Better than Bullion

I’ve shared my bone broth recipe with you, but today I’m going to share something even better–my recipe for gelatin.

Gelatin is a wonderfully useful substance.  It is loaded with nutrients, it takes up little space, and you can use it in almost any recipe.  You can reconstitute it with water, in the same way you would use bullion cubes.  You can use it in its concentrated forms, to make some wonderful sauces.

I make gelatin at least once every other week, using whatever bones are on sale.  If I happen to cook something with bones–generally a chicken, in this area, then I use those bones.

Here is my gelatin recipe:

1.  Start with a good amount of bones.  Two trays full, from the grocery store (or one whole animal, such as a chicken) will do it.  Place them in a stockpot (or pressure cooker) and cover with water.

2.  Add a fair amount of an acidic medium.  I use apple cider vinegar and lime juice.  You may also use lemon juice, or wine.  Add some salt.  Cover and let soak overnight.

3.  Cook over low heat, at least 12 hours.

4.  To make gelatin, boil down as much as possible.  Remove the bones, then chill the liquid.  It should solidify in a couple of hours.

What can you do with gelatin?  You can mix it with vinegar and spices to make a delicious sauce.  You can reconstitute it and use it to cook rice or other grains.

Or you can try my lovely gluten-free French onion soup:

1.  Fry up 4 sliced onions.  Use animal fat, or at least a vegetable fat that does not contain omega 6’s or trans fats.  I recommend bacon fat, butter, or coconut oil.

2. Add 2 chopped garlic cloves, 2 bay leaves, 2 tsp thyme, sea salt, and pepper.  Cook until onions are soft.

3.  Meanwhile, toast gluten free bread slices in the oven.

4.  Add 1 cup red wine.  Cook until wine evaporates.

5.  Add 3 heaping tablespoons gluten free flour, and 1 heaping tablespoon flaxmeal.  Cook for 5 minutes.

6.  Add two quarts water and 1 cup gelatin (I use pork).  Cook 10 minutes.

7.  Place in individual bowls, and top with toasted bread and shredded cheese (I use pepper jack).  Bake in oven, until cheese is melted.


French Onion Soup -

Sunday Supper: Homemade Noodles

Homemade pasta is surprisingly easy to make! It’s inexpensive, especially if you can get bulk flour at $1 a pound, like we do. And it’s such a great comfort food. Here are two of my favorite recipes.

Easy Noodles
Use 1 egg for every 1 cup of flour. Use any kind of flour you want! I use whole wheat, since it’s healthy and we can get in inexpensively. I’ve found that 2 eggs and 2 cups make the perfect amount for our family. Mix it up and roll it out (you can use a glass as a rolling pin). Slice it into the noodles you want: wide noodles for lasagna, narrow and long for fettuccini, or medium width and short for soup. Let them sit overnight to dry. Store in an airtight container. To cook, boil for 5-10 minutes.

Sourdough Noodles
I used to have some sourdough starter going, and I highly recommend it. Here is some good information on starting a starter. I used my starter in everything: soaking grains and beans, noodles, dumplings, bread–everything!

Here’s how you make the noodles:

1/2 cup sourdough starter
1 1/2 cups flour (whole wheat is fine)
2 eggs

Mix together until you can form a ball.
Let rise for at least 1 hour (it won’t rise much)
Roll out and cut into noodles (see recipe above)
Let dry overnight
Follow directions above for storing and cooking.

Feel free to get creative and add spices to your noodles. I like garlic and oregano.

Sunday Supper: Goulash

Happy Sunday, everyone! This is an especially happy Sunday for me, because I had the exciting experience of being born 34 years ago today! It’s been a long time since my birthday has fallen on the weekend (aka a day off), so I’m enjoying a relaxing day at home.

Today’s recipe is my version of one of my aunt’s dishes. It’s easy to make, healthy, and tasty.

1. Brown 1/2 lb ground beef.

2. Add: 2 romas, chopped.

3. Season to taste with Hoison sauce, catsup, garlic, and salt.

4. Add 1/3 box pasta. Cook until the pasta is done.

Sunday Supper: Salmon Salad

Surprisingly, we ate little fish during our time at sea! We don’t fish, and we didn’t dare keep fish in our fridge, that we often could not run at night.

But one of my friends is moving, and she gave us a care package, made up of the food left in her fridge. That included one large salmon fillet. And what could be a better light dinner on a summer night, than salmon salad?

I hate it when fish tastes like fish, and this frying method gets rid of the fishy taste. Here’s how you cook the salmon:

1. Melt a LOT of butter. Have at least a quarter inch covering the bottom of the pan.

2. Add the salmon.

3. Add three capfuls of white vinegar.

4. Chop half of a lemon, rind and all, and add it to the pan.

5. Slice a white onion at the thickest part, two times. Separate and add.

6. Add two green pepper slices.

7. Add garlic salt to taste.

8. Add a dash of pepper sauce.

9. Cook until blackened and done!

Now it’s time to make the salad!

1. Chop the rest of the green pepper and half of the onion. Mix them with a cup of other veggies (I used broccoli slaw).

2. Add 6-7 tbsp mayo. Mix well.

3. Add the salmon and 2 boiled eggs. Mix.

4. Season with garlic salt to taste.

5. Add salad greens.


Pasta Salad

4 cups uncooked whole wheat pasta
1 cup mayo
1/4 cup vinegar
2/3 cup sugar (or the equivalent amount of a natural sweetener)
2 1/2 tbsp dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
Chopped olives

1. Cook and drain the pasta.
2. Mix up the dressing and add to the pasta.
3. Add the other ingredients.
4. Chill 4 hours or over night.

Adapted from All Recipes.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

1/2 lb whole wheat macaroni
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 tbsp garlic salt
3 cups milk
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp oregano
1 egg
12 oz cheese

3 tbsp butter
1 cup bread crumbs

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook pasta. Drain.
3. Melt butter in separate pan. Whisk in flour and keep moving for 5 min. Stir in milk, onion, garlic salt, and oregano. Simmer 10 minutes.
4. Stir in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Add pepper to taste. Fold in the pasta and pour in casserole. Top with remaining cheese.
5. Melt the butter for the topping and toss bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake 30 minutes.

Adapted from Food Network.

Millet Casserole

Millet is a wonder that is not used nearly enough in the US. Enjoy this warm and cozy casserole!

8 oz tempeh, crumbled
2 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp tamari
1 1/3 cup millet
3 cups water
1 medium onion, chopped
8 oz mushrooms
1 cup celery, chopped
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp dried mustard
1 tsp celery salt
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 pound cheese, grated

1. Mix tempeh with 2 tbsp tamari. Allow to sit.

2. Saute millet with 1 tbsp tamari, until it smells nutty.

3. Add 3 cups of water and simmer 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4. Add tempeh, onion, mushrooms, celery, and spices. Cook 10 more minutes.

5. Add tahini, stirring well. Then add cheese.

6. Bake 10 minutes.

Adapted from CD Kitchen.

Baked Penne

Here’s a simple alternative to lasagna.

1 pound penne
Olive oil
1 pound sausage
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp garlic salt
1 tbsp basil
1 tbsp oregano
1/2 tbsp pepper
32 oz tomato sauce
1/2 lb cheese
1 cup ricotta
1 cup grated parmesan

1. Cook the pasta. Drain. Toss with olive oil.

2. Brown the sausage.

3. Add onions and cook 4-5 minutes, until translucent. Add the seasonings. Cook 1 minute, then add the tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of a casserole pan. Dot the surface with half of the ricotta. Mix some sauce with the pasta, then pour the pasta into the casserole.

5. Pour the rest of the sauce over the pasta. Dot the surface with ricotta. Sprinkle with other cheeses. Bake 20 minutes.

Adapted from Simply Recipes.

Thick Mints

These delectable bites taste just like the Girl Scout cookies, but they will crumble if you slice them thinly.

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar, or equivalent amount of natural sweetener
1 egg
1/2 tsp mint extract
3 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter

1. Beat butter until creamy. Add sugar and beat. Beat in egg and mint extract.

2. Add flour, cocoa and salt.

3. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 1 1/2 inch diameter cylinder. Cover and chill at least 5 hours.

4. 30 minutes prior to baking, freeze the dough (or place it outside in the winter!). Preheat over to 350 degrees.

5. Slice dough into 1/4 inch pieces. Place on cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes.

6. Melt chocolate and butter in double boiler (or cast iron saucepan, on low heat!). Dip cookies in chocolate. Chill until hardened.

Adapted from All Recipes.


Here’s a classic comfort food!

6 oz bread crumbs, cooked in garlic and butter
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp thyme
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 tbsp garlic salt
1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 lb ground beef
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 egg

For the topping:
1/2 cup catsup
1 tsp cumin
Dash hot pepper sauce
1 tbsp honey

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Mix bread crumbs with seasonings. Crush together, until it has a fine texture. Add onion, carrot, and green pepper. Add the ground beef. Add the egg.

3. Place in pan and mold into the shape of a meatloaf. Cook for 10 minutes, then brush glaze on top. Bake until 155 degrees.

Adapted from Food Network.