We’re in full fall swing, let the #roastallthings commence! Starting with root vegetables to be exact, I love roasting vegetables to bring out their natural sweetness and make a warm savory side dish to pair with any meal. Radishes are a long time favorite of mine and with so many varieties, there are endless possibilities when it comes to preparing them.
I especially love roasted radishes as they make a great alternative to potatoes while still maintaining lower starch, and lower carb, without lacking flavor or satisfaction.
I’ve been loving spending days walking around my neighborhood, seeing all the fall foliage then coming home and roasting vegetables. It makes the my little apartment warm, cozy and smell amazing.
These radishes not only have the most vibrant color, but their flavor becomes a nutty rich taste that is complimented perfectly with a good dose of Tin Star foods brown butter ghee and fresh thyme.
One of the best things I learned from living and cooking in Italy is that simplicity is best. Not overbearing ingredients by adding too much to a single food, but rather let it stand alone and compliment it. That’s what I love most about these roasted radishes, they are simply delicious.
Let’s face it, Brussels sprouts are basically baby cabbage and ‘baby’ anything is cute, right? So naturally, you’d think more people would be all heart-eyes over Brussels sprouts, and I can tell you I am, though I haven’t always been.
I love cabbage, and always have. In fact my Grandpa and I have jokingly fought over my Grandma’s cabbage. But Brussels sprouts, not so much. I feel like they’re the younger sibling, totally left out of the fun and somehow they’ve gotten the bad rap of being “that vegetable” that no kid wants to go near. Nearly everyone has a story associated with why they don’t like them, and refuse to try them ever again.
I too have a horror story. Get ready to laugh your ass off.
It’s spring!! I can’t say how amazing it is to feel the lightness in the air. There’s a honeysuckle bush right outside my house and every time I step out I get a rush of it’s fragrance and I am enveloped by it’s sweet smell. It’s wonderful to hear the birds out, to feel the warm light on my skin as the sun is out. It’s just a beautiful time with the Earth coming alive again. I feel a strongly that it’s time for our bodies to come alive again as well, using the foods of the season.
When I think about all that the Autoimmune Protocol has done for me I think about nutrient density. Because of this diet I now have learned so much about myself, my body and got rid of my misunderstanding about how food works in the body, and how to form a healthy relationship with food. This book encompasses all of that. The recipes focus on nutrients first but bring back the flavors that are well missed while following the Autoimmune Protocol. Nourish brings back the flavor and inspiration to AIP cooking. Rachael from the popular blog Meatified has created a book full of recipes to help aid in the process of healing your body.
So many of Rachael’s recipes in Nourishmake my southern heart go patter-patter, like collard greens with parsnip cream, baby back ribs and BBQ sauce along with roasted okra. In fact my jaw dropped when I first tasted the BBQ sauce, she manages to create an actual spicy flavor using AIP approved ingredients and it will blow your mind!
Another reason I loveNourish is the recipes are all fairly simple, uncomplicated and take little time in the kitchen. One of my favorite recipes so far has been this Spring Soup with crispy prosciutto which took me all of 20 minutes to fix. It’s so light but it left me feeling completely satisfied after.
I thoroughly enjoyed her Parsnip cream, BBQ sauce and Apple Dressing recipes you’ll be lathering these sauces of everything you put in your mouth! They are insanely simple to make and it may be the reason why I love them so much because when you’re already spending a lot of time prepping food in the kitchen it’s nice to have certain items that just take a few minutes.
It’s because of her recipes that I actually tried shrimp cakes. I have a weird aversion to (fish) cake anything, but she made these look so good in the book I felt I had to try them. And and I LOVED them, seriously I could make and eat these everyday. The recipes in this book focus on aiding in restoring the body to health through nutrient density. She makes beef tongue and offal look GOOD, no joke, you’ll be drooling looking at some of the recipes in her book and suddenly craving liver pate.
This book is for all people truly not just those following AIP as most of the recipes I doubt you’d even consider saying they’re restrictive. Moreover, Nourish is for both people that have been on the protocol for a long time, or those just starting. I love it because it focuses so much on the nutrient quality of food and that being the forefront of every recipe is what is going to help people succeed in their journey to health. If you’re having a hard time focusing on that area of the autoimmune protocol, you need this book.
A perfect example of not missing much on the protocol is finding inventive ways to recreate flavors and textures of foods that might be missed, like grains. In this warm chicken “grain” salad that I share with you from her book this salad transforms into the texture of grains and into a warming meal that leaves you satisfied for hours because of it’s jam packed nutrient density.
Here’s to your health and getting in those important nutrients!! Check out my Instagram for a chance to win a copy of her awesome book!
WARM CHICKEN “GRAIN” SALAD – with butternut squash and greens
Ingredients – Serves 4
4 cups (560 g) butternut squash
2 tsp + 1 tbsp (10 ml + 15 ml) coconut or avocado oil, divided
1 tsp (5 g) salt, divided
1 lb (454 g) ground chicken
1 tsp (4 g) garlic powder
1 tsp (2 g) ground sage
1 tsp (1 g) dried rosemary leaves
½ cup (70 g) diced onion
8 oz (225 g) Swiss chard
4 oz (115 g) spinach
Squeeze of lemon juice
ROAST: Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Cut the butternut squash into ½ inch (13 mm) cubes and toss with 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of the oil and ½ teaspoon of salt. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spread the squash out in a single layer. Roast the squash until it is tender and beginning to brown and caramelize at the edges, about 15 – 20 minutes. Reserve the cooked squash for later.
COOK: Add the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of oil to a skillet over low-medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the ground chicken, breaking it into a few large pieces with your hands before dropping it into the pan. Don’t break up the chicken in the pan any further or it will overcook and become very dry. Sprinkle the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt, garlic powder, sage and rosemary over the chicken and cover the pan with a lid. Cook the chicken, covered, until it is cooked through and there is no pink inside, about 5 – 6 minutes, turning the chicken over halfway through. Do not overcook the chicken – it should release juices into the pan and still be tender when cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked chicken to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the diced onion to the pan and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.
ASSEMBLE: Crumble the cooked chicken into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 3 – 5 times, until the chicken is broken up into little “grains”. Do not overprocess, or you will end up with a sticky paste! Finely slice the chard and spinach. Toss together the “grains”, roasted squash, chard and spinach back in the pan with the onion and all the pan juices. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the salad, to taste, and toss together to combine. The salad can be eaten straightaway, but also refrigerates nicely so you could make it ahead of time and serve it as a cold “grain” salad, too. When it’s warmer, I like to swap the butternut squash for roasted asparagus, beets or summer squash and lighter greens, but the possibilities are almost endless!
There are tons of cookbooks out there. Until recently however, there haven’t been many dedicated solely to following the Autoimmune Protocol. When I first started my journey on AIP, Mickey Trescott’s cookbook helped guide me in the right direction, it was instrumental in me starting my journey which is why I am so excited so share some incredible books with you dedicated to the Autoimmune Protocol.
I know that books like Alternative Autoimmune by Angie Alt are helping so many people. First off I have to tell you that this book, while filled with tons of recipes, it’s far from just an ordinary cookbook. It’s a motivator, incredibly inspiring and in it’s on way a cheerleader. It’s as if Angie herself is coaching you through your own AIP journey while sharing her own intimate personal stories. It’s a peek inside her heart and her kitchen, and you can’t ask for more from a book!
I’ve made several of her recipes like Pork & Sprouts Breakfast Skillet, Bacon & Artichoke Stuffed Pork Chops, Lime & Coconut Ceviche and Turmeric Pumpkin Soup with Shrimp all seen below! I’ve also made her Turmeric Cauliflower, Zucchini Cilantro Burgers and so much more. All super yummy, inventive and left me wanting for nothing!
When first starting the protocol it can be daunting to figure out how to piece together ingredients and make a meal out of foods that may be new to you. The recipes in this book are completely different than any I’ve had before and some I would have never thought to try, like these yummy Avocado-Lime Hand Pies I share with you today!
This book is an essential resource for those of you who just started following the protocol but also for those who have been on the protocol for a while and are now reintroducing foods. Maybe you’re thinking about reintroducing coffee or mustard but are at a loss for how to use these two ingredients. In her book she has recipes for Coffee and Balsamic Roast Beef, and Mustard Chicken Wings and a Lemon Bar Ice Cream I am dying to try after some of my own personal reintroductions. She provides you with the steps to reintroduce food groups and the recipes to do it with! This book is about healing not just your insides literally, but also your insides emotionally!
You have to understand where you’ve come from in order to get where you want to be, and I believe Alternative Autoimmune and Angie’s personal stories will help do that.
(Image from Alternative Autoimmune)
Angie talks about self-esteem with the “butt manifesto” which I LOVE. The way we view ourselves and how it correlates with our eating habits and disease is such a real thing. The relationship between ourselves and illness is a delicate one, but we have to move through some grieving as we venture into a new lifestyle and this is an important step. She covers this all in the most graceful and vulnerable way. Honestly, if the food itself doesn’t convince you that you need this book, the insight from her years of healing herself will inspire you and leave you feeling confident that you can accomplish the same.
This journey isn’t always just about the food, and it’s in fact about so much more. I love that Alternative Autoimmune covers all facets of the health journey in her book and brings perspective for those who are wading in the waters of resistance and struggle. Alternative Autoimmune is truly a guide to get you through it.
AND NOW – the most delicious and unusual treat a sneak peak from Alternative Autoimmune which I am in LOVE with!
If you want to WIN a copy of her ebook head over to my Instagram page to enter!
AVOCADO LIME HAND PIES
(Image from Alternative Autoimmune)
1 ripe avocado
1½ tablespoons lime juice
¼ cup honey
¾ cup tapioca flour
¾ cup coconut flour
¾ cup palm shortening
⅛ cup turbinado sugar (also called
1 ripe banana
¼ teaspoon salt
Put all ingredients in a food processor and process
until smooth. Set aside.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put all ingredients
in a food processor and process until dough forms.
Dust rolling pin with tapioca flour. Roll out dough on
parchment paper to ⅛ inch thickness. Using a large
round cookie cutter, cut out as many rounds as possible.
Set aside. Reshape dough and cut again, repeating
until all dough is used.
2. In center of 1 round, place 1 generous spoonful
of filling. Place second round on top of first. Press
around edges to close crust and then flute with a fork.
Poke top of round with a fork. Repeat until all rounds
are filled. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet
and bake 25–30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
Notes: Depending on humidity, dough may be too dry. If
so, add 1 tablespoon full fat coconut milk (more if
necessary, 1 tablespoon at a time). Dough should be
soft and pliable.
There’s a methodical process to baking that I’ve never understood. Cooking has mostly been my outlet of choice throwing a little bit of this, a little bit of that together and watching the flavors meld and transform. However, sometimes you just want a dang BAKED good! And for those times, I attempt at baking.
I was so excited when Lauren from Empowered Sustenance asked me to create a recipe for a guest post on her site. I knew, having followed her for quite some time that there are so many people like myself who rarely eat baked goods that actually taste like the real deal who would be dying to have a recipe like these Salted Caramel Blondies.
Without being overly sweet, these Blondies have the perfect dense texture of brownies and luxurious saltiness from the fresh Maldon sea salt flakes. The best way to eat these are after they cool, and saving some (if you can resist!) in individual portions in the freezer to be reheated later is HIGHLY recommended.
But don’t take my word for it. TRY them for yourself I guarantee you’ll be doing the victory dance in your kitchen!
My sister who’s three years older than me, four years by grade, my other half, my role model, and my go-to-guru for all things in life is getting married in 7 weeks. I can’t believe how quickly time has moved and now upon us are all the fun events and special memories leading up to her and her fiance’s big day.
As my older sister, she has always guided me through life by showing me both what to do, and how to do it, and in other parts what not to do and why. It’s hard to explain the bond between sisters if you’ve never experienced it. It’s basically as if you’ve been given a life partner who understands you in the most complex ways that no one ever will because at some point they’ve seen you at your worst, in moments exposed and raw but they continue to see you always as your best self. I believe that’s why they call the love unconditional. My sister and I, having always been close have only grown over the years to appreciate each other even more than we did as kids (now that we’ve officially gotten over whether we can share clothes or not!). She’s the one person I’ve always been able to confide in while simultaneously supporting me in every single choice I’ve made, both good and bad she’s there for me.
Now, as the Maid of Honor during a time in her life where she needs me most fills me with so much happiness. For one, I get to watch my sister blossom and move forward into a part of her life that brings nothing but joy to her and so many people around us. I also get to design all of her wedding materials invites, place cards, and small details which is an awesome creative outlet for me. Secretly, I am even more excited to watch as all her dreams unfold. It’s a pretty radical thing to watch someone get what they’ve always dreamed of having and I gladly watch it play out this way for her.
Do many of you watch the show Downton Abbey? Well, it happens to be my sister’s most favorite show. So when it came to deciding how to theme her bridal shower, high tea only seemed fitting. The way I was able to make the theme shine the most was through the serving pieces I chose and in fact I used no other decorations than serving pieces, lace and flowers. Keeping it super simple was the key to having this be a success. Between thrifting (a favorite activity of mine) and enlisting the help of my Grandma to gather pieces from both of my great Grandmother’s and great great Grandmother I was able to cultivate the mood. The small details of an event truly are what make it special. Well, that and the food ;)
Planning events when you feel restricted by the type of food you normally eat on a daily basis compared to all that you should have to feed people can be difficult. The best solution to this in my opinion is to have a mix. Not everyone will like certain things, and in fact it can also be heard to please everyone. A few pieces of advice are to always have a clean protein and vegetable so you know there is something there for you to eat, these specifically would be your AIP friendly foods. Granted these things are not always about YOU or me in this case as it was most certainly about my sister. However, my sister is a huge supporter of my lifestyle having gone Paleo herself about three years ago. She’s the first person to be understanding of my preferences so keeping her in mind was a huge factor in planning the menu. For starters, she loves oranges – so much so that the theme of their wedding is evergreen and orange blossoms. I know, I know it will be a pretty magical scene! So with that in mind, I knew I wanted to have different orange based dishes!
My sister very rarely eats red meat so I made my Orange Tarragon Lamb Meatballs with turkey instead and added an orange honey sauce to go with them. There were hardly any of these left at the end!
To keep it simple I also created a “dried fruit bar” of figs, apricots and cranberries. These are some of my favorite, but they also paired perfectly with the Downton theme.
For a simple salad I kept it Paleo by using fresh spinach and red leaf lettuce, plums, red onion and walnuts (omit nuts for full compliant AIP). For the dressing I simply blended three fresh plums, apple cider vinegar, salt and garlic together until creamy. This was by far the easiest thing to make and so many people commented on how delicious the dressing was, seriously WAY better than anything you could get at the store.
Thankfully, I did NOT make all this food alone, nor take on the endeavor of executing this shindig without the help of some of my sister’s closest friends. Some of our other menu items were Paleo Gingerbread Scones, Paleo Deviled Eggs and Bacon Wrapped Dates. I could live on this menu – it’s that good. We felt since not everyone removes gluten from their life that we wanted to have some other food options as well, so we had Cranberry Orange Scones and Pimento Cheese sandwiches. FUNNY thing is, hardly anyone ate these! I would say I am surprised by this, ONLY because having personal knowledge of the amazing lady who made these baked goods I full well know even without having tried them that they were supremely delicious! On the other hand I am not surprised, it goes to show you that when given the option people really would rather choose the healthiest thing for them in order to feel their best! Plus, the rest of our spread was nothing to shake a stick at!
Between meatballs, bacon dates, scones, tea, coffee, and three types of mimosas we were able to create the mood we wanted. With little details like lace and name cards to choose your “title” for the day (Lady, Duchess, Countess or Princess) the event was beautiful and my sister was radiant. The people that gathered around her all showed their love and support in the most beautiful of ways and I am so grateful to all of them for making her day truly special.
Being a firm believer in all things CAKE, especially for special events I had intentions on baking a cake for the bridal shower, but I haven’t made a cake in AGES. For starters, as I’ve mentioned in earlier posts I am the world’s WORST baker, like ever. But I try and if there’s one thing I think you have to be as a bad baker, it’s determined enough to keep trying to bake!
This is why I adore the rustic look. I love the way it looks unimposing and as if it was just thrown together, which in my case it partially was!
I used the lovely Kate of Healing Family Eats recipe for her AIP Cake only I made five thinner layers in larger pans and doubled the frosting and I used Brittany Angell’s recipe for candied oranges from her new book for the elegant topping. What I loved most about this cake was the intense honey flavor, which is credited to the great quality local honey I used. So if you make it, make sure your honey is something you love. When I first made the layers they were beautiful! After storing them separately and having transport them though and letting them come up to room temperature they were delicate to handle since they were significantly thinner than her actual recipe.
The great thing though, is it didn’t need to be perfect. It looked just as it was supposed to, and even better, EVERYONE loved it. I’m not over exaggerating when I say not only did everyone have a piece, but so many people shared how amazing it tasted, so similar to actual cake they would never have known how it was made unless I told them! Best of all, my sister loved it and several people who, like us, have not had any form of cake in a long long time were delighted by the chance to share a slice to celebrate my sister.
In the end that’s what it’s really about. This is why food matters so much in cultures because it’s a symbol of sharing the labor of our work with people we love in order to celebrate being together. It makes my heart warm to know my sister was able to spend time with the people she loves and we all were able to share in the joy of her special time with food for everyone, and a little cake too ;)
When I first decided to make this I wanted flavors reminiscent of tomato soup. I know you may be thinking, what?? Carrots don’t exactly seem like they would work well for that type of experiment, but trust me they do.
Growing up I was not fond of chicken noodle soup, despised “cream of” anything and generally the only canned item of any kind that I liked were asparagus and I’m pretty sure that’s because they were super salty (I love that). However, tomato soup was different. My step-dad would make it for me any time I was sick and it was always what he made when he wasn’t feeling well. Good ol’ Campbells with an extra gulg of milk for good creamy measure. This soup is NOT that soup, by any means. It does not taste like Campbell’s tomato soup but it gives me the same comfort and sweetness that I loved so much from that sickly ritual.
Roasting the carrots is the one step vital giving the soup it’s unique flavor. When roasting carrots, or any other vegetable they begin to caramelize as their natural sugars are drawn out of them during the baking process. For carrots in particular this lends to a rich sweetness with a nutty flavor. I am guilty of eating the roasted carrots straight from the oven. They’re so warm and smell like cake and beg to be eaten, so I indulge
While making this I also wanted the silky consistency and the luxurious silky feeling of adding cream to tomato soup which is where the horseradish cream came in to play. It is for certain heartwarming from the spice of the horseradish but it’s not over powering. I had no idea that I’d actually get a heart shape when I ladled the cream into the soup, love a good bonus!
After smelling this cook for so long I couldn’t wait do dig in. Since the carrots are semi-starchy in texture the soup is relatively thick compared to a broth based soup, making even a small amount filling which I love. I garnish with extra fennel fronds to add some color and extra depth of fennel flavor. The fennel plant is so versatile since you can use the main bulb, the stalks and the fronds. It may be my new favorite vegetable to add for seasoning.
What I’ve found I love most about this soup, is the combination of the sweet carrots with the warming oregano spice and the subtlety of the fresh fennel. It is perfect to cozy up to on any day, but I’ve especially enjoyed it during these rainier months. I hope you get a chance to cuddle a bowl yourself!
ROASTED CARROT SOUP & HORSERADISH CREAM
8- 10 large whole carrots peeled
1 tablespoon coconut oil
½ tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion
1 small fennel bulb
3 cloves garlic smashed
1 inch piece fresh turmeric peeled (alternatively 1 tablespoon dried)
½ tablespoon dried oregano (if you don’t love oregano use only 1 teaspoon)
4 cups bone broth
1 cup water
1 ½ cups coconut milk
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½ tsp horseradish powder or 1/2 tablespoon fresh horseradish
1 tsp salt
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut carrots in half and then in 3 inch long pieces, coat with ½ tablespoon olive oil, lay on baking sheet and put in oven. Flip at 20 minutes and allow to cook another 20 minutes, until tender.
2. Chop onion and fennel bulb finely. Heat ½ tbsp coconut oil in sauce pot on medium heat on the stove. Add the chopped onion and fennel to sauce pot and allow them to cook for 10 minutes.
3. Smash fresh garlic using the side of your knife and blunt pressure from your hand. Add the garlic to the pot and cook on low until the carrots are done.
4. Once the carrots come out of the oven add them and the 1 inch piece fresh turmeric to the pot bringing the heat up to medium. Then add dried oregano and stir to coat the vegetables. Now you can add in the broth, a ½ cup coconut milk, water, apple cider vinegar and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir to combine and allow to simmer on low for 20 more minutes.
5. While it simmers prepare the coconut cream by scooping out the fat from the coconut milk and combine the rest of the salt and horseradish, stir and taste (make sure it is to your salt and spice liking!)
6. Once the soup simmer time is up, transfer everything in the pot to a high speed blender. Blend until smooth. Then serve with a dollop or swirl of the coconut cream!