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

Carob Stuffed Strawberries – AIP/Paleo/Vegan

I made these beauties for a pot-luck I was attending earlier this month, and have only just got round to writing about them.

These are the perfect dessert or treat for summer…  ripe, seasonal fruit, a rich chocolatey flavoured filling and then a little bit of mint.

CSS1

Essentially, they are fresh, perfectly ripe strawberries that have been hollowed out and filled with the same choco-bananacado mousse that I have posted about a while back.  Then a mint sprig was added to simulate the green leaves. and provide a burst of freshness.

These are incredible and got devoured almost immediately.

They are 100% autoimmune protocol friendly, but are also vegan.  And they are very quick and easy to make.  If you can tolerate chocolate/cocoa, you could probably substitute the carob powder for some cocoa powder to make these really rich and chocolatey….

I am planning on making these again in a week or two’s time for another potluck…

Just an additional note – it is worth buying the best, ripest, strawberries you can find.  go for organic, local grown, really fresh… because if you don’t you won’t get the full strawberry flavour.  Who wants to eat insipid, out of season strawbs that have been flown halfway round the world, treated with pesticides and goodness knows what and taste of nothing!

I firmly believe that strawberries should be a seasonal treat – enjoy them while they are fresh and seasonal….

Carob Stuffed Strawberries

CSS3

Take the strawberries and wash them.  Then, using a small paring knife, cut the tops off and hollow out a small space in the top of the strawberries.  Don’t throw away your strawberry tops and the pieces you have cut away – save them and use them to make a strawberry infused water

Place the avocado, banana, carob powder, vanilla powder, coconut oil, honey and coconut cream in a food processor and puree the mixture until it is smooth and evenly mixed.

Use a plastic bag with the corner cut off, or a piping bag to pipe the carob/banana/avocado mixture into the hollows you cut in the strawberries.

You may have more of the mixture than you need to fill the strawberries – just transfer the extra to a dish and eat it later!

Top the carob filled strawberries with a mint sprig.

CSS2

Chill in the fridge to set the carob mixture.

These do need to be eaten relatively quickly, but will last a day or two in the fridge.

Shared at: Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable

Basic Mixed Salad With Balsamic Vinaigrette (AIP)

I realized that I have never posted about the basic salad that I eat with almost every single meal that I make…

This recipe is 100% AIP with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

You can vary the salad ingredients to include anything that you like to have in your salad – no need to stick to the vegetables that I have suggested here – I often vary them depending on what I have available and what is seasonal.

These ingredients are just a suggestion.

To make this recipe low-fodmap, simply omit the green onions and don’t use the suggestion of garlic in the vinaigrette dressing.

The vinaigrette cannot be made low histamine as given, but you could replace the balsamic vinegar with fresh lemon juice.

This recipe keeps well in the fridge for several days – just add the balsamic vinaigrette as needed.  I often make a big batch of salad, and store the dressing in a jar in the fridge.  I will serve myself a portion of salad as needed and then drizzle over a little dressing, toss it and eat it.

Basic Mixed Salad

serves 4-6


burgersaladguac14

  • ½ head romaine lettuce – chopped
  • ½ head green or red leaf lettuce – chopped
  • 1 small daikon radish – peeled and grated
  • 3 large carrots – peeled and grated
  • 4 green onions – chopped (omit this if low-FODMAP)
  • ½ english cucumber – chopped
  • Balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below)

This recipe is very simple to make.  Peel the daikon and carrots and grate them into a bowl (you could also chop or julienne them if you prefer).  Chop the 2 types of lettuce, the onions and the cucumber.

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  I find that my hands are the best tool to do this as it does not bruise the salad greens/lettuce.

basicsalad

 

At this stage, the salad can be stored in a covered bowl or storage container in the fridge for a few days.   But like all raw/fresh ingredients, it is better if you serve it fresh.

Just before serving, toss with the balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below) and serve at once.

In the picture below, I served this salad with a simple grilled burger and a large dollop of guacamole.

burgersaladguac14

 

Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette

makes ¼ cup (enough for a salad for 4-6 people)

balsamicvinagrette

This dressing is the epitomy of simplicity.

All you do is add the balsamic vinegar to a small glass jar.  Add the olive oil and season to taste with sea salt.

Shake well and use to dress your salads immediately before serving.

It can be kept in the fridge for several days, but will need to be allowed to come up to room temperature before mixing as the olive oil may solidify.

This recipe can be varied by adding garlic (do not add this if low-FODMAP) or fresh or dried herbs.  I like to add fresh thyme and oregano.  If adding fresh herbs use right away.

You could also replace the balsamic vinegar with any vinegar of your choice or even any citrus juice.  To make this recipe low histamine, I recommend freshly squeezed lemon juice in place of the balsamic vinegar.

The extra virgin olive oil can also be replaced with any oil that you prefer as well.  Nut and seed oils are not AIP, but avocado oil is and makes a delicious vinagrette.

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…

CZC6

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…

CZC2

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

CZC4

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…

CZC5

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”.

GHC4

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

Kale Chips – AIP/Paleo/Vegan

Kale chips have to be one of my favourite snacks.

The salty crunch makes them irrisistable, and they get eaten faster than you could ever imagine.  It is a good thing they are so easy to make.

And seeing as they are so addictive to eat, it is a good thing that they pack a real nutritional punch.

Kale is packed with anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. It’s high in fibre, iron, Vitamins K and D and it’s also a good source of calcium. To add to this already impressive list, it’s also high in folic acid and Vitamin B6.

What is not to love!

The secret to crispy, crunchy kale chips is to cook them at a low temperature and to make sure that the kale is perfectly dry.

I am particularly fond of making these with Lacinato Kale, but you can use any type that is available.

Lacinato Kale

Lacinato Kale

Kale Chips

serves 2-4

KC4

Preheat the oven to 275°F.

The first thing you need to do is to wash the kale.  Then drain it, and spin it in a salad spinner until it is perfectly dry.  If you do not have a salad spinner, you could try a tip that I learned from my grandma – place the kale in a tea-towel, gather up the corners and whirl the tea-towel containing the kale around your head…  just don’t break anything!

Remove the stems from the kale, and tear the leaves into 1-2″ pieces.

KC3

Drizzle over the melted coconut oil and toss the kale well until every piece is coated.

Spread the kale out in a single layer on baking sheets – the exact number you need will depend on how large your baking sheets are and how big the bunch of kale you started with was.

KC2

Try not to have any pieces overlapping as this will prevent them from crisping up.

Sprinkle over the sea salt, trying to get it as evenly distributed as possible.  Ideally, you want every single piece to have a little sprinkle of salt.

Bake the kale in the oven for 30-45 minutes, rotating the trays half way through if necessary.  The exact time that the kale will take to dry out and become crispy will depend on how thick the leaves are.  Thicker leaves take longer, but tend to make a more robust chip.

Once crispy, transfer the chips to a bowl and serve…

KC4

You can serve them just as they are, or with a dip. They are particularly good with a herbed coconut yoghurt dip.

These products are those that I can recommend.  I purchase these from Amazon myself.  They are good quality, and the price is good.

Shared at: Simply Natural Saturday, Lets Get Real, Savouring Saturdays, Simple Saturdays Blog Hop, Hearth and Soul Hop, Mostly Homemade Mondays, Thank Goodness It’s Monday

Choco-Bananacado Mousse – AIP/Vegan/Raw

A chocolate craving the other night, and a need for some comfort food led me to develop the recipe for this mousse

CBM3

It actually does not contain any chocolate – I used carob instead.

This recipe is 100% AIP, it is also vegan and raw as it contains no eggs.

But despite this, it is just as satisfying and “chocolatey” as any chocolate mousse I have ever tried.  It is also very rich and filling.

Choco-Bananacado Mousse

Serves 2

CBM4

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 3 TBSP carob powder
  • ¼ vanilla powder
  • pinch of Himalayan salt
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 TBSP raw honey
  • 3 TBSP coconut cream (the thick layer at the top of a can of coconut milk)
  • Whipped coconut cream and fresh raspberries to garnish (optional)

This is a very easy recipe that takes only seconds to whip up…  perfect for when you need a “chocolate” fix in a hurry.

Peel the avocado and remove the pit.  Place the avocado flesh in a food processor with the banana, carob powder, vanilla powder, salt, coconut oil, coconut cream and honey.

Process on high for a minute or two until the mixture is smooth.

Transfer to two individual serving dishes or jars.

CBM2

This can be chilled in the fridge or consumed immediately.  Chilling in the fridge will result in a firm texture.

Serve garnished with whipped coconut cream and fresh fruit if you like.

CBM5

It is delicious eaten just as it is though.

Shared at Full Plate Thursday

Shared at Awesome Life Friday #11

Shared at Natural Family Friday

Shared at Gluten Free Friday

Shared at Simply Natural Saturdays

Shared at Mostly Homemade Monday

Shared at Fat Tuesday

Shared at Corn Free Everyday

Shared at Handmade Tuesday

Shared at Show and Share

Shared at Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #68

Shared at Pure Blog Love

Shared at Natural Family Friday

Shared at Foodie Friday

Nori Veggie Snacks

These are an easy, handheld snack that my kids love.

And the best part is that they are so nutritious.  The nori provides some iodine, the veggies provide a ton of antioxidants, vitamins and other minerals.

They are a little fiddly and messy to make, but the results are SO worth it!

These make a great lunch box filler, or a hand-held snack at any time.

You do need a dehydrator to make these.

Because these contain bell peppers and sundried tomatoes, they are an AIP stage 4 reintroduction.

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

Nori Veggie Snacks

makes aprox 36

vs1

  • 12 Nori sheets – cut into ⅓ lengthwise
  • 8oz sunflower seeds
  • 8oz pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup sundried tomatoes – drained if in oil
  • 1 red bell pepper – seeds removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 beet – peeled and grated
  • 1 carrot – peeled and grated
  • 4 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 5 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sundried tomatoes, pepper, beet, garlic and cayenne in a food processor.  Blend while gradually adding the water until it forms a smooth paste.  You may need more or less water depending on how juicy your veggies are.

Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Avoid using too much salt as it will become more concentrated when dehydrated, and you do not want it to be too salty.

Transfer the paste to a small ziplock bag.  Press out as much air as possible and seal.  Now snip off one corner to turn it into a piping bag.  You want to be able to pipe out lines of the paste that are about ¼-½ inch thick.

Lay a strip of nori on the counter, shiny side down.  Spritz it with a little water using a spray bottle.

Pipe a line of the veggie paste down the center of the nori.  Roll the nori around the filling, spraying with a little more water if necessary.  Press the edges of the slightly dampened seaweed together to seal.

Repeat this with all of the other nori sheets.

Place your nori veggie snacks on a dehydrator tray and dry overnight (I set the temperature of mine to 52°C/125°F).

When they are ready, they should be firm and dried out, and the nori should be crisp.

VS2

Allow to cool and store in an airtight container until needed.

Shared at Mostly Homemade Monday #79

Shared at  Hearth a Soul Hop

Shared at Fat Tuesday May 6 2014

Shared at Tasty Tuesdays Link Party #59

Shared at Gluten Free Friday #90

Shared at Fight Back Friday May 9th

Creamy Spinach Dip

This wonderful dip is 100% paleo despite the creaminess.  It is also dairy and gluten-free, raw and vegan to boot.  And it tastes incredibly delicious!

This is what I served the other day in the packed lunches…  I love serving dips in the kids lunches because research has shown that it is a good way of getting your kids to eat more veggies…  all I can say is that having seen what they bring back from school, it WORKS!  They will eat far more veggies (and everything else too) on the days I serve a dip…

spindip4

And with this dip, not only are they dipping and eating the veggies, there are veggies IN the dip as well….

It is great in packed lunches because it will not spoil if kept at room temperature for a few hours (the only issue is the presence of the nuts as some schools ban them), but it would also make a great appetizer or snack…  heck, I suspect it would be fab piled on top of a burger as well!

This recipe contains nuts and tahini, both of which are AIP stage 2 reintroductions.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Creamy Spinach Dip

serves 6-8

spindip1

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup blanched almonds
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 green onions – chopped
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg

Put the cashews and almonds in a bowl and cover with cold water.  Leave to soak for several hours.  This not only deactivates some of the anti-nutrients in the nuts, but it also is what makes the dip creamy… the nuts will absorb the water and plump up.  Don’t stint on the soaking time!  Having said that, you don’t want to go mad – you don’t want those nuts starting to sprout or go bad on you…  3-4 hours is plenty.

Drain the nuts and put in a food processor.  Dump in all the rest of the ingredients and process until thick and creamy.  If it is too thick, add a little water (you could reserve some of the nut-soaking water for this).

Transfer to a serving dish and chill until needed.

spindip2

This is great served with all kinds of veggies, veggie chips or homemade crackers.

Raw Crackers

These crackers are not only grain/gluten-free, they are raw, as they are “cooked” in the dehydrator.   They are incredibly easy to make and very tasty.  Perfect for packed lunches, as part of a cheese-board (assuming you eat dairy) or for a quick snack.  They are also great with dips.

If you don’t have a dehydrator, you could probably dry them out in an oven set at it’s lowest setting, but that might “cook” them a little, and you would have to watch them carefully to ensure that they don’t burn.

Because these crackers are made from seeds, they are an AIP stage 2 reintroduction.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Raw Seed Crackers

makes 1-2 dozen depending on how big you make them

crackers2

  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1-2 tsp sea salt

Soak all the seeds in the water for half an hour until thick.

Now tip into a food processor and process until it forms a thick paste.  It looks very unpromising at this point as the resulting mixture is thick and gloopy, and is an unattractive grey colour.

crackers5

Tip the mixture out onto a paraflexx sheet (if you don’t have one, you could use a silpat or even a sheet of baking parchment.

Spread it out as thinly as possible.  The thinner you spread it out, the thinner your crackers will be once they are dried.  The most important thing is that you keep it a fairly even thickness.  It doesn’t matter if the edges are a little ragged, the edge pieces will still taste good!

crackers6

Sprinkle the crackers evenly with 1-2 tsp sea salt.

Dry the crackers out in a dehydrator set at 57°C/135°F for a couple of hours until the top is starting to dry out.  Score the crackers into the desired size and shapes.  The smaller you make the crackers, the more you will get.

Return the sheet to the dehydrator and continue drying until the top is totally dry.

Place another tray on top of your crackers and flip them over.  Now you can peel off the Paraflexx sheet and dry the other side.  Return the crackers to the dehydrator and continue drying until the crackers are totally dry and crisp.

crackers1

Break into individual crackers along the score marks and store in an airtight container.

Apricot And Date Energy Balls

These little bite-sized balls are a play on the energy-bars that I have posted about earlier.

They make a great lunch-box or post-workout snack, and taste great with no additives or non-paleo ingredients.  And the best part is that they are so simple to make.

Because these contain nuts and chia seeds, they are an AIP stage 2 reintroduction.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Apricot and Date Energy Balls

makes 24 walnut sized balls

energyballs2

1 cup dried apricots

1 cup dried pitted dates

3/4 cup dried slivered almonds

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp bee pollen (optional) – we buy this from Buzz Honey

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it comes together as a paste.  You do not want to work the mixture so finely that the almonds turn to butter though or they will be very greasy.  Ideally, there should still be some small pieces of almond visible.

Roll the mixture into small walnut sized balls and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

energyballs3

The bee pollen is totally optional – it is supposed to increase your energy levels and contains many beneficial enzymes and nutrients, but these balls will be just as good if you leave it out.  And if you are allergic to pollen or bees in any way, I really would not recommend that you use it.