Category Archives: Soups, Stews & Pasta

Deer Stew and Burgers

I am actually posting this one a year later…where does the time go….an amazingly cool girl friend of mine gifted me deer from her first ever hunt last Winter, pretty awesome and kinda special I think (I knitted her a toque). Actually, irronically, knitting is the reason I haven’t been food blogging as much ha but anyways….  Now I don’t eat a lot of meat but when I do its always free range or grass fed and a major bonus if hunted in its natural environment by a friend none-the-less! I understand hunting could be a sensitive topic for some but personally, I love wild sourced meat and if you’ve actually hunted and prepared it yourself, even better.   If you’re a meat eater I think it’s the most respectful way to get it and by any comparison with the factory-produced, chemical-drenched, hormone filled, fat-laden pseudo-meat that too many North 

deer stew

Americans grow obese and sick from eating today, wild meat — fish, fowl or red — is brilliantly natural, inimitably healthy and morally superior.  Ahem …..ok on that note here is my deer burgars and my take on a classic simple deer stew recipe.   And much love to Heather for sharing her deer.

Deer Stew

1              teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1              teaspoon dried Oregano
1              teaspoon dried Thyme
1              teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4         cup Flour (I use a mix of brown and sweet rice floor)
2-3          tablespoons high heat oil like Grape Seed
3               large cloves Garlic, crushed
3              large Sweet Onions, coarsely chopped
1              lb Carrots, sliced
1              Bay Leaf
1/2         cup Red Wine
1              tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (I use gluten-free)
3              cups Low Sodium Broth  (I use sea salted vegetable)
2              lbs  Potatoes, cubed or sliced (I use mixed little gems and just cut them in half)
2              tablespoons Starch: Arrowroot, Potato  or Cornstarch

Sea salt to taste

Season meat with pepper, oregano, thyme and garlic powder then dust with flour.

Heat oil in large heavy bottomed stewing pot. Sauté meat until browned.

Add garlic, onions, carrots, bay leaf, wine, worcestershire and broth. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours or until meat is tender.

Add potatoes and cook another 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

Mix starch with an equal amount of water. Stir into stew until mixture has thickened.

Adjust Salt and Pepper.

Enjoy!

Venison Burgers 

I was surprised at the lack of recipes online for Venison Burgers, what I did notice though is most had some sort of fat added to them as Deer meat, similar to Bison which I work with more often, is very lean.  With Bison Burgers I add oil, here I used bacon and was quite happy with the results, now of course if pork isn’t your thing, and honestly it rarely is mine, you can omit the bacon and simply add a healthy high oil of your choice.  A high heat oil would be best but I think olive oil would be okay if you are planning to make a more rare burger. Also if you omit the bacon you should ass some sea salt.

1-2          pounds Deer Meat
1              teaspoon fresh Parsley, chopped
1              teaspoon fresh Thyme, chopped
1/4         teaspoon Smoked Paprika
6              slices of Bacon
2              Shallots, diced
2              cloves of Garlic
1              tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1              tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1              Egg
1/4         cup Panko Bread Crumbs or Gluten-Free Bread Crumbs *optional

In a bowl, combine ground Deer with fresh ground pepper and chopped spices and set aside.

Pan fry bacon, once cooked to crisp, remove from the pan and set aside.  Now cook onions garlic in the bacon fat till just soft.  Remove from heat to cool.

Combine deer, worcestershire, mustard, and onions, garlic with the bacon fat and mix well with your hands.  Now add the egg and the bread crumbs if you are using them.  Cover bowl and refrigerate for about an hour.  Once chilled, form 4-6 patties and then grill!  Can be frozen for later use.   Cook from frozen.

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Chestnut, Parsnip and Fennel Soup

fennel parsnip soupHere is a little different soup perfect for Winter; I try to eat food that is local and in season so fennel and parsnips fit right into that rule and chestnuts are a staple in my kitchen this time of year, they pop up in the grocery store in the Fall but you can get canned ones all year round.  It’s fun to oven roast chestnuts to eat as a snack but kind of an extra step for making soup, I honestly went to Whole Foods and got an organic can of chestnuts for this soup (NOT TO BE CONFUSED with Water Chestnuts!).

chestnutsNutritionally this soup has it going on: Chestnuts, unlike other nuts and seeds, are relatively low in calories, contain less fat but are rich in minerals, vitamins and phyto-nutrients that benefit health, they are exceptionally rich in vitamin-C and folates, they are a good source of mono-unsaturated fats, and an excellent source of minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc, besides providing a very good amount of potassium and B-Complex Vitamins!   Parsnips are rich in several in Vitamin C, E and K, folate, thiamine, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, niacin and B-6.  , Parsnips are also an excellent source of minerals such as copper, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, selenium and zinc.  Fennel is a super food, has many health benefits and aids in digestion.  Follow this LINK to see more in-depth breakdown of its value.

Medium-large heavy bottomed soup pot
2          tablespoons Sunflower Oil
1          Leek, thinly sliced (white and pale green only)
1          tablespoon Fennel Seeds, lightly crushed
1          Fennel Bulb, coarsely chopped
2          medium/large Parsnip, peeled and diced
1          cup Chestnut, cooked and peeled
6          cups Vegetable Broth

Sea Salt and Ground Pepper

Heat oil over medium/high heat and sauté the leek, fennel seeds and fennel until slightly softened.

Add Parsnips and chestnuts and pour in broth.  Bring to a boil then reduce and simmer until the parsnips are soft.

Remove from heat and puree the soup until silky smooth.  Season with sea salt and pepper.

Smokey Potato Corn Chowder – Vegan, Gluten and Dairy Free

cornonthecobHere is a delicious healthy grilled corn chowder recipe I threw together to use up the corn I grew in my garden.  Actually the corn, garlic, jalapeno, celery, red pepper, yukons, thyme and parsley are ALL from my garden, absolutely loving cooking from my backyard!  You can easily get fresh corn on the cob and yukon potatoes at your local farmers market at this time of the year.  Trying to get non-GMO corn is tricky though!  I know Whole Foods sells non GMO frozen corn and you could make this recipe with frozen corn, it’s just not going to have the same creaminess that you get from the corn right off the cob but I’m sure it will still taste great.  I also throw a couple of the stripped cobs into the pot while the soup is cooking and remove when done, this helps infuse flavour and get as much of the corn milk from the cobs into the soup.  I didnt put this step into the directions because its not nessessary as you get enough corn milk by scraping the cobs with the back of your knife.  Your choice here!

potaotcornchowderI made this recipe vegan and gluten/dairy free just because it makes it a bit more specialized but feel free to use butter/milk, and gluten sauces if you wish, I have almond milk on hand but I would likely make this one again with goats milk and goats butter too.

Enjoy!

Large heavy bottom soup pot
Food processor or blender
6              large Corn on the cobs, shucked and silk removed
2              tablespoons Grape Seed Oil
6              medium Garlic Cloves, minced
1              large Red Onion, minced
1              Serrano or Jalapeño Pepper, minced
1 1/2      cups Celery, diced
1              medium Red Pepper, diced
1              tablespoon non-hydrogenated margarine, I use Soy-Free Earth Balance
3              tablespoons Tapioca Flour
4-6          medium Yukon Gold Potatoes, diced small
4              cups Broth
2              cups Unsweetened Almond Milk (or Goat Milk if you aren’t going dairy free)
1              tablespoon Vegan, GF Worcestershire Sauce
1              tablespoon Braags
3              tablespoons Dry Sherry
1              Bay Leaf
1              tablespoon fresh Lemon Thyme Leaves, chopped (or regular thyme)
1/2         teaspoon Smoked Paprika
4-5          dashes of Hot Sauce (like Tabasco)
3/4         cup Flat-Leaf Parsley, minced
Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste
Lemon Wedges

Grill corn cobs on the BBQ (or broil in oven), until lightly charred on all sides.

Cut the kernels from the cobs and then, using the backside of your knife, scrape the milky kernel centres off the cobs as well.  Set aside.

Heat oil in your pot and add the garlic, onion and hot pepper and sauté for a few minutes.  Add celery and red pepper then sauté for another 5 minutes or until the vegetables are just soft.

Add the Earth Balance and potatoes, stir for a few minutes then add the tapioca flour.  Cook and stir for a few more minutes.

Add the roasted corn, stock, almond milk, worcestershire sauce, Braags, sherry, bay leaf, thyme, some sea salt, smoked paprika and hot sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Approximately 20 minutes. Sea Salt to taste.

Remove and discard the bay leaf.

Scoop out 2-3 cups of the soup and puree in a food processor or blender. Stir the puree back into the pot, add pepper and adjust sea salt and paprika to taste.

Add the parsley and stir to combine.

Serve with a lemon wedge.

Serves 6

Creamy Celery and Fennel Soup

fennel-celeryHad a fennel craving tonight and when I went looking for this soup recipe I discovered it sitting in my drafts! So, here it is: creamy, light and very healthy soup.

Large heavy bottomed soup pot
3-4    tablespoons Sunflower Oil
2         Leeks,trimmed,white and light green section only, diced
1         tablespoon Fennel Seeds
4        cloves Garlic, chopped
1         head of Celery, chopped
1         large Fennel Bulb, chopped
1         large Yukon Potato, diced
1-2     liters Organic Vegetable Broth
1         cup plain/unsweetened Milk, (I use Goats Milk but Almond, Hemp or Soy will work too)

Sea salt and fresh Ground pepper to taste

Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add the leek, stir for a couple minutes, add the fennel seeds and garlic and stir for another. Add the celery, fennel, potato, and stir. Add broth to the top of the vegetables and bring to simmer. Simmer on low till tender, about 45 minutes.

Cool soup enough to blend in a blender or use an immersion blender, blend till smooth. Return to pot, add milk and heat on low until serving.

Gluten-Free Pierogis

I’m thrilled to share this recipe!  Pierogis are one of those comfort foods I’m sure gluten-free people think they’ll never enjoy again, I know I haven’t had them in YEARS and I grew up on them.  I even had a Baba and Gido, maybe being of Ukrainian decent makes me bit more proud of this one.   I spent a few hours or so working on the dough this weekend but it truly only took two batches to get right, the first I made vegan and they were good but not quite good enough.  The second batch I added greek goat yogurt and they turned out perfect, honestly can’t even tell they are gluten-free and just to be sure I served them to my healthy lunch group today and got two thumbs up from all!  (If anyone wants a vegan version feel free to email me for the recipe).  Fill them however you wish, the originals are cheese and potato and I considered do a Daiya Vegan Cheese/Potato one myself but I went with potato, onion and squash and goat cheese instead.  Experiment for your own or Google for recipe ideas.   Make the fillings first, then dough, once your pierogis are formed you can cook to serve right away or,  freeze them for later use.  My Baba used to serve them freshly boiled then fry the left overs with onions another day, today, for the lunch group I boiled then fried right away.  Again, it’s totally up to you these little guys are good anyway you like them.  Enjoy and please post comments!

Fillings

Roasted Potato, Onion and Garlic with Parsley

3 medium Yukon potatoes, quartered, skin on
½ medium onion,  chopped into larger pieces
½ a head of garlic, peeled, cloves left whole
Sunflower oil or butter (I used goat butter)
handful of fresh Parsley, chopped
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Toss in oil and roast everything except parsley in a roasting pan at 350 degrees until the potatoes are soft.  Hand mash or food process with a bit of milk, I used almond milk.  Season with sea salt and pepper.

Buttercup Squash, Goat Cheese and Thyme

1 small Buttercup Squash
Sunflower oil
Handful fresh Thyme, de-stemmed
3-4 ounces of soft Goat Cheese

Arrange chopped squash skin side down in a baking pan, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with Thyme and sea salt.  Roast at 350 degrees until soft.  Scoop out squash and hand mash with goat cheese, add a bit more thyme and sea salt and pepper  to taste.

Pierogi Dough

Medium bowl:
2              cups Tapioca Flour
1/4         cup Arrowroot Powder
3/4         cup White Rice Flour (Sweet Rice Flour would be better if you can find it)
3/4         cup Potato Starch (not potato flour)
2 1/2      teaspoons gluten-free Baking Powder
2              teaspoons Xanthan Gum
1              teaspoon Sea Salt
Small bowl
2              large Eggs, beaten
3/4         cup Greek Goat Yogurt
1/2         cup Water
1/8         cup Olive Oil

Combine and mix dry ingredients.  Combine and mix wet then, add to dry.  Hand stir a bit then knead dough.

Work in small batches, roll out on parchment paper to about an 1/8 on an inch thick.  If you are having trouble with sticking you can add a little flour to your rolling pin or better yet simply roll between two pieces of parchment paper, you’ll appreciate then stickiness later. I use a small glass to cut my rounds then rolled a bit more to get the thick/thinness I wanted.  Once you have 5-10 cut outs scoop approximately 1 teaspoon of filling in the middle then pick up the dough and fold in half and simply pinch to seal edges.

To cook you simply drop into boiling salted water, once they float they are done.  From fresh this only takes 30 seconds or less, from frozen a bit longer but again just wait till they float!  If you are frying them too just scoop from boiling water into an oiled or butter pan.

Serve with Greek Goat Yogurt or Sour Cream.  Yum yum yum!

Bison, Kale, Goat and Sheep Cheese, Rice Pasta Lasagna

This lasagna is unbelievably flavourful and uses only easily digested healthy sheep and goat cheese, gluten-free pasta and nutrient dense kale. I serve it to three wheat, meat  and dairy eating people and they ALL loved it.  If you haven’t already given up beef for bison here is a link to my write-up on why it’s so much healthier for us.  I think this recipe would work just fine with ground turkey if you prefer that and, feel free to switch sheep ricotta for goat if you can find it.   I  bought all my cheese at Whole Foods.

Oven 400 degrees
Large frying pan
9×12 glass square baking pan
3          tablespoons Olive Oil
1          cup Yellow Onion, chopped
3          Garlic Cloves, minced
1 1/2  pounds ground Bison
1          tablespoon Braags
1          (28-ounce) can Crushed Tomatoes
1/2       (6-ounce) can Tomato Paste
1/2       cup fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley, chopped and divided
1/2       cup fresh Basil Leaves, chopped
1            bunch Kale, chopped (approximately 3-4 cups)
1/2       teaspoon  Sea Salt
3/4      teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
1            package Rice Lasagna Noodles
10         ounces Ricotta (Goat or Sheep), broken or chopped
5           ounces Creamy Goat Cheese, crumbled
3/4     cup grated Pecorino Romano Emma (like Parmesan but Sheep), plus 1/4 cup for  sprinkling
1          extra-large Egg, lightly beaten
1          pound fresh Goat Mozzarella, thinly sliced

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, add onions and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat or until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the ground bison and Braags and cook over medium-low heat, breaking it up with a fork, for about 8 minutes or until just not pink (no need to fully cook).

Add the can tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, all of the basil and 1/2 teaspoon sea  salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered, over medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.

Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with boiled water. Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain and rinse. They will be firm but bendable.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of Pecorino Romano, the egg, the remaining parsley, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

Ladle 1/3 of the sauce into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch rectangular glass baking dish, spreading over the bottom of the dish.

Then add the layers as follows:

Half the pasta,

half the kale,

half the mozzarella,

half the ricotta mix.

Then, another 1/3 the sauce,

the rest of the pasta,

rest of the kale,

rest of the mozzarella,

rest of the ricotta mix, and finally,

the last 1/3 of the sauce. Top with 1/4 cup of grated Pecorino Romano.

Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.

Organic Chorizo Sausage, White Bean and Kale Soup

First time I made this soup I did it without the white beans and saffron but I felt in need something, my boyfriend suggested the beans – perfect, and I added Saffron; I think it’s about right now.  This soup would be great to get lots of super healthy kale into a loved one who might prefer lots of sausage =). The sausage I used is McLean’s Organic Chorizo Pork Sausage. If I need a processed meat that I can’t get from my butcher I like to use Mclean Organic Foods. Their deli line is made from meat that was produced without growth hormones, antibiotics, and from farms that meet an animal welfare criteria. Their products are free of common allergens, food additives and are organic too!

Large heavy bottomed soup pot
Large skillet
Potato masher
Paper towel
3           tablespoons Sunflower Oil
1           large Onion, finely chopped
3           cloves Garlic, pressed
2           lbs Yukon Potatoes, thinly sliced
10         cups Broth
1           can, White Beans
1           lb Chorizo Pork Sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1           tablespoon Paprika
Pinch Saffron Threads
1-2        bunches Lacinato/Dinosaur Kale, center ribs discarded and leaves cut crosswise into thin slices
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
Cook onion with oil in heavy bottom pot over moderate heat until translucent and just golden.

Add garlic and sliced potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally for 4 minutes.

Add broth and sea salt to taste and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, sauté chorizo in skillet over moderately high heat until browned. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Coarsely mash potatoes in soup with a potato masher. Stir in white beans, chorizo, paprika, saffron and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in kale and simmer until just tender.

Adjust seasoning to taste.