Tag Archives: dairy free foods

Pork Hash

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This tasty, hearty breakfast is a meal I came up with for our adventure doing the Whole 30 Program. You can read more about my meal plan for Week 1 here. This recipe makes 4 servings and I typically serve it right after I make it on Day 1 and pack it in tupperware so that we can take it to work with us on Day 2, it still tastes great heated up the next day.

Ingredients:
1 lb. organic, grass-fed ground pork
1/2 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large potato, cubed
1 tbsp. ghee or clarified butter
1/2 tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
1/2 tbsp. oregano
1/2 tbsp. chili powder
salt & pepper to taste
2 eggs (optional)

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and add the onions. Sauté for about 10 minutes until soft and slightly browned.

In a separate sauce pan, bring water to a boil and then boil the cubed potatoes for about 7 minutes. Strain and set aside when cooked.

After 10 minutes, add the pork and all of the dried seasonings (everything except sage and garlic) to the skillet with the onions. Break up the meat as you cook it. After the meat is mostly cooked (about 5 minutes) add the garlic and sage and cook for about 3 minutes more.

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Create space in the middle of the skillet by pushing the meat and onions to the sides and add the potatoes in the center of the skillet. Try to get them in a single layer as much as possible, and put everything from the sides of the pan on top of the potatoes and don’t stir at all for a few minutes. This gives the potatoes a chance to get a little bit of a crisp on them.

Mix all ingredients in the skillet together, cook a few more minutes and then serve.  If you don’t eat eggs, you’re done! Enjoy!

Additional options:

Serve with 2 scrambled eggs on top of the hash.

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Or, for what my husband says is the tastiest version of this dish:
Take the portions of the hash that you plan to save for following days and put into separate containers. Pour 2 raw scrambled eggs into the hash and stir and cook until the eggs are cooked through. Serve immediately.

 

Rare Beef Pho (Vietnamese Soup….with an Americanized shortcut)

I love pho.  I mean, I’m a little obsessed with it.  There haven’t been many weeks this year that I haven’t gone out for pho at LEAST once.  I have to admit though, that I am a little intimidated by Asian food when I cook at home.  It is one of the very best cuisines for my allergies, and the type of food I choose almost every time I go out, but somehow I have only ventured to try really basic stir fry at home.  I think it’s that everything is different, the spices, the techniques, the ingredients, and maybe just the fact that I didn’t grow up around anyone that knew how to make it, but I have always been a little afraid to try.

Recently I decided to give it a shot, to try to make pho at home, so I started researching pho recipes and almost gave up on the spot.  To make it authentically takes 1-2 DAYS, involves bone marrow and all kinds of strange ingredients (I refuse to touch bones or eat meat that wasn’t removed from the bone before I laid eyes on it….one of my little quirks), not happening.  So my experiment with an extreme shortcut to pho began and I have to say, it’s pretty darn good.  It has passed the test with a few pho-obsessed friends and I think I’m ready to share.

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Ingredients, for approx. 3 people:
– 20 oz Organic Gluten-Free Beef Broth
– 32 oz carton of Pacific Brand Organic Beef Pho Broth Soup Starter
– 1/2 tbsp chopped ginger
– 1/2 tbsp chopped garlic
– 8 oz grass-fed organic round steak sliced as thin as possible (I ask the butcher at the store to do this for me)
– 3 whole cloves garlic
– 1-2 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
– 4 oz rice noodles (either pad thai style or vermicelli style)
– 3 tbsp fish sauce (get an authentic brand (one you can’t read the label of) not Thai Kitchen)
– 1-2 cups fresh spinach
– sriracha sauce to taste

About an hour before you want to eat dinner, put the steak strips, soy sauce and smashed but intact whole garlic cloves in a ziploc bag to marinate.  Every recipe I found had you put the steak in with no seasoning, which is how it is traditionally made.  However, when you aren’t making the authentic broth, the beef is very bland and I have found that this really simple marinade makes a huge difference.

About 30 minutes before dinner, put both types of broth, the chopped ginger, chopped garlic, and fish sauce in a large pot with a lid and bring to a boil.  Boil at a low boil / rolling simmer for about 25 minutes, covered.  Keep an eye on it, it sometimes has a tendency to boil over.  Side note – the reason for the two different broths is this: most recipes for pho call for cinnamon and anise to infuse the broth as well.  I have tried and tried but the flavor of these two is always overwhelming when I use an actual cinnamon stick.  The Pacific pho soup starter has both of these ingredients already in it so that guesswork is taken care of and I mix it with the regular broth so that I can still infuse it with ginger and garlic to my liking.

While the broth is simmering, prepare rice noodles according to package directions.  Once cooked, place the noodles in the bottom of the serving bowls.  Place fresh spinach on top of the noodles and place the raw steak (just the steak, not the garlic or soy sauce) evenly spread out over the bowl.  Try not to overlap the steak very much since the broth will actually cook the steak to rare in the bowl and if it is stacked on top of each other, it won’t cook properly.  See picture below.

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After simmering 20 minutes, strain the broth to remove the ginger and garlic pieces and immediately pour the broth in the waiting serving bowls, be sure the broth covers the meat so that it will cook it.  I like to add a little sriracha for some spice, that’s completely up to you though.

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Is it easier than going out for pho?  No.  Is it cheaper?  Honestly, probably not.  But it’s a fun, unique dish to make on your own and the best part is that when I make it at home, I can fully control the ingredients and knowing I’m eating all organic food and that I am not allergic to any ingredients is certainly worth it.  An added bonus: it’s delicious.  Hope you enjoy it too!

Mushroom Risotto

Cooking can be therapeutic and this dish is a great one for a cold fall or winter day when you have a lot on your mind.  Just grab some wine and a wooden spoon and stir for 45 minutes or so and you will have a rich, comforting meal to warm you up.  It’s also a very impressive dish to serve at a dinner party, if you have the time and energy to make it for guests.  Risottos can be intimidating to prepare but as long you as you follow the steps in order, you will be fine.  I found them to be much easier than I expected originally and that’s from a girl whose cooking nemesis is, and always will be, rice.

Allergy info: This recipe is gluten free.  I do use Sheep’s milk cheese but it is just as good without it, so for a truly dairy free dish omit the Pecorino Romano.  For a vegan version, omit pancetta & pecorino and use mushroom broth instead of chicken.  Also, this dish can be a bit pricy so I have put less expensive substitutes in parentheses by ingredients that can be changed.  This meal will still be delicious!

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This picture has a few extra ingredients in it since the last time I made this was for Christmas dinner with my family.  Anyone who gives me a Le Creuset pot for Christmas has earned themselves a homemade risotto!  To make risotto you will need:

1/2 pound of baby portobello mushrooms, stems removed, sliced (don’t use white button!)
4 cups of organic chicken stock, I use low sodium and stock really is better than broth
2 cups of water 
6 tbsp vegan butter (I use Earth Balance sticks)
2 oz diced pancetta (can substitute bacon for a more economical meal)
1/2 cup chopped shallots (can substitute 1/2 cup chopped yellow onions and 2 minced garlic cloves)
1 1/2 cups arborio rice (no substitutes, use arborio)
1/2 cup dry white wine (plus a glass to sip while you stir!)
1/2 tsp saffron threads (can omit if you are on a tight budget)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and water and bring to a simmer.

In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and sauté the pancetta and shallots (or bacon & onion & garlic) over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stir occasionally.

Add the mushrooms and sauté another 5 minutes, stir occasionally.

Add the rice and stir to coat all of the grains of rice with butter.  Add the wine and cook 2 minutes.

Now the fun part, you are going to be stirring for awhile but it’s fun to watch it come together and even better if you have some company in the kitchen.  Add 2 ladles of chicken stock mixture to the rice and the saffron, salt, and pepper.  Stir and simmer over LOW heat until the stock is absorbed, about 5-10 minutes.

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Once it is absorbed, add 2 more ladles of stock and stir every minute or so.  Cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then repeat this step until all of the stock has been incorporated.  This should take about 25-30 minutes total.  When you are finished the risotto will be thick and creamy and won’t seem dry.

Take the risotto off the heat and stir in about 1/2 cup of pecorino (if you are using cheese).

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Serve immediately with pecorino as a garnish.  Enjoy!

I have a simple, delicious recipe for any risotto leftovers that I will post soon as well.

 

 

Why this blog exists

At the age of 27, I was sick…really sick, and after MRIs and CT scans and Ultrasounds, no one could figure out what was wrong with me.  Finally my doctor said, “I think the problem is that you’re allergic to everything, so cut different things out of your life until you feel better.”  I didn’t feel like random trial and error was the best approach so I went to a naturopathic doctor and through extensive blood tests found that I was deficient of several key vitamins and allergic to dairy, gluten, corn, eggs, and oats.  To give you some perspective: on the test they performed, a result above a 2 indicated an allergic reaction and my result on dairy was a 67!  One of my ultrasounds also found that the painful lumps in my breasts were fibrocystic tissue that is aggravated by inflammatory foods so I also began consciously cutting caffeine, soy, tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, red meat and lunch meats containing nitrates out of my diet.

My reaction to this news was the same question everyone asks me when I tell them about my food allergies and sensitivities:  “…..so, what am I supposed to eat??  What’s left??”

At first I kept it simple, to test it out I did a lemonade fast for 10 days and then literally lived on raw fruits, raw veggies, and fish for the next month.  The change in my life was so dramatic after just a month that I was blown away.  For the first time in my life, I felt “good” and “normal”.  My whole life I had been dealing with headaches and stomach aches and what I call “foggy brain” and I didn’t really realize that it wasn’t normal!!

After a month or two though, I began to miss foods.  Even though I felt SO much better and the diet I was following was worth it, I missed things about my life before I knew about my allergies.  I LOVE to cook and plan menus and grocery shop and I missed making the things I used to make, I missed the way certain things taste, I missed the process of cooking, I missed being able to create new recipes and plan meals around my experiments.  I also discovered, through my own home testing, that a LOT of gluten-free and dairy-free foods on the market are TERRIBLE!!!  So I set out to create meals that I can eat that taste great, even to people without my diet restrictions.  This blog is where I will post those recipes and lifestyle tips and, because I know firsthand that not everyone in a household has the same strict requirements, I promise to only post recipes that are approved as delicious by both myself and one of my official non-allergy-restricted taste testers (pretty much anyone that I ever cook for since I know very few people with diet restrictions).  I hope you enjoy the recipes!