Category Archives: Dips & Sauces

Moose Jerky

wpid-20140213_081005.jpgGot some moose meat given to me this weekend! Better than flowers to this women =)  So many things I could do with it but with this round I decided to turn it into jerky.  Good jerky with healthy simple ingredients and no crap added is tough to find and often expensive.  I’ve posted a Salmon Jerky (oven dried) before so I figured it be good to do a red meat one too.  I’ve used ingredients I have on hand in my kitchen for a basic marinade which is really just healthier versions of traditional products and the jerky turned out perfect.  Not too salty,  just the right amount of sweet, smoke and spice.  If you like it more sweet or spice, simply add more!

2             lbs Moose, Rump Roast or Top Round
1             cup Braggs Liquid Aminos
1             cup Gluten-Free Tamari
¼           cup of Gluten-Free Worcestershire Sauce
1             cup Coconut Sugar
2             tablespoons Smoked Paprika
1/2        cup Teriyaki BBQ Sauce (I use an organic one that contains pineapple juice)
1             teaspoon of Chili Peppers or Coarse Black Pepper to taste

20140212_163322Slice roast into slabs approximately 1/4 inch thick strips.

In a large sealable container, combine the marinade ingredients, stir well then add strips of meat. Close or cover and refrigerate for minimum 2 hours, up to 12 hours.

Place strips on dehydrator racks, without overlapping. Dry at 140-160F. for the first 3-4 hours. The temperature may be reduced to as low as 130 after 4 hours to finish drying (total hours 12-20)  all depending on how dry you like your jerky.  If necessary, occasionally blot the jerky with paper towels as it dries to remove beads of oil. Test jerky for dryness by cooling a piece. When sufficiently dry, cooled jerky will crack (but not break in two) when bent. There should be no moist spots.

TIP: If jerky is too brittle, brush on a little Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce to soften it.

No food dehydrator? …..

jerkyYou can use your oven!  Hang the strips on skewers on one end of the oven.  Some ovens can be set low, in this case follow the same temperature instructions as above.  If not, set your oven to its lowest (probably 150 or 160) and dry for 4 to 5 hours with the door slightly cracked open, use a metal spoon or something heat safe to hold it open.

Cut cool jerky into 2 to 4″ pieces before storing. Jerky containing salt and cured without a commercial curing preparation may be stored at room temperature for 1 to 2 months. If air humidity is low, the container should have a loose-fitting lid or one with holes punched in it. Good air circulation keeps the flavour fresher. If the humidity of the air is more than 30%, store jerky in an airtight container. Jerky may be refrigerated or frozen to increase shelf life and maintain flavour.

Don’t waste that left over marinade either, pour into a pot and bring to a boil for 3-5 minutes then cool and store to use as a BBQ sauce for chicken or something later.

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Coconut Milk Bailey Irish Cream

Coconut Milk Bailey Irish Cream

Homemade-BaileysI love Bailey’s during the holidays and I always indulge a glass on ice in the evening or a generous splash in a coffee Christmas morning but boy do I pay for it, the combination of cream, sugar and alcohol really make my stomach hurt.  So, this year I made my own!  I made it a few different ways to suit different restrictions and see what works,  personally I am ok with goat’s milk and like that it lends a bit of that dairy like flavour but you can also make this recipe totally vegan using just coconut milk or half coconut milk, half unsweetened almond milk.   If you Google homemade bailey’s recipes they are all  pretty much the same although some have egg and some don’t,  I tried my recipe with and without and although I think I like it better with the eggs, it works nicely without (just not quite and thick) so, suit yourself!  Most at home recipes call for almond extract, I took this out because I found the coconut and almond together yield a less Bailey’s like taste.  I will also include a recipe to make your own chocolate sauce, it’s easy and much healthier then store-bought.

Coconut Milk Bailey’s Irish Cream

1 – 1 ½  cups Irish Whiskey
1 ½        cups Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk *recipe below
1              cup Goats Milk or Almond Milk (if you want full vegan sub in one cup of light coconut milk here)
3              Eggs (can omit)
2              tablespoons Chocolate Syrup *recipe below
2              teaspoons Instant Espresso (or brew your own double shot)
1              teaspoons Vanilla Extract
Couple pinches of sea salt

In a blender or food processor, mix eggs until frothy.  Add all other ingredients except Whiskey and blend for a few minutes or until thick and frothy. Add Whiskey to taste and pulse a few times to mix well.  Store in the fridge for up to a month!

Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk

2              cans Full Fat Coconut Milk
½            cup Coconut Sugar
1              teaspoon Vanilla
Pinch of sea salt

First you need to make your own Condensed Coconut Milk and Chocolate Syrup.  2 cans of coconut milk into a pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce and simmer on low for approximately 10 minutes;  you want to see it reduce by about 1/3 here.  Then, add ½ a cup of coconut sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract  and a pinch of sea salt then continue simmering until total volume is reduced by almost half.  You want it thick!  Strain and set aside to cool.

Chocolate Sauce

½           cup Dark Cocoa Powder
1             cup Water
1 1/2     cup Coconut Sugar
½           teaspoon Vanilla
Pinch of sea salt

Combine cocoa and water in a small pot and bring to a boil, add sugar, vanilla and sea salt then simmer for 3-5 minutes.  Done!  I pour mine into a jar and store it in the fridge for all kinds of uses.  If you want a thicker sauce simply continue to simmer on medium/low to desired reduction.

Mackerel with Asian-inspired Dressing

First day out fishing at the family cabin we went out for the afternoon bite just to get the hooks wet and see what’s going on just outside the inlet, we were hoping for salmon but all we caught was mackerel.  Mackerel after mackerel and some more mackerel, at one point we pulled the lines just to check them and we had 4 mackerels, so I decided, no way, we are keeping them and I am going to make them good.

My quick online research told me that Mackerel is part of the same family as tuna and actually quite good for you, it is high in fat but unsaturated fat and a filet still has fewer calories than beef and some other meats. It’s loaded with the omega fatty acids EPA, DHA and ALA, all of which are good for brain growth and heart protection.

The people around here’s first recommendation was to batter the heck out of this fish but I decided to treat it like tuna and add a little Asian flare to it.  Being a fatty fish a fast fry without oil in a cast iron skillet worked well.  Here at the cabin I threw the iron pan on the BBQ on high, sea salted, peppered and lemon zested the flesh and cooked it skin side down.   The recipe below is for the sauce I made to top it with but honestly it was totally tasty just off the BBQ!

When cooking the fish you should press it down several times to really char the skin and keep it flat, when it’s just about done you’ll see almost all the purple/pink flesh gone, flip for a few moments to just heat the flesh but do not press here.   Serve with sauce over basmati rice with something like salad or asparagus….seriously delicious. Tried and tested on skeptic fishermen!

Sauce

1              clove of Garlic, peeled and chopped fine

1              thumb sized piece fresh Ginger, fine grated

3             Shallots, trimmed and fine grated

1              tablespoon Red Chilli Peppers

2             Limes, zested and juiced

1              small bunch of fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped

2              tablespoons Sesame Oil

4              tablespoons Wheat-Free Soy Sauce

2              teaspoons Honey or Agave

Splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Combine all prepared ingredients except oil, whisk then add a good splash of olive oil and whisk again,  set aside until fish is cooked then simply spoon on top!

Dressings

Summer is coming and (apparently) Spring is here which for me means salad time!  I almost never buy a salad dressing, it is so healthy, fresh and easy to make your own, once you get the hang of it you’ll wonder why you ever bought a store dressing.  Some of these recipes are mine, some I have acquired along the way but all are well used and loved. I have been meaning to do this post for too long now so I’m going to just provide a list and will likely come back and update to add more later.  A post for Dips and Pesto are soon to follow.  Enjoy your greens!

Miso Honey Cilantro Dressing

4              tablespoons White Miso
2              tablespoons Honey
2              bunches fresh Cilantro
4              tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
1/4         cup Sunflower Oil
4              tablespoons White or Yellow Onion, chopped
2              teaspoon Dijon Mustard
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine, blend or process until smooth.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

3/4         cup raw Cashews, soaked in filtered water for at least 6 hours
1              cup fresh Organic Cilantro
1/2         cup Nut or Rice Milk
1/2         Avocado, peel  and pit removed
1/4         cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/2         Jalapeno, stemmed and cut in half (if you do not like spicy you can remove the seeds and membrane)
3              tablespoons fresh Lime Juice (about 2 limes)
2              Garlic Cloves, skin removed

Combine, blender or food process  until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.

Makes Approximately 3 cups.

Cilantro Lime Dressing

1              Jalapeño Pepper, seeded (1/2 if you prefer less heat)
2              Garlic Cloves
3/4         teaspoon fresh Ginger, minced
1/3         cup fresh Lime Juice
1              tablespoon Honey or Agave Nectar
2              teaspoon White Balsamic Vinegar
1/2         teaspoon Sea Salt (or to taste)
1/2         cup packed fresh Cilantro
1/3         cup Extra Virgin Olive

Combine, blend/process. Best if refrigerated for a couple of hours prior to serving.

Makes approximately  1 cup.

Carrot Ginger Dressing/Dip

1              large Carrot, grated
2              tablespoons Mirin
1              tablespoon Agave Nectar
2              tablespoons Rice Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar
1              tablespoon wheat-free Tamari
1              tablespoon Mustard
1              tablespoon fresh Ginger, grated

Put all ingredients into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Makes approximately 1/2 cup.

Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

1/2         cup White Vinegar
1              cup Sunflower Oil
1              Tablespoon Poppy Seeds
1/2         Sweet Onion, grated
1/4         cup Honey or Agave Syrup
1              teaspoon Dry Mustard
1              teaspoon Sea Salt

Just a couple pulses in a blender will do or just a good shake!

Makes approximately 2 cups.

Oil-Free Italian Vinaigrette (personal fav, use this on green salad all the time)

1/4         cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2              teaspoons Dijon Mustard
1-2          tablespoons Italian Seasoning
3/4         cup Water
1              teaspoon Sea Salt

Combine, blend/process.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

1              clove of Garlic
1              heaping teaspoon of Mustard
2              tablespoons Maple Syrup
1              tablespoon Lemon Juice
3              tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
1/2         cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt to taste

Combine, blend/process/emulsify.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Basic Balsamic Dressing

1              Garlic Clove, peeled
1              small Shallot, peeled
1              teaspoon Lemon Juice
2              tablespoons Agave Nectar
1/4         cup Balsamic vinegar
1/2         cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste.

Combine, blend/process/emulsify.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Green Apple Salad Dressing (vinegar and citrus free)

1              Green Granny Smith Apple, cored
1/2        cup Water
1/3         cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 to 4    Garlic cloves
2              inch piece of fresh Ginger, peeled
Sea Salt, to taste

Combine in blender/processor and blend until very smooth and creamy. Add salt to taste and blend again.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Cucumber Vinaigrette

1              Long English Cucumber
1/4         cup Rice Vinegar
1              tablespoon Toasted Sesame oil

Combine, blend/process till smooth.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Super Healthy Oil and Vinegar Free Dressing  (great of baby kale greens)

1              Lemon, juiced
1/4         cup Nutritional Yeast
3-4          tablespoons Dulse Flakes
1-2          teaspoons Braggs Liquid Aminos or Wheat Free Tamari
Handful fresh Basil or Dill
Cayenne Pepper to taste

Combine and shake.

Makes approximately ½ cup.

Creamy Avocado Dressing (also great as a dip for veggies)

1              Avocado, peeled, pitted
1              small Garlic Clove, minced
1/4         cup Water
1              tablespoon Fresh dill
1              tablespoon Honey or Agave
2              tablespoons Lemon Juice
1/2         teaspoon Sea Salt

Combine, blend or processes until creamy and smooth.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Sweet Basil-Lime Dressing

1              clove Garlic
2              cup fresh Basil Leaves
1/4         cup Olive Oil
1/4         cup fresh Lime Juice
2              tablespoon Water
1              tablespoon Honey or Agave
1              teaspoon Sea Salt

Combine, blend/process until smooth.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Oil-free Basil Lover’s Dressing

3              tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
1              tablespoon Organic Miso Paste
1-2          cups fresh Basil
1              Garlic Clove
1/2         cup Water
1/4         cup Lemon Juice
1/4         cup Nutritional Yeast
2              tablespoons Honey or Agave

Combine, blend or process.

Makes over 1 cup.

Strawberry Vinaigrette

1              cup Sunflower Oil
1/2         pint fresh Strawberries, halved
2              tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
1/2         teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4         teaspoon ground Black Pepper
1              tablespoon fresh Tarragon (1/4 teaspoon dried)
1              tablespoon Honey or Agave

Combine, blend/process

Makes just over a cup.

Blueberry Dressing

1/2     cup fresh blueberries
1          tablespoon Apple Juice
2          tablespoon Red or White Wine Vinegar
2          tablespoons Goat Yogurt (or sub for water or additional apple juice)
1          teaspoon Shallots, coarsely chopped
1/8     teaspoon Sea Salt
1          tablespoon Honey, Agave or pinch Stevia
Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste

Combine, blend/process until relatively smooth.  Dressing will thicken over time.

Makes approximately ¾ cup.

Sweet and Tangy Mango Salad Dressing

2              ripe Mangos (or about 2 cups if using frozen)
1/3          cup Water
1/2          Avocado, pitted and skinned
1              heaping tablespoon Spicy Brown Mustard

Combine and blend/process

Makes approximately 2.5 cups.

Raspberry Salad Dressing

1/2         cup Sunflower Oil
1/4         cup frozen or fresh Raspberries
3              tablespoons Raspberry Vinegar (Red Wine Vinegar will work too)
2              tablespoons All-Fruit Raspberry Jam
1-2          tablespoon Honey or Agave (to taste)
1              tablespoon Grainy Dijon Mustard
1              teaspoon Poppy Seeds
1              Shallot, chopped

Combine, blend/process until smooth.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Healthy Herb Omega Flax Dressing

3/4       cup Flax Seed Oil
1/4       cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1             teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1             teaspoon Wheat-Free Tamari Sauce
3-5        cloves Garlic, crushed
6             drops Tabasco or other hot sauce
1             tablespoon Sweet Basil
1/2        teaspoon Tarragon
1/2         teaspoon Oregano
1/2         teaspoon Maple Syrup
1              tablespoon Capers

Combine, blend/process.

Makes just over 1 cup.

Pan Fried Eggplant with Garlic Saffron Mayonnaise

This is a great little eggplant appetizer served with a garlic saffron mayo dip.  It is gluten-free too!

I used Japanese Eggplant to get a nice two-bite sized cut, you could also make this as a side to a meal and use a large eggplant.  If a little wheat is not a bother to you, using ½ flour and ½ panko bread crumbs works really well too.

Garlic Saffron Dip
Small and medium bowl
1              small pinch Saffron soaked in 1 tablespoon hot water
1/2         cup Vegan Mayonnaise (or whatever type you like)
1              teaspoon Garlic, minced

Pan Fried Eggplant
Large fry pan
Flipper
3              Japanese Eggplants, sliced ¼ inch thick, rinsed and blotted dry
2              medium Eggs, beaten in a small bowl
¼ – ½   cup Safflower Oil
1/2         cup Sorghum flour
1              tablespoon Tapioca Flour
1/2         teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
2              teaspoons Garlic Powder
1              teaspoon Sea Salt
Chopped fresh Parsley, for garnish

Let saffron infuse in hot water for 10 minutes then add mayonnaise, garlic to the bowl and mix until smooth. Refrigerate until use.

Whisk together flour, tapioca, cayenne, garlic powder, and sea salt.

Heat at medium/high enough oil to cover your pan. If you need to work in batches add oil each time.

Dip the eggplant slices into beaten eggs, then, press both sides into flour mixture. Shake off excess and place onto hot fry pan.

Fry until golden brown on each side, this doesn’t take more than a minute or two each side.  Be careful not to burn.

Garnish with parsley and serve with saffron mayonnaise.

Sheep and Goat Cheese Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Wow it’s been so long!  I know too much time has past without any posts, I have a few good reasons or excuses but mostly just haven’t been creating anything new at all.  I have one quick little recipe to share that I came up with over the holidays that was a huge hit and then a promise to post again soon.  In fact, I have just been given a good amount of Saffron which is amazing because it’s expensive but also because I have never worked with it and have wanted to for a long while. Going to do some research and creating and get back to you very soon!

Sheep and Goat Cheese Spinach and Artichoke Dip

This is my healthier, dairy-free version of traditional spinach and artichoke dip, I honestly put this one together while guests were arriving for our Christmas party and thankfully, it turned out awesome. Kinda a hit at the party! Only thing of mention as far as the recipe goes is the vegetable bouillon cube, I think it’s important to find a good healthy brand because most have a lot of junk in them.  I like GoBio, they are made with sea salt and are gluten free, GMO free, no MSG and yeast free.

Oven to broil
Glass baking dish

8          ounces Frozen Chopped Spinach, defrosted and drained
1/2     cube Vegetable Bouillon melted in a few tablespoons of warm water
1          can (4 ounce size) Artichoke Hearts, drained and chopped up
1/2     cup grated Perricone Romano
2          ounces Goat Cheese
2          tablespoons Full Fat Goat Yogurt
2          tablespoons Vegan Mayonnaise
1/2     head Roasted Garlic*
Sea Salt and Pepper

Combine all ingredients in glass baking bowl and bake in oven for 10 minutes until the top has turned lightly golden brown.

Serve with gluten-free chips or bread and veggies!

*Roasting garlic is incredibly easy, wrap a whole head in tin foil and place in 400 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.

Kildonan Crab Cakes with fresh Horseradish Mayo

Summer came and went a little too quickly this year,  I can already feel the crisp coolness of Fall creeping up =(  We had a good one though, fortunately enjoying almost 3 weeks at our family cabin last month. Having a cabin on Vancouver Island is an amazing luxury if you love sea food! We may have been a little short of sunshine this Summer but never short on Dungeness Crab in Kildonan. I made a large batch of these tasty cakes with a big bucket of left over crab brought over by a neighbour.

The most difficult part of this recipe is hand picking 1 1/2 pounds of meat, I think it took me well over an hour.

 Whether you catch, clean, cook and hand-pick your crab or simply buy it ready-to-use, be sure to use REAL fresh meat and these cakes are guaranteed to be a hit.
Medium Bowl:
3        cups Bread Crumbs (I use Panko)
1/2   cup fresh Parsley, chopped
Blender or process:
1         large Egg, yolk only
2         teaspoons Lemon Juice
2         teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
2         generous tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1/2     teaspoon Paprika
1/2     teaspoon fresh Thyme, chopped
1/2     teaspoon Celery Seeds
1/4    teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
5         tablespoon Olive Oil

Large bowl:
1/4    cup Onion, chopped
1/4     cup Green Pepper, chopped
1/4     cup Red Pepper, chopped
1/4     cup fresh Parsley, chopped
1 – 2    pounds cooked fresh Dungeness Crabmeat, picked over and drained

Mix bread crumbs and 1/2 a cup of parsley and set aside.

In your blender or food processor, combine the egg yolk, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, mustard, paprika, thyme, celery seeds, and black pepper. Pulse to combine. Now, while the motor is running, add the olive oil slowly in a steady stream until the mixture emulsifies and forms a mayo sauce.

In another large bowl, combine onion and bell pepper with the remaining 1/4 cup of parsley. Add the mayo sauce and crabmeat and mix lightly.

Fold in bread crumb mixture. Hand mix gently and then form into flattened 1/2 thick patties and place on a flat pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or longer. You may even freeze them at this stage for later use!

Horseradish Mayo:
Small Bowl:
1        cup Mayonnaise (I use olive oil mayo)
2        tablespoon Prepared Horseradish
2        tablespoon fresh Lemon Juice
2        teaspoons freshly grated Lemon Zest
1/8   teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper and Sea Salt

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Refrigerate.

Cooking:
Heat large non-stick skillet on medium heat and add about 2 tablespoons of butter or oil. Work in batches frying crab cakes gently 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until they are golden brown and heated through. Add more butter to the pan after each batch to ensure crispyness.

Makes 10-12 half-inch patties