Monday, August 24, 2015

Marinated Flank Steak (AIP, Paleo, Low FODMAP)

Marinated Flank Steak (AIP, Paleo, Low FODMAP)

While I have very limited photographic evidence of this marinated flank steak, I simply couldn’t let that small hiccup keep me from sharing this amazing recipe.

I’ve been making marinated steak for a couple years, helped in part by a childhood memory of my uncle’s recipe, though my recipe has undergone many changes to accommodate different dietary needs. This latest batch was meant to be a test for a future blog post. I had developed a habit of not measuring the marinade components, so each batch turned out a little different... But this time, I wrote down the ingredients & amounts in my recipe journal intending to make the recipe at least one more time before posting it. Fun fact: did you know that for most recipes I post on this site, I’ve tested them at least 2 to 3 times (sometimes as many as 5 times) before posting them? I just want to ensure that the results are consistent & that I can craft beautiful images.

Ok, back to steak.... After 7ish hours, the meat was all marinated & ready to be cooked. Unfortunately, the remaining daylight was disappearing quickly & I worked as fast as I could to get the steak finished + styled for a “just in case” photo. Husband and I both couldn’t stop sneaking little pieces of cooked steak off the cutting board as I styled the shot. We both realized that this marinade version was completely spot on! I quickly grabbed a photo of the steak in what remained of the daylight & we ate it with sautéed spinach & a little squash puree. Ohmygoodness, so tasty!

Marinated Flank Steak (AIP, Paleo, Low FODMAP)

Immediately, I mentally added the recipe to the upcoming week’s meal plan, planning to do a more “proper” photo shoot. But when we headed to the city for a day of appointments, errands & grocery shopping, the stores we visited were out of flank steak! Bummer! But at least I grabbed those quick shots when I had a chance :)

Note on FODMAPs: FODMAPs are confusing things... Certain resources will say that one item is “ok” and other resources will list that item as “avoid.” I am choosing to get my information about FODMAPs from Monash University & their app. Monash is continually updating their information & they are great about listing what quantity of food (both by volume & by weight) keeps it within the low FODMAP guidelines. As always, though, you know your body best. Just because one list says a food is fine, doesn’t always mean your body will be fine with it. Or on the flip side, just because one list says a food is on the avoid list, doesn’t mean your body is automatically going to be bothered by it. Do what makes your body & mind feel the best.

Marinated Flank Steak (AIP, Paleo, Low FODMAP) 
yield’s 3ish servings, depending on appetite 

1/4 c Olive Oil
2 Tbl Garlic Oil (My favorite brand is from Trade Joe's)
2 Tbl Red Wine Vinegar
2 Tbl Coconut Aminos
1/2 tsp Pink Sea Salt
2 tsp chopped fresh Rosemary
1.25 lb Flank Steak (grassfed, if possible)

Additional rosemary & Maldon Smoked Sea Saltfor serving

  1. In a large ziplock bag, combine the olive oil, garlic oil, vinegar, aminos, pink salt & rosemary. Add the flank steak & seal. Squish everything around until the steak is well coated.
  2. Marinate in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hrs. Turn the bag over half-way through the marinating time, if you can (optional). 
  3. Remove the bag from the refrigerator & allow the steak to sit at room temp, in the marinade, for an additional 30 to 40 minutes.  
  4. Preheat a large cast iron skillet  lightly greased, over medium high heat. Pan fry the steak for 2 minutes per side for medium-rare. 
  5. Remove from the pan & allow to rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes. Slice across the grain into thin slices. Garnish with additional rosemary & Maldon Smoked Sea Salt
Note: 

  • You can marinate the steak in a large glass dish if you prefer not to use plastic. 
  • If you’re not following low-FODMAP, the garlic oil can be replaced with 1-2 smashed garlic cloves.  
  • The marinade can be boiled & used as a sauce, if desired. 
Marinated Flank Steak (AIP, Paleo, Low FODMAP)

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Friday, August 14, 2015

Beef Skillet Supper (Low FODMAP, AIP, Paleo, Whole 30)

Beef Skillet Supper (Low FODMAP, AIP, Paleo, Whole 30)

Everyone needs staple meals. Easy dishes that can be made when time is short (and that dirty fewer dishes during preparation). Things that require regularly “on-hand” ingredients. Meals that remain economical (AIP/Paleo isn’t always cheap) without compromising on food standards. And things that are tasty, of course :)

Beef Skillet Supper (Low FODMAP, AIP, Paleo, Whole 30)

We’ve eaten variations on this beef skillet supper on many occasions over the past year & it seemed only fair that I share it with you, my beloved readers. The last couple times I've made it, my husband has even licked his plate to ensure nothing is wasted! I would have shared the recipe sooner, but alas, I never took the time to write down exact measurements... But that is sort of the beauty of this recipe: it doesn’t require exact measurements & it adapts well to whatever veggies you might have on hand.

Beef Skillet Supper (Low FODMAP, AIP, Paleo, Whole 30)

My husband and I concocted this meal last summer (2014) after desperately staring into our refrigerator, wondering what to make out of the random mix of ingredients we had on hand. The skillet has gone through several transformations, most recently when I went back to strict AIP + adding in a low FODMAP component. But it still remains as easy, economical, versatile & delicious as ever.

Beef Skillet Supper (Low FODMAP, AIP, Paleo, Whole 30)

I haven't timed it out precisely, so don’t quote me, but I do believe this skillet supper could be made + on the table faster than if one was to order & pick up a pizza. Even if the ground beef is initially frozen (I’ve included some quick-thaw guidelines in the recipe below), this meal is still quite speedy. Often it is one I fall back on if I discover the protein I had planned to cook has not yet thawed & dinner time is looming! As a bonus, the leftovers travel well & we don’t mind eating them either cold or room temperature, though sometimes it is difficult to actually *have* any leftovers (just ask my husband!) ;)

Note on FODMAPs: FODMAPs are confusing things... Certain resources will say that one item is “ok” and other resources will list that item as “avoid.” I am choosing to get my information about FODMAPs from Monash University & their app. Monash is continually updating their information & they are great about listing what quantity of food (both by volume & by weight) keeps it within the low FODMAP guidelines. As always, though, you know your body best. Just because one list says a food is fine, doesn’t always mean your body will be fine with it. Or on the flip side, just because one list says a food is on the avoid list, doesn’t mean your body is automatically going to be bothered by it. Do what makes your body & mind feel the best.

Beef Skillet Supper (Low FODMAP, AIP, Paleo, Whole 30)

Beef Skillet Supper (Low FODMAP, AIP, Paleo, Whole 30) 
yields 3 low FODMAP servings for people with hearty appetites 

1lb grass-fed ground beef (my preference is 85/15, but more lean will work too, though more fat may be necessary)
1 tsp Solid fat (such as duck fat, bacon fat, lard...), plus additional if needed
300 g / 3 c / 1/2 a medium cabbage, sliced
210 g/ 1.5 c diced White Sweet Potato, (I used Japanese variety this time)
3 Tbl Coconut Aminos
1 tsp fresh Ginger, grated (optional, I’ve developed a sensitivity to ginger, so I often leave it out....)
100 g / 1 c / 1 large Carrot, very thinly sliced (I use a mandoline slicer set to the medium thickness, but a sharp knife could work too) 
140 g / 1.5 c / 1 medium-ish Zucchini, very thinly sliced (I use a mandoline slicer set to the medium thickness, but a sharp knife could work too)
Fresh herbs, such as cilantro or parsley, for serving
Scallion, green parts only, for serving
Sea Salt, for serving (Smoked Maldon is my favorite)

  1. In a large skillet (I used my 12-in cast-iron skillet , melt the fat over medium high heat. Brown the ground beef in the melted fat. 
  2. Once the beef is 2/3 of the way browned, add the cabbage, sweet potato, coconut aminos, and ginger. Cover the skillet & cook for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potato is cooked through. Add additional fat if any of the ingredients begin to stick to the pan.
  3. Once the sweet potato is cooked through, turn off the heat. Add the carrot & zucchini. Toss everything together, replace the cover & allow the carrot/zucchini to steam for 3ish minutes, or until they are done enough to your liking. Turn the heat back on low for a minute or two if you desire more “cooked” veggies, but I prefer them a little on the crunchy side. 
  4. Portion the hash on to plates, making sure to divide it into no fewer than 3 servings if following a low FODMAP diet. Top with a sprinkle of fresh herbs, scallion, and sea salt. 
  5. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator. 


FODMAPs in this recipe

  • I find that I can tolerate cabbage just fine, though some FODMAP lists say to avoid it. Monash states that green cabbage (NOT savoy) in quantities of less than 150 g / 1.5 c fits within Low FODMAP guidelines. 
  • Some sources recommend eliminating most starches while on Low FODMAP. I attempted removing most starches, but found that my body needs some starch for energy. I prefer to use small quantities of white sweet potatoes (they are less sweet), but in keeping with Monash guidelines, limiting my servings to 70 g / 1/2 c (pre-cooked) at most. 

To Quick-thaw frozen ground beef

  • If the package of beef is wrapped in paper or on a plastic wrapped tray, place it in a ziplock bag. If the beef is in a fully sealed plastic package already, leave it as it is. 
  • Fill a large bowl (or sink) with hot water. Immerse the package in the hot water & allow to sit until the edges are no longer frozen--it is ok if the middle is still frozen if the beef is to be sauteed. Sometimes, I’ll use a water-filled pan or dish on top of the beef to keep it fully submerged. 
  • Cook the beef immediately. 
  • This quick-thaw method is only safe if the meat is cooked immediately! Thawing the meat in cold water or in the refrigerator is a safer method if the meat is not going to be cooked immediately. 

If not following a low FODMAP diet, feel free to add in.... (you may need a bigger skillet!) 

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • additional sweet potato (or even substituting regular potato, if not AIP) 

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Friday, August 7, 2015

Matcha Jasmine Tea Latte (AIP, Paleo, Low FODMAP)

Matcha Jasmine Tea Latte  (AIP, Paleo, Low FODMAP)

Matcha Jasmine Tea Latte  (AIP, Paleo, Low FODMAP)

This matcha jasmine tea latte has been a delicious replacement for my morning cup of coffee, as I’m in the midst of an Autoimmune Protocol reset + other therapeutic measures.

Giving up coffee is often a stumbling block to those who embark on the Autoimmune Protocol. I know from experience that eliminating coffee isn’t easy, and I wouldn’t even say that I have a coffee (or caffeine) addiction. I simply love the flavor and ritual of having a cup in the morning. Another reason (warning: TMI) is my daily cup kept me “regular” better than any supplement I have yet tried. The first thing I reintroduced on AIP was coffee for that very reason: I was tired of constipation.

Matcha Jasmine Tea Latte  (AIP, Paleo, Low FODMAP)

Matcha Jasmine Tea Latte  (AIP, Paleo, Low FODMAP)

Back in May, still suffering from not optimal digestion, I was diagnosed with SIBO, which my functional medicine doctor and I believe to be a cause of my constipation. For those not familiar with SIBO, it stands for “Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth” and basically means that bacteria that normal lives in your large intestine (and is beneficial to your large intestine) has migrated into your small intestine where it does not belong and where it causes digestive abnormalities.

Because the first course of antibiotics were not as effective in eliminating the SIBO as my doctor and I hopped they’d be, I’m taking a more aggressive stance for this second round. Another stronger course of antibiotics. Specific supplementation. Incorporating lifestyle factors. Going back on strict AIP + incorporating a low FODMAP component as well.... Thankfully, none of those measures are meant to last forever, but still, it has been a tough couple of weeks, as the pool of foods compliant to both AIP and low FODMAP (plus some of my personal food intolerances) is quite small...

Matcha Jasmine Tea Latte  (AIP, Paleo, Low FODMAP)

Matcha Jasmine Tea Latte  (AIP, Paleo, Low FODMAP)

Going back to strict AIP meant I’d have to give up coffee once again. But the protocol my doctor recommended also suggested that I consume at least 2 cups of green tea each day, which helped fill some of the morning ritual void I thought I’d experience in giving up coffee again. I went through my tea stash, looking for which teas I had that would work on AIP and Low FODMAP, and I rediscovered a small tin of matcha. Matcha is a finely ground green tea powder that contains more health benefits & is more nutrient dense than drinking regular steeped. In my pre-paleo days, I loved ordering soy green tea lattes at coffee shops, but I hadn’t really made them at home.

I sought to recreate this former favorite & to craft it out of ingredients that were more healthful for me. I have a new morning ritual of boiling water on the stove, making a pot of jasmine green tea, blending some of the steeped tea with coconut oil, collagen, coconut milk, and a little scoop of matcha. I've included exact measurements in the recipe below, but most days, I just eyeball the ingredient amounts. There becomes almost a meditative component of making & enjoying this Matcha Jasmine Tea Latte daily. The beverage is warm & frothy & delicious & satisfying, with a lovely floral yet slightly grassy scent.

Matcha Jasmine Tea Latte  (AIP, Paleo, Low FODMAP)

Matcha Jasmine Latte
Yields 1 serving

1 c / 8 oz filtered water, to make the jasmine tea
1 Tbl Collagen (optional, but it is a great aid for gut health and added protein to the beverage) 
3/4 tsp unsweetened Matcha
  1. Bring the filtered water to just under a boil over high heat. Pour over the jasmine tea bag either in a small tea pot, or pyrex liquid measuring cup, or large mug. Cover and allow to steep 5 minutes. 
  2. Measure 3/4 c (6 oz) of the brewed tea into a high speed blender (this is the one I use). Add the remaining ingredients & blend until frothy and well combined. 
  3. Pour into a mug & enjoy! 

Notes:
  • I prefer my green tea lattes unsweetened--they're more healthful. But if you’re new to AIP or a low sugar lifestyle, you could start by adding a little bit of raw honey or grade B maple syrup. Over time you reduce the amount of sweetener until you don’t need any at all. 
  • This recipe would probably work with an immersion blender, if you don’t have a high speed blender. Simply whisking the ingredients together will not work because of the coconut oil. 
  • Make sure to purchase a high quality Matcha for optimal flavor and health benefits. 
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Friday, July 10, 2015

Berry Panna Cotta Pie (AIP & Paleo)

Berry Panna Cotta Pie (AIP & Paleo)

Last weekend, we celebrated Independence Day (aka the 4th of July) in the US. The holiday sort of sneaked up on me, after a busier-than-average June, so I did not have time to concoct a new AIP patriotic dessert this year. I planned to make the patriotic panna cotta I posted last year (actually, it’s one of my most favorite, easiest AIP desserts because you really can substitute almost any fruit you like). At the last minute, I had an epiphany to make the panna cotta into a pie by first making an AIP pie crust (I used a recipe from my friend Martine at The Paleo Partridge), then filling the baked/cooled shell with berries & adding the panna cotta custard liquid. 

Berry Panna Cotta Pie (AIP & Paleo)

The results were spectacular! The pie tasted very reminiscent of the fruit tarts I use to make in my pre-AIP/paleo days & are something that I really miss.  I remarked to my husband, as we sampled the pie, that it tasted so “normal.” Martine’s crust was almost like a short bread cookie, very similar to the pate sucree I use to make for all my tarts. The creamy coconut filling wasn’t overwhelmingly coconut-y & pared so well with ripe berries & the almost buttery crust. I had to pinch myself that the dessert was completely AIP!!

Berry Panna Cotta Pie (AIP & Paleo)

Though I hadn’t intended to do a blog post on this pie, the reactions to the image I posted on Instagram were so great that I thought a post would be nice to make the recipe easier to find (and let’s be honest, more pin-able, since I can’t keep track of recipes very well unless I can pin them to Pinterest). I believe this crust/fruit/panna cotta custard combination would work well with fruits other than berries (peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries, apples, pears, figs... etc) when berries are no longer in season. If you try another fruit variation, please post a picture on Instagram & tag me (@lauravein) in it!

Berry Panna Cotta Pie 
yields 8 servings, or one 9 inch pie  

250 g (approximately 2 cups) berries or other fruit of choice (I used strawberries, blueberries, blackberries & raspberries)
1 recipe of Panna Cotta custard 
  1. Make the sweet & savory pie crust according to the directions on Martine’s web site. The only changes I made were to skip piercing the bottom of the crust before baking (I didn’t want the filling to run out later) & to bake it 5 minutes longer because I didn’t want to risk the crust getting soggy from the filling. 
  2. While the pie shell is cooling, prepare the berries, cutting them if desired. Place the fruit into the bottom of the cooled shell. 
  3. Make the panna cotta custard according to the directions--Omit the vanilla for elimination phase AIP. Set the berry-filled pie shell onto a sheet pan for easier transport, then carefully pour the custard over the fruit. 
  4. Allow the pie to chill until the custard is set, approximately 2 hours. Let the pie sit at room temperature at least 10 minutes before serving. Refrigerate any leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator. The pie is best consumed within 24-36 hours, or else the crust begins to get soggy.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Paleo Mocha Frappé, two ways

Paleo Mocha Frappe
(left) Paleo frappé, (right) almost paleo frappé 

Instead of giving a traditional gift to my dad this year for Fathers Day, I “paleo-ified” one of his favorite non-paleo treats, a Mocha Frappé, and gave him the recipe.  My parents have followed paleo for several years, even long before I jumped on the AIP bandwagon. My dad saw great improvements to his seasonal allergies once he eliminated grains, sugars & dairy from his regular diet.

Paleo Mocha Frappe Ingredients

Almost Paleo Mocha Frappe Ingredients

Since my dad does not have diagnosed chronic or autoimmune health conditions that I have, he is able to follow the 80/20 rule. Yet, he still has a great love for Mocha Frappés--the ones that come from a certain fast food joint known for its golden arches. I wanted him to be able to indulge in the flavors of his favorite treat while maybe consuming *slightly less* of the non-paleo ingredients found in the commercial blended (flavored) iced coffee beverages. So, I set out to create a slightly better-for-you version that he could enjoy at home.

Paleo Mocha Frappe

Paleo Mocha Frappe
(left) Paleo frappé, (right) almost paleo frappé

In the end, I created not just one, but two frappé versions, both of which are still very much treats. The first is completely paleo, though it requires some prior planning to make the chocolate sauce, cold brew coffee & make coffee ice cubes, prep coconut cream.... I realize that not everyone may have the right forethought to prepare so many components ahead of time (basically, you would need to decide almost 36 hours ahead of time that you’d like to make a frappé), so I created a second, less labor intensive, version. The second version potentially uses some grey-area paleo ingredients but is more easily created on a whim. Still, with either frappé, the end product will have better, more “real” ingredients than a store bought treat.

Paleo Mocha Frappe

Paleo Mocha Frappé 
Yield: 1 serving

3 Super Cubes (approximately 150 g) of cold brewed coffee (see recipe below)
90 g (a little less than 1/2 c) Coconut Cream
60 g / 3 Tbl Paleo Fudge Sauce, plus additional for optional garnish
½ tsp Vanilla Extract
Coconut Whipped Cream (see recipe below), optional garnish

  1. Scale all the ingredients, in the order listed above, into a high-speed blender single-serve cup (I have this Ninja  but another brand should work too). 
  2. Screw on the blender cup top & blend until all the ice is pulverized. Allow the blender to rest as necessary. It may be beneficial to remove the blender cup from the base & shake it a couple times during the blending process. 
  3. Top with coconut whipped cream and/or a drizzle of paleo fudge sauce, if desired. Add a straw & serve immediately.
Note:
  • This frappé is not as sweet as the ones commercially sold. If desired, add 2 tsp (or more to taste) Coconut Sugar, or other Paleo sweetener of choice, during the blending process. 
  • This recipe can be easily doubled (or tripled) by using a regular blender container, instead of the single-serve cups. Scale ingredients directly into the larger vessel & blend.  
  • As always, use the weight measurements for the best accuracy. But this recipe isn't a fussy as a cake or other baked good, so if your amounts are slightly off, it should still be ok. 


Cold-Brewed French Press Coffee
8 Tbl Ground Coffee
32 fl oz Filtered Water 
  1. Measure the coffee grounds into the main vessel of a French press. Pour in the water. Stir to combine. 
  2. Place the lid on the French press, but keep the plunger up. Steep in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours.   
  3. After 8-12 hours, press the plunger to separate the coffee from the grounds.  Make coffee ice cubes, if desired. Store any leftover coffee in the refrigerator until ready to use. 

Coconut Whipped Cream
Yield: enough for 2 frappés 

1 can Coconut Milk, refrigerated at least 8 hours
1 tsp Grade B Maple Syrup 
  1. Refrigerate the can of coconut milk at least 8 hours. Open the can from the bottom & pour out the liquid. Save the liquid for a future use, such as in a smoothie. Scoop the solids into a medium sized mixing bowl.  
  2. Add the maple syrup & vanilla extract to the solids. Use a hand-held mixer (or the whisk attachment of an immersion blender) to whip the ingredients to soft peaks. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. 
Notes:
  • Coconut milk with thickeners added (like guar gum) will produce the best textured whipped cream; however, thickeners can be gut irritants…. So keep that information in mind & make your own educated decision. 

Almost Paleo Mocha Frappé
Yield: 1 serving

125 g / ½ c + 2 Tbl Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream 
      (Coconut Bliss brand is what was used for testing this recipe )
125 g / 4 fl oz / ½ c Cold Brewed Coffee (see above recipe) 
25 g / (a litle less than 2 Tbl) Coconut Cream
75 g / approximately 6 regular cubes Ice
2 tsp Coconut Sugar, plus more to taste, as needed
Coconut Whipped Cream, optional (see above recipe) 
Paleo Fudge Sauce, warmed, optional 
  1. Scale all the ingredients, in the order listed above, into high-speed blender single-serve cup (I have this Ninja  but another brand should work too). 
  2. Screw on the blender cup top & blend until all the ice is pulverized. 
  3. Top with coconut whipped cream and/or a drizzle of paleo fudge sauce, if desired. Add a straw & serve immediately. 
Notes:
  • Unless you make your own coconut milk ice cream, most commercial brands are not entirely paleo, due to added thickeners (like carrageenan, locust/carob bean gum, guar gum…) and/or sweeteners (like agave or cane sugar). 
  • I chose to use Coconut Bliss brand chocolate coconut milk ice cream because I have diagnosed sensitivities to locust/carob bean gum and carrageenan (discovered via blood tests), which are found in most other brands of coconut milk ice creams. Yes, coconut bliss contains agave (read more about agave here), but for me, agave is a "less bad" choice than choosing a brand with those thickeners.
  • This recipe can be easily doubled (or tripled) by using a regular blender container, instead of the single-serve cups. Scale ingredients directly into the larger vessel & blend.  
  • As always, use the weight measurements for the best accuracy. But this recipe isn't a fussy as a cake or other baked good, so if your amounts are slightly off, it should still be ok. 
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