Slow Cooker Jackfruit Tacos (Vegan, GF, DF)

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A few weeks ago, I was wandering through Trader Joe's, arms full of an embarrasing quantity of plantain chips when I noticed these tins of young jackfruit. I had heard about this magical fruit that cooks and shreds like pulled pork but had not yet seen it in person. I grabbed a couple cans already trying to decide between bbq sandwiches or carnitas tacos. 

Obviously, tacos won. I would never put a sandwich before a taco. I love finding new ingredients. It happened a lot with AIP and when both Cameron and I were plant based. Even though I eat meat now, it’s still fun finding new meatless options to try. For someone who loves to cook, it's very exciting, like a mini adventure in my kitchen. 

When shopping for jackfruit, get the young or green kind - the other will be too sweet.   Straight out of the tin, it mostly just tastes like the light brine it come in but will soak up whatever sauce or liquid you give it beautifully. 

You'll notice the jackfruit segments have two distinct parts: the flesh is soft and stringy the core is firm and solid. I just chop all of it up but I’d you’re looking for the real faux pulled pork experience that jackfruit is known for, you will want to remove and discard the firm core. 

We made tacos but this could also be used as burrito or enchilada filling.  

Jackfruit Tacos

2 20oz tins young jackfruit in brine, drained, chopped

1 14oz tomato sauce

2 chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped 

additional spoonfuls of adobo sauce, to taste

2 grated garlic cloves

2 small shallot, finely diced

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon molassas

dash cinnamon

s + p

tortillas and toppings, for serving

quick vegan crema, for serving (recipe and ingredients below) 

Combine all ingredients, except tortillas and toppings in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Use two forks to shred if needed. Serve with tortillas and toppings of your choice like chopped lettuce, diced onions, cilantro leaves, lime wedges, pepita cream - anything you like. 

If you want to make a quick vegan crema just blend 1/2 cup pepitas with 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup avocado oil and the juice of 1/2 a lime. Season with a pinch of cumin and salt, to taste. 

Corn, Squash + Broccoli Quesadillas (Vegetarian)

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These vegetable filled quesadillas happened because I have a summer squash left over from another recipe. I just couldn't figure out what to make. Of course, my mind when to dessert and I started interesting ideas for a molasses summer squash quickbread but then forgot about it. It's probably for the best because these quesadillas were great! 

The veggie mix it delicious on it's own. It would be great for a pot luck or picnic served as a salad. Or for lunch as a taco or burrito filling. Even over greens for a veg filled salad. 

This dish is vegetarian friendly but can be easily modified to be grain and gluten free depending on what kind go tortilla you use. Homemade plantain, cassava or corn are great options for those with special diets. If you have a non dairy cheese, you could make this vegan friendly too. 

I used a grill pan but feel free to use a griddle or sauce pan instead. 

Serves 4. 

Corn, Squash + Broccoli Quesadillas

1.5 cups  thinly sliced yellow summer squash (about 1)

1.5 cups thinly sliced broccoli florets (about 1 small stalk)

1/2 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

s+p

1/4 teaspoon chile powder

juice of 1/2 lime

8 eight inch tortillas (wheat, corn, cassava, plantain)

2 cups shredded cheese (I used a mexican blend from Trader Joe's)

Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Lightly oil. Grill squash and broccoli slices, cooking about 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side. You want to see grill marks here. Transfer to bowl. Toss corn kernels in pan for about 3 minutes to cook down some of their starch. Add to bowl with squash and broccoli. Season with salt, pepper, chile powder and lime juice. 

Place a tortilla flat on lightly oiled grill pan over medium heat. Spread with 1/4 cup shredded cheese, then 1/4 of the veggies, top with 1/4 cup of cheese and a tortilla flat. Cook until cheese is melted, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip. Cook until tortilla is crisped and there are grill marks, about 2 minutes. Transfer to board and cut into wedges. Repeat with remaining ingredients for a total of 4 quesadillas. 

 

Baked Chicken + Cauliflower Parmesan

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Cameron is vegetarian and I'm a full on carnivore so making dinner can sometimes be tricky. I was dead set on a chicken parm and figured cauliflower would be a good meat stand it. (I was right!) Depending on your preference, you can make a pan with the chicken and a pan with the cauliflower to keep things separate. 

To keep things healthier, I decided not to fry the chicken and cauliflower. Everything was breaded as usual but instead for frying on the stove in oil, a simple baking rack over a pan in a hot oven did the trick in getting things nice and crispy. If you don't have a baking rack, just place chicken and cauliflower on a baking sheet. 

This recipe can easily be modified to be fully vegetarian by omitting the chicken and using less (about 1 cup) bread crumbs. It will them only serve 2. It can also be made gluten free by using gluten free breadcrumbs. 

Serves 4. 

 Baked Chicken + Cauliflower Parmesan

 3 eggs, beaten

1 1/4 cups bread crumbs

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 head cauliflower, sliced into larger, flatter pieces of several florets

1 lb thin sliced chicken breast cutlets, seasoned with s + p 

14 oz marinara sauce - jarred or homemade

8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

Heat oven to 475 degrees, use the convection or fan setting if you have it. Grease a baking rack. Arrange over a rimmed baking tray. Set aside. 

In a shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, basil and oregano.

Set up your breading station assembly line style with your chicken and cauliflower on one end, then the beaten eggs in a shallow bowl, next the shallow bowl of now seasoned bread crumbs and finally the prepared rack. Start with the cauliflower. Dip a piece in the eggs, coating completely, dip into breadcrumbs - coating completely and place on rack. Repeat with all the cauliflower and then chicken. Bake 20 minutes, flip and bake about 10 minutes more. Check on things here and there to make sure nothing is burning. Things should be a crispy golden brown and the chicken should have an internal temperature of 160 degrees. 

Remove from oven. Carefully separate rack from tray. Arrange chicken and cauliflower on rimmed tray and top with marinara sauce and cheese. Return to oven and bake until sauce is hot and cheese is melted, about 8 minutes. 

Sushi Bowls (Vegan, GF, DF)

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Let's think of this more as a serving suggestion than as a recipe. I made these after my week of tempura. I kept these really simple but they would be great served with fish or tofu. Something about the cucumber, avocado, carrot and rice is just like a vegan deconstructed seaweed free california roll. Seaweed and I are not friends so this is perfect. 

You can make everything and then portion it into single serving containers for an easy lunch. Just wait on the avocado and tamari. For those it's best to wait until serving. I used 1/2 an avocado for each serving. 

The lettuce is optional. I just like to make sure I'm getting enough green veggies. You can chop it and treat this like a salad or use the leaves as wraps. 

The best part of this is the sushi rice. Sushi rice is much more than just a type of short grain white rice, it also requires its own method of preparation. Don't worry, its easy. And super delicious, I could eat sushi rice by the sticky handful except I don't because #willpower. 

4-5 servings. 

Vegan Sushi Bowls

1.5 cups sushi rice

rice vinegar, to taste

salt, to taste

2 carrots, cut into matchsticks

2 english cucumber, cut into matchsticks

2 avocados, peeled, pitted, sliced

1 head romaine lettuce, leaves only

pickled ginger

sesame seeds

tamari soy sauce, for serving

In a covered medium sauce pan, bring rice and 3 cups water to a boil. Reduce to low and let cook until water is evaporated, about 20 minutes. Transfer rice to a large shallow bowl, stir with rice paddle and fan to cool. Season with small splashes of rice vinegar and tiny sprinkling or salt. Keep stirring, seasoning and tasting until smooth rice flavor is subtle balanced with the salt and vinegar. Portion rice into bowls. Top with carrots, cucumber, avocado slices, lettuce, pickled ginger. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve with soy sauce. 

Vegetable Tempura (Vegan, GF, DF)

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Tempura time! My mom brought a bunch of delicata squashes from her garden on her last visit and I wanted to do something besides roasting. So, deep frying. Naturally. 

This recipe makes a lot of tempura. When I was coming up with what i wanted to batch cook for the week I decided on my favorite Japanese take out go to's like miso soup, tempura, green salad with carrot ginger dressing and steamed broccoli. I had a great, envy inducing lunches. If you plant to do this, note that summer squash and any other 'wet' vegetables will not store well. The green beans and squash tempura are great for leftovers but the summer squash is much better eaten straight away. 

The batter is super simple - Just gf flour and club soda. It's a light and crisp batter and best mixed right before you are ready to dip the vegetables in and fry. I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Flour and sparkled tap water with our Soda Stream. Besides the Chemex, it's definitely my favorite kitchen gadget/appliance. Who doesn't want club soda and bitters whenever they like? 

The amount of frying oil will depend on the size of your pan. I used about a quart of oil in a 3 qt sauce pan which was cheap and easy to clean up but took forever to fry. More oil and a larger pan is probably more desirable but as long as you have at least 2" of oil you'll be good. 

Serves 6.

Vegan Vegetable Tempura

frying oil

1 delicata squash, halved, seeded, 1/4" thin slices

1 large fistful green beans, trimmed

1 sumer squash, 1/4" slices

1.5 cup gluten free flour 

1.5 cup club soda

2 teaspoons grated ginger

1/4 cup tamari soy sauce or coconut aminos

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons mirin

2 teaspoons rice vinegar

In a deep pan, start heating oil to 375 degrees - use a thermometer. While it's coming to temperature, make an assembly line of batter bowl (don't mix yet), cut vegetables and a large baking tray lined with several layers of paper towels. Get your tongs ready. When oil comes to temp, stir in club soda into the flour. Batter should be lumpy with all flour hydrated. 

Dip vegetable slices one by one into the batter and then into the hot oil. Fry as many pieces as you can at a time without the pieces touching - we don't want them sticking together. Fry about 1 minutes on each side. As they are done, remove from oil and place on paper towel lined tray to drain. Repeat until all vegetables are tempurafied. 

In a small bowl, whisk together ginger, soy sauce, water, miring and vinegar. Use as dining sauce of tempura. 

Black Bean + Kale Tacos with Pepita Cilantro Salsa (Vegan, GF)

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Here's a healthy option to get your taco fix. Garlicky kale and cumin scented black beans in a soft corn tortilla. Cameron and I had these for lunch a few times last week and they were so good. I love it when I eat lunch and get a nice kick of energy. These will give you that. 

The salsa almost didn't make it to the tacos because I ended up eating about half of it with some tortillas that I had over crisped to the point of making chips. If you eat it all or skip it altogether, feel free to substitute any jarred salsa. I'd recommend a bright tomatillo one.

Serves 8.

Black Bean + Kale Tacos

olive oil, as needed

2 14oz tins black beans, rinsed

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon chile powder

s + p, to taste

10 cups of chopped kale, about 2 bunches

6-8 cloves garlic, minced

juice of one lemon

corn tortillas, about 16

Pepita Cilantro Salsa

1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) 

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup olive oil

juice of one lime, about 3 tablespoons

pinch ground cumin

pinch salt

In a medium sauce pan, warm oil over medium heat. Stir in cumin, oregano and chile powder. Add black beans and two tablespoons of water. Cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 15 minutes. 

In a 12" saute pan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add kale, cover and cook 2 minutes. Strain. Return to stove over medium heat. Push steamed kale to on side of the pan. On the empty side, heat a splash of olive oil. Cook garlic in oil, stirring frequently. Do not brown, just cook to soften, about 1-2 minutes should do. Stir in the kale. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper

To make the salsa: combine pepitas, cilantro, water, oil, lime juice, cumin and salt. Blend until smooth. 

To assemble: spoon beans, kale and salsa onto toasted tortillas. 

To store: keep beans, kale and tortillas separate, building as needed. When packing lunch, I scoop 1/3 cup beans and 1/2 cup kale into a container and top with salsa and pack 3 tortillas separately. At lunch time, I assemble the tacos just before eating so they don't get soggy. 

 

Turkey Meatballs + Basil Pesto (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

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Meatballs! Since I don't eat tomatoes or pasta, I almost never make these little things anymore. What am I thinking, right? They're so tasty and delightful. My new solution: basil pesto and spaghetti squash. A nice healthy meal for those time when I'm missing spaghetti and meatballs. 

For Cameron and I, I picked a small spaghetti squash. To cook it: cut off the stem, stand the squash on its new flat end and halve from navel to stem end. Scoop out seeds. Lightly rub cut sides with olive oil. Roast cut sides down on a lined baking tray in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes (small squash) to an hour (larger squashes). Flip over and shred with a fork, Discard skins. 

To make this AIP, omit almond flour or substitute with coconut flour. 

Serves 6. 

Turkey Meatballs + Basil Pesto

for the meatballs

2 lbs ground turkey 

1/4 cup almond flour

1 yellow onion, grated

5 cloves garlic, peeled, grated

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

for the pesto

1 large bunch basil, leaves only

2 garlic cloves

juice of one lemon

1/2 cup olive oil (I like half olive oil, half avocado oil, personally)

salt, to taste

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking tray with a silpat or parchment paper. Set aside. 

In a medium sized bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs. Mix well. Form into tablespoon sized balls and arrange on prepared tray. Roast 15 minutes, flip and cook 15 minutes more. 

While meatballs are cooking, make the pesto by blending all pesto ingredients in a blender or food processor. Serve with meatballs. 

Chicken + Broccoli Stirfry (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

As you know, I do a lot of batch cooking every Sunday, prepping all the healthy meals Cameron and I will eat through out the week. My menu planning usually follows the same pattern: a soup, a lunch entree and at least one quick mid week meal. The mid week meal is pretty much the only thing I cook start to finish during the work week so it has to be simple and fast. 

This is one of those recipes. AIP friendly, healthy, fast and delicious. You can even make the sauce and chop the veggies one night to speed things up. 

If you serve this with rice or noodles it can definitely serve 4 but since starting aip, I eat very large portions - which is fine because my meals are pretty much big bowls of veggies and protein. In the Vizenor household, this recipe is dinner for two with leftovers for one. 

Caramelized Chicken + Broccoli Stir Fry

4 tablespoons water

3 tablespoons rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)

3 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons coconut aminos or tamari 

1 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1" ginger, grated

1 garlic clove, grated

1 tablespoon cooking oil

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin, bite sized pieces

2 stalks broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces 

Whisk together water, vinegar, fish sauce, coconut aminos, honey, pepper, ginger and garlic, 

Heat a wok over high heat. Add chicken and sauce. Let cook until chicken is cooked through and sauce has thickened, about 12 minutes. Add broccoli, stir to coat in sauce. Cover and let cook until broccoli is tender, about 2 minutes. Uncover, toss and serve. 

Chicken + Dumplings (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

I love comfort food. I especially love chicken and dumplings. Chicken, vegetables and dumplings simmered in a thickened stock. I tested several combinations to get the dumplings just right. The first batch were made with cassava flour and while the flavor was great, the texture was that of gummy mochi. Not good. 

It was really important to me to keep this recipe AIP friendly since there are so many comfort foods we miss out on on the AIP. I'm happy to say this is a great AIP version of the classic dish that I would feed anyone whether on the protocol or not. There is an extra step of baking the biscuits first and adding them to the finished stew but it's worth the effort.

Makes about 6 servings. 

AIP Chicken +Dumplings

for the dumplings

2/3 cup arrowroot powder

1/3 cup coconut powder

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon dried herbs (I used 1/2 thyme and dill)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup warm water 

for the rest of it

dash olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

4 stalks celery, chopped

4 carrots, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried parsley

2 quarts chicken stock

1.5 # boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into small pieces

6 oz sliced mushrooms

6 oz green beans, chopped

3 tablespoons arrowroot powder

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a small baking tray with a silpat or parchment paper. 

In a bowl, whisk arrowroot powder, coconut flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, pepper and dried herbs together. Stir in olive oil and water. Add more water as necessary. The dough should resemble playdough and hold together, Form into ping pong sized spheres, arrange on prepared baking tray and bake 20 minutes. Dumplings will be a lovely golden brown. Set aside. 

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, celery, carrots, garlic, bay, thyme and parsley. Cook about 5 minutes until soft and glossy. Add stock and mushrooms. Bring to a boil. Add chicken. Reduce to a simmer and cover for 20 minutes.

Make a slurry with arrowroot powder and a bit of water. Stir into pot. Add green beans. Continue cooking until green beans are soft, about 5 minutes, covered. 

 To serve, place a couple biscuits into a bowl and ladle over stew. 

Thai Chicken Collard Wraps (Paleo, GF, DF)

I'm obsessed with these collard wraps. In the past two weeks I've made chicken burrito collard wraps, curry samosa wraps and now these Thai wraps. I have other types on my mind - I'll keep you posted. 

These have chicken, cucumber, cabbage, carrots, mint, cilantro and peanut sauce wrapped up in a blanched collard green leaf. They're healthy and crunchy. I assemble them all a take them for lunch throughout the week. I like to two or three as a serving so each one, I add only about 1/4 cup of chicken and fill it up with veggies. I got 15 wraps out of the recipe but it will depend on the size of the veggies and how much you put in each. I would guess 12-17 to be the amount of wraps to expect. 

Makes about 15 wraps. 

Thai Collard Wraps

for the wraps

1/5 # skinless, boneless chicken breast

1 english cucumber, cut in matchsticks

2 carrots, cut into matchsticks

1/2 small red cabbage, shredded

handful mint, chopped

handful cilantro, chopped

about 15 Collard Leaves

for the sauce

1/3 cup tamari soy sauce

3/4 cup peanut butter

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon maple syrup

juice of one lime

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Cook chicken as you like: grilled, baked, boiled or my favorite way - season with salt and pepper and cook in a slow cooker on high for 2 hours or so and shred. 

Chop and shred veggies while chicken cooks. A mandolin fitted with a juliene attachment is great for this. 

To prep the collard greens, slice off the chunky part of the stem by cutting straight across the base of the leaf. Use a peeler to shave down the thick stem. This will make it easier to roll up and eat. 

Bring a 10-12 inch skillet with an inch or two of water to a boil. Dip collard leaves into the boiling water, one at a time, for about 10 seconds. Transfer to towel until ready to use.

Make the sauce by whisking tamari, peanut butter, fish sauce, maple syrup, lime juice and apple cider vinegar together until smooth. 

Assemble wraps by laying out a collard leaf, smearing on a bit of sauce and piling on the chicken, cucumber, carrots, cabbage and herbs. Roll up tightly, tucking in sides as you go. I wrap them all in one sitting and store in the fridge. They last and make packing lunch quick and easy. 

 

Chicken Collard Wrap Burritos (AIP, Paleo, GF,DF)

These collard wraps are life changing. This is the easiest yummy substitute for wraps I have found yet. It's like eating a handheld salad disguised as a burrito. Most importantly, it tastes good. Yay!

I make a batch of these and put them in the fridge for a few quick lunches during the work week. I'm going to make a thai peanut version next week and maybe indian samosa ones after that. 

Makes about 6 wraps. 

Chicken Collard Wrap Burritos

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon fenugreek leaves

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cumin (optional, include if you can have seeds)

1.5 # boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 bunch collard greens

1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped

1/2 head cabbage, shredded

1/2 head crispy lettuce, chopped 

2 avocados

1/2 white onion, finely diced

2 avocados, see last paragraph

Additional options: salsa, hot sauce, sour cream, shredded cheese

Mix together salt, pepper, turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, fenugreek, oregano, cinnamon and cumin, if using. Season chicken. Cook the chicken anyway you like - grilled, baked, whatever. I seasoned mine, put it in the slow cooker for 2 hours on high and shredded it. 

While the chicken cooks, you can chop your veggies and set out any additional toppings you'll be using. 

To prep the collard green, slice off the chunky part of the stem by cutting straight across the base, where the leaf fans out. Next, use a peeler or knife to shave down the thick stem. This will make it easier to roll up and eat. 

Bring a 10-12 inch skillet with an inch or two of water to a boil. Dip collard leaves into the boiling water for about 10 seconds. Do this one at a time. Transfer to a towel. This softens up the leaves and makes them taste better. 

Assemble wraps: Layout a collard green, pile on chicken, chopped cilantro, cabbage, lettuce, onion - whatever you like. Roll it up tightly like burrito, tucking the sides in as you roll. I wrap them all at once and leave them in the fridge. In the morning, when I'm packing my food for the day, I grab a couple, unroll them and add fresh avocado slices. Maybe this is crazy but I like the avocado to be fresh and bright. It's a pinch more work but easy and worth the effort.

AIP Turkey Tacos

I love taco night but it's pretty much impossible on AIP. Or is it? It's not impossible, it's just a bit of work. As someone who does not enjoy lettuce wraps for mexican dishes, I have to make my own tortillas. So far I've tested a few different plantain tortilla recipes but am still not 100% pleased with the texture of any. The flavor is always great but they just fall apart. How terrible is it to bit into your first taco and have it's entire, artfully assembled fillings fall out. Very sad. As a solution, I make a lettuce taco and then wrap that in the plantain tortilla. 

If anyone has any tips on AIP approved plantain tortillas that don't fall apart - please post it in the comments. I'd love to hear. 

AIP Turkey Taco Filling

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon fenugreek leaves

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cumin, optional but great if you're ok with seeds

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon cooking oil of choice

1 lb ground turkey breast

tortillas of your choosing

garnishes: lime wedges, diced onion, chopped cilantro, zucchini salsa, lettuce

Combine salt, pepper, turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, fenugreek, oregano, cinnamon and the optional cumin with water. Set aside. 

In a small pot over medium high heat, warm oil. When hot, add turkey. Stir occasionally, getting a nice brown on the meat, break into small pieces with spoon. When cooked through, about 10 minutes, add seasoning mixture. Stir until coated and liquid is absorbed, about 4 minutes. 

Spoon onto shells and/or lettuce wraps and add toppings. 

Beef Fajita Salad Bowls (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

This was a fun one to cook. I love fajitas and hadn't had them in so long since they are generally off limits on AIP. But not these! I got out my two burner cast iron griddle and huge spatula, turned the heat up to high and started blackening the steak, then worked cooking the veggies in two big batches. Little is more satisfying then turning huge piles of wilting, sauced veggies over on a searing flat top. Really, give it a try. 

serves 4-6. 

AIP Steak Fajita Salad Bowls

1 teaspoon kosher salt

juice of one lime

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ginger powder

2 cloves garlic, grated

2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil

high heat oil, as needed for cooking

1 lb grass fed sirloin steak, sliced 

1 zucchini, sliced into half moons

1 yellow zucchini, sliced into half moons

10 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 red onion, halved and sliced

fresh chopped cilantro

sliced avocado slices

lettuce

In a small bowl, whisk salt, lime juice, oregano, turmeric, pepper, ginger, garlic and olive oil. Set aside. 

Set a large cast iron griddle on high heat. Brush with high heat oil. Once hot, blacken steak. Cook until desired level of doneness. Transfer to a large bowl. Cook zucchini, squash mushrooms and onion on griddle. Work in batches as needed, brushing griddle with oil in between batches. As veggies are softening, pour with a portion of prepared sauce. Transfer to bowl with steak and toss with any remaining sauce. 

Build bowls with steak anad veggies, over lettuce garnishing with cilantro and avocado. You can also make little tacos with lettuce leaves or coconut paleo wraps. 

Turkey Taco Bowls (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

Whew.  Just got done cooking all the things for this one but let me tell you it was worth the time!  I've missed taco bowls.  Mostly because I just didn't know what to put in them.  You know, because a big part of bowls is the grain part.  

I had some leftover shredded cabbage from last week's Crunchy Thai Salad that I chopped up, gave a quick saute, tossed with fresh lime juice, chopped fresh cilantro and salt.  This I used as the grain for the taco bowl.  I have to say I much prefer the taste of this cabbage rice to cauliflower rice.  I used two different colors but that's optional.  

This recipe has a lot of parts: the cabbage rice, zucchini salsa, turmeric carrots, roasted red onion, chopped romaine, sliced olives and the seasoned ground turkey.  Luckily, everything is easy.  I'm used to a few hours of batch cooking every Sunday, and if you're on AIP then you probably are too. 

Makes about 5 servings.  (For the work week lunch!)

Turkey Taco Bowls

for the cabbage rice

1 tablespoon  cooking oil 

small head of green or red cabbage, finely chopped

juice of 1 lime

1/3 cups chopped fresh cilantro leaves (less is ok.  we love cilantro.)

s + p

for the turmeric carrots

1 tablespoon cooking oil

1 teaspoon turmeric

4 carrots, peeled, round slices

for the roasted red onion

1-2 red onions, thinly sliced

splash olive oil

s + p

for the turkey

1 pound ground turkey 

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon fenugreek leaves

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

splash cooking oil

additional toppings

1 tin pitted black olives, sliced

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

avocado slices

one zucchini salsa recipe

Ready?

To make the Cabbage Rice: Heat a large saute pan or wok over medium high heat.  Add oil and once hot, saute cabbage until tender - about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and toss with lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper. 

To make the carrots and onion: Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix turmeric and oil together and toss with carrot slices.  Arrange on   one side of a half sheet tray.  Arrange onion slices on other end of sheet tray and drizzle with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to oven and roast 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and cover.  (A sheet of foil works well here.) 

To make the turkey: Combine salt, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, fenugreek, pepper and cinnamon.  Season turkey meat with spice mixture.  Heat a large oiled skillet over medium heat.  Cook turkey.  

Assemble the bowl:  Spoon cabbage rice into bowl as a base.  Add carrots, onions, turkey, olives, lettuce and avocado slices.  Serve with zucchini salsa.  

AIP Frozen Pizzas (Paleo, GF, DF)

Frozen pizza + steamed artichokes + olive oil lime juice dip = the best emergency dinner. Seriously, really great.  The crust is simple and pretty easy to work with.  You can make the crust, top it and bake right away or you can make a bunch, par bake the crust, add toppings, wrap and freeze.  I made 5 in one go - one we ate right away and four into the freezer for later.

I used 1 bag Daiya shredded mozzarella vegan cheese, 1 pint nomato sauce made from Mickey Trescott's Auto Immune Paleo Cookbook (if you don't own the cook book, just google 'aip nomato sauce'), 1 small tin sliced black olives, 1 tin chopped artichoke hearts and 1/2 a red onion.  

recipe is for a single pizza.

AIP Pizza Crust

1/2 cup arrowroot powder

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/3 to 1/2 cup cup water

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Whisk arrowroot powder, coconut flour, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar.  Stir in oil.  Work in evenly.  Add water a bit at a time and really work in, making sure flours are well hydrated.  Roll dough out between two pieces of parchment paper to 1/4" thickness. Remove top piece of parchment paper.  Transfer pizza to baking sheet.

If making pizza for eating now: Add toppings, bake about 18 minutes. 

If making pizzas for freezing:  bake 15 minutes.  Let cool.  Add toppings. Wrap well and place in freezer.   

To reheat frozen pizzas:  bake 425 degree oven for 10 minutes. 

Five Spice Fried Chicken (Paleo, GF, DF)

I had this lunch at Bricolage in Park Slope months ago that I'm still thinking of.  Five spice fried chicken.  Yum.  It was simple but so different.  I was feeling for fried chicken this weekend and knew just the twist I wanted to add to my coconut oil, coconut flour fueled frying experiment.

I served this with a vientnamese inspired slaw that will be posted in a couple days.  It was a crispy, crunchy meal. 

Five Spice Fried Chicken

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon five spice powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground szechwan peppercorn

1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into pieces

coconut oil, for frying, about 4 cups

Whisk coconut flour, five spice powder, salt and pepper together.  Coat chicken pieces very well in mixture.  

Add oil to pot and heat to 370 degrees.  Add chicken.  Work in batches.  Fry until deep golden brown and crispy on outside.  Internal temperature should be 165 degrees.  Transfer to towel to drain. 

Pork Zoodle Stir Fry (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

Noodle time!  Oh, sorry - I mean "noodle" time.  As someone who does not own a spiralizer, I've been slow to jump on this cutting vegetables into strands and pretending they're noodles but oh, how AIP changes your views on certain foods. Like when you're dying for pasta and trawling Pinterest for grain free alternatives and only what often referred to as 'zoodles'.  

I actually really like these zoodles.  I still don't own a spiralizer but have carefully used my mandoline slicer with coarse toothed attachment to slice zucchini and carrots.  So far we've tried them with beet sauce and meatballs, and in this stir fry. So convincing as noodles!  I was impressed by how I was not missing real wheat noodles or pasta while eating these.  Yay!

Use a spiralizer or mandoline to slice carrots and zucchinis.  If using a spiralizer, cut into more manageable lengths with scissors.  For the pork, we used leftover pork shoulder that was done in the slow cooker the day before. 

No cooked meat on hand?  That's ok.  I've made this with boneless, skinless chicken breast, too.  Just cook it first: thinly slice the meat, season with salt and pepper, heat wok with a splash of oil, saute slices until done.  Set aside.  Wipe out pan, if needed.  Continue with recipe.  

Serves 2.

Pork Zoodle Stir Fry

2 tablespoons rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons coconut aminos (or tamari soy sauce if you're ok with that)

1/4 teaspoon arrow root powder

several grinds szechuan peppercorns

1 inch ginger, peeled, grated

2-3 cloves garlic, grated

cooking oil, as needed - I used 1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 zucchini, cut into thin strips (see above)

2 carrots, cut into thin strips (see above)

2 cups cooked, shredded pork

salt, to taste

In a small bowl, whisk vinegar, coconut aminos, arrowroot powder and szechuan pepper.  Set aside.

Heat ginger, garlic and oil in a wok over medium high heat.  Start stirring when garlic starts to sizzle., cook 1 minute.  Add zucchini and carrots.  Cook, stirring frequently until vegetables are al dente, about 3 minutes.  Add pork and prepared sauce.  Stir to coat.  Once thickened and hot, season with salt and serve. 

 

Kimchi Fried Rice

Soooo, I made all that stinky and delicious kimchi and didn't know what to do with all of it.  So kimchi fried rice it is!  No matter what, you probably always have enough ingredients to make some type of fried rice of dinner.  

Store bought kimchi may be substituted.

Kimchi Fried Rice

2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce

2 teaspoons sesame oil

3 teaspoons grape seed oil, divided

1 egg, beaten

3 cups chopped broccoli

2 leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

1 inch ginger, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups cooked rice, preferably cooled

2 cups kimchi

s + p, to taste

Stir together soy sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl.  Set aside.

In a skillet or wok, set over high heat, add 1 teaspoon grape seed oil.  Once hot, add broccoli, and cook, stirring constantly until charred and crisp tender, about 4 minutes.  Set aside.

Add a teaspoon of oil to the skillet, add egg.  Scramble until just done, set aside.  Wipe out pan, if needed. 

Add another teaspoon, once hot, add leeks, ginger and garlic, saute until soft and glossy, about 4 minutes. Add rice, kimchi, cooked broccoli, scrambled egg and prepared sauce.  Stir fry until everything is warm.  Serve hot. 

Super Easy Green Curry

Really easy.  I couldn't believe it was done.  Serve this over rice or noodles - just be sure to get them cooking first.  I didn't.  Hence the very rushed, hangry styling in the above photo.  (I just couldn't wait. I was HUNGRY!)  That's the thing about a home cooking blog:  the plates I'm photographing are my and Cameron's dinner.  It usually goes like this: I select a plate, utensils, backdrop, prepare the food and then style a little dish with my tweezers, shoot, then typically disassemble and rebuild into a normal meal portion, smother it with hot sauce (I have an addiction) and then eat.  All this, hopefully, before it's ice cold.  

If you don't have a food blog to cook dinner for then this should be super quick and easy.  It's the beauty of pre-made curry paste.  

serves 3.

Easy Green Thai Curry

1 teaspoon high heat oil or ghee

2 tablespoons green curry paste

1 shallot, minced

2 cups diced carrots

2 cups chopped broccoli

14 oz light coconut milk

2 1/2 cups vegetable stock (or chicken)

1 tablespoon minced jalapeños or other chiles, optional

1 cup chopped green beans

1 teaspoon fish sauce

juice of 1 lime

s + p

chopped cilantro leaves

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat.  Saute curry paste and shallots until fragrant and shallots soften, about 1 minute.  Stir in carrots and broccoli, coating in curry paste and cook 1 minute.  Add coconut milk, stock and optional minced chiles.  Boil, lower heat, simmer until carrots are tender, about 8 minutes.  Add green beans, simmer 2 minutes more.  Season with fish sauce, lime juice, salt and pepper.  Garnish with cilantro.  Serve with rice or noodles, if desired. 

 

Classic Pot Roast in a Slow Cooker

Quick- before spring is officially here and we don't arrive home chilly wanting giant hunks of roasty, saucy warm beef with root vegetables.  I can hardly imagine.  

This is a classic, straight forward pot roast with lots of vegetables, spoon-soft meat and a flavorful gravy. 

I got out my kitchen scissors and knife and cut off as much fat as I had patience for.  This cut has plenty so feel free to get some of it off. 

serves 4.

Classic Pot Roast in a Slow Cooker

2 cups baby carrots

12 pearl onions, trimmed

1 pound turnips, peeled, large pieces

1 bay leaf

3 garlic cloves, sliced

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

2 lb beef chuck pot roast, fat trimmed

s + p

1 tablespoon grape seed oil

3 tablespoons tomato paste

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 cup red wine

2 cups beef stock (chicken or veg is ok, too)

Place baby carrots, pearl onions, turnips, bay leaf, garlic, thyme and rosemary in bowl of slow cooker.  

Generously sprinkle beef with salt and pepper.  Heat grape seed oil in skillet over medium high heat.  When hot, sear roast until a deep, brown crust has formed, about 4 minutes each side.  When browned on all sides, place on top of vegetables in slow cooker.  Add tomato paste, flour and wine to pan, whisking constantly.  Bring to boil, add stock.  Whisk until thickened.  Pour over roast and vegetables.  Cover and set on low for 8 hours.  Beef will be super tender and fall apart when poked with a fork.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve on its own or over egg noodles.