GAPS Meatloaf – Grain-free

GAPS Meatloaf

I tested this meal on a Standard American Diet friend, and he said it was really good. Of course he’s a young man, and they’ll eat just about anything. He could have just been saving my feelings. Try it for yourself and see. I think it would go nicely with Nourishing Traditions Fermented Ketchup. I haven’t made it yet myself.

I used 3 loaf pans, because I was in a hurry, and also to keep the loaves short and keep them together. If you make one big loaf the cooking time will vary. This recipe does not include garlic, but you could add garlic powder or fresh garlic with the spinach for your tastes. Printable recipe card at the bottom.

Meatloaf

2 lbs. grass-fed ground beef
1 can organic tomato paste
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp ground cumin
3 pastured eggs
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 zucchini, finely chopped
4 cups organic baby spinach, chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare loaf pans with ghee or parchment paper.
  2. In a large pan cook onion, celery, carrot, salt and pepper until softened.
  3. Add zucchini and spinach until wilted. 1-3 minutes. Turn off heat.
  4. In a large mixing bowl add remaining ingredients. Add vegetables. Mix gently until well combined.
  5. Divide into loaf pans and bake in oven about 30 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven and cool in pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes before removing from pan.

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Chicken Piccata – Grain-free, Gluten-free, GAPS-friendly

I’ve added a new feature… printable recipes at the bottom of my food posts. Click on the picture and it should open in a new window to print or save to your desktop. 
Chicken Piccata - Grain-free, Gluten-free, GAPS-friendly

Chicken Piccata

2 chicken breasts, pounded thin (organic, free-range of course)
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
Almond flour for dredging
2 tablespoons unsalted, pastured butter
Ghee for sautéing
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Season chicken with and pepper. Dredge in flour.
  2. In large skillet over med-high heat melt 2 tbsp ghee When hot, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook each side for 3 minutes. Remove to plate.
  3. Add more ghee repeat with 2 more chicken pieces.
  4. Into the pan, add lemon juice, stock & capers. Bring to a boil, scraping up brown bits from pan.
  5. Check for seasoning.
  6. Return all chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 min.
  7. Remove chicken to platter.
  8. Add 2 tbsp butter to sauce and whisk vigorously.
  9. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

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Chicken Sausage Stir-Fry

Mike calls this a concoction. I say it’s delicious and you can concoct any number of combinations (usually whatever is in the veggie drawer), but my last “concoction” was so good that it should be a recipe. This is also pretty easy when I use frozen organic veggies. Perfect for a weeknight dinner.

photo-3Chicken Sausage Stir-Fry

4 Sweet Italian Chicken sausages (Sprouts have these in the case, they are nitrate-free, sugar and msg free, and made with decent free range chicken- not organic. If you are using packaged sausage you may need more)
1 medium yellow/brown onion – diced
2 bell peppers, yellow & red – diced
8-10 cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 package frozen california blend veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)
1 package organic mushrooms – sliced
1 tbsp ghee/coconut oil
Salt and pepper

(Feel free to mix and match veggies. I’ve used zucchini and peas before. I don’t recommend using butternut squash. I think you could also switch the meat, but I love the flavor the fennel and italian seasoning adds.)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Remove the casing from the sausage. (This is where fresh sausage comes in handy as it’s easier to squish it out)
  2. Saute onion in a large skillet in fat of your choice until translucent.
  3. Add meat and brown until fully cooked. There will be some liquid in the pan. Do not drain.
  4. While meat is browning, cook frozen vegetables separately following package directions.
  5. When meat is fully cooked, add remaining fresh vegetables. (If you are using a delicate veggie like tomatoes or zucchini add it last. If you are using fresh carrots or broccoli steam them first).
  6. Drain frozen vegetables when finished and add to mixture.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste.
  8. **Optional** Top with fried egg. (This adds to the overall deliciousness and gives you a extra boost of nutrients if you leave your yolk runny).

Beef. It’s what’s for dinner. Or Fish. Or Chicken.

I get asked a lot for recipes for simple things like steak, chicken or fish. Most weeknights I shoot for a 30-45 minute dinner prep. There is a standard formula for dinner. Protein + 2 veggies + optional salad. I don’t reinvent the wheel here people it’s all pretty basic. What you’ll need is a couple different seasoning blends, butter/ghee/coconut oil or a steamer. When we first started the food plan we had to clean out our pantry of everything that was off limits. This not only included processed foods and grains, but we had to clean out our spice cupboard as well. Many of the rejected items had sugar or msg in them. No thanks! We kept everything that was safe, and we’ve switched or replenished with organic options.

We get the, “So what do you eat?!” question a lot. When we say we eat a lot of salmon we get varied reactions, but almost always someone will say how salmon is too fishy. I LOVE the salmon I cook, but I rarely order it when we are out because it’s either bland or too fishy. Here is the secret: 
Blackened Redfish Magic it is all natural, no preservatives, msg and gluten-free, plus it’s Kosher. This seasoning makes just about everything taste amazing.

Blackened Salmon

Salmon filets cut into individual portions. Leave skin on
Blackened Redfish Magic
Butter/Ghee to cook with

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 430°F
  2. Sprinkle Blackened Redfish Magic onto one side of the fish. Both sides if it is skinless. (This blend can be quite spicy, so you may want to start off with a little and work your way up)
  3. Heat a cast iron or oven-safe skillet over medium to med-high heat.
  4. Add 1-2 tablespoons of butter or ghee to pan
  5. When fat has melted and before it starts to smoke add fish skin side up to pan. (Make sure you have your hood fan on and open a window if you have used a lot of seasoning. It will cause some smoke.)
  6. Cook for 2-3 minutes on this side. Flip over and cook another 2-3 minutes.
  7. Put the whole skillet into the oven until your preferred level of doneness.
  8. If you do not like to eat the skin it will stick a little to the bottom of your skillet making it super easy to insert the spatula right above it and gently lift the fish off.

You can substitute steak or chicken for the fish for the same results. I would definitely use ghee for those options though as it will cause less smoking, and therefore less fire alarms. Usually though I use The Meat House‘s New England Garlic Pepper for steaks, and Kirkland’s Organic No-Salt Seasoning (from Costco) for chicken. This is a great blend for Roasted Chicken. Stuff it with a lemon and a head of garlic, and sprinkle this inside and out. Yum! The Meat House is located in Brea next to Mother’s Market.

These are all seasonings I have found and experimented with on my own. I am not getting paid to talk about them here. The links above will take you to the respective online stores where you can purchase them if you would like.

I then cook 2 different kinds of veggies, steamed broccoli or cauliflower, carrots, butternut squash, green beans, roasted radishes or Brussels sprouts, sautéed asparagus or mushrooms. All quick and easy! Cullen and I like to have salad with dinner, but I’m having a hard time finding a good dressing. Most blends have sugar, and honey has such a distinctive flavor that I worry it will not go well with Italian seasonings. My father-in-law makes a bomb Stinky Salad dressing with olive oil, garlic, vinegar and italian seasoning, but I have failed making it every time I try it. I guess I’ll just have to have him make a gallon of it when he comes to visit.

Grain-free Chicken Fried Steak

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Chicken Fried Steak

2-4 cube steaks, grass- fed. If you want a better cut of beef you can ask your butcher to tenderize any cut you prefer.

1/2 – 1 cup of Honeyville Almond Flour, this is the finest ground almond flour I have found and it makes a big difference.

Sea salt & black pepper

2-6 eggs, organic and free range

1-2 tablespoons bacon fat

DIRECTIONS:

1. I like to use pie tins but any two shallow baking dish will work. In one beat two eggs at a time and season with salt and pepper. In the other cover the bottom with almond flour and mix in salt and pepper to taste.

2. Dip each steak into egg wash and then into almond flour. Repeat egg wash and almond flour for thicker coating.

3. In a large skillet heat bacon fat to melt. Place steaks into pan and cook 5-6 minutes on each side or until cooked through.

I save my bacon fat drippings in a mason jar in the fridge, but if you would rather use another type of fat I recommend ghee, butter or coconut oil, although butter will burn easily and the other two may change the flavor.

Lemon Squares – Grain-free & dairy-free

I have been experimenting with baked goods, and outside of the actual GAPS cookbook there are not a lot of recipes that are “legal” for our food plan. I’ve tried muffins and they are a little on the dry side, and don’t feel like a treat, although they are great snacks. I won’t even go in to the whole bread debacle (I have given up bread, it’s not gonna happen). Lemon squares were one of my favorite things growing up, and I hoped that without the need for baking soda I could tweak my recipe to be legal. After several attempts.. Mission accomplished.

Lemon Squares

CRUST
2 cups blanched almond flour*
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoon ghee OR virgin, cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil (melted)**
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (gluten-free, organic)
1 pastured egg

TOPPING
1/4 cup virgin, cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil (or pastured butter if tolerated)
1/4 cup raw honey
3 large eggs
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (I like to use Meyer lemons) Usually about 3-4 lemons.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease a 9×13″ baking dish with ghee or coconut oil.
  3. To make the crust, combine almond flour and salt in a Food processor and pulse briefly. Add ghee, egg and vanilla extract and pulse until mixture forms a ball. Press the dough into prepared baking dish. The crust will be only on the bottom, it will not extend up the sides.
  4. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until lightly golden.
  5. While crust bakes, make the topping. In a blender combine the coconut oil (or butter), honey, eggs and lemon juice. Blend on high until smooth. Remove crust from oven and pour topping over hot crust.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the topping is golden.
  7. Cool in baking dish for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for 2 hours to set.
  8. Cut into bars and serve.

OPTIONAL
I have added a raspberry puree to these for a slightly more tart version and it was delicious. It’s a great option when raspberries are in season.

RASPBERRY PUREE

1 package of raspberries
2 tablespoons raw honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Puree raspberries in a blender until smooth.
  2. Pour through a medium-fine strainer to remove the seeds.
  3. Discard the seeds and place the raspberries into a saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Add honey and vanilla extract. Stir and raise heat to medium-high to bring mixture to a rolling boil stirring frequently for 3-5 minutes. Be careful not to burn the honey.
  5. Remove pan from heat and place in refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  6. After you have poured the lemon topping into hot crust, pour raspberry puree into the lemon mixture. It should keep mostly separate so drizzle all over. Continue steps above for baking.

*Honeyville has the best almond flour. Bob’s Red Mill is too coarse and leaves a grainy texture in baked goods. Honeyville is less expensive too, so order it online and store it in your fridge.
**Coconut Oil is solid at room temperature most of the time. My grandma brought back a jar from Arizona and it had completely melted. It has not solidified again, and I am using it for baking as it is so easy to pour into measuring cups and incorporate. It is the Spectrum brand, so I am not sure if it is always liquid or if this was just a fluke.

Summer Sangria

 

I’m not a big fan of red wine (even though I know it’s the better option), it tastes bitter and sour to me. But I love the idea of sangria and wine soaked fruit! So I’ve altered a sangria recipe to fit my tastes and without the the lemon lime soda the original recipe called for.

Summer Sangria

2 organic lemons, thinly sliced
1 organic apple, cored and sliced
1 cup organic strawberries, hulled and sliced lengthwise
1 750 ml organic white wine (I used a pinot grigio, but chardonnay would work if you like it)
1/2 cup white rum (bacardi style, not captain)
3 cups sparkling mineral water

Add fruit to a large pitcher. Add wine and rum. Cover and refrigerate for 4-5 hours. When ready to serve add sparkling water, pour into glasses and serve. Remember to add some fruit to each glass.