Friday, November 25, 2011

Simply Brined Turkey

We buy natural, free-range turkeys and they really need a bit of help in the moisture region.  A simple brine and a good herb rub makes for a succulent, moist turkey.

TIPS -  Turkey breast is something that inherently gets overcooked.  This is because the breast meat is done at a lower temp than the thigh meat, so it is essential to cover the breast with cheesecloth to slow its cooking down so that both meat areas are done at the same time.  Turkey breast done correctly is moist and extremely tender. 

Brine -The ration of salt to liquid is 1/2 cup of salt to 1 gallon of liquid.  I had a 25 lb turkey and we made 2 gallons of brine.  I used a large oven roasting bag inside of my largest stock pot to brine the turkey.  It was not completely submerged, but the breast was which is the part I really wanted in the brine.  I tried the bag in an ice chest, but the ice punctured it and made a mess.  Not fun!

  • 1 gallon Homemade chicken stock (Made ahead with sage, thyme, bay and celery)
  • 1 gallon ice water
  • 1 cup sea salt
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • Heat apple juice to boil and add salt 
  • Stir until salt is dissolved
  • Combine stock and juice with salt in it and ice water

Turkey -Brining

  • Rinse Well and Remove Giblets and Neck
  • Put turkey into bag and then into pot or preferred storage container.  
  • Pour on brine and seal it up and put it in the fridge or ice chest. 
  • Brine for 1 hour per lb.  

Turkey Rub

  • 1 cup of fat of your choice (Butter, lard, duck fat, ghee, tallow)
  • 2 TBL of sage, rosemary, thyme chopped very fine
  • Melt fat just barely and stir in the Herbs
  • Cool until soft, but solidified

 Turkey - Roasting

Ingredients and Tools:
  • Rinsed Turkey
  • Herbed Fat
  • Cheesecloth
  • Twine, skewers
  • Paper towels or rags
  • Roasting Pan and rack
  • Parchment and aluminum foil

  • Preheat oven to 350 
  • Get roasting pan, rack, twine and skewers, turkey rub, paper towel or rags together
  • Rinse the turkey off thoroughly and put dry inside and out
  • Rub some of the herbed fat all inside the turkey
  • Rub the herbed fat all over the outside of the turkey, liberally.  
  • Fold the wings back and if you have them, use skewers to seal the inner cavity up, and them tie the legs so that one is crossed over the other.  This year my turkey was too big for his wings to fit in the pan folded back on themselves so I tied them together neatly on the side of the breast and secured them to the leg.  I think I liked doing it that way better. You are trying to seal the turkey up and make him cook more evenly by trussing and tying.  You can also stuff the cavity with apples, onion, celery or stuffing!
  • Fold a cheesecloth over the breast of the turkey.  
  • If you are covering the turkey, put your lid on or lay a piece of parchment over the turkey and then tent him with a piece or two of foil.
  • Put in the oven and go take a break!
  • When the turkey is about an hour 1/2 from being done pull the cover off and pour some broth over the cheesecloth to gently remove it (carefully drizzle broth where it sticks).
  • Put it back in the oven until dark golden brown and the internal temp of the thigh reaches 165.  
  • Pull it out and re-cover it loosely until ready to carve, at least for 30 minutes.

Thanksgiving 2011

Wow, its been along time since I posted!  I have thought about it so much, but it just hasn't made it to the top of the daily "get 'er done list".  The past few months have been a very, very difficult time as far as our healing goes and it really has taken all that I have to make it through each day, but God has, as always at the hour of need, brought us to a new place in our healing journey, but that is for another post.  This one is about Thanksgiving!  I love food and I love cooking and I love giving thanks and I love history and I love tradition, so Thanksgiving is a holiday that I truly treasure.  This year our diet was greatly expanded and so our menu was really fun.  This is it:
  • Brined Natural Turkey
  • Spagetti Squash Stuffing (inspired by my brother!)
  • 3 Squash Casserole
  • Roasted Brussel Sprouts
  • Sauted Delicato Squash
  • Green Beans and Bacon
  • Homemade Cranberry-Apple Sauce
  • Simmered Collard Greens
  • Pan-Drippings
  • Coconut Crusted Walnut Torte
  • Walnut Crusted Apple Pie
The kids were so fun to watch as they tucked into there fully loaded plates!  The littlest had been so excited about our feast and the meal certainly seemed to have met his 5 year old expectations, which is saying alot!  I could not thank God enough for the new step in healing and for the amazing foods that He has created for us to enjoy. 

Recipes to follow!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mashed Turnips

One of my favorite things about making the Eggplant Lasagna was the lovely pot of broth that was left on my range from cooking the marrow bones.  I used it several times that day to cook different veggies.  Ending the day with boiling turnips in it to make what my kids call "fauxtatoes".


Good broth of any kind
Peeled, sliced turnips

  • Put the turnips in the broth
  • boil until very tender
  • either mash by hand or put in the food processor
  • dump olive oil and salt and pepper to taste
Dish up and serve along with a delicious prime sirloin roast for an unforgettable meal. 

Eggplant Lasagna

We love Italian food.  Its hard to eat Italian without wheat or cheese!  I decided that part of what we loved so much was the way the food is cooked all together and the flavors meld and blend.  I needed to make an effort and see if I could satisfy that love.  This recipe was the result and my 7 year old said "blog it Mom!".  So here it is.

10 Servings

Eggplant Lasagna

5 lbs ground beef
3-4 large tomatoes
3-4 large eggplants
6 lbs beef marrow bones
1bg frozen carrots
1bg frozen fajita veggies
olive oil

The night before, I put the beef marrow bones in a large stock pot with water to cover and a couple of TBL of ACV. The day before, I sliced my eggplant and layered them in a bowl with salt sprinkled on top.  I then put a plate weighed down with a tea kettle on top to press out the bitter juices.  This is not necessary, but we like the flavor better.  After and hour, rinse the eggplant and set in the fridge to be used the next day.
In the morning:
  • dump the marrow from the bones and any that is loose in the broth into the blender.  
  • I then put the frozen veggies into the broth and boil until done.  Once done those go into the blender
  • 1 tsp salt
  • fresh or dried oregano and marjoram
  • black pepper to taste
 Blend until smooth.

  • Cook ground beef with with salt and if you want chopped onions and some more Italian herbs
  • slice tomatoes 
  • layer meat, eggplant (prepared the day before or sliced that morning), tomatoes and salt and pepper, repeat until you have two layers
  • cover with the sauce
  • bake at 375 for 40 minutes or until well browned
Printable Grocery List

Green Mayo

Its been so long since I blogged!  It is a difficult thing to work into the schedule, but I'm not giving up.  They may not come frequently, but they will still come.  Anyway, on to my favorite new recipe.

Green Mayo is a recent attempt of mine to get more fat and herbs into our diet.  We love veggies and I love to chop up veggies very small (chopped salad) and then dump the mayo on top.  We also use it as a dip for veggies or we eat it with brisket or hamburger patties.

Green Mayo


1-2 ripe avocados
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
bunches of herbs!
You can use any fresh herbs you have in your garden or dried herbs like cilantro, basil, thyme, oregano.  I love to send one of the kids out to just pick a bunch of stuff for mom to make mayo or dressing with.  Its one of the beautiful things about growing your own herbs. 

In a blender or food processor, place the avocados (2 if you want it thick like mayo and 1 if you want it more like a thick green dressing) vinegar, salt and herbs.  Start the machine and slowly drizzle in the oil until you have incorporated it all.  Sometimes it gets so thick, I  have to stop the machine and scrape it down.  Its ready to use!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Detox Baths

When we are sick or anytime our body is trying to rid itself of toxins, a detox bath is tremendously helpful.  If you have digestive track issues of any kind, your liver is generally not functioning at its best, which means that your body is not able to rid itself of both the normal toxins that are produced in the day and any extra toxins that may be produced from illness or cleansing or adding in probiotics.  Detox baths help the process of detoxifiying our bodies.

On the GAPS diet, we are constatly killing off bad bacteria and yeast.  As those things die they produce toxins that our bodies have to get rid of, and our livers are already backed up from years of constipation and poor eating.   Therefore, when we start producing extra toxins, our livers can't handle getting rid of them fast enough and we can start feeling very badly.  At its worst, it can actually feel like we have the flu.  At its least, we feel achy or bloated or gassy or even just really emotional.  Time to hop into a big hot bath!  The 5 kinds of baths that our family uses are:
  • Epsom Salts
  • Sea Salts
  • Baking Soda
  • Raw Apples Cider Vinegar
  • Ginger
Epsom Salts-Put between 1/2 -2 cups of salts in your bath and soak for 20 minutes.  Your body absorbs the salts which help the body's detoxification process to work more effectively. It is also a way to get magnesium which most people with digestive track issues are deficient in.   If you are really deficient in magnesium, this bath can make you feel jittery because you are getting a big dose of magnesium. So start on the low side of the dosage if you want to leave the tub feeling relaxed. . 

Sea Salts -Put enough sea salt in your bath to make the water taste saltier than blood.  Start with 1 cup and work up until you think it tastes salty enough.  The salt water will draw toxins out of your body into the water.  Soak for 15-20 minutes.  I usually feel pretty wiped out after the sea salt, so I do it before bed or when I can rest for 20 minutes.

Baking Soda - Put between 1-2 cups of soda into the water and soak for for 20 minutes.  The baking soda will alkelize your body which is very important for overall health.

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar - Put 1 cup of ACV into the tub water.  ACV is great for the ph of your skin and I am sure it does other things.  I don't know the specifics on it but it should be easy to look up on the web.  The ACV is a great bath to do when you need to wake up and be revitalized. 

Ginger-Take a 4-5 inch section of fresh ginger root and wash it and cut it up.  Put it in a pan with 3 cups of water and simmer it for 15 to 20 minutes.  Pour it all into your hot bath and soak for 20 minutes.  This will heat your body up and help you to eliminate toxins.  Its great to do when you feel a virus coming on.  I like to sip a cup of ginger tea while I sit in my hot ginger bath.  It will really warm you up and make you sweat.  It also makes me very sleepy.

You can also do any of these baths as a foot soak if you are short on time. 
There are so many other things that can be added or done with herbs and essential oils, but these are the basics. 
If you have a child that is hyperactive, try the epsom salts or sea salt and see if it helps them to settle.  Sometimes the hyperactivity is a toxin build-up issue.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Recipes Nutritional Get-Together

This is the complete list of all of the recipes that we cooked (and a few we didn't get to) this past Saturday at our get together.  I will hopefully get the recipes individually put in, but for now I just want to get them out there.  Please remember that with any recipe that calls for a spice or herb, I generally dump.  The amount listed in these recipes is just a good place to start, but you may need to add more. 


Buckwheat Pancakes


To Soak:
4 cups of buckwheat groats
water to cover
1 Tbl salt
2 Tbl ACV

4 cup soaked buckwheat groats
1 cup water (add enough to get good turnover in the blender)
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking pwdr.
2 eggs

  1. The night before, put groats, salt, ACV and water to cover the groats by an inch, into a bowl to soak.
  2. In the morning, rinse 4 cups of groats in a strainer and add them into the blender with all of the other ingredients except for the baking pwdr. Blend until smooth.
  3. With the blender running, add the baking pwdr into the vortex and blend until the baking pwdr is thoroughly mixed in. This can be used immediately, but it will be better and better as the day progresses.
  4. Cook over medium-high heat in butter or coconut oil on a griddle or frying pan. They make great bread for sandwiches and will keep and reheat well all day.

Kamut/Oat Pancakes
Ingredients: 1 cup buttermilk or yogurt thinned with water to same consistency or 1 1/4+ cups for waffles--a thinner batter is best (Non-dairy allergy alternatives: rice, coconut, almond milk,
apple juice or applesauce + Tbsp. vinegar)

1 TBL olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract for flavor
1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats or whole oats or other grain
1/2 cup buckwheat, brown rice, corn, millet, or other grain 
    1. Place in blender; blend at highest speed 3 minutes (less in a Vita-Mix or Bosch), while adding enough liquid to maintain a vortex:2. Cover blender and let stand at room temperature several hours or overnight for improved nutrition. 3. Preheat griddle on medium-high (until water drops sizzle on surface),     or waffle iron at highest temperature. 4. Just before baking, add and re-blend for 1 to 3 or more minutes until smooth: 1 egg 1 Tbl flax seed (optional) additional liquid (as needed to keep batter churning) 5. Blend in thoroughly, but briefly, "sifting" these through a small strainer     (assist with rubber spatula, if needed):    ¼ tsp baking soda 
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking pwdr
6.Bake on hot griddle or in waffle iron (3 to 5 minutes until crisp) 

Homemade Applesauce

This is an example of look-taste-add some more cooking!


apples (any kind that you like)
water just to barely cover the bottom of the pan
coconut oil or butter
cinnamon or any other spices such as allspice, nutmeg, mace etc.
raw honey (optional, I only use if I have super tart apples)

  1. cut apples into slices of any thickness
  2. put into a heavy pan with a lid
  3. put the water in just to keep the apples from sticking before they are done
  4. add your spices (1 tsp would be a good amount for 5-6 apples), cover and bring to a simmer
  5. cook until the apples are fall apart tender
  6. put the apples and fat (just put a few Tb's in and see if you like it then add more if you want) and optional honey into your food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
  7. Eat and enjoy! I love it warm and so do some of my kids, but some like it cold from the fridge.

Fruit-Nut Smoothie


2 ½ cups frozen bananas, berries or peaches in any combination or individual. (strawberry/banana)
1 cup nut milk, coconut milk, raw milk or water
½ cup toasted almonds or other nuts or nut butter
1 tsp raw honey (optional)
½ tsp vanilla(optional)
½ tsp cinnamon (optional)
1 Tbl coconut oil (optional)
½ -t 1 avocado (optional) This is really good if you are using water. No one will know it is in there and it adds amazing creaminess.

  1. Put everything into your blender and blend! Try it first with just the main ingredients and then try adding the other things. Smoothies are very forgiving and good for you as long as you keep the fat and protein content high and the honey low.

Coconut milk


1 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened, I get mine from Whole Foods in the bulk section)
1 cup hot water
  1. Put ingredients into the blender and blend on high for 2 minutes.
  2. Strain through a nut-milk bag (can be ordered on line)
  3. Use in your coffee or tea, add to smoothies, Thai food or make amazing ice creaminess

Toasted Pecans


4 cups Pecans (soaked for around 7 hours in a bowl of water with 2 tsp salt)
  1. drain the pecans and rinse in a colander
  2. spread them in a baking pan in a single layer
  3. place in your over on its lowest temp with the door propped open
  4. dry for 12-24 hours turning periodically
  5. store in an airtight container

Pecan Milk


1 cups Pecans (soaked for around 7 hours in a bowl of water with 2 tsp salt)
4 cups water
1/8 tsp salt
tsp honey (optional)
1 Tbl coconut oil (optional)
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
  1. Put everything into your blender and blend
  2. strain through a nut milk bag or a couple of layers of cheesecloth or a very fine mesh stainer (takes forever in the strainer)
  3. Enjoy! You can make milk out of any nut or grain.

Turkey-Zucchini-Onion Soup


1 small Turkey or equivalent amount of thighs or legs or a mixture
for broth - (2 sprigs of Thyme and 1 whole onion, peeled and quartered, and 2 TBL ACV)
6-8 lbs Zucchini
3 medium Onions
2 Tbl Tarragon
2-3 tsp salt (estimate)
1-2 tsp Pepper
  1. Put the turkey, ACV,onion and springs of thyme in a large stock pot and cover with water
  2. Bring it to a boil, skim the scum off, reduce to a simmer and cover
  3. Boil for 4-12 hours
  4. Pull turkey out and let it cool
  5. Slice the zucchinis by hand or in the food processor
  6. Chop the onions
  7. Add both to the broth and simmer until done
  8. Pick out turkey meat
  9. Put skin and fat into blender with Tarragon, salt and pepper
  10. Blend until smooth
  11. when veggie are tender add gravy and turkey
  12. Cook and eat all day
  13. For a simple version, add frozen zucchini and frozen onions (HEB)

Cilantro Dressing

1 bunch of organic cilantro (HEB or any other store)
¼ cup of ACV, balsamic (if sugar free) or lemon juice
¾ extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt (?)
1 tsp honey (optional)
2 tsp fermented veggie juice (optional)

  1. Put all ingredients except for the oil into your food processor or blender
  2. Slowly add the oil into the running machine
  3. Pour over salad or use as a dip for veggies

Fermented Carrots

Wide mouth Quart mason jar
3-4 cups sliced carrots
Filtered water
1 TBL Himalayan pink sea salt
4 Tbl whey, or powder from pro-biotic, or ¼ juice from fermented veggies
  1. pack the carrots into the jar
  2. add other ingredients besides water
  3. fill with water to the bottom of the lid
  4. screw the lid on tightly
  5. shake until salt is dissolved
  6. back the lid off slightly
  7. put in a dark location for 3 days
  8. open and taste, it should taste sour. If it tastes carroty, but not sour its not done, re-lid and let it go another couple of days
  9. Transfer it to the fridge. It will keep for months.

Homemade Lacto-Fermented Mayonnaise

Makes 2 to 2 1/2 cups
Blender, food processor, immersion blender (optional: you can use a whisk)
3 pastured egg yolks, room temperature
1 1/2 – 2 cups olive oil
3-5 tablespoons lemon juice or Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon mustard (optional
2-3 tablespoons whey (from kefir or yogurt, instructions on how to make whey) or juice from fermented veggies
1. Mix the egg yolks for 1-2 minutes. If using cold (not room temperature), mix a few minutes more. This is the key to mayonnaise that will set. If you use cold egg yolks, the mayo will not set unless they are warmed up in the blender (or whisked long enough in a warmed bowl).
2. Add the lemon juice (or vinegar), sea salt, and mustard. Mix for 30 seconds more.
3. With the blender running, add the olive oil drop by drop. When I say drop by drop, I mean drop by drop. Or at least a very thin, slow stream. This is the other very important element for making a mayo that will emulsify. If you go too fast, you’ll end up with runny mayonnaise.
4. Once you’ve added about 1/2 a cup of oil, the sauce should have thickened into a heavy cream, and now you can add the oil in a thicker stream. Not too fast, though (especially if you are a beginner). If the mayo becomes too thick, add a few more drops of lemon juice or vinegar.
  1. Blend in the whey. Spoon into a mason jar, cover with a lid, and leave it on the counter or in a cupboard (at room temperature) for several hours. Then transfer to the fridge.

Swiss Chard with Bacon

4 bunches swiss chard
1 lb of bacon
  1. Fry your bacon until crisp
  2. Leave the bacon fat in the skillet
  3. Hold the swiss chard stem in your left hand and pull the leaves of with your right
  4. Put the leaves into a bowl and wash the stems
  5. Trim the ends off of the stems and cut them into 1 inch segments
  6. Saute the stems in the bacon fat for about 8 minutes, covered
  7. Wash the leaves, drain well and tear into bite sized pieces
  8. Add the leaves to the stems and saute until wilted.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste and then add your bacon
  10. Put it into a bowl and drizzle a little olive oil over the top

Butternut Squash Casserole

3 medium butternut squash
3 eggs
6 Tbl ghee, butter, coconut oil or other
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
¼ honey (optional)
1Tbl bourbon (optional)
  1. Roast squash whole in the oven on a baking pan until soft for an hour at 350. I put parchment paper under mine to make clean-up easier
  2. Cool the squash until you can work with them, and cut in half and scoop out the seeds.
  3. Scoop out the flesh into a bowl of a stand mixer or just a large stainless bowl
  4. Add the fat, vanilla, cinnamon and honey, beat until well blended
  5. Clean the fibers off of the mixer blade
  6. Add the three eggs and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes
  7. Pour into a greased 9X13 dish
  8. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes

Cornbread-Gluten free

Bake: 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) 25-35 minutes
    1 cup water with 2 Tbl ACV or 1 cup buttermilk, sour low-fat milk, or low-fat yogurt
     (thin yogurt to consistency of buttermilk with water)
    1/4 cup melted butter or olive oil
        or 2 tablespoons each butter and oil
    3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
    2/3 cup whole kernel dry corn    2/3 cup whole wheat pastry grain    or 3/4 cup allergy alternative Kamut® Grain   or 2/3 cup additional whole kernel dry corn

1. Place  in blender; blend at high speed 3-5 minutes (the blender will "grind" the grain into a batter in the liquid medium. If it is a little gritty, blend more or let it set overnight for a smoother batter using the
two stage method.
Second Stage: Optional (Recommended)  Cover blender.  Let batter stand at room temperature overnight or about 7 hours
   Add 2 eggs & blend
2. Mix in thoroughly, but briefly, using blender and/or rubber spatula as needed:
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
3. Pour batter immediately into greased baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) 25-35 minutes or until knife or toothpick comes clean out of center.

Wet-cured Sirloin Roast


Sirloin Roast (8-12 lbs) (Whole ones at Costco are $3/lb)
Coarse salt

  1. The day before you are going to roast, rinse your beef off, pat it dry and sit it on a rack in a pan. Press the coarse salt into the meat, covering it well
  2. Place it in the fridge overnight
  3. Cooking Timetable:
    1. 120°F to 125°F, (49°C to 52°C) for rare
    2. 130°F to 140°F (55°C to 60°C) for medium rare
    3. 145°F to 150°F (63°C to 66°C) for medium
    4. 155°F to 165°F (68°C to 74°C) for well done
  4. Cooking Time for a 8-12 lbs roast
    1. 16-20 minutes for rare
    2. 20-22 for medium rare
    3. 23-25 for medium
    4. 26-30 for well done.
  5. Take the Roast out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature
  6. Preheat your oven to 300
  7. Rinse the roast very well and pat dry
  8. Put the roast on a shallow rack in a roasting pan with the fat cap up
  9. Roast until the internal temperature tells you your roast is cooked to your liking
  10. Remove from the oven and let it rest before slicing for 30-45 minutes

Banana Ice Cream


3 Frozen bananas
  1. Break into chunks
  2. Place in the bowl of a food processor
  3. Process until it turns totally smooth and creamy
Curry Chicken Salad


2 whole chickens boiled and picked out
chicken skin and fat
3 bags of frozen fajita mix
2 bags of frozen carrots
2 tsp salt
4 tsp curry pwdr
Chipotle pwdr

  1. Put the skin and fat into a blender with enough broth to turn over well.
  2. Add the spices, salt and ACV
  3. Blend well
  4. Saute the frozen vegetables until they are done
  5. mix chicken, veggies and pate in a large bowl season with salt and chipotle
  6. Serve warm or cold

Coconut flour muffins


1/3 cup melted butter or oil
6 eggs lightly beaten
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup honey
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 cup coconut flour

Mix all ingredients together and divide among 12 muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes. I like these when they just start to brown. The tops become glossy and yummy!

Peanut-Butter Brownies


1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey (I use 1/4 and find it plenty sweet)
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda (not GAPS-legal, it works fine if you leave it out)


Thoroughly mix all ingredients (I find an electric mixer works best).  Pour into a generously greased 8" x 8" baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.   Do not over bake- these are so moist and chewy but get dry if baked too long.