Category Archives: Whole 30

It heals what ails ya

DH has been feeling pretty under the weather for the past couple of weeks with a head cold and stuffy sinuses, and I had a late meeting tonight after work…so it was a perfect night for some homemade chicken soup. Oh yes, a fast meal ready in, oh, I’d say 20 minutes.

Of course, I did most of the prep for this meal weeks ago. I had bought 4 2 lb packages of chicken quarters when they were on sale for $.98 / lb, boiled all of them and canned up the meat and broth. Cooking and canning the meat – PRESSURE CANNER ONLY!!! – took a Saturday afternoon (ended up with 6 pints canned and 1 pint we ate that night), and then Sunday, after church, I scraped off the chicken fat that congealed at the top of the pot (it was in the fridge all night) and then canned 14 pints of broth. And then made schmaltz out of the chicken fat. No waste here!

Last time I bought carrots and celery, I bought two packages of each, peeled all the carrots, washed the celery, and then used my food processor to cut all the carrots and celery into rings. Those went into ziploc bags, with 1 cup carrots and 1 cup celery in each bag, and into the freezer.
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So, making dinner tonight was just a matter of chopping up an onion. Used the schmaltz to sauté the onion in a sauce pan, then added the carrots and celery. I would have added garlic, but I was out. I let that sauté a while, and then just dumped in 1 pint of broth, then measured out 1 pint of water, added the pint of chicken, and salt and pepper (quite a bit of salt and pepper, actually. More than a few shakes). That’s it! I brought it up to a boil and let it lightly boil for about 10 minutes, and supper was ready. Whole40*, even.

DH ate a few bites and said, “Oh, that’s good. I am feeling much better!” I agree.
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Homemade Chicken Soup
1 chopped onion
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
1 pint home canned broth
1 pint water
1 pint home canned chicken
salt / pepper

Sauté onion, carrots and celery. When fragrant, add broth, water and canned chicken. Boil 10 minutes.

*I’m doing a Whole 30 for Lent, so I’ve been calling it a Whole 40.

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Mongolian Beef and Broccoli over Cauliflower Rice

Always on the lookout for new Whole 30 recipes, I stumbled on this gem from thehealthfoodie.com today. I am allowing myself to use soy sauce, cause my little grocery store would scoff at me if I asked for coconut aminos. I can see the little old lady with the perpetual scowl who works there shaking her head with a grimace if I would ask. I also didn’t use the honey, and I used regular old table salt, not that fancy high faluting Himalayan salt. It was delicious.

I think the best thing out of this recipe, though, is the cauliflower rice! Oh boy, I’ve heard people say it was good, but dude. That was good. I can make that for many side dishes, not just this one. DH doesn’t particularly like spaghetti squash, which I try to use as a replacement for pasta, but he liked this. I didn’t tell him what it was, though, so he may have thought it was something like couscous or something. *shrug* But the important thing is that he liked it.

Mongolian Beef and Broccoli over Cauliflower Rice
adapted from thehealthfoodie.com

Cauliflower Rice
1 small head cauliflower, zinged into rice-like pieces in the food processor
1 T lard
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 T garlic
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 T sesame seeds
1 T red wine vinegar
1 T roasted sesame oil

Mongolian Beef and Broccoli
2 T lard
1 medium yellow onion, diced
½ cup soy sauce
2 T garlic
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
pinch of salt and black pepper
1 T tapioca powder
1 pound sirloin steak, thinly sliced
½ bag frozen broccoli

First, make the cauliflower rice: Cut the cauliflower into small florets and place in the bowl of your food processor. Pulse a few quick times (about 10 to 15) until it resembles the texture of rice. You may have to do this in batches, because if you put too many in the bowl, the blade won’t touch the top pieces and the bottom ones will start to turn into mush.
Add the lard to a large skillet set over medium heat and cook the onion, garlic, sesame seeds, salt and pepper until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Add riced cauliflower, vinegar and sesame oil and continue cooking for an additional 5-8 minutes, until cauliflower is cooked but remains a tad crunchy.
Remove from heat.

Now, make the Mongolian beef: Heat the lard in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the soy sauce, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, tapioca powder and a pinch of salt and pepper to a glass measuring cup and whisk until well combined.
Pour that mixture in the pan with the onions and let it come to a boil. Continuously whisk until the mixture is thickened, about 2 minutes.
Dump the steak slices in the pan with the sauce. Cover and simmer the meat in the sauce for 4-5 minutes, or until no red meat is apparent.
When the meat is almost done, add the broccoli. Cook until heated through.

Delish. It was very, very good. A little salty, because of the soy sauce, and so I may take out the extra salt next time, but not enough of a problem to wreck the dish. I was surprised that it wasn’t too hot, because of the red pepper flakes, but it wasn’t. The meat was fork tender and very nicely flavored. We had enough for DH, Boobock and I, and enough for a really nice healthy meal for lunch on Friday. Some additions I thought of after the fact: bean sprouts, large rings of onion, sweet or jalapeño peppers (?) with the meat, peas and carrots in the cauliflower rice (after the whole 30 is over).

Here it is, before devouring.
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Also, a hint on finding a lid for a cast iron skillet. Use an upside down cast iron griddle pan! Works like a charm.
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Thank you, thehealthfoodie.com for the inspiration!

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No-Sugar Pear Mostarda

Scroll scroll scrolling through facebook today, I found an article by Such and Such Farms, a blog by a couple in Missouri that are trying their hand at organic farming and providing specialized fruits/vegetables/meat to high end restaurants around St. Louis. I find that so many blogs are based on the coast, and our climate is just so different than theirs (i.e., we have drying winds and drought while they are concerned about drainage) so when I find a more middle of the country blog, I try to follow them.

She mentioned that she had cooked rabbit with a cherry mostarda on the side. Cherry mostarda? What is that? Never heard of it. So, I started looking.

Mostarda di frutta (sometime also called only mostarda) is an Italian condiment made of candied fruit and a mustard-flavoured syrup. Well, candied fruit is out, and so is any kind of syrup, cause I’m back on the Whole 30 diet, yo. But I do have a cabinet full of pears canned in water with no sugar. Surely I can find a use for those.

Googling around found me a couple recipes that had varying amounts of sugar, a few with sherry, a few with Apple Cider Vinegar, a few with bay leaves, other spices, some say to blend it up into a creamy condiment, some say eat the fruit in big chunks. I decided that I could try without the sugar, and ACV, and simple spices. Here is my version:

No-Sugar Pear Mostarda
1 pint Pears
1 tsp ground yellow mustard
1 tsp brown mustard seed
2 T apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Dump entire contents of pint into a sauce pan. Add both mustards, salt, pepper and vinegar. Simmer 20 minutes or so. I used a pastry cutter to cut it up into small chunks, but not a creamy consistency.
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OMG. I love it. I am eating it with a spoon. It will be great on the steaks coming off the grill in about 20 minutes. But a spoon is fine as well. No added sugar, but it is perfect for my taste buds. It was a shock to DH, but I think he is coming around. Oh well, if he doesn’t end up liking it, more for me!

I am thinking this could be canned in a water bath canner. Some extra spices, but 2T ACV to acidify it even more than the fruit itself does. Oh yeah, baby, I know where all the pears are going from now on. I did 14 quarts and 2 pints of pears this year…hope that is enough since I’ve found this recipe!