Saturday, March 25th, 2017

Instant Pot Purple Cabbage and Raisins – Easy Vegetables

by Kristen Suzanne in cabbage, instant pot, recipe

Instant Pot Purple Cabbage. Easy.

It’s not a secret that I love my Instant Pot.

I use it every. single. day. literally. (and usually multiple times a day)

It’s the easiest way to get more vegetables into my family’s bodies.

Here’s a quick cabbage recipe I made. Easy and delicious.

Purple Cabbage and Raisins

  • 1 head purple cabbage, chopped or sliced
  • sea salt (a few pinches to start)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 to 3 pats of butter (or more)
  • 1 cup water or broth
  • raisins and Greek yogurt (for garnish)

Put everything (except the raisins and yogurt) in the Instant Pot. Cook on LOW for 3-minutes. 

Scoop the cabbage into bowls. Add more salt, if needed. Top with raisins and Greek yogurt. 

See? Easy.

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Saturday, March 18th, 2017

Easiest Burger in the World

by Kristen Suzanne in grass fed beef, recipe

Easiest burger in the world.

In a mad rush one night earlier this week, I came up with a fantastic way to make burgers. Fast.

I knew I had ground beef. But instead of making patties, seasoning them just so, and standing over the stove as I cooked ‘em up. I decided I simply wanted to smash the beef into one big square, bake it, add some cheese, cut. Done.

Minimal handling. Quick cooking. 

And? Ha. It worked like a charm! I’ll forever whip up burgers like this cuz it’s just too darn easy. 

I like easy.

So here’s how to do it in pictures. :)

Toss that pound of (grass-fed) beef in the center of a pan.

When possible, let that beef sit (wrapped) on the counter to take the chill off from being in the refrigerator. When I was in my mad frenzy to make dinner the other night, I called my husband from the road and said screamed, “GET THE MEAT OUT!”

It’s time to get the beef flat for easy cooking. No making multiple patties here. Think of it as one big-ass burger.

Giver ‘er a quick smash. No crazy handling, just a quick smash to flatten it out.

I envisioned a giant square, when I thought this idea up, and that’s what worked for me. That way I could cut it into four nice patties after cooking.

Also, my intention was to keep it on the thinner side to help it cook faster. 

Okey-dokey. Smashing success. ;)

Get out the salt. And pepper (and anything else to sprinkle on top, maybe garlic powder or turmeric powder? When in a rush, stick to just salt and pepper).

Season generously with salt and pepper. Repeat after me: Season generously.

I baked mine at 375 for about 10 minutes (which of course you turned the oven on before starting the prep, right?). You might cook for a shorter time to get a medium-rare burger. The idea here is that it cooks pretty fast and that’s the whole point of this exercise, eh? 

Bake away. Love my lil Breville oven.

When it’s reached the right temperature for you, add sliced cheese. Turn off the oven and stick the pan back inside, with the oven door closed so it melts.

Ahhhhh the cheese. Yes cheese please! (grass-fed, of course)

Cut that big square of cheesy beef into four smaller squares. You’re ready to serve on buns, sourdough bread, a lettuce bun, or just eat that deliciousness as is. With mustard.

Side note: Hopefully, while the meat was cooking, you made a healthy side dish veggie. However, the first time I made this… the time I was in a crazy rush, I didn’t even bother with a side. I figured the homemade pickled onions I threw on top were enough. That’s motherhood, though, right?

At least the second time I made this, so that I could capture the process in photos for you, I threw some brussels sprouts in my INSTANT POT(!). They cooked with perfect timing to the beef cooking.

(I used my Instant Pot three times today to make veggies: the first time I made dandelion greens, the second time I made carrots, and the third time I made the brussels sprouts. I definitely eat way more veggies now that I have an Instant Pot. They’re just SO EASY to make in it.)

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Sunday, March 12th, 2017

Instant Pot Pasta – 15 Minute Meal in One Pot!

by Kristen Suzanne in instant pot, Motherhood, omnivore, recipe

Instant Pot Pasta. One pot. Too easy!

 

I’m back at it again. Sharing another fantastic meal to make in the Instant Pot

I LOVE MY INSTANT POT! (that’s me screaming)

Regular readers of my blog know this, because I frequently gush about this magical kitchen robot. 

Ok, it’s not magical, but it makes me feel like I’m living a magical life from all the free time I have since I’m not spending it cooking all the time. (Mostly) hands-free cooking. Yes Yes Yes.

My family eats damn near ALL of our meals at home. That’s a lot of time in the kitchen … unless you have a brilliant Instant Pot. I have since talked a few people into buying Instant Pots, and they, too, don’t know how they lived without one.

Easy to use. Quick cooking. Nutritious. Easy to clean.

Get one here! (<– that’s an affiliate link in case you didn’t know so it doesn’t cost you extra to buy through it but it gives my blog a little cha-ching – thank you!)

Here’s how I make a ridiculously delicious meal in 15 minutes with my Instant Pot.

Stirring in some grass-fed mozzarella

Ingredients

  • 2 to 4 tablespoons butter (grass-fed, unsalted)
  • 1 jar (25 oz or so) organic pasta sauce
  • 1 to 3 pinches sea salt
  • Dr. Cowan’s veggie powders, totally optional (affiliate link, same drill as above)
  • 1 box noodles (I like Jovial gluten-free)*
  • 1 to 2 cups filtered or spring water (or bone broth!)
  • Mozzarella cheese (grass-fed, organic)
  1. Get out your awesome Instant Pot
  2. Put the butter inside it. Add the sauce and the sea salt. Add Dr. Cowan’s veggie powders at this time if you’re using (I love these powders… see WHY here and get a coupon code for your first order.)
  3. Add the noodles. Add the water (the goal with the water is that you add at least a cup plus any extra needed to just about barely cover the noodles. It’s ok if they’re not submerged – I don’t submerge them all the way with a few peeking out).
  4. Put the lid on your trusty awesome Instant Pot. Set it to LOW pressure for 5-minutes (if your box listed cook time of 9 to 10 minutes – see note below).
  5. Go do something enjoyable because in about 15 minutes it’s all done (10 minutes to reach pressure, 5 minutes to cook).
  6. When the time is up, quick release the pressure. 
  7. Add plenty of cubed mozzarella for kick ass flavor.

* Tip for cooking noodles in the instant pot with respect to time and temperature: cook them for HALF the time listed on the box and cook them on LOW pressure. Therefore, if my box reads 10-minutes, I’ll cook on them on LOW for 5-minutes. If my box reads 9-minutes, then I’ll round up and cook them for 5-minutes on LOW pressure.

Extra tip: Oh, sometimes I add a pound of crumbled (grass-fed!) ground beef on top of the noodles. I don’t change anything else as this is enough time for me to cook the ground beef right along with everything else. I season the beef with sea salt, too.

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Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter – Just Too Easy

by Kristen Suzanne in recipe

Homemade goodness

I was on the hunt for some nut or seed butters in the store recently.

I wanted something to have on hand for:

  • snacking with celery and raisins
  • frozen berry smoothies (the fat in the nuts or seeds helps our bodies assimilate more nutrition from the produce)
  • just a spoonful when I want a little something in my belly that’s easy and quick

Something was holding me back from buying anything like that from the store. Something something something…

Oh yeah… price and quality. To be fair there are some good organic nut and seed butters out there, but I decided I wanted a seed butter. At the time the prospects weren’t attractive because they were either stored in plastic or they weren’t organic or they were just too damn pricey.

And, duh, I remembered that I had raw organic sunflower seeds sitting in my cupboard at home. :)

I made my own. Cuz. It’s just too easy.

Here’s what I did…

(I took the extra step to toast them a bit in a pan on the stove for fun and extra flavor.)

Put the seeds in a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade. Add a pinch (or two) of sea salt, if desired.

Let it whirl, and whirl, and whirl and whirl and whirl whhhiiiirrrlllllll

…until it’s nut or seed butter. 

Beginning stages… go go go!

A few times in the process I scraped down the sides.

Voila! Sunflower seed butter. 

Let’s eat!

 

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Monday, February 6th, 2017

Golden Egg Salad in Pictures

Let’s dive in. Golden Egg Salad.

I love egg salad. It’s creamy, a bit tangy, nourishing and full of flavor and satisfaction. 

Here’s how I made Golden Egg Salad the other night. 

I started by pressure cooking organic broccoli in my beloved Instant Pot, which effortlessly takes only a handful of minutes. 

Instant Pot broccoli. Easy!

While the broccoli is cooking, I get a bowl together with the dressing mixture. 

Egg Salad dressing goodies

For starters, I don’t like conventional mayo because they all have some kind of vegetable oil in it (canola or sunflower or soybean oil) of which I currently eschew. I’m not crazy about the primal mayos out there either. 

Instead, I love and always use Straus whole-fat Greek yogurt which is a kiss from heaven. It’s thick, rich, and tastes like cream cheese(?) to me. I use it in place of all things mayo and my gut thanks me as a result (boost of gut-health probiotic love). I can’t speak for other Greek yogurts though, as far as heavenly taste. 

To the bowl, I add:

I stir it all and look for more stuff to add texture and pizzazz to my egg salad. 

Oh. Whoops. I should mention that I already had my hard-cooked eggs made in my Instant Pot earlier today. Reason alone to buy an Instant Pot to make the perfect-every-time hard-boiled eggs

Ok so I found some red bell pepper and chopped it. 

I added sauerkraut and chopped bread-n-butter pickles (my favorite in egg salad).

Bell pepper for texture, brightness, and nutrition

Then I chopped the freshly cooked broccoli, added more Greek yogurt cuz you should make it really creamy. 

I need a bigger bowl.

Added the chopped eggs. 

Stirred it up and tasted. 

Almost perfect. 

Diced up an apple and added it. 

Now, it’s perfect. 

Oh yeah. Bring it.

Mmmmmmmm. 

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Monday, September 19th, 2016

Lucky YOU! Dr. Cowan’s Garden Coupon Code! Plus Super Slaw Recipe.

My collection of Dr. Cowen's Garden powders. SO GOOD!

My collection of Dr. Cowan’s Garden powders. SO GOOD!

Today is your lucky day!

Recently, I blogged about my passion for both my new kitchen robot, the Instant Pot Smart as well as my collection of Dr. Cowan’s Garden Vegetable Powders.

In case you didn’t read that post, I’m loving my Instant Pot Smart because cooking just became so easy I think I could do it while I sleep.

And, I have new best friends in my life: Dr. Cowan’s Amazing Awesome Nutritious EASY-TO-SNEAK-ADD VEGGIE POWDERS! For more details read here.

Dr. Cowan’s team saw my post and wanted to offer my readers a 15% discount coupon for their veggie powders. OMG! Lucky dogs you are!

You will get 15% off your purchase when you use the coupon code at checkout: KRISTEN

It bears repeating that I love these quality garden vegetable powders. They have thought of everything from using miron glass containers to protect the product to briefly cooking the kale, for example, before dehydrating it.They also use an amazing variety of vegetables to strive for balance and nutrient variety.

I can’t speak highly enough about Dr. Cowan’s Garden Veg Powders. I am a customer for life!

Dr. Cowan's delicious kale powder.

Dr. Cowan’s delicious kale powder.

For example, from their website about the kale powder…

Kale is a highly nutritious vegetable known for its many phytochemicals, which are anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-cancer. It is one of the best sources of Vitamin K, which helps regulate the body’s inflammatory process, as well as beta-carotene, which has been shown to help prevent cancer.  It is also a great source for Vitamin C and manganese, which is important for skin health.

However, kale also contains goitrogens, which inhibit thyroid function but which are mostly removed with cooking.   We steam our kale before dehydration to remove these goitrogens.  More than four pounds of kale are contained in this 150-gram jar. The varieties in our powder include Red Russian, Scarlet, Lacinato, Dwarf Siberian and Toscano.

The flavor is bright and grassy. When folded into most other foods, it takes on the flavor of those foods, which makes it ideal for picky vegetable eaters. To use, sprinkle on salads, eggs, rice, quinoa, buttered popcorn, steamed or roasted vegetables, fish or chicken. Add to smoothies, soups, stews, pasta, spaghetti sauce – really, anything you enjoy eating! Our favorite way to use Kale Powder is sprinkled on scrambled or over-easy eggs in the morning.

See? Awesome.

I’m able to add extra nutrients to just about anything I eat. I use these powders on so much and I can’t wait for them to make their pumpkin powder to amp up all foods and recipes Fall Season related. Um… pumpkin latte anyone?!?

Today, as I write this post, I’m drinking homemade grass-fed kefir to which I simply added a 1/2 teaspoon of Perennial Greens. This powder blend includes: Tree collards, gynura, perennial chard, chayote, moringa, perennial kale. That’s a powerful blend.

Super Kefir with Dr. Cowen's Garden Veg Powder #grassfeddairy

Super Kefir with Dr. Cowan’s Garden Veg Powder #grassfeddairy

 

Not all powders are available all the time. But, here’s a secret… if you join their newsletter, you’ll be the first to know when they have new options available. Jump on it(!) and buy, because they sell out fast!

It’s hard for me to pick a favorite, because I find use in all of them.

I like the winter squash to increase my beta-carotene. I LOVE THE LEEK (which as of this writing isn’t available but I’m told it’s soon) because of its FLAVOR (OMG!) and leeks might be extra important for gut health it seems. I love the beets because I’m just not one to make beets often (well, except now that I have my Instant Pot I admit it’s way easier).

Still, the ease of adding Dr. Cowan’s beets to anything is mega attractive. Plus, an important note is recognizing that Dr. Cowan’s team uses three varieties of beets (Detroit Red, Chiogga, and Golden) – remember that variety is the spice of life. It’s important for health.

I also love the threefold blend because it’s so balanced. I use that one often with my 6-yo daughter. One of her favorite combos right now is my open-faced grilled cheese with raisins.

 

Very special open-faced grilled cheese for my daughter.

Very special open-faced grilled cheese for my daughter.

Here’s what I do…

I toast a slice of organic, TRULY sourdough bread. Then, I spread grass-fed ghee on top.

After that, I sprinkle Dr. Cowan’s Garden Threefold Blend on top and add some raisins (I stuff them into the sourdough holes when possible – hehe).

Add a sprinkle of sea salt, sometimes fresh herbs if I have on hand.

Then, I top with thick slices of raw grass-fed cheese. Toast it briefly under the broiler to melt the cheese.

Voila! She has this almost every day right now.

 

Super Slaw with Veggie Powders! (no mayo)

Super Slaw with Veggie Powders! (no mayo)

And, then there’s my SUPER SLAW recipe.

Super Slaw 

Try this super coleslaw which is amped with veggies and doesn’t have mayo. Creamy and cooling with a bit of cabbage-crunch.

Yield 6 to 8 servings (or fewer if you like big-ass bowls of coleslaw per person)

2 medium carrots, shredded
1 medium head green cabbage, cored and shredded
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon (or more!) Dr. Cowan’s Garden Threefold Blend Powder
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
4 tablespoons raw honey
1/2 cup grass-fed sour cream
1/2 cup grass-fed, whole-fat Greek yogurt (I like Straus)

Place the shredded vegetables into a large bowl. I use this food processor, fitted with the shredding blade, for shredding with ease.

In a small bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients for the dressing. Add the dressing to the bowl of vegetables. Toss to mix well. Season with additional salt, if desired. Add more Dr. Cowen’s Garden powders if desired, too!

Refrigerate for up to an hour before serving, if possible.

REMEMBER! You will get 15% off your purchase of Dr. Cowan’s Garden Vegetable Powders when you use the coupon code at checkout: KRISTEN

I also want to add that these garden veg powders are super for travel. I’ll be heading to the 2016 Bulletproof Conference later this week, and I’m taking my veggie powders with me. #HaveVeggiePowdersWillTravel

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Monday, May 30th, 2016

These Books Will Make You A Better Cook

by Kristen Suzanne in food journal, Kristen Suzanne, recipe
Books to improve cooking skills.

Books to improve cooking skills.

 

I got much out of this book, too.

One of my favorites!

In my quest to improve my cooking skills, I’ve come across a few books that have helped immensely. Call me a little geeky, but I read cookbooks like they’re treasured novels. They totally romance me. :)

The following books will definitely help make you a master in the kitchen. And, they make great gifts for the person who loves to cook, or for that person, who, ehem, might need some help.

The Flavor Bible – This award winning book is a best seller on Amazon.com and for good reason. Learning to mix flavors, in an easy-to-look-up format is extremely useful. You can look up complementary flavors and combinations for a particular ingredient. For example, over 100 are listed for oranges.

Melissa’s Great Book of Produce – My family eats a lot of produce and this book helped me learn how to recognize the produce, pick the best ones, cook them, and how to store them.

Herbs and Spices – Knowing how to use herbs and spices is a smart skill for improving cooking. Herbs and spices take any simple dish and elevate it to a party in your mouth. Not only that, but by mastering herbs and spices you can create an immense variety for everything from burgers to plain pasta dishes.

The Science of Good Cooking – A popular classic that breaks down the science of cooking. This is useful because learning how and why certain cuts and varieties of meats/vegetables/etc cook the way they do, gives you confidence in approaching anything you want to cook.

How to Cook Everything (The Basics) – This is the latest book I’m reading and I love it. It’s filled with easy recipes using ingredients most of us have on hand, and is filled with 1000 useful photos. Each recipe uses two pages where the final product is shown plus small photos of the various steps. Mark Bittman smartly includes tips for variations of ingredients and also tips of what not to do in some cases. I even found use for the recipes I didn’t care to make because they included tips or variations that were useful.

I REALLY enjoy this book and damn near tabbed every page. Once you make your way through the delicious recipes you will be a much improved (and confident) cook.

Having all of the pictures for each recipe is very helpful.

Having all of the pictures for each recipe is very helpful.

 

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Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

(Why?) Scrambled Eggs by My Friend, Joanna. Guest Blog Post with Recipe.

by Kristen Suzanne in eggs, recipe
Scrambled eggs - feed your brain and body.

Scrambled eggs – feed your brain and body.

Today, I’m sharing a post written by my friend, Joanna Steven, about eggs. Turns out she loves eggs as much as I do.

I met Joanna, online, many years ago and I simply adore her. We’ve maintained a relationship through email, Facebook, and twitter over the years though I look forward to seeing her face to face someday and having a big hug… over a plate of eggs such as the ones she’s writing about here.

Here’s Joanna…

Eggs might just be the most perfect food there is. Not only are they rich in protein, healthy fats, vitamin A, D, K2, and more, but they also cost less than $1.25 per serving, and can be cooked in a few minutes flat.

For all these reasons and more, eggs are a staple food in my family’s diet. We eat them on their own, in quiches, fritattas, pancakes, vegetables patties… They’re the ultimate fast food, and are so versatile you can have them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

We love them so much that we even got backyard hens, much to our children’s delight. I spent many mornings relaxing and watching my toddler throw food at them and trying to pet them!

One of my favorite ways to eat eggs is scrambled. I’m a busy mom of 2 and need a quick lunch I can make easily, eat quickly, and is sustaining enough that I can run after my boys all afternoon without dips in energy.

This recipe fits the bill, and I make it weekly. With flavorful ghee, an extra egg yolk for more taste and nutrition, and iodine rich kelp, it really ticks all the boxes!

Best French Style Scrambled Eggs

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • Pinch kelp powder
  • Pinch salt
  • Freshly ground pepper and fresh herbs to taste

Directions

In a bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk until homogeneous. Add one tablespoon of butter, cut into small cubes.

Heat a stainless steel pan, or your favorite pan, and add 1 tablespoon ghee. Swirl around the pan, and when hot, pour in the eggs in the center of the pan.

Lower the heat to medium low. With the tines of a fork, drag the egg mixture from the edge of the pan toward the center as it begins to set. Go back to the edge and repeat the same motion a little farther from where you started.

Keep dragging the egg mixture towards the center as it cooks, letting the uncooked egg flow freely. If your pan was hot enough, nothing should stick.

When you’ve run out of liquid egg, turn off the heat. Sprinkle the eggs with salt, pepper, kelp powder, and herbs if using.

Let the eggs stand a bit of you want them to cook more, or serve right away with buttery sourdough bread, a generous scoop of sauerkraut, and fresh berries for dessert.

Joanna_Headshot_2015Joanna Steven is an Amazon best-selling author, and the founder of The Nourished Village, a nurturing community for moms and their families. Her work as been published in Food Matters, Eco Hearth, Get Fresh!, Yum Gluten Free Magazine, and more. She regularly shares kid-friendly vegetarian recipes on her blog, and loves to interact with other moms on Facebook page and Twitter

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Monday, May 9th, 2016

Swiss Chard Salad – A Thing of Beauty – Inspired by Hegia in France

Organice swiss chard salad. Simple and full of flavor.

Organice swiss chard salad. Simple and full of flavor.

I was watching a show featuring renowned chef, Arnaud Daguin, at his Michelin rated guest house in Basque country. As I hung onto every word and scene of beauty, I picked up a great tip for swiss chard (and promised myself that someday I would visit his place, Hegia).

This is food porn to me.

This is food porn to me.

Chef Arnaud said that cooking the chard stems would degrade their gorgeous color so he set to thinly slicing them. I loved the idea and happened to have a bunch of organic swiss chard from the farmer’s market with which I was trying to decide what to do.

So, that’s what I did with my salad.

Once I thinly sliced the stems, I found myself thinly slicing the entire thing. I tossed them in a bowl with pinch of icelandic sea salt, a scoop of thinly sliced, homemade pickled cucumbers, and a quick drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. The fresh green flavor of the swiss chard was gently front and center, supported by bites of spice from my pickled cucumbers, and the olive oil smoothed everything out.

Tres magnifique!

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Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Low-Carb Homemade Quick Meal: Cauliflower Egg Scramble

Low-Carb Cauliflower Egg Scramble

Low-Carb Cauliflower Egg Scramble

I had a head of cauliflower in the fridge begging to be eaten. I didn’t have any fish or other meat thawed, so I knew it was destined to be a vegetarian egg-meal night.

I used the following ingredients to make our meal of three servings:

  • 1 head of organic cauliflower
  • plenty of grass-fed butter
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 7 pasture-raised eggs
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped oregano and rosemary, combined
  • heavy dollop grass-fed whole-fat Greek yogurt
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese

I steamed my cauliflower, and then processed it in my food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, with salt and grass-fed butter to the texture of something between rice and mashed potatoes.

While the cauliflower was steaming, I started the eggs. I used a generous chunk of butter, which melted gloriously, after which I cracked in the eggs and started to scramble them slowly over medium-low heat. I added sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. I also added fresh oregano and rosemary.

When the eggs were mostly cooked, I I stirred in a big dollop of whole-fat, grass-fed Greek yogurt (<– amazing in eggs).

Then, I transferred the eggs and cauliflower to a bowl and stirred it together. Portioned it into bowls and topped it with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Done. Easy. Nutritious. Low-carb.

Scratch cooking can be this simple.

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