Artichokes with AIP Bagna Cauda (Instant Pot/Steamer)

I seem to have a real problem – I have become totally addicted to artichokes!

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Artichokes are an edible variety of thistle.  They are high in fiber, and are a good source of niacin, potassium, phosphorus, copper, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and manganese.  They have a large number of health benefits – they are very high in fiber, and contain more antioxidants than most fruits and vegetables.  They are reputed to be able to prevent cancer and to be good for the heart.  They can help to reduce blood pressure and can function as a liver tonic.  These are just a few of this amazing vegetables benefits – they truly are a wonderful vegetable that everyone should be eating!

The first time you cook or eat one of these spiky looking vegetables, they can be very intimidating.  How are you supposed to get down to the delicious tender heart.  What do you do with all the spiky thorns that may be present on the ends of the leaves.  How are you supposed to cook it?  And more importantly, how are you supposed to eat it?

Don’t be afraid – once you know how, they are very easy to cook.

You can cook them in a steamer or an Instant Pot (which is what I did) I will give you full instructions on how to do this in the recipe below.  It is very simple.

To eat them, you pull off a leaf, dip the base in a tasty dip – I used Bagna Cauda in this recipe, and then you scrape off the fleshy part of the base with your teeth, discarding the rest of the leaf.  As you get closer and closer to the center, more of the leaf is edible.  Once you get to the center, you will find the hairy “choke”.  This part is not edible.  Use a spoon to scrape it all off, and what you have left is the delicious choke.  This can be cut up,  dipped in the dip and eaten.  You can eat the stem – it is a personal preference.  It can taste a little bitter, so some prefer to trim it off.  I like to keep it on my artichokes and nibble at it to see how bitter it is – it can also be very fibrous, so even if you leave it on, you may need to discard it anyway.

It always surprises me that you end up with a HUGE pile of leftovers after eating artichokes!

When selecting artichokes, try to buy ones that are tightly closed – if the leaves have started to open they are old and will not taste as good.

This gets messy fast – drippy, oily – expect it to drip on your clothes and your chin…..  lots of napkins are recommended!  Maybe even finger bowls if serving to “company”!  There is no “dignified” way to eat artichokes!

This is a very hands-on, tactile, sense-driven way of eating – something that I absolutely LOVE!

 

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Bagna Cauda is Italian in origin, and translates to mean “Hot Dip” or “Hot Bath” depending on which website you believe.  It is a blend of Olive oil, butter, garlic and anchovies, that is served warm.  Obviously, because it contains butter the original recipe for Bagna Cauda is not AIP unless you have successfully reintroduced butter – and given my anaphalactic dairy allergy, this is something that I will never be able to do.  So I decided to come up with an AIP version of this deliciously savoury dip.

Don’t just keep Bagna Cauda for artichokes – it is delicious with all vegetables – dip steamed carrots, fennel, celery, asparagus and anything else you can think of into this warm, delicious and salty bath.  Or drizzle it over a perfectly cooked, rare, sliced steak.  Have fun with it and be adventurous.!

This recipe serves 2 as an appetizer or side dish, but I am a greedy piggie, and I ate it all to myself!  You can share the bagna cauda from the same dish if you like or divide it between 2 separate small ramekins or dishes.  It is also easily multiplied up to feed more than 2 people – in-fact, if you are feeding a crowd, with an instant pot this would make the simplest appetizer!

 

Artichokes with Bagna Cauda (AIP)

(serves 2 unless as greedy as me!)

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Ingredients

For the Artichokes:

  • 2 artichokes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 of a lemon
  • a lemon cut in half

For the Bagna Cauda:

  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup AIP approved fat – I used bone-marrow fat for this recipe, but bacon fat would make a delicious substitute.  You could also use a good quality coconut oil or home-rendered lard.
  • 3 anchovy fillets (read ingredients to ensure they are preserved in an AIP approved oil if canned.  If salted, rinse the excess salt off)
  • 3 cloves of garlic

Method

The first thing that you need to doo is to trim your artichokes as these are going to take the longest time.  Take the artichoke and cut off the end of the stem – I do recommend that you leave some stem on, because while it can taste bitter and can be fibrous it can be edible, and you cannot tell if it is until after it is cooked).  Take a vegetable peeler and peel the stem around all its girth, removing any small and loose leaves.

Next, put the artichoke flat on a cutting board and using a very sharp knife cut an inch off the top of the artichoke – this removes a lot of the spiky bits that may be present.  Check the remaing  leaves for sharp points and if you find them, but them off with a pair of scissors.  Rub all the exposed areas with a cut lemon to prevent browning.

If you are using an Instant Pot, put the trivet in the bottom.  Add 1 cup of water, the bay leaves, the lemon and the garlic. Add the trimmed and prepared artichokes.  Turn on your instant pot and select Manual.  Press the + button to 20.  Let it run for 20 minutes, the  do a quick release of pressure.  Remove the cooked artichokes and test for done-ness by pulling off a leaf – if it does noBat pull off with minimal pressure/strength cook for 5 mins longer.  Keep warm until the Bagna Cauda is ready.

If you do not have an Instant pot, put the lemon, bay and garlic in a pot with a cup or two of water.  Place a steamer basket over the top and add the trimmed artichoke hearts. cover with a lid, and cook for 45 minutes.

Once the cooking time is done, if using an Instant Pot, do a fast steam release (I like to put a cloth over the vent to stop any damage to my ceiling and kitchen cabinets). check that the  artichokes are cooked by pulling a leaf out.  It should pull out easily – if it is not cooked, you need to give it 5-10 minutes more.

Keep the artichokes warm and make the sauce.

To make the Bagna Cauda, put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Transfer to a pan and heat up.  Simmer for 2 minutes (do not worry if it appears to curdle that is because of the protein in the anchovies).  Transfer to heated serving dishes (ramekins for single servings, a heated fondue pot for larger portions if you have multiplied up).

Serve at once as a dip…..

Shared at: Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable

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This blog-entry does contain affiliate links that help support my blogging activities.  If you click on a link, you will never be charged more than the regular price for the item, but I may receive a small reward as a result.  Please rest assured that all of the items or ingredients I recommend in this post I have used personally.

 

Farmers Market Fruit Crumble – AIP/Paleo/Vegan/Gluten-Free

I went a little bit overboard the other day while at the farmers market and bought a TON of fruit…  far more than I could reasonably eat before it all went soft and over-ripe.  And in addition to everything I bought (apricots, strawberries, saskatoon berries and blackberries) I also had a bunch of rhubarb in my CSA veggie box.

I was at a little bit of a loss as to what to do with all this fruit, and then I remembered that I had a pot-luck to attend the next day.

Normally, I make savoury contributions to potlucks as there is usually very little that I can eat apart from what I provide.  But this time I decided to make a dessert using all this delicious fruit.

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The fruit I used was everything that I had got from the farmers market – apricots, strawberries, blackberries, saskatoon berries and the rhubarb.  But you could use any fruit you have that is seasonal.  It could also be made with frozen fruit.  Just keep the quantities to 5 cups of assorted fruits or even 5 cups of one single fruit (It would be delicious made with just apples for example).

It was an absolutely delicious crumble – tangy, and not too sweet.

Remember, even though this dessert contains minimal added sugar/sweeteners, fruit still contains a lot of fructose.  The aim on the AIP is to keep your fructose levels under 20g a day.  In addition, sugar in any form is very inflammatory, and for those people with Autoimmune Disorders, this can cause a setback in the healing process, or could even trigger a flare.  Keep desserts and sweet treats like this to a once in a while “treat” rather than an every day indulgence.

This dessert is also made to be shared – it is ideal to make as a dessert when you are having the family over for Sunday lunch, less so as a regular dessert after your meals each day.  Keep the portions small and you should not have too many problems with sugar consumption.

Farmers Market Fruit Crumble

serves 8

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For the fruit filling:

  • 5 cups assorted fresh or frozen fruit (I used 1 cup each of diced apricots, chopped rhubarb, halved strawberries and blackberries and saskatoon berries )  Feel free to use whatever fruit you have available.
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour or arrowroot starch
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup

For the crumble topping:

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

Mix the fruit together in a bowl and toss with the tapioca flour or arrowroot starch.  Pour into a 9″ square baking dish.  Drizzle the maple syrup over the fruit, aiming to get it as evenly distributed as possible.  If you are using frozen fruit, there is no need to thaw it first.

Put all the ingredients for the crumble topping in a food processor and pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs.  If you do not have a food processor, you can easily do this by hand.  Simply mix all the dry ingredients together and rub the coconut oil into the flours using your fingertips.  Then mix in the vanilla and maple syrup.

Sprinkle the crumble topping over the fruit, aiming to get an even layer.

Bake the crumble in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until the fruit is bubbly and the crumble topping is nicely browned.

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This can be served hot, warm or cold depending on preference.  It is even easy to reheat – simply place the crumble in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for 10-15 minutes until heated through.

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I like to serve this with whipped coconut cream

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Mmmmmmmm  delicious!

Shared at: Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable

Cauliflower-Kale “Rice”

Cauliflower makes a great rice substitute, but being white, it can look a bit bland.  I like to add some extra colour and nutrition by adding greens.

Kale pairs really well with cauliflower, and is one of my favourites.

This recipe is not only paleo, it is gluten and grain-free and also AIP-friendly.

Cauliflower-Kale “Rice”

serves 4

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  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1 large bunch of kale
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 tbsp fat of choice (lard, tallow, bacon-fat or coconut oil are all good choices)
  • ¼ cup of bone-broth – preferably homemade from grass-fed/pastured bones
  • sea salt to taste

The first thing you need to do is to turn your cauliflower into “rice”.  The easiest (and least messy) way to do this is to use a food processor.  Cut the cauliflower into florets and place these in your food processor.  Pulse it until it resembles grains of rice.  You may need to do this in batches.

If you do not have a food processor, you can still make cauliflower “rice”, but it is a messy process – take a box grater and grate the cauliflower florets.

Take the tough stems out of the kale, and shred the green parts finely.

Peel and chop the onion.  Peel and crush the garlic and chop finely.

Melt the fat you are using in a large skillet or a wok (I actually use a wok for this as it is bigger than my skillet).

Add the onion and cook over a medium heat until softened.  Do not let the onion brown or burn.  Toss in the garlic and add the kale.  Now add the bone broth, and steam-saute the kale until it is tender.

Add the cauliflower and season well with salt.

Cook, tossing constantly until the cauliflower is heated through and is tender – about 5 minutes.

Serve at once.

This is a wonderful side dish that goes with pretty much anything.

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Coconut Whipped Cream

This is a wonderful topping for any AIP or Paleo desserts.  It is 100% dairy free.

Light and creamy, it really does resemble whipped cream in texture

I use this a lot to top fresh berries as a simple dessert, but I have also used it to top my Choco-Nanacado Mousse and my Avocado-Nana Raspberry Parfait.  It is also wonderful spooned over fresh berries to make a simple dessert or snack.

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Sometimes, just that little bit of creaminess makes all the difference.us

You do need to plan in advance to make this as you need to chill both the bowl and the coconut milk in the fridge.

This cream is made from the thick layer that separates out at the top of the coconut milk when it is stored in the fridge.

If you are using homemade coconut milk, this will happen naturally.

If you are using a can of coconut milk, you will need to ensure that it does not contain any gums or emulsifiers as these will prevent the thick layer from separating.  You also need full fat coconut milk.

Coconut Whipped Cream

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  • 1 batch of homemade coconut milk or 1 can of full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp honey or maple syrup (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract or 1/4 tsp vanilla powder (optional)

Place the coconut milk in the fridge for at least 4 hours to chill and to let the thick creamy layer separate out.  At the same time, chill the bowl you intend to mix this in.

Carefully scoop the thick layer off the top of the more watery layer underneath.  The watery layer can be saved to add to smoothies.

If using canned coconut milk, it is easier to open the bottom of the can and pour the watery layer off and then scoop out the thick creamy layer.

Place the coconut cream in the chilled bowl, and add the optional sweetener and vanilla if using it.  Whisk using a hand mixer for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy.

Chill in the fridge for 1 hour before using.

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Serve spooned over whatever takes your fancy….  it is even good to top coffee (if you have managed to reintroduce it – Coffee is a stage 1 reintroduction).  I also use it on top of a carob hot “chocolate”.

Tapioca Pudding With Blueberry Compote – AIP/Paleo/Vegan

One thing that I really miss with being AIP is rice pudding.  For years, it was my go-to comfort food.  But white rice is not strict AIP.

I was browsing in the grocery store the other day, when I saw some tapioca pearls.  And then it hit me – Tapioca Pudding!

This was a regular dessert on the school lunch menu when I was in Junior School….  Everyone hated it, and called it “Frogs-spawn”.  But I loved it!

I used the tapioca pearls and made a minimally sweetened pudding using coconut milk.  And then, remembering how my Mum used to serve rice pudding with a blob of jam on top, I made a blueberry compote to serve with it.

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This is not an overly sweet dessert, but remember, desserts, even ones like this, should be once in a while treat and not an every day indulgence.  Eating too many sweet treats can cause inflammation levels to rise, and can result in a set-back in the healing process.

Tapioca Pudding with Blueberry Compote

Serves 4

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For the Tapioca Pudding:

  • ⅓ cup small tapioca pearls
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 2 TBSP pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

For the Blueberry Compote:

  • 3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 4 TBSP pure maple syrup
  • 2 TBSP water
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

First make the tapioca pudding.

Put the tapioca pearls in the water and leave to soak for around 1 hour.

After this, put all the pudding ingredients in a small pan with the water and soaked tapioca pearls.  Bring to a simmer, and cook for around 20 min until the pudding is thick and creamy, and the tapioca pearls are opaque.  Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

Divide the cooked pudding between 4 small dishes or jars, cool and then chill in the fridge.

While the pudding is chilling, make the blueberry compote.

Mix 2 cups of blueberries in a pan with the maple syrup, water and vanilla.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the remaining blueberries, and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly until warm but not hot.

Top the chilled tapioca pudding with a spoonful of the warm compote and serve.

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The compote recipe will make far more than you need, so store it in the fridge for a few days and use over icecream, waffles, pancakes or anything else that you think it would be good with.  Hint – it is AMAZING with duck breast!  The compote is very concentrated and rich, and a little goes a long way.

Shared at:  Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable, Full Plate Thursday, Waste Not Want Not Wednesday

Moroccan Cauliflower “Couscous” Salad – AIP/Paleo/Vegan

This is yet another dish that I made for a pot-luck.

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I try to make fairly substantial food when I take something to an event like this as it is incredibly rare that there are other foods that I can eat – nearly everything contains gluten, or dairy, or both.

This is a hearty, filling salad that would be really good paired with kebabs or grilled meat, and would be ideal to take to a BBQ or picnic, and the leftovers are perfect for a packed lunch the next day.  It is also ideal to serve as a side dish with my Moroccan Lemon and Herb Chicken.

I used riced cauliflower to stand in for the couscous, and used seasonings and herbs that give this salad a slightly Moroccan feel.

This salad is 100% AIP compliant, but if you can tolerate seeds, some pine-nuts would be a good addition to provide some protein.  Pine nuts are actually a seed, not a nut.  This dish is also vegan.

I apologize for the poor quality pictures and the paper plate – I forgot to take a photograph before it was served, and quickly had to snap a couple using my phone.  While the pictures do not do this dish justice, it is incredibly tasty.

Moroccan Cauliflower “Couscous” Salad

serves 6-8 as a side dish, or lots as a pot-luck contribution

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Separate the cauliflower into florets and pulse them in a food processor until it resembles small grains.  If you do not have a food processor you could use a box grater, but be warned, it is very messy doing it this way!

Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic.  Peel and grate the ginger.

Chop the dried apricots, parsley, cilantro and green onions.  Zest and juice the orange.

If using the optional pine nuts (not for strict AIP), toss them in a dry pan until they smell toasted and are turning a pale golden brown.  They burn in a flash, so watch them like a hawk!

Heat the coconut oil in a large pan over a medium heat.  Add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes until it is just translucent.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a few more minutes until fragrant.

Add the cauliflower, salt, cinnamon and turmeric, and cook, tossing frequently until the cauliflower is tender but not mushy.  This will take about 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and place the cauliflower in a large bowl.

Stir in the dried apricots, raisins, orange zest, parsley, cilantro and green onions.  If using the optional toasted pine nuts, add them at this stage.

Mix the orange juice, vinegar ad olive oil in a small bowl, the pour the dressing over the salad.

Mix well until everything is evenly coated.

Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the flavours develop.

Shared at: Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable

60 Autoimmune Protocol Zucchini Recipes

I decided that I really NEED to get back to blogging on a regular basis.

And what better way to start again with a roundup of recipes from some of the amazing AIP bloggers out there.

Because it is the height of zucchini season right now, I decided that a round up of some of the best AIP-friendly zucchini recipes would be appropriate.  All these recipes are autoimmune friendly, and are a delicious way to use up the glut of zucchini…

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Breakfast

Image by A Squirrel In The Kitchen

Image by A Squirrel In The Kitchen

Breakfast Hash Casserole – by A Squirrel In The Kitchen

Sunrise Hash – by Enjoying This Journey

Awesome Zucchini and Bacon Sautee – by Joanna Frankham

Appetizers And Snacks

Image by Sustainable Dish

Image by Sustainable Dish

Zucchini Pinwheels With Prosciutto And Basil – By Sustainable Dish

Roasted Garlic Zucchini – by Taste And See

Salty Zucchini Chips – by Life Made Full (make sure any additional spices you add are AIP compliant.  You could also add herbs)

Autoimmune Paleo Friendly Crackers – by Kaiku Lifestyle

Avo-Lemon-Dill-Dip – by The Paleo Partridge

Chicken And Zucchini Poppers – by One Lovely Life (omit the pepper and cumin if strict AIP)

Paleo Egg Rolls – by Forest And Fauna

Soups and Stews

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Zucchini Soup – by me

Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup – by Clothes Make The Girl (omit the black pepper if strict AIP)

Fragrant Herb and Chicken Soup – by Comfort Bites

Creamy Zucchini Mushroom Soup – by Paleo Leap (replace the ghee with coconut oil or another AIP compliant fat and omit the black pepper if strict AIP)

Paleo Chicken Noodle Soup – by How We Flourish

Roasted Garlic and Zucchini Soup – by In Sonnet’s Kitchen (omit the black pepper and optional diced tomato for strict AIP)

Main Course Dishes

image by Comfort Bites

image by Comfort Bites

Ginger Chicken With Courgette Noodles – by Comfort Bites

Garlic Shrimp Zucchini Pasta – by Sweet Potatoes and Social Change

Mason Jar Instant “Ramen” Noodles – by Strictly Delicious

Asian Pad-Thai Noodle Bowl – from Beyond The Bite (omit the sesame oil for strict AIP)

Turkey and Zucchini Lasagna with Sweet Potato Noodles – by He Won’t Know It’s Paleo

Bacon Zucchini Mushroom Stir-fry – by Paleo Magazine

Salmon Primavera – by Phoenix Helix

Stir-Fried Minced Pork With Bamboo Shoots and Zucchini – by Provincial Paleo

Bolognese Sauce With Chicken Livers And Zoodles – by Healing Family Eats

Zucchini Noodles With Scallops And Bacon – by Meatified (omit the black pepper if strict AIP)

Bolognese Sauce With Chicken Livers And Zoodles – Healing Family Eats

Pulled Pork And Zoodles – by Comfort Bites

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Pork Belly Ramen – by me

Chicken Piccata With Zucchini Noodles – by Strictly Delicious

Autoimmune Protocol Meatloaf – by Autoimmune Paleo

Zucchini Canoes – by Petra8Paleo

Zucchini Love Boats – by Slightly Lost Girl

Scallops With Bacon, Courgetti And Lime – by Comfort Bites

Salmon Cakes – by The Paleo Partridge

Hot Crispy Pork Belly With Zucchini Coins – by Petra8paleo

Hidden Liver Meatballs – by Provincial Paleo

Spanakopita Pie – by Petra8paleo

Zucchini Burger – by Enjoying This Journey

Sides

Image by Phoenix Helix

Image by Phoenix Helix

Melted Zucchini and Onions – by Phoenix Helix

Marvellous Minted Zucchini And Broccoli Rice – by Joanna Frankham

Zucchini Spaghetti – by Empowered Sustenance

Bacon-Basil Zucchini “Pasta” by The Paleo Mom (omit the optional walnuts for strict AIP)

Lemon Parsley Grilled Zucchini – by Against All Grain (omit the ground pepper if strict AIP)

Minted Zucchini – by The Paleo Mom

Marinated Summer Vegetables – by Don’t Eat The Spatula

Marinated Garlic Zucchini –  by Life Made Full (Make sure the Herbs de Provence are AIP compliant)

Zucchini And Caremelized Turmeric – by Petra8Paleo

Zucchini Fettuccine With Rosemary Butternut Creme Sauce – by In Sonnet’s Kitchen

Smoked Salmon Salad With Zucchini Noodles – by A Squirrel In The Kitchen

Zucchini Noodles With Nut And Seed Free Pesto – by Kaiku Lifestyle (omit the optional black pepper for Strict AIP)

Garlic Rosemary Zoodles – by Enjoying This Journey

Roasted Vegetables – by Joanna Frankham

Broiled Zucchini – by Nom Nom Paleo (omit black pepper and ghee for strict AIP)

Shaved Zucchini and Mint Salad – by Eat Drink Paleo (omit the black pepper and optional parmesan for strict AIP)

Treats, Baking and Deserts

Image by For Eat's Sake

Image by For Eat’s Sake

Zucchini Bread – from For Eat’s Sake

Banana Zucchini Bread/Cake/Muffins – by The Saffron Girl (omit the optional cardamom for strict AIP)

Carob Zucchini Milkshake – by Rias Recipes

Zucchini Bread – by For Eat’s Sake

Other

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Cauliflower and Zucchini “Cheese” – by me

AIP/Paleo Zucchini “Cheese” With Fresh Parsley – by A Squirrel In The Kitchen

Zucchini Cheese – by Gutsy By Nature

AIP Zucchini Pesto Sauce – by Sweet Potatoes And Social Change

Wow that is a lot of recipes! Now are you going to tell me that you do not know how to use all the zuchs from your garden?

Bone Marrow Poutine – AIP/Paleo/Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free

Poutine is a comfort food dish that originated in Quebec, Canada.  It consists of fries, gravy and cheese curds, and is a common fast-food dish found throughout Canada.

In honour of the week of April 18 – 25 2015 being Calgary’s Poutine Week, I decided that I was going to cook an Autoimmune Protocol version of this classic Canadian dish to share with my 2 housemates.

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I had been thinking about recreating this dish for a long time – several months at least, and Poutine Week seemed the ideal time to make it.

Of course, seeing that I am both Celiac and allergic to dairy, and I am also practicing the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol), an anti-inflammatory and intestinal healing lifestyle,  I needed to make a poutine that I could also eat…  and that meant that the traditional poutine of French-fries, flour-thickened gravy and cheese curds was totally out of the question.

I decided that white (Japanese) sweet potato fries would make a perfect substitute for the (nightshade containing) french-fries.  The gravy was a fairly easy substitute to make – I made a rich onion gravy similar to my Simple Gravy recipe that was thickened with tapioca starch, and flavoured with caramelized red onion and beef bone broth.

The cheese curds were substituted with cubes of my Cauliflower and Zucchini “Cheese” that I posted about yesterday.

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This cheese tastes like a mild cheddar or processed cheese.  And while it cannot compare to the texture of the traditional “squeaky” cheese curds, it does still add that mild cheese flavour.  The heat of the sweet potato fries and the gravy melts the cheese slightly and makes it taste oh so rich….  Think of all those poutines you ate that had mozzarella and other melty mild-tasting cheese added.  That is what this one is like!

And then, “just because I could”, I added some grass-fed beef bone marrow to add extra flavour and richness.

If you don’t like the idea of eating bone marrow, you could easily leave it out, and this dish will still be good….  in fact, if you did this, and used vegetable broth in place of the bone broth and agar while making the “cheese”, this could be a vegan dish!

But if you can obtain some marrow bones, I really urge you to give this a try with the marrow included – it really does add to the flavour.  And bone marrow is very nutritious – full of “brain-feeding” healthy fats.  And really, what is more decadent than a bone marrow poutine!

The best bit about this recipe is that if you have made the “cheese” in advance, you can have it ready in under 1 hour….

Serve this next time you have friends over to watch the hockey, and you will have very happy friends!  In fact, get yourself organized and you could have this cooking during the first period, and serve it while everyone is waiting for the second period to start!  Perfect food for the Stanley Cup Playoffs!

AIP Bone Marrow Poutine

serves 2-3

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    • 2-3 medium sweet potatoes (If you use the white Japanese sweet potatoes your poutine will appear more authentic, but the ruby/orange ones work just as well)
    • 3-4 tbsp fat of choice – melted if necessary (beef tallow, lard, bacon fat, coconut oil or olive oil would all be good choices)
    • Pink Himalayan Salt to taste
    • 2-3 lb cross-cut beef marrow bones (aprox 6-8 bones in total) – preferably from grass-fed beef
    • 1 red onion – peeled, halved and sliced
    • 2 cloves garlic – peeled and minced
    • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
    • 1 quart beef bone broth – preferably homemade
    • 1 Tbsp Coconut Aminos or other soy sauce substitute
    • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • 2 Tbsp Tapioca Flour
    • 3 slices Homemade Dairy-Free “Cheese” – cubed

The first thing that you are going to do is to preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).

Peel the sweet potatoes, and cut them into fat fries – you really do not want skinny shoe-string fries here!  Place the fries in a bowl and toss with 2-3 tbsp of the fat you have chosen (melt the fat first if it is a solid type).  Season with salt, and spread the fries out in a single layer on 1-2 rimmed baking sheets.

Place the sweet potato fries in the oven, and set the timer for 15 minutes.

Place the marrow bones upright in a rimmed roasting tin:

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Place the roasting tin with the marrow bones in the oven below the sweet potato fries.

While the fries and bones are cooking, prepare the gravy – melt the remaining 1-2 tbsp of fat in a heavy based pan over a medium heat.

Add the onion and sautee until caramelized and browned.  Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Now pour in the bone broth and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

When the timer goes off, take the sweet potato fries out of the oven and toss well.  Return them to the oven and set the timer for a further 15 minutes.

Add the balsamic vinegar and coconut aminos to the pan with the onion and broth, and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.  You want the liquid to reduce by about a third…

When the oven timer goes off again, remove the sweet potato fries and bone marrow from the oven and allow them to rest for 5-10 minutes while finishing the gravy.

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Use as stick blender to puree the gravy to a smooth consistency.

Take the tapioca flour and mix with a little cold water to make a slurry.  Mix this slurry into the gravy, and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened.

Taste and season as necessary with salt.

To assemble an individual portion of the Poutine…

Place a portion of the sweet potato fries in the bottom of an individual serving dish.

Scoop the bone marrow out of 2 of the roasted marrow bones and use to top the fries – don’t worry if it breaks up – that is fine…  Just don’t waste any.  You may need to use a small knife to cut around the bone cavity to release the bone marrow (if it comes out in one long piece chop it up before adding it to the fries in the dish!).  If the bones are too narrow, use a chop-stick or metal skewer to poke it out… just get as much out as you can! (Reserve the bones for making bone broth).  Make sure you either add any of the fat that comes out of the bone marrow to this dish or save it for future uses – it is a really nutritious fat.

Scatter some of the homemade dairy-free cheese cubes over the fries, and top with a generous ladle full of the gravy….

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Serve at once before the “cheese” has melted…

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It is worth bearing in mind that this is an incredibly rich dish, and it is very filling… the small amount shown in the picture above is roughly what each of us managed to eat – me and my 2 housemates (both of them guys)…  we all felt incredibly satisfied after eating it…. But not uncomfortably full… this stuff gets into your brain and just tells it that “I have eaten enough”…  bone marrow and the gelatin in the bone broth and cheese does that to you!  It is so incredibly nutritious that you really do not need to eat huge portions.

I would love to know if you try this recipe and what you thought of it…. and please, PLEASE!  give it a try with the bone marrow at least once!

Shared at: Simply Natural Saturday, Corn Free Every Day, Hearth and Soul Hop, Tasty Tuesdays, AIP Paleo Recipe Roundtable

Cauliflower and Zucchini “Cheese” – AIP/Paleo Vegan Option

Homemade vegetarian/vegan cheese has been showing up all over Instagram and various websites thanks to a poster by the name of Haley Stobbs.

I needed to make some AIP friendly cheese as an ingredient in an artichoke and spinach dip (recipe coming soon!) for a Beltane potluck that I was attending, and naturally I turned to this type of cheese as dairy containing cheeses are out (not only are they not AIP, I have an anaphalactic dairy allergy for which I carry an epipen).  I also needed some “cheese” for another recipe that I was planning on making – an AIP Poutine…

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As I did not have many zucchini, and I also wanted to give this cheese a little more “substance” than the original recipe had, I decided to use some steamed cauliflower as well.

While this recipe does not taste exactly like aged cheddar cheese (I doubt you could ever achieve that in a non-dairy form!), it does have a pleasantly cheesy flavour – like a mild cheddar or a processed cheese…

And HEY!  It is a “cheese” that I can eat without needing to use my Epipen and ending up in Emergency…

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Nutritional yeast gives this “cheese” it’s flavour.  The way that nutritional yeast is produced makes it safe for even people with SIBO or Candida overgrowth to consume.  I prefer to use this brand of nutritional yeast:

And the best bit?  It melts!

This cheese is 100% AIP, and can easily be made vegan by substituting agar flakes for the gelatin.  I actually did use agar when I made this for the potluck as I wanted my dip to be vegan.  I have also made it using Great Lakes Gelatin in order to take advantage of the gut healing properties that gelatin has.  Either way, it works well.

This is the gelatin that I use:

Cauliflower and Zucchini Cheese

makes 1 x loaf-tin sized block

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Place the cauliflower and zucchini in a steamer, and steam over simmering water for 8-10 minutes until tender.

Place the cauliflower and zucchini in a food processor and pulse until smooth.

Add the gelatin or agar powder while the puree is still hot and process until well mixed.

Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Pour the mixture into a loaf tin lined with parchment paper.

Chill in the fridge until well set.

Turn out the block of “cheese” and slice and use as needed…

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Optional:  Add fresh chopped herbs (I like to use parsley, thyme, oregano and basil) and finely chopped garlic to make a garlic and herb “cheese”.

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Shared at: Gluten Free FridaysReal Food Fridays, Lets Get Real Fridays, Simply Natural Saturday, Corn Free Every Day, Hearth and Soul Hop,  Tasty TuesdaysAIP Paleo Recipe Roundtable

AIP Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

I think this might be one of my most successful recipes to date.

I just threw it together without following any specific recipe, and it turned out insanely tasty.

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While I was grocery shopping last weekend (in Safeways), I came across a whole fermented cabbage head.

I am partial to fermented cabbage, and seeing as this head was not only unpasteurized (meaning that all the bacterial cultures were still alive), but it contained only salt, water and cabbage…

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So I bought it, and it was the inspiration for making this recipe.

I have seen people posting about fermenting whole cabbages in the past with the aim of making stuffed cabbage rolls, but I do not own a fermenting crock so I have not been able to ferment a whole cabbage myself (it is just a little difficult to squeeze a whole cabbage into a mason jar…)

If you cannot find a whole fermented cabbage to use, you could make one yourself, or you could use a regular cabbage and blanch the leaves in boiling water for a couple of minutes so that they are flexible enough to wrap around the filling.  If you do buy a whole fermented cabbage, check that it does not contain any non-AIP spices or ingredients.

Of course, because the finished dish is cooked in the oven, none of the bacterial cultures will survive.  But the sour cabbage does add to the flavour.

This recipe is 100% AIP friendly.

AIP Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

serves 4

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  • 2 cups “Nomato” Marinara Sauce
  • 8 large sour cabbage leaves (this works out at about ¼ cabbage).  If using a fresh “regular” cabbage blanch the leaves in boiling water first.
  • 1lb ground beef (preferably grass-fed)
  • 1 small onion – peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic – peeled and finely chopped
  • 8oz mushrooms – finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach – packed
  • ¼ cup bone broth
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil – chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme – chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley – chopped
  • sea salt to taste
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Heat a skillet over a medium-high heat.  Add the ground beef to the skillet and brown for aprox 5 minutes.  Add in the onions, garlic and mushrooms, and cook until tender.

Add the spinach, broth, herbs and sea salt to taste.

Simmer gently until the spinach is wilted and most of the liquid has evaporated.

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Take the cabbage leaves, and fill each with 1/8 of the meat mixture.  Roll the cabbage leaf around the filling, tucking in the ends to make 8 neat parcels.

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Place 1 cup of the “Nomato” sauce in the base of a baking dish.

Nestle the cabbage rolls in the sauce, then top with the remaining cup of sauce.

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Sprinkle the finished dish with nutritional yeast if using it, then cover with a sheet of parchment paper and a sheet of foil (parchment paper next to the food to protect it from contact with the foil).

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.

Remove the paper and foil, and return to the oven for 15 minutes.

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Allow the cooked dish to cool for 5 minutes before serving as it will be very hot.

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Serve 2 cabbage rolls per person.

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As you can see, there were no leftovers!

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Shared at: Fat Tuesday, Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable, Full Plate Thursday, Real Food Fridays, Lets Get Real Friday, Mix it up Fridays, Awesome Life Friday, Natural Family Friday, Gluten Free Friday, Old Fashioned Friday, Hearth and Soul Hop