Even though the weather is warming up, I still love me some Tesoro chocolate, raspberry dessert wine. But it can be a little challenging to sip on it straight – when it’s 100 degrees with 89% humidity outside. Enter the Purple Pirate! This is not really a recipe – more like assembly instructions!
Start with a large wine goblet.
Add 2 T (or more if you like) of Tesoro.
Fill the wine goblet 2/3 of the way full with cream soda. If you like foamy beverages, pour the cream soda directly on top of the ice cream for a large glass of purple chocolate raspberry ice cream foam. If you prefer your “floats” with more liquid, pour against the side of the glass to keep foam to a minimum.
How simple is that. Try it, it’s my favorite thing – flashy and delicious!
I’m working my way through some of my old favorite recipes to update them to our new ketogenic lifestyle! While this is one of our FAVORITE Barbera pairing recipes, it’s a pasta dish. I just wasn’t sure that I’d be able to make it work. But a flash of inspiration – and voila. I just deconstructed all the ingredients, then rebuilt them a bit differently. As good as, if not better than, the original – see the original recipe here.
Roasted Pancetta and Tomatoes
Serve with Morovino 2015 Barbera
This is a KETO Updated recipe! If you are Whole 30, Paleo or Keto, you can still enjoy this dish.
4 Roma Tomatoes halved lengthwise or 1 pint grape tomatoes
1/2 lb Pancetta (a slab, not sliced)
4 C. Arugula (4 big handfuls)
2 C. Spinach or Baby Kale
4 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Avocado Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, roughly chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 c. shredded or shaved Asiago
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with sides (sometimes called a jelly roll pan) with parchment paper. Cut the slab of pancetta into 1/2″ish cubes. Scatter the pancetta cubes on the jelly roll pan. Place the tomato halves, cut side up, among the pancetta cubes on the pan. Put into the oven for 30-35 minutes – stirring every 10 minutes or so to flip the pancetta cubes and the tomato pieces so they brown evenly. Be aware, this is going to smoke a bit.
Over medium heat, saute the onions in olive oil (or avocado oil) until translucent. Add the garlic and greens, and saute until limp. Add the lemon juice to the greens. Make a nice nest of the sauteed greens on your plate. Top with the pancetta and tomatoes. Add a big handful of the Asiago cheese over the top. Oh my. Very yummy. You hardly miss the pasta.
I am currently researching (my fave thing) and David is evaluating treatment options for his prostate cancer. When we come to a decision, we’ll share some sites that really helped us. But until then, let’s talk ketogenic diet!! And, cuz that’s who I am, the recipe for this not-strictly-keto corn/pepper dish is below. Just scan down if you want to skip the keto stuff!
While a diet that features unlimited bacon sounds like a gift from the nutrition gods, The Vino Man and I have decided that a ketogenic diet is not for wimps. And while I am NOT a medical expert or a nutritionist, I’m happy to share a few of the roadblocks we hit resources that really helped us on this journey. As a reminder, this is the book that started it all for us Fat is Fuel. There’s also lots of great info on Dr. Mercola’s website Mercola.com
When you go ketogenic you are basically pushing a reset button on your body and teaching it to burn fat in addition to carbs. Burning carbs is easier for your body. Burning fat is harder. Your body naturally wants to take the easiest route (thank you evolution). Additionally, so many of the environmental toxins we absorb on a daily basis are fat soluble. When you start burning fat, those toxins are released into your system. Here’s a great post for newcomers to Ketogenic diets.
Roadblock: Keto flu. Sure most of the websites and books reference it. But I don’t think they tell you quite everything. And full disclosure – this hit me more than David. But let me just say – Keto Flu Sucks. Totally. This is your body pushing back trying to get you to eat carbs. AND it’s environmental toxins flooding your blood stream. For me it lasted 7 days. Stuffy head, streaming nose, insomnia, irritability and incredible muscle cramps (yep, they call it flu for a reason). On day 4, I actually woke up at 2 in the morning, ready to give up and just go eat a damn potato. On day 5, David and I were standing toe-to-toe in the kitchen screaming at each other because I put cream in his coffee. Oh yes, fun times.
But if you do a little research (before you start the diet – not after: learn from my mistakes). Part of the cause is electrolyte imbalance. You can’t drink Gatorade (39 grams of carbs in a 1/2 bottle serving). So at this suggestion of this great website, I ended up adding a little Himalyan Salt to my water bottle and I started taking Magnesium. And eating Avocados. Lots and lots of Avocados (potassium). Much, much better. This website has a great recipe for an electrolyte balancing drink. It does not taste particularly wonderful, but it helped. This drink is from the ketodiet app. There is a free version of the app which has some great keto recipes!
Additionally, this website gave the the great tip to have 1 square of 70% Cacao before bed to help release tryptophans. I’m never going to say no to chocolate and it may be psychosomatic, but I do sleep better. It has lots of other tips for surviving the start of your keto diet as well.
Roadblock: Cooking Breakfast. Well you know I love to cook. But breakfast is just not my meal. It’s not fun food. It’s in the morning. Just ughh. But after your 8-10 hour nightly fast (also known as sleeping), we discovered it’s really, really important to get some calories in you (reference the cream screaming fit mentioned above). We’ve figured out that we pretty much just have dinner leftovers for breakfast. Or eggs. Lots of eggs. I actually had to google “how many eggs per day is too many?” when I felt like I was going to start clucking. We are so thankful for our friend Angela – she keeps a flock and is a wonderful source of pasture-raised chicken eggs – which are better than any other eggs in the world. We are also thankful for our friend and wine club member Kimberly who is very experienced cooking Paleo/Keto and loves to cook. She gave us the idea for this spinach, chorizo, avocado dish that is full of good fat and really sticks to your ribs. Follow her on Instagram – @foodfamilywine.
RECIPE – Padron Pepper & Corn Saute (photo at top of page)
OK, corn is not strictly keto – certainly not during the induction (first) phase. But when Talley Farms puts it in your harvest box, you just have to go for it.
2 ears fresh corn
3 C of whole Padron Peppers (or other small, mild pepper like Cubanelle, Banana or even small Poblanos)
2 T of coconut oil (the roadblock in my next blog post)
1 t. Avocado oil
1/2 onion, peeled and cut thinly in long strips (root to end)
3/4 t. sea salt
1 t. chili powder
1/4 C Feta cheese
Shuck corn. Remove the corn from the cob by placing a coffee cup in a bowl, put the stalk end of the corn on the cup, holding the tassel end of the corn and carefully slicing downward parallel to the stalk so that the corn falls into the bowl and doesn’t scatter everywhere. Or use this cool shucker thing – which I have ordered but haven’t tried yet.
Melt the 2T of coconut oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the Padron peppers. Saute the peppers until the skin sears – 4-5 minutes – stirring frequently. Sprinkle the salt over the peppers. Add the Avocado Oil and the onions to the skillet. Continue to saute until the onions lightly char and the peppers start to soften – maybe 3 minutes more. Add the corn to the skillet and saute until the corn starts to take on color and char a bit – probably 4 minutes more. Add the chili powder and stir. Remove from heat and stir in the feta cheese. The coconut oil, corn, cheese and peppers marry beautifully together! We’ve done this as a side dish, but we’ve also filled a roasted portabella mushroom cap with this mixture and topped it with a fried egg – also AMAZING.
This is not going to be one of Mrs. Vino’s frothy recipe posts – so if you are looking for that, no worries – she’ll get back to them in a week or so. Never fear though, there is a recipe at the end of this long, long blog post.
We’d like to take a moment to share some things with you, our Morovino family. This has been a particularly interesting and challenging year for David and I. It’s been year of tremendous fear and amazing growth. A year when the two of us have connected more deeply than I ever thought possible. And here’s why.
In March of this year, just before our annual wine club celebration, David had a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack), which is sometimes called a mini-stroke. If you haven’t seen a lot of David in the tasting room, this is mainly why. There was no significant lasting damage – but he gets tired easily and occasionally has to reach for words. But his wicked sense of humor remains untouched.
Naturally, there were lots and lots of tests associated with what we like to call “The Incident.” Despite the fact that he really hates needles, he’s held up well. but for awhile it seemed like every time David took a test, the results came back with another problem. Blood tests showed an elevated PSA (male friends over 50, please go get tested). Repeated, more extensive blood tests confirmed that there might be a problem. Biopsy scheduled. Results were not what we wanted to hear. David has prostate cancer. Cue full body bone scan. Bring on the CAT scan of the abdomen and pelvis. “Whoops, there’s something there we really don’t like on that scan.” Interestingly, you can get a colonoscopy scheduled within a couple of days if you really need one.
At this point, I told David that he’d obviously reached his “best by” date and I was trading him in on a newer model.
The colonoscopy finally offered some better news – David does NOT have colon cancer. I burst into tears when the gastroenterologist told me (David being incredibly high on Propofol at the time wasn’t paying much attention – he was completely hilarious on the drive home). The doctor said that tears weren’t the usual reaction for that announcement, but it was such a relief. Prostate cancer can be treated very effectively (more on our journey to figure out treatment in the next post). Colon cancer less so.
We love our gastroenterologist. One of the discussions that we had with him was about nutrition/diet and how it impacts cancer cells. Based on his recommendation, we have started a Ketogenic diet. Not to lose weight, but to hopefully starve cancer cells. Please note, this is not an ALTERNATIVE treatment for his prostate cancer. But an ADJUNCT to whatever treatment David decides is best for him.
All that being said, we have both lost about 7 lbs in 2-3 weeks and are feeling pretty great. I’ve been learning how to cook Keto and will be transposing some of my recipes from this blog into Keto-friendly dishes over the next few weeks. I’ll also be giving updates on our Keto journey. I will make sure to tag them all “Keto” for our friends who are going low carb.
If you are interested in Ketogenic diets, I recommend this book Fat for Fuel by Dr. Joseph Mercola. If you buy it in digital form, it includes links to most of the studies it references and the “Mrs. Vino” in me loves the history of food/diet and how the US got to its current pretty unhealthy state.
And, the tool that really helped us were these So Nourished Ketone Test Strips– super affordable, it comes with a FREE 14 day meal plan AND they follow up with you via email to see if you need help using the test strips. Love them.
Full disclosure: Please always, always support your local merchants and small businesses. But if you can’t find this book or these products locally, Morovino is now an Amazon Affiliate. If you purchase the book through our link, there’s no extra charge to you, but Amazon tosses a couple of bucks our way – which are going to help with David’s medical expenses. And those of you who know me know that I won’t be gratuitously linking to anything that I don’t use and love.
With our deepest love and gratitude,
David and Andrea
AND NOW FOR THE RECIPE:
VERY easy slow cooker bone broth (adapted from All Recipes)
Bone broth appears to be the foundation of a Ketogenic diet. We used to just call it broth – but now it has better marketing.
3-5 lbs beef bones (Grass fed beef is best. But pretty much any bones work. This also works with chicken and turkey bones. I was lucky enough to get venison bones from my friend Angela – the real Pioneer Woman).
3 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
1 T fresh cracked black pepper
2 Bay Leaves
2T Balsamic vinegar – yes, it has carbs, but you aren’t using enough to hurt your diet and it makes a big flavor difference. Use cider vinegar instead if you are hard-core.
1 T dehydrated garlic (or 4 fresh cloves, diced)
1 T dehydrated parsley
Salt to taste (I used about 2-3T – seems like a lot, but it helps balance your electrolytes)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Put the beef bones on a baking sheet lined with foil and drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Roast the bones for about 30 minutes – until they start to take on color.
Add the carrots, celery, bell pepper, bay leaves, garlic, salt, pepper and vinegar into your 6.5 Quart Slow Cooker. Add the bones. Add water to cover the bones and veggies. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Remove the bones. Pour the broth through a strainer to remove veggies. I make sure to get any bone marrow out of the bones and add it back to the broth (cuz that’s good stuff!!). For non-keto diets, you can skim the fat off this once it cools. For keto diets – why would you do that, the fat is kind of the point. This broth freezes really well.
So so easy and absolutely delicious!
2 bottles 2016 Pinot Grigio
1 pint strawberries, rinsed, hulled and halved
1 pint blueberries
2T Agave syrup
Put the blueberries in the bottom of a pitcher and muddle them (crush them up a bit with a long spoon). Add the strawberries and the agave syrup. Dump the bottles of Pinot Grigio on top and give a stir to dissolve the agave.
Refrigerate at least two hours – but best overnight. Serve the sangria in nice wine glasses, and add a few of the boozy strawberries!
Happy Fourth of July.
We are so excited that the Avila Beach Farmer’s Market is back! It makes dinner so much easier. And ooooh, the spring goodness we can find there. We were pulling a long day at the tasting room and Mr. Vino suggested hitting the Farmer’s Market for dinner. I think that he was thinking to pick up some fish tacos. Me, I hit the produce guys and the fresh pasta guy for this riff on a recipe from Cooking Light. And oh, my – it was amazing with our new 2016 Beach Blonde Pinot Grigio!!
Pea and Snap Pea Pasta
6 oz fresh sugar snap peas (get 8 ounces cuz you are going to eat some of them while prepping)
1 C fresh shelled peas
3 T really nice olive oil
Juice and grated lemon peel from one fresh lemon
2 oz shaved Asiago or Parmesan
Salt & Pepper
Radish Microgreens (yep, back in the day we called them “sprouts”)
Lobster ravioli (or other delicate pasta like Pappardelle. It’s vegetarian with plain pasta!!)
This is so dang easy it’s almost embarrassing and the whole thing comes together in the time it takes to cook the pasta.
Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Once boiling, add snap peas and cook until they turn really bright green (1 minute or so – don’t overcook). Remove the snap peas with a slotted spoon and put them in a bowl of cold water to shock them. The drain on paper towels.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook per package instructions. Add the fresh peas during the last 30 seconds.
While pasta is cooking, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. When pasta is done, drain pasta and pea mixture. Add pasta, peas and snap peas to bowl and toss lightly to combine.
Plate pasta and top with shaved cheese and microgreens. Don’t have Asiago or Parm? This also is really nice with Feta.
Fresh, healthy, delicious.
Mrs. Vino’s Riff on Beef Bourguignon – only where’s the beef????
Make & Serve with 2014 Morovno Petite Sirah
Many of you know that Mr. & Mrs. Vino are trying for a more vegetable-forward diet. This has provided some super fun opportunities for Mrs. Vino to play in the kitchen. This riff on Beef Bourguignon uses a Petite Sirah (a Rhone varietal) instead of burgundy and hearty mushrooms instead of beef. And is vegegarian (you will NEVER miss the meat). This is easily converted to a vegan dish by using a slurry of 1 T water and 1 T cornstarch instead of the Beurre Marni to thicken. PS, Beurre Marni was a new technique for me, taught to me by chef Google. But I will totally use it again.
This recipe looks really long – but only because I had fun writing it. Took about 40 minutes total to prepare.
2 large Portobella Mushrooms
1 little blue Styrofoam package of Crimini mushrooms (or Baby Portobellas), sliced
1/2 C. Dried Shiitake mushrooms (I get mine from Costco and it is my new kitchen staple)
1 C. boiling water
½ Onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 C. vegetable broth
1 C. Morovino Petite Sirah
3 T Olive Oil (divided)
2 t. Herbs de Provence
2T Balsamic Vinegar
2 t. Salt
2 t. Pepper
1T Butter, softened
In a large coffee mug or small bowl, rehydrate the dried mushrooms in the boiling water – this will take about 20 minutes. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Remove the stems from the large Portobella mushrooms by breaking them off. Then remove the dark gills by scraping them out with a spoon. Put the mushrooms gill side down on your cutting board and cut the caps into thick slices (like 3/4” thick). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the mushrooms on the baking sheet, drizzle with 1 T of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the mushroom caps 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and using your kitchen tongs, turn the mushrooms over. Return sheet to oven and roast for an additional 15 minutes.
While Portobellas are roasting, heat 1 T of oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and saute until soft (4-5 minutes). Remove the onions and carrots to a small bowl. Add the remaining Tablespoon of olive oil, notch the heat up to medium high and add the sliced Crimini to pan. You don’t need to add more oil – no matter how much oil you add the mushrooms will absorb it. Just keep stirring the mushrooms around so they don’t stick and they will release their own juicy goodness. Saute the mushrooms for 5 ish minutes, until they start to brown.
While mushrooms are sauteing, use the back of a fork to cream together the butter and flour in a small bowl. If you were to then roll it into pea sized balls, you’d have Beurre Marni – great for thickening soups and sauces. Me? Really? Roll into pea sized balls – not likely. Just leave the mixture in the bowl for now.
When the mushrooms have browned, add the Petite Sirah to the pan and deglaze for a minute (aah, I love the sound of a good deglaze). Drain the Shiitakes (reserving the liquid) and add them into the pan with the carrots and onions. Add the vegetable broth and the reserved liquid in which you rehydrated the mushrooms (mushroom broth) to the pan. Reduce heat back to medium. Add the Herbs de Provence and simmer strongly (not quite boil) for 10 minutes until liquid starts to thicken. At this point, your roasted Portobellas are probably ready. Turn the heat off in the oven, but leave them in to keep warm until the sauce is ready.
Back to the Beurre Marni. Instead of rolling it into ridiculous pea sized balls then adding them to the sauce, just use the fork to add the butter/flour mixture to the simmering sauce in small increments – stirring between additions. Continue at a strong simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes until the mixture has thickened. Add Balsamic vinegar. Stir, then add salt and pepper to taste.
I serve Mushrooms du Rhone over a hearty pasta, but it’s also great over polenta, mashed potatoes or a toasted hearty bread. Arrange thusly. Pasta/bread/polenta/potatoes on plate (choose one, not all). Slices of roasted Portobella on top of pasta, or whichever. Spoonfuls of mushroomy sauce atop Portobellas. Top with a sprinkle of chopped parsley for extra credit. Green salad on the side. Serves 4.
Some of you know that my go-to food style is Asian influenced. I love Asian-style cuisine because it’s quick, easy, fresh and pretty healthy. My love of Asian cooking started when I used to get to pick out a restaurant for my birthday dinner – you can read the blog post about that here. And Miso soup is my absolute favorite cold weather comfort food. So I stopped by our local grocery and saw a Miso I wasn’t familiar with (most stores carry Red, Yellow and/or White Miso). The Miso was called Mugi and it is made with aged, fermented barley in addition to soybeans. Well you know Mrs. Vino loves her a new food toy – so I had to take it home and check it out.
So I made my basic Miso Soup recipe to check it out. Mugi is much milder and less salty than Red/White/Yellow Miso. It’s got a really interesting barley-y, malty aroma and slightly sweet flavor. It’s really delicious and I recommend it for a basic miso soup. But it reminded me very much of Guiness Stout (which I love with Salmon) and got the wheels turning for a new recipe.
So here it is: Glazed Salmon in Miso-Stout broth. Mr. Vino loves it. I love it. AND, it’s a great way to use up any Stout beer left over from St. Patrick’s Day!!
Glazed Salmon in Miso-Stout Broth
Serve with Morovino Petite Sirah
4 C. chicken broth
1 Shitake mushroom, remove stem, slice cap thinly on diagonal
1” of ginger, sliced into 4 or 5 coins
3 cloves of garlic, whole, but peeled
pinch of red pepper flake (to taste)
¼ c. rice wine vinegar
¾ c. dark beer, like Stout
6 ounces of soba noodles
2T Mugi Miso (aged, fermented barley and soy beans)
1 Carrot, peeled and sliced thinly on the diagonal
1 rib of celery, sliced thinly on the diagonal
¼ c. shelled edamame
¼ c. Garlic Hoisin Sauce
1 2-lb Salmon or Steelhead filet, skin removed
2 scallions, sliced thinly on the diagonal
In a large saucepan over medium low heat, add the chicken broth, shitake mushroom stem, ginger, garlic, red pepper flake, rice wine vinegar and stout. Let simmer for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place the salmon. Spread the garlic hoisin sauce atop the salmon. Fill a second pot with water and bring to a boil.
Using a slotted spoon, take all the funky, chunky bits out of the broth (garlic, ginger, mushroom). Reduce heat to low. Add in the miso, carrot, mushroom, celery and edamame and let simmer for an additional 10 minutes. While the broth is simmering, add the soba noodles to the boiling water and cook according to package instructions. AND put the salmon in the oven to roast.
When soba is ready, drain well and put a little nest of noodles in the bottom of a pretty bowl. Ladle the broth over the noodles. Cut the salmon into 4 pieces and place a piece atop each nest of noodles. Garnish with sliced scallions. Serve with a green salad or quick-pickled cucumbers.
If you eliminate the Stout and use Yellow or White Miso, this is my standard Miso Soup recipe. You can add tofu and/or whatever fresh veggies you have in the fridge and it’s really delicious.
OH YEAH, if you still have Stout beer left over, use it to make your own whole grain mustard – see the recipe/blog post for it here.
Make and serve this dish with Morovino 2014 Syrah (or not, see directions)!
I love this super easy dish that was adapted from the Hillshire Farm website. Sorry Hillshire Farm, I really like to use Aidells Bacon & Pineapple Sausage with this dish!
1 package Aidells Bacon & Pineapple Sausage (or any smoky sausage that you like), cut diagonally into 1/2” slices
2 T Olive Oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 small head of broccoli, cut into bite sized florets or (1 small package frozen broccoli, thawed)
1 red bell pepper, diced
½ C. mild Roasted Pepper Salsa
½ C. Morovino Syrah
2 t. smoked paprika
2 C. prepared Orzo pasta (you can use rice, but Orzo is faster)
Add olive oil to the bottom of a heavy skillet and heat over medium heat until it starts to shimmer. Add sausage and saute until browned (3ish minutes). Add onion, broccoli and pepper sand saute for 5 minutes until veggies take on color and begin to soften. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute until fragrant (not browned). Add salsa and smoked paprika. Add Syrah (OK, that stings a bit – alternately add ½ c. of other smooth red wine and drink the Syrah while you are cooking). Heat for 4-5 more minutes until sauce thickens. Serve over Orzo pasta and top with shredded Asiago or Parmesan. Yum.
Make Reuben Pizza!
We love our Wine Family. They know we love to cook and we love to eat. So when Tom B. smoked us a Pastrami, we immediately thought about a Reuben Pizza that Linda G. made for us a couple of months ago. It’s not really complicated enough to call a recipe – may be we’ll just call it assembly instructions. But it will definitely be featured in our Superbowl party this year. Enjoy.
Ingredients: Thousand Island Dressing. Canned Sauerkraut. Pastrami. Swiss Cheese. Pizza Crust. PS, if you want to make any of this from scratch – awesome. But sometimes I love/need a pantry supper.
Start with your favorite pizza crust. I’m a fan of the Pizza Dough In a Poppin’ Fresh tube. But this also works really nicely with a premade pizza crust like a Boboli.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees (or whatever temperature is appropriate for your preferred crust).
Top your pizza crust with Thousand Island Dressing. Rinse and Drain the Saurkraut. Scatter the sauerkraut on top of the dressing. Chop the pastrami and scatter on top of the sauerkraut. Top with slices of swiss cheese. Bake until the cheese is melty and bubbly.
See? Easy Peasy. And delicious. Thanks Linda and Tom for the inspiration.