Cucumber Rounds with Smoked Salmon and Dill Dip

Concocted for Mt. Ogden Crossfit’s Nutrition Challenge. A very pretty little canapé likely to get gobbled up by even your least paleo guests. The dill dressing owes a LOT to the Vegan Avocado Ranch recipe over at Girl Makes Food.

  • 1 cucumber (peeled if desired), sliced
  • 1/2 recipe Avocado-Dill Dip
  • 1 package smoked salmon (I like the thick-cut fillet type instead of the lox like you’d put on a bagel)

Put Dill Dip in a plastic bag and cut off the corner to make a pastry bag. Pipe a little dip on each cucumber slice and top with a small chunk of smoked salmon. Garnish with a little additional dill if desired.

Avocado Dill Dip

  • 2 Avocados
  • 1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Dill (roughly chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Parsley (roughly chopped)
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Put all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth.

Banana Pudding

My favorite indulgence – Paleo-fied but definitely not light.

  • 1 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Over medium heat, bring bananas and coconut milk to a bare simmer, stirring often to break up bananas.
  2. Meanwhile, beat egg yolks and salt until light yellow and frothy.
  3. Once coconut milk mixture has thickened a bit, spoon a small amount into yolks and whisk until well incorporated. Continue this way until you’ve added about half of the coconut milk mixture, then add the rest in a slow stream, whisking constantly.
  4. Pour back into the pan and heat on low, whisking constantly until thickened.
  5. Slowly melt in butter, remove from heat, then add vanilla.
  6. Transfer to bowl or individual ramekins, chill until set, about 4 hours.

Nutrition Challenge, Week 3 Summary

We had a really lovely sit-down dinner this week and everyone pitched in for the cooking! Here’s what we made:

Appetizers

  • Prosciutto Wrapped Melon: Here’s a version at Bell’alimento. We did plain old chunks and skipped the dressing (balsamic glaze is pretty sugary)
  • Cucumber Slices topped with Dill Sauce and Smoked Salmon: my recipe here. (coming soon)
  • Deviled Eggs: from Epicurious.
    • Watch your labels, most store-bought mayo uses soybean oil and preservatives.  Its pretty easy to make your own. This recipe is pretty good, just use light olive oil or grapeseed oil in place of safflower/corn oil.

Main Dishes

We presented a quarter roast chicken 3 ways. A great roast chicken recipe is on Epicurious, I add a tablespoon fennel seed to my salt and pepper.

  • Pureed Celery Root  and Rutabaga & Blistered Tomatoes & French Salsa Verde

    • Peel and chop one celery root and one medium-large rutabega. Boil for about 25 minutes, drain. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 1/3 of a can of coconut milk or so. Blend till smooth with food processor or immersion blender. Add salt, pepper, and a little minced fresh herb. (I used mint, but basil, thyme or chive would work well).
    • Toss grape or cherry tomatoes in olive oil. Saute on medium high until the just burst.
    • Dress the whole thing with Michael Symon’ Salsa Verde
  • Roast Acorn Squash & Green Beans with Almonds & Thyme Butter

    • Cut squash into quarters lengthwise, sprinkle  with cinnamon, ginger, and chilli powder. Top with a little butter. Roast at 400F for 30 minutes or until soft throughout and golden at the edges.
    • Saute green beans in a little olive oil, dress with a squeeze of lemon juice and salt, top with sliced almonds.
    • Mix a tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves and a tablespoon of minced shallot into 4 tablespoons of butter. Use this to dress the chicken and squash.
  • Roasted Root Vegetables & Chard with Onion & Herbed Aioli

    • Cut any combination of root vegetables into french-fry sized pieces. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast on a cookie sheet at 400F for 20 minutes until soft and browned at the edges
    • Follow this recipe for the Swiss Chard
    • Dress with aioli. Try this recipe, skip the vegetable oil and add some minced parsley and chives.

Sweets

  • 85% Dark Chocolate Chunks and Strawberries
  • Spiced Walnuts and Dried Apple Rings

Nutrition Challenge: Week 2 Summary

Grab-n-Go

This week we’ll cover make-ahead, portable meals and making your own seasoning blends. Here’s a working outline of what I’m cooking this week.

Meatball Combos

Basic meat-n-veg ball recipe with different seasoning mixes and dips.

  • Thai turkey meatballs with scallions and “peanut” sauce
  • Chorizo meatballs with bell pepper slices and guacomole
  • Greek meatballs with cucumber, grape tomatoes and “tzatziki”

Frittattas

A basic recipe here.

  • Sausage and chard (breakfast)
  • Bacon and avocado (pre-workout)
  • Egg white and sweet potato (post-workout)

Sides and Sauces

Other dishes

(not covered in class)

Epicurious recipes to try:

Veggies

Basic Frittata Formula

Here’s an outline for making a pretty good frittata. Add the pre-cooked meat or blanched veggies you’re in the mood for.

  • 12 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 can full-fat coconut milk
  • a few shavings nutmeg
  • any cooked meat (optional – 1/4 to 3/4 pound pre-cooked weight)
  • blanched or steamed (one bunch, , bag or head. 4-6 average servings. Pat veggies dry or squeeze out excess water.)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Beat together eggs, butter, coconut milk, and nutmeg. Heat a large, oiled ovenproof skillet to medium-high, add egg mixture and immediately reduce heat to medium-low. With a spatula, scrape the sides and bottom a few times while the egg cooks a minute or two. Add toppings, use your spatula to press into egg if needed. Let cook undisturbed. When egg is about 2/3 cooked transfer to top rack of the oven and broil for 5 minutes or until crispy golden brown.

Alternate Cooking methods:

On the stovetop, reduce heat to low, cover and cook gently until firm in the center.

Pour mix into glass baking pan, add meat and veggies, cook at 425 F for 15 minutes or until cooked through.

 

Paleo-fied Dips and Dressings

Here are a few links and recipes I promised to post.

A few good links

Guacamole was born paleo. A recipe I like is here: Food 52

Ranch Dressing: I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve heard good things about this recipe: Girl Makes Food

DIY Salad Dressing tutorial from my blog

New Sauces

from last night’s class

Sweet Thai “Peanut” sauce

actually almond, coconut and lime sauce.

  • 1 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 medium apple, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (full fat in the can)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • pinch salt
  • squirt Sriracha, or to taste.

In food processor or Magic Bullet, process almonds until they are powdery. Add remaining ingredients and blend well.

Tzatziki Sauce

This one without yogurt

  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves or dill, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 small cucumber peeled, seeds removed

Pulse all ingredients together in food processor or Magic Bullet.

Four Season(ing)s

Use any of these recipes to season one pound of ground meat. They are best when mixed into your meat one day ahead, but still very good added right before cooking. Use the seasoned meat for meatballs, patties, frittattas etc. I’ve made a few suggestions about what type of meat to try, but there are no hard, fast rules so feel free to use what you have, what’s on sale, or what you’re in the mood for.

Extra-fresh Thai Herb Mix

IMG_1873

Inspired by this recipe. Try with chicken or pork.

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • serrano pepper, minced
  • zest of one lime
  • 2T gluten-free fish sauce (such as Thai Kitchen brand)
  • 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon lemongrass paste
  • 1/2 cup (loosely packed) cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (loosely packed) mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (loosely packed) basil leaves, coarsely chopped

Lemony Souvlaki Seasoning

IMG_1876

Inspired by this recipe. Try chicken or tuna.

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic, mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 small red onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leafed parsley, chopped

Chorizo Seasoning

IMG_1877

Adapted from this recipe. Try with pork.

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/2-1 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Breakfast Sausage

IMG_2710

Adapted from this recipe. Try pork or beef.

1 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes