6.26.2017

Apricot Ginger Beer Glazed Ribs


I have this reoccurring dream where I have a huge amount of people coming over for dinner and I'm not prepared.  It's generally feeding members of my church.  Everyone is at my door waiting for food. I panic because I haven't even completed the grocery shopping.  How am I going to feed all these people?

The lesson I take from this is to always be prepared.  I try to have enough of my favorite ingredients on hand so that I'm not always rushing to the grocery store in order to pull off a meal.  Well, Father's Day crept up on me fast and needless to say I wasn't very prepared.  I did have a rack of ribs in my freezer, but no bbq sauce.  I opened my cupboards and created these tender ribs with homemade bbq sauce in a little more than an hour.  Booya!


Here is the list of ingredients I pulled together for the ribs:

1 (2.5-3 lb) rack baby back ribs
2 tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1 12-oz bottle ginger beer or ginger ale
2 teaspoons liquid smoke


Use a butter knife to wedge it underneath the membrane to loosen and lift membrane up from the bone. Use a paper towel to grasp and pull the rest of the membrane off.  



Mix the rub coconut sugar, paprika, garlic and onion powder, salt, pepper, chili powder and cayenne pepper together.  Rub seasoning over the top and bottom of the ribs.


In order to make these ribs tender in such a quick time, I needed to pull out my pressure cooker.  I placed the rack in the bottom and because liquid is needed in a pressure cooker, I added a 12 oz. bottle of ginger beer and 2 teaspoons liquid smoke.

Cut the rack of ribs in half and stand on their sides in the pot,which I did not picture.  I believe two racks will fit into the pot of my pressure cooker, but I cooked one.


Seal the lid and place on high pressure for 30 minutes with a natural release.  This process can take 45-55 minutes.

While the ribs are cooking, make the bbq sauce.


I have found, if I have a bottle of some type of funky soda and a jar of jam, I can make a delicious bbq sauce.  I call it my "dump" bbq sauce.  I have made some sauces that could be bottled and sold. Sadly, I rarely write down the ingredients that I just dump in.

This time I took the time to jot the ingredients down.  This is what I pulled from my drawers, cupboards, and refrigerator:

1 12-oz bottle ginger beer or ginger ale
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup apricot jam
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic


Whisk together all of the bbq sauce ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil.


Once the mixture comes to a full rolling boil, turn the heat down to medium/low.  Simmer until sauce thickens.


Remove from heat.  Sauce can be made up to a week in advance.  Store in a tightly sealed jar.


Just so you know, I did not cut this rack of ribs.  My local grocer did.  Seriously?  Why on earth would they cut 1/4th of the ribs off and place them under the remaining ribs and pack them???

Remove ribs from the pressure cooker and spread sauce over the tops of the ribs.  Place on a hot grill, cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and carefully slice between each rib.  Serve.  If you don't have a grill, place the ribs under a broiler with the rack set in the middle of the oven.


One last treasure I found in my cupboard...Spicy honey.  I drizzled the ribs with the spicy honey and because we love heat in our house, I sliced one lonely jalapeno from my garden to add just a little more zing.  




Apricot Ginger Beer Glazed Ribs

Ribs:
1 (2.5-3 lb) rack baby back ribs
2 tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1 12-oz bottle ginger beer or ginger ale
2 teaspoons liquid smoke

Apricot Ginger Beer BBQ sauce
1 12-oz bottle ginger beer or ginger ale
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup apricot jam
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Use a butter knife to wedge it underneath the membrane to loosen and lift membrane up from the bone. Use a paper towel to grasp and pull the rest of the membrane off.  

In a small bowl combine coconut sugar, paprika, garlic and onion powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne.  Stir to combine.  Rub ribs all over with the mixture.  Cut the rack in half and rub  a tablespoon of the mixture all over the ribs.  


Place rack in bottom of the pressure cooker.  Pour ginger beer and liquid smoke into the pressure cooker or instapot.  Stand the ribs on the sides and place the lid on.  Set for high pressure and cook for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes allow pressure to release naturally.  


While the ribs are cooking make the apricot sauce.  Combine all the ingredients for the BBQ sauce in a medium size sauce pan.  Stir together and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and continue to simmer until mixture is reduced and thickened.  This should take about 10-15 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Sauce can be made 3-5 days in advanced and refrigerated until ready to use.


Once pressure cooker has completely released steam, remove the lid and carefully remove ribs. Remember the ribs are extremely tender and can easily fall apart.  I like to place them on a baking sheet to transfer to a hot grill.


Preheat a grill to medium heat.  Gently place the ribs on the grill and spread 1/4 cup of the sauce over each 1/2.  Close lid of grill and allow ribs to cook for 10-15 minutes,  Watch carefully so ribs don't burn.  I only glaze top side of ribs.  Once the BBQ sauce is bubbling on the ribs, gently remove to a cutting board. Allow to sit for a few minutes to cook slightly before slicing.  Serve with remaining BBQ sauce.  Serves 2-3.  


*Note:  If a pressure cooker/instapot isn't available, ribs can be cooked in a crockpot for 6-8 hours on low heat.  



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Related Posts:

Cherry Cola Glazed Ribs

Jalapeno Cheddar Burgers

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Sticky Coconut Chicken


6.08.2017

Lemon Curd & Ginger Ice Cream Sandwiches


I'm jumping off my health kick today to bring you a cooling summer treat.  The fact that everything here is made from scratch is step one to eating healthier...and I'm stickin' with that.  I seriously believe it.

One of my most popular recipes searched for on Simply So Good is my Lemon Curd Ice Cream  
It is such a refreshing summer ice cream.  I decided to sandwich a scoop between my Soft Ginger Cookies.  The combination is perfect for summer.




To make the Lemon Curd Ice Cream Sandwiches you will need:

1 batch Lemon Curd Ice Cream
18-20 medium size Soft Ginger Cookies

Click on the links for the step-by-step instructions or print the recipes that are below.

I baked the soft ginger cookies last week and stored them in the freezer.  The ice cream was made 2 days in advance and placed in the freezer as well.  After the prep of the ice cream and cookies, making the sandwiches shouldn't take longer than 10 minutes.


I let the ice cream soften just a bit before scooping onto the bottom of the ginger cookie.


Top ice cream with another ginger cookie.


That's it!  Bright lemony ice cream stuffed between soft ginger cookies.  Citrus and ginger are such a great pair.  Wrap cookies individually or place in an air tight container and freeze until ready to eat.



Soft Ginger Cookies

1 ½ cups butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
½ cup molasses
4 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger

¼ cup sugar (to roll cookies in)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl cream butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and molasses, mix thoroughly. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, cinnamon and ginger. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Roll dough into balls the size of a large walnut or use an ice cream scoop that holds 2 tablespoons of dough. Roll each ball into the sugar and place on a cookies sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool. Makes 3 dozen cookies


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Lemon Curd Ice Cream
1 3/4 cup cream
3/4 cup 2% milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 egg yolks
1 cup lemon curd  (purchased may be used, but if I were you I'd try the recipe link and make your own)

To make ice cream, in  a medium size saucepan add cream, milk, 1/2 cup of the sugar and salt.  Heat over medium/low heat until steaming.  Whisk egg yolks and slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. When the cream mixture is hot and steaming, slowly pour a small amount of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture stirring constantly.  Continue to add at least 1/2 of the hot cream mixture.  Slowly pour the egg/cream mixture back into the pan and cook over low heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.  Remove from heat and pour into a bowl.  Cover and chill completely about 2 hours or over night.

When ready to freeze, pour the ice cream custard into a ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturers directions.  Add lemon curd the last 5 - 10 minutes of mixing.  Makes about a 1 1/2 to 2 pints of ice cream.

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Happy Summer.


6.03.2017

Banh Mi Beet Quinoa Burger


Last summer I spent a lot of time trying to find a vegetarian burger that suited me.  I tried lentils, beans, mix of brown rice, walnuts and beets.  Many different varieties.  All were good, but not quite what I was looking for.  I didn't feel like I needed to recreate meat in a vegetarian form.  I didn't feel like I had to use beets to resemble the color or beef.  I didn't feel like I needed to have the same texture as beef.  I just wanted an alternative that was flavorful, spicy, and delicious.  Ta da!  This is my favorite.  


I have found that pickling everything is a good idea AND putting pickled everything on food is always a good idea.  


For this Beet Quinoa Burger you will need:

3 cups beet, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon oil (I used olive)
1 cup cooked quinoa (red or multi-colored)
2 tablespoons jalapeno, finely chopped
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 large onion (approx. 2/3 cup), finely chopped
4 tablespoons garbanzo bean flour (can use white flour or panko)
1 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
1 egg  (flax egg if vegan)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
juice from 1 lime
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped

I realize this is a very long list.  The layers of flavor are so worth it.


Toss 3 cups of peeled, cubed beets with 1 tablespoons oil.  Place in a preheated 350F degree oven. Bake for about 35 minutes or until tender/crisp.


Allow to cool.


Place cooled beets in a food processor fitted with a metal blade.  Pulse about 10 times or until coarsely chopped.  Don't over chop then you will have a mushy beet burger.


In a large mixing bowl stir together remaining ingredients.  


Gently fold in the chopped beets.


Whoops, I forgot to add the cilantro.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.  I find it easier to form into patties if it's chilled nicely.  You can leave it overnight, if you wish.



This is the Banh Mi part and my favorite - pickled veggies. You will need:

1 1/2 cups rice vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1 Tablespoons sugar
2 carrots, julienne
3 jalapenos, sliced and seeds removed
1/2 cucumber, sliced

Mix vinegar, water, sugar and salt.  Stir to dissolve.  I like to put the prepared veggies into individual bowls, then pour mixture over the top.  Allow to sit at room temperature at least an hour before using. The veggies can be made a day in advance and refrigerated.






Remove chilled beet quinoa mixture from refrigerator and form patties.  I like to use a 1/2 cup ice cream scoop.


Press to form into patties. Place in the refrigerator until ready to cook.  It's best if they are nice and chilled.  Here is a BIG perk:  At this point the patties frozen.  They freeze just great.  I like to put them on a lined baking sheet.  Once frozen, they can be stored in an airtight container and pulled out one at a time to be used.

Here are 3 options for cooking the patties:

1.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes, turning over half way through.
2.  Pan fry in a little bit of oil over medium/low heat for about 7-8 minutes per side.
3.  Patties can be grilled, but I would not recommend putting them directly on the grate.  I use a pink Himalayan salt stone, which amazing, on my grill or one can place a sheet of aluminum foil on the grill.  Lightly oil the foil first or the patties will stick.


For this amazing Cashew Sriracha Cream you will need:

3/4 cup soaked cashews (soaked for 4 hours, then drained)
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoons sriracha sauce
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lime juice
zest from one lime




Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.  It will have the consistency of mayonnaise, but better and dairy free.  


Just to mention:
  • I love using avocado oil for it's amazing health benefits and it can be used in cooking as well.  It's fabulous mixed with lemon juice and tossed with arugula.  
  • Nutritional yeast can be optional, but gives amazing seasoning to sauces and soups.


After the patties are cooked, layer your Banh Mi burger with all of the flavorful toppings.  I love adding purple cabbage to just about everything.  You can pickle the cabbage if you want, but I love the fresh crunch.  

One more note:  The burger is only as good and the bun you put it on.  If you're into making your own you can try this Brioche Burger Bun recipe on my blog or you can purchase your favorite buns.  





If you are wanting a lightened up version or if you're gluten-free, try bibb lettuce in place of the bun. My personal preference these days.  Savor.


Banh Mi Beet Quinoa Burger

3 cups beet, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon oil (I used olive)
1 cup cooked quinoa (red or multi-colored)
2 tablespoons jalapeno
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 large onion (approx. 2/3 cup)
4 tablespoons garbanzo bean flour (can use white flour or panko)
1 tablespoons avocado oil
1 egg  (flax egg if vegan)
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
juice from 1 lime
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
7 Brioche burger buns or Bibb lettuce leaves
Purple cabbage, sliced

Pickled Veggies:
1 1/2 cups rice vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1 Tablespoons sugar
2 carrots, julienne
3 jalapenos, sliced and seeds removed
1/2 cucumber, sliced

Cashew Sriracha Cream:
3/4 cup soaked cashews (soaked for 4 hours)
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoons sriracha sauce
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lime juice
zest from one lime


To prepare Beet Burgers:
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.   Place beets on a baking sheet, toss diced beets in 1 tablespoon oil. Bake for about 30 minutes until tender/crisp.  Remove from oven, cool. Place cooled beets in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.  Pulse only until the beets are coarsely chopped.
Set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, add remaining ingredients.  Stir together then fold in the chopped beets.  Refrigerate at least an hour.  Form patties using 1/2 cup of the mixture.  Place on a lined baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.  Cook patties in a 350F degree oven for about 25 minutes.  Turning over half way through baking.  Patties can be cooked in a skillet over medium/low heat in a bit of oil.  Cook for about 7-8 minutes per side.  Place on a burger bun and layer with pickled veggies and cashew cream.  Makes 6-7 patties.

To prepare pickled veggies:
Mix vinegar, water, sugar and salt.  Stir to dissolve.  I like to put the prepared veggies into individual bowls, then pour mixture over the top.  Allow to sit at room temperature at least an hour before using. The veggies can be made a day in advance and refrigerated.

To Prepare Cashew Sriracha Cream:
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.


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5.22.2017

Cherry Berry Pitaya Bowl


I have a smoothie bowl EVERYDAY!  EVERYDAY!  I'm completely addicted.  Pitaya is becoming one of my favorite blends.  If I don't have this for breakfast, I have it for lunch.  If I don't have it for breakfast OR lunch, I have it for dinner.  I just love the bright refreshing flavor or a smoothie bowl.
I like to add frozen cherries to the blend because they help muscles heal faster and help reduce inflammation.  Exactly what I need for healing and repairing these old muscles.  


You will notice that I have not included step-by-step photo's and instructions.  I apologize.  I'm trying to get my garden and flowerbeds planted.  I'm so glad I didn't plant last week because we had a whopping snow storm AGAIN right after Mother's Day.  We have a short enough growing season in Utah and my husband starts bugging me as soon as it warms up to get my garden planted.  EVERY year I till him not until closer to Memorial Day.  Someone told me it is safe to plant in Utah after the first full moon after Mother's day.  This year that will me May 28th.  I don't trust Utah especially where I live at the base of the beautiful Wasatch mountain range.  I have had my garden freeze as late as June 6th. Nope don't trust the weather here at all!

This is such an easy recipe.  Blend.  Top.  Eat.  Enjoy.



Top with whatever fruits and crunchies you love the most.  I love adding the creaminess of yogurt. Put your feet up and completely enjoy.





Cherry Berry Pitaya Bowl

1 (3 oz) pkg frozen Pitaya/Dragon fruit
1/2 cup coconut water
1/2 cup frozen Cherries
1/4 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1/4 cup frozen banana or 1/2 fresh banana


Toppings of choice:
1/4 cup coconut yogurt (or greek yogurt)
slice fresh pineapple, strawberries, blueberries & raspberries
unsweetened coconut flakes
granola or sliced almonds
cacao nibs - always
hemp hearts
bee pollen

Blend pitaya, coconut water, cherries, pineapple, banana in a blender until smooth.  Pour into a bowl and top with your fresh pineapple, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries or any fruit of your choice.  I love a dollop of coconut yogurt, granola or nuts for crunch, hemp hearts for more health and ALWAYS cacao nibs.  Enjoy a bit of heaven.  Serves one

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