Following our trials and tribulations as we attempt to remove all grains, many starchy vegetables and most sugars from our diet while maintaining our love of good food! We strive to make all of our recipes GAPS and/or SCD compliant. Note: We didn't know about "Grain-Free Gourmet" when we chose our name. We are not affiliated with those good folks.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
The recipe for this came from another blog called GAPS Guide by Baden. The recipe is called Carrot Mousse Cake and is about halfway down this page.
Baden says the recipe was loosely based on a recipe for a pie filling, so I decided to bake mine in a pie dish rather than a loaf pan. It is delicious! I decided not to use the coconut flakes yet, but I think they will add a nice touch soon.
The whipped topping is meringue batter that I put into my ice cream machine. It came out a little like soft serve ice cream, a lot like frozen whipped topping, and it works perfectly on the pie! The cold topping on the warm pie really gave this a "comfort food" sort of feel.
This would also work as a side dish- it's a bit like candied yams. It would really be nice with a roast turkey breast, chestnut stuffing, and Brussels sprouts.
For Valentine's Day we wanted to have a dinner that was delicious and fancy and didn't remind us that we are on a special diet. This is what we came up with:
Artichokes with garlic mayonnaise
halibut steaks in a lemon sauce
Peas with mint
Green Salad with Vinaigrette dressing
Artichokes are a favorite food in our family, and are something that works on the diet fairly early. My favorite way to eat crab is alongside a green salad with a tangy vinaigrette dressing. The peas were cooked according to a recipe called "Peas in the French Style" from the book The Complete Vegetarian Cuisine by Rose Elliot. Basically, the peas are cooked in butter along with shredded lettuce, with a sprig of mint on top while cooking to impart a minty flavor (the mint is removed after cooking and discarded). This was an interesting variation on peas.
Around the second or third week of the diet, fillet Mignon was on sale at the grocery store and became the central player in our first extravagant meal, which also featured french onion soup and asparagus in ghee. Our family has been following various restricted diets for over 3 years now, and we have learned that this is much easier and more pleasant to do when we periodically splurge on something special. We never eat out anymore, so this takes the place of a restaurant meal. We call them "morale boosters".
Other ideas (some we've tried and some we haven't yet):
-Scallops and chanterelles cooked in butter and dry white wine
-Langostino tails (heck, why not lobster?) with a garlic butter sauce
-Bouillabaisse (may require a little modification, but probably not much)
-Mussels in a saffron broth
-Crab Cakes (again, some modification required)
-Shrimp cooked with coconut milk, lime, and cilantro
Hmm, I guess those are all seafood. If you'd prefer something else...
-Duck A L'orange
-Coq Au Vin
-Cornish Game Hens (or squab, or quail) with prosciutto and rosemary
(the next three recipes come from The Complete Vegetarian Cuisine by Rose Elliot)
-Pine Nut Roulade with Asparagus Hollandaise Filling
-Roasted Cashew Nut Roulade with Wild Mushroom Filling
-Hazelnut Roulade with Leek Filling
Even if you don't try any of these dishes, I hope this list inspires you to think of the many wonderful foods that are allowed on the GAPS diet. If you have ideas to add please do so as a comment!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
1/4 cup GAPS "legal" bacon grease
2 Tbsp. butter
1 large onion thinly sliced
3 eggs, well beaten
1/4 cup filtered water or chicken broth
2 tsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1 cup almond flour*
1/2 cup ground sunflower seeds
1/2 cup ground pumpkin seeds
1 tsp. sea salt
Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Melt grease and butter in an 8 inch cast iron skillet. Sautee the onion in the fat until translucent. Mix the remaining ingredients well. Add extra water, if needed. It should be about the texture of cornbread batter. Pour into the pan with the onions. Place in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until lightly browned on top and cooked through.
*I bought slivered blanched almonds and ground them to a fine meal in my food processor. I used raw seeds, but I will soak them and dehydrate them next time.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
To make these, I use:
about 5 or 6 egg whites
1 cup of honey
dash of salt
Combine all ingredients and beat on high for a very long time. Using the whisk attachment on my KitchenAid, I can beat it until stiff peaks form, although I wouldn't call them as stiff as normal meringue "batter". If you are not able to get to the stiff peak stage, this should still work.
Preheat the oven to about 175-200 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using two tea spoons, scoop up about a spoonful of the "batter" and drop it onto the cookie sheet, then use both spoons to form it into a flat circle. These do not spread and can be placed close together.
Bake them at least 2 hours, then check to see if you need to rotate the pans so that they will brown evenly. I then leave mine in the oven overnight with the oven temp set as low as it will go (about 150 degrees). When they are done, they will be mostly firm but still a little gooey and sticky. Turn the oven off, and leave them in the oven with the door propped open to let them dry. If after 30 minutes they are still too gooey, you can just turn the oven back on bake longer. Once they are dried and crunchy, they should immediately go into an airtight container, and make sure to close the container fully each time- these can get a little gooey if left out pretty quickly.
A FEW THINGS TO TRY FOR VARIETY:
Put peanut butter between two of them to make a sandwich cookie.
Instead of baking the batter, put it into an ice cream maker- it makes something close to soft serve ice cream that my kids love.
The batter would work well as a whip cream substitute, which would be delicious served with berries or other fruit. It would also function as a light frosting, especially if a flavor extract where used.
The batter has the taste and texture of marshmallow cream. I will be experimenting soon with trying to make marshmallows out of it.
I used this recipe from The Spice House, and made my own sauerbraten spice mix from the list of spice blend ingredients that it links to. It was delicious! I served it with green beans in a lemon vinaigrette dressing and purple cauliflower. When I took the meat out of the dutch oven, there was this fabulous soup left in the pot of the chopped veggies in this very flavorful broth. This can be turned into a sauce, but as I was running short on time, I simply served the veggies alongside the meat. I plan to use these veggies to stuff cabbage rolls to serve with the leftovers. My kids loved the meat and beans from this dinner.
Technically, I'm supposed to have only "weak" coffee. I'm not sure if the decaf espresso in this drink qualifies, but I'm limiting myself to once a week, on Sunday mornings. I used coconut milk instead of regular milk for the foam, and it really tastes great. I sweetened it with a touch of honey and topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon. I made this last week when our guests were here, and my non-GAPS friend really enjoyed this too.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
1 C pureed, cooked squash
1 C nut butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 T cinnamon
dash of cloves, nutmeg, and any other "pumpkin pie" type spice
Separate the eggs, and beat the whites until fluffy (soft peaks are fine). In a large bowl, mix together the 5 egg yolks, the squash, the nut butter, and the salt and spices. Blend thoroughly. Fold the egg whites into this mixture gently, so that the resulting batter is airy and light.
Cook on a well-greased griddle on a somewhat low heat, as they do burn easily. Flip them gently as they do not stay together as well as regular pancakes.
NOTE- Pancake batter provides a great opportunity to "hide" healthy ingredients. This morning, I blended in 2 T of beef marrow and about 1/4 of pureed mushroom soup, and the pancakes looked and tasted fine.
For the syrup, you will need:
1/4 C honey
juice of half a lemon
Combine the first two ingredients in a saucepan and heat over medium heat. They will heat up and become much thinner very quickly. Turn off heat, and add vanilla, if using. At this point you can further thin the syrup by adding in some filtered water.
This would also be good with a different fruit juice, such as pomegranate or cherry. The Knudsen's Just Juice line is supposed to be acceptable for GAPS, and this could offer some welcome variation.
Friday, February 20, 2009
1 lb ground pork
1/4 C honey
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp chopped or grated onion
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/4 tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp dried thyme
Dijon mustard (optional)
combine all ingredients with a stand mixer or with your hands.
Form the meat into patties and fry in fat or oil. I find that smaller patties work better, so I make 6 out of this amount of meat.
This is a great way to "hide" healthy things, such as marrow or pureed or chopped soft tissue. Pureed veggies also blend in well, as do chopped mushrooms.
These patties can also be made in large batches and freeze well, with a square of wax paper between each patty to keep them from merging together.
First, a note about my family's dietary needs so that you know what to expect from my recipes. We are coming to GAPS from a gluten-free, casein-free, low histamine diet. We are still in the intro phase and moving slowly, and will be extra slow in adding in high histamine foods such as tomato and berries. My family has a number of health problems that we are hoping will be corrected or helped by this diet, including allergies, poor immune function, sensory processing issues, visual impairment, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, insomnia and other sleep problems, and moodiness and mood swings. Additionally, my younger child has Hyperlexia, which in his case is a mild Autism Spectrum Disorder. For more about Hyperlexia and my son's progress towards recovery, you can visit my blog here.
And now, here is a recipe I came up with the other day to bring more variety into our still-so-limited diet:
Sesame Sauce and Dip
In a blender or food processor, combine:
1/2 c. nut butter (or tahini)
2 T sesame oil
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T honey
1 T grated fresh ginger
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt, depending on how salty the nut butter is
This makes a thick paste which works well as a dip, or can be thinned with broth, oil, or water to make a thinner sauce.
Some ideas for using this sauce:
mix with cold meat as a salad
dip steamed veggies, such as broccoli or red pepper in it
mix with cauliflower "rice"
Friday, February 13, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
Last night we had a roasted chicken, garlic-thyme butternut squash, belgian endive and homemade mayonnaise. After dinner, DH removed the leftover meat from the bones and threw the carcass in the slow-cooker. The meat went in the fridge! I added a little salt and apple cider vinegar to the water, and put it on low. I'll leave it simmering all day today, and it will be good!
I have been enjoying using Belgian endive leaves as dippers lately. I've tried it with eggplant caviar (from Nourishing Traditions) and my own guacamole, as well as the mayo last night. I really love it.
Friday, February 6, 2009
10 oz. frozen blackberries
1 1/2 cups water
2 Tbsp. flax seed oil
1 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of cloves
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Honey to taste
Blend and enjoy!
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Blueberry Banana Smoothie
10 oz. frozen blueberries
1 1/2 cups filtered water
Honey to taste
Cinnamon to taste
Cloves to taste
My six year old said this was the best one yet. I think I preferred it with strawberries instead of raspberries, but they were both really good.
10 oz. frozen raspberries
1 Tbsp. flax seed oil
1 1/2 cups filtered water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Honey to taste
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
In the photo, I've put the lemon curd into a simple hazelnut/butter tart crust. You do not need a crust though. It is great as a pudding! I also want to try it with the honey frosting from Breaking the Vicious Cycle.
4 Tbs. butter (or ghee) at room temp.
1/3 cup honey
5 egg yolks
1 whole egg (switch to yolk only for intro)
2/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest (leave out for intro)
Cream the butter and honey together. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time. Mix in whole egg. Mix in lemon juice. Mix in zest.
Pour mixture into a heavy-bottomed non-reactive sauce pan. Cook over low heat*, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Taste now. You can add a bit more honey if it's too tart, but the flavors will mellow as it cools. If you add more honey, cook until mixture coats the back of your spoon again.
Pour into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap touching the curd (so you don't get a yucky skin). Put in the fridge for several hours. It will keep for several days, but I guarantee it won't last!
*Some people are finding that they need to raise their heat slightly to get their curd to thicken. Feel free to do so, but I would recommend you do it incrementally and be patient. If you heat it too quickly on too high a heat, it will curdle. If that happens, you may strain the whole product through a sieve or cheesecloth to remove the scrambled egg bits.
1 Tbs. ghee
1 large onion, chopped
2 zucchini, diced
2 carrots, diced
4 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 avocado, diced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Sautee the onion and carrot in the ghee over medium heat until softened. Add zucchini and stir to coat with ghee. Add broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer until zucchini is cooked through. Remove from heat.
Just before serving, add garlic, avocado and lemon juice.
Do not reheat with avocado in the soup. It must be added just before eating.
1 cup unsalted roasted pistachios
2 cups pitted dates
2 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Grind pistachios in a food processor. Remove to a plate. Chop dates as finely as possible in food processor. Add about 3/4 of the pistachios, the vanilla and salt to the food processor and mix everything together. You will have a big sticky mass.
Roll "dough" into balls about one inch in diameter. Roll the "truffles" in the reserved pistachios.
I couldn't tell you how long these keep--they haven't lasted longer than an hour or two around here!
Update March 2010: I used the beans from one vanilla pod and very soft dates this go round. I had to use all the pistachios for the truffles and chop more for the coating.