Saturday, December 27, 2014

Book Review: 28 days of Low FODMAP AIP by Christina Feindel


Low FODMAP AIP Sherpherd's Pie


This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase through the product links, I’ll receive a small commission to support my time in reviewing the product, although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. 

When I first learned about the e-book 28 days of Low FODMAP AIP by Christina Feindel,  I was super excited that I am not alone eating off of this seemingly limited menu. For the past few months, I have been stumbling along the AIP ( autoimmune protocol ) path, looking for low FODMAP friendly recipes and it hasn't been easy. Like Christina says in the introduction of her book " As if no grains, legumes, dairy, eggs, nightshades, nuts, seeds, or alcohol wasn’t daunting enough, you’ve also decided to try eliminating FODMAPs from your autoimmune protocol diet. " I did feel like I was crazy trying to embark on a more limiting diet than AIP, but I started to feel the difference after only a few days eliminating the high FODMAP foods like garlic and onions out of my diet. So the low FODMAP journey here I come! 

Instead of only telling you how delicious the recipes are in this book ( that will come later) I want to outline what I have learned about how to enjoy AIP low FODMAP cooking. 
  • Use new herbs, garlic greens might not be as easy to find but are worth the search, no garlic? no problem, use the greens
  • Explore and combine more vegetables; parsnip can beat potato hands down, it is our new stable root vegetables in the house
  • Plan your meals; improving time management means less stress and more satisfied taste buds and happy bellies.
The more I learn about tweaking my healing diet, the more I have to be open to trying new things in the kitchen. As much as I am pretty open to new cooking ideas, I have my comfort zone that is sometimes hard to break out of... who doesn't? In the book, Christina showed me how to uses herbs and spices that are compliant and compliments each other very well. 

The recipe I chose to try in the book is from the "One Pot Meal" section. Running a family is busy business and as much as I am all about starting my healing in the kitchen, it is nice not to be tied to it all the time. Christina talks about batch cooking and meal planning which are key factors in making a busy family run smoothly.

 Sherpherd's pies is a fond childhood dish of mine. This was my go to family meal but as my healing diet changed, more foods had to be eliminated. Glutens was easy to replace, I used tapioca starch instead of corn starch or flour to thicken the mix, then with AIP, I replaced Worcestershire sauce with Apple cider and balsamic vinegar, but when FODMAP came into the picture, I was starting to loose my enthusiasm moving forward with my cooking. After all, how can I make anything tasty without garlics and onions on top of the void of nightshades.

Enters Christina's 28 days of Low FODMAP AIP book.

In Christina's ebook, a wide variety of root vegetables like turnips, parsnips and taro are used to create interesting textures and flavours. Using the greens of garlic, leek, green onions and more herbs means there is no shortage in flavor in these truly flavourful dishes.

Now comes the part that I tell you how delicious the Sherpherd's pie turned out.

Before dinner, my son asked me whether this Sherpherd's pie was sweet or savory, "... is it a dinner or dessert?" I answered that it is savory, but by the time I was trying not to finish the whole pan at the dinner table, I realized this recipe created the effect of a dessert sweet pie. I think the magic comes from the carrots, parsnip and turnip combination. These root vegetables are naturally sweet and pair with my himalayan pink salt flavored grass fed ground beef from my favourite biodiverse farm, the result is almost addictive. I had to remind myself that I wasn't having an off rail ( food cheating ) moment when trying not to polish the whole pan. I was also pleasantly surprised that no thickener was used and the dish did not get soupy. The one thing about the recipe that confused me a little was the topping, I almost missed the part that the cooked turnips were to be food processed smooth and used as the top layer.

I wish I had found this book earlier when I started my FODMAP journey, but then I might not appreciate it as much. I probably would have taken for granted all the hard work Christina had done with organizing the shopping list and meal planning for 28 days. If you are interested in watching out for FODMAP foods to help heal your gut and rest of your body, I highly recommend this book. It will make your life easier. Here is the link for your copy of the ebook.



Saturday, December 20, 2014

AIP Key Lime Crustless pie

This recipe was inspired by two of my respected AIP recipes developer @ieatreadfood.recipe's zucchini cheese and Grazed and Enthused's peppermint fudge

>This blog post contains affiliate links. Click here to learn more what it means. 

I have missed this dessert treat for awhile and here is my version of this sweet and sour treat. I left the crust part out but plan to try it next time with the Pie Crust recipe from another one of my favourite ladies The Paleo Partridge  Can you tell that I am still a hesitant AIP baker? 

AIP key lime crustless pie



Ingredients

  • 2 c peeled, cubed and cooked white yams
  • 1/4 c warm water
  • 3/4 c coconut milk (I use AROY D organic )
  • 2 tbsp grass fed gelatin
  • 2-3 tbsp maple syrup or raw honey
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp zest of lime
  • 1/2 tsp AIP friendly vanilla 
Instructions

  1. Dissolve gelatin in warm water
  2. Take cooled and cooked yam and combine with rest of the ingredients except zest of lime
  3. Use a hand blender to blend until mixture is smooth, you can also use a high speed blender like a Vitamix.
  4. Fold in zest of lime
  5. Line 9X12 pan or glassware with parchment paper with extra to hangover edge
  6. Pour mixture into pan and refrigerated until firm about 2 hours
  7. Cut into individual sizes and serve with coconut cream and toast coconut flakes
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase through the product links, I’ll receive a small commission, I include affiliate link as a resource for ingredients I use,  all opinions are my own. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Mexican comfort

I went out for Mexican food with my family last night. I watched them, as I sipped my thermos of bone broth from home,  enjoy their carne asada burrito and chicken flauta and to top it all... with rice and beans. I miss Mexican food, all I want sometimes are some rice and beans, but they kill me. So here is my safe version made with taro root for the consistency and purple carrot for the black bean coloring. I am continuing with my ginger train to add some kick in my dishes. 

AIP low FODMAP "rice and beans"


Ingredients
  • 4c peeled and cubed taro root
  • 1 small fennel bulb, chopped
  • 2 stalk celery
  • 1 small purple carrot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 large sliced onions
  • 2 tbsp fat
  • 1/2 - 1c bone broth
  • juice of 2" ginger root
Instructions

To make garlic and onion infused oil
  1. Melt fat in med heat pan
  2. Add garlic and onion
  3. Let cook for 5 mins
  4. Remove and discard garlic and onions
Now you have infused oil
  1. Sauté celery, fennel and carrots for 5 mins at med heat in infused oil
  2. add taro and sauté for 5 mins 
  3. add bone broth
  4. simmer for 10-15 mins until all vegetables are soft.
  5. Mash with masher, add more bone broth if the consistency is too thick
  6. Stir in ginger juice for an extra kick
Serve with cauliflower rice and garnish with cilantro, green onions and lime juice

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Soupaholic

I am a bonebrothaholic and soupaholic, there is always bone broth at hand in my house. If my slow cooker is not simmering, I have a surplus bone broth ice cubes in the freezer.

To me, making bone broth is like second nature, but when a friend asked me how I make it, I realize everyone has their own way of doing it and here is mine. If you want to learn more about amazing health benefits of bone broth, here is a great link for you.

>This blog post contains affiliate links. Click here to learn more what it means. 

Easy Slow Cooker Bone Broth

Ingredients

Paleo
Enough Bones to fill 2/3 of cooker, freeze leftover bones from dinners until you have enough or specially prepared knuckle, ribs, or bird carcasses bones just for the broth.
Filtered water add up to 3/4 of cooker
2 tsp sea salt ( I use Pink Himalayan Sea salt because it offers more minerals )
2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2-3 stalks celery
1 small onion cut in quarters
2-3 peeled carrots
3- 4 cloves garlic
1 tsp peppercorn

AIP
Same as Paleo but omit peppercorn, and choose to add the following other AIP safe herbs
like 2" ginger root, rosemary, thyme, cloves, cinnamon

Low FODMAP
Same as AIP but replace onions with green onion or leek ( just the greens )

Instructions

Bones preparation options

  • Slow roasting them for 30 mins at 350F
  • Blanching them in boiling hot water to remove impurities to give you a clear broth.
  • Rinse the raw bones under tap water and add them directly in the cooker. 
You should try all thress methods of bone preparations to see which one you prefer when it comes to taste and convenience. 

Instructions

  1. Put bones in cooker first
  2. Add water to 3/4 full of cooker
  3. Add vegetables. herbs and spices
  4. Cook at low for at least 10 hrs, the longer the better. 
  5. Remove bones, vegetables, herbs and spices
  6. Strain over strainer into mason jars and place in fridge until fat forms solid on top. 
  7. You can either discard fat, save fat to use in cooker.
  8. Freeze in ice cube trays and put into freezer bags for future use. 
I try to wait until around 18 hrs and have left it until 36 hrs. 
You may need to add more water at a longer cook time from evaporation

Bone broths are great for cooking with in sauces, making quick soups with blended cooked vegetables and drink as is.





Monday, December 8, 2014

AIP Spicy Ginger Turmeric Turkey

My wheels are always turning when it comes to AIP-fying my favorite recipes. Since going AIP with a lowFODMAP watch, I haven't had any spicy food with the removal of nightshades. I knew I need to find a way to add some spice back on my plate. In this recipe, I am using ginger to add the kick, it is more like a zing with a little slow burn. If you want more heat, just add more ginger. The slow baking method makes the turkey nice and tender. The turmeric and acorn squash can almost convince me to be enjoying a mild curry. 

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AIP Spicy Ginger Turmeric Turkey


Serves 4                      Prep time 30-60 mins                  Cook time 2 hrs

Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 lbs boneless turkey breast with skin on

For marinade:
  • 2 green onions
  • 3" ginger root
  • 1" fresh turmeric root or 1 tbsp  turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp Apple Cider vinegar ( I use Bragg's brand)
  • 1 c water
  • 1 tsp sea salt 
For sauce:
  • left over marinade
  • 1/2 cooked acorn squash
  • 1/2 c bone broth ( 

Instructions
  1. Put all marinade ingredients in blender and blend until smooth
  2. Put turkey breast in plastic bag and pour marinade to cover
  3. Squeeze all air out of bag and knot bag
  4. Let marinade 30 to 60 mins
  5. Set over to broil 
  6. Take marinaded turkey out of bag and keep remaining marinade to make sauce with
  7. Broil turkey in pan for 10 mins
  8. Turn temperature down to 275 F and slow bake until cooked, about 1 1/2 to 2 hrs

To make the sauce:
  1. Heat leftover marinade and bone broth at medium heat in a small pan until boiling 
  2. Add acorn squash and cook for 5 mins
  3. Remove from heat and use hand blender to blend until smooth
For serving, slice turkey into pieces, pour sauce over and garnish with cilantro or parsley




Sunday, December 7, 2014

Virtual Book Tour - The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook review


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One of my passion is healing with foods and nothing gets me more excited to find great resources to support my goal in life. I am so excited to be part of this book review tour. Thank you Angie from Alt-Ternative Autoimmune for inviting me on this Virtual Book Tour.

The night I received my e-book copy of Angie Alt's The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook, I wish I had the hard copy in my hot little hands being the cookbook geek I am

Graphically speaking - the layout is clean simple with a cheerful color scheme.

I find it easy to read and welcoming. If there is such a thing as a graphic novel cookbook, this is pretty close to it.

Almost all cookbooks about healing foods start with the elimination phase, Angie follows up with a clear Reintroduction instructions, which can be the scary part of a new diet.  Angie breaks it down to easy to understand and follow steps. I am sure her Food reaction checklist will help a lot of people take the guessing out of, was it the food? dye offs? my imagination?

If you are still confused about the reactions, the Food Journal page will help you track your progress and make it more clear what could be the culprit to a reaction. My food journal has been one of my greatest healing tool.

I caught on to Angie's smart and sneaky intention where she inserted articles, like the emotional aspects of Autoimmunity, in between sections of beautifully photographed dishes and recipes.  Each recipe is labeled with which stage or phase they belong to. Just when you are thinking hard about " can I do this?" you are wowed and encouraged by more mouth watering AIP friendly recipes.


Yes you can.

The Butt manifesto is hilarious and addresses body image in a light and fun way.

There are so many recipes I want to try but the one I went with is the Homey Beef Stew. This recipe is in her Stage 1 category but easily fits into the Elimination phase by removing the black pepper.

I was excited to use my organic rainbow carrots and grass fed beef stew cut in this dish to make it even more colorful.

The only thing was my slow cooker was already in use, making a big pot of bone broth. I didn't feel like taking out my other ( yes, I have two) slow cooker, so I pulled out my vacuum pot to give it a try.
Angie's usage of a carrot and beets puree along with tapioca starch makes a the best, thick and hearty AIP gravy. She also mixes two kinds of vinegar to create a flavorful tartness and can trick anyone into believing there was tomato paste in the stew.




I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a guiding hand towards healing with food. If you would like to get a copy of this awesome Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook, here is the link for the e-book and the hardcopy.

Thanks for reading and Happy Healing in the Kitchen with the Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook



Thursday, December 4, 2014

White soup



Serves 4                      Prep time 10 mins                  Cook time 30 mins

Ingredients
  • 1/2 a celery root ( about 4 inches in diameter ), peeled
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower
  • 1/2 purple skin yam, peeled
  • 1 tbsp bacon fat ( or fat of your choice )
  • 2 whole cloves of peeled garlic ( don't smash it if you are on low FODMAP)
  • 2 c. bone broth
  • sea salt to taste
Optional: 1 tsp nettle tea leaves
daikon cabbage slaw or sauerkraut as garnish

Instructions:
  1. Melt fat in large deep pan over medium heat
  2. add garlic and turn heat down to low for 5 mins
  3. You are making garlic infused fat for the flavour here
  4. Remove garlic and discard let someone else in the family use it
  5. Add coarsely chopped peeled vegetables, sautée on medium heat for 10 mins, add 1/4 c water to prevent it from scorching
  6. Add broth and cook on low heat until the vegetables are soft
  7. Blend with hand blender, add hot water to get the consistency you like
  8. Stir in nettle tea leave for some extra iron, I garnished mine with daikon cabbage slaw.
My husband was craving for a white bean soup for days, so I whipped up this AIP low FODMAP version of a white soup. I am starting to infuse some higher FODMAP foods like garlic and onions in my cooking fat to add some flavor. I think it is better than the bean version, try it and tell me what do you think?





Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Chinese bunless burger in broth


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Ingredients
  • 1/4 lb ground meat of your choice
  • I used grass fed beef here
  • 1 tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1/4 c. chopped vegetables of your choice
  • here I used beets with the greens and shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 tsp  or more minced ginger
  • a bunch chopped parsley
  • 1 stalk of chopped green onion
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Optional: vary the flavor with you own tolerable herbs and spices. Rosemary, oregano and cilantro are great choices. 
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together 
  2. Spread mixture on a shallow dish with a lip to catch the juice from steaming
  3. Steam for 15 minutes
  4. The meat will shrink up floating in a delicious bath of broth
My steaming set up 

I use a large pot that will fit the size of my dish, with a little extra room to get my plate retriever tongs in while placing or removing the dish. I place a steaming wire rack like this one inside the pot, and fill water up to the height of the rack. I love the plate retriever tongs because I love steaming my food. After the water comes to a boil, I use my plate retriever tongs and place the dish into the rumbling water, I put on the lid and let it steam. 

Last month was extremely busy, I was starting to feel better and managed to keep up with the added demand and switch in gears.
Despite feeling a sense of accomplishment I was really looking forward to this month.  December is usually not a month I look forward to in the past. The weather changes to more grey and wet days but this year I feel different about it. 

This morning I found new perspective, it's only been a few days into the new month and I expected that I can adjust to the changes with the snap of my fingers?  I have decide to regroup, reset and focus on my yoga practice again. Yoga has always led me back to a place where I want to be. With gentle restorative yoga back on my plate, I can get back to more mindful meal planning. The busy month did rekindle an childhood comfort food that has served me well. I stopped making it when I cut out eggs in my diet but figured that using tapioca starch in place of gives a smoother texture. Here is my go to one dish comfort meal - steamed meat cake which I am calling it Chinese unless burger in broth. You can vary the herbs and vegetables to your liking as my recipe is AIP low FODMAP.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Eat to Live


NOW CLOSED

It was the night before I was to meet my visiting cousin for lunch. I haven't been feeling the best in the gut and have just started a new ( stronger ) dose of homeopathic remedy so I was nervous about where I could eat out. My cousin is also on a gluten free diet now too so I searched a bit harder to find a safe and enjoyable place to meet. I didn't feel like driving out to Vancouver to find a place where I could possibly indulge in a gluten free menu that is possibly filled with corn, soy, dairy and eggs, let alone Paleo options. I decided to type in "Paleo restaurant Vancouver" again, to see if something new will pop up.

The Living Cafe popped up, oh and it in Steveston. Bonus!

I liked their moto "Eat to Live". I reviewed their menu online and was wishful this could be a new addition to the far and few places where I can eat out.

I remember this location was a RAW food cafe before and it didn't look very busy, so I never bothered to try it. However I didn't know it had changed into a gluten and peanut free/ vegan and paleo option restaurant a year ago.

Herbivore Hash
Gluten free Quinoa Chocolate chip cookie for little man
Egg Free, refined sugar free chocolate chip cookie for me

As always, I asked the server what kinds of gluten free flour they use in their bakings and she smiled and said she could bring me the ingredient list. To my surprise she brought a thin binder filled with listings of every ingredient in all their baked goods. I was a little overwhelmed but impressed with how detailed they were. Later I learned the owner/ chef, Amanda Kroetsch is a celiac. I admire and applaud her dedication to open up a business that caters to an audience that has to be one notch above healthy eating, some of us are healing our bodies with food. The reason why any restaurant that caters to restrictive diet seems to be niche is because most people with special diets have limited choices and usually have to cook and eat at home. We have to plan ahead all the time or suffer the consequences of off limit poor food choices. Depending on the level of food sensitivity one has, it can be have a serious affect on someone. We cannot pop in anyway to grab a quick snack.  Until now, maybe some of us can take advantage of the curb side delivery service The Living Cafe provides or head on upstair for sit down.

What is so different about The Living Cafe is even though the chef is a celiac and her focus could be mainly on gluten free food, Amanda also offers many Vegan ( which means no egg or dairy ) and Paleo options on their menu.

In their retail section, you can find gluten free baguettes, breads and bone broth to take home.

Being on the AIP ( Autoimmune Protocol)  low FODMAP eating plan, I still have to ask and read up on the ingredients.  At The Living Cafe, the time and care they have taken to list all their ingredients for their customers have taken the anxiety out of the equation for me.  There are seeds used in some of the baked goods, but having the knowledge of the ingredients list helps me make proper food choices.

I look forward to making this one of my safe and relaxing eating out place. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

My healing soup

The sniffles have been hitting our household. First the older one got it, then the little one and me. Today I brought the little one along ( since he is missing school ) and went to the market to get all the ingredients for my healing soup. I'm sure every family has their recipe of a go to healing soup but here is mine.

Healing Soup



Ingredients 
  • 1/2 chicken or 2 lbs of chicken parts 
  • 10 carrots, peeled and cut into 3" length 
  • 2-4 celery stalk, cut into 3" length  
  • 1/2 to 1 whole onion
  • 1/2" or more ginger root
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar 
  • Sea salt to taste 
Instructions 
  1. Added 10 c filtered water to slow cooker 
  2. Remove skin and fat from chicken, rinse and add to cooker. 
  3. Add prepped carrots and celery
  4. Add Apple Cider Vinegar, and tolerated herbs and spices. 
  5. Cook for 3 hrs on low, loosen chicken meat from bones, remove bones. 
  6. Take carrots out and blend. 
  7. Add back to soup and cook for another hour. Sea salt to taste.  
Here I added leftover beef and carrot stew to it to make a hardier meal. 


Friday, November 21, 2014

AIP crispy pork belly

Lately I have been really obsessed with making crispy pork. I had forgotten that as impressive as it looks, it is really quite easy and quite to make. The challenge is to find AIP friendly spices to create the traditional Asian crispy pork taste. I have made this one more of a fusion version, but I think the real importance is the crispy skin on top right?


AIP Crispy Porky Belly



Serves 4                      Prep time 10 mins                  Cook time 1 hour

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. Pork belly ( pasture is best, I buy mine from Big Bear Ranch, BC, Canada )
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • sea salt
  • juice of 1/4 lime
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 475F, bring pot of hot water to boil ( big enough to semi submerge only the skin down)
  2. Scald pork belly skin only in hot water for a minute or so. The skin will shrink and tighten.
  3. Lay pork belly skin down and sprinkle and all spices on meat and sides, squeeze lime juice on meat side too and rub well. 
  4. Put seasoned pork belly ( skin side DOWN)  on wire rack roasting pan and roast in oven for 10-15 minutes
  5. Take pan out and flip th pork belly over exposing the skin side. Prick skin with shape knife. Rub Sea salt on skin and roast for another 25-30 minutes until skin is golden brown and crispy.
  6. You may need to broil it on High for 5 mins if the skin is not bubbling.
  7. Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes, cut and serve. I like to squeeze some lemon juice over the meat before serving. 



Thursday, November 20, 2014

Snow Fungus Coconut milk papaya sweet soup


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Ingredients
  • 2c. water
  • 1/2" peeled and thinly sliced ginger root
  • 2-3 dates
  • 1/4 head ( 1/2c. after soaking ) snow fungus
  • 1/4 c.  cut or balled ripe papaya
  • 4 tbsp coconut milk ( I use AROY D organic kind )
Optional sweeten with maple syrup to taste

Instructions


  1. Soak snow fungus in cold filtered water until soft, clean and remove any depris, cut into small pieces
  2. Bring water to boil, add ginger root, dates and snow fungus, simmer for 30 mins
  3. Add papaya balls right before serving. 

Since I have begun my healing food journey, my main focus was to learn how to cook and eat without foods that irritates my gut or triggers inflammatory responds in my system.

Most of the recipes I found were more Western approach, as much as I admit that I am a banana ( yellow outside and white inside ) I miss a lot of my childhood comfort foods. I was talking with my friend at www.provincialpaleo.com that our Asian AIP angle might not appeal to as wide an audience, but this is my lifestyle meets my cultural upbringing and that is all that matter. If you are interested in more Asian AIP recipes, please go check Provincial Paleo out. In fact this recipe was directly inspired by her. Thanks Dora!

My favorite and so very rare dessert soup is the bird's nest in coconut milk dessert soup. This is a very expensive dish as the bird's nest is very difficult to harvest. To be more blunt, it is actually the saliva of the bird in the dish, it is said to be nourishing, youth preserving as most Asian ladies will tell you about it. I think I just like a yummy bowl of warm coconut dessert soup. Here is my poor man's version using snow fungus  Snow fungus also has great health benefit including supporting my anti-inflammatory lifestyle focus.  I hope you enjoy this warming sweet AIP dessert as much as I do.

Added coconut milk and papaya balls











Friday, November 14, 2014

Hot pot express





Ingredients
  • 1 pack frozen thinly sliced hot pot meat of your choice, I chose Lamb
  • Enough bone broth to cook the meat in around 3-4 c

For Paleo Flavouring:
  • 1 -2 tsp sunflower butter
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar 
  • sea salt to taste

For AIP Flavouring:
  • 1 - 2 EVOO
  • 1/2 tsp coconut aminos or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar 
  • other tolerated spices 
                      Instructions

                      1. Bring bone broth to boil
                      2. Flash cook each slice of meat a few seconds in the boiling hot liquid
                      3. Remove quickly to prevent over cooking and rest in a bowl or plate. 
                      4. Add your choice of flavouring according to dietary needs. The cooking broth is now extra tasty with the flavours of the meat. 
                      5. Serve as a side soup along with your choice of vegetables.


                      Thinly slices lamb for hot pot


                      mixing in the sauce



                      If you have an Asian supermarket in your neighborhood where you can get thinly sliced meats prepared for hotpot cooking at home, here is a quick protein for the "feed the kids, feed myself and pick up baby sitter in 35 mins" kinda night.



                      Here, I porched some baby spinach and served my meat with carrots and green turnip.

                        

                      Wednesday, October 15, 2014

                      Bulletproof Golden Anti-inflammatory tea

                      Bulletproof Anti-inflammatory tea

                      This recipe came about from the last cold that went around the house couple weeks ago. I started having a pot of ginger tea on hand at all times.  Eventually I brewed herbal teas ( this is my favorite one to use but you can use any tea of your choice ) with the ginger tea and have that concoction on hand. My children have accustomed to a cup of tea morning and night now. Then I took the brewed ginger herbal tea and played around with it to create my version of the bulletproof "coffee".

                      >This blog post contains affiliate links. Click here to learn more what it means. 


                      Bulletproof Golden Anti-inflammatory Tea
                      Serves 1  Prep time 15 mins

                      Ingredients
                      • 1" thinly sliced ginger root
                      • 1 c water
                      • 1 tsp grass fed gelatin
                      • 1 tsp honey or maple syrup ( optional ) 
                      • 1 tsp organic turmeric powder or 1/2 " fresh turmeric root ( see quick method if using fresh turmeric and omit turmeric powder)
                      • 1/4 c. coconut cream
                      • 1 tbsp coconut oil or 1/2 tbsp coconut oil and 1/2 tbsp grass fed butter
                      • optional a sprinkle of black pepper

                      I omitted black pepper in mine because it makes me gassy. If you are fine with black pepper, you can add a dash as it is suppose to increase absorption of turmeric many folds.

                      Instruction

                      Prepare ginger tea
                      1. Put ginger slice and or fresh turmeric root in blender with cold water
                      2. Blend until roots are broken down into small bits
                      3. Put in pot and bring to boil
                      4. Let sit for 10 mins
                      Use the ginger tea to brew your Bulletproof Golden Anti-inflammatory tea as directed

                      Dissolve gelatin (I use this one) in hot brewed tea,
                      1. Stir in the rest of the ingredients 
                      2. Blend until oil is mixed in with a hand blended. 
                      3. Pour in cup and enjoy. 
                      This make a nourishing and satisfying breakfast or snack in a cup. The gelatin is also good source of easy to digestion protein and adds gut healing benefits to this warming drink. 

                      Wednesday, October 8, 2014

                      Pork and chicken liver meatballs

                      On the path to include organ meats into our meals, I decided to add a few chicken livers into meatballs to hide the distinct texture of liver that most people cannot stomach. This was also a good opportunity for me to try out a jar of salted baby shrimps I bought from the store the other day.


                      Pork and chicken liver meatballs


                      Ingredients
                      • 1 lb. ground pork
                      • 4 chicken livers
                      • 3-4 chives or green onions, finely chopped
                      • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
                      • 3 tbsp salted shrimp/ 1 tbsp soaked and drained dried shrimp
                      • 1/2 tsp grated or minced ginger root

                      Instructions
                      1. Preheat oven to 350F
                      2. Blend chicken livers in a small chopper or blender until smooth
                      3. Mix all ingredients together
                      4. Shape meatball with soup spoon or you can roll them out the old fashion way with the palm of your hands.  
                      5. Bake at 350F for 30 mins or until brown on top. 

                      I also broiled it 2-3 mins to dry up the extra liquid from the carrots. 
                      Enjoy.

                      blend up chicken liver
                      These shrimps are really tiny
                      Mix them all up





                      Saturday, October 4, 2014

                      Bitterness is good?






                      Do you eat Bitter melons?  It has an acquired taste of bitterness but it is suppose to have health benefit that may out way its distinct flavor. The ones that caught my eyes were Intestinal disorders and ulcers, including ulcerative colitis.  I grew up learning to like this vegetable as it seems to be a right of passage to adulthood; my mother loved it. It took a bit of time and eventually I like it too.

                      Today I went to the market looking for banana burro, I have also recently fallen in love with this odd banana potato like food. I picked up the ugliest bunch of banana burro and decided to pick up some chicken liver for a quick snack.

                      When I got home, I found the bitter melon I bought a couple days ago and wanted to see how that would go with the rest of my healing food adventure.

                      I sliced the melon length wise in half, remove the seeds and thinly sliced it for easier cooking. I chopped up a couple pieces of bacon and a few green onions and stir fried everything in med heat until cooked. I sprinkled sea salt to taste.

                      In another pan, I sautéed the rinsed and cut in half chicken livers with some bacon fat and green onions. I added a splash of ACV and cook them on med to high heat until the liquids are evaporated and livers are cooked to tender.

                      I sliced open my super ripe banana burro and cooked them up in coconut oil.

                      Even I have to admit that this is the oddest snack idea but I loved it. It sure mixes thing up a bit. My kid smelled the bacon and came over for some liver, but no go on the bitter melon. I am glad to bring back this childhood food into the kitchen. It sure keeps the tastebuds working.


                      More about Bitter Melon

                      Tuesday, September 16, 2014

                      Tender slow cooker pigs tongue

                      Now and then, my children will request this somewhat usual dish for dinner. I find pig's tongue less gamey then cow's tongue and easier to handle. If the meat is cut up and no one mentions it is what it is, I believe more people will be in love with this dish. The texture of the meat is very tender and this slow cooking method make it an easy plan ahead flavorful main dish favored in our household.


                      Tender slow cooker pigs tongue


                      remove to tough layer on skin with a spoon

                      Ingredients

                      • 6 pigs tongue
                      • 2 c bone broth 
                      • 1 cinnamon stick 
                      • 2 stocks of garlic greens chopped
                      • 2 stocks of celery
                      • 1 small orange sliced
                      • 1 branch of fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
                      • 1 branch of fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried
                      • 1 tbsp pink sea salt 
                      • 3 tbsp ACV
                      • Coconut aminos optional
                      • Fish sauce optional 
                      Instructions
                      1. Rinse pig's tongue and pat dry. 
                      2. Add all ingredients in slow cooker, set at low and cook for 6-8 hours.
                      3. Remove tough layer of skin off tongue with a spoon. Discard. 
                      4. Cut and serve with vegetable side dish.

                      You can simmer down the liquid into a sauce or thicken with tapioca starch
                      Nutrient dense offal


                      Saturday, September 13, 2014

                      Turmeric coconut milk chicken stew

                      A couple of days ago, I picked up some organic turmeric powder at my herbal dispensary Gaia Gardens, more for anti-inflammatory purposes. I asked the sale clerk how is it different from the ones from the grocery store, she said "it's organic!" and let me smell the jar of spice. The aroma was intense and spoke for itself. I bought a small amount, enough to fill an old store bought spice bottle. A coconut milk turmeric stew came in mind for dinner so I gather my ingredients and put my food obsessed mind to work. I was happy with the finished meal but my family repeatedly complimented me for it. My husband said "This was the best meal you have made in a while." I don't blame him, since I am always tweaking my diet and the recent FODMAP watch list has really limited ingredients I can use to make the same flavorful meals I used to cook. Well, I am glad I have transitioned well into the AIP and low FODMAP way of cooking.

                      Tumeric Coconut Milk Chicken stew





















                      Ingredients
                      • 3 lbs chicken drumsticks
                      • 3 stock Green onions, chopped ( option: you can use onions or garlic if you are not watching for FODMAPS)
                      • 1 stock celery, chopped  
                      • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into round 
                      • 6 white mushrooms, quartered 
                      • 2" peeled ginger root, smashed and thickly sliced
                      • Sea salt to taste 
                      • 3 tbsp EVOO 
                      • 2 tsp organic turmeric powder
                      • 1/2 can coconut cream  ( I uses the SAVOY brand)
                      • Optional you can add hot peppers in the slow bake time if you aren't on AIP and love some heat 
                      Instructions
                      1. Rinses and dry chicken, add vegetables 
                      2. Toss to coat with salt, pepper, turmeric and EVOO. 
                      3. Baked in preheat oven 425F 30 mins. 
                      4. Flip chicken half way of cooking time 
                      5. Drop oven temperature to 325F, transfer chicken, vegetables and juice from cooking to Dutch oven, Stir in coconut milk and bake covered for 1 1/2 hrs. 


                      Friday, September 12, 2014

                      Heal me through my feet


                      I have been really flat footed since I remember how to walk. My mother often wonder why because neither her nor dad had fallen arches. As a child, I wore arch support, they were made of metal and I remember ones I broke them, they just snapped in two. I was also a chubby and not active child. The biggest reason was I seem to always be twisting my ankles. I thought that had something to do with my flat feet. It wasn't until I was an adult and started seeing a chiropractor that I found out I had very mobile joints  "hyper laxity" is the technical term. I always knew that I was pretty flexible but didn't release that my hyper mobility was also the reason why I get hurt so easily. My muscles needed to be extra strong to support these mobile joints. Better late than never, I began to slowly focus on strengthening my muscle through yoga and other toning exercises. I still wear orthortics

                      I caught up with an old friend who is now running her fitness studio in Toronto called Movement Revolution Restorative Exercise Studio and she encouraged me to try creating those long lost arches I once had through .  How does this all relate to healing the gut you ask?  I believe that proper body alignment can help the organs function better. I am not expecting overnight miracles but since the last year was the beginning on transforming my body with lifestyle change, why not look into the structure of my body. Along with the focus on the feet, I recently discovered the concept of earthing or grounding to help with decreasing inflammation in the body. It seem to be an airy fairy concept, but it really resonate with me so I am going to give a try. I have been trying to walk around on the grass with my bare feet and the day this photo was taken, my kids buried my feet in the sand for close to an hour and I really felt the difference in my energy after. I just wished I had learn about this during the heat of the summer. 

                      http://www.katysays.com/guest-post-case-of-the-missing-arch/


                      Wednesday, September 10, 2014

                      Law Bak Go (daikon steamed savory cake)

                      Fall is a time when I miss my Chinese comfort food most. My latest adaptation is Law Bak Go. My mother used to make countless batches around Chinese New Years to give away. She would buy pounds and pounds of daikon ( she insisted the long and skinny Japanese daikon is better ) then grate, chop and steam in her annual all day and night cooking affair. I remember falling asleep smelling the sautéing of meats and dried seafood then waking up smelling the steaming of daikon. It wasn't pleasant to sleep surrounded by the strong smell of food cooking, but eating her painstaking creations was worth it.

                      Now that I am on AIP low FODMAP, my focus is naturally to recreate my childhood meals compliant to my new eating direction. The traditional recipe calls for Chinese preserved meats and chicken bouillon cubes. Both of these have unknown ingredients and definitely MSG. I substitute these with compliant nitrates free bacon and used homemake bone broth to replace the water and bouillon cubes. I also used tapioca starch instead of the wheat starch. The result is more chewing then the traditional recipe but I am happy with the taste. You can also play around with the daikon vs. starch ratio to get the consistency you like best. I was out of a few ingredients when I make this but dried shrimps, presoaked like the dried scallop and some thinly sliced presoaked Chinese mushrooms will add more flavor to this dish. This make a great hearty snack or even breakfast.

                      Law Bak Go (daikon steamed savory cake)


                      Pan fried and ready to get in my belly


                      Ingredients
                      • 1 grated daikon ( about 1 lb)
                      • 1c tapioca starch mix with 1c cold bone broth  
                      • 3 tbsp Dried scallop presoaked and drained 
                      • 3 thick slices nitrates free bacon, chopper 
                      • Chopped green onion 
                      • I tsp salt 

                      Optional: chopped cilantro for garnish 

                      Instructions

                      1. Sautéed chopped bacon in hot pan for 3 mins, add dried presoaked scallop and green onions, cook for another 5 mins
                      2. Add shredded daikon, cook for 5 mins 
                      3. Mix in starch paste - tapioca starch and bone broth, add to pan and lower heat to low cook 20 mins
                      4. The mixture will become really thick
                      5. Put mixture in oiled pan and steam for 1/2 hr until cooked 
                      6. Cool in frig 
                      7. Cut into slices and pan fry to gold brown goodness.

                      You can garnish it with chopped cilantro and green onions.

                      clockwise left to right
                      grated daikon
                       soaked dried scallop
                      chopped green onions
                      tapioca starch mixed with bone broth

                      cooking "dry" ingredients
                      After steam cooked 




                      Sunday, September 7, 2014

                      My commitment to AIP + low FODMAP learning plan

                      I have explored several healing diets since I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in June 2013. Here is my post about my one year anniversary of diagnosis.
                      In August (2013), I started with giving up grains, then going Paleo, completed a Whole30, then recently focusing on AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) based on Dr. Sarah Ballantyne's The Paleo Approach. My commitment to AIP was a quiet one but I remember it was sometime in August (2014) that I decided to stop going one step forward and two steps back with my diet plan. The last few weeks I added the FODMAP watch list because it felt like the right thing to do. I was listening to my gut. I call it a watch list because there seems to be a lot of foods on the list in the grey areas, I want to go through the list and record the effects each has on my system. And these restrictions don't necessary have to be forever. For example, Watermelon is a big no no, apples only gives my burpy gas. Onions and garlic are HIGH on the FODMAP list. I have had issues with onions for 20 yrs, then when I went Paleo, I was much better with them. I am still eliminating them for now and once I have calmed my gut more, I will slowly test the high offenders out.

                      I began to see improvements since going AIP. By accepting the challenge to add a FODMAP watch list to my AIP menu, I noticed another jump in my progress. The FODMAP decision felt hard to make, although I felt the same reluctance with every step of fine tuning my diet, I had to remind myself how overwhelmed I was about the SCD diet. I tried the intro a couple times but eventually gave it up. It is all part of the process of finding what works for yourself instead of strictly following a system. I have learned that it is important to understand why certain systems are set up the way there are and apply the concept to my own tailored menu.

                      I am adding a few pointers from the  " It Starts with Food" book in Chapter 12 about IBS and IBD

                      1. Increase water intake away from food

                      2. Cut down unpeelable fruits like berries

                      3. Cut down on raw vegetables, peel and cut vegetable into smaller pieces before cooking

                      The following article really helped calm my racing brain when I was trying to wrap my head around adding the FODMAP watch list to AIP.

                      What is AIP ( Paleo Autoimmune Protocol)? 

                      What is the FODMAP Diet?

                      Update: It has been 6 months since I first decided to commit to AIP and low FODMAP, I am doing really well to the point that I am excited to go on a solo weekend getaway with little trepidation.

                      I have also discovered more and more resources about AIP low FODMAP lifestyle like the 28 days Low FODMAP AIP book by Christina Feindel at A Clean Plate