I was lucky enough to receive an amazing batch of homemade kimchi for Christmas and it inspired me to make pickled radishes and carrots with the watermelon and purple radishes I had from the farmer’s market. (Daikon is traditionally used, but I prefer the colorful radishes instead of the white daikon.) I usually use a food processor, but don’t have mine in NYC and decided to use a spiralizer. I’m digging the way the colorful curls turned out! The recipe I use calls for 2-3 tablespoons of salt and sugar, but I use less. Taste it and decide for yourself. The vegetables pickle in minutes with warm water; I leave mine out for about an hour, then chill in the refrigerator. They can be used right away.
On Monday, I plan on making Bulgogi and having a feast with the kimchi and pickles and other sides for a delicious meal.
Pickled Watermelon Radishes and Carrots
1/2 lb. carrots, shredded in food processor or with a spiralizer
1/2 lb. daikon, watermelon, purple or other radishes, shredded in food processor or with a spiralizer.
3 cups warm water
3 tablespoons distilled or rice vinegar
1 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoons salt
Mix warm water, vinegar, sugar and salt until everything is dissolved. Choose a pitcher or bowl with a lip that can be used for pouring mixture.
Peel, wash and cut radishes and carrots to desired size. Put into a container and add liquid.
Bone stock is a big deal lately. Drinking broth is the newest health craze; there are many good nutrients found in the bones/connective tissue of animals that leech out into the broth when simmered for a long time, releasing healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine.
My dogs’ homeopathic vet agrees about the healthfulness of bones and recommends first a raw diet (bones ground up with meat) then cooked meat with bone broth. So all of us have the bone broth—I’ll drink some for the health benefits—but I really love how homemade stock elevates any dish you use it in to fine cuisine.
Bone broths are staples in the traditional diets of every culture and are the foundation of all fine food. That’s because bone broths are nutrient-dense, easy to digest, rich in umami taste and they boost healing.
The health benefits of bone soup are numerous; consuming bone broth, including beef, lamb, chicken fish and more, can:
Treat leaky gut syndrome
Overcome food intolerances and allergies
Improve and protect joint health
Improve elasticity and make you look younger
Boost immune system
Aids in detoxification
Bone broth contains:
19 essential and non-essential amino acids
Collagen/gelatin, which help form connective tissue
Nutrients that support digestive functions, immunity and brain health
You will want to use grass fed meat. I buy mine in Northern Westchester, at a Hemlock Hill Farm and was there last weekend, buying meaty beef bones.
Roast beef bones before simmering them make the stock richer.
I make a big batch of beef stock once a year or so and it’s enough to make French Onion soup, stews and other dishes that require beef stock; about 16 servings total. It is perfect to make on a rainy day or whenever you plan to spend the day at home. It doesn’t require much hands-on work, just a long cooking time. You can buy either meaty bones or bones and connective tissue with little meat; the meat will be so cooked that there is little flavor left and you probably won’t want to eat it. If you have dogs or cats, however, they would enjoy it.
The first meal I make with the stock is always French Onion soup. Made up of only a few ingredients, the soup is loaded with umami flavor from the stock and it is superb.
Beef Bone Stock
Preheat oven to 450
3 pounds meaty bones or 5 pounds bones.
2 onions, unpeeled and quartered
1 large carrot, quartered
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons unfiltered apple cider vinegar (helps leach out even more nutrients)
Put meat, onion and carrot into an oven proof container and bake one hour, turning occasionally.
Put meat and vegetables in a stock pot and deglaze roasting pan with 2 cups of water, then add to stock pot. Add 3 1/2 quarts of water, the celery, apple cider and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for 5 hours. Remove bones and vegetables and discard. Allow stock to cool. To hasten cooling, put pot in sink with drain plugged and add cold water and ice in sink. Freeze in containers or freezer Ziplocs; I freeze in quart-sized Ziplocs and partially defrost if I need less than 4 cups.
I created this recipe based on the filling for Chinese wantons with pork and shrimp. Before going low carb, I’d make a big pot of soup with them and a bunch of veggies. Then, I went low carb and made the filling without the wrapper, just tossing the meat into the soup—I’ll make and post it later, when it gets cold.
So, if you like pork dumplings, you’ll like this meatloaf.
I don’t add shrimp to my recipe, because my husband is allergic to it. Add it or not—pork only is delicious.
I just spent the weekend in upstate New York and had the most delicious boy choy ever at Blue Mountain Bistro. They grill theirs and I don’t have a grill in NYC, so I sautéed mine. They were kind enough to share the ingredients and this is it, with the addition of sautéed mushrooms. I use Loriva pure roasted peanut oil
when I cook Chinese dishes because it smells and tastes so good in them. The dish turned out great and so full of flavor that I will make it again and it would work well to jazz up a plainer meat, like roasted chicken. Equally as good would be to add some chicken, pork or tofu and make it a one dish meal.
The pork loaf is high in umami taste with pork and Tamari and the bok choy has Tamari and mushrooms to give it that extra taste and help you forget you aren’t eating lots of carbs and fat!
Low Carb “Wonton” Pork loaf
1 ½ pounds ground pork or ¾ pound ground shrimp and ¾ pound ground pork
½ bunch scallions, sliced fine
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons low sodium Tamari
1 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon Korean red pepper (less if using a spicier red pepper)
½ bunch parsley, stems removed and chopped
½ package gelatin
½ -inch ginger, chopped fine or grated
2 cloves garlic chopped fine or grated
Good handful baby spinach, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350. Put gelatin, milk and egg in a bowl and stir in gelatin, then add rest of the wet ingredients. Gelatin will soften. Add remaining ingredients. Bake 45 minutes. I cook half two nights in a row for my husband and I so both nights the meatloaf tastes great.
Baby Bok Choy with Oyster Mushrooms
1-pound baby bok choy, ends removed and rinsed well; separate stems and leaves
½ pound Oyster or other mushrooms, remove stem and chop coarsely
1 large clove garlic, chopped fine
½ piece ginger, chopped fine
1 tablespoon low sodium Tamari
½ tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted at 350 in the oven for about 5 minutes or until they get lightly brown
Good quality peanut oil like Loriva or Extra virgin olive oil
Heat cast iron pan on high; coat bottom with peanut or olive oil. When hot, add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes until water is released and they begin to brown. Add bok choy stems and cook, 3 minutes. Lower heat to medium low and add ginger and garlic and cook a couple minutes, until softened. Add leaves and cook until wilted. Add soy sauce and black pepper, stirring to coat. Turn off heat and add sesame oil and seeds.
The secret ingredient here is the tofu shirataki “noodles” which imitate real noodles with their texture, but a 4-ounce serving has only 10 calories and 3 carbs! It’s basically soybeans and yam flour. The texture is amazingly like noodles and the flavor is bland—but it’s what you have the noodles with that give it flavor and these are perfect in soup. This is a basic recipe, but totally stands on its own. Jazz it up with tofu, chicken, pork, broccoli, shredded carrots, spiralized zucchini and any other vegetable or protein you have on hand. Leftover chicken and pork? They are perfect for this soup.
Kimchi “Ramen” Soup
3 Eggs, beaten
2 packages tofu shirataki “noodles”, drain in colander and rinse and drain
1 pound baby bok choy, ends cut off, stems and leaves separated and chopped
6-12 ounces kimchi
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock plus water as needed
8 ounces shitake mushrooms, chopped
½ bunch scallion
1-inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons low sodium tamari
1-2 tablespoons sesame oil
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Heat a small pan on medium high, add oil to coat and pour eggs in. let set and flip. Remove from pan and cut into strips and set aside. In a pot, heat olive oil on medium and add ginger and garlic, cook 2 minutes, but don’t allow to brown. Raise heat to medium high and add shitake mushrooms; cook until water releases and they begin to brown. Add baby bok choy stems and cook a few minutes until wilted. Add baby bok choy leaves, stock, soy sauce, kimchi, egg strips and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and add sesame oil. Taste and add more sesame oil and soy sauce as needed.
This roasted chicken in a variation of one I’ve made many times before. Sometimes I add tomatoes, or olives or keep it plain. It’s tasty and so easy to make. I used to add a bit of extra virgin olive oil, but I find it doesn’t need it. The squash on the side is delicious with the chicken.
I’ve never cooked radishes before, but numerous people have been telling me how good they are, so I gave them a try. The first night they reminded me of a potato, but the second night I undercooked them and didn’t care for the taste. They are worth checking out—just be sure you test them for doneness—they should be soft. Most of the sharpness is cooked out and the texture—when cooked correctly—really is like a potato. The bit of butter at the end really gives it a good flavor. I recommend a cast iron pan to give them a nice browning and not to crowd them—which is what I did the second night.
Roasted Chicken Breast
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2 chicken breasts, bone in
Salt and pepper
Basil, stems removed
Salt and pepper chicken, and place in a cast iron or oven proof pan wrong side up 30 minutes; turn over and cook an additional 30 minutes. Add basil last 10 minutes; coat it in pan juices. Remove from oven and add lemon juice and let sit for 10 minutes. Put basil leaves on top of chicken and some for the squash.
2 yellow and/or green squash, spiralized
2 ounces goat cheese
2-3 artichokes in oil or water, squeezed and roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 shallot, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Heat oil on medium low and add garlic and shallots when hot. Stir until wilted; 2 minutes. Add squash and cook until softened, 2 minutes. Add artichokes. Plate and add goat cheese.
1 bunch, ends cut off and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
Salt and pepper
Heat oil on medium high and add radishes when hot. Stir and brown radishes, being careful not to burn them, 5-6 minutes. Lower heat to low and cover for another 5 minutes. Check for doneness. Add butter, salt and pepper.
I decided to make this salad with brussels sprouts, as I had a green salad for lunch. Either will work, but the brussels turn a fun shade of pink with the beets!
I buy the duck leg confit prepared; because it is a huge production to make and D’artagnan has a good one and their products have a wide distribution. I split one for my husband and me and after the fat is removed, it is more like a serving of bacon—which is a good substitute if you don’t want duck.
A tip on the pecans and for all nuts and seeds: freeze them and they will last at least a year. I stock up at Trader Joe’s and always have pine nuts, pecans, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and almonds on hand for cooking.
If you have not tried it, walnut oil is delicious and fragrant. I use it occasionally for salads and keep it stable in the refrigerator.
You can prepare the beets ahead of time, as they take a long time to cook. Roasting them in foil keeps them moist.
Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pecans, Duck Confit and Manchego Cheese and Walnut Dressing
Serves 8 as side, 4 main course
1 ½ pounds brussels sprouts, slicer attachment on food processor or cut in half and hand slice thin
¾ cup pecan, toasted and roughly chopped
2 duck confit legs
3 ounces manchego cheese, roughly chopped
Prepare beets: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash beets, wrap in foil and bake, 1-1 /2 hours, depending on size. When cool, remove skin and cut into small chunks. Shred duck; I remove and discard fat, but some people like it. Heat in oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Combine everything and let sit for about 30 minutes to wilt brussels sprouts slightly. The beets will turn the brussels pink!
Walnut Oil and Lemon Dressing
1/2 a lemon
1/3 cup walnut oil
1 garlic clove, chop if whisking
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt & pepper
Put ingredients in a mini food processor or whisk together.
I have a blackened seasoning mix I use on all kinds of meats and even vegetables. I’ve been making it for years—it started when I was inspired by a dish from a restaurant called Olde Village Inn in Nyack, New York—they used in on chicken strips that went on their Caesar salad. I still make that recipe, but also use it to blacken fish or chicken or meat for fajitas, or just make it plain, as in this recipe. I go through a lot of it, so I make my own, since I was going through the little pre-made bottles like water. If you don’t feel like making the recipe, any taco or Cajun seasoning will work. My favorite place to order organic herbs, spices and tea: Mountain Rose Herbs–they are so fresh, inexpensive and now you can buy them in small quantities.
I either grill recipes with the blackened seasoning or cook in in my cast iron pan with some oil. If you do grill, spray meat or fish with a little cooking spray so it won’t stick to the grill.
The salad is delicious and just discovered on my trip to Provincetown, MA in their natural food store. They used a white balsamic vinaigrette, but I choose a cider vinaigrette to go along with the flavor of the blackened meat.
It’s everything pumpkin now, and seeds can be found in natural foods stores. I found Go Raw sprouted pumpkin seeds at Whole Foods and they are delicious. Like nuts, I freeze seeds to keep them fresh a long time.
Blackened Pork Tenderloin
4-6 ounces per person
Blackening seasoning to taste
Extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 400. Rinse and dry tenderloin. Coat in blackening spice. Heat a cast iron or other oven proof pan on high and add oil to coat pan. When hot, sear meat on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to oven and bake about 15 minutes, or until meat registers 160 degrees for medium. Let rest a few minutes and slice.
Blackening Seasoning (or buy any Cajun or taco seasoning mix) This will make a big batch for many uses
1 cup Garlic Powder
1 cup onion powder
2/3 cup paprika
1/3 cup cayenne
2/3 cup oregano
1/3 black pepper
1/3 cup cumin
2/3 cup lemon peel
1/3 cup tumeric
1/3 cup salt
Salad with Beets and Pumpkin Seeds
Mix of baby greens and arugula
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
1-2 roasted beets
¼ cup dried cranberries
2-3 ounces goat cheese
Roast beets: wash and cover in foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 1-1 ½ hours, depending on size. Let cool, cut ends off, peel and cut into bite sized pieces. Add remaining ingredients and serve. Dressing, below.
White balsamic or cider vinaigrette
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup white balsamic or cider vinegar or other vinegar
I had friends over for Sunday brunch and decided to make gazpacho soup while tomatoes are still in season. Traditionally, bread is put into the soup, but I decided to make crostini out of a lovely buckwheat baguette, from Maison Kaiser. (When I do indulge in food high in carbs on the weekends, I only eat the best. Eric Kaiser is a third generation French baker who now has bakeries all over the world. His baguettes have won first place in France.) I added a few cheeses and some guacamole and that was our appetizer.
Gazpacho soup is a classic Spanish dish from Seville and is served chilled. If you want a creamier version, add more olive oil.
The key to great gazpacho is the tomatoes and I used heirloom from the farmer’s market. Many recipes blend all the ingredients in a blender or food processor, but I like mine chunky, so I blend the onions, garlic and half the vegetables in a food processor and hand chop the rest. If you like soup smooth, simply blend all the ingredients in a blender or food processor.
If you are not watching your carbs, try gazpacho with a grilled cheese sandwich for an amazing meal!
2 cloves garlic
1 small red onion
2-3 Kirby cucumbers peeled
1 large bell pepper
2 pounds tomatoes, cored
salt, pepper to taste
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper
1 teaspoons balsamic vinegar or lemon
2 T olive oil
Blend the garlic, hot pepper and onion and half the vegetables in a blender or food processor and hand chop the rest. Chill 6 hours to overnight. Serve with hot sauce on the side.
At first glance, this recipe might look like a lot of work, but it really doesn’t take much time to prepare—and the payoff is totally worth it! The flavors are so delicious and complex. I made the pork roast the other night for the first time and decided it would be the perfect “company dish.”
I will be writing more about the topic, but this dish has numerous ingredients that are “umami”. Umami is the fifth taste; the others are sweet, salty, sour and bitter. Umami can be described as rich, meaty, and savory and gives dishes that extra layer that makes it memorable.
I’ve highlighted the umami ingredients in this dish and you can see that they are numerous. The vinegar, chicken stock and tomatoes all give depth and umami taste, as well as the pork and beans. Trust me, make this dish and it will become a favorite.
Roasted Pork Shoulder with White Beans, Kale and Zucchini
2 pounds boneless pork butt
Sea salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 small carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 springs thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
1 cup white beans, soaked overnight in cold water, drained and rinsed
1 ½ cups chicken stock
2 zucchini or yellow squash, julienned into “pasta” with a Julianne peeler or spiralizer
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 cup chopped tomatoes
6 ounces fresh kale or collards, washed stemmed, and roughly chopped
Tie meat with string to prevent it from falling apart when cooking. Season pork with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy, ovenproof casserole over high heat and sear meat until browned on all sides. Remove and set aside.
Remove all but 1 tablespoon of oil from pan. Reduce heat to medium and add the carrots, celery, onions, thyme and half the garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the beans, stock, red vinegar, and 1 cup of water or more to cover ingredients. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat, cover and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until beans are tender.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat and sauté remaining garlic for a minute. Add tomatoes and cook 3 minutes, add kale and cook about 5 minutes, or until kale is wilted.
When beans are cooked, remove thyme, carrots and celery and add salt and pepper to taste. Add tomato and kale mixture. Place pork butt on top and cover. Bake for 40 minutes to an hour, until meat is very tender. Add more water if needed during cooking time.
Remove from oven and allow to rest in pan for 10 minutes. Untie roast and cut ¼ inch thick slices. Add zucchini to mixture and allow it to wilt.