Week 3: Success With Recipes and the Orange Greencicle

Rounding up on week 3 of the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol here! I am curled up in bed eating 2 slices of uncured bacon (the boyfriend shakes his head, “Bacon in bed?”), who could complain!!

Grateful that I have always enjoyed if not loved to cook, and that I have essentially lived on a restricted diet for over a decade (Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Meat Eater…) it has not been difficult. The true challenge is planning out meals and setting time aside to make them. I don’t mind leftovers, but I also have a Pinterest page with thousands of pins… and I only have so much time on this earth to make them all! Needless to say I tried several new recipes this week, and I liked every one of them!

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The first recipe I tested out was for a cheese substitute made from zucchini. I saw it while browsing the AIP Lifestyle blog. I love a good stinky cheese, sliced up with olives and salami, and while I can certainly live without it – I find it fun to have an alternative. For this recipe I left out the Nutritional Yeast and the probiotic capsule. These certainly will add to the flavor but I enjoyed this without, and shredded it on to salads throughout the week. The key ingredient here is gelatin, it allows the cheese to hold shape and is easy to slice up or shred. The taste is mild and I could add a combination of herbs or spices to play around with different flavors. Also a great option for cheeseburger or pizza cravings because it slices and shreds so well.

IMG_5153I was missing condiments this week. Hot sauce, ketchup, mustard… all the vinegary, tangy tastes that we squirt all over everything! So I made Nightshade-free Ketchup. I have used a recipe twice before from this blog that tastes really good but I didn’t have apple juice so I found this one. Both are great recipes and taste awesome with some sweet potato fries and lamb meatballs. I have also used these recipes slathered on top of mini turkey meatloaf! The flavor is sweet, tangy and it has that nice saucy texture of ketchup.

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Now lets talk dessert for my sweet tooth! I used a recipe from A Girl Worth Saving, for raspberry pop tarts but turned it into little apricot hand pies! In the cupboard I had a jar of all fruit apricot jelly and the dough came together quickly. The ingredients are easy enough to find a specialty store like Whole Foods, they can also be found online. It’s a short list of ingredients and simple steps. The dough rolls out like a dream, after getting it properly mixed, and bakes up nicely. The final product was moist crust filled with gooey apricot jelly. I used a small drinking glass to cut circles and used a fork to seal the edges a bit. No special equipment is needed and this would be a great baking project to make with kids.

It was a great week of food. On top of these recipes I made simple meals of protein (salmon, chicken, lamb) and lots of veggies, smoothies daily to get enough greens, and soup and salad to take to lunch. Not too much effort but lots of variety and great flavor. I can’t wait for this week, who knows what I will cook up then!

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Orange Greencicle Smoothie

1 Banana

2 Oranges or Tangerines Juiced

3 Cups Greens – Chard is mild and works well in this!

1/4 Cup Coconut Milk

1/2 Cup Water

Handful of Ice Cubes

Throw all together into your blender and buzz that baby up! Feel free to add more water or coconut milk if needed. It tastes a bit like oranges and cream to me! Drink to your health!

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Macaroon Recipe Review and My Quick Hot Carob

Let’s be honest for a minute. I love dessert. Growing up as a kid my mother was always baking pies and cookies, cakes and pastries. Even to this day when friends or family are around there is a dessert buffet. She makes everything from scratch and whips it up in such a hurry that you would think making pie is as easy as brushing your teeth. It breaks my heart going back home and not being able to eat those classic flavors of my youth.

I have been doing the whole “gluten free” thing for a while in hopes to clear up my Psoriasis, a naturopathic doctor told me to avoid eggs, and corn is out of the question unless I want to feel like a dog with fleas. So let’s just sum it up folks: Making baked desserts can be a real you-know-what!

Gluten free baking without eggs and cornmeal leads to some real tasty bricks. I will never forget the “hamburger buns” I made a few summers ago. I think most folks who go GF have tasted some pretty awful things in the name of bread. There are a few egg free Paleo recipes I have tried that are mostly coconut butter and coconut flour but they never seem to set up right. So I have stuck with raw desserts to curb my sugar cravings. There are a ton of amazing recipes put out by the Fragrant Vanilla Cake, who makes some incredible looking desserts. I made her Sweet Potato Pies a few times and they never disappoint, but now that I am full AIP nuts are out of the question.

So when I want my house to smell all buttery and settle down to a yummy baked treat that was quick to make… What recipe is a woman to use? Thankfully the lovely lady Kelly at A Girl Worth Saving posted a recipe round-up that lead me to these super easy, very delicious coconut macaroons. I have made them twice, just to be sure they were as good the second time and by golly they were!

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First you start off by melting some coconut butter with maple syrup and adding cinnamon and a sprinkle of sea salt. The recipe called for ground cloves but I only had whole and didn’t want to take the time to grind it up. I am sure the clove would be a lovely addition, but I don’t have any problem eating them without! The original recipe also makes about 4 dozen which is a dangerous amount of cookies for me to be around so I cut the recipe in half.

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Ahhh, look how well-loved this baking sheet is and the non stick liner! I love this liner! I hate to throw away parchment and aluminum foil all the time, so this has come in handy and has held up really well. I usually wash it, dry it then store it on the baking sheet for the next project. I use a little cookie scoop packed well to form the cookies. They are delicate at this point and the “dough” is rather crumbly so you may need to gently squish it together on the pan, but don’t worry once they bake and cool they hold up.

IMG_4933I haven’t even baked them and already with the warmed maple syrup and coconut butter they smell like brown butter! The aromatic cinnamon is so comforting. Once they get into the oven they fill the house with that all too familiar smell. It is wonderful! I use a gas stove and find that it loves to toast coconut up in a hurry so I usually dropped the recipe temp 5 to 10 degrees depending on the baking time. And I usually set the timer for 2 – 4 minutes less and check them. I am not sure if these tips will help you, but in my experiences of Paleo baking this has been the case. These macaroons are done in 12 minutes.Carob and MacaroonHeaven must serve macaroons, these macaroons to be exact. They are the perfect treat to reward yourself for eating well and living clean! I ate one along side a cup of my Quick Hot Carob and felt like the Queen of the Universe. Find the recipe here and start Enjoying This Journey of healing with me!

Quick Hot Carob

1 Tsp Carob Powder ( I use this brand I found at whole foods)

1 Tsp Honey ( You could also use maple syrup or coconut sugar)

1/4 Cup of Coconut Milk

1/2 Cup Filtered Water

Bring the coconut milk and water to a gentle simmer in a pot. Once heated through, remove from heat and whisk in your carob and sweetener.

While carob has good nutritional value it also has a high sugar content so I definitely consider this a reward!

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