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

Turkey and Squash Soup

I haven’t been posting recently due to the fact that I have been feeling a bit under the weather.  A couple of weeks ago, I caught a virus – I don’t think it was actually the “Flu”, but it certainly was a “flu-like” virus, and was bad enough to lay me up in bed for a couple of days.  And even though I have technically recovered from it, it has left me feeling exhausted and weak.  I simply have not had the energy to write blog posts!

This soup is one that A made while I was feeling ill – it used some of the chicken bone broth that I had made and she thought that it would help me recover.  I am sure that it did.

This soup was designed to use up some of the leftover turkey we have in the freezer from the 2 turkeys we had over the Christmas period (one on Yule – December 21st, the other on New Years Day).

You could no doubt use cold cooked chicken if you didn’t have any turkey though….

If you leave off the squash seeds, this recipe is Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) compliant.  Seeds are a stage 2 reintroducton.  I topped Hubby and the kids portions with the seeds and left them off mine.

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

Turkey and Squash Soup

serves 6-8

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  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (or fat of choice)
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 4 large carrots – peeled and diced
  • 3 stalks celery – diced
  • 1 kabocha squash – peeled, seeded and diced (save the seeds if wanting to use them as a garnish)
  • 3-4 cups bone broth
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • sea salt
  • 3 cups leftover turkey (or chicken)

Melt the coconut oil in a large, heavy based pan over a low heat.  Add all the vegetables and cook gently until starting to soften – about 10 minutes.

Pour in the broth and add the remaining ingredients.  Simmer gently for 20 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, chop or shred the turkey into bite-size pieces.

Once the vegetables are tender, puree with a stick blender until silky-smooth.  Add the turkey (or chicken) and allow to heat through.

Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Serve topped with roasted squash seeds if wished.

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Optional Roasted Squash Seeds

(these are an AIP stage 2 reintroducton)

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  • seeds from the squash (rinse them to remove the squash guts)
  • 1tbsp coconut oil – melted
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Toss the seeds with the coconut oil and spices and roast in a preheated 190°C (375°F) oven until crispy and golden brown.  These can be eaten as a snack, or can be used as an optional garnish on the soup.

Shared at the Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #19

Coconut Chicken Soup

This is another great leftovers meal that makes a fantastic lunch and a filling, economical dinner.

I make this with leftover chicken or turkey, and both taste great.  If you have no leftovers, you could cook some chicken breasts or thighs and then shred the meat to make this instead.

This recipe is AIP compliant.

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If we are eating this as a main course meal, I like to serve these with a starchy side or a side-salad.  I will often use a simple green salad dressed with a lemon-juice vinagrette, but sometimes I will make plantain muffins or tostones or other starchy sides.

This is a perfect meal for a cold winter night and even better because it uses up a lot of leftovers.  And all the ingredients are AIP approved as well which is a bonus because it does not aggravate my autoimmune conditions.

Don’t be tempted to leave out the garlic, lemongrass or ginger – they give this soup it’s wonderful flavour and aroma.  I buy whole lemongrass stalks and they cost me around $0.44 for 2…

Coconut Chicken Soup

serves 4-6

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  • 1½lb leftover cooked chicken (or 2lb chicken breast or thighs – cooked)
  • sea salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 onion – finely chopped
  • 8oz mushrooms – sliced
  • 2 cups greens (use kale, chard or spinach depending on preference) – shredded
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass
  • 2 tbsp grated root ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic – peeled
  • 1 can coconut milk (ensure that it contains nothing but coconut and water – no gums, fillers or emulsifiers)
  • 3-4 cups chicken bone broth
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce (try to find one that only contains AIP ingredients – fish, salt and water)
  • 1 lime – zest and juice
  • 1 bunch green onions – sliced
  • 1 kefir lime leaf – sliced as thinly as you can
  • ¼ cup basil – sliced (use thai basil if you can find it, regular basil will work fine though)
  • ¼ cup cilantro – chopped

If not using leftover chicken, you need to cook your chicken thighs/breasts.  I suggest you poach them in the bone broth, then remove, cool, and shred, discarding any bones and skin (save those to add to bone broth in the future – store in the freezer until you have enough).

If using leftover chicken, shred the cold chicken finely, discarding any bones and skin and saving as above to make bone broth.

Melt the coconut oil in a pan and add the mushrooms and onion and cook gently until tender and the mushrooms are starting to look translucent.

Meanwhile, take the lemongrass stalk and cut of the dry woody end.  Using a meat tenderizer, a mallet or a rolling pin, bash the heck out of this sucker.  You want to break down as many fibers as you can as this will release the flavour.  Slice it thinly.  Now put the beaten up and sliced lemon grass in your blender with the garlic and ginger and 1 cup of the bone broth.  Blend until there are no large chunks.

Once the mushrooms and onions are tender, add the lemongrass/broth mixture to the pan along with the rest of the broth and the can of coconut milk.  Taste and adjust seasonings..  Simmer gently for around 30 minutes.  Now add your shredded chicken and greens and simmer for 5 minutes to allow the chicken to heat through and the greens to wilt..

Stir in the lime zest and juice, fish sauce, lime zest and juice, basil and cilantro.  Taste again and adjust the seasonings one final time.

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We like to serve these with a starchy side such as my plantain muffins or Tostones

Serve hot.

Cauliflower, Spinach and Bacon Soup

This is a lovely soup.

The cauliflower gives it a mild creamyness, the spinach packs a nutritional punch and the bacon…  well lets face it, everything is better with a little bacon!

This made for a very welcome lunch on a cold, snowy Sunday…

Cauliflower Spinach and Bacon Soup

serves 6

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  • 6 rashers of bacon – chopped
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • 1 small head of cauliflower – broken into florets
  • 3 cups ham bone broth (you could also use any other bone broth that you happen to have on hand)
  • 1 can (400ml) of coconut milk (read the labels to ensure that it does not contain guar gum or carageenan.  You want to use coconut milk that is just water and coconut if possible)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (omit the pepper if strict AIP)
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach – washed.
  • 1 bunch green onions – trimmed and chopped

Place the bacon in a large, heavy pan and cook it over a medium heat until crispy.  You do not want the heat too high as you want to render out as much of the bacon fat as you can.  Remove the bacon, leaving as much fat as possible behind and set it aside.

Add the onion and garlic to the bacon fat and cook it gently over a low heat until the onion is soft and translucent.  This will take about 5 minutes.

Now add the cauliflower and the bone broth and bring it to the boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for aprox. 20 minutes until the cauliflower is tender.

Add the coconut milk and spinach and cook for a few moments to wilt the spinach leaves.

Puree with a stick-blender and season to taste with cinnamon, salt and pepper.

Stir in the green onions to give the soup a little texture.

Reheat gently but do not allow it to boil.

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Serve the soup in large bowls topped with the crispy bacon “croutons”

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Beet, Pumpkin and Tomato Soup (AKA “Blood Soup”)

This tasty and seasonal soup is not called “Blood Soup” because it contains blood…. it is because the rich red colour resembles blood.  And because it has become a family tradition that I serve it every Halloween for dinner…

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Because you HAVE to have gorey and scarey food at Halloween.  Just like a soup that might imply you are eating blood even when you are not!

And the best thing is that this is a nutritionally dense, filling meal that will help mitigate some of the adverse effects of all that candy.  Plus, if you fill them up BEFORE they go out, they are going to eat less candy anyway…  win-win!

This soup uses up the pumpkin you will produce while carving your Halloween Pumpkin.  And I like to garnish it with a few of the roasted pumpkin seeds as well…

This recipe is a stage 4 reintroduction because it contains tomatoes.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Blood Soup (Beet, Pumpkin and Tomato)

Serves 6 with leftovers

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  • 1 tbsp fat of choice – I used coconut oil today
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic – diced
  • 1″ piece of fresh root ginger (grated)
  • 2 cups diced pumpkin (use the leftovers from scraping out your Halloween pumpkin!)
  • 2 cups diced beets
  • 1 cup leftover diced ham (optional – I added it because we had it in the fridge.  You could also sub in bacon)
  • 1 28oz/796ml can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups rich bone broth
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage
  • salt and pepper to taste

Take the fat and melt it in a large pan.  Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes over a medium heat until it is starting to soften and turn translucent.  Add the garlic and ginger, the ham, pumpkin, beets and the can of tomatoes.  STir it all around and add the bone broth, herbs and spices and season well to taste with salt and black pepper.

Simmer for 30-40 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.

Puree with an immersion blender by which time it will be a bright red colour.

I like to serve this with a little milk kefir over the top (I use coconut kefir for mine due to my issues with dairy that does not seem to affect the rest of the family), and then I sprinkle it with some of the roasted pumpkin seeds as a garnish.

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Add some gluten-free bread on the side and maybe some oven-roasted bacon-wrapped sausages (Witches fingers) and you are good to go.

Spicy Tomato Bisque

This is yet another soup that I make fairly often for lunch…  smooth, creamy yet with a spicy kick, it is great on a cold day.

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Seeing that today Calgary had it’s first snow-fall of 2013, it seemed like the ideal day to make this wonderful soup.

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Use it for a warming lunch on a cold day, a comforting snack, as an appetizer…  this soup is very adaptable.  It even reheats well, so is a good contender for a lunch box.  Either send it in a mason jar (if the person taking it has access to a microwave), or heat it up in the morning and pack it in a thermos.

This recipe contains nightshades which are an AIP stage 4 reintroduction.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Spicy Tomato Bisque

serves 6 with some leftovers

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  • 1 tbsp fat of choice (I used bacon fat)
  • 1 onion – peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot – peeled and chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery – chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • 1 28floz (796ml) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 pint ( aprox 500ml) bone broth – I used a ham-bone broth made from the bones from 3 smoked hams.  Use whatever you have.
  • 2 chipotle chillies in adobo sauce (you can substitute other chillies if you like)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 can coconut milk (400ml/13.5oz)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Melt the fat in a large, heavy based pan and add the chopped onion, carrot and celery.  Cook for 5 minutes until starting to soften.  Now add in the garlic and cook for a few more minutes.  Add the tomatoes, bone broth, chipotle chille, herbs and paprika and simmer for around 30 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.  Pour in the can of coconut milk and blend with a stick blender.

Taste and season with salt and black pepper.

Serve at once although it does reheat beautifully if you have any leftovers.  I am planning on taking some to work with me tomorrow!

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I will pack them into a mason jar, which can go in the microwave at work (once I have removed the metal lid), and I can eat it right out of the jar….  Hubby has also said that he wants to take some of the leftovers to work tomorrow for lunch as have C, J and A.  All of these 3 have a microwave they can use in the lunch-room at school, and they are perfectly old enough to take care of a glass jar.   B will have to take hers in an insulated food jar….  no microwave for students use at her school.

Zucchini Soup

I made this soup for lunch because I had several leftover zucchini that needed using up.

It was delicious – creamy, smooth and very satisfying.  And even though it contains 8 cloves of garlic it doesn’t really have a pronounced garlic flavour.

Zucchini Soup

Serves 6

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1 tbsp oil or fat (I used coconut oil)

1 onion – finely chopped

2 sticks of celery – chopped

8 cloves of garlic – crushed

3 zucchini – chopped

leaves from 4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)

4 cups of bone broth

1 can of coconut milk

salt to taste

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat, and add the onion and celery.  Cook gently for a few minutes to develop the flavours and soften the veggies slightly.  Then add in the garlic.  Cook for a few more minutes before tipping in the chopped zucchini.  Add the thyme and the bone broth, taste and season as necessary.

Simmer gently for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are all tender.

Add the coconut milk and puree with a stick blender.

Re-taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary.

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This soup is good hot or cold.

Ham Soup

I know I have said this before, but I make a lot of soups…  mostly for lunches, but sometimes for dinner as well.

And last night, we ate soup for dinner, along with some gluten-free (but not low carb) bread.  The bread was not AIP, the soup however is.

And tbh the bread was more there to wipe the remainders out of the bowl once we were done as the soup itself was filling and very satisfying.   In fact it was really only the girls that ate the bread…  Hubby and I didn’t need it.  And I think they had it more because it was there.

Tonight’s soup featured a very rich ham-bone broth that I had made.  Each time I have been cooking the hams we obtained from our half of a pastured pig, I popped the bone into the freezer.  By the time I had four of them, I made some ham bone broth.

You could also use the stock/liquid that you obtain from cooking a boiled ham.

And then I used this broth to make this delicious soup.

Even though we ate this for dinner, it would make a fantastic lunch, and if you had an insulated food jar, you could even send it into school with your kids as part of a packed lunch (actually, that is most likely what will happen to our leftovers!).  Older kids and adults that have access to a microwave could also be given this in a small mason jar.  Just remind them to remove the lid before microwaving!

Ham Soup

serves 6 with leftovers for lunch

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1-2 tbsp of fat of your choice (I used bacon/ham fat)

1 onion – chopped

2 cloves garlic – crushed

2 large carrots – peeled and chopped

2 sticks of celery – chopped

2 small sweet potatoes – peeled and chopped

4 cups of ham stock/broth

2 tbsp chopped parsley

2 cups shredded leftover ham

sea salt to taste (if your ham broth is salty, you may not need this – taste it first!)

This recipe is simplicity itself, much like a lot of soup recipes.

First of all you need to melt your fat in a pan ad add the veggies (onions, garlic, celery, carrots, sweet potato).  They don’t need to be cut too finely as you are going to puree the soup once the veg is tender.

Allow the veg to cook over a medium-high heat for around 5-10 minutes to soften slightly, then add the ham stock/broth.  Allow to simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are all tender, then puree with a stick blender.

Add the parsley and leftover ham, heat through, then taste and season if needed with sea salt.

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Serve hot…

Garlic, Leek And Watercress Soup

Yet another soup that I made for lunch…  I am not kidding when I say that it is the thing that I make most commonly for that meal!

This post on Marks Daily Apple made me remember how hubby and I used to eat garlic soup after a night of drinking down at the Student Union when we were at university.  I know, drinking is not good for you  but actually due to limited budgets we didn’t drink all that much.

I didn’t have any chives to make the chive oil, and J, with her horror of mushrooms, would have refused to eat it if I had included those. So I couldn’t recreate the soup I linked to above.

So I decided to attempt to re-create the creamy garlicky soup that we used to eat way back then, just using more Paleo-friendly ingredients.

The watercress was a bit of an afterthought – I saw it in the fridge while rummaging for ingredients and decided to use it on a whim.  Our original soup was garlic, onions, leeks and thickened with potato.  Obviously I was not going to use potato to thicken an AIP soup, so I substituted cauliflower.  And I used coconut milk in place of the cows milk that I would have used back in Leeds.

That resulted in the following recipe, which was delicious.

Garlic, Leek and Watercress soup

Serves 6 with leftovers for the next day

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1 tbsp fat of your choice (I used coconut oil)

1 onion – chopped

1 leek – chopped (wash the leek well, they often have grit trapped in the layers.  Gritty soup is not pleasant!)

2 whole bulbs of garlic (around 15-20 cloves) – crushed

1 bunch green onions – chopped

1/2 head of cauliflower – chopped

1 1/2 jars bone broth (this was a chicken bone broth made from a leftover chicken carcass)

1 tsp fresh thyme – chopped

1 tsp fresh sage – chopped

1 tbsp fresh parsley – chopped

salt to taste

1 bunch watercress – chopped

1 can coconut milk (make sure it does not contain any non-AIP ingredients – read the label.  You want a can that only contains coconut and water).

Melt the fat in the largest pot you own…  Add the onion and leek and cook gently for 3-5 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent – you want the heat to be no more than medium.

The throw in the garlic, green onions and cauliflower.  Toss it all around for a couple of minutes and tip in the bone broth.  Season to taste, but remember it will reduce slightly so don’t add too much salt.

Add the fresh herbs (back in Leeds I would have used a tsp or two of mixed dried herbs – I didn’t have the luxury of having fresh herbs growing in the garden!).

Let it all simmer gently for 20-30 minutes until everything is soft.

Add the watercress and the coconut milk and blitz with a stick-blender until it is all smooth.

Reheat gently and check the seasoning.

And serve at once.

This soup is great hot, and is also very good cold, but because of the huge amounts of garlic I don’t think I could get away with eating it at work…  no one wants a massage therapist with garlic breath!

Shared at Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #22

Cauliflower and Spinach Soup

I used the last of the ham stock I had that was leftover from the boiled ham that I cooked the other week to make a wonderful soup for lunch.

Cauliflower and Spinach Soup

serves 6

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1 tbsp fat of your choice – I used some bacon fat that I had saved

1 onion – chopped

2 sticks celery – chopped

3 cloves garlic – crushed

1 head of cauliflower – broken into florets

1 1/2 mason jars ham stock (you can use any stock you happen to have – chicken would be good)

2-3 cups spinach leaves

1/2 can coconut milk

1/4 tsp nutmeg (the secret ingredient)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

Melt the fat in a large pan and add the chopped onion and celery.  Cook slowly until the onion has softened.

Toss in the garlic and cook for a few seconds, then add the cauliflower and stock.

Simmer gently for around half and hour until the cauliflower is very tender.

Toss in the spinach and allow to wilt.  Then add the coconut milk, nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.

Blend until smooth using a stick blender.

This is very good hot, but is also good cold, which makes it a good soup for me to take to work – I have access to a fridge but not to a microwave or any other means of heating it up.  When I take soups to work for my lunch I usually take them in a wide-mouthed mason jar.  That means I can eat them right out of the jar.