The Healthy Foodie http://thehealthyfoodie.com A Healthy Living Blog with a Strong Paleo Flavor! Thu, 26 Mar 2015 11:23:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Tostones (Fried Green Plantain) http://thehealthyfoodie.com/tostones/ http://thehealthyfoodie.com/tostones/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 11:00:01 +0000 http://thehealthyfoodie.com/?p=3436672061 Okay. I feel this tostones recipe should probably come with some sort of a warning, as in a possible SWYPO alert, for those of you who are currently doing a Whole30. When I first started loving on these delicious slices of fried plantain, it never actually occurred to me that they could even qualify as such. I mean, I’d been enjoying […]

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Tostones | thehealthyfoodie.com

Okay. I feel this tostones recipe should probably come with some sort of a warning, as in a possible SWYPO alert, for those of you who are currently doing a Whole30.

When I first started loving on these delicious slices of fried plantain, it never actually occurred to me that they could even qualify as such. I mean, I’d been enjoying them at breakfast and merely regarded them as a great, tasty source of carbs, post workout.

Then it sort of hit me: these could so easily be used as a replacement for potato chips, just like they could just as easily become one’s preferred snacking food. And THAT wouldn’t be desirable or even acceptable while on a Whole30.

But if like me, you regard them as nothing but a crunchy, yummy side dish that supplies a decent amount of carbohydrates, then I guess you’re fine. Enjoy a few slices as a side with your morning eggs, or with some creamy, spicy ground beef. Know that they also go surprisingly well with Salmon Tartare!

These tostones are so easy to make, you’re probably going to want to make them all the time. I swear! In fact, the trickiest part is to get that skin off your plantain; But I’ll help you with that and you’ll be a pro in no time.

Ready for this? Let’s go…

Tostones | thehealthyfoodie.com

If you’ve never peeled plantains before, know that they can be a bit difficult and tricky to peel, especially when still in their green, unripe state. You can’t go at it just like you would with regular bananas. Indeed, you will need to use a knife in order to convince these starchy tropical fruits to let go of their skin. And even then, it’s often very reluctantly that they will comply.

But fear not: with the right technique, it can be done. Let me show you…

First, make sure your plantains are at room temperature, for cold plantains can be twice as hard to peel, which pretty much translates to darn near impossible! If you stored your plantains in the ice box, make sure to take them out at least a couple of hours before attempting to peel them.

Another trick is to soak the plantains in hot tap water for a few minutes to warm them up before removing their stubborn skin.

Tostones | thehealthyfoodie.com

First thing you need to do is cut off both ends of the plantains. Discard the tips, you won’t have any use for them.

Tostones | thehealthyfoodie.com

Now hold your plantain firmly in one hand and, with the tip of a sharp chef knife or paring knife, slit the peel along the entire length of the fruit in 3 different locations.

Try and cut between the natural ridges of the fruit, it’ll make your job that much more easier.

Also, cut only as deep as the peel is thick; you don’t want to be cutting into the flesh of the fruit, or well, not too much anyway. You might not be able to avoid scoring the surface, unless you’re insanely skilled with that blade…

Tostones | thehealthyfoodie.com

To remove the peel, insert the tip of your fingers between the flesh and peel and delicately run it up and down the fruit until the peel comes loose.

Tostones | thehealthyfoodie.com

Just do one section at a time and be gentle with it. Slowly but surely, and although seemingly reluctantly, the skin will eventually detach from the flesh…

Tostones | thehealthyfoodie.com

Soon you will be able to completely remove that piece of peel and repeat the exact same process with the next sections.

Don’t worry if a few small chunks of flesh come off with the peel; likewise, use a sharp paring knife to remove any potential peel remnants that may have stuck to the flesh.

Tostones | thehealthyfoodie.com

And now, I have extremely good news for you. The hard part is completely, totally behind you!

Honestly, it wasn’t really all that hard, was it? Yeah, I thought not!

Now cut each plantain into 10 to 12 thick slices, either straight or on a diagonal. Diagonal slices will yield slightly larger tostones, whereas straight cuts will yield more perfectly rounded “chips”.

Tostones | thehealthyfoodie.com

Heat a generous amount of coconut oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. You’ll want to use 1½ to 2 tablespoons per plantain.

Oh, and you could also use another kind of healthy fat if you wanted to, such as lard or ghee, but I find coconut oil pairs magically well with the flavor of the plantain! It truly is a match made in heaven, a union that was meant to be…

When your pan and fat are hot enough, add the plantain in a single layer and fry the slices for about 2 minutes, or until they turn crisp and golden brown. Make sure there’s plenty of room for air to circulate around the slices; don’t hesitate to work in batches if you need to.

When the plantain is crispy and golden on one side, use kitchen tongs to flip the slices and continue cooking until the second side also turns beautiful and golden brown.

Tostones | thehealthyfoodie.com

Remove the plantain to a cutting board and immediately flatten them down with a flat object such as a small saucepan, a flat bottomed drinking glass, a ramekin, turner or spatula.

Tostones | thehealthyfoodie.com

Return the skillet to the heat source, and then add the plantain to the skillet and fry for a second time, about 1 minute per side this time.

Make sure you still have plenty of fat in the pan; don’t hesitate to add more if necessary.

Tostones | thehealthyfoodie.com

Your tostones are now ready! Remove them from the skillet and sprinkle generously with salt.

Serve immediately with a little squirt of lime juice, a dollop of mayo, a sprinkle of hot chili pepper flakes, a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar, or whatever else you feel would go good with them. In fact, they don’t need any help at all to taste amazing. Just a little dash of salt is more than enough.

Oh, and don’t you make the fatal mistake of sitting yourself down with that bowl because trust me, they’ll be gone before you even know it. Whole30, remember? Don’t you go do this Sex With Your Pants On thing…

Stay with the program, keep it clean. Enjoy these as a healthy side!

Tostones

Yield: Serves 2-4

NF based on 1 of 4 servings

Tostones

INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Plantains can be a bit difficult and tricky to peel, especially when still in their green, unripe state.
  2. First, make sure your plantains are at room temperature, as cold plantains can be twice as hard to peel (which pretty much means darn near impossible!) so if you stored your plantains in the fridge, make sure you take them out at least a couple of hours before you begin. Another trick is to soak the plantains in hot tap water for a few minutes to warm them up.
  3. Cut off both ends of the plantains and discard the tips.
  4. Hold your plantain firmly in one hand and, with the tip of a sharp knife, slit the peel along the entire length of the fruit in 3 different locations. Cut only as deep as the peel is thick; you don’t want to be cutting into the flesh of the fruit.
  5. To remove the peel, insert the tip of your fingers between the flesh and peel and delicately run it up and down the fruit until the peel comes loose. The peel will come off in sections.
  6. Don't worry if a few small chunks of flesh come off with the peel; likewise, use a paring knife to remove any potential peel remnants left on the flesh.
  7. Cut the plantains into 10 to 12 thick slices, either straight or on a diagonal.
  8. Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet set over medium heat.
  9. When the pan is hot enough, add the plantain and fry the slices for about 2 minutes, or until they turn crisp and golden brown. Flip the slices and continue cooking until that side also turns golden. Remove the plantain to a cutting board and immediately flatten them down with a flat object such as a small saucepan, a flat bottomed drinking glass, turner or spatula. Return the plantain to the skillet and fry for a second time, about 1 minute per side this time.
  10. Remove the tostones from the skillet and sprinkle generously with salt.
  11. Serve immediately.
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Tostones | thehealthyfoodie.com

Tostones | thehealthyfoodie.com

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Two-Salmon Tartare http://thehealthyfoodie.com/two-salmon-tartare/ http://thehealthyfoodie.com/two-salmon-tartare/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 11:00:14 +0000 http://thehealthyfoodie.com/?p=3436672036 I think I’ve got the “Quick and Easy” mode enabled… Since my daughter was at home for the past two weeks with her boyfriend and brand new baby girl, I had better things to do than to spend hours in the kitchen, cooking up a storm. Tons of cuddles and kisses had to be given, bottles had […]

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Two-Salmon Tartare | thehealthyfoodie.com

I think I’ve got the “Quick and Easy” mode enabled…

Since my daughter was at home for the past two weeks with her boyfriend and brand new baby girl, I had better things to do than to spend hours in the kitchen, cooking up a storm. Tons of cuddles and kisses had to be given, bottles had to be fed and diapers demanded to be changed. And quite a bit of consoling needed to be done, too. In other words, this foodie had a blast playing grandma.

Still, I had to get some work done from time to time and also had to feed my esteemed guests… so a minimum amount of cooking needed to take place.

This Two-Salmon Tartare I pretty much made at my daughter’s request. You see, she’s a huge fan of everything “raw fish” and she kept telling me about that amazing salmon tartare she’d recently had and how she would LOVE to have it again and that maybe I could whip one up for her. The tartare in question had been prepared using 2 kinds of salmon, fresh and smoked and it was apparently to die for.

She was so convincing, I eventually had to give in…

Boy am I glad I did, though. My daughter was right! This stuff is so crazy good. The addition of smoked salmon does so much for this classic dish, I could’ve easily kept eating it until the end of time. And the best part is, it’s crazy easy to make! continue reading

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Sweet and Spicy Sesame Chicken Drumsticks http://thehealthyfoodie.com/sweet-and-spicy-sesame-chicken-drumsticks/ http://thehealthyfoodie.com/sweet-and-spicy-sesame-chicken-drumsticks/#comments Sat, 21 Mar 2015 11:00:57 +0000 http://thehealthyfoodie.com/?p=3436672014 So I decided to do another round of Whole30 after I’m done with this current one. I feel I’ve been using food as a means to fill a void lately and, in that respect, I sense it’s safer for me to stay within the confines of this challenge where my nourishment options and feeding behaviors are strictly regulated and practically made […]

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Sesame Chicken Drumsticks  | thehealthyfoodie.com

So I decided to do another round of Whole30 after I’m done with this current one.

I feel I’ve been using food as a means to fill a void lately and, in that respect, I sense it’s safer for me to stay within the confines of this challenge where my nourishment options and feeding behaviors are strictly regulated and practically made for me.

It seems being on a Whole30 is what works best for me now: I’m afraid being left to my own devices around food could lead to disastrous consequences.

I will be taking a bit of a break, though. After 60 days of strict “dieting”, it sure will feel good to loosen up a little, if only for a few days. The plan is that I’ll break for 10 days, starting April 2nd until April 11, then resume Whole30ing on April 12 all the way through May 11, at which point I’m planning on taking a little vacation. Hopefully when I return from my trip, I will be in a better place emotionally and won’t find the need to be so heavily restricted anymore.

For some of you, this is great news! It means you get even more Whole30 compliant recipes from me. YAY! What do you say we start (or continue, rather) with these Sweet and Spicy Sesame Chicken Drumsticks?

Sesame Chicken Drumsticks  | thehealthyfoodie.com

Like I was saying the other day, I recently took a real liking to dark chicken meat. Lucky for me, I’ve just found me a great, reliable source where to get happy and affordable pasture raised chickens. I may have gone a little bit overboard and ordered 24 birds!

Again, for some of you, this is great news! It means you will be getting even more chicken recipes from me.

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Ginger Garlic Slow Cooker Pork Loin http://thehealthyfoodie.com/ginger-garlic-slow-cooker-pork-loin/ http://thehealthyfoodie.com/ginger-garlic-slow-cooker-pork-loin/#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 11:00:54 +0000 http://thehealthyfoodie.com/?p=3436671994 The days are getting longer, the sun stays up much later at night and the snow is slowly starting to melt… That feels soooooo good! Plus, I finally get to share pictures of the food that goes on my plate for dinner, so you guys get a chance to see that I’m not some kind of freak that only feeds […]

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Ginger Garlic Slow Cooker Pork Loin | thehealthyfoodie.com

The days are getting longer, the sun stays up much later at night and the snow is slowly starting to melt… That feels soooooo good! Plus, I finally get to share pictures of the food that goes on my plate for dinner, so you guys get a chance to see that I’m not some kind of freak that only feeds off eggs and avocados…

But somehow, this kind of makes me a little sad.

Why sad, you ask? Well, while I LOVE the fact that spring is just around the corner and that warmer days are soon to be a part of my daily reality, this also means that I’ll soon have to put away my beloved crock-pot and that hearty, comforting dishes like this Ginger Garlic Slow Cooker Pork Loin will be a thing of the past for a wee while.

The good news is, when that piece of equipment goes into storage, I’ll get to take the grill out of the garage! Now THAT makes me happy. And it’s almost enough to make me kind of forget that I’ll soon have to part with moist and juicy roasts that got to cook ever so slowly in their own juices.

But hey, let us enjoy our crock-pots while we still can… I get the feeling I’ll be abusing mine over the next couple of weeks.

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Broccoli and Rutabaga Slaw http://thehealthyfoodie.com/broccoli-and-rutabaga-slaw/ http://thehealthyfoodie.com/broccoli-and-rutabaga-slaw/#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 11:00:22 +0000 http://thehealthyfoodie.com/?p=3436671973 As some of you may know, my daughter, son-in-law and brand new baby grand-daughter are spending a couple of weeks at home with me. Every single night since they got here, I made some kind of salad as a side dish to go with dinner. It’s almost become a running gag, as in: - “Guys, guess […]

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Broccoli and Rutabaga Slaw | thehealthyfoodie.com

As some of you may know, my daughter, son-in-law and brand new baby grand-daughter are spending a couple of weeks at home with me.

Every single night since they got here, I made some kind of salad as a side dish to go with dinner. It’s almost become a running gag, as in:

- “Guys, guess what we’re having with our *insert some kind of meat here* tonight?”

- “SALAD!”

It’s like I can’t think of anything else to make but salad. My ability to come up with creative side dishes has gone blank.

At least, I’ve made a different salad pretty much every night. This Broccoli and Rutabaga Slaw was one of my faves, though. It’s soooo flavorful and talk about a nutrition powerhouse!!! It’s got broccoli, rutabaga, cabbage, olives, apple, raisins and crispy bacon in it!

Deeeeelicious!

I did make quite a large batch, but I’m happy I did because this salad keeps fairly well in the fridge for a couple of days, which means we got to enjoy the leftovers for dinner the next day, and I even got to have some with my breakfast.

I just LOVE making big, sturdy, satisfying salads like this one and I’m sure you won’t mind me sharing the recipe with you… continue reading

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Shepherd’s Pie – Italian Style http://thehealthyfoodie.com/shepherds-pie-italian-style/ http://thehealthyfoodie.com/shepherds-pie-italian-style/#comments Sat, 14 Mar 2015 11:00:37 +0000 http://thehealthyfoodie.com/?p=3436671942 I got the inspiration for this Italian Style Shepherd’s Pie out of the same magazine that inspired this Rustic Coconut Rutabaga Mash. Again, it was a strange flavor combination that totally piqued my curiosity. This time, the bizarre union brought forth was that of orange, tomato and star anise. Such an unheard of combination for this foodie; I just HAD to […]

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Shepherds Pie Italian Style | thehealthyfoodie.com

I got the inspiration for this Italian Style Shepherd’s Pie out of the same magazine that inspired this Rustic Coconut Rutabaga Mash.

Again, it was a strange flavor combination that totally piqued my curiosity. This time, the bizarre union brought forth was that of orange, tomato and star anise. Such an unheard of combination for this foodie; I just HAD to give it a try.

As usual, though, I was once again forced to make quite a few substitutions. For starters, the original recipe was topped with a mouth-watering creamy, cheezy polenta. No matter how delicious it looked, that just didn’t sit well with my Paleo lifestyle. And it definitely didn’t go hand in hand with my Whole30 challenge… Sooooo, I had to improvise. I figured cauliflower and rutabaga would go very well with the flavors I imagined in my mind. And indeed, they did.

For the remainder of the recipe I think I stayed fairly true to the original, I think… To be honest, I only just read it for inspiration and then pretty much carried out with my own vision. So I might have made 9 or 10 more substitutions…

Now I’m not gonna lie to you: this is one labor intensive, extremely demanding version of a Shepherd’s Pie. It takes FOREVER to make. I even chose to make mine over the course of 2 days.

But the result is absolutely astonishing. Spectacular. Extraordinary.

It’s very well worth putting in the extra effort, I swear.

Since we’ll be spending quite a chunk of time in the kitchen, what do you say we get started now? Let’s go…   continue reading

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Smoked Bacon Cauliflower Röstis http://thehealthyfoodie.com/smoked-bacon-cauliflower-rostis/ http://thehealthyfoodie.com/smoked-bacon-cauliflower-rostis/#comments Thu, 12 Mar 2015 11:00:12 +0000 http://thehealthyfoodie.com/?p=3436671920 So I was in the mood for something I hadn’t had in a loooong time: Smoked Bacon Röstis! Perhaps the Internet was to blame, I don’t know… I think I may have seen a picture somewhere or something. Oh, yes, right! I remember now! One of my favorite fellow bloggers, Mellissa of I Breathe I’m Hungry, recently posted […]

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Smoked Bacon Cauliflower Rostis | thehealthyfoodie.com

So I was in the mood for something I hadn’t had in a loooong time: Smoked Bacon Röstis! Perhaps the Internet was to blame, I don’t know…

I think I may have seen a picture somewhere or something. Oh, yes, right! I remember now! One of my favorite fellow bloggers, Mellissa of I Breathe I’m Hungry, recently posted this recipe for Celeriac, Bacon and Parmesan Rosti. <– This, is totally responsible for that ^ craving.

Technically, I very well could’ve gone ahead and made the real thing, since white potatoes are now Whole30 approved. But to be honest, I don’t really agree with that rule. Truth is, I’m not a fan of white potatoes. Oh, they sure taste good, but they do so little for your body in the nutrition department and have such a high Glycemic Index, I pretty much think of them as a treat.

And we all know that treats and Whole30 do not walk hand in hand…

Sooooo, I chose to make my röstis with cauliflower, instead of potatoes. And you know what? These Smoked Bacon Cauliflower Röstis turned out every bit just as good as the real deal. Crispy on the exterior, creamy on the interior, with delicious notes of smokey bacon, mordant onion and a rich, cheese-like finale.

Now I’m not gonna lie to you. These are a real witch to make. And by that, I actually mean BITCH! They are somewhat time consuming, relatively labor intensive and demand to be handled with much delicate care.

But let me tell you: they are very well worth the effort!

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Quick and Easy Broccoli Chicken http://thehealthyfoodie.com/quick-and-easy-broccoli-chicken/ http://thehealthyfoodie.com/quick-and-easy-broccoli-chicken/#comments Tue, 10 Mar 2015 11:00:04 +0000 http://thehealthyfoodie.com/?p=3436671898 I’ve never been a particularly big fan of dark chicken meat. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been a “breast” kinda girl. Growing up, I would always ask if I could get one of the breasts whenever roasted chicken was on the menu. My mom would usually have the other one, and my brothers would inherit the […]

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Quick and Easy Broccoli Chicken | thehealthyfoodie.com

I’ve never been a particularly big fan of dark chicken meat. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been a “breast” kinda girl. Growing up, I would always ask if I could get one of the breasts whenever roasted chicken was on the menu. My mom would usually have the other one, and my brothers would inherit the legs. They didn’t have a problem with that, mind you, as this was their preference anyway.

I can’t remember which one my dad preferred, though, as more often than not, his job prevented him from having dinner with us. He would usually eat way later in the night, when he’d get back from work. And his food of choice had nothing to do with chicken; my dad was all about pasta.

Night after night, he’d have Cappelli d’Angelo with a hint of tomato sauce and a very generous shake of hot chili pepper flakes. And when I say generous, I do mean generous. Sometimes, he’d leave some leftovers in the fridge and I’d get hungry the following afternoon, so I’d steal a bite or two from his fare… Invariably, I’d be sorry I did. Very sorry. My taste buds would nearly die and resent me for hours.

But I digress… continue reading

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Spiced Apple Braised Lamb Shanks http://thehealthyfoodie.com/spiced-apple-braised-lamb-shanks/ http://thehealthyfoodie.com/spiced-apple-braised-lamb-shanks/#comments Sat, 07 Mar 2015 12:00:38 +0000 http://thehealthyfoodie.com/?p=3436671860 I’m now 36 days into my Whole30 challenge and I continue to be super inspired in the kitchen! So much so, sometimes I wonder why I don’t simply keep at it perpetually. I guess it would probably become a little bit too much eventually; I mean, one does have to live a little, you know… But I’m thinking that I should […]

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Spiced Apple Braised Lamb Shanks | thehealthyfoodie.com

I’m now 36 days into my Whole30 challenge and I continue to be super inspired in the kitchen! So much so, sometimes I wonder why I don’t simply keep at it perpetually. I guess it would probably become a little bit too much eventually; I mean, one does have to live a little, you know… But I’m thinking that I should at least do it more often.

I can’t believe it had already been a year and a half since my last round! That’s way too much! I’m thinking I have to do this at least 2 to 3 times a year.

In case you’re a bit puzzled by that 36 day mark, out of a 30 day challenge, let me clarify: I felt like I needed more than 30 days to get things back on track, so I decided to turn this into a Whole60 instead. But since there is no such thing as a Whole60, well, I still have to call it Whole30, don’t I? I know, even I get confused! And I lose count of days, too. I just keep in mind that I am to keep at it until April 1st, inclusively. That’s all I need to remember. That, and well, the list of all of the stuff that I’m not supposed to eat!

Spiced Apple Braised Lamb Shanks | thehealthyfoodie.com

To be honest, though, if I am to keep coming up with dishes as good as these Spiced Apple Braised Lamb Shanks, I barely even see a need to stop.

Mind you, my birthday is coming up soon. There just HAS to be cake on my birthday. Especially since it happens to coincide with Easter this year. Can you say chocolate? Oh yeah! In fact, I’m planning on making a Paleo version of my ultimate favorite cake: Opera. Drooooooooool. But let me not think about it for now. For the time being, let’s Whole30 on!

And let’s make some delicious food!

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Rustic Coconut Rutabaga Mash http://thehealthyfoodie.com/rustic-coconut-rutabaga-mash/ http://thehealthyfoodie.com/rustic-coconut-rutabaga-mash/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 12:00:11 +0000 http://thehealthyfoodie.com/?p=3436671844 Inspiration comes to me from many places, like the Internet, cookbooks and mainly my own brains, but this particular recipe I got from one of my favorite cooking magazines. They had this brilliant article in it, where they showcased well-known, notorious duos and classic combos, such as: Perfect Matches: Bananas and Chocolate — Bacon and Eggs Opposites Attract: Surf and Turf — Sweet and […]

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Rustic Coconut Rutabaga Mash | thehealthyfoodie.com

Inspiration comes to me from many places, like the Internet, cookbooks and mainly my own brains, but this particular recipe I got from one of my favorite cooking magazines. They had this brilliant article in it, where they showcased well-known, notorious duos and classic combos, such as:

Perfect Matches: Bananas and Chocolate — Bacon and Eggs

Opposites Attract: Surf and Turf — Sweet and Salty…

But then, the article carried on to a more intriguing segment, which they entitled: Who would’ve thought?! That particular section included rarely heard of combos such as Mushrooms and Vanilla, which I’m thinking I really have to try, and this: Coconut and Rutabaga.

Really? I mean, really? Coconut and Rutabaga? Ha! The piece states that the coconut plays a big role in toning down the bitterness of the rutabaga, which is what makes them such a great team. And then they included a recipe for a Rustic Coconut Rutabaga Mash.

Of course, I had to try it! However, their version only included a few tablespoons of coconut oil as the coconut component. I figured that, at that rate, I was already pairing coconut with everything and anything, since I use it for cooking pretty much all the time. So I decided to take things a little further and add actual fresh coconut meat to the mash. As well, I chose to cook my rutabaga in fresh coconut water. And well, you know me, I had to change a few more this-and-thats…

Good calls, all, me thinks… good calls!

And me also thinks that you really oughta try this combo for yourselves! continue reading

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