Last weekend I road-tripped up to Maine to visit my brother, a health coach and fellow food enthusiast who happens to eat a gluten free diet. (Read about the trip and what Andrew and I ate along the way in last week’s post. And check out my brother’s website here!) We had a great time developing healthy recipes together and an even better time feasting on the results (with some 88% dark chocolate for dessert). All of the dishes go very nicely together, but each would also work well with paired with a few less labor-intensive options: e.g., serve the meatballs with a vegetable and avocado salad, the turnip greens and zucchini with salmon fillets, etc. I hope you enjoy the recipes!
Coconut-Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 cup coconut milk (slightly more than 1/2 of a 14.5 oz. can)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- sea salt
- Preheat oven to 375°. Coat the bottom of a large glass baking dish with the coconut oil (if oil is solid, put it in the baking dish and place in the oven for a few minutes to melt it, then swirl to coat the bottom of the dish). Add the sweet potato chunks and toss to coat with oil, sprinkle with sea salt. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until potatoes are very soft. Remove foil and bake 5 to 10 minutes longer.
- While sweet potatoes are baking, combine coconut milk, cinnamon, and a pinch of sea salt in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then immediately reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until coconut milk is reduced by about two-thirds.
- Pour reduced coconut milk over the baked sweet potatoes and stir to combine.
Baby Turnips with Bacon
- 2 bunches baby turnips, stems removed, leaves reserved for another use, turnip bulbs quartered
- 4 slices nitrite-free organic bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- additional bacon fat or neutral high-smoke-point oil, like avocado oil
- sea salt
- In a medium skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crisp, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon from pan and let drain on paper towels. If necessary, add additional bacon fat or oil to the pan to total about two tablespoons. Add turnips to the pan, toss to coat with bacon fat.
- Preheat oven to 375°. Spread turnips onto a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until turnips are browned and very tender. Remove from oven, sprinkle with apple cider vinegar, and top with bacon.
Spiced Meatballs with Walnut Sauce
for the meatballs
- 1 lb ground grass-fed beef
- 1 large free-range egg
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- high-smokepoint vegetable oil, like avocado oil
for the walnut sauce
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted
- 1 large clove garlic, peeled
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 Tbsp walnut or avocado oil
- 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- sea salt
- Make the walnut sauce: Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse to make a coarse sauce. Add sea salt to taste.
- Make the meatballs: Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix together, using your hands. Do not over mix! Form the mixture into balls of about two teaspoons each.
- Heat about 1/4 inch of oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet and cook the meatballs in two batches. Cook on one side until brown, about 8 to 10 minutes, then flip and cook 8 to 10 minutes on the other side. Remove meatballs with a slotted spoon, set aside, and cook the next batch. Serve with walnut sauce.
Buttery Turnip Greens and Zucchini
- greens from 2 bunches baby turnips, large ribs removed, leaves washed and sliced into thin strips
- 2 medium zucchinis, halved lengthwise and sliced into half-moons
- 1/4 cup grass-fed butter (from grass-fed cows, not that the butter itself ate grass . . . you understand)
- sea salt
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the turnip greens and cook, stirring, until wilted and slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook 5 minutes more. Cover and cook 30 to 40 minutes, stirring several times, until zucchini is mushy and falling apart. Add salt to taste.