Roasted Red Pepper Bolognese – Holy Yum!

80 degrees outside, 500 degrees in my kitchen. Not really, but I was certainly sweating buckets.  Did I mention I live in a small 2 bedroom apartment?  Did I mention my kitchen is teeny tiny?  I can’t grill any meat on my stove without the smoke detectors going off and if my ovens hot so am I.  Ah well, cook now, shower later.  So tonight was a total experiment and it was TASTE-EEE.  This evening’s recipe has two parts, first you have to roast your peppers than you can make the bolognese sauce. You can technically buy roasted red peppers but the way I see it, the more from scratch the less likely the headache.  And hey, you also get to use your new handy dandy headache free chicken broth!  A good tip for the garlic and basil, Dorot sells frozen cubes.  You just toss them into whatever you’re cooking.  1 cube = 1 tsp.  They’re great! 

Roasted Red Peppers (Part 1):

5 Red Peppers

Preheat broiler.  Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and lightly spray with Pam or wipe with a little oil.  Chop off tops of red peppers and clean out the seeds.  Cut the peppers in half and flatten them face down against the pam.  Place under broiler for 10 minutes.  Remove peppers from oven and let rest for at least 15 minutes.  Peel the skin off of the peppers.

Roasted Red Pepper Bolognese (Part 2):

Roasted Red Peppers or 1 15.5oz Jar of Roasted Red Peppers

1 pound Ground Turkey, preferably dark meat

1 leek, green parts removed, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup head friendly chicken broth

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Using a blender or food processor, add roasted red peppers (with juices), leeks and garlic (if you’re using Dorot, wait on the garlic till you’re simmering your sauce) and pulse until combined and smooth. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Pour in the roasted red pepper mixture, and saute for 5 minutes or until the sauce begins to simmer. Stir in the remaining sauce ingredients (stock, sugar, salt, black pepper and basil), and bring back to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, and let the sauce simmer for another 5-10 minutes.  In the meantime, in a large saute pan heat 2nd tablespoon over medium-high heat. Add ground turkey and heat until cooked through.  Add turkey to red pepper sauce and simmer for another few minutes.  Serve with pasta or shredded zucchini pasta. (Don’t forget to salt your water when you cook your pasta).    



From Scratch – Chicken Broth

So many recipes call for already made ingredients.  And being able to buy these ingredients makes life so much easier.  But alas, modern technology and chemicals means that most of these pre-made ingredients are not head friendly.  First up, chicken broth from scratch.  Just a few changes to my great grandmother’s original recipe!  Fun fact,  most of these old recipes call for Capons.  A Capon is a castrated rooster! Agk!!  You can just use a whole chicken.  

1 Whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces

About 8 cups water, more or less depending on what covers the chicken in the pot

5-8 carrots

I head celery stalks

3 leeks, green parts cut off, cut in half

fresh dill

salt and pepper

Place chicken in a large pot and cover with water (don’t use too much water).  Bring to a boil and skim off scum for about 10 minutes.  Add vegetables and dill and bring back to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer for several hours.  When finished pour soup over a colander to separate out the broth from the chicken and vegetables. I like to eat the soup with egg noodles and some of the cooked carrots.  You can use the chicken for a chicken salad or toss it.  Freeze whatever broth you don’t plan on using right away.

A fun tip is to use a muffin tin to freeze the soup.  Once frozen transfer soup muffins to a plastic bag.  This way you only have to defrost small amounts at a time.  

Have your cake…or, Tapioca, or Fudge…

I had to give up ice cream and cheese among many other delicious things when I learned I was lactose intolerant.  I was bummed but a life without stomach aches was even worth giving up cheese fondue.  My husband has always been able to eat everything.  It was fun to cook for him because outside of mushrooms and maybe artichokes the sky was the limit. But now, with this new head ache diet he almost has had to give up more foods than I have.  Its been two weeks though.  Two whole weeks without a headache, and hubby is running every day.  Headache free and getting healthy to boot.  So I’m okay with the new cooking challenge and I think he’s even okay with giving up chocolate and peanut butter (though I know he misses them, deeply).  I’ve tried to give him other goodness and sweetness to look forward to.  These desserts certainly don’t help your waistline but they do seem to nip that sweet tooth in the bud.  

Tapioca Pudding adapted from Tasty Yummies (the original is a vegan recipe — good for me, not for hubby)

2 cups milk, divided
1/3 cup tapioca pearls
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup maple syrup (or agave syrup – you could also use honey if you aren’t vegan)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon tapioca starch with 1 tablespoon water mixed in
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

In a large glass bowl, add the tapioca pearls and 1 cup of milk, stir then cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 4 hours). When it has soak for at least 4 hours, add the additional milk and the chilled tapioca/milk mixture to a medium saucepan, over a medium heat. Once the pudding is boiling, pour in the heavy cream, vanilla and maple syrup. Cook for another 12 to 15 minutes, constantly stirring.

Finally, lower the heat and add in the tapioca starch mixture and salt, stirring and cooking for an additional 5 minutes. Cool in a glass bowl for at least an hour before serving. You can serve it a little warm or fully chilled.

Sunflower Seed Butter Fudge adapted from The Food Network

8 ounces unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
1 cup sunflower seed butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound powdered sugar

Combine the butter and sunflower seed butter in a 4-quart microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 2 minutes on high. Stir and microwave on high for 2 more minutes. (Use caution when removing this mixture from the microwave, it will be very hot.) Add the vanilla and powdered sugar to the sunflower seed butter mixture and stir to combine with a wooden spoon. The mixture will become hard to stir and lose its sheen. Spread into a buttered 8 by 8-inch pan lined with parchment paper. Fold the excess parchment paper so it covers the surface of the fudge and refrigerate until cool, about 2 hours. Cut into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.