Orange Halloween Gummies (dye-free)

Hauntingly Orange Gummies
HAUNTINGLY ORANGE (no sugar, no artificial ingredients) GUMMIES!

I am getting started early for our Pirate themed Halloween Birthday Party for our littlest of littles next weekend. Boy, his Halloween birthday sure does make things fun.

For this bright orange gummy, I used the following:

These molds that I ordered here.
And these, as well (though they aren’t pictured here).

Recipe:
1/2 cup Organic Carrot Juice (I used this one.)
1/2 cup Organic Pear Juice (I used R.W. Knudsen brand)
1 teaspoon Organic Lemon Juice
3 Tablespoons Grass-Fed Gelatin ( purchase here – you definitely want to buy this much, these are too fun not to make again and again! If you want, you can even stock up with a 3-pack! See. I usually buy the 3 pack and it lasts me for quite a long time.)

In a sauce pan, measure out your juices, then sprinkle the 3 tablespoons of gelatin into the liquid until the lumps are dissolved. Turn on the heat until just starting to bubble, then remove from heat. Let sit for about 3-5 minutes.

Place mold on a flat baking sheet. Pour your liquid into the molds. Chill in the refrigerator until set. (About 20-30 minutes is usually all it takes).

Store in an airtight container in your fridge.

I have posted several recipes for gummies. I love this bright orange color from the carrot juice. Once you have the hang of it, experiment with adding in powdered vitamins (very good quality) or even probiotics to make your own healthful gummy treats, perfect to pop into a school lunch box!

Happy eating ~ and HEALTHY Halloween.

 

30+ ways to ROCK a GRAIN-FREE lunch box [some SCD, some PALEO, all GRAIN-FREE]

You just aren’t cool unless you can ROCK a Grain-Free lunchbox (hah! At least in my own little world, that is).

So, we only have a few weeks left of summer vacation!?

Boy, does this bring on some MIXED emotions for this mamma-jamma. I am not quite ready to use that alarm setting on my phone, have a strict morning schedule, and start back up with things like packing lunches before the sun has even woken up and conducting the symphony of after-school activities; but, everyone at my house has honestly had their (albeit blessed) fill of togetherness and I think *everyone* is going to welcome the change & excitement of starting our next school year. We have so enjoyed our summer, don’t’ get me wrong, but when that bell is ready to start ringing, I know that we will be ready to be there. And I am starting early preparing myself for packing those daily lunches!

At our house last year, we were sticking to our clean eating, as we have for many years now. That means that we avoid any chemicals in our foods, we JERF (Just Eat Real Food), and we also avoid our own allergies and sensitivities, which include, for us, avoiding inflammatory grains like gluten and keeping our sugars and other grains in check.  Over the last year we have also been (sort of inadvertently)  transitioning to a Paleo-type plan, some of us here adopting more of an SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) plan.  That brings me back to the drawing board for this year’s Lunch Boxes.

Last year, I shared this post on 25 Easy Gluten-Free Lunchbox Ideas. There were some grain-free options included, but I really wanted to sit down and make myself a good, solid list of what we are going to be packing up starting in just a few weeks.  Eeek!

I am actually getting more and more excited as I type out this post. With ALL of the efforts I go through in my “special diet” kitchen, I want my kids to sit down at their lunch table and SMILE about what they will be chowing down on in front of their friends and peers. I am a total geak about packing those lunches   – hey, I figure, if you’re going to go domestic, you might as well do it right! I am all-in, 150% domestic over here, and waving my mom-flag high and proud. I now own more cookie cutters and silicone ice cube molds than I do shoes, and I’m not afraid to admit it.  I am SO ready to ROCK this school year’s lunchbox,  and here’s how I plan on doing it:

30+ Ways to ROCK a GRAIN-FREE lunch box  [SCD & PALEO options, all GRAIN-FREE]

1) Homemade Tortillas – Oh – the endless possibilities of rocking your kids’ lunch box with a tortilla… am I right?  Whip up a double batch over the weekend and you will be so thankful during your school week!   My two favorite grain-free tortillas are Cauliflower Tortillas (which to me taste more like a pita (recipe here)  and Coconut Flour Tortillas (recipe here).  Beyond these two, honestly, you can experiment with making {essentially} crêpes / tortillas from ALL sorts of grain-free starches. These two are my favorite because they are SCD-legal and don’t include any of gummy, starchy flours that have been creeping into Paleo recipes because they are “Technically” not a grain (like arrowroot, tapioca, and I have even seen potato flours and starches). Getting by on a technicality is okay on occasion (I’m not perfect), but these really go against the true caveman concept that Paleolithic diet stems from and they are just flat out not allowed on SCD, so they  should be an exception insisted of a rule, in my humblest of opinions, especially if you have any gastro-intestinal or other inflammatory issues that are persistent. I digress…

For the Cauliflower Pita Tortillas, I tend to stick to the savory fillings, like leftover roasts or brisket, clean cold-cuts with lettuce, tomatoes & mustard/mayo, nitrite-free salami and basil with a pesto vinaigrette, grilled chicken and sweet peppers, or even mayo salads like chicken salad or egg salad (which we call “egg-sauce” at our house).
You can also crisp these up in a frying pan or flat top and cut into pita wedges and serve with a dip. (Hummus for some Paleo eaters, or even a nut butter or yogurt dip for SCD).

For the Coconut Flour Tortillas – you can really go savory OR sweet. Apply any of the aforementioned, or try bananas and nut butter drizzled with honey, or pear and prosciutto, or Nut butter & Applebutter for a “PB&J” roll-up.

Absolutely have NO interest whatsoever in making your own tortillas? Try a coconut wrap like this one.

2) Cauliflower Fried “Rice” – This is not only a SUPER easy weekday dinner to throw together and pack as leftovers, but it really isn’t too difficult to throw together in a pan in the a.m. if you *have* to. I use frozen organic veggie blends (without corn), and if you can find the frozen Cauliflower already “riced” in stock at Trader Joe’s, its even easier! [although, they are always out of stock at mine]. One of our favorite Fried Rice dishes is Pineapple Fried Rice, which has chicken, some vegetables,  cashews, and pineapple.

For Paleo diets, and for some who can tolerate in later stages, you can use Coconut Aminos (order here).  If that product doesn’t work well for you (it actually doesn’t here at our house) try another salty addition like Ume Plum Vinegar. This is what we use and it works great for us.

3) Caveman Kabobs – There’s just something about eating from a skewer that makes the meal seem more interesting. For a simple, protein-rich addition to that lunchbox, pound out & weave a skewer into a piece of your favorite steak cut (or lamb, or chicken, or even bacon!). If you pound out and marinate the night before, you can grill them quickly in the morning and either serve cold, or stick them into a heat-proof container, like a thermos.  How to ROCK-STAR ROCK this one? : Always be on the lookout while you are out shopping for fun party favor sticks / skewers. I know it doesn’t seem to scream “kids section”, but there are some really fun picks for adult beverages (like umbrellas, swords, bamboo skewers and such) that make fantastically FUN skewers for tiny little hands. I also sometimes find some on the aisles at TJ MAX or HOME GOODS stores, and always check the isles at craft stores like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. I keep a bin in my pantry so that I always have a bag of tricks.

4) Copycat Chick-Fil-A Nuggets This recipe is really fantastic! You can keep the dry mix pre-mixed in a bag or container in the pantry. Batch cook these bad boys on any given weekend and freeze them for easy reheats. Send them woth some homage dipping sauce, like honey mustard or probitoic ranch dip.

5) Honey Mustard Bacon “Chips” – Take your favorite Paleo or SCD-friendly bacon (this means there’s no sugar added – this is one of my favorite resources )  and cut each slice of bacon into bite-size pieces (in 4-5 pieces).  In a separate bowl, mix up some honey and some organic mustard. (about 1 tablespoon honey to 2 teaspoons of mustard). Brush the bacon pieces with your honey mustard and sprinkle with a tiny bit of Himalayan Salt. Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes or until your bacon is perfectly done for you! Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Can’t. Even. Explain. The. Amazingness.

6) Devilled Eggs – an absolute FAVORITE in our house. I make a batch every week and they get devoured. My quick and easy recipe – I add some homemade mayo ( or this mayo if I  feel like purchasing instead of making my own, and there is a great cost savings on THRIVE market, if you don’t already have an account, you can get one here.), then I add a splash of pickle juice from the lactoferment jar (or Bubbie’s are our favorite store-bought) a squirt of organic mustard and salt & pepper. That’s it folks. Sometimes when I am feeling extra fancy I add some bacon or a little pickle round to the top. These are great additions to a lunchbox, as long as you send a napkin 🙂  if they don’t like the yolk or can’t do yolk for one reason or another, just send the hard boiled rgg-white.

7) Homemade Yogurt –  We are very pro probiotics in our house, especially during the school year when we are trying to keep our little immune soldiers bulked up and beefy and filling in all those nooks and crannies so that bad buggies can’t creep into them and set up shop. One of the easiest ways for me to do this with the kids is with yogurt. I keep them some homemade yogurt in rotation in the warming drawer or yogurt maker. (This is the yogurt maker we use just for ease, but mostly, I use a quart size jar and gferment it in the warming drawer under my oven).  Be sure you sign up with your email to get updates on the next yogurt-making cook & chat for a live guided tour through making dairy AND non-dairy yogurts in your home.  There are lots of very simple ways to enjoy homemade yogurt! We have been rotating a new dairy yogurt into our routine that odd, but the benefits are very exciting! Village be posting about that latest saga soon. 😉

8) Coconut Macaroons or Meringue Cookies – Two easy little sweet treats with zero cane sugar and very minimal effort! The meringues take a little longer to cook, but you won’t regret it!

Macaroons Recipe:
2 egg whites
3 T honey
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla (opt)
1 teaspooon organic lemon juice (opt)
2 1/4 cups shredded organic raw coconut shreds
Pinch salt

(Preheat oven to 325) Whisk eggs and all ingredients except coconut shreds for 30 seconds to 1 minute until frothy. Fold in coconut. Scoop out (I use a #70 scoop) onto parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Meringues Recipe:
2 egg whites beaten to stiff peaks
1/3-1/2 cup honey drizzled in while still beating.

Pipe onto a parchment lined baking sheet (or silpat).
Bake at low temp (200 degrees) for about an hour and a half. Let cool completely. They harden as they cool.

9) Zoodles “Pasta” Salad – One of our favorite people in the world made this Zucchini “pasta” Salad for a party she hosted in hopes that we would be able to partake in SOMETHING festive even with our crazy special diets 🙂 and she totally hit it out of the park! It has since become one of our favorites, and you can make your own version any way you like it. Basically, Anything you would put into a traditional pasta salad with the grain-pasta replaced with Zucchini noodles (zoodles). The one we have been making is a basic vinaigrette dressed salad with black olives and some cold cuts and some carrots, cucumbers, and artichoke hearts. It’s seriously delicious! If you haven’t hopped on the great ride that is the spiralizer yet – you NEED one of these in your life. For real. They are really fun! I will come back and post the recipe for her dressing as soon as I can. It was SO good!

10) Coconut Flour Crackers Recipe Here These are pretty easy and were created basically to meet my kiddos’ ingredient lists and be a vessel and a crunchy addition on occasion.

11) Sliders – My kids love little sliders wrapped in lettuce or in a tortilla. Stack a few slider-sized burger patties into your thermos and then pack up some lettuce or tortillas and other toppings or sauces on the side for a build-your-own-slider lunch. Perfect with some butternut squash chips and a side of homemade pickles ;9 yummy-time!

12) Pancakes – yep, you read that right. Pancakes, or any breakfast/brunch item for that matter, can be a really fun lunch  box break from the norm. And they don’t have to be sweet pancakes, you can make savory pancakes, like veggie cakes, chicken pancakes, or even crab-cakes. I find that these travel perfectly well in the thermos for lunchtime. This is the thermos I use and it has worked very well for us.

13) Snickerdoodles or any other nut butter Cookies – Quick. Easy. No grains. No sugar. 5 ingredients. Add in your favorite cookie ingredients. Voilà.   Recipe Here.

14) Gummies – 1 cup organic juice, 3 Tablespoons gelatin, splash of lemon or lime juice. Collect all sorts of fun silicon ice-cube molds and keep them guessing on what fun shapes will be in their lunch boxes each day. The gelatin I use is this one.

15) Spiced Macadamia Nuts or Cashews – you use YOUR favorite nuts or seeds that are on your allowable foods list, obviously, but these are ours 🙂 Toss nuts in a couple teaspoons of coconut oil, spice with pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon, bake at 275 degrees for about 25 minutes, stirring once in the middle of your bake time.

16) Sauerkraut Slaw – This sounds… odd…  I know. But, it was the perfect way for me to get my kiddos into eating the probiotic-rich sauerkraut that I was making and we liked it so much that it just stuck, especially as a topping to fish tacos or hot dogs. I simply mix together organic broccoli slaw mix from the grocery store, homemade sauerkraut, a little mayonnaise and a drizzle of honey and then salt and pepper. Add some cashews and some raisins and you have yourself a delicious slaw with the added probiotics of the sauerkraut. If you still want some sweetness, you can add some shredded apple to the mix as well.

17) Herbed Cream Cheese – Serve up with #10, Coconut Flour Crackers. Drip your homemade yogurt through a coffee filter for a thicker, cream-cheese consistency. Add your favorite organic all-purpose seasoning and some salt & pepper for an herbed cream cheese that is SO good with some smoked salmon or on a cracker under some salmon roe. Sometimes I stuff a little into some olives, too. Again, added probiotics to the lunchbox in a delicious way.

18) Build Your Own Lettuce-Wrap Tacos – Oh the beauty of letting them have a DIY lunch! Not only do they get to help me pick out the ingredients to include (usually, for us, this means olives, sauerkraut or slaw, lettuce, tomatoes, bacon pieces, shredded carrots, some of our cheese or Veg-veeta, and some honey mustard or other homemade dressing)

19) Toasted Honeyed Coconut – Stir coconut flakes (I like to use the wide raw unsweetened flakes) in a bowl with 2 tablespoons coconut oil and 1 tablespoon honey. Spread out into an even layer on a parchment lined or silpat lined baking sheet. Bake at 325 for 5-10 minutes.

20) Smoked Salmon/ Lox. (Also great with crackers from #10) For pretty much the best seafood source in the history of ever, order from here. They are pricey, but the quality is unbeatable. If you purchase elsewhere, try to find a source that is wild caught if possible, and check the package ingredients for sugar or other additives that would take you away from your grain-free path.

21) Antipasti Skewers – nitrite free salami or pepperoni, olives, pickles, artichokes – build your own antipasti masterpiece on a stick – or let your little school-goers help!

22) Cream Cheese Stuffed Olives (see #17)

23) Roe, Roe, Roe your boat! – I want to take this time to remind everyone that you (or your child) should try 15 times with introducing a new food to a child (or an adult for that matter) before giving up on that item. Salmon Roe / Salmon Caviar has too many health benefits to list in this already lengthy post, but most importantly, they are a fantastic source of brain-healthy fats ( ounce of Salmon Roe has over 1,000 mg of omega 3 fatty acids) to keep those thinkers going for the rest of the school day! This is a premier source for anything seafood, again – and quality absolutely matters. Yes. Yes I did just suggest that you pack Caviar in your kids’ lunch box.<—- I just did that. But, hey, would you rather splurge on some fancy designer shoes, or invest in some lunch box ingredients that boast such benefits as alleviating ADHD symptoms in some children and increasing academic achievement (Okay, maybe don’t answer that. Maybe just buy the Roe without thinking about how much it costs ;)) . source

24) MAYO salads – Creamy Zoodles Salad, chicken salad, egg salad, crab salad, tuna salad. Homemade mayo is above and beyond better than any store bought, BUT, if you just have no desire to make this condiment for yourself, Primal Mayo is SCD/Paleo compliant. The best prices I have found on this mayo are through THRIVE Market, but it can also be found on Amazon. If you dont already have a THRIVE account, sign up here.  It’s my new favorite!

25) LEFTOVERS!!! – always a lifesaver to go to bed with lunch for the next day already prepared!   I would say that our top 5 thermos leftover lunches are 1) Roast and veggies 2) Chili 3) Lentil or Taco Soup 4) Meatballs 5) Bacon Wrapped chicken tenders … but, obviously, you can send anything leftover! 

26) Bread & Breadsticks – This the grain-free bread that works in our house and is a very simple recipe. I like it because its easy, it only has a few ingredients, and it doesn’t have any yeast. Here’s the recipe we are using for bread at this stage of the game. .

Once the bread is made, I cut slices and freeze what I won’t use that week.  For lunch boxes, I like to cut the slices into strips so that I have little rectangles or breadsticks . Then, I have a few things that I do with them from there.
>I use them as breadsticks, sprinkling all-season salt and garlic power on top and serving with an organic marinara dip (watch those store bought brands for sugar).
>I toast them with cinnamon and ghee.
>I toast them and serve them with the “caramel” / honey-butter in #29.
>I cube them and brush them with coconut oil and bake as croutons.
Or, of course, use for traditional sandwiches, or NOT SO traditional sandwiches, like these delicious Strawberry-Cream Cheese Sammie. So,  so good!

27) Lacto-fermented Veggies – pickles, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, sweet peppers. – probiotics and salty goodness – need I say more? These are So fun and easy to make.

28) FRUIT & VEGGIE ART (those who know me HAD to guess that this was coming! Ha!)

29)  Salted “caramel” –mmmm. I think I just drooled on the keyboard a little.  If you are dairy-free Paleo, you could do a mix of honey and Super food Shortening like this one from Nutiva, or you could use coconut oil instead.

You can use this a few different ways.  You can melt down your ghee and honey mixture, , add a little salt and freeze into silicone ice cube molds. They do melt a bit once they are removed from the freezer, so for these to hold their shape, you would have to be putting them into a cold-storage method until lunchtime.

If you want to serve it more as a dip or spread (like honey butter) – send with some toasted grain-free bread or crackers.

30) Grain Free {love} MUFFINS or quick breads – a couple of grain-free muffin recipes that are versatile are this one (made into muffins instead of bread) , This grain-free pumpkin muffin recipe here. Or even these Carrot-cake bars (these are grain-free but use some bean flours)

31) Nutbutter Nuggets – take your favorite nut or seed butter and roll it with ingredients like shredded unsweetened coconut and/or dried fruit.
What I do NOT pack {unless I am desperate & out of options} in the lunch box:
I try to avoid super stinky food, I typically don’t put sliced bananas (if I do a banana it is typically a whole banana for snack time or one that I slice in half and leave the peel on), and I don’t do avocado. Avocado is fantastically nutritious, but I choose to add it to morning eggs or afternoon snacks or dinners instead.

I will continue to add to the list, I’m sure, as this year gets rolling. And I will be uploading some photos, too. I hope that this helps someone with some ideas! 🙂 Be sure to sign up for the email list so that you don’t ever miss an update.  ~Happy eating, as always!

 

VEGveeta

VegveetaWe are currently in week 4 of this summer’s GUT CAMP (Specific Carbohydrate Diet Camp). I was really trying to figure out a cheese alternative for my diary-free campers that isn’t made with loads of nuts. I have been pondering over a gelatin-type solution, but was really struggling thinking up what I could use.

As if by divine intervention, I ran across @lilsipper on Instagram and all of the super creative food ideas she was coming up with; and, as if golden beams of light were coming from my phone, I see her cheese recipe using cauliflower! And other veggies.  What!? <- and that was a good what.

 

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Are you kidding me, of COURSE I had to try this out for myself.
So I checked the list of ingredients and got into kitchen mode, replacing a couple of ingredients that we don’t use and adding in some that I thought would fit this flavor profile and end up with good results and by the end of the night, my boys were digging into a pan of fake queso dip made from vegetables and licking their fingers clean.

Here is what I came up with for my family and for our GUT CAMP that was SCD compliant, and a Low Oxalate version for my LODers.

 

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VEGveeta Recipe:
1/2 cup carrot peeled & chopped (1 carrot)*
1 1/2 cup (loosely measured) raw cauliflower chopped (1 small head or 1/2 of a large head)
1 cup zucchini, peeled and chopped (1 medium zucchini)
1/2 cup frozen or fresh butternut squash, chopped*
1 teaspoon organic Apple Cider Vinegar
1 teaspoon coconut aminos (optional)
1 teaspoon Real Salt
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3 tablespoons  Great Lakes Gelatin (red/orange, not green)  here is the one you want to get.

* For Low Oxalate, use butternut squash to replace the carrot and keep your portion size under control.

1.First, chop all of your vegetables and steam them until very soft.

2. Transfer to your Vitamin or high powered blender. Blend until very smooth.

3. Add in your apple cider vinegar, Ume Plum Vinegar, spices, and oil and blend together.

4. Add in your gelatin and blend just until smooth.

5. Transfer to a plastic wrap or parchment lined bread pan(or any dish you want to use depending on the shape you want to have). If you have a silicone pan, you won’t need to use the liner.

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6. Place in the refrigerator until completely set.

Now – this does so closely resemble Velveeta that none of us really enjoyed it on it’s own. (I plan on testing a couple more batches and playing with the flavors to see if I can change that).

But, added to a pan with some Organic Salsa, it melted into the perfect queso dip! And my boys liked it melted onto their broccoli, too. And tomorrow’s leftover chicken is going to be Arroz Con Pollo with cauliflower rice and this queso dip. How’s that for some SCD/Paleo Tex-Mex! Love it!

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Hope this puts some smiles on your faces:) It did mine!!

~Happy Eating~

Grain Free Table Crackers

 

cutest little grain free snacker crackers

Nut flours.   Ever notice how so many *healthy* grain-free/paleo recipes call for cupfuls of nut flours?  Yes, nuts can be a healthy addition to a diet (if they are not an allergy, if you are at a place in your diet journey where they can be digested well, and if you don’t need to limit oxalate or even salicylates or histamines in some cases) – but, let’s face it, if you are here looking for grain free recipes you very possibly fall into one of those aforementioned categories.

These crackers are coconut flour based, so you can keep your oxalate levels low, your salicylate levels lower than if using almond flour, and they are perfect for my little canaries at my house! 

Stay tuned, or be sure to subscribe – you won’t want to miss the recipe for this mystery dip! I betcha you will be very surprised by the secret ingredient!! ♡♡♡

 

Crackers & Mystery Cheese (eek!)

GRAIN FREE TABLE CRACKERS

3 Tablespoons Nutiva Palm & Coconut Oil Shortening (you can buy it here)**

1 egg

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 teaspoon real salt (plus more for tops)

1 teaspoon water if needed

Parchment
[ **You could substitute with straight coconut oil if you had to, but the palm shortening really works best.]

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

 

In a mixing bowl, mix together the shortening, egg, vinegar, coconut flour, and baking soda. Your batter should be a crumb that can be pressed together, like a pie dough. If it is still on the dry side, you can add a little water until it comes together nicely.

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cracker dough

Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper. Cut into desired shapes. Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges start to brown and the crackers are crisp.

Enjoy with your favorite snack cracker topping!

This is a very basic recipe, so the sky is the limit with the flavor combinations you could try as additions. Rosemary, Basil, pretty much ANY herb, jalapeños or red pepper flakes, garlic & onion powder, chili powder…. come on! Show me what you can come up with I would really enjoy a comment with your best cracker flavor from this trusty basic ^!

~Happy Eating~

 

Pecan Chicken Piccatta

Pecan Chicken Piccatta
Food should make you feel good when you eat it. Don’t you agree?  The best forkful of food is one that makes you exhale with delight, drop your shoulders in relaxation, and absolutely be unable to stop yourself from closing your eyes, humming “mmmmm” in delight,  and smiling in contentment. Okay, yes, so it might be the simple things for me…. but this version of Chicken Piccatta, which was perfect for the SCD plan that we are currently on, made me do just that!

I will admit, I am a crunch junkie ~ so going through an intro phase with lots of broths and soups and soft foods – the crunch that I got from this meal was a welcomed treat!

I am going to experiment a couple more times (what? Its for research ;))  with perfecting this recipe, but here is what I did yesterday – and the results was mighty tasty. Mighty tasty, indeed.

Ingredients:
1 package of chicken tenders (boneless breasts would work)
1 1/2-2 cups raw organic pecans (soaked and dried, or purchase “Better Than Roasted” from here)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon real salt
3 tablespoons ghee + more for cooking the zucchini pasta
1 organic lemon if you have one
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon organic capers

Optional but delicious – Zucchini for spiralizing to serve under your Pecan Chicken Piccatta.

What To Do:
First things first, you want to grind down your pre-soaked and dried Pecans. I try to make it a habit when I purchase my nuts and seeds to give them a soak overnight and then stick them in the dehydration before I store them, but when I don’t want to take that extra step, I buy these already done. You probably already know why, but in case you are scratching your head as to why this is necessary, I’ll give you a brief explanation: Soaking the nuts releases the enzyme inhibitors that protect the nuts in nature. Their protection is good for them, but often bad for us. So, soak them overnight, then place in a low temp oven or dehydrator (or even out in the sun) until they are dry again.

Now, find you pecans into a meal and add the salt. Spread this mixture out onto a flat plate. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350.

Using a large zip-top bag, or any other method you prefer, place each chicken tender in the bag (this helps me prevent splattering chicken all over my kitchen). Pound the chicken to make it thin (about 1/4-1/2 inch).

In a large skillet, heat your coconut oil over medium high heat.  Have a paper towel-lined plate ready, as well as a baking sheet.

Pat your chicken pieces into the pecan meal, getting a pretty even coating on both sides, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Drop the chicken into the heated pan. Cook on one side for 1-2 minutes, then flip and cook the other side. They will cook pretty quickly since they are thin. When each piece is nicely browned on both sides, transfer to the plate with the paper towel to let some of the oil drip off, then transfer to a baking sheet. Finish each piece of chicken, and then place the baking sheet into a 350 degree oven.

Now it’s time to create your lemon butter “sauce” and your “noodles”.  Spiralize your zucchini and set it aside.

In a large skillet, heat a little ghee or oil and run your zucchini pasta through for 2 or 3 minutes.
Pour out into a bowl for the time being.

In the same skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of ghee and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. If you have anemone, cut it into slices and place those in the pan as well. Mix together with a whisk or fork, salt & pepper to taste, and toss the capers in right at the end.

Take your chicken out of the oven and get ready to serve.

To serve this up, I dumped *most* of my lemon butter sauce over my zucchini pasta and gave it a toss, then plated the pasta. I placed two pieces of chicken on each plate. And then drizzle a little more of the sauce over top.

The lemon flavor, the salty capers, and the sweet crunch from the pecans fried in the coconut oil – you MUST TRY THIS!!!!    And let me know how you like it! 🙂

Happy Eating!
~Kendra

Butternut Squash Chips {SCD, PALEO, GFCF, GRAIN-FREE}

 

 

Butternut Squash ChipsBUTTERNUT SQUASH CHIPS :
These are a great for anyone! But, when it has been weeks since you have tasted a potato and you are really craving the crunch of a carb – These little chips of wonder hit ALL the right spots!! I swoon.

Oh, and fried in duck fat, I mean … let us take a moment to hang on that thought…

SCD-compliant. Butternut Squash. Duck Fat. Party. My mouth.

 

Oh, life is good.

 

Sauerkraut & Kielbasa

Oktober Feast

This is by far one of my favorite meals that my mother passed down to me.  I honestly have no idea where this recipe originated from, But it is a favorite and it has transitioned wonderfully into my gluten-free, whole-food kitchen! I made a few changes to the original recipe, like making sure that our kielbasa is nitrite free and humanely raised without any hormones or additives and buying naturally fermented sauerkraut of making my own from scratch. I also add apple to mine, which my mom never did. But, for the most part,  it is the same meal & this remains a staple during the fall and winter at our house.

1 large jar naturally fermented sauerkraut (recipe below)
About 2 cups cubed organic potatoes (* FOR SCD use celery root/celeriac instead of potato)
1 large organic apple, cubed
1 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil 1 organic onion (small to medium)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Real Salt
1 package (4 links) Applegate Farms Pork Kielbasa* (or your favorite nitrite free kielbasa)*
1-2 cups filtered water

*For SCD, look for a kielbasa that is free of nitrites and has no sugar. You can find some here.

Heat oil in a large dutch-oven over medium heat.  Add in your onion and garlic and cook until soft.  Add in the sauerkraut, potatoes, and apple pieces. Season with about a teaspoon of real salt and add in about 1 cup of water, stirring to combine all of the ingredients.
Cover and continue cooking over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Lower heat to medium-low, adding more of the water of you need to. Recover  and continue cooking for 30-45 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. Check on it about every 10 minutes to be sure more water isn’t needed.

This has always been one of my favorite fall one-pot dishes. Growing up, my mom always served this dish with steamed rye bread. Since Rye is not a gluten-free grain, try pairing this gluten-free meal with some Udi’s Millet & Chia bread.

Tip:  If you don’t eat pork, try the Applegate Farms Chicken & Apple Sausage instead.

Home-Made Naturally Fermented Sauerkraut

2 ½ pounds of cabbage; green, purple, or a combination of the two.
1 tablespoon Real Salt
1 quart-sized glass canning jar

Finely shred cabbage. Start by placing a couple of handfuls of the cabbage into your jar and sprinkle just a little of the Real Salt in. Using the back of a wooden spoon, pound your cabbage to release some of the juices. Continue with a couple of handfuls of cabbage and a sprinkle of salt, tamping each layer down and repeating over and over until your jar is filled.
Place the lid on loosely and let your jar rest for 30 minutes to an hour, allowing the juices to
come out of the cabbage and form a brine ( If you still need extra brine, mix ½ teaspoon of Real Salt to ½ Cup of filtered water. )
Open your lid and press down on the cabbage to see how much brine the cabbage made. There should be enough liquid to completely cover the cabbage, and you will want the cabbage to stay moist as it soaks up the liquid during the fermentation process.
Tightly screw on your lid. You will let the jar sit at room temperature for 3 weeks*. After 3 weeks, check your jar by opening the lid and checking to see if there are little bubbles on top. Re-lid and then place in the refrigerator to continue fermenting to your taste. You can eat it at this point, or let it sit for longer to let the flavor come out even more.
*Tips:  -You may have to gas (open the lid of) the jar occasionally as it ferments. If you press the top of the lid and it doesn’t give at all, simply open and reapply the lid.  -Do not use unfiltered tap water. Be sure it is filtered.