Friday, October 4, 2019

Paleo Zucchini Spice Bread--gluten free and delicious!

Paleo Zucchini Spice Bread

This reminds me so much of the spicy cake my mom used to make...she called it "fishin' trip cake," so of course I made it for our recent trip to Bennett Spring!  Good hot, cold, toasted, buttered, or with cream cheese...give it a try!

We froze what was left for next time...


2 eggs
½ cup maple sugar, coconut sugar, or unrefined cane sugar
½ cup olive oil (can use another healthy oil of course)
2 cups grated zucchini (about 2 medium zucchini)
1 cup cassava flour or garbanzo flour or a combination of the two (or sure, wheat if you must...)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
(this time I also added almost a tsp of pumpkin pie spice since we had it...I like spicy!)
½ tsp sea salt
1 cup raisins (optional)
½ cup sunflower seeds (optional) (Other nuts optional as well.)
Use butter, lard, ghee or coconut oil and cassava flour to grease and flour pans, or line pan with parchment paper.


Grate and drain zucchini ahead of time–that’s a SOGGY vegetable. (Sometimes I put it in a cloth and squeeze additional moisture out.) 
Preheat oven to 350F.

Grease and flour one large or two small loaf pans (or cut parchment paper to fit.)
Beat together eggs, sugar, and olive oil, then stir in drained zucchini.

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt. Add to egg mixture and stir to fully incorporate. Fold in raisins, seeds or nuts.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake for 1 hour or until sharp knife inserted into the loaf comes out clean.

Remove from loaf pans, invert onto cooling rack. It keeps well if you can stay out of it!
Adapted (quite a bit!) from a recipe from Sarah Ballantyne, the Paleo Mom.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Nordic Nut Bread (okay, mostly seeds...), gluten free

I have no idea if this actually is Nordic...some sources call it Viking Bread, which may be even harder to nail down.  I call it GOOD, and make it when I want a hearty, filling bread-like creature.  (No flour, no grain of any kind, no yeast.)

It's not inexpensive to make, but it is a special treat.

The original recipe calls for walnuts and almonds, but since I'm allergic, I tweak it!  It's quite versatile--the original recipe has no raisins or sweetener, but I added a little of both--sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.  It would be good as a savory herb bread as well.

Dense and rich, and full of nutrients!

So here's how:

Preheat oven to 320 degrees, and prepare a loaf pan by greasing and flouring, or lining with parchment paper.


dry ingredients
  • 6 T pumpkin seeds
  • 6 T sunflower seeds
  • 6 T cashews (raw or roasted)
  • 2 T sesame seeds
  • 2 T poppy seeds (optional)
  • 1 T hempseed (optional)
  • 1-2 T  flaxseed meal
  • handful of raisins (optional)
  • 1 T coconut or maple sugar (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
wet ingredients
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or other healthy oil)
I'm reasonably sure you can substitute any nuts or seeds you prefer, just end up with about the same amount.  I've made it without any sweetener and fruit and it's still delicious.

Bake for one hour or until knife inserted comes out clean.

Beat eggs, and add oil and dry ingredients, stirring well to mix.

Pour into greased or parchment lined loaf pan (can use two small ones for special treats or gifts!)

Nuts need not be chopped--I didn't--but you can.

Serve with butter, if you wish, but it sure doesn't need it.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Marinated Chicken and Mushrooms on Cabbage Steaks


I made this recipe up many years ago, I think--30 at least, so I could have forgotten where I got it!--and LOVED it.  I used white Worcestershire sauce (then called Marinade for Chicken, then discontinued!), then, and we've stopped using the commercial stuff at all, but I decided to try my new recipe for AIP Worcestershire in its place, and it was LUSCIOUS.

Here's how:

2-3 large chicken breasts or 7-8 boneless thighs, cut in cubes
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine (I used chardonnay)
3-4 sliced garlic cloves
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce, home made* (or commercial if you don't mind the weird ingredients)

1 cup of sliced mushrooms, more or less

Mix liquids and add chicken and garlic, marinate at least 6 hours, then cook in the same sauce till chicken bites are done. Remove chicken and quickly saute' mushrooms in the same pan.

Serve it all over cabbage steaks*, as we did here, or rice or potatoes (if you can do grains and nightshades) or cauliflower rice. Or put in a bowl and go for it!



*I used this recipe for the Worcestershire sauce, and it's as good as the traditional stuff I grew up on! 

I wonder if I can figure out how to make a white version!  Or maybe I'll just try this one I just found:
(Of course, without cornstarch...I'll bet tapioca starch would work just as well.  I'll use honey or maple syrup instead of white sugar, too...)



Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Slice cabbage from the head, about 1/2" thick slabs.  (If it's near the stem, core that out.) Place on a cookie sheet, coat well with olive oil on both sides, salt and pepper both sides, and roast for 15-17 minutes till edges are crispy.  (If you want more crisp, you can stir the steaks areound and put it back in the oven for a while.  YUM.)  We like this just as a simple side dish, as well...

Naan, again...AIP, gluten-free, dairy-free (OK, except the butter...)

We ended up preferring this recipe for naan to my cauliflower ones...give them a try too!  The arrowroot flour makes them stretchy inside, but that's what naan does, right? 

If you like a drier, less strectchy naan, (even crispy!) put them on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  YUM.


  • ½ cup cassava or garbanzo flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour or arrowroot flour
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • Salt, adjust to taste, optional
  • Garlic powder to taste, because why not?  GARLIC! (optional, of course)
  • Ghee or butter (if dairy's okay for you), optional


  1. Preheat a your pan over medium heat--I use my favorite old cast iron skillet, oiled
  2. Mix all the ingredients together well, and pour enough in the pan to make about a 5" circle, roughly.
  3. Afterthe first side has set and the top has a few bubbles (like pancakes), flip over to cook the other side.  You'll see some very dark places, but that's fine.
  4. Scarf them up now, or cool on a wire rack.  You can freeze them with a sheet of waxed paper between, but they're best fresh.  (My last batch got kind of stiff after a few days!) (No, NOT after freezing, silly, in the fridge!)
We've used these as wraps, and even as burrito-like critters.  GOOD.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

AIP Moroccan-style Vegetables* (with reintroductions)

Whatever we had in the crisper, along with a few new purchases from today's grocery run...and YES there will be leftovers!

I've been making stir-fry vegetables but decided I was hungry for Moroccan-style again!  I had to make some adjustments to my original recipe to make it mostly AIP compliant, and used more and different vegetables since we just got back from our weekly grocery shopping and needed to get stuff out of the fridge, but YUM.

You can pretty much use whatever vegetables you have on hand, I did! These were in tonight's dish...

Cut up half an onion
2-3 radishes if you have them, sliced
2-3 large carrots
Several broccoli florets, cut bite size
Several cauliflower florets, ditto
1/2 zucchini cut in bite sizes
1 C. Cabbage, cut thin (not quite as thin as for slaw)
½ C. Mushrooms, if you have them.  (Or however many you want.)
2-3 cloves of garlic or a generous sprinkle of garlic powder
handful of raisins (that's the reintroduction, dried fruit is out, at first)

Saute' in olive oil till beginning to get tender, then add spices:

I used:

garlic powder
powdered clove, just a bit for a kick
cumin (whoops, another reintry--seeds) 
pepper  (ditto, one more)
(This is very much like my AIP curry powder, recipe here.)

Tonight we had the vegetables with Joseph's wonderful encrusted salmon filets...delicious!
Keep tasting till it has a nice complex taste with a bit of heat from the ginger and vegetables are tender, serve with a protein or whatever suits your fancy...and dig in!

* No nightshades for me on the autoimmune protocol, so no cayenne, oh well...the ginger gave it enough heat!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Cauliflower Naan--gluten free, AIP

Sometimes you just want something "bready" to dip into a dish a la' naan or other flatbread.  If you're off grains and gluten, this recipe is a decent substitute--PLUS you're getting more vegetables!

I got the basic recipe here, from the always helpful Louise Hendon: as usual, I tweaked!

Preheat oven to 450 degrees (yes, HOT.)

  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot flour (see the last ingredient if needed)
  • 1 Tablespooons garlic powder more or less
  • 1/2 t. Salt or to taste
  • You may need to add coconut or cassava flour, a tablespoon at a time--I'm trying cassava next time, we find it a one-to-one substitute for wheat.
Cook cauliflower florets till tender--I steam them, but you could use a microwave--and drain.  Use your blender or food processor to make a smooth paste--if that doesn't happen (and it didn't, for me), add the oil and blend.  Turn out into a bowl, flour, add salt and garlic.

This was supposed to make a malleable dough you could roll out without the additional flour but it didn't--it was more batterlike, so I added a couple of tablespoons of coconut flour till it thickened into a soft dough.

Remember, coconut flour is REALLY absorbent, so just add a bit at a time and it will thicken.

use a sheet of parchment paper on your baking sheet and plop about a third of your dough onto it...flatten with your palm or a big spatula to about 1/4" or less (I went for less!)
Bake for about 15 minutes, but keep an eye on it, oven temperatures vary and that parchment paper gets brown.

I used my toaster oven, but next time will try the oven in the stove, where there's more room...

This really was supposed to stay light colored, but I was pleased with the slight crispiness at the edges.

Let cool and's supposed to remain soft and even a bit stretchy inside--that's the arrowroot flour at work!  I used it as a dipper into a meat sauce, my husband used his as pizza crust.  Either way, it was GOOD, low carb, and gluten free.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Old-fashioned Oxtail Soup!

I grew up on this hearty winter soup--or stew, if you prefer!--and I love it.  Remember the old saying "it sticks to your ribs?"  Well, it does.  It's wonderful, rich, simple peasant food and you really don't even need a recipe. 

Soup-making is sacred, to me.  Whatever combination of ingredients, I feel deeply connected to my ancestors stretching all the way back to the first pots that would hold a bubbling liquid, some meat, and some vegetables. (Tightly-woven baskets with hot stones dropped in, anyone?)

But I digress...

What do you have on hand?  Throw it in there!  We try hard to use organic vegetables and if that's not possible, fresh locally grown, and from the "clean 15" list of those least affected by chemicals.

All you really need are a variety of vegetables (think variety, color, and nutrient-dense!) and good quality oxtails, not always easy to find in today's hurry-up, ready made "cuisine."  A good butcher should be able to fix you up, even if you have to call ahead, and of course we look for locally sourced, pastured, hormone-free, grass-fed beef if at all possible.

I had a couple of pounds on hand--we buy the good stuff from MoinkThe Local Pig in the City Market in Kansas City, or Barham Family Farm in Kearney (MO), but I know there are plenty of other sources out there.

I lightly brown the meat in an iron skillet to bring out the rich flavor, then put it in the crock pot with bone broth, beef broth (home made or commercial) or water, and add whatever vegetables I have on hand.

This time it was onions (always), garlic, carrots, turnips, celery, zucchini, and radishes (yes, radishes!  They are wonderful cooked), and a few greens (baby spinach?  Chard?)  Sometimes I have celeriac or parsnips, but above you see the basics. 

Cut in bite-size pieces and add to the pot. Make sure the liquid covers most of the ingredients, but not to worry, they will squish up (the zucchini sure did!) and cook down into the broth.

Add what herbs you like (we make an Italian seasoning mix), season to taste, and put the lid on the pot.  Set to high and come back later to a wonderful dinner!  (If you use an instant pot, that's good too, I just don't have one.)

Oxtails are so rich in collagen and protein that the broth will partly solidify or gel when cool.  This is GOOD.

This was soooo good I even had a bowl for breakfast the next morning AND dinner the next night.  And had leftovers to freeze for later.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Wild Foods Cookbook--oldie but goodie!

I like sharing food and cooking online with my husband, in our Starving Artists series--but don't be too surprised if I go back and mine my copy of The Wild Foods Cookbook, my first big cookbook!  LOTS of my favorites in that book, and translating them to non-wild ingredients (or offering the choice) would be a piece of cake.  Literally. ;-)

A lot of it can translate to our current interest in Paleo/Primal eating, as well as my AIP diet...I like to tweak old recipes to fit current needs...

I wrote this in 1986 or '87, based on many of our old family recipes--I grew up eating wild mushrooms, greens, strawberries, persimmons and other goodies. I still enjoy them!

Funny, this is one of those sagas that most authors experience at one time or another. Remember the 70s? Despite the old joke, I know you do, if you're old enough! Euell Gibbons' "Stalking the Wild Asparagus," Billy Joe Tatum's "Wild Foods Cookbook and Field Guide," or my favorite, the Petersons' A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and central North America (Hey, everybody loves the various Peterson Field Guides, and this one is no different!  Excellent work by father and son team Roger Tory Peterson and Lee Allen Peterson.)

I mentioned to my editor at the time that I'd grown up on wild foods, and she decided it would be GREAT if I did a cookbook.

I said "um, the 70s are over..."

But I was carried along by her enthusiasm, and sure enough, worked for well over a year on the book--recipes, field guide, appendices that included common wild edibles and the parts used, a section on poisonous plants to avoid, bibliography, index, and what seemed like a thousand illustrations! 

Finally I sent in the manuscript, and began that long wait for the final OK...which never came! They let my editor go, reorganized the whole department, moved the department head (who had also been really excited about the project) to a new section, and told me it was a no-go. At least I didn't have to return the portion of the advance I'd already received, after working for a year...

So after I licked my wounds for a while and stomped around the house, I went looking for a new publisher...too much work just to forget about, and I've discovered the way to survive in this business is perseverance! (Maybe that's just plain old stubbornness, but it works.) I must have sent that manuscript to 12 publishers before it found a home! The Missouri University Press was really interested, courted me, took me to lunch at a lovely hotel, and then...decided it wasn't regional enough! (Um...I'd picked virtually everything in the book in Missouri, except blueberries and cranberries...)

So off it went again, to one last publisher--The Stephen Greene Press, part of Viking Penguin at the time--and success! I loved my editor there, we worked together beautifully, and the book finally came out in 1989 (sans the field guide, which got cut for space reasons)...

And yep, the 70s WERE over, sure enough. It's still a darn useful book, but hippies have gone pretty corporate for the most part, and even organic farming is big business, now!

Funny old world...still, some of us seem to be coming back around to the simpler life, and Real Cooking.

The book's long out of print, I only have one copy, but a few aftermarket sellers still offer it...oddly, some think it's worth a tad more than I do!

It did get me thinking about more recipes, though...and those "thousands of illustrations," especially since I've been making a lot of soup... ..;-) 


NOTE: I wrote this post originally in 2010...just found it in my draft folder and updated it a bit!  I hate to waste that much work...

Friday, January 4, 2019

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

This red cabbage dish is apparently traditional holiday fare in some parts of the world–I just like it ANY time! You can make a little or a lot, it’s easy...

Cook up 3-4 slices of bacon to render the fat, or use reserved bacon grease. We get bacon that’s preservative/nitrates/nitrites-free, uncured but smoked. It’s delicious! We can find it at our local grocer’s and love Farmland's brand, but you can also get Coleman Natural Bacon at Costco. Bacon keeps well in the freezer. Find more info about them here:

(You can replace the bacon grease with butter, olive oil or avocado oil, if you need to. You may want to add 1/4 T. ham base from Better than Bouillon* which seems to get the best reviews overall, for that smoky taste.)

Cut up ½ to 1 head of red cabbage, chopped to nice bite sizes (We get the organic stuff from our Hyvee or Natural Grocers, but you may find a CSA group near you that offers organic produce, as well. That’s Community Supported Agriculture, by the way–find out more here: )

Chop half a sweet yellow onion about ½" chunks

2-4 tart apples, chopped (jonathans are wonderful here, but any tart, crisp apple...)

Some recipes call for 1/4 C. brown sugar–but apples and coconut aminos--if you're AIP--or sweet pickle juice make it sweet enough for us, but go for it!)

2-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or to taste...

Add 1/4 to ½ teaspoon celery seed or caraway if you like

Put the cabbage into a heavy pot on top of the bacon grease, add the onion and apples, and stir to coat well. If you've cooked bacon for this, you can crumble and add it to the pot. Add organic cider vinegar or sweet pickle juice (or sweet pickle relish, that’s what I had on hand.)

Add salt and pepper to taste, cover, lower heat and simmer till tender. This is even BETTER reheated the next day...

This is wonderful with German- or Scandinavian-style meals, but delicious pretty much any time!

* Love that Better than Bouillon--I seem to use it in a lot of things. It has a bit more sodium than J. should use, so I try to be sparing, but it does have about the best flavor...
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