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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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

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

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

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

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Fold up and serve….

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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

Oxtail Stew

In winter I crave rich meaty stews, and one of my favourite meats is to use oxtails to make a stew.  The meat is rich and tasty and the bones add their goodness to this long-simmering stew.

When you eat it, you just know it is doing you good.

This recipe is AIP-friendly.

Oxtail Stew

serves 6

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  • 2 tbsp fat of choice (I used lard)
  • 2 oxtails cut into 1″-2″ pieces
  • 2 onions – sliced
  • 3 large carrots – cut in chunks
  • 3 sticks celery – cut in chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves – crushed
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 cups bone broth
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp tapioca starch to thicken the broth

Heat a large, heavy based pot over a medium-high heat.  Melt 1 tbsp of the fat and the brown the oxtail pieces on all sides, working in batches.

Remove the meat from the pot and add the remaining fat.  Add the onions, celery and carrots and turn the heat down to medium-low.

Cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables start to soften slightly.  Add the garlic, thyme and bay leaves and then pour in the broth.

Add the oxtails back to the pot and bring the whole thing to a simmer.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for at least 3 hours until the meat is soft and tender and is falling off the bone.

Remove the oxtail pieces from the stew and take the meat off the bones (save the bones for making bone broth).

Remove the bay leaves and add the meat back to the stew.

Mix the tapioca starch with a little cold water and add to the pot.

Reheat and allow to simmer for a few minutes to thicken the broth, then serve.

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Just look at this beautiful chunk of meat!

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This stew reheats beautifully, and gets better and better for a day or two sat in the fridge.

I will often make this for dinner, knowing that the leftovers can be eaten for lunch over the next couple of days.

Shared on Paleo AIP Recipe Roundup #66

Creamy Turmeric Chicken – Paleo/AIP

This delicious recipe consists of chicken breasts cooked in a creamy sauce that is made from a mixture of coconut milk, onion and some AIP-friendly spices.

The creamy sauce prevents the boneless, skinless chicken from drying out in the oven.

I bought some fresh turmeric roots from the farmers market, and decided to use some in this dish.

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Turmeric is the spice that gives curry it’s yellow colour, and it has been used in India as both a spice and a medicinal herb for thousands of years.

Turmeric contains curcumin, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory and it is also an antioxidant, meaning that it is something worth considering including in your diet.

The blend of spices that I used in this recipe give the sauce a comforting warmth, but it is not a spicy sauce.

This recipe is 100% AIP, and suitable for the elimination phase.

I served this over cauliflower kale rice.

Creamy Turmeric Chicken

serves 6

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  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • 4 tbsp grated root ginger
  • 15g (½ oz) fresh turmeric root – peeled and chopped.  Use 1 tsp dried turmeric if this is not available
  • sea salt to taste
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Preheat the oven to 190°/375°F.

Place the onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric in a blender and blend until smooth.

Season well with salt.

Arrange the chicken in a single layer in an ovenproof baking dish.

Pour the coconut milk mixture over the chicken.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

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Serve over cauliflower rice, spooning the sauce over the chicken.

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Shared at Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #35

Tostones – Green Plantain Fritters

Tostones are essentially a fritter made from green plantains.

They are a popular side dish and snack in many Latin-American countries, and may sometimes be called Patacones.

Essentially, they are twice-fried green plantains, and they can provide both a tasty starchy side and an appetizing crunch to many dishes.

I love to serve them as a starchy side, but I also serve them as a snack in their own right, sometimes with a dipping sauce, in much the same way as chips would be served.  They are also very good with soup.

To make these, you do need the plantains to be fairly green – if they are turning yellow, they will not be starchy enough, and your tostones would turn out mushy rather than crisp and crunchy.  If you have plantains that are more yellow than green, try making my caramelized sweet plantains instead!

I like The Paleo Mom’s video on green plantains, although I do not peel and cut them in the same way as she does if I am making tostones.

But if you can get your hands on some green plantains (and the greener the better really for these!) consider giving these a go!

In most Latin American countries, they use a special tool called a tostonera to flatten the plantains after their first frying – I have found that 2 cutting boards does the job perfectly well…  all you need is something with a smooth flat surface so that you can press the chunks of plantain into flat discs.

These are both paleo and AIP-friendly.

These Tostones were made by A while I took the photographs of her cooking them.

Don’t be afraid of this recipe serving 4-6, it is easy to make less by simply using fewer plantains.  But I suspect that once yo try these, you will want to make the full amount and keep the leftovers for snacks or other meals as they are so versatile.

Tostones – Green Plantain Fritters

Serves 4-6

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  • 3-4 green plantains (get the greenest ones you can)
  • coconut oil or lard for frying
  • sea salt to season

The first thing you need to do is to peel the plantains – this can be a little tricky sometimes, especially when they are very green.  You do need them to stay in the round, so you cannot peel them in the same way that The Paleo Mom did in the above video.

What I tend to do is to cut the bottom and top off each plantain.  I then cut them in half.

Next I cut a long slit along the entire length of the plantain, and I pries as much of the peel off as I can using my thumb.  This can be tricky, but be patient and eventually you will get most of it off.  If any bits of peel remain, just use a knife to cut them off.

Once all your plantains are peeled, you need to cut them in chunks – We tend to go for somewhere between ½ and ¾ of an inch – the thicker you cut them at this stage, the bigger your tostones will be  when done, so if you want small thin tostones (more like a chip), cut them smaller, if you want thicker, bigger tostones (more like a fritter), cut them bigger.

Heat the coconut oil or lard in a large skillet over a medium high heat.

Once it is hot, working in batches, cook the plantains until golden brown on both sides.  They don’t have to be completely cooked through at this stage -you are just aiming for an attractive brown colour.

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Remove the plantains from the pan and cook the remaining chunks in batches.

Once all the plantain chunks are cooked you need to start reheating the oil back to medium-high.

Place one plantain chunk on a cutting board and put a second cutting board on top.

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Apply pressure to the top board to squish it flat – how much pressure you use is up to you.

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Light pressure results in a thicker tostone that is more like a fritter (better for serving with soups or as a side), more pressure results in a thinner, crisper tostone that will more resemble a chip.

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Of course if you could get your hands on a tostonera you would use that in place of the 2 cutting boards.  I have never tried this with a tortilla press, but I wonder if that might work as well – if you have one and try it, please let me know!

Once all your plantains are flatened you can start cooking the tostones.

Place a few in the heated fat in the skillet, being careful not to over-crowd it – these need to be cooked in batches to achive crispness.

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Cook over a medium-high heat for a few minutes each side until golden brown and crispy.

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Remove, transfer to a plate and sprinkle with a little sea salt.  Continue until all the tostones are cooked.

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These can be served hot or cold as a starchy side, as a snack or even as a chip with some dips.

Shared at Gluten Free Fridays #99

Shared at Real Food Fridays #46

Packed Lunch – 07/09/14

Even though the kids are now on their summer break, I still have to make packed lunches – Both Hubby and I take one to work, and today, C needed one as she was performing with the Calgary Roundup Band at the Calgary Stampede.

This is what I packed:

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Clockwise from the top left-hand corner:

  • Blueberries and macadamia nuts
  • Cucumber sticks
  • A bed of lettuce with leftover sliced roast beef
  • Radishes and baby carrots

Also included was a reusable water bottle filled with water.

AIP Saskatoon Berry and Peach BBQ Sauce

BBQ sauce is a hard condiment to substitute for when you are following the Auto Immune Protocol – Tomatoes are out, chilli is out.  What can you eat with your ribs, burgers and wings?

I came up with this fruit based BBQ sauce that I served with ribs for one of the girls birthdays.

It was based on some frozen saskatoon berries and some frozen peaches that I had in the freezer.  If you cannot find saskatoon berries, you could substitute another type of berry – blueberries might make a good substitution.

This sauce does not have quite the same spicy tomato flavour as a traditional BBQ sauce, but it does have a wonderful fruity, slightly acidic flavour.  And it pairs really well with grilled meats.

This is a stage 1 AIP reintroduction recipe that calls for black pepper.  If you have not managed to successfully reintroduce black pepper, or you are still on the strict elimination phase of AIP, you can simply omit the black pepper to make this recipe 100% AIP compliant.

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

AIP Saskatoon Berry and Peach BBQ Sauce

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  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or other fat of choice
  • 1 onion – finely chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • 3 cups chopped peaches (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup saskatoon berries – thawed if frozen (substitute blueberries if you cannot find saskatoon berries)
  • ¼ cup coconut aminos
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper (Omit the pepper if sensitive or strict AIP)
  • 1 tbsp grated root ginger
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Melt the coconut oil in a pan and add the onion.  Cook gently over a low heat until the onion is softened.  Add the garlic and cook for a minute longer.

Now add the peaches and berries along with the maple syrup, vinegar, salt and pepper, ginger and cinnamon.

Simmer gently for 20 minutes until the peaches are starting to break down and the sauce has thickened slightly.

Blend until smooth and allow to cool.

Serve with your favourite grilled meats.

This sauce will keep for a week or two in a sealed jar in the fridge.  If you are wanting to store it for longer periods, I recommend that you freeze it.

Shared at Tasty Tuesdays #66

Shared at Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #33

Packed lunch for the last day of school

Today is officially the last day of school, so this will be the last “school lunch” post that I will be making until September.  I will still be packing a lunch for Hubby and myself to take to work.

This is what I packed today:


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Clockwise from the top left-hand corner:

  • baby carrots and cherry tomatoes
  • sliced strawberries
  • sliced chicken breast meat on a bed of lettuce
  • a homemade Larabar

I also sent everyone with a water bottle full of water.