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...

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Zucchini...CHEESE???

Yes, it IS greenish...but it doesn't have to be.  My choice, leaving the peel on.
Some years ago, a young friend said she was making zucchini “cheese” and shared the recipe. (As I recall, the name of her Instagram account is something like "whatintheworldis***eatingnow?"  She's a hoot!) I never got around to making it, though I’ve remained curious all these years.  I just needed the proper incentive, and the autoimmune protocol was it!  My friends on the plan mentioned this substitute for dairy cheese, and it rang that curiosity bell, again.  I’m off dairy for the interim, but I miss the many things I can do with cheese, including just sit and eat it!

So, yesterday was “cheesemaking” day...for convenience in the post I’m going to knock off the quote marks though.

Ingredients are simple but versatile–you can add whatever herbs or vegetables or spices you like.  You can even start with a different main ingredient, like cauliflower or carrots instead of zucchini, or a combination of them if you want.  (Carrots will give it that cheesy yellow color...or add more turmeric than I did.)

My initial attempt was from the Sophie Van Tiggelen’s Squirrel in the Kitchen blog, but as usual I tweaked it here and there...

So with thanks to Sophie as well as apologies for the tweaks, here’s my version:


Ingredients

2 cups zucchini, cut up into cubes (I left the peel on, which made a very green cheese.  Must be from the moon...and Sophie says to peel it, which would take care of that if you consider it a problem.)
½  cup water
2 T. coconut oil, melted
4 T. gelatin (we have been using Vital Proteins brand, it’s pasture-raised, grass-fed and non-GMO)
½ t. turmeric for color and nutritional value (my addition)   
2 t. lemon juice
1 t. fine sea salt (more or less to taste)
2 T. nutritional yeast (it’s optional, but I like the somewhat cheesy flavor it adds)
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped (can use a t. or so of dried, and I did.)
1 t. dried or fresh chives (my addition)


Instructions

    Steam the zucchini for 5 minutes, until tender.  Drain.
    In a high speed blender, blend the zucchini with water, coconut oil, turmeric, lemon juice, and salt for 30 seconds or until smooth.  I suspect it's best to let it cool a little--some blenders don't like hot!
    Add the gelatin and the nutritional yeast. Blend for another 15 seconds.
    Pour in a bowl, add the parsley or other additives and mix well.
    Pour into a glass, plastic, or foil-lined loaf pan and refrigerate until set (at least 4 hours–YMMV).
We were amazed–it’s GOOD.  And it’s another way to get some veggies.


Slices like a dream, as you can see!





I used one of our old ubiquitous plastic storage containers we've had for ages...I suspect it would come out of about anything, though, with no problem.

Yes, it WILL melt or toast, and many people like the flavor better that way.

I discovered the original recipe didn’t have enough salt for me, so I added a bit, above.  The current batch I’m just sprinkling with sea salt as I use it.

And ooooh, sprinkled with a bit of AIP curry powder makes me want to make curry cheese!  Or sage. Or fresh chives, or roasted garlic.  Or maybe sun-dried tomato and fresh basil.  Or dill.  Lemon zest? Horseradish?  Bacon? Any combination of these?

In truth, I’m a particular fan of a good sharp cheddar, and I haven’t figured out how to make this have that lovely sharp bite...but if I do, I’ll let you know!





Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Autoimmune-style Broccoli Salad for Summer!

We've loved our friend Lola's broccoli salad and offered the recipe here: http://starvingartistscook.blogspot.com/2015/05/sort-of-lolas-broccoli-salad.html


But since starting autoimmune protocol*, for now dried fruits, sugar, and mayonnaise are off the plate until reintroduction, over 2 months from now.  I like to have a summer picnic-safe version anyway, and mayo-dressed salads aren't great for that! 

So I decided to experiment to see if at least SOME of the ingredients would make the transition...and boy was it a success!  Here it is served with grilled tenderloin kabobs, grilled zucchini, sauteed onions and mushrooms...what a meal.



1 head of organic broccoli chopped bite size
1 C. cauliflower florets, chopped
1/2 to 1 onion
1 large shredded carrot
1 pkg. of nitrite and nitrate-free bacon (that's 12 oz., these days)  (Or however much bacon you have...)



Dress with:
splash of extra virgin olive oil to moisten
2 T. liquid coconut aminos for a touch of sweetness and a hint of Asian flavor
1 T. red wine vinegar or apple cider
sea salt to taste

(I'm not using pepper or Pepperman for now, but I didn't seem to miss it...add it if it's not a problem!)

Add other vegetables if you like...or some home made herb salt...

Mix it all up and let it chill so the flavors mellow into eachother...we loved it!

If you'd like to know more about the autoimmune protocol, here's a good place to start: The Paleo Mom's basic starter guide.  https://www.thepaleomom.com/start-here/the-autoimmune-protocol/  
It's all over the 'net, though, just Google it and the literally thousands of amazing recipes...
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