Crustless Cupcake Quiche by Bobsy

photoFood really is the way to a man’s heart (or maybe it was just the bacon).  I think my husband fell in love with me all over again after eating these.

Thanks to my great friend Bobsy for the recipe.  Super simple with many possible variations and a sure hit for guests.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

1 Tbsp butter or ghee
3 rashers of farm-raised bacon, chopped
1 onion, diced
1 cup of: milk or yogurt or cream and yogurt mixed together (I chose 1 cup of yogurt and was really pleased)
3 eggs
1/2 cup of your favorite cheese

WHAT YOU’LL DO:

  • Pan fry bacon and onion (or any two foods of your choice) in the butter or ghee until onion is soft
  • Remove from heat and let cool
  • Add dairy, mix
  • Beat eggs in separate bowl, add and mix
  • Add cheese, mix
  • You can add some salt and pepper if you’d like, but I didn’t because of the bacon.  It would have been too much.
  • Preheat oven to 200 C
  • Pour mixture into silicone muffin tray
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until quiche is golden brown
  • Makes 8-10 quiche cupcakes, depending on the size of tray mold
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Carrot Ginger Soup with Cashew Cream

IMG_0672Wow.  Another soup creation that will not disappoint from culinary expert Rebecca Katz!  All the flavors mix together so well, feels like my taste buds are having a party.  And so good for our bellies during these colder months.

You can prepare this soup with either Homemade Veggie Broth or water, but of course I recommend the broth for it’s added nutrients and great taste.

Carrot-Ginger Soup with Cashew Cream by Rebecca Katz

(I have tweaked just a couple of things from the original recipe)

SOUP

  • 3 pounds carrots cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 cups veggie broth or water
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin, ground
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/8 tsp allspice, ground
  • 1/8 tsp coriander, ground
  • 1 small pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp sea salt

CASHEW CREAM

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Pinch of nutmeg, freshly grated or ground

In a 6 quart pot, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onions with a pinch of salt and sauté until golden. Add the carrots, ginger, curry, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, coriander, and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Add 8 cups of broth or water with 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer to blender and blend until very smooth. Add additional liquid to reach the desired thickness if needed.

To make the cashew cream, grind the cashews in a mini food processor or nut grinder (some blenders are not powerful enough to turn nuts into cream, so we give them a head start). If you have a Vita‐mix, skip this step. Put the water in a blender. Add the ground cashews, lemon juice, salt, and nutmeg. Blend until very smooth.

Will keep for 5 days in the fridge or 2 months in the freezer.

Serves 6

Coconut Curry Pumpkin Soup

IMG_0333Are you ready to make one of the best soups you’ve ever tasted???  I hope I’m not being overly dramatic, but this soup really does taste so divine.  And so nourishing in these colder winter days.

Aside from pumpkin, the base of this recipe is vegetable or chicken broth, so if you don’t have 3 cups of this on hand, you may want to make this first.  Check out my go-to veggie broth recipe, by Rebecca Katz.  Or a simple chicken broth recipe I’ve learned along the way.

WHAT:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (if you don’t want light spice, just omit)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • About 2 cups of pumpkin, pureed (I usually roast 1 small pumpkin and that seems to do the trick.

HOW:

  • Peel 1 small pumpkin and chop into small chunks.
  • Put pumpkin into baking tray, add a very thin layer of water and roast at 180 C until soft, about 30 minutes.
  • While pumpkin is cooking, heat the coconut oil in a deep pan or pot.
  • Add the onions and garlic and stir-fry until soft.
  • Add vegetable broth, curry powder, salt, coriander, and red pepper flakes.  Bring to a gentle boil.
  • Cover and continue to boil for another 20 minutes.
  • Add in the coconut milk and pumpkin, cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  • Puree all ingredients either with a hand blender or normal blender.  I just dump mine into the Vitamix and blend away.  So smooth and creamy.  Also, you may want to let it cool, depending on your blender capabilities.

STORAGE:

  • Freeze in ice cube trays.
  • Once frozen, pop them out into ziplock baggies.

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Homemade Veggie Broth

12 quart pot

12 quart pot

A good thing to remember before making this broth is that it can serve as a great base for other winter dishes, like pumpkin soup for example (which I currently have simmering away on my stove), so it’s good to make a big batch and freeze what you don’t initially need so you have some on hand when you need it.

And here in HK where there’s no indoor heating, a great big cup of plain broth is great for my cold American bones, so I like having some stored away for easy heat-up.

The following recipe was an assignment I did recently at the school I attend, Hawthorn University, and I wanted to share it with you because it is so divine!  You really can taste and feel the “life” in it.

A couple things to know:

  • Magic Mineral Broth can be frozen up to 6 months in a variety of airtight container sizes for every use.
  • Makes 6-7 quarts.
  • You can use the veggies once you’re done boiling them if you want.  I have yet to try anything with mine, but just google away for some ideas if you’re keen.

MAGIC MINERAL BROTH by Rebecca Katz

“This broth alone can keep people going, especially when they don’t particularly want to eat. It’s not just a regular vegetable stock. This pot of yum is high in potassium and numerous trace minerals that are often depleted by cancer therapy. Sipping this nutrient‐rich stock is like giving your body an internal spa treatment. Drink it like a tea, or use it as a base for all your favorite soups and rice dishes. Don’t be daunted by the ingredient list. Simply chop the ingredients in chunks and throw them in the pot, roots, skins, and all.” – Rebecca Katz

6 unpeeled carrots, cut into thirds
2 unpeeled medium yellow onions, cut into chunks
1 leek, both white and green parts, cut into thirds
1 bunch celery, including the heart, cut into thirds
5 unpeeled cloves garlic, halved
1/2 bunch fresh flat‐leaf parsley
4 medium red potatoes with skins on, quartered
2 Japanese or regular sweet potatoes with skins on, quartered 1 Garnet yam with skin on, quartered
18‐inch strip of kombu
2 bay leaves
12 black peppercorns
4 whole allspice or juniper berries
1 tablespoon sea salt

Rinse all the vegetables well, including the kombu. In a 12‐quart or larger stockpot, combine all the ingredients accept the salt. Fill the pot to 2 inches below the rim with water, cover, and bring to a boil.

Remove the lid, decrease the heat to low, and simmer a minimum of 2 hours. As the stock simmers some of the water will evaporate; add more if the vegetables begin to peek out. Simmer until the full richness of the vegetables can be tasted. Add the salt and stir.

Strain the stock using a large coarse‐mesh strainer (remember to use a heat‐resistant container underneath). Bring to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing.

A little bit about Rebecca Katz:

A nationally-recognized expert on the role of food in supporting health during cancer treatment, Rebecca has a Masters of Science degree in Health and Nutrition Education, and received her culinary training from New York’s Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts. As a consultant, speaker, teacher and chef, Rebecca works closely with patients, physicians, nurses, and wellness professionals to include the powerful tool of nutrition in their medical arsenal.

Rebecca is the Executive Chef for The Center for Mind-Body Medicine’s Food As Medicine and CancerGuides® Professional Training Programs, which attracts the country’s top cancer wellness physicians, nurses, social workers, and researchers. She is also visiting chef and nutrition educator at Commonweal’s Cancer Help Program in Bolinas, California, which offers intensive self-care programs for cancer patients and their caregivers.

Bone Broth Recipes for the Season

It’s definitely that time of year when drinking a cup of good bone broth really hits the spot and makes you feel all warm and good inside.  I’ve only discovered and started making my own broths this past year, but I know it will be something I’ll continue to do for the rest of my life.  Aside from being extremely nourishing and very healing to the digestive tract, it’s also such a great way to utilize every part of the animal.

In honor of this time of season, I wanted to share a great article entitled Broth is Beautiful by Sally Fallon.  She gives great information regarding these broths as well as a few recipes.  Please see below.

And I’ll share my process as well.  Here at our home, we eat lots of roast chickens, so our broths are usually chicken based.

  • Collect drippings from chicken after roasting and refrigerate.
  • Once drippings have cooled and solidified, skim off the fat and keep this refrigerated to cook with later.  I like to use it in veggie bakes.
  • Remove all meat from the carcass.
  • Put drippings, carcass, sea salt and Tbsp of vinegar (helps to draw out the good stuff from the bones) into large pot or slow-cooker.
  • Cover the carcass with filtered water.
  • In large pot on stovetop: cover and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, turn down to low heat for a simmer.  Simmer for several hours if possible.  I usually do at least do 3-4 hours, but others recommend 6-8.
  • In slow cooker:  Cover and put on low for up to 12 hours or longer!
  • Skim off any impurities that may float to the top.
  • Remove bones, add more sea salt to taste if desired, and serve.
  • We also like to add cabbage, serve in a big mug and eat with chopsticks!  How fun!

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BROTH IS BEAUTIFUL by Sally Fallon

“Good broth will resurrect the dead,” says a South American proverb. Said Escoffier: “Indeed, stock is everything in cooking. Without it, nothing can be done.”A cure-all in traditional households and the magic ingredient in classic gourmet cuisine, stock or broth made from bones of chicken, fish and beef builds strong bones, assuages sore throats, nurtures the sick, puts vigor in the step and sparkle in love life–so say grandmothers, midwives and healers. For chefs, stock is the magic elixir for making soul-warming soups and matchless sauces.Meat and fish stocks play a role in all traditional cuisines—French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, African, South American, Middle Eastern and Russian. In America, stock went into gravy and soups and stews. That was when most animals were slaughtered locally and nothing went to waste. Bones, hooves, knuckles, carcasses and tough meat went into the stock pot and filled the house with the aroma of love. Today we buy individual filets and boneless chicken breasts, or grab fast food on the run, and stock has disappeared from the American tradition.

Grandmother Knew Best

Science validates what our grandmothers knew. Rich homemade chicken broths help cure colds. Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.

Fish stock, according to traditional lore, helps boys grow up into strong men, makes childbirth easy and cures fatigue. “Fish broth will cure anything,” is another South American proverb. Broth and soup made with fishheads and carcasses provide iodine and thyroid-strengthening substances.

When broth is cooled, it congeals due to the presence of gelatin. The use of gelatin as a therapeutic agent goes back to the ancient Chinese. Gelatin was probably the first functional food, dating from the invention of the “digestor” by the Frenchman Papin in 1682. Papin’s digestor consisted of an apparatus for cooking bones or meat with steam to extract the gelatin. Just as vitamins occupy the center of the stage in nutritional investigations today, so two hundred years ago gelatin held a position in the forefront of food research. Gelatin was universally acclaimed as a most nutritious foodstuff particularly by the French, who were seeking ways to feed their armies and vast numbers of homeless in Paris and other cities. Although gelatin is not a complete protein, containing only the amino acids arginine and glycine in large amounts, it acts as a protein sparer, helping the poor stretch a few morsels of meat into a complete meal. During the siege of Paris, when vegetables and meat were scarce, a doctor named Guerard put his patients on gelatin bouillon with some added fat and they survived in good health.

The French were the leaders in gelatin research, which continued up to the 1950s. Gelatin was found to be useful in the treatment of a long list of diseases including peptic ulcers, tuberculosis, diabetes, muscle diseases, infectious diseases, jaundice and cancer. Babies had fewer digestive problems when gelatin was added to their milk. The American researcher Francis Pottenger pointed out that as gelatin is a hydrophilic colloid, which means that it attracts and holds liquids, it facilitates digestion by attracting digestive juices to food in the gut. Even the epicures recognized that broth-based soup did more than please the taste buds. “Soup is a healthy, light, nourishing food” said Brillant-Savarin, “good for all of humanity; it pleases the stomach, stimulates the appetite and prepares the digestion.”

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