Holiday Meals

Stove Top Braised Short Ribs

It’s almost one month since I’ve given birth to our sweet, lucky little boy – Rowen Gray – and boy has it been an adjustment. We’ve started on the “sleep deprivation” spiral, zero time for laundry, constantly burping him (as he has reflux), and loving every second of his adorable little self. You never fully understand how much it will change your life when you have a child, until you actually have one. As exhausting and frustrating it can be, I would not trade it for the world.

With that said, balancing having a newborn and being in the kitchen is a real struggle. Granted it’s only been a few weeks, and I’m still learning ways to navigate Rowen and while I can strap him in a carrier and cook, I also need to take time for myself and, like, sleep. This week began Passover, and coincidentally, we are all going through one of the most challenging and uncertain times as a country, as a human species, and I would be remiss if I did not mention how eerily similar this pandemic is to the story of Passover. I think now more than ever we have to be grateful for the family and loved ones around us, stay home and do our part to slow the spread of this COVID-19, count our blessings, and manifest kindness.

Passover this year was very different: no traditional Seder, not even a Seder plate. We had a virtual Seder on Wednesday which is better than not being able to see them at all. I had taken out short ribs that I ordered from Whole Foods but wasn’t even sure what I wanted to do with them, let alone was I sure I wanted to cook. Nevertheless, I made them, and they came out beyond incredible.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2lbs short ribs (I prefer bone in – it adds more collagen and nutrients)
  • 1 carton beef stock or bone broth – I love Kettle and Fire brand
  • 1/4 cup wine (I used white because it was open, but red would be great too).
  • 1 cup coconut aminos
  • 2 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled then sliced thick
  • 2 medium zucchini, rinsed then chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Basil

We have a decent amount of fresh produce and so I knew I wanted to incorporate that into this dish anyway, so I got started on the short ribs. I seared them in some avocado oil with a heavy seasoning of salt, pepper, and rosemary. I let them brown on all sides and then deglazed the pot with the broth, coconut aminos, and dry white wine.

I threw in the chopped veggies and added a bit more salt and pepper. Covered the pot and turned the flame to a medium low for two and a quarter hours (2.25 hr). Literally that’s it. The meat fell off the bone and the veggies were the perfect tender consistency. We had potato kugel with it and some matzo ball soup because #passover, and it was a delicious Seder for a newly family of three. L’chaim.

Almond Butter Cookies with Collagen and Browned Butter Chocolate Chunks

I have a very interesting relationship with cookies. Granted, they can be super delicious, satisfying, and a perfect treat around this time of year with the holidays. On the other hand, they can be very sugary and over-powering. I tried to play with the ingredients that I had in my pantry, and referred back to my first cookie recipe for “chocolate chip health cookies,” which essentially was the base of this one, except I added collagen powder and almond butter.

The holiday season always makes me want to bake, and I just recently found my grandmother’s recipe box which is FILLED with seasonal cookies. She was an incredible baker. These cookies remind me of standing in her kitchen with my mom and aunt (who’s probably reading this… hi grantie!), rolling up cream cheese rugelach, and making scotch cookies while listening to stories and running through the list of who’s receiving cookie packages this year. I’ll have to dabble in her recipe box sooner than later.

What I love about the way these cookies turned out is that they have a very short crumble and texture to them, which is resemblant of a biscotti, so clearly they are the PERFECT accompaniment for a hot cup of coffee on a lazy sunday morning. Adding a small chunk of Alter Eco browned butter chocolate (you can find this product on Thrive Market – linked here) adds a bitter sweet (haha, I made a funny..) bite that balances out the crispness of the crust on the cookie. I also used some of my favorite dairy products from Organic Valley, which is unsalted pastured butter and eggs, two staples in my house.

Here’s the rundown of what you’ll need, and a quick breakdown of the steps:

  • 1 stick Organic Valley unsalted butter
  • 2 large Organic Valley eggs
  • 1/2 cup organic Cane Sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Barney Butter almond butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 cups Thrive Market Non-GMO Cassava Flour
  • 2 tbsp collagen powder – I use Vital Proteins
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 bar Alter Eco Browned Butter chocolate, broken into small chunks.

Preheat the oven to 375*. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, collagen powder). In a separate bowl, combine the butter with both brown sugar and cane sugar until creamy (may take a few minutes – around 4-5m). Add in eggs and almond butter. Whisk until combined.

Pour the wet batter into the dry ingredients and mix (whether with a spatula, whisk, or electric hand mixer) until fully combined and it forms a sticky batter. Roll into small cookie balls and place onto a pre-greased sheet pan. Batter should yield approximately 20 cookies. Place a small chunk in the center of the cookie and press down lightly. Bake for 20 minutes and let sit to cool, don’t worry if the cookies are a little soft, they will firm up as they cool.

These are a perfect addition to breakfast, a dessert for lunch, or simply by its own. NOMaste 🙂

Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs

Being that it’s Thanksgiving, I should probably experiment with turkey recipes, but neither my husband or I are super crazy about it, although I do have my eyes set on tying to make roasted turkey legs (i’d prefer dark than white meat from a turkey anyway). I remembered I had ground chicken in my freezer and decided to give this one a shot, because chicken meatballs can take one sharp sauces such as teriyaki and I figured why not, it’s Black Friday and I am absolutely not about to go shopping – may as well cook!

Here’s what you’ll need for the chicken meatballs:

  • 1 lb or package of ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs as a binding agent
  • Chopped veggies such as carrots, celery, and onion (aka Mirepoix – you can buy store made already which I did this time around)
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a medium sized bowl, combine the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, spices, oil, and mirepoix. It will be a rather sticky blend but it will bake just fine.

Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with your choice of spray oil. Portion on the meatballs with a tablespoon, roll into balls and place on the tray. The mix should make around 16 meatballs. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

For the teriyaki sauce, I used Primal Kitchen’s No Soy Teriyaki but added arrowroot to thicken it up and a bit more coconut aminos. The end result is a super delicious soy-free, paleo sauce to pour over the meatballs, and pair with a side of wild rice and veggies! Enjoy!

New Year Eve Throw-down! Appetizer III – Spinach Dip

This has been one hell of a week to say the least. Without going into details, and getting incredibly emotional, we lost a very special person in our family a week ago Friday (tomorrow). My emotions are running rampant; I feel like I could cry or throw a chair at the drop of a hat. Despite this loss, the memories will always live in our hearts and our minds. I’m glad to have spent the weekend with family and survive the loss in our conversations together. RIP.

There’s no great segue into this recipe, except for the fact that I promised to post this recipe, and I’m glad to, especially because I am a major sucker for spinach dip (and coffee cakes from Drake’s, which were always at the ready whenever I saw the angel that left us… ah, a segue).  In all honesty, spinach dip does not need to be or should be difficult to make. It’s combining cheesy ingredients with chopped spinach and artichokes, broiled in a ramekin until the cheesy top is crusty and golden brown, served with chips, and in this case.. Siete chips!

I have definitely brought up Siete chips before, and I will a thousand times over. THEY. ARE. AMAZING. Siete is a grain-free brand that specializes in cassava, almond, coconut, and cashew-based products such as tortillas, tortilla chips, queso, and hot sauce. I love this product and the masterminds behind the company so much I’m doing a GIVEAWAY on Instagram (@nomaste.hungry) this coming week – stay tuned! Anyway, you can buy your Siete products here.

What I love about this spinach dip is that I KNOW what ingredients go into it: cream cheese, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, chopped spinach, artichokes, and garlic powder. All of the ingredients listed are 100% organic and local, I truly believe there is a different in organic produce and products, and you can find most organic items in Trader Joe’s or inexpensive stores too! To start, I thaw a large bag of chopped spinach and drain with a decent amount of paper towels (maybe 2 or 3 double sheets, or a cheese cloth). Draining the spinach takes out the moisture so that the remaining ingredients combine and don’t get soggy.

Next, I melt an 8oz block cream cheese and add in the spinach along with the artichokes. I’ll whisk this around until the cream cheese starts to bubble and melt. Layer in 1/2 cup of parmesan and 1/2 cup mozzarella, whisking to marry all ingredients together. This is the recipe.

Sprinkle some garlic powder, mix again. Ladle the mixture into a ramekin or oven-safe bowl and sprinkle a final layer of mozzarella cheese. Turn the oven to broil, and broil the spinach dip until the cheese is golden on the sides. Serve with your NEW Siete chips and enjoy 🙂 Nomaste.

New Years Eve Throw-down! Appetizer II: “Pigs in a Blanket”

Who even came up with the “pigs in a blanket” name? Either way, New Years is never NYE without these guys present at the appetizer table. I feel like people never say no to them also, and so that’s why they’re always a hit for parties, large or small.

Franks in blankets are basically small cocktail franks rolled up in crescent roll dough from the container. I cannot express how simple this recipe is, that I won’t be including a recipe at the bottom *GASP*

…still working on my flat lay and making these pics fancy but I’m just living my best life

The reason I chose to make these on my own is because I have honestly always wanted to see if I can make them just as good as the store-bought kind. Survey says, YES!

Alright, here’s the breakdown of ingredients:

  • One 8oz can of crescent rolls
  • One package cocktail franks
  • Melted butter
  • Coarse sea salt

To make these babies is totally simple:

  1. Open canister of crescent rolls and pull apart at the perforated seams.
  2. Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface and lay out the crescent roll dough
  3. Cut the dough into smaller portions
  4. Take a cocktail frank and start at the thinner end of one of the crescent rolls and roll from one end to the other, pinching at the end. Repeat
  5. Spray a nonstick pan with olive or coconut oil, layer the piggies on the pan, spread the melted butter on top, then sprinkle with salt.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 375* (adjust heat as needed).

These will easily become a staple at any event, in fact, I’m planning these for a Superbowl party along with another showstopper: spinach dip! Nomaste 🙂