Naturally Fermented Spicy Dill Pickles

Taking a point from Mark over at Mark’s Daily Apple, I decided to try my hand at making my own naturally fermented pickles.  I tried the recipe he mentioned but then also tried to take my own spin on it.  Here’s my recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups filtered water
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 crushed cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 halved jalapeño stuffed olives (Santa Barbara Olive Company)
  • 5 small cucumbers (ends cut)
  • 5 sprigs of dill
I added in the garlic, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, jalapeño stuffed olives, and dill into the jar.  Then I added in the pickles and salt water.  Definitely put at least halved pieces of the cucumber above the whole cucumbers you put in, as it keeps them all submerged in the brine.
After 5 days, the brine got quite cloudy, so I decided to finally give them a shot.  The standard recipe actually seemed to spoil or something–they were violently salty and not so exciting.  My spin was nice and spicy without being too extreme.  Also, it still had a great crunch.  They’ll only keep for a week at most, so I look forward to eating them pretty constantly for the next few days.  

Pot Roast

We were able to pick up some pot roast on sale last week, and as the week flew by, the window for using or freezing the roast was closing in.  Instead of freezing it, I decided to put together an easy overnight pot roast.

  • 2-3 lb pot roast
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 4 tbsp chicken gelatin/fat (leftover from baked thighs)
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary
I started with sprinkling the garlic salt and paprika on both sides of the pot roast.  Then I added the chopped onion, carrot, and rosemary into the bottom of the crock pot.  Then I added the chicken fat/gelatin from the thighs I cooked earlier in the week.  This is a great way to make some chicken stock without having to buy anything else–my first attempt and a successful one!
I then added in the pot roast, and filled up the crock pot with water until the meat was submerged.  Then set the dial to low, and let it cook overnight for about 9 hours.
At that point, the pot roast easily shredded, and then went right back into the stock.  You could easily use the meat shredded with flavors of your choice, or use it as a stew.  Admittedly the stock is a little bland, but as we’re adjusting to the new diet, I think it fit the bill pretty well.

Chicken Salad

Here’s my attempt at Haley’s Homemade Chicken Salad from the Food Lovers’ Primal Palate (recipe here).  This is one of my favorite recipes, and I thoroughly recommend it. My one cautionary tale: 

When making homemade mayonnaise, your choice of oil makes all the difference.  I can’t find/afford a cup of macadamia oil, so I usually use 3/4 cup of coconut oil and 1/4 cup walnut oil.  Unfortunately I ran out of those things and had to make up the difference with olive oil.  DO NOT do that.  The flavor isn’t miserable, but it does leave something to be desired.  

Easy Sage Tea

I worked from home the past few days because I haven’t been feeling well–this Whole30 thing has really sent my body’s internal organs on a crazy ride. Hopefully, everything settles down soon; for now, I’m doing my best to tough it out.

I would never have thought to make my own tea, nevermind sage tea. But today, a friend suggested it for my upset tummy and I remembered that we had fresh sage in the fridge. So I did a quick Google search for “how to make sage tea” and tada! an easy recipe was at hand.

I didn’t actually follow the recipe. That would be too easy! :-p Instead, I just tore up enough sage leaves to fit into my tea strainer, heated some water, and let it steep. The recipe lists lemon and honey as optional additions. Honey is obviously not a Whole30 menu item, and I wanted to experience the flavor (and hopefully the helpful effects) of this tea in its original form so I didn’t add the lemon either.

 

The tea is light in color. It’s soothing on my throat and the warmth feels nice in my tummy. The soft sage flavor is just right. I suppose too much sage would make this tea rather bitter. But I got lucky–apparently my tea strainer holds just the right amount of torn sage leaves. 🙂

Cabbage Slaw

Here’s a quick and easy dish to put together as a light meal or side that’s sure to last for at least a few days between two people.  The one thing that makes it possible is a reliable mandolin.  I got mine at a local home retailer for less than $30 and it keeps finding ways to be useful.

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Basil Salmon Scrambled Eggs

Last night’s dinner of basil salmon burgers was great, but we only made six patties because we knew we wanted to repurpose some of the salmon mixture. In order to enjoy this delicious recipe again next week, we froze most of the mixture but saved just a couple spoon-fulls in the fridge for breakfast this morning.


I cooked it over a medium high heat with a little bit of olive oil; and then I added four eggs, beaten, to the pan. I scrambled it together while it cooked and it smelled amazing! The sweet and salty salmon wafting up from the pan had me drooling in no time.

I packed half the resulting basil salmon scrambled eggs into a container for Brent to take to work, and put the other half in the fridge for me (since I’m working from home today). We drank our homemade carrot juice and off he went to work.


Then, around 11 a.m. I finally felt hungry and so I reheated my portion of the basil salmon scrambled eggs. It was heavenly! The eggs took on all the delicate flavors of the garlic, basil and salmon. The saltiness of the dish was just right, and reminded me of bacon-scrambled eggs (one of my favorites breakfast items). Next time, I think I’ll garnish them with some fresh basil.

Basil Salmon Burgers

These burgers were a foray into salmon’s uses; I’ve never strayed from broiling or grilling salmon, but I am pretty impressed with the digression.
This recipe is from Loren Cordain’s The Paleo Diet Cookbook and I strongly recommend it as a resource to anyone looking to bring more paleo cooking into their kitchen.  All of his resources are great, so check them out.
We ground up a large cut of salmon using our Ninja, and added in the garlic and basil to the mix.  With some eggs and onion powder, it all really came together.
The burger was crispy on the outside but still juicy in the middle.  The seasonings add a nice balance to the fish and it’ll make great leftovers crumbled over salads for the next few days.
There’s still a lot of spinach in the house, so we tossed the burger over a bed of spinach, but there’s chicken salad and more to come this week.
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