AIP Paleo Ranch Dressing

Time to share my recipe for AIP / Paleo Ranch Dressing!

This recipe comes together very quickly and easily – just a couple minutes of gathering ingredients, and a quick whirl in blender – and results in a fantastic ranch sauce that is great for all kinds of dietary restrictions.

It’s AIP compliant, and Paleo. It’s gluten AND dairy free, as well as being nightshade free, and preservative free!

It’s not taste-free, though. I love the fresh taste of the herbs, which works so well with the coconut cream, and is balanced with a little tang from the apple cider vinegar. Use is as a salad dressing, or as a dip!

Note: This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. While I’ll only ever link to items that I, personally, wholeheartedly recommend, I do need to put that disclosure out there!

AIP Paleo Ranch Dressing


AIP Paleo Ranch Dressing


Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Riceless Stuffed Grape Leaves – Dolmades – AIP & Paleo

Riceless stuffed grape leaves! I LOVE stuffed grape leaves, and not even just as a vector for my toum addiction.

When I was low carbing – and eventually going onto the autoimmune protocol diet (AIP) – they were off the table, unless tweaked. Rice is carby, and it’s also not compliant for AIP.

Enter: Celery Root.

I got into celery root a couple years ago, as a nice substitute for rice. Peel it, run it through a food processor, and you’re good to go. I’d use it for Fried “rice”, as a base for Buffalo Chicken meatballs, in cabbage rolls, etc. When I started making toum at home, I had to see if it would work for dolmades. I’m happy to report that YES, it does.

These have all the flavour – as well as the appropriate texture – as the traditional, rice-filled dish. This is actually one of the top two AIP dishes we make here, along with my AIP Fish Tacos. My husband may not be following the AIP diet himself, but he would happily live on these two dishes alone!

Now, I’d originally written the recipe out and scheduled this before COVID was a big thing, so I’d like to add some info here, for those looking to make it in the next few months.

1. Up until recently, we’ve made these with fresh dill and mint. Given the current grocery situation, we recently made a batch using dried mint and dill.  I’m happy to say that it worked beautifully! Just sub 2 Tbsp each of dried dill and dried mint – to start – cook it up, taste, and add a bit more if you like.

2. Once the filling is cooked up, it can be cooled, put in freezer bags, and frozen. We made up a big batch at the beginning of this, divided it up, and froze them. To use, we allow them to thaw, and just continue rolling it up from there. I haven’t tried freezing fully assembled dolmades, so no idea how that would work.

However you end up doing up these riceless stuffed grape leaves – fresh, dried, frozen, whatever – just be sure to try them. WITH lots of toum, of course!

Enjoy!

Note: This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. While I’ll only ever link to items that I, personally, wholeheartedly recommend, I do need to put that disclosure out there!

AIP Stuffed Grape Leaves - Dolmades - AIP and Paleo


AIP Stuffed Grape Leaves - Dolmades - AIP and Paleo


Fish Tacos – AIP, Paleo, and Gluten Free!

When I first started my stint on the AIP diet, the first couple of weeks were all about trying to come up with options that were easy, tasty, and that my husband would also eat.

Fish tacos were something I decided to try early on, but the first attempt went poorly. My husband LOVED them, but deep frying them had been such a frustrating hassle, I didn’t want to do it regularly. I’m not big on battered fish anyway (don’t judge!), so I decided to go for a simple seasoned and baked fish, the second time around.

… and we quickly settled on these fish tacos as a staple menu item, having them at least weekly. SO good!

In terms of the fish, we tend to use cod, tilapia, sometimes halibut if we’re feeling bougie. We usually ask our wonderful fishmonger for recommendations as to what’s looking best at the moment. (We <3 her - she’s a giant geek.) Basically just go for something white and flaky!

We’ve settled on topping just with the salsa to keep things simple, AIP compliant, and fresh tasting – it’s a well balanced flavour, and isn’t lacking for anything.

Depending on your own way of eating (IE if you don’t need to restrict things as much), you can add crema, pickled onions, jalapeno slices, whatever you like. It’s a good base!

Enjoy!

Note: This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. While I’ll only ever link to items that I, personally, wholeheartedly recommend, I do need to put that disclosure out there!

AIP Fish Tacos


AIP Fish Tacos


Tart Cherry and Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies – “Gouties”! AIP and Paleo

Recently, I got into making gummy candies.

Having moved home to Canada, I have access to SO many amazing gummy candies. I have no idea why they’re better here than back in the USA, but they just are – a fact that wasn’t lost on friends back in MN… I used to buy 40+ lbs of gummies every time I’d visit home – I love Bulk Barn! – mix them up and divvy them between friends who’d placed “orders” for however many lbs they wanted. I got a lot of weird looks from border guards, LOL.

… but, as I’m coming to realize… traditional gummies are an awful gout trigger for me. Boo. It was fun while it lasted!

So, now I make my own, with fruit or fruit juices (and some other, more wild ingredients… stay tuned!), honey, and gelatin. It’s super easy to do, taking less than 10 minutes of work, and super satisfying. I’m particularly fond of the gummy worms, it’s just such a fun texture and wriggle.

In the case of these – which I’ve nicknamed “Goutie Bears” – or just “gouties” – I basically just gelatinized 2 ingredients that gout sufferers are supposed to consume frequently – tart cherry juice, and apple cider vinegar. Not the worst thing in the world, but gets boring to drink every day – gummies are much more fun!

Aside from gout, apple cider vinegar and tart cherry juice – separate or together – are supposed to have all sorts of other health benefits. They’re regularly touted as anti inflammatory agents, tart cherry juice is supposed to help you with sleep, etc. I honestly don’t know much about any of that, I’m just dutifully trying to stave off any further gout attacks (two years since the last one, woot!), and it does seem to help.

Not a gout sufferer? No worries, I’ll be posting more gummy recipes in the new future. It’s such a fun and easy thing to do, requiring minimal equipment – something very important, these days! Gummy candy making has definitely been a fun – and tasty – way to spend some self isolation time, and I’d imagine it would be a great project for kids to do. It’s certainly easy enough for kids to do, even with minimal supervison.

Note: This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. While I’ll only ever link to items that I, personally, wholeheartedly recommend, I do need to put that disclosure out there!

In terms of the molds, I like using silicone molds that are specifically meant for gummies – it just feels more “legit”, IMHO. I’m not stuck on them being bears or worms, though. As pictured, THIS is the set I used for the photo. I also used THIS set, though those ones aren’t pictured here. The molds for that second set are a lot larger, so they fill up a lot quicker. They’re super cute cartoonish dinosaurs… which is important, when you’re talking about gout remedies, right? 🙂

I wish My Fruit Shack DIY Fruit Snacks Set – 4 BPA-Free LFGB/FDA Grade Silicone Molds (Makes 184 Gummies Total), 2 Droppers and 1 Basic Recipe Page“>THIS set was available in Canada, because it’s super cute. Maybe when the borders open up, I’ll order it and send it to a friend in Buffalo… I just have no idea when I’ll next see them.

There are a ton of different kinds of gummy molds available – fruit, stars, hearts, dinosaurs, etc. Just have fun with it!

Tart Cherry and Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies

Tart Cherry and Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies



Dairy Free Calamansi Coconut Panna Cotta (AIP)

Have I mentioned how much I love Calamansi Juice? I mean, you know know that I love citrus in general, but calamansi juice is on a whole other level.

I happened across it one day while exploring Seafood City, an amazing Filipino grocery store about 30 minutes away. They had actual calamansi fruits – tiny little limes – as well as calamansi lemonade, calamansi soda, and calamansi juice in little bottles – like you’d buy RealLemon – for cooking.

I think I tried the lemonade and soda that first day, and had to make the trek back out there to buy *all the calamansi everything* a few days later. I was hooked!

Basically, it’s like a lime, but tastes like a combo of orange, lime, and something vaguely tropical. Absolutely intoxicating, now I use it basically anywhere I normally would have used lemon or lime juice. When I was still low carbing, I made a quick lemonade from that juice, fake sugar, and some water – it was actually fantastic.

Anyway. Yes. LOVE Calamansi juice.

So, recently I decided to try making a kind of faux panna cotta from it. It was while I was still on AIP (which I’ve had to modify, due to difficulty obtaining fresh vegetables during the pandemic!), so I had to do it dairy free, and without processed sugar. Luckily, honey and coconut milk work REALLY well with Calamansi – I wouldn’t doubt that they’d actually be preferable to dairy milk and white sugar, to be quite honest.

This works up incredibly quickly – just a few minutes of work, with great flavour and texture payoff.

Enjoy!

Dairy Free Calamansi Coconut Panna Cotta





Mango Salsa For Fish Tacos – AIP, Paleo

Well, it’s certainly been a wild few weeks, hasn’t it? I hope you guys are all doing well. We’ve been settling into the new normal here: Not knowing what day of the week it is, actually having time for chores, my husband actually being around all the time, instead of commuting 1 hour each way for a full course load at school, etc.

The cats are LOVING it, btw. Very spoiled, those kitties.

As introverts, we’re enjoying the peace and slow pace, though we see how hard some of our friends are taking it. I’m surprised at how many extroverts I know! Be sure to check in on your extroverts and give them some (LONG DISTANCE) fussings if needed!

Anyway! Food!

Since starting on the AIP diet back in January, fish tacos quickly became a favourite around here. It works up quickly and easily, has great colour and flavour, and tastes amazing – it may be a very restrictive diet, but you wouldn’t know it with this meal! The salsa in particular really makes the dish sing – it’s got a great combo of sweetness and tartness, textures, and a great combination of flavours that work well together.

It also tastes – and looks – so bright and sunny, I figured it would be a good one to share today, as we could all use a little brightness and colour right now. (Especially while we still have access to the ingredients!)

Stay healthy!

Mango Salsa for Fish Taco


Mango Salsa for Fish Tacos



Chicken Shawarma – AIP, Paleo, Dairy Free, and Gluten Free!

As I’ve mentioned before … one of the best things about Hamilton is also one of the most difficult things, when it comes to being on a restrictive diet. There is amazing food EVERYWHERE – every ethnicity you can think of is represented, and then some.

As part of that, there’s a shawarma place pretty much every three blocks – and I honestly don’t know how much of an exaggeration that is. There are shawarma-specific places, shawarma on combined focus menus, many pizza places even offer shawarma pizza.

Anyway, I digress. With shawarma everywhere, I knew I’d have to come up with a reasonable facsimile to serve at home. I’d proud to say that I managed to do just that – this is amazingly accurate for something that has no dairy or nightshades – and really hits the spot!

We’ve been making this almost every week since developing the recipe. The chicken leftovers reheat well, and also make a great salad:

AIp Chicken Shawarma Salad

Some of the prep work can be done beforehand. Toum can be done several days ahead, same with the pickles. You can marinate the chicken overnight … really, the seasoned tortillas and actually cooking the chicken are the only tasks that really should be done right before serving.

As far as the chicken goes, the recipe reflects the quickest and easiest way to cook it – sauteeing on the stove top. Alternatively, you could bake it or charcoal grill it (which has THE most authentic flavour, imho) – in either of these cases, marinate whole chicken breasts, cook them, then slice them up for service.

Enjoy!







Quick Beet Pickles – AIP & Paleo

Very quick recipe today, leading up to Friday’s post!

2 months on the AIP diet, and we’re definitely finding our comfort zone for eating, especially with regards to cravings for the foods I can’t have, while letting things clear up.

Living here in Hamilton, Shawarma is everywhere. EVERY. WHERE. So, I’m constantly wanting something I can’t, which meant having to develop an AIP version. It went spectacularly well, has been in regular rotation here.

One part of traditional shawarma, is the pickled beets. Unfortunately, store bought pickled beets tend to be close, but not quite suitable for my current diet restrictions – the sugar, spices, and vinegar used, in particular.

Luckily, they’re all easily swapped out, and the few tweaks produce a great pickle that tastes just like it should. As a bonus: You can cook sliced turnips in the pickling liquid when you’re done, to make shawarma pickled turnips!

Enjoy!







Cassava Flour Tortillas – AIP, Paleo, Gluten Free!

SO it’s been just over 2 months since I adopted the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) Diet, which I’ll be doing until June or so. It’s been interesting, learning the ins and outs of it, and finding out what works best with our tastes and … desire to cook on any given day!

After a couple not-great attempts at making tortillas, I’ve settled on this as not only my go-to tortillas recipe, but a regular rotation menu item here – we do fish tacos at least once a week!

Usually, I’ll make these as-is, for a basic, fairly neutral tortilla. Sometimes, I’ll add a little garlic powder and/or onion powder, for just a hint of flavour. Sometimes – as is the case with my AIP Shawarma, coming up later this week! – I’ll add even more flavour!

Now, after the first couple attempts at making tortillas, I decided to break one of my big kitchen rules: “No single-purpose items!”… and bought a tortilla press. I hesitated at first, not sure how much of a difference it would make, or how often I’d use it.

… and I don’t regret a thing! There’s no way I’d be making tacos as often as I do, without this. Absolutely worth the (reasonable!) price and storage space, it’s definitely a frustration-saver. I can press them out in no time, it’s just SO much easier than rolling out.

THIS is the one I bought, and I definitely recommend it. I don’t have a lot of experience with tortillas presses, though, so for all I know, the more expensive ones are better. I just know that this makes things so quick and easy, I have no complaints at all!

Some day, I might buy a larger one and start making larger wraps. This recipe would probably be good for 2-3 large wraps.

While I LOVE the Tortilla recipe I developed for Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking & Baking, to be honest… this recipe is tasty and a lot less ingredients-intensive. Amazing what you can learn, when you have to adapt to increasingly more restrictive dietary needs! I’d never used cassava flour before last month, and now I have something new and fun to experiment with!

Enjoy!

Note: This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. While I’ll only ever link to items that I, personally, wholeheartedly recommend, I do need to put that disclosure out there!




Cassava Flour Tortillas


Toum! Lebanese Garlic Dip – Gluten Free and AIP!

A few years ago, we were travelling through Kalamazoo, en route to Toronto. It was the first of our site scouting trips to prepare for our upcoming move back to Canada, and my husband wanted to stop by his favourite brewery – Bell’s – on the trip. We stopped for lunch at a random shawarma place, and my world was ROCKED.

I have no idea how I’d never tried toum before then. It was this thick white dip that they served alongside their grape leaves… SUPER potent with garlic – it burned to eat! – and was absolutely addictive. I wanted to put it on everything! We cleaned our plates, bought some more to go, and made a point of stopping off at that same restaurant on subsequent trips between Minnesota and Ontario.

The thing is, it wasn’t listed as “toum” on the menu. They just called it their house garlic sauce – or something similar – and I’d assumed it to be a unique thing. It wasn’t til one of my facebook friends mentioned “garlic dip” alongside “toum”, that I googled and found my long lost love, LOL. Not only did it mean I had a name of an item to look for / ask for when dining out, I found that it was something that is very easy to make at home. I put that knowledge aside for the time being.

Recently, I’ve had to adopt the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) diet, as a result of some thyroid weirdness. The next 6 months mean a very strict diet that cuts out a lot of fun stuff – nightshades, grains, dairy, seeds, nuts, sugar, etc. It’s not that big a deal for me – I cook, I can make any diet taste great! – but it does sting a little, now that we’ve moved to Hamilton. You see, there is a shawarma place pretty much on every block here, and we were definitely getting into trying as many as we could, before this change of dietary direction. Amazing stuff, as far as the eye can see!

This past weekend, I was really, REALLY wanting some shawarma… so I came up with an AIP version. I’ll be blogging that shortly, but wanted to post components of it, first.

Now, you don’t have to be on AIP to go for AIP shawarma. It’s an excellent dish on its own (“I want 6 more of these, right now… but I am FULL, AUGH!” – my non-AIP husband, when I made shawarma wraps from the leftovers), and it’s a great option when dealing with a number of dietary restrictions. It’s nightshade free, so safe for the many people who have that allergy. It’s gluten-free, paleo, dairy free, and avoid all of the most common allergens. If you’re cooking for a group that involves some people with dietary restrictions, it’s a good place to start!

So, first part of that: Toum.

This is every bit the burny, addictive, wildly satisfying garlic condiment that we had in Kalamazoo. A simple change of oils used takes it from not being AIP safe, to AIP all the way – with no change in the taste. This is exactly the sort of thing that any number of articles warn you to not eat before a date, for some reason. So bizarre. IMHO, if you’re dating someone afraid of garlic breath … you need to reconsider your standards. Accept no less than someone that who will fight you for the last bit of garlic deliciousness left on the plate!

This is super easy to make – with a food processor – and requires fairly basic ingredients.

A word on the garlic used: I’m lazy, and buy garlic cloves that have been pre-peeled by the produce department at my local grocery store. (For $2.50 for about a cup worth of garlic, it’s not worth it to peel them myself, IMHO!). I haven’t tried this with the mass produced pre-peeled garlic, but would assume that to be almost as good, just not as fresh. I would NOT recommend using pre-minced garlic, as that always tastes bitter and weird.

I use a very light olive oil for this, so the flavour doesn’t compete with the garlic too much. You could, alternatively, use all avocado oil, instead of the mix. If you don’t need to follow AIP diet restrictions, feel free to save a few bucks by using canola oil instead.

With regards to oil amounts: as listed, this will give you a nice, thick dip. If you’re looking for a bit thinner, you can continue to add more oil – about 3 cups total will give you more of a sauce consistency, rather than the dip.

Enjoy! Also: Keep an eye out for the coming recipes – AIP quick beet pickles, chicken shawarma, and more! Follow us on any of our social media accounts for updates, or subscribe to our newsletter for monthly emails!




Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.