Food Is A Family Affair For Triplet Chefs Of Boulder’s ‘Shine’

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Photo: Boulder triplet chefs Jessica, Jill and Jennifer Emich
Triplet chefs Jessica, Jill and Jennifer Emich run the Boulder restaurant Shine.

Triplet chefs Jessica, Jill and Jennifer Emich grew up in a large Italian family. They say food was the centerpiece of their upbringings, which is what drew them to the food industry later in life. Now they run the popular Boulder restaurant Shine.

The culinary trio released their first cookbook earlier this month. "Eat, Drink, Shine: Inspiration From Our Kitchen" features gluten-free and Paleo recipes, including dishes such as Cauliflower Fried Rice and Decadent Grain-Free Beet Brownies.

The sisters spoke with Colorado Matters host Nathan Heffel.

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Recipes from "Eat, Drink, Shine: Inspiration From Our Kitchen"

Decadent Grain-Free Beet Brownies

Makes one 9-inch square pan 
4 medium beets (to make 1 cup beet puree) 
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
1/4 cup apple juice or water 
1/4 cup coconut oil, plus 
1 tablespoon for greasing the pan 
1 1/2 cups raw cacao powder 
1 cup almond meal 
1 cup almond butter 
3/4 cup raw honey 
1/2 cup maple syrup 
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract (to make your own, see page 171) 
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon sea salt 

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Remove the roots and stems from each beet and scrub them under water to remove any dirt. Put the beets on a large piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with the olive oil, wrap up the beets, and roast them for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until they can be easily pierced with a knife. Remove the beets from the oven to cool and reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

3. When the beets are cool, remove the skins by rubbing each beet with a paper towel or hand towel. The skins should come off easily (although they will stain the towel). Slice the beets into medium-sized pieces. Put the beets into a blender or food processor with the apple juice and puree until smooth. Measure 1 cup of beet puree for the brownies (see Tip). 

4. Melt 1/4 cup of the coconut oil and then pour it into a large mixing bowl. Add the cacao, almond meal, almond butter, honey, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Mix well with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are completely incorporated. 

5. Grease a 9 °— 9-inch brownie pan with the remaining 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 50 minutes. The brownies are done when a knife, fork, or toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. 

6. Let the brownies cool for 20 minutes before slicing and serving. Transfer the brownies to an airtight container for storage. They keep well at room temperature for up to 4 days. 

TIP If you have more than 4 beets in the bunch and want to roast them all, roasted beets are excellent sliced and tossed in red wine vinegar or orange juice. Serve them hot or cold in salads or as a side.

Photo: Eat Drink Shine cookbook, cauliflower fried riceCauliflower Rice

A Paleo alternative to rice, this has a very similar texture and holds juices and flavors really well. We love serving it with roasted veggies or as a side dish to any protein, with eggs, or anywhere else you would use rice. 

Makes 2 cups 
1 head cauliflower, outer leaves removed 
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or butter Sea salt to taste

1. Using your hands, break apart the cauliflower into large florets. Chop the core into smaller pieces. 

2. Working in two or three batches, process the cauliflower for 30 seconds, stopping to mix in the larger pieces. Continue for 2 to 3 minutes until the cauliflower resembles small pieces of rice. Repeat with the remaining batches. At this point, the rice can be eaten raw (see Tip), or proceed with the cooking instructions below. 

3. Place a large pan over medium heat. Add the coconut oil and sauté the cauliflower rice for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring frequently, until the rice is softened and cooked through. 

4. Stir in salt to taste and serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

TIP: Add raw cauliflower rice to salads and soups for additional crunch.

Photo: Eat Drink Shine cookbook, Dad's sauce and meatballsDad's Pot of Sauce With Meatballs

Whenever we go back home to New Jersey, this is what Dad prepares on our first night. The scent of this sauce is home to us; it is hearty, healing, and nourishing and represents family, love, indulgence, and our Jersey Italian heritage. We enjoy opening a nice bottle of red wine, settling back in with our brother and parents, and catching up on each other’s lives. Now watching the kids devour the sauce and meatballs feels full circle. Home really is where the heart is. Thanks for this one, Dad. 

Serves 4 to 6 
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
1 medium onion, chopped 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped 
3 cloves garlic, minced 
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes 
1 (16-ounce) can crushed tomatoes 
2 teaspoons dried oregano 
Sea salt to taste 
1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms 
2 tablespoons tomato paste 
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil 

1. Heat a large saucepan to medium-high and add the olive oil. Add the onion and pepper, lower the heat to medium, and sauté for 8 minutes, until the onion begins to turn translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, stirring frequently. 

2. Stir in the diced and crushed tomatoes, the oregano, and salt. Let simmer for approximately 15 minutes. 

3. Add the mushrooms and the tomato paste to the pot. Cover and cook for another 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

4. Add the meatballs, cover the pot, and continue to cook for another 30 minutes. Add the fresh basil 10 minutes before you plan on serving the sauce. 

TIP: Both the sauce and the meatballs can be made in bigger batches and kept frozen. You can freeze the meatballs right along with the sauce and heat them back up together in a pot over medium heat.

Makes approximately 10 meatballs 
1 pound grass-fed ground beef (we prefer 85% lean for juiciness) 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1⁄3 cup fresh parsley, chopped 
1⁄3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese 
1⁄3 cup ground flax seeds 
1 large egg 
1 teaspoon sea salt 
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, garlic, parsley, Romano, flax, egg, and salt,using your hands to mix all the ingredients together. 

2. Form the ground beef mixture into approximately 10 meatballs, allowing about 2 heaping tablespoons for each. 

3. Heat a large sauté pan to medium-high. Add the olive oil. Sauté the meatballs on all sides to brown them evenly, about 8-10 minutes total. 

4. Add the meatballs to pot of sauce and cook for another 30 minutes, as described in step 4 of recipe above (see Tip). 

TIP: The meatballs will still be undercooked when you add them to the sauce. They will finish cooking in the sauce. If you are making them without the sauce, finish by baking the meatballs in a preheated 375°F oven for another 15 minutes.

Reprinted from EAT, DRINK, SHINE: INSPIRATION FROM OUR KITCHEN by Jessica, Jennifer and Jill Emich. Copyright © 2016 by Jessica, Jennifer and Jill Emich. Reprinted by permission of Kyle Books.