Pork Ragu Bolognese Sauce

If you are looking for a delicious meaty bolognese sauce, then this one is sure to hit the spot!  I cannot call it classic, because it doesn’t contain dairy, and I have taken some liberties beyond the  Academia Italiana della Cucina‘s official definition so it is Specific Carb Diet friendly.  But I have to say, it tastes pretty darn authentic!

Pork Ragu Bolognese

Pork Ragu Bolognese

You start with a Soffrito Base also known as the Holy Trinity…Carrots, Onions (Green Onions in this Case) and Celery, finely chopped.

Saffritto for Pork Ragu Bolognese

Saffritto for Pork Ragu Bolognese

Pork Ragu Bolognese Sauce

Ingredients:

1 Bunch of Scallions, Green Parts Only Sliced

4 Carrots, Peeled and Finely Diced

4 Stalks of Celery, Finely Diced

2 Tablespoons of Garlic Olive Oil

1 1/2 Teaspoons of Himalayan Pink Salt

1 1/2 Teaspoons of Black Pepper

2 Pounds Ground Pork

1 Cup of Dry Red Wine

1 Cup Full Fat Coconut Milk, no additives

1 28 oz. Jar Organic Strained Tomatoes

2 Cups Chicken Stock (homemade if you have it)

Directions: Finely Dice your Scallions, Celery and Carrots.  Add two tablespoons of Garlic Infused Olive Oil to a large stock pan over medium high heat. I love this brand and used the 5 quart braiser for this recipe, if you are looking for a good versatile pot. Add your scallions, celery and carrots and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of Himalayan Pink Salt and 1 teaspoon of Black Pepper. Sautee for five minutes until starting to brown and they are tender, stirring occasionally.  Turn heat to high and add the two pounds of ground pork sprinkled with another 1/2 teaspoon of Himalayan Pink Salt and 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper, and continue to cook, breaking up the meat until the meat is starting to caramelize. Don’t skip the caramelization! It adds flavor! It will take about ten minutes.

Soffritto Ready to Sautee

Soffritto Ready to Sautee

When meat has caramelized and you have a nice brown coating on the bottom of your pan, you deglaze! Pour the red wine into the pan, bring to a boil for one minute scraping the bottom of the pan to release all the brown bits and flavor. Add your stock, tomato puree and coconut milk and bring to a boil.  Then, turn heat to a low simmer and cover the pot 3/4 with the lid and simmer for four hours until very thick and reduced.  If it starts sticking before the four hours add more stock just a half cup at a time. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Pork Ragu Bolognese Sauce

Pork Ragu Bolognese Sauce

Serve over noodles of your choice.  I used zucchini noodles in the photo below, I have also served it with spaghetti squash noodles.

Pork Ragu Bolognese

Pork Ragu Bolognese

Buon Appetito!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Ming Ming’s Wishful Thinking With A Friend

Ming's Wishful Thinking With a Friend

Ming’s Wishful Thinking With a Friend

It was a sunny afternoon yesterday, one of those perfect, bright, in the seventies days, and everyone was busy going here and there in a flurry of activity. Ming and her buddy, (that’s Lily) were longing to go outside and play, but at the moment it just wasn’t happening. So, she was content to gaze out the window with Lily by her side. I am sure she was dreaming of what she would do it she were outside.  Maybe she would chase a bird, or grab a stick and get Lily to chase her.  She loves to lounge in the sunshine, basking, or roll in the grass, and Ming loves to smell Flowers.  She really does!  She will go right up to a beautiful blossom and smell it.  I call her Ferdinand after the childhood story about a bull that was supposed to bull fight, but just wanted to smell flowers. Do you know the book? She and Lily did get to go outside later in the day for a walk and a romp. It is a joy to see her enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.  Then she was content to come inside again and dream. I love lazy days like this day, and so does Ming.

Cranberry Apricot Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Ooooo lalala! This chicken is moist and juicy!  I don’t know about you, but I pretty much like stuffed anything, because it usually means extra flavor and deliciousness.  I developed this recipe recently because boneless chicken breasts can be juicy and flavorful when done right, and anything but boring! So here we go! I hope you try these, they are nutritious and so festive!

Cranberry Apricot Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Cranberry Apricot Stuffed Chicken Breasts

You can prep these up to a day in advance and store them in the refrigerator for  a super fast dinner.  I served them with a tarragon cream sauce, but they are great without it.  The sauce bumps it up to extra fancy.

Cranberry Apricot Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Cranberry Apricot Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Cranberry Apricot Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Ingredients:

4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

Filling:

6 Dried Apricots, unsulphured organic is best

1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries, sweetened with juice

1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds

2 Tablespoons Sunflower Seed Butter or Almond Butter, no sugar added

2 Scallions, green tops only, thinly sliced

1 Teaspoon Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

1/4 Teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Coating:

1 Egg

3/4 Cup Almond Flour, fine

Himalayan Pink Salt

Black Pepper

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Directions:

Soak the dried apricots 30 minutes in very hot water to soften.  Set aside and while they are soaking gather the rest of your ingredients.  In a small blender or food processor, puree the apricots after draining off the soaking water.  Add Sunflower Seed Butter, Salt, Pepper and Lemon Juice and fully incorporate.  Stir in by hand the cranberries, sliced almonds and scallions.

Slice your boneless chicken breasts in the center to make a pocket for stuffing, but don’t slice all the way through.  Like this:

 

Cranberry Apricot Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Cranberry Apricot Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Once they are stuffed, you are ready to coat them.  It is simple.  Crack the egg into a shallow dish, put the almond flour in another shallow dish, and dip the chicken into the egg on both sides, then roll in the almond flour. Repeat for all four breasts. Then season them with salt and pepper as you would like. You can at this point cover then and refrigerate until you are ready to cook them.

Pre-heat your oven 375º degrees. Heat an oven proof pan over medium high heat on your stove top and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  When oil is hot, add the chicken breasts and brown on both sides. This will take approximately 3 minutes a side. After browning, they will not be completely cooked.  Slide your oven proof pan with the chicken into the pre-heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until cooked all the way through, 365º degrees in the center.

Cranberry Almond Stuffed Chicken Breasts Ready for the Oven

Cranberry Almond Stuffed Chicken Breasts Ready for the Oven

Serve with Tarragon Sauce found here. (optional)

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

 

Tarragon Cream Sauce

Here is a quick and easy cream sauce that pairs nicely with chicken or vegetables.

It is dairy free! It is shown here with my Cranberry Apricot Stuffed Chicken Breasts.

Tarragon Cream Sauce

Tarragon Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

1/4 Cup Dry White Wine

1/2 Cup Full Fat Coconut Milk, no additives

1 Teaspoon Yellow Mustard

1 Teaspoon Horseradish, no sugar added

1 Teaspoon Dried Tarragon

1/2 Teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Simmer all the ingredients until reduced by half! That’s it, and it is a delicious, dairy free, accompaniment to chicken or vegetables.

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

 

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer

Real Pumpkin Spice Beverage Flavor Drop-Ins

Real Pumpkin Spice Beverage Flavor Drop-Ins

One of the best Fall traditions is pumpkins!  There has been a lot in the media lately about some of the pumpkin spice beverages out there and the less than healthy ingredients they contain, even though the are deliciously addictive.  I have a figure friendly, healthy, real food solution to a pumpkin spice beverage craving that will leave you feeling great with no sugar crashes or slumps.

These individual Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamers are only 65 calories, contain all natural ingredients, including real pumpkin, and are frozen individually for convenience and freshness.  The recipe makes twelve. They have a true, delicious pumpkin spice flavor, are dairy free, and sweetened with just 1/2 teaspoon of honey per serving.  If you like yours sweeter, you can add more.  You also get 15% of your RDA of vitamin A from the real pumpkin each beverage contains along with beneficial spices.  You can use these all-in-one flavor drop-ins creamers for coffee, lattes, tea or steamers.

Pumpkin Spice Matcha Latte

Real Pumpkin Spice Matcha Latte

Pumpkin Spice Beverage Drop Ins

Real Pumpkin Spice Individual Portion Coffee Creamer

Recipe Ingredients:

Real Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer

1 1/2 Cups Canned Pumpkin (this one is organic and SCD Diet legal)

1 1/2 Cups of Full Fat Coconut Milk, room temperature (this is my favorite and SCD Diet Legal)

3 Tablespoons of Pure Vanilla Extract

2 Tablespoons Clear Honey, warmed in the microwave more or less to taste (you can substitute Maple Syrup)

1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon

1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Ginger

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Allspice

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cloves

Line a muffin pan with good quality natural unbleached muffin papers.  They have a non-stick coating on the inside for easy removal. Add your pumpkin to a medium mixing bowl. Whisk the warmed honey into the pumpkin. I like mine just slightly sweetened. You can add more or less honey depending on your taste. Whisk in the room temperature coconut milk and vanilla extract.  Finally, whisk in all your spices. Using a level Muffin size scoop or a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop 1/4 cup of the pumpkin beverage drop-ins mixture into each muffin cup. Level by tapping the bottom of the pan on the counter top to flatten and place the pan in the freezer until they are frozen solid.  After they are frozen, remove them from the muffin pan and store in a gallon zip bag in the freezer.  When you need a pumpkin spice beverage, take one serving from the freezer and add it to your coffee, latte, tea or steamer. It is good to have the beverage slightly hotter than normal because the pumpkin spice drop-in is frozen.  I like to put everything in a shaker and shake it up then pour it into a mug, but you could also use a whisk in your mug.  This is the shaker I use (It is Awesome to get a frothy beverage!)

I hope you are enjoying Fall and pumpkin season!!! I look forward to having one of these every day!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

 

Brazilian Cranberry Fig Bites

I love little energy bites when I am on the go, in a hurry, or after an afternoon workout.  The pace seems to always pick up when the school year starts doesn’t it? Summer has been relaxed and more laid back with the schedules, but now we are watching the clock more and checking our daily calenders. Am I the only one?

These little bites are a delicious, healthy snack that is portable.  The brazil nuts add selenium which good quantities of vitamins, anti-oxidants and minerals, and figs are full of nutrients and fiber, and just taste wonderful! The tart dried cranberries are lower in sugar than other dried fruits and give the bites a sweet tangy burst of flavor. (use dried cranberries sweetened with apple juice.)

You can make these in your oven or a food dehydrator.  They are easy and a delicious, healthy addition to your snack rotation that might save you time and your sanity when you are on the run.

Brazilian Cranberry Fig Bites

Brazilian Cranberry Fig Bites

Brazilian Cranberry Fig Bites

Ingredients:

12 Dried Figs (soaked in hot water 30 minutes)

1 Cup Raw Pecans

1 Cup Raw Brazil Nuts

1/2 Cup Unsweetened Coconut

1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries

1/4 Cup Clear Honey

1/4 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt

1 Teaspoon Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

Directions:  Soak your figs submerged in very hot water for 30 minutes to soften. Add them to a food processor with the pecans, brazil nuts and coconut and pulse until they are a fine consistency.  Add remaining ingredients to the food processor and pulse again until it is combined and a sticky consistency that holds together. Scoop into tablespoon sized mounds. (I used a tablespoon cookie scoop, but you could also use a spoon) and roll into balls, then flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.  Place on your dehydrator trays or on a parchment lined cookie sheet if you are baking.

Dehydrate for 18 hours at 105º degrees or bake in your oven at 250º degrees for 45 minutes.

I like to individually package them in twos so we can grab them and go.

Enjoy these! They are so good and good for you!

Cranberry Fig Bites

Brazilian Cranberry Fig Bites

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Sunflower Pumpkin Seed Crackers

Sometimes I just gotta have something crunchy!  Crackers are especially nice, because I like something to go with the crunch, if I am not eating them plain for a quick crunch fix. You can dress up a cracker with toppings.  I personally like to pile them with meat and veggies or eat them with a salad.  Some of the benefits of  pumpkin seeds are healthy fat, magnesium, zinc, tryptophan, and studies also show they aid in hair growth. Sunflower seeds contain many beneficial vitamins as well, including B vitamins and vitamin E.

This recipe for crackers is free of all major allergens, no nuts, dairy, soy, gluten, grain, and they are easy and fast.

Sunflower Pumpkin Seed Crackers

Sunflower Pumpkin Seed Crackers

You will need a high speed blender or food processor to grind the nuts into flour, two parchment lined cooking sheets, and a rolling pin if you want them thin.

Ingredients:

3/4 Cup Sunflower Seeds (I bought sprouted ones, but optional)

3/4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds (optional sprouted)

1 Pastured Egg or 1 Flax Egg, See Here for good directions on How to Make One

2 Tablespoons Tahini

2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted or Olive Oil

2 Teaspoons Lime Juice

1/2 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt

Directions:  Pulse the seeds in a blender or food processor until you have a very fine flour consistency.  Transfer the ground seeds to a bowl. and add the salt. Next Whisk egg and incorporate it into the nut flour mixture. Melt the coconut oil and tahini in the microwave together for ten seconds then whisk  to incorporate,  whisk in the lemon juice to the coconut oil mixture. Add the liquid ingredients to the nut flour, egg mixture and stir vigorously until a ball forms and the ingredients are thoroughly blended.

Divide dough in half, form into balls and place on two separate pieces of parchment paper.  Top each sheet with another piece of parchment paper to roll them thin and keep the dough from sticking to your rolling pin.  Roll or pat each cracker round out until 1/4 inch thick.  Take off the top parchment paper and bake in the oven 325º degrees for 15 minutes until golden brown.  After they cool, break into pieces.  Store cooled in an airtight container.

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

 

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