Cheesy Turkey Quesadillas with Cranberry Salsa

It is all about options… and saving time, and saving money, and having delicious food with optimal nutrition… with options.

What could be more simple, or option-friendly, than quesadillas?

Tortillas

Oh how we love to wrap our foods! You can wrap up just about everything but soup. Wraps not only make our food easy to eat, and portable, but they add another layer of texture and flavor that compliments the filling. Because of this love of wraps, you can now find a version of a tortilla for pretty much any diet… vegetarian, gluten-free, grains-free… whatever you like!

They are pricey, but you can even purchase Paleo wraps – gluten-free, raw, vegan, low-carb and made from only coconut meat and coconut water. 

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You can make these turkey quesadillas with any of those wraps for a great way to use up leftover turkey. But here is one more option to throw into the ring. Yuca Root works for almost all diets, from vegan to paleo, and offers a little variety for your sandwich/wrap dining experience.

Yuca has very little flavor on its own. It is slightly nutty, and starchy like a potato. If you do not cook it thoroughly, it can become a little gummy, so I roll it out as thin as I can and cook it until it looks almost overdone. At that point, it becomes crispy golden brown, holds its filling and its shape, and makes for a tasty little lunch.

Important! Never eat Yuca raw! It is toxic, especially bitter yuca (aka cassava, manioc). It is rendered safe through removal of its juices (or gasses in the juice), by soaking, fermenting, thoroughly cooking, and/or drying. When you buy tapioca flours, or African products such as garri, fufu, apu, and pupuru, this has been done for you.

For quesadillas, you will need:

  • tortilla wraps or yuca (cassava) doughget easy make-ahead instruction here!
  • leftover turkey
  • leftover turkey gravy
  • cheese – virtually any cheese you like
  • Cranberry Salsa – find the easy recipe here (other options here and here)
  • optional: diced jalapeno
  • optional: anything else you want to add, sauteed onion and peppers would be good

Assemblage…

Now you are ready to assemble your quesadillas.

You can portion your yuca dough any way you like, I like to use a 2 1/2 oz portion scoop.

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Place yuca onto parchment paper. I lightly oil the parchment for easy rolling and removal. Add another piece of parchment over the dough and flatten and roll the dough until it is about the size of a corn tortilla.

Smaller tortillas are easier to mange in a skillet.

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Remove the top layer of parchment and build your flavors, one layer at a time, on half of the yuca wrap.

Turkey…

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Gravy…

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Cheese and jalapeno…

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Salt and pepper, if needed. Then use the parchment to fold the yuca tortilla in half over your filling.

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Gently pull back parchment.

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Use a nonstick skillet, or a heated and oiled skillet, to pan sear your quesadilla. Use the parchment to carefully transfer it to the pan in tact.

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When the first side in browned, flip it over to brown the second side.

Notice the white fold… that is underdone and doughy. I press this down to get it more thouroughly cooked. And I do cook yuca a little longer than it seems one should. Flat yuca is good! Undercooked yuca is just gummy. In fact, if you want to be really sure that you don’t get gumminess, consider making two rounds, browning them both, then filling them, and browning them a little further to let the cheese melt. Mmmmmm

The fold method is the quick one. 🙂

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When your quesadilla is sufficiently browned and crisp, serve immediately. But, if they have to sit, you can throw them back in the pan to re-crisp them.

Cut them into triangles.

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Cheese… Mmmmmm

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Get your cranberry salsa out of the fridge. It is time for it to join those cheesy quesadillas.

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Enjoy!

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Grilled Goat Cheese and Cranberry Sammy

Butter – bread – tangy cheese – sweet cranberries – tangy cheese – bread – butter.

– Need I say more?

I am not really sure if this is lunch or a constructed cheese plate. But YUM! Tangy and sweet notes all blended, melting, and gooey between the buttery crunch of grilled toast… this is pure indulgence. And if you choose your ingredients wisely, you can pack a lot of nutrition in there! A whole cup of fresh cranberries can make a sandwich. Add to that real butter, good goat cheese, and whatever bread fits your diet – whole grain, gluten-free, organic – and just enjoy.

Pair these buttery tangy sweet flavor notes with a hot creamy soup and you have optimal flavor-texture synergy.

Cranberry Sauce

If you have any leftover cranberry sauce, this is a delicious way to use it up. Or, you can make a quick Raw Cranberry Salsa or a sugar-free Cranberry Chutney with honey, orange and spices. If you want to keep it very simple and sweet, all you need are fresh cranberries, and sugar.

Place cranberries into a skillet with a little water. Add more as you go, if needed.

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Cook cranberries until the begin to pop.

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Sprinkle cane sugar over them – as much or little as you like. Or use honey, agave, whatever sweetener you prefer. If you like, you can add a little lemon juice and a pinch of salt to enhance sweetness.

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Taste – without burning your tongue! Let most of the water cook off. You want it saucy, but not too wet. When the sauce tastes good to you, it is done. Put it in a bowl and start assembling your sandwiches.

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Sandwich Time

Place buttered side of one slice of bread into a heated skillet.

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Spread cranberry sauce over the goat cheese.

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Place the second slice of bread over the first with the goat cheese pressed gently into the cranberry sauce.

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Layers = butter – bread – goat cheese – cranberries – goat cheese – bread – butter – Mmmmmm

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When the first side of the sandwich is toasted and golden, flip it over the toast the second side.

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I almost ALWAYS cut my sandwiches on a diagonal. But ultimately, I am not the boss… the food is… this sandwich needed to be cut straight across… I can’t explain it. But I am not going to argue with results.

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Grilled Goat Cheese and Cranberry Sammy

Note: Although this is listed under “gluten-free”, of course it is only as gluten-free as the bread you choose. With all these other flavors, who needs gluten anyway?

Ingredients

  • cranberry sauce, salsa or jam
  • goat cheese
  • bread – any bread you like to grill (gluten free, whole grain, organic, whatever you like)
  • butter (preferably organic and grass fed)

Method

Slice two pieces of bread from your loaf. Spread butter over one side of each slice. Spread goat cheese over the other side of each slice. This can get messy. It is a little less messy if you stick your buttered sides together while you add goat cheese. Or just assemble the entire sandwich on a cutting board. A little butter on the cutting board wont hurt.

Place buttered side of one slice of bread into a heated skillet. Spread cranberry sauce over the goat cheese. Place the second slice of bread over the first with the goat cheese pressed gently into the cranberry sauce.

Layers = butter – bread – goat cheese – cranberries – goat cheese – bread – butter – Mmmmmm

When the first side of the sandwich is toasted and golden, flip it over the toast the second side.

Remove, cut in half, plate and serve.

Highly recommended – serve with a creamy savory soup… maybe a cauliflower coconut milk concoction. The sweet and tangy notes and buttery crunch of the sandwich pairs beautifully with a hot creamy soup.

Enjoy!

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Turkey Gravy with Pan Drippings

If you have roasted your own spatchcock, or butterfly, turkey, then you have likely also used the backbone to create a beautiful broth. Now it will be a piece of cake to turn that broth into gravy. Turkey gravy is special. It is comforting, delicious, and has the power to save dry turkey meat. 🙂 Although, it you butterflied your turkey, you are not likely to have dry meat.

To Make Stock

You can prepare a turkey stock in the same way that you prepare your chicken stock. Place the backbone into your stock pot with root vegetables. Carrots (1 or 2), celery (1 or 2 ribs), and garlic (3-4, we like garlic) impart a lot of flavor and nutrition. Wash your carrots and celery, peeling is not necessary and will waste nutrition. Garlic can just be smashed. If you like onion, add one! (sometimes I feed the scraps and carrots to my little dog, so I leave the onion out)

Always add a bay leaf or kombu, as this will make the nutrition in the stock more bioavailable. And they add flavor. I like to throw in a little thyme for flavor, and parsley for digestion. You can add salt and other seasonings, if desired. I keep my stock simple so I can use it for anything.

Add water to cover everything. Bring to boil, then immediately reduce to simmer. Simmer for at least an hour. I usually let it go for two or three hours.

Over a large heat-proof bowl. strain out the liquid. Cool. You can use the broth immediately of refrigerate. If you chill the broth in the fridge, its fat will rise to the top and you can spoon it off. Although, turkey really does not produce a lot of fat.

If you can salvage any scraps of meat, save them! Add them to finished gravy. throw them in with leftover turkey, feed them to the puppy – no bones for the puppy!

To make Gravy

Put broth in a sauce pan and heat to warm. Adding cold broth to a warm roux of butter and flour will create lumps. Whisk in your butter-flour roux, and allow a few minutes of cooking for broth to thicken.

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My pan drippings had time to chill and the tiny bit of fat that collected on the top was removed.

Can you see all that flavor? This is rich. I am salivating as I type.

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When you like the consistency of your gravy, add in your delicious flavorful pan drippings.

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Done! Rich, creamy, savory, delicious! You may not even need to add salt.  This batch did not even need a grain of salt. Those drippings brought all the flavor required.

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Turkey Gravy with Pan Drippings

I made this gravy with only 3-4 cups of my turkey broth. If you want more gravy… and you can always use more gravy, you can easily double the recipe… everything but the pan drippings, which are really the icing on the cake.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 cups turkey broth
  • 3 T butter
  • 3 T ap or spelt flour, or for gluten free, use gf flour or garbonzo bean flour
  • pan drippings, from your roasted turkey
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Method

Put broth in a sauce pan and heat to warm. In a skillet, on medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour until butter and flour are fully combined. This is your roux. Add roux to warmed broth and continue to whisk to prevent lumps. Allow a few minutes of cooking for broth to thicken. When you like the consistency, add in your delicious flavorful pan drippings. Taste your gravy and adjust seasonings, only if needed.

If you want a thicker gravy, you can always make, and whisk in, more roux. Garbonzo bean flour works great as a thickening agent for soups and gravies, however, it is best to use a little at a time and no more than needed. Too much garbonzo bean flour will alter flavors and may result in an odd texture.

Notes: I like spelt flour because spelt is an ancient grain and is often tolerated by people who have gluten intolerance, even though it does contain gluten. Today’s wheat is not the same wheat that was available just a few decades ago. It is hybridized and for some, more difficult to digest.

Enjoy!

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Raw Fresh Cranberry Salsa

When these little treasures hit the market, it is happy time. Fresh cranberries don’t need much attention to be delicious, especially if you like your food raw. Hmmm I wonder what other raw foods would be good with this… Something with pistachios? I see related posts in the future.

This bowl is likely to go on a table with bread and chèvre very soon!

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This salsa could not be easier. Here is your flavor base. YUM!!! Flavor town with nutrition!

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To make the salsa, throw all your ingredients into a food processor, and pulse. If you do not have a processor, just chop them up. And in minutes, you have this!

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Raw Fresh Cranberry Salsa

To make this vegan, use raw agave instead of honey. The sweetness balances bitterness in the cranberries, and for a kick, add jalapeno.

Ingredients:

  • 2 c fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 c raw honey or raw Agave
  • 2 t lime juice
  • zest of one lime
  • 2 T finely diced shallot
  • 1 t fresh chopped parsley
  • optional: 1/2 t blackstrap molasses
  • optional: for heat, add diced jalapeno

Method

Combine all ingredients. Using a food processor or blender, pulse until texture is chunky.

Alternatively, on a cutting board, chop cranberries with shallots and parsley until it is a chunky texture. Combine with all other ingredients.

Refrigerate salsa until well chilled and flavors have blended… at least an hour.

Serve as needed.

Enjoy!

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Tender Roasted Turkey in Half the Time

How do you roast a whole turkey and get tender, savory, tasty results? Do you brine, or no brine? Stuffing or dressing? Yes, this is controversial, but if you are reading this post right now, you are probably the kind of person who looks controversy in the face and laughs! You are a brave soul.

Here is a quick, easy and efficient method with almost fail-proof results. Feel free to alter to your heart’s content.

You will need:

  1. A turkey
  2. Accompaniments, like fresh herbs and root veggies
  3. A meat thermometer (more reliable than those little plastic pop up things)
  4. Kitchen shears (or a sharp knife)
  5. A roasting pan or large sheet tray and a rack
  6. Optional: stuffing (for under the skin, safer that way)

Easy Tips

Start with the best turkey you can get. If you have access to wild turkey, yay for you!

If your turkey comes frozen, thaw the turkey in the fridge. Plan ahead. Allow one day of thawing for every 4 lbs. of turkey. 

Easy Prep

To save time later and to give your turkey time to develop flavor, prepare your turkey the night before you plan to roast it. Or up to 4 days before… if you have space in your fridge, you can allow the turkey to sit uncovered in a salt and herb rub. This will deepen flavor, but if you goal is speed and efficiency, you can leave it out. prepping the day of cooking, or day before, will do just fine.

Spatchcock the turkey. The spatchcock technique allows your turkey to roast in HALF the time. You only need to remove the spine. Using kitchen shears, or a very sharp knife, cut along each side on the turkey spine. I usually start on the wing end, under the wings. If you have difficulty cutting through to the tail bone (you shouldn’t), you can snap the thigh bone and go through the joints.

Press down hard on the breast bone to flatten the turkey.

This method does result in an unusual-looking presentation, but you will still be able to arrange it on a platter so that it is pretty, and dramatic.

That’s it! Now you have a turkey that will cook in half the time AND stock bones!

For a visual aid, here is a short video… Alton Brown.

Longer video… also fabulous… J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. He is making a Holiday turkey, but why not roast turkey year-round? It makes a great cook-once & eat- all-week food.

 

Save the backbone to make broth and gravy! This is a key perk the comes from using the spatchcock method.

To brine or not to brine: If you like to brine your turkey, go for it. Because it is less bulky, fast, and produces great flavor, I like to use a simple salt rub instead of a brine. Be very generous with salt, covering every part of the turkey. As the turkey sits in the fridge overnight, the salt will be working for you to make your turkey delicious. If you like, put pepper and herbs into the rub.

Refrigerate your turkey, preferably uncovered.

If you would like, go ahead and make a stuffing for your turkey – to be placed under the skin.

Roasting Day!

Pre-heat the oven to 375º. In a large roasting pan, or on a parchment-lined sheet tray, place chopped onion, celery, and carrot to infuse flavor into pan dripping. Place a rack over the veggies. For added flavor, line the rack with fresh herbs, such as thyme, sage, or rosemary.

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Place your turkey onto the rack, breast-side up, with legs turned out or in, depending on which presentation you prefer. Flatter turkey will mean even cooking and tender meat.

About stuffing. As a matter of personal choice, I do not stuff turkeys. I find that it is difficult to cook the turkey through to the stuffing up to a safe temperature without drying out the breast meat. But if we are using the spatchcock method, the point is mute. With no backbone, there is no cavity to stuff.

A happy compromise? Under the skin stuffing.

If you are using an under-the-skin stuffing, with your best tools, your hands, carefully separate the breast skin from the flesh. Pipe or stuff the stuffing under the skin. This will help to keep the breast tender and the skin crispy.

If you really wanted to save some time, and did not rub this turkey down the night before, be sure to liberally salt and pepper it now… on all sides.

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Into the oven!

Roast turkey uncovered, in a preheated 375º oven, until it is golden brown. Then tent with tin foil to stop the browning and allow the turkey to cook through. You will need to keep an eye on your turkey. Depending on your oven, and how flat is your turkey, it may brown in a short time, or it may take over an hour.

After about an hour and fifteen minutes, or so, you will want to insert your meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh – NOT touching the bone. When the internal temp reaches 160º, remove the turkey from the oven and allow it to rest. Carry over cooking will bring the turkey up to a safe 165º. Of course, do not eat an undercooked turkey unless you want to become very ill.

Save your pan drippings! …for delicious gravy, of course.

Presentation

You can present your turkey whole, on a bed of greens, in a more traditional manner. Or you can carve the turkey and place it on the platter any way your like. When your family sees tender meat with golden brown skin, they will probably not care how it is presented.

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It is not cool when you turn your back and that juicy little piece on the end disappears. This is the chef’s nugget!

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“Stuffing”

This time, I used a simple allergen-free “stuffing”. It would have been easier to stuff had I thrown the mix into a blender, but I wanted more texture today. You can use any stuffing you like! Just dice it very small or blend it to a smoother texture.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 T cooking oil
  • diced onion (about 1/2 c)
  • very small diced celery (about 1/4 cup)
  • very small diced carrot (about 1/4 cup)
  • minced garlic (about 2-3 cloves)
  • dried thyme (about 1/4 t)
  • small diced mushroom (8 oz), I had portabella, but chanterelles would be great!
  • chopped frozen spinach (about 1/4 cup)
  • chopped fresh sage (1-2 t)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Saute the onions and and celery in oil until tender. Add carrot and cook until almost tender. Add garlic and thyme and cook for just a few minutes. Adding salt will help the onions release moisture and cook a little faster. Set this mixture aside.

Saute mushrooms in a little oil. Do not add salt until mushrooms are tender. Add spinach. Add onion-carrot mixture back in. Add sage. Salt and pepper to taste.

Options: To make this really yummy, add in butter. If you let this cool and smash in some butter, it will melt into the turkey as it roasts and will be soooo delicious!

If you certainly toast up some bread, traditional, gluten-free, paleo, whatever you eat, grind it up, mix it into the veggies, and let the fats from the turkey develop the flavor. You will probably want to grind everything up a bit before stuffing.

You could try adding finely chopped walnuts or chestnuts. Mmmm

Veggies… delightful aroma!

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Mushrooms…

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All together now…

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What it looked like in the pieces that didn’t lose their stuffing. 🙂

A blender would have kept the stuffing in place, but I was fine with piling it all together on the plate.

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Of course, this turkey was covered in smooth palate-awaking gravy made from broth from the backbone, and intensified with pan drippings. Mmmmm When the turkey is gone, I could probably just eat bowls of gravy.

Makes a great soup base too! 🙂

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Enjoy!

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Fennel Congee Tea

Congee is a slow-cooked rice porridge used in Chinese culture and medicine as a healing food… and it is also known as “breakfast”. 🙂 Slow cooked rice is easily digested and serves as a vehicle for any other nutrients cooked with it. Rice is used in this way to increase bioavailablity for the other foods.

For example, if you make a black fungus congee, your body will absorb more of the nutrients found in black fungus cooked and eaten with rice as you would if the fungus were to be eaten alone. So, presumably, if you eat black fungus for its high iron content, your body should absorb more of the iron if you have prepared black fungus in a congee.

Fennel Congee can be made using the traditional method of just slow cooking rice, fennel and lots of water. You can learn more about the method here. Pictured below, this congee was made using 6 parts water, 1 part brown rice, and about 1 cup chopped fennel.

You can use chicken broth with, or instead of, water.

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Important Disclaimer: This blog is informational only. This is not medical advice. Consult your healthcare provider per all of your health needs and concerns.

Fennel Congee is used for a variety of purposes. It is considered to be very beneficial for alleviating hernia, and reducing tumors.

For a little more information, here is a page taken from “The Book of Jook: Chinese Medicinal Porridges“.

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Another way to benefit from Congee, is to make a tea from it. This is often much better tolerated than a bowl of thick porridge. And all you have to do is prepare the Congee and strain it. Reserve the broth, add more hot water to thin, if needed. (or hot chicken broth) And sip the hot nourishing tea at your leisure.

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Taken in a tea form, this really does not need to be sweetened up or seasoned, although it can be.

I tried a cup as-is and it was good. Then I stirred a few drops of raw honey into another cup, and it was great. 🙂

Enjoy!

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Sun Brat Roulade

This dish started out as an idea for a vegan sausage made with bratswurst spices, and whatever else I had in my pantry. It ended up a very tasty little gluten-free roulade that puts me in mind of a Reuben sandwich. No corned beef. No bread. But the caraway seeds are pronounced, the mushrooms-sunflower seed mix bring depth and meatiness, and the crispy yuca wrap gives this roulade a sandwich mouthfeel.

I am not really sure what this is… but it is good! ‘Like make-another -one-in-the-middle-of-the-night good. 🙂

‘Next tine I make this, I am totally dipping it in Russian dressing, or maybe even Thousand Island! Hmmm. Today, I have my Red Cabbage and Apples, and mustard, although these roulades really do not need a sauce at all. ‘Just gilding the lily.

Bonus! This dish, for me, reaches the optimal (food high) goal… it is Vegan Paleo. Vegan and Paleo are usually on opposite ends of the spectrum. They meet at fresh whole vegetables. So when I can find a dish that has variation in texture and flavor, and is ALL vegetable and spice, but not a raw salad… I am a very happy girl. THIS is a diet staple.

Sun Brat Roulade

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The night before you make your batter: Soak 1 cup raw sunflower seeds in water (preferably spring water). This will lighten the texture of the sunflower seeds and make them more bioavailable, and easier to digest.

Then…

In a skillet, on medium temperature, heat cooking oil. Add onions and mushrooms and cook until tender. Add garlic and cook for a couple minutes more. Salt and pepper, to taste.

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Drain sunflower seeds.

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Place sprouted (soaked) sunflower seeds into a food processor or blender.

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Spice it up! Rosemary, caraway seeds, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and red pepper flakes if you want some heat.

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Pulse a few times. Do not over process, or it will become seed butter. Add mushroom mixture and seasonings to the processor. Pulse until you like the consistency. I prefer a little texture over a puree. Process or stir in your flax egg.

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Alternatively, you can dispense with the processor and make a chunky mixture. The result will be a crunchy mix.

Adjust seasonings, if needed. Salt and pepper, to taste.

Using a portion scoop, or your hands, as though you were making a meatball or neatball, scoop out a ball of yuca dough. Then press it between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll or press dough until it it about 1/4 inch thick, or less. I prefer a thin dough because it creates a crispier crust.

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Place sunflower seed- mushroom mix onto one end of the yuca dough and roll .. cigar style. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

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In an oiled skillet, brown roulades on all sides.

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Serve immediately.

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Sun Brats Roulade

This batter yields about 3 cups. How many roulades you get will depend upon how you fill each one. I yield about 8-10. Be sure to soak your seeds for at least an hour. I find it easiest to throw them soaking in the fridge overnight… and forget them. (Actually, I forgot these seeds for a couple of days.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 c raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 2-4 T cooking oil (I like coconut)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 16 oz mushrooms, diced small
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t dried rosemary
  • 1/2 t caraway seeds
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 1/2 t allspice
  • 1/4 t ground ginger
  • one flax egg (1 T flaxseed plus 3 T water, gelled)
  • optional: red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Yuca dough

Method

The night before you make your batter: Soak 1 cup sunflower seeds in water (preferably spring water)

In a skillet, on medium temperature, heat 1-2 T of cooking oil. Add onions and mushrooms and cook until tender. Add garlic and cook for a couple minutes more. Salt and pepper, to taste.

Drain sunflower seeds and place them into a food processor or blender. Pulse a few times. Do not over process, or it will become seed butter. Add mushroom mixture and seasonings to the processor. Pulse until you like the consistency. I prefer a little texture over a puree. Process or stir in your flax egg.

Alternatively, you can dispense with the processor and make a chunky mixture. The result will be a crunchy mix.

Adjust seasonings, if needed. Salt and pepper, to taste.

Using a portion scoop, or your hands, as though you were making a meatball or neatball, scoop out a ball of yuca dough. Then press it between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll or press dough until it it about 1/4 inch thick, or less. I prefer a thin dough because it creates a crispier crust.

Place sunflower seed- mushroom mix onto one end of the yuca dough and roll .. cigar style. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

In an oiled skillet (1-2 T), brown roulades on all sides.

Serve immediately. If desired, add mustard, sauerkraut, or a little German Red Cabbage and Apples.

Important! Never eat Yuca raw! It is toxic, especially bitter yuca (aka cassava, manioc). It is rendered safe through removal of its juices (or gasses in the juice), by soaking, fermenting, thoroughly cooking, and/or drying. When you buy tapioca flours, or African products such as garri, fufu, apu, and pupuru, this has been done for you.

Enjoy!

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Yuca Dough

A.K.A. cassava, manioc, or that root vegetable from which tapioca is made. Tapioca is a gluten-free boon! You find tapioca and potato starch in gf flours, desserts and countless foods. “Gluten-free” can be accomplished many many ways… yuca/cassava/tapioca is one tool that may prove immensely useful in a well-rounded gluten-free diet.

However, you don’t have to be gluten free to eat and enjoy yuca. It is a whole food, with a very mild taste that is the same whether you are gf or not. There is some nutritive value in yuca. It contains some minerals, and B-vitamins. It is low in fat and protein, although it contains more protein than a potato.

Important! Never eat Yuca raw! It is toxic, especially bitter yuca (aka cassava, manioc). It is rendered safe through removal of its juices (or gasses in the juice), by soaking, fermenting, thoroughly cooking, and/or drying. When you buy tapioca flours, or African products such as garri, fufu, apu, and pupuru, this has been done for you.

You can learn more about the plant at Cassava365. Currently, I am more interested in exploring what you can do with this in your kitchen!

cassava

 

Making Yuca Dough

For a simple and immensely versatile kitchen staple, you can turn this tough starchy root vegetable into a very useful dough! Then you can use the dough make little chips, vessels, wraps… whatever you want! This dough may even have the power to turn your superfoods into fun bites!

First, peel and chop the yuca root. I use a sharp pairing knife. Cut the pieces to a uniform size for even cooking.

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Steam or boil chopped yuca until it is fork tender.

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When it is tender, it is ready to be mashed or processed.

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In a food processor, puree until you have a fairly smooth dough. This takes only a couple of minutes. Pulse and scrape down the sides as needed.

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This dough is very sticky! Scoop it out of the processor and into a bowl. After it sits for a bit, it will become much less sticky and so much more easy to manipulate.

I use this resting time to clean up my processor. …just cuz it makes me happy to have a clean processor. 🙂

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You can use your dough right away. Or cover and refrigerate it to use it later.

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If your dough has been in the fridge, let it rest for a few minutes at room temperature before shaping and using it. It will not fight with you so much.

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Now that you have dough, you can roll it thin, and fold, wrap and envelop things in it for endless gluten-free meals and snacks.

Check out this Sunbrat Roulade. Yum!

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Enjoy!

Important! Never eat Yuca raw! It is toxic, especially bitter yuca (aka cassava, manioc). It is rendered safe through removal of its juices (or gasses in the juice), by soaking, fermenting, thoroughly cooking, and/or drying. When you buy tapioca flours, or African products such as garri, fufu, apu, and pupuru, this has been done for you.

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