Monday, September 1, 2014

Easy Baked Sweet Potato Chips (AIP / Paleo / Vegan)

One thing that has been rough for me since starting AIP is making sure that I eat enough starchy carbs and fat. Sure, I cook with bacon fat and avocado oil, but that's not enough fat! And, a sweet potato here or there is fine, too, but I am ending each day feeling desperate for some carbs and fat. 

One thing that I hope to make soon is a flavored coconut butter to snack on here and there when I feel a need for some easy fat. But, in the meantime, I made up a batch of these chips yesterday and it was so good that I made a second one for dinner! Yuuuuuuuum! Yesterday was the first night that I didn't end up craving anything and I also had no trouble falling asleep. Those are signs for my body that I gave it what it needed. 

Anyway, these chips are delish. Quick and easy to make with a mandolin, so you can have a snack ready in about 30 minutes. Or maybe plan ahead and have it ready and waiting, if you're prepared like that! I served these up with an easy dip made up of my AIP/vegan mayo, garlic sauce, and fresh dill and it was absolutely perfect. 

Easy Baked Sweet Potato Chips (AIP / Paleo / Vegan)

Makes about 30 chips 

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

1 medium sized sweet potato (wider, shorter ones work best)
1 tbsp avocado oil
Sea salt 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a metal baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the sweet potato into very thin rounds using a mandolin. Toss with the oil and a liberal amount of salt. 

2. Bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for an additional 10 minutes. I check after 5 minutes for any brown chips and pull them out so they don't burn. When done, toss with more sea salt and flavoring a of your choice. 

Examples: garlic powder and tumeric (as pictured below), garlic powder and oregano, garlic powder and dill, etc. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Pancetta, Fig, and Rosemary Pizza (AIP / Paleo / Gluten-free / Nut-free / Coconut-free)

Sometimes, I make good food. Occasionally, I make amazing food. Tonight was one of those rare times when I leave the dinner table like "damn, son."

There is nothing fancy about this meal, really. It's just a variation on my plantain pizza crust with some meat and figs. It came together in 30 minutes or so. But, you guys? THIS is what food should be. Right here. 

Sweet. Salty. Melt in your mouth delicious. Maybe just a hint of pork fat. Ummmmm, yeah. You need this in your life. STAT. Fig season doesn't last long! Run!

Pancetta, Fig, and Rosemary Pizza (AIP / Paleo / Gluten-free / Nut-free / Coconut-free)

Makes 2 medium pizzas

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 28 minutes

4 plantains that are just slightly turning yellow 
1 cup arrowroot starch
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp sea salt
Olive oil (either in spray form or with a brush)

Lebanese garlic sauce (
1 pack pancetta (check label! I recommend Applegate)
6 black figs, thinly sliced
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves only

1 recipe zucchini cheese ( note that I added a pinch of tumeric for color)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment.

2. In a blender, process the peeled plantains until smooth. Add spices and mix. Add arrowroot slowly, adding just enough to make the batter the consistency of a thick pudding.

3. Spoon the batter onto the baking sheets and then smooth into a circle with a spatula, about 1/4" thick. Bake for 20 minutes. 

4. Change the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Spray or brush the edges of the crust with olive oil, then top each pizza with a healthy layer of garlic sauce, and the pancetta, figs, and rosemary leaves. Slide the parchment paper and pizza directly on to the middle rack of your oven. Bake for an additional 8 minutes,

5. Add the cheese when the pizza is still hot. Allow to cool a few minutes before slicing. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pumpkin Tarragon Pot Roast (AIP / Paleo / Gluten-free / Nightshade-free)

To continue with my current fall obsession, even though it's warm and obviously not fall, tonight I made pot roast.

Now, pot roast is not the most obvious thing to make AIP. Because tomatoes. Spices. Etc. But, I was determined to have pot roast, and I came up with the idea of adding pumpkin. Why? Because I've added it to everything this week so I might as well keep going!

Ultimately, I chose tarragon and rosemary to complement the faint hint of pumpkin. The spices also brought out that pumpkin sweetness without smacking you in the face with it. It was enough like a traditional pot roast to feel like a pot roast and different enough to be really enjoyable. Perfect!

Regarding the alcohol, I followed the rules and consumed alcohol only after cooking. But, if you're not comfortable with that, I'm sure that broth would work just fine. 

Pumpkin Tarragon Pot Roast (AIP / Paleo / Gluten-free / Nightshade-free)

Serves 6-8

Prep time: 10 minutes 
Cook time: 3 1/2 hours

3-4 lb beef chuck roast
3 yellow onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups crimini mushrooms 
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large white sweet potatoes, cubed
4 carrots, sliced into large chunks (I used rainbow)
1 bottle of hard cider (I used apple berry, 21 oz)
1 15 oz can of pumpkin purée 
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves 
1 tsp sea salt 
1 bay leaf
1 sprig tarragon
1 sprig rosemary

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the roast liberally with salt and then brown on all sides. Remove from pan and add onions. Cook until soft and lightly golden. Add garlic and cook for another minute. 

2. Pour in cider, scraping all of the brown bits from the pan. Add roast back to the pan, stir in the bay leaf, ginger, and cloves, and bring to a simmer. Lay tarragon and rosemary on top, cover, and bake for 2 hours. 

3. Stir in the pumpkin, mushrooms, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Add salt, re-cover, and return to oven. Bake for another 1-1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is beginning to fall apart and the vegetables are tender. Remove the tarragon, rosemary, and bay leaf. 

4. Strain, reserving the juices. Pour the juices into a pot and boil for 2-3 minutes until thickened into a gravy. Serve over cauliflower mash with gravy drizzled on top. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ground Beef, Pumpkin, and Sweet Potato Curry (Paleo / AIP / Nightshade-free / Coconut-free)

Despite the fact that it's hot as a crotch outside, all that I want to eat lately are warm, fall comfort foods. Mmmm. Fall. Please come back to us!

Anyway, it was no small challenge to create a rich, spiced, and flavorful curry without deviating from AIP! I mean, dude. No nightshades OR seed spices?! Yikes. I sadly moved about 3/4 of my spices aside and began casting about for inspiration. And then I found it. 

Actually, I just threw stuff together and hoped for the best. And, this is SO good. Like, SO good. It's incredibly flavorful but completely not spicy. My picky little ones ate every last bite. They had theirs on white rice, and I just ate mine alongside roasted cauliflower and broccoli. It's thick enough not to even need anything else to be satisfying!

Ground Beef, Pumpkin, and Sweet Potato Curry (Paleo / AIP / Nightshade-free / Coconut-free)

Serves 4-6

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes

1 yellow onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef
2 medium white sweet potatoes, cubed
2 cups pumpkin purée
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp oregano
1/16 tsp cloves 
1 cinnamon stick
1 large pinch saffron, crushed with your fingers
1 lemon, juice only
Sea salt, to taste
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1. Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onions and sauté until golden brown. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Add ground beef and cook until browned, crumbling as you cook it. 

2. Add sweet potatoes, pumpkin, broth, and spices. Season liberally with sea salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. If it's too dry, add 1/2 cup water. Add lemon juice, taste and add more salt if necessary to help the flavors pop, and simmer for another 5 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft and the curry is creamy, not watery. 

Serve topped with fresh cilantro.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Egg-free AIP Mayonnaise (Vegan / Paleo / Coconut-free / Soy-free / Nut-free)

One thing I've learned by now is that condiments make or break my life. Melodramatic? Yes. But, also true. A burger just isn't a burger without mayo. And the same is true of sandwiches.

I found a recipe for an AIP-friendly plantain pizza crust and tried it yesterday but it seemed like it would make a more successful wrap. It came together quickly and bakes, so it's easier to cook than my other wraps. Easy is good.

Anyway, since it turns out that the majority of chicken sausages and even Applegate hot dogs contain paprika, I figure that plantain wraps can be my new go-to easy lunch. But, that requires mayo! I did find this epic garlic sauce at the store that's AIP-friendly, but it's $11. Ouch. I need to mix things up at that price!

I read a bunch of recipes before making this. I couldn't find ANY that were AIP plus coconut-free, so I eventually gave up and experimented. This turned out amazing, if I do say so myself. Super yummy and the perfect consistency! It will harden in the fridge so I suggest getting it out 30 minutes or so before using. 

The immersion blender in a wide mouth jar technique is generally key to any kind of mayo. I'm sure it would work in a standard blender but it might be soupy. However, if you refridgerate it, it will likely thicken up. So, while it might not be as creamy, it should still work if you don't have an immersion blender. 

Egg-free AIP Mayonnaise (Vegan / Paleo / Coconut-free / Soy-free / Nut-free)

Makes about 1 cup

Prep time: 5 minutes

1/2 cup Spectrum palm shortening 
1/4 cup filtered water, warm
3-4 cloves garlic
1 medium lemon, juice only
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup avocado oil
Pinch tumeric 

1. Add Spectrum, water, garlic, and salt to a jar. Pulse with an immersion blender until thick and smooth. Add lemon juice and tumeric and continue pulsing. 

2. Very slowly add the avocado oil, continuing to pulse until thick and white. It should be just slightly thinner than standard mayo when it's done. Refridgerate. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Fall into Paleo (aka AIP time!)

I've been neglecting this poor blog lately, huh? After our vacation, we moved, and I'm just now starting to get back into a cooking routine! Plus, I think that summer lures me away from blogging anyway. When the sun shines in Seattle, you enjoy it however you can. 

At any rate, even though it's still summer, my mood has begun to shift to fall. I'm ready to pull myself out of my food ruts, and also to finally tackle the sensitivities that I've documented but otherwise ignored for months now. You see, it's been obvious that I don't tolerate tomatoes for AGES. Heck, I tested positive for a tomato allergy at like 8 years old! And, I've basically been avoiding that knowledge ever since. Because tomatoes.

Anyway, I'm sick of the burning guts. But, I've also noticed reactions to other nightshades. Paprika? Instant migraine. Eggplant? Omg, even worse migraine! I had to stop eating hot sauce for the same reason. So, obviously, it's time to get serious about this nightshades thing. 

While I'm ditching the nightshades, I figure that I might as well give AIP a go. I've clearly reacted to nuts in the past and seeds have started destroying my stomach, too. I haven't noticed many issues with potatoes but they DO leave me feeling super bloated and full afterwards. While I may not cut all of this out long-term, a month of strict AIP will give me the clean slate I need to do an elimination diet reintroduction and really see which ones bother me.

Since I already don't eat eggs, what AIP will mean for me is no nuts, seeds, nightshades, coffee, chocolate, or sweeteners other than honey. Clearly, that's all fine except coffee. My one cup of morning coffee keeps me human. I'm already hedging there and absolutely will allow myself that if it's too hard to go without. Because coffee. 

Anyway, I know a lot of us are ready for a fall re-boot! I'm getting a group together on Facebook and Instagram to focus on whatever each person needs to do over the next month. We start Monday and would love to have you join us! If you're on Instagram, use #fallintopaleo to hash tag your posts so we can all see them! Let's support each other as we take our diets to the next level.  

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Crockpot Copycat Chipotle Beef Barbacoa (Paleo / Gluten-free)

I used to be a huge fan of Chipotle. But, lately, it's been disappointing. Portions have gotten tiny. The steak has gotten super crazy spicy. And, it just leaves me feeling meh. Sure, I'll still eat there once in awhile when I need a quick meal on the go, but I definitely won't seek it out anymore. 

With Chipotle heading out of my life, I've decided that it's time to start making my own burrito bowls. I have great recipes already for pork and chicken, but I decided to try my hand at the barbacoa beef tonight. 

Since I've been home from vacation, it's been rough transitioning back into the kitchen. Even though the vast majority of our meals were cooked by us on our trip, they were very basic and I got out of the habit of meal planning, food shopping, and cooking for fun. Cooking on our trip was very much about just staying fed! So, it's been a week since we got home now, I've spent too much money eating out and gotten glutened once, and I'm re-dedicating myself to cooking. 

When you cook as often as I do, it's easy to get burned out. I mostly keep things fresh by rarely making the same thing twice. But, when I'm just not feeling it, I turn to my crockpot to save me. A few minutes of prep that magically becomes dinner is perfection when I'm caught in a cooking rut!

This meal was incredibly simple. My oldest son made the barbacoa and we had it with greens (me), cilantro lime rice (the kids), peach salsa, plantain chips, and guacamole. The house smelled amazing after the beef cooked all day, and everyone enjoyed the barbacoa! Absolutely perfect for a busy summer day.

Since my kids aren't into spice, I made this with a very non-spicy pepper. If I were to make it for myself, I would use a spicier pepper. Feel free to adjust as necessary for your palate! 

Crockpot Copycat Chipotle Beef Barbacoa (Paleo / Gluten-free)

Serves 4-6

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 6-8 hours

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
4 cloves garlic
4 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 poblano pepper, seeds removed (roasted briefly over a gas stove flame or broiled)
3 tbsp lime juice

3-4 lb beef chuck roast, cut into 6 chunks
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 bay leaves

1. Combine first set of ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. 

2. Heat oil over medium-high heat and sauté the meat until all sides are browned. Pour meat and drippings into a crockpot. Cover with the sauce from the blender. Add the chicken broth and bay leaves. 

3. Cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 8-10. 

Pin it: