root mash cottage pie

food, mains, recipes

You guyyys! It is almost July. But today in Scotland it was 100% rain and the high was 12°C/53°F. Nothing like a little sideways rain and wearing a beanie to work to make you feel summery.

Best part about today though- comfort food for dinner! I thought I would be saving this recipe to post next fall… but turns out, it was the perfect meal to pair with my wooly socks after a wet and chilly day.

Cottage Pie or Shepherds Pie, is full of hearty vegetables and grass-fed beef topped with fluffy mashed root vegetables, all baked to perfection. This recipe is not only nutritious, tasty and filling, it is also simple and affordable.

Serves 2-3 / Ready in 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 200g (2 smallish) sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 200g turnip, peeled and diced
  • 250g (.5lb) lean beef mince
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 parsnip, peeped and diced
  • 3 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 small leek, chopped
  • 240ml/ 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tbs dried mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp each; paprika, cumin, garlic and salt
  • 1 tbs ACV [apple cider vinegar]

 

Instructions

  1. Cook the sweet potato and turnip in a pan of boiling water for 15 mins
  2. Meanwhile, cook the ground beef in a pan over a high heat with 1/2 the diced onion, ACV and sprinkle of garlic salt. Cook meat to brown evenly
  3. Add the remaining onion, carrot, parsnip, celery + leek to meat mixture
  4. Add vegetable broth and bring to the boil and bubble gently for 15 mins. Sprinkle in herbs and spices.
  5. Spoon into an ovenproof dish
  6. Drain the sweet potato + turnip, mash with butter (or ghee)
  7. Top the meat + veg mixture with mash
  8. Place in oven until the top begins to crisp
  9. Share with your people, enjoy!

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Notes

  • Veggie? Consider swapping meat for a combination of mushrooms and walnuts, or lentils. See recipe from Minimalist Baker 
  • To save time, you can buy ready-made mash. Simply heat up, top over your mixture and bake in oven.
  • Feel free to experiment with vegetables. This recipe is a great way to clear out the produce that you haven’t used up yet and cut back on food waste! Green bean, peas, corn, kale… just go for it!

 

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This did not disappoint as Ryan as loves a good casserole. I suppose this will be a staple for us not only in the winter but in all the months, because sometimes you just need a lil bit of comfort.

 

Have a delicious weekend!

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

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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warm turmeric roasted beet + sweet pea salad

mains, recipes, salads, sides

Salad is my favourite food and this time of year I am constantly tossing them together. There are so many creative and delicious ways to dress up leafy greens! They top my list because they are quick, nutrient-dense, budget-friendly and the toppings are endless. This recipe combines the anti-inflammatory spice of turmeric with warm roasted beetroot and sweet spring garden peas. Simply drizzle with a bit of balsamic and you are good to go.

Ingredients

3 red beets, roots and stems removed
1 tsp cider vinegar
3 tbs balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp turmeric + ginger powder
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 cups mixed greens
1/2 cup diced celery
1/3 cup chopped fresh spring onion
3/4 cup shelled fresh or frozen green peas, thawed

Method

1. Preheat oven to 375°F / 190°C

2. Wrap red beets loosely in foil. Place in a roasting pan; roast at 375° for 45 minutes or until just tender. Cool completely. Peel beets, and cut into quarters; sprinkle with garlic salt and tumeric powder, set aside.

3. In a small bowl, combine olive oil + vinegars stirring constantly with a whisk. Add beets; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with tumeric, ginger powder + garlic salt.

4. Prepare bowl(s) with lettuce mix and top with chopped celery, peas and marinated beets.

5. Share with your people, or enjoy solo. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Looking to add some protein? This salad will be fantastic with roast chicken or grilled salmon
  • If you tolerate dairy, some goat cheese would be the perfect compliment to the sweet beets and peas.
  • Add a little extra crunch with pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  • This recipe inspired by an Ottolenghi recipe from his book Plenty More which is currently one of my favourite books to look through. Next time I make this, I will definitely be adding heaps of avocado.

 

Have a delicious week and let me know, what are your go-to spring inspired salads?

x

 

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warm mushroom + toasted hazelnut salad

appetizer, dressing, mains, recipes, salads

Most of us know that our tastebuds react to four tastes – sweet, sour, bitter and salty. But did you know there’s a fifth taste called ‘umami’?  Uuuuumami! (That’s oo-ma-mee.)

Umami has been translated from Japanese as ‘yummy, deliciousness’ or a ‘pleasant savoury taste’. It is the taste sensation we often associate with food items that are ‘meaty’ and have a slow-cooked taste. This is why Black Bean Burgers, Lentil Meatballs and Portobello Mushroom Pizzas exist and make perfect vegetarian and vegan alternatives- it’s the umami! Again, this is the stuff I nerd out on. Very interesting TED talk on the topic and all you have to do is google ‘what is umami?’ and you can go down my same rabbit trail.

I enjoy this mushroom salad because it’s warm, colourful, nutty, packed with flavour from the vinaigrette and makes a great light dinner option that is quick and inexpensive to make.

Ingredients

Serves 2-3

For the salad:

1/2 cup hazelnuts (or preferred nut)
2 tablespoons finely diced shallots

2 handfuls of small cherry tomatoes
2 pounds mushrooms (chestnut or button are delicious, cleaned and sliced)
6 ounces salad greens (kale, arugula, spinach or a mix of your choice)
1 cup mix of fresh herbs (optional) such as chives, tarragon

2 tbs coconut oil

 

For the dressing: 

3 tbs white wine vinegar or balsamic

9tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp fresh thyme + rosemary

salt+ pepper

 

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Method

Preheat the oven to 375°F/190C. Toast the nuts on a baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes, rolling them around once or twice to make sure they toast evenly.

Chop the hazelnuts and mushrooms coarsely in a small food processor.

Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons coconut oil, add the mushrooms, thyme, salt + pepper.

Sauté the mushroom mix for about 5 minutes, softened but not limp (your cooking time will depend on the type of mushrooms you used). Add tomatoes, cook till soft not mushy.

Spread salad greens on a plate. Sprinkle fresh herbs on top. Spoon hot mushrooms + tomatoes over the salad greens.

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For the dressing: whisk the shallots, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt together in a bowl and let sit for five minutes (this will soften and almost pickle the shallots), before whisking in 5 tablespoons olive oil. Drizzle dressing over salad  and toss

Adjust to taste — you may need more salt, pepper, vinaigrette or even more vinegar.

Share with your people. x

 Notes

  • If you tolerate dairy, add some freshly grated parmesan or crumbled goat cheese
  • Not a hazelnut fan? Use almonds or pumpkin seeds for a crunch
  • To be AIP compliant, omit nuts/seeds, dairy + tomato. Can substitute a roasted vegetable of your choice. Toasted shredded sweet potato or parsnip perhaps?

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menu plan monday

food, recipes

Happy Monday, y’all.

I hope your weeks are off to a great start. This week, I’m focusing on AIP recipes that I can batch cook for convenience and that bring more of a variety than justing relying on the paleo go-to of grilled chicken and vegetables. I love food and I am feeling encouraged by some of the improvements in my health and wellness over the past several weeks as I continue diving into the AIP community. Here’s to another week of and culinary adventure, may your days be delicious!

Breakfast Recipes 

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This N’oatmeal (not oatmeal) Breakfast Bowl from Grok Grub, seems like the perfect start to these winter mornings. I made a variation of this last week with pumpkin and coconut and it was surprisingly quick, filling, and sweetened with fruit. I am a huge fan of anything with coconut, and it’s perfect for anyone sensitive to grains, nuts, or eggs.

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This Banana Zucchini Bread from the Saffron Girl is a weekly staple. I have been playing around with so many bread recipes over the past couple of weeks. And this one is a winner! I used apple puree and banana which gave it a nice moist texture that can sometimes be difficult when baking with coconut flour.

 

Warm + Comforting Vegetarian Recipes 

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Carbs are so delicious, am I right? I am missing the ‘full’ factor of grains these days and looking forward to trying this Butternut Squash Risotto from the brilliant ladies over at Autoimmune-Paleo.com. This is a perfect dish for winter and butternut squash always on hand in our kitchen. I love the roasted, nutty and sweet flavour it has. I love incorporating it into lots of our meals- I will probably make this in bulk to have on hand during the week.

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This time of year, a warm bowl of spicy chili is such a comfort. Unfortunately, traditional chili is not very AIP friendly as it is full of nightshades, beans, and dairy. However, the ladies over at Autoimmune-Paleo.com have done it again, and mimicked the texture of tomatoes with carrots and sweet potatoes. Chili is a slow-cooker tradition of ours and I am really excited to try this Carrot + Sweet Potato Chili  recipe that fits the AIP bill.

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This recipe for Stuffed Acorn Squash from Deliciously Organic looks so yum. I anticipate this being an easy mid-week meal and I love that you can fill it with anything that is on hand. I plan on using some shredded carrot, celery, leeks and courgette. At this stage, I will omit the nuts and honey but I think the burst of sweetness from the raisins will be delicious with the savory baked vegetables. I would also consider adding some lean ground turkey with thyme + rosemary for extra protein.

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Have you heard of Buddha Bowls?! Well, they seem to be all the rage, and every recipe I come across looks a-mazing! There seems to be a formula to this delicousness: mixture of greens + grain + beans + seeds + any variety of vegetables + sauce/dressing = Buddha Bowl. I have been totally inspired by this post from the Roasted Root for a Roasted Root Vegetable Buddha Bowl.  The problem (reframe that… challenge…) is how to fit something like this into an AIP lifestyle, but I am convinced to make it happen for my lunches at work this week.

  • Greens: lettuce, spinach, kale, beet greens, chard, arugula, etc.
  • Starch: roasted sweet potato cubes, apple slices, cooked winter squash, zucchini noodles, butternut squash risotto, cauliflower rice, or sweet potato ‘rice’
  • Protein: garden peas, salmon, tuna, shredded chicken
  • Extra Veggies (cooked, or raw, or a combo of both): cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, onions, avocado, beets
  • Toppings: toasted coconut, toasted sweet potato hash, plantain chips, olives, pickles, sauerkraut
  • Dressings/Sauce: AIP Kale PestoGreek Tzatziki , Green Curry SauceHummus , Olive Oil + Lemon Juice or Balsamic Vinegar

 

Enjoy your week! With love, from Scotland. x

 

 

 

 

 

 

menu plan monday

food, recipes

Change, cha-cha-changes….  Last month, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder of the thyroid gland called Hashimoto’s Disease. I am four weeks into my treatment and my doctor has been an incredible support and resource for us during this transition. As part of my treatment and efforts to heal my body I am following a diet and lifestyle called Autoimmune Paleo. I am finding that there are lots of amazing bloggers, cookbooks, researchers and supportive online communities. Rather than make life difficult by focusing on the foods that I can’t have, I am embracing the opportunity to try new things and experiment with the things that I can have and at the same time will best support my body.

Here are some of the delicious meals we came across this week. They were full of flavor, easy to make and kind to our budget. Let me know if you try any of these and be sure to give these blogs a peek online or on Pinterest.

Friends, may your weeks be blessed and your hearts be full! x

 

 

Breakfasts: An autoimmune paleo approach does not mean that baking is out. It requires a bit more creativity and patience, but I am loving bananas and apple puree as an egg replacement. Coconut flour and arrowroot flour have also earned a secure spot in our pantry.

Paleo Parent’s, Banana Pumpkin Pucks

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Empowered Sustenance, Banana + Blueberry Muffins

autoimmune-paleo-muffins

Warm and Comforting: Perfect time of year with the weather and our work schedules to pull out the slow cooker. Nothing beats coming home from work and dinner is ready!

Comfort Bites, Herb + Coconut Chicken Soup

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Paleo Leaps, Thai Coconut + Sweet Potato Soup 

For AIP, omit nightshade spices. I used chopped garlic, turmeric and ground ginger. 

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Stupid Easy Paleo’s, Zucchini Fritters

For AIP, omit egg (and nightshade spices) + use gelatin replacement or a bit extra coconut flour/oil. 

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In-Season Recipe: I recently saw this salad on display at our local Earthy Cafe. It inspired me to go to the produce section and pick up some blood oranges. They are a gorgeously colorful, juicy and special fruit. I have been slicing it and putting it in my water with sprigs of mint and mixing in with my morning bowl of grapefruit, so yum.

Food52, Fennel + Blood Orange Salad

For AIP, omit walnuts. I used shredded coconut and it was a delicious alternative for some crunch. 

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Be sure to check out all of these incredible cooks and bloggers! x

Thrive on Five + The Detox Kitchen Bible

cookbook, reads, recipes

There was a cartoon I watched when I was a kid called ‘Arthur’. Yep, it was one of those feel-good, educational cartoons, that your parents didn’t feel too bad letting you binge watch because it always taught you a lesson. Anyways, Arthur and his friends used to sing a song that went a little something like this… “Having fun isn’t hard – When you’ve got a library card!” Over and over about eight times. Perhaps this fostered a love for the library at a young age but I do find it really fun and addicting to get as many free books as you want, week after week!

Sign. me. up!

This week I picked up two cookbooks that have been on my reserve list for quite sometime, Thrive on Five and The Detox Bible. I was looking for some vegetable inspiration and let’s be honest, I am a sucker for nice recipe pictures. Give me all the picture books.

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Thrive on Five 

We all know we need to eat our five-a-day, but sometimes it can be hard. No longer. Over half the recipes in this book are carefully created to include all five in just one dish. Some of the recipes I will definitely be adding to my menu plans over the next couple of weeks include;

  • Rainbow Stuffed Peppers
  • Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup w/ Ginger + Tumeric
  • Aubergine Curry w/ Coconut + Tumeric
  • Sweet Potato + Courgette Falafel
  • GF Spiced Carrot + Date Muffins

All the recipes are meat-free, but are easily adaptable to include meat or fish. It is also very friendly for particular diets; 5:2, low fat, low carb, vegan and gluten-free.  I like that all the recipes appear to be quick, inexpensive, good for bulk batches, and using local British larder or easily available produce.

 

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The Detox Kitchen Bible 

Next up, you may have heard of Lily Simpson. She is dedicated to a philosophy of great health, amazing food, and has a very inspirational (and beautiful Instagram) @thedetoxkitchen

You can imagine that it doesn’t take long flipping through the pages of this book to see bright, delicious looking recipes with unique flavor combinations and nourishing options. It is an all-in-one cookbook for those of us looking for all things wheat, dairy and refined sugar free! Looking to add some of these beauties to my weekly repertoire;

  • Avocado Smash w/ Toasted Nuts + Seeds
  • Broccoli Stalk + Cashew Spread
  • Fennel, Apple + Butternut Squash Salad
  • Quinoa, Kale + Pistachio Burgers
  • Chicken Burgers w/ Beetroot Relish

And if it couldn’t get better, this cookbook is a very educational guide about daily well-being and detoxing. With nutritional guides and tailored plans to support your particular health needs, and issues that may be benefited from each recipe. It covers common health needs like gaining energy, getting clearer skin, relieving IBS, supporting fertility and alleviating osteoporosis. Health issues or not, sometimes it’s good to just reset our system with a nurturing detox.

Bonus! Here is a link to download your free pdf cookbook from the Detox Kitchen Facebook page.

What cookbooks have you been reading or can recommend with a big smile?

Happy weekending!

x

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Thrive-Five-Nina-Littler/dp/1849495874

zesty quinoa and black bean bowl

mains, recipes, salads

Quino-what? Quinoa might be hard to pronounce but don’t let that keep you from giving it a try. This ancient grain turned superfood has definitely grown in popularity and can be a great gluten free option. We enjoy this recipe as a weekly staple because it is so easy to toss together and great on a budget. I love the subtle crunch of the quinoa and pumpkin seeds, the bright vegetables, and satisfying plant-based protein along with healthy omega fats. Inspired by the flavors of the US southwest, this Tex-Mex recipe is a comfort away from home.

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INGREDIENTS

240g black beans

200g quinoa

2 bell peppers, diced

1 medium red onion, diced

cherry tomatoes, halved

2-3 small avocados, cubed

pumpkin seeds

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SEASONING

olive oil

garlic salt

lime juice

cumin

red chili powder

cilantro

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METHOD

Prepare quinoa on stovetop based on package directions

On medium heat, sauté diced bell pepper and red onion

In a bowl, combine cooked quinoa, beans, grilled onion and peppers, cherry tomatoes and cubed avocado

Toss the above mixture with tablespoon olive oil, juice from one lime, sprinkle desired amount of garlic salt, a tablespoon of cumin and a dash of red chili pepper and fresh cilantro. Top with pumpkin seeds.

NOTES

If you are using dried beans, soak them the night before so they will be easier to cook and can help with bloating and gas. In the UK it can be difficult to find black beans, red kidney beans would make a good substitute.

All ingredients for the seasoning can be adjusted for personal taste and spice levels.

Have a delicious weekend!

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