Sunday, November 20, 2011

Delicious Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Thanksgiving is days away.  Luckily for us, the star of the Thanksgiving table - Turkey - is Gundry-friendly.  It's fairly easy to find recipes that are in line with our Gundry lifestyle. Unfortunately, most of the traditional sides - mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, yams - are not!  So, here are some ideas for some delicious side dishes that you can bring to your Thanksgiving table.

Links from my blog:

Balsamic Braised Brussels Sprouts link

Garlic Green Beans link

Curried Cauliflower with Almonds link

Recipes I've seen recently:

Cider Vinegar Braised Greens 
from Tasting Tables Chef's Recipes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Cook Time: 45 minutes


    1 large bunch collard greens 1 large bunch mustard greens 1 large bunch turnip greens 1 cup canola oil 2 medium yellow onions, chopped 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tablespoon red chile flakes Sea salt Freshly ground black pepper 1 cup cider vinegar 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold

1. Fill the sink with clean water. Remove the stems from all of the greens and wash both the leaves and the stems three times, refreshing the water each time. Drain thoroughly and use a kitchen towelt to help remove the excess water from the greens.
2. Prepare the stems by slicing them once lengthwise, then finely chopping the cut stems crosswise; set aside. In a large saucepan set over medium heat, warm the canola oil. Add the onions and garlic; using a wooden spoon, stir constantly until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the chile flakes and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3. Stir in the chopped stems and cook until slightly tender, about 6 minutes. Season with sea salt and pepper then add the leaves of the greens in three batches, letting each batch wilt slightly to make room for next batch. Once all of the greens are in the pot, season lightly with sea salt and cracked pepper.
4. Add the cider vinegar and cover the saucepan. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender and broken down, about 30 to 40 minutes.
5. Remove the pot from the heat and set aside to cool. Remove the cooled greens from the pot and chop finely. Return the greens to the braising liquid (they can be covered and refrigerated for up to two days). When you're ready to serve the greens, bring them and their liquid to a simmer. Add the butter and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
from Tasting Table Sous Chef Series

Yield: 4 servings


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
  • 2 medium white onions, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, tough outer leaves removed and trimmed
  • 4 ounces slab bacon, cut into medium cubes (about ¼ cup)
  • 5 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 medium lemon
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
  • Crushed red chile flakes


1. In a large skillet set over low heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onions, a large pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are sweet and caramelized, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. In a large stockpot, blanch the Brussels sprouts in salted, boiling water until bright green and just tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the Brussels sprouts from the water and set aside to cool. Cut some of the larger Brussels sprouts in half but leave the smaller ones whole.
3. In a medium skillet set over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until it is crisp on all sides, about 5 minutes. Pour off the excess fat, leaving about 1 tablespoon. Add the halved Brussels sprouts cut side down to the pan and cook without stirring over medium heat until the sprouts are tender and nicely caramelized. Add the remaining sprouts to the pan and cook until browned, about 5 minutes more. Stir in the caramelized onions and sage. Finish the dish with a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice, sea salt, chile flakes and a drizzle of olive oil, all to taste. Serve immediately.
Roasted Cauliflower and Shallots with Chard and Dukkah
from Sunset Magazine, October 2011



  • large cauliflower (2 3/4 lbs.), cored and cut into florets about 1 1/2 in. wide
  • 3/4 pound whole shallots, peeled and cut in half if large
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • About 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 pound Swiss chard, stems and ribs sliced and leaves chopped separately
  • can (15 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • About 1/2 cup Dukkah


  • 1. Preheat oven to 425°. In a roasting pan, toss cauliflower and shallots with 3 tbsp. oil and 3/4 tsp. salt. Roast, stirring occasionally, until light golden, about 20 minutes. Add chard stems and ribs, toss to coat, and roast until vegetables are very tender, 7 to 10 minutes more.
  • 2. Stir in chard leaves, chickpeas, dukkah, and remaining 2 tbsp. oil. Roast until chard is wilted and tender, about 8 minutes. Stir; season to taste with more salt and dukkah.



  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup roasted hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds


  • 1. Toast coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a small frying pan over medium-low heat until a shade darker, 5 to 7 minutes; let cool.
  • 2. Whirl spices, salt, pepper, and thyme in a food processor until fairly finely ground.
  • 3. Add hazelnuts and sesame seeds and pulse until coarsely ground.
Have a happy & healthy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Beef Stew with Cauliflower & Green Beans

Over the past few weeks in Los Angeles, we've actually had some Fall "weather". Last Sunday was rainy and chilly and I was in the mood for stew.  Max suggested that we unearth the crock pot that I rarely use, so that dinner could prepare itself while I joined him on the couch for a proper Football Sunday.  I thought this was an excellent idea and while he washed off our dusty crock pot, I fished out the little cook book that came with the purchase. Sure enough, they had a recipe for Wild Mushroom Beef Stew.  As with traditional beef stew, this recipe called for potatoes and carrots, which we forewent.  And, since Max doesn't like them, we also left out the mushrooms and celery.  Instead, we made a simple stew with beef, onion, cauliflower and green beans.
Below is my modified recipe.  The recipe called for only 1.5 cups of beef broth. I thought this sounded scant, but gave it a go.  You will see from the pictures that about two hours into the cooking, I added another cup and a half, along with a 6 oz. can of tomato paste.  If you're in the Tear Down Phase, simply omit the tomato paste.
1.5 to 2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/8 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. herbs de Provence (optional)
3 cups beef broth
6 oz. can tomato paste
1 tsp. Worchestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. paprika
1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 onion, chopped
12 oz. green beans

Put the beef in the crock pot.  Top with almond flour, salt, pepper and herbs de Provence.  Mix together to coat the meat.

Add the onions and cauliflower.  In a small bowl, mix together the broth, tomato paste, Worchestershire sauce, garlic and paprika.  Pour into crock pot and stir all ingredients together.  Add the bay leaf.

Cover and cook on Low for 10 to 12 hours or on High for 4 to 6 hours.  Add the green beans about 3/4 of the way into the cooking.  Stir the stew thoroughly before serving.  Taste the broth and adjust seasonings as necessary / to your liking.  I added salt, more herbs de Provence and more Worchestershire.
For a little extra interest, I topped my stew with chopped parsley and crispy shallots.

I have a renewed interest in making use of my crock pot and am reminded about how satisfying and comforting is stew on a cold day.  So, I encourage you to light a fire and break out the crock pot on your next cold, rainy, snowy, lazy Sunday.