Spicy Mussels in Coconut Broth

I wish I had taken pictures, but alas, we inhaled them ALL the minute they were cooked! Photo will be added soon when I make them again.

  • 2 lbs fresh mussels
  • 2 knobs ginger, peeled
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2″ hunk of lemongrass, peeled
  • 3 t sriracha
  • 1/2 t tumeric
  • 1/3 c chopped green onion
  • 1 T lime juice
  • a few dashes fish sauce
  • 5 slices bacon
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 bunch cilantro

Put mussels in a bowl of ice cold water for 5 minutes, then de-beard them and discard any that are open or cracked (they’re dead). Add bacon to a large cast iron pan and brown, remove bacon when its crispy and put it on a plate. Pulse ginger, garlic, lemongrass, green onions, tumeric and sriracha in a food processor and make a paste. Add the paste to the bacon fat in the pan and fry on medium high heat for 3-4 minutes. Add coconut milk, lime juice, and fish sauce and bring to a simmer, cook for 2 more minutes while crumbling bacon very small and add bacon to the pan. Add mussels and cover the pan for 4 minutes, then remove from heat, use a spoon to drizzle the mussels with the broth and serve sprinkled with chopped cilantro over basmati rice with extra broth.

Basmati Rice:

Put 2 cups basmati rice, 2 1/4 cups water, and 1/4 t salt into an Instantpot, cook on manual, high setting, for 6 minutes followed by a 10 minute natural pressure release. Fluff and serve.

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Chocolate Pudding

I have been tweaking a raw/vegan chocolate cheesecake recipe I found when trying to survive nursing through my son’s dairy allergy, and as he’s become a toddler it has transformed into a quest to make the most nutrient dense, high iron snack for him I possibly can. I finally consider the recipe near perfect, and it has a lot of flexibility so all measurements are a rough guide, I almost never measure and usually double this, but I have a high capacity blender.

  • 2 cups roasted cashews
  • 2/3 cup melted organic virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2-3/4 c organic raw *cacao* powder
  • 2 t vanilla
  • pinch of Himalayan salt
  • nut milk (preferably cashew)

Begin with the cashews, salt, and oil in a blender (a Vitamix is perfect for this!) on high until it makes a thin, very smooth cashew butter. Make sure the cashew butter is really smooth, because if there are grainy bits of nut it’s very hard to make a smooth final product. Add avocado flesh and 1/2 cup nut milk and blend on high. Add the remaining ingredients and blend thoroughly, adding nut milk as needed to make it a bit thinner than pudding consistency, it needs to be runny because as the coconut oil cools it will firm up and set. Taste a spoonful to make sure it isn’t grainy and that you’re happy with the sweetness level. If needed add more maple syrup, then blend on high until it is super smooth and silky.

I pour into 1 cup pyrex containers and freeze most of them until needed (a huge batch only lasted 6 weeks before getting eaten, but the texture was still great), they thaw nicely over night in the fridge and it’s a great way to save avocados for later when they are in season and cheap. A high power blender really is necessary, I can’t vouch for the results in a low power blender and you may want to use a pre-made smooth nut butter and 1/4 cup coconut oil instead of the first step if you aren’t happy with the consistency your blender achieves.

Variations I’ve tried and that are worth experimenting with, are using hazelnuts instead of cashews, and adding a few teaspoons of grass fed gelatin for a no-bake cheesecake consistency, but both of those are more adult tastes than my target audience these days 😉