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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Butternut Casserole

 

 

I have some extra squash that needed to be used.  I am not a huge casserole fan, but for some reason I decided to try to make a butternut casserole.   I wanted a fusion of flavors.   So this is what I did…

I sauteed an onion in a blend of sesame and coconut oil.  I then added in one butternut squash cut up into small chunks.   I allowed this to cook a bit, enough to soften the squash.

In a small skillet I toasted 1/3 cup of pumpkin seeds in some sesame oil.

While this was going on at the stove, I combined a cup of yogurt and 2 eggs with 2 tsps of curry powder, 1/2 tsp of salt, and added in some hot pepper flakes.  I sat this aside.

Then I sliced up 10 prune.  Grated some Parmesan cheese, and measured out 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut.

After oiling a casserole dish, I combined all of the ingredients and put it in the oven for 45 minutes.

I served this up with some fresh salmon fillets and navy beans.

The casserole could stand alone if it had more cheese or ground meat added to it.  Instead of pumpkin seeds, nuts could be used.

Overall, we thought this was very good and something we will make again.

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Squash

 

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Stew vs Soup

I  started this blog with the sole purpose of encouraging others to not be put off by the cost and work of GAPS/SCD.  A major thread within the blog is to learn how to use what you can afford most efficiently.  True pasta, rice and bread go a lot further in feeding hungry kids than squash and cauliflower.  And it does cost money to make meat and veggies the center of focus but with diligence one can afford these diets.

Every family has their own unique food budget and their own unique challenges.  But there are some basic things that can be helpful.  Start by really looking at the diet, not just what is allowed and disallowed.  Look at the overall goal of the diet.  It is to heal, but it is also a retraining process.  Neither of these diets advocate spending two to three years of healing and then tell you to go back to eating the junk.

With that in mind, it is not all about trying to see how many alternative desserts one can make.  Or how many ways we can substitute one food item for another.  It is about changing our eating habits. Teaching our kids (and ourselves) to eat their meat and veggies.  The goal is to create a life time of good eating habits.

The GAPS/SCD diet does not have to be excessively costly.  There are ways to make it affordable for the family.  One idea is create one pot meals.  Not “soups” but “stews”.  Soups are the broths, with a little something throw in…Stews are hearty meals within themselves and rich in variety.

I call stews, “old world” food, because they were the staple diet of our ancestors. Meats cooked in a pot with water and a variety of whatever was available.  The old nursery rhyme Pease Porridge Hot, is about stew. Prior to cold storage the way to keep food safe for consumption was to keep it heated. If they had leftovers that were not completely consumed they did not throw them out, instead they kept them hanging over the fire, or off to the side. The next day they would add fresh contents to the pot and create a new stew. That is where the phrase “nine days old” comes in.
My family once tried this with our modern day crock pot. It was interesting to see how each day the stew tasted differently and just as good. We only made it six days before we consumed it all.

And no, I am not advocating that you keep your crock pot going endlessly, but I tell the story because it shows the history of Stew and how our ancestors managed to feed their families with some ease without all of the modern day appliances. The concept of stews as a filling and nourishing meals still works today and with our modern appliances, it can be almost effortless.

Stews allow you to use cheaper cuts of meats, favorite vegetables and adding in new ones that perhaps are less familiar.  Things that often are not to a person’s liking can be quite complimentary in a stew.  Thus stews can be packed with a variety of nutrition and flavor.

There are all kinds of recipes for stews that can be found on the internet….but the bottom line is start with meat, a lot of veggies, maybe tomatoes, a splash of wine (red for beef and lamb, white for chicken, pork or fish) add enough water to almost cover and cook. Slow cook until the meat is tender. They can be made on the stove top, in the oven, or in a crock pot…the key is slow cooking.

In my opinion, onions go in about every thing and most assuredly stews. Onions are very affordable and I use them liberally.  Carrots too flesh out stews very well.  But so do other things like cabbage, green beans, peas, or mushrooms. Or what about a rutabaga, at less than a dollar a pound they go nicely with stews.   Or things like greens.  They are inexpensive and a few collards or kale in stew adds flavor without tasting like greens.

Then there are things like Saturday Stew, which is a combination of any leftovers. Maybe adding in a few fresh ingredients.

The thing is that stews are dense in variety but also they have the broth from the meat and veggies so they are quite filling when served with an  approved bread, cut raw veggies, or even boiled or pickled eggs.

One of the things that I did for my family was buy soup plates.  This way I can set an elegant table with a simple meal. Stews are best served in a bowl and these flat soup plates make stew feel less like a “bowl of soup” and more like a meal.

Also stews can be made up in advance and frozen for later. What a great way to always have a meal on hand!!

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Chopped Liver (Pate)

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Liver is one of those things that most people either love or hate. I have one daughter that likes it prepared as chopped liver better than any other way. Most chopped liver recipes call for chicken liver and that is very good. But today, I made it with grass fed beef liver.

First I fried the liver in a good amount of coconut oil, browning it on both sides and cooking it until it was completely done but not overdone. (Putting a lid on the frying pan to let it steam a bit.)

I then removed it from the skillet and added in a couple of onions and fried them up in the juices in the skillet. Cooking them until they were tender. The more traditional recipes will tell you to boil the liver, but I personally do not see that it makes any difference in the taste, if anything, I think gently frying it improves the flavor.

I tossed all of this into the food processor and ground it up until it was smooth. I added in yogurt to moisten it up a bit. But on another day, I might add butter, beef or chicken fat, or even more coconut oil. Then I sprinkled in salt and pepper to taste, a couple cloves or garlic and ground it up a bit more.

It is simple and fast to make. Like most everything I make, there are ways to vary the original recipe. I have made it with raw sweet onions ground into it. I have put boiled eggs in it. I have not tried it with avocado but thinking I might next time.

The liver is then served with some GAPS legal bread, or used as a veggie dip. We have even been known to eat it a top a bowl of salad.

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Beef, Liver

 

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