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Green Bean Fries

All fries are good… and these green bean fries are awesome!

green bean fries

If you could see the talk-bubble above my head whenever anyone asks me what my favorite food is, you’d see a picture of a huge plate of french fries. Next to that would be a puddle of ketchup and a bowl of gravy. My all-time favorite food has always been french fries with gravy… preferably from a greasy diner. That’s what I’m thinking when I get asked that question. But, it’s been many, many years since I felt good eating that way.  Nowadays, I make my “fries” baked, not fried, and they are not always made with potatoes.

That doesn’t mean that I am depriving myself at all. Mainly, because I truly don’t believe in depravation.  Baked fries, if you make them correctly, taste just as good as the fried version (okay… maybe not the greasy diner version…).   But, because I like all fries, I have learned to make them out of lots of different veggies. This way I can have them all the time.  Literally, with every meal if I feel like it.

First, let me just say that these taste nothing like traditional french fries. Nothing compares to a fried potato. So, when you serve these, don’t call them fries. People get all drool-y and excited (at least I know I do…) when they think you are serving french fries. When I served them at my house, I just called them green beans. OMG, they got rave reviews! Really, who doesn’t like a crispy food that you can pick up with your fingers and dunk in a creamy spicy dip?

I live in the middle of Manhattan. So, it’s kind of crazy and loud all of the time. I kind of thrive on the craziness and the hustle and bustle. And, now that I’m in my urban happy place, I can find something I like about every season. Even though I’m not really a lover of the cold, I love to watch the snow fall on the city streets below my windows. That’s winter. Now that winter is over and it’s full-on spring here in New York, it means we get to sit at my dining room table near the window, look outside, and actually watch the sun set at dinner time… yay! No more darkness at 4:30 pm…

Picture it… a big plate of green bean fries. A spicy creamy dip. Finger food near an open window while the sun sets. And for me, the beauty of the city noises outside while I eat with a smile on my lips. I feel so blessed to have found my happy place… and when I fill it with happy food… oh my, it’s a great thing!

I have made fries out of just about every vegetable you can think of. Some are good, some are excellent, and some… well… they really were… ummm… pretty gross.

The secret to these green bean fries is the coating. You’ve got to dredge them in something to get them crispy. I’m sure breadcrumbs and flour would crisp them up nicely, but we don’t want to have to use those inflammation-producing ingredients, so I tried out lots of things on the way to finding out the best answer to the crispy green bean dilemma.

And, here’s the answer: chickpea crumbs! In the supermarkets now they actually sell bags of chickpea crumbs. Now, you can use any crumbs you like to coat these green bean fries, but if you can find chickpea crumbs, give them a shot. You can add whatever you like to these crumbs.  Once I added hemp seeds. Once I added sesame seeds.  Do whatever floats your boat.

If you want to try another great green bean recipe, try my simple recipe for Salt And Pepper Roasted Green Beans.

green bean friesgreen bean fries

Here are some of the healing ingredients in these green bean fries:

Green beans have a lot of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B, and iron. Eating green beans can help rid the body of toxins and can help regulate metabolism. They also can help relieve that feeling of excessive fullness in your stomach and excessive belching. In Chinese medicine, green beans are eaten to clear up chronic diarrhea and even for some lower back pain.

Chickpeas actually help calm the spirit. They relieve anxiety and soothe irritability… it kind of makes you realize why hummus is so popular… I used chickpea crumbs to coat these green bean fries.

Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are high in protein, easily digestible, and contain a full complement of amino acids. They contain disease-fighting phytonutrients that are good for your blood, immune system, tissues and skin. Hemp contains a specific fatty acid that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps balance hormones, making it a great choice to fight the symptoms of PMS. This super seed is also good for your liver and your brain.

Hot peppers contain more vitamin C than any other vegetable and they are good at fighting off the common cold. So, if you like spice, as I do, use a generous amount of whatever hot peppers you like. The main component of hot peppers is capsicum. Capsicum actually works with your body and mind to make you feel happy. It’s also good for reducing swelling and can relieve arthritic joint pain. If you have high blood pressure, check with your doctor before eating too many hot peppers because they can actually raise the blood pressure in some people. These green bean fries have chili powder, and chipotle chili powder in the coating and the dip is made with sriracha.

green bean fries

 

Green Bean Fries
Author: 
Recipe type: vegetable, side dish
Cuisine: paleo, whole30, vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
These "fries" are meant to be eaten with your fingers. Dunk them in the spicy creamy sauce and you will smile from ear to ear!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb green beans, ends trimmed
  • 1 cup chickpea crumbs (you can buy them here) (or substitute a Paleo-friendly crumb)
  • 2 Tbs hemp seeds (optional) (I like these)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried minced onion flakes
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • For the dip:
  • ⅓ cup healthy mayonnaise (here's a paleo/avocado oil one)
  • ¼ cup cashew yogurt (or other yogurt of your choice)
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp sriracha, or to taste
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a pie plate, combine the chickpea crumbs, hemp seeds, garlic powder, minced onion flakes, paprika, salt and pepper, and chili powders.
  4. Whisk the eggs in a second pie plate or bowl.
  5. Dunk the beans in the eggs and then dredge them in the crumb mixture. Make sure they are well-coated.
  6. Place them on the baking sheet in a single layer so they are not touching each other.
  7. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are crispy.
  8. Meanwhile, make the dip: combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
  9. Remove the beans from the oven when they are done, and serve on a platter with the dip.
  10. Enjoy!

green bean fries

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

vegan spinach artichoke dip

Spinach artichoke dip is one of those weird things that almost everybody seems to love. I say weird, because even people who don’t love veggies or think they hate artichokes or spinach, seem to dive into a bowl of spinach artichoke dip whenever it’s around. This vegan spinach artichoke dip is no exception. I had people diving into this dip the second it was plopped down on my coffee table.

My kids used to order this dip (the cheesy original version) every time we went to a restaurant that had it. It always came out steaming hot and creamy and it smelled so good! It’s one of those things that I could never eat because of all the dairy. Well, this vegan version finally gives me my turn!

This dip is warm and creamy. It may be vegan, but it tastes so similar to the cheese-laden original, that nobody will know.

I loved this dip with sliced radishes and cucumbers and peppers, but the not-so-health conscious eaters in my crowd scooped up mounds of this dip with chips and pita.

It’s that time of year when we are post-Thanksgiving but pre-Xmas and Hannukah and New Years. So, we all try to eat as healthy as we can for the next few weeks. Right? I mean if we can do okay now, then we can really let loose that last week of the year. So, if this is your plan, slip this vegan spinach artichoke dip into your apps rotation during football games, basketball games, happy hours, whatever… because it sure helps when you are eating something that tastes sinful, but really isn’t.

Okay, enuf selling of this dip. Haha, you’d think I was getting a commission on it or something… but I’m not… I just want you to be happy from healthy food. Wow, that sounds pretty corny, huh?

Anyway, happy everything!

I want to thank Sina at Vegan Heaven for the original recipe for this dish.

Oh, and if you are looking for another healthy dip to try, take a look at my recipe for Beet Hummus.

This is Steve, with that look on his face saying this bowl is all for him and nobody better come near him… haha.. vegan spinach artichoke dipvegan spinach artichoke dip

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this delicious vegan spinach artichoke dip:

White beans are good at boosting energy and calming the mind. They can help improve your memory and can lower cholesterol. And, they are a great source of protein.

It is true that spinach contains iron, but it’s this vegetable’s lesser-known qualities that really hold my admiration. Spinach contains a substance that helps eliminate prostate cancer. It’s also great for your bones and also for memory loss. Diabetic patients may find that eating spinach helps combat excessive thirst and can even be good for night blindness. Spinach can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb calcium, so calcium-rich foods should be avoided when eating this leafy green.

Artichokes are a good source of vitamins C and K and they also contain a healthy amount of magnesium. The are low in fat and calories but they do have some fiber, so they are a healthy choice. In Chinese medicine, we recommend adding artichokes to the diet to combat sadness, headaches, indigestion, and diarrhea. In olden times, steamed artichokes were sometimes prescribed to combat a yeast infection.

Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice.

Nutritional yeast gives things a cheese-y taste without using any dairy and it adds amino acids and Vitamin B, iron, zinc, and selenium to your diet. Nutritional yeast is a complete protein and also contains fiber, so it’s a really good thing!

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. In the winter, I eat lots and lots of onions… I guess I should feel sorry for the people close to me! Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better; they actually can rid the body of bacteria. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!

vegan spinach artichoke dip

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip
Author: 
Recipe type: appetizer, dip, vegan, vegetarian
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Vegan Heaven
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This is one of those dips that people just keep eating and eating and nobody knows it's vegan. It's really creamy and delicious... and easy to make! Great for a crowd!
Ingredients
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 5 oz fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 14-oz can artichoke hearts, drained, roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Place the lemon juice,cashews, beans and nutritional yeast, and water in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Heat oil in a large pan and add the onion.
  4. Saute until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute.
  6. Add the spinach, and stir until completely wilted, about 1 or 2 minutes.
  7. Stir in the artichokes.
  8. Stir in the cashew mixture.
  9. Season with salt.
  10. Spoon into a bowl and serve warm with crackers, chips, or fresh veggies.
  11. Enjoy!

vegan spinach artichoke dip

Beet Hummus

                           Beets are good for endurance and digestion!
beet hummus

I used to make homemade hummus all the time. I don’t know why I stopped, but stop I did. I think I forgot how easy it is to make it and how much better it tastes than those store-bought containers. But, let me tell you, it is easier to make homemade hummus than it is to go out to the store and buy it! And when you can add in your own flavors, there’s no need to ever buy it. Hmmmm…. I hope I remember this next time. Anyway, this Beet Hummus is delicious! And, look how pretty!

Long, long ago, when I would be preparing for a dinner party, I fixated on the appetizers. I would put out pretty platters of way too many finger foods and dips. I loved to make them and I loved the idea of eating all of my creations with awesome cocktails before dinner.

And everyone would be full before dinner.

Then I got smart. Nobody needs a boatload of appetizers if you are serving a delicious dinner. They may need the cocktails, but not all of that pre-dinner food.

So, now I pick one dip and maybe one finger food and I’m done… OK, so now I feel I have carte blanche to make way too many courses for the actual dinner… but it’s still better…

Last week, when I had some of my favorite people to dinner, I made 2 bowls of this beet hummus and served it with some divine breadsticks, some gluten-free chips, and some fresh carrots and radishes. Yum. That’s all I can say. Just yum.

And if you want a recipe for the best beet side dish ever, you have to try my Pomegranate Glazed Beets!

beet hummusbeet hummus

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this beet hummus recipe:

Beets are SO good for you. I try to find ways to fit them into my meals as much as possible. Really… many times a week. Beets nourish blood and tonify the heart. Athletes are starting to drink beet juice as a form of endurance therapy. They are anti-carcinogenic, good for anemia, and relieve constipation. I also think it’s a great idea to eat them raw sometimes because their amazing goodness is even more pumped up this way.

Chickpeas actually help calm the spirit. They relieve anxiety and soothe irritability… it kind of makes you realize why hummus is so popular…

Sesame seeds have many great nutritional benefits. This recipe is made with tahini (sesame seed paste). They are an anti-aging food. If you have backaches, hair thats graying way too fast, ringing in the ears, weak knees, blurry vision or general weakness, go for the sesame seeds; just sprinkle them on everything. Long ago in China, sesame seeds were ground into honey to form a paste and was taken as a medicine to counter old-age and weakness. For this recipe, you can use store-bought tahini.

Lemons are good for your stomach, they help detoxify your body, they balance your pH and they act as an antibacterial. If you have a sore throat or a cough, go for lemons to make things better. Lemons are great for quenching your thirst, and, in China, many years ago, hypertension was treated by drinking tea made from lemon peels.

beet hummus

Beet Hummus
Author: 
Recipe type: appetizer, dip, hummus
Cuisine: vegan, vegetarian, simple
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
This amazing beet hummus is so easy to make! You just toss everything in the food processor and it's done!
Ingredients
  • 3 medium red beets, peeled, quartered, and roasted until softened or 3 pre-cooked medium beets
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • sea salt to taste
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 3 Tbs tahini
  • 3 Tbs water
Instructions
  1. Put all of the ingredients in the food processor and whiz it up until smooth!
  2. That's it! Enjoy!

beet hummus

Paleo Eggplant Meatballs

Here’s a meatball that can reduce inflammation… really!
paleo eggplant meatballs

Food in “ball” form is just fun. But, then again, I think finger food and appetizers just taste better than big portions of food. It just tastes does. It’s like food on a stick — when my kids were young, I’d cut up whatever I was serving for dinner and stack ( the bites on toothpicks; it worked like a charm. Meatballs are awesome (and don’t require any sticks). These paleo eggplant meatballs have no meat in them. They taste like little bites of eggplant parmesan. But, this recipe contains no grains and no cheese. And no, they don’t taste like air or like cardboard (as I have been asked by some doubter-friends).

I served these meatless balls for dinner the other night on top of my favorite grain-free fettuccine and my favorite marinara sauce.

The next day, I ate some for lunch on top of a salad with a vegan Caesar dressing — this was so good!

And, truth be told, the rest of the batch was eaten straight from the container in the fridge, without even heating them up. And yup, I liked them this way too.

The original recipe for these paleo eggplant meatballs is from a great blog called Every Last Bite.  I’m addicted.

Next up, I’ll be making these balls into burgers. Hmmmm, I think topped with some caramelized onions and vegan cheese… OK, now I’m hungry. Again.

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now (okay… always…), so let me customize a recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. I’ve got a meatball recipe with your name on it…  So CLICK HEREto be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

If you are looking for another great paleo eggplant recipe, try my Paleo Eggplant Parmesan.

paleo eggplant meatballspaleo eggplant meatballs

Here are just a few reasons to make these paleo eggplant meatballs:

In eastern medicine, eggplant is added to the diet when there is pain in the body because it’s great for relieving pain and reducing swelling. It’s especially good to eat eggplant when you are experiencing some nasty digestive issues. It relieves stomach pain, helps with dysentery, diarrhea, and painful urinary conditions. Eggplant has also been used topically to treat frostbite and canker sores… talk about a multi-tasking vegetable…

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. In the winter, I eat lots and lots of onions… I guess I should feel sorry for the people close to me! During cold and flu season, I recommend onions to everyone, and in lots of ways and forms; they actually can rid the body of bacteria.

In Asian medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation. This recipe uses almond flour to hold the balls together.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects. In these meatballs, I used dried basil, but please feel free to add some fresh basil too.

paleo eggplant meatballs

If you make this Paleo Eggplant Meatballs recipe, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Paleo Eggplant Meatballs
Author: 
Recipe type: meatballs, vegetarian, grain-free, paleo, Italian
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Every Last Bite
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
These are meatless meatballs that won't make you miss the meat. Wow, that's a mouthful... and these are deliciously healthy mouthfuls!
Ingredients
  • 1 medium/large eggplant, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 5 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup almond flour (I buy mine by the case, here)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ cup vegan Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 egg white, beaten with a fork
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  3. Place the eggplant, onion, and garlic on the baking tray and toss with the oil and a bit of salt and pepper.
  4. Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until you start to see some charred edges.
  5. Remove from oven and now reduce the oven temp to 375°F.
  6. Scrape the roasted veggies into a food processor. Pulse 10 times -- you want there to still be some chunks in the mixture.
  7. Transfer the veggie mixture to a large bowl and stir in the almond flour, basil, Parmesan and egg white. Combine well.
  8. Roll into golf ball - size balls. (I found it easier to do this with wet hands).
  9. Arrange the balls on the baking tray (use the same piece of parchment paper).
  10. Bake for about 50 minutes, without turning the balls over. You will know they are done when they release from the parchment paper without sticking. Make sure you let the balls cool before you try to release them completely; this will help them release more easily without sticking.
  11. Enjoy your balls with your favorite pasta, sauce, salad, sandwich...

paleo eggplant meatballs

Paleo Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs

Eating a little bit of beef can help ease that holiday bloated feeling you may be suffering with…
paleo cheese-stuffed meatballs

I love meatballs. When Meatball Mondays became an actual thing that people were doing, I thought here is something I can get on board with — no questions asked.

Meatballs are so adjective-worthy: Delish. Fun. Simple. Comforting. Changeable. Delectable. Delightful. Enticing. Multi-generational. Multi-tasking. Yummy.

So, awhile ago I started making balls of all kinds. There were vegan balls, Italian balls, Asian balls, mini balls, gigantic balls… well, you get the picture.

It turns out that paleo meatballs were my biggest challenge. Oh, they were easy to make, but they required more thought than a regular ball. No grains meant I had a lot of crumbling balls. Then I overcompensated and ended up with some overly moist balls.

Then, once I figured out the perfect recipe (which this recipe for paleo cheese-stuffed meatballs is), they just photographed so…. uhmmmmmmmm …. not nice…

So it was back to the drawing board. And here is the final result.

I will tell you that these paleo cheese-stuffed meatballs still taste better than they look in the pics — they are flavorful and gooey and just so meatball-y. Oh, and did I mention that there is prosciutto in them? Because, well, how could that be bad?

I am not a dairy eater, so I went for vegan cheese for the stuffing in these balls. Truth be told, I’m not so much of a meat eater either, but in the winter, sometimes the body wants what it needs and I guess I’m needing beef! So, even though some people think it’s odd that these balls are made of beef and vegan cheese, I’m telling you, it’s the way to go! There are so many awesome vegan cheeses available today, that not only are the meatballs themselves amazingly delicious, but the cheesy filling is a great added surprise in the center of these grass-fed meatballs that even self-proclaimed vegan-cheese-haters will love the gooey centers.

For a slightly different take on paleo meatballs, make sure you try my recipe for turkey meatballs.

paleo cheese-stuffed meatballspaleo cheese stuffed meatballs

If you never thought meatballs could be healing, think again…:

Beef is good for a lot of ailments. It’s good for edema/swelling in the body, it helps many people with their weak back and knees and, believe it or not, it’s good for that bloated, distended feeling we sometimes get in our stomachs. In the olden days, beef was stewed for hours so that the liquid could be sipped to combat chronic diarrhea. I use grass-fed beef whenever possible.

Carrots help strengthen the organs in your body. They also are good for the eyes (this is their claim to fame) and they promote healthy digestion. Many moons ago, people used to make carrot tea to ward off measles and to prevent cancer. Carrots help detoxify the body and in today’s world of Chinese medicine, they are prescribed to ease constipation and tonsillitis.

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better; they actually can rid the body of bacteria. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!

Parsley has been shown to reduce tumors in the lungs and to neutralize the effects of carcinogens, including cigarette smoke. It is high in vitamins A and C, and is good for your heart. This herb is also a natural breath freshener. So, if you have a chance to use more than a few sprigs as a garnish, go for it.

Tapioca is a starch that comes from the cassava plant. It’s not really a flour in the traditional sense; it’s grain and gluten free. It’s good for your circulation and your digestion. Oftentimes I will make recipes (like this one) with tapioca flour — it works as a great substitute in a lot of recipes that would otherwise include breadcrumbs.

paleo cheese-stuffed meatballs

Paleo Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs
Author: 
Recipe type: meatballs, Italian, main course, appetizer
Cuisine: paleo, whole30, comfort food
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
Meatballs stuffed with cheese! And they are healthy!!! Nuf said...
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef (preferably grass-fed)
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into thirds
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into quarters
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbs ketchup (I use a paleo one)
  • 2 oz finely diced pancetta
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour
  • 5 oz vegan mozzarella (or cheese of choice), cut into ½-inch cubes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Season the beef with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the carrots and onion into a food processor and pulse until very finely chopped.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the beef, carrot/onion mixture, and all of the rest of the ingredients, except the cheese.
  5. Mush it all up good with your hands.
  6. Form the mixture into balls that are a bit larger than golf balls.
  7. Place the balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  8. Pick up each ball individually and press a cube of cheese into the center of each ball, and then squeeze the meat back around the cheese so that the cheese is completely covered with meat.
  9. Place the balls back onto the cookie sheet.
  10. Bake in the oven for 14 minutes, or until the balls are beginning to brown on the bottom.
  11. Flip the balls over and back an additional 10 minutes, or until they are cooked through.
  12. Enjoy with your favorite sauce, on top of a salad, or as an awesome snack right off the tray!

paleo cheese-stuffed meatballs

Paleo Turkey Meatballs

Did you know that turkey can boost your energy…
paleo turkey meatballs

I’m of the belief that any meatball is a good meatball. It’s kind of like any pizza is a good pizza. There’s just something about food in the form of a bite-size round ball that makes it taste awesome. But, not every ball is a healthy ball. And if you are a paleo eater, it’s sometimes hard to find a meatball with great taste and great texture. Enter… these paleo turkey meatballs.

Im my house, meatballs are not reserved just for a plate of pasta. Although, I do love my grain-free pasta… But, my absolute fav way to eat them is atop a huge bowl of steaming veggies. My current obsession is a bowl of garlicky broccoli rabe topped with meatballs. I think I just drooled a little bit onto my computer as I’m typing.

Usually I like my balls with my homemade tomato sauce. But, since these are turkey balls, I thought I’d just go with the Thanksgiving theme and I made a pot of paleo gravy. This was awesome. (I will be posting that recipe soon.) Meatballs are so versatile… what’s not to like? You’ve gotta love a food that multi-tasks well.

These paleo turkey meatballs are amazing! Really! I mean it! They have the texture of old-fashioned delicious meatballs. And, the taste is terrific. When I was testing this recipe I made it several different ways and this one’s the winner. It has pancetta in it to up the taste even more. OMG, when I tell you that these are better than breadcrumb-laden beef meatballs, you just have to believe me…

Also, try my recipe for Vietnamese Meatballs.

paleo turkey meatballspaleo turkey meatballs

These meatballs have some great nutritional benefits:

Turkey is a healthy meat. Make sure you buy organic turkey for the highest nutritional benefits. Recent research has shown turkey helps lower the risk of pancreatic cancer; however I did read some research that suggests that if you eat the skin along with the meat, some of this value is reduced, so don’t eat too much skin — this recipe uses ground turkey so it has no skin involved… Turkey also has a great protein-to-fat ratio, so it keeps you feeling full with less potential for weight gain. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin B and selenium. And, in Chinese medicine, turkey is thought of as a qi-booster, so it can be good for low energy levels.

Pork (this recipe uses pancetta) strengthens the digestive system, helps with constipation, and can moisten a dry cough and other dryness in the body. It’s also good to strengthen your qi and give you energy.

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better; they actually can rid the body of bacteria. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!

Carrots help strengthen the organs in your body. They also are good for the eyes (this is their claim to fame) and they promote healthy digestion. Many moons ago, people used to make carrot tea to ward off measles and to prevent cancer. Carrots help detoxify the body and in today’s world of Chinese medicine, they are prescribed to ease constipation and
tonsillitis.

Parsley has been shown to reduce tumors in the lungs and to neutralize the effects of carcinogens, including cigarette smoke. It is high in vitamins A and C, and is good for your heart. This herb is also a natural breath freshener. So, if you have a chance to use more than a few sprigs as a garnish, go for it.

Tapioca is a starch that comes from the cassava plant. It’s not really a flour in the traditional sense; it’s grain and gluten free. It’s good for your circulation and your digestion. Oftentimes I will make recipes (like this one) with tapioca flour — it works as a great substitute in a lot of recipes that would otherwise include breadcrumbs.

paleo turkey meatballs

Paleo Turkey Meatballs
Author: 
Recipe type: meatballs, turkey, pork, main course, Italian
Cuisine: paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
These meatballs are better than any breadcrumb-laden balls you've had. They are healthy, taste amazing, and are easy! Try eating them on top of a bowl of steaming broccoli rabe instead of pasta... yum!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 med onion, quartered
  • 1 carrot, cut into thirds
  • 2 Tbs minced fresh parsley
  • 2 oz finely diced pancetta
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Season the turkey with salt and pepper and place it in a large bowl.
  3. Put the onion and the carrot into a food processor and pulse until really finely minced/grated (alternatively you can do this by hand).
  4. Add the carrot mixture to the turkey in the bowl.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl.
  6. Mush it all up with your hands until combined.
  7. Form the mixture into balls the size of golf balls.
  8. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  9. Bake 15 minutes, then flip the balls over.
  10. Bake an additional 7 minutes, or until cooked through.
  11. Remove from oven and enjoy!

paleo turkey meatballs

Vegetable Hummus Dip

This vegetable hummus dip make store bought hummus taste incredible!

vegetable hummus dip

I love to entertain. The whole process de-stresses me. I’m not one of those people who sits around ruminating about what to serve and how to present it and how to time everything just right. I just kind of wing it. Easy entertaining is one of the things people ask me about all of the time. Well, this dip is for all of you who want a great easy entertaining recipe to serve your guests while you are getting dinner ready.

This recipe is like a “food hack”. What I mean by that is that it easily takes a store-bought ingredient and turns it into something super awesome. I mean really, really awesome. So-good-that-everyone-will-be-asking-you-for-the-recipe awesome.

The base of this vegetable hummus dip recipe is store-bought hummus. Add then we add a bunch of stuff to it. And we make it pretty. And we spice it up.  And serve it with beautiful crunchy vegetables for dipping. And amazing sprouted grain crackers. And it’s truly incredible.

I saw a version of this dip on one of my favorite blogs (Minimalist Baker) and I took some creative license and made it suit my needs. My guests loved it and I’ve made different versions of it many times since (even when I didn’t have any guests)… it’s really that good. I really feel like I’m spoiling myself when I make this just for my family.

If you are looking for another great use for chickpeas, try my Spicy Chickpea, Turkey, And Tomato Stew. 

vegetable hummus dipvegetable hummus dip

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this vegetable hummus dip:

Chickpeas actually help calm the spirit. They relieve anxiety and soothe irritability… it kind of makes you realize why hummus is so popular…

Turmeric is a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

Sesame seeds have many great nutritional benefits. They are an anti-aging food. If you have backaches, hair thats graying way too fast, ringing in the ears, weak knees, blurry vision or general weakness, go for the sesame seeds; just sprinkle them on everything. Long ago in China, sesame seeds were ground into honey to form a paste and was taken as a medicine to counter old-age and weakness. Black sesame seeds are a Chinese herb (Hei Zhi Ma). Black foods, in Chinese medicine, are knows as longevity foods. This recipe uses tahini sauce, which is a paste made from sesame seeds and oil (I buy this read-made in a can or a jar).

Parsley has been shown to reduce tumors in the lungs and to neutralize the effects of carcinogens, including cigarette smoke. It is high in vitamins A and C, and is good for your heart. This herb is also a natural breath freshener. So, if you have a chance to use more than a few sprigs as a garnish, go for it.

Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.

Dill is considered a chemoprotective herb that can help neutralize some carcinogens and it’s also an antibacterial herb.

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

vegetable hummus dip

Vegetable Hummus Dip
Author: 
Recipe type: appetizer, dip, easy entertaining, Greek, Mediterranean
Cuisine: Recipe adapted from:Minimalist Baker
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
This is the perfect easy-entertaining dip. It takes store-bought hummus to amazing new heights. And it's healing and delicious and so pretty...
Ingredients
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1-tsp for the veg salad topping
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¾ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 10 grinds of black pepper
  • 1 cup store-bought hummus
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • juice of ½ a lemon, plus a bit extra for the veg salad topping
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp minced fresh dill
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 20 grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • hot sauce, for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine the chickpeas in a small bowl with the oil, coconut sugar, smoked paprika, cumin, turmeric, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  3. Spread them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Roast in the oven until the chickpeas are beginning to brown and get a bit crispy (mine took about 35 minutes).
  5. Meanwhile, make the sauce: stir together the tahini, lemon juice, almond milk, dill, and garlic. Set aside.
  6. Make the salad for the top: In a small bowl, combine the parsley, tomatoes, scallion, 1-tsp of olive oil and a quick squeeze of lemon juice.
  7. Spread the hummus on a serving platter.
  8. Top with the tahini sauce mixture and the vegetable salad.
  9. Garnish with a bit of hot sauce if you like.
  10. Serve with crackers and/or fresh vegetables to dip.

vegetable hummus dip

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers make the perfect appetizer, snack, or dinner — just the right amount of spice.

crispy buffalo chicken fingers

We love to eat with our hands in my house. Sometimes it makes sense, and sometimes it’s just plain embarrassing. Sandwiches make sense; salad does not. I never established any rules for this, so we just live with the poor manners of our habits and hope no one’s watching.

If I told you that I served this chicken alongside my recent recipe for Paleo Fettuccine Alfredo, how grossed out would you be to learn that those leftovers were eaten cold the next day and with fingers, not forks…

If there’s food in the fridge that can be eaten without utensils, that’s the food that everyone goes for first. These Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers can and should be eaten with your hands… and not just by the vulgar people in my house! In the photo below, you can see Steve holding this awesome chicken in his hands — I had to take the picture quickly, because they were headed for his mouth quickly, even though it was early in the morning. (I wish you could see his shirt in this pic because he’s wearing a T-shirt we got when we went to “Meet The Breeds” at the Westminster Dog Show; I’ll have to take another pic of him in it!)

One of the awesome things about this recipe is that it’s so easily customizable for your particular needs and tastes. Sometimes I put hemp seeds in the coating. Sometimes I use flax seeds. Chia seeds are also good in it. And if you like sesame seeds, you can toss them in too. You can use any seeds you like, a mixture of all of them, or none of them at all. Decisions, decisions…

You should also try my recipe for Crispy Spicy Chicken for another take on a healthy version of decadent tasting chicken.

crispy buffalo chicken fingers

Not only are these crispy Buffalo chicken fingers delicious, but they are really healthy too:

Chicken is something I push people to buy organic if possible. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery or childbirth. People who have some conditions that we consider “excess heat” conditions should limit the amount of chicken they eat. So, if you have an illness that gives you a bright red tongue or severe dryness in your body, check with your doctor first. For example, if you have a lot of burning stomach acid, you should avoid chicken for awhile…

Tapioca is a starch that comes from the cassava plant. It’s not really a flour in the traditional sense; it’s grain and gluten free. It’s good for your circulation and your digestion. Oftentimes I will make recipes with tapioca flour — it crisps things up well and it works as a great thickener too.

Hot peppers contain more vitamin C than any other vegetable and they are good at fighting off the common cold. Whenever I have a cold I eat lots of hot sauce. So, if you like spice, as I do, use a generous amount of whatever hot sauce you like. Read the ingredients on the label (as with any pre-made food) to make sure it meets your dietary requirements — there are so many hot sauces, wing sauces, and barbecue sauces out there that are gluten-free, paleo, etc. The main component of hot peppers is capsaicin. Capsaicin actually works with your body and mind to make you feel happy. It’s also good for reducing swelling and can relieve arthritic joint pain. If you have high blood pressure, check with your doctor before eating too many hot peppers because they can actually raise the blood pressure in some people.

In Asian medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation. This recipe uses both almond milk and almond flour, so you get a lot of bang for your buck with almonds here.

Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are high in protein, easily digestible, and contain a full complement of amino acids. They contain disease-fighting phytonutrients that are good for your blood, immune system, tissues and skin. Hemp contains a specific fatty acid that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps balance hormones, making it a great choice to fight the symptoms of PMS. This super seed is also good for your liver and your brain.

Flax seeds can relieve constipation and lower cholesterol.

Chia seeds are ancient seeds that got their name from the Mayan word for “strength”. These tiny seeds have the unique ability to turn liquid into a gel-like substance when making puddings and they are great added to smoothies and shakes. They are really good for you because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber.

Sesame seeds (the black ones) are a Chinese herb (Hei Zhi Ma). Black foods, in Chinese medicine, are knows as longevity foods. This herb is good for so many things, including headaches, constipation, dizziness, and even helping with lactation. White sesame seeds also have many great nutritional benefits. They are also an anti-aging food. If you have backaches, hair thats graying way too fast, ringing in the ears, weak knees, blurry vision or general weakness, go for the sesame seeds; just sprinkle them on everything. Long ago in China, sesame seeds were ground into honey to form a paste and was taken as a medicine to counter old-age and weakness.

crispy buffalo chicken fingers

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers
Author: 
Recipe type: chicken, entree, appetizer
Cuisine: recipe inspired by: Brittany Angell
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
These chicken fingers are crispy, a bit spicy, and are really healthy. Make a big batch because they will go fast!
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 lb. boneless organic chicken thighs, cut into thirds vertically
  • Wet ingredients:
  • 6 Tbs of your favorite Buffalo wing sauce (this is one of the few recipes I buy traditional, not organic... and here's a gallon of it!)
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 3 Tbs grass-fed butter
  • Dry ingredients:
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • ½ cup almond flour (I like this one)
  • ¼ cup of whatever seeds you like (hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds) (optional)
  • 20 grinds of fresh black pepper
  • ½ tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combine all of the wet ingredients in a small pot and heat over medium-low heat, whisking until the butter is melted and the mixture is thickened a bit, about 5 mins.
  4. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
  5. In a shallow pie plate, combine all of the dry ingredients. Feel free to use any or all of the seeds mentioned above (or none at all). Mix well.
  6. Season the chicken with sea salt.
  7. Put all of the chicken pieces into the bowl with the wet mixture. Stir until coated well.
  8. Remove each piece of chicken individually, and dredge in the dry mixture and place each piece on the baking sheet in a single layer, making sure that none of the pieces are touching each other. Make sure each piece is heavily coated!
  9. Bake the chicken until cooked through and crispy. Mine took about 40 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and serve on a platter with whatever dipping sauces you like. (We never made it to the dipping sauce stage... they were all eaten too fast!)

crispy buffalo chicken fingers

Roasted Lemon Shrimp

I love a sheet pan dinner and this roasted lemon shrimp is a great one!

roasted lemon shrimp

I bought some beautiful looking shrimp at the market, with the best intentions of cooking them for dinner. But you know how it sometimes goes with the best intentions…

The weather was so nice outside, I saw an old friend for lunch, I had some binge-watching to catch up on…

Anyway, the next morning when I opened the fridge the whole bag of shrimp was staring me in the face. It was only 8:00 in the morning, I was putting my breakfast smoothie ingredients into my blender, and truly, the last thing I wanted to think about was the bag of raw shrimp in the fridge that was about to go bad.

So, I remembered my last sheet pan fish dinner that turned out so well (Roasted Salmon Sheet Pan Dinner), and I dumped the bag of shrimp onto my sheet pan. I added lots of lemon and some spices and ta-da, this awesome and soooooooooo easy recipe for roasted lemon shrimp was born.  And yes, I did this at 8:00 in the morning, and it was done by the time I finished drinking my shake while catching up on my emails. I put them in the fridge and I didn’t have to think about dinner again!

I’m not telling you to make this because it’s ridiculously easy (but it is). I’m saying you should make it because it’s so lemony and clean tasting that I know you will love it!

roasted lemon shrimproasted lemon shrimp

This recipe is simple, but healing:

Many of my friends used to stay away from shrimp because they were afraid that eating them raised cholesterol levels. Now, research shows that shrimp actually can lower triglycerides because they are rich in Omega-3s. And, they are high in protein and low in calories, so really, they are a pretty good thing. In Chinese medicine, shrimp are actually recommended as a food to promote longevity because they nourish the kidneys, and in Chinese medicine, the kidneys are the key to life. Shrimp are great to boost libido, lessen some lower back pain and weakness, and they can help new moms with lactation.

Lemon peels contain calcium, potassium and vitamin C. Lemons are good for your stomach, they help detoxify your body, they balance your pH and they act as an antibacterial. If you have a sore throat or a cough, go for lemons to make things better. Lemons are great for quenching your thirst, and, in China, many years ago, hypertension was treated by drinking tea made from lemon peels. This recipe uses lemon juice and grated lemon zest.

Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.

roasted lemon shrimp

Roasted Lemon Shrimp
Author: 
Recipe type: seafood, shrimp
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This is the easiest recipe ever! And the shrimp are so lemony and clean tasting... it's just awesome! And, of course, it's a healing recipe!
Ingredients
  • 1-1/4 lb large, raw shrimp, cleaned, tails left on
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • ½ of a large lemon, juiced and tested
  • Another lemon, sliced
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 3 scallions, sliced into 1-inch pieces
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Put the shrimp in a big pile on the middle of the pan. Add the oil to the pile, along with the oregano and salt and pepper. Also add the lemon juice and lemon zest.
  4. Toss with your hands to combine well and then spread the shrimp out in a single layer. (I do it this way so there's no need for a second bowl or pan.)
  5. Sprinkle the scallion pieces all around.
  6. Roast in the oven for 5 minutes, or until the shrimp are almost done, but not quite cooked all the way through.
  7. Remove the tray from the oven and change the setting to broil.
  8. When the broiler is hot, slip the tray back into the oven.
  9. Broil for a few minutes or until the lemons start to darken and the shrimp are cooked through.
  10. Enjoy!

roasted lemon shrimp

Seafood Salad With Garlic And Oil

I make a huge platter of this seafood salad with garlic and oil for every holiday!

Seafood Salad With Garlic Oil-9738

Ok, so it’s that time of the year when I always feel full. There’s just soooooooo much food everywhere! I’m not complaining; it’s one of the things I love best about the holiday season, BUT I’m like an addict and I. Can’t. Stop. Eating.

This simple seafood salad with garlic and oil is my antidote to all of that heavy food.

It’s so light and clean and satisfying and it feels just a little bit fancy…

Ok, I’m going to fess up here… I actually made a HUGE platter of this and served it at Thanksgiving alongside the turkey and sides. It may not be traditional, but it was goooooood. And, everyone ate it… even the doubters who thought this was too much of a break from tradition… and, because it’s a cold salad, it made for the best leftovers — which was my master plan all along. Having leftovers that are not heavy is a great thing.

One of the greatest things to do with leftover seafood, is to make a lettuce or cabbage wrap with them. These Smoky Shrimp Cabbage Leaf Wraps are awesome and will take you only a few minutes to prepare!

I make this dish a lot. It’s great for a dinner party. Or brunch. Or… just because. And, it’s adaptable to whatever seafood looks freshest when you are at the fish market.

This time, I used a ton of shrimp and squid. I was happy to be able to buy the shrimp already deveined and the squid was already cleaned so all I had to do was slice it…

Seafood Salad With Garlic And OilSeafood Salad With Garlic And Oil

Not only is this seafood salad delicious and refreshing, but it is really good for you:

Clams, aside from being a favorite of mine, are one of the most nutritious foods around. Anytime you steam clams, make sure you also use the steaming liquid in a sauce of some kind because the water soaks up the benefits of the clam shells. These shells are a Chinese herb (Ge Ke) that’s used to clear phlegm and neutralize stomach acid. They are the “tums” of Chinese herbs and are also good for some coughs and wheezing.

In Chinese medicine, scallops are considered to have some great health benefits. They are great for people who find that they are urinating too often at night and they are also great for the digestion; they are especially good at relieving bloating, constipation, and excessive belching.

Some people used to stay away from shrimp because they were afraid that eating them raised cholesterol levels. Now, research shows that shrimp actually can lower triglycerides because they are rich in Omega-3s. And, they are high in protein and low in calories, so really, they are a pretty good thing. Squid contains lots of great vitamins and minerals, so add that to the shrimp and you are on your way to a healthy meal.

Also, whenever I cook anything in boiling water, I like to add some Chinese herbs for whatever conditions I feel need help at the time. One of my favorites is Huang Qi (Astragalus). It is great for an over-all strengthening of the body and it’s energy. So, when I’m cooking all of this seafood, I keep removing each item as it’s done with a slotted spoon and I keep the water for the next item. The herbs infuse their healing power into each seafood, so it’s a great thing.

Celery actually helps stop bleeding — so if you or anyone you know has just had surgery, start adding celery to your dishes! Celery is also great to help lower blood pressure and it’s been known to help with insomnia.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Seafood Salad With Garlic And Oil

 

Seafood Salad With Garlic And Oil
Author: 
Recipe type: seafood, salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
This is a perfect dish for entertaining, but it's easy enough to make anytime. It's clean, fresh, and delicious, and it will keep you healthy!
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs white vinegar
  • sea salt
  • 2 sticks of Huang Qi (Astragalus), if using
  • 2 lb large shrimp, deveined, but tails left on
  • 1-1/2 lb squid, cleaned and bodies sliced into rings (cut up tentacles if you like them)
  • 1 lb sea scallops, halved if very large
  • 2 dozen little neck clams, scrubbed well
  • 8 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 whole head of garlic, cloves minced
  • dried hot red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
Instructions
  1. Fill a big pot with water. Add vinegar and a handful of salt and Huang Qi (optional) and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the shrimp and cook just until done, about 3 minutes. Transfer the cooked shrimp to a bowl using a slotted spoon.
  3. Bring the water back to a boil and add the squid. Cook until done, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with a slotted spoon.
  4. Bring the water back to a boil and add the scallops. Cook until done, about 5 minutes. Transfer these in the same manner.
  5. Pour most of the water out of the pot, leaving about 2 inches of water in the pot. Add the clams gently, trying to keep them in a single layer. Cover the pot and let the clams cook until the shells are opened, about 10 minutes. Discard any clams that do not open. Drain and transfer to the bowl with the rest of the seafood.
  6. Add the celery and onion to the seafood.
  7. The seafood can now be covered and stored in the refrigerator if you are not planning on serving it right away (I often make this the day before).
  8. Heat the oil in a small pot. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and simmer, stirring occasionally, just until the garlic starts to brown, being careful not to let it burn.
  9. When you are ready to serve the seafood, drizzle the oil all over the top. Enjoy!