Sunday, September 27, 2015

AIP Breaded Fried Mushrooms

So, a couple days ago, I tried this recipe for AIP Buttermilk Popcorn Chicken that was seriously awesome. I'm talking majorly delicious noms here. It was so amazing that I actually made it again the next day. (I could eat these every day. Not that I'm advocating it. But I won't judge.) When I finished coating the chicken, I was surprised to have a bit of batter and flour mixture left over. I looked at it wistfully...and then I remembered the mushrooms in the fridge. And I thought, "Oh yeah."

I've adjusted the seasonings a bit, as the mushrooms aren't marinated and therefore don't take on as much flavor as the chicken does in the original recipe.

1 pint white button mushrooms

1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 cup cassava flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp sage

1-2 cups lard, tallow, coconut oil or palm oil

1. Mix the coconut milk, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, thyme, and turmeric.
2. Cut the mushrooms into quarters. Larger mushrooms can be cut into smaller pieces.
3. Place the mushrooms into the coconut milk mixture and stir until completely covered.
4. In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil on medium high.

5. Mix the cassava flour, salt, thyme, and sage.
6. Dip 5-6 mushrooms at a time into the cassava flour mixture and coat well. Remove to a plate and repeat until all the mushrooms are coated.
7. When the mushrooms are ready to fry, check if the oil is hot by flicking a small drop of water into the oil. If it sizzles, the oil is ready.

8. In batches, gently put the mushrooms into the oil. The mushrooms should not be overcrowded. Allow to fry for 3-4 minutes, or until golden.
9. Remove the mushrooms from the oil and place them on a paper towel to drain.

These would probably be pretty awesome with some ranch dressing. Give this one a try and let me know how it is!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Simple Pumpkin Puree

Okay, canned pumpkin seems like a must-have during holiday season. I mean, who can survive Thanksgiving and Christmas without pumpkin pie?? So you put on your boots and gloves and coat, and you drive to the store, hoping the canned pumpkin isn't out of stock...but why do that when it's SO EASY to make your own pumpkin puree??

Here's a quick step-by-step tutorial on making your own pumpkin puree.

First, preheat your oven to 375 Fahrenheit (180 Celsius).

Score your pumpkin around its middle. It helps to score it first, as it can be tough to keep to the middle as you cut around the pumpkin.

Next, cut through to the center along your scored line.

Scoop out the seeds. Keep them if you want to make roasted pumpkin seeds. There are lots of tasty recipes out there.

Put your pumpkin on a baking sheet, cut-side down. Add a cup of water.

Bake for 50-60 minutes. If you're not sure it's done, give it a little poke with your finger. If it's still firm, it needs more time.

I only baked half of my pumpkin. I sliced up the rest for dinner (coconut oil, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt, roasted at 400*F for 45 minutes).

When your pumpkin is done baking, it should look like this: tender, squashy, and easy to spoon out.

Scrape the sides of the pumpkin gently. The rind is tender at this point and will tear easily - as you can see! I got at least two cups of pumpkin there. If you want to make it smoother for pies and puddings, put it in the blender or food processor for a minute. And you're done!

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Chicken Vegetable Saute with Pumpkin Sauce

Yeah, I know it sounds weird. I was honestly a little worried putting it together. "Will my husband eat this? Meh, probably. Will my kids eat it? Wellll...." Yep, it was like that. The whole time I was cooking.

In the end, they all ate it. My five-year-old even said it was nice. Win.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tsp basil
1 tsp ginger
1-2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper (omit for strict AIP)
1/2 head cauliflower (about 2 cups), stems removed and florets cut into bite-sized pieces
3-4 chicken breasts, also cut into bite-sized pieces (I have two small children. Everything gets cut into bite-sized pieces.)
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree

1. In a large skillet or wok, heat the olive oil and add the onion and carrots, as well as your seasonings. Saute covered for about 6 minutes.
2. Add your cauliflower and chicken and stir well. Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until cauliflower is softening. 
3. Add your garlic and pumpkin puree. Mix well and simmer for 2-3 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
4. Dish it up and dig in!

Note: The pumpkin adds a natural sweetness, so just be aware of that, in case you don't like your main course too sweet. You can always add more ginger or pepper if you find that it's too sweet for your liking.

Broccoli Salad with Carrot and Apple

This salad was a happy surprise. I didn't set out to make some miraculous dish or anything. I just wanted to make a salad my friends would be reasonably keen to eat at my birthday party! I'm happy to say, it turned out pretty decent.

1 large head broccoli, stems removed and florets cut to bite-size
One large carrot, shredded finely
One apple, diced 
1/4-1/3 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1-2 tsp garlic paste
2 Tbsp coconut or palm sugar 

1. Mix the olive oil, vinegar, garlic paste, and sugar in a small dish. Set aside. 
2. In a large serving bowl, add the broccoli florets, shredded carrot, apple, and cranberries. Toss well. 
3. Add the dressing and mix until the entire salad is moistened. 
4. Refrigerate for several hours before serving to let the garlic mellow. Serve cold or room temperature.