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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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

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Oven Baked Rutabaga Fries

Rutabaga fries are my latest obsession.  When roasted in the oven, they crisp up and take on a wonderful caramelized flavour.

They are very easy to make as well.

Oven Roasted Rutabaga Fries

serves 6

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  • 1 large rutabaga
  • 2-3 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • sea salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F.

Peel the rutabaga and cut into fries – I find chunky ones work best.

Toss the fries in the melted coconut oil and then spread out in a single layer on a large, rimmed baking sheet.  Keeping them to a single layer means that they crisp up rather than being soggy.

Season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes.

Check them frequently towards the end of the cooking time as they can go from perfectly browned and crisp to burned and charcoal very quickly.

Serve at once.

Tuna Salad – Paleo/AIP/Egg-Free

I made myself a super quick tuna salad for lunch the other day…

And when paired with a baked sweet potato (I used a white one) and some green salad leaves, it made a very tasty, very filling and quite economical lunch.

This recipe serves 2, so I saved half of it in the fridge for the next day.

It is both Paleo and AIP, and contains no eggs or mayonnaise, and because of this, it is lighter in texture and fresher in taste than a lot of tuna salads.

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AIP Tuna Salad

Serves 2

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  • 1 can of tuna in water (BPA free)
  • 1 lacto-fermented cucumber pickle – finely diced (if bought, read the ingredients to ensure that they do not contain nightshade spices)
  • ½ cup coconut milk yogurt (if bought, read the ingredients to ensure that it does not contain any gums such as carageenan or guar gum)
  • 1 stick celery – finely diced
  • 1 green onions – finely chopped
  • 2 TBSP capers – drained and coarsely chopped
  • 2 TBSP finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • sea salt or pink Himalayan salt to taste

Drain the water from the tuna and put it in a bowl.

Finely dice the pickle, celery and onion.  Chop the parsley and capers.

Add all the ingredients to the bowl, and mix together gently.  Season to taste with salt.

This salad can be stored in the fridge for up to 48 hours.

Serve on baked sweet potatoes, with AIP-crackers, in an AIP-wrap or with celery sticks….  or you could just eat it out of the bowl with a spoon!

Shared at the Paleo AIP Recipe Roundup #66

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

Wild And Raw – Calgary

I went down to Wild and Raw in Kensington (Calgary) today because I had to meet someone.

I had never been there before, but I knew that they at least served bone broth (because the person I was meeting was the person who supplies their grass-fed beef bones that they use in the broth (Rachel from Trail’s End Beef).

When I walked in to Wild and Raw, the first thing they did was ask how they could help me.  I asked for advice, explaining that I could not have anything with dairy, gluten, soy, seeds or nuts (I forgot to mention nightshades)…  and they came up with a few recommendations.

They have a pretty extensive menu – lots of juices, lots of smoothies (that they call shakes), their “Euphoric Elixirs” (this category includes Bulletproof Coffee, Bone Broth and Veggie Broth among others), and even Kombucha “on-tap”.

But by this time, I had already decided that I was going to try the bone broth despite the fact that it contained “spices” (which almost certainly included nightshades).  And as I have never reacted to nightshade spices in the past, I decided to heck with it…  even if I am supposed to be doing an AIP-exclusion “reset”, I was still having that broth!

And let me tell you that broth was delicious!  Gingery, spicy, and you could just tell that it was doing you good!

I would recommend it to anyone unless they really do react to nightshade spices…

Wild and Raw is quite a small place – only half a dozen tables or so (I did not count them), and it had only been open less than 30 minutes when I walked in, so it was empty…  but after about 5 minutes Rachel, her husband Tyler, her 2 children and a friend all came in….

It was a really friendly place and I will most definitely be going back!

And I would recommend it to anyone, whether they are Paleo, AIP or whatever they eat.  This is a really nice place that has something for everyone.  (They even do a vegetarian broth for the non-meat-eaters…)

Next time, I want to try their Kombucha…

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

Grilled Pork Chops With Apple, Bacon And Onion

This was such a delicious dinner that A cooked the other night – it was hot, Hot, HOT, and we were dreading turning on the stove to make dinner.

Using the outdoor grill to cook the chops and then serving them with a salad was a no-brainer.

And it worked perfectly.

This recipe is both Paleo and AIP-friendly if you omit the black pepper.

Don’t be put off by the fact that this recipe serves 6 people.  If you need to feed fewer, just use fewer pork chops – one per person is ideal.  The apple bacon and onion mixture is also easy to scale down, but I would not bother – it tastes delicious with all sorts of other meats, or even on its own, and is just as good cold from the fridge as it is hot.

Grilled Pork Chops With Apple, Bacon And Onion

serves 6

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  • 6 pork loin chops (about 6oz each)
  • sea salt to taste
  • a small amount of melted coconut oil to brush the meat
  • 2 large onions – sliced
  • 6 rashers of bacon – sliced
  • 2 large apples – cored and sliced
  • leaves from 1 sprig of fresh rosemary – chopped
  • leaves from 1 sprig of fresh sage – chopped
  • leaves from 1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme – chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic – crushed

Preheat your grill to a medium high temperature.

While the grill is heating, take the chops and brush them with a little coconut oil.  Season well with salt.

Place the chops on the grill, and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side until the chops have an internal temperature of 77°C/170°F.  If you have got the temperature of the grill just right, you should have some lovely sear marks on the meat.

Remove the chops from the grill and keep warm.

Now you need to place your cast iron skillet directly on the grill and turn the heat up a bit.

Add the bacon to the pan and allow to cook down and release it’s fat.  Add the onions to the bacon fat and saute until starting to brown a little.  Add in the apples, the herbs and the garlic and cook until everything is soft, and gently caramelized.  This should take no more than 5-10 minutes, by which time the chops will have rested.

Serve the apple, onion and bacon mixture along with the grilled pork chops.

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I like to serve this with a brightly coloured salad such as my Lacto-Fermented Beet And Carrot Salad.

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If you do not have an outside grill, you could easily cook these chops on the stove on a grill-pan.

Lacto-Fermented Beet And Carrot Salad

I made this vibrantly coloured salad to use up some of the lacto-fermented beets that I had leftover from making Beet Kvass.

I don’t like to waste anything (It is the thrifty Yorkshire Woman in me!), and I did not want to throw the beets away after I had made the kvass, but I also did not want to just eat the chunks of beet.

This salad was a perfect compromise, and went very well with some pork chops that I had cooked for dinner.

This recipe is both Paleo and AIP Friendly.  And thanks to the lacto-fermented beets, it is full of healthy, gut-friendly probiotics.

And it is so pretty!

Lact0-Fermented Beet And Carrot Salad

serves 4-6

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  • Lacto-fermented beets – I used about 2 cups of chunks in total
  • 3-4 large carrots
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic from the jar of lacto-fermented beets (optional)

Grate the beets and place them in a large bowl – I recommend using a food processor for this or you will end up with red stained hands.

Peel and grate the carrots and add to the beets in the bowl.

Trim the green onions and chop them.  Add to the beets and carrot in the bowl

If you like, you can now take 1-2 cloves of garlic that was fermented with the beets and crush them.  This step is entirely optional.

Place the apple cider vinegar and olive oil in a small mason jar along with the crushed garlic if using it.

Shake the jar well to mix the contents, then pour over the salad and mix until it is all incorporated.

Serve at once.

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I like to pile this on top of shredded green lettuce leaves – the green of the lettuce provides an attractive colour contrast with the purple/red and orange of the carrots and beets.

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This particular salad was also served with some pork chops that I had cooked on the grill and served with apples, onions and bacon.

Shared at Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #35

Shared at Thrifty Thursday week 69

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