Cheesy Comfort Food

When we make this we call it Mac’n cheese and mix it in with brown rice noodles – my boys’ lunchtime favorite. And it can be made without any cow dairy for those with this food sensitivity! I often use nutritional yeast for a non-dairy extra cheesy flavor, and for the excellent source of vitamin B.

Mac’n Cheese Recipe:
1 package of brown rice elbows or penne (I like Trader Joe’s)
2 Tbsp organic butter or ghee
1 Tbsp flour
3/4 c whole milk (goat or almond milk work for those with dairy sensitivities)
1 1/2 c cheese (I usually do a mixture of grated, grass-fed white sharp chedder and soft goat cheese)
1 Tbsp (or more) nutritional yeast
salt and pepper to taste
dash of basil, crushed garlic clove, or a can of sockeye salmon are also nice additions

Fill large pot with water and a dash of salt, and bring to rapid boil. Add noodles and cook, stirring every few minutes, for 8-10 minute or until soft.

Melt butter, and whisk in flour until lumps are gone. At medium-low heat, slowly stir in a little milk at a time. Add cheese and stir as it melts. Mix in nutritional yeast. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over drained noodles and mix to combine.

Pepper-Mint Dressing & Marinade

This is amazing chicken, fish or lamb marinade, as well as salad dressing. We had it on shish-kabobs with zucchini, onion and cherry tomatoes  – whatever I had on hand, paired with green salad and rice, making a simple and delicious Summer dinner.

Pepper-Mint Marinade:

1/2 cup packed fresh spearmint leaves

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)

4 to 5 garlic cloves, peeled

1 small shallot (optional)

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1 teaspoon sea salt

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Add all ingredients except for olive oil to a blender. Blend on high until very smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the olive oil, blend on low speed until just incorporated. Pour into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Bring to room temp before serving.

 Source: http://www.NourishingMeals.com

Popcorn Seasoning (no artificial or GMO ingredients here!)

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We’ve been experimenting with nutritional yeast – a cheesy-flavored seasoning and exceptionally good B vitamin supplement – on our eggs, casseroles, and popcorn! It is de-activated yeast (so you don’t have to worry if you’re on a candida diet). It has a flaky texture, but is a great flavored alternative to cheese in dishes that call for cheese to garnish or have cheese baked inside.

Beware that most corn/popcorn kernals are GMO (genetically modified foods are linked to inflammation issues and a wide spectrum of diseases)… Get organic popcorn (and if you’re cheap like me, order a bulk bag not realizing it will probably last you til 2050!).

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So, pop a big bowl of organic popcorn for a late night snack (or lunchtime favorite side with my kids), sprinkly generously with half melted coconut oil/ half organic butter, then nutritional yeast, coconut sugar or sucanat (cane sugar), and sea salt. I made it for a non-GMO party my friends had where we watched the creepy but educational Genetic Roulette. I think my friends enjoyed the popcorn because I made 3 big bowls and they were gobbled up in no time flat.

Everyday Salad Dressing

Homemade salad dressing can be absolutely delicious and inexpensive! Plus you get to avoid all the genetically modified ingredients, present in most dressings lining the grocery isles, such as soybean oil and canola oil. For pennies I can make a high quality salad dressing using olive oil blended with a few tasty flavorings. Some vinegars that work well with salad include a good quality balsamic, red wine, or fruit vinegars. I love raspberry vinegar blended with some olive oil and honey drizzled over a spinach and strawberry salad – yum!

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What I do is place all of the ingredients into something tall like a wide mouth mason jar and use an immersion blender to make this dressing. You could also use a regular blender or Vita-Mix. An immersion blender can help things thicken up as you pulse up and down. 2 tablespoons of oregano or fresh basil work well, avoid thyme or other herbs that would make the flavors in the dressing may get too strong and/or slightly bitter. This dressing will keep in the refrigerator in a sealed jar for about 2 weeks.

Simple, Everyday Salad Dressing:

3/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons high quality balsamic vinegar (Maison Orphee is my favorite)
2 tablespoons honey
the juice of one small lemon
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons fresh herbs, such as oregano or basil
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust salt and seasonings if necessary. Store in a sealed glass jar in the refrigerator.

I’d like to try adding poppyseeds, with extra honey and lemon and see how that would turn out (I’ve always loved poppyseed dressing!).

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Homemade Mayo

You will need a stick immersion blender for this – a great kitchen tool for many things including cream soups and baby purees!

Homemade Mayo:

Ingredients:
3 raw large free run egg yolks (coddled if you prefer)
½ tsp. mustard
1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. sea salt
¾ c. oil- hemp or grapeseed
Directions:
1. Combine everything EXCEPT the oil. I recommend a container just large enough for the stick blender to go into.
2. Mix with a stick blender until creamy.
3. While blending, add the oil in small increments and mix until thickened.
This lasts about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
You can make it into tarter sauce (add a minced pickle and lemon juice) or try many other flavorings as well with it for great dips and spreads!
 

Taco Seasoning

Mmmm… the best tacos.

I like to combine it with organic beef, and then tomato, lettuce, and a touch of chedder in these corn tortilla wraps, warmed (you can get spicy chipolte or plain), and it makes a really awesome taco and a super easy meal 🙂

1 tbsp (Mexican) chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper

Add it to your recipe to taste!