This Thai soup was my number one craving when I was first pregnant with my second son. The funny thing? I had never actually had it before. I simply saw a picture and it looked irresistable and after looking at the recipe, it was confirmed – I needed this soup in my life. You do too. Ginger and lemongrass make this chicken soup exotically different and coconut milk provides a silky richness. Like traditional chicken soups, you can use whichever vegetables are your favorite, so this is a great way to load up. It is extremely healthy, easily customizable and if you keep homemade stock on hand or have a reliable store bought brand, it’s fast as well. Try it soon!
Tom Kha Gai
(Not the prettiest picture, but the most delicious soup!)
4 cups chicken stock
1 can (check for BPA Free)Full Fat Coconut Milk
1 inch piece Ginger
2 inch piece lemongrass
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 cups chopped vegetables of choice (my favorites: halved sugar snap peas, sliced button mushrooms, sliced carrots, broccoli florets, sliced red bell pepper)
1 cup cooked chicken (reserved from stock or cooked seperately)
Sriracha and cilantro to top soup if desired.
Peel ginger and cut into three large chunks and split lemongrass down the side. In a large stock pot, add the ginger, lemongrass and chicken stock along with 1/2 cup water. Simmer over low heat for approximately 1 hr until the broth smells fragrant. Remove ginger and lemongrass and add stir in the coconut milk and fish sauce, then add the chicken and heat completely.
Prepare vegetables and add to soup bowls. Most vegetable can be left raw, but harder vegetables like broccoli and carrots should be blanched beforehand so that they are soft.
To serve, ladle hot broth over the vegetables, top with sriracha and cilantro and eat immediately.
I’m skipping the sugar this month which is great, except for the severe chocolate cravings. These muffins hit the spot and allow me to keep on keeping on. They are made with sprouted spelt flour and sweetened only with 2 bananas and 2 tablespoons maple syrup. They have wonderful texture and rich chocolate flavor. Enjoy!
3/4 cup sprouted flour
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 medium bananas, mashed
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix dry and wet ingredients seperately and then mix together. Spoon into muffin cups, either 9 for large muffins or 12 for smaller. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
I’m excited to be sharing a recipe on this little site again. It’s been nearly a year, not because I haven’t been cooking, simply because I didn’t want to share recipes. You see, this past year my grandmother was very sick and we lost her to an aggressive brain cancer in May. Her name was Ann and she was the one who taught me to bake and create recipes, she helped me with my first sourdough starter and bought me my copy of nourishing traditions. We traded recipes by email when I moved out of state after getting married. She was wonderfully special and we realized just how special by the numbers of people of all ages and walks of life who attended her funeral and referred to her as their “best friend”.
She would have loved these cookies.
These cookies are good all year round, but I plan to enjoy them especially this month as I am especially careful with my sugar consumption in January. These are just the right treat to keep you from indulging when you don’t want to. They are simple to make and really, foolproof. Plus, the only sweetness comes from dried fruit. So go ahead, eat them for breakfast if you want.
Scant 3/4 cup blanched almond flour
Scant 3/4 cup oats (use quick oats or pulse rolled oats in a grinder a few times to make them smaller and more absorbant)
6 medjool dates
1/4 cup raisins
2 Tablespoons butter melted and cooled
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp chia seeds
Chop up the medjool dates into pieces the size of the raisins and add dates, raisins, and vanilla into a small heat safe bowl. Pour 3 to 4 Tablespoons very hot water over the dried fruit, then stir in the chia seeds and allow to soak for at least 10 minutes until thick and syrupy.
With a fork, whisk together the almond flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon. When well combined add the egg and mix thouroughly, then addthe melted, cooled butter and mix until you have a dough resembling cookie dough. At this point most of the liquid should be absorbed into your dried fruit and chia seeds and you can mix into the dough. At this point, the mixture should look and act much like a typical cookie dough. If you find it is too wet pr not holding together, alternate adding a little almond flour or oats until the right texture is achieved.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Makes 10 cookies.
I think these would work well with any combination of dried fruit. I am excited to try a fig version next!
Happy New Year! I am jumping back in with a recipe that is worth having for the new year – Cinnamon Rolls. These are a fairly healthy cinnamon roll and won’t be featured in any copycat (insert processed food chain name here) recipes, but they are delicious and your house will smell wonderful when you make them. Based on my dinner roll recipe, these are made with sprouted whole grains for easy digestion. Try them out for a birthday breakfast or A weekend treat!
4 cups spouted spelt flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 packet yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt
2-3 Tablespoons honey (depending on sweetness desired)
1/4 cup organic dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit (optional)
Warm milk slightly, whisk in honey and yeast and set aside until frothy, to indicate that the yeast is working.
Whisk egg and then temper it with a spoonful of the milk and yeast mixture before combining.
Combine the flour and sea salt in a large bowl, reserving a tablespoon or two for kneading. When milk mixture is ready, add to the flour and mix until combined and then let it rest for 10 minutes before kneading.
Sprinkle the remaining flour over the dough and knead for seven or eight minutes until the dough develops some spring. (This is a sticky dough, but don’t add too much flour.) Allow the dough to rest another 10 minutes.
Knead for 7 to 10 minutes until dough feels smooth and springy and then cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled. When dough has doubled roll it out into a thin retangle on a lightly floured surface. Spread softened butter over the entire surface. Mix together brown sugar, cinnamon and maple syrup and sprinkle over the butter along with the dried fruit if using. Slowly roll the dough, pinching the dough to seal when you get to the end. Using a piece of thread, slice the roll into 12 circles and arrange in two well greased circular baking dishes. Allow the rolls to rise again before baking in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.
P.S. These would be great frosted with a mascarpone and maple syrup frosting!
The good news is, my Christmas shopping is finished. The bad news is, my little one had a stomach bug this week and I am behind on everything else. As mentioned a few posts ago, here is the super simple recipe for crispy tortilla strips to top tortilla soup.*
3 corn tortillas (try homemade)
2 teaspoons olive oil
Slice tortillas into strips 1/4 inch thick and equal in length. Toss with olive and 1/4 teaspoon (or more) sea salt and spread evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in a 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes until crisp and slightly browned.
*make these into chips by slicing the tortillas into wedges instead of strips…yum!
I had a batch of cinnamon scented salt dough ready to be made into ornaments, but I wanted to do something differently with decorating them. My plan was to bake them up and let my son color them with marker. Nothing incredible, but he would enjoy it and they would be adorable family gifts. I pulled them out of the oven and feeling how warm they were had a most wonderful idea. I recalled painting with melted crayon in a high school art class and wondered if coloring on the warm ornaments with crayons would produce the same rich, shiny color. It did!
I encourage you to try this if you want a fun and safe way to decorate your tree. Allow the ornaments to cool slightly when you remove them from the oven, so no little hands get burned and then spread crayons and dried ornaments out on a table and happily enjoy an afternoon of crafting.
I know these photos don’t really show how pretty the colors look, but this is a fun and worthwhile project nonetheless!
I had two cups of chicken leftover from the roast chicken I had made earlier in the week and wanted something for dinner that wasn’t starch based. “Soup,” I thought, “Not plain chicken soup, tortilla chicken soup.” I checked the fridge and pantry and the only ingredient really missing was…tortillas. I did have some Masa Flour and knew there weren’t many steps involved, so I decided to go ahead and make them. Since I didn’t have a tortilla press, I used parchment paper and a rolling pin which worked well. My tortillas weren’t pretty, but the flavor was good and after a couple tweaks I was happy.
Corn Tortillas without a Tortilla Press
As I thought, the recipe was pretty straight forward. I found it here and the only tweak I made was sprinkling sea salt over the pressed dough before cooking it, this GREATLY improved the flavor.
2 cups masa flour (lime soaked corn)
1 1/4 cup warm water
Mix masa flour with water to make a firm dough. Allow the dough to rest for at least 15 minutes (up to an hour). Separate dough and roll into 12 balls. One at a time, dampen the outside of the ball of dough and place between two sheets of parchment paper. Use a flat spatula to press the ball flat and than a rolling pin to roll the dough the the desired thickness. Peel the top sheet of parchment off and sprinkle generously with sea salt. Flip the tortilla into a hot pan an cook until dried, about 2 minutes on each side. Repeat.
This will yield 12 soft corn tortillas. Serve them warm with your favorite taco fillings, or you can use them to make crispy tortilla strips! That recipe in the next post!
Do you make roast chicken regularly? I try to make one on a weekly basis and although a quality roast chicken isn’t cheap, I’ve found that by following this “plan” the weekly roast chicken provides the base for two or three meals a week.
Meal 1) Simple roast chicken with lots of veggies and mashed potatoes or crowd pleasing sprouted spelt rolls.
Meal 2) Shred remaining meat to use in chicken and mushroom risotto, white chili, chicken salad or an old-fashioned casserole
Meal 3) Stock! The perfect base for soup: pasta e fagioli, minestrone, vegetable with soaked farro…
Roast Chicken, Stock, Risotto
What do you do with roast chicken?
Cinnamon Scented Salt Dough Ornaments
I have special memories of making salt dough Christmas ornaments with my mom as a child. She would scent the dough with cinnamon and we would give them as gifts to grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends. I especially loved when we would bring our ornaments out of storage in the following years and they would still smell spicy and sweet – even years later. I began the tradition with my son last year, I made potato stamps that he helped press into the dough. This year he was old enough to use cookie cutters on his own and I know I will treasure them! Here is our recipe.
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup plain ole salt
1 heaping tablespoon cinnamon or pie spice mix
up to 1 cup water
Mix together dry ingredients and add water, mixing as you go, until you have a soft workable dough. If you add too much water alternate adding a little salt with a little flour until it is smooth and pliable. Roll your dough on parchment paper to avoid sticking. Use cookie cutters, stamps or work freehand to create special ornaments to adorn your Christmas tree. To dry, make a hole near the top of your ornament with a toothpick. Be sure to make it large enough, as it will shrink while drying. These will air dry over a few days, but I prefer to bake them for a few hours in a 170 to 200 degree oven flipping them often and then air dry them for another day.
Salt dough ornaments
Top: dusted with shimmery mineral eyeshadow after drying (left thumbprinted)
Bottom Left: Salt Crusted before baking to add texture
Bottom Right: mulitiple passes with the cookie cutter by a sweet toddler
***If you have extra dough, knead a small amount of olive oil into it and store it in the fridge to use as playdough.
you might also like this follow up idea for decorating your ornaments!
I have a favorite raw macaroon. It is delicious and chocolatey and made with wonderful ingredients, and is also expensive. I first bought some on sale which was really my pitfall, and once discovered, they have found their way into my cart on more than one occasion. I knew that without a dehydrator, I wouldn’t be able to create an exact copycat, but I thought I could come close. I was right! These are chocolatey, a little sweet and have a yummy dose of healthy fat. Raw, gluten free, and containing no refined sugars, these are a treat for everyone!
1/4 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 teaspoons maple syrup
pinch of sea salt (really brings out the flavor!)
1 teaspoon chia seeds (optional)
I mixed these the old fashioned way and just dumped all the ingredients in a bowl and used the back of a spoon to combine everything really well, but a food processor would probably be a perfect tool for this! Once combined they are ready to eat. (With a spoon if that is your style ;)). I chose to roll them in a log and slice them after refrigerating overnight, but a prettier presentation would be rolled in balls and then cocoa powder like a truffle. Either way, it’s a win!
***A few notes: Sweetened coconut would work, the macaroons would just be sweeter. These aren’t super sweet, so sweet tooths can up the maple syrup by a teaspoon.