Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Roasted Nectarine & Lavender Sorbet (AIP, Paleo, Vegan variation)

No-Churn Roasted Nectarine & Lavender Sorbet (AIP, Paleo, Vegan variation)

Let there be much rejoicing: I finally freed enough space in my freezer to make a frozen dessert! This is quite a feat, since my freezer is usually so full of broth and veggies and meat that I really ought to post a “watch for falling objects” warning on the door handle. Someday, one of my big dreams is to live somewhere that I can have a separate deep freeze.

No-Churn Roasted Nectarine & Lavender Sorbet (AIP, Paleo, Vegan variation)

But alas, even with a small amount of space available in my freezer, I still haven’t been able to fit my ice cream bowl attachment in it. Thankfully, with this no-churn sorbet, I was able to make a delicious frozen dessert without needing my ice cream bowl.

No-Churn Roasted Nectarine & Lavender Sorbet (AIP, Paleo, Vegan variation)

Last year, I never fully enjoyed summer produce, as I had to adopt an AIP + Low FODMAP diet for a few months (and stone fruits are high in FODMAPs). This summer, I’m extra thankful that pesky SIBO seems to be behind me & that I can once again sensibly enjoy summer fruits, like nectarines and peaches and cherries. Organic nectarines were on sale a few weeks ago & I picked up a bunch, knowing we would eat some of them on their own & that I’d perhaps make some sort of frozen treat with them too.

No-Churn Roasted Nectarine & Lavender Sorbet (AIP, Paleo, Vegan variation)

I may have a bit of an obsession with lavender…. We diffuse lavender oil at bedtime, many of my natural beauty and bath products are scented with lavender, and I love the flavor of lavender, especially when combined with stone fruits like peaches or nectarines. A couple of years ago, before I learned dairy and I are not friends, I made a fabulous batch of roasted peach ice cream (not AIP). This sorbet is sort of inspired by that roasted peach ice cream and by my love of peach lavender jam (not AIP).

No-Churn Roasted Nectarine & Lavender Sorbet (AIP, Paleo, Vegan variation)

I halved the ripe nectarines, drizzled them with a tiny bit of honey (though you could totally skip this step to keep the dessert completely free from added sweeteners), and sprinkled them with a little bit of culinary lavender buds before roasting everything in the oven. Roasting helps to concentrate the flavors & also to evaporate some of the water out of the fruit. Probably because of the roasting & the addition of a little coconut milk, when I flaked the dessert with a fork, it did not hold icy shards like granita-type frozen desserts do. Instead, it became more sorbet-like.

No-Churn Roasted Nectarine & Lavender Sorbet (AIP, Paleo, Vegan variation)

Desserts with lavender may sound as though they’d taste like soap or potpourri, but I promise this sorbet has just a hint of lavender flavor. It’s the perfect floral accent to the summer-y flavor of nectarines.

No-Churn Roasted Nectarine & Lavender Sorbet (AIP, Paleo, Vegan variation) 
yields 4 to 6 small servings

Coconut oil, for greasing the baking pan 
5 nectarines, ripe (mine weighed 541 g *with* their pits) 
21 g (1 tablespoon) honey
1/2 teaspoon culinary lavender buds, plus additional for garnish, if desired  
pinch of sea salt  
56 g (1/4 cup) coconut milk 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease a baking pan (I used a Le Creuset oval gratin dish) with coconut oil. 
  2. Cut the nectarines in half & arrange them, cut side up, in the greased baking pan. If the pits are challenging to remove, leave them in until after the baking process. 
  3. Drizzle the nectarines with the honey, if desired, and sprinkle with the culinary lavender & sea salt. 
  4. Roast for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. 
  5. Allow to cool at room temperature and remove the pits. Cover & refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to meld. 
  6. Puree the roasted nectarines & lavender with the coconut milk in a food processor or high speed blender. Pour into baking dish (I used a 6-cup pyrex) & freeze, uncovered, until solid.
  7. Once the nectarine lavender mixture is solid, flake with a fork. The pieces will not hold in icy shards like granitas do, but can be stirred together to form a sorbet-type texture. 
  8. Portion into cups & serve with a few extra lavender buds. Store leftovers, covered, in the freezer & re-flake with a fork before serving. 


  • The nectarines may be peeled, if desired, but I like the color, texture & extra fiber the skin provides. 
  • Peaches (or other stone fruits) may substituted for the nectarines. 
  • Honey may be omitted, especially if the nectarines are really ripe. 
  • To make the recipe vegan, substitute maple syrup 
  • To make the recipe coconut free, use avocado oil for greasing the pan & add water or fruit juice when blending. 
  • This recipes can also be turned into popsicles by pouring into a popsicle mold after pureeing. 
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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Traveling on AIP part 1: pre-trip planning

Traveling on AIP part 1: pre-trip planning

The thought of traveling while following the autoimmune protocol (or while living with chronic illnesses or conditions) may evoke fear or a sense of panic. Though I wrote a post in 2014 about travel foods while following AIP, in the time since then, I’ve done a lot more traveling & have learned many more tips and tricks. I thought it may be helpful to others to write a more in depth series about my personal experiences for traveling while following a healing diet and lifestyle—I’ve actually been working on this post for over 6 months! Car travel seems to be an easier option for most people, so I’ll be primarily covering the challenges of domestic air travel within the United States; however, many tips should also apply to other forms of travel (or to international travel, though the laws of what you can take in to a country vary greatly).

In this post (part one), I’ll cover things I do before the trip begins, from planning & researching,  to batch cooking & packing, and managing expectations. In future post(s), I’ll share strategies during actual travel days and while at your destination.

Note: This post contains a lot of links, some of which are affiliate links, meaning I may earn a slight commission from things purchased through the affiliate links at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Sweet Treats! 

Traveling on AIP part 1: TSA Pre-Check

TSA pre-check:
  • In an effort to streamline my travel further & reduce stress, last fall fall, I applied for the TSA pre-check program. Yes, it does have a fee involved, and the application process can take a few weeks for approval, but not standing in a security line as long, nor needing to take as many things out of my bag has been well worth the cost. 
  • Not every airport has the full program, but if you find yourself frequently flying out of airports that DO utilize it, I highly recommend applying. 
  • As a bonus, TSA pre-check lines generally have passengers go through metal detectors instead of the body scanners, which means I can lessen my radiation exposure.  
Booking Flights:
  • I’ve made a serious effort to make sleep a priority & to reduce stress as much as I can. While I use to easily fly early in the morning or late at night, I now am much more conscious of flight times & how they might disrupt my sleep schedule. I’m ok with getting up a little bit earlier or with pushing my bed time to just a little later, but I try not to have 5am flights or take red-eyes. I know that if I start out a trip totally exhausted from traveling at times when I’m usually sleeping, I’m much more likely to have a flare in symptoms. 
  • Not to mention, airports tend to be really busy in the early morning, so choosing to fly later can mean a less stressful experience. 
Traveling on AIP part 1: Staybridge Suites

Lodging Choices:
  • For those needing a hotel, find a hotel that has, at the very least, a mini fridge and microwave, though my preference is to find a hotel with a full kitchen. Some hotels with kitchens that I have used include Staybridge SuitesResidence Inn by Marriott, and Homewood Suites, though there are probably many others too. 
  • Most hotel rooms with kitchens have a stovetop/microwave/dishwasher but do not have an oven. I either plan to cook things that don’t require an oven, or I bring along pre-cooked food that can be re-heated in the microwave or on the stove. 
  • Another great option is to rent a condo or house via a site like Airbnb or VRBO. If you choose to rent a condo or house, I recommend contacting the owner or rental company before you leave to find out what kitchen equipment will be provided. 
  • Staying with family or friends is another popular option, but if your loved ones are not familiar with AIP or food allergies, it’s a good idea to have a conversation ahead of time. Because I have such such serious gluten and dairy sensitivities (we keep our own home free from gluten or dairy), I’d prefer not to be preparing allergen-free food next to someone who is slicing bread or making pasta etc. Not every person will understand or be accommodating, but I find it is better to be upfront with what you personally need ahead of time to avoid any uncomfortable conversations or run-ins when you arrive. I don’t expect my family or friends kitchen’s to be entirely AIP compliant, but it is nice to ask if they would consider making a few adjustments for your stay, or if they can find a “safe corner” for food prep. I also travel with a decent amount of pre-made food or ingredients to make food, so make sure your hosts have enough fridge or freezer space to accommodate what you’re brining. 
  • Whatever lodging choice you make, choose one that is best for your stress levels. While we love to stay with family and friends when traveling—it’s great for spending more quality time together, it’s less expensive—there are times, with those who are not as accommodating to my dietary restrictions or who do not understand the limitations those with chronic illness may face, when having the sanctuary of a private hotel room is completely worth it. 
Traveling on AIP part 1: Allergy Card

Researching Restaurants 
  • For the most part when I travel, I prefer to bring my own safe food to reduce the risk of unintended cross contamination (no one wants to be sick while on a trip. However, sometimes, especially on a trip, it’s nice to take a break & not have to cook or clean up. Very rarely do I just walk into a restaurant and hope there’ll be something for me. Instead, I research restaurants ahead of time to see if there are any with decent options. Most restaurants have menus online, which makes weeding out the “not possible” options relatively quickly. 
  • Once I find a restaurant that looks like it may have options, I call or email ahead to make sure they can accommodate my meals. I designed allergy cards  to communicate with servers and kitchen staff about my particular limitations & I’ll often email my allergy card ahead. I have had a couple restaurants flat out tell me not to eat at their establishment, but more often than not, so long as I’m nice and friendly in my communications, not rude/demanding/entitled, most restaurants are willing to work with me.
List making
  • Write out a clear meal plan before you go & tentatively plan out each meal. I always error on the side of taking along too much food rather than not enough. 
  • If you plan to get groceries once you arrive at your location, make the grocery list before you go. Even grocery stores from the same chain may have slightly different products depending on location so also plan back-ups in case you cant get that favorite product at your destination. 
  • Before the trip, make a list of what you’re bringing (I do this on my iPad or in Google Drive). Then, at the end of the trip, record what you used or didn’t use. Keep that list for future trips & modify it as necessary to make things easier. 
Traveling on AIP part 1: Travel Batch Cooking

Batch Cooking
  • I really prefer to eat my own food when traveling, which usually means a large batch cooking session (or sessions) before the trip. I chose foods that travel well & that I can eat either warm or cold. Some of my favorites to batch cook include:
Traveling on AIP part 1: Safe Treats
  • I also make a few “safe” treats to take a long because I know I’ll be more tempted to splurge on something sweet when traveling. Some of my favorite “safe” treats include:
  • I package the prepared foods in individual portions in  freezer safe ziplock bags because they’re lighter than the glass jars I typically use at home & I don’t have to worry about taking home empty containers after the trip is done. 
  • I freeze most all of the food before the trip & pack it into thermal containers, mostly in my checked luggage, before air travel. Alternately, for a car trip, I’ll pack the frozen food into coolers & can add additional ice as needed.
Traveling on AIP part 1: AIP convenience foods

Convenience Foods
  • Convenience foods I plan to pick up once at my destination, if I can
    • naked rotisserie chicken (I’ve only purchased this at Whole Foods) 
    • salad greens
    • green juice 
    • kombucha
    • avocado
    • additional fruit
    • water
Traveling on AIP part 1: Kitchen Tools

Portable Kitchen 
Traveling on AIP part 1: AIP Portable Pantry
My last few planning suggestions deal more with mindset & communication

  • Adjusting Expectations: 
    • Make peace with the fact that for someone chronic illness, there are certain life changes that occur. While I have healed a great deal & many of my symptoms are no longer as prevalent as they once were, I still have to be careful, especially while traveling. The last thing I want is to experience a flare while on a trip. I still need to eat a very clean diet (currently: AIP with a  few reintroductions). I still need to guard my sleep. I still need to watch that I don’t over exert myself (even if I am eternally optimistic about being able to do more, haha!).  
    • Let go of the fact that you may not be 100% in control of all your meals. If you choose to eat in restaurants, chances are food will be cooked in less than desirable oils, or meat may not be grass fed/pastured/wild caught, or fruits/veggies will not be organic. Don’t stress too much, because stress is just as bad as a poor diet. 
  • Communicating with family and/or travel companions about meals ahead before the trip
    • When my husband, who follows AIP/Paleo guidelines with me at home but doesn’t have any specific food restrictions. and I travel just the two of us, I batch cook some of our meals ahead of time (planning enough food for two). For some meals, husband picks up his own food from restaurants while I eat pre-cooked meals. We decide about which meals we’ll eat out together and where. We get ingredients to make his breakfast (usually eggs) in our lodging. 
    • When we travel to see family, I often plan to cook meals to share with those around me. If I’m planning to do a lot of cooking/cooking for more people, I may bring more kitchen tools or more pre-made things. I don’t mind volunteering to do the cooking, but I do like to plan ahead for it. If I’m repeatedly cooking large meals for a group, I’ll get more tired & may need to adjust my travel schedule accordingly. 
    • AIP food is really delicious, so don’t be surprised if those around you want to try your food or want you to cook for them. I just find it is easier to try to figure these things out before traveling to help manage everyones’ expectations. No one wants to feel completely kitchen-bound, slaving over meals, on what was supposed to be a relaxing vacation. 
    • If you don’t have the energy (or budgetary ability) to cook for others, be honest with people & set that boundary. 
  • Make sure people know your limitations. 
    • If you follow a specific sleep schedule & need to go to bed early or not get up at the crack of dawn, tell your family/friends/travel companions ahead of time. 
    • If you have a regular meditation routine or yoga practice or exercise regimen that you’d like to keep up while traveling, communicate the situation with others.
    • If you need to take certain supplements or medications at certain times, build that into your schedule. 
Ok, that's it for this first part of my series on traveling while following AIP. If you have any additional tips or tricks, please leave a comment. Knowledge is power ;) I'll be back in future posts to talk about travel days themselves & how I handle things at my destination

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Friday, May 6, 2016

Arugula Pesto (Dairy-free, Nut-free, AIP, Paleo, Whole30)

Arugula Pesto (Dairy-free, Nut-free, AIP, Paleo, Whole30, 21DSD, Vegan)

Have I mentioned before that I don’t care for basil? There are only a handful of foods I truly do not like (olives are at the top of that list), but basil definitely makes the list. I’ve been ok with conventional (aka basil-based) pestos in the past, but only if they had copious amounts of garlic, cheese, nuts to mostly cover up the basil flavor. Since I’m not currently consuming dairy or nuts, basil pesto does not appeal to me. However, arugula pesto is a whole different story! 

Arugula Pesto (Dairy-free, Nut-free, AIP, Paleo, Whole30, 21DSD, Vegan)

My idea for arugula pesto came out of two circumstances. First, I had a container of arugula near the end of it’s life in my refrigerator. Secondly, I was looking for a way to “spice up” some otherwise slightly bland fish filets…. 

Arugula Pesto (Dairy-free, Nut-free, AIP, Paleo, Whole30, 21DSD, Vegan)

I experimented by throwing arugula, cilantro (parsley would also work), garlic, lemon & oil into one of my blender cups & blended everything together. The pesto turned our borderline-bland fish to something fantastic. Not to mention that the nutritional value was increased by the extra greens & herbs.

Arugula Pesto (Dairy-free, Nut-free, AIP, Paleo, Whole30, 21DSD, Vegan)

After that first meal, I also discovered the leftover pesto was delicious on all sorts of things….. Melted over a ground meat skillet meal.  Stirred into a bowl of steaming hot soup. Tossed with roasted potatoes (or other roasted veggies). Served alongside chicken as a dipping sauce.

Arugula Pesto (Dairy-free, Nut-free, AIP, Paleo, Whole30, 21DSD, Vegan)

Now I’m buying arugula specifically to make this pesto, instead of relying on leftovers. I foresee keeping a jar of this magical, nutritious sauce in our refrigerator at all times & continuing to add a dollop to all sorts of things… I’m thinking perhaps zucchini noodles/zoodles & shrimp next!

Arugula Pesto 
yields one small jar 

Note: I make single jars of this sauce by blitzing everything in my Ninja blender's smoothie cup. If you plan to make it in a larger blender vessel or in a large food processor, I’d recommend doubling the ingredient amounts. 

1 1/2 packed cups (approximately 54 g) Arugula
1/3 packed cup (approximately 10 g) Cilantro (leaves + stems is fine) 
1 peeled clove of garlic 
1/3 c (74 g) Olive Oil 
1 heaping tsp Lemon Zest
1 Tbl + 1 tsp Lemon Juice (fresh is best) 
1/4 tsp Kosher Salt 
  1. Add all the ingredients to small blender vessel or food processor. 
  2. Process until all the arugula & cilantro are well chopped & blended. 
  3. Pour into a small glass jar (I used a Weck jar); the color will darken/turn a bit more olive-toned over time. Store in the refrigerator. Serve cold or bring to room temperature before serving. 

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Sautéed Apples (AIP, Whole30, 21DSD, Vegan)

Sautéed Apples (AIP, Paleo Whole30, 21DSD, Repairvite, Vegan)

In March, I received some blood work results, from my integrative doctor, that indicated my gut is not as healed as we had hopped. After nearly 2 years on the autoimmune protocol, it was a little disappointing, but honestly, I’m proud of how far I’ve come not just in what I’m eating, but also with sleep & stress management & other lifestyle factors. Really, it wasn’t that long ago that my doctor and I were navigating the world of SIBO. So, in the spirit of gut healing, I’ve embarked on not just an AIP reset, but I’m also incorporating variations on a Whole30, a 21 Day Sugar Detox (energy modifications), and the Repairvite protocol, along with some targeted supplementation.

Sautéed Apples (AIP, Paleo Whole30, 21DSD, Repairvite, Vegan)

This mishmash of protocols won’t last forever. Restricting so many food items is really not something I recommend longterm or without the guidance of a good functional medicine doctor. I plan to stay very strict for a minimum of 30 days, but hope to stretch most of the principles out for at least 60 days, depending on how I’m feeling both physically & mentally.

Sautéed Apples (AIP, Paleo Whole30, 21DSD, Repairvite, Vegan)

The Whole 30, 21DSD and Repairvite protocols all shun the consumption of sugar, even the less refined options like honey & real maple & coconut sugars etc. The 21DSD & Repairvite protocols take it even further & reduce the types and amounts of fruit (and thus the natural sugars).

Sautéed Apples (AIP, Paleo Whole30, 21DSD, Repairvite, Vegan)

One of the hardest parts about giving up sugar & many fruits is that I’m not really able to do any baking. I’ve been baking almost my whole life & it’s become almost therapeutic for me to make something from time to time. But AIP/allergen-free baking is expensive & I simply cannot justify making something I can’t consume (don’t even get me started on our lack of freezer space, so making ahead & freezing isn’t an option either). These sautéed apples aren’t quite the same as baking, but they do help fill that baking hole…. They’re a great low-sugar option that allow me to feel like I’m having a bit of a treat while still staying compliant with my chosen protocols. I especially enjoy the sautéed apples warm from the skillet with a drizzle of cold coconut milk.

Sautéed Apples
Yields 1 serving

2 tsp Coconut Oil 
1 Apple (use granny smith if following the 21 Day Sugar Detox)
1/4 tsp Cinnamon 
1/4 tsp Mace (can substitute Nutmeg if not following AIP) 
pinch Sea Salt 

Coconut Milk, for serving 

  1. In a small skillet, melt the coconut oil over medium heat
  2. Meanwhile, peel, core, slice the apple into 12-ish slices. I prefer to quarter the apple & cut each quarter into thirds. 
  3. Arrange the apple slices evenly in the hot pan with the melted coconut oil. Sprinkle with the cinnamon, mace & sea salt. Gently stir to coat the apple slices with the oil and the spices. 
  4. Saute the apples for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the apples have slightly softened. 
  5. Serve warm with a drizzle of coconut milk & an extra dusting of spices, if desired. 

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Friday, April 8, 2016

Egg-free Tuna Salad (AIP, Paleo, Whole30)

Egg-free Tuna Salad (AIP, Paleo, Whole30)

From kindergarten through 8th grade, my two younger sisters and I attended a very small private school that did not have a traditional school lunch program, meaning that my mom packed lunches for us most days. One of my very favorites, probably more towards the middle school side of education, was tuna salad with corn chips & a tiny can of V8. The tuna salad—based on my Grandma Jones’s recipe—was made with canned tuna, kraft mayo, diced celery, celery seed & onion powder. I can still taste her version now, if I really think about it.

Egg-free Tuna Salad (AIP, Paleo, Whole30)

Egg-free Tuna Salad (AIP, Paleo, Whole30)

Tuna salad has changed a lot for me these days. It also has become something I eat not just because I like it but because i know it’s really good for me, especially with ingredients like sauerkraut & fresh veggies that my version incorporates. What took me the longest in my AIP tuna salad appreciation has been to get over the lack of mayo. I’ve tried a number of AIP “mayo” recipes, but honestly, in tuna salad I find a mashed avocado works better as a regular mayo replacer.

Egg-free Tuna Salad (AIP, Paleo, Whole30)

Egg-free Tuna Salad (AIP, Paleo, Whole30)

I’ve also grown to appreciate tuna salad because I typically have all the ingredients for it on hand, meaning that I can easily make it for a meal if other plans have fallen through (or if I simply didn’t start lunch prep early enough). In a pinch, I’ll eat the tuna salad by itself, but most of the time, I prefer it served over salad greens, or with plantain chips (a throwback to my days of eating tuna salad on corn chips), or on cucumber slices.

Egg-free Tuna Salad (AIP, Paleo, Whole30)

Egg-free Tuna Salad (AIP, Paleo, Whole 30) 
yields 1 large serving or two small servings 

1/2 of a large (90 g) Avocado, mashed
1 tsp Lemon Juice (fresh is best, but bottled works in a pinch)
1-5 oz can Canned Wild Caught Albacore Tuna  (do not drain or rinse)
2 Tbl (30 g) Sauerkraut (homemade is best)
1/3 c (42 g, approx 1 stalk) Celery, diced
1/4 c (42 g) Cucumber, diced
3 Tbl (9 g) Scallions, sliced
1/4 tsp Sea Salt

Plantain Chips, Cucumber slices, and/or salad greens for serving

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, mash the avocado and lemon juice with a fork. 
  2. Add the tuna (with the juices, do not drain or rinse for optimal omega 3 level), breaking it up with a fork & combining it with the avocado/lemon. 
  3. Mix in the sauerkraut, diced celery, diced cucumber, sliced scallion & sea salt. 
  4. Serve with plantain chips and cucumber slices, or over salad greens. 
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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Toasted Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Tropical Fruit (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

Toasted Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Tropical Fruit (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

I developed & photographed this recipe last spring; however, I forgot about it until recently when I rediscovered the photos while reorganizing old files. I thought it was a great one to share, even a year later. :)

Toasted Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Tropical Fruit (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

I’ve previously posted about tapioca pudding (and you can also find the recipe in my e-book AIP & Paleo Holiday Sweet Treats), but I love how this combination takes basic tapioca to the next level. Perhaps it’s just me, but over time as I’m regularly consuming more coconut products, I find myself losing the flavor of coconut. For example, just using coconut milk in a recipe no longer tastes very coconut-y to me. But adding toasted coconut to a recipe, like in this pudding, brings that roast-y, toast-y coconut-y flavor right back.

Toasted Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Tropical Fruit (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

While the toasted coconut tapioca pudding is great all on it’s own; I topped mine with a tropical fruit mixture both to add extra fruit servings and to keep with the tropical theme of the toasted coconut pudding. I diced pineapple, mango & kiwi & added a spritz of lime juice & a tiny drizzle of honey, but you could use whatever tropical-isn fruits you prefer or can find. I think passion fruit could make an excellent addition, as could papaya and/or banana etc.

Toasted Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Tropical Fruit (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

Tapioca pudding does take a little planning to make—tapioca pearls need to soften before cooking—but I still think the inactive prep time is worth it. And leftovers with additional coconut milk as a sort of porridge make an excellent treat breakfast (with some protein and perhaps vegetables too).

Toasted Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Tropical Fruit (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

Toasted Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Tropical Fruit 
yield’s 3 to 4 small servings

44 g Small Tapioca Pearls
3/4 c Filtered Water (I use this water filter)
1-13.5 oz can Coconut Milk (I use this brand and weigh out 13.5 oz)
1 tsp Gluten Free Vanilla Extract 
2 Tbl Grade A Dark Amber Maple Syrup (or other AIP sweetener of choice)
40 g / 1/2 c Toasted Unsweetened Coconut, plus extra for garnish, if desired

  1. Combine the tapioca pearls and water in a small sauce pan. Allow the pearls to soften for at least an hour. 
  2. Meanwhile, toast the coconut in a 350 F oven on a parchment lined baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring a couple times. Do not burn. Alternately, the coconut can be toasted in a dry skillet over medium high heat, stirring constantly. 
  3. Once the pearls have softened, add the coconut milk, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, stirring often. When the mixture reaches a simmer, add the toasted coconut, reduce the heat to medium low & continue cooking, still stirring, until the pudding thickens and the pearls begin turning translucent, approximately 15 minutes total. 
  4. Cool slightly. Serve warm (my personal preference) or refrigerate until cold. Top with tropical fruits, & an extra dusting of toasted coconut, if desired. 
Tropical Fruit Salad 
Pineapple, diced
Mango, diced
Kiwi, diced
Lime juice
Honey (optional, depending on sweetness of the fruit; substitute maple syrup to keep vegan)

  1. Mix together diced tropical fruits, such as pineapple, mango, and kiwi (or add other favorites, if desired). 
  2. Squeeze a little fresh lime juice over the fruit & drizzle with a little honey, if desired. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. 
  3. Spoon the fruit salad over the prepared tapioca pudding just before serving.
This post is included in the Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #115

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Friday, March 4, 2016

AIP Red Sangria & "The Healing Kitchen" review + giveaway

Red Sangria from "The Healing Kitchen"  {AIP, paleo, alcohol free}

It is my pleasure to not only gush about my love of the newest autoimmune protocol (AIP) cookbook The Healing Kitchen and share a recipe for Red Sangria (AIP, Paleo, alcohol-free), but also to be able to giveaway a SIGNED COPY of the book to one of my readers! Full details can be found towards the end of the post.

In January, I spent over a week cooking almost exclusively from the newest AIP cookbook The Healing Kitchen by Alaena Haber (from Grazed and Enthused) and Sarah Ballantyne (from The Paleo Mom). Even though I’m a pretty good cook & enjoy creating my own recipes, there is something really wonderful about making other peoples’ recipes. It is specially when those other people are your friends & you know the recipes will not only be delicious, but nutrient dense & completely autoimmune protocol (AIP) compliant. Whenever I get a new cookbook, I usually sit down & add tags or sticky notes to the recipes I’d like to eventually make. With The Healing Kitchen, I found myself wanting to tag nearly all the recipes! I narrowed my initial “to-make” list down to what I could manage in a week-and-a-half, but I have no doubt that I’ll be making many many more recipes from this amazing cookbook in the future.

Before I show the recipes I personally tried, here are a few general observations about The Healing Kitchen:

  • The recipes are delicious! We loved every recipe I made. Everything was bursting with flavor & nothing was remotely bland, like many people may first believe AIP will be. Pizza. Tacos. Barbecue. Asian cuisine. Alaena & Sarah replicated flavors of traditional favorites into fully AIP compliant variations that I would feel confident serving to even non-AIP/Paleo friends and family. 
  • The recipes are easy. None of the recipes I tried were overly complicated, nor do they require terribly complicated ingredients.  
  • This book is great for people new to AIP and to seasoned veterans who’d like to spice up (haha!) their meals and get out of a food rut.
Dinners from The Healing Kitchen 
AIP Dinners from "The Healing Kitchen"
Taco Night! (Toasted Lime Cilantro Cauli-Rice, Taco Beef, Easy Guacamole) | Date Night Pizza! (Thin Crust Pizzas made into ham & pineapple Pizza & BBQ pizza with slaw, salad greens with Greek Dressing & Red Sangria) | BBQ Feast (pressure cooked BBQ pulled pork, Tangy Carolina BBQ Sauce, Fennel Mandarin Slaw Garlic Roasted Broccoli) | Meat Loaf (Caramelized Onion & Herb Meatloaf, Carrot Pilaf with lemon & Parsley, Roasted Brussels with Bacon & Cinnamon) | Salmon (Bacon-Date Crusted Salmon, Sweet Potato & Kale “Rice” Salad) 

Lunches from The Healing Kitchen 
AIP Lunches from "The Healing Kitchen"
Speedy Shanghai Stir Fry | Raisin & Spice Meatballs with Sweet Potato & kale “Rice” Salad | Pumpkin Chili 

Breakfasts from The Healing Kitchen
AIP Breakfasts from "The Healing Kitchen"
Crispy Salmon Hash | Bacon Herb Biscuit sandwiches with American Breakfast Sausage | Baked Carrot-Banana Bread N’oatmeal | Ollie’s DIY Sunrise Hash 

Treats & Snacks from The Healing Kitchen
AIP Treats & Snacks from "The Healing Kitchen"
Apple Crumble | Pumpkin Roll with Clementine Cream | Lemon Ginger Energy Balls 

Red Sangria from "The Healing Kitchen"  {AIP, paleo, alcohol free}
Red Sangria 

Alaena & Sarah have graciously allowed me to share the recipe for the Red Sangria with you. I’ve made this recipe more than 3 times so far & I foresee making it many more times in the future too. Since I usually drink water (or tea or occasionally green juice), having a mocktail like this one was really a treat, especially in social settings where everyone else is indulging in wine or cocktails or soda.

This “sangria” tastes like the real deal, only it isn’t made with wine that can perpetuate leaky gut. It’s great not just for people avoiding alcohol on AIP, but also for pregnant ladies & those who abstain from alcohol in general. I mixed my sangria mixture with blood orange kombucha. So delicious!

Red Sangria from "The Healing Kitchen"  {AIP, paleo, alcohol free}

Red Sangria
reprinted, with permission, from The Healing Kitchen by Alaena Haber & Sarah Ballantyne 

1 1/2 c pomegranate juice
1 pear, diced
3 strips fresh orange peel
1/2 lemon, sliced thinly
5 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 (16-oz) bottle unflavored kombucha, chilled
ice, for serving (optional)
  1. Combine all the ingredients except kombucha in a large glass jar or pitcher. Place in the refrigerator to steep for at least 8 hours or overnight. 
  2. Just before serving, remove the cloves & cinnamon stick and stir in the kombucha. Serve over ice, if desired. 

Note from Laura:
  • I substituted blood orange kombucha for the unflavored kombucha because I love blood orange kombucha. 
  • I also added a few orange slices for fun. 

In January, I was fortunate to attend a book signing at Book People in Austin, TX for "The Healing Kitchen." Alaena and Sarah graciously gave me a signed giveaway copy of their amazing cookbook to pass along to one of my readers! 

THK Austin Signing: Alaena, Laura, Sarah
Thanks to Charissa (No Cook Paleo) for taking this photo of Alaena, me, & Sarah

To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget below. This contest is open to both US and international entries, though the winner may receive an unsigned copy if a non-US resident is chosen. The contest will run through Tuesday March 15, 2016. May the odds be ever in your favor! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Additional reviews of "The Healing Kitchen"

Full disclosure: I did receive a complementary review copy of this cookbook, as well as a giveaway copy. However, I loved the recipes SO much that I purchased a copy for my parents :) I would never recommend any resource that I didn't stand behind 100%. 

This recipe is included in the Phoenix Helix Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #111

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