Umami Kale Chips

imageI have been tweaking this recipe over the past couple of years. Between the nutritional yeast and the kale, you get a rich umami flavor. These are crowd pleasers!

serves 4

6 large kale leaves or the equivalent of smaller ones, torn into bite size,         removing large stems

3 TB olive oil or melted coconut oil

2 TB nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp turmeric powder

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Add ingredients in large bowl. Massage the oil and seasonings into the kale.
  • Arrange kale on a baking sheet in a single layer. This will make 2 or 3 baking sheets full. Allow yourself time to cook each batch in a single layer.
  • Roast for about 10 minutes, but watch carefully. When they become crisp, remove them from baking sheet and put on a plate lined with paper towel. Some chips will be ready before others. Pick out the crisp ones and put the rest back in until done.image
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Eating a rainbow: and other diet details.

 

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Eat a rainbow every meal. In an AIP diet you want to see a rainbow on your plate every time you eat. It’s more than just aesthetics. You need all those different nutrients to heal your cells. In The Wahls Protocol, Dr. Terry Wahls tells us to get 9 cups of vegetables and fruit a day. That’s a lot of food! I know that I get at least 6 cups each day, but I try for closer to 9. Some people who have yeast issues or those who are trying to lose weight might want to have a little less fruit than I eat. If you have yeast issues or IBS look into a FODMAP diet.

Eat three square meal each day. Rethink breakfast. It will now be your first square meal of the day. Each of your plates should have 2-3 cups of vegetables that are various colors; 1/4 cup of colorful fruit and 1/2 cup of grass-fed pasture raised or wild caught meat.

Eat offal and seafood several times each week. Offal is organ meat, like liver. Each week plan a big meal of organ meat and one of fatty fish, like salmon. Make enough to have left overs to use for breakfast and lunch a few days out of the week.

Switch it up! Find all the different meat, veggies and fruit that are available. Find out what is in season. Choose organic. Look for local farmers. Check out http://www.localharvest.org to find local farmers in your area. Try to have as many variations as possible. Everything provides different nutrients. Variety is the spice of life! Grow an edible garden for yourself to supplement what you’re purchasing. Nothing tastes better than home grown produce.

Freeze extras. Make more than you need and freeze the extras in serving size portions to throw into the mix later. You can increase your variety this way. For example, I am thawing salmon to have tomorrow for breakfast, I will have leftover lamb for lunch and I am cooking chicken for dinner. Do the same with your veggies. I plan three vegetables to cook with every meal and I make more than I think we will eat. This gives me plenty to switch up for breakfast and lunch throughout the week.

 

Breath Easy: fragrance free and other ways to improve your air quality

Many people with various autoimmune diseases have trouble with fragrance. I started having trouble with fragrances, cleaners, petroleum smells, and smoke in my early twenties. In hindsight, that was the beginning of my lung issues. Four months ago, when I was diagnosed with Autoimmune Lung Disease, I decided to take my air quality concerns to a whole new level. Just this week I received the results from my recent CT scan and my lung disease is completely gone. No inflammation nor sign of Interstitial Lung Disease. Here are some things that I did to help me breath easier:

Ideas for improving air quality:

  • Invest in an air purification system. We researched for a couple weeks before we decided on an IQ Air GC Multigas. This has a Hyperhepa filter that filters ultrafine particles all the way down to 0.003 microns – the smallest particles that exist. I run this in my room. Even if someone is burning leaves outside, I can go in my room, run my air purifier and feel completely fine. Once you are able to have periods of completely clean air, it becomes easier to detect possible irritants.image
  • Go 100% Fragrence Free. I had been Fragrence free for 20 years, but had become a little lax about a few things. I had let more and more essential oils into my life. Essential oils are great for healing, but they irritate sensitive airways. I had also allowed a few cleaners in my house that I thought were ok (like Clorox Wipes), but were actually bothering me. Use natural cleaners with no fragrances: vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda.
  • Use a Vogmask when sweeping or dusting. image
  • Install a filter in your shower. My skin really loves this one! It’s great to not have to breath in the chlorine (and who knows what else) when your in the shower and to not have the residue lingering on your body.

 

 

 

Mashed Parsnips and Pumpkin

In AIP you can not have night shades. Night shades are tomato, peppers, eggplant and potato. We all love to have mashed potatoes with different meals, so I had to find a suitable substitute. This recipe is the best substitute for mashed potatoes that I have found. It is excellent with sauerkraut!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 large parsnips
  • 2 TB coconut oil, melted or olive oil
  • 1 15 oz can of pumpkin purée or 2 cups frozen pumpkin puree*
  • 1/2 cup coconut kefir, or chilled full fat coconut milk from a can
  • salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  • heat oven to 400 degrees
  • peel parnips and then peel a half cup of parnip ribbons
  • toss parnip ribbons with oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay then on baking tray in a single layer.
  • roast 5-10 minutes until browned, watch carefully

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  • cube the remaining parnips. Put them in a steamer for 45 minutes or till soft. If you don’t have a steamer, you can boil them as you would potatoes
  • combine pumkin, parnips, parnip ribbons and coconut kefir and mash with Potatoe masher till desired consistency.
  • season to taste

* I buy extra pumpkins around Halloween to roast, puree and freeze in batches

 

 

 

 

Butternut Fries

imageMy family wants to have burgers every week. As potatoes are off the menu for me, I need a french frie substitute. These butternut squash are caramelized so that you don’t even miss the ketchup (no night shades on AIP). Serve with Coconut Aoli!

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INGREDIENTS:

  • butternut squash, try to find one with a large neck
  • 2 TB olive oil or coconut oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:

  • heat oven to 400 degrees
  • cut ends off of squash. Cut neck off of bulb. Stand the neck on the end and slice off skin. Cut the remaining flesh into fries. Set bulb aside.
  • toss butternut with olive or coconut oil (melt coconut oil first). Season with salt and pepper to taste
  • roast in over 30-45 minutes. Browning on each side.

NOTE: I like to put the bulb on the grill to eat later. Cut it open. Remove seeds with a grapefruit spoon. Slice into 1/4 inch thick slices. Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. Grill till browned.

VARIATION:

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BUTTERNUT AND DAIKON FRIES

Add Daikon cut into fries with the butternut and cook as usual. It adds a nice bitter flavor.image

 

Coconut Aioli

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This yummy condiment is great on salad, butternut fries or burgers.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup coconut kefir, chilled
  • 1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • garlic, minced fresh or roasted
  • pink salt and ground pepper, to taste

Whisk together ingredients and serve

*to change it up, I sometime leave out the garlic. I know Aioli means with garlic, but it’s also a nice sauce.

Coconut Milk Kefir

imageConverting my dairy kefir grains to ferment coconut milk is one of my secrets to success with Autoimmune Paleo. Coconut kefir not only replaces kefir and yogurt, but also mayo, sour cream and soft cheese.

METHOD:

  • rinse dairy kefir grains with filtered water until it runs clear
  • add kefir grains and can of coconut milk in a glass jar
  • cover with coffee filter secured with a rubber band
  • allow to ferment 12-36 hours on kitchen counter. The longer it sits, the more sour and thick it will become.
  • strain
  • pour coconut milk back into jar, add lid and refrigerate
  • rinse grains, repeat
  • Every few batches, use dairy milk to refresh grains until your grains get well acclimated to the coconut. If it’s healthy and growing in the coconut milk, then it doesn’t have to go in the milk. I feel that putting it in dairy may add trace amounts of dairy to your kefir, which most of us don’t want.
  • If your traveling, put the grains in a full jar of milk, put the lid on and store in a refrigerator for a week, maybe up to two. When you return, put the jar on the counter with a coffee filter cover until it thickens up. It may take a couple days or more to ferment after being cold.