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Backyard gardens are putting forth the last of their bounty, and late summer vegetables are at their peak of freshness. To squeeze every last drop out of your harvest, give fermentation a try.
Fermented vegetables date back hundreds of years. Back before we had freezers, people had to preserve food somehow. Somewhere along the line, someone figured out that salting food and letting it sit for a week creates a crunchy, tangy pickled vegetable that tastes better than what you started with.
A lot of people find home fermentation to be intimidating. And it can be, at first. As long as you sanitize your cutting boards, jars, and tools with boiling water before you start, there’s a great chance you’ll end up with a beautiful pickle at the end.
Here’s how to do it.
Home Fermented Vegetables: Pickled Giardiniera Recipe
Serves: 10-20, depending on serving size
Time in the kitchen: 15 minutes, plus 5 days hands-off fermentation time
- 1-2 heads cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 6-7 carrots
- 5-6 stalks celery
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 large leek
- 1 lb. green beans
- 1 tsp. black peppercorns
- 3/4 tsp. mustard seeds
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 small bunch oregano
- 3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (or 1-2 sliced jalapenos)
Using boiling water, sanitize whatever vessel you plan to use for your fermenting. Use care not to burn yourself!
Wash all of your veggies and chop them. Double wash your leeks as they’re notorious for being very sandy.
We recommend a 3.5% salt solution for your fermenting. To figure out how much salt you need, weigh your crock or jar on a small kitchen scale. Tare the scale while the empty jar is on it so the weight reads as 0g. Fill the jar with water until it’s a few inches from the lip of the jar. Record the mass of the water and then multiply the amount by 3.5% to find out how much salt you need.
Pour the water out and add the appropriate amount of salt to the jar. Then, subtract the amount of salt you added from the total mass of the water that fits in the jar. This will give you the mass of water you need to add to the jar. At this point, pour the salt solution you created out into another jar, you’ll need it in a minute. Layer your crock or jar with all of the chopped veggies, the peppercorns, mustard seeds, bay leaves, oregano and red pepper flakes. Pour enough of your salt water solution into the jar so the vegetables are fully submerged.
Alternatively, you can keep the salt water solution. Add a few crock fermentation weights to the top which will keep all of the vegetables submerged.
Cover your jar with the appropriate lid. We used an airlock lid kit, which has a small hole in the lid that the airlock attaches to. Fill the airlock with the appropriate amount of water based on your instructions, and you’re good to go! Place the crock in a cool dry place, ideally away from sunlight. The warmer the conditions are in the room you place the crock, the more quickly the contents will ferment.
If you don’t have an airlock system, you can lightly cover the jar with a lid and “burp” the jar 1-2 times daily which will get rid of any carbon dioxide gas that gets produced as the vegetables ferment. This proves to be a bit tedious and runs the risk of your ferment overflowing, so it’s worth the small investment for the airlock system. Check your crock daily to make sure it hasn’t overflowed.
You can taste the giardiniera after 5 days or so and decide how much tangier and longer you want the mixture to go for. We personally like it around 10 days, but it can also go 2 weeks or even longer. Use your nose first! If you taste or remove some vegetable, make sure the contents of the crock stay submerged in the salt solution.
Mold vs. Kahm Yeast
If you see black, blue, or fuzzy circles forming on top, that’s mold. Discard your mixture and start over. If you see what looks like a thin layer of whitish plastic wrap forming on top, with or without tiny bubbles underneath, that’s kahm yeast, and harmless. Do an image search for “mold vs. kahm yeast” so that you can see the difference side-by-side.
Quick Pickled Veggies Recipe
Not interested in fermenting but want to quick pickle instead? Try these quick pickled onions! Perfect for topping salads, primal lettuce wraps, or your favorite burger.
- 2 small onions
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar (or you could use coconut vinegar)
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. coconut sugar
- handful of black peppercorns
- 1-2 chopped garlic cloves
To quick pickle, thinly slice your onions. Some people choose to boil water and pour boiling water over the onions for 5-10 seconds to blanch them prior to pickling, but it’s not necessary.
In a small bowl or saucepan, combine the vinegars, salt and sugar. Stir or lightly heat until the salt and sugar dissolves. Layer the sliced onions in a small mason jar. Add in the peppercorns and garlic and then pour the vinegar on top.
Cover the jar and refrigerate for an hour before enjoying. They’re best after a few days in the fridge, but can be enjoyed for about a week.
The post Pickled Vegetables, Two Ways: Home Fermented and Quick Pickles appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.
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We can generally get our hands on a watermelon any time of year, but these are the months when they actually taste sweet and juicy. As soon as watermelons come into season, my Summer Watermelon Salad comes out of hiding. It’s a late summer treat that reminds us that even though we’re hearing the first whispers of school starting and pumpkin spice, it’s still summertime.
This watermelon salad is a sweet, crunchy, tangy accompaniment to any summer meal.
Tip: feel free to leave the feta cheese out if you are dairy-free, or replace it with goat cheese or fresh mozzarella.
Summer Watermelon Salad Recipe
Time in the kitchen: 5 minutes
- 4 cups cubed watermelon
- 2 oz. crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup basil
- 1 large tomato sliced into wedges
- 1 chopped cucumber
- 5 chopped radishes
- 1/3 cup sliced red onion
- 3 Tbsp. Primal Kitchen® Lemon Turmeric Dressing
- salt and pepper
Chop the watermelon into ¾”-1” cubes. Slice the tomato into wedges and chop the cucumber and radishes.
Thinly slice the red onion and the basil.
Combine the watermelon, chopped basil, tomato, cucumber, radishes and red onion in a bowl. Pour in the Primal Kitchen Lemon Turmeric Dressing and fold it into the salad along with the feta.
Season with salt and pepper and garnish with more basil leaves.
Nutrition Information (¼ of recipe):
Total Carbohydrates: 19g
Net Carbohydrates: 17g
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All raw. All cooked. A little of both. With meat, or without. Artfully arranged in a pretty plate or thrown together in a to-go container as your run out the door. There are infinite ways to assemble your “Big Ass Salad.”
What’s the best way to make yours?
The best “Big Ass Salad” is the one you’ll make, and the one you’ll enjoy eating.
With flavorful veggies, sweet BBQ chicken, and salty pickles, this version of the BAS keeps your taste buds interested. It’s easy to put together, and you can easily adapt it with the veggies you have on hand.
Here’s how to make it.
Hawaiian BBQ Chicken “Big Ass Salad” Bowls with Quick Pickles Recipe
Serves: 2-3, depending on bowl size
Time in the kitchen: 15 minutes
For the Chicken
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup Primal Kitchen® Hawaiian BBQ Sauce, divided
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
For the Quick Pickles
- 1 medium cucumber thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves smashed
- 5-8 peppercorns (optional)
- 1 tbsp fresh dill
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
For the Bowl
- 1 head romaine lettuce, torn
- 1 cup cooked riced cauliflower (frozen and rinsed to thaw, for ease!)
- 1 beefsteak tomato roughly chopped
- 1/4 red onion diced
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese shredded (optional)
- 1/4 cup Primal Kitchen Cilantro Lime Dressing and Marinade
For the Chicken
Season chicken with a salt and pepper to taste and marinate in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk 1/2 cup of the BBQ sauce, and lime juice. Pour the sauce over the chicken and marinate for an hour or two.
Sear chicken on medium-high heat until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Once cooled, slice against the grain into strips.
For the Pickles
Fill a jar or large bowl with dill, cucumber, garlic, and peppercorns. Heat the water, vinegar, and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the liquid starts to bubble, remove from heat and pour into the jar with the cucumbers. Allow to cool then refrigerate.
For the Bowls
Arrange the salad ingredients in each bowl. Layer on the cooled and sliced grilled chicken, then top the bowls with the remaining BBQ sauce.
Garnish with cilantro and pour on a generous amount of Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette. Enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of guest contributor Abby Rice, wellness blogger at Everyday From A. Adapted for the Primal lifestyle from the original version, featured here. Many thanks, Abby!
The post Hawaiian BBQ Chicken “Big Ass Salad” Bowls with Quick Pickles Recipe appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.
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When planning a BBQ menu, the meat is usually the star, and the sides are an afterthought. With this Grilled Greek Summer Veggies recipe, a platter overflowing with colorful marinated and grilled vegetables steals the show.
This is the perfect vegetable side dish for summer. It’s very no-fuss, keeps well in the refrigerator to eat throughout the week, and can feed a crowd.
Customizing Your Greek Grilled Veggies
You’ll find that this recipe adapts well to small tweaks to suit your tastes. Here are a few ways to make it your own:
- Use your favorite veggies. Feel free to swap out vegetables and grill what you love.
- Make them thicker if you’d like. We sliced each of these vegetables around ¼-?” thick so they will grill quickly, but you can slice them thicker if you like meatier veggies.
- Switch up the dressing for fun. This dish would also be tasty with the Primal Kitchen Italian Dressing or Primal Kitchen Oil and Vinegar Dressing in lieu of the Greek dressing.
- Stovetop option. If you don’t have a grill, these can be made in a grill pan on the stovetop, or even roasted on a parchment-covered sheet pan in your oven. Roast at 400 degrees for 15 minutes on each side, or until nicely browned.
Here’s how to make your new favorite BBQ side dish.
Grilled Greek Summer Vegetables Recipe
Time in the kitchen: 20 minutes
- 1 medium eggplant, sliced into rounds
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced
- 1 yellow squash, sliced into rounds
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into thick slices
- 1 small red onion, sliced into rounds
- 8 oz. cremini mushrooms (you can cut them in half if you’d like)
- ? cup Primal Kitchen Greek Dressing, divided
- 2 Tbsp. Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil
- 2 cloves grated garlic
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- Chopped parsley
- Optional: chopped oregano, crumbled feta cheese
In a bowl, combine ¼ cup of Primal Kitchen Greek Dressing, Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Toss all of the vegetables in the sauce. Allow the vegetables to marinate for 30 minutes, tossing them once or twice during this time.
Preheat your grill over medium heat. Once hot, carefully place the vegetables on the grill. After 1-2 minutes, turn each of them 90 degrees to get nice grill marks.
Grill for an additional 1-2 minutes, then flip over the vegetables and grill for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until they are nicely grilled on the outside and tender on the inside (this time will depend on how thick you slice them).
Drizzle the remaining Primal Kitchen Greek Dressing on top and garnish with chopped parsley and feta if desired.
Nutrition Info (4 servings):
Total Carbs: 14g
Net Carbs: 9g
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Artichokes are a mysterious vegetable, and a lot of people are intimidated by them. How do you cook an artichoke? How do you cut into it? What parts do you eat? And how does it taste?
You may have had marinated artichoke hearts that come in a jar, or you’ve noticed little strips of artichoke in your spinach dip. But eating a whole artichoke is a lot different than having prepared hearts.
In this article, I’m going to show you how to prepare and eat an artichoke, along with my favorite dipping sauces.
Are Artichokes Good For You?
Coming in at 6g of net carbs per whole artichoke, it’s something you’ll want to add to the rotation if you’re keto. Artichokes are also an antioxidant powerhouse, and they have lots of gut-happy resistant starch.
How to Buy Artichokes
If you’ve never bought whole artichokes before, you might wonder how to choose good ones. Here’s what to look for:
- Tight leaves. Your artichoke should look like a giant flower bud. Leaves should not be curling out like a blooming flower.
- Heft. Pick up a few, and feel their weight. Heavier artichokes are fresher, and lighter ones are older and perhaps dried out.
- Brown streaks on the outside, or not. A little browning on the outside is nothing to be concerned about. Some people say that the ones with brown streaks are sweeter because the frost that caused them brings out the natural sugars.
Once your artichokes are cleaned and steamed properly, the leaves and heart are excellent vehicles for dips.
How to Cook an Artichoke (Steam Method)
Time in the kitchen: 45 minutes, including 35 minutes steaming time
- 2 artichokes
- Primal Kitchen® Mayo with Avocado Oil, or Rosemary and Garlic Vegan Mayo if you cannot tolerate eggs
- 1 lemon
- Fresh cracked black pepper
To prepare an artichoke, first cut off most of the stem on top, leaving about ¼” of the stem left intact.
Cut off the tough bottom of the artichoke, about 1” worth. Use kitchen scissors to trim the tough prickly ends of the artichoke leaves. Cut a lemon in half and rub the cut side all of the cut end of the artichoke.
Set up a steamer by filling a pot with some water and a squeeze of lemon. Once the water is boiling, set the heat so the water is at a steady simmer. Set up the steamer basket inside and place the artichokes in the basket cut side down.
Place the lid on and allow the artichokes to steam for around 30 minutes, 35 minutes if they’re quite large. You know they’re finished when you can put a knife through the center of the stem with little resistance.
Allow the artichokes to cool. Combine your favorite Primal Kitchen Mayo with a squeeze of lemon and fresh cracked pepper.
How to Eat an Artichoke
This part is easy. Once your artichoke is cooled, peel the leaves off of one by one, dip in the mayo, and enjoy!
When you’re finished eating the leaves of the artichoke, it’s time to find and clean the heart. Pull off any remaining inner leaves (they’re usually in the shape of a little cone) to expose a fuzzy circle in the stem.
Scoop out those fuzzy pieces out with a spoon and you’ll be left with the artichoke heart, which is the base of the stem and artichoke. Slice it into a few pieces and dip it in the mayo. It’s the most tender, meaty part of the artichoke!
Nutrition Info (per one medium artichoke):
Total Carbs: 13g
Net Carbs: 6g
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Although fermented cabbage has been around in some form or another since ancient times – Roman author Pliny the Elder wrote of the stuff in the first century A.D. – modern methods for making sauerkraut were developed sometime between the 16th and 18th centuries. It’s primarily known as a German staple, but most other European countries use it in their traditional dishes. It’s pretty easy to understand why it was so popular: it keeps for a long time without refrigeration. Dutch, German, and English sailors found that the vitamin C-rich kraut prevented scurvy on the open seas, and the fact that it was salted and fermented made it ideal for long voyages without other preservation methods.
As the name would suggest, sauerkraut is quite literally sour cabbage. The sour flavor comes from the process of lacto-fermentation, similar to the pickling of cucumbers. But instead of soaking the cabbage in a vinegary brine solution, sauerkraut preparation requires only salt and the lactic acid bacteria already present on raw cabbage.
Is sauerkraut good for you?
You may have heard before that sauerkraut, or fermented foods in general, have a number of health benefits and you should eat more of them. Here’s what we know.
Health Benefits of Sauerkraut
More than just a delicious, tangy flavor, the beauty of sauerkraut also lies in its considerable health benefits: