Dear Roberta: I have recently started on a diet that has no processed foods, dairy, grains or sugar.
As you can imagine, it is a whole new way of eating and cooking.
I would appreciate any recipes that fit into my new lifestyle.
Just because you have eliminated many of the foods that we have grown so used to eating, there are still many dishes that are tasty and can fit into your new way of eating.
I recommend these two dishes served together.
Thai Roasted Squash Soup
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 1/2 teaspoons red curry paste
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons brown sugar
4 cups cooked and pureed butternut squash
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add curry paste, garlic and ginger; sauté 45 seconds, stirring constantly.
Add broth and next five ingredients (through salt); cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Place half of squash mixture in a blender.
Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender.
Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth.
Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining squash mixture. Spoon about 1 cup soup into each of four bowls; top with 2 tablespoons peanuts and 1 tablespoon cilantro. Serve with lime wedge.
Thai Beef Salad
1 pound top-round London broil or flank steak, about 1 to 1 1/2-inches thick
3 tablespoons lime juice, divided
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon brown sugar- optional
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 1/4 teaspoons red curry paste or chili-garlic sauce
1/2 head red-leaf lettuce, torn (about 6 cups)
3 shallots, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup), divided, for garnish
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, rinsed and dried
1 cup basil leaves, sliced into ribbons
Rinse and pat the meat dry. Place in a sealable plastic bag or small glass dish. In a medium bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the lime juice, soy sauce, canola oil, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and red curry paste. Pour half the mixture into the bag with the meat.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice to the bag. Seal tightly, and marinate meat in refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight, turning occasionally. Reserve the rest of the mixture refrigerated to dress the salad.
Spray grill or grill pan with cooking spray and preheat. Grill steak until medium-rare, about 5 minutes per side, depending on desired doneness. Let rest until room temperature then slice thinly against the grain.
Combine lettuce, sliced shallot, cilantro, basil and beef in a salad bowl, reserving a few shallots for garnish. Add the reserved dressing and toss to coat. Divide salad among four plates and garnish with reserved sliced shallots
Roberta DesBouillons is the in-house chef at Tess’ Kitchen Store in Grass Valley. She is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and used to own/operate Apron Strings Cooking School in San Francisco. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.