Gluten Free

Pickled Eggs & Beets

Rebecca loves pickles: pickled onions, pickled vegetables, Haitian style pickled cabbage, sauerkraut with juniper and caraway, red cabbage sauerkraut with apples and cloves, and of course dill pickles. Whether by nature or nurture, our 2-year old Madeline is developing the same taste. Our current strategy of getting her to eat veggies is to make them sour. This weekend, with piles of fresh beets and local eggs from the market, I was remembering an old fashioned Pennsylvania Dutch classic from my grandparents generation -- Pickled Eggs & Beets. I adapted this recipe from a few of our old Pennsylvania Dutch/Amish cookbooks (yes, we brought them with us to Haiti), reducing the sugar significantly and boosting the spices and vinegar. The resulting magenta pickles are sublime, and super easy to make. Our fridge version of Pickled Eggs & Beets will keep for at least two weeks, and works beautifully as a side, a quirky topping to salads, on toast, in a grain bowl, or as a toddler snack (well at least for our funny girl). Happy pink pickling!

Pickled Eggs & Beets

Beef and Apricot Tangine

This weekend Paul has been feeling a bit under the weather, and after a few too many bland 'sick meals' of rice and bananas noted that his taste buds were crying out for flavor. I responded with this warmly spiced Beef and Apricot Tangine. Two bowls in, Paul claimed optimism about his imminent recovery. North African tangines are traditionally cooked in an eponymous earthenware pot and often rather complex. By virtue of the necessity of (calmly and serenely) cooking between gleeful crawling baby and voluble toddler chatter, our simplified take of a Beef and Apricot Tangine takes inspiration from Morocco's tangines, while simplifying the cooking process and ingredient list. This stew is rich in texture, deeply spiced, and a lovely balance of sweet and sour; a perfect late February weekend meal.

Beef and Apricot Tangine

Rustic Sausage Lentil Stew

This week our toddler Madeline added the word 'brrr' (accompanied by exaggerated shivers) to her vocabulary. What frigid chill inspired this? When we got up yesterday morning in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, it was 69 °F (21 °C)...serious cold in her Caribbean world. In the spirit of enjoying this cooler weather, Rebecca requested a hearty lentil stew with the local sausage we had on hand. This Rustic Sausage Lentil Stew is straightforward to make and easy to adapt. This stew avoids the thick heaviness of many traditional lentil stews by using green French lentils that remain whole and al dente during cooking. While hearty, the stew is surprisingly light and bright. 

Rustic Sausage Lentil Stew

Crisp Thai Cucumber & Peanut Salad

A Caribbean flu hit our household in Haiti this week. First Paul, then me, now the kids. Sigh. During times of illness, my go-to comfort food is the reassuringly simple, cool, and refreshing cucumber. Cucumbers are my vegetable equivalent of chicken soup. As I gradually felt better throughout the week, my cucumber salads became more elaborate and flavorful. This Crisp Thai Cucumber & Peanut Salad, a Thai-inspired riff, is crunchy, sour,  and salty, with a hint of coconut sweetness.

Crisp Thai Cucumber & Peanut Salad

Orange Cilantro Grilled Chicken Skewers

We love the flavor of grilled food. When we moved to Haiti, we missed our decade old baby Weber grill so much that we ended up bringing it with us to Haiti -- impressively packed by Paul's Dad in his suitcase. We debated admitting this embarrassing dependence, recognizing the ridiculousness of bringing our grill to Haiti. But wow, do we love to grill. Local oranges and herbs make a lovely punchy green marinade for these Orange Cilantro Grilled Chicken Skewers. A light zesty marinade to add to your summer repertoire.

Orange Cilantro Grilled Chicken Skewers

Market White Bean Salad

As a way of settling back into our life in Haiti, I have been visiting local markets. I love the challenge of putting together meals with my daily market finds. I had a pot of beautiful local white beans soaking at home as I headed out to shop for this weeknight salad. My market haul yielded local cherry tomatoes, kale, green beans and shallots. I made a bold citrus vinaigrette for my Market White Bean Salad, and served it with grilled fish. A fresh hearty salad to round out a meal with new friends. 

Market White Bean Salad

Slow Roasted Ginger Honey Pulled Pork

Since our last post, Rebecca and I have been in transition mode, moving back to our life here in Haiti from the US. With bags fully unpacked, two kids settled, and a week of work under our belts, it was time to celebrate this weekend. Meat in Haiti is free-range and very flavorful, but also tends to be quite tough. This lends itself to low and slow cooking. This Slow Roasted Ginger Honey Pulled pork is deeply flavored, and easy to make; perfect for weekend sandwiches under the mango tree after the kids are down for the night. It is good to be home again! 

Slow Roasted Ginger Honey Pulled Pork

Marinated Tomato Mozzarella Salad

It has been a bit of a blur since Gideon's arrival, as we remember what it's like to go weeks without a full nights sleep. Little Gideon and Mom are both doing well, and so we are on track to returning to Haiti in early August. As we wrap up our last weeks here, stateside, we are relishing the tastes of North American summer: impossibly good sweet corn, tart local blueberries with a dash of cream, and fresh peak-of-summer tomatoes and herbs. This Marinated Tomato and Mozzarella Salad has been a frequent highlight on our table these last few weeks. It is ready in minutes, bursting with summer flavor, a balance of bright sweet tomatoes and creamy fresh mozzarella.

Marinated Tomato Mozzarella Salad

Summer Chicken Waldorf Salad

Gideon just crested his second week of life, and we are happily adjusting to the logistical maneuverings of being a newly minted family of four. We have tried to eat most meals together as a family with Madeline, and now little Gideon has been joining us. As Madeline holds court from her highchair, swinging her legs and filling her cheeks to capacity, her little brother sleeps soundly in middle of the table. Recently, I have found myself craving sandwiches, and their one-handed portability is especially great for multi-tasking with small kids. This week, with my father-in-law's delicious barbecue chicken and some classic Waldorf ingredients in the fridge, I decided to make my own non-traditional version of a Summer Chicken Waldorf Salad. I started with a classic base: chicken, celery, grapes, and apples. Fresh produce from a nearby farmstand inspired some summery additions; a smattering of blueberries, fresh sweet corn on the cob, and parsley. I cut the thick mayonnaise base of a traditional Waldorf dressing with greek yogurt and seasoned the salad before pouring over the dressing with extra lemon for brightness.

Summer Chicken Waldorf Salad

Mediterranean Beef Kebabs

"COOK!" "COOK!" .... "Mmmmmm!" Our 16-month-old daughter will proclaim as she urgently points to the stove around meal times. Our Madeline is both patient and persistent in her quest for food, and will next proceed to helpfully list all her favorite foods for us to cook, meat...blueberries...strawberries, with the ever present refrain; "COOK!" Yes, our daughter is a voracious carnivore who swings her little legs and claps her hands in delight when she gets meat for her meals. These Mediterranean Beef Kebabs are one in a long-line of meat dishes Paul has concocted for Madeline, and they are as delicious as they are simple to make! And if you give them a try, you might just find your guests swinging their legs in delight too.

Mediterranean Beef Kebabs

Honey Citrus Grilled Chicken

Three cheers for the Memorial Day weekend. This week has felt long with work during the day, and preterm labor most nights. While my appetite has been weak lately, I have had an odd hankering for sweet and sour flavors. With this craving in mind, Paul has been working on this delicious and simple Honey Citrus Grilled Chicken, and it is a knock-out win for me!

Honey Citrus Grilled Chicken

Spring Picnic Orzo Salad with Asparagus & Feta

We love outdoor eating, and as temperatures rise in Northern Indiana, we've been honing our pasta salad line-up for the picnic season. Spring Picnic Orzo Salad with Asparagus and Feta is an edgier alternative to the traditional picnic classic. In our pasta salad, we replaced the larger pasta with small rice shaped orzo, added crunchy asparagus, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes, and tossed it with an assertive garlicky lemon vinaigrette, herbs and feta. Enjoy this early picnic season with Spring Picnic Orzo Salad with Asparagus and Feta.

For other grain based picnic ready salads try our Hearty Quinoa & Chickpea Salad, Spring Buckwheat Grouts Salad, Wild Rice & Quinoa Salad with Mushrooms & Asparagus.

Spring Picnic Orzo Salad with Asparagus & Feta

Henan Citrus Chicken Broth

Henan Citrus Chicken Broth is Paul's non-traditional adaptation of the famous aromatic Daokou chicken from Henan province, China, near the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. Already a deft broth maker, Paul has honed his technique and varied his flavor profiles during my pregnancy, in empathic response to my near-daily nausea. I love this broth's bold citrus aroma and flavor, subtle honey sweetness, and rich background spices. Its a great broth on its own (Paul's favorite), or with fresh steamed veggies and rice (the way I like it best). This recipe is adapted from Carolyn Phillips' wonderful new Chinese cookbook All Under Heaven.

Henan Citrus Chicken Broth

Roasted Rhubarb Strawberry Oven Jam

Every year, in the hot months of summer, my Oma would make oven jam. My Opa would buy her bushels of fresh apricots and plums from the farmers markets, and she would slow roast the fruit until they caramelized and the juices thickened, creating silky fruit jams that she tucked into layers of her torte cakes for celebrations throughout the year. In the years since she died, I find myself craving the custardy texture, and caramelized fruit taste of her jams. I started experimenting with my own oven jams recently, and found them to be simple, fail-safe, and delicious. My favorite is this tangy spring rhubarb strawberry jam, with rhubarb fresh from a friend's garden.

Roasted Rhubarb Strawberry Oven Jam

Maple Black Pepper Oven Spareribs

It's 80 degrees in northern Indiana today. The sky is blue, the trees are budding, and our daughter is happily smeared from head to toe in the mud she's dug out of the backyard. To kick off spring, I whipped up these Maple Black Pepper Oven Spareribs. These spareribs are easy to make, don't require a smoker or any complicated equipment, and are absolutely delicious! These ribs forgo the traditional tomato-based sauce, and bring to center stage the fresh maple syrup Rebecca was given a few weeks ago from a local Amish farmer. Celebrate the changing of the seasons with Maple Black Pepper Oven Spareribs. 

Maple Black Pepper Oven Spareribs

The Last Salad of Winter & A Caramelized Apple Vinaigrette

Paul and I are nuts for winter fennel salads, and it turns out that our 14-month old daughter is a big fan as well... that is until we upped our game and added this amazing caramelized apple vinaigrette. Madeline ignored the salad completely and licked the vinaigrette off all the salad components, all the while loudly commenting "mmmmmm." We realize that a 14-month-old cannot be our barometer of good food, but darn it if we don't love this salad combination ourselves, and want to lick the vinaigrette off the bottom of our plates. The tart green apple, crisp fennel, sweet blood oranges and sweet and sour notes of this wonderful caramelized apple vinaigrette make this a winner.

The Last Salad of Winter & A Caramelized Apple Vinaigrette

Rosemary Lemon Roasted Potatoes

The smell of roasting potatoes makes my mouth water every time. These golden brown orbs of puffed potato deliciousness have been my dish of choice this past month. And I think the addition of rosemary and lemon makes the house smell like Sunday dinner. Happy roasting!

Rosemary Lemon Roasted Potatoes

Potato Crusted Quiche with Bacon & Caramelized Onions

Rebecca and I have been traveling a lot recently, often improvising, cooking in new kitchens and without access to our own pantry supplies. This Potato Crusted Quiche with Bacon and Caramelized Onions is a slam dunk for these situations. It is a reliable crowd-pleaser built on a simple shredded potato crust and easy pantry staples (milk, cream, eggs, onions, and bacon). The result is a sublime quiche with caramelized onions, a creamy custard, and smokey bacon. This recipe is also very adaptable...add cheese for extra richness....take out the bacon to make it vegetarian...or substitute your favorite topping.

Potato Crusted Quiche with Bacon & Caramelized Onions

Simple Lemon Butter Salmon

We've tried to expose Madeline to a wide taste palette, including some foods that kids find tough to love, like fish. In Haiti, her favorite fish dish is pan fried local Woz fish with a key lime butter sauce. While back in North America, we have adapted Madeline's favorite fish recipe, and make this Simple Lemon Butter Salmon. Madeline likes this Lemon Butter Salmon so much her hands shake with enthusiasm in between bites, and quite frankly, we adults aren't too far behind her! 

Simple Lemon Butter Salmon

Roasted Garlic & Buttermilk Potato Leek Soup

It’s a soup day here in Indiana Northern Indiana. While Madeline and I count down the weeks until we return to warmer weather and our home Haiti, we are eating for the cold weather with the toasty flavors of roasted garlic, tangy buttermilk and mellow nutty leeks. This Roasted Garlic & Buttermilk Potato and Leek Soup is a winter winner!

Roasted Garlic & Buttermilk Potato Leek Soup

Spiced Moroccan Carrot Salad

When the winter chills set in, this colorful tangerine hued salad, with its bright splashes of pomegranate, feta, and cilantro is a full flavored pick you up. This is a long-standing recipe in our repertoire, with a captivating citrus and spice vinaigrette. 

Spiced Moroccan Carrot Salad

Lemon & Parmesan Scrambled Eggs

Despite living in the city, our small courtyard here is full of life. We have mango, coconut, key lime, sour orange, moringa, and papaya trees, a small herb garden with lemon grass, chives, and basil, and maybe, most importantly, two chickens. For me, having a daily source of beautiful backyard eggs is hard to beat. Since Madeline is an early riser, she and I often go out just as the dawn is breaking and collect fresh eggs for breakfast. Madeline knows what comes next and will crawl excitedly across the kitchen floor to her high-chair and stand babbling waiting for her breakfast to be ready (often two scrambled eggs and fresh fruit). These Lemon and Parmesan Scrambled eggs are quick and easy to make and packed with flavor. The generous parmesan adds richness and umami, while the lemon brightens up the dish and gives it a light tropical spin.

Lemon & Parmesan Scrambled Eggs

Haitian Squash Soup, Soup Joumou

Dieujuste Saint-Surain stands in his field in Senk-Pòt, Haiti, holding up two freshly harvested joumou (Haitian Creole for calabaza squash).  “To me, joumou means life, it means independence and it means the dignity of feeding my family with the food I grow,” says Saint-Surain. 

Following a long-fought independence from colonialism and slavery, Haitians developed a unique tradition of hospitality, celebration, and generosity centered around a simple meal: soup joumou. This well-loved Haitian dish is a hearty squash soup with meat and local vegetables. Soup joumou is shared widely with friends and neighbors on Haitian Independence Day, for Sunday breakfast, and at community celebrations. 

As Haitians take stock of the devastation of Hurricane Mathew, the spicy complexity and heritage of Soup Joumou is a reminder of a strong people, and a proud history of incredible resilience and independence in the face of daunting odds. 

Haitian Squash Soup, Soup Joumou