Thursday, September 20, 2018

Bone Broth!

We've all read enough about how good bone broth is for us--for our ow strong bones, for skin, nails, hair, even arthritic or injured joints.  Lately, it's popped up in my reading about autoimmune syndromes...so yes, good stuff!

I've made it off and on for years, from whatever bones we have on hand--leftover turkey carcass, bones from a roast chicken, beef bones, you name it.  I've used it as is, as well as for the basis for some incredibly good soups and stews, even as an addition to sauces and gravies.

Let me tell you, the stuff you buy can't TOUCH home made.  It's thin and tasteless and not at all tempting, and yes, I've tried a lot of diffeent brands.  I add it to soup stock if I have it, but if you plan to drink it you pretty much need to add something to give it a bit of savor.

Enter home made.  Of course grandma used to keep a pot simmering on the back of her old woodstove, but these days the crock pot does a wonderful job!  (I'm sure an Instant Pot would too, but I don't have one.)

It really IS easy...all you need are bones (duh, right?) and whatever vegetables need to be used up in your crisper or garden, and a little salt and herbs for savor.

Get hold of the best bones you can...from grass-fed or free range critters is best.  I brown them or roast them before putting them in the crock pot.  (The last batch of beef bones I got, from Barham Cattle Company and Family Farms had SO much meat on them I ended up with a luscious beef stew instead of broth!  And of course they were marked soup bones!  I'm going to see if they'll save some bone broth bones for me...)


Cut up whatever vegetables you have on hand...I used enough to fill the crock pot.  Here are carrots, celery, onion, radishes, garlic and spinach, with a bit of chard and cabbage as well.  If you have other faves, add 'em.  If they're getting a bit long in the tooth, add 'em anyway.)

Add the bones....
Cover with water (or leftover broth), add salt and herbs, and you're done.  Turn on the crock pot, put on the lid, and walk away.  We do ours for at least 24 hours or more...a couple of days extracts more minerals.  (Sometimes I add a splash of apple cider vinegar to help liberate those minerals...but not enough to make the broth taste sour.)

That's a rich, delightful broth.  I love beef bone marrow, so I scoop it out and eat it when I discard the bones--it's full of nutrients!  Then you can enjoy this as is or strain out the vegetables, which is what we did.  That gave us two big quarts of luscious bone broth I'm enjoying a mug at a time, plus a container of vegetables to eat later or add to other dishes.  (They became part of a mixed vegetable side dish last night, and Lady enjoys the bones with our veterinarian's blessings...we don't waste much.)

As you can see, the hardest part of this is cutting up all those vegetables  A good cutting board and a good sharp knife makes that a pleasure, for me...I Zen out...

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Auto-immune Style Stir Fry!

We are both pretty fond of stir fry, but we LOVE this version.  No soy, no wheat, no gluten, no nightshades, no legumes and all just delicious!  I did another version of this dish in THIS post, July 9, but I've branched out a bit.  The seasoning mixture is heavenly...so try them both!


INGREDIENTS:

Chicken breasts or thighs or the meat of your choice--beef or pork would be wonderful too, or you could even use tofu (not on the AIP diet, of course, because of the soy.)

A nice variety of vegetables--I like to use up what's on hand.  Here, that's carrots, celery, onions, garlic, cauliflower, zucchini, cabbage, spinach, chard, and even radishes that were getting a bit pithy.  Another time I might have broccoli, Brussels sprouts, squash or who knows what!  If I have those thick broccoli stems saved, I'll peel them to get all the stringy, tough part off and chop up the crispy center.  Mushrooms would be good, as well.  AND when I'm no longer on the introduction phase, I'll be adding snow peas.

Use what you like...and what you have on hand.

Coconut aminos
Olive or avocado oil
Red palm oil (optional, and make sure you get a brand that's harvested sustainably)
Apple cider or red wine vinegar
Red Boat sauce (adds that bit of umami, whatever that is...trust me, it's good!)
AIP "curry powder"  (recipe below)



PREPARATION  (From here the recipe is almost same, so to save typing that much I'm just editing to add the changes!)

Cut the meat into bite size pieces, and marinate in coconut aminos, oil, and vinegar (more aminos than vinegar) for 2-4 hours in the refrigerator.  Overnight is fine, if you want.  I put the pieces in a bag or container and turn it this way and that to thoroughly coat everything.

Cut up the vegetables into bite size bits--I like to get fancier with the cutting, making carrots as diagonal slices and celery into decorative half moons, but they taste the same however you want to do it.  I like to keep all the vegetables separate and add them one at a time, slower cooking ones first--especially since J. likes carrots DONE.  No al dente for him, thank you!  I use whole baby spinach, but I cut or tear chard or similar greens into bite size pieces.

Add oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet and dump in the chicken and marinade; I just ued a bit of the red palm oil for rich color, but don't get carried away--it's ORANGE.  This will need to cook off and the marinade gets lovely and thick and browned a bit.

This time, I got the chicken just browned but not necessarily done through, and removed it so I could cook the vegetables in the same skillet--as noted, spinach or other greens last.  When they're close to done (we like ours softer than some traditional stir fries, and browned a bit), then splash with more coconut aminos and if you like, more vinegar, a few drops of Red Boat sauce (find it in an Asian market or online), salt and garlic powder.  (Coconut aminos aren't salty like soy or tamari sauce.)  Add a half teaspoon or more of the "curry powder"* for flavor...it really tastes more like Joseph's wonderful Chinese Five Spice mix, so it's perfect for stir fry!)


I had a LOT of juice left over this time, so I removed everything else from the pan and reduced the animos sauce till it was thickened, then added everything back to serve.  (If I'd cooked the chicken that much longer it would have been tough.)

As always, we look for organic, free range, antibiotic-free meats and organic vegetables if we can get them.  Farmers-market fresh is good, too!

----------------

*AIP "Curry Powder" Recipe  (no seeds or nightshades, in the early phases of the protocol)

Ingredients
1 T. garlic powder
1 T. onion powder
1 T. turmeric
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. powdered ginger (or more for a bit more kick)
½ t. ground clove (again, I added a bit more)
Real Food & Love blog adds powdered lemongrass, but I was fresh out...

If you're past the introduction phase (or AIP isn't an issue), you can add powdered mustard, cumin, and black pepper to taste, as well.
Instructions
Mix all ingredients together and use in any recipe calling for curry powder. Use this in place of traditional curry powder, which usually has coriander seed, cumin seed, cayenne, mustard seed, chili peppers and black pepper, all of which are off the plate for the introduction phase.  

Friday, August 3, 2018

Refreshing Cucumber-Orange Salad


Too bad I couldn't have gotten a more artful photo of this delicious, light salad, but I was anxious to dive into it...and OOOOHHH that marinated and grilled flank steak from Moink Meats...and of course the autoimmune style broccoli salad (no mayo, no seeds, but delicious...)

Fresh Cucumber Orange Salad–REFRESHING

1-2 cucumbers, sliced (peeled if necessary)
1 orange
1-2 green onions or diced sweet onions
Splash of ACV, red wine vinegar or kraut juice
sea salt
 
Cut orange in half, juice half for dressing and add to cucumbers
Remove orange segments from the other half, cut bite size and add to bowl
Zest the fresh orange, add as much or little as you like
Add onions cut into small slices
Add ACV or kraut juice
Salt to taste
Chill and serve
Add a spoonful of local honey if you’re in reintroduction phase.
A great cooling side dish!

Turkey Dinner "meat muffins" (mini-meatloaves)







These little "turkey dinner" flavored meat muffins are great for road food, breakfasts, picnics, or freezing for a later quick and easy meal when you're too tired to cook!  We LOVE them...I've taken them to potlucks and they made a big hit there, too.  I plan to try some other variations, with chicken, pork or beef, but so far I can't stop making these!

Ingredients:

1 lb ground turkey
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2 celery sticks, diced
1 large carrot, shredded
1/2 tart apple, diced
1 t. rubbed sage or more, to taste
1/2 t, dried thyme
1/2 t. garlic powder or to taste...I like garlic!
1/2 t. turmeric (optional)
1 t. sea salt, give or take
bacon grease or other oil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees, saute' vegetables in oil, let cool somewhat, mix well with other ingredients. Line a muffin tin with parchment cupcake papers, and bake 25 minutes.

I always saute' one tiny patty of whatever mix I'm making up to see if it's seasoned right--loved this! But of course you can vary to suite yourself...they'd fit the theme with dried cranberries, which aren't on my autoimmune protocol just now.

Yummy! (Joseph agreed...)

Thursday, July 12, 2018

German "Potato" Salad (yep, made with cauliflower)

We often substitute cauliflower for foodstuffs that are off limits for us, on the Paleo diet and now the autoimmune protocol.  (Even as a pizza crust!) As a nightshade, potatoes are definitely up there on the "I don't think so" list.  But this dish is so delicious you don't miss them for a moment!

SOOO delicious!  A great way to get lots of veggies, too...
Give it a try, for a summer potluck or picnic--since it has no mayonnaise it doesn't have to be refrigerated immediately, and in fact it's wonderful hot.  (It tastes hearty enough for winter fare, too...)

INGREDIENTS

1/2 a large head of cauliflower, cut up into chunks (more if you want)
1/2 lb. bacon more or less--we get Pure, from Farmland, with no nitrates or nitrites, and delicous!
2 stalks of celery sliced thin
3-4 green onions or scallions
1/4c c. diced sweet onions if you need more
T. dried or fresh parsley
splash of red wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar
1 t. coconut aminos or a bit more (can use honey or maple syrup)
sea salt to taste

Fry bacon till crispy, drain and reserve fat; slice scallions into small bits, green tops as well.  Don't ask me why, but I love the Zen of cutting vegetables with a good sharp knife.  Joseph made this one...


Steam cauliflower till tender

Yum! 

I like the celery cut this fine...

Saute celery and onion, if you've cut up more, in the leftover bacon grease till onions are translucent.
Crumble bacon and add it and everything else to a large bowl.  Dump the onions and celery in, splash with vinegar, add sea salt to taste, and the parsley for a bit of color.  Traditional German potato salad is slightly sweet...that's what the teaspoon of coconut aminos does.  Mix well and serve warm or cold.
I added a bit of my home made nettle salt because nettles are SO good for you, but I don't expect most people have that on hand!

And of course you CAN use potatoes if they're not a problem for you.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Baked Pita Chips--or Crackers, or whatever you want to call them! (AIP-style)

 If you're like me, at all, salty-crispy is a HUGE deal.  For a while there, I was eating WAY too many potato chips and such...I'd been diagnosed as low-sodium, so in order to boost that, I got a little silly.  At first I'd only eat potato chips when we went to a restaurant or shop that made their own, fresh--and them I discovered "healthy," organic ones in the health food store.  Oooops.  Hooked!

So now that I'm using the autoimmune protocol, nightshades--as in potatoes, tomatoes, peppers--are right out. I already don't eat wheat or other grains...so what to do?

Enter AIP recipes for just about anything you'd want, including crackers and chips, this one basically--before my changes!--from healingautoimmune.com.



Our biggest problem is staying OUT of them!  They're delicious.  Great with dips, great on their own.  Serious yums.

So..here's my altered version of the recipe for all my salty-crispy-craving friends, suitable for Paleo, Primal, OR autoimmune protocol!


INGREDIENTS

1/3 C. arrowroot flour*

1/3 C. tapioca or cassava flour*

3 T. extra virgin olive oil

4 T. cold water

1 T. or more nutritional yeast (we use Bragg's)---it adds a cheesy flavor

1 t. sea salt

Garlic, garlic powder, onions, onion powder, chives, herbs are optional and delicious...I used organic garlic powder.


INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. (our toaster oven works just fine.

Mix everything together well with a strong wooden spoon, then finish mixing well with your hands.  It's a bit crumbly, like pie crust.

Put the ball of dough on a sheet of parchment paper and press flat with your hands.  Put another piece on top and roll to about 2 mm thick. 

That's THIN, folks, but not too thin.  My second batch were too thick, like 2/8", and they got HARD.  We ate 'em anyway...

Score the dough into cracker-size squares...mine are about an inch.  Poke with a fork a couple of times on each one, and slide the parchment paper and all onto a baking sheet and into your oven.


I didn't bother poking the third batch, here.
 Bake 15 - 20 minutes, but check to make sure they don't burn, ovens vary!  You can turn the baking sheet a time or two if your oven has a hot spot.  I like them golden brown like this so I gave them closer to 20 minutes, watching closely.



Remove and cool before breaking apart the crackers...and store in an airtight container to keep them crispy.  A mason jar works fine!

Enjoy with dips, spreads, AIP cheese, or all by their cute, crispy little selves!

In theory, the recipe serves two, but we spread it out over several days...hard as it may be to control ourselves.  I mean, warm, salty, crispy, garlicky...where's that mason jar!?

This is pretty quick and easy...maybe I'll make another batch today, with herbs...

* Arrowroot, tapioca, and cassava flours can all be bought in your favorite health food store or online.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Chicken Stir-fry, AIP style!


I made this for dinner last night, just altering my usual approach a bit for the new protocol, and it was so good J. has requested I make it again tonight!

Stir fry's been a favorite of mine since I first visited San Francisco when I was 18 (dinosaurs roamed the earth then, so you can tell it's been a while!)--I'm delighted to say my husband shares my enthusiam, with this version.  It's not only autoimmune-protocol, but fits our Primal Blueprint/Paleo habit perfectly.

I'm not big on measurements so it varies a bit each time, and we use whatever vegetables we have on hand.

So...here we go!

INCREDIENTS

Chicken--breasts or thighs

Vegetables--usually I use onion, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach or other greens, 2-4 garlic cloves, sliced, maybe celery--and in this case a few snow peas.  Experts don't entirely agree on those, since technically they ARE legumes and those can cause problems, but if you use the ones that are young and haven't developed the peas--crisp pods only--some sources say acceptable. (Same for green beans.)

Coconut aminos instead of soy-based products
Red wine vinegar
If you don't have garlic cloves, garlic powder will do
Olive oil

PREPARATION

Cut the chicken into bite size peices, and marinate in coconut aminos, oil, and vinegar (more aminos than vinegar) for 2-4 hours in the refrigerator.  Overnight is fine, if you want.  I put the pieces in a bag or container and turn it this way and that to thoroughly coat everything.

Cut up the vegetables into bite size bits.  We thin-slice the carrots...and I like to keep all the vegetables separate and add them one at a time, slower cooking ones first.

Add oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet and dump in the chicken and marinade.  It will need to cook off and the marinade gets lovely and thick and browned a bit.

In a separate skillet, also oiled, add the vegetables in whatever order you want--spinach or other greens last.  When they're close to done (we like ours softer than some traditional stir fries, and browned a bit), then splash with more coconut aminos and if you like, salt and garlic powder.  (Coconut aminos aren't salty like soy or tamari sauce.)




Enjoy!  Just had cold stir-fry for breakfast again...

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