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


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



Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Sage – Gluten Free and AIP

Last night, I adapted my sweet potato recipe – from Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach To Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking – to go one step beyond (haha!) being gluten free: I needed it to be AIP (Autoimmune protocol) friendly also.

As far as the gnocchi itself, this meant swapping out most of the added starches, getting rid of the eggs, and omitting the – optional – nutmeg. What resulted was a MUCH simplified gnocchi. All things considered, I think I might even prefer it to the original Beyond Flour 2 recipe!

The part where it got a little more painful was sacrificing the brown butter sauce that originally accompanied the recipe… and that I was very much in the mood for last night.

Luckily, there are a number of AIP friendly fats that work well and add a great flavour to the dish. You can use lard, bacon fat, or duck fat. If you don’t need to avoid dairy, feel free to swap in butter for the sauce. As a note: The professional photos in the blog entry are of the original recipe, from the book. The only difference in appearance is the brown butter sauce – but I’ve included a crappy cell phone photo of last night’s supper to prove that!

As with my original BF2 sweet potato gnocchi recipe, this one avoids one of the big problem areas of making traditional gnocchi – boiling potatoes. For sweet potato gnocchi, the sweet potatoes are dry cooked, not boiled – so heavy, doughy, waterlogged dumplings aren’t likely to happen! As with traditional gnocchi though, you’ll want to handle every stage of mixing with a light hand – keep it as fluffy and loose as possible up to the point of rolling. Handling everything gently will ensure that you’ll end up with soft, pillowy gnocchi.

A note: you’re looking for tubers that have orange flesh, and a lot of the time, they’re sold as “yams” (and those aren’t necessarily even yams!). “Yam gnocchi” sounds weird though… so, we’ll call it “Sweet potato”, though you may have to buy something labeled as “yams”. Isn’t a lack of consistency in terminology FUN?

The texture is great – actual gnocchi. No gumminess or sandiness, they were easy to work with and held together well. If you’re like us, you’ll want to double the mushrooms in the sauce – they are FABULOUS in this.



As promised, my crappy cell phone pic of dinner last night:




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.

How to Make Haggis (in North America, Anyway!)

A bit of a weird (TMI?) note here… my body is kind of weird, and I have ridiculous needs when it comes to animal protein, B vitamins, iron, etc. If I don’t eat enough red meat, I get weak and ill, and it feels like I can *feel* my cells slowly dying.

It’s a really gross feeling, so I TRY to keep up on protein… but sometimes it’s hard. I recently got so busy with the next couple of book releases, that I was living on horrible convenience foods that I won’t really admit to… and no animal protein. Got malnourished, got sick, and decided that what I REALLY needed to feel better was some haggis.

I have a different kind of relationship with haggis, than the average person. I tried it at Folklorama as a teen, and LOVED it. I wasn’t surprised, I knew from a young age that a lot of what gets labeled as “icky” is actually really tasty. One of my absolute favourite foods as a kid was steak and kidney pie!

In my teens, I realized that haggis was absolute gold for anemia, so I started to look at it as not only a tasty meal, but medicine. Iron pills never really did much for me, but a serving of haggis would pick me up and make me feel so much better within minutes. It became a go-to cure, for me.

I moved to the east coast, and met a really nice Scottish lady who’d sell it to me by the ice cream bucket-full. I moved to the greater Toronto area, and found a butcher shop that kept it in stock.

Then I moved to Minnesota, and my only option was canned. What?

While I did suffer through the canned option a couple times (it smells like cat food, and doesn’t even have all the good stuff in it!), this most recent time happened after hours for the company I’d buy it from. I decided that enough was enough, I was going to figure out how to make it myself. I’m always up for an adventure, and this would definite be one – I’d never actually worked with most of the meats involved!

I knew I’d have to make a few compromises, in making haggis. While it’s normally made with lamb, beef would be far easier to find ingredients for, and definitely more economical. Also, for my purposes… I’ve found that beef is better for my issues than lamb is. Additionally, lungs were out of the question, due to FDA regulations – so I decided to substitute a beef tongue. Stomach was impossible to find, so I had to figure out an alternate casing option.

A trip to a local butcher for the beef tongue also yielded me a bit of advice on casings… which was helpful, as I’d never even made sausage before this point. After comparing the options, we all decided that it’d be best to go with the casings used for venison sausage. “Mislabeled” for my purposes, maybe.. but they had the widest diameter, so would be closest to the real thing.

I may have SKIPPED out of the butcher shop. I was positively giddy at the idea that I was just a few hours away from my OWN haggis.

I got home, and decided that the occasion required the start of a new Pandora station. Great Big Sea was the seed group for it, as I figured Celtic rock/pop would be ideal haggis making music… and it was!

It was interesting to unwrap the individual ingredients and see what they even LOOKED like for the first time. I don’t have any weird hangups about types of meat being gross – if I can eat a cow face (barbacoa is amazing!) and chow down on roasted chicken skin, I just don’t see why heart would be weird, you know?

I did have something weird *HAPPEN* at one point, though. When I unwrapped the kidneys, the smell hit me … and it was like something out of some cheesy vampire movie. It didn’t smell GOOD, in a way that food’s supposed to… but something surged in me, and I felt extremely ravenous, immediately. I went from happy and giddy, to feeling almost sort of feral with just one whiff. I had to convince myself that it wasn’t a good idea to just eat some of it raw, right then – the urge was there! It was completely bizarre… I wonder what I was smelling? I’ve always had an insane sense of smell (Aspergers super power!), so I’m almost wondering if it was a nutrient or mineral that I was really, really low on. SO weird!

I was able to pull myself together, and whatever that was calmed down once I got the kidney meat soaking.

I pulled everything together – kind of making it up as I went along – without incident. It was easier than I had imagined, and it was the best tasting haggis I’d ever tried – never underestimate the power of having complete control over your seasonings!

As I took my first bite of the fully seasoned haggis mixture, “Ramblin’ Rover” came on over the new Pandora station, and it was a magical moment for me. It felt – and tasted – like victory!

As I placed the haggis chubs in the water for a final cook, another song got stuck in my head – David Guetta’s “The World is Mine“. Yes. It is an amazing feeling to know that this hard-to-find food item is now something I could make… and you can, too!

A note on the photos: Because of my husband’s weird “top of the food chain guilt”, as I call it (he doesn’t want to see meat that looks like it came from an animal, prefers to pretend it grew on trees or something), I wasn’t allowed to make this while he was home, and had to resort to crappy cell phone photography for the progess photos. Sorry about that!

Luckily, he was perfectly ok with the finished product, and graciously took the beauty shots for me 🙂

Enjoy!

Haggis Recipe

1 beef tongue (about 3 lbs)
2 lbs beef heart
5 onions
6 ribs celery
2 carrots, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
4 Tbsp dried savoury, divided
1 tsp dried thyme, divided
2 tsp salt, divided
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp ground black pepper, divided
3 tsp sage, divided
2 lbs beef kidneys
1 cup vinegar
1 lb beef liver
1/2 lb beef suet
2 cups rolled oats, toasted*
1 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
sausage casings of choice**

In a large pot, place beef tongue, beef heart, 2 peeled and sliced onions, celery, and carrots. Cover with water, add 1 Tbsp savory, and 1 tsp each theme, salt, pepper, and sage. Bring JUST to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 2 hours.

As you wait, rinse the kidneys off, and cut all the meat from the white stuff. Place the kidney meat in a bowl with 1 cup vinegar and 3 cups water. Stir well, let it sit for 20 minutes before draining and rinsing it.

Add kidneys and beef liver to the pot, continue to cook for another hour or so, until the tongue and heart are tender.

Remove everything from the cooking liquid, reserving the liquid for later. Discard vegetables, allow meats to cool until you can handle them.

Use a sharp knife to trim gristle, skin, or “ugly bits” from the heart and tongue. Chop all of the organ meat to ~ 1″ cubes or strips. Run all the meat through the larger grain opening on your meat grinder, mix well. Run through once more, this time with the finer cut attachment.

Grate or finely chop the remaining 3 onions, and grate the suet. Add both to the meat mixture, stir well.

Run your toasted oats through the food processor to break them up a bit, add to the mixture. Stir well

Season the mixture to your liking. I ended up using:

3 Tbsp dried savoury
2 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp ground black pepper

Stir well.

I used the sausage making attachment for my Kitchenaid to stuff the sausage casings, which I’d soaked in hot water for a few minutes to soften. As I haven’t made sausage before… not sure what to recommend if you use something else. Don’t stuff them TOO full, or they run the risk of exploding when simmered.

Once the sausage casings are stuffed, tie them off. Prick each casing a few times with a fork or JUST the tip of a sharp knife. Place in a large pot of boiling water, turn the heat down and and simmer for about 3 hours.

YUM!

*I spread them out on a cookie sheet and toasted them in the oven at 350 until they smelled nice. Stir it every once in awhile.

** I used two large “venison sausage” style casings. If I had my time back, I would have used 4 and only done them half full!

My Haggis Making Victory Song:

Roasted Beet Green Chips

Roasted Beet Green Chips!

Remember back when I shared my recipe for kale chips, and mentioned that you can use any number of dark, leafy greens for it?

A couple of weekends ago – when I went on my pickled beet making tear – I found myself with the greens from 45 lbs worth of beets, thinking about what a waste it would be to compost them. I decided to see how they worked as chips.

Wonderfully! Not only do these Roasted Beet Green Chips taste great, they’re really pretty! The beet greens roast up in various shades of greens and browns. With the prominent red veining, they look like autumn leaves – probably tasting better than crunchy dead tree leaves, though!

One thing to note about making roasted beet green chips: You may think you have a ton of beet greens, but they dry down to very dainty little pieces of chips. You can eat an entire bunch of beet greens without thinking about it – so make more than you think you’ll need!

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!

Roasted Beet Greens Chips


Roasted Beet Green Chips


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.

How to Make Kale Chips

I’ve been sitting on these photos for a few weeks, originally planning to post early in January, for healthy recipes. Well, I’m impatient, so here we go!

Kale chips are so easy, and SO good. You’d be surprised how fast one can plow through an entire head of kale by themselves, when done this way. My husband and I both prefer them to potato chips, and they never last long around here.

The only downside to this is that it requires several batches to be baked. Kale shrinks down to almost nothing as it bakes, so you can find yourself baking 6 rounds in the oven, then snarfing it all in 10 minutes. Totally worth it, anyway!

Kale chips

Now, this recipe is labeled as “kale chips”, but you can use the techniques here to make roasted chips out of almost any dark leafy green. Baby spinach makes delicate, papery chips. Mustard greens make pretty chips with a sharp bite to them. Try collard greens, turnip greens – whatever you like – just be sure to keep an eye on them. The thinner/more delicate the green (baby spinach), the less cooking time it’ll need. You don’t want to burn them!

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“Scotch Egg” Meatloaf Recipe

Low carb. Potentially “Paleo-friendly”. Gluten Free. Yep – a recipe that fits all those categories can be THIS tasty!

When I was a kid, my mother used to make meatloaves formed around hardboiled eggs. Loved these “dinosaur eggs” then, and was inspired to come up with my own version a few years ago. The veggies in this version provide a ton of flavor to the meat, and make for a colorful, healthy dish.

To make this recipe “paleo”, just use a paleo-friendly sauce (even just pureed tomatoes!), and omit the cheese.

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