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food: pork sausage

we finally got around to sampling our homemade sausage…
clearly, the best way to showcase it was as a sausage bake.

so i lovingly prepared it all…
chopped up golden beets, onions, fennel, carrots and a couple potatoes…
tossed it all in olive oil and baked it up.

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the final product was a thing of beauty… naturally.

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and we were SO EXCITED to dig into the fruits of our labour…

but when we did…
sadness.

this sausage is insanely salty.
like, i couldn’t even eat it.

the spices great, the texture and flavour wonderful, but holy salt!
i don’t know if there was some sort of measuring error or what, but basically we brought home some seriously inedible meat.
so, colour me disappointed.

i’m still going to try to make something of the last 5 links… maybe if i slice them up and put them in a slow cooker sauce i can redistribute the salt.
but i’m real sad about it.

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food: coconut butternut squash soup

i might have a new favourite food product.
coconut manna.

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i’m a coconut lover at the best of times, but this is THE BEST.
basically it’s a pure coconut butter product and it is so yum, i can’t even.

i picked it up at choices on the weekend, but just cracked into it last night.
i figured i’d use it to add to curry or something… but then i realized, i should really be using it like butter.  or instead of butter.
infact, the best site tells me: Coconut Manna is creamy whole coconut food that will delight people looking for coconut butter, coconut cream, coconut oil butter and coconut body butter.

um, it even replaces body butter?  oh man.  i’m going to smell DELICIOUS!
but that’s a tangent.

so, i test drove this last night with my butternut squash soup.
generally speaking, when i make a butternut squash soup, i like to put a touch of curry powder in it.  well, to be specific, i have two squash options… either it gets the curry treatment or it gets a sage or rosemary or thyme or some sort of herb.
but that’s about as far as i tend to branch on the squash seasoning.

for this batch of soup, i melted the coconut manna into the pot and sauteed my sweet onions in it.
the smell of it just flooded my memory when i typed that.  it was incredible.

so basically here’s my squash soup from last night…

 

Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

  • 1 heaping tablespoon of coconut manna
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp curry powder (or more to taste)
  • 1 large butternut squash, roasted
  • 1 carton of chicken stock. (i only use Kitchen Basics unsalted)
  • 1 cup of half & half cream (this could be omitted, but it makes it super yum)
  • salt & pepper

Toppings:

  • Cooked sausage, crumbled & drained (i used a lamb sausage)
  • chopped flat leaf parsley

Instructions:

  1. melt the coconut manna (or coconut oil) in a pot over medium low heat.  saute onions & garlic for 15 minutes until translucent.  (you don’t really want them to brown because you’re blending them)
  2. sprinkle in curry powder when onions are almost done
  3. add butternut squash and chicken stock.
  4. blend with immersion blender (or batch into a regular blender)
  5. simmer for 10 minutes or longer to meld flavours
  6. before serving, stir in cream (don’t let it boil after this step!)
  7. season to taste with salt & pepper if needed
  8. top with sausage and parsley and chow down!

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i bought 2 GIANT butternut squash from costco last week because 1. i love squash, 2. it was local – from langley and 3. it was $5 for 7lbs of squash which is a ridiculous bargain.
i wasn’t entirely sure what to do with this squashy bounty, so when i made sausages in the oven the other day, i roasted off my squash too.  so now i have a convenient giant container of cooked squash in my fridge, for just such a soup-making occasion.  and a few smaller portions that i can throw a little coconut manna on and eat at work as a lunch.
planning ahead is *so smart!*

and now, just for fun… a soup making montage!
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food: more sausages & vegetables. now with kale!

okay, it’s come to my attention that i may eat a lot of sausage.
wait.  that’s not supposed to sound dirty.

but it’s true.
it’s a food that since my two footed leap back into full fat foods, i’ve really enjoyed reincorporating.
let’s face it.  sausage is good.
good sausage is good.
while a bad sausage filled with fat, gristle and mystery bits will instantly make you want to heave, a good sausage is one of the most delightful mouthfuls one can find.

i have a couple hookups for this addiction.
first and foremost is good old hopcott farm.  tried & true and close to home.
but if i’m in vancouver, and especially anywhere close to granville island, it has to be Oyama.

i was there on saturday morning and absolutely could not leave without dropping $65 there.  it wasn’t my fault,  the meat made me.

in the sausage department (teehee) i chose 4 this time.  althought, trust, narrowing them down was hard work.
first choice – oktoberfest with marjoram.  really, this one had me at the “sausage of the month” sign.  i mean, i’m not too good for the sausage of the month.
second choice – lamb with rosemary.  duh.
third choice – elk.  this is a “must buy” for me.  it’s just SO. GOOD.
last (but certainly not least) – coq au vin. a fraser valley chicken sausage with wine & parsley.  yes please.

here’s 3 of the 4 beauties about to hit the oven.  we had all but the lamb, which i’m saving for a butternut squash soup tomorrow.

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so, for whatever reason (maybe ’cause its delicious – duh) i always associate cooking sausage with butternut squash.  they just go so well together.  and since i’m on a beet kick, well those have to be added too.  and leeks should really be in everything.  so i sauteed those things together in some butter while i waited for the sausage to cook…

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after the squash & beets had softened, i added some orange juice to deglaze the pan and then added fresh chopped tomatoes and let it cook for a bit.  finished with some chopped flat leaf parsley.

meanwhile, i got some kale together too.
kale, obviously, is the superfood du jour.  i’ll be honest, my experiences have been mixed.  i’ve eaten some really good kale and a whole lot of really bad kale.  so it’s not a go-to vegetable for me.  yet.
but i’m trying.  i WANT to love it.  it’s so good for me, so i’m trying my best to get it onto my plate.

today’s kale recipe is simple and it was damn good.

Kale with Lemon & Garlic

  • 1 bunch of kale – washed, rib removed & torn into bit size pieces
  • 1/2 a fresh lemon (you’ll need juice & zest)
  • 1 clove finely chopped garlic (don’t use a press, it’ll be too strong)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (give or take)
  • 1/2 tsp bragg’s aminos or soy sauce
  • chilli flake

1. mix the olive oil, garlic, juice & 1/2 the zest from the lemon, braggs & chilli flake in a small bowl. set aside to dress the cooked kale with
2. steam the kale for 7 minutes with a small amount of water & the remaining lemon zest
3. drain kale, combine with dressing & serve.

at the end of my efforts, i had this:

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and it’s meals like this that make me LOVE eating wheat free!  it was downright delicious.
so good, in fact, that even my husband ate all his kale without a simple complaint and infact, heartily praised it.
it’s a miracle!  the kale problem has been solved!

food: sausage bake

i know i’ve posted about this meal before on previous blogs that i’ve run, but it bears repeating for 2 reasons.  first off, it’s incredibly delicious & easy.  second, it’s always changing based on whats on hand.

this week’s incarnation comes courtesy of sausages and produce from granville island.  the sausages, of course, come from oyama sausage company (see previous post) and i got to choose these ones…

i selected 3 kinds, and they were all winners.  wild boar, venison with blueberries and an okanagan pork sausage with local red wine in it.

for veg, we used golden beets, baby potatoes, carrots, leeks, sweet onion, cherry tomatoes, fennel and red peppers.  and lots of fresh rosemary.

a little olive oil, salt & pepper and she’s good to go.  425 for about 40 minutes, then i removed the sausages and let the veggies go for another 20 mins.

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here’s the finished product, with one of each sausage.

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all of the sausages were delicious, but i think the venison was my top pick.  the boar, unfortunately got a little overcooked and was a bit dry. totally my fault, it had a lower fat content and should have come out earlier.  the flavour of it was still incredible.  the venison was so juicy and the blueberries added a lovely little flavour punch.
the okanagan pork sausage was crazy good too.  super juicy and a strong red wine flavour to it.  i’d buy any and all of them again.

once again, i’d like to thank that sultry minx nigella lawson for bring this recipe to my attention.  it’s a winter & fall staple in my house now.