base template as a wall if you don't want each side to have a roof.  Cut out windows.  Windows are on template for inspiration - feel free to place windows as you like.  Cut them out carefully with knife.  The windows will look a little rough.  After cutting them out, use your pin tool to smooth and clean up the inside window edges on both sides.  

5. If pieces are too wet to stand up, place them between two pieces of paper for an hour or so.  Cut house walls at a 45 degree angle with knife.  This will help them fit together more cleanly at the corners. Use a pin to cross hatch any part that you want to adhere to another part - like the where to corners will meet together and where the walls will meet with the base. 

6. Assemble on top of the base, not around it.  Pinch the corners of two walls together, then add another wall and pinch the new corner together.  Add the last wall.  Pinch corners.  Go back and smooth corners.   

7. Heat oven to 275 F.  Place sculpy house on oven proof baking tray and bake 15 minutes.  Do not over bake.  

8. Wash hands well after using - rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer is great for getting sculpy residue off your hands.  

**Roll out your scraps and break out your holiday cookie cutters to make yourself some tree ornaments or gift tags.

9.  Let piece cool completely.  Place tealight in holiday house and light.  Enjoy to glow. 

2016 Gift Guide: Downtown Loft

Part 2 of the Meats and Sweets 2016 Gift Guide.  This one is for the city girl and all the things she needs in her hard working, busy, fun, beautiful life.  

This shiny gold bottle.  $42 at saks

This shiny gold bottle.  $42 at saks

This simple record player and speakers.  $169 at urban outfitters

This simple record player and speakers.  $169 at urban outfitters

A warm and fuzzy coat.  $298 at free people

A warm and fuzzy coat.  $298 at free people

For the eating of ramen noodles.  $28 at moma

For the eating of ramen noodles.  $28 at moma

So she can see where she's going in the rain.  $24 from amazon

So she can see where she's going in the rain.  $24 from amazon

A zippered pouch to help her organize.  $22 at madewell

A zippered pouch to help her organize.  $22 at madewell

The SOFTEST sweaties ever.  $69 at loft

The SOFTEST sweaties ever.  $69 at loft

Classic all white sneakers she can wear with everything.  $65 at converse

Classic all white sneakers she can wear with everything.  $65 at converse

A one year membership to the Whitney or other museum so she can look at beautiful art all year long.  $85 at Whitney Museum of American Art

A one year membership to the Whitney or other museum so she can look at beautiful art all year long.  $85 at Whitney Museum of American Art

One of these furry little bag charms.  $95 at tory burch

One of these furry little bag charms.  $95 at tory burch

Wash all that city grime off her face at the end of the day with this luxurious cleansing oil.  $48 at sephora

Wash all that city grime off her face at the end of the day with this luxurious cleansing oil.  $48 at sephora

Simple Chocolate Cake (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

These were supposed to be doughnuts but I forgot I never bought that donut pan that's been on my to do list forever.  It's actually a mini donut pan.  

No matter!  I really just needed something chocolate and have been watching a pile of plantains slowly over ripen on my counter so it seemed like everything would work out, doughnut pan or no.  I'll be doubling the recipe and using it for a layer cake in the future. 

These are mostly about chocolate and I've noticed it's important for me to keep my insulin from spiking too much so the honey is low.  When I go sweets crazy (holiday season, ahem!) I notice my inflammation levels are higher.  Keeping the sugar low but adding things like chocolate or cinnamon, ingredients that I already associate with dessert helps make what I'm eating taste sweeter.  That said, increase to 1 third or half cup if you need that sugar.   Also, substitute carob powder for chocolate powder to keep it AIP. 

Makes one 8 inch cake.

Simple Chocolate Cake

1/4 cup dark chocolate powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup cassava flour

3/4 cup coconut butter

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 green plantain, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon gelatin

2 tablespoons boiling water

Heat oven to 350.  Grease one 8 inch cake tin and set aside. 

In a bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cassava flour.  Set aside.

In a food processor, fitted with S blade, process coconut oil, coconut butter, plantain, honey and apple cider vinegar until very smooth, about 4 minutes.  

In a small bowl, whisk gelatin and boiling water.  Add to food processor and run 2 minutes.  Add dry ingredients, process 3 minutes.  

Pour batter into prepared cake tin and bake 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool completely.    

2016 Gift Guide: Log Cabin Cozy

One of three Meats and Sweets' Gift Guides that I'll be posting every Friday this month.  For this one, picture your friend all cozy in her own beautiful log cabin - big socks, pjs, cup of coffee, fireplace, pixie light pillow fort... all the important stuff.  

 

super soft pj set because lounging is the best. $102 from eberjey

super soft pj set because lounging is the best. $102 from eberjey

a nice smelling candle, like this one, made from clean burning soy.  $18 from madewell

a nice smelling candle, like this one, made from clean burning soy.  $18 from madewell

these simple, stylish slippers. $78 from anthropologie

these simple, stylish slippers. $78 from anthropologie

a teepee because she'll have to hang those little pixie lights on something $190 from etsy

a teepee because she'll have to hang those little pixie lights on something $190 from etsy

a softly glowing aromatherapy diffuser that doubles as a night light. $69.50 from muji

a softly glowing aromatherapy diffuser that doubles as a night light. $69.50 from muji

socks.  because adults love getting socks for christmas. $29 from l.l.bean

socks.  because adults love getting socks for christmas. $29 from l.l.bean

a pom pom hat to keep her ears warm. $235 from bergdorf goodman

a pom pom hat to keep her ears warm. $235 from bergdorf goodman

porcelain nesting splatterware bowls with a vintage feel. $130 from food52

porcelain nesting splatterware bowls with a vintage feel. $130 from food52

this wool plaid scarf is almost big enough to double as a blanket. $44.50 from madewell

this wool plaid scarf is almost big enough to double as a blanket. $44.50 from madewell

string light for the blanket fort. $28 from urban outfitters

string light for the blanket fort. $28 from urban outfitters

warm, water proof boots for exploring the snowy terrain. $140 from sorel

warm, water proof boots for exploring the snowy terrain. $140 from sorel

Celeriac Hash (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

I have a whole list of things i want to make breakfast hash our of.  Celeriac is one of them. White sweets potatoes were good.  Squash is next.  (I'll let you know how it turns out)  I took this celery root hash to work with a couple pieces of crispy turkey bacon and it was great.  I'm trying to mix up my breakfast routine since now it's a meal I eat everyday.  

About 3 servings. 

Celeriac Breakfast Hash

1 celeriac, peeled and diced

1 red onion, chopped

handful of chopped fresh sage

fresh or dried thyme

s + p 

2 tablespoons olive oil

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  In a bowl, toss celeriac, onion, sage, thyme, salt, pepper with olive oil until evenly coated.  Use more oil if you like.  Transfer to rimmed baking tray and roast about 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.  

Hot Chocolate (Paleo, DF, GF)

hotcocoa02.jpg

It's here!  The holiday season is upon us!  I love this time of year.  LOVE IT!  I get to see family, celebrate with friends, sip hot chocolate, shop for gifts, decorate, bake sweets and eat feasts.  Peaking of hot chocolate... cocoa is one of my favorite winter treats.  So rich and warm.  We had company over yesterday for christmas decorating and I whipped this up for us to sip while we hung stockings and turned up the christmas playlist.  

I consider this AIP but it does have chocolate in it so depending on your feelings it might not be AIP for you.  Carob powder can be substituted in place of the chocolate, use the same amount. 

Serves 3.  

Mea's Hot Cocoa

6 tablespoons dark chocolate or cocoa powder

4 tablespoons raw local honey

1 bag vanilla tea (optional - I used yogi-tea tahitian vanilla hazelnut)

1 14 oz tin coconut milk (full fat)

14 oz water

Whisk together all ingredients in a small pot.   Bring to a boil.  Turn off heat and let sit 2 minutes.  Remove tea bag and serve. 

 

Simply Roasted Beets

The other day, I walked through the kitchen and found a little bowl of chopped, cooked beets.  I snuck a little bite and was blown away by how simple and tasty they were.  Like HOW AM I NOT EATING BEETS ALL THE TIME!? kind of good.  

So, Cam taught me how to make beets.  He really is a genius with veggies.  

This is more a technique than a recipe.  Feel free to use it for any amount of beets - like for that 20 serving side you're planning on making for Thanksgiving next week.

If you are using different color beets, keep them separate until assembling your final dish - the colors will bleed. 

Easy Beets

some whole beets 

water

olive oil

optional aromatics like citrus peel or herbs

red wine vinegar

salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Chop off the stems and tips of beets.  Place in baking dish and fill with water.  The water should reach 1/3 to 1/2 way up the beets.  (I use a loaf pan when I make beets for just us two.)

Drizzle a bi tof olive oil and add aromatics (oj is great) if using.  Cover with aluminum foil and place in oven.  Cook about one hour.  To test if beets are done, do a poke test: poke it with a cake tester or thin knife to feel if they are done.  

Uncover and rub beets in a bowl of cool water to easily remove the skins. Chop beets and toss in a generous amount of red wine vinegar.  Let sit 30 minutes at room temperature.  

Salt to taste.  These can be eaten now as a simple side dish or used as a salad component.  

Cauliflower Fried Rice (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

As a former lover of all things rice, I' m going to be very honest with you and let you know that cauliflower, no matter how dolled up it is, is not rice.  It just isn't.  I think if you can wrap your head around that then you will be fine with cauliflower standing in for your exiled rice.  You're on the AIP diet right now and that means no grains.  Very sadly rice is a grain.  So repeat after me:  I love stir fried riced cauliflower, I love stir fried riced cauliflower...

Rice and chickpeas (ok and popcorn) have been the hardest things for me to give up on AIP.  I didn't realize how much of these things I ate.  Gluten?  No problem because I had rice!  But not right now.  This cauliflower rice is really good - I just can't call it rice. 

Stir fried Riced Cauliflower

for the sauce

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

2 tablespoons, coconut aminos (or tamari soy cause for non aip)

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (or rice vinegar for non aip)

1 teaspoon sesame oil (for non aip)

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

for the stir fry

1 head cauliflower, in large pieces

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 small yellow onion, finely diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 inch ginger, peeled, minced

1 carrot, peeled, finely diced

1 zucchini, finely diced

1 cup chopped mushrooms

In a small bowl, whisk turmeric, aminos, vinegar, sesame oil (if using) and black pepper.  Set aside.

Pulse the cauliflower is a food processor until it is the size of rice.  This happens very fast so watch out or you'll end up with cauliflower couscous.  Set aside. 

Heat coconut oil in a wok over medium high heat.  Once hot,  add onion, garlic and ginger, cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add carrots, zucchini and mushrooms, cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add more oil if needed.  Add cauliflower rice and prepared sauce.  Cook until heated through.