Tag Archives: GAPS

Asian Slaw

Yes, those are peanuts in the picture.  No, I don’t usually eat those.  Sunflower seeds are a better choice.  The second time I made this I did have sunflower seeds and used those.  I liked it better.  I came up with this idea after eating at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant.  I get the same salad every time I go there.  Their version likely has soy in it and now that I think about it probably wheat because they use regular soy sauce.  Hmmm and I wonder what they sweeten it with.  I know it isn’t honey… Crap!  The restaurant also adds daikon radish, shrimp and BBQ pork (and does not have the seaweed in it).  I want to try that at home too but that will require some pre-planning.  Does ayone have a good recipe for Vietnamese BBQ pork??   This salad is sweet and salty and was whipped up in 10 minutes.  I almost didn’t post this recipe.  I realize that most people don’t keep Thai basil and arame in their house as a staple. I don’t expect this to be a very popular post.  However, this is currently my favorite salad and if you happen to have access to the ingredients I highly recommend it.

Asian Slaw

Half a head of green cabbage – shredded

1 english cucumber with the skin on – quartered and sliced

fresh Thai basil - handful

fresh mint – handful

big pinch of dried arame (seaweed)

sunflower seeds as a topping

Dressing

1/4 cup EVOO

3 T Braggs liquid aminos or coconut aminos

1 T sesame oil

1/4 cup unsweetened rice vinegar

3-4 T raw honey

Soak the arame in room temperature water.  It softens in just a few minutes and doubles or triples in size.  Next make your dressing.  Combine all ingredients in another bowl and whisk together until well blended.  In your food processor using the slicing blade shred half a head of cabbage.  You could do this by hand too if you are less lazy than I.  Then slice your english cucumber lengthwise into quarters and feed it through the food processor (or slice by hand).  Very coarsely chop the Thai basil and mint.  Add cabbage, basil, cucumber, mint and arame to a large bowl.  Mix everything together.  Dress the salad as you need it.  The dressing keeps well in the fridge.  Top with a handful of sunflower seeds.

This post was shared at http://www.realfoodwholehealth.com/2012/01/fresh-bites-friday-january-27-2012/

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Filed under Appetizer, Celiac, Condiment, Condiments, Corn Free, Dairy Free, GAPS, Grain Free, Low Oxalate, Paleo, Real Food, Recipes, Salads, Side Dish, Soy Free, Vegan

Coconut Lemon Bars ~ The Paleo Way

Coconut Lemon Bars

Does anyone NOT like lemon bars.  They might be my favorite treat.  I’ve had good and I’ve had bad.  The bad ones are made with a jello mix, are sickly sweet and taste of fake lemon.  I wanted to make my own using real food.  I wanted them to be super lemony and not too sweet.  I also did not want the crust to be nut or grain based.  I think it is easy to get carried away with nuts so I am trying to switch up my baking and use more coconut than nuts like almonds etc.  Yes, I realize that cicinut is classified as a nut but coconut has a better Omega 3:6 ratio and as an added bonus is low oxalate.  These are not low carb but they are also not a cheat.  A treat, absolutely but not a cheat.  The filling recipe came from here.  (I would highly recommend checking out this guys blog.  He has lots of great looking recipes.  And does anyone else think that a man who can cook and bake is totally sexy??)  I created my own base.  The coconut chips I used are from Wilderness Family Naturals.  They are incredible and I did hesitate to use them in a recipe as they are not cheap (when you include shipping into the cost) and I would have been devastated if these didn’t turn out and I wasted all those coconut chips.  In the end it turned out to be well worth it.  So how good were they?  Me, who really does not have a sweet tooth ate probably 80% of the pan over the course of about 36 hours.  So, yes, they were a smashing success.  The kids hated them as expected due to the lemon in them and this suited me fine.   I do believe that I will have to make more of these ASAP, you know for quality control.  :-)  I believe these are GAPS legal and low oxalate as well as soy, corn, dairy, grain, gluten, refined sugar and nut free.  In case you are interested in seeing the evolution of this blog, check out my first recipe for Lemon Bars.

Crust

2 eggs

1/4 cup melted coconut oil (expeller pressed is fine if you don’t want to use your expensive virgin coconut oil)

2 T raw unfiltered honey

pinch of sea salt

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup coconut chips

1/2 cup coconut chips

Preheat oven to 350.  In a food processor combine eggs, coconut oil, salt and honey.  Mix to combine.  Add coconut flour and 1/4 cup of coconut chips.  Again, process until well combined.  Transfer to a bowl and stir in remaining coconut chips.  Grease a glass Pyrex baking dish with coconut oil.  My dish is 7×11 or 2.2 QT/2 L.   Press cookie batter base evenly into dish.  Bake for 18 minutes at 350 until the edges are just starting to brown and center is cooked through. 

Filling

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (strained so there is no pulp)

6 whole eggs

1/3 – 1/2 cup raw unfiltered honey

1/2 cup coconut oil (I used expeller pressed.)

pinch of sea salt

Whisk lemon juice, eggs, salt and honey together in a large glass bowl or double boiler.  Bring about an inch of water to boil in a medium saucepan or bottom of double boiler.  Set the glass bowl on top of the boiling water.  The water should not be in contact with the bowl.  Slowly whisk in the melted coconut oil.  Continue to whisk as the water remains at a rolling boil.  DO NOT TURN YOUR BACK on this.  Whisk until it starts to thicken.  When it starts to thicken it gets thick FAST.  Remove from heat.  It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Strain the filling through a fine mesh to remove any cooked egg bits.  Top the crust  and smooth it out.  Refrigerate.  My husband and The Civilized Caveman both thought this would have been great frozen too.  It probably would although that would have really slowed me down as I polished these all off.  (Hmmm maybe that is a good thing.)  Top with extra coconut chips as you see fit.  Refrigerate (or freeze) until set then devour!

This post was shared at: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/monday-mania-1232012/, http://www.realfoodwholehealth.com/2012/01/fresh-bites-friday-january-27-2012/

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Filed under Corn Free, Dairy Free, Desserts, GAPS, Grain Free, Low Oxalate, Paleo, Real Food, Recipes, Soy Free

Cabbage Rolls – Paleo Approved

Paleo Style Cabbage Rolls

You simply have to try this.  It is a teeny bit time consuming but worth every minute.  The cabbage rolls I remember – and it’s been a really long time – were stuffed with white rice and ground beef.  These cabbage rolls are stuffed with ground beef and cauliflower rice so are therefore low carb, GAPS legal and paleo approved.  I did all the work the night before.  I made marinara from scratch, as always.  I suppose you could buy a jar or two if you are short on time but the sauce is great and has no weird ingredients so I think it is worth the effort.  I stuffed the cabbage rolls, put them in my crock pot, covered them and put them in the fridge overnight.  In the morning all I did was cover the rolls with the marinara and set the temperature to low.  I came home to an unbelievable aroma and a dinner ready to be devoured.

Paleo Cabbage Rolls

1 large head of green cabbage

Remove core and steam entire, intact head of cabbage in 1-2 inches of water for approximately 5-8 minutes.  Set the cabbage in the water core down.  There is a fine line between over cooking the leaves and leaving them still too stiff to be pliable.  It is probably easiest to steam for 5 minutes, allow to cool enough so that you can peel off the outer leaves and then stem for another couple of minutes to soften the inner leaves.  When you have the leaves soft but not too cooked and separated, set them aside.

Marinara

2 T olive oil

1 large onion chopped

6-7 cloves of garlic, minced

2 stalks of celery, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 can tomato paste (6 oz)

1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz) or 2 cups chopped fresh

1 tsp dried basil

1 1/2 tsp dried oregano

2 cups stock/bone broth, preferably homemade (I happen to use pork because that’s what I  grabbed out of the freezer. Beef or chicken or whatever would work too)

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

2 tsp red wine vinegar/or fresh squeezed lemon juice

Heat large saute pan and add olive oil.  Add onion, celery, garlic and carrots.  Instead of hand chopping these I just put them all in the food processor using the S blade and made it into a fine meal consistency.  It doesn’t really matter because you are going to blend the final sauce anyway.  Saute until veggies are soft, approximately 10 minutes.  Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil, oregano and stock.  Simmer, covered for about 30 minutes then remove from heat.  Add red wine vinegar/lemon juice.  Start mixing the filling for the cabbage rolls now (See next section).  When you are done making the filling and the marinara has cooled a bit, use a stick/immersion blender or even food processor to blend your sauce to a smoother marinara.

Filling

1 large finely chopped onion

2 T bacon grease or other fat of choice

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tsp Italian seasoning (this should be only herbs with no fillers or preservatives)

1 1/2 lbs of ground beef (I used grass-fed)

1/2 large head of cauliflower, grated in food processor (I guess this could be done with a box grater but I value my knuckles and time)

1 egg

2 tsp sea salt

black pepper, however much you like

Saute onion and garlic in saute pan with fat.  Cook until onions are starting to brown and are soft.  In a large bowl combine raw beef, onions and garlic with remaining ingredients.  Mix well.   Using your hands is easiest.

Assembly

Fill each cabbage leaf with about 1/4 cup of filling.  Roll into cylinders and tuck flat edges under.  Some of my smaller leaves were still a little stiff (this is why I think the steaming should be done in two steps) so the edges were not tucked.  It didn’t matter.  I just wedged the looser ones in between the tighter ones.  I did all of this the night before and placed them in my crock pot, covered them and put them in the fridge overnight.  In the morning, well mid morning, I pulled them out and covered the rolls with all the sauce.  I set the crock pot to low and left the house.  I came home to dinner ready and an absolutely amazing smell.

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Filed under Beef, Chicken, Cute Kid Quotes, Dairy Free, GAPS, Grain Free, Low Carb, Main Dish, Paleo, Real Food, Recipes, Soy Free

Stuffed Squash

Stuffed Squash

Honestly, I’m not a big lover of squash.  I eat it because it is a sort of neutral filler, it’s often cheap and it’s low carb.  I can’t eat it by itself.  Ick.  In something like my lasagna, sure no problem.  So, in my CSA bag for the last few weeks there were several squash.  I made some squash pancakes which were great but I still had a few of those squash that have the hard yellow exterior.  Those things were staring at me every time I opened the fridge for a week.  I considered giving them to the chickens.  I am so glad I didn’t.  This is by far the very best way I have ever eaten squash.  I loved it and so did everyone else.  It was great in my lunch the following couple of days too.

Stuffed Squash

4 squash halved lengthwise, seeds removed

olive oil

s&p

Drizzle squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Filling

2 T fat of choice (I used bacon grease)

1 large onion, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 T Italian seasoning (check ingredients. there should only be herbs in there – no fillers or preservatives)

1 tsp salt

pepper to taste

10 sliced black olives (maybe 1/3 cup)

1.5 lb ground beef

1 can diced tomatoes or 3-4 chopped fresh

1-2 tsp red wine vinegar

Heat oil in large saute pan.  Add onions, bell pepper and garlic.  Saute for approximately 10 minutes or until veggies are nearly cooked.   Add ground beef, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.  When beef is nearly cooked through add tomatoes and olives.  Cook until beef is done.  Remove from heat and add vinegar.  When squash is tender remove from oven and fill tightly with ground beef mixture.  Return to oven and bake for 10 additional minutes at 375.  Serve immediately.

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Filed under Beef, Celiac, Corn Free, Dairy Free, GAPS, Grain Free, Low Carb, Main Dish, Paleo, Real Food, Recipes, Soy Free

Mayo!!

Paleo Mayo

I love mayo.  I like it on nearly everything.  It’s a great way to get more coconut oil in your diet.  Commercial mayos are out for me for several reasons.  I prefer to avoid canola oil (high in omega 6 and canola is grown with LOTS of pesticides), soybean oil (I’m allergic to soy and it would likely be GMO soy anyway), preservatives, and the use of commercial eggs.  So, I make my own.  I think it tastes better and because all of the ingredients are good for me, I can slather it on everything and not have any guilt over it.  It takes about 5 minutes to make.  I would want to use it up within the week due to the raw eggs in it.  If you want to make it last weeks or even months just add 2 T of whey to it at the end and then let it sit out on the counter at room temperature to culture for 7 hours and then refrigerate.  I combine 2 oils in this recipe.  I use expeller pressed coconut oil because of its neutral flavor or should I say lack of flavor and it’s long list of health benefits and extra virgin olive oil so that it keeps the mayo from hardening in the fridge.  This mayo is really thick and stays spreadable even when cold.  The key to making mayo is #1 to pour the oil in really, really slowly and #2 to use a stick blender/immersion blender.  I’ve tried it in my mini food processor and it’s hit or miss when it comes to the thickness.  With the immersion blender it turns out perfect every time.  Bring on the mayo!

Mayo

Juice of half a lemon, no pulp, about 2 T

1 whole egg room temperature*

2 egg yolks, room temperature*

1/2 t sea salt

3/4 cup melted expeller pressed coconut oil (this should be at or just above room temperature – not hot)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 T whey (optional)

In a glass bowl add the lemon juice, salt and eggs.  Using the immersion blender mix until combined.  Then very slowly pour in the two combined oils while the immersion blender is running on high.  This should take several minutes to pour all the oil in.  When all the oil is added check seasoning and add more salt if needed.  If you will be culturing your mayo add whey now, mix well and leave out at room temperature for 7 hours before refrigerating.   If you are not culturing, refrigerate immediately and use within a week.

*Eggs should be as fresh as possible.  I personally would not use regular store bought eggs.  If you can get your hands on farm fresh eggs from chickens who are pastured and have a healthy diet that would be the best bet for safety.

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Filed under Celiac, Condiment, Condiments, Corn Free, Dairy Free, GAPS, Grain Free, Low Carb, Paleo, Real Food, Recipes, Soy Free

My Morning 8 Ball – Squash “Pancakes”

Paleo Pancakes

Paleo Pancakes

Several weeks ago I signed up for my first CSA (community supported agriculture). A CSA is a wonderful thing. (If you are in the Phoenix area, this is the one I use.) I have been so impressed with everything about this. Once a week I pick up a large paper bag filled with 8 different things. It is mostly veggies and occasionally some fruit. Everything is organic, local and SUPER fresh. Another reason I am loving this is that I am receiving things that I normally wouldn’t buy or even think to try. One week there were dandelion greens in the bag. I had never tried them before and for that matter have never seen them for sale anywhere either. We tried them and liked them. It’s been fun for me to figure out what to do with the variety of foods I receive each week. Last week I received a squash I had never seen of, nor heard of, before. It’s called an eight ball squash. The first time I made them I stuffed them with a meat/veggie mix and covered them with a vegan “cheese” sauce. It was pretty good but not blog worthy. I got more of those squash this week. On a whim I came up with this. It was so incredibly good! My very picky four-year old said, “they don’t look very good but they are YUMMY!” I was honestly stunned. She ate 3 of them! They are simple, low carb and very satisfying. I fried these in lots of bacon fat which added a lot of flavor to a relatively bland veggie. You save your bacon fat, right? That stuff is like gold! Since most people probably don’t have eight ball squash lying around you could use yellow squash, grey mexican or zucchini too. They taste very similar. I served them with a Vietnamese style dipping sauce. These savory pancakes are low carb, GAPS legal, grain, soy, dairy, corn, and gluten free.

See mom, here is another grain free breakfast!

Eightball Squash Savory Pancakes

2 eight ball squash (navel orange size)

6 eggs

1 tsp celtic sea salt (to taste – I like salt so beware)

freshly ground black pepper

1 T coarsely chopped fresh basil

bacon fat or fat of choice

Vietnamese Style Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup preservative free fish sauce

juice of 1 lemon

2 T water

freshly ground black pepper

Slice squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Then with a veggie peeler, peel the skin off. Cut in large chunks and place in food processor. Pulse briefly to a coarse chop, then add eggs, salt, pepper and basil to bowl and process again until well combined. In a preheated cast iron pan add 2-3 T bacon fat. Then scoop egg /squash mixture out in 2-3 T heaps. Fry on med – med/low until eggs are set and the bottoms are browned. Carefully flip. They are quite tender so you really need a lot of fat in the pan so they don’t break apart due to sticking. Cook the second side until browned. Remove from pan to a plate lined with paper towel to soak up any extra drippings.

While you are frying the rest of the pancakes mix all ingredients for the sauce in a bowl.

Serve together while pancakes are still hot.

This recipe has been shared at Monday Mania 6/6/11 @ The Healthy Home Economist.

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Filed under Appetizer, Breakfast, Celiac, Condiments, Corn Free, Dairy Free, GAPS, Grain Free, Low Carb, Main Dish, Paleo, Real Food, Recipes, Soy Free

9 Layer Lasagna – Grain Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Gluten Free (Dare I say Paleo??)

9 Layer Lasagna (Grain and Dairy Free)I got this idea in my head to do a lasagna. It would have to be free of grain, gluten, dairy, soy, corn, citric acid, brewers yeast. No problem right? Actually, it wasn’t hard. Time consuming, absolutely. I won’t kid you there. Honestly, it took most of the day. In the end it was more worth it than anything else I can think of. It made a huge pan so there were leftovers for days. As I write this I am making it for a second time so that I can freeze it and then take it with us on vacation in a couple of days. We are going to San Diego. We rented a condo on the beach so that I will still be able to cook most of our meals. Eating out isn’t really an option so I need to make stuff ahead of time. Along with this lasagna I am making a no bean paleo chili, my Banana Pecan Muffins, NutBars, beef jerky, honeyed almonds, fruit leather, bread (for the kids), Almond Chocolate Chip Scones, Brownies, Almond Rosemary crackers, Chocolate Power Balls and chicken liver paté. We leave in 2 days. I have so much to do that I am feeling more than a little overwhelmed. So why am I sitting at the computer??? I have to get moving. Here is the recipe. I do hope you will give it a try. I bet you’ll love it!

If a vegan or vegetarian meal is what floats your boat I think that this would work great if you omitted the beef and eggs. I have not tried it so I can’t say for sure but would bet it would be great.

9 Layer Lasagna – GF, DF, SF, CF, Grain Free

Cashew Cream Layer (aka Ricotta Cheese Layer)

2 cups raw unsalted cashews – soak for approximately 6 hours or overnight

juice of half a lemon

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup water

4 eggs

In a large bowl add cashews and cover with water. Soak for 6-8 hours. Drain and rinse. Add cashews, lemon juice, salt and water to blender. If you have a Vitamix this will go really quickly. If you don’t have one a blender works just fine. Blend until smooth. This takes several minutes. Be patient. It really does get as smooth as sour cream. Add the eggs and blend to combine. Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble.

Squash Layer

Grilling Eggplant

Grilling Eggplant

3 yellow squash

2 zucchini

1 eggplant

olive oil

sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Slice all vegetables to about 3/8 of an inch thick. Spread out on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat BBQ/grill to high. Grill veggies in batches until they are soft but not mushy. Let them get a bit browned before turning them. The grilled flavor is amazing in the lasagna. The purpose of grilling is to not only add a ton of flavor to somewhat bland veggies but also to let them release their water so that your lasagna does not end up looking like soup. When veggies are browned and cooked removed from grill and set aside.

Mushroom Layer

1 lb sliced button mushrooms or whatever type you have on hand

fat of choice (I used expeller pressed coconut oil)

Coconut aminos (tastes much like soy sauce without the soy) or salt and pepper to taste

Saute mushrooms on high heat in your fat of choice. When they are nearly done and browned a bit add the coconut aminos or S&P. Remove from heat and set aside.

Beef Layer

1 lb grass-fed ground beef

1 T fat of choice (FOC)

1 small onion

3 cloves of garlic

S&P to taste

Heat saute pan and FOC. Add ground beef. Meanwhile add onion and garlic to mini food processor and process until it is chopped up fine. You can do this by hand too if you don’t have or want to drag out the food processor. Add onion, garlic, S&P to beef. Continue to cook until beef is cooked through and onion and garlic are cooked and soft. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble.

Marinara Sauce

1 T FOC

1 onion

1 large carrot

4 cloves of garlic

1 can of tomato paste

1 tsp Italian seasoning (Without fillers. Ingredients should be only dried herbs.) Or use fresh chopped herbs if you have them, such as basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram, rosemary.

S&P to taste

water

Heat FOC in medium sauté pan. Add onion, carrot and garlic to mini food processor and process to a fine chop (or chop finely by hand). Add veggies to pan. Add S&P and saute for 5-10 minutes until cooked. Do not brown. Add tomato paste and sauté for a minute. Add Italian seasoning and approximately 1 1/2 can (tomato paste can) of water to pan. Let simmer for approximately 20 minutes. Let cool for a bit then add the marinara sauce back into the food processor. Process until you have a pureéd sauce instead of a sauce of visible veggie bits. Check seasoning and adjust if needed. Set aside.

Spinach Layer

1 T FOC

1/2 – 3/4 lb fresh baby spinach

S&P

freshly grated nutmeg

Heat sauté pan and FOC. Add spinach, salt, pepper and several grates of freshly ground nutmeg. Cook spinach down and continue to cook until all liquid has reduced. Remove from heat and set aside.

The Assembly

This part is quick. Heat your oven to 350°.

1) In the bottom of a deep lasagna pan (I used a 12x8x3 inch pan) pour approximately 1/3 of the marinara sauce in the bottom and spread evenly to coat.

2) Using all of the squash, lay it flat to form an even layer.

3) Using all of the mushrooms create your next layer.

4) Combine approximately 1/3 of the cashew cream and the second 1/3 of marinara to create a pink sauce. (You have got to taste this. Think of the possibilities!) Pour this over the mushrooms as evenly as possible.

5) Using all of the eggplant create your next even, flat layer.

6) Evenly spread all of the beef on top of the eggplant.

7) Lay all of the spinach on top of the beef. Yes, you sort of have to lay it out piece by piece.

8) Pour remaining two thirds of cashew cream over the spinach.

9) Pour remaining third of marinara sauce over the cashew cream.

Cover lasagna pan with foil. Bake at 350° for approx 1 1/2 hours or until it is heated through. Remove from oven and set aside for 10-15 minutes to let it set. If you can restrain yourself long enough this part really pays off. If you don’t wait until it cools a bit it will not stand up in pretty layers. Slice and serve.

***Since writing this we have returned from our vacation. I made this lasagna and froze it. When we got to the condo I left it in the fridge to thaw. Two days later I baked it at 375° for about an hour and a half. It came out just as good this way as it did the first time.

This post was entered in the Monday Mania 5/23/11 over at The Healthy Home Economist.

This post was entered in Primal Cave #3 at Primal Toad

This post was entered in The Weekend Gourmet May 23 at Hartke is Online

This post was entered in Traditional Tuesdays Blog Hop May 24 at Real Food Whole Health

This post was entered in Grain-Free Tuesday 12 at HellaDelicious

This post was entered in Real Food Wednesday May 25 at Kelly the Kitchen Kop

This post was entered in Real Food Weekly May 26 at The Whole Gang

This post was entered in Fight Back Friday May 27 at Food Renegade

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Filed under Beef, Celiac, Corn Free, Dairy Free, GAPS, Grain Free, Low Carb, Main Dish, Paleo, Real Food, Recipes, Soy Free

Banana Pecan Muffins

Banana Pecan MuffinsI had been wanting a Vitamix for what feels like years. I see it mentioned over and over on so many blogs. At first I thought it was just a pricey blender. Then I found this page showing 52 video demonstrations of everything it can do. After seeing all that I really wanted one. So I went to work trying to convince my husband that I needed yet another appliance. This was a tough sell since I have so many appliances. My Kitchenaid blender was working just fine and it was a rare event that I even pulled it out. The Vitamix is not cheap… as in >$600 however Costco carries them and does demos once a year or so and they sell them for $394 I think. The trick of course was finding out when Costco was carrying them and then waiting. Delayed gratification is so not my thing. Imagine my excitement when I find out that the Costco nearest to me had them for that entire week. It was the final day. I talked my hubby and kids into grocery shopping. I was so excited. We got there and Ron seemed receptive to me getting one. And then…. there was no demo to be found. I was crushed. It would be months until I might have an opportunity again. Then a couple of weeks later we were at Costco and low and behold the Mighty Vitamix was there. It was hard to contain my excitement. I stood there watching the demo and asking countless questions and of course sampling many different treats. I was so sold. Ron… not so much but he did however agree!! I love this thing! I use it several times a day – everyday. These muffins are made using it. I’ve made them a couple times now. They are fun to make and always disappear in a day or two. These muffins are grain, gluten, dairy, sugar, soy, corn, and brewers yeast free. They are low to moderate carb and are GAPS legal. They make a great snack or a quick on the go breakfast. They are just sweet enough, dense and moist. I hope you enjoy these as much as we do.

Banana Pecan Muffins

3 over ripe bananas

4 pitted dates

3 eggs

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 cups lightly packed almond flour

1 cup roughly chopped pecans

Add bananas, eggs, dates and salt to Vitamix. Blend until smooth and there are no date pieces visible. (The Vitamix is so impressive – the dates I used were very dry and hard and it was still able to puree it into invisible bits.) Next, add coconut oil and mix briefly. Add almond flour and mix until well blended. Pour/scoop muffin mix into a large bowl. Fold in chopped pecans.Line 12 regular sized muffin tins. Divide batter equally for 12 muffins. Using an ice cream scoop is easiest. Bake for approximately 50 minutes at 325. Store in airtight container in the fridge. I actually enjoy these best cold.

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Filed under Almond Flour, Breakfast, Celiac, Corn Free, Dairy Free, GAPS, Grain Free, Low Carb, Muffins, Paleo, Real Food, Recipes, Soy Free

Almond Flax Crackers

Almond Flax CrackersI miss crackers. Sometimes you just need something crunchy and something to dip that is still grain free. I have made almond flour crackers before but I used my own homemade almond flour. They tasted great but they broke easily and were very tender, almost soft. I think that had something to do with the fat content in it. This time around they were perfect as I used store bought almond flour. They were super quick and easy to make and were crunchy, not soft or crumbly. I ate them with my homemade chicken liver pate and they were exactly what I was craving. Here is what I did.

Almond Flax Crackers

2 cups blanched almond flour (I used Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour)

1/4 cup ground flax meal

1-2 T finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 egg white

sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325. Mix everything together with your hands. If the dough is a bit dry and won’t quite hold together you can add 1 tsp of water at a time until it just holds together. When everything is well mixed and the dough sticks together transfer it in a ball onto a piece of parchment paper. Press the dough down to flatten it a bit then cover with a second piece of parchment paper and roll the dough out until it is uniformly to the desired thickness. If the sides crack apart just push them back together a bit. Carefully transfer the rolled cracker onto a large cookie sheet. The flattened dough should take up most of the sheet. Score with pizza cutter into small squares. Sprinkle the tops of the crackers with a coarse sea salt. Bake for 20 minutes. Check for light browning the crackers. If they are not browning yet bake in 5 minute increments until they are. If they are not baked enough they turn out a bit soft. If they are too brown they don’t taste as good. When they are done leave them on the cookie sheet to cool completely. They firm up and become crispy once they are cool. When cool break them apart and store in an airtight container.

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Filed under Almond Flour, Appetizer, Celiac, Dairy Free, GAPS, Grain Free, Low Carb, Paleo, Real Food, Recipes, Soy Free

Changes Coming to GfRealFood

Crickets…crickets… It’s been real quiet here at gfrealfood.  I’ve had a lot to think about lately.  Last December my husband and I went grain free.  We have been gluten free for more than 4 years and I personally have been dairy free for most of that time too.  I had been having some weird symptoms that my PCP and neurologist couldn’t find a cause for.  Within about 2 weeks of eliminating grain, dairy, all forms of sugar other than small amounts of honey or coconut sugar and all processed foods, I felt like the old me.  Every single symptom vanished.  I had energy, I felt happy and calm and had no physical complaints.  Life was good.  We even made it through Christmas following the plan.  Then in February we decided to have a blow it day.  Bad idea.  That day became a week.  And that week became….You get the idea.  It’s a very, very slippery slope.  Within days of going back to our old ways (although we were still gluten free and I remained dairy free) every single last symptom came back – with a vengeance.  I felt sure that my issues were food related.  I started seeing an allergist in March.  Turns out I was right.  I didn’t think I had allergies or intolerances beyond gluten and dairy.  I was stunned to find out I have a lot.  Finding out that I am allergic to corn put me into a serious funk.  I knew corn was in everything.  I read labels.  What I didn’t know was that it is in EVERYTHING.  I have come to believe that if it comes from a food manufacturer (i.e. in a box, bag, can, jar, bottle etc) and has more than 2 ingredients in it – it has corn in it.  Even my beloved bacon has corn in it in the form of sodium erythrobate.  Xanthan gum is corn based and it is used in a lot of gf baking and in many things as a thickener.  When we initially went gluten free I thought that was rough.  In hind site it was a piece of cake compared to eliminating corn.  The list of things that corn can be found in is FOUR pages long.   I am told that corn is, hands down, the most difficult single ingredient to eliminate.  It’s even in toothpaste, toilet paper, plastic cutlery, plastic bags and the list goes on and on.  What makes it even more difficult is that because corn is not on the FDA’s list of top allergens it doesn’t have to be listed on an ingredient label.  Thanks to the fact that our government subsidizes the corn industry it has found its way into nearly every product.  I wasn’t done feeling sorry for myself when I found out on my next visit to the allergist that I am also allergic to soy, coffee (ok, just shoot me now), citric acid (just try finding canned tomatoes without citric acid), dairy and brewers yeast (which is found in all vinegars and all alcohol – extracts included.)  Along with these there is a considerable list of things that I showed a slight reaction to that I am supposed to eat only once every four days.  Things on that list included: eggs, chocolate, almonds, cashews, peanuts, onion, bakers yeast…you get the idea.  So this all would explain my lack of posts here.  I have been completely stumped for ideas on what I can eat.  On the plus side of all this: it’s a great weight loss plan.  ;) 

So what’s my plan?  Starve to death?  Resign myself to feeling like garbage for the rest of my miserable life?  No.  It’s GAPS to the rescue.  If you haven’t heard of GAPS please click on the link.  I could not do it justice to explain it here.  Anyway, I have hope and I am going to give it everything I have got to make it work.  I bought the book and as I was reading through it and was feeling totally overwhelmed, my favorite food blogger announces that she will be offering a GAPS cooking class.  Surely it was a sign.  I enrolled.  The first class (all are online) was released yesterday.  I can not believe the amount of work and information that went into this.  I feel like the cost of enrollment was a steal. 

So back to the changes to my blog.  From now on all recipes will be free of grain, corn (technically a grain), soy, dairy, gluten, brewers yeast and sugar.  All will be “full GAPS legal”.  If I am able to reverse some or all of these food allergies then this list will shrink in time.  For now though I am going to have to stick with these limitations.  Will this blog still be something that interests you?  I hope so. 

Anyone else have multiple food allergies?  Does anyone here have success with reversing them?  If you have any experience with this or with GAPS I would really love to hear from you.

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Filed under Dairy Free, Dear Diary, Family, GAPS, Grain Free, Real Food