Bacon, Avocado and Mushrooms

This was a very simple breakfast that I knocked up for myself for breakfast the other day.

Just bacon, mushrooms cooked in the bacon fat (I admit, there is more than a little Hobbit in me – I LOVE mushrooms!) and some avocado on the side.

Yummy and it kept me full until lunch.

Bacon Avocado and Mushroom Breakfast

serves 1

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  • 2 slices of bacon cut in half (to make 4 slightly smaller slices) – for preference choose nitrate-free, sugar-free bacon from pastured pork.  If this is not available, do the best you can
  • 4 mushrooms – sliced
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, skin-removed and sliced

This is too simple to be a real recipe.

Just cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp.  Remove and add the mushrooms.  Cook until tender (no more than a few minutes).

Serve the crisp bacon with the mushrooms and the sliced avocado.

NOM….

Easy Peeling Mandarin Oranges

Thanks to a random stumble (I have a BAD Stumbleupon habit!), I found this website that shows you how to peel mandarin oranges the easy way

While reading it, the thought occurred to me that it would be a fantastic way to prep mandarin oranges (or satsumas/clementines) to go in lunch boxes.

Easy for little fingers to eat and less mess too…  Just roll the cut orange back up and pop it in the lunch box and the job is done.  And if your orange is too big to fit in the lunch box while rolled up, you could leave it as a long strip…

Guess what I may try for a future lunchbox…..

Simple Roast Chicken

I roasted 2 small chickens (both around 3lb each) for dinner (actually, only one was used for dinner, the other was saved for lunch the following day).

I don’t mess with my roast chicken too much, I like to keep it simple, so that you can appreciate the chicken flavour.

I stuff the cavity with lemon, garlic and herbs (I use parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme – kind of like the song “Scarborough Fair“.  When I was living in the UK, I visited Scarborough many times.  I never went to a fair while I was there though.)

Simple Roast Chicken

Serves 6

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  • 1 chicken 3-4lb in weight (preferably pastured or at least free-range/organic)
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • ½ dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp dried sage
  • ¼ cup coconut oil – melted
  • zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • sprigs of fresh herbs (I use parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F.

While it is heating up, mix together the salt and all the dried herbs.  Squeeze the juice of the lemon all over the skin of the chicken, then rub well with the coconut oil.  Sprinkle the salt/herb mixture all over the skin, seasoning it well.  Do not forget to season the cavity.

Now stuff the cavity with the fresh herbs, garlic and the squeezed out lemon rind.

Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting tin and sprinkle the lemon zest over.

Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes per lb plus an extra 20 minutes until the juices run clear and the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh has reached 82°C/180°F when measured with a meat thermometer.

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Remove from the oven, cover with a clean cloth and allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving into portions.  I like to take the wings off, the legs off (which I then separate into a thigh and a drumstick, and then remove the breasts whole.  I cut each breast into 2 or 3 pieces depending on size.

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This can be served at once as a roast dinner, or it can be cooled and used for lunch or another meal.

Make sure you save any pan drippings as these will be used to make a simple gravy to serve with your chicken.

Broiled Mackerel with Gremolata

I like to cook fish very simply – usually just grilled (broiled for those in the US) or pan-fried.  And I usually like to serve a simple sauce or garnish with it as well.

This time, I broiled my mackerel, which I had prepared using this method.  And I served it with gremolata this time.

Gremolata is a chopped herb garnish that is traditionally served with ossobuco, but it goes very well with fish as well.

This is a very quick meal (if your fish are already prepared/filleted, it can be fridge to table in less than 15 minutes depending on what you are planning on serving with it).  Perfect for a late night or after-work meal!

Grilled Mackerel with Gremolata

serves 6

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  • 6 small mackerel
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut oil – melted
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • sea salt to taste

First of all, you are going to prepare your mackerel.  I used this method as my mackerel were quite small and I was planning on serving one per person.  If you had larger fish you could simply fillet them.  This is a good method to use.

Lay your mackerel out skin side down on a baking sheet, brush with the melted coconut oil and sprinkle it with fresh thyme leaves.  Season with salt.  Cook under a hot broiler for 5-10 minutes until the fish is cooked and just starting to flake.

Serve at once with gremolata.

For the gremolata:

  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt to taste

All you need to do is to take all the ingredients and put them in a food processor.  Pulse until they are evenly mixed, and the parsley and garlic is finely chopped.

Spoon over your mackerel fillet.

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In addition to the gremolata, I served a simple salad dressed with lemon juice and olive oil and some oven roasted veggies (brussels sprouts, beets, sweet potato and red onion) with the fish.

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Shared at the Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable#14

Packed Lunch (02/06/14)

This is what I packed for Hubby and the 4 girls for lunch today:

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Clockwise from the top left-hand corner I packed:

  • A gluten-free honey cake with ¼ cup of walnuts
  • Cucumber and celery sticks
  • Leftover cold roast chicken on a bed of lettuce
  • radishes and baby carrots

They all also took some fruit ( a choice of apples or clementines)  and a reusable water bottle.

Coconut Chicken Soup

This is another great leftovers meal that makes a fantastic lunch and a filling, economical dinner.

I make this with leftover chicken or turkey, and both taste great.  If you have no leftovers, you could cook some chicken breasts or thighs and then shred the meat to make this instead.

This recipe is AIP compliant.

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If we are eating this as a main course meal, I like to serve these with a starchy side or a side-salad.  I will often use a simple green salad dressed with a lemon-juice vinagrette, but sometimes I will make plantain muffins or tostones or other starchy sides.

This is a perfect meal for a cold winter night and even better because it uses up a lot of leftovers.  And all the ingredients are AIP approved as well which is a bonus because it does not aggravate my autoimmune conditions.

Don’t be tempted to leave out the garlic, lemongrass or ginger – they give this soup it’s wonderful flavour and aroma.  I buy whole lemongrass stalks and they cost me around $0.44 for 2…

Coconut Chicken Soup

serves 4-6

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  • 1½lb leftover cooked chicken (or 2lb chicken breast or thighs – cooked)
  • sea salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 onion – finely chopped
  • 8oz mushrooms – sliced
  • 2 cups greens (use kale, chard or spinach depending on preference) – shredded
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass
  • 2 tbsp grated root ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic – peeled
  • 1 can coconut milk (ensure that it contains nothing but coconut and water – no gums, fillers or emulsifiers)
  • 3-4 cups chicken bone broth
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce (try to find one that only contains AIP ingredients – fish, salt and water)
  • 1 lime – zest and juice
  • 1 bunch green onions – sliced
  • 1 kefir lime leaf – sliced as thinly as you can
  • ¼ cup basil – sliced (use thai basil if you can find it, regular basil will work fine though)
  • ¼ cup cilantro – chopped

If not using leftover chicken, you need to cook your chicken thighs/breasts.  I suggest you poach them in the bone broth, then remove, cool, and shred, discarding any bones and skin (save those to add to bone broth in the future – store in the freezer until you have enough).

If using leftover chicken, shred the cold chicken finely, discarding any bones and skin and saving as above to make bone broth.

Melt the coconut oil in a pan and add the mushrooms and onion and cook gently until tender and the mushrooms are starting to look translucent.

Meanwhile, take the lemongrass stalk and cut of the dry woody end.  Using a meat tenderizer, a mallet or a rolling pin, bash the heck out of this sucker.  You want to break down as many fibers as you can as this will release the flavour.  Slice it thinly.  Now put the beaten up and sliced lemon grass in your blender with the garlic and ginger and 1 cup of the bone broth.  Blend until there are no large chunks.

Once the mushrooms and onions are tender, add the lemongrass/broth mixture to the pan along with the rest of the broth and the can of coconut milk.  Taste and adjust seasonings..  Simmer gently for around 30 minutes.  Now add your shredded chicken and greens and simmer for 5 minutes to allow the chicken to heat through and the greens to wilt..

Stir in the lime zest and juice, fish sauce, lime zest and juice, basil and cilantro.  Taste again and adjust the seasonings one final time.

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We like to serve these with a starchy side such as my plantain muffins or Tostones

Serve hot.

Savoury Plantain Muffins

This recipe is based on a Yorkshire pudding recipe that I tried that utilized plantains.  I was disappointed that they did not turn out as light and fluffy as my regular (gluten-containing) Yorkshire pudding recipe – hey, I am a Yorkshire lass – I have a discerning palate and am very picky when it comes to my Yorkshires! To my mind, they have to be crisp, light, fluffy and hollow (you have to be able to fill them with the gravy!)  Eventually, I found a Yorkshire pud recipe that satisfied my taste for light, fluffy, hollow Yorkshires though.

Despite the disappointment, when we were eating them, we all agreed that while they were not good fluffy (and hollow) Yorkshires, they would make very good muffins…  in fact C asked if I could make them for lunch one day as she thought they would be very good bread-buns for a sandwich….

But I thought that they would also be great as a starchy side to serve with soups and stews.  A paleo version of a savory cornmeal muffin…

This is what A came up with to serve with a leftover coconut chicken soup:

They are dense, starchy and very satisfying according to hubby and the kids (I can’t eat them at the moment as they contain eggs which are not AIP protocol compliant).

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As you can see, they have a very dense crumb that resembles a muffin more than a Yorkshire pudding, but according to A, they are delicious with butter….

This is an AIP stage 2 reintroduction recipe.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Savoury Plantain Muffins

makes 10-12

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  • 2 large green plantains – peeled
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • -lard/coconut oil or fat of choice to grease the muffin tin

Preheat the oven to 230°C (450F).

Use a pastry brush to brush the fat/oil inside each well of the muffin tin.

Peel your plantains and cut into chunks (easiest way to peel these suckers is to cut the top and bottom off and then slit the skin along the length.  now pries it off with your fingers.  Do not expect it to come off easily in one piece.  If the plantains break up that is OK.

Chop the plantains into chunks and dump them in your blender.  Add the eggs, salt and pepper and blend to combine.

Pour in the plantain batter to 3/4 fill the cups and quickly put the tin back in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes.

Either serve as muffins for breakfast with butter

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or serve as a side with a soup or stew:

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Simple Gravy

This is the gravy that I almost always make when I am roasting meat whether it is chicken, pork or beef.  The process is exactly the same no matter what meat you use.

This recipe is not only paleo, it is also AIP friendly.

If you are not cooking a roast, and are cooking a steak or organ meat for example, you could de-glaze the pan with bone broth or vegetable cooking water to provide some “meat juices”.  In this case, I would simply make the gravy in the skillet to save on washing up!

This recipe is a good way to include bone broth into your diet!

Simple Gravy

makes around 2 cups

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  • 1 onion – sliced
  • 1 clove garlic – crushed
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 cups meat cooking juices (if you do not have enough, you can add vegetable cooking water or bone broth to make up the difference)
  • 2 tbsp tapioca starch
  • sea salt to taste

Melt the coconut oil in a small pan and add the onion and garlic.  Cook slowly until the onion is tender and well caramelized.

Now add the meat juices and extra liquids as needed.  Simmer for 5-10 minutes, then mix the tapioca starch with a little water.

Add the starch to the pan and simmer until thickened.

Taste, season with salt and serve at once.

Packed Lunch (02/04/14)

This is what I packed for lunch for Hubby and the 4 girls today.

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Clockwise from the top left-hand corner:

  • A gluten-free honey cake with ¼ cup of walnuts
  • cucumber sticks
  • green leaf lettuce and 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • carrot sticks and pineapple chunks

They all also took a reusable water-bottle filled with water.

Hash and Eggs for Breakfast

I mentioned in my beef hash post, that leftovers make an excellent breakfast (although I totally would make it from scratch for the entire breakfast, not just using the leftovers!).

This is what I made for the girls for their breakfast today after we had eaten it for dinner last night…

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All I did was take the leftover Ground Beef Hash and toss it around in a skillet until it was all toasty warm and heated through.  then I fried an egg per person in some leftover bacon fat.

Once the egg was cooked to everyone’s liking (my family all like them sunny-side up), I topped the hash with the egg and served it.

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A breakfast that was so easy-peasy that it barely qualifies as a recipe and took me less than 10 minutes to make.

This recipe is not 100% AIP approved because of the fried egg which is a stage 2 reintroduction.  If you need a 100% AIP breakfast, just reheat the hash….  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.