Sausages and Sauerkraut

February 23, 2012

sausage and kraut

Here’s a quick and easy recipe for sausages and sauerkraut, without losing the health benefits of raw kraut. I’ve made this a couple of times now and we really like it. I used my homemade sauerkraut, which is really easy to make. Being new to sauerkraut, I thought it would be good to cook something with it. Then it dawned on me that it would kill the probiotic properties. That’s when I came up with this recipe. It’s nice for those times when you want to fix something that doesn’t take much time and uses few ingredients.

Sausages and Sauerkraut
serves 5

10 sausage links/frankfurters (I used chicken sausage)
1 leek, white and a little part of the green or 1 onion
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 Tbs butter
2 cups sauerkraut

Dice leek.

dicing leek

Melt 2 Tbs of the butter in large frying pan over medium low heat.

melt butter

Add diced leek and cook over medium low heat until softened.

saute leek

Remove leek to a small bowl and add remaining 1 Tbs butter to pan and increase heat to medium. Add sausages and cook till browned on all sides. This is the kind of sausage I used:

chicken sausage

browning sausages

Once sausages are browned completely, add cooked leeks and the chicken broth.

add leeks and broth

I used homemade chicken broth.

chicken broth

Continue cooking over medium heat until broth is reduced to a thick sauce. Turn heat off. At this point, I decided to chop the sausages into 3-4 pieces per sausage. You can leave them whole or chop them before browning.

chopped sausages

Cover sausages with sauerkraut.

add sauerkraut

Cover with lid and let sit for 5 minutes or until sauerkraut is warmed through. I usually leave my pan on the still-warm (but off) burner for this.

Cover and let sit

Remove lid, thoroughly mix and serve.

mix sausage and kraut

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Almond Flour Crackers (A Different Kind of Valentine)

February 14, 2012

Heart crackers

In spite of the nourishing food, in spite of the extras like homemade elderberry syrup, in spite of being careful, sickness happens. Today is Valentine’s Day and my husband is sick. On top of that, I’m not feeling well. I’m trying to keep things simple today, but wanted to give my husband’s lunch that “loving touch.” Knowing I would be serving the chicken/turkey soup I made yesterday from homemade broth for lunch, I decided to make the rosemary crackers he loves and cut them into heart shapes. These crackers (from Elana’s Pantry) are like all of my favorite recipes: few ingredients, easy to make. I had already thought about this post a while back, because I wanted to show how I square off the outer edges of the regular shaped crackers.

Almond Flour Rosemary Crackers

1 3/4 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 Tbs olive oil
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350o.

Ingredients

Separate rosemary leaves and chop fine.

Fresh rosemary

Measure almond flour, salt, and rosemary into mixing bowl.

Dry ingredients

In a separate bowl, combine olive oil and egg until well mixed.

Wet ingredients

Add wet ingredients to dry.

Add ingredients

Mix well to form ball. Place on sheet of parchment paper.

Cracker dough

Place another sheet of parchment paper on top and roll out to about 1/4″ to 1/3″ thickness. At this point, I used my heart shaped cookie cutter.

 Heart cut outs

Take the top sheet of parchment and place it on a baking sheet. Place crackers on parchment.

Crackers ready to bake

Bake at 350o for 8 – 12 minutes. Remove them just as edges begin to brown. (The ones on the outer edges of the pan will be slightly brown, while the ones in the middle will not be)

I served them with the homemade broth for Valentine’s Day lunch.

Chicken broth and rosemary crackers

Here’s how I make the regular shaped crackers. Roll out dough as described above (parchment on top and below). It usually looks something like this:

Rolled out dough

Then I square it off by cutting a line around the edges.

cutting outer edges

I then take these outer pieces, turn them around and lay them down on top of the places where it is needed to form a square. (See how the part I cut off above has a straight line on the inside? This is the part that should be facing out when you lay it upon the inner square)

squaring dough

I then roll them lightly with a rolling pin or work them in with my fingers.

smoothing dough

Cut dough into squares. Here I have cut them into rectangles, because this is just the leftover dough from my heart crackers.

Cut lines in dough

Bake at 350o for about 10 minutes or till edges turn lightly brown.
Note: when baking the entire batch as squares, the baking time is increased to around 12 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool slightly, then gently separate crackers where lines are visible.

Rosemary crackers

These crackers have the most wonderful flavor and are great when you need some crackers in a hurry!

This post is part of the following blog carnivals:

Monday Mania, hosted by The Healthy Home Economist.

Traditional Tuesdays, hosted by Cooking Traditional Foods.

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Almond Flour Buns

February 9, 2012

Hemp-topped buns

*I’m editing this post to include some changes I’ve made to the recipe.

This recipe is based on one from Elana (of Elana’s Pantry) that she calls Paleo Bread. I’ve only made a couple of changes and have made it into a bun instead of a loaf. (Her recipe calls for a special loaf pan and doesn’t produce good results in a regular loaf pan) It’s been a life saver for our grain-free diet, so I wanted to share it with you. The pan I use is a muffin top pan. You can use a regular muffin pan, but the buns may need to cook a few minutes longer. (I was making a double-batch, so some of the measurements in the pictures may be different than the recipe lists)

Ingredients
In this picture I was using coconut sugar instead of honey.

Almond Flour Buns
makes 6 buns

1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup Salba, ground (can use regular chia seed)
2 Tbs coconut flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil + enough to oil pan
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs honey
5 eggs

Preheat oven to 350o. Grease muffin top pan and set aside.

Muffin top pan greased

It takes 2 Tbs of Salba (or chia) seed to make 1/4 cup ground. (This is 1/4 cup, because I was doubling the recipe)

Salba
(Okay, maybe I was a little short there)

Put the seed in a coffee grinder if you are using seeds.

Seed in grinder

Pulse till they are well ground.

Ground Salba

Put almond flour, coconut flour, ground Salba, baking powder, salt, and coconut crystals if using, all in a large mixing bowl. (This can be done easier in a food processor, I just prefer to do it by hand)

Dry ingredients

Mix well, breaking up any clumps in the flours, then add coconut oil.

Add coconut oil

Mix until coconut oil is well combined. Add eggs and vinegar (and honey, if using in place of coconut crystals). There are 10 eggs, because this was the double-batch.

Add eggs and vinegar
(The white stuff is where the vinegar reacted to the baking soda when I used the same tablespoon to measure it)

Stir until well combined.

All mixed up

Spoon into muffin top pan, so that it is even with the top of the pan.

Batter in pan

Bake at 350o for 17 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Baked buns

Let cool approximately 5 minutes, then transfer to baking rack to cool.

Buns cooling

Regrease pan and put remaining batter in pan, filling to top of pan as before. (See above)

Use as you would any sandwich bun.

* Here are the changes I’ve recently made:

Instead of using just Salba, I use 1 Tbs Salba seeds and 1 Tbs chia seeds, ground. I add 1 tsp ground hemp to the batter, then I sprinkle hemp seeds on top of the buns before baking. Very nice flavor!

These have so many uses! Here I used them for sausage, egg, and cheese sandwiches.

Sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit

I found a use for my biscuit cutters!

Biscuit cutter

This post is part of the Fight Back Friday blog carnival, hosted by Food Renegade.

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Fermented Ketchup

February 1, 2012

Fermenting Ketchup

In my effort to post more often, I decided to share some of the things I take for granted. Like ketchup. So easy to make; so much better than store bought. Any time you can control the ingredients in the food you eat, it’s a good thing.

My recipe is based on the one found in Nourishing Traditions with tweaks from various other sources. The end result is my recipe. While using whey to ferment the ketchup isn’t necessary, it does cause it to last much longer. If you use a lot of ketchup, that may not be of any concern. If you use ketchup sparingly and don’t want or aren’t able to ferment with whey, you can reduce the recipe accordingly. With whey, the ketchup lasts several months in the fridge. Without whey, it lasts about two weeks.

Lacto-fermented Ketchup
makes 1 quart

3 cups tomato paste
1/2 cup fish sauce (I use this)
1/4 cup whey1
10 drops liquid Stevia
1 Tbs Coconut Crystals2
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp mustard powder (or 1 tsp prepared dijon)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp paprika (or cayenne)
1/8 tsp ground clove

Ketchup ingredients

Forgot to set this out when I took the previous picture:

Cinnamon

If you are using a stick blender, put all ingredients into a large container. I start with the tomato paste, add the liquid ingredients and then the dry. It really doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you use a large enough container. Not like this:

Ketchup Ingredients

If you do not have a stick blender, put all ingredients into a food processor or blender until well blended. If using a stick blender, simply blend thoroughly. That’s it!

Ketchup finished

It’s preferable to put the ketchup in a glass jar to ferment. Cover with a coffee filter or some cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band. Let sit on the counter for 3-4 days. Yes, I said 3-4 days.

Ready to ferment

Refrigerate and enjoy at will!

Fries and ketchup

One of my favorite ways to enjoy ketchup: with sweet potato fries fried in homemade lard or tallow.

1 Whey: I use the whey I get from draining it off of my homemade yogurt. If you don’t make yogurt, you can still drain some whey off of commercial yogurt. Just make sure it is only yogurt, plain, no gelatins, gums, fruit or sweeteners added. The resulting product (besides whey) is yogurt cheese. You can use this like you would cream cheese. The tangy part of the yogurt is mostly found in the whey. To drain they whey off, put the yogurt into a strainer lined with cheesecloth or a coffee filter that has been placed in a larger container (i.e., bowl). Make sure there is plenty of room between the bottom of the strainer and the bowl, so that they whey can drain off. Set this in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight. The liquid in the bottom is the whey.

2 I use a combination of coconut crystals and liquid stevia, because I try to cut sweeteners wherever possible, for health reasons. The usual recipe calls for using 1/2 cup pure maple sugar to the other ingredient amounts listed above. It’s yummy with the maple syrup.
🙂

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday blog carnival hosted by Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

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