Summer Bounty- Recipes for Summer (No Cook, Low Cook Seasonal)

Summer is here and the fruits are starting to pour in! It is berry season and for those of us who love fresh, organic produce, this means we have some extra choices in our produce selection. Extra choices are not limited to berries, as your local farmers market will start pouring in various delicious treats from all over your region such as peaches, yellow squash, microgreens and much more! Summer is a feast of delicious colors on our plate and on our grill (yum!). With it being a “fruit season”, I wanted to offer some great summer treat ideas that can be thrown together.  Now don’t live on fruit, (although it is tempting!) and be sure to get plenty of vegetables too.. but here are some easy ideas to use some of these seasonal favorites in compliant ways.  I have included low sugar fruits (apples, berries and citrus) and also included some higher sugar fruits.  Remember that the higher sugar fruits should be used “wisely” and in moderation.  If you do not do well with more carbohydrates/fructose (fructose is usually limited on an AIP diet but not specified for the Wahl’s diet) then limit yours.  For those who do well with a little more carbs in their diet, this is a great way to incorporate some of the nutrition that this season has to offer.  To balance the sugar from the higher sugar fruits, make sure you combine them with sources of potassium (like coconut water), mineral salts (like greens or celery), some protein (like on the side of a main dish), and some healthy fats (like avocado) for best metabolism.   You can also incorporate things like cinnamon and enzymes to aide in sugar metabolism (1, 2)  For more information on how to balance macronutrients to control blood sugar, be sure to check out the sources at the bottom of the page.  The links provided for your convenience may be affiliate links, for my full disclosure policy please click here.  These are varying theories/sources on ways to impact sugar metabolism and may be helpful in your journey.

But in the meantime, let’s get “cookin”. Seeing as how most of these recipes are “no cook” that is purely a form of speech.

Moroccan Side Salad.

This salad was introduced to me by a Norwegian family.  I found the unique flavors such an interesting mix of flavors.  There were no measurements given but the mother of the family usually just made a small (meaning large cereal bowl) portion and we all took a scoop.  She simply sliced the carrots, chopped the parsley into larger bite sized pieces and segmented the orange and served.  I like to squeeze a bit of the juice over the parsley and I suppose you could massage the leaves to let the acid break down the greens but she never did and I never complained.  It is really a quick delicious side dish and may be a great way to get kids to eat some veges (if you can get them to try something new!).

Berry Compote with Coconut Cream.

I love that this has  such a fancy name but is so simple.   This simply needs to be heated but could also be served fresh.  Let me explain:  If you heat berries they call it a compote. If you leave them fresh it is still delicious. I once had a restaurant serve me a glass of fresh mixed berries in a large wine glass with homemade whipped cream on top.  I loved it.  So If you want to get fancy with a wine glass or even a martini glass, go for it! I serve this cold when its hot outside and warm when it is cold outside. I simply top it with Coconut Cream (look for no added ingredients) and if needed, add a bit of stevia extract or a teaspoon of honey to the cream. When in season, the berries should be sweet enough to not need a sweetener, in my humble opinion.

Banana “splits”.

I make my own coconut yogurt. I simply blend a can of full fat coconut milk in the blender.  I can add collagen protein to it to thicken or you could even add some arrowroot or tapioca starch to thicken if that is all you have.  I then put it in the fridge and most brands will stay blended and have a yogurt-like consistency.  I then take it out (usually the next morning or end of the night) and top it with things like sliced banana, fresh berrries, raisins, nuts (aip reintro), cacao nibs (aip reintro), carob chips, or anything else that may sound good. I treat it like icecream and make it into a “sundae”… its a great summer treat for kids.. or just the kid in you! You can add a little honey or stevia extract when you blend or when you top it out.. you can also add a probiotic for added good bacteria.  There are several recipes on the web for how to ferment it if you choose to put more time and effort into it.. but I usually stop at adding a probiotic and some collagen. I like to Keep It Simple, Silly:)

Apple “Cookies”

This one was not my idea but i truly think it is brilliant.  For the original idea from paleoeatsandtreats ciick here.  But for the AIP version, you will simply slice apples and top with coconut butter or alternate puree (such as applesauce, pumpkin butter, tigernut butter, or even smashed bananas or date-caramel sauce).  Then sprinkle with any dried fruit, carob chips, maybe some seasoning like cinnamon or vanilla, coconut flakes or anything you have around.  In the summer, I would dry some berries or even tropical fruit in the summer and in the winter, i would use things like raisins.  You could also switch out the coconut butter for some sweetened pumpkin puree for an Autumn Treat:) (yum!).

Pineapple Salsa

This nightshade free “salsa” doesn’t really need a recipe as you can’t really mess it up. You could also make this with mango if you wish.  Simply chop up fresh pineapple and mix with red onion, lime juice, sea salt and some minced radishes (optional- added spice!).  I would also add some chopped cilantro and pulse in the food processor until it is able to be dipped with some plantain chips.  This can be a fabulous snack alongside some AIP guacamole or topped on a taco salad or cauliflower-rice based taco bowl.  If you really want to feel indulgent, try topping some AIP tacos using this wrap as your burrito.

Fruit Salad

This is always a good stand-by and you can never go wrong with fruit salad.  You already know how to make this (chop a bunch of things and put them together in a bowl, remember?) but I wanted to include it because we tend to forget about the simple things we used to make that were healthy even though they were a part of an unhealthy leg of our life journey.  Although in the past we may have added sugar or some other sweetener, I assure you that was unneccessary and it will taste wonderful with nothing added.

These recipes should keep you busy for at “least” a week.. I hope they help you celebrate the summer bounty in a healthy and fun way.  If you like this post, feel free to sign up for my newsletter at the top of the page  Please Share this recipe to any group or person you think may enjoy it.  Sharing is Caring.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me via the Contact page; I love hearing from my readers.

Resources mentioned above.

  1. Medical Medium
  2. Enter the Zone

Summer Grill and Party Menu Ideas: A Recipe Round-UP

Summer celebrations are here and it is time to grill!  Memorial day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Saturday, Sunday, everyday…It’s time to eat! First let’s set a menu.  We know there are going to be meats galore.. because that is how American’s celebrate! Right? First thing is first.. for your convenience, this post may contain affiliate links.  To read my full disclosure policy click here.

Summer nights are for grilling.. AIP menu ideasMain dish ideas:

  • Burgers- see my sliders post for inspiration for toppings! (and a sweet potato “bun”)
  • Shish Kabobs
  • Pork Shoulder
  • Ribs- Pork or Beef Short Ribs- Rub them down with garlic, lemon and herbs!
  • Steaks
  • Chicken Legs
  • Crawfish or Shrimp (Check out this AIP friendly shrimp boil recipe from Autoimmune Odyssey! Note: She uses black peppercorns which are an AIP reintro.  Omit these for AIP and consider onlon powder instead)
  • For spice blend ideas, the best source I have seen are in this recipe book here. (Honestly its the best cook book EVER! It will blow you away!)

BBQ is synonymous with 4th of July and it is definitely time to fire up the grill! (Make sure to make extra as part of your weekly batch cooking! Meat freezes also– hello, easy and delicious meals of my future!) To make this feel like an extra special BBQ day, try this AIP friendly BBQ sauce from Enjoying This Journey.  You can also buy this pre-made AIP friendly BBQ sauce.

Side DishesSide dishes (and more) for summer grill days!

  • Cole Slaw– use apple cider vinegar and oil, with a bit of sea salt and honey to season.
  • Apple Slaw– Same dressing as above but shred an apple with your cabbage.
  • No-tato Salad
    • There is a great paleo version of german potato salad over at Fast Paleo (click here to see the original)  But it is not AIP.  However it can be made AIP using these changes:
    • Ingredients
      • 6 Slices Bacon
      • 1/2 c. Yellow Onion, Chopped
      • 1/2 c. Coconut Vinegar
      • 1/2 c. Water
      • 1/4-1/3 c. extra ilght virgin olive oil (see notes)
      • 1/8 tsp. Stevia Extract or 1 tbsp honey
      • Celtic Sea Salt
      • Onion Powder
      Directions
      • Dressing: In a skillet, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove bacon and set aside. Pour bacon grease into glass Pyrex measuring cup.
      • Add onions to skillet along with a couple tablespoons of bacon grease and cook on medium high heat until browned and translucent.
      • To the cooked onions add the vinegar and water to deglaze the pan.
      • Add enough olive oil to the bacon grease to equal 1/2 c. and then add to the onion, vinegar, water mixture.
      • Whisk in stevia as well as salt and onion powder to taste.*
      • Crumble bacon and add to dressing.
      • Store refrigerated in glass jar or container. Reheat as necessary.
      • Salad: There’s really nothing to it, clean, chop and steam up a head of cauliflower, add as much Hot Bacon Dressing as you desire and garnish with some fresh or dried chives.

      *Changes made to some parts to make the recipe AIP.  Content taken from Fast Paleo (link above to original) There are several faux-tato salad recipes on Pinterest, but many need to be slightly altered to make them AIP.

  • Sweet Potato Fries (or any root vegetables: parsnips, turnips, carrots, etc.
  • Broccoli Salad.  Here is an AIP version from Adventures in Partaking.
  • AIP Caesar Salad (see Dressing Recipe Link Below).  Use these Pork Clouds for croutons.

Great condiments.

Condiments and Sauces make everything better!

Summer Grill out menu ideas

Snacks and Appetizer ideas

  • Plantain chips and Guacamole– omit the nightshades and add exttra lime juice and cilantro!
  • Pineapple Salsa– Pineapple, red onion and radishes mixed with avocado and lime juice. Mince finely and serve with plantain chips!
  • Grilled Veggie Kabobs– Onion and Pineapple with Ham with Coconut Aminos.

And of course, no celebration is complete without ….

4th of july menu

Dessert

  • Raspberry Coconut Popsicles from Pure and Simple Nourishment
  • Mango Popsicles (use the same recipe but switch the fruit!)
  • Egg Free Coconut Cookies (Ice cream sandwiches, anyone?) from Almost Autism
  • Nice cream: Here is a recipe from Diet Hood using blueberries.  But the blueberries can be subbed for other fruit like mango or strawberry.  You can also use just the banana and add things like Coconut cream or vanilla, apple sauce and cinnamon, or carob and mint extract.
  • Sorbet. Freeze fruit (maybe watermelon?) and stick it in the food processor to make it smooth.

 

 

 

 

Cauliflower 7 ways: A Cauliflower Recipe Round-UP for AIP

[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ admin_label=”section”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text”]

In the Paleo world, cauliflower is king. I can’t speak for everyone, but this vegetable went from highly underrated to a weekly staple in my house; replacing rice and potato dishes that I didn’t even know I would miss.  Anyone who has been paying attention or reading this blog knows that I love me some cauliflower rice.  But I also love some mashed cauliflower: it is a serious comfort food that visits my dish when I am cold, tired, and want something delicious and warm.  So I have dedicated this article to this wondrous vegetable: I have included 4 pilaf recipes and 2 mashed cauliflower instructions (just in case you have never tried this before!).  In addition, I have included some links to instructions for freezing your cauliflower rice ahead of time to make weeknight dinners even easier! I also included a breakfast idea for a yummy bowl of comfort any time of day! That is 7 recipes and a batch cooking life-hack! Enjoy! I know I will….

For your convenience, I have included some affiliate links to help you locate items when necessary.  For my full disclosure policy, click here.

Lemon Caper Dill Cauliflower Rice Pilaf

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, riced. This is about 3 cups riced if you are using a pre-riced cauliflower. I did not measure exactly.
  • the juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of capers. In order to avoid a vinegar that is derived from corn or wheat, try these salt-packed capers.  They will re-hydrate in the lemon juice.
  • 1/4 cup of chopped, fresh dill.
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 cup of chopped leeks, bulb only (the white part). You could use onions, but I have not tried this and would probably start with 1/4 cup as they have a stronger taste.
  • Olive oil, about 2 to 4 tablespoons.
  • Optional: 1/4 cup bone broth

Directions:

Heat olive oil over medium heat, adding chopped leeks and minced garlic, heating until leeks are tender and stirring as needed to keep from burning or sticking.

Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the dill and the bone broth.  If more liquid is needed, then add the bone broth slowly.  You may or may not use all the bone broth or you may use none, depending on your skillet and how much liquid is needed or not needed.  Turn down low or medium low and let it steam until the capers and the cauliflower are moist but not mushy, about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally during this time to ensure that the moisture is evenly distributed.  Add fresh dill and fold into the hot “pilaf”, letting the steam wilt the green fronds.  Serve immediately.

This also good left over the next day, reheated or served cold as a salad or side. I suggest serving this with fish such as salmon or Mahi.  Asparagus is a natural addition to this meal.

For Scallopini Cauliflower Rice Pilaf, use the same recipe as above, replacing the fresh dill with fresh thyme and adding it with the rest of the ingredients if desired. Chicken is a suggested accompaniment with this dish.  An arugula salad is also a natural addition to this pairing.

LEMON DILL CAPER CAULIFLOWER RICE AIP

 Garlic and Herb Cauliflower Rice Pilaf

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, riced. This is about 3 cups riced if you are using a pre-riced cauliflower. I did not measure exactly.
  • 1 cup chopped, fresh,  mixed herbs: I suggest any combination of basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme.
  • 5 cloves of minced garlic
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 cup of chopped leeks, bulb only (the white part). You could use onions, but I have not tried this and would probably start with 1/4 cup as they have a stronger taste.
  • Olive oil, about 2 to 4 tablespoons.
  • Optional: 1/4 cup bone broth

Directions

Heat olive oil over medium heat, adding chopped leeks and minced garlic, heating until leeks are tender and stirring as needed to keep from burning or sticking.

Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the bone broth.  If more liquid is needed, then add the bone broth slowly.  You may or may not use all the bone broth or you may use none, depending on your skillet and how much liquid is required or not.  You do not want excess moisture.

Turn down low or medium low and let it steam about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir occasionally during this time to ensure that the moisture is evenly distributed and that none more is needed.

This also good left over the next day, reheated or served cold as a salad or side. I suggest serving this with chicken or pork.  This pairing lends itself to some hearty greens such as spinach, collars or kale as an additional side dish.

 Lime-Cilantro Cauliflower Rice Pilaf

Cauliflower Rice with pulled pork carnitas- AIP

Ingredients

  • Raw Cauliflower– 1 cup per person or 2 cups, measured in chunks
  • Cilantro, Fresh.  I suggest about a cup, but you may add according to your tastes.
  • 1 lime,
  • A lime zester
  • A food processor
  • A pinch of Sea Salt
  • 1-2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Cooking fat.  I suggest coconut oil.

Directions

Chop the cauliflower into chunks that are manageable for a food processor and add the vegetable chunks to the processor.  Turn the processor on and let it mince the cauliflower until it has a rice or couscous like texture.

Chop the cilantro by hand and reserve.

Heat the oil over medium to medium low and add the cauliflower, stirring and folding so as to evenly heat.

Add garlic and fold again.

Zest the lime over the mixture and fold that into the mix.

The cauliflower will absorb much of the fat, so you may find you need to add more fat, a little broth, or some water, being careful not to use enough liquid to make it “soupy”.

Add the cilantro and sea salt.  Fold  the mixture to mix thoroughly and serve immediately.

Suggested pairings: This side dish is great with pulled pork but is also good with fish. It makes a great addition to Mexican-inspired dishes such as carnitas or “taco” salads or as a substitute for rice in a Mexican “rice” bowl.

Also, if you haven’t tried my Asian Cauliflower Rice yet, then click here for the recipe.  It is truly my favorite one!

Mashed “Caulitatoes”

Steam desired cauliflower with a few cloves of garlic (I suggest 2 cloves per half a head of cauliflower) and add vegetables to the food processor after cooking  completely.  While food processor has been turned on, add olive oil, sea salt and additional herbs, being careful not to over-do it on the olive oil so as to avoid your “Caulitatoes” being too thin.  I like to add about 1 to 2 tablespoons for each 1/2 head of cauliflower.

Option: add some fresh or dried herbs to the food processor to add a “zest” or create a garlic and herb mash.


“Loaded” Caulitatoes.

Using the recipe above, replace the olive oil with bacon grease.  After mixing, top with crumbled bacon, sautéed onions, mushrooms and other vegetables of choice.

And more…

As promised, here is a great link to a batch cooking hack: This post by The Pinning Mama is a great way to know how to prep your “rice” ahead of time.  While her Mexican cauli-rice is not AIP compliant (includes re-introductions), her roasted cauli-rice is compliant IF you omit the black pepper (maybe replace it with some oregano or tarragon?).  The Indian cauli-rice also includes some re-introductions but could be altered if you are confident in your ability to do that.

I hear from others that you can buy cauliflower rice already “riced” and frozen from Trader Joe’s.  But if you do not have a Trader Joe’s or if, like me, yours does not carry this convenience, you can always create your own via this life-hack.  It is usually less expensive, also, to process your own vegetables and would be a great idea to do when you find cauliflower on sale for a great price.

For those tempted to rice and then refrigerate, I caution you against this.  Cauliflower has a tendency to mold.  Usually the mold is limited to the outside and can be cut off before using so as not to waste food unnecessarily.  “Riced” cauliflower has a lot of “outsides” and will mean having to throw away the entire bag if it is not frozen.

Also, I wanted to give a shout out to this recipe by Grass Fed Salsa.  Her picture makes me want to make a giant bowl of this “breakfast” for all 3 meals of my day.  It truly points out the comfort food status of this modern classic. Simply sub carrots  for the mushrooms and omit the coconut aminos and yeast if you cannot tolerate yeasts, fungi or ferments for any reason. Otherwise, enjoy this simple feast.


If you like this content and would like to receive updates, offers and recipes directly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter at the top of the page. Feel free to contact me directly or leave a comment in the box below; I love hearing from my readers!

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

 

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Gut Healing Protein Bars- Key Lime and Lemon Cookie

Key LIme and Lemon Cookie flavored gut healing protein bars
Key Lime and Lemon Cookie flavored gut healing protein bars

So apparently there is this big debate as to whether or not vanilla is considered AIP: but this post from Sarah Ballantyne, also known as the paleomom, and author of “The” book om the autoimmune protocol says it is not. I tend to be a bit legalistic and really wanted to do things “by the book” this time around.  As a result, I found some variations on the AIP collagen bars that I actually like much better than the original recipe, (each to his own, eh?) which is vanilla and referred to as “cake batter” flavored.  I took a recipe that I was introduced to while at an AIP group meeting and remade them into other “flavors” to both avoid vanilla and in an effort to make things a little more exciting for me. For the original recipe, click here.  But if you prefer things to be a little less “vanilla” then keep reading!

As a result of some experimentation, I came up with these 2 recipes as a definitely compliant alternative. I love that in the recipe, the proteins and carbohydrates are naturally balanced and it has a healthy dose of good fats.  It has collagen, which is great for gut health and joints.  It is also full of healthy coconut fat that is also good for gut, and much more!  For your convenience, I have included some affiliate links to help you locate some items.  For my full disclosure policy, click here.

I love the textture of these, they are soft but not mushy, firm but not brittle!
I love the texture of these, they are soft but not mushy, firm but not brittle!

“Key-Lime” Collagen bars

Ingredients

  • Coconut butter – 1/2 cup
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbs. grass-fed collagen protein, also known as collagen hydrolyse – (not gelatin).  This brand is what I used and this brand is also highly recommended.
  • Honey – 1 tbsp
  • Coconut oil – 1 tbsp.
  • Pinch of salt
  • zest of one lime.
  • juice of one lime

melt the coconut butter by placing the jar in very hot water for a few minutes until it is able to be stirred easily and poured into a measuring cup. Add this to a bowl, followed by the collagen powder. mix thoroughly, then add honey and mix thoroughly again.  Add the coconut oil, either melted or slightly soft,  and mix that in thoroughly as well. Zest the lime then mix again.  Follow with the lime juice last, again mixing until it is well blended.

Take the batter and move it to a parchment paper lined baking dish and form it with your hands until it is a large, flat square.  Score the square and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or until the ingredients have reached solidity again. Cut all the way through and enjoy.  Makes about 3 servings.

This recipe makes a more tart, lime-y bar but for a more sweet version, you could increase the honey content.

These are perfect for tea time or just an afternoon/midnight snack!
These are perfect for tea time or just an afternoon/midnight snack!

For “Lemon Cookie” collagen bars, follow the same recipe as above, replacing the lime for lemon.

I am so happy with this recipe, that I have decided I am going to develop multiple flavors fashioned after my favorite desserts..recipes coming soon! So if you want to make sure you don’t miss a thing, sign up for my newsletter at the top of the page.  You will receive health articles, meal plans, offers, and more straight to your inbox.  Feel free to leave a comment below or shoot me an email. I love hearing from my readers!

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

 

 

Orange Chicken Stir-fry

I am a little obsessed with Asian foods. I love the way they blend sweet with savory and sour with sweet. I love the easiness of mixing vegetables and meats together in a pan and with the right additions, making the simple and nutritious something quick yet delicious and almost mysterious.

chinese inspired Chicken with Orange sauceWhen I became allergic to soy (and more) and then fermented foods, I lost almost all my Asian favorites.  I mourned soy sauce and even fish sauce as I could only look at my favorite sauces and appetizers, soups and main dishes.

Luckily, I’ve found a way to make a few things that bring Asian flavors to my plate. I have, as a result, expanded my palate and embraced the flavors that are left to me- flavors highlighted by sweet, spicy, salty, savory and sour ingredients outside of the realm of the usual salty and fermented sauces.  In an effort to find new favorites, I continue to experiment in the kitchen and have created a few Asian-inspired home recipes.

I hope you enjoy this Paleo/AIP (if you omit the hot peppers) version of my Chicken with orange sauce. It is definitely something I will make over and over again, as it fits all my favorite requirements: easy, quick, nutritious, delicious, family friendly, and budget friendly. I think your family will enjoy it also.

Chicken with Orange sauce Asian Food made AIP/PaleoIngredients

  • 8 ounces chicken (or beef or pork), chopped into bite sized pieces
  • the zest of and juice of 2 oranges
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 5 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 hot peppers such as jalapeno, Thai chile or Serrano (omit for AIP)
  • 1 inch of ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil
  • optional cilantro for garnish
  • suggested to be served with Asian Asian Cauliflower Rice and sautéed kale.


Directions

  • slice carrots and put them in a pan on medium with the oil and put the lid on
  • mince the garlic and add it to the pan
  • Add the meat and give the pan a good stir
  • when the meat and carrots are almost done, zest the 2 oranges and then squeeze the juice over the mixture
  • grate the ginger and give the pan a good stir again
  • drizzle the tablespoon of honey and serve.  You can have the sauce reduce if you wish but this isn’t necessary.

This recipe is an easy weeknight dinner for 2 (with the cauliflower rice added).  Add a side of bok choy and you have 3 vegetables for a perfect meal.  And it won’t leave you hungry an hour later- even better.


For more recipes, articles, tips and offers, sign up for my newsletter at the top of the page and if you have a comment leave one below.  Feel free to email me or contact me with any questions you have; I love hearing from my readers!

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

 

Sliders Makeover: Another Healthy Junk Food night.

Sliders

sliders aip/wahls/takeyourbodyback
Another “healthy” junk food night.. sliders with yummy toppings!

This post really isn’t really about sliders. I mean, it is.  But it isn’t.  We all know how to make burgers. We all know to make small burgers.  But the bun is made of White Sweet Potato Toast (not my idea but I really don’t remember where I got it, but here is a video on how to make it) and that alone makes it something delicious. However, it is what you  put ON a burger is what makes it your own.  So I wanted to share some ideas (ok, and some pictures) of great and fun, allergy free AIP/Wahl’s Friendly Recipes so you can have a junk food night and still stay on track.  Most of these ingredients you can find at any grocery store but if something is obscure, I went ahead and included some affiliate links for your convenience.  For my full disclosure policy, please click here.

AIP and Paleo Toppings:

Homemade Pickles

This is a southern tradition that goes back probably a few hundred years.  Simply slice cucumbers and some red onion and soak overnight in water with some Vinegar (for this recipe makeover we are using Apple Cider Vinegar) and some sea salt.  Black Pepper optional (AIP reintro).  The real flavor is from the red onions and vinegar.

Dairy Free and Nut Free Pesto:

A cup of Basil and approximately a 1/4 cup of olive oil with 1 to 2 raw garlic cloves placed in a food processor.  Add the olive oil gradually so that you can control the thinness or thickness of the pesto as you see fit.

Caramelized Onions and Sauteed Mushrooms:

Mashed Avocado

AIP catsup.

I’ve linked this to a recommended recipe.

Fresh grated horseradish.

This could also be grated into the ground beef before forming.

Zucchini Cheese

Recipe here.

AIP slider made with japanese sweet potato toast and veggie toppings!
this burger is ready for its close up!

Side Dishes

Homemade Slaw

chopped cabbage, Apple Cider Vinegar and Olive oil with a pinch of salt and a 1/4 teaspoon of honey make this dish simple.   For add-ins, you can add tomato (not aip) or avocado or fresh herbs like cilantro but that is certainly not necessary.

Marinated Veggies

Same dressing as above but with Italian seasoning and marinated overnight.  I suggest steamed asparagus, cauliflower, carrots, yellow squash and some fresh celery, red onion or cucumber.

Root Vegetable fries

You can make this with any root vegetable, tossed with olive oil and sea salt (extra seasonings optional) and broil or roast them until they are crispy.  You can use sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, carrots, or others to make your “fries”.

side dish to go with my paleo sliders
I made these “fries” in my toaster oven with the skins that I peeled off of my sweet potatoes. I used sea salt and lime juice.  I did 400 degrees for 30 minutes and stirred them half way through.

Ready for burger night yet?

If you like the content, be sure to sign up for my newsletter (top of page) so you don’t miss out on health information, recipes or offers from MyCrazyJourney.  Feel free to comment below and tell me what you like on or with your paleo burger!


[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

 

Weeknight Leg of lamb with Pesto

 Leg of Lamb with Pesto

This is a great way to eat lamb on a weeknight or special occasion.  This recipe is simple, delicious, nutritious and affordable. I bought all my ingredients at Costco (except for the lemons).  Their Australian lamb is pasture raised and I bought my organic olive oil at a great price! For my small family, the lamb was able to feed us for multiple meals as we keep our protein to smaller servings (most of the time) and fill our plate mostly with vegetables.  I suggest serving this with some sautéed zucchini, some wilted kale and some roasted garlic, or onions and mushrooms.  It would also go great with some roasted root vegetables or sautéed or poached pears for dessert.

Let’s keep this simple: If you want to make this-

lamb with aip/paleo pesto sauce

You will need

  • Leg of lamb or other cut of lamb.  If you do not like lamb, you could also use a rib roast or beef tenderloin or cut of red meat.  Red meat is more appropriate to stand up to the strong flavors of basil and garlic.
  • Fresh garlic.  You can sub garlic powder for the marinade but I wouldn’t do the same for the pesto.
  • Olive Oil.
  • Lemon(s)
  • Fresh Basil

Instructions:

1. Marinate the Meat ahead of time

Try to do this the night before or in the morning of the day that you will eat this. 24 hours ahead would be superb but even one hour is great.

  • Separate the excess fat off the leg as best as you can. For each person you will need between 3 and 8 ounces, depending on individual appetite. (children eat around 2 to 3 ounces and men usually eat around 8 but women usually eat around 4 ounces)
  • Cut the lamb into “steaks”.  Of course, you could use lamb chops, loin or roast a whole leg, but for a weeknight meal, I suggest steaks and the recipe is for that cut.  Cut appropriately and then place the meat in a Ziploc bag.
  • Garlic. Peel and mince a generous amount of garlic and place it into the bag.  If you are out of fresh garlic, you can sprinkle some garlic powder but fresh is better and more beneficial health wise.  We really like garlic so we used 4 large cloves for an 8 ounce piece of lamb.
  • Squeeze the juice of 1/2 to 1 whole lemon into the bag. For a 2 person serving I would use half and for a family of 4 I would use a whole large lemon.
  • Sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt.
  • Close the bag and massage the meat, spreading all the marinade ingredients evenly.
  • Simple leg of lamb dinner

2. Make the pesto right before you start cooking

  • This is so easy and delicious. You simply put the basil into the food processor, add the garlic and turn it on while slowly adding olive oil until you get the consistency you prefer.  You will want to add a pinch of sea salt.  This is the AIP recipe with no addition but if you have reintroduced other nuts or dairy successfully, you can add some for extra texture and depth of flavor.  I do mine plain and it is delicious.   Any leftovers can be diluted with additional olive oil and lemon juice to create a salad dressing that is good in the fridge for up to 3 days.

lamb with pesto sauce recipe paleo/aip

3.  Cook the lamb

  • If you are new to lamb, I HIGHLY suggest not cooking it past being pink in the middle. It is best rare to medium rare. My husband loves medium to medium well steaks but every time I cooked lamb this way for him he didn’t like the flavor.  He likes it only if it is pink  or more, even if I have to remind him.  So even if you think you want it to be medium or more, cook it to medium rare to medium (medium is still some pink left in the center) and try it that way first.   Remember- its easier to put it back on the stove then it is to “uncook” something that is too well done.  This may determine whether or not you like lamb or don’t like it.
  • To cook the lamb steaks you can simply put them in a pan (cast iron cooks these fabulously) with a coconut oil or palm shortening (the lamb doesn’t need a lot of additional fat) and cook to your desired temperature using your favorite method that you usually cook steaks.  We like to sear the steaks (about 2 minutes each side on medium high) and then shove them into a hot over (400 degrees) for about six minutes for rare, 8 for medium rare and 10 for medium.  Our steaks are about 1 -2 inches thick on average.  The thicker they are, the more time they will need but this will give you a ballpark idea ballpark of where to begin.
  • If cooking a roast, I suggest searing the roast on medium high in the same cast iron skillet and then placing into a preheated oven at 400 for the appropriate time.  Here is a good source for how long to cook a roast such as a leg of lamb or a prime rib.  You may want to use this method if cooking for guests or for a dinner party for a better presentation.

When your steaks are done, simply serve and drizzle with some pesto.  As you can see, I think it looks nice when they are cut and then the sauce poured onto the top.  It’s great with sautéed greens of any kind, zucchini, onions and mushrooms and the likes.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you like the content, be sure to sign up for my newsletter to receive more recipes, health articles, tips, recommendations and offers.  The sign up is at the top of the page.  I’d also love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment or feedback below or shoot me an email with any thoughts, suggestions, questions or more. I love hearing from my readers!

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

 

Better than Meatloaf- Way Better

If you notice, I love comfort food.  I love making comfort food into healthy, easy recipes with lots of flavor.  So I found this recipe and it inspired me to remake meatloaf into something better than meatloaf.  The original is something I would definitely do if I was trying to make things “pretty” for a group or guests but for every day, I’ll stick to easy and delicious.  This one cooks a little longer than I usually spend on dinner but it takes just minutes to put together.   So this is how I used another recipe to make meatloaf into something a little more delicious.

Better than meatloaf aip/paleo recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 tbs of fresh rosemary, chopped ( I used a little extra but I really like fresh herbs)
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cranberries.  If you cannot find fresh cranberries, you can replace it with chopped apples or pears.
fresh rosemary is a key part of this recipe

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Mix the ingredients together in a bowl with your hand.  The fruit will not mix so easily but just do your best.
  • Get out a sheet of tin foil and an equal size sheet parchment paper.  Place the parchment paper on top of the tin foil and place the meat mixture onto the parchment paper.  You may have to place it on the paper in layers to evenly spread the fruit throughout the loaf.
  • Wrap the paper and foil around the loaf, using the foil to form the loaf into a roll shape.
  • Use the foil to form the shape of your meatloaf, but be sure to line the inside with parchment!
  • Close the foil tightly around the top and sides.
  • Poke some holes in the bottom through the foil and parchment for the fat to leak out and place the loaf into a baking dish.  You can line the baking dish if you wish to catch the fat for easy clean up.
  • Bake for 1 hour and slice to serve.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

Serves 4 small servings.  I suggest serving with sautéed spinach, acorn squash and steamed asparagus.  Also, check out my gut healing gravy gravy makeover recipe.  Adding some sage and onions to this gravy makeover would go fabulous with this dish.

Hope you enjoy it, try it with different fruit to find the winner for your family and make it with your favorite vegetables to truly make it your own.  If you like this content, make sure to join my email list so you don’t miss out on recipes, articles and offers.  If you would like to give feedback, then fill out the comment form below: I love hearing from ya’l!!

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

Chicken Cacciatore

gut healing chicken cacciatore. will heal you of anything!
The Italian Grandmother’s Chicken Soup- Chicken Cacciatore

Funny story: I’m the youngest offspring of a Sicilian and Irish family.  My grandfather was an immigrant from Sicily but we know little about our family history or heritage and all the elders slightly disagree on the details.  I learned just a few recipes  from my father and I am sure that each generation put their own spin on these recipes. When he taught me how to make this one, he told me that cacciatore meant “stew” in Italian.  He was kinda wrong. It actually means “hunter” but maybe he meant “hunter’s stew” and I’m the silly goose. Either way, he makes a delicious chicken cacciatore.  And now, like every generation before me, I’ve modified his recipe to make it my own version of this family tradition.  It is, in my opinion, an even better  than grandma’s soup: it’s the Italian grandma’s chicken soup.  And as we all know, everything is better when it’s Italian, right? To make this truly paleo and allergy friendly, you will need to make sure your products are allergen free (Most contain corn or dairy or other preservatives or additives).   Or you will have to make your sauce from scratch… which really isn’t that hard but that is another cooking lesson:) locate the best quality ingredients, when applicable.  If you need a recommendation, I have included affiliate links for your convenience.  For my full disclosure policy click here.

For this Italian hunter’s stew, feel free to use what ever vegetables you have on hand.

For my AIP followers who have not introduced tomatoes, I would sub the tomato sauce with Nomato Sauce.  A recommendation was given to me for the recipe here.  I would make a large batch and freeze or can my own for future uses.  Marinara is so versatile, it is definitely something to make in a large batch!

You will need

  • A large stock pot
  • One half of a whole chicken, cut into parts.
  • 1 quart bone broth
  • 2 quarts tomato sauce.  I used store bought spaghetti sauce with no added sugar, corn, gluten, dairy or preservatives (this is one) but you can also use canned tomato sauce with no added ingredients. (this one is free of additives).  Of course, for the elimination phase of AIP, use the Nomato Marinara Sauce mentioned above with link provided.
  • 1/2 to 1  tbs. dried oregano (or to taste).
  • 1/2 to 1 tbs. dried basil (or to taste)
    • the lesser amount is for mild and the greater amount is for more zesty
    • If using Nomato Sauce, then it is probably already seasoned but if you want to add more to taste, use your best judgement.  This goes for both of the herbs above as well as the onions and garlic.
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt (unless your bone broth is already salted)
  • 5 large cloves fresh chopped garlic
  • 8 cups vegetables.  I used the measurements that follow: but any combination of the vegetables that you like are good.
    • 2 cups onions or leeks
    • 4 cups zucchini- can be chopped or made into zucchini noodles that are added approximately 10 to 20 minutes before eating time.
    • 2 cups broccoli
    • Note: I added more vegetables the next day to the second half (another four cups with only half the “sauce” in the pot) and 8 more ounces of chicken- they wouldn’t fit until the first round of vegetables shrunk as a result of cooking.
Italian flavors make this chicken stew extra comforting

Directions

This is one of the easiest things you will ever cook.  You will literally just put everything in a stock pot and bring to a medium simmer with slight bubbling then turn to low and put a lid on.  You will let it simmer on low for 1 to 2 hours, until the chicken is falling off the bone.  Alternatively, You could cook this in a crockpot on low for 4 to 6 hours.  As with most recipes based on tomatoes, it is always even better the second time you eat it, so make plenty and eat on it (or freeze it) for a second meal.  Top with some sautéed spinach, kale or collard greens and you have a complete bowl of healing, comforting nutrition.

Chicken Cacciatore is even better the nnext day
My bowl of cacciatore the next day.. yum!

I hope you enjoy this (I know you will ) and I guarantee it will be a family crowd pleaser! So grab a bowl, snuggle up with your family and enjoy this warm bowl of comfort food.

If you like this recipe and would like to receive others like it directly to your inbox, please sign up for more recipes, health articles, offers and more by signing up for my email list above.  And as always, thank you for joining me on My Crazy Journey.

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

 

Gravy Makeover- From Guilty Pleasure to Healthy Family Go-To.

I want to talk to you about GRAVY. A friend of mine and I were talking not too long ago and somehow we got to talking about how delicious this simple food is to our families.  Her toddler will eat Brussel sprouts (which is amazing by itself) but she made this happen because she serves them with gravy.

Gravy that counts as a vegetable, heals the gut and has no flour. (and tastes amazing!)

Wait.. what?! I tried it and yes, it is rather yummy.  However, some of us do not eat gravy and would not feel good using gravy at every meal just to get our kid to eat his vegetables.. because it would take EVERY MEAL to get any nutrition into our child (not all of us have toddlers who love Brussel sprouts).  Some of us have cut it out of the menu because it is filled with flour, carbs, “bad fats” and causes havoc in our bodies.. but what if I could tell you that you can have as much delicious gravy as you want with no “bad” ingredients, no flour, and yet have TONS of flavor! And what if that same delicious gravy also counted as a vegetable and was gut healing and detoxifying? (What?! YES! it is true!) When I discovered this secret way to (re)make gravy, I decided I was never going to use any type of flour in my gravy EVER AGAIN because my house actually prefers the delicious sauce of the gods to be this “new” way. Get your sea salt ready, ladies!

yes, its possilbe to make healthy, no flour gravy that is good for you.
Turkey with gravy, carrots and collards

Ingredients:

  • Bone or Vegetable Broth

    •  Vegetable broth could be subbed by I have not tried this myself. If you are going to do a vegetarian version, then I would use both mushrooms and onions in my gravy.
  • Cauliflower

  • Sea Salt

  • Black Pepper- optional

  • Onions or Leeks- optional

  • Meat of your choice- also optional

    • If you are not using meat then I would use lots of onions and mushrooms to get a good flavor
    • I often use ground beef patties and make Salisbury Steak but you could just as easily use chicken or pork.
comfort food makeover- gravy made healthy
comfort food veggies

Directions:

  • Take whatever meat you are eating and brown it in a pan on medium or a bit higher temperature.

  • Do not cook it all the way. Just brown the outside of the meat. If you do not eat meat, then your flavor will come from the onions instead.
  • Remove the meat  as soon as it is browned but before it is cooked in the middle.

    • It should still be raw, essentially. (cooking it in the gravy will improve the taste of the gravy, but first you have to make the gravy)
    • I have made this gravy without cooking meat in the same pan first and it was still delicious.  So if you want to cook the meat separately or have a meatless meal, this step can be skipped with no major effect on the flavor.
  • Add the bone broth- the more you add, the more gravy it will make. I used a pint of broth for 2 people.

  • add the cauliflower and simmer until the cauliflower is tender.

  • blend.

    • If the liquid is deep enough, you can use a hand-stick blender but since mine was only enough for two people, I poured mine into a blender and liquefied it.  The next time I made it, I made sure to put it into a sauce pan so I could use a hand stick blender without making double the amount we needed (it was only enough for 2 people).
    • note: If using the blender, remember that hot liquids added to a blender expand so make sure that the ingredients have room to expand.  I left space for hot air to escape and started on low and then gradually increased the speed to the “liquefy” setting to prevent a liquid explosion (experience talking:)
  • Add the mixture back to the cast iron pan.

  • add sea salt to taste and pepper if you are using black pepper.

  • Add the meat back to the pan to finish cooking in the gravy.

  • Slice onions into thin rings and fill up the pan with as many onions as you like.

    • I love onions so I added approximately a cup and a half.  I have also added chopped celery and fresh herbs.
  • Cover and simmer until the meat is done.

    • The amount of time will vary depending on the meat.  I was using ground beef patties so mine took approximately 20 minutes on medium low. The second time I made this, we were just thawing out some leftover turkey that was pre-cooked and warming in the toaster over (quick meal!) so we were able to skip this altogether.
bone broth gravy with no flour, low carb and gut healing
My meatless gravy blended with a hand stick blender, before added onions and herbs

The benefits of this gravy is that it counts as a vegetable, it is gut healing, and detoxifying! Now that is a recipe that I can feel great about indulging in regularly. Maybe I’ll have gravy on my Brussel sprouts too!?

comfort food makeover- gravy made healthy- no flour
My complete comfort meal. Tureky and gravy with onions with carrots and collard greens.

If you like the content and want to receive updates, articles and more directly to your inbox, sign up below! and thank you for joining me today on My Crazy Journey.