Asian Chicken

This recipe is an extremely modified version of Peking Duck. It’s simple to make and quite tasty.

In a six-cup Pyrex dish, mix 1/4 cup sesame oil, 1/4 cup tamari, and 1/3 cup honey with a whisk (or a “whisky,” as my daughter says) until completely blended.

Cut two pounds of chicken breast into strips; place the strips into the Pyrex dish. Stir with a spoon to ensure that each piece of chicken is coated with the sauce. Put the lid on the Pyrex dish and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for two hours.

When the chicken has been marinated for two hours, heat a large skillet over high heat. Add a large splash of sesame oil and heat for about a minute, then add the chicken strips to the skillet and fry them (in batches, if necessary). Discard the marinade.

When the chicken is cooked, serve it with rice, noodles, or any side dish that suits your fancy.

Baked Pork Cutlet

This is a great main dish, as long as you don’t overcook it. I buy my meat through Pure Sprouts; the pork cutlets are from free-roaming heritage pigs from Stryker Farm. The taste is incredible.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 13″ x 9″ x 2″ Pyrex dish. (I use olive oil spray, but feel free to use butter if you can safely consume dairy products, or rub the inside of the dish with the oil of your choice. You just don’t want the meat to stick to the pan.) In a medium-sized bowl, stir or sift together 2 cups of rice flour (or corn flour or a rice-and-corn flour mix) and 2 tablespoons of salt. Dredge each piece of pork in the breading mixture, then place it carefully in the Pyrex dish. If you use 1 pound of meat, you should be able to just barely fit all the cutlets in the dish without overlapping, which is always my goal (for even cooking). Watch the cutlets carefully so they don’t burn. I usually bake the cutlets for 75 to 90 minutes, flipping the cutlets with tongs 40 minutes into the baking time.

Enjoy your baked pork cutlets with applesauce, coleslaw, sauerkraut, or another seasonal fall dish!

Quick Aioli

This recipe depends heavily on using very high-quality ingredients, but it is extremely quick and easy to make, and it’s delicious on everything from roast pork to quinoa crackers. In a bowl, mix together:

1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of cayenne (you can go a little light on the cayenne if you’re not a big fan of spicy things)
2 tablespoons of honey mustard
1/2 cup of mayonnaise

Cabbage, Collard Greens-Style

I owe this recipe to Dr. Daphne Miller’s excellent book, The Jungle Effect. This book describes Dr. Miller’s research into “cold spots” for various diseases around the world, including Cameroon, which is a “cold spot” for colon cancer.

I didn’t have any collard greens around the house today, but I did have a head of cabbage, so I cleaned it, cored it, cut it into sections, and separated the leaves to make this excellent recipe:

Bring the cabbage leaves to a boil in one cup of water in a saucepan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Remove the cabbage from the saucepan, pour the water into a bowl–you’ll use it later–and melt one tablespoon of lard in the saucepan. Put the cabbage back in the saucepan. Stir one tablespoon each of ground ginger, garlic powder, and cumin into the water you set aside, then pour the mixture over the cabbage. Toss the cabbage a bit to distribute the sauce and continue to saute it over fairly low heat until nearly all the liquid is gone. When it’s ready, sprinkle it with salt and lemon juice (to taste), toss it, and serve it.

Slightly more tender than collard greens, and seasoned scrumptiously! My five-year-old found it delightful.

A Party Isn’t a Party Unless There’s a Goat

Many years ago, during my first year at college, my roommate was a girl from Kenya. One afternoon, when we were talking about family celebrations, she remarked, “A party isn’t a party unless there’s a goat.” As it turns out, truer words were never spoken. Without further ado, my recipe for goat meatballs, fit for any party:

With your hands, mix one pound of ground goat, one cup of Orgran rice crumbs, two tablespoons of all-purpose seasoning, one teaspoon of sea salt, and 1/2 cup of ketchup. Form the mixture into one-inch balls, and place the meatballs in a Pyrex dish. Make sure you leave plenty of room between the meatballs, because after you cook them for 60 minutes at 350 degrees (uncovered), you’re going to turn them over with a fork and cover them with a maple-sugar-and-ketchup sauce, and then cook them (still uncovered) for another 30 to 45 minutes. Enjoy!

Hot Stuff

I know, I know–it’s too hot to make soup–but this is one of the tastiest and most nutrient-dense soups you’ll ever eat. I modified the recipe slightly from one in Judy Converse’s amazing book, Special Needs Kids Eat Right.

Cut one pound of bacon into one-inch pieces. Cook the entire pound of bacon by frying it in a saucepan. Set the cooked bacon pieces aside on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Peel and dice one pound of potatoes. Parboil the potatoes for five minutes in enough water to cover them, in a Dutch oven. After parboiling the potatoes, add the bacon, five diced shallots, one cabbage (cored and cut into chunks), and a generous sprinkle of sea salt and pepper to the Dutch oven. Add enough water or homemade chicken broth to the pot to cover all the ingredients, reduce the heat so that the stew simmers, and allow the stew to simmer for at least an hour. (I cover it so the water doesn’t evaporate too quickly, and I lift the lid periodically (with a potholder!) to stir the stew with a wooden spoon and add water, if necessary.

Serve with homemade bread (like the sourdough rye bread in Heidi Swanson’s book here, which I make with Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour instead).

Springtime Salad

For the last few weeks, we’ve been enjoying arugula and romaine from Butter Valley Harvest, a local hydroponic grower. These lettuces make a lovely salad. Here’s my recipe for the salad we enjoyed at dinner tonight:

Rinse 5 ounces each of romaine and arugula in a large colander. Set the colander on a paper towel-lined plate to drain while you prepare the rest of the salad. In a very large salad bowl, combine 1 clove of garlic, minced; 3 tablespoons of orange juice; 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar; 2 tablespoons of sesame oil; and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Whisk these ingredients together until well blended.

Just a few minutes before you are ready to eat, place the lettuce in the salad bowl on top of the dressing. Cut two grapefruits in half, remove the fruit with a very sharp knife, and place the fruit in the salad bowl on top of the lettuce. Toss the whole salad together with a large spoon and a large fork, and you are ready to go!

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

Every bit as good as the cake you grew up eating, but gluten-free for your gluten-free friends. This recipe is not dairy-free, but can be made dairy-free with a simple, one-to-one substitution of sesame oil for butter.

With an electric mixer, cream 1 cup of softened butter with 2 cups of sugar. Beat in 4 eggs.

In a separate bowl, sift together 2 cups of buckwheat flour, 3 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of cloves, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. You may add 1/4 teaspoon of salt; I generally use salted butter, so I don’t add salt separately.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine with the mixer, then pour in 2 cups of shredded carrots and mix at a very low speed until combined. Pour into two greased (I like to use butter, but you can use olive oil spray if you eat dairy-free) 8×8-inch Pyrex dishes and bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Verify done-ness with a toothpick and cool in the Pyrex on wire racks for 15 minutes; then carefully remove the cakes onto the wire racks to cool down to room temperature.

Frost with a simple cream cheese icing: 2 8-ounce packages of softened cream cheese mixed with 3 cups of sugar. Frost between the two layers as well as on the top and sides of the whole cake. Enjoy!


Spring Is Pasta Salad Season!

Here is a quick and easy recipe for a pasta salad that can be enjoyed by virtually all your guests, including many of those with food allergies. (Note: Carefully read the packages of these ingredients before using them, as their composition may have changed from the last time I bought them. Your guests are the best source of information about the specifics of their food allergies.)

Prepare 1/2 a box of Ancient Harvest gluten-free pasta according to the directions on the package. Combine cooked pasta with 1 cup of Annie’s Naturals Tuscany Italian salad dressing, 1/2 cup Mediterranean Organic sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, 1/2 cup of Mediterranean Organic roasted red peppers, and 1/2 cup of Mediterranean Organic pitted Kalamata olives. You might prefer to cut the roasted red peppers in half before adding them. Toss with large spoon and fork to combine. Refrigerate until well chilled, then toss again and enjoy!