Small Batch Spiced Maple Apple Butter

Small Batch Spiced maple Apple Butter (AIP, Paleo)

As some of you may know, about twice a month I have the opportunity to write a post over at the blog Homemade For Elle.  Recently, I shared this recipe for small batch refined sugar free apple butter that is AIP and Paleo friendly. I hope you all enjoy! 

There is a farm about twenty minutes outside of my hometown that throws a massive festival every fall. It runs every weekend from the end of September through Halloween. There is a pumpkin patch, tractor rides, face painting, music, food, an impressive corn maze, kettle corn and a general store filled with jars of jam, pickles, fruit, relish, and everyone’s fall favorite, apple butter.

Small Batch Spiced Maple Apple Butter (AIP, Paleo)As a child, I loved apple butter. I could not understand why we only had it in the fall. I wanted to eat it on everything. That hasn’t changed. The only problem is that traditional apple butter recipes call for quite a lot of sugar, which is off limits for me right now. One of the great things about cooking at home however, is the ability to improvise and customize your favorite things. The trick to apple butter is not the sugar. Some good maple syrup and the apples themselves provide plenty of sweetness. The trick is cooking the apples for a long time.

The best way to do this is in a slow cooker or crock pot. Using a slow cooker makes this one of the easiest treats you will make this fall. You basically peel some apples, throw them and your other ingredients in your slow cooker and go to bed, when you wake up all you’ll have to do is add some vanilla let it finish up while your start your day and then throw it in the food processor and puree it. The amount of time you have to spend in the kitchen is about eight minutes.

For the Rest of the Post and the Spiced Maple Apple Butter Recipe Click Here

How To Spend Less Time in the Kitchen (An AIP Batch Cooking Guide)

How to Spend Less Time in The Kitchen (An AIP Batch Cooking Guide)

As much as I love to cook, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t initially overwhelmed by the amount of cooking required on the autoimmune protocol diet. During those first few weeks on the protocol I was caught off guard by the lack of food easily available to me, I became grumpy and hungry, quickly realizing that I was going to have to cook more food. After that, I spent a while cooking everything that I needed to eat every day. I was slicing up sweet potatoes for breakfast the minute my feet hit the floor, sautéing veggies for lunch a few hours later and cooking up a snack in the late afternoon just to sustain me through making dinner, by the end of the day I wanted nothing less than to never step foot in my kitchen again.

However, after months of troubleshooting my routine, I was able develop a cooking schedule to saved me a tremendous amount of time in the kitchen. By dedicating just a few hours once a week to cooking large batches of food I am able to secure my breakfasts, lunches and snacks for the week allowing me to step out of the kitchen for all of my weekly meals with the exception of dinner. I have put my routine and favorite batch cooking recipes below to offer you some inspiration and assistance, but obviously the recipes themselves can and should vary from week to week.

Turkey, Sweet Potato, Apple and Spinach Stir Fry (AIP)

 

Batch Cooking Schedule: 

 

Menu:

Breakfast: Turkey Apple and Sweet Potato Stir Fry and bone broth

Lunch: Whole roasted chicken and sautéed vegetables

Snacks: Kombucha, liver paté and store bought AIP compliant plantain chips

 

Routine:

  1. Prepare your chicken and put it in the oven to roast, this recipe takes the longest so it needs to be started the soonest
  2. Peel and slice your sweet potatoes and apples for your breakfast stir-fry and put them in a large pan to begin to cook.
  3. In a separate pan cook your ground turkey for your breakfast stir-frySpiced Apple Kombucha
  4. As these are cooking, prepare last week’s batch of fermented kombucha for its flavoring/second ferment.
  5. When your turkey is done add it to the pan with the sweet potatoes and add in some spinach and season.
  6. As the stir fry is finishing cooking, boil some water and start to prepare a new batch of kombucha
  7. When the breakfast stir-fry has finished, put it into a large container and put it in the refrigerator.
  8. Now, prepare your vegetables for sautéing and begin to cook them in a large pan.
  9. As your vegetables are cooking, use your second burner to cook bacon and then cook your liver for a batch of paté.
  10. When your vegetables have finished put them in a container and place them in the refrigerator.
  11. Finish cooking and blending your paté, set it in a container and refrigerate.
  12. When your chicken has finished remove it form the oven and let it set. You can either slice it apart now or place in the refrigerator to slice as needed throughout the week. When you have sliced the meat off of the carcass put the carcass in your slow cooker with water, veggies and spices and turn on low for 24-48 hours to make bone broth.
  13. When your tea has cooled add your SCOBY and set aside your new batch of kombucha.

 

While it may seem like a lot, all of this can easily be accomplished in less than two hours. Giving you freedom from your kitchen on busy weekdays.

 

Do you have a batch cooking day? What recipes do you like to make in big batches?

 

 

Tropical Turmeric Stir Fry

Tropical Turmeric Stir Fry (AIP, Paleo)

As some of you may know, about twice a month I have the opportunity to write a post over at the blog Homemade For Elle.  Recently, I shared this recipe for a fun twist on an ordinary stir fry. I hope you all enjoy! 

Back in my hometown there is a little Thai restaurant that used to be the go-to girl’s night spot for my best friends and me. It was small and quiet, decorated in a chic modern style and served delicious Thai food. We would go there to catch up, chat, complete a day of hanging out, or prepare for a night out on the town. My favorite dish there was called the tropical rice wok, it was a delicious dish that combined the savory tastes of chicken, onions and curry with the sweet surprise of raisins and pineapple. I could eat the whole thing without batting an eyelash and I was proud of it: it was delicious. However, my days of eating large quantities of rice and curry are behind me now, as I later realized that both foods were contributing to my autoimmune condition. Recently though, I was thinking about that restaurant and I decided to try and make a grain and nightshade free version that would satisfy my craving. This dish hit the spot!

Tropical Turmeric Stir Fry (AIP, Paleo) Turmeric is the base spice in curry and it is highly anti-inflammatory in nature. It is turmeric that gives curry its yellow color and it has been used in India for thousands of years to not only season food, but also provide healing. Turmeric contains substances called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin. Studies on curcumin have shown that is an effective and strong anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant and it even rivals some anti-inflammatory drugs. Curcumin blocks NF-kB, a molecule that travels into the nuclei of cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. (2)

For More Info on the Benefits of Turmeric and for the Tropical Turmeric Stir Fry Recipe Click Here

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cranberries

maple roasted burseels sprouts and cranberries (AIP, Paleo)

As some of you may know, about twice a month I have the opportunity to write a post over at the blog Homemade For Elle. This month, I shared a delicious veggie recipe, perfect for fall. 

Brussels sprouts are a funny vegetable, like full heads of cabbage perfectly miniaturized. I do not come from a family of picky eaters. I was taught early on to be adventurous and eat what was put in front of me. We traveled a lot and I have had the privilege of experiencing everything from lamb in Greece to freshly caught fish in Bermuda. That being said, everyone has their dislikes. I, for example, cannot stand mushrooms and olives. My mother can’t stand Brussels sprouts. This was a joke in my house growing up because my mother was the cook so the few things she didn’t like, we did not eat. She has actually come around to these strange mini cabbages in recent years much to the family’s pleasure since we all enjoy the unique veggie.

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cranberries (AIP, Paleo) Brussels sprouts are a cooler weather veggie that flourishes in the fall. They are super nutritious, as they are a great source of vitamin C and vitamin K as well as folate, vitamin B6 and fiber. It is very likely that you will be spotting little clusters of sprouts in your farmer’s market stalls in the weeks to come, which is great because all things fall-related are amazing!

 

For the Rest of the Article and the Yummy Recipe Click Here

Chewy Pumpkin Spice Breakfast “Cookies”

Chewy Pumpkin Spice Breakfast "cookie" (AIP Paleo)

When I first began blogging I really didn’t intend for this to be a food heavy blog. I knew food would be an element of it because the way I eat has impacted my views on health, simplicity, sustainability and frugality but I figured that food blogs were a dime a dozen and writing about food was a need that had been thoroughly addressed in today’s digital age. Then, I began following the autoimmune protocol diet during a time when it was new and just starting to gain traction in the paleo/health community and I was forced to begin to think outside the box because there were really very few resources out there. There were a handful of very useful blogs but no cookbooks, no informational books, and not enough recipes to create the amount of variety necessary to live a full life on this diet over an extended period of time. Since then, there are many many more resources out there and it has become much easier to find delicious recipes all over the internet and in a couple of amazing cookbooks. Through this process, however, I discovered that I actually really like creating recipes. I love the process of dreaming something up and then putting together the puzzle pieces until your dream becomes a reality. That being said, not all recipes go as planned.

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DIY Eye Makeup Remover

DIY Makeup Remover

As some of you may know, I have the pleasure of writing a post every now and again for the e-magazine Scratch Mommy. Here is a post I recently wrote over there for a DIY Makeup Remover. Enjoy! 

Everyone has a guilty pleasure.

Some of the smartest people in my life watch some of the most ridiculous TV shows, some of the healthiest people I know have a soft spot for the occasional Krispy Kreme donut, and some of the most naturally minded people, like myself, love wearing eye makeup.

So, let me break it down for you all and come clean. My shampoo is entirely natural, I use the oil cleansing method to clean my face, I make my own body wash, and I use coconut oil as shaving cream. I haven’t owned a bottle of hairspray, gel, or mousse in well over a year and when I am in need of lotion I, again, reach for the coconut oil. My beauty routine could easily be described as minimalistic if it weren’t for my makeup drawer.

Even my makeup drawer has its limits though. Outside of some concealer and some blush, I am not a big fan of using makeup all over my skin. I am simply a sucker for eye makeup.

DIY Eye Makeup RemoverMy eyes have been my primary defining physical characteristic my entire life. As a child, everyone I met would immediately comment on my “big beautiful eyes.” For most of my young life I thought that was an incredibly strange compliment to pay someone. I didn’t really understand what they meant by “big” and it kind of sounded like everyone was telling me I had bug eyes or something! That was until I started to see some examples of women in the media who are described, affectionately, as having “big” eyes. Now, I understand what people are referring to and I embrace it. In fact, I genuinely think it is fun to accentuate my trademark facial feature, in spite of the fact that, I am sure whatever is in the eye makeup I use should probably not be put anywhere near my eyes.

READ MORE…. and Get the Recipe

 

 

Everyone has a guilty pleasure.

Some of the smartest people in my life watch some of the most ridiculous TV shows, some of the healthiest people I know have a soft spot for the occasional Krispy Kreme donut, and some of the most naturally minded people, like myself, love wearing eye makeup.

So, let me break it down for you all and come clean. My shampoo is entirely natural, I use the oil cleansing method to clean my face, I make my own body wash, and I use coconut oil as shaving cream. I haven’t owned a bottle of hairspray, gel, or mousse in well over a year and when I am in need of lotion I, again, reach for the coconut oil. My beauty routine could easily be described as minimalistic if it weren’t for my makeup drawer.

Even my makeup drawer has its limits though. Outside of some concealer and some blush, I am not a big fan of using makeup all over my skin. I am simply a sucker for eye makeup.

My eyes have been my primary defining physical characteristic my entire life. As a child, everyone I met would immediately comment on my “big beautiful eyes.” For most of my young life I thought that was an incredibly strange compliment to pay someone. I didn’t really understand what they meant by “big” and it kind of sounded like everyone was telling me I had bug eyes or something! That was until I started to see some examples of women in the media who are described, affectionately, as having “big” eyes. Now, I understand what people are referring to and I embrace it. In fact, I genuinely think it is fun to accentuate my trademark facial feature, in spite of the fact that, I am sure whatever is in the eye makeup I use should probably not be put anywhere near my eyes.

 

Acorn Squash Honey Custard

Acorn Sqaush Honey Custard (AIP, Paleo)

As some of you may know, about twice a month I have the opportunity to write a post over at the blog Homemade For Elle. This month, I shared a delicious fall inspired dessert recipe I thought you all may enjoy. 

Acorn Squash Honey Custard

Summer is coming to a close and as much as I hate to admit it, I am beginning to look forward to the cooler days of fall. I am a warm weather person through and through, but the humidity and bugs of North Carolina in August have exhausted their welcome and I am ready for a change.

Acorn Squash Honey Custard (AIP, Paleo) With the season change comes a change in flavors. All summer we have enjoyed the sweetness of strawberries, watermelons and peaches, we have had our pick of juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers and overwhelming quantities of zucchini, but with those crops on their way out we welcome the foods meant to get us through the winter, nutrient dense greens and lots and lots of squash.

Obviously, pumpkin tends to be the star squash of the season, but there are so many other options to pick from and so many unique ways to enjoy them. When I was thinking about creating this recipe, I researched a lot of different preparations for various squash types and I was surprised that acorn squash was almost always used in savory dishes. With a consistency similar to pumpkin, acorn squash is small and much easier to prepare than larger types of squash and has a flavor that is much lighter than pumpkin or butternut squash, making it incredibly versatile and perfect for desserts.

FOR THE RECIPE CLICK HERE