Dairy & Grain Free Tuna Casserole

  
While this is definitely NOT the prettiest meal, it is surprisingly tasty. I thought I wasn’t one for hot canned tuna dishes, but I’ve proven myself wrong, lol. I still can’t bring myself to add cheese to tuna (anyone with me?!) but I’m sure if you like that combo this dish could stand a cheesy topper. 

  
I made this last week when the San Francisco weather was overcast and chilly. Now we are in full blown summer-like weather and I’m LOVING IT! 😎🌞. Yesterday, Mr. Foggy Foodie and I went to our good friends’ house for an outdoor birthday party.  I didn’t even have a sweater on! Hooray! I also seriously cheated on this no-sugar, no-grain thing with a bagel, cream cheese and a piece of outrageously divine handmade cake (chocolate, strawberry buttercream, with chocolate ganache…not too sweet and so fresh! drooling just thinking about it again!) made by our outrageously talented friend, Stacie, who owns Little Bee Baking. If you are in the Bay Area you MUST stop by her shop in Bernal Heights. Everything is heavenly and waaaaay worth the splurge. 

   


Admittedly, after all the treats all I wanted was a nap, with a warm breeze. Alas, back on the horse today. 🙂 But with no regrets. 

Ok, back to what I made during the gloomy weather. Here’s the recipe (I say that loosely!):

  1. Cook 1 spaghetti squash,  slightly al dente
  2. While squash is cooking, dice and sautée 1 yellow onion, with salt, pepper and red chili flakes in some coconut oil in an oven safe Dutch oven, if you have one. 
  3. When onions start to get translucent add in a couple of heads of brocolli and stir well. 
  4. Let brocolli cook until al dente and then add in the cooked spaghetti squash, 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk, 2 cans of tuna and more salt and pepper. Stir together. 
  5. Put oven safe pot directly in the oven (or transfer into casserole dish) at 400•F for about 20 minutes or until everything is bubbly, flavor melded and cooked to your desired done-ness. Before putting in the oven you could add a cheese and/or breadcrumb layer for a crisp crust. 
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Making this made me feel transported back to the 1950’s…

Yours in happy indulging and fiddling with old school classics,

The Foggy Foodie

Bastardized Ratatouille with Grassfed Burger Patty…

  
Growing up, I remember my mom, who is an amazing cook, making Ratatouille on several occasions. Ratatouille is basically a French dish of stewed vegetables including onions, eggplant, peppers, in a tomato base.  

  
My bastardized version did not include onions (the one in the house had gone bad), nor eggplant, as generally I can’t stand eggplant. It’s such a pretty vegetable but I don’t like the taste, nor texture. Sorry pretty eggplant and eggplant lovers. I substituted zucchini. I also was out of garlic, so I used copious amounts of garlic powder.  And while Mom would squish the canned tomatoes by hand, when ripe fresh ones weren’t available, I opted for marinara sauce, which thankfully had onions and garlic in it. Oh and just to make sure it was totally unauthentic I added broccoli because it my world most things are better with broccoli. 😉 And lastly I made it on the spicy side, because I like a little kick.  All in all it came out really tasty! Mr. Foggy Foodie picked up the cooked burger patties from the local hamburger joint on his way home from work just as I was finishing the stew. As Hannibal from the A-Team used to say, “I love it when a plan comes together.”  

Bastardized Ratatouille:  
Ingredients

  • 1 yellow pepper (this looked the best in the store)
  • 3 zucchinis
  • 2 heads broccoli
  • 1 tbsp Organic garlic powder
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Red pepper flakes (I used a palm full. I don’t generally measure.) 
  • 1 tbsp Organic Refined Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 jar of Marinara sauce of your choice. I used this Organic Marinara Sauce
  • Olive oil for garnish. We used lemon infused. The lemon added a nice brightness. Like this one.

Instructions:

  1. Chop veggies in chunks;
  2. Heat coconut oil (I used refined so that it did not impart coconut flavor);
  3. Add veggies, salt, garlic powder and red pepper flakes;
  4. Simmer on low until veggies are cooked. In traditional ratatouille the veggies are stewed down pretty far. I like a little more body to my veggies so i let them get soft but not completely stewed;
  5. Add in marinara sauce and allow it to heat and meld; 
  6. Serve under your favorite protein or as a side dish;
  7. Enjoy!

Let me know if you give this a try or share your favorite traditional ratatouille recipe. 

Yours in bastardizing Classic French dishes,

The Foggy Foodie

Pan Seared Halibut with Braised Artichokes and Haricot Verts with Simple Salsa Verde… 

I love halibut and have been seeing fresh, wild pacific halibut at the stores recently. It is not a cheap fish, and you can sub another white fish with this dish. I chose to go big and spring for the halibut. Then the fear set in that I was going to ruin this beautiful fish, which when done well is moist, and meaty but flaky.  Mom to the rescue, lol:  I found this recipe online and followed her cooking instruction more or less, substituting ghee for grapeseed oil. I think I put a bit too much ghee in the pan because when i put the fish in it splattered hot oil all over the stove, counters and me. No wonder chefs have battle wounds all over their arms…shit gets real in the kitchen 😉

For the side dish I riffed off of this recipe for braised artichokes. I prepped about 8 baby artichokes by cutting of the bottoms tops and taking off the exterior leaves, and cutting them in half. Did you know that baby artichokes aren’t actually younger versions of large artichokes?? They’re just smaller in size. I just learned that! Neat. 

I didn’t hit them with lemon juice quickly enough so they oxidized a tiny bit, but so it goes. I placed them cut side down in some ghee, added some lemon juice and left them for 4 minutes to brown. Once browned (I actually left them alone long enough to caramelize!), I flipped them over and let the back brown for about 2 more minutes. Then I threw in a sliced shallot, a couple of handfuls of haricotverts, with ends trimmed. I also tossed in some baby kale that I had left over and half a cup of water and some red pepper flakes. I let those simmer for about 20 minutes. They came out perfectly!!!

While the fish was cooking I made a salsa verde (aka green sauce).  I threw a head of parsley, half a shallot, basil infused olive oil and juice of half a lemon into my Nutribullet. Sauce, tada!

The first time I plated the fish, Mr. foggy foodie thought it looked slightly translucent, whoops… I was so worried about overlooking I undercooked it.  I put the filets back on the heat for a few extra minutes and basted the top with the hot pan ghee, like I’ve seen on TV ☺️. He said his came out perfectly and that he loved it. I think mine could have done with a minute less but was still juicy and delicious. The salsa verde added A really nice fresh, herbaceous and acidic note. And the veggies were savory and flavorful. 

I ate the whole dang thing and savored every second. 

I’m so proud of this dish! It looked restaurant-y and tasted better than lots of things I’ve eaten out. Yay!

Check it out! I made this! Crazy!

 
Yours in kitchen accomplishments,

The Foggy Foodie

Curried Cauliflower Soup with Greens…

Hiya!

Being back in the kitchen after last week’s whirlwind felt good. My last post was certainly heavier than others I’ve written, but I’m really proud of the post. If you haven’t read it, I swear it’s not completely depressing!! So please give it a gander and I’d love to hear  your thoughts and food memories. 🙂  

Last night I wanted something comforting and creamy without dairy… I came up with Curried Cauliflower and Greens Soup with Coconut Milk. And I will say I was quite pleased with the outcome! It paired beautifully (😜) with binge watching Bosch on Amazon prime. Any one watching that?! It’s a really well done cop show, and is totally intense, pretty addictive and definitely dark. When I couldn’t handle any more, a girl’s got her limits, I switched over to happy and light HGTV’s Fixer Upper. I love that show. Chip and Joanna Gaines are adorable and the house transformations are incredible. I love Joanna’s sense of style and whimsy in her decorating. The shows are polar opposite but I highly recommend both, based on your preferences, of course.


Curried Cauliflower and Greens Soup with Coconut Milk:

In soup pot add enough water to steam:

  • 1 large white onion, sliced
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, chopped up
  • 1 box of pre-washed super greens mix or your choice of spinach, chard, kale, etc.
  • Sea salt

Steam onion and cauliflower first until starting to soften, about 10 minutes. Then add greens to wilt.

After veggies were soft I drained off a little water because I wanted thick soup.

On low heat, stir in:

Use an immersion stick blender or regular blender to purée the soup until desired consistency. I wanted a thick comforting soup so just the can of coconut milk with the liquid was plenty for me, and didn’t over power with coconut flavor.

The plan was to top it with shrimp but they got all mushy and tasted funny so I skipped them and had a vegan dinner. I also think that the soup would be super yummy with chickpeas if you eat legumes, which I miss and may reintroduce soon. I just topped mine with some extra virgin olive oil.


So good!!! I think I’ll have some leftovers for breakfast. The recipe makes a big pot!

Yours in happy full bellies,

The Foggy Foodie

Easy Grassfed Beef “Chili” Recipe… 

  
In to Nutribullet (I LOVE MY NUTRIBULLET!):

1 large shallot

1 green pepper

1 box of cherry tomatoes

Salt and olive oil

Result: a slightly disgusting colored, slightly chunky purée that will look better with time, I promise!!!

Put purée in skillet with 2 broken up grassfed beef patties (I haven’t figured out how to cook my own meat so I used patties cooked from a local burger place) and super greens (baby kale, spinach, chard…) and a heap of red pepper flakes. Let simmer for about 20 minutes. Salt to taste. 

Top with a dash of fresh olive oil and avocado.  Enjoy!

Came out pretty damn delicious and the left overs the next day for lunch were equally fab. 

Yours in quick cooking,

The Foggy Foodie

Roasted Spaghetti Squash Stuffed with Brocolli and Marinara Chicken. 


Not the prettiest picture, but this meal came out pretty dang well. I oven roasted a lengthwise split spaghetti squash in a baking dish with a little bit of water for a half hour on 400•F.  I also filled a tin foil sheet with garlic cloves and olive oil and and wrapped it up and tossed it on the oven rack. Unfortunately, I did not close the packet tightly enough because it tipped over and olive oil/garlic juice spilled out and started burning on the oven floor. I smoked up the joint! 😁. Whoops… Still need to scrub that mess. Any non-toxic oven cleaning tips?

Ok, back to the good stuff. Once the squash was fork tender (do not touch it…I learned the hard way…ouch! Very hot!) I fluffed up the strands with a fork after it cooled for a second. I added in steamed broccoli and then topped it with rotisserie chicken warmed in Rao’s Marinara sauce. The chicken soaked up the marinara and was so tender and saucy! I like a saucy dish!

I put the whole thing back in the oven for a minute to meld together. I then topped the stuffed squash with the salvageable pieces of roasted sweet garlic and a glug of fresh olive oil.

Mr. Foggy Foodie and I each annihilated our respective halves of the squash. We wound up  adding more chicken marinara half way through! It was scrumptious. I remember my mom making me spaghetti squash as a kid and me thinking it was watery. I liked it way better than I remembered. I’m not positive it is on the ok list for this diet, but I wanted something different and I don’t think the sugar content is extremely high in this type of winter squash. Or maybe I’m kidding myself. Any thoughts?

Regardless, it was a tasty success, minus the oven debacle and the burnt finger 😉

Yours in enjoying stuffed vegetables more than stuffed shirts,

The Foggy Foodie

Green Curry Coconut Cod Soup

Hi folks!

I need to get better at taking cooking photos because by the time the dish is done I can only manage taking one quick pic before I devour my creations. Not saying all my creations are divine (not even close) but I’m generally ravenous and have to eat. Friends used to call me the Impatient Belly. Don’t stand between me and chow time! 

After the success of this salmon dish, I was still feeling in a fish mood and decided to try my hand at a different type. So I went back to my Whole Foods fish monger dudes (they’re awesome at a specific location–kindly and enthusiastically asking to hear about how my experiments went!). I wanted to do something with curry and coconut milk and the fish monger said “oh you mean like a galangal soup?”  Blink. Blink. Blink. “Um, I think so?” I replied trying to remember exactly what that was based on my Thai restaurant experiences. Anyhow, he directed me to the cod, fileted enough for 2 people into 5 littler chunks and told me to just submerge them into the soup right before it was ready and when they were flakey they were done (I later looked on the Internet–my cooking guru–which said about 5 minutes). 

I probably should have looked up a recipe for galangal soup (at least to learn) but I was in a fly by the seat of my pants kind of mood. 

I sweated/browned/sautéed [insert proper cooking terminology here] 1 large yellow onion in coconut oil. I then added in 1/3 box chicken stock, 1.5 cans of unsweetened coconut milk (I had 1 big can and 1 small one), juice of 1.5 limes (saving half a lime to finish), 1 bunch of green chard, roughly torn and stemmed (I cook like a cave woman sometimes!), a peeled and diced knob of ginger, red pepper flakes and a big tablespoon of Thai Kitchen green curry paste

I let that simmer for a while until things looked cooked and flavors melded, i.e. there was a commercial break. Then I braved the raw fish (still hard for me, but getting easier! Wahoo!) and placed the 5 pieces in the soup. I tried it about 4-5 min later and the fish wasn’t quite opaque (TMI–which of course freaked me out that I was going to food poison myself — go away, saboteur brain!). I waited another minute and then added the rest of the lime — Et voila!

  
It was super tasty and satisfying. I had three bowls of it! It was bright with lime but with a savory undertone from the broth and spiceful from the curry and sweet from the onions and coconut.  All flavor sensations happily activated! The cod was perfectly cooked and tender and added a lovely substantial element. The soup wasn’t quite as coconutty as previous soups and perhaps I would cut back on the chicken stock next time or add more coconut milk. It is was very lime-y, which I like, but if you’re not into that sort of push and pull of tang, maybe cut back a bit.  

Mr. Foggy Foodie had dinner plans but still ate a bowl and a half on his way out the door and said he’d rather eat cod soup than the pizza he was about to have. That is tremendous praise, but I’m sure fleeting feelings once he mowed down on delicious cheesy pizza, oh how I miss thee… But I digress! 

Cod curry coconut soup, you’re a winner in my book!

Yours in first time cod cookery,

The Foggy Foodie