Shrimp Pho

Pho (pronounced fuh not foe), is a very popular rice noodle soup from Vietnam usually served with beef strips, brisket, tendon and even meatballs as the protein. Chicken is also used with a different broth. My version utilizes shrimp as the protein which is not traditional but my tasty alternative. This recipe is low-fat and gluten-free if a gluten free hoisin sauce is used. If you can’t find one replace hoisin with a teaspoon of 5 spice, a 1/2 teaspoon salt and a tablespoon of sugar.

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Shrimp Pho

Yield: 4 servings

8 cups water
¼ cup fish sauce
1 tablespoon lemon grass paste or ½ stalk of fresh sliced
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cardamom
Prawn shells from cleaning the prawns

1 lb. 26-30 prawns wild caught, U.S.
1 lb. package of rice noodles
2 teaspoons coconut oil or red palm oil

Mung bean sprouts
Sliced red jalapeno
Fresh cilantro
Thai or Italian basil leaves
Lime wedges

Prepare broth after peeling and deveining prawns (so you can use the shells). Bring broth to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes. While broth is simmering prepare rice noodles with salted boiling water. Don’t overcook. Drain and rinse with cold water and portion into large serving bowls. Sauté prawns 1 minute or till just cooked in heated coconut or red palm oil with a pinch of salt. Strain broth and portion into bowls with noodles. Add shrimp. Add desired garnishes or arrange on a plate so each diner can help themselves. Serve immediately.

©2016 Aron Bradley

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

The holidays are a great time to share special desserts made from scratch to share with family and friends. This recipe is not gluten-free or even that healthy, but very scrumptious, and if you use quality ingredients like fresh baked pumpkin and coconut sugar, it will not only be more delicious but a few shades healthier as well. The ginger snap crust makes a dark and complex base for the creamy cheesecake and the bourbon, if you use it, elevates the dessert with its unique complexity.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

Yield: 8 servings
2-1/4 cups pulverized good quality ginger snaps
1-1/4 cups melted butter
3 tablespoons coconut or dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

3-8 oz. packages of 1/3 less fat cream cheese at room temperature
2 cups baked, pureed pie pumpkin or 1-15 oz. can
4 organic eggs
¼ cup sour cream
1-2/3 cups coconut or dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon bourbon or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°. Press crust mixture into a 9 inch greased spring form pan and set aside.
Prepare filling with a hand or table top mixer, scraping the sides of the bowl. Pour filling into crust and place on a baking pan in a center in the oven. Bake for 1 hour, 15 minutes or until a knife come out clean. Chill in fridge for at least 4 hours before serving.
SERVING SUGGESTION: Serve with a dollop of real whipped cream, (not from a can).

©2015 Aron Bradley

Meatloaf Minis (Gluten-Free)

The secret to a moist, flavorful meatloaf is using a panade (bread soaked in milk or stock) so I am replacing the bread to crushed Rice Chex cereal and replacing the milk with almond, coconut or cashew milk. This is an old fashioned style meatloaf with catsup and simple ingredients, recalling meat loaves of the last century. The mini loaf pans make it cook in less time and makes a generous plate presentation. Gluten-free

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Meatloaf Minis (Gluten-Free)

Yield: 4 generous servings

1 lb. organic or grass fed natural ground beef or bison
1 ½ cups crushed Rice Chex™ cereal
2/3 cup almond, coconut or cashew milk you can use whole milk if you prefer
3 tablespoons catsup
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
black pepper, to taste
1 cage free or organic egg

Pour crushed Rice Chex, seasonings, catsup, milk and egg (this is called a panade) into a stand mixer or food processor. Add ground beef and mix thoroughly. Form a small meatball and cook in a microwave for 30-45 seconds to check seasonings. Portion into mini loaf pans and bake at 370° till center of meatloaf reaches 165°.
Serving Suggestion: Serve with cooked spaghetti squash and peas as pictured.

© 2015 Aron David Bradley

Seafood Sauté on White Yam ‘Noodles’

Sweet potatoes (white yams) make excellent gluten free noodles that are tasty, healthy and delicious. We own a hand crank noodle maker and usu it on yams, zucchini, butternut squash etc. for our ‘noodles’ This recipe has delightful south of the boarder notes and tequila instead of white wine would also work well in this recipe. Gluten-free, heart healthy and diabetic friendly. Give this one a taste!

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Seafood Sauté on White Yam ‘Noodles’

Yield: 4 servings

1 lb. 16-20 peeled and deveined prawns
1 lb. red snapper or rock cod de boned and cut into bite sized pieces
1 large sweet potato (white yam)
5 cloves of garlic minced
2 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 ½ tablespoons red palm oil or coconut oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 limes
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Peel sweet potato and cut on a veggie noodle maker, or shred with a mandoline or food processor. Sauté  for 2 minutes (till al denté) with ½ tablespoon of oil and season with 1 teaspoon of salt. Portion and plate the ‘noodles’ then sauté the shrimp, fish, garlic, chili powder, 1 teaspoon of salt in the red palm or coconut oil. Add cilantro, wine, black pepper and lime juice till shrimp is cooked and serve over the ‘noodles’ as pictured. Cut one of the limes into wedges for plate garnishes. Serve.

©2015 Aron Bradley

Infused Cocktails

House infused liquor and extracts is a growing trend in upscale bars but so easy to do at home. Alcohol infusing is easy, and a great way to add unique flavors to your drinks for those upcoming holiday events. It is only limited by your imagination. You can stick to single flavors or combine them and the list of possible combinations is endless. Fresh ingredients in my humble opinion taste best but dried will work as well, it just may take longer to get the flavors into the alcohol. Fill your canning jar with boiling water and drain before filling and thoroughly wash fresh herbs or produce before infusing. Slice citrus or apples to get the peel and fruit flavors to extract well and use cheesecloth or a coffee filter to strain sediment before re-bottling.

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Infused Cocktails

Here is a very short list of infusions:

Basil Vodka (pictured in the Bloody Mary)
Thai Vodka with Thai chilies, kaffir lime leaves, garlic and lemon grass
Cherry, Blueberry, Marion berry, Apricot Bourbon, Vodka or Gin
Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime or Orange Vodka, or Gin
Apple Pie Bourbon or Brandy: vanilla beans, apple slices cinnamon sticks, sweetener
Vanilla Bean Vodka, Gin Brandy or Bourbon
Rosemary, Dill or Sage Vodka, Gin,
Mango, Papaya, Coconut or Pineapple Vodka, Gin Brandy or Bourbon
Black Peppercorn, Cinnamon or Clove Vodka or Gin

Take a large canning jar and fill it with the desired flavors and alcohol, replace lid and let it rest in a cool dark place for 4 days to 3 weeks depending on flavor intensity desired. Strain and re-bottle.

©2015 Aron Bradley

Garden Veggie Hash

This recipe is super easy to prepare and very colorful, flavorful and satisfying as well. If you have a food processor with a shredding disc it is also a snap to prepare. This recipe is: gluten-free, vegan, low fat, heart healthy and clean eating.

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Garden Veggie Hash

Yield: 3-4 servings

2 sweet potatoes (white yams)
2 medium carrots
4 Crimini mushrooms
1 small yellow onion
1/3 head cabbage
½ cauliflower

Sauté in 1-1/2 tablespoons coconut oil

Season with:
2 teaspoons salt or to taste
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
Cracked black pepper to taste

Cook the above in a wok or large sauté pan till sweet potatoes are al dente (about 5-7 minutes) stirring hash up from the bottom to prevent scorching.

SERVING SUGESSTION: Serve with a fried or poached egg on top.

©2015 Aron Bradley

Savory Brunch Waffles

Val and I had the perfect Sunday brunch idea. Savory waffles with fried eggs. We both like pancakes with fried eggs and thought let’s kick it up a notch. Val made a jalapeno tomato nirvana the other day with the bounty from our garden and we always have odds and ends of great gourmet cheese in the fridge. We mixed buckwheat and buttermilk for the batter and added a Mexican blend and Beecher’s ‘No Woman’ cheese but any batter and cheese combo would work. You can certainly make this gluten-free with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free baking mix. Here is another tip…leftover waffles make a great sandwich the next day!

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Savory Brunch Waffles

Yield: 4-6 servings

Prepare 4 cups of your favorite pancake or waffle mix (can be gluten-free)
Add 2 cups shredded natural cheese (Your choice in any combination)
2 tablespoons of tomato nirvana (Boomer Cuisine recipe) or moist sun dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil in the batter
2 eggs fried eggs per serving
Butter for waffles
Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
4 tablespoons shaved Parmesan, and 1-2 tomatoes sliced as pictured for garnishOPTIONAL: Chiffonade of fresh basil

The batter should be fairly thick. Cook waffles crisper rather than soft. Butter the waffles and prepare 2 fried eggs to place on the waffles as shown. Garnish with tomatoes and shaved Parmesan cheese.

Variation: Make waffle batter from corn masa flour with eggs, baking powder, salt, honey, milk etc. and add diced green chilies and pepper jack cheese to the batter top the fried eggs with pico de gallo or salsa.

©2015 Aron & Val Bradley