AIP Tom Khaa Gai (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

I love a coconut tom kha soup. So exotic and flavorful. I just don't use enough lemongrass in my everyday cooking. This one is full of veggies and healthy fat from the coconut milk. It makes a lot of soup so you could consider halving the recipe or freezing some. Just be sure to cool it down all the way before it goes into the freezer. 

To make the lemongrass easy to remove, cut it lengthwise but leave an inch at the top so it stays together. Roll it 180 degrees and cut again the same way. It should look like a little lemongrass tassel, Take a minute to bask in all the lovely lemongrass aromatics. 

AIP Tom Khaa Gai

serves 8. 

2 shallots, minced

2" numb of ginger, peeled and minced

2 stalks lemon grass, bruised and cut like a tassel

6 fresh or dried kafir lime leaves

2 tins full fat coconut milk

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon honey

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced

6 cups chicken stock

4 carrots, peeled, sliced

8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 head cauliflower, chopped

8 oz green beans, chopped

lime juice, to taste

s+p 

fresh cilantro, chopped

In a large pot, boil shallots, ginger, lemongrass, lime leaves and coconut milk for a few minutes until fragrant. Stir in fish sauce, honey, chicken, stock, carrots, mushrooms, cauliflower and green beans. Simmer until vegetables are soft. Season with lime juice, salt and pepper. Remove lemon grass stalks and lime leaves. Garnish with cilantro leaves. 

Hot Chocolate (Paleo, DF, GF)

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It's here!  The holiday season is upon us!  I love this time of year.  LOVE IT!  I get to see family, celebrate with friends, sip hot chocolate, shop for gifts, decorate, bake sweets and eat feasts.  Peaking of hot chocolate... cocoa is one of my favorite winter treats.  So rich and warm.  We had company over yesterday for christmas decorating and I whipped this up for us to sip while we hung stockings and turned up the christmas playlist.  

I consider this AIP but it does have chocolate in it so depending on your feelings it might not be AIP for you.  Carob powder can be substituted in place of the chocolate, use the same amount. 

Serves 3.  

Mea's Hot Cocoa

6 tablespoons dark chocolate or cocoa powder

4 tablespoons raw local honey

1 bag vanilla tea (optional - I used yogi-tea tahitian vanilla hazelnut)

1 14 oz tin coconut milk (full fat)

14 oz water

Whisk together all ingredients in a small pot.   Bring to a boil.  Turn off heat and let sit 2 minutes.  Remove tea bag and serve. 

 

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. 

Ginger Peach Mini Pies + Coconut Crust

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What's better than pie?  Lots of things, but pie is pretty great.  Even better when it's served as a miniature/individually sized portion that you can eat all by yourself.  Just make a little dent in the middle, ad ice cream and it's perfect.  

Coconut oil pie crust is great if you're vegan.  It's tender and has a mild taste of coconut.  

Recipe makes 4 mini pies but portion will also make 1 normal sized pie.  

Makes 4 mini pies.

Ginger Peach Mini Pies + Coconut Crust

for the crust

 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup coconut oil, cold and solid

ice cold water

for the filling

2 lb ripe apricots, pitted, sliced

1 tablespoon grated ginger  

3 tablespoons flour

2 pinches salt

12 scrapes of whole nutmeg

4 tablespoons light brown sugar

In a bowl, whisk flour, brown sugar and salt to evenly combine.  Add cold coconut oil with a pastry cutter.  Use your hands if necessary.  Combine just enough so pea sized pieces of coconut oil remain and the rest looks like sand.  Add cold water tablespoon at a time until dough feels very hydrated and sticks together as a ball.  Cut dough into 8 pieces or 2 pieces.  Flatten each piece into a disc.  Wrap securely in plastic and let rest in fridge 20 minutes.  

While dough is resting in the fridge, heat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease pie tins and set aside.  Toss apricot slices, ginger, flour, salt, nutmeg and light brown sugar.  Set aside.  

Roll out 4 discs for bottom crusts:  place a dough disc between two sheets of parchment paper and roll with rolling pin to 1/8 inch thick.  Carefully peel back top sheet, invert over tin and peel away remaining piece of paper.  Gently press into tin.  Fill each tin with apricot mixture.  

Roll out remaining 4 pieces of dough for top crusts between two sheets of parchment paper to 1/8 inch thick.  Carefully peel back top sheet and use a pastry decortaing tip or straw to poke out holes.  Invert polka dotted dough sheet over filled tin with paper side up.  Carefully, peel back paper, seal and trim edges.  

If you're not vegan you can use a pastry brush to apply an egg wash of 1 egg yolk whisked with 1 tablespoon of milk.  To keep things vegan, use soy milk. 

Place in oven and bake 30 minutes.  Crust should be golden brown and pies fragrant.  

Cool and serve. 

 

 

Sesame Crusted Baked Tofu + Dipping Sauce

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Crispy and nutty bite size tofu snacks.  Best part is that they're baked, not fried.  Would be a great as part of a dim sum style dinner.  

makes 16 pieces.  

Sesame Crusted Baked Tofu + Dipping Sauce

1 block extra firm tofu

1 cup lite coconut milk

s + p

3/4 cup black and white sesame seeds

for the sauce

2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon sambal oelek

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Drain tofu and place on a towel.  Place something heavy on top of tofu block, like a fry pan with a tin can of something in it, to press any water out of it.  This will help make it crispy.  While tofu is draining, heat oven to 500 degrees.  Line a pan with parchment paper, set aside.  

Place coconut milk in a shallow bowl, next to a shallow bowl of sesame seeds.  Slice tofu into 16 squares and season with salt and pepper.   One by one dip each square in coconut milk and then coat with sesame seeds.  Arrange on parchment paper lined pan and bake 6 minutes.  Flip tofu squares and bake 4 minutes more.  

Mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, sambal oelok and sesame oil together.  Serve on the side of squares.

Coconut Chickpea + Mixed Vegetable Curry

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Be prepared to have a lot of soup on your hands.  This recipe makes about 5 quarts.  I like to have huge amounts of healthy things like this around for a quick lunch or dinner during a busy week.  

A quick note on curry powder:  not all curry powders are created equally.  Look for one with fenugreek in it.  This  makes a big difference in flavor.  

Coconut Chickpea + Mixed Vegetable Curry Soup

Splash olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 inch fresh ginger, minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 carrots, peeled, chopped

1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed, chopped

1 14oz tin diced tomatoes

1 14 oz tin LITE coconut milk

6 cups vegetable stock

2 potatoes, diced

4 teaspoons curry powder

1 red bell pepper, seeded, chopped

1 green bell pepper, seeded, chopped

1 14oz tin chickpeas, drained, rinsed

1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed, chopped

lime juice, to taste

s + p

In a large (at least 5.5 quart) pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add onion and saute 5-8 minutes until soft and clear.  Add garlic and ginger.  Saute 2 minutes more.  Add carrots and cauliflower.  Cook 2 minutes more, stirring frequently.  Add tomatoes, coconut milk, stock, potatoes and curry powder. Stir.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.  Add bell peppers.  Simmer 5 minutes more.  Add chickpeas and kale.  Season with lime juice, salt and pepper.