slow cooker shredded chicken

food, mains, recipes, whole30

My slow-cooker is right up there on my list of favourite things in the world. Next to Ryan, baby ducks and thrift stores.

I love coming home from a long day, walking in the house and food is cooked?! It is magic. I spend a bit of time on Sunday afternoons, meal planning, grocery shopping and batch-cooking for the week. Learn more about it here + here.

This is just a fancy term for cooking a bunch of stuff to use over a couple days, saving us time + money. This is my batch recipe for slow cooker shredded chicken and can last a couple of meals if you want it to. If you do not want to make it in bulk, you can half the recipe.

Here we go… are you ready for the easiest recipe ever?

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Ingredients

  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced/ place at the bottom of the slow cooker
  • 500g boneless (frozen or fresh) chicken thighs (approx.6)
  • 300g frozen or fresh chicken breasts (approx.2-3)
  • I like a mix of chicken thigh and breast. The natural fat from the thighs is what makes it so tender and shred so easily. You can experiment with your ratio here.

Seasoning

  • ½ tbs salt
  • 1 tbs ready chopped garlic
  • ½ tbs cumin *omit if following AIP, add turmeric
  • ½ tbs ground ginger
  • ¾ cup unsweetened apple cider vinegar [ACV] recommend: Braggs or Biona

Instructions

  1. Place the onions in the base of your slow cooker.
  2. Sprinkle all sides of chicken with seasoning mix (minus the ACV)
  3. Place the chicken on top of the onions. Pour apple cider on top. Cover and cook on high [5hrs] low for [7hrs], or until the chicken is super tender.
  4. Remove the chicken into a large bowl. Take two forks and shred it up! You can place back in the slow cooker and add additional salt or apple cider to taste.

Notes

  • Stir in some Chalula or Frank’s Red Hot if you want a bit of kick
  • AM: top it with an egg + veg scramble, veg hash or in an omelet for breakfast
  • Lunch: makes a great salad topper with chopped apple, paleo-mayo and celery + easy to fill in lettuce wraps
  • PM: we love it on a loaded sweet potato with guacamole or mixed in a stir-fry.

 

Makes a big ‘ol batch and can last a couple meals. The point is… the options are endless. Give the recipe a try and let me know how you use it throughout the week!

Have a delicious week!

x

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meal planning

food, mains, recipes

Hello friends!

Part of our Sunday ritual is meal planning, grocery shopping (okay, I do that one…) getting the kitchen organised + batch cooking for easy meal prep during the week.

This week, we are focusing on Whole30-ish, low-carb, high protein meals and incorporating as much seasonal and nutrient dense produce that we can.

Breakfast Skillet

For a quick and protein-rich breakfast (and salad topper) I batch cooked this skillet. This is an original K+K recipe and was a breakfast-life-saver my first round of AIP. It is made up of lean ground turkey and any veg that I have on hand. I top it over sautéed stir-fry veggies or dark leafy greens. It is also perfect piled on a cauliflower rice with avocado for a heartier option. I love it with fermented veg and Ryan loves it with fried eggs.

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Stuffed Peppers / Buddha Bowls

When we have a busy week, I batch cook for the both of us. Dinners that are easy for us to reheat and can double as breakfast (#putaneggonit) or lunch. Ry will love these peppers from The Kitchen Confidante. I love the idea of bulking them up with meat + some healthy fiber from the lentils.

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I will be relying on some grain-free ‘Buddha Bowls’ to get me through the week. The best thing about Buddha Bowls… anything goes. This recipe from Empowered Sustenance is a winner. Get your favourite things in a bowl and pile them on the dark leafy stuff… wha-la! See my previous post here.

grainless-bowls

 

Mexican

This week we are hosting a Mexican themed dinner with our small group. I am in charge of the main dish, shredded chicken and fajita style vegetables and I’ll be using this fabulous recipe for AIP friendly seasoning from Whole New Mom.

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One Pan Roasted Salmon + Veg

We are so excited to host a friend in Edinburgh this weekend. Planning on a nice dinner at our flat with some local Scottish salmon. We have made this recipe before from The Real Foods Dieticians… such a winner. Light, healthy and a good one for hosting. [P.S. I wish we had Tessemae’s dressing here… go to Whole Foods and stock up, people. They are so delicious!]

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Burgers + Sweet Potato Buns

We like to make our dinners one to look forward to! This week we will have a burger night with all the fixin’s that we can possibly fit between these sweet potato buns from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen. Delish!

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Spring Salads + Sides

Snap pea + Coconut Salad I re-introduced peas with success after several months of strict AIP. This salad from Bon Appetit looks soooo springy and fresh. I will pick up whatever veg is on sale, asparagus, green beans, garden peas, courgette… (which usually means, in season). I do LOVE pairing mint + veg. I will be batch cooking this for some light dinners and lunches this week. For filling additions,  I will add some shredded chicken and avocado.

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Treats 

Paleo Cookies We eat salads so we can have cookies, am I right? Last week I made date and banana cookies. I did not use a recipe. I just experimented really. Funny thing with Whole30 baking… hmm, sometimes the final product just isn’t that pretty. They were delicious but I thought they looked like sausage patties. Anyways, since I haven’t blogged the recipe yet, this one from The Detoxinista (healthiest cookies ever) seem to be close to the version I made and they were a real crowd pleaser.

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Strawberry + Rhubarb Salad And… for something a ‘lil sweet and fruity, I have decided to finally give rhubarb a try! I think this duo I found on Bon Appetit will make a great side or dessert option this week.

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I hope you have delicious week and that you are enjoying slightly warmer weather + brighter days, wherever you are!

 

peace + grace

x

roasted garlic cauliflower hummus

appetizer, dips, recipes

Before going paleo, we were vegetarians. I know, quite a transition…

For a long time, beans were our go-to. Oh how I still sometimes long for a pack of falafel, a hearty black bean burger, or a creamy bowl of lentil soup. It has surprised me, but one of the hardest cravings is for hummus! I love a good dip with something crunchy.

This roasted garlic hummus ticks all the boxes.
It is bean-free and AIP compliant.
I am loving the texture. flavour. simplicity. creaminess.
It is quick. healthy. deliciously snacky.

Ingredients

  • 1 head of garlic
  • ½ tsp coconut oil
  • 1 head of cauliflower, roasted
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp water
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • fresh parsley or preferred mixed herbs

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Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F / 200 °C
  2. Cut the very top off of the head of garlic, making sure to expose the tip of every clove.
  3. Cut the stalk from the head of cauliflower.
  4. Place the coconut oil on the top of the garlic and cauliflower. Wrap each separately in foil.
  5. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes, or until soft and lightly browned.
  6. When both are finished roasting, remove the cloves and sections of the cauliflower and place in a food processor with the olive oil, lemon juice, water, and sea salt.
  7. Pulse for a minute or two, until a thick puree forms.
  8. Top with fresh or mixed dried herbs
  9. Share with your people and enjoy!

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Notes

-Try experimenting with a garlic or lemon infused oil: check your labels

-Turn it into a salad dressing. Simply, thin it out with a little extra lemon juice + avocado oil.

-Take a generous scoop over a salad, top grilled chicken or layer it in a lettuce wrap burger. My all-time favourite is alongside homemade plantain chips! Options are endless, really.

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What are your favourite healthy snack recipes? Any suggestions for modifying your favourites on the AIP?

Have a delicious weekend!

x

toasted coconut + persimmon salad with cranberries

appetizer, dressing, mains, recipes, salads

Weekends are the best.

Weekends for us mean that we get to slow down. We look forward to long brunches and multiple cups of coffee. I like getting my apron a little messy and experimenting with new recipes. There are a gazillion more reasons that I love weekends, but high up on the list is just being in the kitchen.

After a long and wonderful holiday visit in the States, let’s just say that my body has been craving/demanding/needing some very colourful and nutrient dense food as we indulged/celebrated/feasted on all the delicious comforts from home.

This recipe was not on my meal plan for the week. It came together, because I just started grabbing for things I had on hand. I felt like a true (salad) artist. A little bit of this… a little bit of that… mixing in this…I even had to google if it was okay to eat raw cranberries. Have you ever had a raw cranberry?!

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Alone, a raw cranberry is super tart. I definitely made a baby eating a lemon face, for sure. But… I tried it and I liked it. I liked it even more after reading about all the health benefits: an antioxidant powerhouse, a low-calorie flavour booster, UTI preventer, full of vitamin C, high in fiber and loaded with phytonutrients!  I was so pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the combination of flavours when I topped them on the salad.

Coconut is also all the rage in the paleo world. It adds a healthy fat and nice crunch along with a good dose of fiber. The dark leafy greens have loads of vitamins and minerals and paired with healthy fats from the dressing your body will actually absorb more of their nutrients.

In addition to the cranberries, the persimmon gives this salad the most amazing flavour explosion on your tastebuds. Persimmon, also known as sharon fruit, are a winter fruit and in season October – February. They are the perfect way to boost the immune system and aid in digestion.

My love for salads is intense, as you probably know by now, and I love how much there is going on in this bowl.

tart + sweet
filling + flavourful
super healthy + crunchy
loaded with super foods+ fiber

The dressing is simple: apple cider vinegar, olive oil, ginger, cinnamon, and any sweetener of your choice with a little sea salt….simple, but oh so delicious.

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Toasted Coconut + Persimmon Salad with Cranberries

Prep time: 15 minutes // Serves: 2 mains // 4 sides 

Salad Ingredients

  • 6 cups mixed greens, I also through in some kale
  • 2 persimmons, quartered and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup organic dried coconut chips
  • Optional protein: grilled chicken breast, green lentils, tofu/tempeh

Dressing Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar (Go with Braggs!)
  • 1/2 cup quality olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • sea salt to taste
  • Optional sweetener: honey, coconut crystals or agave nectar

You can serve this salad cold or at room temperature, but I really enjoyed the greens and persimmons cold and everything else warm. It is oddly the perfect balance.

This would make the perfect weeknight meal when you are craving something quick and healthy. Bonus? I think this would please vegans and non-vegans alike as it is easy to toss some lean protein on board and the leftovers make a great lunch for the next day.

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What recipes have you accidentally made and loved? Do you have any advice for unique flavour combos?

Have a delicious week! x

paleo pumpkin bars

breakfast, holidays, snacks, treats

They started off as a weekend treat. Then a quick breakfast option and onto an after-gym snack. They are pretty much just always around these days.

This pumpkin bar recipe from the Detoxinista has been a weekly staple for us this season. Canned pumpkin is hard to come by in this city but we had some generous visitors come through Edinburgh and they brought us canned pumpkin from the States… they know me too well!

They are moist. Pumpkiny. Warm. Comforting. And the closest thing I got to pumpkin pie, that is GF, DF, and refined sugar-free this year. They have been the perfect alternative and great with a morning cup of joe.

I have successfully reintroduced a couple of key spices here after following the AIP. If you have yet to incorporate nutmeg and clove into your diet, look at the link here for a vegan and AIP-friendly recipe for pumpkin bars from Cook It Up Paleo.

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Paleo Pumpkin Bars

Makes 12 bars

Ingredients:

15 oz. pumpkin puree (about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs

Coconut oil, for greasing the pan

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F / 175C
  2. Grease a 9×9 baking tray well with coconut oil.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well.
  4. Transfer batter to the greased baking tray, smooth the top.
  5. Bake at for 40-45 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the center is firm.
  6. Allow to cool completely, then cut into squares and serve.
  7. Share with your people, enjoy!

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Notes

  • Coconut flour is a unique GF flour to use in baking. This recipe relies on using coconut flour and a substitution is not as straight forward as you might think. If you would like to use a different flour substitute look here for an almond flour recipe from Elana’s Pantry.
  • These bars will store well in the fridge for a few days (if they last that long!)
  • Try a pumpkin pie spice blend for ease and perfect ratios.

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What healthy treats do you or your families make every year? The past few years my mom makes delicious crust-less pies for the holidays. Instead of a traditional pie crust, she makes the most delicious base of ground nuts, coconut oil and agave nectar or maple syrup. See a similar recipe here

I can attest that this recipe is a delicious addition while you are putting up your Christmas decorations. I hope you are having a lovely start to your December and Advent season.

Have a delicious week, x!

 

 

 

 

harvest salad with roasted winter squash

dressing, mains, salads

I am always on Team Salad. Warm months. Snowy months. Year-round.

Sometimes when we transition from summer to fall, we need a warm hug and that is what this harvest bowl is all about- sweet and savoury – warm and crunchy – light yet satiating and full of seasonal goodness.

This harvest bowl is ridiculously healthy as it is  loaded with four kinds of fiber-rich and nutrient dense vegetables.  The maple-balsamic dressing adds a sweet kick and so dang good. I am wanting to put it on everything right now.

This time of year is the height of gourd (such a funny word) and root vegetable season. I find these vegetables to be incredibly warm, comforting and that they satisfy my hunger in these darker winter months. Why not enjoy the best of what the season has to offer? This harvest bowl brings so many great autumn flavours together.

 

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This salad is simple. While the squash is baking, simply sauté your seeds or nuts to crunchy perfection and blend up the super simple dressing. After the squash is roasted, assemble the salad and get ready for the flavor disco!

Harvest Salad with Roasted Winter Squash

Serves 4 small / 2 mains

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1/2 butternut squash, diced
  • 1 1/2 Tbs olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • ground sea salt
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

 Dressing Ingredients

  • 4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 4 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F / 200C
  2. Cut the acorn squash into quarters and the butternut squash in half (longways) scoop out seeds and press the flesh a few times with a fork.
  3. Cut the acorn squash into 1/2 inch slices and dice the butternut squash into bite size chunks.
  4. Drizzle the squash with the oil and rub it around to coat, being sure to fully coat.
  5. Lay squash on a baking tray, sprinkle with sea salt and bake for about 35-45 minutes. * Test readiness by outer crispy edges and easy to pierce flesh. Be sure to occasionally stir the tray to prevent burning.
  6. Set aside to cool
  7. In a small food processor, blend all dressing ingredients until smooth and combined.
  8. Combine all the salad ingredients,  in a large bowl and toss with desired amount of dressing.
  9. Share with your people and enjoy! notes below 

 

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Notes

  • Toppings: For a festive addition, use pomegranate, baked apples, or stewed cranberries.
  • Top with any nut or seed of your choice for a little extra crunch. Feeling like a creamy or tangy option? A soft cheese like goat or feta should do the trick!
  • Rubbing the raw kale with olive oil for a few minutes leaves it tender and takes away the bitterness (also easier to digest, read more here from Nutrition Stripped)
  • The dressing can be prepared ahead of time and will keep up to 3 days

 

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As always, I would love to hear if you try the recipe!  What are your favorite ways to use winter vegetables this time of year?

 

Have a delicious week!

x

 

a healthy thanksgiving roundup

holidays, mains, recipes, sides

I eagerly collect recipes starting in what seems like, July… clipping things from food magazines and adding all the beautiful and inspiring food images to my Pinterest boards (drool). This year, we are celebrating Thanksgiving in Belfast, Northern Island and we are really looking forward to gathering around a table with dear friends and some of our favorite comfort foods that this season has to offer.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, just a few days away, it is time for the big feast!

As anyone who follows an AIP lifestyle or any restrictive diet knows, the holidays can be a tough time. Finding delicious holiday recipes made of whole foods that do not use any dairy, gluten or grains, and nightshades this time of year can be a struggle. It can make social situations feel a bit awkward at times but there is no reason why it cannot be a celebration that includes all of us, and deliciously so, with recipes that do not sacrifice on taste or ‘specialness’. I found this article from the gals at autoimmune-paleo.com to be really helpful for this time of year, a wee guide on how to navigate the holidays and social situations when managing your disease through diet and lifestyle.

We do not have to give up on a holiday feast just because do or do not eat certain foods. In fact, many of the food most commonly enjoyed on Thanksgiving Day are perfectly fine, and just require an attention to quality, the removal of a few ingredients, and creative substitutions of others.

Here is a roundup of Thanksgiving recipes that can help make this year the most delicious, and nutritious, yet. These dishes are so tasty, you and your fellow diners may not even notice they are eating healthier a variation of their favorites!

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Bring on the Stuffing: Rather than relying on expensive gluten-free breads or flours, these two types of grain-free stuffing are made with a bounty of fresh vegetables, fruit and herbs. They feature all of the flavors you love in traditional stuffing, without leaving you feeling too “stuffed” afterward.

Grain-Free Stuffing

Cranberry Holiday Stuffing

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This recipe uses cauliflower rice as the base and includes fresh green apples, cranberries, bacon, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and celery, spiced with cinnamon and rosemary. The texture of this stuffing is great, and it has the perfect blend of sweet holiday spice and tart flavors.

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Bring on the Mash:  It is hard to beat a bowl of creamy, buttery, mashed potatoes. I have found that lots of mashed vegetables can be oh-so-delicious and great addition to a properly combined Thanksgiving dinner.  Over the years, mashed cauliflower has become a popular low-carb/ Paleo alternative, but it has not been high on my list. I prefer mashed carrot and parsnip, or mashed sweet potato. Have fun experimenting with different root vegetables.

Roasted Garlic Vegetable Mash

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Mashed Cauliflower “Potatoes”

Celeriac Mash

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Bring on the Sauce: Because sometimes you need to give all those sides a bit-o sauce love and get your plate a spot at the flavour disco. And unlike many of the canned cranberry sauce options, these two recipes below are naturally sweetened with honey and bursting with Fall spices. They are quite the upgrade and will make a delicious addition to your feast.

Starch-Free Gravy 

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Basil Vinaigrette Dressing 

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Cranberry and Orange Relish

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Paleo Cran-Cherry Sauce – Cranberries, cherries, ginger: it is a delicious high-five of powerful antioxidants that happens to go well with roasted turkey.

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Bring on the Veg: If there are sides that I get seconds…  okay, thirds of, they are the veg. I love all the seasonal sides our family contributes. These are healthy alternatives to certain casserole dishes and there is no limit on how many to include. The amazing thing about veg, especially autumn harvests, is the variety. The colors, the flavors, the nutrient-density and deliciousness we can get from plant-based sources is something to be grateful for.

Clean Green Bean Casserole

This fresh green beans and caramelized onions from The Dextoxinista is just about as clean as it gets. Rather than relying on a cream-based soup, it is held together by a creamy puree of parsnips and mushrooms.

Green Bean Almondine

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Holiday Slaw with Roasted Shallot Dressing

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Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts

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Brussels sprouts can be a bit intimidating on their own, but when roasted with a splash of balsamic vinegar, they become a delectable treat! Tender on the inside, and crispy on the outside, these veggies are a quick and easy addition to any Fall meal.

 

Oven Roasted Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash with Cranberries

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Cabbage, Orange + Date Salad 

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Roasted Root Vegetables 

Why limit yourself to one or two vegetable varieties? Treat your guests to the full spread of fall veggies, simply roasted and allowed to succeed on their own merits.

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Roasted Squash, Pecan + Pomegranate Salad

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Bring on the Dessert: With all of the work involved in preparing Thanksgiving dinner, we could all use simple dessert recipes that do not involve to much work or have so much sugar it feels impossible to enjoy them after a hearty meal like Thanksgiving dinner. These following recipes are all easy to prepare, and taste so decadent– with surprising amounts of nutrients and no refined sugars or unhealthy oils.

No-Bake Pecan Pie Bars

 

Pumpkin is my favorite. Always. The textures, flavors and overall satisfaction of this collection of pumpkin recipes is over. the. top. so. good. They all have the taste and texture similar to pumpkin pie, but better for you! Whether you prefer almond butter or coconut flour recipes, these have got you covered!

Grain-free Pumpkin Bars

 

Pumpkin Spice Muffins 

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Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Pie Bars

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No-Bake Pumpkin Tarts

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This recipe features a sweet pumpkin filling and a grain-free crust. These mini tarts are a quick and easy seasonal dessert. Naturally sweetened with fiber-rich dates, they can be whipped up in a blender in minutes.

I have also included some additional recipes for those that would like to incorporate some seasonal fruit into the holiday mix.

Honey Roasted Pears with Sea Salt + Rosemary Cream 

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Paleo Apple Crisp

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Citrus + Pomegranate Mint Salad 

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I wish that Thanksgiving did not come only once a year. Not just for the food (but close…) but also for the spirit of gratitude and thankfulness that spreads through the season. I am thankful for this season of our life. I am grateful for a God that is faithful when I am less than worthy. I am thankful for supportive family and friends that continue to pray for us and give of themselves generously. I am thankful for my job and the young people I work with. I am thankful for the Autoimmune Protocol community. I am thankful for better health, especially when I compare it to how awful I felt one year ago. I am especially thankful for my husband who supports me wholeheartedly on this healing journey and who I get to share life with everyday.

Whatever you choose to serve this Thanksgiving, I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday celebrating good food and all the things you are grateful for.

As always, let me know what your favorite holiday recipes are?  Will you be making any modifications this year?

Happy Thanksgiving, x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

garlic+ herb turkey sausage

breakfast, recipes, sides

I love breakfast and I am such a crank if I skip it or do not get enough to eat in the morning.

One of my biggest challenges since going Auto-Immune Protocol [AIP] in February of this year are breakfasts. Egg-free breakfasts can be difficult in the paleo world and many store bought sausages are heavily processed, full of sugar and usually not gluten free.

Thankfully, there are loads of amazing AIP cookbooks and resources out there, so finding all kinds of breakfast inspiration is easy as toast (well, not toast, but you know what I mean).

This recipe for turkey sausage is easy to make in bulk, can be frozen and are quick to reheat in the morning. I usually eat them along with a big bowl of sautéed breakfast greens,- kale, cabbage, broccoli, sweet potato hash, whatever is on hand- and a side of some delicious, heaping scoop of fermented food like sauerkraut or kimchi. At lunch, they are perfect on top of salad or between two thin slices of roasted sweet potato with avocado mash, whoa!

Makes 16, 1 oz. patties or 8, 2 oz. patties 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (approx 500g) ground lean turkey breast
  • 1 tbs chopped garlic
  • 3 chopped green onions
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tbs lime juice
  • 1-2 tbs mixed dry herbs (or something similar)
  • coconut oil (optional, for cooking)

 

Directions

It is this easy.

  1. In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients until it reaches an even consistency
  2. Knead with hands or wooden spoon
  3. Heat skillet to medium heat
  4. Mold 1-2 oz (smaller than a golf ball) patties with hands and place in skillet
  5. Turn every 5 minutes, until both sides are brownish/goldish and fully cooked, the middle should no longer be pink
  6.  Repeat until the mix is done

Notes

– I did not add any oil to my pan to cook these. I found that adding a little water to the pan (because they are lean, not a lot of fat to cook in) when they were sticking did the trick. But if you prefer oil, just add bit of coconut oil to the pan before adding patties.

-The mixed herbs + fresh garlic add a burst of flavour but feel free to experiment.

-You can also play with the patty size to pre-ration how much you want to be eating.  When I batch-cook, I make them on the small side so that I can be flexible about portions and use them with other meals for a couple of days.

 

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I would love to hear what your delicious and quick go-to breakfast items are. As always, have a delicious day!

x

menu plan monday

breakfast, food, mains, recipes, salads

It has been awhile since I created a Meal Plan Monday post! 

I guess there are few reasons – while Ryan is away, I am only cooking for one,  and I have been doing a lot more experiential cooking with the things I have on hand or finding random inspiration on a Wednesday night via Pinterest. I am also getting through items in our freezer + pantry and picking up seasonal produce on my walks home from work. Although the actual planning process has been a little unpredictable, I have still been putting together delicious, healthy and affordable AIP meals.

This week will be slowing down a bit, which helps with planning and returning to my well-planned grocery shop haul. The plan… is to plan when I can, not stress when I can’t, and to be reminded of why I love to cook. Having any kind of chronic illness related to diet and nutrition has the potential of causing added stress in the kitchen. But this healing journey through AIP has truly made it more enjoyable.

BREAKFAST

Does anyone else feel like you might be breaking the law if you opt for vegetables for breakfast? It definitely feels like some rule is being broken if you get out of the sweet-baked-smoothie, egg-box, doesn’t it? Growing up, I would watch my granddad eat green peppers, tomatoes, sauerkraut and rye bread every morning. I though he was crazy and reached for my Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Veggies are a great way to start the day. I have been experimenting with this and I actually feel fuller longer, and I have noticed that my body handles a warm savoury breakfast much better than a sweet or cold breakfast. Don’t know why but if anyone does… enlighten me! Although I do love a good pancake or creamy fruit smoothie bowl, I have enjoyed this new routine. For the recipes below, I will be adding shredded chicken or homemade turkey sausage,egg yolks and a heaping cup of probiotic-full sauerkraut (thanks Grandpa) to really maximise my first meal of the day with nutrient density.

AIP Veggie Hash

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AIP Spring Vegetable Breakfast Soup

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Fennel, Apple + Pomegranate Salad

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LUNCH + DINNERS

Interesting side note… this week I read that a third of office workers eat exactly the same lunch, every day, for an average of four and a half years! Whoa! I am definitely guilty of weeks like this, but I am learning that it is so SO important for our gut-health to provide variety and not rely too heavily on the same foods over and over. I typically bring huge amounts of dark leafy greens and lettuce and to put together a massive salad at work. The toppings depend on what I have on hand, but it’s usually shredded chicken, cucumbers, beets, avocados, celery, shredded carrot, … really any vegetable. If I have leftovers from dinner, I dollop that on top of my salad. These selections feature a recipes that would be easy to batch-cook for dinners at the beginning of the week and top up my lunch bowls.

AIP Turmeric Chicken Salad

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Cucumber, Carrot + Avocado Salad

Carrot Mash

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Mayo-free Chicken Salad

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Roasted Beet, Pear + Walnut Salad

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Roasted Spring Vegetables 

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Sweet Potato Picnic Salad

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Wha-la. Here is to a week of nutrient-dense and low stress cooking! 

I am really interested in seasonal eating and buy as much local/seasonal produce + meat/seafood as we can. There is a great website, Eat the Seasons, where you can look up what is in season every week of the year. The recipes that I will be trying out this week include many ‘July’ produce items – which keeps the diet varied, but also means you save a bit a money, invest in the local economy and eat fresh food. Win!

I would love to know how you prepare for the week and what meal planning tips you have. 

Have a delicious Monday.

x

coconut chicken + vegetable soup (AIP)

food, mains, recipes

Hands up if you think that coconut and curry are one of the most blissful combinations in THE world (🙌🏼).  I am obsessed with curry. Indian, Thai, African, you name it. Love it. Here is the problem though, AIP and those foods just do not go together very well and that has been a hard one for me to take.  Most dishes are full of nightshades or nightshade/seed based spices, peanuts, soy and . . . yadda yadda. 

My slow cooker is not something I use in the cold months, she is one of my bestie all year long. Honestly, the aroma when you walk in the door after a long day and dinner is done?.. Amazing. I decided to create a version of this soup that would meet AIP standards and still be very flavorful, despite missing that distinctive chili/curry/spice. This soup is super flavorful, and the closest thing to curry that you can have on the autoimmune protocol (AIP). This recipe is a weekly staple because it is quick to toss together in the crockpot, full of healing/nutritious/delicious ingredients and if there is enough for leftovers, the flavours become even more intense and is one of my favourite ways to start the day for breakfast.

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This loaded veg and chicken soup can be as light or hearty as you like – laddle over rice or gluten free noodles to bulk it up, or keep it light and pour over from freshly steamed broccoli and spinach. The vegetables that I use are AIP compliant but it is a versatile recipe that allows you to incorporate your favourite veggies.

Serves 4 

Ingredients

  • 3/4 slow cooker of water (based on 2.5L crock pot)
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 yellow onion diced
  • 1 full celery stalk diced
  • 6-8 medium carrots
  • 2 heads of broccoli (steam and add just before serving)
  • 1 1/2 -2 tbs turmeric
  • 1 1/2 -2 tbs ginger
  • 1 1/2 tbs sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tbs mixed herbs
  • 2 tbs chopped garlic
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk (see notes)

 

Method

It doesn’t get easier. Ready?…

  1. First, add celery, carrot, onions, all spices, salt
  2. Then fill crock-pot (slow cooker) with 3/4 water
  3. Place chicken breasts on top
  4. Set on medium heat and leave for 5-6 hours
  5. Before serving, remove chicken breasts from the top and place in large bowl. Shred the chicken completely and add back to the slow cooker.
  6. Add the can of coconut milk to the slow cooker just before serving, stir in completely
  7. Steam two heads of broccoli (boil for 7ish minutes) and add to the slow cooker or use as a base in your bowl before you pour your soup.
  8. Before serving, taste broth. If you prefer more seasoning, this is the stage to do it. I generally like to keep my salt, turmeric and ginger at the same ratio, but feel free to experiment (see notes)
  9. Share with your people, enjoy! x

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Notes

  • Coconut milk – Fragrant and creamy, coconut milk adds just the perfect touch of delicious comfort to this soup. I prefer regular coconut milk over light, for its added creaminess and flavor, but feel free to substitute with light.
  • Seasoning – I almost always use more seasoning that this recipe calls for. But I thought I would start mild because it seemed like the crowd friendly thing to do. Feel free to go a little crazy and taste as you go. Also be careful with your turmeric powder, it stains surfaces and cloth easily!
  • Water in the crock –  this recipe is based on 2.5L crock pot adjust your recipe accordingly
  • Chicken- if for some reason you don’t want to shred the chicken at the end you can dice the chicken before hand if you prefer
  • Makes for delicious leftovers. Will keep two to three days in the fridge

 

If you love ethnic foods and this recipe meets your need for something exotic on the AIP, tell me about!  I’d love to know what you think of it.

Have a delicious week!

x

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