Easy Pan-fried Cabbage and Apples

Delicious vegetable sides are easy to make, such as this simple Pan Fried Cabbage and Apple dish.

Delicious vegetable sides are easy to make, such as this simple Pan Fried Cabbage and Apple dish.

Green or red cabbage is gently cooked with apples in this simple, but delicious side dish. I find that when you are eating cabbage (or cauliflower) when they are freshly picked from the fields, they are especially sweet and flavorful. Here, I add some sliced apples to continue to sweeten and flavor the cabbage as it cooks. It is a lovely side to go with roasted meats or sausages.

This is an example of how easy it is to vegetables in a lovely way without much work!

I love this easy side dish and have made it several times in the last couple of weeks. I think I could eat the whole pan of it myself! I first tried it out because I was looking for a way to gently encourage my youngest (she just turned four) to eat more of her vegetables. While she wasn’t happy to see her small serving of cabbage on the plate at first, once we got her to try it, she seemed to happily eat the rest of it. I believe that is because of the magic of the apples, which give a delightful sweetness to the dish.

Two additions I am tempted to try is adding either caraway seeds, as they would add so much flavor, and are traditionally used with cabbage dishes, or, to take things in a different route, to add fresh ginger. I think that the cabbage, apples, and ginger together would make a lovely medley of flavors.

I’ve been making good use of my cast iron pans lately, and they served me well in this recipe as well. If using cast iron, I would cook at medium heat or below. If using stainless steel pans (try to use a thicker pan for better heat spread) use medium to medium-high heat.

Other Vegetable Side Dishes:

Easy Pan-fried Cabbage and Apples
 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • ½ head of large green or red cabbage
  • 2 small, 1 large tart/sweet apple (green, Pink Lady etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons fat/oil of choice
  • Unrefined salt
Instructions
  1. Core the cabbage, and very thinly slice it. Peel the apples, and very thinly slice it.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat fat/oil over medium heat if using cast iron, and medium-high heat if using stainless steel. Add one piece of cabbage to the pan. When it starts to sizzle a little, add the rest of the cabbage and apples, and sprinkle with a generous pinch or two of salt.
  3. Cook, stirring often, for about ten minutes, or until the cabbage and apples are soft to desired texture. If using a cast iron pan, you can also allow the soft cabbage and apples to brown slightly at the end for a lovely flavor.

 

Delicious & Easy Vanilla Buttercream (without so much sweetener)

Delicious Vanilla Buttercream - you don't need a lot of sweetener to make great frosting!

Rich buttercream, lightly sweetened and with hints of vanilla is the perfect frosting for many cupcake and cakes. This version is significantly less sweetened than the typical recipe and is still delicious and sweet!

It seems you are either in one of two camps – either you scrape the frosting off of your cake, or you eat cake so that you can enjoy frosting. Me? It depends. The typical store-bought cake with dyed, (gross) frosting was always discarded by me in the past. But, if the cake was homemade and contained real food ingredients? Bring it on!

One of the culinary issues I have with typical buttercreams is that they use so much sweetener. Maybe I just have lost my taste for such overly sweet foods, but even in my childhood I found most frosting cloying sweet. I now wonder if there was so much sweetener used to mask the taste of low-quality ingredients?

Regardless, we have been quite happy with my still sweet, but not-so-cloying sweet frostings. All of which are made with real food ingredients too!

So far I have shared the following frosting recipes:

The 7 minute frosting is an old favorite of mine. It tastes a little bit like marshmallows and is so forgiving when using it to frost a cake. (Unfortunately, it contains eggs that half of us don’t tolerate well.) The Chocolate Buttercream is a lovely example of how sweet and delicious a frosting can be without so much sugar (it’s a favorite frosting!), while the Chocolate Ganache is honey sweetened and even dairy-free! Other options for a simple frosting it using naturally sweetened whipped cream (frost right before you serve).

Whipped Cream Recipes

Chocolate Whipped Cream
Maple Whipped Cream
Strawberry Whipped Cream

(Amazon links are affiliate below)

For my daughter’s Gluten-free “Frozen” birthday party (where we also served “snowball cookies,” i.e. Mexican Wedding Cookies), we made snowmen cupcakes that needed a frosting that looked like snow. Vanilla frosting was the obvious choice. In the past, I have used coconut sugar, honey, and even maple syrup to sweeten my frosting. Here’s a breakdown of vanilla frosting with these sweeteners:

Coconut sugar: You can use the same amount as the powdered sugar, but it will have a very caramel-like flavor (delicious, but not typical for vanilla frosting), and will also not be a very white, or creamy colored frosting.

Honey or Maple Syrup: These are also delicious, with the maple syrup changing the color more. However, since you are adding liquid to the frosting, you will need to know that it will not be a pipe-able frosting, OR you will need to add a little coconut flour to the frosting (start with 2 tablespoons, and use up to 4 tablespoons) to firm it up. (This was a trick I learned from the cookbook: Paleo Indulgences )

Today, I am sharing the recipe we used for our snowmen cupcakes that uses organic powdered sugar (This brand I’ve linked to is corn-free, and made this way, “Our powdered sugar is made by simply grinding our Fairtrade Organic Sugar to a fine, fluffy powder (12x) and adding 3% organic tapioca to prevent clumping.”) This is a very crowd friendly frosting since it resembles more typical buttercreams, yet it uses so much less sweetener than the typical frosting recipe. I used a one-to-one ratio of sweetener to butter, instead of the more typical 1 part butter to 3 or 4 parts sweetener. It also is pipe-able, which is so much fun!

Delicious & Easy Vanilla Buttercream (without so much sweetener)
 
Author:
 
Makes enough for 12 cupcakes, or one layer 9 inch cake. See notes above about different variations of sweeteners.
Ingredients
  • ½ pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature (I prefer organic and/or pastured)
  • 1 cup of powdered organic sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (gluten-free, if needed)
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream of full fat coconut milk, as needed (I've also used almond milk with success)
Instructions
  1. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixture, or use a hand mixture to combine the butter and sugar in a bowl, on low speed, until combined. Then increase speed to medium and mix for about three minutes, or until the frosting is smooth and airy.
  2. Add in vanilla, and cream/milk of choice, until you get the right consistency (mixing for about one more minute).
  3. Frost right away. If it is a really hot day, or you have a hot house and find that the frosting is too soft, simply refrigerate until it gets the right consistency.

 

Grain Free Mexican Wedding Cookies

Grain Free Mexican Wedding Cookies

These cookies should come with a warning: Utterly addictive. Be forewarned. They are everything that I love about Mexican Wedding cookies – nutty, buttery, lightly sweet, with a melt-in-your-mouth texture. They also happen to be grain and gluten-free.

(These cookies are also commonly called Mexican Wedding Cakes or Russian Tea Cakes.)

If I was just going to make one cookie recipe a year, this one would be it. Mexican wedding cookies and I go way back. They are a deeply impended favorite, so I am thrilled that I finally have an allergy-friendly version to enjoy for a special treat!

We made these for our daughter’s “Frozen” themed birthday party – we went with a snowy theme, and “snowball cookies” fit into that well, and looked lovely on the table with the décor. But truthfully, I would eat these if they looked like reindeer poo’ because they simply have such a wonderful flavor!

I used just two flours in this recipe – almond and tapioca flour. I’ve been noticing many, many paleo-ish recipes using this combination, and so have started experimenting with it myself. It really works well in this recipe! I’m excited to continue to experiment with other recipes with this flour combination.

(Amazon links below are affiliate)

I adapted this recipe from The Joy of Cooking. I continue to be amazed that often I get better results adapting from old gluten-filled recipes, then when starting with a gluten-free recipe.

I use a very finely ground almond flour (like this one). I am not sure how they would turn out using a more coarsely ground flour. I also choose to go ahead and use organic powdered sugar for this recipe. Because I was making these for a crowd of friends, I wanted the flavor to be very similar to traditional Mexican Wedding Cookies. However, I think that they could be very delicious with coconut sugar! Coconut sugar tends to add a caramel undertone to baked goods that I actually like; it’s just not quite as delicate. You can also powder coconut sugar for a more delicate texture (and even add a little arrowroot powder to it to mimic store-bought powdered sugar). Regardless, one of the aspects I love about these cookies is that they aren’t very high in sugar.

I choose to use chopped almonds in place of the more traditional chopped pecans simply because I was making a double batch, and it was so much cheaper. However, they tasted just perfect! So use whatever nut you prefer.

I did use a food processor in this recipe, and made the cookies small (they will hold together the best this way – and they seemed very much like regular cookies!).

Grain Free Mexican Wedding Cookies 2

Grain Free Mexican Wedding Cookies
 
Author:
Serves: 3 dozen
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of coarsely chopped almonds (or pecans or walnuts)
  • ½ pound (2 sticks) room temperature butter (I recommend organic and/or pastured butter)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup organic powdered sugar (see notes above)
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cup tapioca flour
  • 1 cup finely ground almond flour
  • Extra powdered sugar for dusting, as desired
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. On a large sheet pan, place the chopped nuts, and toast, stirring occasionally, for about 5-8 minutes, or just until you start to smell their aroma released. Set aside to cool, and turn off oven. Once cool, grind further in the food processor (you want fairly fine bits, not chunks). Don't over-process and make it oily or powdery.
  2. Dump out into a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Now place the butter, salt, ½ cup powdered sugar, and vanilla extract into the food processor and process (scrapping down the sides as needed) until smooth and fluffy. Add the nuts back in and process until combined. Now add the two flours. and process once more. If you have a small food processor that can't handle all of the ingredients, simply scrap out the butter/sugar mixture into a bowl, and hand mix the flours into it.
  4. Now place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes at least, or until the dough has firmed up enough to be able to roll into balls (You may find it necessary to leave for up to 2 hours, depending on how cold your refrigerator is).
  5. Once ready, preheat the oven again to 350F, and use a teaspoon to scoop out batter and roll lightly into balls, and place on a parchment covered sheet about 1-inch apart (there will be some spreading). Baking one sheet at a time (placing dough back into the fridge between batches), bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to brown.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool on sheet for about ten minutes to firm before removing to cool rack. Repeat rolling/baking/cooling process until all of the cookies are cooked.
  7. Using a sieve, lightly dust the cookies with powdered sugar, if desired, for that snowy sweet look.

 

Nourishing Homemade Pumpkin Spice Creamer

Nourishing Homemade Pumpkin Spice Creamer- www.thenourishinggourmet.com

Written by Katie Mae Stanley of Nourishing Simplicity

There is something lovely about wrapping your hands around a cup of hot coffee – it is soothing for the soul. Hot drinks always make me feel a sense of calm, whether it is in the quite hours of the early morning, with a friend or on a hectic day when kids can’t seem to get along. Just that brief moment of lifting the mug to my lips and taking a sip makes everything right, even if only for the moment.

I am by no means a black coffee kind of gal but I also can’t bring myself to use overly processed creamers as appealing as they might be. I tend to stick to a bit of raw cream, vanilla and maple syrup. In fact, I mixed them together to make my own vanilla creamer. With autumn here I couldn’t resist adding a bit of “fall” to my cup.

Pumpkin Spice Lattes are all the rage at the moment. When I have the time I like to make my own pumpkin pie latte but sometimes I want that bit of fall flavor without taking the time to whipped up a latte. I put my thinking cap on and decided to make my own pumpkin spice creamer.

Homemade creamers only take minutes to make. Once they are made you just store them in your fridge until you are ready to add them to your coffee. How easy is that?

(You can make your own pumpkin puree using this easy crockpot method here.)

Nourishing Homemade Pumpkin Spice Creamer
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole milk (I use pastured raw milk)*
  • 1 cup pastured cream (I use raw cream)*
  • ⅓ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • Liquid stevia drops to taste (optional)
  • *If you do not want to use raw milk, you can use organic milk or two cups of a dairy free milk of your choice. If you are using canned coconut milk, use one cup of the milk and one cup of water.
Instructions
  1. Pour all the ingredients into a blender. Blend on high for about 1 minutes. Or, you can pour the ingredients into a 1-quart jar and blend with an immersion blender.
  2. Store in a glass jar or bottle.
  3. Shake before use.
  4. Lasts for at least one week in the fridge.