Creamy Kale Salad with Mango & Figs

creamy kale salad

 

 

 

Whoo! It’s been a little bit since I posted a new veggie-heavy recipe! I love inspiration for new salads and side dishes, but it seems like most of my readers prefer main dishes and treats, so I tend to post those more often. But we cannot underestimate the value of a tasty kale salad that you actually look forward to eating!

 

I eat salad every single day but not because I am in love with the taste – I just know how much better I feel when I get a large amount of greens in my day.

 

This kale salad couldn’t be easier to whip up and is really delightful. The tangy avocado creamy dressing softens the kale while the mango and figs add sweetness and texture & the shallots add a little pop of flavor! Trust me – shallots and mango below together. You’ll see.

 

Yesterday we got home from a mini trip to my parents who live 3 hours away. It was just me, Grace & Rafael and our first time on the road together! On the way there, Grace screamed her head off for a solid hour until I finally was able to pull over and check on her. She had thrown her pacifier overboard and her face was bright red. I could see the blood vessels bursting out of her forehead & then I started to cry.

 

I felt so bad for not pulling over sooner, but I thought she would tucker herself out and take a nap (she despises the car seat even for short trips to the store so this is her normal). Once I soothed her and gave her Lamby back – she slept for a good portion of the remaining drive.

 

But then I realized I forgot her Pack n’ Play at home (where she was going to sleep at my parents) and her pajamas! So I had to stop at Target and buy another dang Pack n’ Play for the child. Traveling with a child ain’t easy…. I don’t know how people go to Europe & Asia with their kids. I envy their patience.

 

We also made a pit stop at an outdoor shopping mall so that I could do some retail therapy after the stressful drive. I find the best clothes when I’m stressed (I also ate a bar of Alter Eco Salted Dark Chocolate on the drive that was supposed to be part of my mom’s Mother’s Day gift…. well guess what, THIS mom needed it more. Gramma understood.) The chocolate and a new romper, dress and clutch did the trick!

 

I’m starting to overhaul my wardrobe. I used to dress really well and then when I went through a Hashimoto’s flare and gained a shit ton of weight, I couldn’t fit into any of my clothes anymore so I just bought a bunch of stretchy loose things that aren’t that flattering.

 

Then I went straight into pregnancy and post-partum from that flare, so it’s time to get back to enjoying clothing. I’m a pretty low key dresser – a combination of moderate boho with a lot of athleisure thrown in but I like a good, figure-flattering dress more than anything.

 

It feels confidence-boosting to start focusing on that little piece of me once again. I’m sure every new mom understands!

 

Looking for some other KALE RECIPES?

 

Golden Chicken & Kale

golden chicken and kale

Kale Pesto Chicken Soup

kale pesto chicken soup

 

 

 

 

This easy creamy kale salad will get your whole family to eat their greens thanks to the sweet additions of mango and dried Turkish figs!

 

 

2 reviews

Creamy Kale Salad with Mango & Figs

Preparation 00:10 2017-08-21T00:10:00+00:00 Cook Time 00:00 2017-08-21T00:00:00+00:00 Serves 2     adjust servings
creamy kale salad

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 6 cups chopped kale (stems removed)
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
  • 6 dried Turkish figs, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, combine avocado, oil, lemon, vinegar and sea salt until smooth and creamy.
  2. In a large bowl, toss chopped kale with avocado dressing until well-coated and slightly wilted. Toss in remaining ingredients.
  3. Serve immediately or let flavors marry for 30 minutes prior to serving (my preference!) either room temperature or cold.

 

 

Paleo Tortillas (AIP)

 

paleo tortillas

 

There’s nothing that quite gets the Paleo community hot & bothered like a good tortilla. We all just like to roll, stuff, and crunch our way into meat & veggies. Nothing wrong with that, my friends.

 

I used to buy Siete Cassava & Coconut Flour Tortillas but I haven’t been able to find them in my neighborhood! They’re pretty yummy – thin, flexible and taste close to a flour tortilla! When cooked they are soft and crispy-fried. I just can’t afford to buy them regularly, so I wanted to make my own AIP-friendly tortilla at home more affordably!

My Plantain Wraps in The Healing Kitchen are another option.  They’re quite popular among the THK Ride or Dies – pliable, soft and fluffy! They make excellent wraps too, but they aren’t super thin like a traditional tortilla and don’t have the taste of a flour or corn tortilla. But if you are looking for a plantain-based option – there you go!

 

paleo aip tacos

Fill your tacos with your favorite protein, avocados & toppings! I chose ground chicken, avocado, onion and cilantro and then sausage and kale!

 

 

These Paleo Tortillas are made with just a few simple ingredients: arrowroot and coconut flours, olive oil, baking soda and sea salt. Instead of cooking them on a stovetop, which can be really tricky, I bake these in the oven. I actually based the recipe on my Pizza Crust because so many of you were telling me you would use the pizza crust recipe as a wrap! I changed up the ratios and technique though – once baked into 6-inch tortillas they are lightly pan-fried in beef tallow so you can eat them as “soft” or “hard” tortillas.

 

 

A note on substitutions: Tapioca starch is generally replaceable for arrowroot starch, but I have not tried it myself in this recipe. You can replace the olive oil with avocado oil, but I prefer the taste of olive oil in tortillas. I link to the baking soda and cream of tartar I use. If you cannot find cream of tartar, you can use the same amount of apple cider vinegar, but your tortillas won’t be quite as soft. It’ll still work though! Okay I think I covered all the inevitable substitution questions!

 

 

aip taco shells

 

If Taco Tuesday isn’t already your thing, it’s about to be!

 

 

1 review

Paleo Tortillas

Preparation 00:15 2017-08-21T00:15:00+00:00 Cook Time 00:10 2017-08-21T00:10:00+00:00 Serves 6     adjust servings
paleo tortillas

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside a separate 8 square inch piece of parchment paper for step 3.
  2. In a food processor, combine all ingredients except the warm water until well combined. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the warm water and process for 45 to 60 seconds until a wet, fluffy "dough" forms. This will not look like regular dough - it is drier and more crumbly but sticks together when pressed.
  3. You are going to make 6 tortillas with 3 on each baking sheet. Form 3 balls of dough, 1/4 cup each in size, on each baking sheet. Using the extra piece of parchment paper from step 1, use your hands to roll out each ball into a 1/8-inch thin, 6-inch diameter tortilla. Make sure to adequately space out your tortillas so they don't touch. Please take your time when smoothing out the dough to ensure it is even and the edges are smooth! This is important for your tortilla-enjoying experience.
  4. Bake tortillas for 6 minutes in preheated oven. The tortillas should be a pale off-white color and not too brown around the edges. Transfer parchment paper to countertop to allow tortillas to slightly cool. These are your soft shells.
  5. For hard shells: Heat small stainless steel pan over medium heat. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons beef tallow to coat bottom of pan. Use your hands to fold tortillas into the shape of a hard shell and press bottom side of shell into pan for 30 seconds until crispy. Place tortilla on side, maintaining the hard shell shape, and fry each side for 30 seconds. Let cool on paper towel lined plate before filling with your favorite taco night ingredients!

 

 

paleo aip taco tortilla

 

 

 

Roasted Butternut, Pomegranate & Arugula Salad (Paleo, AIP, Whole30, Vegan)

Well the holidays are coming to a close. It’s always a weird feeling when your year comes to an end. The reflection that takes place is generally motivating or a bit depressing. At the end of 2012, I said I had the worst year of my life. Both my grandmothers passed away within two weeks of each other, my gut health was in really poor shape and I was in pain every day, I had recently quit my job in advertising and decided to go back for my master’s degree in occupational therapy – something I never could have predicted. I also had a lot of positive events that year: my husband, then boyfriend, and I moved in together, and I maintained a 4.0 for all my prerequisite courses that I was taking full time while working part time two jobs while still balancing a social life. 

This year I thought was a second runner up for worst year ever but really it was just a year of hurdles, challenges, changes, and really positive events. We lived in 4 different cities (which meant finding housing in 4 different cities and packing and unpacking 8 different times), I completed all my clinical rotations, graduated from my master’s program, wrote a cookbook,  restored my fertility, celebrated my one-year wedding anniversary – all while battling the worst Hashimoto’s flare I could have ever imagined. I unfortunately discovered what chronic depression is (prior to that, I only knew anxiety), my body changed in ways that weren’t always pleasant or encouraging, and I was scared I would never feel like myself again. Hashimoto’s can be a very debilitating disease that is often brushed off by physicians who think you can take a pill and every symptom magically disappears.

That’s not how it is for many people. Many people across the world struggle every day with depression, fatigue, weight gain, painfully slow digestion, and infertility as a result of this disease despite taking that magic pill. I had flared 3 to 4 times since being diagnosed at age 19, but nothing held a candle to this one. I flared because I didn’t listen to my body and my intuition. I listened to someone else and I took Nature-Throid which is a thyroid hormone replacement derived from pig thyroid. I knew I didn’t do well with Armour (a similar medication) 7 years ago but wanted to give it another shot on my quest for fertility. Within 3 weeks my thyroid levels had gone from a very stable level to some of the highest my doctors had ever seen. It took 8 months for my thyroid and adrenal function to recover from that veritable hell. So what did I learn this year?

 

  • Always listen to your gut. “You know your body best” is not devoid advice. By listening to my body in the past, I eliminated nightshades before I even discovered the AIP, I broke off relationships with doctors that were only harming and not helping, and I refused many courses of antibiotics that would have no doubt made healing my leaky gut much more difficult. 

  • I can handle a lot more than I thought I could. I don’t know many people who could work full time in a high stress environment while developing over 175 recipes for The Healing Kitchen, while struggling with a severe Hashimoto’s flare and subsequent depression, fatigue, and rapid weight gain, while dealing with the stress of moving 4 times. I’m going to pat myself on the back for that one because most people I know would absolutely crumble and give up. I didn’t give up on anything this year, including myself. 

  • It’s okay to rely on others. I had to rely on my husband, friends, and family more than I typically like to this year. It made me feel very vulnerable at times, and I didn’t like how people felt sorry for me. I’m not one that responds well to empathy, but I actually begged for it many times this year. I just needed, not wanted, but needed my loved ones to understand the hell my body and mind was going through. I don’t know if they ever will truly get it (probably not) but I’m glad I didn’t hide it for once. Pride has it’s place, but it can get in the way of receiving the support you need during tough times. 

  • Toxic people don’t deserve an ounce of energy. I had to deal with several women in my life this year (thankfully not family or close friends) that were absolutely, 100% negative toxicity for my ethos. Others begged me to confront them and stand up for myself and that is probably something I would have done in the past. But with these particular people, I realized it would be a fruitless effort. You can’t change others. They have to come to that on their own. When someone isn’t being a good person, you can sure as heck bet they have their own internal battles and demons they have yet to conquer. It’s not my job to help people realize when they aren’t being good to others. The universe will show them. I think with these particular women it already has even if they have yet to accept that. It will happen. But I no longer will make it my mission to help others “see” their effect on the world. I can only control how my actions and words affect others in a positive manner. Exiting the “mommy” rule I so easily take on has greatly increased my satisfaction with my relationships and let me let myself off the hook with the negative people I encounter. 

 

I encourage you all to take time to reflect on your year. What went well? What didn’t? Is there anything you wish you could change, or do you find value in it all – even the crappy stuff? 

OMG THIS SALAD. All the veggies, all the crunch & texture & all the colors!

Roasted Butternut, Pomegranate, and Arugula Salad

Preparation 00:10 2017-08-21T00:10:00+00:00 Cook Time 00:25 2017-08-21T00:25:00+00:00 Serves 4 to 6     adjust servings
butternut pomegranate salad

Ingredients

  • 12 oz butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced shallot
  • 10 oz cauliflower florets, riced*
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 oz arugula
  • 5 oz pomegranate seeds
  • 1/3 cup cranberries**

Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.Toss butternut squash with coconut oil and ¼ teaspoon onion powder and place on baking sheet. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes until the squash is tender with golden brown edges. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
    Sautee the shallots in the skillet for 3 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add the riced cauliflower and cinnamon to the skillet and toss until combined with the shallots. Cook for 3 more minutes until the cauliflower is tender.
  4. Using tongs, toss the arugula with the vegetables in the skillet. Add the vinaigrette to the skillet and continuously toss the arugula with the tongs for several minutes until it is wilted and tender.
  5. Remove the skillet from the heat and gently mix in the pomegranate, cranberries, and roasted butternut squash. Taste and add additional salt if desired.
  6. Serve warm or place in the refrigerator for a few hours and serve cold.

Recipe Notes

*Rice cauliflower florets by placing them in a blender or food processor and pulsing until very, very finely chopped to the size of small rice grains. I find when using a Vitamix, it is easiest to use the tamper to help break up the cauliflower for even chopping.
**Try to source cranberries that are either sundried or dried and sweetened with apple juice rather than cane sugar. You may also use dried currants, dried blueberries, or even raisins instead.

Crunch Bar Freezer Fudge (Paleo, Vegan)

 

 

I am more than just a little obsessed with this freezer fudge. It never lasts me more than 24 hours. I don’t suggest eating the whole batch in that short of a time frame, but I also will not judge you if you do. I despise baking (that’s why a lot of my treats here are no-bake) because it’s messy, expensive, and I don’t need a whole tray of cookies. I need a whole small personal-sized container of crispy freezer fudge that reminds me of Crunch bars though. Are you thinking that many chocolate chips does not constitute a recipe as personal-sized? I think I will change your mind. 

 

So, I had an emotional  affair between the years 1994 and 1997 with Crunch bars. Halloween we especially became close, and my greedy little fingers often dug through candy baskets for the last remaining royal blue package that fit perfectly in my pocket, so my mother never knew I was carrying chocolate contraband with me at all times. I haven’t thought much of candy bars in the last decade of my life especially because the majority of my teenage years and twenties were spent being incredibly annoying about my food choices and I missed out on way too many years of eating good food just so I could keep my figure. Well, screw that, I say. It’s time to eat chocolate and make up for years of chicken breast, lettuce, and low-fat cheese. Chocolate > Chicken.

 

So the trick with this stupid easy recipe is to use a high quality raw sunflower seed butter that has been lightly sweetened. The butter needs to be finely chunky, almost like wet sand. I know, appetizing. I have terrible analogies. Sunbutter is NOT going to cut it here, unless you want some second-rate yuckfest in your freezer. Frankie V’s is a company in Dallas, Texas that makes the best sunflower seed butter you can find anywhere. You can buy it on Amazon and stores around Texas (not sure if they sell outside of Texas).

 

If you are unwilling to place such an order through Amazon, then you will have to make your own sunflower seed butter. Here is a picture of Frankie V from his website. Poodles are my favorite dog, so obviously I really like Frankie due to his poodle hair do and delicious products. So, if you want to make your own chunky sunflower seed butter, get out your food processor. Grind up several cups of raw sunflower seeds in your food processor with a tablespoon of coconut oil and 2 tablespoons coconut sugar. Keep that puppy running until you get a wet sandy sunflower seed butter. Puts me in the mood for the beach!

 

​I made this fudge when I was pregnant ALL THE TIME. Enough said!

 

 

Crunch Bar Freezer Fudge

Preparation 01:05 2017-08-21T01:05:00+00:00 Cook Time 00:00 2017-08-21T00:00:00+00:00 Serves 8 to 10     adjust servings

Ingredients

  • 1 heaping cup dark chocolate chips
  • 6 ounces lightly sweetened raw sunflower seed butter (chunky version for
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

Instructions

1. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth and shiny. 

2. Stir in sunflower seed butter and coconut oil until a chunky mixture forms. The chunky sunflower seed butter should clump up into small pieces throughout the mixture and once frozen will create delicious crispy pieces in the fudge. 

3. Pour into a 3''x6'' glass tupperware container that has been lined with parchment paper. 

4. Freeze until solid, about 30 to 60 minutes. Slice into chunks and keep in the freezer until ready to serve. 

 

Cinnamon Plantain Fritters (Paleo, AIP, Vegan)

 

 

I’m a little disappointed in myself – I’m willingly watching a reality show about WWE girls called Total Divas. It just happened to be on when I turned the TV on and the remote is just a foot too far away to warrant removing the blanket from my body. I had no idea wrestling was loved worldwide. I have and never will understand why humans like watching other humans elbow each other in the gut and divebomb someone on the head. You know what’s much more interesting to me? Staring at succulent gardens while making annoying slurpy noises in my almost-empty iced tea. Oh no, now I’m watching a show about Nick Lachey opening a bar in his hometown. We haven’t had cable in over a year, and since we are subletting an apartment right now, we are privvy to sublease dude’s cable stations. TV has only gotten worse since the last time I checked. 98 Degrees was my favorite in the 90’s. I like “Jeff” – I can’t recall his last name. I ended up marrying a man of the same name, but a much, MUCH worse singing voice. My Jeff sounds like a 90-year-old man with a sinus infection who also just got punched in the throat when he sings.

 

So this recipe was inspired by my will to create a pancake for the project I’ve been working/slaving on. Really, sweating. Sweating all over the food because my teeny, teeny, teeny kitchen has zero ventilation and even thinking about turning the oven on increases the air temperature by 3 degrees. This recipe turned out less  than traditional pancake tetxture and more fritter-y but still delicious, so I thought I’d share them on here instead. I did end up coming up with a pancake recipe made from green bananas instead though for the book! Num. Num. We topped these with a good drizzle of honey (or maple) but you could make them less sweet with a pat of ghee or coconut oil or some coconut whipped cream. We probably make pancakes 1 morning every month or two, which is the morning I forgive my “no sweetener before dinner” rule and also try to serve them with a side of sausage to regulate the blood sugar levels. Because me + sugar in the morning = “Is it time for a nap? It’s 10 a.m.!”

 

Cinnamon Plantain Fritters 

Makes 5-6 fritters | Prep Time 7 minutes | Cook Time 8 minutes | Total Time 15 minutes

2 Green plantains (about 1-1/4 lbs when unpeeled)

2 tbsp melted Coconut oil + additional for frying

1 tbsp Honey

½ tsp Apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

¼ tsp Baking soda

¼ tsp Sea salt

  1. Peel and slice the plantains and place in a blender or food processor with the remaining ingredients except the coconut oil used for frying. Blend for about 20 seconds until pureed. The batter may be slightly chunky, but it will not affect the end recipe.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once hot, drop rounded ¼ cup of batter into pan, leaving 2 inches between fritters. Using the back of a wooden spoon, smooth and flatten the batter so create circles 4-inches wide and no more than 1/3-inch thick. For the best results, ensure the fritters are of even thickness all around.
  3. Cook on each side for 4 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Fritters are easiest to flip when using a large metal spatula and sliding carefully under the entire fritter. Just make sure the underside is well cooked to prevent the fritter from falling apart when flipping.
  4. Serve drizzled with additional honey, if desired.

 

Store & Reheat: Store once cooled in a sealed glass container for up to 1 week. To reheat, warm under the broiler for 2-3 minutes.

Skillet Apple Crumble (Sweetener Free)

 

Do you enjoy things that are *expletive* amazing? Then do yourself a solid and get on it. It rivals the best of the best apple pie without the grains, sugar, and hour-long baking process. If you do not want to purchase Anti Grain Apple Flour (link in recipe) then you can try placing a bag of crunchy apple chips in a food processor until finely ground and use in place of the flour in a 1:1: ratio! This is my favorite brand of apple chips and does not contain any preservatives.

 

I made this twice in 12 hours for my husband because he was so thrilled about it <– and because I needed photos for the blog, let’s be real. I suggest spooning it into a bowl, topping with some coconut milk ice cream, and sharing it with your best friend, boy toy (Channing Tatum?), sister, or yourself (Just eat it while staring into a mirror.)

 

Skillet Apple Crumble [AIP/Vegan/Paleo]

Serves 2-3 | Prep Time 10 minutes | Cook Time 20 minutes

3 Organic apples, small-medium in size

3 tbsp Coconut oil, melted, divided

½ cup Anti Grain apple flour

1 tsp Cinnamon, divided

¼ tsp Ground Mace

¼ tsp Sea salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Peel and slice apples into ½-inch thick slices.
  3. Sautee apples in 1 tbsp coconut oil over medium heat in an 8-inch skillet until softened but not mushy, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in ½ tsp cinnamon and sea salt. Remove from heat.
  4. Whisk together the remaining 2 tbsp coconut oil and ½ tsp cinnamon, apple flour, and mace in a small bowl. Spoon on top of the cooked apples.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes until the crumble is crispy.

Garlic-Dill Parsnip Fries (Paleo, AIP, Whole30, Vegan)

 

 

Wooh! This weekend was a friggin’ blast. My twin sis got married to the perfect man, and I got to laugh, cry, and dance my way through the whole thing by her side. This was actually my first time being “in” a wedding as my friends tend to be the I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T type. I took a little break from cooking but now I’ll be back at it as I start my new fieldwork rotation tomorrow, and meal prep is the only way I survive the Monday-Friday.

 

I fed these Garlic-Dill Parnsip Fries to my family as we lazed around all Sunday with our post-wedding hangovers (mine was the sleep-deprived variety). As weird as it sounds, it feels so good to be sore all over from dancing for hours on end. I haven’t had nearly enough fun in my life since the start of this Hashi’s flare, and I’m the type of gal that would rather be enjoying life than worrying about my health. I have a feeling most of you are that way too…

 

We had the best brunch this morning at Cassis in downtown St. Pete… unlimited and it was super easy to stick to Paleo and AIP. I had oysters, crab leg, bacon, honey ham, fruit salad, and roasted beets. I was sad when showed up and realized it was a $40 buffet and almost didn’t get a plate because I assumed all I would be able to eat was fruit. Such a pleasant surprise! We are going to go back for Mother’s Day brunch so we can do it right this time (right = 2 plates).

 

Garlic-Dill Parsnip Fries 

Serves 2-4 | Prep Time 10 minutes | Cook Time 35 minutes

1 lbs parsnips, peeled

1 T coconut oil, melted

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 T chopped dill, tightly packed

½ tsp sea salt

1. Slice parsnips into fries 2 inches in length and 1/3 inch wide. Place parsnip fries on a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Whisk together remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over fries and toss to coat.

3. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Flip fries and Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes.

Plantain Chips & Avocado Dip [AIP/Whole30/Paleo]

I was deadset on some pseudo-Mexican food tonight, so I combined all remotely Mexican-y ingredients in my kitchen for this bomb meal. The shredded pork is Nom Nom Paleo’s famous recipe for Kalua Pig made in my Instant Pot. Best investment I have ever made for my kitchen by the way. It makes batch cooking so dang easy and delicious. I layered plantain chips dipped in Avocado Dip with pork on top, sat on the floor of my balcony, and watched the sun go down. It was a fantabulous way to spend a Monday night. 

Good news from the “Great Hashi’s Flare of 2015” front. General Fatigue has retreated, and I am now able to pick up my exercise again! Considering I may be one of the most kinesthetic, hyperactive people you have ever met, my lethargy of the past several months was more depressing than my heinous bloodwork. I was walking home from work tonight and not feeling completely wiped, anxious, depressed, and foggy like I have been almost every day at 5pm since the beginning of January. I can’t explain to you how pumped that made me feel. I was starting to think this flare would be my forever (irrational thoughts & Hashi’s go well together). I still have a long ways to go to get my hormones back on track, but since I realize that is a long-term goal, it doesn’t bother me as much. For the meantime, I am still confined to my stretchiest yoga pants and lots of “No, I can’t go out tonight. My adrenals will hate me tomorrow.”‘s. 

But at least I’m on the up & up (as far as I know!). I will be getting more follow up labs done in a week, and I’m really looking forward to getting my numbers. Thyroid dork. It feels like winning the lottery when your T3 increases. If you’ve got Hashi’s, ya feel me. 

Avocado Dip [AIP/Whole30/Paleo/Vegan]

Makes 1 cup

1 Avocado, ripe

¼ cup Coconut butter, melted

¼ cup Water, filtered

1 T Apple cider vinegar

1 T lemon juice or lime juice

½ cup Parsley or cilantro, finely chopped

3 Garlic cloves, chopped

½ tsp Sea salt or truffle salt

1. Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor and puree until mostly smooth. Parsley and lemon go well together or you can do cilantro and lime juice! Truffle salt takes this dip to a new level!

Plantain Chips [AIP/Whole30/Paleo/Vegan]

1 Plantain, green, peeled, sliced ¼ inch thick

1 T Coconut oil or choice solid cooking fat

Sea salt

1. Heat coconut oil or solid far in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Place plantains in oil and fry 2-3 minutes each side until golden brown on both sides. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste. Serve with Avocado Dip and Kalua Pig

Peppermint Fudge (AIP & Paleo Versions)

 

 

I won’t hit you over the head with the blatant fact that AIP during the holidays is rough stuff. If I could give you one word of advice it is ALWAYS have something delicious on hand so you don’t feel like you’re being deprived. If delicious equals fudge to you, than say FUDGE IT, and purse these babies up. I sneak purse food at really inappopriate times (i.e. conversations with acquaintances, on the train, as I’m paying for a hot tea at the cafe and stumble across it).

 

We had another amazing “Goodbye Chicago!” dinner at Publican tonight with two close friends. A bounty of pork rinds, three kinds of ham, oysters, porchetta, venison, and vegetables graced our lips. If there’s one thing I’ll miss about this city, it’s the food options. If there’s two things I’ll miss about it are the memories we have made here, friends we have met, and heck it’s where we got married, so Chicago will always have a very special place in my heart.

 

I have a funny confession, and this is to show you, no one is perfect. Not your everyday AIP blogger. Not your momma. Not your puppy (okay, yes he is). Back in October during my sister’s bachelorette party, I had one drink at dinner, which of course did more than take the edge off but gave me quite a nice little tipsy-tipsy since I never, ever drink. I had to get cash for a bar, so I ran across the street to use the CVS ATM, but I also was suddenly stricken with the munchies. I rationalized with myself that one Kind bar wasn’t going to hurt a fly. I can’t tell you how giggly I was buying the sulfite, soy-free one (I read every single of the 20 flavors packages to find the least offensive one… just imagine a tipsy girl doing this in a Manhattan CVS late at night) because I felt like such an OUTLAW. Well, I enjoyed my dang Kind bar (I used to eat them all the time a few years ago) and my first and only VERY-non AIP food to date and thought nothing of it. No reaction because I’m not allergic to any of the ingredients, I just choose to avoid that processed crapola as much as possible. Anyways, this story is getting stoopid long. Fast forward to present times, and I’m making this horrified Kind Bar divulgence to my husband, and his response was along the lines of a very sarcastic “wow, better go to confessional as soon as possible you horrendous human. you should be ashamed and disgusted with yourself.” His humor and frankly spot-on response put it all in perspective once again.

 

Point being: LIFE HAPPENS. That doesn’t mean you should stray from AIP for any ol’ reason. Heck no. It’s very clear that if you want maximum healing, you should give the elimination phase your ALL, 100%. Don’t half-arse it. It ain’t gonna work. But what this silly story does mean is that you don’t need to condemn yourself to decades of restrictive eating. It’s easy to become tunnel-visioned on AIP because we have all gone through years of worsening health with no improvements and then we change our diets and “Wow”! Food is miraculous. But so are social activities and good sleep. This is a lifestyle and not a diet, and I cannot stress that enough. If you are going to treat yourself to anything this holiday season, please let it be forgiveness (and this fudge, whether it’s made with chocolate or carob!) You are not perfect and neither is anything in this world. You are pretty damn smart and insightful though if you managed to find my blog  in this midst of thousands and thousands of other food blogs that are hidden in the tomes of Google search results. Because that you means you love and respect yourself enough to further your health. For yourself, for your families, for your work, and your friends. You are to be ADMIRED! Sorry for my heavy hand with caps lock today. I’m just really excited to share my recipe.

 

GET THE RECIPE FOR PEPPERMINT FUDGE!

 

Pumpkin Roll | Cinnamon Molasses Spread [AIP/Vegan]

I can only think of one thing that American women like more than pumpkin – Channing Tatum’s bum. It’s sort of shaped like a pumpkin, so I guess this makes sense. This was a fun recipe to make, and it may look intimidating because of the siwrly bits and roll-y part, but if I can do it – the woman who managed to give herself second degree burns with splattering soup, drop butter all over the floor, and flip her cutting board over on top of the butter in a matter of 3 minutes on Sunday night- then you can do it. Definitely make the Cinnamon Molasses Spread to go with the rolls because it provides a light sweetness (since there is no sweetener in the recipe), and more complex flavor. It always bugs me when we go to nice restaurants with well-composed plates with multiple components and my husband eats them all individually. I always softly scream (since we are in public) “That is NOT what the chef intended!! Honor his vision!!”For anyone with a tapioca sensitivity, you can sub the 2 T for arrowroot flour. These taste even better the second day once the flavors have melded, so try to save one for tomorrow. Pumpkin Roll with Cinnamon Molasses SpreadMakes 6-8 servings |Ready in 1 hour 10 minutesPumpkin Cake1 15 oz can organic pumpkin1 T palm shortening, room temperature1/3 cup + 2 T coconut flour2 T tapioca starch2 tsp cinnamon1 tsp ground ginger3/4 tsp ground mace1 tsp baking sodaFrosting½ cup palm shortening2 T orange juice1/2 tsp ground ginger1 vanilla bean, seeds only*  (For AIP: Omit the vanilla bean!)Cinnamon Molasses Spread1 T blackstrap molasses1 T coconut oil, melted1 T coconut butter, melted½ tsp cinnamon

  1. For Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add pumpkin and palm shortening to a larger bowl and mix well.  Then stir in dry ingredients until evenly mixed.
  2. Place dough onto parchment and using your hands form a rectangle 10 inches long and 7 inches wide, about 1/8 inch thick. Bake for 18 minutes until cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool by placing in refrigerator for 30 minutes. This is an important step to ensure the success of rolling the cake.
  3. For Frosting: While cake is cooling, whip Frosting ingredients together using a hand mixer in a deep bowl (to prevent splattering) and set aside.
  4. For Spread:  In a separate small bowl, stir Cinnamon Molasses Spread ingredients together. Set aside.
  5. Assemble Roll: Once cake has cooled, spread frosting evenly over the entire surface using the back of a spoon. It will be a fairly thin layer.
  6. Starting at the short end closest to you, use the parchment paper to assist you in rolling the cake carefully until you reach the other side. Place seam side down. Note: If the cake cracks or breaks at any point, it should be easy to re-seal it with your fingers, since the cake is dense and moist.
  7. Slice into 6-8 pieces and serve with a dollop of Cinnamon Molasses Spread. Served best at room temperature or cold. Exceptionally tasty the next day once the flavors have had time to incorporate. Store covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.