Parchment Baked Cod – AIP/Paleo

Cooking fish in parchment paper results in moist, tender, flakey fish.

It takes a bit of advance preparation, and can be a little fiddley the first time you do it, but the results are SO worth it.  The parchment protects the delicate fish from the heat of the oven, and the vegetables, herbs and lemon provide so much flavour.

I find it so easy to overcook fish, but this method is almost foolproof.

This is my favourite way to cook all kinds of fish, not just cod.  Try it with salmon or sole – it will be beautiful.

I chose to use cod for this dish.  Cod is always wild caught, and as long as you avoid North Sea cod, is not an endangered species.  Please do not eat North Sea cod – it has been very over-fished in the last few years and the fish-stock is threatened.  But Pacific cod and North Atlantic cod are thriving.  I am not too worried about the radiation in the pacific from Fukishima – see this post for the reasons why.

This recipe does contain a little white wine, but the alcohol will evaporate during the cooking leaving only the flavour.  If this is still a concern for you, replace the wine with bone broth (preferably a fish bone broth) or some lemon juice.

The black pepper makes this a stage 1 reintroduction recipe.  This can easily be omitted to make this recipe strict AIP compliant.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

This recipe is easy to scale down for just one or two people…  simply reduce the quantities you make.  I made this for 6 people because there are 6 people in our family.

Parchment Baked Cod

serves 6

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  • 6 fillets of wild-caught cod
  • 3 zucchini
  • 3 carrots – peeled
  • 2 onions
  • 1 bunch of green onions
  • 3 lemons
  • 1 handful of Italian parsley
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (omit the pepper if sensitive to it or strict AIP)
  • white wine to moisten (optional – if strict AIP replace with bone broth (preferably fish bone broth) or lemon juice)
  • Avocado or olive oil to drizzle

The first thing you need to do is to preheat your oven to 190°/375°F.

Next you cut 6 pieces of parchment paper – you want squares around 12-14 inches on each side.

Take the zucchini and use a spiral cutter to cut them in to thick spiral shapes.  If you do not own a spiral cutter, you could grate them or cut them into thin julienne shreds.

Peel the carrots and treat them in the same way as the zucchini – either spiral slice them, grate them or julienne them.

Trim the root end from the green onions and chop into small pieces.

Peel the onions and slice as thinly as you can.

Slice the lemons into  thin slices.

Chop the parsley.

If the fish fillets are long, you may need to cut them in half.  Use your judgment.  They need to be a suitable size to fit in the parchment paper parcel.  If they are too big, cut them in half.

Pile the veggies on the parchment paper sheets, dividing them evenly.

Top the veggies with the lemon slices, reserving one slice to lay on top of the fish fillets.

Now sit the fish on top of all the veggies.  Lay a lemon slice on top of the fish, scatter with the parsley and season well with salt and pepper.

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Pour a splash of white wine (if using ) over the fish – no more than 1 tbsp per parcel.  If you do not use wine, substitute fish bone broth or lemon juice.  Drizzle the fish with a little olive oil or avocado oil.

Fold the parchment in half so that opposite corners meet then start to roll the edges, twisting the corners and tucking them under to make a neat parcel.

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Place the finished parcels on a baking sheet and then bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the fish is opaque and tender.

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I recommend that you check one packet after 15 minutes and if it is not cooked, reseal and continue cooking.

Allow the fish to rest for 5 minutes then serve.

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The diner opens their packet at the table releasing a delicious aroma.

I like to serve these with oven-baked vegetable fries.  No extra veggies are needed.

Shared at Paleo AIP Recipe Roundup #29

Shared at Gluten-free and DIY Tuesdays

Deconstructed Burger Salad

After the Music n’ Motion performance last Sunday, we needed a quick, easy meal as we all came back fairly late (6:30 pm by the time we got home), and I did not want to have to spend time messing around in the kitchen producing an elaborate meal.  Also, we were all STARVING!

So I whipped up this quick, deconstructed burger salad.  It contains all the ingredients you would usually find in your burger, on top of a pile of salad greens.  And no bun.

If you leave out the homemade mustard, mayo and ketchup, this could be 100% AIP compliant- of course if you have successfully re-introduced those items, feel free to use them.  Mustard is a stage 2 reintroduction as it contains seeds.  Mayo is a stage 1 reintroduction as it contains egg yolks, and ketchup is a stage 4 reintroduction as it contains tomatoes. You could also substitute AIP versions of all of these if you have them.

If you are strict AIP, you would have to omit the black pepper as this is a stage 1 reconstruction (and also not use mustard, mayo or ketchup).

The salsa would be a stage 4 reintroduction as it contains nightshades.  It can easily be omitted.

When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

I like to serve this family-style with every ingredient separate so everyone can make their own salad just the way they like it.  It makes it easy to deal with the “I don’t like” and allergies or intolerances that way.   Everyone can put what they want to eat on their plate and can ignore what they don’t like.  J, the mushroom-hater didn’t have any mushrooms, and I didn’t have any ketchup or mustard, but did have mayo (have successfully re-introduced eggs.)  They can also serve themselves with the amount of food that they think they will eat, which minimizes waste.

This was an incredibly filling meal that I was able to get on the table within 30 minutes of us walking in the door.

Deconstructed Burger Salad

serves 6

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  • 2lb ground beef (100% grass-fed is ideal)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (omit the pepper if sensitive to it or strict AIP)
  • coconut oil to cook
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 onions – sliced
  • 1lb mushrooms – sliced
  • 1 bunch watercress –  roughly chopped
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • ½ green leaf lettuce  – shredded
  • pickles – I used my lacto-fermented cucumber relish and a lacto-fermented salsa (omit the salsa if strict AIP)
  • ketchup – I used a homemade one (omit if strict AIP)
  • Mustard – again I used a homemade one (omit if strict AIP)
  • Mayonnaise – homemade again (omit if strict AIP)
  • 2 avocados – peeled, stoned and chopped
  • Hot sauce if liked (omit if strict AIP)

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Melt a small amount of coconut oil in a skillet and add the ground beef.  Season well with salt and pepper and add the garlic and onion powder and the dried thyme.  Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring, until cooked through.  Transfer to a dish and keep warm.

Melt a little more coconut oil in the skillet and add the onion.  Cook for a few minutes until it is starting to caramelize and is tender.  Transfer to a dish and keep warm

Melt a little more coconut oil in the skillet and add the mushrooms.  Cook for a few minutes until tender.  Transefer to a dish and keep warm until everything else is done.

Shred the lettuce and watercress and toss in a large bowl with the baby spinach.

Place any other ingredients you are using (pickles, mayo, avocado, mustard, hot sauce, avocado) and anything else you fancy (olives might be good!)  on the table with all the other ingredients.

Serve everything in separate bowls and let everyone serve themselves to what they want.  Add pickles, mustard, mayo, hot sauce as you see fit.

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I like to put a bed of the salad greens, then top it with the meat then pile all the other toppings on top.

It is VERY filling!

C’s Packed Lunch

This is the packed lunch that I made for C to take to the Music ‘n Motion performance last Sunday.

She was concerned that it would not be filling enough as she would be rehursing all morning (lots of marching about, lots of playing), and then performing in the afternoon.  And it had to be enough to sustain her from breakfast (at around 7am) until we got home (at around 6pm).

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Clockwise from the top left-hand section:

  • a mini clementine and ¼ cup of almonds
  • lacto-fermented carrot sticks and cucumber sticks
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs (cut in half) and green leaf lettuce
  • a slice of good quality ham (the brand I use is antibiotic and hormone free and contains no nitrates, although it does contain some sugar) wrapped around a stick of cheddar cheese

And at the top are 2 packs of unseasoned nori seaweed and a mason jar containing chocolate chia pudding.  These were packed separately in the insulated bag.

She also took her water bottle filled with a rehydration drink made from water with a dash of lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

She said it was not only delicious, but it filled her up without weighting her down too much.  And it did keep her going, because while she was hungry by the time we got home, she was not starving.

 

 

Guacamole

I love avocado and I love guacamole even more!

This wonderfully creamy, green dip can make a fantastic topping for burgers, for chilli, for carnitas or even just as a simple dip for veggies or plantain chips.  And it is even good just eaten straight out of the bowl by the spoonful.

And the best thing is that it takes only moments to make!

This is so simple that even a 9 year old can make it!

Guacamole

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  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 2 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp avocado or olive oil
  • sea salt to taste

All you do is add all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse to the desired consistency.

If you do not own a food processor, you could mash it in a bowl with a fork.  This will result in a slightly more chunky guacamole, but it will still be good.

Serve at once

Lacto-Fermented Gingered Carrots

Lacto-fermented vegetables add not only gut-healthy prebiotic bacteria, but also the vitamin-rich vegetables.  And they provide attractive colour, a salty-sour tangy taste and an appetizing crunch to meals. I like to include some kind of lacto-fermented food in every meal I serve.

These ginger-flavoured carrots are one of our favourites.  The have a great crunch, a pleasant saltiness that is tempered with some acidic sharpness, and a subtle ginger flavour. I like to pack these in lunch boxes, to serve them as a snack with a dip or to chop them up and include them in salads.

To gain the most benefits from the gut-friendly bacteria, you really do need to serve these raw and cold.  Think of them as crunchy, salty, sour carrot sticks.

You can obtain the un-chlorinated water in a number of ways – you could run your water through a water filter that will remove chlorine.  You could leave the water on the counter-top for a day or two (but be aware that a number of municipalities are now using chloramines in the place of chlorine to sterilize their water – chloramines will not dissipate over time, unlike chlorine.  Call your water provider to ask if they use them).   You could whirl your water in a blender for a minute or two do “de-gas” it (this does not work for chloramines), you could boil it for 10 minutes (again does not work for chloramines).  You could use bottled, reverse-osmosis filtered water.   Or you could do what I do, and not worry too much about it….  I have never had a fermentation fail due to using tap water!

Don’t be afraid of the salt – the carrots really do not absorb all that much of it – they just have a pleasant salty-sour taste from the salt-solution they were cultured in that remains on the outside.  If salt is an issue for you, please do not try to reduce it (it is there to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria), simply rinse the brine off the carrot sticks before eating them.  You may reduce some of the beneficial bacteria by doing this, but most will remain.

I recommend that you use organic carrots to make these – carrots can absorb toxins from fertilizer use that they store in their skin.  If you have to use regular, grocery-store carrots peel them first as that will remove most of the toxins.

Lacto-Fermented Gingered Carrots

makes 1 quart mason jar

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  • 1lb organic carrots (4-5 medium carrots)
  • 1″ piece of fresh root ginger – thinly sliced into rounds (no need to peel)
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • filtered/de-chlorinated water as needed

Wash your carrots well and remove the ends.  Peel if using non-organic carrots.

Cut the carrots into sticks.

Place the ginger and salt in the base of the jar then pack the carrot sticks in tightly.  I like to hold the jar on it’s side and slide the sticks in one by one, filling in any gaps so that all the carrot sticks stand vertically.  You want them so tightly packed that nothing can float to the surface.  Use an extra carrot if necessary.

Pour the water over the carrots so that they are all covered by at least ¼” of water.  The water level should be less than 1″ from the top of the jar. Seal with a lid.  Give a quick shake (gently – you do not want to dislodge any of those carrots!) to dissolve the salt.

Check once a day, loosening the lid to allow any carbon-dioxide build-up to escape. After 3-7 days store in the refrigerator. The best way to judge whether these are ready is to taste one.  If it tastes good to you – pleasantly sour-salty, it is ready.  If not, allow it to ferment for a few more days.

The carrots will continue fermenting in the refridgerator but it will be much slower.  Eat the carrots within a week or two and they should stay crunchy.

If all the carrots are fully submerged in the brine you should not get any mold growth.  But in the unlikely event that you do (most often caused by a stray carrot or piece of ginger floating to the surface) discard the entire jar. Mold most often looks fuzzy and can be white or colored (blue, yellow, green).

Shared at Paleo AIP Roundtable #28

Music n Motion

C plays flute in the Calgary Roundup Band, and today they were performing at Music n Motion – an event produced by the Calgary Marching Show Band Association (CMSBA).

A fantastic picture of C playing her flute at the High River Little Britches Parade

A fantastic picture of C playing her flute at the High River Little Britches Parade

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There were 7 bands in total, and it was a really good show.

The Roundup Band’s performance was called “Believe” and was based on the music from Peter Pan, and was excellent.  There is a good reason why they are considered one of the best junior high marching bands and have won many awards.  This was the first time that the band had performed it in public.

C playing her flute

C playing her flute

C said she really enjoyed herself.

After the performance

After the performance

And luckily, the rain held off until after it was over.

She survived

She survived

 

Pork and Apple Meatballs with Ginger Sauce and Daikon “Noodles”

I made pork and apple meatballs for dinner.  And because I added ginger for flavour, I decided that I would make an Asian inspired ginger sauce to serve with them.

And at that point it seemed natural to make daikon “noodles” using my new spiral slicer (Hubby bought it for me for my birthday).

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This recipe is Paleo, and is AIP-freindly.

I do need to get a coloured plate for taking photographs – taking a picture of white vegetables on a white plate does not work so well!  Despite that, this was very tasty…

Pork and Apple Meatballs with Ginger Sauce and Daikon “Noodles”

Serves 4-6

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For the meatballs:

  • 2lb ground pork
  • 1 small onion – finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 1 grated apple
  • 1″ piece of root ginger – peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp sage
  • sea salt to taste

For the ginger sauce:

  • 2 large carrots – grated
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 4 green onions – chopped
  • ¼ cup avocado oil

For the daikon “noodles”

  • 1 large daikon – cut into “noodles” using a spiral slicer or mandolin
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

The first thing you need to do is make the meatballs.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F.

Mix all of the meatball ingredients together, and roll into small balls about the size of a large walnut.  Place the meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet as you make them.

Place the meatballs in an oven-proof dish and bake them in the oven for 45-50 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

While the meatballs are cooking, make the carrot-ginger sauce.  Place all the ingredients except for the avocado oil in a food processor.  Puree to a smooth paste.  While the machine is running, dribble in the avocado oil.

Once the meatballs are cooked, pour the sauce over the meatballs.  Return the dish to the oven for 10 minutes to heat the sauce.

Make the daikon “noodles”, then melt the coconut oil in a large skillet or wok.  Add the “noodles” and toss them until they are heated through.

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Serve the meatballs and sauce on top of a nest of the “noodles”.

Paleo Strawberry Banana Breakfast Cookies

These make a fantastic grab-and-go breakfast that my kids love.

Very quick to make, they are tasty and packed with good things to keep everyone going until lunch.  Unless someone is running out of the door, I usually pair these with a fruit salad.  And if someone literally IS running out of the door with these in their hands, I will throw them an apple….

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I like these because I can make them the night before and have a quick, portable breakfast the next day.

They would also be a good snack at any time of the day, not just for breakfast.

These are not strict AIP because of the eggs and nut butter and nuts, but if you have successfully reintroduced eggs and nuts you could probably eat these.  You could also use sun-butter to replace the almond butter if you tolerate sunflower seeds.

They are gluten, dairy and sugar-free however.

The eggs, nut butter and nutmeg make these an AIP stage 2 reintroduction.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Paleo Strawberry Banana Breakfast Cookies

makes 12 cookies – serves 6 (2 cookies per serving)

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  • 6 pitted dates
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup nut butter or sunbutter – use any type that you prefer
  • 2 eggs – beaten
  • 1 banana
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp nutmeg (optional)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  •  ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 large strawberries – chopped finely
  • ¼ cup pecans or other nuts – use whatever you have

Puree the dates in a food processor (if they are very dry you may need to soak them in a little hot water first to soften them.

Add the coconut flour, nut butter, banana and eggs and pulse until well mixed.  Add the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, salt and baking soda.  Pulse until incorporated

Now remove the food processor bowl, add the strawberries and pecans  (or other nuts) and stir in by hand.

Place heaped tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto a lined baking sheet, flatten slightly and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the cookies are golden brown and firm.

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Cool on a wire cooking rack and store in an airtight container until needed.

Paleo Caesar Salad (with an AIP variation)

This is a paleo version (With AIP modifications of the classic Ceasar salad).

If you cannot  eat eggs or egg-yolks, use a mashed avocado to substitute for most of the mayo ingredients

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  • ½ cup paleo mayonnaise (or a mashed avocado)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 1 tsp anchovy paste
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 romaine hearts – torn
  • 6 slices bacon (preferably from pastured pigs with no questionable ingredients)Thi

This was the salad that I made to serve with Hubby’s Birthday dinner..  a paleo, AIP (as long as you can tolerate eggs) Caesar salad.

If you cannot eat eggs, you could substitute avocado for the mayo although it might change the flavour.  It should still give you the same mouth-feel however.

To make the Caesar salad you first need to make your mayo unless you have some in the fridge.  If you are AIP, consider substituting some mashed/pureed avocado or guacamole.  It won’t look the same but will give you the same kind of mouth-feel.

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Mix the mayo (or avocado) with all the other Casear dressing ingredients (everything except the lettuce and bacon) and stir until well mixed.  Set this aside in the fridge while you cook your bacon.  You want it as crispy as you can get it  without burning it as it is replacing the crunch of the croutons that are traditional in a Caesar salad.  I like to cook mine in the oven on a wire cooling rack set over a rimmed baking sheet.  Cool the bacon and crumble/chop it into small pieces.

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Tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl.  Add the dressing and toss well.  Plate the salad and scatter with the bacon pieces

Packed Lunch – 05/21/14

This is what I made for the packed lunches today:

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Clockwise from the top left-hand corner:

Everyone also took a reusable waterbottle with them.