Annie Eats Clean

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Walla Walla Breakfast Hash

Annie makes the best breakfast. She usually will mix things together that sound too healthy, yet it comes out wonderful and flavorful. This recipe is simple, easy and a must try.  You can find fresh baby Walla Walla onions at your local farmer’s market.

  • 8-10 small red potatoes, diced into small 1/2 inch pieces 
  • 2 Uncooked bacon, chopped up into small pieces 
  • 2 baby Walla Walla sweet onions, diced, including green part
  • 1/2 pound of stalks of asparagus, chopped 1/4 inches 
  • 3-4 stalks of chard, sliced 
  • Salt and pepper, and/or other desired seasoning 
  • 1-2 Tblsp of olive oil
  • Cheese, Annie used Manchengo sheep cheese 
  • Eggs, poached or scrambled

What you’ll need to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a cast iron skillet (12-inch,) put potatoes, bacon, asparagus, onions and seasoning into the pan. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and give it a quick stir.
  2. Place into hot oven and bake for 45 minutes.  Bump up to 450 degrees the last 5-10 minutes.
  3. Slice up chard and set aside.
  4. Poach or scramble desired amount of egg.
  5. When potato is done, place a spoonful on top of the uncooked chard, add a slice of cheese (or shredded) and top with the eggs.

The bacon grease will help the onion and potatoes brown and caramelize. This dish is another reason why you are missing out if you don’t have a cast iron skillet. Let us know what you think! I’m planning on making this for my husband this weekend.

Good Morning Fruit Salad

  • 1 lb strawberries, washed and quartered
  • 1 pint blueberries, washed and picked through
  • 2 bananas, peeled and cubed to whatever size you like
  • 1/4 fresh pineapple, cubed
  • 1 orange, cut it how you like, but I like to peel and slice out the meat, then squeeze the juice out from the body that is left over.
  • 2-3 Tbl unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup-1 cup whole coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup raw walnuts, chopped
  • 1 Tbls raw honey

Mix together and serve.  Make sure to enjoy every last drop.

All fruits in this salad was from Freggies - Fruit and Veggies Delivery. 

Fennel Salt Beef Stew

Fennel Salt Beef Stew
Makes 4-6 servings

What you’ll need:
3 Tbls Fennel Seed
3 Tbls kosher salt or course seat salt
2-3lbs stew meat, cut into smaller cubes
2 leeks
3-4 Tbls coconut oil
1/2 bottle white wine
6-8 cups chicken stock
6 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/2 cup celery leaves and soft stalks, sliced thin
4-5 red potatoes, 1-inch cubes
1 large Granny Smith apple, 1-inch cubes
3 medium carrots, 1-inch cubes

  1. To roast the fennel seed, sprinkle onto a rimmed baking sheet and roast in a 375 oven for 10-12 min. Grind the roasted fennel with the salt in a spice grinder (or clean out your coffee grinder, by using rice….grind the rice, discard, wipe out the grinder, then proceed with grinding your fennel and salt).
  2. Lower oven heat to 325 degrees.
  3. To prepare your meat, cut into 1-inch cubes and toss in 2-3 Tbls of the fennel salt (save the rest for pork or steak night.) Toss black pepper in the meat as well.
  4. Heat your coconut oil in your dutch oven and brown the meat, remove and set aside before it is fully cooked through.
  5. To clean and chop your leeks, you will cut off the ends and stalks (the dark green) from the leek, slice down the middle so you have two halves. Wash the sand from the folds of the leek and then chop into half moons about 1/2-1 inch in size. Add to the pan with the oil and meat drippings. Cook at medium heat until translucent, add your beef back in.
  6. Turn up the heat to medium-high and immediately add the white wine, chicken stock, smashed garlic cloves and the celery (use the soft stalks and leaves in the center of the celery bunch.)
  7. Place in your heated oven with lid on. Cook for 3 hours.
  8. After 3 hours, add you cubed potatoes, apples, and carrots. Place back in oven with lid on, turning heat up to 350 degrees and cook for 1 hour. If your meat and potatoes are 2-inch cubes or bigger, cook for 1.5 hours.

Meaty Eggplant Lasagna

This recipe is allergy friendly. You will not loose any flavor if you omit the cheese since the garlic-red pepper infusion holds enough flavor by itself.

Meaty Eggplant No-Noodle Lasagna
Serves 6-8 

What you’ll need:
1/2 cup olive oil
6-8 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 Tbl crushed red pepper
1 eggplant, sliced thinly
1 onion, chopped small
1.5 lbs of ground grass-fed beef
1.5 cups frozen spinach
16-20 oz ricotta cheese, whole milk
16 oz whole milk mozzarella, shredded
4-5 medium carrots, peeled & thinly sliced
2-28 oz cans of diced tomatoes, drained
2 yellow peppers, sliced thinly in rounds

  1. Slice eggplant thinly, lay rounds on a towel and lightly salt each side, this will remove all the water in the eggplant. Let sit while you prepare all the other lasagna layers.
  2. Heat the olive oil over med-low for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper, simmer for another 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan and store in a bowl, set aside.
  3. In a sauce pan, add the drained tomatoes and 2-3 Tbl of oil/garlic/crushed red pepper mix. Bring to a slight boil and then lower to a warm simmer. Let cook for 15 minutes then remove from heat.
  4. Saute onion in a little olive oil until it starts to brown.  Add your beef, as well as add 2-3 Tbls of the oil/garlic/crushed red pepper mix.  Cook until beef is brown, but not fully cooked through. When done, remove from pan and set aside in a bowl.
  5. Next, saute your thinly sliced carrots in your beef drippings. Cook over medium heat until your carrots are just barely translucent. Remove and set aside in a bowl.
  6. In a clean bow, mix ricotta, frozen spinach and 2-3 Tbl of the oil/garlic/crushed red pepper mix and set aside.
  7. Shred mozzarella and slice yellow peppers. If you are using any other fast cooking veggies (mushrooms, zucchini, fresh spinach leaves, etc,) chop those.
  8. Lastly, pat dry and remove any excess salt on the eggplant.
  9. To assemble — Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I used my dutch oven, but a 9x13 Pyrex will work fine. To begin layering, start with a small layer of tomato sauce on the bottom, eggplant “noodles”, beef, carrots, peppers, little mountains of ricotta, more sauce, and finish with mozzarella… repeat. 
  10. Bake with lid or tin foil on for 50 minutes. Turn up heat to 375 degrees, remove lid and cook for 10 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before digging in.

Garnish the finished lasagna with Annie’s Basil Walnut Pesto, if desired.

Photo credit: Cookography

Simple Salmon

We were snowed in this weekend, with a view of the mountains outside every window. There were snow shoes sitting by the door, a fire going in the corner of the living room and amazing smells coming from the stove.  We experienced the best of Winthrop.

Winthrop is a quaint little western town on the north edge of Washington and the food and coffee there is amazing.  We somehow managed to eat and play at the perfect places for four girls from Seattle.  The Wesola Polana Diner was playing Bon Iver while we had breakfast with the cross country skiers.  When we weren’t wine tasting at the Lost River tasting room, or walking around town, Annie was usually in the kitchen or on the couch reading Nourishing Traditions.  Another gal was retreating from the usual five kids she has at home with just one of the (6 month old) twins who came along.  Annie’s sister laughed and made jokes.  And I was sat at my computer, laughing at the jokes and trying to figure out how to describe this beautiful salmon.  I still don’t have the words for it.  It was that good.  

Simple Salmon
Serves 4-6

What you’ll need:
1 filet of salmon
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp of salt 
1/2 tsp of pepper
3 lemons
1/4 cup white wine 
1 medium onion 
1 bulb of a fennel 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Make a boat out of foil to fit your salmon on.  Stack two sheets (the length of the filet) of tin foil on top of each other.  Fold up the sides, folded twice making a 1-inch rim.  Do this on all four sides and fold the corners so juices will not leak out.  Place the boat on a cookie sheet or sheet pan and put the salmon in it.
  3. Fan chop onions and fennel bulb (see video for how to “fan chop.”)  If you haven’t used fennel before, it’s like an onion that has long stems and has a hint of licorice flavor.  We got ours from Freggies and it was fresh and beautiful.
  4. Brown butter in a saucepan on med-high and throw in chopped fennel and onion.  Add a sprinkle of salt, slightly caramelize and turn down to low.  
  5. To make the paste: Put zest of 3 lemons, honey, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix together.  Put paste on the top of the salmon filet with a spatula.
  6. Snuggle the fish (picture below) with caramelized onions and fennel.   
  7. Add 1/4 cup of white wine and 1/4 cup of water to the foil boat. Pop in the oven at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

How to fan an onion

A Love Letter From Annie’s Husband

I love you, Annie. I love that you eat clean. I love that I get to be your valentine everyday of the year. I love that I get to be the one with whom you experiment recipes.

I am loved by you day after day as you put your heart and soul into meal planning, cooking, and serving amazing grub. I am loved when I request my favorite meatloaf and you create it new every time.  I am loved when you get up every morning and make me a healthy breakfast before I head to work.

I am blessed to have you as my wife.  I know that there are only a few women with the skill, desire, and passion to serve their families at home the way you do. You are perfect for me and I am amazingly blessed to have you. Thank you, baby, for being so generous and selfless in loving your family. 

Your husband, Aaron

Basil Walnut Pesto

The first time Annie brought over a small mason jar of this pesto, it sadly sat in my fridge for a while.  Why?  Because I didn’t know how to use it.  Then one time, she made eggs with this pesto, and I just about lost my mind.  I’ve also seen her put this pesto mixed into salads and pasta dishes.  Now, whenever she has some of this at her house, I just help myself and eat it by the spoonful - which I’m sure grosses her out.

Basil Walnut Pesto
Makes about 6-8 ounces 

What you’ll need:
4 ounces of basil, remove leaves from stems and wash leaves thoroughly
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
1/3 cup whole raw walnuts
3-4 garlic cloves, smashed
1-2 cups olive oil or grape seed oil
A food processor to get the best results, but a blender will work fine too.

  1. Fill a food processor or a blender with the basil leaves, Parmesan, walnuts, and 1/2 cup of the oil.  Pulse 10 times, 15 sec on each pulse.  When the mixture is well blended, switch to ON and add garlic through the feed tube, one at a time.  Then in a slow stream add 1 cup oil.  If pesto looks pasty and clumpy, you can add more oil if you want. 
  2. Freezes well (I recommend storing in one cup containers).  Pesto can also be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks in a well sealed container.

Suggested uses: Pesto eggs, spread on the eggplant pizza crust, mix with real mayo and use as a dressing for BLT salad (one of my favorites).

For the love of food

I met Annie in 2009.  She was hosting some people at her house and as soon as I walked in her house and shook her hand, I was intimidated.  She was scary.  And we immediately became good friends.

The most momentous things I remember from those first couple months is when she started feeding me.  I started eating hearty soups out of beautiful white bowls, collard greens that melted in my mouth and rosemary bread.  She taught me how to run a loaf of rosemary bread under running water and stick it in the oven to heat it up, making the outside crispy and the inside soft.  She would bring over a small jar of homemade pesto and showed me how to eat salmon patties with grilled onions and red peppers.  She showed me that there were hidden gems at Grocery Outlet, a place where I was too proud to shop for some illegitimate reason.  She was the first to ever give me Manchego cheese… something my husband will always be thankful for.  She introduced me to real food.

I started loving food.  Not the same way that I loved McDonalds and Old Country Buffets (which was for satisfaction of cravings and the unlimited amount of food consumed in gluttony,) but in a completely different way.  The method of cooking, especially in a dutch oven or a cast iron skillet caught my attention.  I was convinced that food tasted better when cooked in cast iron.  And for the first time, I learned what a Le Creuset was - the Tiffany’s of all dutch ovens.

Food is so much more than nutrients.  Food is so much more than getting your cravings fulfilled.  Food is love and a gift, and when used correctly can bless the socks off of someone else.

"Shake the hand that feeds you."
― Michael PollanIn Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto

Or hug ‘em.  Either one.

Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock
Makes about 8 cups


  • 1-2 chicken carcasses (use organs too if you have it)
  • 4-6 quarts of water
  • 1 onion, rough chopped
  • 3 carrots, rough chopped, no need to peel them
  • 3 stalks of celery, use whole celery or just tips and ends if you want to use the stalk for something else.
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, smash them with big blade, no need to chop or peel
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1-2 Tbsp of turmeric

What you need to do:

  1. Fill up a big stock pot with 4-6 quarts of water (1 carcass.) If using >6 quarts of water, make sure to use 2 carcasses. Throw in the carcasses, mirepoix (celery, carrots, onion) and the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Bring to boil, turn it to simmer (keep lid off) for 8-12 hours.  No need to stir.
  3. If using immediately, strain and use. Otherwise, put pot in fridge and let it cool overnight.  Strain when it’s cool.
  4. Do not salt your chicken stock.  Save the salt and peppering for when you’re making soup.

Since this chicken broth is concentrated, Annie will use 1:1 part of chicken stock to water when making soups.  Play with the ratio as your preference may change depending on the recipe.

This is also good stock for boiling more chicken to use in curries or pot pie dishes.

Photo credit: The Miracle of Mirepoix