Category Archives: Gluten Free

Cranberry, Goji, and Prune Compote – Two Ways

Sweet Cranberry Goji & Prune Compote (on steel cut oats)

Sweet Cranberry Goji & Prune Compote (on steel cut oats)

The majority of my recipes lately come together out of being hungry and wanting to use up something I have in the fridge or pantry.  It’s not always amazing – I have plenty of flops.  But sometimes it’s tasty enough that I can envision multiple uses for it! This is one of those times. Sure, this recipe has a good amount of sugar in it but at least the sugar comes from fruit (the juice I use is pure fruit & water) and there’s a crapload of fiber and antioxidants in it.

This fruit compote can be used two ways, sweet and savory.  I really love the savory version – something about rosemary, ginger, butter and shallots with the tangy sweetness of the fruit is just delicious.

The sweet version can be used as an alternative to canned cranberry sauce (though less sweet), a topping for oatmeal or even as a topping for a pie. I’m thinking it would also be delicious on vanilla ice cream if heated up! The savory version is awesome to top baked/broiled salmon, as a sauce for dipping chicken in (I’d probably puree it for that purpose) or served with pork chops.  I’m sure you can come up with some more delicious options!

Savory compote. Don't mind the overcooked salmon  - girl gets distracted!

Savory compote. Don’t mind the overcooked salmon – girl gets distracted!

The great thing about this is that it takes just about 10 minutes to make the sweet version and then to make the savory version, you just add a few more ingredients and cook for another few minutes.  Easy peasy way to add a ton of flavor (and look fancy) to a meal.

Ingredients
Option 1 (Sweet)
1 cup fresh organic cranberries, washed
7-8 sulfite free prunes, chopped
3 tbsp dried goji berries
4 oz unsweetened organic apple sauce
8 oz organic 100% juice cranberry or pomegranate blend (I used knudson’s blueberry pomegranate blend but I think their cranberry or other red blends can work fine)

Option 2 (Savory)
2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1 large shallot, minutes
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tbsp unsalted pasture butter
sea salt to taste

Directions
Put all the ingredients for the Sweet version in a small pot and slowly bring a boil.  Simmer, stirring occasionally until the cranberries start to pop and the mixture thickens. This should take about 10 minutes start to finish. Turn down the heat if it seems to be losing liquid too quickly (you can always add a little more juice).  You can use right away for sweet uses but it will be more firm if you refrigerate it for at least an hour.

To make the savory version, remove the sweet version from the pan and place in a small bowl.  Put the pan back on the burner and melt the butter.  When the butter is melted, add the shallots, rosemary and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally until the rosemary is fragrant and the shallots are lightly browned (2-3 minutes).  Stir in the sweet compote and add sea salt to taste.  Stir to distribute the salt and savory ingredients and remove from heat when it is heated through (will take just a couple minutes if you are reheating cold compote from the fridge).  Use for savory uses right away.

Makes 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups of compote.

Chicken Soup with Bok Choy, Celery and Sweet Potato

Simple dinners are sometimes the best ones!

Simple dinners are sometimes the best ones!

This was a really simple soup I put together for John recently when he wasn’t feeling so hot and it was perfect!  It really hit the spot and was a snap to make!  The key was using homemade chicken bone broth that I had made the day before. It’s exactly what you want to eat when you’ve had a busy day of Christmas shopping, errands or have been over indulging a little too much! Good old comfort food!

You can certainly use store bought broth for this, but the final flavor really depends on the quality of your broth.  If you wouldn’t want to drink your store bought broth by itself, it probably won’t be tasty enough to use in a simple soup like this.  Consider making your own if you can, it’s so very good for you and tastes so much better than anything you can buy.  I have a recipe here which is good base.  On this particular day, instead of the carrots and onion in my regular broth, I added the dark green parts from a couple of leeks and the fronds from a fennel bulb (both of which I had saved and put in my freezer for the purpose of making stock). It  came out really good!

Good quality stock and a few simple ingredients and dinner is done.  You can throw almost anything into some good homemade broth and it will taste good. I love adding a huge chunk of fresh turmeric (grated) to it – it adds a ton of rich color and an earthy flavor.

Ingredients
4-6 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade)
2 split bone in chicken breasts
3 heads baby bok choy or 1 regular sized one, sliced into bite sized chunks
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves chopped
2 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled
1 2-inch long piece of fresh turmeric, grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wrap peeled sweet potatoes in foil and place on one side of a large cookie sheet. Put the split chicken breasts on the other side of the cookie sheet.  Bake both for 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside for a few minutes.  In a large stock pan or dutch oven, bring the chicken broth to a simmer and then add the bok choy, rosemary, celery and turmeric.  Continue simmering for 10 minutes or until the celery is tender.  When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones, cut into bite sized pieces and add to the soup.  Open the foil packets and chop the sweet potato into bite sized pieces and add to the soup.  If the sweet potato is still somewhat firm, let the soup continue simmering until it is soft, otherwise just cook until everything is warmed through.  Add salt and pepper to taste and serve!

Makes 4 light servings

Mushroom Herb Quinoa Patties with Pan Seared Sea Scallops & Spicy Garlic Mayo

Delicious, easy and good for you!

Delicious, easy and good for you!

That title is a mouthful, huh?

Who says eating gluten free or not eating cheese has to be boring?  Sometimes you’re just in the mood for a meal that looks a little fancy even if it isn’t.  This was delicious and came together really quickly even on a weeknight! I had leftover quinoa in the fridge and scallops take less than 6 minutes to cook in a pan.  The worst part is whisking the oil into the mayo (just take a break and stretch your forearm if needed. Just kidding, it’s not that bad). And if you’re grossed out by the idea of eating mayo as a condiment with a meal, well I have news for you, you’ve eaten it before at fancy restaurants – it’s also called aioli or rouille.  Using well flavored mayo’s to flavor seafood, soups or other dishes is a much older tradition than using it on sandwiches. So there. I’m going to go enjoy my homemade mayo now that I’ve gotten that off my chest.  I think I just made mayo hipster? Is that what just happened there?

This is a great way to use up leftover quinoa and any diced veggies you may have in the fridge.  I use mushrooms, celery and onions here but you certain could use other things if you don’t have those. No need to limit yourself!  And if you don’t eat seafood or are vegetarian, the quinoa patties each have about 5 g of protein in them so a couple of those and some veggies and you’ll still have a filling meal!  These are also good when used as sort of a falafel with some tahini sauce, tomatoes, cucumbers and all that deliciousness.

A note on substitutions: If you have a problem with soy, feel free to leave out the tamari – it just adds a little umami flavor.  It won’t be a big deal if you leave it out.  Feel free to use other GF flours that you have on hand or if you eat wheat, you can use breadcrumbs.

I think you’ll love this!  When you eat like this, you won’t miss heavily processed food, cheese, wheat or anything else.  Good stuff!

Ingredients

Patties
1 cup dry quinoa, cooked and cooled
6 – 8 oz mushrooms, chopped in small pieces
1 medium onion, diced
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 tbsp unsalted pasture butter
1 clove garlic minced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 whole egg or the whites from 2 eggs
2 – 4 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp low sodium tamari
sea salt and black pepper to taste

Sea Scallops
1 tbsp unsalted pasture butter
1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
12 sea scallops, trimmed, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
sea salt and black pepper

Spicy Garlic Mayo
2 egg yolks (from pasture raised organic hens – local is best!)
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 cup olive oil (don’t use Extra Virgin for this)
juice from half a lemon
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
sea salt
1 tbsp sriracha sauce (I use Ninja Squirrel brand from Whole Foods)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Make the patties first.  Heat a medium sized saute pan over medium heat. When it’s hot, add 1 tbsp butter and saute the celery, mushrooms and onion until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms have browned. Add the garlic, rosemary and oregano and cook for just 30 seconds or so.  Turn off the heat and stir into the cooled quinoa.  Add the egg whites (I used egg whites only because I used the yolks for the mayo and didn’t want to waste them) tamari, parsley, coconut flour, salt and pepper.  Start with 2 tbsps of coconut flour and stir well.  Add more coconut flour if the mixture is very moist.  Coconut flour will absorb some of the moisture but sometimes too much so! Add a couple tbsp of water if that happens.

Grease a baking sheet with whatever fat you prefer to use and then form the mixture into 10 – 12 patties.  They should be a little smaller than the palm of your hand.  Place on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, then flip and bake for another 5-7 minutes.raw quinoa mushroom patties before going in the oven.

Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside.

Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside.

While the patties are baking, make the spicy garlic mayo. Put the minced garlic on a firm surface (a cutting board will do) and sprinkle generously with sea salt.  The salt will soften the garlic and help it to release juices. Place the egg yolks* and dijon mustard in a medium bowl and whisk until well combined.  Continue whisking and slowly drizzle the olive oil down the side of the bowl.  The oil and the yolk mixture will start to emulsify. Keep whisking and pour the oil slower than you have to.  If you pour too fast, the emulsion will start to break (stop pouring and whisk until it comes back together).  As it thickens, the bowl may start to slide around – it might help to rest the bowl on a dish towel.  When you finish whisking in the oil, add the garlic with it’s juices and salt, the lemon juice and whisk.  When that is well blended, whisk in the sriracha sauce.  If you don’t like spicy, you can leave out the sriracha – it’ll still be a delicious garlicky mayo!  Add more salt if necessary and set aside while you make the scallops.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  While it is heating, sprinkle your scallops* generously with sea salt and black pepper. When the pan is very hot, add 1/2 tbsp butter and 1/2 tbsp oil to the pan.  When the butter is melted, add half the scallops, placing one of their flat round sides face down in the pan.  (Unless you have a very large skillet to work with, I recommend only making 6 at a time – otherwise they will release too much liquid and you won’t get a good sear).  Cook for 2-3 minutes, flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  They should have a nice browning on the outside but still be tender on the inside. If they stick to the pan, they probably need another minutes on. Remove from heat before they get tough!

Pan seared scallops are super easy to make and make you look fancy!

Pan seared scallops are super easy to make and make you look fancy!

Serve a couple of quinoa patties topped with 4 scallops and a big dollop of the garlicky mayo. I happened to serve this with some raw romaine leaves and some sauteed kale & extra mushrooms – but you can serve it with any vegetable you have on hand.

Serve a couple of quinoa patties topped with scallops & spicy garlic mayo on a bed of vegetables. So good!

Serve a couple of quinoa patties topped with scallops & spicy garlic mayo on a bed of vegetables. So good!

*This recipe contains raw egg yolk and scallops that are not fully cooked.  Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness. 

Gluten Free Tourtiere – French Canadian Meat Pie – with Kale and Celery Root!

French Canadian Meat Pie - Tourtiere (made gluten free and a little less carb heavy).

French Canadian Meat Pie – Tourtiere (made gluten free and a little less carb heavy).

I know we just finished Thanksgiving but bookmark this one for when Christmas rolls around in a few weeks! How many of you ate “meat pie” on Christmas Eve?

Can I just tell you that when I decided to stop eating flour on a regular basis the thing that made me waver on it the most was meat pie???? Not pizza, not cake, not sandwiches, but something I ate only once or twice a year.  I grew up in a household that ate French Canadian Tourtiere (also known as meat pie) every Christmas Eve after we came home from the 7pm Mass (and right before my sisters and I exchanged Christmas presents with each other).  My mother was the cook in our household and she passed away in 2001 so while a lot of our traditions have changed since, I’m always quick to hold on to whatever I can that reminds me of her.  Tourtiere was not one I was willing to give up.  Just the smell of it cooking in the kitchen reminds me of being a kid and all the fond memories that go with holidays around that. It’s kind of funny how hard I’ve held on to that, especially considering I didn’t even eat pork or beef from my early teenage years until just a few years ago – but that reminder of family times is still there.

Looks naked without a top crust, I know, but it tastes so similar to the one I had as a kid - and won't make me feel terrible later!

Looks naked without a top crust, I know, but it tastes so similar to the one I had as a kid – and won’t make me feel terrible later!

Earlier this fall, on a chilly evening, I realized I had all the ingredients on hand to make Tourtiere but I didn’t want to make it with wheat flour – knowing that if I did, I would feel bloated, constipated and have joint pain for the next 4-5 days afterward. I decided I’d make a crust of sorts with coconut flour and I also decided to lighten up the carb load by using celery root instead of potatoes. And being the weirdo I am, I added a few cups of chopped kale to it too.  Believe it or not, the kale blends right in with the strong spice flavors so don’t shy away if you are a meat pie fan and want to make it a little healthier. And the celery root is completely passable as potato!!

I went with just a crust on the bottom of this pie instead of the traditional top and bottom crust because in all honesty, I’m not the best “dough” person.  I’m not super experienced in working with coconut flour or any other gluten free flour (let’s be honest – dough of any flour type fears me) and while I felt confident that I could make a pat in pan type of crust for this, I wasn’t so sure I could roll it out on top of the pie.  I’m sure there is a way to do it but the first night I made it, it wasn’t going to happen.  The second night I made this I tried to roll it out but I don’t think I moistened the flour enough – it might have worked had I added a second egg or some extra liquid.  I’m sure there are bloggers out there who can come up with a much better pastry than me for this particular dish – a couple of google searches will probably take you to them.  BUT, I have to say, the pie holds it’s shape pretty well without the second crust and the flavors all mimic the original pretty well.

No, celery root is not potato, no coconut flour is not wheat flour, and no kale isn’t extra pork or pork fat . . . but with these substitutions this is a dish that tastes like Christmas Eve without making me feel heavy and lethargic afterwards.

Try it and let me know what you think!

Ingredients
filling
1 lb grass fed ground beef or
1/2 lb organic ground pork & 1/2 lb grass fed ground beef
1 large onion, diced
1 large celery root / celeriac, peeled and chopped into small pieces
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
a pinch of ground allspice (or more)
1 head of kale, chopped finely (steamed if you like it very tender)
sea salt and black pepper

Crust (makes just one layer of crust)
1/4 cup coconut oil or butter
1 egg
1/2 cup coconut flour
generous pinch of salt

Directions
Put beef/pork, onion, celery root, water and bay leaf in a pot and simmer covered, stirring occasionally (to break up the meat and celery root) for 40 minutes, remove cover and let simmer for another 10 or until water is cooked off. Mash gently with potato masher if celery root isn’t completely broken up. While meat mixture is cooking, make your crust (fyi- this is just a one crust pie – different than traditional tourtiere).

That crust looks pretty good huh?

That crust looks pretty good huh?

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt your coconut oil or use softened butter and mix into coconut flour.  Add 1 egg and a pinch of salt and mix until well combined. If it seems very dry you can add a tbsp of water but it should resemble a thick dough. Transfer the dough to a pie plate and press out into the plate using your hands.  You’ll need to press from the center and work out to the sides. Don’t be shy about pressing it firmly and working it up the plate – coconut oil firms up as it cools and the warmth from your hands will help it be more malleable.

Once you have it covering the pie plate, bake the crust for 10 minutes.

While the crust is baking, stir in cinnamon, cloves, allspice and (raw or steamed) kale into the celery root and meat mixture. Season with salt and pepper.  Stir for a minute or two until kale wilts and then pour into the baked pie crust.  Bake the pie at 400 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool slightly before serving.  The longer you let it sit, the more firm it will be for serving. Serve with a tomato relish or ketchup (that’s how we ate it growing up!).

Note: Don’t be shy with this – the second time I made this I added mushrooms and dandelion greens instead of kale and it also blended in really well.  What swaps can you make in some of your childhood favorites that might be more nutritious?

Garlic Ginger Stir Fry with Chicken, Pak Choi, Red Cabbage & Japonica Rice

Bright green, purple and orange means you're getting a wide variety of nutrients in your diet.

Bright green, purple and orange means you’re getting a wide variety of nutrients in your diet.

I know right now you are busy getting ready for Thanksgiving so the last thing you are thinking about is healthy dinners you can make – but I’m guessing, the week after Thanksgiving you may feel differently! Bookmark this page so when you can’t eat another tablespoon of gravy or cranberry sauce you have something lighter you can rely on. Also, today is the last day to register for the 1st round of the 12 Day Natural Detox starting December 1st, so click here if you want in!  Another round starts December 13th and you can register for that one until December 6th. Anyway, back to stir fry!

Do you find you avoid making stir fry ever because you feel like you need store a bought sauce to pull off anything tasty?  I used to feel that way too but I finally started playing around with making my own because – well #1 it’s better for you and #2 stir fry is such an easy meal, I want to be able to make it anytime I want! If you keep a few simple ingredients on hand (like tamari, fish sauce, sriracha, sesame oil, broth, ginger, garlic, sherry and rice vinegar) you can make some really delicious food very simply!  You may find you need to add a little brown sugar to make a sauce stand out if you’re used to sweet store bought sauce – and that’s ok – but I urge you to see what you can accomplish without sugar first.  Cook and taste it.  If it still needs sugar add a tiny sprinkle.  I left sugar out of this recipe because I don’t really feel like it needs it, but I think I’m accustomed to a lower sugar diet more than others are.  Adding sriracha or cooking sherry is another way you can brighten the flavors here.  Experiment!

This gets most of it’s flavor from the generous amount of garlic, ginger and fresh turmeric in it.  They add a spicy, earthy flavor and are so good for us!

I used black japonica rice here because I love it! It has a sweet nutty flavor to it and it takes the same amount of time to cook as brown or wild rice.  It’s nice to have some variety.  One of the great benefits of trying different things is the range of nutrients you can get in your diet that way.  Black japonica rice gets it rich color from a type of flavonoids called anthocyanins (red cabbage, cranberries and cherries do too!) which are known for providing many health benefits – they show promise for protection from atherosclerosis, inhibition of tumor cells and preventing inflammation.  How do make sure you’re getting enough anthocyanins and other antioxidants in your diet? By making sure you eat a rainbow of color every day. This stir fry is a vibrant green (pak choi), purple (rice and cabbage) and orange (turmeric) – making it an awesome option for someone trying to increase the amount of color in their diet.

Ingredients
1 lb organic chicken breasts or tenders, cut into bite size pieces
2 inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled, finely diced or grated
2 inch chunk of fresh turmeric, washed, grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp low sodium tamari
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp five spice powder
3 stalks celery, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
2 medium sized baby pak choi roughly chopped (bok choy works too)
1/2 large red cabbage, chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup black japonica rice, cooked

Makes 4 servings

chicken marinating and stir fried veggies.

chicken marinating and stir fried veggies.

Directions
Marinate the chicken in the tamari, rice vinegar, sesame oil, five spice powder, turmeric, ginger and garlic while you prepare your vegetables.  Heat a large wok or saute pan over medium high heat and add 1 tbsp coconut oil.  When the oil is melted and the pan is hot, saute the celery, onion, pak choi and red cabbage and saute for 3 – 4 minutes.  You may need to do this in batches so that the vegetables don’t steam – you want them to cook quickly and for a short period of time.   When the vegetables are slightly tender, remove them from the pan, place in a large bowl and cover with foil to keep warm.  Put the pan back on the burner and add the marinating chicken mixture.  Cook for 7 – 10 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through and the sauce thickens a little.  Serve the black japonica rice topped with the vegetable mixture and then topped with the chicken mixture.

This doesn’t make a lot of sauce but I think you’ll find when you use fresh vegetables and fresh aromatic ingredients to cook with that you won’t need as much! Having extra tamari on hand is good for those who need a little extra flavor on their plate.  I also like to keep homemade sriracha on hand or buy a brand that doesn’t have a bunch of preservatives in it (whole foods has a few options) because I love the spicy stuff for meals like this!
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Toasted Millet with Mizuna, Kale and Sausage

Not a pretty dish but really good! Looks aren't everything people!

Not a pretty dish but really good! Looks aren’t everything people!

You guys are going to think I eat sausage every day.  It seems like that sometimes because my favorite meals are the ones that include it! Haha! In all seriousness, we get quite a few pounds of organic sausage from well cared for pigs from our local CSA every season and since it cooks up fast and defrosts quickly, I sometimes use it up faster than I do the other meats we get out of sheer convenience.  Rest assured, I am not eating sausage 5 days a week, though John would tell you I would totally do it if it was possible and / or good for me.

While there is nothing mind blowing about this recipe (it contains only 6 ingredients-not counting salt and pepper), we really enjoyed it so I thought I’d share – especially because it’s so simple.  I’m constantly looking to remind clients (and everyone else in the world) that eating well doesn’t have to mean long laborious processes or a long list of expensive ingredients.  A few simple high quality ingredients are all you really need and truly doesn’t take much time or energy to prepare.

Oh, and if you can find mizuna at your local store or farm (I get it – we just received a lot of it this summer and fall so that’s why I’m using it in recipes), try arugula.  Mizuna is a tiny bit spicy (but not as spicy as arugula or mustard greens) and can be eaten raw or cooked.   Really, any green that cooks quickly can be used here.

This makes 4 servings.

Ingredients
1 lb spicy italian sausage, casings removed
1 cup uncooked millet*
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 red onion, diced
1 big bunch mizuna, washed and roughly chopped*
2 cups kale or swiss chard, washed, ribs removed and chopped
sea salt & black pepper to taste

Directions
Start by toasting your millet.  Millet doesn’t have to be toasted to be eaten but it certainly tastes better when you do!  Spread 1 cup of uncooked millet in a large skillet and heat to low medium heat.  Gently “cook” the millet for 5 minutes or so (I feel like this depends on your stove top – if you have gas, this will take less time.  If you have a ridiculously slow glass electric top like me, you could be here for a bit!), shaking the pan or stirring with a wooden spoon to make sure all grains are gently toasted.  The color will turn slightly more golden and it might start to smell like popcorn.  This is when you want to take it off the heat.

Toasted and cooked millet

Toasted and cooked millet

To cook the millet, heat 2 cups of water in a medium sized pot, add the millet (careful not to burn yourself as I did this particular night – oops), a tiny pinch of salt and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce to a simmer, cooking for 15 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let the millet sit in the covered pot until you are ready to serve.

While the millet is cooking, heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a large skillet (fine to use the one you toasted the millet in) and when it’s melted and the pan is hot, add the casing free sausage.  Cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon as you go.  Once the sausage is cooked through, add in the diced red onion, mizuna and kale and cook until the onion is softened and fragrant (about 5-7 minutes).  Season with sea salt and pepper to taste and serve over the toasted millet.

That’s all there is to it!  I served it with a dollop of pesto on the side but it wasn’t necessary by any means (but pesto would be a great accompaniment if you felt you needed one because it goes great with everything).

*If you have hypothyroidism, skip the millet and use quinoa or another grain.  Millet has goitrogenic properties and while contains many valuable nutrients is not a good fit for those with thyroid issues.
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Coconut Curry Soup with Cod, Carrots & Zucchini

Tastes way better than it looks. Someday I'll remember to take a pic before I've let it cook for too long!

Tastes way better than it looks. Someday I’ll remember to take a pic before I’ve let it cook for too long!

This meal was the result of a total “there’s nothing to eat in the house, what can we eat for dinner?” but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise (which let’s be honest, could have been a disaster).  It was filling and satisfying without being too heavy and the ginger & turmeric broth was great for a chilly night.  I was running pretty low on veggies (rare in this house), had a plantain that was going to be too ripe if I didn’t hurry up and use it and had some cod in the freezer.  I had coconut milk but no curry paste, no scallions, no cilantro etc.  I was half ready to pick up the phone to ask John to grab some takeout on his way home but I tasted it and it was actually pretty good.  I am not a fan of fish in soups . . .so this would not be my first choice of ingredients together. . . but I’m very grateful that random pantry & refrigerator cooking didn’t turn out disgusting!

The plantain does a great job of thickening the broth and adds a little sweetness that rounds out the flavors (especially since I didn’t have some of my usual curry staples on hand).  And it blends in pretty well – if someone didn’t tell you there was plantain in it, you’d probably have no idea.  If you don’t have access to plantains, you can try adding a grated potato or sweet potato instead.

And I hope it goes without saying, use the full fat coconut milk (not the lite stuff).  There is not much other fat in this meal (cod, veggies, spices) and the saturated fat in coconut milk and coconut oil are good ones to have in your diet.  Remember, keeping your blood sugar stable and cravings under control is really about having a balance of fat, protein and fiber in every meal and if you try to go very low fat you throw that balance off and you may find yourself digging in the cabinet for sweet treats not too long after dinner.  Fat = satisfaction.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, diced
5 medium carrots, peeled, sliced
1 large shallot, diced
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 can coconut milk (Look for BPA free brands like Arroy-D and Native Forest)
2 cups unsalted vegetable or chicken broth
1 inch chunk ginger, peeled, finely diced
1 inch chunk fresh turmeric root, peeled, finely diced
3 medium zucchini thickly, sliced
1 to 1 1/4 lbs wild cod fillets (or other white fish)
1 yellow plantain, peeled and grated or diced
big handful of fresh parsley or cilantro
sea salt and black pepper to taste
optional: a big squeeze of fresh lime juice
optional: cayenne or red curry paste for heat

Directions
Heat the coconut oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  When hot, saute the onion, shallots and carrots for 3 – 4 minutes, then add the curry powder, cardamom and smoked paprika and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the coconut milk, broth, ginger, turmeric and plantain to the pan and bring to a boil.  Add the cod and zucchini, submerge, cover and bring back to a boil and reduce to a low simmer.
curry1
Cook for another 7-9 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.  Stir in the parsley or cilantro, season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of fresh lime juice and serve.

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