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Real Food Recipes
A collection of recipes both ancient and contemporary, to help incorporate real and whole foods into a modern life.
One of the best memories our family has is making pizza.
Everybody makes their own.
Do this however works for you.
- Big ones for grown ups, small ones for little kids. Works best if you have enough dough and ingredients for leftovers (somebody always eats all of theirs, but that is their choice - everybody gets enough for two meals in our house).
- Assemble the ingredients together - shredding cheese, chopping olives and peppers, cooking the beef or sausage, and getting all the other yummy stuff out is part of the work together time that goes with making pizza.
- Use homemade dough, or premade dough. You can use Digorno, or Freshetta pizzas and add more ingredients, or start from scratch.
- We always gave everyone the same ingredients. If they did not like some, they'd swap, or give away what they did not want.
Your pizzas can be ultra healthy, half quickfix, or somewhere in between. The only thing that is important is that everybody gets to customize theirs.
We did this most often on Sunday afternoons, when everyone was home, the day was lazy, and the activity was as important as the meal.
We love homemade pizza.
The BEST tasting coleslaw in the world!
Ok, so it looks really questionable.
But it tastes so good that you'll tell people WHY it looks so odd.
Balsamic Vinegar makes this richly tart, and it makes all the difference in flavor. Marination of the cabbage pulls the flavor all the way through the cabbage. You won't have cabbage with dressing on it - you will have sweet and tart cabbage that tastes like coleslaw instead of like cabbage with Miracle Whip on it.
Muddy River Coleslaw
- Chopped Cabbage
- 1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/4 to 2/3 cup sugar (you have to TASTE it so you get it right)
- Mayo (you'll know when it is the right amount)
Put the vinegar in a bowl that is large enough to hold the cabbage and stir it.
Add the sugar - add some, stir it until dissolved. Taste. Add more if you need it, repeat.
Dump the cabbage in, and stir to coat it.
Let the cabbage marinate for 3-6 hours, stirring occasionally to re-coat the cabbage. Doesn't matter if it is in the fridge or not, unless it goes overnight - but be careful if you leave it on the counter, and cover it, so fruit flies do not invade.
If you want to make sure it has marinated long enough, taste it, to make sure the flavor is all the way through.
Add mayo, a spoonful at a time, and stir it in. You'll know when it is creamy enough.
Looks terrible, right?
Tastes wonderful though.
If your guests REALLY can't bear the dark color, you can sub Cider Vinegar, or even Distilled Vinegar if you must. But it won't taste as good!
NOTE: Balsamic Vinegar can give you a reaction. Kinda itchy, maybe swelly. But it usually does that on the FIRST exposure. The second exposure will be better, or worse, it can go either way. The third exposure tells you whether you should continue to have anything with Balsamic Vinegar (or at least with a LOT of it). If the third exposure is worse, don't use it again. If the third is better, then you are likely to stop reacting to it within 1-2 more exposures. Your body just learns how to handle it.
Oh, don't get me wrong! We have mushroom GRAVY. But we do not use mushroom soup with Salisbury Steak. That would be a desecration.
This meal seems like it is involved, but once you get it down, it is pretty easy to do. I don't rush, it takes me about an hour.
I start my rice or potatoes before I start the meat, but I start noodles later in the process.
Step 1 - The Meat
- 2 lbs of good ground beef (whatever you think that is!)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup of cracker crumbs, bread crumbs, or quick oatmeal
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp salt
- a few shakes pepper if you want
- 1/4 tsp of Redmond Seasoning Salt (if desired -or other seasoning salt if you are that kind)
Throw it all in your KitchenAid mixer (no, a Bosch will NOT do!!! Just kidding). Blend the ingredients together. Use your hands, or a wooden spoon if you don't have a mixer, we are flexible like that, but make sure you get it out from under your fingernails - this is why I use a wooden spoon if I do not have a mixer!
Step 2 - The Steaks
- 3 TBSP Butter (NOOOOOooooo! Not the Margarine!!!!! Sorry, just had to get that out of my system.)
Form 6 or 8 (seven is not allowed) patties. They should be about 1" thick.
Melt the butter in a large skillet. Put in a round of patties (these are the steaks if you didn't figure that out). My 10" skillet will hold either three 1/3 lb, or four 1/4 lb steaks. My larger skillet will hold six or eight.
Cook the steaks until they are not bleeding aggressively (done mostly through). Don't worry if they bleed while you make the gravy, they will cook more in the fourth step.
Put them on a plate and set them aside.
Step 3 - The Gravy
- 6 TBSP Butter
- Mushrooms - 1 can (drained), or about 4-6 chopped criminis, or any other kind of mushroom you want to put in this - savory ones are best, just chop them up however large you want them (wild ones are great, and dried straw mushrooms or dried Porcini work wonderfully).
- 6 TBSP Flour
- 4 cups water (you filtered it, didn't you?)
- 2-3 tbsp soy sauce
- Salt to taste
- Pepper if you must
Melt the butter in the skillet, then add the mushrooms. If the mushrooms need cooking (canned ones don't), cook them until they are as done as you like them.
Remove from heat, and then add the flour. Whisk it until it is smooth (ok, so the mushrooms won't be smooth, but the gravy should be!).
Add the water, about 1/4 at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition (you did remember the bit about the mushrooms, didn't you?).
Return to heat, and stir gently until it is thick and bubbly. When flour thickened sauces or gravies are done, they'll be evenly darker and evenly thick.
Stir in the soy sauce and salt. We add the soy sauce last so we can taste test and get it balanced just right, because mushroom and meat flavors can vary some, and the soy sauce kinda ties them together and enhances the meaty flavor.
Step 4 - The Finish
Return the steaks to the skillet, with the gravy.
NOTE: If your skillet only holds HALF the steaks at a time, you need to REMOVE half the gravy and do a second round.
Turn down the heat to a gentle simmer, and COVER the skillet.
Let simmer for about 10 minutes, checking and stirring every few minutes. TURN the steaks at least once.
IF THE STEAKS ARE STILL BLEEDING THEY ARE NOT DONE! Repeat covering and simmering.
Serve with Rice, Noodles, or Mashed Potatoes.
This makes GREAT leftovers, and it can even be frozen for later use. This is why I make a larger batch, even though our family is now small.
I tried canning this, and it DID NOT WORK. The flour threw the flavor off, giving it a kind of dark bready flavor, and I would not do it again. I've tried other things with whole wheat flour, and it is even worse.
I will be trying this one with corn starch. It does separate, but can be shaken or stirred back together.
Corn in the soup mellows the flavor and rounds out a nice nutritional profile. Lots of bacon gives it plenty of pop, and provides some lovely fats and proteins.
I NEVER blend my split pea soup. I simply cook it until it is creamy. Just sayin'.
This soup is THIN on the first day, but thickens if leftovers are saved in the fridge, or if it is canned.
- 1 lb dry split peas
- 2 qts chicken, rabbit, or ham broth
- 2 onions, chopped
- 4 carrots, shredded
- 4 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 1 can creamed corn (can be added at the very end if you blend the soup but want texture of the corn)
- 1 lb bacon, cut into small pieces
- 1 tsp Redmond Real Salt Seasoning Salt
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 stick butter
Optional (pick and choose):
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped (will change flavor)
- 2 shredded potatoes plus 2 cups water (mellows the flavor)
- 1 cup dry ditalini (short straight macaroni) pasta plus 1 1/2 cup water (add at the end of cooking time)
- 1 clove garlic, minced or mashed (will change flavor)
- 3 parsnips, shredded
- 2 turnips, shredded (will change flavor)
- 1/4 jicama root, shredded (will need to blend soup if this is added)
Method 1 - Crock pot this, all day, on high, until you cannot recognize the shape of the peas, and they fall apart when it is stirred. Needs a 6 qt pot. By this time the onion, carrot, and other veggies will do the same thing. May need to add additional water halfway through. If you add pasta, cook for another half hour.
Method 2 - Electric pressure cooker - high pressure, about 1 hour (longest bean setting at highest pressure works). Let it cool to release the pressure, do not fast release, it helps it cook just a little more. If the peas are not easily mashed, put it back for a short cycle. If you add pasta, cook on the shortest rice setting with lowest pressure to cook the pasta.
You can blend the soup if you want, and may want to if you add jicama, or if you want the corn blended in, or other veggies smoother.
Add a little extra water if you can this. Can at 10 lbs pressure, adjusted for altitude, for soup time. Saves in the fridge for about a week if not canned.
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I do what I do because I understand the science behind it, and I've researched worldwide sources to verify the safety of my practices to my own satisfaction. Please do your own research, and proceed AT YOUR OWN RISK.