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. 

Cilantro Lime Chicken Soup (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

That's right.  Another soup.  Perky with lime juice and full of vegetables.  I was having a moment the other day when I was missing the tortilla soup that I used to get all the time from the Mexican place down the block.  Of course, this soup is not that soup but the flavors of lime and cilantro in a chicken-y soup get me there.  Just serve with a handful of plantain chips.  

Cilantro Lime Chicken Soup

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 quart chicken stock

1 quart water

Splash olive oil

1 large white onion, finely diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 carrots, diced

3 ribs celery, diced

2 turnips, peeled, diced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 zucchini, diced

1 yellow summer squash, diced

s + p 

juice of 2 limes

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 avocado,  pitted and diced

Place chicken, stock and water in a medium sized pot.  Boil, reduce to a simmer and cook about 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  Transfer chicken to plate to cool.  When cool enough to handle, shred.  Set both chicken and stock aside. 

In a large pot over medium heat, warm oil and cook onion and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add carrots, celery, turnips, oregano and chicken stock/water.  Boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.  Add zucchini, yellow squash and shredded chicken.  Cook 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, lime juice.  Serve with chopped cilantro leaves and diced avocado.


Things are about to get a little good witch, new age-y over here.  Roll your eyes if you must but good energy is very important to me.  I'm really into vibes.  Creating and basking in the good ones, banishing and being cautious of the bad ones.  Crystals, chanting, candles, deep focused energy and smudging are all great for creating a positive environment. 

Smudging is, in my opinion, the best way to cleanse yourself, your space and your things of bad energy.  I do it whenever the mood strikes me.  Smudging uses the smoke of material with cleansing properties, like sage, to remove any negative energy that might be lurking about.  I will cleanse my home and myself.  For my method, you will need a flame, a fireproof bowl, a bundle of dried sage and something to fan the smoke with like your hand, a card or a feather.  

1. Crack open a window somewhere so the bad energy has somewhere to go.  Light the end of the sage bundle, let it burn for about 30 seconds and blow it out but do not completely extinguish.   You want the ember burning and smoking like incense or a cigar.  

2. Hold the bundle over a fireproof bowl to catch any ash or escaped embers.  Gently fan the smoke over and around yourself first.  Then continue onto your home or  area you wish to cleanse.  State your purpose as you go.  I like to have an intention that I vocalize over and over while I smudge - much to Chibi and Cameron's amused bewilderment.  (Yes, you do look a little nuts when doing this so feel free to do this alone or put up a sign.  Caution; chanting ahead...?)

3.  Pick a spot to start in and make your way around the perimeter.   Pay special attention to corners.  

4.  Finish your ritual by smudging yourself once more.  Extinguish the sage bundle.  Close the window.  

Need some supplies?  I have just put up a few one of a kind smudge bowls in my etsy shop. Take a look if you like. xo

Four Books I Couldn't Put Down

I have a long commute on the train between work and home.  It's about 50 minutes.  Most people groan when I tell them how long it is but secretly, it doesn't bother me at all.  I use the time to listen to music, zone out, make to do lists, brainstorm blog posts or weekend plans, I write, I do homework but most of the time I read.  I love reading and it's so great to have 50 uninterrupted minutes twice a day to relax and read.  

As you can imagine, I get through a lot of books.  I'll be posting my favorites once a month so check back if you ever need a recommendation. 

Sometimes I get a good one that, even if it's not great or important, I just can't wait to get another chance to read it.  As in, I don't want to do anything after work, I just want to go home and read... I love that.  

Here are four books I could not put down: 

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn was given to me by Cameron when we were dating and it's strange, a bit gross and completely entertaining.  The story follows a woman, formerly part of a freak show family whose mother and father intentionally tried to create 'freak' children: an albino dwarf,  a son with flippers for limbs, beautiful conjoined twins and a telekentic younger son.  I don't want to give too much away but things get crazy with a family power struggle, a disturbing cult and a revenge plot creeping along.  This is the one I give to people when they need something to read.  It always gets a good reaction thought creates a pinch of suspicion around the recommender. 

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn - Oh, this one.  Everyone read Gone Girl but I think this is her better book.  An unstable reporter returns to her hometown to cover the mysterious murder of a young teenage girl. It eerie suspenseful plot made it impossible for me to put down.  No dull moments and it keeps going to the very end.  

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld was just fun to read.  It's light, funny and to the point.  It's a modern retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice: Liz is a 38 year old magazine writer, her sisters 20 year old crossfitters, Mr Bingley is a doctor turned reality tv star... you get the picture.  Setting and most of the social situations are different but the main plot is pretty much the same.  It's brilliant and funny.  

City of Thieves by David Benioff was recommended by Cameron's sister.  She was so right - it's a great book.  The story is set in Russia during WW II with two captured young men on an impossible task of locating one dozen eggs for a Soviet officer with the probable failure to do so resulting in their execution.  Even through the bleak setting, there are moments of warmth and humor. 

How about you?  Read anything good lately? Read any of these> 

Vietnamese Slaw (Paleo, GF, DF)

We served this with the Five Spice Coconut Fried Chicken previously posted.  I used the leftovers from both to make a great chopped salad the next day.  Everything should be sliced nice and thin.  The mandolin is your friend here. 

This recipe is not AIP but I have included options in parenthesis.   I am still on AIP but my doctor has ok'd sesame oil, fermented organic soy products like tamari soy sauce and miso.  And rice vinegar infrequently and in small quantities.  He also mentioned that if seeds are soaked overnight that they lose most of their inflammatory properties.  Interesting. 

Vietnamese Slaw

1 tablespoon sesame oil (AIP sub avocado or olive oil)

2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce (AIP sub coconut aminos)

3 tablespoons rice vinegar (AIP sub apple cider vinegar)

1/2 head red or green cabbage, shredded

3 carrots, peeled, shredded

1 red onion, thinly sliced

Whisk together oil, tamari and vinegar.  Toss with cabbage, carrots, onions and cilantro leaves. Place in refrigerator to chill 15 minutes before serving. 

Apple Breakfast Cake (Paleo, GF, DF)

This is one of those things that you can eat for breakfast or dessert.  Don't you love those?  It's the beauty of a quick bread.  I was really worried about this one but it turned out so great.  So much like a normal treat.  The crumb is sweet, moist and holds together - which is no easy feat with Paleo baking.  

Weekends and weekends of rain had passed and I was dying to go apple picking.  Finally, this past weekend it was a beautiful fall day so we got in the car and headed to Wrightmans Farm in Morristown, New Jersey.  It's a very nice farm with snacks, hayrides, a farm store and u pick apples.  My favorite part of the day was wandering the apple orchard, getting lost in the corn maze and oogling all the pumpkins and gourds on display.  We have so many apples. Er, had so many - their numbers are dwindling but luckily I have enough left to make another one of these breakfast breads.     

If you don't have applesauce but have apples - peel, core and chop two, place them in a pot with about 1/3 cup water.  Cover and simmer until apples are tender, about 10 minutes.  Use a stick blender to puree.   

When arranging apple slices in the pan, go for one layer.  Thicker slices (1/4") are good.  Double layers won't stick together and when you invert the pan one side will most likely stick to the pan and one with the cake.  Just a tip. 

Apple Breakfast Cake

1 large apple, cored and sliced

1/2 cup almond flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons coconut oil + plus extra for the pan

1 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 eggs, beaten

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Generously run a loaf pan with coconut oil - really don't be shy. Arrange apple slices on bottom of pan - aim for a single layer.  In a medium sized bowl, whisk together almond flour, coconut flour,  baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Set aside.  

Warm honey and coconut oil and whisk together.  Whisk in apple sauce and egg.  Combine well with dry ingredients.  Carefully, pour over apple slices in loaf pan.  Smooth and level top of batter.  Bake 55 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool in pan 5 minutes.  Invert onto plate and cool.  

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. 

Gingerbread Not-Meal (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

Have you heard of this 'Notmeal' business?  It's usually things like squash or other vegetables grated and prepared like oatmeal.  I call it sort of oatmeal - it's made with riced cauliflower and coconut milk, spiced up like gingerbread.  Breakfast is a big challenge on AIP and sometimes you get sick of meat patties and avocado slices.  If you are, here's something warm and sweet, just in time for this cooler weather.  

To rice the cauliflower, place roughly chopped florets and stems into a food processor and pulse carefully until cauliflower is in riced sized bits. This can also be found pre-riced in the produce section if you're feeling a little lazy. 

Makes 4 servings. 

Gingerbread Sort of Oatmeal

4 cups riced cauliflower

1 cup coconut milk

2 tablespoons molassas

pinch salt

3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground all spice

1/2 teaspoon ground clove

Place everything in small sauce pan.  Simmer gently until cauliflower is soft, about 20 minutes. 

Coffee, Dijon + Maple Slow Cooker Pork (gf, df)

This is the holy trinity right here - coffee, maple syrup and dijon mustard.  It's everything you need to make a delicious multi purpose pork in your beloved slow cooker.  It's perfect for filling tacos, sautéing with zoodles, making a eggs and kale skillet, adding protein to salads, using in a bbq type of sandwich... so many options.  We served this to friends at a taco night dinner get together and it was a big hit.  Perfect for fall and so easy.  

We keep the leftovers in the fridge and heat up in a little skillet, as needed. 

Coffee  Maple + Mustard Pork in a Slow Cooker

4 lb boneless pork butt

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon finely ground coffee

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

2 teaspoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon black pepper

Cut the pork into 2 inch chunks.  Place in slow cooker with all remaining ingredients.  Toss until pork is well coated. Cover and cook on high until pork is easily shredded with a fork, about 4 hours.  Shred with fork and serve as desired. 

Coconut Chicken + Vegetable Curry (Paleo, AIP, GF, DF)

This is a nice big pot of soup.  We are a household of two so half of it is going to the freezer for later.  I'm going to be so happy later.  "Later" is usually a week night after work when I come home and have a tiny princess food fit because:

  1. I just don't want to eat the same thing I had twice already this week
  2. It's grocery day tomorrow and we're out of acceptable dinner options
  3. There are no leftovers and I'm too lazy to cook  

To be successful on AIP, I have to prepare almost all of my own food.  Restaurants love to sneak nightshades and butter into so many innocent seeming dishes and processed foods too often have soy or corn.  Or, for example, curry powders are full of things I can't have on AIP like seeds and nightshades.

So while I'm already in the kitchen, I might as well make extra and freeze for later.  This way, I'll always have something healthy and safe that I can warm up on days when I can't cook.  

Coconut Chicken + Vegetable Curry

1 tablespoon turmeric

1 teaspoon fenugreek

1/2 teaspoon ground clove

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground szechwan pepper

2 tablespoon coconut oil

8 scallions, white and light green parts, minced

6 cloves garlic, minced

1.5 inch ginger, peeled, minced

1 small head cauliflower, in florets

6 carrots, peeled, coarsely chopped

1 14oz tin coconut milk

2 quarts chicken stock or bone broth

2 cups chopped green beans

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced thin

2 cups chopped kale

salt, to taste

lime juice, to taste

In a small bowl, combine turmeric, fenugreek, clove, cardamon, cinnamon, white pepper and szechwan pepper.  Set aside. 

In a large stock pot, saute scallion, garlic and ginger in coconut oil, over medium low heat. Cook until fragrant, soft and glossy - about 3 minutes.  Add cauliflower, carrots, coconut milk, stock and spices.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Simmer until carrots are tender, about 10 minutes.  Add green beans and chicken.  Cook 5 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.  Stir in chopped kale.  Season with salt and lime juice. 

Tools Every AIP Kitchen Needs

If you're on the Auto Immune Protocol, you do spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  It's just not a diet that works if you don't cook you're own food.  I've complied a small list of kitchen gadgets that help.  These are all items I use every week and make batch cooking so much quicker.  

1. High Quality Chef's Knife.  Get a good knife.  Out of all the kitchen tools, this one you use the most.  Hand wash and dry it, keep it sharp (either send it out for professional sharpening or buy a stone and do it yourself - every 6 months) and use a honing steel every time you use it.  Dull knives are dangerous, they don't work properly, slip off food and cut your fingers.  It's very important to take good care of your knife.  Between the two of us, we have a nice collection of knives: Global, Misono, Wustoff and Shun. My favorite is the Misono UX10 8" Chefs Knife.  This is also great 1st knife.    If you live in NYC, stop over to Korin.  

2. Salad Spinner.  I eat a very big salad for lunch everyday.  It's the easiest, most straight forward lunch option on the AIP diet.  So, I use this thing every week.  On my cooking day, I prep toppings and head of lettuce or two.  This works for drying and storing.  Salad spinners are pretty much all the same but I'd recommend getting a large one.  It's the best way to store lettuce.  Keeps greens staying fresh and crisp for a while.  Also, it's fun to use. We've had this OXO one for years.  Big points because I can take it apart and wash it in the dishwasher.

3. Storage Containers.  All that food we're cooking has to live in something, doesn't it?  I'm not thrilled with plastic but these are so convenient.  They come in three sizes, don't leak and stack.  Mason jars are also great.  They're glass and you can buy them in tons of sizes, buy them cheaply by the case, and use them for 100 things like canning, storage, eating and drinking out of.  And they are dishwasher and microwave safe. 

4. Cast Iron Griddle.  All that batch cooking you're doing is crazy but there's no way around it.  I use the cast iron pan for grilling large quantities of chicken breast and turkey burgers.  There's so much surface area and the pan gets nice and hot for a beautiful sear.  I like that there's a flat top on one side and grill on the other.  Who doesn't love options.  Here's a nice one.

5. Spiralizer.  So much fun.  Maybe not necessary but certainly a fun little gadget.  I picked up a super cheapie one of TJ Max on a whim and really like it.  I'll spiralize carrots and beets for salads, zucchini for zoodles and pretty much anytime I want long ribbons of anything.  This is the model people seem to be the most nuts for.

6. Mandoline Slicer.  If you have one of these, then you really don't need a spiralizer.  Mandolines, like this one, come with inserts that will slice food into matchsticks, spaghetti or fettuccine sized ribbons.  Or use it without the inserts of thin slices of anything. They are very sharp and are secretly hungry for fingertips so use the guard or a folded up kitchen towel to hold the food.  I use mine for veggie prep, making fresh cucumber chips, root vegetable chips, paper thin slices of garlic or shallots, fruit slices.  Lots of things.   

7. Food Processor.  I have two.  This little guy and a powerful 9 cup one by Kitchen Aid that they don't seem to make anymore.  I love them both for different reasons.  Lots of AIP recipes call for mixing doughs out of plantains or starchy root vegetables, pureeing, making rice out of vegetables.  They're a lot that you can do with the food processor that's just not possible by hand.   I use mine of batch cooking:  finely chopping the onions I'll need for all the recipes I'm cooking in one go, mincing garlic or making ginger paste.  It easily does all the little tasks I'm not crazy about. (onions = many, many tears)

So, did I miss anything?  

Pumpkin Spice Coconut Popsicles (Vegan, AIP, GF, DF)

Is it too early for pumpkin spice?  We're in that difficult time of year: ready for Fall but it's still warm out.  So, I made myself a bunch of popsicles that taste like Fall.  

On a slightly different note, I have a really bad coconut ice cream addiction.  It used to be a frozen yogurt kind of problem but then I switched to a dairy free life.  Then, it was almond milk ice cream but then I went nut you see where I'm going with this?  I really have a thing for frozen treats and, no matter what, I find a way to get them.  

In attempt to ween myself off my daily dose of ice cream and it's added sugars, I made these. Still sweet, creamy and frozen but slightly better for me. 

Anyone have any tips for storing popsicles in the freezer?  I've been putting them individually in zip top snack bags once frozen. 

Makes 10.

Pumpkin Spice Popsicles

1 14oz tin coconut milk

1 14oz tin pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground clove

4 tablespoons maple syrup

Whisk together all ingredients and pour into popsicle molds.  Arrange sticks and freeze, about 4 hours.  

Anti Inflammatory Chicken

How aren't I going to eat this chicken?  I'm thinking over salad or cauliflower rice.  In lettuce wraps or even normal wraps if I wasn't in my first phase of Auto Immune Protocol.  Celery, parsley and turmeric are all great for lowering inflammation.  This chicken made the past week really easy.  It was great having a batch of flavorful, versatile shredded chicken around.  AIP is no joke. You gotta be prepared with a well stocked fridge at all times unless you're ok with serious HANGER.  I am not. Thus, this chicken:

Anti Inflammatory Slow Cooker Chicken

3 chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts

s + p

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

juice of half a lemon

juice of 1 small orange

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 cloves garlic, grated

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Toss chicken with salt, pepper, vinegar, lemon juice, orange juice, turmeric and garlic.  Arrange in slow cooker.  Cook on low for 8 hours.  Shred chicken with fork.

AIP Banana Bread (GF, DF, Paleo)

This is new territory for me.  I tried making an aip zucchini bread last week with cassava flour that was a crispy crust on the outside but pudding on the inside.  Ew.  It really put me off baking for a few days.  

Today I couldn't take it anymore.  I had to have banana bread.  The flavor and smell is 100% classic banana bread but you will notice the texture is very tender and cake-y.  It's still delicious, easy to make and AIP friendly.  

AIP Banana Bread

3/4 cup coconut flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground clove

2 super ripe bananas

1/2 ripe avocado

3 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoon gelatin powder

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon room temperature

2 tablespoon warm water

1/4 cup coconut oil

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.  Oil and set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together coconut flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and clove.  Set aside.

In another bowl, Mash banana and avocado until smooth.  Stir in maple syrup.

Make the gelatin egg: Whisk gelatin, vinegar and room temperature water.  Let gelatin absorb water.  Whisk in boiling water.  Give it 2 minutes to set up.  

Whisk coconut oil with gelatin egg.  Stir into wet ingredients.  Combine wet and dry ingredients until coconut flour is hydrated.  Pour into prepared pan.  Smooth surface and bake 1 hour.  Remove from oven and let cool in pan 15 minutes.  

Cauliflower Mac + Cheese (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

Everything about Mac + Cheese in the post title is a lie.  

First, the 'mac' has been substituted with healthier, more AIP friendly cauliflower florets.  Yum. Second, the 'cheese', is a dairy free sauce that tastes like cheese but is made with sweet potatoes. The sauce is based on this genius recipe from 

As soon as I made it I started making a mental list of what I could put this one.  I suggest making a double batch and freezing half for another time.  (Hello, plantain chip nachos or tex mex queso dip with a nightshade free salsa and ground meat, or hello again, fondue night... I could keep going but I'm pretty sure I don't have to.)

Serves 2.

AIP Cauliflower Almost Mac + Cheese

1 head cauliflower, cut into bite size florets

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 yellow onion, minced

1 teaspoon olive oil

for the sauce

1 cup cooked sweet potato (about 1 potato)

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup bone broth

1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Add cauliflower and blanche 5 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

Saute garlic and onion in olive oil over medium heat until onion is soft, about 8 minutes. 

In a blender, puree sweet potato, coconut milk, broth, nutritional yeast and salt until smooth.  

Toss cooked cauliflower, garlic onion mixture and sauce together.  Pour into pan (loaf or 8x8 are good).  Bake until hot, 20 minutes.



Turmeric Vegetable Chicken Soup (AIP, Gluten free, Dairy free)

There's just something about chicken soup that makes me feel cared for and loved.  What chocolate does for most; chicken soup does for me.  I've been making this soup pretty much every other week - I just can't get enough of it.  

It's full of anti inflammatory ingredients like turmeric.  At my last doctors appointment, My rheumatologist strongly advised I not only take turmeric supplements (curcumin) and cook with it.  She said that scientific studies show Turmeric lowers inflammation - something those of us with auto immune issues are very concerned with.  Not only does turmeric add a beautiful color and flavor to this soup but can also be used many ways in the kitchen. 

Garlic is another powerful ingredient that can lower toxicity, cholesterol and high blood pressure.  Celery is another one - great for lowering inflammation while being low in calories and high in fiber.  All great things.  I sneak turmeric, celery and garlic into a lot of things I cook. 

The second time I added a thinly sliced yellow squash in with the kale.  It was great.  This soup is pretty open to suggestions so take a look around and throw in some extra veggies.

Turmeric + Vegetable Chicken Soup

1/2 chicken, skin removed

2.5 quarts water

Splash of oil

2 small yellow onions, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

4 carrots. peeled, diced

4 celery stalks, diced

2 handfuls kale, stems removed, chopped

1.5 teaspoon ground turmeric

s + p

1 tablespoon appel cider vinegar

Bring chicken and water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer.  Skim any foam from surface. Simmer until chicken is cooked thru, about 30 minutes.  Remove chicken from liquid.  When cool, shred or chop meat and set aside.  Reserve cooking liquid (it's your new yummy stock.)

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Sauté onion and garlic until soft, about 8 minutes. Add carrots, celery, reserved stock and turmeric.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Cook until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.  Stir in kale, cider vinegar and shredded chicken. Season with salt and pepper.

Shibori Tie Dye

Remember when I talked about Summer Sundays?  Well, last weekend we decided to have a Shibori Tie Dye Party.  It was great.  We rounded up a bucket, all the rubber bands we could find, cold drinks, a clothes line, sparklers (because why not?), white cotton everything and hot hotdogs for the grill.  It was a fun sunday.  

Shibori is a Japanese tie dye technique involving fabric that is tied, clipped, twisted, folded or wrapped to create patterns when dipped into indigo dye.  All the twisting and tying result in parts of the fabric that will resist the dye and retain the fabrics original color, contrasting with the dyed fabric areas.  Here I'll go thru a few classic styles of Shibori and how to dye.  Folds are demonstrated with square cotton napkins but techniques will work on all shapes.  

Start with clean, dry natural fiber fabrics like cotton, silk or linen. Other fabrics do not take dye well.  I would advise that you wash and dry anything before you start, even new items.  

For wrapping and tying you will need:

  • Indigo dye kit
  • fabric
  • 1 five gallon bucket, with lid or cover
  • another bucket for wetting fabric
  • gloves
  • scissors
  • drop cloth
  • stir stick
  • pvc pipe, string, rubber bands, clothes pins, wood squares...


Itajime: Fold fabric like an accordion vertically, then horizontally.  You will have a square or rectangle.  Place a small square of wood on each side of fabric.  Use string, clips or rubber bands to secure the wood fabric sandwich.  Clean tin can lids, rubber, oval carpet stoppers, acrylic panes - whatever can be used in place of the wood squares.  Smaller items need less ties and larger items will need more.  

Triangle:  Fold in half, fold outsides back to center, making a quarter width length.  Fold into accordion triangles, use a rubber band to attach chopsticks across the triangle.  


Arashi:  Wrap fabric around a pipe on the diagonal.  Tie it a few times, then squish it down, tie a few more times to secure it.  


Kumo:  Accordion fold fabric vertically.  Rubber band or tie sections down one side.  Other the opposite side, rubber band or tie in sections alternating the previous side.  Stay with single bands like in the close up photo or keep going until your heart's content like the piece I'm holding above..  

To make simple ring shapes: gather a little pluck of the fabric and rubber band it.  You can get the idea from what I did at the bottom of this tank top.

To make one big burst/ring shape: Pluck fabric from any point and secure intermittently with bands.

The Dying Process

The dye kit you purchased will have instructions what I suggest you follow.  READ THE DIRECTIONS COMPLETELY BEFORE YOU BEGIN.  There are steps you might find unexpected otherwise.  This is what we did for ours:

Prepare the Dye:

  1. Fill a 5 gallon bucket with 4 gallons (16 Quarts) or warm tap water
  2. Add the dye, soda ash and reduction agent into the water
  3. Stir very gently - a couple times in one direction, a couple times in the other
  4. Cover your dye vat - oxygen is bad of the dye
  5. Let it cure for 1 hour - in the mean time you can fold and bind your fabric

Dying the Fabric:

  1. Dip your prepare cloth pieces in water to get them saturated - if you skip this step your pieces will be all blue with no contrast of dye color to original fabric
  2. Squeeze extra water from cloth
  3. Uncover cured dye vat
  4. Remove the 'flower'.  You can't miss it.  It's a large mass floating on the surface of the dye.  Gently scoop it out and set it aside. You don't want it in the way when dipping but don't throw it out if you're going to save the dye afterward.
  5. While squeezing cloth, submerge in the dye vat
  6. Let it sit for 5 minutes
  7. When removing, gently squeeze it below the surface, slowly remove, try not to splash
  8. Cover vat
  9. Leave piece wrapped.  Leave it to oxidize for 15 minutes.
  10. Dye again. And maybe again. (We did two 5 minute dips.)  The more dips the darker it will be
  11. After it's last dip in the dye, until your piece 
  12. Wash it with warm water and 1 cup of salt.  Color is now set and your pieces are ready for use

Chocolate Fudge Pops (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

Fudgsicles!  Low sugar and the perfect individual serving size.  We're having a heat wave here in Brooklyn but staying cool with these popsicles.  Because they are free of chemicals, they are a bit hard right out for the freezer.  I place mine in a glass and let it soften for 5 minutes before eating.

The avocado is optional - it adds a subtle flavor and creaminess.  I didn't try it but add in like finely chopped fruit, dark chocolate chips or ginger would be great.  

Chocolate Fudge Popsicles

1 14oz tin coconut milk

1/3 cup cocoa powder

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted

pinch salt

dash cinnamon

Puree all ingredients on a blender until smooth.  Pour into molds, insert sticks. Freeze until set, about 4 hours.  Run molds under warm water to release pops.  


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. 


San Francisco Bakery Crawl


Cameron and I are making our way back to Brooklyn after a week in lovely California.  We had a great time seeing his family near Grass Valley, camping in the Sierra Mountains, driving around all of Lake Tahoe and spending our anniversary (5 years!) in San Francisco.     

We had the perfect amount of time left before our flight this afternoon for a mini bakery crawl through SF.  

Stop #1:  Start at the Ferry Building.  Located on the bay at the foot of Market St. 

STAY STRONG here, people.  It's the first stop and you have three more incredible bakeries to visit after this.  PACE YOURSELF.  There's a lot to see and eat.

If you or someone you know has a nut, gluten or dairy allergy check out Mariposa Baking Company.  They have packaged treats like cinnamon toast biscotti, triple chocolate brownies or made to order breakfast and lunch items. Everything is gluten free. 

Walk down to the other end to Blue Bottle Coffee for a yummy coffee.  Then across the way to the adorable Miette.  Miette means 'little crumb' and is an impossibly cute lime green stall selling assorted candy, chocolate bars and their own house made cupcakes, buns and shortbreads. 


Walk down Market St to Stop #2:  Mazarine Coffee located at 720 Market St. between 3rd + 4th St

Coffee and toast heaven.  Toasts are huge, 1 inch thick mega toasts with artfully arranged toppings like avocado and radish; ham and egg; or simple jam.  My advice is to get one and share it.  Though there are drip and espresso offerings, pour over is the thing to get.  Pick a variety from the menu of 4 and watch their baristas expertly prepare your cup. There's lots of comfortable seating, a few tables outside if you're dressed warm enough.  This is a great place to pick up coffee beans.  Offerings from local favorites Ritual, Linea Caffe and Supersonic.  


Walk to Stop #3:  Mr Holmes Bakehouse located at 1042 Larkin St between Post + Sutter St. 

This one is probably the most instagrammed bakery in SF right now.  Expect a caramelized sugar scented line with a bit of a wait.  (Take turns popping up into the tiny shop to decide what you might want because you really don't see the goods until it's your turn to order.) Their famous Cruffns sell out about as soon as the doors open but there are many other tasty items available.  Get a box, fill it with an assortment of 6.  If you're stumped or just can't decide innt he face of all this deliciousness, ask one of the sassy, energetic servers what they like best.  Ours picked the savory California Croissant and the Ube Puff for us.  Bless him.  Don't forget to take a selfie in front of their pink neon sign stating "I got baked in San Francisco" and pick up a canvas tote with the same saying and hand peace sign logo. 


Take a taxi or drive to Stop #4:  Tartine Bakery located at 600 Guerrero St at 18th St.

If you live in SF or are just visiting or read any kind of food blogs or news, you have probably heard of Tartine Bakery.  Opened by bread baker Chad Robertson and pastry chef Elisabeth Prueitt in 2002, this place is the reason people are crazy for bread.  Beautiful, crusty San Francisco sourdough to be exact.  There's way more than bread here - think everything you would want in a bakery.  Sandwiches, tarts, cookies, croissants, slices of cake, daily quiches, coffee and wine.  What to get:  the morning bun, a croque Monsieur with mushrooms or ham, a pressed hot sandwich, giant chocolate chip cookie.

There's going to be a line when you get there.  Probably down the block but once you get inside grab a menu and then start ogling the pastry cases as you make your way to the register.  It's still going to be shorter than what you'd wait for a good brunch.  Just remember that very good baked goods come to those who wait.  So be patient and if you get bored start chatting up the people in line near you.

It's a busy bakery so my advice is place your order to go and head to Dolores Park two blocks away on Dolores + 18th St.  Walk up the hill, pick a bench or throw down a blanket and enjoy a bit of people watching while you dig into your treats.

Bonus Round:  If you still have any room left in that overwhelmed stomach of yours, head back down the way you came and stop at Bi-Rite Ice Cream for a treat.  Hits are the Salted Caramel and Balsamic Strawberry.  They're known for their creative flavors and have been line-out-the- door favorite for 10 years. 

In case you're wondering, my final stop is my home kitchen and AIP lifestyle.  Those of you who read this blog know I am currently on the Auto Immune Protocol.  This was definitely a cheat day, one major beautiful cheat storm, actually.  I still feel good and don't feel like my progress was deterred by what I ate on this crawl but will be going back to my AIP tomorrow.  So, while I REALLY enjoyed the sugar, flour, butter splurge - I realize it's not a sustainable way to eat and will be returning to my more responsible food ways. 

That said, I hope you enjoyed the guide and sugar rush!  xo Mea