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The 4th of July Menu and B-B-Q Sauce

We did something different for the 4th of July this year.  Instead of firing up the grill and loading up on carcinogens, I made oven roasted pork ribs and smothered them in homemade b-b-q sauce.

Years ago when I gave up corn syrup and sugar, I started making my own b-b-q sauce.   I have quite a few varieties of flavors but this one is born out of a recent gift from a friend.  And while b-b-q sauce has no hard and fast rules, my version goes something like this:

1-28 oz can of tomatoes

1/4 cup of white vinegar + 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup of honey

1 TBSP ground mustard (or a heaping spoon full of commerical mustard)

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 heaping tsp celery seeds

1 tsp of liquid smoke

1 cup of diced onion

2 TBSP Sesame Oil (coconut or olive)

1 tsp of black pepper

1/4 tsp hot peppers (I used my personal mix, cayenne would be fine–but you may need a lesser amount)

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder (or several cloves of garlic)

1/4 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp corriander

1/4 tsp paprika

Adjust seasonings to your taste.  Combine this and cook it down until it thickens.

Now, this is probably not as sweet as some people like their sauce and certainly not as sweet as the gift from my dear friend.  To make it  sweeter,  I would double the honey and maybe add more vinegar.

This basic recipe is a good foundation for a spicy and good flavored sauce.  It has many variations.  If you don’t want the heat in it leave out the hot peppers.  My favorite is a southern bourbon sauce so I usually add a big splash of good bourbon (the alcohol cooks off and it is perfectly safe for kids).  It adds flavor without the extra sweetness.

B-B-Q sauce can be as individual as the person or the occasion, matching the flavors with the particulars.  If you travel the country visiting  various B-B-Q places it won’t take long to realize that this topic is very diverse in content.

Now, for my oven baked pork ribs, I make this and do not cook it down.  Just mix it up and let it cook down on the uncovered pan of ribs for about an hour and then I cover it and let it cook until very tender. This allows the flavors of the sauce to really cook into the meat.  I usually start the ribs off at 325 and the lower the temp to 250 when I cover the pan.

And, of course I would serve this Southern Style with GAPS Baked Beans, Cole slaw and gallons of tea.  A key lime tart would make a good completion to the meal.

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2013 in B-B-Q, pizza

 
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Rabbit Stew

Rabbit Stew

If you are squeamish about consuming game meats, then this post will not be for you.   While I love to have you here, it is not my intent to offend anyone.  So if you think meat comes from the grocery store, then please stop reading here and wait for the next post which will be all about lettuce.

Speaking of lettuce, I had a horrible time with things eating down my spring produce.  I had at least two flats of cabbages munched down to the ground.  Almost 40 feet of beets eaten down to the ground along with pepper plants and some tomato plants.

Now I usually do not mind planting a little extra for the bunnies.  Usually by the end of the season the coyotes or the hawks have gotten them all.  This year, we had an over abundance of the the cute little fur balls all over the place.  But after about the third planting of things and watching the season march ruthlessly toward summer I asked my hubby to declare war on them.

It had been a long while since I had prepared a wild rabbit so I pulled the “old” cookbooks out and my new French book (after all the Europeans eat all kind of things that Americans would consider with disdain).  Well, I am not a French cook, too complicated, too many dishes to wash up after the fact, but I gleaned some ideas and went back to my original “stewed rabbit” recipe from the “old” books.

Because this was wild game and not farm raised (unless you consider it being my farm) I soaked it in water for about three hours, this helps to draw out the blood. After soaking, I cut the rabbit into quarters.

I used my iron bean pot for this recipe because it is the most practical–one pan to clean instead of two!!

I put a good layer of lard in the heated bean pot and browned the meat. I removed the meat, put 2 tablespoons of butter in the pan and cooked a pile of onions (3-5 depending on the size) and a box of mushrooms. Once done, I added a quart of chicken stock and a heavy splash of white wine. (Actually mine is a homemade wine made out of my leftover kefir whey.  Nasty stuff to drink but makes a fine cooking wine!)

To this I added, several carrots and a couple of stalks of celery. At this time I tossed in a handful of dried Shitakes. (A mixture of mushrooms would give it that “old world” flavor but I used what I had on hand and what was most cost affective.)  It is my opinion that a rutabaga would be very good in this in place of the carrots but I did not have one.

No old world food would be complete without two or three large cloves or garlic and some kind of green herb.  I used fresh sage.   And of course salt and pepper.

I put this in the oven to bake at 325 for about an hour and then turned it down to keep it warm until we were ready to eat it a couple of hours later.  You want the meat to be almost fall off the bone done.  So you will need to check it after about an hour to judge the time needed.

One could use GAPS approved thinking and blend up the carrots and onions to make a thickening agent.

Of course this can be made in a crock-pot without all the browning of the meat and onions. More than likely it would come out tasting about the same….I am just partial to my old bean pot.

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2013 in Crock Pot, Game Meat, Stews

 

GAPS Sandwich Bean Bread

GAPS Sandwich Bean Bread

I confess, after years of being wheat free, the whole alternative bread thing was something that our family just learned to live without except an occasional loaf now and then…

Recently, I have been making Navy Bean Bread.  This recipe is not new with me…it is all over the internet and while I do not usually blog on the same topics as other authors, I think this one bears repeating.

2 cups of cooked pureed navy beans, soaked 24 hours before cooking

6 eggs yolks separated from the whites

2 1/4 tsp honey

3 tsp of cider vinegar

Blend all of this together in your food processor until it is smooth.

add

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp baking soda (this can be omitted)

3/4 to 1 cup of coconut flour

Blend until smooth.  Pour over into a large mixing bowl.

Whip the 6 egg whites until they they get stiff and peak.  Then fold them into your bread dough.

Pour the dough into a bread pan that has been lined with parchment paper.  Bake at 300 for 1 1/2 hours.

Comments:  different brands of coconut flour vary in how much you use.  Tropical Traditions is not quite as finely milled as Red Bob’s and it does not take as much.  When paying by the pound that is a good thing.

Secondly: I have made this without separating the egg yolks from the whites and had a great success.  I left the batter in my food processor longer, working air into the dough.  I let my food processor run until there was a definite increase in the bowl…then I poured it over into my pans and immediately placed it in the oven.

Also, this bread freezes great so you can make up several batches at a time.

I have made this with lentils for a “brown bread”.

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2013 in Beans, Bread

 

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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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Pickled Eggs

Pickled Eggs

These have become a new staple in our home.  I have always liked pickled beets and I have always put boiled eggs in my leftover pickle brine, coming out with lovely purple eggs with all the pickled flavor.

Recently, I have learned to make pickled eggs differently.  They taste different but super good. Even the daughter that does not care for boiled eggs likes these.

You start by hard boiling your eggs.  You will need to cook a few extras just in case you have some that do not peel perfectly. (You do not want to use any eggs that have the yolks showing or that are split.)  Once your eggs are hard boiled (and this varies with altitudes) drain the hot water off of them, gently roll them around in the pan while running cold tap water over them…you want to gently crack the shells….Cover with cold tap water and allow to cool. Then further crack and peel.

This recipe is a guideline.   For a quart you want to use the following…

12 very hard boiled eggs

5-6 cloves of peeled garlic

The eggs and garlic go into the quart jar

Then in a sauce pan combine the following:

2 cups of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of salt (sea or non-iodized)

To that add about 5 TBSP of honey(you can use more or less)

Added in about an 1/8 tsp of the following spices and then adjusted them to taste–Mace, nutmeg, and ginger.

15 whole cloves and a good shake of paprika to give it all a good reddish color.  Oh yes, and a sprinkling of black pepper.

Hot Peppers are optional.

Bring all of this to a boil and pour over your boiled eggs packed into a quart canning jar.  (Wide mouth is necessary)  Put on the lid and when cool transfer to the refrigerator.  Allow to sit for two weeks. (If you can wait that long!)

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2012 in Eggs, Holiday Foods, Snacks

 

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