Artichokes with AIP Bagna Cauda (Instant Pot/Steamer)

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

ACBC1

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!

 

ACleftovers1

 

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!)

ACBC2

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

———————————————————————-

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.

FC2

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

fc1

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.

FC4

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.

fc5

I like to serve this with whipped coconut cream

cc6

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

ckr

  • 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.

.

AIP Pork Belly “Ramen” – Paleo/Gluten-Free

I am a huge fan of Japanese food, and one of my favourites is Ramen.  Not the icky, cheap, packets of ramen you can buy in the grocery store, that are really nothing more than a chemical-shit-storm in a packet.  I am talking REAL ramen….

PBR4

The problem is that ramen noodles are made with wheat.  And the broth usually contains soy.  2 things I cannot eat…

The solution is to make my own using spiralized zucchini as the noodles, and a rich flavourful pork bone broth infused with AIP friendly Asian flavourings.  The broth is made with a pigs foot, and has that sticky, rich quality that you only get from a gelatin rich bone broth…

The pork belly is a simpler form of the AIP Crispy Pork Belly that I have posted about in the past.  The only difference in this case was that the pork belly I had happened to buy was not in one piece and I did not marinate the pork before cooking it as I felt that the finished dish would be flavourful enough without it…

pbr6

This recipe does take a fair bit of forward planning if you are going to make the broth, but if you had some chicken bone broth stashed in the freezer you could always use that instead….  it probably would not be quite as good as if you made this broth, but it will still be very good!

Don’t be dismayed by the long list of ingredients or the time that this takes to make – the results are worth it!

PBR1

 

You will most probably have far too much broth – that is OK, just store it in a mason-jar in the fridge or freeze it for another time.

AIP Pork Belly “Ramen”

Serves 2

PBR2

For the Asian Pork Broth:

  • 1 pigs foot – split in half
  • 1lb meaty pork neck or back bones
  • 1 onion – halved (no need to peel)
  • 1 stick celery – chopped
  • Trimmings from 1 fennel bulb (optional – this provides a slight aniseed flavour not unlike star anise)
  • ¼ cup dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 garlic cloves – peeled but left whole
  • 1″ chunk of root ginger – peeled and sliced into discs
  • a piece of Kombu (Dried kelp), 3″ x 1″ – optional
  • Stems from parsley and cilantro
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar

For the Pork Belly:

For the Ramen Noodle Soup:

  • 2 medium sized zucchini – spiralized using the finest blade (I use this spiralizer)
  • 2oz crimini/baby bella mushrooms – sliced
  • 2oz enoki mushrooms – trimmed
  • 2oz sliced bamboo shoots
  • 2 green onions – chopped
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • Coconut Aminos to taste

To make the broth:

The first thing that needs to be done is to get the pork broth made.  This is best started a day or two ahead of when you plan to make the ramen.

Soak the shiitake mushrooms in some boiling water for 1 hour.

While this is happening, place the pigs foot and the pork bones in a large pan and cover with cold water.  Bring the water just to a simmer but do not allow the water to boil.  Skim off any scum that forms on the surface of the broth.  Do not skip this step as this helps to make the broth nice and clear.  Boiling the broth will allow the impurities in the scum to mix back in with the broth, and this will make it cloudy.  After about 20 minutes of simmering, no more scum should be forming.

Now add the mushrooms and the soaking liquid, and all the remaining broth ingredients to the pot.  Return to a simmer, and continue to cook for around 8 hours, topping up the liquid as necessary to keep the bones covered.

Strain out any solids, and transfer the broth to the fridge to cool, where it should set to a firm jelly with a thick layer of fat on top.  Remove the solidified fat from the top of the broth, and save it for cooking, or use it to cook the pork belly.

Cooking the pork belly:

The next step is to cook the pork belly.  This also needs to be started the day before you plan to serve the Ramen Noodle Soup.

Take the pork belly and score the skin with a very sharp knife, taking care not to cut into the flesh.  It does not matter if your pork belly is all in one piece or is in several small pieces as mine was.

Place the pork, skin-side up on a rack over the skin and pour over a kettle-full of boiling water.  This firms and contracts the skin and is the secret to getting it really crispy.

Place the pork belly in the fridge and allow it to dry out overnight.  Don’t skip this step – it is essential that the skin is really dry before it is placed in the oven or it will not crisp!

An hour or two before you plan on serving the soup, you need to cook the pork belly.

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

Melt the lard, coconut oil (or the fat you skimmed off the top of the pork broth), and rub this well into the skin-side of the pork belly.  Sprinkle the skin with salt and rub it in to the scores you cut.

Place the pork belly, skin-side up on a rack over a roasting tin, and place in the oven.

Roast for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F (175°C).  Continue to cook the pork for 15-20 minutes more until it is cooked through, and the juices run clear when pierced with a sharp knife.  At this stage, you can decide if the pork skin is crispy enough for your liking

pbr6

If you want it extra crispy, preheat the broiler to high, and broil the pork, skin side up for 30-60 seconds until it is crisp but not burned.

Remove the pork belly, cool slightly and slice into thin slices.

To assemble the ramen noodle soup:

Cut the ends off the zucchini and spiralize them using the smallest blade on a spiralizer.  I have this one.

Place 3-4 cups of the pork broth that you made a day or two earlier in a pan and bring to a simmer.  Taste it, and add coconut aminos as necessary until it tastes just right for you.  Don’t add so much that it is very salty however!

Add the zucchini noodles to the broth and simmer for 3-5 minutes until the noodles are just cooked but not mushy.

Remove the noodles from the broth and divide them beteween 2 soup bowls.

Add the sliced crimini mushrooms and the bamboo shoots to the broth and simmer for 2 minutes to heat through and just cook the mushrooms.

Meanwhile, divide the spinach, cilantro and enoki mushrooms between the 2 bowls.  Pour over sufficient broth to cover the noodles, adding the mushrooms and bamboo shoots.  Add the sliced pork belly on the top and serve at once.

PBR5

 

Eat with chopsticks, using a spoon to slurp up all that delicious broth!

Shared at:  Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable

 

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

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

CCS2

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

CCS1

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…

canstockphoto0123819

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

zucchinisoup1

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

PBR2

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

CZC4

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.

BMP1

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.

CZC6

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

BMP4

    • 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:

RBM5

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.

RBM4

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….

BMP3

Serve at once before the “cheese” has melted…

BMP2

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

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.

sc5

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…

sc12

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

SC4

  • 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.

sc10

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.

sc11

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.

sc8

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.

sc7

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

sc6

Serve 2 cabbage rolls per person.

sc1

SC3

As you can see, there were no leftovers!

SC2

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

Rutabaga Hashbrowns

These hashbrowns are very quick to make and are wonderful for breakfast when served alongside other “breakfast foods” such as bacon or sausage patties.

This recipe is 100% AIP, and is egg and nightshade free.

The tapioca flour serves to bind these together, taking the place of the starch that is in traditional (potato) hashbrowns.

This recipe serves 1 person, but is very easy to scale up to however many servings you need.

Rutabaga Hashbrowns

Serves 1

RHB2

  • 1 cup grated rutabaga
  • 1 Tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp fat of choice to cook (I used bacon fat)

Mix the grated rutabaga with the tapioca flour and chives.  Season to taste with sea salt.

Heat the fat in a large skillet over a medium-high heat.

Tip the rutabaga mixture into the fat and press down to make a flat pancake aprox. ¼ inch thick.

Allow the rutabaga too cook for about 5 minutes until the base is crisp and brown.

Carefully flip the rutabaga over, trying not to allow it to break.

Cook on the second side for 5 minutes until that side is also crisp and brown.

RHB3

Transfer to a serving plate and top with whatever else you are planning on serving.

BFST2

I served this with wilted baby-greens, caramelized onions and 2 homemade sausage patties.

Shared at Waste Not Want Not Wednesday

Shared at Allergy Free Wednesday

Shared at Gluten Free Wednesday

Shared at Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #68

Shared at Lets Get Real Friday

Shared at Gluten Free Fridays

Slow Cooker Carnitas with Plantain Wraps

I had some pork shoulder that needed using up, so I decided that I was going to make carnitas in the slow cooker.  I left them cooking all day while I was out, and by the time I came home they were amazingly tender and falling ppart.

I looked at the meat and decided that we needed something to accompany it – a wrap perhaps?  So I got cooking and came up with this recipe.

I served the carnitas in the wrap with some avocado cream that I made.

The carnitas are 100% AIP friendly, but the wraps do contain whole eggs which are an AIP stage 2 reintroduction.  If you need a 100% AIP plantain wrap, one can be found here.  The wraps are gluten, nut and dairy-free however.

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

Slow Cooker Carnitas with Plantain Wraps

serves 6

CPW3

For the Carnitas:

  • 2½lb boneless pork shoulder
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 large onion – cut into 8 wedges
  • 3 dried bay leaves

For the Plantain Wraps:

For the Avocado Cream:

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • ½ cup coconut cream (the thick stuff that rises to the top of coconut milk)
  • 2 tbsp avocado or coconut oil
  • sea salt to taste

To make the carnitas:

CPW7

Take the pork and cut it into large cubes – about 1½” in size.

Place these in a slow cooker with the garlic, oregano, vinegar, salt and stir to mix.

Scatter the onion and bay leaves evenly over the meat.

Turn the slow cooker on and cook on low for 8 hours.

Discard the bay leaf and shred the meat, mixing in the onions.

Keep warm while making the wraps and the avocado cream.

To make the plantain wraps:

CPW5

Cut the tops and bottoms off the plantains and then cut a slit in the skin along the full length.  Use your thumbs to peel off the skin.  Cut the plantain in chunks and put in a food processor or blender along with the eggs.

Puree at a high speed, gradually adding the water until you achieve a pancake batter consistency.  You may need a little more or a little less water depending on the size of your eggs and the size of the plantains.

Season with sea salt.

Heat a little coconut oil in a skillet over a medium-high heat, then add ½ cup of the batter, swirling the pan around to spread it out as evenly as possible.  Allow to cook for 3-5 minutes until the top is set and the bottom is golden brown.  Flip the wrap over and cook for a further 2-3 minutes to cook the top.

Remove the wrap from the pan, keep warm and repeat with the remaining batter.

To make the avocado cream:

CPW6

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.

To assemble:

Place the plantain wrap on a plate and pile on a generous amount of the shredded meat.  Top with the avocado cream.

CPW2

Fold up and serve….

CPW1

These are incredibly filling!

Shared at AIP Paleo Recipe Round Table #67

Shared at Full Plate Thursday

Shared at Real Food Friday

Shared at Gluten Free Friday

Shared at Waste Not Want Not Wednesday

Shared at Allergy Free Wednesday

Shared at Gluten Free Wednesday

Shared at Pure Blog Love