Sunday, December 28, 2014

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies {Paleo, AIP-friendly}

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie with a glass of coconut milk

The hubster is super picky when it comes to paleo food - especially paleo desserts. When I decided to make a trio of American favorites for our New Year's party dessert, I first had to win him over.

First up in the trio was a rich, chocolatey brownie. Fortunately, I already had a hubster-approved brownie recipe, my Fudgy Flourless Brownies. I whipped up a batch so he could remember how good they were and I was on my way to the next mini dessert...

The second in my lineup was to be an apple pie. He always likes my apple pie fillings, so the only thing I had to sell to him was the crust. Two recipes later and we had a winner, Martine's Pie Crust.

The final mini dessert would be much harder to perfect... I tried recipe after recipe, making a batch of cookies each day. Some of them got the "okay" stamp from him, but none of them really impressed him. I was so fed up with following recipes, and I really had the impression that they all looked the same anyway, that I just decided to wing it and see what would happen.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pumpkin Softies {AIP, Paleo}


I had an idea for a chocolate-chip-cookie-without-the-chocolate-chips, and i set about to test my idea... but then I saw half a sugar pumpkin sitting on my refrigerator shelf, all lonely like, and, long story short, I made pumpkin flavored cookies. And they were soft. The end.


Pumpkin Softies

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe plantain (yellow with black spots or black)
  • 1/2 green plantain
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • Dash of ground cloves
  • Dash of sea salt
Method:
  1. Blend together all ingredients using a high speed blender or an immersion blender until smooth.
  2. Allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes to thicken.
  3. Place tablespoons of the dough on a nonstick baking surface. The dough will not move much so flatten as desired.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes at 180°C (350°F).

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

AIP Cinnamon Cake Rolls {AIP, Paleo}

AIP Cinnamon Cake Rolls

When I was young, we used to buy those tins of cinnamon rolls that were all ready for the oven and eat them nearly every weekend.

Then we realized how much better homemade cinnamon rolls were and that making them, while time consuming, was actually quite simple. Our weekly store-bought cinnamon rolls turned into weekly homemade cinnamon rolls - and it was a beautiful thing!

Then I moved to Belgium and decided to make a batch of cinnamon rolls for my in-laws. I decided to do this during winter. In a house that was only heated as little as possible. My cinnamon rolls didn't rise, even though they were set to do so in front of the fire, and I was so disappointed by this failure that I didn't attempt to make them again for the next seven years!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Broccoli Mash {AIP, Whole30, Paleo}


Broccoli mash is stupid-easy to make and requires very little prep. It's also easy to customize with your own favorite flavors - instead of using the cooking water to thin it out a bit, try using coconut milk. If you can tolerate ghee or grass-fed butter, both are excellent additions and flavor boosters. And any herb or spice can be added after boiling.

It's also a great way to use those pesky broccoli stems. Blended with the florets, the stem adds just the right amount of creaminess, making this side irresistible!

I don't like this mash eaten cold, but it stores well in the fridge and reheats nicely, so it's a perfect veggie to make ahead and eat throughout the week {the hubster likes to take this in his lunch}.

Just make sure to rinse the broccoli well before boiling - I usually end up scooping out a boiled caterpillar or two myself... :/


Broccoli Mash

Ingredients:
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • Sea salt and black pepper
Method:
  1. Fill a medium pot with water and heat over high.
  2. Meanwhile, wash and chop the entire head of broccoli (florets and stem). Roughly chop the onion and garlic.
  3. Put the veggies into the boiling water and boil for 10-15 minutes, or until the stem pieces are tender.
  4. Drain off the water, reserving 1/4 of a cup.
  5. Using a high speed blender or an immersion blender, blend the drained veggies until smooth, adding in some of the reserved water to achieve the desired texture.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook {Cookbook Review}

The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook ipad photo

Wow. Just wow.

This cookbook moved me. Not quite to tears, but I was deeply touched by what I read.

Now you may be thinking that I'm a special kind of crazy, or wondering what kind of onion joke I'm about to make, but the truth is, this cookbook is obviously a very personal piece of work.

To start with, The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook has all the regular information concerning AIP, healing and living - but with a very friendly touch that leaves you with the feeling that you just spoke to a friend about the ins and outs of autoimmune coping.


After the introduction, the guidelines and the tips come the yummy looking recipes. Angie takes these recipes a step further though and classes them according to what phase of AIP you're currently navigating. You'll find over 50 mouthwatering recipes here, covering breakfast, lunch and dinner - with snacks and desserts to boot!

But. There's even more. And I dare say this more is the best part. This is the part that really got me and I found myself skipping over the drool-worthy recipes just to find the next bit to read.

You see, Angie shared her autoimmune journey with us, sprinkling the chapters of her life throughout the healing recipes of her amazing cookbook. Not only did reading her story make it seem like she was right there telling it herself, but it also made me feel normal.

Struggling with autoimmune disease, especially if, like me, you never managed to get a diagnoses for any of your problems, can make you feel like an alien. I often felt different than the others, and even more so when I decided to eat paleo and then AIP. Angie's story made me realize that others have felt some of the same feelings as me, if not all of the same feelings.

Confusion. Fear. Helplessness. Frustration. Anger. Contentment.

I've felt them all, at different times during my journey to better health, and Angie has, too. Reading her words helped me put words to my own emotions and, in the space of the one car ride I spent reading, has helped me find a new sort of peace regarding my health decisions.

Not only that, but I'm more than ever reassured that AIP was what I needed to feel optimal. I'm currently nearing the end of the Phase 1 Reintroduction Period and I've had great success with reintroductions. But even if I can't reintroduce all of the eliminated foods, or if their reintroduction will require more healing, I have proof that AIP, modified with my successful reintroductions, can be satisfying long-term. Angie Alt is that proof, and I thank her for all her cookbook has done for me.

If you're wondering whether or not AIP is for you, or if you're hesitating about giving it a go, give this a read. If you don't find yourself nodding your head as you read, recognizing many of the same struggles as ones you went or are going through, then maybe, maybe, the autoimmune protocol isn't your solution. But if you're reading this review, then it probably is.

And even if it isn't, the cookbook is well worth it for the delectable recipes. They all use normal ingredients and require minimal prep time. They were also all tested by Angie's sister, Jenifer, who doesn't follow any special diet at all - just to make sure they would be tasty enough for any and all people you might be cooking for.


And just to get your mouth watering, here's a recipe Angie so kindly allowed me to share with y'all!

This recipe is simple, uses simple ingredients, and is simply delicious! The hubster and I were both blown away by how much flavor was packed into our pork chops! I let out an, "oh my god!" and the hubster an, "oh putain!" {which, by the way, is a French expletive}. In other words, this is good. Real good.


Lemon Rosemary Brined Pork Chops
Lemon Rosemary Brined Pork Chops || Angie Alt

Lemon Rosemary Brined Pork Chops
Author: 
Prep time:  
Cook time:  
Total time:  
Serves: 4
I love brining! It is an easy, flavorful way to prepare a meaty main dish.
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cups filtered water
  • 5 tablespoons salt
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 20 ice cubes
  • 4 bone‐in pork chops
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine water, salt, onion, garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, lemon and vinegar. Bring mixture to boil over high heat, stirring until salt dissolves. Remove from heat, cover and let sit 10 minutes.
  2. Place ice in a large bowl. Pour brine over ice and stir to melt.
  3. Place pork chops in a large freezer bag. Add brine and seal. To avoid spills, place bag in a large bowl and set in refrigerator for 3 hours.
  4. After brining, remove chops from bag. Rinse and pat dry. Discard brine. Grill over high heat for 2‐3 minutes per side. Serve and enjoy!