About Genevive Bjorn

Award-winning freelance journalist based in San Diego, covering health, medicine, culture and travel.

Turnip Mash

Turnips are in season, and there are so many! I found that this recipe from A Road More Balanced inspired me to use turnips, which I admit are not my favorite root veggie. The truffle oil adds an amazing dimension of deliciousness. If you don’t have turnips, it would be easy to substitute other white root veggies, such as potatoes or parsnips. The recipe can easily be made vegan.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium turnips, peeled & quartered
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt & pepper
  • 1 T fresh thyme
  • 1 small leek or 2 – 3 baby leeks, sliced in thin circles
  • 1.5 C cooked great northern beans
  • Milk, optional
  • Butter or truffle oil, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
  2. Toss turnips with olive oil, season with salt, pepper & thyme. Roast for 30 – 40 minutes, tossing occasionally, until tender & lightly golden. Add leek & beans during last 10 minutes of roasting.
  3. Remove from oven & puree with a handheld blender, adding a dash of milk if needed to achieve smooth consistency. Season to taste, stirring in butter if desired or drizzle individual servings with truffle oil.

Prevent Garlic & Onion Tears

Chopping onions and garlic under running water or on a cutting board spritzed with lemon juice reduces tears. The water or lemon juice blocks irritating sulfur-based compounds from binding to our released common chemical sense.

Turns out that the human sense of smell includes a third pathway, called the common chemical sense.* (The other two are the olfactory sense and the nose-throat pathway.)

Common chemical sense works through thousands of nerve endings on the moist surfaces of the eyes, nose, mouth, and throat. These nerves help us sense irritating substances, such as the cool of peppermint, the burn of ammonia or the tears of onions and garlic.

* Source – NIDCD.NIH.gov

Roasted Beets and Watermelon Radishes with Blood Oranges

 

 

roasted-beet-wedges

Roasted beets with watermelon radishes

Prep Time: 20 Mins Cooking Time: 30 Mins Total Time: 50 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium watermelon radishes, trimmed
  • 3 medium yellow beets, trimmed
  • 2 blood oranges, cut into supremes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

  1. Roast. Clean beets and radishes well with a vegetable brush. Remove beet and radish tops (reserve for something else). Wrap beet bulbs and radish bulbs with aluminum foil. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit until a fork can easily be inserted into the bulbs. About 30 minutes.
  2. Peel. Once beets and radishes are cool enough to touch, remove the foil and peel the skins (they should easily come off under cold, running water). Cut the beets and radishes into wedges (or you can slice them if you prefer).
  3. Cut Supremes. Peel the oranges. Cut the pith off of the oranges with a paring knife, exposing the flesh. Cut the oranges into segments (by cutting on either side of the membrane and removing the orange segments). Discard the orange pith and membrane. Remove any seeds.
  4. Make Dressing. Combine oil, vinegar, and salt in a bowl.
  5. Combine. Combine radishes, beets, orange segments, and parsley in a bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat.
  6. Serve. Can be served warm or cool.

Crockpot Anasazi Beans and Vegetable Soup

Carrots and Fennel Braised with Orange Zest and Honey

roasted-carrots-fennel-honey

roasted-carrots-fennel-honey

Carrots and Fennel Braised with Orange Zest and Honey

From: Food 52
Prep Time: 10 Mins Cooking Time: 20 Mins Total Time: 30 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey (preferably orange blossom honey)
  • 1 1/2 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch x 3 inch sticks
  • 1 fennel bulb, ends trimmed, bulb cut in half, each half cored and cut lengthwise in 1/8”-inch slices
  • 4 strips of orange zest,– each 1 inch x 4” inch (use vegetable peeler)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, –crushed in a mortar
  • 1/3 cup spring water
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fennel fronds or dill

Directions:

  1. Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Add the butter, olive oil, and honey. Stir well and add the carrots, fennel, orange zest and fennel seeds. Toss until the slices are well coated with the oil. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the fennel starts to soften. Add the water, orange juice, salt, and pepper. Toss quickly and reduce heat to between medium and medium-low. Cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  2. Uncover the pan. Raise heat to high and fast-simmer until the juices have all evaporated and some of the vegetables are golden-brown, about 6 to 7 minutes, tossing only occasionally so as not to break or mush the vegetables. Remove orange zest, transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle with the fennel fronds, and serve immediately. Cook’s’ note: The carrots and fennel can be trimmed and cut up to 6 hours ahead and refrigerated until ready to use, but the dish is best made just before serving. It does not reheat well.

Cauliflower with Saffron, Pepper Flakes, and Parsley

 

Cauliflower with Saffron, Pepper Flakes, and Parsley

Prep Time: 10 Mins Cooking Time: 10 Mins Total Time: 20 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower (about 1 1/2 pounds), broken into small florets, the core diced (about 6 cups)
  • Sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 pinches saffron threads
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • Scant 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped, lightly packed flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Grated aged cheese or crumbled feta cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. Steam cauliflower for about 3 minutes. To test for doneness, taste a piece; it should be on the verge of tenderness but not quite fully cooked. Uncover and transfer the colander to the sink to drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saffron; cook for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion has softened. The heat will activate the saffron so that it colors and flavors the onion. Stir in the garlic, the crushed red pepper flakes and a few pinches of the parsley, then add the steamed cauliflower. Toss to coat it evenly, then add the water and cook (over medium heat) until the cauliflower is tender, just a few minutes.
  3. Season with salt, toss with half of the remaining parsley, and keep warm.
  4. Sprinkle the cheese on top (to taste) and serve.
  5. Variations:
  6. Serve with 8 oz. cooked pasta. Preferable small shells, snails, or other shapes.
  7. Serve with Sauteed Shrimp. If so, omit the cheese.

Honey Coconut Cake

Sugar and wheat flour don’t have to ruin your diet or enjoyment of deserts during the holidays. This recipe delivers cozy, yummy goodness made of  honey, eggs and coconut meal. It has all the goodness of cake with none of the guilt. I think of it as a paleo version of pound cake.

Serves: 8
Makes: One cake (if you want it to be two layers, double the recipe)
Takes: 1 hour

(Adapted from the cookbook Make It Paleo)

Ingredients

Cake:
• 3/8 cup fair trade coconut flour, sifted
• 1/2 tsp sea salt
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1/2 cup fair trade coconut oil, melted
• 1/2 cup local honey
• 1/2 TBS vanilla extract
• 1 TBS fresh lemon juice
• 5 eggs, pastured
• 1/2 cup shredded coconut or 1 cup almond meal
Frosting:
• 1/2 cup fair trade organic palm shortening
• 3/8 cup fair trade coconut butter
• 1/8 cup local honey
• toasted coconut for garnish

Directions

Cake:
• Preheat oven to 325F and grease one 8in. round cake pan.
• In a bowl combine the sifted coconut flour, salt and baking soda.
• In a stand mixer or in a bowl with a hand mixer combine the eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, coconut oil and honey. Slowly add in the flour mixture until a smooth batter is formed (as you mix, the batter will thicken).
• Stir in shredded coconut or almond meal.
• Spoon the batter into a pre-oiled cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
• Remove from oven and place pan on a cooling wrack, allow to cool at least 30 minutes then invert and remove from pan.

coconut-honey-cake-1

Frosting:
Place all ingredients into a standing mixer with a paddle attachment and whip until smooth.

NOTES
• If you have never baked with coconut flour you must know that it is extremely absorbent and full of fiber, therefore it requires a lot of moisture. Do not be scared about using 5 eggs! In fact, my husband and I agree that it tastes very similar to a delightful reinterpretation of pound cake with coconut.
• For the frosting do not be turned off by the word “shortening” which has indeed gotten a bad reputation. Organic, unrefined palm oil comes from the palm fruit, full of healthy fats and is drastically different than the nasty and hydrogenated Crisco shortening.

Agave and Balasmic Glazed Buttercup Squash

So many squash, so little time. But buttercup are worth the venture. Rich, creamy, sweet and nutty, these have become my new autumn favorite. You won’t be disappointed.

Takes: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients

1 buttercup squash, or other winter squash (about 1.5 lbs.)
2 T Agave Nectar (preferably amber variety)
2 T good quality balsamic vinegar
freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste

Directions

Cut top and bottom end from squash, then sit flat on cutting board and cut in half top to bottom. Use a sharp spoon to scrape out seeds, washing out the inside of the squash if needed. Cut squash into half-moon slices about 1 inch wide. (Any shape of slice will work, but they need to be close to the same thickness.

Preheat oven to 400F. Spray roasting pan with non-stick spray or olive oil. Lay squash in single layer on roasting pan. Mix together agave nectar and balsamic vinegar and brush on top layer of squash. (Some will run down, which will coat the bottom as the squash roasts.)

Roast squash 15 minutes, then turn each piece. Brush second side lightly with the agave-balsamic mixture. (It will look glazed already and you may be tempted not to brush it, but do it so the glaze can run down and coat the other side.) Roast 15 minutes more, or until squash pierces easily with a fork and is lightly browned.

Grind black pepper and sea salt over squash and serve hot.

This tasty recipe comes from Kalyn’s Kitchen.

Guaranteed Juicy Brined Heirloom Turkey

Heirloom turkey delivers flavor that is richer and fuller. The animals are typically raised under more natural conditions in pastures by farmers who love them and don’t inject growth hormones or steroids. You can taste the difference.

Because  heirloom turkeys do not have the corn-fed, genetically modified fat pad of conventionally farmed turkey, so the breast meat can dry out more easily during cooking. Follow my cooking tips, and your heirloom turkey will turn out juicy and delicious every time.

Preparation

  1. Defrost your turkey (if frozen) at least 48 hours in advance of your cooking start time. Do this by placing it in the refrigerator, never on the counter.
  2. Brine your bird in a large brining bag for 24 hours in advance on your cooking start time, being sure to rotate the bird. This tenderizes the meat and draws fluid in, making it less likely to dry out during roasting. You can add herbs and spices to your brine to give your turkey a distinctive flavor. My brine recipe is:
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup honey, agave or coconut sugar
  • 1 cup tamari, Bragg’s liquid aminos or soy sauce (be careful to choose a mild tasting soy sauce) OR 1/2 cup of salt dissolved in an equal part warm water
  • Optional: herbs and spices, such as sage, thyme, paprika, majoram, bay leaf, organe zest and/or garlic
  • Combine the brine ingredients in a large pot and heat until combined. Cool and then add to brining bag containing the fresh turkey.

brine-for-roasted-turkey-and-chicken

brine-for-roasted-turkey-and-chicken

Cooking

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 475F
  2. Drain the brine and deep tissue massage the turkey with clarified butter (ghee) or olive oil. Be generous.
  3. DO NOT STUFF. Stuffing heirloom turkey requires longer cooking times and the meat will dry out. Cook your stuffing on the side. However, you can add apples, celery, carrots and any other fruit or veggie to the center of the bird, which will steam and add flavor and moisture.
  4. Set the bird in the roasting pan breast side up and place it the center of the oven. Set on the rack a separate thermometer to double check the oven temperature (most built-in oven thermometers are off anywhere from 10 to 50 degrees F).
  5. Cook the bird on 475F for 15 minutes. Use a timer.
  6. Then reduce the heat to 325F and cook an additional 20 minutes for each pound. Again, use a timer. Halfway through this second, longer cooking cycle brush the breast liberally with olive oil and more herbs.
  7. When the skin looks browned and crispy, cover the bird with aluminum foil for the remainder of the cooking cycle.
  8. When the cooking is finished, test the underside of the thigh by inserting deeply a meat thermometer. It should read a 155F.
  9. Remove the turkey in the roasting pan to a counter space for cooling. Cool for 30 minutes covered with tin foil (the meat will continue to cook t o 165F). Set a timer. Do not cut or slice. This time is when all the cooking juices go back into the meat. If you cut the bird right away, the meat will dry out as the juices spill into the pan.
  10. Carve, serve and enjoy!

Note: You may also cook your turkey in a cooking bag. This helps hold in the juices and cooks through steam. You can use a coking bag as extra insurance if you feel unskilled or unsure of any my steps.

Sweet Potato Macaroni

This time of year there is a lot of cooking to do. This dish fills in the gaps when you and the kids need something wholesome to eat, but don’t want to do more cooking because it reheats beautifully.
Takes: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 box quinoa macaroni (any pasta will do)
  • 1 cup (+ a little more) of coconut milk
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika (regular works also)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cayenne (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot on high heat boil 4 cups of water.
  2. Place diced sweet potato in boiling water.
  3. Cook until you can pierce the potatoes with a fork (5-8 mins)
  4. Once sweet potatoes are finished cooking, remove potatoes (saving the water) and place them into a blender.
  5. Put macaroni into the reserved boiling water (you may have to add more water) and cook according to package directions.
  6. While macaroni cooks place nutritional yeast, milk, red onion, paprika, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne into the blender with the sweet potatoes. Blend on high. Should turn into a thick sauce.
  7. Adjust seasonings to your liking.
  8. Drain macaroni and place back in empty pot.
  9. Pour the blender sauce over the macaroni and stir well.
  10. Turn stove onto low and heat for 5-10 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

*Reheats Well.