Cast iron pan makes professional looking crepes

I've made different variations of crepes, one with coconut flour even. Found the best is when made on a hot cast iron pan. These came out incredibly thin and perfect textured- looked like the ones professional crepe stands make. And they cooked a lot faster and easier in the cast iron pan than my normal heavy bottom stainless steel pan

Lightened the batter recipe up a little-- combine:
1.5 C milk or non dairy milk (whole milk is nice)
1 C whole wheat white flour
2 eggs

1 TB coconut/palm sugar
1/8 tea salt (like a pinch)

Preheat cast iron pan over high heat for 5 minutes.

Swirl butter in the pan.

Pour some crepe batter into the hot pan and immediately swirl pan to spread evenly. Let sit for 30-60 seconds- should no longer be jiggly.

Use a flexible spatula as well as a hard one (like a hamburger turner) to carefully flip.

Cook on the second side for 15-30 seconds, then turn out on a pan. Keep that warm with foil or a lid while you cook the rest.

Serve as is, or with a tad bit of maple syrup, or a pile of berries.  One of these days I want to make a crepe cake with pastry cream filing...

Slow Cooker Pork Quinoa cabbage bowl

I've used pork rib tips before and I love them because they are cheap and delicious. You may have to ask for the rib tips. Make sure they are from pastured animals (better nutrition).

Since you use a slow cooker this is an easy and hearty meal to prepare. Old slow cookers (1980s or early 1990s) will cook slower than mine, so allow yourself plenty of time (up to 8 hours?) for older slow cookers to finish cooking the meat.

Cut pork rib tips if needed to fit a couple slabs in the slow cooker. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Don't add any liquid- the pork liquids will be fine.  Cover and cook for 5-6 hours on low until the meat falls off the bone. (I use a newer model slow cooker, older slow cookers may take longer)

Using a couple forks, separate the meat from cartilage/bone. Set meat aside, discard cartilage/bone.

Cook up some quinoa in a rice cooker.

Finely shred green cabbage on a mandolin slicer.

Assemble bowls: quinoa, bed of shredded cabbage, cooked shredded pork and season with salt and tomatillo salsa.


I sampled Andouille sausage for the first time at the meat counter and it was so good I had to buy one! They are like bacon meets sausage with spice. Or summer sausage with heat? Make sure to buy nitrate free. 
So what was I going to do with this Andouille? It's been making the rounds in all the cookbooks and recipe blogs- and I remembered it was often featured in jambalaya, which I've never made before. So I started with this recipe and adapted it to what I had in the pantry and fridge. 

First, mix the spices- this makes about enough for this dish but you could make extra by scaling up the proportions: 
1.25 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme

Mix the above spices with shelled shrimp (as much or little shrimp as you like).  Use either bite-sized shrimp, or cut large shrimp into pieces. Or use lobster or langostino. Set aside. 
In  1-2 TB oil or fat (chicken or bacon fat), saute until softened:
1/2 C diced yellow onion
1/2 C diced celery
1/2 bell pepper, diced
pinch of salt
Then add 4 minced cloves garlic, 3 bay leaves and 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce. Let cook for 60 seconds until garlic is fragrant. 

Add 3/4 C long grain rice (like basmati) and toast it in the veggies and oil for 30-60 seconds. 

Now add and stir:
3 C chicken broth
2-3 TB tomato paste (or use a can of diced tomatoes)

Cover and cook on medium until rice is done- 15 minutes for white basmati but longer for other types of rice. Add more water if it needs it. 

Meanwhile, slice Andouille or other spicy sausage into pieces. 
Add the sliced sausage and the raw spice-coated shrimp to the pan. Cover and cook on med/low until the shrimp is cooked all the way through. 
Serve hot!


Raw Coconut Chia Pudding

I had some frozen young coconut to use up and surprisigly couldn't really find a simple raw vegan pudding recipe for it. So I took ideas from all over and decided to simply blend the two together. The result was creamy and rich- and perfect when topped with mango. I could actually see this being a birthday/celebration dessert.

If you want the pudding to be sweet itself, then add a medjool date when blending.  You could also add a vanilla bean, but the specs wouldn't be noticed b/c of the chia seed specs.

I used frozen young coconut meat (see photo). Thaw it, then drain off the liquid.


Blend until smooth
1 C young coconut meat
1 TB chia seeds
enough water to blend

Pour into pretty single serving cups/teacups. It will start to set up quickly.

When ready to serve, top with chopped mango, berries or a fruity sauce.


Soba Tofu Veggie Bowl

Somehow tofu and soba were meant to be together- it's a great flavor/texture combo.  This was a last minute assembly dinner but was surprisingly delicious and definitely crave-able.

Many soba noodles these days are mostly wheat with a tiny bit of buckwheat.  100% buckwheat noodles are often too expensive ($7 a package!!). So either try making buckwheat noodles yourself (that's a project for someday) or buy soba noodles where the first ingredient is buckwheat-- at least that means they are more buckwheat than wheat.


First see this link for the freezing method of improving tofu texture.

Roast the tofu using this recipe.

While that's roasting in the oven, make the dressing by combining:
1/4 C rice vinegar  (komezu)
2 TB sesame oil
2 TB soy sauce
1 TB brown sugar
2 tea grated ginger
garlic (grated fresh or garlic powder)

Steam broccoli.

Shred cabbage thinly (mandolin slicing helps!)

Steam or roast mushrooms (you can add to the tofu pan near the end of cooking).

Boil soba (cooks in 2-3 minutes so check it frequently). Then drain and keep warm.

Once the tofu is done, you can assemble. First soba, then cabbage, broccoli, tofu, mushrooms and drizzle the dressing over the top.  Optional garnish with sesame seeds.

Serve immediately while still warm.

While it hasn't lasted long enough to become leftovers, I might try a summer version for picnic/packed lunch that is cold...


Daikon, Sugar Snap Peas & Miso Ginger Salad

I swear this miso ginger dressing is so good it would make anything taste good.  I've been putting it on vegetables left and right.

Here I shaved thin slices of daikon, then cut pieces of sugar snap peas.

Topped with miso ginger dressing.


Blue Corn Quinoa Crepes

This is like a cross between corn bread and a tortilla. Had some extra blue cornmeal lying around as well as quinoa flour, so I made a variation off this recipe. Served it along side a Southwest/Black bean salad.  The hubby thought they looked odd but he ate quite a few so they passed the test :)


Start preheating a cast iron pan over high heat.  You can use a different kind of pan but the cast iron really does a good job of cooking quickly and evenly.

Beat up the batter, making sure there aren't any globs of egg left:

1/3 C whole wheat flour
1/3 C quinoa flour (or substitute whatever flour you like)
2/3 C coarse blue cornmeal
2 eggs
1 C rice milk (or other milk)
1/4 tsp salt

Spread a little bit of butter or oil in the hot pan.

Pour less than 1/4 cup of batter in the pan, immediately shaking to spread it out thinly. Let it cook until set - 30-60 seconds in a really hot pan (longer for less hot pans).

Carefully flip. Let it cook 20 seconds (or longer) to cook the other side. Flip out onto a plate, cover and continue with rest of batter.


Japanese Ginger Miso Salad Dressing

This stuff is magical. Mix together:

3 TB white or light yellow miso
1 TB dashi (or water)
1 TB sugar
3 TB komezu (rice vinegar)
1 TB olive oil
1 tea grated ginger 

Pour over a salad of thinly sliced daikon, mizuna or other greens, steamed kabocha (adds a nice sweetness!) and optional chrysanthemum greens (shungiku).


Beef Avocado fusion maki Sushi

This is fusion sushi- like a salmon avocado roll but with leftover cooked beef! Yes for someone accustomed to eating "real" sushi it is strange but very delicious.  You could serve this to folks who don't like fish (as long as they're ok with seaweed) and get them used to sushi rice and nori with fillings.

Make sushi rice.

Slice avocado into thin strips.

Shred cooked beef with two forks. I used leftover slow cooker beef chuck/stew meat that I had simply plopped the cut chunks into the slow cooker with salt and pepper and cooked on low for 5 hours.

Place nori on sushi mat. Spread sushi rice, then top with a thin row of beef and avocado, optional spicy sprouts like mustard sprouts. Roll up the sushi (See this post with photos of the layout of the rice on the nori). Use a little dab of water to seal the roll tighly, then slice into bite sizes.

Serve with soy sauce.

Would be good with side salad of cucumber and wakame, miso soup, or daikon salad


Egg Pasta Noodles- how to make your own dried pasta

I enjoy making fresh pasta but was having a hard time getting it to stop sticking to itself. Finally realized that I could use the dehydrator trays (I have an excalibur- so the trays are large squares, not the round doughnut shaped trays) to keep the pasta separated and then dry the pasta in the dehydrator. 

Alternatively you could lay out on cookie sheets or over a suspended broom handle.  I've seen folks shape the pasta into "nests" and freeze but the dough gets all stuck to itself when I've tried that.

Use fresh flour and the best flour you can get your hands on. I use Bob's Red Mill organic flours- either whole wheat or white whole wheat.  Don't try this with old flour- since there's not very many ingredients rancid flour would be obvious.  It would be fun to try this with home ground wheat, or sprouted, dehydrated and ground wheat berries.

Equipment: pasta machine/roller, dehydrator (optional) 

Mix and knead into a dough:
3 eggs
300 grams fresh whole wheat flour
1-4 TB water as needed (will take a little bit of practice to know exactly how much water you need)

Let dough rest at least 15minutes, covered with plastic wrap. This step is critical- without it you'll have a mess trying to get it through the pasta machine.

Cut off a 6th of the dough, flatten it with your hand (or you can try with 1/4 of the dough at a time but it will be a lot to handle on the machine at once!). Dust with a tiny bit of flour.

Start running through the pasta machine at the largest setting- do this a few times, reshaping the edges.

Then loop the pasta onto the machine in a circle (i.e. attach the starting end to the other end and run the seam through the machine) so you can run the dough around and around-- this saves a lot of time and means you can do this with just one person.

Start dialing down the thickness on each (or every other) rotation of the dough until it is sufficiently thin (number 3 on the machine I use).

Cut the dough off the machine.

Cut pasta sheets into 10" lengths, dust with a little flour between the sheets, stack the sheets. Carefully cut with a knife into strips of your desired thickness. 

Quickly transfer the cut pasta to dehydrator tray and separate into each of the layers.  This amount of dough fills 6 Excalibur dehydrator trays.

Dehydrate at 105 F for 2 hours.  Store in plastic bags to keep moisture out.

Use as you'd use normal dried pasta.  I love it in chicken noodle soup or chickpea soup.