Typically Seth and I vacation each year over the week of Thanksgiving, it’s always a good time for us both to be away. Last year we had a long vacation to Peru and we’re in the midst of planning another long international trip next May, so this year we decided to stay domestic. Because we had such a wonderful experience staying with Belmond (properties) on our trip through Peru and were so impressed with their organization and handling of our itinerary, we decided to stay with them again in the US. They only have three properties in the US and one happens to be in Charleston, SC…where we decided to vacation this past Thanksgiving. We have close friends that used to live in Charleston, and have always heard wonderful things about the city (food, how walk-able it is, history, etc.).
We had a lot of fun while we were there, and for the most part ate our way through the entire city. We’re huge seafood fans so we consumed copious amounts of all things seafood while in town, including She Crab Soup – goodness that stuff is amazingness in a bowl.
Now that we’re back home and I’m not traveling for work for a while I’m cooking more again, and especially soups since Minnesota is all of a sudden frozen tundra. I put this soup together the other night and it is hearty and rich. It isn’t quite She Crab Soup but it has the flavor! I just wanted to substitute for some cleaner and more nutrient rich ingredients in mine.
Not Quite She Crab Soup
2 cans full fat coconut milk
32 oz chicken stock
1/3 cup sherry cooking wine
1 1/2 white onions, diced
3 TBSP minced garlic
6 drops of Tabasco sauce
Couple shakes of cayenne pepper
1 stick garlic herb Kerrygold butter
13 – 16 oz lump crab meat (I used blue crab)
2 TBSP tapioca starch mixed with water (gluten-free thickener)
Sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
Combine everything except the crab meat and bring to a boil, continuing to stir so the onions cook and start to become transparent. Add the crab and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes or so until more crab flavor is incorporated. I drained one can of crab meat, but used the juices in the other can for more flavor.
Finally getting around to blogging about this creation after a really busy Easter weekend! We had a random spring blizzard that came through Minnesota last week with non-stop snow from noon until 10pm at our house, white out conditions and a sudden craving for something warm and comforting. Since we were getting ready to head out of town I decided to make something out of what I had on hand and needed to be used. This might be one of my favorite recipes in a while – packed with nutrients, flavor and easy to make. It reheats really well – I’m having it for lunch today and it still tastes great 5 days later. Low glycemic, dairy free, grain free, gluten free – YAHOO!
Carrot Cilantro Bisque
10 larger carrots, washed and cut into 3-4 inch pieces
1 large white onion, chopped
4 cups water
2 cans full fat coconut milk (I use Natural Value, I buy on Amazon prime by the case)
1 large bunch fresh cilantro
1 tsp ground ginger
3 TBSP fresh minced garlic
Fresh black pepper
Start by boiling the carrots and onion in the 4 cups water, stirring occasionally. The water boils down, but the heat still softens the vegetables. Once they’re mushy use an immersion blender in the pot to puree them, I still had some chunks but that’s okay because once you add the coconut milk there is more liquid to blend with. Add the 2 cans full fat coconut milk and 1 tsp ground ginger, stirring until the coconut milk fat melts. Add the bunch of cilantro (I used the entire bunch stems and all, just tearing by hand directly into the pot). Blend again with the immersion blender so the cilantro is fine and any remaining chunks of carrot and onion are pureed. Season with salt and pepper (I usually go lighter with the Himalayan salt as it is saltier in taste) and the 3 TBSP of minced garlic and stir. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes and serve.
A note about the garlic: I added it toward the end because I wanted a really good garlic flavor, without it getting mushy. You know when garlic is cooked, but not overcooked? It was like that, just enough time so that it wasn’t overpowering/bitter but still firm.
Created a new recipe last night in the kitchen completely by accident using up ingredients I had on hand and needed to be used. Lately we’ve been craving Thai and curry flavors for the warmth, comfort and health benefits they provide so I decided to use the package of ground chicken I had in the fridge and create something with curry. I ended up creating a chicken curry bowl that I will definitely make again! It was very quick, hearty and flavorful.
Coconut Curry Chicken Celery Bowl
1 lb ground chicken
1 1/2 TBSP curry powder
2 TBSP minced garlic
2 medium yellow onions, diced
1 package sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
Saute the onion and garlic in a saute pan in a little bit of avocado oil on medium heat, once the onions are almost transparent turn to low heat to keep warm. Meanwhile, brown the ground chicken with the curry powder in a separate pan in a little bit of avocado oil so it doesn’t stick and burn. Try to mince the chicken as small as you can with a spatula (makes for a nicer texture while eating). Once the chicken is browned reduce to low heat to keep warm. Turn the vegetables back up to medium heat and add the mushrooms and a drizzle of avocado oil, sauteing until mushrooms start to soften and then add the celery. Season with salt and pepper. Toss for about 10 minutes to make sure the mushrooms are cooked but not mushy and the celery is thoroughly heated through.
Put the curry chicken in a bowl, and top with the vegetable mixture (as much as you want with both!). Top with coconut milk and coconut aminos. Stir to coat and enjoy!
Side note: I initially didn’t add the coconut milk and aminos, was just going to eat the bowl as is. Still plenty of flavor, but my husband said it seemed like it needed a sauce…and like always, I had a half a can of opened coconut milk in the fridge that needed to be used so I warmed it up, dumped some on, sprinkled with coconut aminos and voila!
Super Bowl Sunday, it’s tradition for Seth and I to make a bunch of yummy food and enjoy watching the game together, eating leftovers for the upcoming week – which we haven’t been able to do in several years because of his Sea Duty schedule. In keeping with tradition, with Seth on deployment for this year’s Super Bowl, I decided to make a bunch of yummy appetizer type foods, some old family recipes I paleo-fied and cleaned up the ingredients, and one recipe I created from ingredients I had on hand. I’ll post all of them, but this is the recipe I created, as I’m on a quest to use all food we have in the house, so we don’t have to waste any when we move. Freezer clean-out happening over here.
Garlic Chili Turkey Meatballs
1 lb package ground turkey
Diced red onion
Fresh ground black pepper
2 TBSP coconut flour
1 can coconut milk (I use natural value)
1 TBSP coconut oil
1/3 cup garlic chili paste
Mix the ground turkey, diced red onion, sesame seeds, black pepper and coconut flour well with your hands to incorporate all of the ingredients. The texture of the ground turkey I had was a little different and needed something to dry it up a bit, hence the coconut flour. This may be an optional ingredient for you. Once everything is mixed, form into bit size meatballs and place directly into crockpot or slow cooker, turn to high heat and cover. Let the meatballs cook until clear juice is coming out of them, add the coconut milk, coconut oil and garlic chili paste, and reduce to medium heat. Let simmer, stirring occasionally to mix the sauce. People always ask if things I make with coconut milk/oil or flour taste “coco-nutty,” and the answer is always no.
They were really good plain, reheated well, and also very tasty paired with some blue cheese for breakfast one morning!
Here’s another recipe that I threw together based off of the vegetables that needed to be used, and the stockpile of quality coconut milk I have on hand – that stuff is quickly becoming a staple to have on hand, as is cilantro.
Spicy Coconut Chicken Saute
1 can coconut milk (I use Natural Value)
2 TBSP coconut oil (wanted a fat source)
Roasted shredded chicken
Crushed red pepper
Pour 1 can of coconut milk into saute pan and add the 2 TBSPs coconut oil. Sprinkle generously with crushed red pepper and fresh ground black pepper. Add broccoli and bok choy and saute until cooked, but not mushy, sprinkling with more crushed red pepper (I was feeling the spice). I used leftover roasted chicken that I shredded, but you could add any protein source. I added the meat last as it just needed to be heated.
I filled up a bowl, and topped with a generous handful of cilantro, and then drizzled with sriracha.