Big-gah Batch Bolognese Sauce

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I’m basing this recipe from a show called, “Gino’s Italy” or something like that.  I love that this meat sauce is not too tomato-y, and has layered, built up flavours.  You might as well make a big batch and freeze some.  I like to use a large, deep, cast iron pan, or a large ceramic coated cast iron pot. Use the best ingredients you can, pasture-raised local meat if possible.

Bolognese Sauce

2 lbs ground lean beef

2 lbs ground lean pork

1  cup onion, finely diced

1 cup carrot, finely diced

1 cup celery, finely diced

Olive oil, for the pan

1 cup good quality red wine

3/4 cup milk

1.5 cups crushed tomato

3 tbsp tomato paste

1.5 cups chicken stock

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground pepper

Directions:

Using a large (preferably cast iron or heavy-bottomed) pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions, carrot and celery (known as “sofrito”).  Cook, stirring frequently, over medium-low, about 12 minutes, until softened. Break up meat and add to mixture in pan.  Add salt and pepper. Stir and break up meat and amalgamate with vegetable mixture.

Add red wine, and let simmer and absorb until almost all absorbed, stirring occasionally.  Add milk and stir, until it is well blended, absorbed but not dry.

Add tomato paste and crushed tomato and mix and stir.  Pour in chicken stock, enough to cover, but not drown your meat sauce.  Let simmer on very low heat, covered for about 2 or 3 hours, stirring and caring for it as you go along.

Skim any pooled fat (from the meat) from the top of your sauce and discard.

Serve with tagliatelle or pasta of your choice.  Buon Appetito!

Low Carb Nut Bread (gf)

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I threw this together today and really loved it so I’m posting it so I don’t forget it–it’s a keeper! What’s great about this recipe is that there’s no sugar in it, there is a decent amount of protein from eggs and lots of healthy fats. It’s baked in a 9 inch square pan so it’s not in loaf form, but you can figure this out for a sandwich or just butter it and enjoy alone or with a meal.
*for vegans – you can try this with flax eggs and see how it goes, I haven’t tried that yet.

Ingredients:

Makes 16, 2 1/4 by 2 1/4 inch squares. Cut it up how you like.

Wet:
4 large eggs
3 tbsp olive oil (or coconut oil, avocado oil)
2 tsp cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
I large apple, peeled and grated
3 tbsp almond milk (or other nut milk)
Dry:
2 cups ground almond meal
1 cup ground pecans
3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325F. Line a 9 inch square pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
Whisk eggs, olive oil, vinegar, almond milk until well blended, then stir in grated apple.
In separate bowl, mix almond meal, ground pecans, coconut, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.
Mix the wet into the dry ingredients until incorporated well. Pour/scrape it into pan. Bake 35-40 minutes until tester comes out clean. Cool, remove using parchment paper. Cut into squares once cooled, or into larger pieces as to your liking. Freezes well, wrapped individually.

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Root Vegetable & Quinoa Rosti

 

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This is a really tasty recipe for this time of year, utilizing root vegetables.  It’s quite comforting with middle-eastern spices and works with your healthy diet plans. Feel free to  use what root veggies you have on hand – just be careful of your heat when cooking – the natural sugars can burn – so medium to medium-low heat and a sharp eye and nose is needed.

Root Vegetable & Quinoa Rosti

adapted from I Quit Sugar

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 small onion, chopped finely

1 large clove of garlic, minced

2 medium carrots, peeled and grated

1 small sweet potato (or 1/2 large), peeled and grated

1 medium parsnip, peeled and grated

1/2 cup ground almonds or almond meal (sub in 1/2 cup more cooked quinoa if you don’t have any)

1 cup cooked quinoa

1/2 cup  gluten-free all-purpose flour (I’m using PC)

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cumin

2 tbsp tahini

1 tbsp curry paste (I used Patak’s mild yellow curry paste)

2 eggs

cooking oil of our choice (I use ghee)

Directions:

In a small frying pan, with a bit of cooking oil or ghee, saute onion on medium heat until somewhat browned, about 5-7 mins. Add garlic and stir around for one minute. Remove from heat.

Combine all the ingredients, including the onion/garlic mixture, and mix well, until all the flavours are well incorporated.

You can make them into large burger shapes, or like a rosti, as I’ve done here.

In a 10 inch cast iron or non-stick skillet, melt one tablespoon of ghee or cooking oil of your choice over medium heat. Tip mixture into pan and using a spatula, press down and go around edge and tuck it in and press it down and make it tidy.

Cook slowly – being careful of your heat, remember not to let it get too hot  – these veggies have lots of natural sugars and will burn. After about 10 minutes, place a plate over the rosti. Flip the pan over, and the rosti should now be on the plate. Place pan back on heat and put another tablespoon of cooking oil or ghee in your pan. Once melted, slide the rosti back into the pan so the other side can cook.  Cook for an additional 6-8 mins, being careful of your heat. Slide out onto plate.

Cut into wedges and serve with a chunky raita.  Here’s how I make mine:

Raita:

1 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 cup diced cucumber, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro.

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