Apple Sage Pork Chops

Apple Sage Pork Chops (AIP, Paleo)

If you have spent much time looking through my site or through either of my recipe indexes, you may have noticed that unlike some other sites I do not have a ton of recipe for main dishes. I have a lot of recipes for sides, snacks, desserts, even breakfasts, but not as many for main dinner items. Honestly, it is because I often find myself stuck in a rut when it comes to the meat element of the meal. Generally, each week my husband and I have some rotation of burgers, stir fry, fish, chicken, steak, and maybe some pork. The sides change but often the way I cook the meat does not. Baking has always been my first love so desserts get my creative juices flowing, however my experience cooking meat is much more limited and it has taken me a while to feel comfortable enough in my cooking skills to begin to get creative.

I have discovered that my two favorite ways to cook meat are in the slow cooker or pan-fried with a spice rub rather than a marinade (I also love grilled meat, but we don’t currently have a grill). I love the way a spice rub creates a super flavorful coating on the meat that seals in the flavor of the meat itself when it is fried. Spice rubs also allow you to flavor your meat faster than a marinade, which really needs time to flavor the meat. Finally, they are also inexpensive and easy to make.

This pork chop recipe is one that I made recently on a whim and it turned out deliciously. The flavors were so pronounced, the meat was tender, and the apple and onion topping was just the right accompaniment.

This meal is perfect for a weeknight, it is easy, cooks up fast and all in one pan (just remember to thaw your pork chops in the morning).

What is your favorite way to prepare meat dishes? Do you have a category of cooking that you prefer over others?

 

Apple Sage Pork Chops (AIP, Paleo)Apple Sage Pork Chops:

(serves 2)

Ingredients: 

2 Large Pork Chops

½ tsp of sea salt

½ tsp ground sage

½ tsp of dried thyme

1 apple (sliced thinly)

½ large onion (sliced into thin strips)

2 TBS Solid cooking fat

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine your spices. Rub your pork chops on all sides with your spices. In a large frying pan heat your cooking fat over medium/high heat. Place your pork chops in the pan and sear both sides. Add in your apples and onions, reduce the heat to medium and cook covered for about four minutes on both sides, stirring the apples and onions occasionally. When the pork is cooked al the way through and the apples and onions are soft, it is finished. Enjoy!

 

 

 

AIP Friendly Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce (AIP, Paleo)

Today it is exactly one month before Thanksgiving (don’t panic). For most of the country that means that there is still plenty of time. Most people have the same foods every year, celebrate in the same way, so there is no need to begin thinking about the holiday until it is just a week or two away. However, for someone on a healing diet the thought of either creating a new holiday meal to suite their needs or attending a meal at someone else’s house can be extremely anxiety producing.

Every family celebrates a bit differently. Some roast their turkey and some fry it, some have stuffing/dressing others do not, some have sweet potato casserole covered in marshmallows and others have sauerkraut, however one item that seems to be on most tables without exception is cranberry sauce. That delicious spread that pairs perfectly with turkey and stuffing to create a holiday for your taste buds. While I m sure there are a lot of families out there who make their own cranberry sauce, most Thanksgiving meals that I have attended have included the type out of the can. It seems reasonable enough, you cook the turkey, the mashed potatoes, the vegetables and the breads all from scratch the cranberry sauce is the one thing that is easy to simplify. Right?

Well, ironically that cranberry sauce is one of the easiest things to make healthier and also one of the foods with the least redeeming nutritional value when taken from a can. The ingredients in Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce are as follows: Cranberries/ High Fructose Corn Syrup/ Water/Corn Syrup. That is a lot of corn syrup. The good news is that cranberry sauce is so simple to make in general and even simpler to make AIP friendly.

So, as you begin to think about your holiday meal do not panic because many Thanksgiving staples actually lend themselves extremely well to a healing diet, I mean originally it was a meal based around local, seasonal foods and fellowship… think about that.

 

Cranberry Sauce (AIP, Paleo)AIP Friendly Cranberry Sauce:

Ingredients:

3 Cups of Cranberries

¼ Cup of Maple syrup

½ Cup of Fresh Orange Juice

 

Directions:

Combine all of your ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a slow boil over medium/high heat. When it begins to boil turn down the heat and allow the sauce to simmer until it has thickened stirring often.

 

 

My AIP Menu for the Week of 10/26/14

My AIP Menu for the week of 10/26/14

Menu planning is a big piece of living the AIP lifestyle. Whether you’re eating at home on a normal weekday night or going out of town everything needs to be planned ahead of time or else you will get caught with nothing cooked and no easy convenience foods and you will be very very hungry.

Last week, I talked about the importance of batch cooking and how it can save you a lot of time in the kitchen. Well, today I went through my weekly routine of creating my menu, going to the store, and batch cooking and I decided that I would share what my menu looks like this week to give you some recipe inspiration and a better idea of what my actual meals look like on a day to day basis.

My household only consists of my husband and I and we are pretty regimented eaters, meaning that we each pretty much stick to three meals and one snack per day. My husband is not AIP and mostly follows a gluten free, sometimes paleo diet. So, you will notice that his lunch for example does contain nightshades and yes, even corn, and his snack contains nuts. He is very supportive of me, and he eats AIP for dinner so that we can eat together however the rest of his meals include non AIP foods which honestly helps us stretch our food budget a little further, giving me room to buy the nourishing foods that I need.

As I mentioned in the batch cooking post, I cook my breakfast and our lunches for the week ahead of time to save time and the dinners I cook on a nightly basis. Finally, my hubby is not home on Wednesday nights so I don’t usually make a big meal that night and instead use it as an opportunity to eat leftovers and take a break from cooking.

All of that being said, let me know what you think? Are you trying any new recipes this week? Do you cook any parts of your meals for the week ahead of time?

 

The McClellan Family Menu for the Week of 10/26/14:

 

Sweet Potato, Apple, Turkey Breakfast Stir Fry (AIP)Breakfast: Sweet Potato Stir Fry with Spinach, Ground Beef and Grass Fed Beef Liver (Similar to this recipe only with a different meat combo and some added offal)

My Lunch: Chicken Stew with Plums and Carrots Recipe from A Squirrel in the Kitchen

My Hubby’s Lunch: Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken with gluten free tortilla chips (Not AIP)

My Snacks: Plantain Chips and Avocado

Hubby Snacks: Apples and Natural Nut Butter (Not AIP)

 

Dinners:

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes 1Monday: Butternut Squash Risotto from Autoimmune Paleo with slow cooked pork chops and onion in bone broth

Tuesday: Baked Salmon Topped with Cranberry Sauce and green beans with garlic cooked in tallow

Wednesday: (Leftovers Night)

Thursday: Grass fed Burgers topped with fried onions, avocado and Bacon with Sweet Potato Fries

Friday: Pot Roast and Gravy from Phoenix Helix with Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

 

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