Ponzu Sauce (AIP, GF, NF, SF, DF)

imageJuice of one lemon

1/4 cup coconut aminos

1 TB ginger, peeled and minced

1 clove garlic, minced, optional

Combine ingredients in a bowl or dressing container.

 

 

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Why growing an edible organic garden is perfect for an AIP lifestyle.

imageI love my organic edible garden and I think it’s the perfect fit for an AIP lifestyle. If you are eating an AIP diet, you are going through a lot of organic produce. It makes sense to produce some of that yourself. It will be the most fresh and flavorful food that you have ever had and it saves a lot of money to grow it yourself. I also love growing medicinal herbs, which I like for concocting teas and culinary experimentation.

I use a permaculture method of gardening. It is more a naturalist philosophy than anything. This method is low labor, which is huge for people with low energy. Rather than pull weeds, you smother them.  Rather than tilling, you add compost to the soil and layer paper over your space to control weeds. You also have the most important crops closer to your house. Look into this method for the most peaceful, energy efficient way to garden.

Composting is practical for those of us who consume large amounts of fruits and veggies, it’s easy to put aside your scraps for the compost pile.image A friend gave me a compost barrel, but you can always use the simple form of a compost pile. Just add all your produce scraps plus an equal amount of brown material, like paper, leaves or dryer lint. Composting allows you to feel as one with your soil, your making it, working it and growing from it. You also get exposed to lots of good microbes by working the soil. Scientist believe the microbes in soil boost your mood, suppress inflammation and improve the immune system.

For those of us with autoimmune disease, it’s important to get your circadian rhythms  right. Circadian rhythm is your internal biological clock. We need time spent in the daylight so that our body knows the right time to wake and sleep. Gardening in the sunshine also helps regulate your circadian rhythms because you are fully exerting yourself during the day. The best thing about regulating your circadian rhythms is that you get better sleep. I feel that I need 10-12 hours of sleep every night. By regulating my circadian rhythm, it allows me to sleep sooner and more deeply. Nothing is more healing for autoimmune disease than a good nights rest.

Gardening is a fabulous way to get excercise. Autoimmune disease is like a tightrope when it comes to excercise. You have to get excercise everyday to feel good and maintain your strength, but pushing yourself to far will make you sick. I excercise 30 minutes to an hour, 6 days a week. When I work in the garden, I let that time go towards my exercise requirements for the day. Getting excercise outside is a bonus for my circadian rhythms.

Start an organic garden if you have an autoimmune disease. You can reuse your produce scraps, grow your own fruits and vegetables, get excercise, reset your circadian rhythms and occupy your mind with positivity. It’s a perfect combination.

 

 

 

Beef Jerky (AIP and Migraine Free)

imageI am a strict adherent to AIP. I have not been able to add any other foods back in my diet, besides the occasional social alcoholic beverage. It is hard to find foods to take on the go on an AIP diet. Grass fed Beef jerky is the perfect to go food for AIP, but I couldn’t find any beef jerky at the store that meets my dietary requirements (and the ones that were close were pricy). So, I decided to just make it myself. I am lucky because my father-in-law makes jerky and had extra equipment that I could borrow. Getting a dehydrator is a great idea for people on an AIP diet anyway, but I recommend it to make beef jerky. Although I have read that you can make beef jerky in an oven set at 165, I have not tried it. I used a meat cutter to slice my beef, but I’m sure you could do it without one. So, you could make your own beef jerky with the investment of a dehydrator (or trying the oven method) and some good grass fed beef. I have used ribeye roast and London Broil to make my jerky, but you can use any lean cuts.

My daughter has migraines. Instead of putting her on medication, we decided to take trigger foods out of her diet. It’s not easy to add more dietary restrictions to an AIP household. I developed this recipe so that she could eat it too, but I also will list an Unami variation that is for AIP, but not migraineurs.

INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs grass fed beef, cut in 1/4 inch slices

1/4 cup olive oil

1/8 cup white vinegar

1 TB nutritional yeast

1 tsp Grey Celtic salt, or other sea salt

UMAMI VARIATION for AIP, but not migraineurs:

By adding a couple ingredients to your marinade, you can add an umami flavor. Add 2TB coconut aminos, 1 TB fish sauce  and omitting the salt in the marinade. Red boat fish sauce is totes AIP.

METHOD:

Combine oil, vinegar, yeast and salt. Pour over beef. Marinade overnight. Dehydrate meat for 6-10 hours, until meat is done to your liking. Check often. I don’t like mine too tough. You want it done in the middle, but still pliable.

 

Caramelized Cauliflower Rice

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When I began AIP, I stopped eating rice and other grains. Searching for a substitute, I found cauliflower rice. I did not like the first few recipes that I tried, but I finally found a way to make cauliflower rice in a way that I love. By caramelizing the cauliflower rice, it gives it a nice rich flavor, but it’s still a nice accompaniment like rice.

INGREDIENTS:

4 TB coconut oil, divided

1 sweet onion, chopped

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

2 TB fresh herbs, use whatever is in your garden or that your cooking with (I’ve used parsley, thyme, oregano, cilantro and margoram), chopped

salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:

Caramelize the onion by sautéing over medium until it starts to brown and get soft. Lower temperature if it starts to get too brown before softening.

Meanwhile put a handful of cauliflower into a food processor. Process it until it looks rice-like. Set it in a bowl to the side and work through the cauliflower in small batches.

Once the onion is caramelized, add the cauliflower and 2 more Tablespoons of coconut oil. Cauliflower will sizzle as you cook the excess moisture out. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sauté 15-30 minutes or until the cauliflower starts to brown and look caramelized, adding more coconut oil as needed. Add herbs and cook a few minutes more. Taste the cauliflower. See if you have enough salt and pepper before serving.

Broccoli Greens

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I grew broccoli in my winter garden this year. Last week I harvested my broccoli,image

so this week I decided to cook some of the greens. I noticed that my local online farmers market offers Broccoli greens, so I knew they must be good. I harvested a strainer full and developed a recipe. Yum! They taste like a cross between kale and spinach.

serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

20 leaves of Broccoli or Broccoli greens, ribs removed, torn or sliced roughly

2 TB Red Palm Oil

2 clove garlic, minced, optional

salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:

In large sauce pan, over medium, add red palm oil and garlic for 1 minute until red Palm oil becomes fluid. Add broccoli greens and sautée until wilted and slightly soft, about 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

 

 

Larb Gai

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Larb is a Thai salad of ground meat and herbs over cabbage leaves. I grew up eating Larb at the Bangkok House in Ft. Walton Beach, FL. I became addicted to their Larb and their Thai Beef Salad. When I moved to Atlanta, I found finally a recipe somewhere online that rivaled Bangkok house. During my vegetarian days, I would use tofu in the place of ground chicken. I recommend using tofu to any of my vegetarian friends.  Now I use ground organic pasture-raised chicken from my local farmer. I only had to make a few small changes to continue using this dish once I adopted AIP. Fish sauce is a wonderful fermented sauce, but be careful and check ingredients. Fish sauce can have all sorts of scary ingredients such as gluten and MSG. Red Boat Fish Sauce has only two ingredients: fish and salt. Kaffir lime leaves and lemon grass are key ingredients to giving this dish it’s distinct flavor. You can purchase kaffir lime leaves online, if you can’t find them locally. Lemongrass is found in your international or specialty groceries. You can plant your lemongrass ends in your garden and grow fresh aromatic lemongrass for several years. It keeps coming back. I found some wonderful Easter egg radishes and daikon radishes from my local online farmers market , which I used not only as garnish, but as a sort of chip to scoop up the Larb.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

BROTH:

3 TB fresh squeezed lime juice

3 TB chicken bone broth

3 TB fish sauce

3 large shallots, minced

A stalk of lemongrass, ends and outer layers removed, inner core minced

3 kaffir lime leaves, shredded

2 spring or green onions, thinly sliced

2 tsp ginger, minced

SALAD:

2 TBLS coconut oil

1 lb ground chicken

1/4 head cabbage leaves

head of romain heart

handful or two of spinach

radishes for garnish

METHOD: Prep all ingredients for the broth. Mix them together in a bowl and set aside. Add coconut oil to saucepan over medium until it melts, then add chicken. Cook until half way done, breaking it up into small bits. Add broth and continue to cook until chicken is done throughout. Meanwhile, wash your cabbage, spinach, romain leaves and any garnish radishes you may have. Line serving plate with the leaves. Mound spinach in the center. When chicken is done, pour over the leaves and spinach. Garnish with radishes.image