Category Archives: Soup

What to do with Eggplant

Eggplant is a good GAPS/SCD food if it is tolerated.  It is high in fiber and very versatile.  I make a side dish out of it by cooking it with tomatoes, onions and peppers.  As a fusion food, it can be spiced up to go with about any main entree.  For Italian flavor add the Italian herbs such as oregano and basil and of course a lot of garlic.   For Mexican meat add cumin, garlic, hot peppers and paprika. And if you want to make it taste Asian try adding a touch of honey, some toasted sesame oil and fresh parsley.

Eggplant can be added to soups. Cube up the eggplant, add ground meat, onions, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and stew it.  Add your favorite seasonings.

One of our favorites is eggplant mini- pizzas.  You cut eggplant rounds brush with olive oil and top with your favorite toppings.  Bake.

Also you can cut eggplant into lasagna noodles and make it up like a regular lasagna.  It helps to fry the eggplant in a bit of olive oil before placing it into your baking dish. Layer it with ground meat, sauce and cheese.

I usually soak the eggplant in salt water for about and hour before cooking it. The soaking releases the bitter enzyme that resides in the fruit.  After soaking I rinse and then allow to drain for a couple of minutes.

If Eggplant is not part of your regular food regiment, and if you can tolerate it, consider including it to your GAPS list.  There are all kinds of eggplant recipes on the internet, many of them are gaps friendly and others easily converted to GAPS.



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Posted by on October 12, 2012 in Crock Pot, Eggplant, pizza, Soup


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Adding Ginger Root

Some times when I am standing in the kitchen cooking I will remember things that I forgot to put into a post or something that I “should” include but usually I promptly forget as I go on with my daily chores of life.   Well, this morning I thought that instead of trying to remember it all I might just start a Helpful Hints category enabling me to include some of these things that I forget at the time of writing.

Yesterday, as I was making a yummy pot of chicken stock, I remember that I had forgotten to mention something I learned a lot of years ago from the Korean culture. The Koreans put ginger root in their chicken when they boil it.  They will often stuff the cavity of the chicken with ginger.  This adds a clean yummy flavor to the chicken stock and I am sure that is the reason they use it.  But I have found that the ginger root also seems to cut the impurities that cooks out of the meat.  I was once told it cuts the unpleasant smell of cooking chicken, which I have found to be true.

It seems that only the Koreans use ginger like this in their chicken.  One day while shopping in the Asian store run by a Chinese woman, another Asian woman from a different cultural background came in.  From the conversation between the two I gathered the details.  This woman was involved in having a special graduation dinner for a Korean young woman.  This young woman had requested a particular recipe–chicken stuffed with ginger.  This lady was not Korean didn’t have a clue to what the young woman wanted, and was asking the Chinese woman for help, which she was unable  to give….And so there I stood, the obviously white caucasian, what else could I do but interjected into the conversation?  I explained to both women how the Koreans stuffed the chicken full of ginger.

Here you will find a traditional recipe

Not GAPS/ SCD approved but the basic tenants of the good flavors are still there.  Take out the rice and soy sauce and add in some of your own substitutionary ideas.  GAPS/SCD isn’t really that hard, we just have to get to the basics of good food and then work outwardly, eliminating those things we are not to eat and adding in those that we are allowed to eat.  For instance, I would replace the rice with carrots and celery.

In closing, Ginger root isn’t just for when you are sick but has many daily uses.  So the next time you are walking down the store aisle and see a clump of ginger root grab a hold and give it a fresh try.



Posted by on January 11, 2012 in Chicken, Helpful Tips, Soup


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Chicken and Cabbage Soup


Chicken Soup is one of our favorites.  I rarely follow a recipe when making any kind of soup, yet I do have some basics for the various meats I use.  Most of the time when I think of Chicken soup I want something light and not overly heavy.  Chicken and cabbage soup is one of the “lighter soups” and very GAP/SCD approved. 

I prefer to cook my chicken on the stove top instead of the crock pot, although I once had a young man tell me that it is best cooked in a crock pot.  So whatever your preference will be best for you.  

Today I started with a big roasting bird and stuffed him in the new dutch oven my mother gave me for Christmas, filled up the pot with as much water as it would hold and sprinkled the said bird with salt, pepper, paprika, added some home dried lemon thyme, oregano, a hand full of mixed basils and set the bird on to simmer for several hours.  Simmer might not be the right word,  I basically got it good and hot (boiling) and then turn it down on to my lowest setting (warm).  I find this gives the soup a cleaner less heavy flavor.

By late afternoon, I got around to finishing it up.  At first, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the chicken and stock…but I needed to make sauerkraut and as I got to chopping up cabbage for kraut I decided that chicken and cabbage soup was just what we wanted for dinner. 

I used 3/4 of a head of finely chopped cabbage, two good stalks of finely chopped celery, one medium-sized onion finely chopped, two or three small carrots for color.   And of course some of the deboned chicken.   And last but not least some freshly chopped parsley before serving.

 Chicken & Cabbage Soup

This basic recipe is also extremely variable.  I have made it at other times with tomatoes.  One can add green beans or peas for extra color and texture.  Or if you wanted a cream soup, you could blend up the veggies and add a dash of nutmeg.  The possibilities are endless.  So the next time you make chicken broth, let your creativity flow.


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Posted by on January 6, 2012 in Cabbage, Chicken, Soup


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Carrot Soup

A couple of days ago, I prepared the juice for my next batch of carrot wine. I hate to waste food so I decided to use the leftover cooked carrots to make a carrot soup.   The problem was that I didn’t have any chicken stock on hand but I did have venison broth.  I was not sure if an alternative stock would be very good, particularly since the carrots themselves were a little bitter.  But I decided to go ahead and give it a try.  I blended up most of the carrots in the stock and immediately thought it was a mistake.  Have you ever done that, started out with a good idea and then stopped after you started on something only to think that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all? 

Well, that was the way of my carrot soup. Now, I had a big pot of “soup” and I had to figure out a way to make it something my family would be willing to eat.   Well, I opened up the spice drawer and began with the salt and pepper.  When making soup you always start with the salt and pepper. These two are essential.  Salt is necessary to bring out the flavor in the spices.  Pepper is just part of most good foods.   I added in a scoop of coconut oil to give the carrots and venison a little fat to help the digestion along.  Then I decided on curry powder because it goes well on most veggies.  At this point my carrot soup tasted more like carrot goo and I was beginning to panic.   In a state of wondering what we were going to eat for lunch if this failed, I remembered that a dash of nutmeg is essential to all vegetable soups.

The mess still tasted bitter…I kept thinking and looking in my spice drawer, asking myself what goes with nutmeg?   Well of course, coriander and cinnamon.  That was much better but I could still detect a faint bitterness from the carrots.  What would you do?

I added in some crushed mint.   This was a real gamble because darling hubby isn’t always fond of mint in his food.  He tolerates it very well in his mint juleps and tea but when it comes to food it can be over powering to his palate.

Surprisingly, the mint cut the bitter and the soup was actually good. (Even according to Hubby.)  I gave it a good drizzle of honey to sweeten it up a little bit and we had lunch!!

So when you are having one of those days, when things aren’t working out the way you want them to, take a deep breath, and don’t give up.

Happy New Year!!

carrot soup


Posted by on January 3, 2012 in Carrots, Soup



Revisiting the Introduction Diet

My family has been on the GAPS diet for almost a year now.  We have had some ups and downs but mostly it has been extremely helpful and positive.  The past month, several of us have been having some problems so we are revisiting the introduction diet for a few days.  More broths and soups and less full meals.  In the past, we have found that just extra broth has helped with any gut problems but lately it has not helped as much, so we are going to have to eliminate somethings to figure out what it is that might be the problem.   I am returning to the books and food lists to see if I have let something slip in to our holiday diet that should not be there.    

Broth making is rather an art in the culinary world.  One has to learn how to combine types of bones/meats, spices and veggies.  Some of it depends on how much money you want to put into it.  Since GAPS/SCD diets require a lot of broth and since we are a family of five grown people we consume a goodly amount of broth daily.  I use a lot of soup bones because they are affordable and they produce a lot of broth and less meat.  As mentioned in an earlier post, we make a crock pot full of broth almost daily.

The one featured in this post consisted of pork neck bones, carrots, celery, kale, and onion.  I seasoned this with ground sage, dried rosemary, several cloves of garlic,a bay leaf, salt and pepper.

Breakfast Broth

Later in the day I combined what was left from breakfast with some venison broth.  Then I added in leftover venison and chicken meat, ground cooked pasilla-ancho peppers (found in the Mexican section of our local markets), lima beans, green beans, turnips, mushrooms and onions.  I added in a good handful of freshly chopped cilantro and a dash of cumin.  More salt and pepper.

Make Do Stew

It turned out to be fabulous!!  We some times call these concoctions “Make Do Stew” and usually (but not always) they turn out with that gourmet flavor.   Over the years, I have found a couple of things that help when combining broth with leftovers.  First of all, over cooking soups can make them come out tasting “well-blended or overly cooked”.  In other words they lose their fresh flavor.  Secondly, because cooking is rather like art one has to choose the content and spices with discernment.  When my children were little I used to tell them when they were working on an art project that  “more is not always better and you can do too much”.   Rather like working with crayons on paper, soups are liquid based and once you add something in they are not erasable.

Well, I am off to the kitchen….

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Posted by on December 30, 2011 in Crock Pot, Meat Leftovers, Pork, Soup


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